The Valley of Heart's Delight

Superintendent of the Santa Clara County Infirmary

Bio-Pen Pictures

SURNAMES: Brownell, Page,

 Among the well-known citizens of Santa Clara County is the subject of this sketch, a few facts in regard to whose life are herewith given. Mr. Church is a native of the Province of Nova Scotia, and dates his birth July 2, 1829. His parents, George and Annie (Brownell) Church, were also natives of Nova Scotia. Until the age of eighteen years he was occupied upon his father's farm, where he became well versed in the practical labors of farm life. In 1847 he left the farm and learned the trade of blacksmithing, a calling that he followed until 1852. In that year he embarked on the ship Mary Merrill, for a voyage around Cape Horn to California. This long but uneventful voyage terminated in September of the same year, when he disembarked at San Francisco. Soon after his arrival he engaged in mining in Placer County. He was engaged in mining for about two months, being compelled to abandon the occupation on account of ill health. He then came to Santa Clara County, arriving in December, 1852.

 His first enterprise in the county was in renting a farm two and one-half miles southwest of San Jose, which he cultivated for the next three years. In 1859 he rented the farm of John Townsend, on the Milpitas road, north of San Jose, and there engaged in general farming until 1868. In the latter year he took up his residence in San Jose, where, in partnership with W. O. Barker, he engaged in the livery business, they being the proprietors of the Grey Eagle Stables. This business was successfully conducted for three years, when his failing health compelled him to abandon all business enterprises until 1874, when he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors as Superintendent of the Santa Clara County Infirmary, a position he has held almost continuously since that date. Mr. Church's management of this important institution is worth of notice. He seems to be "the right man in the right place." His long experience, untiring zeal, and straightforward business management have placed the Infirmary in the ranks of the best conducted public institutions in the county. The records of the institution are kept in the most systematic manner, for which he is entitled to great credit, as the system was almost entirely inaugurated and perfected by himself. In political matters Mr. Church is a strong and consistent Republican. He is a member of Garden City Lodge, No. 142, I. O. O. F., being Past Grand of the same. He is also a member of the A. O. U. W., and is trustee of the Grand Lodge, which office he has held for the last seven years.

In 1860 he married Miss Emily Page, the daughter of James and Elizabeth Page, who were residents of Nova Scotia. They have four children living, viz.: George F., Arthur P., Lillian E., and Ethel P. Arthur P. resides at Los Angeles, Lillian E. is a teacher in the public schools in San Benito County, and the others are residing with their parents.

SOURCE:  Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated.
Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. page 253-254 Transcribed by Carol Lackey
- Edited by H.S.