Kauffman Avenue

Milton Kauffman (1882-1956) was one of the founders of Temple City. Born in Tucson, his father Isaac was a French Jewish immigrant and his mother Ernestine (née Laventhal) hailed from one of L.A.’s oldest Jewish families. (Hollywood developer Jacob Stern was Milton’s uncle by marriage.) The Kauffmans settled in El Monte by 1900, and when Milton came of age he joined Isaac in running the aptly-named I. Kauffman & Son general store. He then got into real estate, buying much of his early property from Lucky Baldwin (see El Monte’s Kauffman Street). By 1918, Kauffman had also become Walter P. Temple‘s business manager and the two would embark on several ventures – most notably Temple City, on which Kauffman Avenue was laid out in 1923 – before the Great Depression ruined their fun. Kauffman recovered and went on to build thousands of houses throughout the southern part of L.A. County. He died a millionaire but spent his final months in poor health and being sued by his estranged second wife Helen, who wanted a heftier allowance.