Well known among the first farmers of El Monte, is the name of Stephen D. Thurman, born in Bledsoe County, Tennessee, in 1844. he was the son of John and Lettie Jane Thurman who were also the parents of five other sons and two daughters. The family moved to Arkansas in 1848, where his father and he engaged in farming until 1852, in which year, the family left by covered wagon and ox team for California. The mother of Stephen died in Arizona while they were on the way, and was buried on the plains in that state. The remainder of the family arrived in El Monte, in 1852, all of whom settled in this district.
Some years later, the subject of this sketch, engaged in the operation of a general store in Tehachapi, later moving to a ranch south of El Monte, where he successfully engaged in farming and stock raising for the remainder of his active years. He later turned his farm into a walnut grove, which he conducted for a number of years. In 1865, he was married to Nancy Ann Beck, a native of Texas. To this union, twelve children were born, of whom eight are now living (1936); Mrs. Stephen D. Elliott, of El Monte, Mrs. Allie Crowder, of Martinez, California, John, Neal, William and Jeff, of Visalia, Mrs. Lettie McCoy of Bakersfield, and Mrs. Kate Nelson of Stratford, California.
Mrs. Thurman died in 1894, while Mr. Thurman lived until 1917. He was an uncle of Joseph C. Thurman, at present (1936), engaged in the real estate business in El Monte.
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.