The Works Progress Administration

Biography of John T. Haddox of El Monte California

John T. Haddox was among the early merchants of El Monte.  His store was centrally located and was well fitted and stocked as a representative country general store.  Mr. Haddox also combined the real estate and insurance business with his enterprise, and was the agent of E.J. Baldwin in his land sales.  A brief resume of his life and association with the industries of the San Gabriel Valley is as follows: He was a native of Hancock County, Ohio, dating his birth in 1858.  His father, Jacob Haddox, was a native of that State, but a descendant of an old family of Virginia, who devoted himself to mercantile pursuits.  Mr. Haddox lived in his native county until 1868, when his father moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where the subject of this sketch received a good common school and academic education and also received his early training in mercantile pursuits.  In 1876 he started in life for himself, seeking the Golden State as the scene of his operations.  Upon his arrival in California he located at El Monte, where for about a year he engaged in farming with his cousin, William Haddox, after which he rented land from Nicholas Smith, about a mile east of town, and engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1881, the then established himself in the mercantile business, in El Monte in Partnership with Charles M. Bell, under the firm name of Bell and Haddox.  This enterprise was successfully conducted until 1885, when he sold out his interest to Mr. Langstadter and established a business of his own.  He also owned ten acres of land located in the Temple School District, which he devoted to vegetable cultivation besides 240 acres near Fort Yuma in Arizona.  He later disposed of these holdings.  Mr. Haddox was a progressive and enterprising citizen, who by his energy and firm business principles secured success in his various enterprises, and who was ever ready to aid such projects and movements as would build up the section in which he cast his lot.  He was a strong Republican in politics, and a worker in the ranks of his party, having been a delegate in many of the Republican county conventions.  In 1881, he was appointed postmaster of El Monte, a position he held until 1887. He served for two terms as a justice of the peace, first being elected in 1881, and later in 1888.  He was a member of El Monte Lodge No. 104, F. & A.M.  In 1886, Mr. Haddox was united in marriage with Miss Victoria Mayes, the daughter of the late Dr. Thomas A. Mayes, one of the pioneer physicians of Los Angeles County and a resident of El Monte at the time of his death in 1873. By this marriage there were nine children, six of whom are living namely:  Victor, Philip, Dorothy, Hilda, Miriam and Marjorie.

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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