Bio-Pen Pictures

            This gentleman has a lovely little fruit farm of ten acres situated on Lincoln Avenue, between Willow Street and Minnesota Avenue, in the Willows, San Jose.  The trees are principally apples, pears, prunes, apricots, peaches, plums, and walnuts.  Mr. Delaney bought this place in 1875, it having been planted in the winter of 1874-75, and has made nearly all of the improvements himself.  In 1887 it yielded about 2,500 boxes of shipping apples, 1,500 boxes of drying apples, and 15,000 pounds of prunes—returning about $1,500 gross income for the products of the orchard.  He has also three acres on the corner of Lincoln and Minnesota Avenues, that are in bearing—prunes and cherries.

            Mr. Delaney is a native of England, having been born in Exeter, Devonshire.  He left there at the age of six years, with his parents, who went first to Australia during the gold excitement, where they remained two years, and then came to California by way of Honolulu, where they stopped six months, arriving in California on the first day of May, 1852.  Mr. Delaney’s parents were Matthew and Mary (Pillman) Delaney—the father born in Maryborough, Queens County, Ireland, and the mother in Exeter, England.  Matthew Delaney was all his adult life a veterinary surgeon, having studied that profession while in the Queen’s Royal Ninth Lancers, of which command he was for seventeen years a member, and from which he was discharged on account of disability incurred in service in the riding school, while training a vicious and unruly horse.  Mr. Delaney brought with him to California the first lot of Sydney horses that came to this country.

            He was married to Mary Pillman, in Exeter, in 1838, in the same year that the marriage of Queen Victoria occurred.  He died in San Francisco in 1865.  The subject of this sketch was the second child, and remained with his parents until 1865, attending school, and later studying veterinary surgery, having charge alternately of his father’s estate until its final settlement.  In 1870 he was married to Miss Laura G. Smith, the first white child born in Nevada City, California, whose father, George W. Smith, came across the plains to Oregon in 1846 with his uncle, Peter H. Burnett, later the first Governor of California.  Mr. Smith fought in the Cayuse War in Oregon, in 1848, but in 1849, at the first gold excitement, he came to California.  In 1850 he was married, in Sacramento, to Miss Elizabeth D. Robinson, who had come across the plains with her parents from Missouri in 1849.

            Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Delaney.  Two died in infancy.  Those remaining are:  Joseph W., born in San Francisco, August 4, 1872, now at school in the Willows; Carrie, born July 15, 1875, attending school in San Jose; Herbert, born May 30, 1877, attending school in the Willows; and Ada, born November 5, 1885.  The last three were born in San Jose.

            Mr. Delaney is a member of the Fruit Growers’ Association of the Willows.  He has always been a Democrat in politics; is a believer in the protection of the fruit-growing 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. 388
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy