BIO-Pen Pictures

was born in Limerick County, Ireland, in 1826. His parents, James and Mary (Mann) Enright, emigrated to Canada in 1830, and purchased and conducted quite an extensive farm near Quebec. There they resided until the son was fourteen years of age, removing in 1840 to Atchison County, Missouri, where they continued the occupation of farming. Thus Mr. Enright was thoroughly trained in youth to the business which he has made his life-work. In Missouri his parents spent the remainder of their lives, both dying in 1845. The home was thus broken up, and in the following year Mr. Enright, accompanied by his brother Thomas and his sister Mary, crossed the plains to California. He reached the end of his journey in the Sacramento Valley, October 3, 1846, and went to the old Mission of San Jose. There he spent a few months, not in idleness, for, after manufacturing his plows himself, he seeded about thirty acres with wheat, which he eventually sold to James Reed. He also seeded and sold to Samuel Brannan thirty acres. These lands belonged to the mission, but Mr. Enright obtained permission to cultivate them.

        In the spring of 1847, he left the mission for San Francisco, where he engaged in teaming, taking government transportation contracts. He transferred the stores and baggage of the famous Stevenson Regiment from the landing to the Presidio of San Francisco. He sustained a severe loss in the death of both the brother and sister who came to this State with him, his sister Mary (who had married Patrick Doyle, of San Francisco) dying at the Mission of San Juan in 1848, while his brother Thomas, who was an invalid, followed her two years later, his death occurring at the Mission of San Jose. His sister Bridget, who came to California at a later date, and who married Patrick Farrell, of Mitchell County, Canada, is now a resident of San Jose.

        In 1847 the subject of our sketch purchased the lands which he now occupies, a magnificent farm of 600 acres, situated on the Saratoga and Alviso road, at Lawrence Station, about three miles west of Santa Clara. Eight acres is in fruit-trees of different varieties, and fourteen acres in a vineyard, which furnishes a choice selection of table and wine grapes. But by far the larger part of this vast estate is given to the production of grain and hay, for which the results show the soil is well fitted. Mr. Enright also engages quite extensively in the raising of stock, principally work horses. He built a house on the land in the year that he made the purchase, it being the first one built on the farming lands of the county. In the year following his purchase (1848) he went to the mines on the American River, near the present site of Folsom, being among the very first who engaged in mining in the State. He was quite successful in this venture and spent four or five months there. During the disturbed state of the country during these exciting times, he was compelled to use the greatest care, and he slept with a loaded rifle by his bed for months. Such volunteer forces as were in this county were of the most reckless character, disregarding all show of courtesy or fair dealing.

        In 1850 Mr. Enright took up a permanent residence on his property, thus becoming one of the pioneer farmers of the county, as he had been a pioneer of the State and of mining; for it must be remembered that his coming to the State antedated the discovery of gold, and even the acquisition of the country by the United States Government. He has carried to a successful issue all his business undertakings, and has achieved a goodly amount of this world's goods. Without the advantage of education, he has supplied the lack by native shrewdness and thorough understanding of his business. He is well known throughout the county as one of its most successful and enterprising pioneer farmers.

        Mr. Enright was united in marriage, in 1850, to Miss Margaret Duncan, the daughter of Robert and Ann Duncan, natives of Scotland, but residents of San Francisco. They came to this State in 1846, by way of Cape Horn. From this marriage eleven children were born, nine being now living. Mary Ann, the wife of John G. Robertson, lives at Santa Cruz; Frances is the wife of Dr. James Murphy, of San Francisco; Charles is a physician in San Francisco; James E., Margaret, Joseph D., John B., Nellie, and Louisa G. make their home with their parents. Robert D. died in 1881, at the age of twenty-five years.

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. 575-576


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight