Bouton Drive

Named in 1956 for General Edward Bouton (1834-1921) – or rather for his eponymous lake, from which Lakewood takes its name. A Chicago merchant originally from Avoca, NY, Bouton enlisted early in the Civil War and, as leader of “Bouton’s Battery”, commanded thousands of Union soldiers, both black and white, to victory. He and his first wife Margaret (née Fox) moved to Los Angeles in 1869 and soon acquired land down here for sheep pasture. In 1891, one of Bouton’s men was drilling a well and struck water 339 feet down, unleashing a spouter so huge that it formed a literal lake. A later news report claimed that 2,860,000 gallons of water per day were gushing from this and a second well; unsurprisingly, the old general would establish his own water company. Margaret Bouton died just three weeks after that spouter was struck and Edward remarried in 1894. His second wife, a Swede named Elsa Johnson, bore him his only child: Edward Jr. Wild West postscript: Along with his Civil War exploits, Gen. Bouton was famous for a daring 1879 incident in which three bandits overtook his gold-laden wagon near San Jacinto and chained him up, presumably with the intent of murdering him. The crafty veteran managed to free himself and shot all three of his assailants, killing one.