Endangered Cemetery Report


(aka Savannah Pioneer Cemetery and Savannah Memorial Park)
Established circa 1851
Rosemead, Los Angeles County, California

Obituaries, Death Notices and Family Provided Information:

Q - Z

The following were forwarded to us by Karla Everett and Paula Hinkel.  Other information was extracted from other internet postings and family provided information.

These obituaries and death notices are in alphabetical order.  Use the Edit/Find window to search for your family's names.

DEATH NOTICES from the Los Angeles Times:

LA Times, July 25, 1899, pg. 5:
Frank Rector at El Monte Takes Laudanum
After Consigning His Team of Mules to A Lingering Death-A Man with an Eventful Career-His Scalp Lock

At 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon the remains of Frank Rector, a citizen of El Monte, were found in the willows near that place, in a horrible state of decomposition.  The discovery was made by ex-Justice J. McGirk of the Monte.

Rector was a man about 65 years of age, and weight about 240 pounds.  He had resided at the Monte two or three years, devoting himself to farming.  Last winter he put in a crop of grain on Baldwin's ranch, and, as it did not turn out well, and he became financially embarrassed, he grew despondent.

About a week ago he left his home with a two-mule team for the ostensible purpose of going to Baldwin's to get money to pay his men off.  When he did not return the same night no one thought anything of it, as he was in the habit of remaining away from home a week at a time.  It now seems that he drove into the willows, unhitched his mules from the wagon and tied them to some saplings with chain halters.  When the animals were found one of them had pawed a hole in the ground four feet deep and was dead, and the other was almost dead and hardly able to move.

After tying his team Rector had laid his overcoat on the ground for a blanket, taken his under coat off and folded it up for a pillow, then taken a fatal dose and composed himself to sleep with his hat over his face.  An empty pint bottle that had held whisky and another bottle of the same size with about a spoonful of laudanum in it that were found by the side of the dead man told the story.

A silver watch, brass chain and some papers were found on his person, but he wrote nothing by way of farewell.  Rector has had quite an interesting history.  He was scalped by Comanches at Rock Creek, Tex., in 1857, but recovered, and his father, who is still alive, recovered the scalplock from the Indians, and has it still.

The deceased is said to have visited California in 1844, but he went back and joined the Confederate army in 1861, rising to the position of colonel.  He leaves a wife and a boy, the latter 5 years old.

Coroner Meredith was notified last night and held an inquest at once.  The jury found that Rector came to his death from an overdose of laudanum taken by himself with intent to commit suicide.

Los Angeles Times, February 14, 1924
Chino Physician Dead; Stricken While at Work.
Chino, Feb. 13

Dr. Elgar Reed, veteran physician of Chino for many years, died at his home
here today following a brief illness, due directly to overwork, it is
believed. Dr. Reed was stricken with paralysis Friday evening while
vaccinating school children. He continued to grow weaker until his death.
Tireless efforts to check a threatened smallpox epidemic are believed to
have brought on the paralytic stroke.

Dr. Reed was 58 years of age and is survived by his widow, Mrs. Mary F.
Reed, and other relatives who live in this section,

Funeral services will be conducted from the Chino High School Auditorium
Thursday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock. Interment will be in the Savannah
Cemetery, El Monte. Masons will be in charge of services at the grave.

Los Angeles Times January 11, 1938 pg A15
Civil War Veteran Served Fifty Years as Weighmaster

EL MONTE Jan. 10 - George B. Renfro, 94 years of age, died here today at the
home of his daughter, Mrs. Della Gridley, 2440 Lower Azusa Road.

Mr. Renfro, who was the oldest living weighmaster in Los Angeles County, had
enjoyed good health up until a week ago when he became ill with a cold.
Pneumonia developed, causing his death.

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Schanel funeral

The nonagenarian was born October 9, 1843 in Illinois.  He cast his first
vote for Abraham Lincoln and served in the Civil War.  In 1882 he came to
California, settling in Sierra Madre.  Two years later he moved to El Monte,
where he had resided since.  For fifth years he was active as a weighmaster,
retiring about two years ago.

Four generations of the Renfro family were represented at a party in honor
of Mr. Renfro on his ninety-fourth birthday anniversary last October.

He leaves two daughters, Mrs. Della Gridley and Mrs. Etta Degarmo, and a
son, A. D. Renfro of El Monte; nine grandchildren, including Alva Degarmo
air mail pilot for United Air Lines, eleven great grandchildren and two
great great grandchildren.
[See LA Times, 7/27/1928, p. A10 for article regarding Mr. and Mrs. George B. Renfro.
He was at that time the oldest weighmaster in the State, having operated the scales for thirty
years.  There is a (not so good) photo of the Renfro's standing next to the scale./ssilver]

May 10, 1910 Pg. I-11
Kills Man, is Exonerated.  Spanish Lad of Mt. View Thought He Fired in Air,
but Shot Night Prowler on Farm.

El MONTE, May 9 - Jose Arreguin, 16 years old, who resides with his parents
near the J.S. Killian ranch in Mt. View., was exonerated Monday by a
coroner's jury and also in a preliminary before Justice R. M. Webster of
having intentionally killed a stranger named Frank Reugal.

Late on the night of April 30, the boy and other members of the family were
aroused by a noise as of some one prowling around the yard. Observing a man,
the boy asked him three times what he wanted.  Receiving no answer he opened
the window and shot, as the thought, into the air.  Instead the bullet
lodged in the man's forehead, killing him instantly.  The boy went to the
Killian home at once and told J. Killian, Jr., what he had done. He made no
attempt to escape.  His family are industrious and hard-working Spanish
people and are highly respected.

The man who was killed had been in this neighborhood only about two weeks
and nothing is known about him.  Thirty cents and a postal card addressed to
a friend were found in his pockets.  The remains were buried in Savannah

November 11, 1951, pg. 32
Widower Ends Life at Grave of his Beloved
Edwin Roth, 74, lost his wife Mary Jane two years ago. She is buried at El
Monte Cemetery.

Roth made arrangements with the Schanel Mortuary that when his time came he
would be buried by her side.

Apparently, said Sheriff's deputies, he tired of waiting.

They said that early yesterday Roth drove from his home, 3026 N. Walnut
Grove Ave., Rosemead, to the cemetery and parked near her headstone.

Later attendants found his body in the car.  A hose had been attached to the
exhaust pipe.

Nov 1, 1899
SAWYER - At University, October 30, Hiram F. Sawyer, a native of Massachusetts, aged 62 years 2 months 4 days.  Funeral from family residence, Howes tract, No. 1517 West Thirty-eighth street, Wednesday, November 1, 1899, at 9 o'clock a.m., sharp.  Friends invited to attend.  Interment Savannah Cemetery.

April 8, 1902 pg 10
Mrs. C. F. Schweitzer Commits Suicide at El Monte
Had made a Previous Attempt to End her Life, but was Saved -
Believed to Have Been Mentally Unbalanced Through Trouble

Mrs. C. F. Schweitzer of El Monte committed suicide some time Sunday night
by throwing herself into a large tank of crude oil used as fuel at a pumping
plant of a neighbor, and her body was found floating in the tank yesterday
morning.  The deceased was the widow of C. F. Schweitzer, for nearly twenty
years foreman of "Lucky" Baldwin's winery, who died two years ago.  She had
resided on the Santa Anita ranch for many years, and had raised a family

For several months members of the family and intimate friends had noticed
that Mrs. Schweitzer was acting queerly, but until Friday night no one
thought that she would carry out her oft-repeated threat of suicide.  On
that night she procured a large quantity of morphine and took all of it. The
dose was so large that it made her very sick, and after several hours' work
a physician pronounced her out of danger. She then said she would not again
attempt to take her life, and therefore was not watched. Yesterday morning
she was missed, and a search was made for her.  After several hours the body
was found in the tank of oil.

It is believed that Mrs. Schweitzer had been mentally unbalanced for months,
that condition being due to many troubles which she had experienced since
the death of her husband. Five years ago her twenty-year-old son committed
suicide by shooting himself through the head, and this bereavement
ultimately caused the death of the young man's father.  Since her husband's
death, Mrs. Schweitzer had struggled hard to maintain her remaining son and
two daughters. She cultivated an orchard herself, and with the proceeds
managed to earn an income sufficient for the support of her children.

August 1, 1896, p. 12   (see also Schweitzer)
Franz Schuweitzer Shoots Himself Through the Head.

Franz Schuweitzer, aged 22 years, in a fit of despondency superinduced by intoxication and upbraiding by his father, sent a bullet through his own brain.  The tragedy occurred at the home of his father, C.H. Schuweitzer, at El Monte Thursday evening.

The young man had been assisting his father, who is a wine maker for "Lucky" Baldwin.  In the afternoon he drank a great quantity of sauterne and laid down behind a straw stack to sleep off the effects of the wine.

He was called for the evening meal, and his father remonstrated with him for his conduct, saying that he would be in the poorhouse before he was 30 years old if he continued.  "Well, I will blow my brains out first," remarked the young man.  Little attention was paid to the remarks by the young man's father, as he had made the same threat previously.

Franz passed into the house and went to a bookcase, procured a revolver and, walking out back of the house, placed the muzzle of the weapon against his head and fired.  The shot attracted the attention of the boy's father, and he ran to his side, but found him dead.

Coroner Campbell was notified and he went to El Monte yesterday and held an inquest.  The verdict was that death had been caused by a gunshot wound inflicted with suicidal intent while under the influence of liquor.

November 30, 1958, Pg c-13
E. J. Shirpser, Former El Monte Mayor, Dies   [Biography of  Ephraim J. Shirpser]
Ephriam J. Shirpser, 79, resident of El Monte since 1886 and former Mayor of
that city, died yesterday at his home, 4414 El Rovia Ave., after a long illness.

December 1, 1958 p. b16
SHIRPSER, Ephriam J., of El Monte, beloved husband of Fluvia Dobyns
, passed away November 29. Remains will lie in state Tuesday,
December 2, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at First Christian Church, El Monte.
Funeral services Wednesday, 10 a.m., at Masonic Temple, El Monte. Interment
El Monte Cemetery.  Roy C. Addleman & Son, directors in charge.

A native of Ukiah, Mr. Shirpser moved with his family to the Rosemead area
in the early 1880s. Before becoming president of the Valley Savings and Loan
Association about 14 years ago, he had been an El Monte merchant and real
estate and insurance broker. Mr. Shirpser was Mayor and helped direct
emergency relief during the flu epidemic of 1918. He also served as a City
Councilman and was a member of the El Monte Elementary School District board
of trustees for 16 years. The Shirpser Elementary School was named in his

Mr. Shirpser was a charter member of the El Monte Lions Club, a member of
the local IOOF Lodge and a 50-year Mason.

Mr. Shirpser leaves his widow, Fluvia Dobyns Shirpser; a daughter, Mrs.
Marjorie Votruba; a sister, Mrs. Cecelia Smith; two granddaughter[s] and two

The body will lie in state Tuesday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. in the First
Christian Church of El Monte. Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday
at 10 a.m. in El Monte Masonic Temple, under the direction of Roy C.
Addleman & Son Funeral Home. Interment will be in El Monte Cemetery.

July 15, 1892, p. 2
Suicide of the Wife of a Storekeeper at Savanna.

She Took Strychnine and Died in a Few Minutes - No Cause Known
for the Deed...

Yesterday morning a telephone message was received at the Coroner's office to the effect that Mrs. S. Schirpser, the wife of a small storekeeper at Savanna, near El Monte, had committed suicide by taking poison.

So far as known there was no cause for the rash act.  The woman was the second wife of S. Schirpser, who formerly kept a small general store on South Spring street, opposite the Courthouse, in this city.  Some months ago Shirpser moved to El Monte, where he remained until a short time ago, when he removed to Savanna.  The couple had one child, and their domestic affairs were apparently happy.  Yesterday morning Schirpser noticed that his wife was very restless, and kept moving about the house, going out in the yard once or twice.  He asked her if she was sick, when she said no, and returning into the house went to the front door, which she opened, and after looking up and down the street for a few seconds, suddenly fell to the floor in convulsions.  She was picked up and taken to her room, when her husband immediately sent for a physician.  There was no suspicion as to suicide until the messenger started off for the doctor, when Mrs. Schirpser told her husband that it was useless, as it was too late for him to do any good.  The messenger, nevertheless, started off, but the woman died in a few minutes without having made any explanation.

A search of the premises was then made, when a bottle of strychnine was found, some of which had been taken, and the Coroner was notified.  Word was then sent to the Coroner's office, but as Dr. Weldon was absent at Acton, holding an inquest on the body of John Downs, the Justice of the Peace at El Monte held the inquest on the body of Mrs. Schirpser.  [The name Schirpser is variously spelled above as it was found in the article.]

July 16, 1892, p. 8
John Downs' Death in the Mountains - The Savannah Suicide.

The Coroner also went out to Savannah where he held an inquest on the body of Mrs. Lucy Schirpser, the wife of S. Schirpser, a store-keeper at that place, who committed suicide Thursday by taking strychnine.  No facts were brought out beyond what were published in THE TIMES yesterday morning, and the jury returned a verdict that Lucy Schirpser, aged 25 years, a native of Germany, came to her death by taking strychnine with suicidal intent, and that no blame attaches to any member of the family.

May 19, 1943 pg 18
SHOBE, Letcher E.  Services 8 p.m. today at Pierce Brothers, 720 West
Washington Boulevard. Interment El Monte Cemetery 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

January 15, 1959 pg. B3
P. W. Shropshire Rites Today In El Monte:  Graveside services for Pleas
Wallace Shropshire, 80, San Gabriel Valley pioneer who died Monday, will be
conducted at 1 p.m. today in El Monte Cemetery.

The Times yesterday erroneous listed Mr. Shropshires' first name as Thels
and reported the services were to be conducted yesterday in Rose Hills
Memorial Park.

Mr. Shropshire, who lived at 912 W. Valley Blvd., El Monte, was born in
National Springs, Ark.  He had lived in El Monte since 1890 and was one of
the last remaining San Gabriel Valley veterans of the Spanish-American War.

He leaves a sister, Mrs. Cassie Wilson of El Monte, 11 nieces, and six

El Monte American Legion Post 261 will accord full military honors at the
services, with Schanel's Mortuary of El Monte directing.

September 10, 1962 - pg B8
Mrs. Corrine Shugg:  Services for Mrs. Corinne Shugg, 74, will be conducted
at 11 a.m. today in Pierce Bros. Monterey Park Chapel, followed by interment
in El Monte Cemetery.  Mrs. Shugg, a California resident for 56 years, lived
at 1111 Electric Ave., Seal Beach, and died Thursday.  She leaves two sons,
Douglas L. and Donald V. Smith.

March 1, 1915, pg I-8
Last Rites Today
Body of Nonegenarian Pioneer Will be Laid to Rest at Savanna Cemetery

Funeral services over the body of William Slack, one of the oldest pioneers
of Los Angeles county, who passed away on Friday, will be conducted at 2
o'clock this afternoon at the grave at Savanna Cemetery, Rev. Carmichael of
Garden Grove officiating.  Mr. Slack, who died at the family residence, No.
1050 North Serrano street, Hollywood, was 91 years of age. He had lived here
twenty-three years.

Mr. Slack was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England in 1823. He brought his
family to America in 1850, landing at New Orleans.  He crossed the plains
with an ox team, stopping at Salt Lake City for two years.  Then he came to
El Monte in 1852, where he spent most of his life.  He started in the cattle
business and met with success.  At the time of his death he owned a large
ranch south of El Monte.  He also owned several store buildings in El Monte.

In 1893 Mr. Slack located in Los Angeles.  His first wife died in El Monte,
leaving a family of ten children, all of whom are living.

Later he married Mrs. Catherine Robinson.  Children mourning him are William
Thomas of San Gabriel, Johnathan Albert and Mrs. Eliza Schmitt of El Monte,
Richard J. of Puente, Mrs. Elizabeth Quinn, Mrs. G. L. Matthews, Mrs. Mary
Peterson, George and Arthur Varley of Los Angeles.

June 11, 1897, p. 27
Orange County Brevities.
The infant child of James Sleeper died Friday morning.

June 12, 1897 pg 11
Leander Sleeper, aged 64, died Thursday evening at the home of his son,
James Sleeper of the San Joaquin ranch.  His remains will be taken to El
Monte for interment.

From Hollis Holcomb, Holcomb/Pound/Hultsman Family of Arkansas (
Re:  Sarah A. Holyfield Murphey Sleeper
Sarah died 1/101/1905.  Obit:  "SLEEPER---Jan. 10, at the residence of her son, James Sleeper, on Birch Street, Mrs. Sarah Sleeper, aged 72 years.  The funeral will be held tomorrow 1 o'clock p.m. and interment will be made at San Gabriel."

March 31, 1904 pg A7
Nicholas Smith had Farmed there Half a Century
Pioneer of Days of Forty-nine who Crossed Plains by Ox Team, Dies -
Republican since Founding of Great Party, and Fifty-three years on One Ranch

EL MONTE March 30 - Nicholas Smith, one of the pioneers of 1849, died here
yesterday.  Mr. Smith was a native of Prussia. At the age of 20 years he
entered the Prussian military service, and served four years in the Ninth
Regiment of Prussian Hussars. After his discharge from the service he was
employed in agricultural pursuits until 1847. In that year he emigrated to
the United States and upon his arrival engaged in farm labor in Wisconsin
and Michigan. In 1849 the gold fever prompted him to seek his fortune in
California, and in the spring of that year he joined a party of emigrants
that started across the plains for California. This journey was made by ox
teams, the route taken being through Utah, and thence by the southern route
to California. Late in the year, Mr. Smith arrived in San Bernardino county,
where he remained until the following spring, and then located in Los
Angeles, where he established a boarding-house, which he conducted until
1851. In that year he came here and took up a government claim of 160 acres
about one mile east of El Monte. Here he established his residence and
devoted himself to agricultural pursuits.

For over half a century Mr. Smith had resided upon his farm, giving years of
steady toil to its improvement and cultivation and making it a valuable
property. With the exception of planting a small family orchard, his
operations were confined to hay, grain and stock raising. His long residence
here made him well known throughout the San Gabriel Valley, and his
straightforward dealings with his fellow men and his consistent course of
life gained him the respect and esteem of his associates.  In politics he
was a sound Republican and had supported that party since its organization
in 1856.

In 1850 Mr. Smith was married to Miss Elmira Pierce, a native of New
Hampshire, and a cousin of President Franklin Pierce. She died in July 1887.

Mr. Smith was aged 86 years. He leaves a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Julia Smith,
and her two sons.

The funeral service will be conducted at the home Thursday afternoon at 2
o'clock by Rev. Mr. Skaggs of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Interment
will be in the Savannah Cemetery.

October 5, 1947 pg A7
SMUTZ, Stella B., beloved mother of Rollin C., Huber Earl, Raymon B. and
Charles Homer Smutz, sister of Mrs. Elsa Zietan of Long Beach. Graveside
services at El Monte Cemetery Monday, 3 p.m., Mater & Simone, directors.

June 18, 1943
SNODDY - John B. Snoddy of 3848 Live Oak avenue, Arcadia, beloved husband of
Anna C. Snoddy, father of Emory S. Snoddy; brother of Mrs. Mary E.
McClintoch of Monrovia and Mrs. Nina I Ashton of Glendale. Services Friday
at 2:30 p.m. at the Schanel Mortuary, El Monte. Interment El Monte Cemetery.   


            John B. Snoddy is one of El Monte's successful farmers.  His
ranch is located two miles northeast of El Monte where he is engaged in
vegetable raising on a portion of his fifty acres, the remainder he rents
out.  His father, William Snoddy, represented elsewhere in this work was one
of the early pioneers of California, successful in his personal affairs and
prominent man among the citizens of this community.  John B. Snoddy was born
on his father's ranch in El Monte, November 1, 1874, the oldest child in the
family.  He received his education in the public schools and at the same
time was trained to the practical duties of a farmer's son.  After leaving
the public school of Savannah he attended Woodbury's Business College of Los
Angeles, from which institution he was graduated in 1894.  Returning home he
remained on his father's ranch until attaining his majority, when he became
dependent upon his own resources, his first business venture being as a
proprietor of a feed and sale stable in Pasadena.  He was successful in his
enterprise, but after three years was burned out.  The greater part of his
capital being lost, he then engaged in farming and in 1898 purchased his
present ranch north of El Monte, adjoining his father's property.  For a
time he removed and the land utilized for truck farming.  His ranch received
irrigation from the Tungate and Snoddy ditch, until in 1912, when a pumping
plant was installed.  A capability born of experience together with an
intelligent interest in his work having placed Mr. Snoddy among the
enterprising and successful men of this section.
            In 1899 Mr. Snoddy was united in marriage with Miss Anna C.
French, who was born in Missouri and reared in California from the age of
twelve years, her parents being early pioneers of the state who came to
California in 1887.  She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and
active in its work.  They have one son, Emory, residing in Los Angeles.  Mr.
Snoddy belongs to the Woodmen of the World of Pasadena and the Ancient Order
of United Workman, his wife having the Degree of Honor in the latter.
            Politically Mr. Snoddy is a Democrat.  For over thirty years he
was a trustee of the Savannah Cemetery.  Active and well, Mr. and Mrs.
Snoddy reside on the home ranch on Arrow Highway north of El Monte.

Dec. 14, 1881, p. O_3
Real Estate Transfers.
Estate of William R. Standifer, to Walter Standifer, 44 1/2 acres in Ro. [Rancho] Paso de Bartolo Viejo, $850.

July 16, 1931, p. 6
Valley Pioneer Dies Amid Kin
ROSEMEAD. July 15. -- Mrs. J.H. Steele, 56 years of age, life-long resident, died at her home on Steele avenue here shortly after noon today following several strokes of paralysis.  Her husband, who is also suffering from a stroke of paralysis, which has affected his entire left side, was at her bedside with their five children.

Harriet Steele was the only daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Guess, pioneers of the San Gabriel Valley.  She was born in a house on the property where she died.  The family once owned almost the entire tract west of El Monte, which is known now as Rosemead.  They still own considerable acreage, but have largely subdivided.

Funeral arrangements have not been completed and are in charge of J.M. Schanel of El Monte.

Surviving the deceased are her husband, who has been in the employ of the Los Angeles County Road Department for years; two sons, J.R. Steele of Rosemead and Clarence Steele of Gardena, and three daughters, Mrs. Alice McAnency of Los Angeles, Mrs. William West and Mrs. Claude Singleton of Rosemead.

        Note:  May 20, 1891, p. 2,  Licensed to Wed:  James H. Steele, a native of Arkansas, 23 years of age, to Hattie J. Guess, a native of this State, 21 years of age; both residing at Savannah.

Nov 7, 1902
STEELE - At El Monte, 6 a.m., November 6, 1902, N. Josephine Steele.  Funeral from the residence, 10 a.m., Saturday, November 8.  Interment Savannah Cemetery.

December 4, 1948 and December 5, 1948 pg A22
STUCKER, Mary L of 1932 Eastlake Avenue, Los Angeles. Services at Schanel
Mortuary, 444 South Tyler, El Monte, Sunday at 2 p.m. Interment El Monte

May 18, 1942
STUCKER, Thomas S. Stucker of 1932 Eastlake avenue, Los Angeles, beloved husband of Mary L. Stucker.  Services Tuesday, 2 p.m., at Schanel Mortuary, 444 South Tyler, El Monte.  Interment El Monte Cemetery.

July 1, 1897
Joseph Thompson, a prominent farmer of Covina, died at the home of his
sister at El Monte Monday morning of consumption. Interment occurred at
Savannah, the funeral being attended by a large number of friends from this

April 30, 1894, pg. 5
Took Strychnine
Suicide of a Well-known Resident of El Monte

Frank Thurman, a well-known resident of El Monte, died at his home yesterday
afternoon from the effects of an overdose of strychnine taken with suicidal
intent during a fit of despondency earlier in the day.  Before committing
his rash act, the old man wrote a letter to his brother at Pomona informing
him of his death, and giving him instructions with reference to the
disposition of his effects.  The matter was reported to the Coroner, who
will hold an inquest this morning.

Apr 19, 1904                                    [Biography of Jonathan Tibbet]  
Built the First House in the El Monte Country.
Started West Overland in 'Forty-six and Survived Perils of Hostile Indians,
Stampeding Buffalo Herds and Other Evils of the Desert.  Sold Eggs at One
Dollar Each.

One of the early pioneers of the State passed away yesterday in the death of Jonathan Tibbet in Santa Monica.  Notable as a warrior and skilled in the art of merchandizing, he came to California with the first rush of gold seekers, and laid the foundation of a fortune by ministering to the needs of  the men in the mining camps.  [ Jonathan Tibbett’s Grasshopper Quartz Mill ]    

Mr. Tibbet descended from Colonial stock.  He was born in Michigan in 1824.  He was a tiller of the soil of his father's farm until, in early manhood, he married Miss Phoebe Point.  The young couple turned their faces westward, and in 1846 started overland for the far West.

Surviving many attacks of hostile Indians, stampedes of buffaloes and the other perils of the desert, they made their way into El Dorado county and located at Indian Diggings.  He opened a store and hotel and also engaged in mining.  Prices of edibles ran high in those days.  Eggs sold for $1 each.  A small pie sold for $1, and other things in proportion.

In the fall of 1850 they had accumulated a snug sum with which they returned to Ohio and purchased a big farm.  In 1853 the California fever overtook them again, and they came to the southern part of the State and settled near what is now El Monte.  That vicinity was then known as the "Plains."

The first house in that neighborhood was built with lumber hewed from trees felled in the mountains.  The lumber was brought down to the edge of the valley on pack animals and hauled from there by wagons.  The house, now a picturesque ruin, still stands on the main road from Los Angeles, about three miles west of El Monte.

At that location Mr. Tibbet started extensive teaming operations, and dispatched trains into Arizona and Nevada.

Mrs. Tibbet died in 1892, and was buried in Savannah Cemetery, where the body of the husband will also be laid.  There are three surviving children, Mrs. William Snoddy of El Monte, J. F. Tibbet of Riverside and Mrs. P. N. Arnold of Palms.

Mr. Tibbet was an uncle of Will Tibbet, the officer killed in the fight with outlaws at Bakersfield not long ago, and Bert Tibbet, the deputy marshal of that city, who rushed into the thick of the fight and killed the notorious desperado.

The body of Tibbet lies in the same room where he was wedded only ten weeks ago.  On the first day of February last he appeared at Undertaker Guidinger's parlors in Santa Monica.  Accompanying him was Soffie Ramsted, aged 45.  Tibbet's was 79.  Their mission was to be united in marriage and as they had the necessary papers, Mr. Guidinger, who is also City Recorder, tied the knot in the presence of the grim witnesses that now pillow the head of the groom.

Death Certificate Transcription:  # 4415 (2000), TISDALE, Mary B.
Mary B Tisdale
d. 3/26/1952 3:40pm 
Female Cauc. 
b. 11/2/1865 MO Age 86 Widowed 
Spouse: James H Tisdale 
Occupation: Housewife 
f. William R Trapp, MO 
m. Mary M Garner, MO 
Informant: Glenn U Tisdale 
Deathplace: 248 E Main St., Alhambra 
Lived in community few minutes 
Residence: 1521 N Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles 
Burial: 3/29/1952 El Monte Cemetery 
Funeral Director: Turner, Steven & Turner 
Cause: Genearlized arteriosclerosis

June 16, 1936
TUCKER - The funeral services of Mrs. Elizabeth Tucker will be private today
at 1 p.m. from the grave in El Monte Cemetery.  W. A. Brown, funeral

December 1, 1904 pg. A1I
EL MONTE Nov. 30 - The remains of Mr. Van Tassel, a former postmaster of El
Monte were buried in the cemetery here today. Mr. Van Tassel died in Duarte.
[Note:  Nelson Van Tassel./phinkel]

May 14, 1952 - pg. A10
Minnie P. Vincent:  Funeral services for Mrs. Minnie P. Vincent, 65, will be
conducted today at 2 p.m. at Pierce Bros. Monterey Park Chapel, followed by
interment in the El Monte Cemetery.  Mrs. Vincent was born in Litchfield,
N.D. and had lived 40 years in California.  She resided at 316 E. Riggins
St., Monterey Park, where she died Sunday.  She leaves five sons, John
Wesley, Victor E., George., Sam W. and Woodrow D. Grush; two daughters, Mrs.
Gladys Cook and Mrs. Bernice Zielinski, and five grandchildren.

April 27, 1933, page 16
WHITCOMB - Services for Eglantine Whitcomb today at 12 noon from Pierce
Brothers' chapel. Interment El Monte Cemetery instead of as previously

Aug. 7, 1883, p. O_4
Mr. E.K. White, of El Monte, died in Los Angeles on Sunday night.  He was 62 years old, and had been ill some time.  His remains were sent to El Monte yesterday for interment.

Oct 10, 1927
"Watermelon King" of El Monte Raised Fruit in Large Quantities

Funeral services for Archie N. Wiggins, early resident of El Monte, known as the "watermelon king," who died Saturday in the Hollenbeck Hotel, Los Angeles, will be conducted Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Addelman and Klingerman Funeral Home, El Monte.  Mr. Wiggins was 64 years of age.

He was the son of Thomas J. Wiggins, who came to California in 1849.  He was born at El Monte and was one of the few American children who attended the Old Mission school.  His reputation as a "watermelon king" he attained by his success in raising that product in large quantities.  He also sold wood and was frequently seen at the wood market on Spring street in front of the old adobe County Jail.

During his life Mr. Wiggins was an active worker for the development of educational facilities in El Monte, and was largely instrumental in bringing about the closing of the saloons in that town.

Mr. Wiggins had been retired from active business during the latter years of his life.  He owned considerable property in El Monte.

Mr. Wiggins leaves his widow, Mamie Ellen, three sons, Louis J., Lavelle B. and Edwin M., all of El Monte, two grandchildren, and three brothers, Max and Thomas, El Monte and W.H. of Arizona.

Los Angeles Times April 13, 1937 pg. 15
Jockey Famous in Early Days of California Dies

EL MONTE April 12 - Thomas Mayes Wiggins, 64 years of age, a native of this
city, died today.

Wiggins was a jockey in the early days of the New Year's cross-country
steeplechase in Pasadena.  He rode many winning horses in these races, which
followed the annual Tournament of Roses.  He was also an expert driver of
chariot races, popular sport in the early days of Southern California.

He was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Wiggins, who came to
El Monte in 1852 by wagon train.  His mother was the former Ellen Vise of
the family for which Visalia was named.

He leaves four children, Lynn of Los Angeles, Mrs. Evelyn Pollard of New
York City, Miss Edith G. and Miss Edna Constance of El Monte, and two
brothers, William F. and Jacob C. of Westley.

November 27, 1905, pg I-1
Death No Parting:  Corpse Many Years with Living.  Ghastly discovery
yesterday in Boyle Heights Home of Mrs. Young. Body of Daughter, quarter
century deceased, still kept in House.  Only upon mother's passing does
shocking secret come to light.

The ghastly secret of a mother who refused to let death part her daughter
from her was revealed on Boyle Heights yesterday. It was only after the
parent, too, had gone beyond, that the discovery was made -- a corpse that
has for a quarter of a century had been kept in the house with the living.

The grewsome [sic] find of the unburied human body was made in the little
cottage formerly occupied by Mrs. Liora J. Young, No, 1402 Warren street.
Mrs. Edward Murray of no. 128 South Griffin avenue, found the remains, and
it so completely unnerved her that she is suffering from shock and may not
be able to be present at the Coroner's inquest this morning.

Mrs. Young was a peculiar and eccentric woman, 84 years of age, who lived
all alone for years in the Warren-street cottage.  Thursday she was found
dead in bed, and with her passing the shocking secret which she long
treasured came to light.


Neighbors found the old lady dead and notified the Coroner.  The
investigation showed that she had succumbed to heart disease.  The body was
interred in the little country cemetery of Savannah, Saturday. Yesterday
Mrs. Murray and other relatives made a search of the old woman's cottage,
and in a storeroom covered with old trunks and plunder, a peculiar
hermetically-sealed box was brought to light.  Turning the box over, the
blood of the searchers was chilled when they read this inscription on a
silver plate:

"Liora L. Thompson,
Died Dec 16, 1877,
Aged 27 years 2 months 1 day"

Loath to believe that they had really found a corpse in the house, the
relatives reported the matter to the Coroner and Booth & Boylson were
instructed to investigate.  The box was removed to the undertaking
establishment in the afternoon and opened to the astonished gaze of
undertakers and relatives of the dead woman.

When the lid was removed a heavy layer of cotton was found, and under that a
wealth of blonde hair neatly coiled about the head in the style in vogue
during those old days, was revealed.  The features were unrecognizable, of
course, and the flesh had practically all left the bones.  The remains had
been attired in a robe of pale pink silk, with which time had dealt

But the strange part of the grewsome sight was the manner in which the body
had been placed in the receptacle.  The box is only about three feet long,
and the body had been dismembered or doubled up.  Why  it was thus placed in
the box will likely always remain a mystery.

Mrs. Liora Thompson was an only daughter of Mrs. Young, and the latter's
relatives think she grieved so deeply over her death that she could not bear
to part with the body in this world, and kept the box near until the sands
of her own life ran out.

Mrs. Young came to Los Angeles twenty years ago and resided in the
Warren-street cottage with her husband until the latter's death about five
years ago
. Since then she had lived alone, and was known by her neighbors as
a recluse.  She owned a little property and seemed to have everything for
her small wants.  The house appears to have been sadly neglected, and the
furniture is all of a type in use at least fifty years ago.

In the box with the remains was a certificate signed by F. R. Boutell,
understaker, of Amherst, Mass., dated Nov. 7, 1881, stating that he had
disinterred the body for shipment to Lodi, Cal. But the strange manner of
placing the body in the box was not explained, and it was probably never
interred in Lodi.

The long-unburied corpse will be laid away, probably tomorrow, beside that
of the mother in the little ceremony near El Monte.

November 28, 1905, pg. I-13
Corpse Secret Once on Lips:  Mrs. Young's only slip as to Daughter's Bones.
Inquest on Remains that Mother now dead kept by her side for many years
reveals fact that on one occasion she nearly revealed her well-guarded

Gruesome, weird and uncanny was the inquest conducted by Coroner Trout
yesterday morning, over the remains of Liora L. Thompson, who died
twenty-eight years ago, and whose unsepulchred body was kept for a quarter
of a century in the house of the broken-hearted mother, Mrs. Liora Young.

As told in The Times yesterday morning, death revealed the secret of the old
woman who died alone in her Warren-street cottage.  None of her relatives
dreamed that Mrs. Young had clung tenaciously to the mummified remains of
her once beautiful daughter ever since they were disinterred in Amherst,
Mass., in 1881, for shipment to Lodi, Cal.

Autopsy Surgeon Cambell conducted a post-mortem examination, as well as he
could, be unwrapping the bones and scrutinizing them for any marks of
violence.  Silks and laces clung to the fragments, and handsome
underclothing, all hand work, was pulled and torn from the strange box.

Mrs. Peter Decker and Mrs. Edward Murray, niece and grand-niece,
respectively, of Mrs. Young, testified to finding the box in the sewing-room
of Mrs. Young after her death.  They never before knew of its presence in
the cottage, although on one occasion Mrs. Young had nearly told the secret
of her life when in talking of her dead daughter she said:

"I have the body of Liora near me to be buried when --" but she stopped
short and never mentioned the girl's name again.

The girl died of consumption and it is the belief of the old lady's
relatives that Mrs. Young's great desire to have her daughter, even though
dead, near her, prompted her to secrete the remains and keep them in a box
after they had been shipped to California in a coffin.

Respecting Mrs. Young's wishes, the body of her daughter will be interred
beside her in Savannah Cemetery, near El Monte, thus closing the last
strange chapter of a mother's love.