Well know and highly respected, and remembered especially for his sterling character and benevolent nature, Larkin S. Bunyard, early El Monte pioneer, was born in the blue grass state, November 11, 1812. Little is known of Mr. Barnyardís parents other than that they were farmers who lived for many years in Kentucky.
Mr. Bunyard received his education in the home community following which the family moved to Texas. Having acquired a teacherís training, Mr. Bunyard taught school for a number of terms in Texas. He later engaged in the cotton business, buying and operation a gin for a number of years at McKinney, Texas.
In 1868, Mr. Bunyard, with his family, joined a covered wagon caravan bound for California. Arriving in the fall of that year, the family stopped for a month at Puente, coming on to El Monte where Mr. Bunyard purchased a 25-acre tract just west of town. This tract had no improvements, and, as a three acre tract nearby was available, on which a house had been built, Mr. Bunyard soon purchased this, and, for several years, engaged in general farming.
In 1884, following the Rio Hondo flood which washed away much of his land and ruined the home, Mr. Bunyard purchased a two acre tract just south of Main Street, a part of which is the property now owned by Mrs. Fannie Lewis, one of Mr. Bunyardís daughters. Here Mr. Bunyard built a residence, which he owned until his death. This house is now owned by Mrs. Maltman.
In about the year 1835, Mr. Bunyard was married to Miss Frankie Stewart, a native of Tennessee. No records are available regarding the parents of Mrs. Bunyard. Ten children blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bunyard, eight of whom lived to come with their parents to California, and two of whom still survive, namely: Oscar, of Shirley, California, and Fannie (Mrs. Ira D. Lewis) beloved resident of El Monte, a sketch of whom is to be found elsewhere in this volume. The deceased children are Adeline, Carol, Beal, Daniel, Hattie, Mary, Josephine and James. Carol and James died before the family came to California.
Mr. Bunyard remained active in his farm work until about a year before his death when ill health forced his retirement. His death occurred in 1889. His wife survived him until in 1898.
Mr. Bunyard was a man of deep religious convictions and lived an exemplary life filled with Christian service. He was a strict and devoted member of the Baptist Church.
Politically he was a Democrat. Although never active in political affairs he was always a loyal conscientious worker for community welfare and improvement.
© Copyright 2002 by Ray Ensing