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A Moment in Monrovia History: John and Julian Fisher

"Julian D. Fisher was born in Denver, Colorado on August 9, 1896. He grew up on Lucky Baldwin’s Rancho Santa Anita. He came to Monrovia in about 1909 and remained a Monrovia resident for nearly 70 years until he died in 1976. His father, John Isaac Wesley Fisher -- a black man and former slave from St. Louis who was freed at the age of eight -- was the head blacksmith and farrier for Baldwin. He was a prominent breeder and trainer there and later a foreman on the ranch. Baldwin marveled at John Fisher’s horse care abilities and trusted him. Baldwin sent him to North Carolina to bring back families used to working in the fields; some would become blacksmiths. One of the apprentices was his son Julian. Julian had diphtheria and the move to California in 1900 was thought to be therapeutic. Julian was almost 5 years old, small and frail. At first Julian seemed destined to become a jockey, but as his health improved he outgrew that and became an exercise rider instead. He was quite a good rider and Lucky Baldwin gave him a pony. Julian and his pony won 1st prize in the Rose Parade three years in a row. As an adult, Julian was a Special Reserve Officer for the Monrovia Police Department for over 20 tears, a position he began in 1942.  Upon his death the Monrovia City Council closed its meeting in his memory; flags at public buildings were flown at half-staff." Monrovia's ChangeMakers 2017. From the Myron Hotchkiss collection. See full details here.

For more historic photos and papers, see the Monrovia Historical Society’s complete Legacy Project collection here. Learn more about the Monrovia Historical Society here.

- Brad Haugaard

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