Category: Los Angeles County

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Biography of Henry Guess of El Monte California

A native son, pioneer and son of a pioneer of El Monte and vicinity, Henry Guess, bears the added honor of being the first American white child born in Los Angeles County.  His parents were John and Harriet (Holifield) Guess, both natives of Arkansas who came to California by ox-team in 1852.  A sketch of John Guess and his parents is given elsewhere in this volume. Henry Guess was born January 14, 1853 on the old Lugo Ranch, a few miles southwest of El Monte.  He attended the first public school in El Monte, located in what is now the Rio

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Biography of Fielding W. Gibson of El Monte California

Fielding W. Gibson was born in Mississippi in 1809. During the early years of his life, he engaged in farming in Mississippi and Louisiana. In 1851, he traveled from New Orleans, through Mexico to Mazatlan and from there by boat, to San Francisco, and then to the mines were he stayed five months. The scarcity of cattle in the north induced him to go to Mexico where he purchased a herd of cattle, and attempted to drive them to northern California. The Mexicans in his employ, however, stole most of the stock by the time he reached San Gabriel Valley,

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Biography of Thomas Andrew Garey of El Monte California

Thomas Andrew Garey was born of German ancestry in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 7, 1830.  He started for California in 1850, stopping about a year in New Mexico and six months at Tubac, Arizona, arriving at San Diego, in 1852.  At Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1850, Mr. Garey was untied in marriage with Louisa J. Smith, a native of Massachusetts. Soon after their arrival in San Diego, they came to and settled in El Monte.  Several years later, Mr. Garey bought land on San Pedro Street in Los Angeles, and engaged extensively in the citrus nursery business.  The demand for young orange, lemon

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Biography of George W. Dobyns of El Monte California

George W. Dobyns, revered and respected among El Monte’s early settlers, was born in Illinois, June 13, 1852. When he was only a boy his parents moved to Missouri where they remained until George was past his majority. In about the year 1874, they made the journey overland to California. Mr. Dobyns settled first in the vicinity of El Monte, engaging for several years in farming. In 1886 he moved to Tehachapi and ranched for about five years. A few years following the death of his wife, in 1891, Mr. Dobyns returned to El Monte where, in partnership with E.J.

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Biography of R.C. Fryer of El Monte California

R.C. Fryer was born in Alabama in 1821. When he was 18 years old, he moved to Arkansas, where he engaged in farming for a number of years. In 1852, with his family, he started across the plains, and arrived at El Monte the same year. He purchased a tract of land near here, and engaged in general farming. Having always been a man of deep religious convictions, one of his first acts after his arrival in El Monte was to begin the organization of the First Baptist Church to be founded in the state. In 1854, he was ordained

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Biography of Henry F. Fryer of El Monte California

A native son of the State, Henry F. Fryer, was born January 4, 1855 in El Monte. He was the son of Reverend R.C. and Caroline (Veazey) Fryer. The father was born in Alabama in 1821. When he was eighteen years old he made his first removal toward the west, at that time going to Conway County, Arkansas, and settling on a farm. It was about this time too, that he formed domestic ties by his marriage with Miss Caroline Veazey, the ceremony being performed in Alabama in 1839. Thirteen years later, Mr. Fryer continued his westward journey; coming over

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Biography of William H. Freer of El Monte California

No more prominent family than that established in California, by William H. Freer, holds rank among the representative citizens of Los Angeles County, the name being especially well known and esteemed in El Monte and vicinity. The pioneer, William H. Freer, was a native of the Middle West states, his birth having occurred on the Little Miami River, in Ohio, February 5, 1814. he was a son of Jonathon Freer, who was born in North Carolina, and became a pioneer settler of Ohio, here with his wife, formerly Hannah Swords, of Virginia, he engaged in farming. He finally removed to

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Biography of Thomas Freer of El Monte California

Thomas Freer, one of the sterling citizens of El Monte, gave to the state of his birth his most loyal allegiance, upholding her interests in every possible way. He was born in Barryessa, Santa Clara County, California, December 25, 1859, a son of William H. Freer, one of the early pioneers of California. For a full account of his father’s career, refer to his personal sketch, which appears elsewhere in this volume. Reared in Santa Clara County until he was fifteen years old, Thomas Freer received his education in the public schools of that section, later, attending for a brief

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Biography of Martin Stucker Freer

Martin Stucker Freer was a native Californian, born in Barryessa, Santa Clara County, October 1, 1854, his father being William H. Freer, the pioneer, whose history is given at length elsewhere in this volume. Reared on the home farm for the first twenty-one years of his life, Martin S. was educated in the public schools of his home community. He came to El Monte in October 1875, driving stock through to the farm, which his father had bought here in 1869. Here he remained with his father until he was twenty-eight years old, when he became dependent upon his own

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Biography of Lee Freer of El Monte California

Inheriting the qualities of character which have made the Freer name respected and esteemed throughout El Monte district and indeed, all Los Angeles County, Lee Freer held rank as one of the representative citizens of El Monte. He was a native son of the State, and a twin of Jackson Freer, whose sketch is included in this work, his birth having occurred in San Jose, April 6, 1870. Five years later he was brought by his parents, William H. and Zerelda (Stucker) Freer, to Southern California, where all of his life was spent. Reared in Savannah, he received his education