Biography

Although living but two years after his arrival in El Monte, John H. Alexander was well known in the vicinity and left a family which was to have much to do with the activity and future development of the town.

Born in 1829, a native of South Carolina, Mr. Alexander was educated in the public schools of his home community where he remained until after he was twenty years of age. In 1849, he crossed the plains to California by ox-team, coming first to the gold fields in the northern part of the state. Here he remained for several years engaged at mining. For a time as foreman of a mine in Drytown, Amador County, and later in Calaveras County in the same line of work.

Disposing of his interests in 1880, he came to El Monte. Purchasing a five acre tract of land east of town, he immediately began farming and improving his property. Two years later he died, at the age of fifty-three.

Mr. Alexander was married in 1863 to Miss Marie Publetis, who was born in Chile, S.A. Her father, Jose Publetis of Spanish ancestry, was also a native of that country. Miss Publetis came to San Francisco with an aunt in 1849, then a city of little else except tents, and, following the death of her aunt a short time later, made her own way in the world.

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander became the parents of six children, namely: John H. Jr., Albert A., Andrew J., James S., Rosa and Mary J. The last named became the wife of Benjamin F. Maxson, Jr., a native of California who became very prominent as an El Monte pioneer, and especially in the development of the walnut industry in that district.

Self-reliant and resourceful to a marked degree, Mrs. Alexander, at the death of her husband, courageously took up the responsibility of caring alone for her six children, whom she reared and educated by hard work and good management, with all the advantages which children of that time could have. She continued to live on the small home ranch improving and developing the production of crops on her property until her death.

Source:El Monte from the Pioneer Days: History and Biographical Sketches. Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, 1937. Print.