Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Scudder Scholarships


Marion Sumimoto, Head of the Laura Scudder Scholarship Committee, welcomed John Scudder, honorees: Imelda Orta and Tanya Limon, their family members and museum members to this very special event held on June 25th at the Monterey Hills Restaurant.

She introduced her committee members: Alice Nishimoto, Dolores Seidman, Pauline Lemire and Gloria Guerrero who reviewed all of the scholarship applications that included their education and their family history.  They had the difficult job of choosing two winners of the 2016 the Laura Scudder Scholarships.

Laura Scudder was a nurse, created one of America’s greatest snack food industries and was a lawyer. Scholarship candidates must be seeking a higher education in nursing, the food industry or the law.

John Scudder stated that his family presents the funds. The committee has the difficult task of choosing the winners.

He spoke about the difficulties that women like his grandmother, Laura Scudder, have faced over the years. She came a long way with a little encouragement. She could practice law before she could vote.  Judges and lawyers helped her to study the law. She passed the bar on her first try in her 30s.

She was also a nurse who worked 16 hours a day, working with the patients as well as attending school.

She met Charles Scudder, a farmer, a moved to California to open a restaurant while raising two children.

In 1922 the Scudder family moved to Monterey Park to open a gas station at Garvey and Atlantic. She did pump gas but did not check the oil.

Laura Scudder was about 5 feet two and one half inches tall but she was an imposing figure. She protected her employees who worked at her potato chip factory. She was a nurse who knows about cleanliness so she invented waxed bags to protect her chips.

Local woman help her prepare the potatoes, made the chips and used their irons to seal the waxed bags.

She had the best trucks and uniforms for her staff.  She also had trouble getting insurance for her business, as most insurance companies did not think a woman could run a successful business.

John Scudder said her sales staff placed the waxed bags of chips into buckets of water and them open them to prove her potato chips were still crisp.  That was one of her major selling points. His grandfather purchased a stamping machine to date the bags for freshness.

He spoke about working women who were not advanced like the guys.

John Scudder thanked the scholarship committee. These scholarships are small but they should be used as a steppingstone for the future.

His family gives scholarships to students attending Chapman University. The students are studying to become nurses, attorneys and business owners.

His grandmother, Laura Scudder, was a wife and mother, who died in her 70’s. She had an internal drive for success. She could see it before it happened.

John Scudder said his grandmother died when he was 13 years old. He would like to visit with Laura for an hour as an adult. He now has questions for her. She created the largest potato chip production in five western states.

He recalled at the age of 10 taking Laura to lunch. He joked that he had $5 in his wallet for lunch so they enjoyed hamburgers.

She was so sweet; Laura would be please we are thinking of her.


John Scudder presented scholarships to Tanya Limon and Imelda Orta who are studying to become nurses.

Tanya Limon is entering the two-year nursing program as East Los Angeles College and will finish her third year at Cal State University.

Imelda Orta just complete her two-year nursing program at East Los Angeles Collage and is enrolled in Cerritos College for her third year of the program.


John Scudder celebrated this occasion with Tanya Limon, Tony Limon, her father and April Limon, her sister.



John Scudder celebrated this occasion with Imelda Orta and her son, James Orta.  Since James was so shy John showed him a few magic tricks to help him enjoy his mother’s event.

The Historical Society of Monterey Park is located at 781 S. Orange Avenue in Garvey Ranch Park. The museum is opened most Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 4 PM. To visit the Laura Scudder exhibit and learn more about Monterey Park’s famous Entrepreneur and Inventor please call 626-307-1267.

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