Bio-Pen Pictures

owns a fine farm of 100 acres, lying west of the San Jose and Alviso road, and extending to the Guadaloupe Creek.  It is in the Orchard District, about two and a half miles north of the business center of San Jose, and one mile east of Santa Clara. Upon his property he has a comfortable cottage-home, surrounded by well laid-out grounds. Twenty acres are devoted to the culture of fruit-trees, principally pear trees, although apple and French prune trees are also to be found in the orchard. Mr. Thomas gives a great deal of attention to the cultivation of berries, having forty acres exclusively in strawberries and blackberries, the former of the Sharpless, Cheney, and Triumph varieties, and the latter of the Kittatinny variety. The rest of the farm is devoted to the raising of vegetables, etc., among which we mention fifteen acres of tomatoes. A plentiful supply of water is furnished by four artesian wells, which range from 212 feet to 250 feet in depth, flowing from one to four inches each over a seven-inch pipe.

        Mr. Thomas dates his birth in Galena, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, December 31, 1836. (A sketch of the life of his father, Charles G. Thomas, appears in this connection-below.) His early youth and manhood were spent in obtaining a schooling, for which he was given good advantages. After completing his education, in 1856, he joined his parents in California, whither his father had gone in 1851. Upon his arrival in this county, he assisted his father in the cultivation of his farm, until he purchased the place before described, which adjoined his father's farm. At the time that the farm came into his possession the principal crops were stubble and mustard, but Mr. Thomas set manfully to work, and soon the place gave evidence of the industry, intelligence, and forethought of its owner. Mr. Thomas is well known, and his persevering and honest methods of conducting his business excite favorable comment, while the results of his work are seen in his farm, which is one of the finest and most valuable in his section. Politically he is identified with the Republican party, but is liberal in his views.

        In 1875 he married Miss Maggie Drum, the daughter of Thomas Drum, of Galena, Illinois, and brought her to the pleasant home which he had created in this favored valley.

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. 548-549



 Bio-Pen Pictures

deceased. The subject of his sketch was born in Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, November 8, 1807.  His boyhood and early manhood were spent in that county, and there he was educated.  In this respect he was more favored than many of the youth of his acquaintance, in that he received a better education than the majority in those days.  We record his marriage, in 1830, to Miss Barbara Eckert, a native of Pennsylvania. From this marriage have been born the following-named children:  Louisa, Charles L., Arthur R., George E (above)., William N., Delia D., and Frank H.

            But to return to his early life.  Mr. Thomas learned the hatter’s trade, but in 1834 went to Galena, Illinois, where he engaged in various pursuits, most of his time being devoted to legal business.  For several terms he was elected to the honorable position of Probate Judge of Jo Daviess County.  After a residence of about seventeen years in that county and city, Judge Thomas came, in 1851, to California, locating at San Francisco.  For about a year, while in that city, he was engaged in the United States custom service.  In 1852 his wife and a part of his family joined him, and in the following year he came to Santa Clara County, and established his home on 120 acres of land on the Alviso road, two and a half miles north of San Jose. This land is now owned and occupied by his son, George E.  After a residence of one year on this property he purchased the eighty-acre tract adjoining on the south, and took up his residence there on the Brokaw road.  In addition to the work which he put upon his farm, the judge served for ten years as a Justice of the Peace in this county.  He also held the responsible position of Postmaster in San Jose for over three years.
            His death occurred on the seventeenth of January, 1886.  He was well and favorably known in this county, particularly in San Jose and vicinity.  He was a man who was universally respected, and whose death was deeply regretted.  He was a strong Republican and an ardent supporter of the general government during the war.  He was an honored member of Garden City Lodge, I.O.O.F.

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. p. 548

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight