ALEXANDER LEWIS McPHERSON
Superintendent of the Pacific Coast Oil Company
SURNAMES: FINDLEY, COATS, CLAYTON
son of John and Helen (Findley) McPherson, was horn in Buffalo, New York, October 15, 1849. His parents were both natives of Scotland. Alexander remained in Buffalo till fourteen years of age, when he went to the oil regions of Pennsylvania. Having a natural predilection for machinery, he went to work for his brother Angus, running an engine, and in two years was promoted to be Superintendent of his brother's business. He continued in this capacity till 1872, when he went into business for himself, and was very successful, as in two years he made $60,000. In 1874-75 the price of oil was greatly depressed and he met with heavy losses. He then returned to Buffalo and entered the employ of the New York Central Steamboat Line, running from Buffalo to Saginaw. In 1876 he came to San Francisco and served as engineer in the United States Mint, under Martin Bulger, chief engineer. He resigned this position in 1877, and went with his brother, R. C. McPherson, to open the Pico Oil District in Los Angeles County, where they bought the first machinery for producing oil wells in California. He remained there till 1879, and then returned to San Francisco and engaged in the service of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, running from San Francisco to South America; remained with this company as engineer till 1880, when he took the position of Superintendent of the Pacific Coast Oil Company, with headquarters at Moody's Gulch, Santa Clara County, in which business he continued till he resigned, on July 1, 1887.
In June, 1887, he became associated
with Mr. P. H. Jordan in the real-estate business in Los Gatos. Mr.McPherson was
married, May 6, 1882, to Jennie A. Coats, daughter of James Coats, deceased, of Oakland. She
was born March 24,1864, and was educated at the High School of San Jose and the
State Normal School, and is a highly accomplished young lady. She is a relative
of the old Clayton family, and a niece of James A. Clayton, of San Jose.
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.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT