The Valley of Heart's Delight



BIO- Pen Pictures

deceased.  The subject of this sketch was born in Baltimore, Maryland, March 28, 1830.  He was the son of John Ogier, who was born on the Island of Guernsey, in the English Channel, but was reared, from nine years of age, in Maryland, where his father, a representative of one of the prominent, long-established families of the Isle of Guernesey, made his American home.

            James H. Ogier, whose name heads this sketch, was reared and educated in Baltimore.  Before the attainment of his majority he was associated with his father in the management of an extensive vegetable and small-fruit interest, having the city of Baltimore for their market.  When twenty-one years of age, the subject of our sketch came, via the Isthmus route, to this State, reaching San Francisco on the second of August, 1851, in company with James H. Cornthwait, also a native of Baltimore.  The first year both worked for wages, but the following season (1852), in partnership with John Ingleson and John Hakesly, they bought one hundred and fifty acres of land on the Alviso road, three miles north of San Jose, and at once commenced its improvement.  Within a few years Mr. Ogier bought out the interests of Messrs. Ingleson and Hakesly, and finally, in 1859, that of Mr. Cornthwait also, thus becoming the sole owner.  Gradually his real-estate holding increased, until the homestead was enlarged to two hundred and eighty acres.

            On the twenty-fourth of May, 1866, Mr. Ogier was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Branham, the daughter of Isaac Branham, deceased.  Mr. Branham was one of California’s heroic pioneer men, who braved the perils of plain, mountain, and desert in coming to this valley at the early date of 1846.  (Elsewhere in this volume appears a detailed sketch of his life.)  Mrs. Ogier was born in Callaway County, Missouri, July 21, 1841, and her fifth birthday was spent on the plains on the way to California.  She was educated at the Notre Dame Convent at San Jose, she and her sister Elizabeth (now deceased) entering as members of its first class.  Mrs. Ogier afterwards became a student of Bascom Institute.  All of her married life has been spent at her present home.  She is the mother of seven living children, all of whom are yet at her home. Their names are:  Elizabeth Hargest, John Branham, Fannie Grayson, James Lee(bio below), Ada Reid, Walter Tullidge and Margaret.  Her sixth child, Florence Eaton, died at the age of fourteen months.

            Mr. Ogier was an active man, who pushed the work of improvement rapidly and vigorously.  His farm showed evidences of his energy and business management. He erected his fine family residence in 1883, and spared no expense in making a noble structure, which contains every needed comfort and convenience.  He came to Santa Clara a poor young man, but, by industry and the good management which results from experience and thorough knowledge, he made his business a profitable one.  He acquired an ample competence, and left his family a good home, without incumbrance [sic], although he was obliged to purchase the original homestead three times, from as many different claimants under Mexican grants, before he could obtain a perfect title.

            He was a strong man, physically and mentally, and, although much interested in general public affairs, he always refused political official position.  At one time he served as a Director of the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Society, and at his death was one of the stockholders and a Director of the San Jose Savings Bank.  While yet in his prime, his useful and active life was brought to a close on the seventh of May, at Baltimore, Maryland, while visiting his only brother, John Ogier.  His remains were brought back to his home and interred in Oak Hill Cemetery at San Jose.  In his death his family sustained the loss of a kind husband and father, and the community that of a prosperous citizen, who was willing to use his prosperity for the advancement of public welfare.

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. p. 219

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler


Bio- Sawyers


A native son, James Lee Ogier was born on the Ogler ranch north of San Jose on August 27, 1874, the son of James H. Ogier,(above) who was a Marylander and came to California via Panama in 1852, settling in Santa Clara County, where he engaged in ranching and horticulture until his death in 1885. He had married Miss Margaret Branham, and they had eight children, seven of whom are living; Elizabeth Ogier, the eldest, resides in Boston Mass.; John B. is ranching at Morgan Hill; Frances G. is a teacher in the Oakland high school; James Lee of this sketch; Adelaide has become Mrs. Wilmot and lives at Indio, Cal.; Walter T. is a rancher at Agnew; Margaret is Mrs. Wynne of Berkeley; Florence died in infancy. Isaac Branham. Mrs. Ogler's father, was a member of the Donner party, until they reached the Cut-off, when he said that he intended to take the regular route to California, and invited all the others to join him. He reached San Jose in safety in the fall of 1846, while disaster met those who went the other route.

Isaac Branham settled on a ranch southwest of San Jose, on the Branham and Almaden roads, the former of which was named after him, and he bought considerable land from the Spaniards, but in the disputes over land titles that ensued, he lost title, and it was thrice necessary to repurchase the land. Mrs. Ogler was- one of the first to attend the Convent of the Notre Dame when it started, and she lived to be seventy-six years old, passing away in 1917.

James Lee Ogier attended the old Orchard school on Coyote Creek, and in 1889 he entered the University of the Pacific, attending there until 1896, and then entered Stanford University, continuing his studies there for a year. In 1897 he returned home and worked on the Ogier ranch until 1900, when he took up stock raising for himself. The next year he purchased some range land northeast of Milpitas, and from time to time he added to his acreage until he now controls 15.000 acres of range land. He ranges from 800 to 1,000 head of stock on his ranch a season, all depending on the amount of feed the land produces. He belongs to the California' Cattlemen's Association.

On April 17, 1902, Mr. Ogler was married to Miss Florence Ayer, daughter of S. F. Ayer, the well-known pioneer, who had married Miss America Evans. Mrs. Ogier was born on the old Ayer ranch at Milpitas, and attended the grammar school and later the University of the Pacific. One daughter has blessed this union—Florence, a student at the San Jose high school In national politics Mr. Ogler is a Republican.

From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1451