History of Santa Clara - page 1692

Master Blacksmith of Watsonville


Some exceptionally interesting pioneer associations are recalled in the story of C. C. Churchill, the rancher of Gish Road, near San Jose, and his good wife, whose family were study frontier people.  He was born in Lamoille County, Vt., on May 27, 1848, the son of Norman and Eliza M. (Spalding) Churchill, and descended from an old line Vermont Family. among whom may be numbered Winston Churchill, the wellknown author now again a resident of the Green Mountain State.  Our subject's father was a farmer who had mechanical talent; he put up all of his own buildings, and often erected structures for his neighbors, as well.  C. C. Churchill enjoyed the advantages of both the grammar and the high school educational course, being the only son, when his brother, Lyman N., died, and growing up, he took charge of his father's ranch and ran it, and he also learned the blacksmith trade. Coming out to California he settled at Watsonville as a master blacksmith; and for thirty years he served the public thereabouts as a clever and dependable smith might be expected to do in a growing community. 

At Lafayette, in Contra Costa county, on February 21, 1880, Mr. Churchill was married to Miss A. Ellen Gorham, a native of Lafayette, and the daughter of Medford and Melissa Ann (Allen) Gorham.  Her father was a rancher who came to California in 1851 from Mineral Point, Wis., and her mother came across the plans to California Pike County, Mo, in 1846, the stepdaughter of Elam Brown, a member of the first California legislature that met on December 14, 1849., under Governor Burnett There were four children in the Gorham family, the first-born being  O. A. Gorham, of Oakland, and the next in the order of birth, J. E. Gorham of San Miguel  Henry M. Gorham was the youngest, and the next after Ellen.

In 1904 Mr. and Mrs. Churchill left Watsonville and purchased a ranch of sixteen acres on the Gish Road, near the San Jose-Alviso Road, where he built a home, set out berries, and established a dairy.  Two children have grown to maturity.  Josephine married C. Dexter; Arthur married Emma F. Dose, and they have five children, Stanley, Kenneth, Raymond, Lillian and Clifford.  Mr. Churchill is a Republican, has passed all the chairs of the subordinate lodge of Odd fellows, and is a member of the San Jose Encampment of that order.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1692