(see Banks of San Jose)


An interesting representative of an early Santa Clara family is Robert A. Fatjo, the affable manager of the Santa Clara Branch of the Bank. of Italy. He is a son of the pioneer, Anton V. Fatjo, once a director of the old Santa Clara Valley Bank at Santa Clara, which was later absorbed by the Bank of Italy. He was town treasurer for many years, and at his demise, in 1917, our subject succeeded him as city treasurer. He came to Santa Clara from Chile, South America, where he was born, and as he grew up here, he entered heartily into the building up and the upbuilding of both the city and county; and being public-spirited, and in no wise a politician, he gave his salary as city treasurer to the Library, the Woman's Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the firemen of Santa Clara, and his son, Robert, is a chip off the old block, and does likewise.

The Fatjo family tree goes back to Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain, and to the thirteenth century, and although many of them have since figured as merchants and bankers, our subject's ancestors were for the most part orchardists, viticulturists, agriculturists and dairy farmers. Grandfather Anton Fatjo [see bio below]was born in Spain, where he attended the Spanish schools until he was fourteen, when he began to prepare for the priesthood; but owing to his ill-health, it was determined to send him to Chile with a friend of the family, a merchant well acquainted there, and thus he rose to be a merchant himself, dealing in drygoods, and to marry Miss Marians Salcedo, a Chilean lady. In time they made a trip to Spain,and while they were there, their youngest child, Louis M. Fatjo, was born.  They had five children, and the second in the order of birth was Anton Fatjo, Robert A. Fatjo's father.

In 1849, Grandfather Fatjo came North from Chile to California, and at San Francisco he engaged in wholesaling general merchandise, and he also established a retail store in Santa Clara, being one o the first extensive merchants here. He also started the first tannery in Santa Clara, the Eberhart Tanning Company, being is successor.  He died in Santa Clara at he age of seventy-three, mourned as one of the truly "first citizens" of town and county.

Anton V. Fatjo, the father of our subject, married Mrs. Refugio (Malarin) Spence, a native of Monterey, a gifted and attractive woman who made many friends and was greatly missed when she died at Santa Clara in 1910.  These good parents had two boys and a girl; Robert A., our subject, being the eldest, while the others are named Delphine and Eugene.

Robert A. Fatjo was born at Santa Clara on December 13, 1876, and was educated at Santa Clara College. After this he took his place in the Santa Clara real estate office of Fatjo & Lovell, when his father went into banking; and later, in 1910, he organized the Mission Bank and was its president until 1917, when it was sold to the Bank of Italy.  Since then, he has been the manager o the Santa Clara branch of the latter bank.  He is also the vice- president of the Santa Clara Building and Loan Association, in which his father was a treasure, and he is a director in the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce. In national politics a Republican, he is ever ready to "boost" the locality in which he lives.

At Santa Clara in 1902, Mr. Fatjo was married to Miss Teresa Farry, who was born and reared at that place; and their union has been blessed with the birth of two children- Mary Teresa and Robert J. Jr.  The family are members of St. Claire's Catholic Church at Santa Clara while Mr. Fatjo is a charter member of San Jose Council, Knights of Columbus, and is also a member of Santa Clara Parlor, N. S. G. W.
Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 623

Cattle and Mercantile Business-Santa Clara

 Bio-Pen Pictures

            Antonio Fatjo is a native of Spain, and was born in 1828, at Barcelona.  He is the fourth son of John and Madsona (Ravento) Fatjo.  In his fifteenth year, after being educated in the classic school of Barcelona, he was sent to South America under the care of Dr. Noguera, on a tour for his health.  His ancestors were of an old and wealthy family of Spain, and under the primogeniture laws he, being the fourth son, would inherit nothing from his fathers estate.  Knowing this, young Fatjo, on reaching Santiago, Chili, informally left his traveling companion, when a merchant of that city came on board the vessel, inquiring for educated young Spaniards, who would make good clerks.  He was employed as a clerk in the wholesale dry-goods house of Infanta Bros., of Santiago.  In Chili young men of old Spanish families are sought after to be employed as mercantile clerks, and the father of young Fatjo being prominently known he easily obtained the situation, when he abandoned the voyage proposed by his father.  He remained with Infanta Bros., at Santiago, for six years, when, in 1849, hearing of the fabulous gold finds in California, and crazed by the reports, he conceived the uncontrollable desire to visit those rich fields, and, asking for a  leave of absence, he left his place behind the counter, never to resume work again in Santiago.  He came to Santa Clara, where he met Joseph Argues, with whom he became associated, and with whom he was connected in business many years, dealing in cattle and carrying on mercantile business in Santa Clara.

            At Santiago, Chili, in 1847, he was married to M. Salcedo, who died at Barcelona, Spain, in 1865, and by whom he had five children:  Antonio, Amelia, John, Clorinda, and Luis.

            Twice Mr. Fatjo has been obliged, on account of failing health, to visit Spain, the first time spending only a few months, but at another twelve years, his sons who were associated with him still carrying on the mercantile business at Santa Clara.  He married his second wife, Mrs. Raventos, in Santiago, Chili, in 1877.  He and his family are Catholics and members of the Catholic Church at Santa Clara.

            Mr. Fatjo has had an active business life, and success has crowned his efforts, and now, having his sons, who are still connected with him, to bear the burden of business pursuits, he has in a measure retired, and is peacefully and happily spending the declining years of his life in the enjoyment of his children and grandchildren, blessed with all that makes home pleasant and life happy.

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. 285-286
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight