James C. Rives (1899-1903 District Attorney) was born in Atlanta, Georgia and came to Los Angeles as a young child with his family in the late 1860s via oxcart. He dropped out of school at age 14 to help support his family following the death of his father, a pioneer doctor in Los Angeles.
Rives never went to college and started a printing business at age 16. At 21 he owned and published the Downey Weekly Review newspaper, which he ran while studying law. He joined the bar at age 23, became a successful lawyer and served two terms as district attorney, from 1898 to 1902, before becoming a superior court judge for nearly two decades.
Rives was a pioneer of Downey. Where his mansion stands today is registered as a historical site. Rives Avenue bears his name.