ARNESTUS D. COLTON
Arrived in Santa Clara County, 1871
SURNAMES: DIETZ, HOLCOMB, BOOTH
one of the successful fruit-growers of the Willows, resides on the corner of Lincoln and Minnesota Avenues. Mr.Colton dates his birth in Erie County, Pennsylvania, in 1814. His father, Eli Colton, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and became a citizen of Erie County in 1797. His mother, Elizabeth Dietz, was a native of Hagerstown, Maryland. Mr. Colton was reared and educated in his native county, making it his home until he attained his majority. The Northwest, with its great possibilities, had just been opened, and peace with the Indians guaranteed by the Black Hawk War. Mr. Colton, ambitious and enterprising, was filled with a desire to seek his fortune in this new country. He therefore left his native home, and, passing through Chicago (then a village of only a few hundred), he terminated his journey at Geneva Lake, Wisconsin, where he was one of the first settlers. Here he opened a farm, but later became a hotel proprietor, building the Lake House, the first hotel in the place. That he was successful in this venture his continuance of the business for twenty years proves. The year after he settled in Wisconsin he returned to Pennsylvania, making the trip around the Lakes from Milwaukee on the steamer Constitution, the first trip that navigated Lake Michigan. He returned to Wisconsin with general supplies, and became interested in the improvement of a water power.
Selling his interests at Geneva Lake, in 1865, Mr. Colton removed to La Crosse, Wisconsin, and engaged in the book and stationery business, in which he remained for six years. He then followed the hundreds who had crossed the continent, and settled in Santa Clara County in 1871, when he bought the tract of eleven acres which now makes his home. When purchased there was only a small apple orchard on the place. By industry and painstaking care, Mr. Colton has become the owner of a fine, healthy orchard. His orchard comprises 100 pear, 160 apricot, 200 apple, seventy-five cherry, and seventy-five peach trees, 100 trees of different varieties of plums, and the remainder French, German and Silver prunes.
Mr. Colton has had opportunity to witness much of the marvelous development of the horticultural interests in the Willows, which was principally in grain fields when he settled there.
In 1841 Mr. Colton married Miss Elizabeth Caroline Holcomb, who died in 1845, leaving one son, Oscar, now a resident of San Diego. He married his second wife, Miss Annie Booth, a native of Vermont, in Wisconsin.
Mr. Colton is identified with the Republican party, and is a firm believer in
the policy of protection of American industry. He is reputed a careful,
intelligent horticulturist, with a complete understanding of fruit culture, and
great attention to detail. He is greatly respected throughout the community in
which he lives for his integrity and the strict honesty of his business
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.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT