Many prominent leaders had their names handed
down to posterity on thoroughfares, by laying out new tracts and donate to the
city the streets.
Was DOWNEY AVE.
From the LA river to Mission Rd.
Renamed in 1910
Also the current
John Gately Downey
An Irish Catholic pharmacist who had served as the 7th
governor of California from 1860 to 1862; CA state assembly 1856-67,
Lieutenant Governor 1860. In 1868 establishes the first bank in Los Angeles.
He helped build the economic foundation of Southern California, effecting
a transition from open cattle range to an agricultural district of small
farms. In 1874 Downey Ave. was a 100 foot long street bisecting Lincoln
Heights and had interests in many suburban tracts in East Los Angeles.
Since almost all horse car and cable lines were conceived to promote land
development his partner John Griffin began running a used omnibus along
Downey Ave. to promote local home sites. Original interment at Old Calvary
Cemetery which no longer exists. (Cathedral High School now sits atop the
cemetery). Re-interment: Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, San Mateo County,
Dr. Griffin's sister married Albert Sidney Johnston. (See
Hancock and Johnston Streets).
Dr. John S. Griffin
** Dr. John S. (Strother)
Griffin was a native of Virginia -- he went to school at University of
PA , then joined US Army as surgeon (and came to California in 1846 with
General Kearney). In addition to his brother-in-law being Confederate General
Albert Sydney Johnston, the #2 ranking general in 1862 (ahead of even Robert
E. Lee at that time), Griffin's uncle was William Clark (of Lewis and Clark).
On the Strother side Griffin was also related to General (later Pres.)
Zachary Taylor, and thus to Jefferson Davis (whose first wife was Taylor's
daughter, Sarah). Through Strothers he was also related to Pres.
Created the first East Los Angeles "suburb", now known
as Lincoln Heights. In 1863, he purchased 2,000 acres of ranch land for
$1,000 and in 1870, Griffin and his nephew, Hancock Johnson, built homes
there. In late 1874, they offered an additional 35 acres for sale, subdivided
into 65 by 165 foot lots for $150 each. County Coroner (1862-1865).
Griffin was also a surgeon for Brigadier General S. W.
Kearny's command on its march to California in 1846, a veteran of the Mexican
War. Griffin became one of California's outstanding medical men.
He was one of the three pioneer physicians in the pueblo of Los Angeles.
Hancock M. Johnston
*1847 - 1904
The son of A.S. Johnston and nephew of J.S. Griffin.
Mrs. Johnston may have played a part in getting her brother J.S. Griffin
to name a street after her husband and son.
Also the third partner of Griffin and Downey, the men
who subdivided Northeast Los Angeles.
** J.S. Griffin's mother,
Mary Hancock (she married John Caswell Griffin) was the older sister of
Julia Hancock who married William Clark. The Hancock sisters father
was William Hancock, early Congressman, Rev War soldier (a Col., he reportedly
had Count Pulaski die in his arms at Battle of Savannah). So the Hancock
Street name could very easily have come from this source.
Albert Sydney Johnston
* 1803 - 1862
If Dr. J.S. Griffin named some of the original
streets in Lincoln Heights, then Johnston St. would be named in memory
of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and he was the brother in law of J.S. Griffin.
Mr. Johnston was killed in the Civil War in 1862 and he was a Confederate
General who left Los Angeles on 6/16/1861 with Captain Alonzo Ridley and
a group of his southern sympathizers. They traveled to Texas via the Southern
Emigrant Trail (see Charles P. Roland, Albert Sidney Johnston (Austin:
University of Texas Press, 1964), 246-247.
His wife stayed behind and bought a piece of land from
her brother (Dr. J.S. Griffin), which was located where Pasadena meets
Altadena. She named the estate Fair Oaks after the plantation back
in Virginia. That's why there is a Fair Oaks Ave. , a main North - South
street in Pasadena now. It led from her property to her brothers property
and eventually became the main N-S street.
His home was located at the corner of N. Broadway &
He owned Pacific Clay Products Company. The company's
early products were focused on supporting California's building boom of
the 1920s, including brick, roofing tile, and terra cotta. During the Depression,
Lacy entered the new market for colored table and kitchen wares. Alas,
the Second World War brought end to the Pacific Clay Products Company's
promising pottery production as the company contracted with the government
and turned its production toward military production. Now today Pacific
Pottery are valuable collector items.
(Most likely this would be the Lacy Street St. origin) William Lacy
founder and CEO of Lacy Pipe & Manufacturing and Puente Oil Company.
At 60 years old he was considered to be in good health. He had sailed,
only three weeks earlier, to Baja California aboard his 73 ft. yacht, the
Penolope. P.L. Larson was captain of the Penolope. The year was 1897.
William Lacy was born in London England in 1837. He was the 5th son of
a prosperous businessman. Educated as an architect, he immigrated to the
USA in 1860 with his brothers. The brothers first settled in central Illinois
where William married. By 1863 he'd had enough of Illinois and the Civil
War so he took his wife and infant daughter and headed to California via
Panama. He first settled in the San Francisco area where he was successful
in business and Real Estate development. He was living in San Diego when
he received his American citizenship in 1873. By 1875 William was both
designing and organizing banks in Los Angeles. One of which went on to
become the First National Bank of Los Angeles. He was very active
in the community serving on school boards and fire boards. By 1886 he was
one of the most successful businessmen in L.A. having helped establish
the second oil field in southern California. By all standards he
was the epitome of the successful capitalist businessman.
So what was he doing in Baja? He was doing what
every successful American business man of his time was doing, exploiting
the labor and land of less fortunate persons. It is not known when William
acquired his holdings in Baja. There he had at least one gold mine and
an ore mill. His son Ed also had a mine there. He started serious development
on this property only two years before his death. What caused his death
remains a mystery. His death was officially attributed to complications
from appendicitis but some family members suspected foul play. After his
son Ed returned home another son was to have gone to retrieve the body
but it never happened. His body remains in a restored grave at the mill
site near Punta Final.
Source: Robert Kinson: Searching for Lost Relatives,
LINCOLN PARK AVE.
Renamed to reflect the changed from
Eastlake Park to Lincoln Park. 1917?
James A. Pritchard
This grand street was the "red carpet" leading
to the main entrance to Lincoln Park in its day. Over a hundred years ago
Lincoln Heights was the city limit and people crossed bridges by foot,
horse, trolley, etc. over the LA river down N. Broadway and turned S. on
Lincoln Park Ave. Noticed the old light fixtures on the sidewalks?
James A. Pritchard was one of the directors of the Los
Angeles Independence Railroad Company which was responsible for the first
train between Los Angeles and Santa Monica in 1875.
Los Angeles County Supervisor 1864-1865.
William N. Selig
In 1913, he purchased 32 acres of land next to Eastlake
Park (now known as Lincoln Park) at a reported cost of $1 million. The
property was turned into a zoo for the animals that he used in his films.
By 1915, 700 animal species were residing at the Selig Zoo.
Formally Alhambra Ave. from Downtown to the San
Gabriel Valley? ca. 1894
William H. Workman
Mayor of Los Angeles, 1886-88. City council (1872-1874;
He made his great mark in two areas of LA politics and
the development of its infrastructure, had Fort (Broadway), Spring, Hill,
and Main streets paved. During his term on the Park Commission, he donated
two thirds of his land for Hollenbeck Park. When he took the hand of Maria
Elizabeth Boyle (1847-1933) in 1867, two distinguished Los Angeles families
were joined. Maria, of course, came from the family which had bought property
now known as Boyle Heights before William Workman's acquisitions there.
Interment at Evergreen Cemetery.
Native Irish Plant
Obviously named because the Irish first settled in Lincoln
Heights. In Ireland, the plant most often referred to as shamrock is the
white clover and as good luck symbols since earliest times.
Possibly from the large clover field there. Clover fields
and wild mustard grew rampantly at that time.
Charles Locke Eastlake
Eastlake style period from 1870 to 1890.
English museologist and writer on art who gave his name
to a 19th-century furniture style.
Eastlake was a popular decorative style of ornamentation
found on houses of various other styles, e.g. Victorian Gothic, Stick Style,
and Queen Anne.
If you have a chance to visit one of these early houses,
carefully look at the door knobs, hinges, latches, or the hardware. This
style would be called Eastlake. They are beautiful and expensive collectibles
Theodore F. Barbee
On July 28, 1876 formed a stock company "Absentine Artificial
Stone Manufacturing Company" located in East Los Angeles with other partners.
An East Los Angeles dairyman and born in Canada in 1820.
He arrived in Los Angeles in 1845 and met John C. Fremont and was offered
$25 a month to accompany him on an expedition up the coast. Was the first
deputy sheriff of Los Angeles and was marshal of the city and a member
of the city council in 1860-61. Responsible for the construction of the
1861 footbridge joining central and east Los Angeles. He resided on the
eastside of the LA river, below the Downey Avenue viaduct. Involved
in a real estate transaction at N. Main St. and Moulton Ave.
George Le Mesnager
An early French immigrant to Los Angeles in the 1870s.
He established vineyards in the Crescenta Valley (above Glendale) soon
thereafter, and built his winery near downtown LA, between "the cornfield"
and the river, just off N. Spring St. He was a leader of the large French
population in Los Angeles, and was considered a French patriot, interrupting
his stay in the U.S. to return to France to fight in the Franco-Prussian
War and WW1. The winery was named "Old Hermitage", and operated from
the 1880s until Prohibition.
MAIN ST. NORTH
From the L.A. River
to Mission Rd.
Born in Germany and was a sailor. Came to Los Angeles
and became a Grocer, County Coroner (1870-1873), Fire Chief (1880-1883),
City's first Fire Commissioner (1886-1900), and Councilman (1876-77,80).
Also a member of the "Thirty-Eights", the first group of volunteer firefighters
in 1869. In 1886 the Jacob Kuhrts Engine Company 3 is established.
Was a major sheep owner in Los Angeles with about 5,400
heads of sheep. ~ 1879
Was a member of the Southern California Horticultural
Society. ~ 1877. Also a large real estate holder.
William Thomas Lambie
Member of the city council 1883-84,1886-87, City Surveyor/Engineer
Born in Williamsport Maryland and self educated. In 1861
he enlisted in the Confederate Army and served throughout the war under
the command of Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson. Came to CA in 1869 and worked
as an engineer for the Central/Southern Pacific Railroads, in charge of
the construction of the Newhall Tunnel in 1876. After retiring from public
office Mr. Lambie in a private business died in 1900 as a result of injuries
sustained in an earth slide during the construction of the Third St. Tunnel.
"Close enough to Lincoln Heights to mention" j.a.
* These additions added by Jonathan
W. Linn of Independence, Mo. and he is into Civil War history.
by M E Whitney. (Source: Mary E. Whitney, Vignettes of the Valley (Hemet:
Hemet Area Museum Association, 2003), 11-22
** Submitted by L. Strawther
If you have any info on the people behind other street names