The Works Progress Administration

Biography of Braxton B. Mings of El Monte California

Prominent in El Monte for many years as a druggist and practicing physician, and later as a successful farmer and dealer in dairy stock, Dr. B.B. Mings came to California first in 1887, returning after a short stay to his native state, only to be induced after several years, by his wife (a native daughter of California) to return and settle in the sunny land. Dr. Mings was born March 5, 1863 in Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas.  He was the son of Mac and Cynthia (Vise) Mings, both natives of the State of Texas, where the father was a large planter and cotton buyer. Receiving his early education in the common schools of Gilmer and the high school at Longview, Dr. Mings decided to prepare for a medical career, and consequently entered the medical department of the University of Kentucky at Louisville, from which he received his degree as Doctor of Medicine February 26, 1896.  He immediately started practicing his profession at Gatesville, Texas, where he remained until moving to California in 1902. Upon his arrival he settled at once in El Monte, purchasing the drug store of Dr. Cave and began the practice of medicine.  The location of his drug store was the site now occupied by the First National Bank.  He continued in this work until 1910, when he disposed of his drug business.  He continued, however, to practice his medical profession until in 1919.  Two years later he moved to Los Angeles and engaged successfully for three years in the real estate business.  In 1915, he returned to El Monte, and purchased a forty-five acre tract from the Baldwin Estate.  He later disposed of all except ten acres located on South Lexington Avenue, which he improved by erecting a beautiful home, barns, etc., leasing the land for general farming.  Later, in addition to his farming affairs, he, with his son, Travis, branched into the business of buying and selling dairy stock.  In this they have met with unusual success, there thoroughbred Holstein cattle being noted throughout the entire state.  In 1930, Dr. Mings and his son installed a feed mill which they operate at the present time, specializing in the manufacture of diary feed in conjunction with their cattle business. In 1888, Dr. Mings was married to Miss Mae Dodson, a native of El Monte and daughter of one of El Monte’s oldest settlers, W.R. Dodson, who with Mrs. Dodson (In maidenhood, Miss Clarmond Jones) were natives of Arkansas, coming to California in 1868.  To Dr. and Mrs. Mings have been born two children, namely:  Dollie C. (Mrs. C.W. Rowland) and Travis B., both of El Monte. Politically, Dr. Mings is a staunch Democrat, and has been very active in the promotion of his party’s interests.  He is a member of the Democrat Central Committee and was for four years, Chairman of the 50th Assembly District.  He proudly stated that for over fifty years, he has voted the Democratic ticket without scratching it in any way whatsoever. Two years ago (1934) Dr. Mings became interested in the oil business dealing in leases in the eastern extension of the Montebello field.  Only recently a large producing well was brought in which proves leases, which he holds to be good oil producing land. At seventy-three years of age, Dr. Mings, hale and hearty, continues active in the promotion of his various enterprises.  He says that he never intends to retire, but rather will “die with his boots on.”  He and Mrs. Mings reside in their ranch home at 1971 South Tyler Avenue, south of El Monte.

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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