Wednesday, October 5, 2011

E. H. Lahee -- 1018 South Magnolia

Mr. Lahee ca. 1895
Eugene Horace Lahee (1845-ca.1928), came to the Los Angeles area in 1898 from Chicago, deciding on Covina and purchasing a successful fruit farm. He was originally from Utica, New York, but attended Shurtleff College in Alton, Illinois (now part of the Illinois University system), where he probably met his wife Louise Clawson (1845-ca. 1928), who was born in Alton.  He was an active member in Sons of the American Revolution, where he had the small photo at right taken.

E. H. was elected mayor of Covina for six years, and as the head of the Pacific Electric right-of-way committee, he was critical in convincing landowners to provide right-of-way through El Monte to Covina. (Not everyone was happy though, as indicated by this lawsuit in 1909). As president of the local library association, he led the committee for Covina to procure a Carnegie Library for Covina (which they did), and went on to lead as chairman of the California Library Association.

So what did the Lahees do after all of this Covina success?  They retired to Los Angeles, of course, and settled in this lovely home on Magnolia Street.

1018 S. Magnolia St. in 1910

Odds are good that the Lahees are the ones in the image above. In 1910 the census lists the Lahees, a cousin and one servant in the house.

By 1920 though, retirement must have changed, as the Lahees have moved to 5th Avenue, and then again to 2119 1/2 South 3rd Avenue, where they're both last found in 1928.

And the house? By 1932 four people with different last names are to be found there--indicating it had become a rooming house. The house is found with people through the late 1980's, then the listing disappears from the directories.

Today the lot is the part of the playground for Leo Politi Elementary School, noted for its after-school program.

Today's neighborhood--the green arrow shows the approximate location of the old house.
(courtesy of Google Maps)


  1. I live in the neighborhood, originally called Westmoreland Place, on Elden & 11th, across the street from Leo Politi ES, in the Carolyn Bumiller-Hickey Residence. Although many beautiful and historic homes were lost in the 80's for the school, there are still several great homes remaining, including a John C. Austin residence and my Octavius Morgan (of Morgan and Walls) home. The Elden P. Bryan Mansion designed by Charles Whittlesey, once on Westmoreland between 11th and 12th, was widely photographed and used on postcards promoting the good life of SoCal.

    1. Jim, thanks for your comment. Definitely some gorgeous homes there. The Bryan house postcards must have been popular. I have a couple myself.


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