The Works Progress Administration

Biography of E. W. Selbach of El Monte California

Beginning in 1900, and for over twenty-seven years thereafter, E. W. Selbach was one of El Monte’s successful businessmen, as well as a booster and civic worker for the city. He conducted one of the finest and most up-to date meat markets in the City, and built up a very thriving volume business. From the profits of his business and with the able assistance and co-operation of his wife, he built two residences and a number of business buildings on Main Street.

Mr. Selbach was a native Californian, born in Pleasanton, February 7, 1871; his father, A. Selbach, was born near Hamburg, Germany, became a butcher by trade, and in the early ‘50’s came around the Horn to California, arriving in San Francisco and starting a butcher business, owning two stalls in the Old California market for many years. He established his home in Pleasanton. Later in life, he went on the stock exchange and lost the greater part of his accumulated fortune. He then returned to the butcher business and worked for wages, first in San Felipe, then in Lemoore, Kings County, in the latter place establishing a market, which he conducted for fifteen years. His death occurred in that location. His wife was formerly Pauline Botsford, a native of Michigan, and daughter of a pioneer of California; her death occurred in Lemoore, also.

From the age of six years, E. W. Selbach was reared in Lemoore, and in that place received his education through the medium of the public schools. His business education was obtained in the Chestnutwood Business College, of Santa Cruz, through which he worked his own way in 1892, he came to Los Angeles and engaged in the butcher business, which he had learned from his early boyhood. He was employed by Vickery & Hines until they went out of business, when he went to Wilmington and continued for George Hines, and in time, became manager of the Wilmington branch. Upon the death of his father, a few years later, he resigned this position to look after the family estate in Lemoore.

About 1897, Mr. Selbach, went to Monrovia, and engaged at his trade for three years, moving in 1900, to El Monte, where he established his meat market. In 1894, he was married in Los Angeles to Miss Mariette Teague, who was born in Uniontown, Kansas, and who died in 1921. There were no children born to this union. At the death of his wife in 1921, Mr. Selbach closed his business and for two years was not active in any line of business. In 1922, he married Katherine Joslyn, a native of Pennsylvania who came to California in 1905, residing in Riverside until the year of her marriage to Mr. Selbach. In the year of his second marriage, Mr. Selbach reentered the meat business in El Monte, but remained only until 1926, when he leased his properties and retired. His death occurred four years later, November 29, 1930.

Mr. Selbach was one of the original stockholders of the First National Bank of El Monte. He served for fourteen years on the City Council, and in many ways took an active part in the upbuilding of the town. Fraternally he was a member of the M.W.A, the A.O.U.W.; held a life membership in the B.P.O.E., and was a Charter Member of the Native Sons of the Golden West. 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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