m. 30 Jun 1824
Facts and Events
HON. THOMAS D. MOTT.
In the history of Los Angeles, as of most other cities that have grown into commercial prominence, there have been times when its future seemed to hinge upon the determination of various public issues in the wise solution of which breadth of character, keen foresight and moral courage were largely involved. Fortunately the City of the Angels has for years past had among its citizens several men possessing these invaluable qualities of brain and heart, to whom it chiefly owes its most brilliant achievements as a city, and of those men none have figured more conspicuously than the subject of this biographical sketch, the Hon. Thomas D. Mott. Mr. Mott is a native of Saratoga County, New York, and was born near Schuylerville on the Hudson, July 31, 1829. His boyhood was spent at his native home where he acquired a good common-school education, and at the age of fifteen launched out into the world full of the hope and vigor which constitutes so important a factor in a successful business career. His first practical business experience was gained as a salesman in a general store of his home town. The discovery of gold in California, in the year 1849, fired his ambition and he at once, turning his face westward, determined to seek his fortune on the golden slope of the Pacific. After successfully mining for a brief time in the Northern part of the State, he located at Stockton, where he entered merchandising. In the spring of 1851 he established ferries on the San Joaquin River. His attention was directed to Southern California, her wonderful climate and resources, and the year 1852 marked his first visit to Los Angeles. Without loss of time, he, with characteristic promptitude, seized the first opportunity that in the way of occupation promised success, and engaged in the livery and stock business. His genial nature and excellent social qualities drew around him a large circle of friends, and to his business an extensive and profitable patronage. He evinced a lively interest in local public affairs, and all movements tending to the development and future prosperity of Los Angeles found Thomas D. Mott one of its most hearty and liberal supporters. In 1855 he identified himself with the Democratic party, and since that time he has been regarded as one of the most worthily successful politicians in Southern California. In the year 1863 he was elected to the office of clerk of Los Angeles County, and succeeded himself in the years 1865, 1867 and 1869, at a period when the responsibilities of that office were most arduous, the county clerk then also being ex-officio auditor and recorder. The duties of his several terms of office were discharged with ability and integrity. Mr. Mott was foremost in a movement to secure the establishment of a branch of the Supreme Court in the city of Los Angeles and was appointed its first resident deputy clerk, filling the position most acceptably until a change of administration brought about a new appointment. In 1871 Mr. Mott was chosen to represent his legislative district in the State Assembly, and while there and following his return to Los Angeles rendered the public a most eminent service in inaugurating and pushing to a successful issue a movement which secured to his city and Southern California railway communication with the outside world. In 1876 he was sent as a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at St. Louis, which nominated the Hon. Samuel J. Tilden for the Presidency. In all matters involving the public weal Mr. Mott has ever shown himself a large-hearted, openhanded and public-spirited citizen, and his life has been an unusually active one, filled with responsibilities both public and private and characterized throughout by the singular energy so typical a product of the western country. The evidences of Mr. Mott's enterprise and push are shown in his large property holdings in various sections of Los Angeles City, not the least of which is the Mott Public Market, a substantial brick structure on South Main street, erected in the year 1886. Mr. Mott has been most fortunate in his domestic relations. December 23, 1861, he was united in marriage with Miss Ascension Sepúlveda, a typical Spanish lady and a daughter of Don José Sepúlveda, one of the prominent early-time citizens and large ranch owners of Southern California, and of Doña Francisca Abila, a member of another well-known family of Los Angeles. Don José Sepúlveda was owner of the magnificent San Joaquin Ranch, located near the present city of Santa Ana, in this county, and now owned by the heirs of the late James Irvine. He was an extensive raiser of stock and especially of horses, in which he had great success and a commendable pride. Don José Sepúlveda died in the year 1875 in the seventy-first year of his age, leaving a most exemplary record as a citizen and a business man. Don Ygnacio Sepúlveda, now of the city of Mexico and formerly for many years district judge of Los Angeles County, is a son of the late Don José. Mrs. Mott was born September 15, 1844, and is of pure Castillian extraction, a lady of rare intelligence and refinement. She is social in her disposition, loving in heart, loyal in her affections, and courageous in her living. She is firm and devout in the Catholic faith, in which she has carefully reared and educated her children, who are five in number, as follows: Georgie, now Mrs. Henry Van der Leck, of Los Angeles; Thomas D. Mott, Jr., John Griffin, Stephen D. and Ygnacio Leon. These constitute the household of one of Los Angeles' brightest and most interesting families. The family residence is located at No. 543 South Main street.
An Illustrated History of Los Angeles County, California – Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1889 Page 565
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler