History of Joshua Hendy Iron Works-Sunnyvale, CA

Bio - Sawyers

A distinctive place in the citizenship of Santa Clara County belongs to the late John Harris Hendy, who contributed greatly to the building up of this county by the establishment of the largest manufacturing enterprise here, for it is to the enterprise and industry of such strong and forceful men that the continued prestige of Santa Clara Valley is due. Mr. Hendy was born at Aiken, S. C., March 31, 1861, and was a nephew of Joshua Hendy, who built the first redwood mill in California and was the founder of the Joshua Hendy Iron Works, then located in San Francisco. The father of John H. Hendy gave his life for his country during the Civil War, leaving two sons, John and Samuel, to whom Joshua Hendy gave a father's care.

John H. Hendy was fourteen years old when he and his brother Samuel came out to San Francisco to live with their uncle. He soon entered the plant, starting in to learn every detail of the work, so what little schooling he received was at night school, yet he completed a course as mechanical draftsman and by close application to business during the day be-came an expert machinist. After the death of their uncle the two brothers took full charge of the great business, John H. being vice-president and superintendent until his brother's death in April, 1906, when he was elected president of the company, also con-tinuing as superintendent. During the great f:tre and earthquake of 1906 the plant was entirely destroyed, but in spite of this loss Mr. Hendy was not discour-aged, but determined to rebuild. Desiring more space for the works, he looked around for a suitable location and selected Sunnyvale, now the site of the mammoth iron plant.

In San Francisco, on July 28, 1892, Mr. Hendy was united in marriage with Miss Alberta M. Theuerkauf, a daughter of G . W. and Mary (Hertel) Theuerkauf, pioneers of the '50s who settled at Cupertino, where Mrs. Hendy was bom. Her education was obtained in the grammar and high schools and later she was a student of the University of the Pacific at San Jose. Mr. and Mrs. Hendy were the parents of one daughter, Gladys Marie, who became the wife of Capt. Rexford Shores of the U. S. Army. Seven years ago Mr. Hendy built a beautiful, modem residence at Sunnyvale, on Murphy Avenue, set amidst the live oaks and surrounded by spacious grounds with beautiful lawns and flowers. On May 8, 1920, Mr. Hendy, who was then fifty-nine years old, suffered a stroke of apoplexy and passed away on May 11 at his Sunnyvale home, and he was buried at Cypress Lawn Cemetery with Masonic honors.

For many years Mr. Hendy was associated with Fifth Regiment, National Guard of Califomia, rising to the rank of major. During the administration of Govemor Pardee he was appointed colonel on the govemor's staff, and then as colonel on Govemor Gillette's staff. For several years he had served as a trustee of the city of Sunnyvale, and at the time of his death was chairman of the board, and he had also been a member of the board of school trustees.

After locating the iron works at Sunnyvale and tak-ing up his residence there, he was an indefatigable worker for the upbuilding of the city, doing all he could for its progress along modem, sanitary lines, and although a very busy man he was never so occu-pied that he did not give every attention to the re-sponsibilities of the office he had assumed. He was a member of Occidental Lodge No. 35, F. & A. M., San Francisco, a charter member of the Olympic Club of that city. and also of the Union League Club, being a stanch Republican. He was well known in business and social circles in San Francisco, and that city, as well as the citizens of Santa Clara County, deeply moumed his untimely taking away. While all the days of his career were not equally bright and the storm clouds at times gathered, yet he never be-came discouraged or disheartened by conditions, and his resolute spirit and energy enabled him to over-come obstacles and difficulties. Mrs. Hendy, who as a true and devoted helpmate assisted her late hus-band by sympathy and encouragement, still resides at the Sunnyvale home, surrounded by a large circle of loving friends, and there she pursues her daily tasks with that assurance that she "hath done what she could," never shirking her full duty, and her life is fuller and better thereby.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 784