HISTORY OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY 441
SURNAMES: Wilson, Grigsby.
Born and reared in San Jose, since reaching the years of his
manhood George C. Singletary has taken his place among the forceful
citizens of this
city, and proving himself a worthy representative of an honored pioneer
family. His father, Emory C. Singletary, was one of Santa Clara
County's prominent pioneer citizens, who led a busy and useful life.
The descendant of one of the early colonial families of New England,
Emory C. Singletary was born May 16, 1824, at Holden, Mass., and on
both sides of the house he was closely connected with families of
distinction. He grew to manhood on the ancestral homestead in
Massachesetts, and migrating in 1841 to the Far West, as it was then
considered, finally located in Walworth County, Wis., where he engaged
in farming and stock raising subsequently became an extensive cattle
dealer throughout Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin. On these travels he
became acquainted with many of the prominent men of the state and it
was among his treasured memories tht he had the privilege of knowing
the great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln.
In 1863, Emory C. Singletary started across the plains in a party of
nineteen men, driving 200 head of cattle. After several skirmishes with
the Indians, they arrived via Beckwith Pass in Colusa County, in
October of that year. Here Mr. Singletary purchased land and embarked
in farming and stock raising and at that time was one of the largest
and best-known cattle dealeres in the state, and also one of the
largest landowners, holding title to over 35,000 acres. In 1873, having
sold 7,700 acres of his land, he removed to Santa Clara Valley, and his
health becoming impaired, in San Jose. In 1874 he helped to organize
the First National Bank of San Jose and was its vice-president, and was a leader in
financial circles here throughout his life. For a number of years he
was a director of the State Agricultural Society, of which he was a life member; For a number of years he was a
director of the State Agricultural Society, of which he was a life
member; also one of the organizers of the Yuba County Fair.
The first marriage of Mr. Singletary, in Walworth, Wis., united him
with Miss Caroline A. Wilson, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of
Alexander Wilson, a pioneer farmer of Wisconsin. She passed away in
Colusa County, Cal., January 11, 1877. Mr. Singletary's second marriage
united him with Miss Florence Grigsby, who was born near Potosi, Grant
County, Wis., a daugther of William E. Grigsby, who is still living,
hale and hearty at the age of 102 at Aberdeen, S.D., his family fully
as distinguieshed as the Singletary's. After finishing her education in
Wisconsin, Mrs. Singletary came to the Pacific Coast, and taught
school, first at Portland,
Ore., and later in Santa Clara County. She then entered the San Jose
Normal School, and after her graduation there she resumed treaching in
this institution until her marriage. Mrs. Singletary is a sister of
late Col. Melvin Grigsby, colonel of the celebrated Cowboy Regiment in
the Spanish-American War, and who was a noted lawyer and politician of
Sioux Falls, S. D., and one of her nephews, who has made his mark in
the world, is Hon. George Grigsby of San Francisco, who was formerly
attorney-general of Alaska. A woman of great executive ablitiy. Mrs.
Singletary is a natural leader in all forward movements and has always
been a social favorite in San Jose, her home at 1245 Alameda being the
center of much hospitality. Mrs. Singletary is a member of Isabella
Chapter, D.A.R., and is an active member of the Episcopal Church of
San Jose. Her mother was Rhoda Thomas a granddaughter of Massey Thomas,
who fought in the Revolutionary War,. serving in Captain John Gillson's
Company, Sixth Virginia Regiment, which was under the command of Col.
George C. Singletary, with his twin brother, Emory Grisby Singletary, was born on September 3, 1882, at San Jose.
the brothers grew up, attending the public school, also Belmont
Academy, and lastly Stanford University, pursuing the course in mining
engineering, but before graduating, George entered the employ of the
Alta Mining and Smelting Company in Arizona. After one year there he
engaged as construction engineer for the firm of Palmer, Mc Bride and
Quayle, general contractors and railroad builders. When their father,
Emory C. Singletary, passed away in 1910, George and Emory, both of
whom were employed by Palmer, McBride and Quayle, returned to San Jose
and formed a partnership known as Singletary Brothers, and assumed the
management of his large estate, at once becoming prominent in the
financial circles of their native city. George C. was president of the
San Jose Abstract Company, and in 1919 he helped to organize the
Growers Bank and is its vice-president, and he is also vice-president
of the Lewis Company, dealers in bonds, mortgages, loans and insurance.
In December, 1918, Emory Grigsby Singletary passed away. A leader
San Jose's progressive young men, his passing was a blow to the entire
community, but most of all to his brother, for not only had they been
inseparable during their boyhood days, but they had been in the closest
association during all their years in business. Since his death, George
C. Singletary has been the active manager of the partnership of
Singletary Bros., Mrs. Margaret Singletary retaining her husband's
George Singletary's marriage, which occurred in San Jose Nov. 24, 1910, united
him with Miss Elisie Byron, a daughter of Daniel J. and Mary (Collins)
Byron. Mr. Bryon was born in San Francisco and was a prominent
contractor of San Jose and San Francisco, erecting many of the busniess
blocks in both cities. He is now retired and lives at San Jose. Mr. and
Mrs. Singletary are the parents of one son, Byron Curtiss Singletary,
and the family residence is at 1249 Alameda. A man of clear insight,
integrity and executive force. Mr. Singletary is highly regarded, and
in financial circles is one of San Jose's most successful men.
Prominent in Masonic circles, he is a member of Friendship Lodge No.
210, F. & A. M., the Consistory in San Jose, and of the Shirne in
San Francisco, being affiliated with Islam Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S.
Politically he gives his influence and vote to the candidates of the
Republican party, and is a member of the Country Club and Progressive
Business Men's Club.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 441
Fannie (Mrs.) Melvin Grigsby
Letters, 1920-1927. 1 roll microfilm. Reel #4 Item #45.
to Mrs. Grigsby, widow of Col. Melvin Grigsby, from family members.
Col. Melvin Grigsby (1845-1917)
There is an Emory C. Singletary scholarship at Stanford University- I don't know if it relates to this family.
Papers, 1893-1914. 6 in. and 1 roll microfilm. Reel #4 Item #44.
of Col. Grigsby’s wife, Fannie Grigsby 1920-1927.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES
SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY-THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT