Bio-Pen Pictures

one of California's early pioneers, was born December 16, 1829, in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, within a mile and a half of the " Tippecanoe Battleground." He is the son of David H. and Susan Gish, who were Virginians by birth and of German descent. The founder of the family of Gish settled in Pennsylvania before the Revolution, and four grand-uncles of our subject were volunteers in the battle of Brandywine.

        In 1837 David H. Gish, the father of our subject, with his family settled in South Bend, Indiana, and there David E. Gish was reared and educated. He was but nineteen years of age when, in 1849 (February 20), he joined a party of thirty which started for California, with ox teams, on the overland route. Schuyler Colfax, late Vice-President of the United States, delivered a parting address to them. One fact, so unusual that it is worthy of historical mention, is given by Mr. Gish in these words: "The only spirits on the train were fifteen gallons of brandy provided for use in sickness. The party left Council Bluffs May 10, and arrived at Weaverville, three miles from the present city of Placerville, September 5, and the fifteen gallons of brandy was intact, having never been tapped." The party started with seventy-two head of cattle, and brought through in fair condition seventy head.

        Mr. Gish devoted just one year and ten days to mining at different points, with varied success, and then visited Santa Clara County. Being charmed with its climate and soil, he determined to make it his permanent home. His first venture was the taking of a claim three miles west of Santa Clara, where he built a small house and dug a well.

        On the twenty-third of March, 1851, Mr. Gish was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary Jane Glover, formerly Miss Mary J. Lemon. He then established his present residence, which is located on the Gish road, between the Alviso and Milpitas roads, two miles north of San Jose.

        Mr. and Mrs. Gish have eight children living, viz., Mrs. Mary Josephine Hughes, of Humboldt County, California; David W., of San Jose; Aquilla E., who resides near Los Gatos ; Ellison E., of Humboldt County; Thomas J., who lives near Fort Townsend, Washington Territory; Mrs. Emma J. Herrick, of Humboldt County; Joseph L., of San Jose; and Ida May, at home. The first-born, Sarah E., died at the age of four years and five months, and George W., twin brother of Emma J., died at the age of five weeks.

        Mrs. Mary J. Gish (nee Lemon), the daughter of John and Elizabeth Lemon, was born in Boone County, Missouri, January 17, 1824. In 1844 she married Aquilla Glover, who was a native of Kentucky. They crossed the plains and mountains to this State in 1846, reaching Fort Sutter on the twenty-first of October. Mr. Glover was one of the first party who went to the rescue of the ill-fated Donner party in the winter following his arrival. Mr. and Mrs. Glover made their home in San Francisco, he being at work in the mines at Georgetown. He died, November 13, 1849, in his thirty-second year, from sickness caused by exposure in the mines.

The following year his widow purchased the property upon which she has ever since lived. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Glover, viz., John L., who died in February, 1847, at the age of sixteen months; Richard M., who died at the age of eight years and eight months, and is believed to have been the first child born of American parentage in San Francisco, the date of his birth being December 29, 1847; and James F., who is now a resident of Los Gatos.

        Mrs. Gish is one of the very few women now living who came to this sunny land while it was yet a Mexican Province, and remarkable indeed are the marvelous changes which she has witnessed in this beautiful valley. Her father died in Missouri, but her mother still lives, having made her home with Mrs. Gish since October, 1871. She is now eighty-seven years old, and yet retains her physical and mental vigor to a remarkable degree. The homestead upon which Mr. and Mrs. Gish have spent so many years contains fifty-one acres, of which thirty-six acres are devoted to the growing of pears. The residence which Mr. Gish erected in 1854 was the first brick house built in the county outside of San Jose, and the first artesian well outside of San Jose was put down by him about 1853.

        Mr. and Mrs. Gish are connected with the First Baptist Church of San Jose, they being the only members left of those who composed the church in August, 1851. Politically, Mr. Gish is independent.

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. 440-441

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Hope Sibley Vollmer



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight