Wiseburn Street

This neighborhood originated as a racehorse farm established in 1891 by Los Angeles physician Kenneth Dare “K.D.” Wise (1833-1916), who combined his name with that of a nearby Santa Fe Railway station – Burwell – to make “Wiseburn”. Born and raised in Montgomery, IN, Wise’s occupation was listed as “physician” in the 1860 U.S. Census but it would take another five years for him to obtain his M.D. from Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College. In the interim, he served in the Civil War as a Union Army surgeon. Dr. Wise settled in L.A. in 1872 and soon became one of the city’s top medicos, although he had a reputation as a quirky individualist: his peers nicknamed him “King David” and he leaned heavily into spiritualism in his later years. He was married four times (at least) and had three children. Wiseburn itself reportedly covered 400 acres – including a 3/4 mile racetrack – and was home to some 80 thoroughbreds. The capricious Dr. Wise sold the whole shebang after a mere four years, but by then the railroad station had adopted the Wiseburn name. A school district soon followed suit. This street was named by 1897.