Bio-Pen Pictures

is a native of North Carolina, being born in Surry County, that State, in 1821.  When eleven years of age, he was taken by his widowed mother to Georgia, where he lived with her, in Jackson County, until he was sixteen, when he went to Marion County and began to operate for himself by working on plantations.  In 1839 he went to the State of Mississippi, where he was employed as an overseer on a plantation in De Soto County.  In 1840, in company with his brother, he went to Monroe County, Arkansas, where he suffered from sickness.  He then returned to Mississippi.  Having no schooling, up to that time, and concluding that it was necessary to have something of an education, he attended school in De Soto County for ten months.  He then went to Texas, and was again employed as an overseer over some negro slaves until 1849, when, buying a plantation, he followed farming until 1853, and finding there was no money in that business there, he sold out and came to California.  Here for a short time he worked in gold diggings in Yuba County, when he went to Brown’s diggings in the mountains in Plumas County, in search of his brother, who had preceded him to California, in 1850.  On finding his brother he became associated with him in gold digging there and at Spanish Flat, in Sierra County, until 1862, when he quit mining and came to Santa Clara County, accompanied by his brother.  Having purchased land near Saratoga, he lived there and farmed until 1882, when, purchasing a pleasant home in Santa Clara, he settled there to spend the residue of his life, having prudently saved up enough to enable him and his devoted wife to peacefully pass life’s closing days within the shadow of the church of which they are both consistent members, both being Catholics.

            Up to June, 1864, Mr. Pinkard had lived the life of a bachelor, and a greater part of that time his home was a bachelor’s hall; but at that date he was married, at Santa Clara, to Catherine Davis, a native of Ireland, a devout Catholic and a good wife, as can be seen in the arrangement of their pleasant home.  Orphaned at the age of only four years, and reared by a widowed mother until he was sixteen, young Pinkard had to buffet the world for a living at a tender age, and, manfully meeting the vicissitudes of life, he passed from youth to manhood without succumbing to the snares and temptations of the world, as many youths have in more favorable circumstances; and, having passed a vigorous middle age, he is now in the sear and yellow leaf of old age, the happier for his frugality and industry, and will undoubtedly pass the rest of his days in quietude and peace.

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. 288-289

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy

On file at the San Jose Historical Museum:


Title: Book of wills
Location: San Jose Historical Museum
Call #: Book I
Source:    Source Date: 5/26/1883
Volume:    Page: 630-634
Note: died 1/27/1897


Title: Marriage License File
Location: San Jose Historical Museum
Call #:
Source:    Source Date: 5/30/1864
Volume:    Page:


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight