The Valley of Heart's Delight

Gould Fruit Ranch

Bio- Pen Pictures

Abram Block is a native of Bohemia, and was born at Schwihau in 1830. When fourteen years of age he came to America, and on his arrival here went directly to St. Louis, Missouri, where he had several brothers.  Having only a limited education, he attended school at St. Louis until his seventeenth years.  He then obtained a situation as a clerk in the wholesale and retail dry-goods house of Nathan Ables, in which he aquired an interest in 1850.  In 1852, on account of poor health, he withdrew his interest in the firm and came West to Nevada City, were he became associated with S. Furth, in the mercantile business, after which he also engaged in private banking until 1874. 

In 1856 he became  a resident of San Fancisco, where his firm also engaged extensively in business.  Meeting with reverses in 1874, caused by the depreciation of mining stocks, and also by accommodating friends in whom his faith was too anguine, he was forced to make an assignment.  In 1878 after settling up his affairs, by the advice of his physican, he abandoned mercantile and banking pursuits and turned his attention to fruit-culture, and with what little he saved from his financial wreck he invested in a fruit ranch near Santa Clara, long known as the Gould Fruit Ranch.  Mr. Gould was a noted horticulturist, and it was he who first shipped California fruits to Eastern States, as well as foreign counties, i.e.,  Australia, Sandwich Islands, and China.  Mr. Block's ranch contains ninety-six acres, and he grows many varieties of fruit, but the pear is this speciality, the land being best adapted to that fruit.  He is widely known as a pear culturist, and he ships years large quantities of pears to Eastern markets.  Although deeply in debt, with the help of friends Mr. Block has succeedd in removing every financial incomubrance from his ranch, the result of his perserving industy under the most trying difficulties.  He ranks among the prominent horticulturists of the State of California,  and in 1885 was appointed a member of the California State Board of Horticulturists, by Governor Stoneman, to fill a vacancy, and afterward by Governor Waterman, to a full term of four years, and is now a member of the Board.  He is also one of the  Trustees of the Home for the Care and Training of Feeble-minded Children, a State institution at Santa Clara having been appointed by Governor Barlett in 1887.

Politcally, Mr. Block is independent, and never votes a strictly partisan ticket; and, although of foreign birth, he loves the free principles of the United States, and believes in adhering to and upholding the laws of his adopted country  He is still unmarried, and will probably never be a bedict, or allow himself to be a party to a matrimonial alliance.

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. page 265 transcribed by Carolyn Feroben



History of Santa Clara-
page 278

The A. Block Fruit Company, located on the northwestern limits of Santa Clara , was established in 1873 by the late Abram Block, and is perhaps the largest deciduous fruit house in the world, packing in different years, according to the size and quality of the crop, from 500 to 900 carloads, all assorted and boxed by experienced hands and shipped to almost every corner of the globe- China, Europe, South America, South Africa.  The Blocks make a specialty of quality fruits, the bulk of which is grown in thier own orchards. They pack nothing except the best, their brand having a reputation second to none wherever it is marketed.  California's finest pack of pears and plums, grown on Santa Clara soil, is havested and packed by this local establishment.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 278

SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY- The Valley of Heart's Delight
July 21, 2005