Early Residents of Monrovia

John C. Anderson

Birthdate: June 1, 1845

Birthplace: Ohio

Occupation: Building contractor

Properties Owned: 215 E. Lime Avenue

John Calvin Anderson was a carpenter working in Los Angeles when Monrovia was being subdivided in 1887, and if he wasn't the first builder to make Monrovia his home, then he was among the first.  Besides his own house, Anderson built Monrovia's first hotel, the Mills Hotel, on the west side of Myrtle between Lemon and Orange (Carew 406).Anderson was born June 1, 1844, in Ohio.  His headstone at Live Oak Cemetery in Monrovia, California, indicates he was in the Union Army, but little else is known about his life before he came to California.  His wife, Elizabeth H. Lindesmith, was born November 30, 1853, also in Ohio. 

Los Angeles.California Voter registration lists indicate that John C. Anderson was in Los Angeles by 1873, where he is listed as a carpenter.  The 1888 voter registration entry has him living in Monrovia working as a contractor.  He had bought three lots (16, 17, & 18) in Block A of the Town of Monrovia Subdivision and built a house on Lot 16 that was valued in 1888 at $700.  That house still stands today and is the site of the Anderson House Museum.  After John Anderson's death, his wife continued to live in their house but sold off the other two lots.

John C. Anderson died on January 25, 1902, and his wife Lizzie died on April 18, 1929.  They are both buried in Live Oak Cemetery in Monrovia.  The Andersons had two sons.  Lewis Harvey Anderson was born on January 7, 1883, in Los Angeles County.  As a teenager, he worked in a hardware store in Monrovia, but his life's vocation was as a forest ranger with the U.S. Forestry Service.  He married in 1918 but had no children.  Lewis Anderson died on October 22, 1956.

George Howard Anderson was born August 23, 1886, in Millport, Ohio, and lived almost his entire life in the house his father built at 215 E. Lime Avenue.  He was employed as a bank cashier for the Security-First National Bank (later Security Pacific) in Monrovia from 1905 until he retired in the 1960s.  He continued living in the family house after his mother died in 1929.

When he died in 1974, George Anderson left the house to his bank to as a trustee for the California Community Foundation which is a charitable trust.  The Foundation then donated the property to Friends of the Monrovia Public Library who donated it to the Monrovia Historical Society which restored it and furnished it as it would have been in the 1880s.  Today it is a museum that illustrates what life was like for a middle class family in Monrovia at the turn of the last century. 

George Anderson never married.

Sources:

  1. Carew, Harold D.  History of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.  S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1930.  Print.
  2. California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Web.
  3.  Monrovia Historical Society.  Monrovia's Heritage Volume 1. Unknown: Unknown, 1980. Print.
  4. Wiley, John L.  "Observations".  This is a collection information that appeared in the Monrovia Daily News Post around 1930.   They were collected by Mrs. F.A. Slosson and were loaned by her son, Ralph D. Slosson, to Myron T. Hotckiss, Monrovia City Historian, who transcribed them at an unknown date.  A copy is on file at the Monrovia Historical Museum, Monrovia, California.