The Works Progress Administration

Biography of George W. Dobyns of El Monte California

George W. Dobyns, revered and respected among El Monte’s early settlers, was born in Illinois, June 13, 1852. When he was only a boy his parents moved to Missouri where they remained until George was past his majority.

In about the year 1874, they made the journey overland to California. Mr. Dobyns settled first in the vicinity of El Monte, engaging for several years in farming. In 1886 he moved to Tehachapi and ranched for about five years. A few years following the death of his wife, in 1891, Mr. Dobyns returned to El Monte where, in partnership with E.J. Dodson, he engaged in the general merchandise business. Some years prior to his mercantile career (about 1893) he also acquired a fifteen-acre tract of land north of El Monte and improved and developed it to a high degree of productivity. He later moved the house, which he had, build on his tract into El Monte, which, from that time, he made his residence until his death in 1898.

Mr. Dobyns was twice married, first in 1877, to Hannah Jane Freer, a native of California, whose parents were William H. and Zerelda (Stucker) Freer, a sketch of whom is to be found elsewhere in this work. To Mr. and Mrs. Dobyns were born six children, Nora (Mrs. J.H. Ethington); Fluvia, (Mrs. E.J. Shirpser); and George P., of El Monte; Thomas W., of Kansas City and two children who died in infancy. The mother died in 1889.

Mr. Dobyns was a Democrat and worked faithfully in the local ranks of his party. He was for years a trustee of the Lexington School. Fraternally he was a Mason and a member of the A.O.U.W. In religion he was a member of the Baptist Church.

In 1894, Mr. Dobyns’ second marriage was to Miss Clara Warren, who is from New York state and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G.O. Thetge, also natives of New York. To this union, two children were born, Lawrence T., of Los Angeles, and Francis (Mrs. J.R. Bolam) of Reno, Nevada. Mrs Dobyns, since the death of Mr. Dobyns in 1898, has resided on Center Street, in 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top