Occupations | Building contractor

John C. Anderson

Birthdate: June 1, 1845

Birthplace: Ohio

Occupation: Building contractor

Properties Owned: 215 E. Lime Avenue

John Calvin Anderson was a carpenter working in Los Angeles when Monrovia was being subdivided in 1887, and if he wasn't the first builder to make Monrovia his home, then he was among the first.  Besides his own house, Anderson built Monrovia's first hotel, the Mills Hotel, on the west side of Myrtle between Lemon and Orange (Carew 406).Anderson was born June 1, 1844, in Ohio.  His headstone at Live Oak Cemetery in Monrovia, California, indicates he was in the Union Army, but little else is known about his life before he came to California.  His wife, Elizabeth H. Lindesmith, was born November 30, 1853, also in Ohio. 

Los Angeles.California Voter registration lists indicate that John C. Anderson was in Los Angeles by 1873, where he is listed as a carpenter.  The 1888 voter registration entry has him living in Monrovia working as a contractor.  He had bought three lots (16, 17, & 18) in Block A of the Town of Monrovia Subdivision and built a house on Lot 16 that was valued in 1888 at $700.  That house still stands today and is the site of the Anderson House Museum.  After John Anderson's death, his wife continued to live in their house but sold off the other two lots.

John C. Anderson died on January 25, 1902, and his wife Lizzie died on April 18, 1929.  They are both buried in Live Oak Cemetery in Monrovia.  The Andersons had two sons.  Lewis Harvey Anderson was born on January 7, 1883, in Los Angeles County.  As a teenager, he worked in a hardware store in Monrovia, but his life's vocation was as a forest ranger with the U.S. Forestry Service.  He married in 1918 but had no children.  Lewis Anderson died on October 22, 1956.

George Howard Anderson was born August 23, 1886, in Millport, Ohio, and lived almost his entire life in the house his father built at 215 E. Lime Avenue.  He was employed as a bank cashier for the Security-First National Bank (later Security Pacific) in Monrovia from 1905 until he retired in the 1960s.  He continued living in the family house after his mother died in 1929.

When he died in 1974, George Anderson left the house to his bank to as a trustee for the California Community Foundation which is a charitable trust.  The Foundation then donated the property to Friends of the Monrovia Public Library who donated it to the Monrovia Historical Society which restored it and furnished it as it would have been in the 1880s.  Today it is a museum that illustrates what life was like for a middle class family in Monrovia at the turn of the last century. 

George Anderson never married.


  1. Carew, Harold D.  History of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.  S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1930.  Print.
  2. California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Web.
  3.  Monrovia Historical Society.  Monrovia's Heritage Volume 1. Unknown: Unknown, 1980. Print.
  4. Wiley, John L.  "Observations".  This is a collection information that appeared in the Monrovia Daily News Post around 1930.   They were collected by Mrs. F.A. Slosson and were loaned by her son, Ralph D. Slosson, to Myron T. Hotckiss, Monrovia City Historian, who transcribed them at an unknown date.  A copy is on file at the Monrovia Historical Museum, Monrovia, California.      

Occupations | Building contractor

Berend Venderink


Birthdate: 12 May 1815

Birthplace: Holland

Occupation: Building contractor

Properties Owned:

The Venderink Improvement Company (construction) consisted of a father and son, Berend and Berend T. Venderink.  They had been living in Cleveland, Ohio, and were apparently seduced into thinking that the San Gabriel Valley would provide their fortunes.  Berend T. wasn't married, his mother was probably dead, and his sister were either married or gainfully employed, so it must have seem a good idea to take the chance of striking it rich in in Southern California.

The Wasp, a magazine from 1887 has a color illustration of buildings in the newly founded Monrovia, and the Venderink's office/home is featured in it, so they were here early in Monrovia's history.  There is also a confusing listing in the California voter list for 1888.  It lists Berend T. as a builder, 27 years of age, and a Benj. T., also a builder 27 years of age, living in Monrovia.

They lived in a building that served as an office as well as home on Lot 13, Block G., in the Town of Monrovia Subdivision.  I have provided a picture of that building from The Wasp a magazine from 1887.

Unfortunately, things didn't work out well for them as the building boom of 1888 burst, and they left for Los Angeles   There is a listing for them in the Los Angeles city directory for 1890 for Berend T. Venderink, but after that, there is no record of them until 1904 when Berend T. is listed the Cleveland directory.

There is an unsourced death date on Ancestry,.com of June 15, 1896 for Berend as well as an unsourced date of 1880 for his wife, Anna Rauch.  Berend was born in Holland in 1815 and Anna in the western part of Germany in 1825.  They met in Cleveland, Ohio, and married in 1851.  They had six children, five of them girls.

The oldest, Hanna, was born in 1852 and may have died young as there are no other records for her.  Harriet was born in 1854, married and died in 1921.  Louisa was born in 1858, but I could find no records for her after 1880.  Katherine, also known as Kittie, was born in 1861.  She married, but I could find no death date for her.  Eva, the youngest, was born in 1865 and had a long career in education, first as a teacher and then as a principal.  She never married and died in 1937 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Berend T.'s was born in 1861 in Cleveland, Ohio.  He had worked with his father in construction before getting the idea to go to Southern California.  However, once he and his father returned to Cleveland, Berend T. went off on his own in the varnish business.  The 1904 Cleveland directory lists him as the manager of the B.T. Venderink Company, the western distributor of Newark Varnish Works.  He continues running his business for at least the next 21 years.  In the 1920s, his sister Eva lives with him until he dies on May 8, 1936.

Though Berend T. Venderink failed to find his fortune in California, he did extremely well in Cleveland, living a full life and dying at age 73.

Architect  |  Banker  |  Blacksmith  |  Carpenter  |  Dentist  |  Doctor  |  Lawyer  |  Merchant  |  Teacher