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William Pile: Clergyman, General, Governor, and Monrovia Mayor

Here’s an interesting bit of history. The Idlewild house at 255 N. Mayflower was built by a Civil War brigadier general named William Anderson Pile.

Pile,  who was one half Native American, started his career as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, signed up as a chaplain when the war started and rose to the rank of general. After the war he was Governor of New Mexico Territory, and in 1886 moved to Monrovia and purchased a 50-acre property, where he grew wine grapes. The following year, he commissioned the Northern California architects Samuel and Joseph Cather Newsom to design the house for him. He served for one year as mayor, and then applied to be consul general in Melbourne, Australia, but caught pneumonia and died in Monrovia on July 7, 1889.

Comment: Might make an interesting person for the Neighborhood Treasures program.

- Brad Haugaard

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