Santa Clara County


BENJAMIN F. HOBSON.--Another interesting representative of a pioneer family long recognized and honored for its part in building the great commonwealth of California, is Benjamin F. Hobson, the rancher, who is operating a large prune orchard on the Berryessa Road, about two and one-half miles east of San Jose. he was born on the old Hobson ranch in the same locality, on September 15, 1885, the son of David Hobson, who left North Carolina, his native state, in the fall of 1849, crossing the plains with oxen and reached California in the spring of 1850. He mined for gold in the Sonora district for two or three years, and in 1853 came into Santa Clara County. He purchased a tract of eighty-five acres on the Berryessa Road, then devoted entirely to grain raising, and from time to time he acquired additional land until he had 175 acres all in one body. It was not yet under irrigation, and from this fact alone may be gathered a cue as to the difficulties confronting the pioneer farmer. He planted one of the first orchards designed for commercial use east of the Coyote Ranch, and did wonderfully well with it, never dreaming of the abundance of water now at the disposal of his son through a fine artesian well sunk on the ranch.

David Hobson married Miss Mary E. Langensee, whose folks came from Germany, sailing for New York when she was a little child. From the metropolis they moved to Indiana, and then came on to California, where Miss Langensee and Mr. Hobson were married. Eleven children were born to this fortunate union: Anna lives on the home ranch and so do Phillip and David; Ella is Mrs. Van Horn of San Jose; Edna and Alfred are also at home; Benj. F. is the subject of this sketch; and Celesta is a popular teacher at Markleyville; Charles, James and Ruth long ago joined the great silent majority.

Benjamin F. Hobson commenced his schooling in the Berryessa district, and then he continued his studies at the San Jose high school, where he was graduated in June, 1905. From a lad he had made himself useful on the home farm, assisting in planting and caring for the orchard, so after his graduation he continued to help his father, and he has been active on the home ranch ever since. In 1914 he took the special course in agriculture at the University of California, attending the lectures at the University Farm at Davis, and it is needless to say that all his methods are the most progressive. His father, esteemed by all who knew him, passed away in 1916, but he left his ranch of 175 acres intact, and this has since been divided among the several heirs. Mrs. Hobson, beloved by so many, breathed her last in 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Hobson were devoted members of the Berryessa Methodist Church, and for many years Mr. Hobson conducted one of the Bible classes best organized and best maintained in the county. Inheriting his public-spiritedness and high sense of civic duty, Benjamin Hobson is active in political affairs as a leading Republican. The Hobson ranch is devoted almost entirely to the raising of prunes, and the products rank among the finest of Santa Clara County fruit.

Transcribed by Joe Kral, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 483