Bio- Alley Bowen
Born in County Dublin, Ireland, May 16, 1816, where he learned the trade of nurseryman.  In 1848 he came to the United States, landing in New York in November, and in December was engaged in the nursery business in Massachusetts, where he remained nearly five years.  At the end of this time he was sent to California, by Commodore Stockton, and S. W. Aspenwall, to superinted a nursery on the Stockton Ranch.  Here he remained two years, and then purchasing four acres of that tract, commenced on his own account, the business of a  nurseryman. At the expiration of two years more he moved to the location he now occupies, about three miles from San Jose, where he owns one hundred and twnety-six acres, and rents for nursery purposes, one hundred and fifty more. Mr. Fox is the pioneer nurseryman of Santa Clara County, and the oldest living in the State.  In the year 1864 he was absent seven months, on a visit to Europe, and in 1872 was on a tour in the Eastern States.  With these exceptions, Mr. Fox has lived continously in California since his advent in the State.  Since writing the above we have to record the demise of Mr Fox, who died July 20, 1881.

History of Santa Clara County, California : San Francisco: Alley, Bowen & Co., 1881, 878 pgs.  page 711
transcribed by cdf


 Bio- Pen Pictures

            Mr. B. S. Fox, who, as we have stated, came out in 1852 with the nursery stock of Commodore Stockton, severed his connection with the commodore the next year, and established a nursery of his own on the Milpitas road.  This is now known as the “Santa Clara Valley Nurseries and Botanical Gardens.”  He had with him Thomas Egan, and the nurseries were first known as B. S. Fox’s Nurseries.  At first there were one hundred and twenty-six acres, and it was the largest tract devoted to this business on the coast; the acreage was still further increased by the acquisition of more land, until it contained over two hundred acres.  Mr. Fox was an Irishman by birth, and a thorough botanist.  When he first came to America he procured an engagement with Charles Hovey, the well-known nurseryman of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  When Commodore Stockton was looking for a competent man to take charge of his California nursery, Mr. Fox was recommended to him, and was engaged for the position.  This was a fortunate circumstance for Santa Clara County.  He was not only a pioneer fruit man, but a man of great scientific knowledge, and an untiring student.  To his experiments we owe three of the finest varieties of pears now cultivated, the P. Barry, the B. S. Fox, and the Colonel Wilder, which have been place in the front rank by the opinions of the leading pomologists of America.  His magnificent orchard was developed from the nursery, and was not planted so much for growing fruit for profit as to test the varieties which he was offering for sale.  To his enthusiasm Santa Clara County owes much of her early horticultural development.  Mr. Fox died in July, 1881, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, while on his way to visit his early home.  His nurseries were left to his nephew, R. D. Fox, a biographical sketch of whom appears in this book, and who has since conducted the business with an intelligence that has maintained the reputation it attained under the administration of his uncle.

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. 172-173
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler