The Works Progress Administration

Biography of R.C. Fryer of El Monte California

R.C. Fryer was born in Alabama in 1821. When he was 18 years old, he moved to Arkansas, where he engaged in farming for a number of years. In 1852, with his family, he started across the plains, and arrived at El Monte the same year. He purchased a tract of land near here, and engaged in general farming. Having always been a man of deep religious convictions, one of his first acts after his arrival in El Monte was to begin the organization of the First Baptist Church to be founded in the state. In 1854, he was ordained a minister in the Baptist faith. He later was also active in the organization of the Baptist Churches in Pomona, Los Angeles and Santa Ana. In 1867, he purchased 250 Acres of land near Spadra, where he lived until 1888, when he moved to Los Angeles. He died the following year at the age of 69.

Fraternally, Mr. Fryer was a member of the Masonic Lodge, and at one time, was master of the El Monte Lodge. In 1870, he was elected on the Democratic ticket to represent his Constituents in the State Assembly, besides which, he filled many lesser offices within the gift of his fellow citizens, among them that of County Supervisor and school trustee.

A man of considerable ability and prominence, he wielded a broad influence for good wherever he was placed, and all who were associated with him in the pioneer days, revere his memory.

He was married in 1839 to Miss Caroline Veazey, to which union were born eleven children, one of whom was Henry F. Fryer, another pioneer of El Monte, whose review is to be found elsewhere in this volume. Some years after the rearing of the family, Mrs. Fryer died, the date being unobtainable for this sketch. Mr. Fryer was later married to Mrs. Mattie Maston, who survived him residing for many years in Los Angeles.

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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