The Valley of Heart's Delight


The Father


Among the highly-esteemed settlers of Santa Clara County are William Watson Abernathy and his good wife, residents of the vicinity of Saratoga, who are enjoying the fruits of courageous industry, foresight and thrift.  Mr. Abernathy was born in Ohio near Xenia, June 18, 1849, the son of Samuel and Lydia Abernathy.  His father was a farmer and when William was twelve years of age, his father moved to Lafayette, Ind., and there William lived until he was twenty-one years old, then returned to Ohio where he worked in a tile factory for two years.  Then he went to Linn County, Iowa, and was married there at center Point, September 1`, 1873, to Miss Sarah E. Hodgell, who was born near Barnesville, Ohio, in 1853, the daughter of John and Emily (Carpenter) Hodgell.  The father was a native of Ohio and of English origin, while Mrs. Hodgell was a native of the same state.  They were farmers and removed to Linn County, Iowa, in 1872, where they died.  John Hodgell served in the CIvil War as a member of an Ohio regiment.

Mr. Abernathy engaged in farming in Iowa until 1876, when they moved to Jewell, County, Kans., and engaged in farming near Jewell until 1901, when they came to San Jose, Cal.   Mr. Abernathy was in the feed and fuel business for nine years and then he and his son bought their present place on the Saratoga Road, near Moreland Station, and here they have since resided.  Mr. and Mrs. Abernathy have two Children;  Minnie now resides in Iola, Kans., she if the wife of Frank R. Forrest, and they became the parents of three children- Josephine, Edwin and Wendell; A.   Frank married Miss Nettie Melone and they have two children- Florence and Frances.  A. Frank was Superintendent of the Sorosis Farm in Santa Clara County for about seventeen years but is now running his own orchard.  Mr. Abernathy's farm consists of fifteen and a half acres, two aces are set to apricots, one acre to peaches, and the remainder in prunes. Mr. and Mrs. Abernathy are active member of the Christian Church at San Jose. Mrs. Abernathy is a charming
lady of talent and winning personality and has been a true helpmate to her ambitious and industrious husband,  He is a member of the Modern Woodmen.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 928

The Son
Sorosis Fruit Company Photo




A representative orchardist of Santa Clara County, Frank Abernathy was for twenty-one years the capable and efficient manager of the Sorosis Fruit Company, becoming well and favorably known as a horticulturist and manager of large affairs but is now looking after his own properties.  He was born in Iowa in 1876 and is the son of William Watson Abernathy, a native of Ohio, born in 1851.  The paternal grand-parents were Samuel and Lydia Abernathy and were farmers. His father was also a farmer and when William was twelve years of age, moved to Indiana and he lived there until he was twenty-one years old, when he returned to Ohio where he worked in a tile factory for two years.  In 1873 William W. Abernathy was married to Miss Sarah E. Hodgell, a native of Ohio born in 1853, and in 1880 they removed to California, finally settled in San Jose in 1901.  Mr. Abernathy was in the fuel, feed and delivery business for several years and then he purchased his present place on the Saratoga Road, where he and his wife now reside.  They are the parents of two children; Minnie, the wife off Frank R. Forrest, and Frank is the subject of this sketch.

Frank attended the public schools of Jewell, Kans., and then entered the State Normal  at Emporia; later he taught school for two years in Jewell County. In 1901 he removed to California and entered the employ of the Sorosis Fruit Company; owned by F. M. (Borax) Smith, and in 1908 became the manager for the company and occupied that responsible position for six months after Mr. Smith sold it to the new owners.  Wishing  to give all of his time to the management of his own orchards he resigned this position in January, 1922.  Since 1908 Mr. Abernathy has owned orchards, adding to his holdings by the purchase of full-bearing groves from time to time, until he now owns five different orchards in the vicinity of Saratoga, embracing 143 acres, devoted principally to raising prunes, although he also grows apricots, peaches and pears.  On his ranch at Congress Junction he is also engaged in raising White  Leghorn poultry, having modern and well equipped yards for the purpose.  His home ranch , known as the Bonney Orchards, is located on the heights above Saratoga, commanding a beautiful view of the Valley.  His dry yards are located at the Congress Junction ranch, where he cures all of his fruit from the various orchards.

Mr. Abernathy's marriage united him with Miss Nettie Melone, a native of Illinois, and they have two children, Florence and Frances,  Fraternally Mr. Abernathy is a Modern Woodman, and with his wife is a member of the Christian Church of San Jose, being a member of the official board.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1080

Transcribers note- The Sorosis Fruit Company was purhcased by the TERESI Family in 1921

SANTA CLARA COUNTY -The Valley of Heart's Delight