The Works Progress Administration

Biography of John A. Tucker of El Monte California

John A. Tucker was born in Lamar County, Texas, January 17, 1868. His parents were L. Dow and Sarah (Frezzell) tucker, natives of Texas. His father being killed when John A. was but four years of age, and he, being second in order of birth in a large family, the responsibility of helping support the family fell early on the shoulders of the subject of this sketch.

He was educated in the public schools of his home community and remained at home until he was nineteen. In 1887 he, with his mother and family, came to California, landing in Los Angeles where he worked for a time on public works, later accepting work on a ranch near Compton. The following year he returned to Texas, and later removed to Arkansas.

In 1890 he came to El Monte and engaged for three years in general ranch work for J.S. Killian and Fernando Herbert, following which he worked for a year in the Santa Fe Railway shops in San Bernardino. In 1894 he returned to Oklahoma and engaged in farming for six years. In 1900 he again came to El Monte where he leased the 50-acre ranch known as the Wardlow farm northwest of town. Here he remained about a year, following which he leased forty acres of land from “Lucky” Baldwin, which he farmed for six years. In 1908 he discontinued farming and moved into El Monte where he purchased two residence properties and engaged in the feed and fuel business. In connection with this business, he also conducted a feed yard and teaming business. He later discontinued the feed business and specialized in conducting a fruit and vegetable business. He opened the first exclusive market of this kind in El Monte, and remained active in that business until his health failed in 1931 when he was forced to retire from active work.

In 1890 Mr. Tucker was married to Jannie I. Ward, who with her parents R.B. and Lucy A. (Williams) Ward, were natives of Arkansas. To this union were born eight children: El Monte, of Rosemead; Orva, (Mrs. Fereday) who lives with her parents; Iola, (Mrs. Jackley) of El Monte; Lulu (Mrs. Hettmansperger) of El Monte; Glen E., of Tacoma, Washington; Jewel C., of Portland, Oregon; Erman, of Monrovia; and Merle, deceased.

Mr. Tucker is identified with the orders of M.W.A. and the A.O.U.W., and politically is a Democrat. In religion both he and Mrs. Tucker are members of the Four Square Church, in El Monte. The now reside in their home on North Peck Road, which in 1913, Mr. Tucker purchased from Frank Hayes, being the original home of Mr. Hayes.

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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