The Works Progress Administration

Biography of Albert Lee Kerns of El Monte California

Albert Lee Kerns, a resident farmer located in the vicinity of El Monte, is one of the prominent men of this section, having proven his right to success by his own efforts, which have brought him a competence.

He is a native of Paris, Kentucky, born September 6, 1869; his father, Levi Kerns, was a native of Bourbon County, Kentucky.  Levi, became a miller in manhood and plied his trade uninterruptedly until the breaking out of the Civil War, when he enlisted in the Fourth Regiment Kentucky Infantry, known as the Orphaned Brigade, and served to the close of the struggle, receiving two wounds, while two of his brothers participating in the warfare were killed.  His own death was caused by drowning in March 1870, while attempting to cross a creek in a canoe.  His wife was Amanda Wardsworth, who was born in North Carolina of English ancestry, and also died in Kentucky.  They were the parents of four children, all of whom are now deceased, except Albert Lee, the subject of this sketch.

The third child in his father’s family, Albert Lee Kerns was reared on the paternal farm and educated in the public schools.  He remained at home until the age of nineteen, when, in 1889, he went to Texas, and in Honey Grove, followed farming for three years.  Attracted to California he came first to Sacramento in 1893 and entered the employ of dredgers working in the Sacramento Valley, remaining in this occupation for eighteen months, when, in 1895, he located in Savannah.  He worked on the ranch owned by L. J. Rose for four years, when in 1899, the Farmers and Merchants Bank having taken over the property, he continued his position with them until 1902.  In the last named year, with his accumulated means, he purchased a fourteen-acre tract of land located on Sunset Avenue.  This he improved with a residence, barn, etc., and began its cultivation, combining with his farming interests, teaming in the hay business.  Throughout the years Mr. Kerns has continued to devote his time and efforts to the promotion of his farm, specializing in vegetable raising.  Years ago he acquired twenty acres of land near Rosemead which he later sold.

In El Monte Mr. Kerns married Miss Clotildis Quinn, a native of this place and a daughter of Richard Quinn, and El Monte pioneer.  They are the parents of four children, Mildred Lee, (Mrs. Charles Wolverton) of Long Beach; Grace Zelma, a teacher in Los Angeles; Albert Harold, whose residence is unknown; and Joyce, (Mrs. William Thompson) of El Monte.  Mr. Kerns was prominent in educational affairs, serving for a time as clerk of the board of trustees of the Savannah School District.  Fraternally, he belongs to the Knights of Pythias, while politically he is a Democrat on national issues, but locally reserves the right to cast his ballot of the man whom he considers best qualified to discharge official duties.

Mr. and Mrs. Kern both well and hearty, remain active in the management of their ranch at 1301 Ellis Lane, (better known as Sunset Boulevard) which they purchased many years ago.

Source: C. D. Mayon, F. Brow, L. Stoddard, and C. Mudd; El Monte from the Pioneer Days. WPA Project No. N-5740, 1936. In record 19-187072. (California Historical Landmark No. 765: El Monte). On file at the SCCIC, CSU Fullerton.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top