The Valley of Heart's Delight



From the date of his arrival in California, in the early days of the 1852, Joseph E. Rucker was intimately associated with the upbuilding of the Santa Clara Valley, first with its ranching interests, and later as the founder of  the firm popularly known as the Rucker Realty Company, pioneers in the real estate business of this locality and active factors in its development.

Joseph E. Rucker was born in Howard County, Mo., in 1831, the son of William T. and Verenda S. (Taylor) Rucker, who moved to Howard County, Mo., in 1830, soon after their marriage in Virginian where the father was born in 1809 and the mother in 1810.  In 1832 they removed to Saline County, Mo., and for the next twenty years they engaged in farming there, successful among their generation and honored for their many sterling qualities.  In 1852 the whole family made the long trip across the plans to California, and William T. Rucker succeeded in bringing through 200 milch cows, no small undertaking in that day, but a very profitable one for him, as he had purchased them for ten dollars a head and was able to dispose of them for from $150 to $200 a head.  Soon after arriving here he bought 160 acres of land southwest of Santa Clara, where he sowed to wheat, his first crop yielding fifty bushels to the acre.  This was in the season of 1852-53 when seed potatoes and seed wheat each cost five cents per pound.  Mr. and Mrs. William T. Rucker were the parents of eleven children:  Joseph E., of this review; Mary L., Mrs. Benj. Campbell; John S.; W. D. ; R. T.; Dr. H. N.; Z.T; Nancy C., Mrs. John P. Finley; George F.; Margaret E., Mrs. Clark; B.W.  Mr. Rucker passed away in 1879, with wife surviving him a number of year, her death occurring in 1897.

In 1853 Joseph E. Rucker tookup eighty acres of land, which he farmed until 1855, when he bought a dairy near Gilroy.  In 1858 he disposed of this and bought a ranch, which he operated until 1864, when he sold it.  Then he bought the ranch at Campbell, where he lived until he bought a tract of ten acres in The Willows in 1874, and that same year went into the real estate business, in which he was engaged during the remainder of his life.  In 1883 he took his son into partnership with him, the firm becoming J. E. Rucker & Son, successors to Rucker & Page, and this company became foremost among the realty and insurance concerns of the Santa Clara Valley.

In 1855 Joseph E. Rucker was married to Miss Susan Brown , a native of Hold County, Mo., who came to California in 1851 with her parents Samuel and Susan (Woods) Brown.  They were also pioneer settlers of Missouri, coming there in 1825 from their old home in Kentucky.  Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rucker:  William B., Annie, deceased; Mary E., now Mrs. M. A. Boulware; James T. and Samuuel N., twins; the latter was a member of the State legislature in 1885, and in 1889 was mayor of San Jose; Joseph H.,  is now head of the realty business, with offices in both san Jose and San Francisco; Susan is the wife of Judge P. F. Gosbey of San Jose; Lucy M. the wife of Dr. Chas. A. Wayland.   Joseph E. Rucker passed away in 1890, survived for  seven years by his devoted wife. A life-long Democrat, he took an active interest in the affairs of his party, and he was a Mason, belonging to San Jose Lodge No. 10. F. & A. M., Howard Chapter No. 14, R. A. M. ; San Jose Commandery, K. T., and San Jose Chapter No. 31, O. E. S.  A conscientious member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and a generous supporter of its benevolence, he was the first single man to join this church in the Santa Clara Valley, which church was built by his father and known as Rucker's Chapel.  A worthy pioneer, he contributed much to the permanent upbuilding and development of this section of California, his death closing a career that had been upright and honorable in every relation of his well-spent live.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 776


RETURN TO SANTA CLARA -The Valley of Heart's Delight
July 19, 2005