Radford Avenue

The former Plater Avenue was rechristened Radford Avenue in 1917, most likely after Joseph D. Radford (1857-1918), a banker turned city events coordinator. Radford entered the banking biz in his hometown of Fond du Lac, WI. He and his first wife Mary spent 13 years in Bozeman, MT, where they had their only child Ruth, then came to Los Angeles in 1896 when Radford was hired by the National Bank of California. They were here for just two years before Radford landed a better gig at a bank in San Jose, but Mary passed away in 1901 and Radford took Ruth back to L.A. in 1907. He married Florence Rivers Stowell – the ex-wife of an old National Bank colleague – the following year. VP positions at the German-American Savings Bank and Hibernian Savings Bank earned Radford a lot of powerful friends, and in 1913 he chaired the grand opening party for the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which attracted 40,000 spectators. He was also playground commissioner and oversaw the city’s 4th of July celebrations in 1917. After Radford suffered a stroke later that year, Mayor Frederic Woodman named a campground in his honor.