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Founders of Inglewood Park Cemetery

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On December 15, 1905, the Los Angeles Times printed a brief announcement, nearly lost among many others
on the page, entitled "NEW CEMETERY." The announcement read as follows:
The Inglewood Park Cemetery Association has incorporated with a capital stock of $525,000, of which $375 has been subscribed. The directors are: Mark G. Jones, R. H. Raphael, F. K. Eckley, V. J. Rowan, P. W. Powers, R. N. Bulla and C. B. Hooper [sic], all of this city. 1
The last of these gentlemen, Charles Blauvelt Hopper, would later write in his memoirs:
Another activity begun in 1905 was to endure surprisingly for more than fifity years. I was one of a group of five [sic] individuals approached by a fast-talking gentleman from the middle west, who convinced us that we needed to diversify our business interests. We pooled resources and formed the Inglewood Park Cemetery Association, despite our collective and total ignorance of all operational problems in this business. We thought it had unmistakably great possibilities and that was enough for us. Albert Crutcher, of Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher, drew up our papers, and we began a business which has been continuously successful. The dividends from that stock were to carry me through a lot of tough going—the money panics and the depression that lay ahead—and I have gratefully acknolwedged that these earnings have been my "bread and butter" income. A reorganization in 1949, after I became president, brought much larger earnings and thoroughly revitalized the operation. It was not until August of 1958, long after I had become the only surviving incorporator, that my family and I sold our combination of stock in the Cemetery Association and the adjacent Inglewood Golf Club . . . . 2

As Mr. Hopper claims he was one of five investors, but seven were named in the Times announcement, we can
only guess whether the "fast-talking gentleman from the middle west" was among those listed below.

Robert Nelson Bulla (1851 - 1935)
-- Was an attorney who came to Los Angeles from Ohio, by way of New York, in 1883. he was elected to the California Assembly in 1893, and again in 1895, where he served as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. in 1897, he was elected to the State Senate, where he authored the Torrens Land Act of California, and the Delinquent Tax Law. For two years, he also served as a member of the Commission for the Revision of the Codes.

He developed business interests in mining and oil, and organized the Central Oil Company of Los Angeles. Besides Inglewood Park Cemetery, he had business connections with several banks and loan companies and oil companies in the area, and belonged to numerous clubs. 3

Mr. Bulla is interred in Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA.


Frank Knight Eckley (1870 - 1935)
-- Was a real estate man who, in the first years of the 20th Century, worked as a manager at the California District Messenger Service. Throughout the first decades of the century, he was involved in many land transfers through various companies. After 1905, of course, he served as Secretary for the Inglewood Park Cemetery Association, and the Inglewood Park Mausoleum Company. He, along with another gentleman with an early assocation to Inglewood Park Cemetery, George Letteau, was a member of the United Midway Oil Land Company. He was also secretary of the San Joaquin Baking Company.

Mr. Eckley was a Shriner, a Native Son of the Golden West, and a commodore of the New port Beach Yacht Club. 4

He passed away in 1935, and was interred in Lot 348-A, Sunny Slope Plot.


Charles Blauvelt Hopper (1880 - 1964)
-- Like his father before him, Mr. Hopper was a real estate businessman, developing and selling subdivisions in the Los Angeles area. He was the founder of the City of Lawndale, and was also identified with South Gate and South Park Gardens. He had several offices around the area, and was very successful developing large portions of open land in the early 20th Century. He was also instrumental in organizing the Automobile Club of Southern California, increasing its membership substantially. "He is also a director and one of the organizers of the Inglewood Park Cemetery Association, which has one of the largest sites for cemetery purposes in California."  5

Charles Hopper passed away in 1964. He is interred in Lot 98, Sunny Slope Plot.


Mark Gordon Jones (1860 - 1922)
-- Served as Los Angeles County Treasurer from 1889 until 1907. "In 1906 he figured as the prime factor in effecting the organization of the Inglewood Park Cemetery Association, of which he has since continued to serve as president and treasurer." 

He was an organizer of the Merchants' Bank and Trust Company, of which he was elected president upon its incorporation. He also served as president of the Merchants' Building Company.  7

Mark Jones is interred in Bonnie Brier Plot, along with his mother, his wife and children and some other descendants.
Mark Jones

Pomeroy W. Powers (1852 - 1916)
-- Was President of the Los Angeles City Council (1900-04), and real estate developer who managed the development of Alvarado Terrace in Los Angeles.4    He also made an unsuccessful bid for Mayor in 1902. He had interests in mining in Arizona, and was vice president of the Short Line Beach Company in Venice, CA. He made a hobby of good government, and was keen on municipal improvements and efficient services.  8

Mr. Powers passed away on December 3, 1916. His remains were cremated and placed in Section F, Tier 5, Niche 16, in the Grace Chapel Columbarium.

Photo credit: Benjamin Franklin 1951, as posted on Oct. 2013.


Robert H. Raphael (1864 - 1946) -- Was the president of the H. Raphael & Company, a glass manufacturing factory near Fifth and Main Streets in Los Angeles, and the Southern California Hardwood Lumber Manufacturing Company. He was also the next-door neighbor of Mr. Powers on Alvarado Terrace. Along with several other prominant businessmen in the area, he was named to the Federal Grand Jury in 1922. He served in the executive committee of the Jewish Federation of Charities in 1924.

Mr. Raphael passed away in 1946, but we have no knowledge of where he is interred. His services were handled by Malinow & Simmons, and were private.  9

No Photograph

Valentine James Rowan (1864 - 1928)
-- Was a civil engineer, a surveyor, an architect and a map maker who drew many of the early official maps of the Los Angeles area. He was also the son of Los Angeles Mayor, Thomas E. Rowan (1892-94). He was a Member of the American Society Irrigation Engineers.  10

He surveyed and mapped some of the oldest plots in the Cemetery. The fountains on either side of the Florence Avenue gate were donated by his wife, Mary L. Rowan, in his memory.

Mr. Rowan passed away in 1928, and is entombed in Room C, Inglewood Mausoleum, along with his wife and her mother.


1    "Courthouse Notes: New Cemetery." Los Angeles Times (1886-1922). 15 Dec. 1905: I12. ProQuest. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
2    Hopper, Charles Blauvelt. Memoirs of a Full Life. Los Angeles: Ward Ritchie Press, 1963.
3    Burton, George Ward. Men of Achievement in the Great Southwest (Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times, 1904)
    140. California Digital Library, Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
4    "F. K. Eckley Rites to be Tomorrow." Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File). July 25, 1935: A3. ProQuest. Web. 26 Feb.     2014.
5    McGroarty, John Steven. Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea : with Selected Biography of Actors and Witnesses to the Period of Growth and Achievement. (Chicago, 1921), 641. California Digital Library, Web.     26 Feb. 2014
6    Burdette, Robert J., D.D. American Biography and Genealogy Vol. I. (Chicago, before 1914), 401-06.
7    Bariscale, Floyd B. Big Orange Landmarks: Exploring the Landmarks of Los Angeles, One Monument at a Time.     2007. California Digital Library, Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
8    Guinn, James Miller. A History of California and an Extended History of Los Angeles and Environs : Also Containing Biographies of Well-known Citizens of the past and Present Vol.III. (Los Angeles, 1915), 756-57.     California Digital Library, Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
9    Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Jul. 20, 1946; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times (1881-1989).
10    "Ailment of Heart Kills V. J. Rowan: Veteran Surveyor Laid Out More Subdivisions Than Any Other in City." Los Angeles     Times (1923-Current File). 11 Mar. 1928: B1. ProQuest. Web. 27 Feb 2014.

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