SURNAMES: TAYLOR, CAMPBELL, FINLEY, CLARK, BROWN, WOODS, WAYLAND, BOULWARE, GOSBEY,
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
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RETURN TO SANTA CLARA -The Valley of Heart's Delight
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