One of the first physicians to cast his lot in El Monte was Dr. T. A. Mayes, who came to El Monte in 1852 and spent the remainder of his life among the people of El Monte to whom he administered aid and counsel in times of need.
He was born in South Carolina in 1824. His father and mother were both also, natives of South Carolina, his father being a building contractor and architect. Dr. Mayes was educated in the public schools of his home community, later, taking a course in medicine in the Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia, from which institution he was graduated in 1846. he practiced his profession for a time in New York State, and in 1847, together with several other physicians, took a colorful and romantic departure on horseback for the “Far West”.This expedition ended by Dr. Mayes settling for a time in New Mexico, where for three years, he served the Government as an Army Surgeon.
In 1852 he came to California in a wagon train, and settled at once in El Monte. Buying ten acres of land on the present South Lexington Avenue, Dr. Mayes developed the tract and practiced his profession. He later acquired forty acres of land near Duarte, which was developed and later sold.
In 1853, Dr. Mayes was wedded to Miss Mary Ann King, whose father and mother were natives of Virginia and Tennessee, respectively, moving to California at about that time. To this union were born five children, two of whom are now living, Miss Lula, and a sister, Mrs. John Haddox, both residing together in the old Haddox home on East Valley Boulevard.
In 1853, Dr. Mayes was the second candidate to receive the degrees of Freemasonry in the Masonic Lodge, which at that time was just organized. He also became identified with the Order of Odd Fellows. In religion he was an Episcopalian, and politically an influential Democrat. Dr. Mayes took an active part in the social and educational improvement of the community, and serviced for a number of years as trustee on the Lexington Grammar School Board. He was also elected Los Angeles County Coroner, which office he held for a number of years.
Following an active life filled with conscientious service to his fellow man and a pioneer benefactor to the community of El Monte, Dr. Mayes died in 1874.
© Copyright 2001 by Ray Ensing