GROCER- San Jose

Bio- Sawyers


Now living retired at San Jose, is John James Devine, an early pioneer of northern California. He is descended from a line of sturdy Irish ancestors, and was born in Dublin, Ireland, August 15, 1830, the son of Thomas and Catherine (McCann) Devine. His parents were born, reared, married and died in Ireland and their last resting place is in Dublin, at Glass Nevin. His education was received from the public schools of Dublin. After leaving school, he entered the employ of a groceryman as clerk, remaining in that capacity until he embarked for America. In April, 1845, Mr. Devine, set sail for America in a clipper ship, "Racer," built at Baton Rouge, La., with 900 passengers on board. Upon his arrival in New York City, he worked steadily in one place seven years. His brother, Pat Devine and himself, are the only living members of the Devine family. Pat devine was a seafaring man, encountering many hardships on his voyages.

 On one trip to China, his vessel, the "Racer," on which our subjec came to America, was caught in a typhoon, the masts were broken, the sails stripped to ribbons by the furious lashing of the wind and waves.

Mr. Devine, left New York City in 1859 on the John L. Stephens by way of Panama, arriving in San Fran-cisco with the small sum of sixty-five dollars in gold. He soon found employment clerking in a grocery store, but soon became enthused with the stories of the great wealth to be obtained in the mines, so he went to Placerville. He remained there but a short time when he went to Sacramento. From Sacramento he journeyed to Folsom over the first railroad built in California. From Folsom he took the stage to Placerville and on the day of his arrival the first pony express came through, which created a great deal of excitement. His mining ventures did not prove very profitable, and he soon was back in San Francisco; however, he was not satisfied but removed to San Jose during the year of 1860, and has continuously lived in this sectionever since. His natural industry led him to do anything that he could find to do to earn an honest living. He was employed on the rebuilding of the famous Santa Clara Mission. By strict economy he managed to save a sufficient amount of money to open a grocery store in San Jose, which business continued until 1906, when he retired from active business life, to enjoy the fruits of his years of toil, which have brought him a competency that has been well deserved.

The marriage of Mr. Devine occurred in San Jose in 1862, uniting him with Miss Catherine Corkery, born in Cork, Ireland. She came to America about 1859 landing at New Orleans, but soon embarked for California. She passed away September 19, 1908, at the age of seventy-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Devine were the parents of nine children; Mary, now the wife of T. O'Neill, a stonecutter who resides in San Jose; Teressa, who lives with her father; Agnes, the wife of C. Mensing, a grocery-man of Santa Barbara; Catherine, a graduate of the San Jose State Normal, is a teacher in the Lincoln grammar school in San Jose; Elizabeth is the wife of F. Gardner and they reside in San Francisco; Ellen deceased in infancy; Joseph Mark is employed in the City of Paris store and resides in San Francisco; Augustin died when he was twelve years old; Ignatius is an engineer for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company and resides in San Jose. Mr. Devine has twelve grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren. He was a member of the first volunteer fire department of San Jose. He is a Democrat in his political convictions. The family are active and prominent members of the St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He is well known throughout the county, and the esteem in which he is held is evidence of his well-spent life.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 526