The Works Progress Administration

Biography of Benjamin F. Maxson, Jr. of El Monte California

Benjamin F. Maxson, Jr., a native of California, was born in Tustin, May 15, 1879. His father was Benjamin F. Maxson, Sr., El Monte pioneer, who contributed much to the development of the community, and was especially prominent in the early growth of the walnut industry here. A separate sketch of his life is to be found elsewhere in these pages.

Benjamin F. Jr., was educated in the public schools of Tustin and El Monte later attending Pomona College. His college course was broken by the tragic death of his father, in 1899, which necessitated his return home to attend the management of the home ranch near El Monte. Here he remained for two years, at the end of which time he located on a twenty-acre tract nearby and engaged in raising walnuts. He later disposed of this tract and purchased a forth acre tract east of El Monte (in the Bassett District) which he devoted to raising walnuts and alfalfa. In 1907 he erected a nice residence and made other improvements. Here he remained active in the management of his affairs until called by death in 1928. Mr. Maxson with other local growers, organized the La Puente Walnut Growers’ Association, and was its original manager until his death.

In El Monte, Mr. Maxson was united in marriage with Miss Mary Alexander, a native of El Monte, whose father was an El Monte pioneer, coming to California from South Carolina. Her mother was Miss Marie Publetia, a native of Chile, South America.

To Mr. and Mrs. Maxson were born thirteen children, all of whom are still living, namely: Benjamin Franklin, Jr. II and Stanley, of Puente; Marjorie, (Mrs. McIntosh) of Colton; Evelyn (Mrs. Hall of Baldwin Park; Alice (Mrs. Cota) and Reed, of Los Angeles; Willis, of the University of Idaho; Edith, of Brea; and Bernice, Frances, Edwin, Betty Jane, and Gilbert, the last five named being members of their mother’s household in West Covina.

Mr. Maxson was an active and conscientious worker in all matters of civic improvement. Though a busy man, he contributed much time to any public service, which needed his assistance. Fraternally, he was a member of the Masonic Lodge, and the Order of Eastern Star. At his death he was a Past Master of both the Covina and Baldwin Park Lodges. He was an active member and liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church.

Politically he was a Republican.

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.

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