Bestor Boulevard

Since Pacific Palisades was established by West Coast Methodists as home for their annual Chautauqua retreats – inspirational/educational gatherings with high-profile lecturers – it’s no surprise that this 1926 street would honor the man who headed the Chautauqua Institute at the time: Dr. Arthur Eugene Bestor (1879-1944). Bestor was born in Illinois and schooled in Wisconsin, where he gained a reputation as a skilled orator. He then won several public speaking prizes while at the University of Chicago. He joined the “mother Chautauqua” in New York in 1905, the same year he married Jeanette Lemon (1882-1970), and was appointed president of the institute ten years later. He held the position until his death. Dr. Bestor gave a speech at Los Angeles Polytechnic High School in 1917 and swung by Pasadena in 1934, but that’s the only proof I’ve found that he ever stepped foot in SoCal. In the spirit of Chautauqua, all three of the Bestors’ children – Arthur Jr., Mary, and Charles – became prominent educators.