SURNAMES: KENYON, RHODES, JACKSON, HUBBARD
fruit-grower and foreman of the manufacturing department of the Santa Clara Valley Mill and Lumber Co., of San Jose, with which company he has been connected almost continuously for fifteen years, lives on Lincoln Avenue, between Minnesota and Pine Avenues, in the Willows, near San Jose. There he has built a beautiful home and planted an orchard containing four and one-half acres in prunes, cherries, apricots, and peaches. This place was originally planted in apples, but they proved unsatisfactory, and were replaced by the fruits above mentioned. He has also an orchard of thirty-eight acres on Hamilton Avenue, west of the Meridian road, about four miles west of San Jose. This contains about eight acres of peaches, eighteen acres of prunes, five acres of apricots, and five acres of cherries.
Mr. Blaine was born in Seneca County, New York State, in 1830. His parents were also natives of New York State, where they resided until 1834, removing to Michigan in that year. Before removing his family west, Mr. Blaine's father made a trip from New York State by steam to Detroit, thence across the State to what is now Grand Haven, Michigan, thence following the beach around the lake to Chicago. He made this trip on foot, improvising rafts on which to cross the various streams running into Lake Michigan. Chicago consisted, when he reached there, of a block house with a few United States troops, and a trading store kept by a Frenchman for the accommodation of the Indians and the few settlers, and fur traders then in the Northwest. Returning to New York State, he emigrated with his family, settling where Mason, the county scat of Ingham County, Michigan, now stands. The country around was a wilderness, their house and that of a neighbor who accompanied them being, as far as they could learn, eighteen miles the furthest west in Michigan. Mr. Blaine's father being a carpenter and builder, as well as farmer, took a very active part in building up that country.
His son, the subject of this sketch, grew up on the farm, and having been from his earliest youth familiar with the use of tools, became by the time he reached manhood proficient in the builder's trade, working with his father and brother at that business for some years. In 1852 Mr. Blaine's mother died, his father following her to the grave in three months. They are both buried in the cemetery at Mason, Michigan. In 1854 Mr. Blaine removed from Michigan, stopping a short time in Chicago and working at various places in Illinois at his trade. For about three years previous to the war he was engaged in buying grain, etc., at Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois, where he met and married, in December, 1860, Miss Alazan Kenyon, daughter of R A and — (Rhodes) Kenyon, natives of Jefferson County, New York, who removed to a point near Kalamazoo, Michigan, about 1840, and thence to Lincoln in 1858. Eighteen months after his marriage he removed from Lincoln, crossing the plains and passing through Montana, Idaho, reaching The Dalles, of Oregon, in September, 1862. His wife joined him the following year, reaching The Dalles by way of New York, the Panama route, and San Francisco. Remained there until 1864, employed by the Oregon Steam Navigation Co., in steamboat building. Not wishing to make Oregon his permanent home he removed to San Francisco, where he worked about five years, at ship-joining. Having made a casual visit to Santa Clara Valley in 1869, and being impressed with its delightful climate and wonderful resources, they purchased the place where they now reside, and which they have since developed into their present beautiful home.
Mr. and Mrs. Blaine have one daughter, Cora A., born in San Francisco. She is a graduate of the State Normal School at San Jose; has taught school for two terms—one in Napa County, and one in Visalia, Tulare County. She is now living with her parents at the Willows. Mr. Blaine had six brothers and two sisters: Mary Ann, who died in Ingham County, Michigan, in 1856, her husband, Anson Jackson, County Surveyor of that county, preceding her to the grave in 1854; David Blaine, who died in Kansas about 1878; William, who died in Jackson, Michigan, about twelve years ago; Chester, who died in Mason, Michigan, aged fifteen years; Bartley, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, engaged also in farming, living in Northern Nebraska; John, now living in Santa Clara County, California; Emma E., now Mrs. Hubbard, living in Dakota. Mr. Blaine is a member of Abou Ben Adhem Lodge, No. 112, I. O. O. F., of San Francisco; also of Enterprise Lodge, No. 17, A. O. U. W., of San Jose.
Mr. Blaine has
always been an ardent Republican, having voted for John C. Fremont in 1856. He
attended a political gathering in Kalamazoo in that year, at which Abraham
Lincoln made a speech in the interests of Fremont's campaign.
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.