History of Huntington Park

Early Settlement
What is now the Southeast area of Los Angeles County remained a vast, unexplored, virgin, territory until the latter part of the 18th century. The first European of record to arrive to the area was Francisco Salvatore Lugo or Don Jose Maria Lugo, a soldier-explorer and personal friend of the king of Spain who claimed for himself and the king all the land that he surveyed.

No formal recognition of ownership transpired until 1809, when Lugo's son Antonio Maria Lugo applied for a grant for 29,000 acres to be known as Rancho San Antonio. This grant was confirmed by the Mexican government and later in 1866 by official U.S. patent. For almost a hundred years, the early history of Huntington Park is the history of the prosperous Lugo Family.

In the latter part of the 19th century many of the old ranchos began breaking up due to questionable deed rights and boundary challenges, especially as the governments of authority changed from Spain to México to the Republic of California, to the United States. But the Lugo's held on longer than most. In the 20th century the history of Huntington Park passed from the Lugo Family to the farmers, developers and settlers who were preparing the way for the birth of our city. Among the prominent names in the city's history were a pair of land developers named A.L. Burbank and E.V. Baker who came into the area in 1899. By 1901 they controlled a 100-acre tract of land called Sunrise Tract. They subdivided it and changed the name of the development to La Park.

Huntington Park Named
In 1902 to entice Henry Huntington to extend a line of his Pacific Electric Railway to and through their development, they granted Huntington a right-of-way for his railway along what is now Randolph Street and they changed the name to Huntington Park. However, the name La Park stuck and the Post Office did not change the name until the city was incorporated.

Burbank and Baker were prominent names in the city, but they had no intention of building a city. Their vision of Huntington Park was for a commercial center and way station for all the transport of goods between Los Angeles and San Diego.

City Founders
It took a group of early residents to become the city founders. They were: George A. Garlow, who built the first large townhouse in 1903 (at 6610 Malabar); Dr. Louis Weber and Dr. Clinton W. Hubbard, the first two medical doctors; A. E. Walters, he built the first bank in town; O. G. Jones, A.A. Weber, D.B. Lyons, William Linsey and Frank Tate. These men of true pioneer spirit and foresight formed the Huntington Park Improvement Association and things began to happen. They established the first School District in the area, and regular train stops in Huntington Park. They formed the Incorporation Committee in 1904 and submitted the first city incorporation petition, over the strenuous opposition of Burbank and Baker. The petition was denied in 1905, on the grounds that too much territory was included. The second petition was denied, because boundary lines were imperfectly described. During the spring and summer of 1906 Weber and Garlow, backed by a score of local citizens pressed their demands for cityhood.

In June of that year the final petition which could withstand every legal and technical challenge was filed, and although the Board of Supervisors delayed action for the maximum 60 days allowed by law, the petition had to be approved. But not before the Board of Supervisors, at the urging of Burbank and Baker, redrew the boundaries, cutting out of the city limits some areas of high property value.

Incorporation and Election
The incorporation election was held August 20, 1906 and the vote for cityhood was 77 to 17. The incorporation was certified 10 days later.

The chosen and first City Council (then called a Board of Trustees) included: Dr. Louis W. Weber, G.M. Salsbury, William Glass, O.G. Jones, and Carl J. Johnson. Dr. Weber was selected (then called the President of the Board) as the first Mayor.

On September 1, 1906, a population of 526 residents was officially established and recognized as the City of Huntington Park.