John W. Barton, pioneer rancher, located in the vicinity of El Monte in the ‘80’s and engaged in the cultivation of an extensive ranch of between fifteen hundred and eighteen hundred acres, in the meantime improving and developing a homestead of twenty-four acres. He met with success in his efforts, acquired a competence, and won a place among the loyal and public-spirited citizens of the locality.
Mr. Barton was a native of Barrien County, Michigan, born October 19, 1841, a son of John W. and Emeroy (Eggleston) Barton, early pioneers of California, whose history is given at length in that of their son Chester R. Barton, which appears elsewhere in this volume. The mother lived to a ripe old age, her death occurring December 19, 1906.
In 1854, and during his childhood, John W. Barton was brought to California by his parents and located in Solano County. Here he was educated in the public schools. After completing his educational work, he went to the mines of Nevada and engaged for a time in driving a twenty-six mule team in the hauling of ore. During this time and later he made his home in Virginia City, world-renowned mining city of the west. Later he engaged in buying and selling stock of mining companies and numerous other mining operations which business he followed many years, making and losing several fortunes in his various ventures. After thirty-three years of this work, he returned to California, and located in 1887 near El Monte, where for years he engaged in grain raising, renting a part of the Baldwin property. He also homesteaded a twenty-four acre tract which he made his home. He employed more men than any other one man in this section and success gave him no little prestige among the ranchers of the community.
Mr. Barton was twice married, first in 1876 to Miss Scioto Eggleston, a native of Iowa, and cultured woman, who occupied a prominent place in the social life of the community. She was a member of the Episcopal Church, whose charities were liberally supported by Mr. Barton. She died in 1909. No children were born of this union.
In 1911, Mr. Barton was married to the widow of his deceased brother, Chester, Mrs. Alice (Shoemaker) Barton.
In his political convictions he was a staunch adherent of the Republican principles, and although he never cared for official recognition, took an active interest in the advancement of his party’s welfare. Fraternally he was a member of Lexington Lodge No. 104, F. & A.M., of El Monte, in which he served as treasurer for more than twenty years – an eloquent tribute to his honesty and nobility of character. He resigned from active work in 1911 and continued to reside in El Monte until his death which occurred in 1913. in 1915, Mrs. Barton purchased a residence on South Third Street in Alhambra, where she has since resided.
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.