Bio-Pen Pictures

        Born in Chicago,  Illinois, March 1, 1842. In 1850 he crossed the plains with his father, Henry Edwards, who, after remaining at Placerville for a short time, embarked in mining on the American River, in 1851. In the following year he commenced a butchering business in Marysville and Sacramento, which he continued until 1853, in the winter of which year he came to Santa Clara County. In the city of San Jose his father entered into the management of the Farmers' Home, a hotel he conducted until 1855, when he commenced farming, and continued until his death, in 1872. In 1863 the subject of our sketch went to Virginia City, Nevada, opened the Eureka Hotel, and became interested in mining, but meeting with reverses, returned to the Santa Clara Valley in 1864. He labored for monthly wages for a time and then rented the property he now owns. In 1870 he purchased a portion of the ranch, and the remainder in 1871. Married, December 11, 1867, Alice Hall, a native of Missouri, who was reared in California, and by whom he has two children: Cora M., born August 15, 1869; William J., born November 6, 1873.

        The home of Mr. Edwards, about half a mile west of the Monterey road and eight miles from San Jose, is one of the finest properties in Santa Clara County. It fronts on Downer Avenue and also on the Cottle road, both roads being bordered the full length and breadth of the farm by stately rows of eucalyptus trees, planted in 1858. The fine residence was erected in 1881, with regard only to comfort and convenience, at a cost of $9,000. The place, as seen from the Monterey road, presents a view of surpassing beauty. The home farm contains 160 acres, probably not surpassed in quality of soil, care, and skill in management by any in Santa Clara County. Mr. Edwards also owns a 205-acre tract of equally good land one-half mile south of his residence.
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. 507-508



A resident of California for nearly all of his life, Henry William Edwards was born in Chicago, Ill., March 1, 1841. His father, Henry Edwards, a native of England, settled in Utica, Ill., where he was engaged in the stock business. He was a pioneer of California of 1850, and as early as 1853 came to San Jose and became a farmer on the Almaden Road. Henry W. Edwards came to California when a lad with his father in 1850, and was educated in the public and private schools of San Jose. In 1863 he went to Nevada and tried his hand at mining in different camps. However, he did not meet with much success, so when he returned to San Jose he had only fifty dollars as his capital when he started farming on leased land near Edenvale.

Mr. Edwards was married December 11, 1867, to Miss Alice C. Hall, who was born in Lincoln, Mo., but was from childhood a resident of California. Her father, Andrew J. Hall, born in Kentucky, settled in Lincoln, Mo., where he married Delia Cottle, a native of Missouri, a daughter of Edward and Celia Cottle. In 1850, leaving his family in Lincoln, Mo., Andrew Hall and his two brothers-in-law, Thomas and W. Cottle, came to California, engaging in mining. Andrew Hall was destined to never see his family again, for he died at Georgetown in 1851. The Cottle boys returned to Missouri, and in 1854 the Cottle family emigrated to California, coming across the plains in an ox-team train, of which Edward Cottle was the captain. They made the six months' journey safely. for Grandfather Cottle had laid in a large supply of coffee, sugar and bacon, and wisely distributed a generous portion of it at three different times to the Indians. Arriving in Santa Clara County in October, 1854, Edward Cottle purchased a portion of the Santa Teresa ranch and engaged in stock-raising, making a specialty of raising standard and thoroughbred horses, having brought some fine specimens with him across the plains. His wife passed away in 1855. He continued to reside on the ranch until his death at the age of seventy-two years. Andrew Hall's widow brought her two little children, Alice and William Hall, in her father's train to California, presiding over his home until she married a second time, becoming the wife of James McLellan, who was also a pioneer of California, and they lived on their ranch on Monterey Road, one-half mile south of the present city limits of San Jose. After Mr. McLellan's death his widow spent the last years of her life with her daughter, Mrs. Edwards, passing away at the age of almost eighty-seven years.

Alice Hall attended Miss Buckman's private school and San Jose Institute, from which she was graduated, after which she engaged in teaching for two years, until her marriage to Mr. Edwards. As Mr. Edwards prospered he purchased eighty acres, and by subsequent purchase acquired 450 acres in the Oak Grove school district, devoting his time to raising grain and stock until he began setting out orchards. He was interested in the Farmers' Union in early days and was one of the founders of the Home Union, being president of that large mercantile establishment for many years. He was also interested in banking. His ranch was well improved with a large, beautiful country residence, but it was destroyed by fire, after which he purchased a large residence on South Second Street in San Jose, where he made his home until his death, March 31, 1915. Mr. and Mrs. Edwards were blessed with two children: Mrs. Cora Conklin died in San Jose, and Wilbur J. is the president of the Security State Bank of San Jose. Henry W. Edwards was a member of San Jose Chapter No. 10, F. & A. M., and in politics he was a stanch supporter of Republican principles. He was a man of splendid judgment and an able manager, very liberal and enterprising and always ready to do his part in the building up of the county and state, and worthy objects always received his hearty support and cooperation. In his business dealings he was honest and reliable, having the confidence of all with whom he came in contact in a business way. His friendship was greatly prized, and at his passing Santa Clara County lost one of her best citizens. Since his death Mrs. Edwards continues to reside at the old home and, with the assistance of her son, looks after the large estate left by Mr. Edwards, who always gave much credit for his success to his wife, who encouraged and aided him in every way. Mrs. Edwards is now one of the pioneers and, having been very observant, she is a fund of information, and it is interesting to hear her discourse of early days in Santa Clara County. She attends the Episcopal Church. 
From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1158


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight