Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No. 219 - Galbreth Residence

Galbreth Residence

Galbreth Residence
c. 1887
1239 Boston Street – map
Declared: 6/6/79

If attorney E. Edgar Galbreth wasn’t the man who built this Queen Anne house, he was at least one of its very first residents. The library’s city directories prior to 1890 show no record of Galbreth, but that year’s index has him living at 5 Cummings Street, today known as Boston Street.

Galbreth Residence

E. Edgar Galbreth was born in Lewisville, Indiana, two days after Christmas in 1845, just a handful of months after the death of Johnny Appleseed. Starting in 1870, he practiced law in Pittsburgh, PA, where he married Anna Mary Taggart and spawned four children. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1887. (Three years later, the same year he ran for L.A. township Justice of the Peace, Galbreth and Anna sold a block of Angeleno Heights land to a D. Clark Morrison for $4,000). It was here he went into practice with his son, R. Morgan, Commander of the United Spanish War Veterans of California and treasurer of Maternity Cottage and Homeopathic Hospital. Galbreth was a member of the Odd Fellows, the Foresters, and the Maccabees. He was also for years an elder of the First Presbyterian Church.

Galbreth Residence
Galbreth Residence

By 1893, the Galbreth Residence had its renamed address of 1243 Ionia Street. Now, let’s make an educated guess and say Ionia got its name from the Michigan hometown of Everett E. Hall who, with William W. Stilson, originally developed Angelino Heights. Spencer G. Millard, another Ionia native (Millard was married to the sister of a further Hall, Giles S. Hall, yet another Heights resident), was living a few doors down from Galbreth at 1259 Ionia. Or at least he was, as Lieutenant Governor of California, until his death in October 1895 at the age of a mere 39.

Galbreth ResidenceGalbreth Residence

Take a look at this bit of Sanborn fire insurance map from their 1894-1900 volume. Down in the lower right-hand corner, at the intersection of Ionia and Holliday, sits the Galbreth House (the Millards lived three doors to your left).

Angelino Heights, Los Angeles

On a brief tangent, you can see on the map above, at the point formed by Bellevue and Holliday, the Bethany Presbyterian Church of which Mr Glabreth was most certainly a member, I conjecture. From the L.A. Public Library, this is that old church building (like the Millard Residence, it, too, is long gone):

Bethany Presbyterian Church

But, by 1898, while Millard’s widow, Ida H., was still living at 1259 Ionia, E. Edgar Galbreth had moved on to 223 East Adams Boulevard. He died in 1921 at the home of his son, W. Edgar, in Long Beach.

Galbreth Residence

L.A.’s 1915 directory lists the residents of 1243 Ionia as the president of Viole-Lopizich Drug Co., Jules C. Viole, along with his sons, Andre (a pharmacist at said company), and student Pierre. No mention of a wife or mother (it was 1915 – who cared?). (The drug company at that time had locations at 427 and 242 North Main Street.) Like many old Victorians in the area, the Galbreth Residence was later separated into a multi-housing unit.

Galbreth Residence

Time for another Sanborn map. This one, from the 1906-1950 volume, shows not only a couple more structures on the old Galbreth property, but also the recently completed 101 Freeway at – almost literally – the attorney’s old front door. Oh, and you see how Holliday’s now an extension of East Kensington and Ionia (formerly Cummings) is now Boston. Whew! What a lot of knowledge.

Angelino Heights, Los AngelesGalbreth Residence
From the Los Angeles Department of City Planning website.

In 1979, at the time of the property’s historic designation, it was owned by the Bethel Temple of Los Angeles. Twelve years ago, the owners got busted for removing the historic wood window frames and replacing them with a type of aluminum siding (ouch! – they were forced by the city to rip out the aluminum and re-replace it with more authentic material). Today, this site says it’s of the Iglesia Evangelica Latina Ministerio de Damas. I don’t know anything about that, but I do know the home appears in pretty good shape, what with its vintage add-ons, tucked away in the corner of Angelino Heights and slammed pretty well up against the 101 Freeway (wave next time you speed by).

Galbreth Residence


“Real Estate Transaction 1” The Los Angeles Times; Aug 21, 1890, p. 3

“City Briefs” The Los Angeles Times; Aug 21, 1890, p. 8

“Millard Dead” The Los Angeles Times; Oct 25, 1895, p. 1

“Burial of Attorney Tomorrow” The Los Angeles Times; Dec 23, 1921, p. III3

Up next: The Hall Twins

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