Bio-Pen Pictures

            John Hourecan was born in County Longford, Ireland, June 23, 1831, a son of John and Mary (O’Reilly) Hourecan.  His father died in Ireland in 1843.  Ten years later, in 1853, his mother, with three of her children, sailed for America.  She located in Philadelphia, where she made her home till the time of her death.  John Hourecan remained in Pennsylvania and New Jersey until 1856, when he emigrated to California.  He sailed from New York, and after a successful sea voyage landed in San Francisco, on the twenty-third of December of that year.  He shortly after went into the mines at Albany Flat, in Calaveras County, where he remained until the sixteenth of April, 1857. 

Having worked there a sufficient length of time to satisfy his taste for mining, he came to Santa Clara County and went to work on the Laurel Wood Farm for Burtis and Thornburgh, and remained with them for over two years.  He then rented a farm of Michael Dawson, near Santa Clara, and worked on it for two years.  At the expiration of this time he formed a co-partnership with James Sullivan, and rented 100 acres of the Laurel Wood Farm, and seventy acres on James Minton’s place, which they worked on shares for a year.  In May, 1863, he bought eighty acres of land on the Saratoga Avenue, near Saratoga, and moved on it the ninth of September following.  The land was all under heavy timber and brush, with the exception of nine acres partly cleared.  By almost constant and incessant toil, backed by the pluck of a true Irishman, he, in the course of time, converted the place from its wild condition to its present high state of cultivation, with not a stump anywhere within a foot of the surface.  There are twenty acres of vines, consisting of Matero, Zinfandel, and Mission varieties, ranging from four to eight years old.  He has heretofore raised considerable barley and wheat up to the present year, when everything of this nature was converted to hay.  There are about five acres of excellent pasture land.  The vines for the year 1887 averaged, both young and old, about three and one-half tons to the acre.  The present year he will have about seventy-five tons of hay.

            Mr. Hourecan was married in 1865, to Ann C. Wright, a native of Ireland, who came to California in 1857.  They have a family of three children:  Mary F., Agnes J. and Thomas J., all of whom are residing at home.

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. 325-326
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight