1856 State Agriculture Award
SURNAMES: KELL, MURPHY
deceased. This gentleman, one of Santa Clara County's early pioneers and most respected citizens, was born at Nice, France, August 4, 1817. He left his native land in 1842, and went to South America, remaining in Buenos Ayres for one year, when he sailed around Cape Horn, visiting Chili, Peru, and Bolivia. On the fourteenth of June, 1844, he arrived in Monterey, California, with Captain Cooper. He at first worked at his trade, that of tanner, in Monterey, then Santa Cruz, and San Jose. He afterward engaged in buying stock, as well as merchandising, driving his cattle to Sacramento and the mines. In 1849 he opened a store in San Jose, which he conducted for some time.
In January, 1851, he was married to Miss Ann Kell, a daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Murphy) Kell, and a granddaughter of Martin Murphy, Sr. Mrs. Colombet had come to California from Missouri, in 1846, having previously removed from her birthplace, Canada, to Missouri, with her parents. In the year of their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Colombet went to Mission San Jose, where Mr. Colombet engaged in viticulture and wine-making. In 1856, at the Annual Fair of the California State Agricultural Society, held in San Jose, he was awarded the premium for Claret wine, the first premium for wine ever awarded in California. He also engaged in conducting a store of general merchandise at the mission, living there until 1856, when he purchased the Warm Springs property, in Alameda County, from the original Spanish owner, Mr. Higurera, and removed there with his family. Here they resided until 1869, when he sold the property to A. A. Cohen, who, later, sold it to Senator Stanford. Having property in San Jose, Mr. Colombet removed here with his family, where he resided until his death, in September, 1885. On the twenty-fifth of August, 1878, he was stricken with paralysis, and for seven years was a sufferer; losing the use of his right side, he was unable to move about. He was a man of integrity and high moral character, and commanded the respect of all who knew him.
Mr. and Mrs.
Colombet had eight children, of whom one died in infancy: Joseph, the eldest, is
the executor of his father's estate, and now City Treasurer of San Jose; Thomas,
Clemente, Peter J., Annie V., Louis N., and William A., all residents of San
Jose. Mr. Colombet was a member of the Pioneer Association 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