HISTORY OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY 441

The Valley of Heart's Delight


GEORGE C. SINGLETARY
Vice President of Growers Bank and Lewis Company


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. John Green.

George C. Singletary, with his twin brother, Emory Grisby Singletary, was born on September 3, 1882, at San Jose.
There 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 among 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 interest.

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

ED:
RESEARCH NOTES-----
Fannie (Mrs.) Melvin Grigsby

Letters, 1920-1927. 1 roll microfilm. Reel #4 Item #45.
          Letters written to Mrs. Grigsby, widow of Col. Melvin Grigsby, from family members.

Col. Melvin Grigsby (1845-1917)
Papers, 1893-1914. 6 in. and 1 roll microfilm. Reel #4 Item #44.
          Contains correspondence of Col. Grigsby’s wife, Fannie Grigsby 1920-1927.

There is an Emory C. Singletary scholarship at Stanford University- I don't know if it relates to this family.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES

SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY-THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT