President -Garden City National Bank

 Bio-Pen Pictures

            The Garden City National Bank was chartered and organized on the third day of June, 1887, and opened for business on July 18, 1887, with $100,000 capital paid in.  Dr. C. W. Breyfogle, who projected and perfected its organization, was chosen president, George W. Bowman, vice-president, and Thomas F. Morrison, cashier.  The bank, being a regular national bank, confines its transactions to commercial business solely.  It is situated on the northwest corner of First and San Fernando Streets, almost in the geographical center of San Jose, and occupies a beautiful suite of banking rooms, fitted up expressly for its use, with a ten years’ lease.  The eighteen stockholders are among the best known, most competent, and successful business men of Santa Clara County.  The bank draws directly upon San Francisco, New York, and all the principal cities of Europe, and has correspondents in all important commercial centers.  The Garden City, the youngest of San Jose’s banking houses, starts off under very promising auspices.  Its brief history, so far fills the measure of the most sanguine projectors.  At the end of its first eight months’ operations the report showed $177,894.51 in individual deposits; demand certificate deposits amounting to $48,150.13, and undivided profits of $5,370.45.

            Dr. C. W. Breyfogle emanates from the heart of the Buckeye State, was born in Columbus, Ohio, in June, 1841.  He was graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, in 1863, having completed four years’ college course in three years.  The same year he left college he entered the U. S. army as Second Lieutenant of Company E in the 9th Ohio Cavalry, which was assigned to Gen. W. T. Sherman’s command.  Lieutenant Breyfogle soon rose, by successive promotions, to First Lieutenant and to Captain of his company.  His eyesight becoming seriously impaired by an attack of paralysis of the optic nerve, Captain Breyfogle was compelled to resign at the end of fourteen months of service, and seek relief.  After a partial recovery from his affliction, he began reading law in the office of Judge Rankin, in Columbus; but just before he finished the course his eyes failed again, and he had to abandon study.  On being cured by homeopathic treatment, Mr. Breyfogle was so pleased with the system that he resolved to master it.  He began to study, and, in 1865, graduated from the Homeopathic Medical College at Philadelphia, and commenced practice.  Two of his brothers followed his example, studied medicine with him, and are practicing physicians.

            Dr. Breyfogle came to California and to San Jose in 1871, broken down in health by overwork in the profession in Louisville, Kentucky.  He rapidly recovered, and spent fifteen years in active practice in Santa Clara County, from which he retired to take the presidency of the bank.  In May, 1886, Dr. Breyfogle was elected mayor of the city, and filled the office two years.  During his administration a number of measures of great benefit to the city were inaugurated and crystallized into laws.  Among them is an ordinance authorizing the issuing of city bonds for $500,000 for the purpose of making much-needed improvements.  This measure met with a determined opposition, and one defeat, but finally triumphed.  The new City Hall was commenced, and a general system of sidewalk construction started.  In February, 1885, Dr. Breyfogle organized the San Jose Building and Loan Association, with a capital stock of two thousand five hundred shares of $200 each.  The stock was so rapidly taken that, at the end of the first year, the stock was increased to $1,500,000, in series of one thousand shares each.  The association has proved very popular, and is a benefaction to home-seekers of small means.  It has erected about eighty buildings, mostly in San Jose.  In the same year (1885) Dr. Breyfogle also organized the Odd Fellows’ Association, for the purpose of building a hall for the order.  This enterprise was a flattering success, culminating in the erection and completion of the splendid block on the southwest corner of Santa Clara and Third Streets, one of the finest in the city.  Dr. Breyfogle is a member of the Board of Freeholders, and has served in the city Board of Education. Thus it will be seen that Dr. Breyfogle is an enterprising, public-spirited, cultured gentleman, of whom the city may well feel proud.

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.
Pg. 191-192

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight