A successful farmer, teacher and walnut grower, who pioneered with the early settlers of El Monte, and vicinity, was John Hayes. Born in Ireland in 1836, Mr. Hayes came to America and California in 1868 from Australia, where for a number of years, he had served the British government as a surveyor. For a number of years, immediately following his arrival in California, Mr. Hayes was likewise employed by the Southern Pacific Railway as a surveyor.
In 1878 he came to El Monte and engaged in teaching – his services being used in the El Monte, Bogdale (now Temple), and Lower Azusa Schools. In the year of his arrival in El Monte Mr. Hayes was married to Susan Hubbert, who came to California from Texas about the year 1868. Six boys were born to this union, of whom five are now living (1936), namely: W.T. of New York city, B.H. and Eugene, of Madera, California, and Frank and E.A. of El Monte.
Mr. Hayes purchased a ranch of 300 acres north and east of El Monte, and for a number of years, engaged in raising grain and hogs. He later was one of the first to see the possibilities of what was later to be one of this district’s major industries – walnut raising.
His sons, Frank and E.A. now own the original ranch fo their father and have operated it since his death, which occurred in 1910. Mrs. Hayes died in 1917. Worth of note is the historical fact that John Hayes, together with Scott Killian, another large ranch owner of that time, purchased and installed the first irrigating pumping plant, in the El Monte district, which marked the beginning of irrigation by pumping, and led to further development in agriculture in this territory.
Frank Hayes, one of the sons, is and for several years has been, manager of the El Monte Walnut Growers’ Association.