Bio-Pen Pictures

            Among the enterprising and successful young men of Santa Clara County should be mentioned Horace G. Keesling.  His residence is on Carlos Street and the Meridian road, where he owns fifteen acres of orchard, which place he came in possession of eight years ago when it was a grain-field.  This he planted in orchard,, about five acres each year.  It is now planted almost equally in prunes, cherries, and apricots, with about 200 peaches and an assortment of fruits for family use.  Only part of this orchard is in bearing, as the part set out at first in apples has been replaced with other trees. Mr. Keesling is also interested in, and editor of, a publication devoted to poultry and kindred interests, entitled The California Cackler, published in San Francisco.  He is a breeder and importer as well as exporter of fine poultry, having made several importations of the black Langshan.  These come from Langshan, a province in the interior of China.  He has had his agent on the lookout for the past four years to obtain a white Langshan, but without success until lately, when they succeeded in obtaining and importing a hen of that breed, the first ever imported into the United States.  The Chinese consider them a sacred bird, and are unwilling to sell or dispose of them to people of other nations.  The Langshans Mr. Keesling considers well adapted for keeping in orchards, as they are prolific layers, and live in the orchard without flying in the trees or destroying the fruit.  He also claims that the same care bestowed here in poultry-raising will insure as profitable results as in the East.  In New Zealand and Australia quite a growing market has been built up for American-bred fowls, such as the Wyandottes and Plymouth Rocks, largely through the medium of The California Cackler.

            Born in Mechanicsburg, Henry County, Indiana, in 1855, his parents removed with the family to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1856.  Here the subject of this sketch lived until his eighteenth year, attending school during the winter months and working out in summer as long as weather permitted.  During the last four years of his residence in Minneapolis he learned the business of florist, with Mr. Wyman Elliot, the leading horticulturist of that section.  In October, 1873, the family removed to California, settling at once in the Santa Clara Valley.  He graduated at the San Jose High School in 1874.  Since that time he has been engaged in fruit-raising, first with his father until his twenty-fifth year, and since 1880 at his present home.  In 1880 he was married to Miss Annie Bacon, of San Jose, daughter of L. and L. J. (McGrew) Bacon, who came to California from Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1852.  There have been born to them two children:  Jessie and Homer G.  His parents are T. B. and Elizabeth (Hasty) Keesling, who removed from Ohio into Indiana at an early day.  They now live on Willow Street opposite Cherry Avenue, in the Willows.  The subject of this sketch is a member of San Jose Grange, No. 10, Patrons of Husbandry, and a member of the Executive Committee of the State Grange of California.  He is independent in politics, generally supports the Republican party, and is in favor of protective tariff.  

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. 383

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight