The Works Progress Administration

Biography of Ephraim J. Shirpser of El Monte California

A resident of El Monte for nearly fifty years, and esteemed and respected by its citizens, Ephraim J. Shirpser, has contributed much to the City’s improvement and growth.

A native of California, born February 12, 1879, he is the son of Solomon Shirpser, a native of Poland, who came to California in 1860, by way of Vancouver B.C., settling first in San Francisco, and later moving to Mendocino County, where the subject of this review was born. When but three years old, E.J. Shirpser was brought to Los Angeles, where he was educated in the common schools, the first of which he attended on the site of the present Court House. Later he attended school on Spring Street, the location of which is now Mercantile Place (1936). His education was completed after the family moved to Savannah and El Monte.

When a young man, he entered the employment of the early Co-operative Store, on Main Street, and later (about 1900) he worked for M.I.F. Baker. He also worked subsequently for the Kauffman Mercantile Co., and traveled for a year for a stove concern. In 1906 he entered into partnership in the plumbing business with Lester Burdick, which continued until 1908, when he opened a general store in partnership with his father. This business was continued until in 1922, when he sold out and entered the real estate and insurance business, which he continues to manage at 318 West Main Street.

Politically, Mr. Shirpser is a Republican. He is affiliated with the El Monte I.O.O.F. Lodge, and Lexington Lodge #104, F. & A.M.

He has rendered valuable service in civic affairs, serving for a time as President of the City Council, for eleven years on the Columbia Grammar School Board and at present is still a member. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce for a number of years.

In 1903, he married Fluvia Dobyns, a native of El Monte and the daughter of George Dobyns, a pioneer merchant of El Monte.

Mrs. Shirpser is a member of the Christian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Shirpser have resided on Center Street for over thirty years.

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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