Bio-page 489
San Jose Broom Factory and Dairy Industry


For many years representatives of the Wilcox family have resided in San Jose, bearing an active and helpful part in the work of general improvement and progress in this section, and Irwin Miles Wilcox is actuated by the same spirit of enterprise and initiative which dominated his father. As head of the San Jose Broom Factory he is controlling one of the important manufacturing enterprises of the city, and he formerly had large dairy interests, displaying marked executive ability in the management of his affairs. A native of San Jose, he was born September 13, 1875, his parents being Miles W. and Adeline (Hopkins) Wilcox. Both arrived in California in 1863, the mother crossing the plains in an ox-team train, and the father coming by way of the Isthmus of Panama. The young people met at Marysville and were married about 1866. Mr. Wilcox was engaged in manufacturing brooms at Marysville, and later when they moved to San Jose he established the first broom factory here, building up a large business on Bush Street. He also established a glove factory and for many years conducted a successful business in this line, and in his passing away on July 27, 1911, San Jose lost one of her most public-spirited citizens. His widow survives him, and lives in San Jose.

Their only child, Irwin Miles, acquired his education at the San Jose public schools and the Garden City Business College, and following his father's death, took over the management of the broom factory. With keen insight into business affairs, he has been able to formulate plans which have resulted in the continued growth of the business, manufacturing brooms for the Keystone Company of San Jose, Hedges, Buck & Company of Stockton, and other local trade. Mr. Wilcox was associated with his mother in the dairy business for many years. They had two ranches, one at Milpitas and the other at Santa Clara, devoted to alfalfa and dairying, and owned some fine pure-bred Jersey stock. From Milpitas they shipped their milk wholesale to San Francisco, while the California Dairy, on the Santa Clara ranch, had one of the largest retail trades in San Jose. On the death of his father they sold the dairy business, in order ot give more time to the manufacture of brooms. They still own the ranch at Santa Clara, renting it out to others. Mr. Wilcox also has valuable real estate interests in San Jose, having firm faith in the future of this part of the state.

Mr. Wilcox was united in marriage in San Jose to Miss Nellie Wilson, a native of Pescadero, Cal., and they have become the parents of two children, Wilbur and Muriel. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party and his is deeply interested in everything that pertains to the welfare and progress of Santa Clara County. Fraternally he is connected with the Garden City Lodge of Odd Fellows and he finds recreation in hunting and fishing. While it is true that he came into a business already established, he has demonstrated in its control that he has the same executive power and keen discrimination between the essential and the non-essential which characterized his father and placed him at the head of extensive and important business interests. That he is a man of strict integrity and moral worth is indicated by the high esteem in which he is held by those among whom his entire life has been passed.

E. T Sawyers-History of Santa Clara County, California  Los Angeles, Calif.: Historic Record Co., 1922,. page 489
transcribed by Joseph Kral