CAMPBELL T. SETTLE
PRESIDENT OF THE FARMER'S UNION
SURNAMES: THOMPSON, COTTLE
President of the Farmers' Union, owns and occupies a beautiful home on the corner of Willow Street and Lincoln Avenue, in the Willows. He there owns fifteen acres of land, the last of a tract of 200 acres purchased by him in 1860, for $10 an acre for that which was in the Willows, and $20 for the cleared land. This land he cultivated for some years in grain, but when he felt the country was ready for it, Mr. Settle placed a good example before the large landholders of California by dividing his place into ten-acre tracts, and selling them to people to plant out in orchards, in which direction he had already been a pioneer, having at different times planted orchards on several parts of this tract. He was likewise prominent in building a street railway into the heart of this tract, connecting with the business center of San Jose. This enabled him to sell all these tracts at largely enhanced values, some as high as $1,000 per acre. One of the good results to the community from this was an increase of valuable population, while the taxes, which were only about $50 on the whole tract, are now $150 on his fifteen acres and improvements, while the income from that 200 acres in fruit is almost equal to that of the whole surrounding of San Jose at that time.
Mr. Settle was born in Jefferson County, Indiana, in 1825, his parents removing from Kentucky in 1812 and settling near Madison, Indiana. That country was a perfect wilderness at the time, the people residing there being obliged frequently to retire before the Indians, abandon their homes, and cross back into Kentucky, returning to their farms when these troubles had subsided. His parents were Henry and Jane (Thompson) Settle. His mother dying when he was but three years of age, his father removed in 1836 to Greene County, Illinois, about eighteen miles from Jacksonville, remained there until 1838, when he removed to Des Moines County, Iowa, where he lived until his death, in 1845. Mr. Settle remained on the farm until his twenty-fourth year, when he crossed the plains in 1849 to California. Returning in 1852 to Iowa, he removed the remainder of the family to Oregon, which he had visited on his first trip to the Pacific Coast. They remained in Oregon four years, raising wheat and stock and planting an orchard. Disliking the constant rains of winter there, he returned to California in 1857, coming at once to San Jose, and engaged in farming on rented land. In 1860 he purchased the 200 acres above referred to, on which he raised grain for several years. Mr. Settle early became interested in fruit-drying, being one of a company that owned an Alden dryer. They dried about fifteen tons of prunes and sent them to Chicago, probably the first shipment ever sent East. During that season there was an immense importation of prunes from Germany, which brought the price very low, they receiving but six cents to nine cents per pound, while freight was two cents per pound, leaving very small results to the grower.
Mr. Settle was married, in 1852, in Iowa, to Miss Ellen Cottle, of Burlington, that State. There were two children born to them: Josie, now the wife of Frank Strong, and living in Los Angeles, and one that died in infancy.
Mr. Settle is
President of the Farmers' Union, a large mercantile establishment of San Jose.
He is also interested in the Agricultural Works of San Jose. Is a member of
Lodge No. 34, I. O. O. F., Republican in his political views, and a believer in
a high protective tariff. Mr. Settle was elected Mayor of San Jose in 1884, the
first Republican elected to that office for fifteen years. He was largely
supported by the best elements of the Democratic party.
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