A man of letters who left a deep impress on educational circles in San Jose was the late Arthur H. Washburn, a native of New York, born at Fredonia, in 1856. In his youth he came with his widowed mother and her family to San Jose, where had lived since pioneer days his uncles, the late E. P.and Elliott Reed. His father was a physician and surgeon of high repute, who gave his life for his country during the Civil War. A year and a half and more Arthur Washburn spent as a deep-sea sailor, twice doubling Cape Horn and seeing much of the world. Returning to San Jose he attended for a time the Normal School, and then entered the Polytechnic Institute of Worcester, Mass., where he graduated with distinction as a mechanical engineer. Following his profession for a time, he came back to San Jose, where he made his home and engaged in business for some years. In 1888 he married Miss Jessica Thompson of San Jose, who survives him, together with two sons, Henry and Lowell, and a sister, Miss Lucy M. Washburn. Their marriage occurred in San Jose, January 22, 1889. Mrs. Washburn was born in Lacon, Ill., a daughter of Samuel and Emeline (Hubbard) Thompson, born respectively in Maine and Connecticut, the Thompson family being an old and prominent family of Parsonsfield, Maine. Mrs. Washburn attended the San Jose State Normal and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, after which she was head of the English department at the San Jose State Normal for six years. Then entering Stanford University she was graduated with the first class in 1892 with the A. B. degree. Mr. Washburn also took a degree from Stanford.

In 1894 Mr. and Mrs. Washburn established the Washburn School, which quickly proved to be a highly successful and useful institution. During the eighteen years it was under their control a large number of young people were fitted for Stanford and the university at Berkeley, and another large number were trained for active life. The ill health of Mr. Washburn compelled their retirement from this work and they settled on their fruit ranch near the foothills east of San Jose. Two or three years ago, in hope of getting relief from asthma, theypurchased a lovely home in Los Gatos, but he passed away in April, 1921. He was a very modest, unobtrusive man, without any craving for publicity, thoroughly honest and honorable in all the relations of life, deeply devoted to his family, a faithful and affectionate friend, a good and public spirited citizen, an humble and consistent Christian. His moral ideals were high, and these he sought to realize in conduct. All the memories and influences he leaves are pure, wholesome and uplifting. For many years he was a communicant in the First Presbyterian Church of San Jose, and up till his removal to Los Gatos, he was a highly respected and influential office-bearer in that congregation. The memory of this modest, quiet, faithful and affectionate man will be long and tenderly cherished by great numbers of those who survive him. His life was a testimony to the enduring value of simple goodness.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben  from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1192


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight