Bellflower is a city in Los Angeles County, California, and is a suburb of Los Angeles. It was incorporated on September 3, 1957. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 76,616, up from 72,878 at the 2000 census.
The city was founded by F.E. Woodruff in 1906 and originally named Somerset in 1909 when the post office was established. However, the Post Office Department rejected the name because there was a town named Somerset in Colorado. The present name is derived from the bellefleur apple, which was grown in local orchards during the early 1900s.
Originally settled by small communities of dairy farmers of Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese descent, Bellflower and neighboring Paramount served first as the apple and later the milk production centers for Southern California until soaring post-World War II property values and threatened annexations by Los Angeles led by real-estate syndicates forced most of the farmers to move several miles east to the Dairy Valley/Dairyland/Dairy City area (now the cities of Cerritos, La Palma, and Cypress). These farms were in turn divided up into large housing divisions for Los Angeles's growing, middle-class White American population which worked in the region's high-tech, skilled industrial, and service positions. From the 1950s through the late 1960s, Bellflower Boulevard, the city's main thoroughfare, was a thriving commercial strip for shopping. Numerous retail and franchise restaurant firms began on this street, which also featured middle- and high-end boutiques, arts and crafts shops, and other small shopkeeps alongside larger department stores and banks.