Southern Pacific Railroad/Orchardist
"Kendall Dell"
Los Altos Pioneer

Bio- Sawyers

In E.F. Kendall of Kendall Dell, Santa Clara County has a substatial citizen of peculiar attainments. Kendall Dell is a private picnic and camp ground on Permanente Creek, four miles south of Mountain View and twelve miles west of San Jose, where the valley and mountains meet.

Mr. Kendall was born at Bellefontaine, Ohio, his parents being natives of southeastern Pennsylvania. The farm of his maternal grandfather was located a few miles north of Gettsyburg, and from it the subsequent owner of the place with the aid of field glasses saw and heard that memorable conflict.

Mr. Kendall was the youngest of a family of six children, ranging from two to twelve years at the time of the father's death, but though the mother was left without a home or means, all her children reached adult age through her loving guidance and self-sacrificing care. With a grammar school education we find our subject at the age of fifteen a railroad telegrapher and station agent on the Sandusky & Springfield Railroad, the oldest railroad in Ohio; then followed several years' experience on other railway lines.

In 1882 Mr. Kendall heard the call of the West when a friend in Nebraska said, "Come on out, the air is fine," The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad had just been extended to Denver and Mr. Kendall took a postion with that company in Nebraska, and the next year was sent to Denver, their best office. In 1884 he declined their offer of a post as train dispatcher and returned to Cleveland for a course at the Spencerian Business College, intending to quit railroad service. Finishing the six month's course in four and a half months, he substitued for one of the teachers who was ill during the last six weeks, but declined the offer of a permanent postion as a teacher. A tour of the Southern states followed, but it was not long before he realized that he had not gone far enough west.

He longed for a view of the Golden Gate and the glorious California climate, and so set out for the Pacific Coast,arriving here in December, 1887. He immediately entered the service of the Southern Pacific and in six months was in charge of a division agency in Nevada, a position of responsibility, with fourteen men on the roll. In the meteorological record he discovered, however, that Nevada with a temperature of thirty degrees below zero and many feet of snow was very much like Eastern weather and not at all like California, so he returned to San Francico and entered the general offices of the Wells Fargo Express Company, where he remained ten years--until the general offices were moved to New York, when he entered the general offices of the Southern Pacific.

On Memorial Day, 1903, he joined a party of San Francisco and San Jose friends in a picnic at the John Snyder ranch, where he met the youngest daughter, Letitia Pearl Snyder, who became his wife the following year. They are the parents of three children, Raymond, Earl and Mae, all of whom are attending the Palo Alto high school.

In 1904, with forsight and intuition that some day there would be a railroad along the foothills, Mr. Kendall invested his savings in twenty acres in the now famous Los Altos apricot district, and immediately set out the trees. The railroad came sooner than expected, Los Altos was put on the map and realty prices shot up. His place was admitted to be without a peer as a valley home site because of its east front and perfectly placed magnificent oaks. At the time of the earthquake and fire of 1906 Mr. Kendall was commuting to San Francisco from the Snyder ranch; following the fire his place of business was moved to the east side of the bay, so he rode a bicycle five miles to Mountain View, forty miles by tram, two miles on his bicycle through the burnt district and four miles by ferry boat, repeating in the evening, making a total of 102 miles per day, fourteen of which was on his bicycle.

In 1907 Mr. Kendall resigned for all time from the railroad service to give his attention to his developing orchard and to the improving of a home. A few years later, Mrs. Kendall having purchased from her mother the northwest corner of her father's estate, it was determined that this perfect gem of a foothill homesite should be their permanent home. Mr. Kendall's aesthetic and artisitc taste quickly recognized its possiblities and he set to work developing its spring water supply and repeatedly grubbing out the underbrush, but leaving the shrubbery in such a way as to make numerous cosy, quiet dells. A more restful spot cannot be found anywhere in the state, and thousands avail themselves of the opportunity to enjoy its delights.

Mr. Kendall says that he lives in the greatest nation, the best state, the best section of the state and the best spot in the section, and is engaged in a congenial vocation; could a person want more? Mrs. Kendall enters heartily in the plans for the upbuilding of Kendall Dell. She is a graduate of Kings Conservatory of Music and enjoys a large circle of friends in San Jose and throughout the county. From the south veranda of the architectural gem of a home, recently constructed, she looks over the extensive homeland of her childhood to the evergreen mountains beyond, where the rising and setting sun plays a phantasy of color, light and shadow.

"A shady nook by the bubbling brook,
Midst fragrance of orange and laurel and pines,
With nothing to do the livelong day
But eat, doze, rest, and play--
Oh, say, ain't that fine!"

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 467


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight