CHARLES M. WEBER
SURNAMES: MURPHY, SIMMOTT
Charles M. Weber is the worthy son of an illustrious sire. His father was one of the early settlers of California, and to his efforts is due much of the commercial and industrial prosperity of the State.
Charles M. Weber, Sr., was born in Homburg, Rhinish-Bavaria, when that city was under the dominion of the first Napoleon. His parents were German, and his father a Presbyterian clergyman. He received a good education, and embarked in business at an early age. He came to America in 1836, stopping at New Orleans, where he contracted the yellow fever, and after recovering went to Texas, where he served under the Lone Star in the hostilities with the Mexicans. He returned to New Orleans in 1840, and went to St. Louis in 1841, and in the same year came to California as one of a large party. The trip was made overland, and the party contained many men who afterward became prominent in the State; among them we mention Josiah Belden and John Bidwell. Mr. Weber settled in San Jose, engaging in commercial and industrial enterprises, and soon came to be the leading man of the pueblo, respected alike by natives and foreigners. He established the first store, and embarked largely in agriculture, acquiring the grant of many acres of land from the Mexican Government. When Commodore Sloat’s proclamation forced the Mexican General Castro to evacuate San Jose, Weber was arrested in his store on account of his prominence, and loyalty to the United States, and taken a prisoner to Los Angeles. Only the personal friendship of General Castro saved him from assassination, and he was released. Returning to San Jose, he raised a company, and was a leading spirit in subsequent hostilities. Soon after the close of the war he removed to the San Joaquin Valley, where he founded the city of Stockton, to the prosperity of which he devoted the remainder of his life. His death occurred May 4, 1881.
He married, in California, Miss Ellen Murphy, daughter of Martin Murphy, Sr., and one of the famous Murphy party, whose adventures are related elsewhere in these pages.
The subject of this sketch, Charles M. Weber, Jr., was born at Stockton, September 22, 1851. He was educated at Santa Clara College, and at St. Mary’s College, San Francisco, graduating at the latter institution in 1873, with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He was engaged extensively in the grain trade at Stockton and the tributary company for about five years after leaving college, and then turned his attention to stock-raising. Since 1881 he has given much of his time to the supervision of what is known as the Weber Ranch, lying to the south and east of San Jose. This is a noted rancho, containing between 12,000 and 13,000 acres and comprising some of the most picturesque as well as the most valuable land in the county. It is partly in the foot-hills and is interspersed with fertile valleys, watered by fine streams and abounding in beautiful and never-failing springs, while numerous groves of several varieties of oak, box elder, and sycamore give tone to a landscape unsurpassed for beauty. About 1,000 acres of this ranch is cultivated for grain and hay, and the remainder is devoted to pasturage for Mr. Weber’s large herds of cattle, among which are many of noble blood. He has planted vines extensively, choosing the most valuable varieties for wine and the table. He has made valuable experiments in horticulture, which have been of great public use in demonstrating to the people on that side of the valley the varieties of fruit that thrive in that locality and the proper method of cultivation. The ranch is a principality in itself, and Mr. Weber is conducting it in a manner that will not only return a profit to himself but will also be of great advantage to the community.
At the general election of 1886 Mr. Weber was elected a Member of the Assembly on the Republican ticket, to represent Santa Clara County in the State Legislature. He was made chairman of the Committee on Mileage and was appointed a member of the Committee on Hospitals, on Rules, on Viticulture, and on Municipal Corporations, on all of which he did work that commanded favorable comment both from his own party and the opposition. He married, November 21, 1886, Miss Grace Mary Simmott, a charming young lady, a native of Illinois. Mr. Weber, in connection with his mother, his brother, Thomas J., and his sister, Julia H., has large interests in the estate of his father, including valuable city property in the city of Stockton, and some of the best farming lands in San Joaquin County.
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.
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy
SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight