Great Value for Temple City Landlords
The town of Temple was originated on May 30, 1923, when Walter P. Temple (June 7, 1870 – November 13, 1938, Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum) purchased 400 acres (160 ha) of land four miles (6 km) east of San Gabriel which had been part of Lucky Baldwin's Rancho Santa Anita. The original townsite (Tract 6561, recorded with the LA County Tax Assessor in June 1923) corresponds to the present-day area bounded by Garibaldi Avenue on the north, Baldwin Avenue on the east, Live Oak Avenue on the south, and Encinita Avenue on the west.
Temple, the son and tenth child of Pliny Fisk Temple and William Workman's daughter Antonia Margarita Workman, was born on Rancho La Merced, which is today part of the city of Montebello. This was the site of the original San Gabriel Mission, founded by the Franciscan Fathers next to the rich bottom lands of the San Gabriel River. Historically called "Rio de los Temblores", which means the River of the Earthquakes, it is today known as the Rio Hondo River.
Temple envisioned building a community where average people could afford to live and own their homes. He then divided the area into lots and laid out the park facing Las Tunas Drive. He named other streets after friends and family: Workman, Kauffman, Rowland, Temple and Agnes. Bond issues initiated by Temple were responsible for street paving and electricity. Temple also petitioned the Pacific Electric Railway Company to extend its Los Angeles to Alhambra line to a depot adjacent to Temple City Park. The extension of the railway contributed to the steady growth of Temple City.
The town was originally called "City of Temple", but the Postmaster General demanded a name change in 1926 because the mail was instead being directed to the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. It was officially designated Temple City but remained a city in name only until after the post–World War II population explosion. The redundancy in the name City of Temple City came when Temple City incorporated on May 25, 1960. Merrill Fitzjohn, the founder and original owner of Fitzjohn Jewelry store on Las Tunas Drive, was appointed as the city's first mayor.
Temple City is a destination for East Asian, Eastern European, Middle East and Latino immigrants, especially Chinese-Americans. Rosemead Boulevard has several strip malls catering to a largely Asian but diverse customer base. A German-American community thrived there in the early 20th century.