Occupations | Rancher (Citrus)

David S. West

Birthdate: May 1, 1847

Birthplace: Ohio

Occupation: Rancher (Citrus)

Properties Owned:

David S. West was born in May of 1847 in Ohio to Calvin B., a school teacher, and Elizabeth (Hudson).  The 1850 census lists the value of West’s real estate as $1,000.

The 1860 census shows the West family living in Oregon, but Calvin is not listed on the census.  So it is unclear if he moved with the family to Oregon and then died or died before the family left for Ohio.  Elizabeth West was left well off with her real estate valued at $1,000 and her personal estate at $850.  Her son David is recorded as being a farmer.

David West married Merit Emily Wright in Oregon in 1873, and it doesn’t seem as if they ever had children.  However, Merit’s nephew Lester and niece Esther Pearl Wright lived with them for a long time.

Though David West started off as a farmer, by 1900, he was working as the city recorder for the city of Roseburg, Oregon.

Sometime around 1909, David, Merit, and Esther Pearl came to Monrovia.  They either bought or inherited property at 127 E. Lime Avenue (Lot 19, Block B, Town of Monrovia) from Adaline F. Wright.  However, they lived at 147 N. Magnolia Avenue.  The 1916 California voter list shows David West’s occupation as a rancher.  In Monrovia where there are many citrus orchards, being a rancher would have meant working in agriculture rather than with animals.

The West’s niece moved away and perhaps because the Wests no longer needed a larger house, they moved to their property at 127 E. Lime Avenue between 1917 and 1919.  David West died in 1921 and is buried at Live Oak Cemetery.

His wife, joined by her niece Esther Pearl, continued to live in the house on Lime Avenue into the 1930s.  She died on January 8, 1942, in Orange, California.


Occupations | Rancher (Citrus)

George Croxon

Birthdate: 1862

Birthplace: England

Occupation: Rancher (Citrus)

Properties Owned:

George Croxon arrived from England to the United States in 1888 or 1890.  He gives two different dates for his arrival on the 1920, 1930 and 1910 census records.  He married, date unknown, Edith Mary Nicoll , born 23 Feb 1878 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  She reports in the 1910 census that she arrived in the United States in 1900, but she is listed as a passenger arriving from Victoria, British Columbia in 1907.

From 1910 to at least 1923, George Croxon raised citrus fruits which was the main industry in this area.  The 1920 census lists him as owning his property (orange grove) which was mortgaged.  His ranch was in southeast Monrovia on Mountain Avenue between Central Avenue and Huntington Drives.  The 1924 city directory lists George's occupation as "watchman."  Since his ranch had been mortgaged, he may have sold it and remained on as watchman over the property.

Soon after that, he retired from raising fruit and moved to 267 N. Myrtle Avenue with his wife and two sons, Frederick George Croxon and Norman Nicoll Croxon Senior.

We have been unable to find a reliable source for a death date for George Croxon.  His wife Edith continued to live in the house at 267 N. Myrtle Avenue until the early 1950s when she moved in with her grandson, Normal Nicoll Croxon, Junior, in his house right next door to hers at 271 N. Myrtle Avenue.  She died September 28, 1963, probably in Monrovia.


Occupations | Rancher (Citrus)

Lewis Jospeh Beer

Birthdate: 1830

Birthplace: Switzerland

Occupation: Rancher (Citrus)

Properties Owned: 220 E. Lime Ave.

Lewis Joseph Beer was born in Switzerland around 1830 and married his wife, Carrie Wenzin, there.

 They immigrate to the United States and show up in the 1860 census living in Sharon, Le Seur, Minnesota, where Louis Beer works as a farmer.  He and his wife have two children, Bridget and Louisa, who are born in Minnesota.

 The family does not show up in the 1870 census, but there is a naturalization record for Lewis from Minnesota in 1870.  Lewis’s wife disappears from the records, and he marries a woman named Mary somewhere around 1870.

By 1880, the Beer family is listed as living in El Monte Township, and he is working as a farmer.  However, they soon move to Duarte to farm.  As the City of Monrovia becomes established in 1887, Lewis invests in several pieces of property in the Town of Monrovia Subdivision, including Lots 8, 9 & 10 of Block H

 By 1880, the Beer family is listed as living in El Monte Township, and he is working as a farmer.  However, they soon move to Duarte to farm.  As the City of Monrovia becomes established in 1887, Lewis invests in several pieces of property in the Town of Monrovia Subdivision, including Lots 8, 9 & 10 of Block H.

Beer moves his family to Monrovia, buying the Pioneer Bakery and most likely living above the bakery.  However, things don’t go well.  He becomes overextended financially and has problems with his marriage.  By this time, his daughters have left home to be married, but his financial problems don’t improve and neither do relations with his wife.

So in late April of 1889, Lewis Beer drowns himself in a reservoir in Monrovia leaving a note that explains his intention.  t is unknown if his wife continues to live in Monrovia, but the family holds on to the Monrovia property before selling to Josiah Holcomb Gray, an El Monte resident, in 1894.  Gray and Beer had previously been joint owners of Lot 15, Block A, and it is likely they knew each other previously in El Monte.

 The Beer family keeps Lots 8, 9, & 10 in Block H until, in 1896, they sell Lot 8 to a speculator named T.J. Martin who owns other property in Monrovia.  However, he only owns the property for one year, and he lives in Los Angeles, not Monrovia, so his interest would only have been speculative.  Tax records do not show who owned Lots 9 & 10 in 1894 and 1895.

Sources

 1860 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah 

1870 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1880 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

California Voter Registers: 1882, 1884, 1888:  California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 19; FHL Roll Number: 976928.

City of Monrovia Tax Records 1889-1893.  Monrovia City Hall,   415 S. Ivy Ave., Monrovia, California

Monrovia Messenger Vol. 2, No. 24.  2 May 1889.  Monrovia Historical Museum, 742 E. Lemon Ave, Monrovia, California.



Occupations | Rancher (Citrus)

Josiah Holcomb Gray

Birthdate: 1824

Birthplace: Georgia

Occupation: Rancher (Citrus)

Properties Owned:

Josiah H. Gray was an early resident of El Monte.  Voter registration shows him living in El Monte by 1869, and he may have developed a relationship with the Beer family when they lived in El Monte in 1880.  Gray became a partner with Beer in the ownership of a lot across the street from Beer’s in Block A in the Town of Monrovia Subdivision in 1888.  When Beer died, Gray assumed the ownership of Beer's in Lot H.  Since Beer was having financial problems, the transfer may have been part of a financial settlement between the Beer and the Gray families.

Originally from Georgia (born 1824), Josiah marries Martha Bradley in Arkansas, and, in 1854, they have one child, Minnie, before Martha dies in 1856.   In 1857, Josiah marries Louisiana Bradley.  Though she has the same name as Martha, there seems to have been no close relationship (such as sisters) between the two.

 In spite of Josiah being born in Georgia and living in Arkansas, he joins the Union army as a corporal and serves with the 2nd Regiment, US Sharpshooters (Regular Army), leaving the army as a sergeant.  When he gets home, life in Arkansas is problematic.  His farm has been unattended for four years, and Louisiana and two of his four children have died.   However, he soon finds comfort in the arms of a Civil War widow, Elizabeth Cartledge, and marries her in 1865.

 Even so, living in the South and having served in the Union army does not make him popular with his neighbors, so he sells his neglected farm and moves to El Monte, California.

 It is unclear when he arrived in El Monte, but the 1869 California Voter Registration list records him living in El Monte and wrking as a farmer.  The move turns out to be extremely fortuitous

One year later, the 1870 census reports that he is working as a rancher with real estate valued at $3,000 and personal estate valued at $1100.  By this time, he has three children: Minnie, from his wife Martha, and Henry and Charles, his children from Louisiana.  Over the next few years, he has two more children with Elizabeth Cartledge, Lee (1870-1932) and Alice (1875-1964).

As previously stated, Gray and Beer had been real estate partners in 1888.In that same year, 1888, Gray moves to Maricopa County, Arizona, where one of his married daughters is living.  They continue owning property together until Beer’s death in 1889.

 On Josiah Gray’s death in 1892, his family sells the property in Block H, Lot 8 and Block A, Lot 15 of the Town of Monrovia Subdivision to another long-time El Monte resident, James Divine Cleminson.  Cleminson also happens to be the husband of Josiah Gray’s granddaughter.

Sources

1860 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1870 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1880 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah

Arizona, Voter Registrations, 1866-1955.  Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2016.  Provo, UT, USA

Arkansas, Compiled Marriages from Select Counties, 1820-1949.  Ancestry.com Ancestry.com Operations Inc.  2004. Provo, UT, USA.

California Voter Registers: 1882, 1884, 1888:  California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 19; FHL Roll Number: 976928

City of Monrovia Tax Records 1894-1895.  Monrovia City Hall.   415 S. Ivy Ave., Monrovia, California

U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.  Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com, Operations, Inc., 2011.  Provo, UT, USA

U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2012. Provo, UT, USA.


Occupations | Rancher (Citrus)

James Devine Cleminson

Birthdate: 14 Feb 1870

Birthplace: San Barnardino County, California

Occupation: Rancher (Citrus)

Properties Owned:

The Clemenson family arrived in El Monte from San Bernardino in 1873, but they had been struggling in California for much longer than that.  In 1852, the family arrived in San Diego after a long wagon train trip from Missouri.  They then moved to San Bernardino.  

 James Devine Cleminson was born February 14, 1870, in San Bernardino.  His father, also named James, decides farming isn’t working well for the family, so they move to El Monte and meet the Gray family.   Eventually, James Devine becomes a partner with his father in ranching and developing a dairy farm. He also invests in real estate in Monrovia and continues to hold it for a number of years without building on it.

 James D. Cleminson married Elizabeth Lulu Caldwell, granddaughter of Josiah Gray in 1893.

 Besides the dairy farm, Cleminson branches out in other endeavors, becomes wealthier, rises to a position of prominence in El Monte, and buys 46 acres north of El Monte, just outside the Monrovia City Limits.  He dies, in El Monte, on July 27, 1939.

 Sources

1860 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1870 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1880 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah

1900 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah

1910 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1920 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

             1930 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2017. Lehi, UT, USA.

CaGenWebProject. http://www.cagenweb.com/re/losangeles/ElMonteBios/CLEMINSON_JamesD.htm

California, Death Index, 1905-1939.Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2013. 

California Department of Public Health, courtesy of www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com. Digital Images.

California Voter Registers: 1882, 1884, 1888:  California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 19; FHL Roll Number: 976928.

City of Monrovia Tax Records 1896-1901.  Monrovia City Hall.              415 S. Ivy Ave., Monrovia, California

U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com, Operations, Inc., 2011.  Provo, UT, USA.


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