The Valley of Heart's Delight


Across the Plains in 1846

Surnames: Goodwin, Tanner, Hannay, Moreland

The history of California is best written from the lives of her pioneer.  An eventful, adventurous, and intensely interesting account it makes, giving many a tale of hardship and danger, yet almost always ending with the triumph of a man over nature, and of civilization over barbarism.  One who has seen the course of events in California with his own eyes, and has himself held a leading part in the  stirring events about him, is Mr. Edward G. Pyle, who was born in Peioria, Illinois, May 26, 1838. 

The life of his father (Mr. Thomas Pyle) has already been sketched in this book on page 231.  His mother is still alive, her maiden name having been Elizabeth Goodwin.

The family came across the plans to California in 1846, being among the earliest American settlers, and Mr. Pyle was thus in his early youth inured to hardships and rigors of a pioneer life, and given the hardy, rugged frame which he still possesses, although it at the same time deprived him of nearly all opportunities to obtain a schooling.  Soon after the arrival of the family in the State his father was called to take-up arms for his country during the Mexican War, the family being left entirely alone, and Edward being the eldest son.  On him was devolved the care of his mother and his little  brothers and sisters.  Although such a  little fellow he bravely did his best, and eventually all came out well. 

In 1850 the family removed to Santa Clara County, where his father engaged extensively in the stock business, and to this business the subject of this sketch was reared.  After his father's death, in 1853, although young, Mr. Pyle was compelled to take charge of the estate until, in 1858, his mother married Daniel Tanner. In 1859 he located on 200 acres of hill land about ten miles east of San Jose, and took up his residence there until 1875, when he sold out and then resided on railroad lands in the same locality until 1876.  While on this hill land he was extensively engaged in stock-raising.  Upon leaving the hill farm he returned to the old homestead, and hs since then, with an exception of about two years, during which he was in the stock business on his own account, conducted the home ranch for his father-in law.  Mr. Pyle is a member in good standing of the A. O. U W., and is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Berryessa.  In politics he is a consistent, yet liberal Democrat, of conservative views.

On December 28, 1870, he married Miss Margaret Hannay, daughter of Alexander and Margaret (Moreland) Hannay.  She is a native of Kickcudbrightshire, Scotland, born in 1838.  She came to this county in 1858, and after residence of nine years in Rhode Island came to Santa Clara County.  Of their four children three are still living, viz:  Mary Jessie Henrietta, born October 28, 1871; Ferdinand William, August 16, 1878; and Louis Atkinson, April 16, 1882.  Edward Alexander, who was born July 4, 1874, died July 16, 1877.

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 604, transcribed by Carolyn Feroben


SANTA CLARA COUNTY -The Valley of Heart's Delight