The Valley of Heart's Delight

 Joseph Barton
(see more about this Family)


JOSEPH BARTON, deceased. The Bartons were a military race of people, brave and honorable in all their dealings. In the early settlement of the country, when wild animals were plentiful, and the Indians troublesome, many times have they been annoyed by them, and on certain occasions have been in places of imminent peril and danger to their lives.

Joseph Barton was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, December 17, 1820. His great-grandfather came over from England, and bound out his two boys, who were half-brothers, returned to England, and was never heard from since. One of these sons married and reared a family of seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom one, Gabriel Barton, was the father of Joseph Barton. Gabriel Barton was commonly called Colonel Barton, and at one time he was sheriff of Wilson County. He was an intimate friend of Samuel Houston, and during one of the unpleasant affairs in which Houston became inplicated, -a duel,- Barton acted as Houston's second and manager of the affair.

Mr. Barton married Jane Johnson, a Tennessee lady, and native of Wilson County, who reared a family of eight children- five sons and three daughters. Mr. Barton died July 8, 1862, and his wife in 1857.

Joseph Barton was the eldest child of his father's family. He was reared in his native county, and received such education as he could from the distric schools, which, in those days, were primitive. He lived with his parents until he was twenty-one years of age, when he went to live with his grandmother, who had a large plantation and a number of slaves, and no one to manage the estate for her. Mr. Barton did this in a very creditable manner, and remained with his grandmother until 1850. He then started for the Golden State, making the journey across the plains, packing their luggage on the backs of mules; and, after being on the road for about four months, landed within the lines of California. He went into the mines of Yuba County, where he remained one winter, but was taken with the rheumatism and compelled to leave the place. He went to Sacramento, and came from there to the Santa Clara Valley, where he engaged in gardening with William T. McClellan, afterward his father-in-law. After working at this for a short time, he removed to Stevens Creek, and settled on a strip of land which he pre-empted from the government. He afterward purchased 160 acres more adjoining the claim he had; also another piece of 50 acres, making in all 320 acres.

He was married in 1859, on the second day of December, to Lavinia C. McClellan, who was born in Cass County, Missouri, January 22, 1840, and came to California with her parents in 1849. At the time Mr. Barton moved upon his place it was as nature made it. He went to work cutting down the trees and brush that covered the land in great abundance, and commenced making other improvements. In 1872 the house that was first erected was moved to the site of the present house, and was remodeled, with extensive improvements and additions. The place has at the present time 109 acres, which is all under cultivation. Twenty acres of it are in vineyard. There is a small orchard of various kinds of fruit, which is twenty-two years old, and is one of the first orchards set out in the section of the country. Mr. Barton's death occured February 5,1883. He left a widow and five children: Jennie E., wife of W. L. Palmer of San Jose, Alice M., Annie, Grant, and Ruth. There are also three children deceased. Frank died June 1, 1868, at the age of two and a half years. Kate died July 13, 1881, nearly nineteen years old, and Florence died December 5, 1881, in her third year.

Joseph Barton was a man highly repected by the community, and greatly admired by his many friends. He was a very industrious man and sacrificed his life for the good of his family. He was a devoted member of the Advent Church of Santa Clara, and in former years, while in Tennessee, was a member of the Masonic order, but during his residence in California never renewed his relations with it. although a Southern man by birth, yet, during the late war, while he had brothers in the Conferderate Army, he was a frim Union man and a devoted suporter of the national government. He was outspoken in his manner. He at one time, together with others in his neighborhood bought a cannon and afterward a national flag, which were placed at Mountain View. He took a great interest in educational matters. As his own education was somewhat limited, he have greatly educated himself, he was much interested in the district school, and endeavored to give his children the best education his means permitted.

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. page 266-267 transcribed by Carol Lackey-


SANTA CLARA COUNTY -The Valley of Hearts Delight