Image: truncated scan of 1939 newspaper.
The City of Azusa describes the origin on their present-day website:
“The first recorded reference to Azusa was found in the diary of Father Juan Crespi, diarist and engineer with Portola Expedition in 1769, then on its way northward from San Diego in search of Monterey Bay. Having come northward through Brea Canyon, Crespi, while camping in the vicinity of Bassett, remarked of the river and the valley to the north.
“The valley is 3 leagues wide and paralleled by a tall mountain range running east and west. This stream and valley he named the San Miguel Archangel after the Patron Saint of the day, as was their custom.
“However, he also referred to this area as The Azusa in his diary. Here roamed the Shoshonean-Indian, locally known as the Gabrieleno when the area of Azusa was first inhabited by white immigrants and homesteaders. Their community was known as Asuksa-nga. It is said Azusa was derived from the native American name.”