Bio-Pen Pictures

            Joseph Cunningham was born in Middle Tennessee, February 11, 1820. His father, William Cunningham, was a native of North Carolina.  When he was seven years of age his father died, and he then went to Tennessee, where he had relatives, with whom he lived till grown.  He married Narcissa Jenkins, a native of Kentucky.  Her father, Joseph Jenkins, went from East  Tennessee to Kentucky when he was a young man; was married there, and afterward with his family moved into Lincoln County, Middle Tennessee.  Narcissa Jenkins was reared in Middle Tennessee, being a small child when her father moved there.  After William Cunningham was married he made Lincoln County his home until 1835, when he moved to Randolph County, Missouri, located on a farm, and died there, in 1842, at the age of forty-seven years.  His wife died about three years after, at the age of forty-four.  They had a family of ten children, four of whom lived to be grown, and three are now living.

            Joseph Cunningham lived with his father until he was twenty-one years old.  For those times he was able to get a fair education.  He was reared on a farm, and is the fifth generation of the Cunningham family who followed farming.  In the spring of 1844 he married Margaret J. Hannah, a native of Tennessee. Her father, Andrew Hannah, moved from that State into Missouri in 1833, when she was a mere child.  She died in February, 1845, leaving one son, William A. Cunningham, who resides in Arizona. 

            In the spring of 1843 Mr. Cunningham bought a farm, where he lived for twenty years during his residence in the State of Missouri.  In the fall of 1846 he was married again, to Mary J. Gooding, who was born in Randolph County, Missouri, July 2, 1827.  Her parents were natives of Kentucky, her father having moved to Missouri in 1818.  In 1863 Mr. Cunningham sold his farm and came to California.  He bought land in Solano County in 1864, and remained there until 1881, when, in November of that year, he sold and moved to Santa Clara County.  He bought his present place near Saratoga, and has one of the finest ranches in this vicinity.

            Mr. Cunningham’s ranch contains thirty-two acres, nineteen of which are in fruit, consisting of the following varieties:  1,200 French prunes, 400 pears, 50 apples, 250 apricots, and about 100 trees in a family orchard, together with 100 vines.  Two of his sons, J. C. And J. F. Cunningham, have, the one nine and a half, and the other six acres respectively, of which the former has eight acres in fruit, and one and a half acres in nursery, and the latter all in fruit, principally French prunes, apricots, and peaches.

            There are seven children living and two deceased, six of whom reside in Santa Clara Valley.  Mr. Cunningham is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of San Jose, and has been a member of the Presbyterian Society about forty-six years.  Mrs. Cunningham has belonged to the same church about two years longer.

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.
Pg. 323-324
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy