VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
ARTHUR F. CASTLE
SURNAMES: REEL, MATTHEWS
A man of enterprise and ability, Arthur F. Castle occupies an assured position among the citizens of San Jose. Born in San Jose, Cal., October 8, 1879, the eldest son of Isaac Nelson and California (Reel) Castle, a sketch of their lives appearing elsewhere in this work[below]. His father was a native of New York, migrating to California in 1852, coming by way of the Isthmus of Panama. He was an extensive landowner and spent many years in the cattle business and was well known throughout the state. He passed away at the family home in San Jose, January 21, 1911. Mrs. Castle has the distinction of being the first white child born in Georgetown, Eldorado County. For many years she has been associated with her two sons in stockraising.
Arthur F. Castle attended the public schools of San Jose, supplementing with a course at Thompson's Business College at Hollister; he is also a graduate of Heald's Business College at San Jose. From the time he was eight years old he was in the saddle, inheriting much of his father's ability as a stockman, so with his mother and brother he leased the San Luis Ranch of 50,000 acres, part of which is located in Santa Clara County and part in Merced County. He proved very successful in this line of work and in 1918 they purchased a large tract of land in the Napa Valley; this was in partnership with his brother, Roy N. Castle, and his mother. They became well known as the most extensive cattlemen and stockmen in the Valley and were known throughout the whole state of California. This partnership was dissolved in 1920, having disposed of their holdings, and Mr. Castle became the owner of the Castle Hair Store, located at 70 South First Street. San Jose. In 1921 he and his brother again engaged in stockraising on a large tract of about 4,000 acres lying near Gilroy.
In early manhood Mr. Castle married Miss Clara E. Matthews, who is a native of Calaveras County, Cal., and the daughter of W. W. and Rachael Matthews. They are the parents of two accomplished children, Lorrine, a student of the San Jose high school, and Yvonne, also attending the schools of San Jose. Politically, Mr. Castle is a Republican, and in fraternal circles is popular in the ranks of the Masons and Elks. A deep lover of music, he is also a gifted violinist, and his talent in this direction is the source of much pleasure to his many friends.
from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 661
MRS. CALIFORNIA CASTLE
First White Child Born in Georgetown-Eldorado County-1851
Surnames: REEL, BOONE, CAUHAPÉ. McCLELLAND, NOBLE
As a well-known pioneer and a native daughter, Mrs. California Castle occupies a position of prominence in her section, which has been her home for many years. Born in Georgetown, Eldorado County, Cal., July 9, 1851, she has the honor of being the first white child born in this hustling mining town; this fact caused a great deal of excitement among the miners, and from many miles they came to pay homage to the babe. It was the custom of the miners to flock to Georgetown on Sundays and learning that the first baby had arrived, about 400 came in and finally insisted on seeing the baby. Many of them having left their little ones in the East, were so reminded of their own children that they wept; finally the baby was brought out on a pillow and the miners circled around and laid fifty dollar gold slugs on the pillow and said to the folks, "If you let us name her Eureka, we will make her so rich she will never want"; but her father rejected their offer and clung to the name he had given her. California.
Her father, Daniel Reel, was a native of Pennsylvania, and her mother, Elizabeth Boone, before her marriage, and a cousin of Daniel Boone, was born in Ohio. In 1849 they came overland to California, crossing the plains in the customary way, behind ox teams, in company with the Boone family, direct descendants of Daniel Boone. The trip across the plains occupied nine months and was fraught with many dangers and hardships. The family first settled in Placerville; remaining there but one year, they removed to Georgetown, a mining section, where Mr. Reel erected the first hotel. He contributed much to the advancement of this section of the country and was a highly respected citizen. Later his hotel was burned down, but he rebuilt it and continued in business in Georgetown, and by his persistency and close attention to business, he amassed a considerable fortune. During the year of 1868, the family removed to Drytown, Amador County, where Mr. Reel engaged in the hotel business. It was here, in the year 1870 that he died, the mother passing away in San Jose about 1900. Of their seven children, California was next to the youngest.
California Reel obtained her education in the public schools of Amador County. After the death of her father, the family removed to Sale
Station, Nev., and she went to school in Carson City. In 1869 she came with her mother to San Jose, where she was married to Isaac Newton
Castle. Mr. Castle was a native of New York, migrating to California in 1852, coming by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Being ambitious to attain individual success, he soon became an influential citizen of his community, investing extensively in land and cattle. His real estate
holdings were located in the counties of Merced, Stanislaus and Santa Clara, and a large ranch in eastern Oregon where ranged 5000 head of
cattle, their brand being a circle on the left hip, while the horse brand was two small c's on the shoulder. He ran about 250 head of horses, and bought cattle in Nevada and Mexico by the trainloads and brought them to California.
He trailed 1500 head of beef steers, three to five years old, from eastern Oregon to Marysville, where he sold them. He was the first man to do this, was laughed at by people who said it couldn't be done, that they would get poor enroute, but in a little over six weeks, he brought them overland fat and ready for market. The cattle were stretched out for five miles along the road. Mrs. Castle accompanied her husband on nearly all the large drives. He sold out in Oregon and leased a ranch of 30,000 acres in San Benito County and ran cattle for fifteen years; then bought near Gridley, Butte County, but material for feeding cattle was short, so this place was sold and he bought a big ranch in Calaveras County; later this was sold to the Spring Valley Water Company and he located at San Felipe, Pacheco Pass, in Santa Clara and Merced counties. Here he was taken ill and he was advised to quit, so he sold to Louis Cauhapé and came to San Jose and built a residence on San Carlos Street, but he failed in health and in 1911 passed away.
For a number of years the family resided near San Felipe, but their preference for San Jose was so marked, that it was always spoken of as their place of residence. He had reserved 9000 acres of the lease for his wife and two sons to continue the cattle business, which they did for five years until the lease expired; then they bought several thousand acres, one of the finest ranches in Napa County, near Napa Junction and engaged in the cattle business; also raised grain, alfalfa, and many hogs, operating the ranch with tractors. They ran it for about two years and then sold it at a big profit and returned to San Jose, where Mrs. Castle resides in the Castle Apartments on West San Carlos Street.
Mrs. Castle again engaged in the cattle business with her sons and bought two ranches adjoining each other, the Ross & Carl ranch
and the Lester ranch, consisting of about 4000 acres of land devoted to the raising of Hereford cattle. From the start, Mrs. Castle was
interested in the business and readily learned to judge cattle, their condition, weight and value. This she learned from her husband, as Mr.
Castle was an expert judge of cattle; could tell the weight of any animal in a big herd, rarely missing it more than five pounds. He was
considered one of the best stockmen in California, and their eldest son is today a close second to his father and very accurate in his judgment
of cattle. Mr. and Mrs. Castle were the parents of two sons; Arthur F. whose life history will be found elsewhere in this volume[above[, and Roy N. a graduate of Heald's Business College, who, since his graduation has been actively engaged in stockraising, and is well known throughout the
central and northern parts of California. In 1916 he was married to Miss Lavern McClelland, a native of Santa Ana, Orange County, Cal.
Mr. Castle was an active Mason and a member of the California Pioneer Society. During the year of 1910, his health very visibly failed, his
physician finally resorting to the transfusion operation. Deputy Sheriff Howard Noble gave a quart of blood, but all to no avail, and Mr. Castle
passed away at the old home place in San Jose January 21, 1911. Mrs. Castle is an active member of the Eastern Star of San Jose; she has
always conducted her business with rare ability and she is held in high esteem in her community.
Transcribed by , Joseph Kral, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 479
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