An enterprising, successful rancher whose progressive methods are as interesting as the splendid results he has attained, is Alden French, who dwells about two miles south of Alviso. He was born on the old French Ranch on November 2, 1879, the son of Mortimer D. French, a native of Wisconsin, who had married Miss Mary Gallagher,(see marriage license info below) a native of Santa Clara County, the daughter of Andrew Thomas and Maria (Martin) Gallagher, and the granddaughter of Andrew T. and Mary (Siskron) Gallagher, of New York. In the fall of 1848 her father sailed on the bark John W. Cater for California by way of Cape Horn, and he reached San Francisco the following March. He took up mining, among his other ventures, in Tuolumne County, and when he came to Santa Clara County went to work in the Redwoods. Later he purchased a schooner and carried freight between San Francisco and Alviso. Eventually, he settled down to farming on 160 acres in the Alviso district, near Santa Clara. Mrs. French died in 1911 at the age of fifty-seven years, while Mortimer D. French passed away in 1906, at the age of sixty-six, and was buried on the day before the great San Francisco earthquake. He was a farmer, a cattleman, and also a grain and hay farmer, the eldest in a family of seven children; and he was thirteen years old when his father died. His mother was a native of New York and crossed the plains from the Empire State with her parents.

Mortimer D. French prospered exceedingly as a farmer and stockman, his holdings being increased to 300 acres. He was a large grain farmer and later on he became a breeder of Percheron horses and Durham cattle and was a leader in this line for many years. The French home ranch was a noted place.

Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer French had eight children: Alden, John, Ernest A., Hazel, Marian, Albertina, now deceased; Gertrude, and Andrew, also deceased; and when Alden was four years old, his father left the ranch, moved to San Jose, and in partnership with Mr. Jarvis engaged in distilling. Then he took up the buying and selling of horses, hay, wood and coal. Alden, therefore, attended the grammar school in San Jose, and for two years he continued his studies at the high school in that city. When nineteen years old, he entered the service of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and for nine years he was in charge of their store room in San Jose. Then, in various departments, he worked for over eight years for the Walsh-Col Wholesale Company of San Jose. In the spring of 1919, Mr. French became actively engaged in the management of the Gallagher ranch, on the San Jose-Alviso Road, and he has ever since been foreman of this farm, in which he also has an estate interest. It was purchased by Andrew Thomas Gallagher in the fifties, and had about 123 acres, in time well-irrigated and supplied with artesian water. More land was added, and now there are about 360 acres, one-third of which is devoted to the growing of pears, somewhat more to apples, while 110 acres are given up to pasture, berries and hay. Packing houses are near-by, and from twenty-five to fifty men are given employment. Sixty or more carloads of pears and six to eight carloads of quinces are shipped annually. Mr. French also has an estate interest in a ranch of fifty acres left by his father, on the Mountain View-Alviso Road, which is devoted to pasture and hay.

At San Jose, on October 18, 1904, Mr. French was married to Miss Anna M. Purcell, a native of San Jose, and the daughter of John and Delia Purcell. Mrs. Purcell, who was Teresa Gorman before her marriage, was born in Australia and came to San Francisco at the age of twenty. In 1868 she came to San Jose and two years later she was married to Mr. Purcell. Of their seven children, three are living; May, married Joseph Calice, the manager of Black's Package. Company at San Jose; Anna, is Mrs. French; Naomi, is Mrs. Alfred J. Pinard (see obituary below)of San Jose. Mr. Purcell, who was at one time superintendent of streets of San Jose, died in 1900. Mr. and Mrs. French make their home on a part of the Gallagher Ranch, although they also own a home at 438 North Sixth Street, San Jose. Four of their children are still living—Mildred Gertrude, Alden Edward, Mary Martha, and Mortimer Alfred French; but their second-born, who was also named Alden, passed away aged eleven months. In national politics a Republican, Mr. French is too good an American not to throw aside narrow partisanship and work for the best interests of the community in which he lives, supporting heartily those men and those measures most appealing to him.
From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1165

Transcribers Note:  Marriage License on file at the San Jose Historical Museum
Subject: FRENCH, M. D.

Title: Marriage License File
Location: San Jose Historical Museum
Call #:
Source:    Source Date: 10/7/1877
Volume:    Page:

San Jose Mercury, April 23, 1980, Wednesday, page 8B
Naomi Pinard: veteran teacher

Naomi Purcell Pinard, 97, a teacher in Morgan Hill, San Jose and Milpitas
for more than 40 years, died Sunday at a Campbell residence after a long
illness. Mrs. Pinard was born in the family home on N. Fifth. Her late
father, John Purcell, who came to San Jose by covered wagon in the 1800's,
was superintendent of the road crew that laid the first paved street in
San Jose.

She was graduated from San Jose Normal School and began her teaching career
at Burnett School in Morgan Hill in 1904. She also taught at Madrone School,
at St. Mary's in San Jose and in the one-room Airport School in Milpitas
before retiring about 1960, according to her son Alfred Pinard Jr.

Mrs. Pinard was guest of honor at the Morgan Hill Historical Society's
Founders Day Dinner in November 1979.

Besides her son, Mrs. Pinard leaves three grandchildren.

A rosary was recited Tuesday at Willow Glen Chapel. Private burial will
be at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.

PINARD, Naomi P. - In Campbell, California, April 20, 1980, beloved wife
of the late Alfred J. Pinard Sr., loving mother of Alfred J. Pinard Jr.
of Campbell, devoted grandmother of Alfred J. Pinard III of Miami, Fla.
& Rene & Yvette Pinard of San Jose. A native of San Jose. Age 97. A member
of California Retired Teacher's Association, the California Pioneers, the
Jesuit Seminary Assoc. & the Belle's of St. Mary's. A graduate of San Jose
State Normal class of 1904.

Recitation of the Rosary Tuesday, April 22, 19080 in the Willow Glen Chapel
(Accinelli & Gray) 1039 Lincoln Ave., S.J. at 7:30 p.m. Interment private,
spiritual bouquets preferred.
transcribed by jch


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight