BIO Pen-Pictures

DR. BENJAMIN CORY, whose residence is No. 435 South Second Street, and whose office is at No. 97 South First Street, San Jose, is a living witness of the wonderful transformation which California and the Santa Clara Valley, and indeed the whole Pacific Coast, has undergone since 1847. In that year, antedating even the Argonauts, he crossed the plains with the regulation ox team, and arrived in Portland, Oregon, in September, when the nucleus of that city consisted of a half-dozen houses. Not fancying the outlook, he took passage on the brig Henry for San Francisco, where he arrived in November, 1847. He there found that two physicians, Drs. Townsend and Fourgeaud, had already established themselves, and felt that the field was pretty fully occupied. Learning of the Pueblo de San Jose de Guadeloupe, he took passage on a small sail-boat which plied between San Francisco and Alviso, a trip at that time of twenty-four hours. There he found no houses, but met a young supercargo who had a lot of hides to be shipped to San Francisco y the sail-boat on which Dr. Cory had arrived. Throughout the interpretation of this young man, a Mexican was induced to carry the Doctor's books and baggage on his ox-cart and to hire him his horse for the ride to San Jose, to which point he and the young supercargo came. There being no physician at this town, and in fact no physician having located here up to that time, the subject of our sketch settled down and engaged in the practice of medicine, in which he has continued up to this time.

In the years 1848-49 Dr. Cory made two trips to the mines, remaining a few months each time. He was elected a member of the first State Legislature, which convened at San Jose, and which organized the machinery of the State government. The district from which he was elected extended from Monterey to Martinez. In 1850 he was elected a member of the Common council, holding that position from 1851 to 1855. He was elected a member of the Board of Education, which place he held for four years. In 1872 he was appointed by Governor Booth, Trustee of the State Normal School, which place he held for ten years.

Dr. Cory was born in Oxford, Ohio, November 17, 1822. He attended the common schools of Oxford up to the age of fifteen years. He then entered the Miami University, graduating there in the classical course at the age of twenty yeas, receiving, in 1842, the degree of Master of Arts. he commenced the study of medicine under his father, Dr. James M. Cory, of Oxford, Ohio, attending later the Medical College of Ohio, at Cincinnati, where he graduated in the spring of 1845. He practiced medicine for two years with his father, and then emigrated west to the Pacific Coast. He was married in 1853 to Miss Sarah A. Braly, a native of Missouri, who crossed the plains in 1847 with her parents, Rev. John E. and Susanna (Hyde) Braly. Dr. and Mrs. Cory have eight living children: John B., now engaged in fruit raising at Vacaville and at Lodi, California; Elizabeth, the wife of Dr. H. C. Ledyard, now residing in Constantinople; Mary, the wife of Dr. F. K. Ledyard, of San Jose; Louis L., now practicing law in Fresno, California; Susanna, Hattie, Edith, and Sallie. Dr. Cory is a member of Howard royal Arch Chapter, No.14, and Blue Lodge, No. 10, F. and A. M. He has always been a consistent Republican, having voted and worked for the election of Fremont in 1856. His family is of Scotch descent. There is no need to mention here, where Dr. Cory is so well known in his private and professional capacities, the great esteem in which he is held by people of every degree. The book of his life has been an open one, admired and esteemed by all who glance throughout its pages.

SOURCE:  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. page 247-248 Transcribed by Carol Lackey