"Locust Farm"

 Bio-Pen Pictures

        To the visitor who drives at random, leaving the beaten thoroughfares of travel, and who seeks the less frequented drives and avenues, this " Garden Valley " presents its chief attraction and its wonderful beauty, every turn bringing a new surprise and revealing a fresh charm. Everywhere, half hidden in the orchards, nestling among the vines, overtopped by stately forest trees, giant sycamores and old oaks, or embowered amid the roses, spacious and elegant mansions and beautiful cottages produce a succession of delight.

        Such is the feeling one has who drives out to " Locust Farm " on the King road, just an easy drive of two and a half miles from the city and its busy activity. This is the orchard home of Mr. Andrew Lewis King, a splendid tract of ninety-five acres of a soil that cannot be surpassed for its exuberant fertility, as will readily be imagined when one sees the giant locust and other trees about the place. One locust has grown from a mere twig when it was set out in 1864 to be a tree of over seventy feet in height and over three feet in diameter in 1888. There is also an oak planted as an acorn by Mrs. King in the same year as the other, now (in 1888) a tree two feet in diameter and fifty feet in height. But it requires diligent cultivation and attention on the part of the owners to bring these garden spots to their present perfection, and " Locust Farm " is no exception. Mr. King purchased the farm in 1851, since which time he has devoted himself ardently to agricultural pursuits, and is now reaping the reward that always awaits diligence and attention in this valley. He has thirty-six acres of the ninety-five in orchard, divided as follows: Five acres in apricots, five in peaches, and twenty-six in French prunes. This is all young orchard just about to come into bearing, and seems destined to become one of the finest and most productive in the county. The remainder of the land is devoted to raising hay grain, etc., and in pasturing stock, for which it is well suited. Sufficient water for every purpose is furnished by four flowing artesian wells.

        Mr. King was born in Montgomery County, Virginia, on July 12, 1818, and is the son of Joseph and Catharine (Lewis) King, who were natives of that country. His father was a farmer, and young Andrew was brought up as a farmer's lad, gathering such learning as can be obtained in the public schools. At the age of twenty years he located in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he entered into mercantile pursuits, as a clerk in a general merchandise store. While engaged at this, his ambition led him to enter Knoxville College, in which he took a partial course. In 1844 he removed to Tuscumbia, Alabama, where he began the study of law, being duly admitted in proper time to the practice of his profession. He opened an office and followed the practice until May, 1849, when, fired with the gold fever, he started overland for California, reaching here in April, 1850. The ox train to which he was attached was very large and made but slow progress, wintering in New Mexico and entering the State by the Southern route. Mr. King went to San Francisco by vessel from San Diego, and for a time was engaged in a survey at Humboldt Bay. He afterward visited the mines and established himself in a clothing store at Georgetown. In 1851 he came to the Santa Clara Valley, and purchased the lands upon which he now resides. He is a pioneer of this county, and a gentleman prominent in matters of a general interest, and has aided more than a little in the development and prosperity of this section.

        In 1853 he married Miss Elizabeth Lee, daughter of Mark and Nancy (Hickey) Lee, who were residents of Santa Clara County. Mrs. King died September 2, 1884. He has had seven children, six of whom are living. They are: Joseph R., residing on the old homestead ; Dora Lena, who married William H. Cureton, of Fresno; Zoe Alma, residing here; Effie Allien, who married Thomas W. Tompkins, of San Francisco; Andrew Lewis, Jr., and Albert Woods, residing at home.

Mr. King is a Democrat in politics, following the lead of the party in all proper ways.

        Such in brief is an account of one of the pioneers of this county, and a worthy member of society.

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. 594-595


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight