A popular public official of Milpitas is John H. Costigan, who in addition to the performance of his duties as constable is a prosperous rancher and the successful proprietor and manager of one of the best livery stables in all Santa Clara County. A native son proud of his association with the great Pacific commonwealth, he was born seven miles west of Gilroy, in Santa Clara County, on September 23, 1861, the son of John J. and Mary E. Costigan. His father was a resident of Illinois when he decided to migrate westward to California; and he came to the Golden State by way of the Isthmus route, and arrived in San Francisco in 1854. Almost immediately, as the result of his insight and farsightedness, he came on to Santa Clara County, where he engaged as a merchant at a place between Edenvale and Cottage Grove, where there used to be a quicksilver mine, establishing himself in business as a partner of R. Mcllroy. In that place and way he continued a number of years, or until the quicksilver mine was abandoned, when he lost heavily through the indebtedness to him of those who suddenly left the mine country. He then engaged in the raising of sheep near Gilroy, and so it happened that the lad John attended the school in the Adams district. Later, when his father bad taken up an express business in San Jose, he went to school there in the old city hall, the eldest in a family of ten children, only six of whom are still living. These surviving representatives of one of the worthiest couples ever settling in Santa Clara County are, our subject; Alice, now Mrs. J. R. Grant of Gilroy; Anna, now Mrs. Walter Espinoza of Mountain View; Robert, who is field manager for Milpitas of the California Packing Corporation; Isabelle, and George, tractor driver with the California Packing Corporation at Milpitas.

When John H. Costigan was twenty years old, he accepted employment with William Tennant at the Twenty-one Mile House, -and later he worked for G. J. Murphy, on the Murphy Ranch, at Gilroy; and when Mr. Murphy removed to Milpitas, he became foreman of the Moreland Stock Ranch, conducted there by Mr. Murphy, and which was devoted to the raising of fine horses; and in association with Mr. Murphy, in horse-breeding, of thoroughbred trotting horses, he remained active as a leader for ten years, his experience proving of real value not only to the interests of the famous ranch, but in the advancement of this branch of California industry.

In 1898 Mr. Costigan became constable of Milpitas, five years after he moved into the town itself, and he has since held that responsible office, to the entire satisfaction of everyone, displaying level-headedness and both public spirit, resolution and bravery in the performance of his duty, maintaining law and order, and doing justice by all who have official dealings with him. In 1912 he embarked in the livery business, and he has continued to furnish Milpitas the best service of that kind she has ever enjoyed.

At San Jose, on September 6, 1893, Mr. Costigan was married to Miss Mary Ellen Elrod, a native of Gilroy and the daughter of N. and Hannah (Fitts) Elrod, natives of North Carolina, who came to Gilroy in early days Mrs. Costigan owns a ranch of 160 acres in the Adams district near Gilroy, while Mr. Costigan has a farm of equal size in Lassen County, taken up by him under the enlarged Homestead Act. Six children have blessed this union; Viivan has become Mrs. Edward Costigan of Milpitas; Mamie is Mrs. Silveira of Livermore; Etta Costigan dwells in San Jose; Lester lives at home; Avis is now Mrs. C. C. Eller of Fresno; Archie Ray died in May, 1921. Mr. Costigan is a stadpat Democrat, whose experience and foresight are sough for the councils of his party, and he is a member of the Milpitas lodge of the U.P. E. C.

Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 705


A rancher whose steady success and increasing prosperity will always be a source of gratification to his friends is Robert A. Costigan, a native of San Jose, where he was born on August 17, 1867. His father, John Costigan, hailed from Quincy, Ill., and his mother, who was Mary Jane Mcllroy before her marriage, was born in Missouri. Her people came to California in 1852, and she herself passed away when -she was a comparatively young woman, having attained only her forty-second year. John Costigan also came to California in pioneer days.

In the Rhoads district near Gilroy on March 30, 1889, Robert A. Costigan was married to Mrs. Sarah L. Menasco, widow of the late Daniel William Menasco, to whom she was married June 13, 1883, and by whom she had two children, Ralph Orval Menasco and Zoe Eva Menasco, who died. Mrs. Costigan's maiden name was Sarah L. House, and she was a daughter of Ezekiel and Caroline (Patterson) House, both natives of Edgar County, Ill. Ezekiel House and his five cousins, namely, Dan, William, Henry, George and Isaac Rhoads, were the first white people to settle permanent in the Canada Canyon. Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel House were married on June 13, 1858, and on June 24, of that year, they settled in the Gilroy neighborhood, which became known as the Rhoads District and there Mrs. Costigan was brought up and attended that district's public schools. Her maternal grandparents were Jonathan and Christine (Foster) Patterson, who were both natives of Virginia. They were among the very first of white people from east of the Rocky Mountains to seek a home in the far-off California, which then belonged- to Mexico. They crossed the plains in immigrant wagons and were members of the: ill-fated Donner party as far as the divide in the Sierra Mountains, where Jonathan Patterson died and was buried, in 1846. The widow and children came on to California. Mrs. Costigan's father, Ezekiel House, came from Illinois to California in 1850 and settled at Gilroy. Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel House had twelve children, eight girls and four boys. Emma is Mrs. Gentry of Hercules; Sarah Louisa is now the wife of Robert A. Costigan, the subject of this sketch; Margaret Ellen has become Mrs. Bradford of Kingsburg; Robert Francis of Los Banos is the fourth child; Georgia Virginia died in 1919; Martha Melvina is Mrs. House of Gilroy, and her next yoqnger brother is Edward E. House; Nellie passed away in 1913; Caroline Christine is the wife of Robert Thomas Heslin of Gilroy; Mr. Heslin was born in New York City and is a nephew of the late Father Patrick Heslin, the murdered priest of Colma; John Thomas, Lucy Honora and James Emanuel are the three remaining children. Mr. and Mrs. Costigan have two children, Robert Edward and Leo John Costigan. Robert Edward married his cousin, Vivian H. Costigan, and they have four children, James Edward, Dorothy Vivian, Henry Merle and Donald Lloyd. Leo John married Miss Emma L. Meyers of the pioneer Meyers • family of Alviso, and to them has been born a daughter named Cleo Jane.

Mr. Costigan worked for the Spreckels Sugar Company at Spreckles, Cal., until 1907, when he removed to Milpitas and took a position with the California Fruit Canners' Association, and when that was taken over by the C. P. C. he still remained with them and is still employed on the California Packing Corporation pea ranch at Milpitas, where he makes his home on a part of the ranch. A Democrat in matters of national political import, Mr. Costigan has been a school director of the Spreckels school district, and in the discharge of his duties has always been as broadminded and nonpartisan as the necessities of his locality demanded.
Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 574