The Valley of Heart's Delight

Gorham P. Beal
Bio-Pen Pictures

Gorham P. Beal came from Erie County, New York, to California in 1854, arriving in October of that year.  For eight years he devoted his attention to mining, and in this occupation he was moderately successful.  After five years of bachelorhood in the Golden State, he returned to his native county and married Miss H. L. Hawks, also a native of New York State.  After their marriage Mr. Beal and his bride started for their wild Western home in the mining district of Placer County.  Mrs. Beal declares that those three years spent in roughing it in the rude mining town, going to church at the call of an old-fashioned dinner-horn, with no other means of conveyance that the back of a pony, were among the happiest of her life.  After closing up his mining interests, Mr. and Mrs.  Beal spent a year or two traveling through the East; returned to California in 1864, and settled on the site of their present beautiful homestead on South Sunol Street, in San Jose.

     The last twenty years of his life Mr. Beal divided his time between horticulture, and traveling.  He and Mrs.  Beal made four trips across the continent, and three times made the voyage between San Francisco and New York by water.  Mr. Beal died April 26, 1887, leaving his wife and four children— two sons and two daughters: Flora, Edward, Etta, and Irving, all of whom make their home with the widow on their family homestead before mentioned.  The home place consists of eight acres of fine bearing orchard, chiefly pears; and the estate embraces nine acres of splendid bearing orchard three miles from the city, in the Willows, consisting of cherries, apricots, and prunes.

  Mr. Beal was a member of the Masonic Order, and of the Baptist Church. 

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.
Transcribed by: Letisha Oddo    Pg. 400/401