Bio-Pen Pictures

who resides on his beautiful tract of eight acres at the Willows, is a native of Ohio, having been born fifty miles north of Cincinnati, in 1836. He is a miller by trade, and followed that occupation until ten years ago, when he retired to his present home. He also was commander of a company of State militia stationed at Collinsville, Illinois, during the Rebellion, and although not mustered into active service they were equipped and ready for action at a moment's notice, and were held for service in case of an outbreak in Southern Illinois. He came to California in 1870, and conducted the mills at Nelson and Merced Falls, Merced County, for four years, after which he came to Alviso and managed the mills at that place for two years, when he bought the place he still owns at the Willows.

        His father, James Vandegrift, was born near the close of the last century, and learned the milling business in the Brandywine Mills, in the State of Delaware. He was the first regularly instructed miller who crossed the Alleghany Mountains. Settling in Marysville, Kentucky, he engaged principally in building mills in Brown County, Ohio, and in Masn County, Kentucky. He died in 1848, at Winchester, Ohio. His (Charles') mother, Margaret, nee O'Conner, was born in 1795, at Fort Washington—where Cincinnati now stands—being the second white child born there. She was united in marriage to Mr. Vandegrift's father at Marysville, Kentucky, in 1815. The issue of this marriage were nine children: Nancy, the first-born, died at the age of eighteen months; the second, William O., who was born in 1820, joined the Confederate army from Arkansas, and was probably killed in service; Elizabeth, born in 1822, married Abner Neuman, and now lives in Brown County, Ohio; Mary J., still unmarried, lives in the same county; John A., born in 1826, lives in Brown County, Ohio, and is also unmarried; James Madison, born in 1829, died in Kansas in 1882; Andrew J., born in 1832, is living in St. Louis, Missouri; the subject of our sketch is their eighth child; their next is George W., who was born in 1840, and is now living in St. Louis.

        Mr. Vandegrift was married, in 1862, to Miss Angeline B. Kneedler, a native of Collinsville, Illinois, daughter of Jacob Kneedler, a merchant of that city, and Martha W. (Blackiston) Kneedler, a native of Wilmington, Delaware. Mr. Vandegrift has three children: Albert E., born December 20, 1862, at Collinsville, Illinois, and married to Miss Jennie French, of San Jose, in July, 1886; George W. was born in 1862, and still resides at home; Fannie M. was born in 1878, and attends school at the Willows. Mr. Vandegrift had four brothers in the Union army, all brave and patriotic soldiers.

        Mr. Vandegrift is a charter member of Santa Clara Lodge, No. 238, Free Masons, a member of the I. O. O. F., having been Past Grand for twenty-five years; also an honored member of various other fraternal orders. He has been a Republican since Lincoln's first election, and believes in the protection of American industries and the fruit interests of California.

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. 617-618


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight