The Works Progress Administration

Biography of C. B. Shobe of El Monte California

Born April 11, 1859, in the Missouri River Bottoms near St. Louis, Missouri, C. B. Shobe, and early settler of El Monte, Came first to California with his parents when he was but five years of age. His father and mother were “Wash” and Jane (Duncan) Shobe, both natives of Osage County, Missouri.

The family came to California by way of Salt Lake City in a large overland wagon train in the charge of Captain Wilhite. The train was threatened at times with Indian attacks, although no major conflict occurred or loss of life was suffered. Mr. Shobe and his family settled near what was known as Smith’s Landing, near Sacramento, on the river of that name. Here he followed farming for five years, at the end of which time, he returned to Missouri. In the year following the family’s arrival in California, they were saddened by the death of the mother. Following his return to Missouri in 1869, Mr. Shobe’s health failed and two years later death called him, leaving the children orphans.

Following his father’s death, C.B. Shobe, the subject of this sketch, being but twelve years of age, for a time made his home with and uncle. Later, (in about 1875) he went with a sister to Texas where he remained for six years. At the age of twenty-one, Mr. Shobe began farming for himself on the old home place in Missouri, at which he continued until in 1888, when he engaged in the hardware business for three years.

In 1891, Mr. Shobe came to California settling first in El Monte. Here, he engaged at carpentering, which trade in addition to general construction work, he has followed in this vicinity more or less continuously ever since. He has had a part in the construction of many of El Monte’s nicest homes and principal business buildings during the period of its rapid development. He assisted in the setting of the large grove of eucalypti east of Lexington Grammar School. This was in 1893.

Mr. Shobe recalls an incident that occurred many ears ago, which in the light of modern conveniences and sanitary conditions, is very interesting. At the construction fo the first homes in which sewer connections were made with cesspools, many citizens had the idea that this was wrong, by reason of its creating an unsanitary condition. The even went so far as to declare such houses hazards to the public safety and tried to force their condemnation by law.

In 1884, Mr. Shobe was united in marriage with Miss Lillie Townley, who, with her parents, John and Francis (Hensley) Townley, were natives of Missouri.

To Mr. and Mrs. Shobe were born five children, all of whom, except one who died in infancy, are still living, namely: Maud (Mrs. M. Kauffman) of El Monte; George W., of El Monte; Emma (Mrs. C. Fulwider) of Los Angeles; and Earl T. whose address is unknown by reason of the nature of his occupation which requires that he travel continuously. The mother was called by death in 1926.

In politics Mr. Shobe is a Democrat. Fraternally, while not active at this time, he was for years a member of the Knights of Pythias.

Esteemed for the quality of his character and his many years as an honored citizen of El Monte, Mr. Shobe, in somewhat failing health for the past few years, continues to make his home with his daughter, Mrs. M. Kauffman, at 332 South Lexington Avenue.

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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