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Willian Albert Chess
Myron Hotchkiss
Date Created and/or Issued
c. 1920
Contributing Institution
Monrovia Public Library
Monrovia Legacy Project
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W.A. Chess. Pioneer Banker. William Albert Chess was born near Brownsville, Michigan, June 9, 1853 and worked in Cassopolis, near Brownsville, where he was married to Miss Minnie B. Smith, November 22, 1881.The lure of California's charms attracted the two brothers, and in 1887 a younger brother, Frank, was sent out to scout around. He came to Monrovia and was so possessed by its charms that he sent the now famous wire to his brother, "If you want to go to heaven before dying come out to Monrovia." They closed their affairs in Garden City and came out that year, and W. A. Chess has been here ever since except a few months when he accepted a position in a Bank in Arizona. He returned in 1890 and took a position in the First National Bank as bookkeeper, and remained with the Bank in association with John H. Bartle, for thirty-five years, serving as cashier for many years before it consolidated with the Security Trust and Savings Bank in April of 1924. Mr. Chess made an application to retire from the Bank on January 1, 1925, which was granted with a life pension based upon his long service with the First National Bank. As deputy assessor, Mr. Chess made the first assessment of Monrovia. He served two terms as city treasurer and has been a member of the park and library commissions. Mr. and Mrs. Chess have two children, Claude S. Chess, a radio dealer, and Edna A. Chess, a teacher of art in Monrovia High School, both of whom are prominent in the life of the city. ...He composed a number of poems and essays, which he assembled into a gift book under the name of "Fireside Fragments." " John L. Wiley, History of Monrovia 1927 p 208-209.
MH 4x5 Neg 211
Chess, W.A

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