Edward L. Thrasher

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Edward Lee [1] Thrasher (1892–1971), who went by Edward L. Thrasher, was a builder, contractor and decorator who served on the Los Angeles, California, City Council between 1931 and 1942.



Thrasher was born June 5, 1892, in Great Falls, Montana, the son of Schuyler E. Thrasher and Lena Reiman, both of Michigan. He had two brothers, Sydney J. and William R. After graduating from Loup City High School in Nebraska, [2] [3] he engaged in painting, decorating and contracting until 1917, when he went to Europe with the American Expeditionary Forces, where he was a signal electrician and was gassed in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, France. After the war, he was in the railroad business for two years, then studied civil engineering at the University of Wyoming and design and decorating at the Southern Branch of the University of California (UCLA) in 1921. He completed this study at the Otis Art Institute in 1923-24. Afterward, he spent a short time in real estate and insurance, then went into building and contracting. In 1935 he told an interviewer his hobby was football. [2] [4]

Great Falls, Montana City and County seat in Montana, United States

Great Falls is a city in and the county seat of Cascade County, Montana, United States. The 2017 census estimate put the population at 58,638. The population was 58,505 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Great Falls, Montana Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Cascade County and has a population of 82,278. Great Falls was the largest city in Montana from 1950 to 1970, when Billings surpassed it. Great Falls remained the second largest city in Montana until 2000, when it was passed by Missoula. Since then Great Falls has been the third largest city in the state.

House painter and decorator tradesman responsible for the painting and decorating of buildings

A house painter and decorator is a tradesman responsible for the painting and decorating of buildings, and is also known as a decorator or house painter. The purpose of painting is to improve the appearance of a building and to protect it from damage by water, corrosion, insects and mold.

Construction Process of the building or assembling of a building or infrastructure

Construction is the process of constructing a building or infrastructure. Construction differs from manufacturing in that manufacturing typically involves mass production of similar items without a designated purchaser, while construction typically takes place on location for a known client. Construction as an industry comprises six to nine percent of the gross domestic product of developed countries. Construction starts with planning, design, and financing; it continues until the project is built and ready for use.

He was married to Anna Louise Edwards on January 21, 1920, in Trinidad, Colorado. They had three children, Phyllis Elaine (later Wammack), Marilyn Louise (later Hall) and Edward Lee Jr. [2] He was a Mason, Odd Fellow and an active member of the American Legion. [5] He died in March 1971 and was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale. [1] [6]

Trinidad, Colorado Town in Colorado, United States

Trinidad is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Las Animas County, Colorado, United States. The population was 9,096 as of the 2010 census, up slightly from 9,078 in 2000. The estimate as of 2012 was 8,771. Trinidad lies 21 mi (34 km) north of Raton, New Mexico, and 195 mi (314 km) south of Denver. Trinidad is situated on the historic Santa Fe Trail.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows Nonprofit organization

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order of Odd Fellowship. It was founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Evolving from the Order of Odd Fellows founded in England during the 1700s, the IOOF was originally chartered by the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England but has operated as an independent organization since 1842, although it maintains an inter-fraternal relationship with the English Order. The order is also known as the Triple Link Fraternity, referring to the order's "Triple Links" symbol, alluding to its motto "Friendship, Love and Truth".

American Legion veterans’ organization

The American Legion is a U.S. war veterans' organization headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is made up of state, U.S. territory, and overseas departments, and these are in turn made up of local posts. The legislative body of The American Legion is a national convention, held annually. The organization was founded on March 15, 1919, at the American Club near Place de la Concorde in Paris, France, by members of the American Expeditionary Forces, and it was chartered on September 16, 1919, by the U.S. Congress.

City Council


See also List of Los Angeles municipal election returns, 1929–43

Thrasher's "entry into politics was brought about when he was called in to assist in revising the city's building code." [5] Thrasher, who was living at 3150 Weldon Avenue, Glassell Park, [7] [8] ran for the 14th District seat on the Los Angeles City Council in 1929 but lost in the primary. He was successful in the 1931 election, however, in beating the incumbent, Charles A. Holland, as part of an anti-Mayor John C. Porter movement, and was reelected five times, through 1941; he lost in the 1943 election to John C. Holland. In the 1935 election he was known as the anti-End Poverty in California candidate. [9] [10]

Los Angeles City Council District 14

Los Angeles City Council District 14 is one of the 15 districts of the Los Angeles City Council. It is a primarily Latino district in Boyle Heights and Northeast Los Angeles. Council Member Jose Huizar has represented it since 2005.

Charles A. Holland American sportsperson and politician

Charles Alfred Holland (1872–1940), who went by Charles A. Holland, was a University of Southern California football captain, a businessman and a Los Angeles, California, City Council member between 1929 and 1931.

John Clinton Porter was a U.S. political figure. The Los Angeles Times wrote that he represented a "unique mixture of reform politics and xenophobic Protestant populism [that] took him quite literally from the junk yard to City Hall.

In the mid-1930s, the 14th District included Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Atwater, with the western boundary at Griffith Park [11]

Eagle Rock, Los Angeles Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States of America

Eagle Rock is a neighborhood of Northeast Los Angeles, located between the cities of Glendale and Pasadena, abutting the San Rafael Hills in Los Angeles County, California. Eagle Rock is named after a large rock whose shadow resembles an eagle with its wings outstretched. Eagle Rock was once part of the Rancho San Rafael under Spanish and Mexican governorship. In 1911, Eagle Rock was incorporated as a city, and in 1923 it combined with the City of Los Angeles.

Highland Park, Los Angeles Neighborhood of Los Angeles in County of Los Angeles, California, United States

Highland Park is a historic neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles. It was one of the first subdivisions of Los Angeles, and is currently inhabited by a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Griffith Park municipal park in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California

Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The park covers 4,310 acres (1,740 ha) of land, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. It is the second-largest city park in California, after Mission Trails Preserve in San Diego, and the 11th largest municipally owned park in the United States. It has also been referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles but is much larger, more untamed, and rugged than its New York City counterpart.


1931 Thrasher visited Myron Penn, the asserted victim of a beating in the city jail, in Penn's hospital room and then demanded an immediate investigation by the Police Commission into the situation. Both the commission and a grand jury later looked into the case. [12] [13]

1931 Thrasher was one of the six council members who in July 1931 lost a vote to appeal a judge's decision ordering an end to racial restrictions in city-operated swimming pools. The pools had previously been restricted by race to certain days or hours. [14] An appeal would have delayed or ended desegregation.

1932 Mayor John C. Porter vetoed a City Council ordinance that granted a 10-foot strip of city property to the owner of a home that Thrasher was renting — "a gift promoted by Councilman Thrasher without disclosing his own interest in the matter," according to a Los Angeles Times opinion piece. [15]

1936 Though he said he "held very little hope for any action," Thrasher submitted to the council lengthy lists of names and addresses of asserted "houses of ill repute" and "gambling joints" he had received from "persons who apparently did not want to sign their names." The previous week, "Thrasher and others in the Council created an uproar with their charges that gambling is going on in the city and that vice is rampant." The list was forwarded to the Police Commission. [16]

1939 Thrasher was said to be on a "purge list" of Mayor Fletcher Bowron after the mayor said in a radio address that Thrasher must be defeated in the next election because he was "a part of the old machine." [10] A Los Angeles Times columnist, writing under the name of "The Watchman," responded:

Thrasher is somewhat obstinate, and too much of an individualist to incorporate himself into any political machine, which explains why he is usually at outs with the "corner pocket." He feels very strongly that there are too many commissions and departments crowding each other in City Hall. He frequently starts a movement to thin out these weeds in the city garden, which explains why Mayors do not like him. [10]

1940 Concerned that questions being asked on civil service examinations were "too technical" and not "practical in character," Thrasher submitted a motion asking the Civil Service Commission for a copy of the questions posed in recent tests. When Council President Robert L. Burns ruled the motion out of order, an uproar ensued, and Councilman Arthur E. Briggs's appeal from the ruling of the chair was upheld by the Council, but only by a narrow 8–7 vote. [17]

1940 Thrasher proposed a 1-cent-per-package retail license tax on cigarettes to help replenish a depleted reserve fund. Troy Chenoweth, head of the city's license division, estimated the tax would bring in $400,00 a year, "proportionally higher than in other cities because of the large number of women smokers" in Los Angeles. [18]

1940–41 In October 1940, the councilman attempted to control the content of radio broadcasts over station KRKD from the City Hall when he submitted a motion "to make the talks strictly noncontroversial and if a speaker strays from that path, to shut him off the air." [19] Six months later, in April 1941, the Council unanimously adopted his motion to set the council on record "as being opposed to any radio broadcast, publication or spoken word, which in any way may be interpreted as being subversive in character or lending itself to anti-American or undemocratic principles of government." Copies of the resolution were ordered sent to all Los Angeles radio stations and to the Federal Communications Commission. [20]

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  1. 1 2 Death notice, Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1971, page A-4
  2. 1 2 3 Los Angeles Public Library reference file
  3. The source for this article spells it Loop City.
  4. "Thrasher's Father Dies Suddenly," Los Angeles Times, October 30, 1934, page A-10
  5. 1 2 "War Changed Thrasher," Los Angeles Times, April 29, 1935, page A-8
  6. Social Security Death Index
  7. "Ten Aspirants for Mayoralty," Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1929, page A-13
  8. Location of the Thrasher home in 1929, Mapping L.A.
  9. "Radical Control of City Hinges on Election Tuesday," Los Angeles Times, May 5, 1935
  10. 1 2 3 "Thrasher on 'Purge' List of Mayor Bowron," Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1939, page 12
  11. "Do You Know Who Your City Councilman Is?" Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1935, page 22 Includes a map.
  12. "Police Quiz to be Asked of Council," Los Angeles Times, July 14, 1931, page A-12
  13. "Board Gets Brutality Quiz Today," Los Angeles Times, August 3, 1931
  14. "Vote Drops City's Pool Racial Case," Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1931, page A-1
  15. "Thrasher's Annex Vetoed," Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1932, page A-4
  16. "Vice Record Given Police," Los Angeles Times, January 21, 1936, page A-3
  17. "Council Rows Over Job Tests," Los Angeles Times, January 24, 1940, page A-8
  18. "Council Debates Cigarette Tax to Build Up City Reserve Fund," Los Angeles Times, January 27, 1940, page 1
  19. "Radio Talk Stirs Council," Los Angeles Times, October 12, 1940, page A-1
  20. "Council Hits at Broadcasts," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1941, page 4

Preceded by
Charles A. Holland
Los Angeles City Council
14th District

Succeeded by
John C. Holland