Thomas Bell, well known in El Monte for his success in agriculture and dairying, was born in El Monte, California, October 5, 1859, and was here reared to young manhood, receiving his educational training in the public schools of the community. Upon attaining maturity he engaged in general farming for himself, leasing the old Temple place, where he conducted a dairy farm, having four hundred acres of pasture land and a large herd of milk cows. He met with success and accumulated sufficient means to enable him to purchase a twenty-acre tract of land located two and a half miles south of El Monte, which he cleared from tules and willows, and later rented for vegetable raising. He continued his dairy enterprises until 1904, when he sold out and built a residence in El Monte, put out walnut trees and otherwise improved his property.
In 1907, Mr. Bell was married to Mrs. Erminia A. Harvey, nee Venegas, whose parents were early California pioneers. Her parents both died when she was only a child and she was then adopted by C. Venegas. No records are available regarding the foster parents.
To Mr. and Mrs. Bell were born two children, Thomas W., residing in Santa Paula, and William H., who died in infancy. Mrs. Bell’s death occurred in 1935.
Mr. Bell was an enterprising and progressive citizen seeking always to upbuild the general interests of the community. Fraternally he was identified with Lexington Lodge No. 104, F. & A.M., and politically he was strong in his defense of Democratic principals. Death called him in 1918.
Source: Mayon, C. D., 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.