THADDEUS W. HOBSON
SURNAMES: SPEINHOUR, SHAUGHNESSY
senior partner of the clothing firm of T. W. Hobson & Co.,
is among the eldest of California's native sons, having been born in San Jose
in 1850. His father, George Hobson, is one of the very few men now living who
came to the State forty-one years ago, when, as he says, there was not a farm
fenced in the Santa Clara Valley, and when the farming, such as it was, was
nearly all performed by Digger Indians, who were controlled and driven like
slaves by the Spanish ranch-owners.
When Mr. Hobson came to San Jose, in 1847,
it was but a miserable village, mainly occupied by Spaniards and Mexicans, whose
best residences were adobe huts. After getting his farming interests started,
two years later, he was the first man to supply the inhabitants of the town with
milk, and drove the first milk wagon ever seen on its streets. George Hobson and
his wife, formerly Miss Sarah Speinhour, were both born in North Carolina, he in
February, 1823, and she May 18, 1828. They both went to Missouri some years
before their marriage, which took place January 10, 1847, and the following
spring they started overland for California by the way of Fort Laramie and Fort
Hall, with about sixty wagons in their emigrant train. They arrived at Johnson's
ranch, near where the city of Sacramento now is, in October. Mr. Hobson and his
young wife came to San Jose, but stopped only a short time, then went to
Monterey —then the capital—and settled there until January, 1849, when they
returned to San Jose, which has been their home ever since. The first two years
of his residence in California Mr. Hobson spent in the mines, and was quite
successful. He and his companions washed out from one pocket $1,000 each in
three days, and from a single pan of dust one of his companions washed out $886.
Since 1850 until his retirement from active business, in 1883, Mr. Hobson was engaged chiefly in farming and stock-raising. The family have occupied their present home, on the street called by his name, since 1861. Two sons and four daughters comprise the family of children. The two sons, T. W. and William B., compose the clothing firm of T. W. Hobson & Co. This large and prosperous business was established in San Jose, in 1875, by the firm of Obanion & Kent, and conducted by them until 1879, when T. W. Hobson purchased a third interest, the firm name being Obanion, Kent & Co. until 1882. Then Mr. Hobson, his father, and brother William B., bought the other partner's interest, and the firm took the present name, T. W. and William B. Hobson having entire control of the business. The store has an area of 60x135 feet, besides a work-room 34x40 feet; and the business embraces a large stock of ready-made clothing, gentleman's furnishing goods, hats, trunks, and valises, together with an extensive merchant tailoring department, with a large line of choice piece goods, imported and domestic. Each department has a foreman expert at its head. Goods are chiefly bought direct from the manufacturers, and in large quantities. The establishment employs, during the busy season, ninety skilled salesmen and workmen. The sales for 1887 aggregated $152,000, and are running considerably heavier for 1888. T. W. Hobson is one of the charter members of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Lodge No. 22, organized in 1884, and composed of sons of the pioneers. He is also a member of the I. O. O. F.
William B. Hobson was born in San Jose, in 1857, attended school at the San Jose Institute, and commenced business life as a clerk in the store in which he is a partner. In January, 1886, he married Miss M. T. Shaughnessy, a native of New York.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 568-569SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight