SURNAMES: LENK, SCHELL
of the Braley District, resides on a productive farm which is located on the Saratoga and Alviso road, about three miles west of Santa Clara. His property originally comprised seventy-one acres, thirty acres of which was devoted to fruit culture, comprising peaches, prunes, apples, pears, almonds, and walnuts. This orchard tract Mr. Lillick sold to F. J. Chambers, in 1887, retaining the remainder, forty-one acres, which he devotes to the growing of hay and grain and to stock-raising. Upon this latter tract he is now erecting a fine cottage home.
The subject of this sketch was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1824. He is the son of Andrew and Catharine (Lenk) Lillick, both natives of Germany. In 1833 his parents came to the United States and made Holmes County, Ohio, their home, becoming early settlers of that section. After about seven years' residence at that place, they removed to Van Wert County, of the same State, and there spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1847, and the mother in 1872, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. Mr. Lillick was brought up as a farmer, and was early inured to the hardships attendant upon the life of the early settler. His opportunities for gaining an education were limited to those presented by the primitive schools of the pioneer settlement.
In 1846 he went to La Fayette County, Wisconsin, where he worked as a farm laborer until 1849, when he started across the plains for the Golden State. Of his overland journey it may be said that he suffered the hardships common to travel of that date and mode, and until the train reached the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains nothing unusual happened. But here seven of the party (among them a Mr. Roundtree, of New York) left the train to go into the mountains in search of cattle which had strayed away from their herds. None of this party were ever afterward seen or heard from, and it is supposed that they were ambushed and killed by the Indians.
Upon arriving at Sacramento, Mr. Lillick left his party and went to the mines in Trinity County, where he worked until the autumn of 1850, when, not having met with the success which he had hoped for, he determined to return to the more congenial occupation of farming. With this in view he came to Santa Clara County, and expended all his small means in the purchase of the farm upon which he now resides. There commenced his struggle to redeem, unassisted, the bountiful land from its wild state. In 1851 he returned to the mines, being obliged to borrow the money with which to buy provisions and mining tools. This second adventure was attended with considerable success, and with the money thus earned he was enabled to purchase a yoke of cattle, provision, seed, clothes, etc., and thus to enter into his farming operations with a better chance of achieving success. This success is now assured, as his farm is in a high state of cultivation, and it is worthy of note, as indicative of the wonderful fertility of the soil, that in 1853 he harvested and sold $300 worth of grain, besides reserving 1,400 pounds for seed purposes.
In 1867 Mr. Lillick visited his old Ohio home, returning to California the same year. He again went to Ohio in January, 1868, remaining there until the autumn of the same year, when he was united in marriage with Miss Nancy Schell, the daughter of Henry and Mary Schell, pioneer residents of Van Wert County, Ohio. Immediately after his marriage he returned with his bride to California, by the Panama route. Upon their arrival they at once took up their residence on their farm, which their united efforts have placed in the front rank. Three sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lillick: Walter Faye, aged nineteen years; Harry C., aged seventeen years; and Ira S., aged twelve years.
By his untiring industry, thrifty habits, and practical knowledge of his business, Mr. Lillick has advanced rapidly in his chosen vocation, and now ranks with the many prosperous and successful pioneer farmers of Santa Clara County. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being a Master and Royal Arch Mason.
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.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT
SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight