SURNAMES: McKee, Beasley,

Bio- Sawyers

A member of a family that has been closely identified with the history of San Jose for almost seventy years. Elbert Joseph Wilcox was born in San Jose, February 12, 1873, and has continuously resided in this section of the country. He is a son of the late Elbert Joseph Wilcox, Sr., a California pioneer of 1853, who was born in Middletown, conn., July 19, 1829, and remained in his native state until he was twenty-three. In October, 1852, accompanied by his bride, he took passage on the Flying Dutchman and sailed around the Horn, arriving in San Francisco January 29, 1853, after a voyage of 100 days. Upon arrival he immediately joined his wife's brother, J. O. McKee, in San Jose.

During the year of 1856 he purchased an interest in a grocery business, but two years later sold out and became one of the proprietors of the Morgan House on the northwest corner First and San Fernando, well known as the stopping place of the stage on its way to and from San Francisco. After a time he purchased his partner's interest and bought the site, and in 1867 he replaced the building with a portion of the present brick structure. In 1871 he erected the Wilcox block, on the same site, Gowen and company, and moved it to his new building, where he conducted a shoe business until his retirement in September, 1899.

 Elbert J. Wilcox's marriage occurred in Middletown, Conn. in 1852, united him with Miss Sarah Maria McKee, a native of Middletown, and during girlhood a student in Meriden Female Seminary. Her father, Capt. Joseph O. McKee, a seafaring man, brought the barque Isabella around the Horn in 1849, and with him sent for his family to join him and they also came out on the Flying Dutchman.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox were the parents of six children, three of whom are living. Anna K., a graduate of Gates Institute; Edith, the wife of Judge W. A. Beasley of San Jose; and Elbert Joseph, Jr., the subject of this sketch. Formerly Mr. Wilcox, Sr., was a member of the Board of Trade, later actively connected with the Chamber of Commerce. In national politics a pronounced Republican, he was elected to represent the fourth ward in the city council. On the organization of the free library, he became a member of the board of trustees and continued in that position for fifteen years. He was always keenly interested in the meetings of the Santa Clara County Pioneer Association and was an honored member. Mrs. Wilcox passed away in June, 1904, followed by her husband in April, 1918.

Elbert Joseph Wilcox, of this review, was educated in the grammar and high schools, later attending the University of the Pacific, and in 1901 he graduated from the school of Mechanical Arts of San Francisco. After his graduation he entered the employ of the American Can Company in San Francisco as draftsman, and remained with them for nine years; since then, the management of his father's estate has demanded his full attention, and largely through his energy and industry, the property is becoming more valuable each succeeding year. Politically he is a strong Republican and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He is treasurer of the First Presbyterian Chuch of San Jose. Always taking an active part in all public measures, Mr. Wilcox has sought in every way to advance the interests of his native city.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 415