CAPT. CHARLES A. FRENCH
SURNAMES: CLEWLEY, EMERSON, SYKES,
was born in Prospect, Maine, July 22, 1821. His parents, Josiah and Sarah (Clewley) French, were natives of the same town, the former a descendant of the old Plymouth stock. In 1836 his parents moved to Bangor, Maine, where Charles was principally educated. Josiah French was an old sea captain and owner of vessels, and in his younger days Charles took numerous sea voyages with his father. When he was fourteen or fifteen years old he engaged in the mercantile business, which pursuit he followed for eight or ten years, part of the time in Bangor and part in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1849 he closed his business and went to sea. He had an interest in a merchant ship, and, taking command of the vessel, engaged in the Atlantic trade, doing business with European and West India ports. He has visited nearly all the different countries of the globe, making voyages to China and Australia, and engaged in trade with Brazil and the west coast of South America. In 1861 he entered the service of the United States Navy as Acting Master, and remained until the close of the war. He had command of five different men-of-war vessels, and resigned his commission as Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Commander in November,1865. After the war closed he was engaged for one year in running a passenger and freight steamer from New York and Philadelphia to Savannah, Georgia. With this exception, his voyages were in the foreign trade.
In 1883 he retired from the sea and located in San Francisco, and about a year after bought his present ranch near Saratoga.
was married, in 1843, to Lorena Emerson, of Reading, Massachusetts. She died in
1871, leaving four children, two of whom are now living. He was married again in
June, 1880, to Mrs. Jane M. Sykes, a native of Liverpool, England. His ranch
contains twenty and a half acres, all in fruit, consisting of the following
varieties: 1,200 French prunes, 300 apricots, 100 peaches, 30 cherries, 75
egg-plums, and a family orchard, together with 4,000 vines of different
varieties, mostly table grapes.
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 The Valley of Heart's Delight