Bio- Pen Pictures

            James Henry Stonier dates his birth from November 16, 1835, in Yates County, New York.  His parents, Joseph and Mary Ann (Hardwick) Stonier, were natives of England, who emigrated to the United States in 1835.  Until he was fifteen years of age his life was spent on a farm.  He then learned the trade of painter, which occupation he followed for the next three or four years.  A portion of this time he was located in Peoria, Illinois, at which place he was also engaged in acquiring an education.  In 1854, desirous of bettering his condition, he started by the Panama route for California, and arrived in San Francisco in January, 1855.  The next five years he devoted to mining in El Dorado County.  He then quit this occupation and located in San Jose, where he devoted eighteen months’ time to perfecting his education at the University of the Pacific.  The next five years he spent in farming near Berryessa, upon rented land.  He then took up his residence in San Jose, where he lived for seven years, at the same time conducting his farm operations in the country, as well as cultivating land in the city.

            In 1874 he removed to land which he purchased on the Hostetter road.  This place was formerly owned by Mr. Jackson, and is now in the possession of William Ainsworth.  Mr. Stonier cultivated and improved this place until he sold, and took up his present residence, which is located on the Hostetter road, in the Eagle District, about three and one-half miles northeast of San Jose.  His original purchase was eighty acres; but a few years ago he sold forty acres, retaining the same amount, upon which his house is located.  This land is very productive, and shows the care exercised in its cultivation.  Ten acres are devoted to the production of fruit, containing one thousand and two hundred apricots and prunes, with also a few trees of other fruits such as are raised in that section of the country.  One and a half acres are in corn, which grows luxuriantly without irrigation; the balance of his land is devoted to hay, grain, and stock. 

            In 1862 Mr. Stonier married Miss Matilda Tomlinson, of Santa Clara County, daughter of Mrs. Meadowcraft, who lived in San Jose.  Of their twelve children, eleven are living, viz.:  Emma, who married Augustus Fisher, now living in Los Angeles; Alfred, who married Miss Rella K. Haynes, now living near San Miguel, Monterey County; Clara, James, Joseph, Sydney H., Tillie, Edith, Bert, Milton, and Stanley are living on the old homestead with their parents.

            Mr. Stonier is a self-made man, who started in life almost without the rudiments of an education.  Years of time and his wagers were spent in educating himself, until he was a well-informed man.  He takes a great interest in the school of his district.  He was Superintendent of the Berryessa Methodist Episcopal Sunday-school from 1875 until 1884.  He is a consistent member of the Methodist Church, and a decided Prohibitionist.  He is now a candidate on the Prohibition ticket for the office of Supervisor.  His daily life is such as to gain the respect and esteem of the community in which he resides.

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. 224

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight