Mrs.Hattie E Topham

            MRS. HATTIE E. TOPHAM.—The highly-esteemed daughter of a sturdy, successful pioneer, Mrs. Hattie E. Topham of San Jose can look back, in her contented sphere, and view with peculiar pride and satisfaction the great strides made in the phenomenal development of that part of the Golden State with which she and her family have had so much to do. A native daughter always proud of her association with the California commonwealth, Mrs. Topham was born at Forest Home, Amador County, on October 29, 1853, the daughter of W. E. Castle, a native of New York, who moved to Michigan and there married Miss Frances Ferry, a native of that state. Mr. Castle was a flour miller in Michigan, and in '49, as a real Argonaut, crossed the great plains on horseback. After a strenuous experience of three years on the coast, he returned East to get his wife; and in 1853 he once more braved the dangers and the hardships of continental primitive travel and made his way back to California. He was for a while a miner in Amador County, and then he opened the Forest Home Hotel and the local grocery there. In 1868 he came to Santa Clara County, having just previously maintained a dairy in Amador County, which required him to get into the mountains for feed for his cattle. It will be seen therefore, that Mr. Castle endured and overcame much in order to progress in such a manner that his prosperity would denote real progress for his fellow-citizens and the state.
            Inasmuch as the facilities for schooling were poor in Amador County at that time, Mr. Castle sent his daughter to the Perry Seminary at Sacramento; and after coming to Santa Clara County, she attended first the high school and then the Normal School. After that she engaged in teaching for fifteen months in Auburn, Placer County; and at Milpitas, on December 21, 1874, she married Edward Topham, a native of Toronto, Canada, where he was born on December 26, 1840. His father was William Topham, and his mother, before her marriage, was Eliza Sylvester.

            In 1868 Edward Topham{bio below} came out to San Francisco by way of the Isthmus, and for a while resided in Santa Clara County. He was a blacksmith, and was experienced in wagon and carriage building. He bought out the interest of S. F. Ayers, and then he and David S. Boyce were partners for years at Milpitas. He had had a blacksmith shop there for several years previous to this marriage, and he also owned a grocery; and he resided at Milpitas for thirty-one years prior to his death, in April, 1905. He and Charles Carle were partners for fifteen years in the grocery, and he also had a farm of forty acres near Milpitas. In addition, he and A. A. Davis and Goulder Slankard had a cattle ranch in the mountains near the New Idra Quicksilver Mines, and this valuable property, consisting of about 10,000 acres, was known as the Laguna Ranch, and supported on an average of not less than 500 head of cattle. The range was covered with springs, there was plenty of water, and it was a beautiful spot. Spurred on by the motto, "Nothing venture, nothing share," is it any wonder that Edward Topham succeeded for both himself and others where many a competitor failed? He was a standpat Republican, and as such did what he could to elevate the standard of good citizenship. He belonged to the Masons of San Jose, and both he and his wife were popular members of the Eastern Star. Soon after he arrived in California, Henry Topham, an elder brother, followed, then returned East, and afterward came to Milpitas with his wife; and for a number of years he kept a warehouse there. Ten years later, William Topham, a younger brother, also came to California, and he is now living on a fruit ranch at Berryessa.
Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Topham. Clarence is a farmer in Tulare County. He married Nancy Cameron and they have three children, Melba, Lester and Hariett. Frank H. is a citrus grower at Lindsay. He married Miss Jessie Chase and they have three children, Lois, William and Francis. Edward is a surgeon and physician at San Francisco. He married Cecile Belle McClellan and is the father of two children, Neddie and Jack. Chester A. is with the W. L. Atkinson Realty Company in San Jose. He married Anna Evans and has two children living, Beverley and Chester; Maxwell is dead. Blanche is Mrs. J. M. Barrett of San Jose and has a son, Chester Barrett. Clifton is on the Fort Miller Ranch at Friant in Fresno County. He married Charity Harrison and they have three daughters, Dorothy, Helen Ann and Betty Louisa. Alida is the wife of Alexander H. Cameron, a citrus grower at Lindsay, and has one son, Harold. Estella's husband is J. B. Moore, a merchant of the same town, and they have a daughter, Maxine.

Transcribed by Joseph Kral from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 785


 Bio-Pen Pictures

was born in Toronto, Canada, on the twenty-fifth of October, 1840. His parents, William and Eliza (Sylvester) Topham, were natives of Ireland, who emigrated while young to Canada, and there engaged in agriculture. Until eighteen years of age he lived on his father's farm, meanwhile receiving such schooling as was afforded by the common schools. At that age he was apprenticed to the trade of blacksmith; however, he remained there but a short time after serving his apprenticeship, before coming to the United States. He traveled quite extensively in the Middle States, in Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio, and was also engaged as an assistant engineer on the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. In 1861 he returned to Canada, but after a short sojourn there he returned to the United States, and during a portion of the years 1862-63 was employed in the government shops at Washington, District of Columbia. In the last-named year he again returned to Canada, and entered into partnership with his old employer for three years in Burgessville, and shortly after purchased a foundry and machine shop, which he, with his brothers, conducted until 1868. He then sold out his business and came to this State, locating, in June of that year, in Santa Clara, where he spent about six months in working at his trade. Early in the following year he settled at Milpitas, and there entered into partnership with David S. Boyce, in blacksmithing and carriage works, and in this business he has since continued, having conducted it through all these years most successfully.

        The subject of our sketch married, in 1874, Miss Hattie Castle, the daughter of W. D. and Frank (Ferry) Castle, residents, at that time, of Milpitas.  Mr. and Mrs. Topham have seven children: Clarence, Frank, Edward, Chester A., Blanche, Clifton, and Alida.

        Mr. Topham has been very successful in all his business enterprises, and is the owner of considerable real estate, among which are seven houses and lots in Milpitas, also a forty-acre tract adjoining the town on the north. In Tulare County he owns eighty acres, which will be devoted to orchard culture, and is also half owner of a large stock ranch in San Benito County, upon which are roaming a large herd of cattle. He is much interested in the finer breeds of horses, and is raising some trotting stock from " Nutwood," " American Boy," " Grosvenor," and other great families of horses. His horses are well known, and, when entered in the agricultural fairs, take their full share of premiums. He is also a share-holder in the Mexican Pacific Railroad.

        Mr. Topham is well known in social as well as business circles, and is connected with several industrial organizations. He has been a Director, and is now the President, of the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Society, and is also the presiding officer of the District Agricultural Society, No. 5, of the State, comprising Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. For the past fifteen years he has served with credit as School Trustee of his district. He is also a Trustee of the Presbyterian Church, of which his wife is a member. He is associated with San Jose Lodge, No 10, of the Masonic fraternity.

        Politically, Mr. Topham is connected with the Republican party, and is deeply interested in the administration of affairs in his county. As a public-spirited man, and one who is ever ready to devote time and means to the advancement of his section, he is a most useful citizen.

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. 438-439



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight