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A Moment in Monrovia History: Home of EF Spence, Monrovia - and Young Ladies College - Co-Founder

Home of E.F. Spence, circa 1887. The home, named "Laurel Bray" on Silverhill, Prospect Ave. was built for Anna Mariah and E.F. Spence, one of the founders of Monrovia. E.F. Spence came from Ireland during the gold rush, he tried mining, almost died from what it did to his health. He went into business in Nevada City. He married and had several children. His first wife died. He went back to Ireland and married his second wife, a cousin. They eventually came to L.A. He had a banking career with the First National Bank of Los Angeles and served on the LA City Council. He helped establish the Monrovia Young Ladies College, a branch of the University of Southern California. Mrs. E.S. Armstrong, who was a niece of Mr. E.F. Spence, gave the original print of which this is a copy, to Mrs. Rex Kramer who lives in the house on the same site as the Spence home. The house was built in 1887 and demolished in 1920. The Spence home was designed by the Newsom Brothers, famous architects, based primarily in San Francisco, who opened and Los Angeles office during the land boom. 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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