First Hotel in San Jose
SURNAMES: McCONNELL, CARR, JEFFERSON, .MARSHALL, STEVENSON
James M. Quivey, a member of one of the pioneer families of California, is a native of Independence, Missouri, born June 19, 1837, and a son of Peter and Sarah (McConnell) Quivey. Peter Quivey was a native of New York, born at Syracuse, in 1807, and was reared there to the age of eighteen years. He then left home and went to Kentucky. He was a splendid workman, and followed hunting a great deal there. He married Sarah McConnell, a member of one of the old Kentucky families, and a native of Frankfort. He was a slave-holder, and when, in 1841, he removed to Missouri, he took with him a man and a woman servant. They resided in the neighborhood of Independence until 1846, when they became members of a party which started across the plains for the Pacific Coast, and which afterward became historic as the Donner party. One evening, while encamped on the banks of the Humboldt River, a large party of Indians attempted to drive off their cattle, and a fight ensued, during which a large number of the red men were killed. One of the whites, Benjamin Lippincott, was shot through both knees, but he pulled the arrows out in a proper manner and recovered. Another man, Mr. Salle, who was shot, pulled the arrow backward, and his death resulted. One of the party, A. J. Grayson, lost all his cattle, but they were afterward recovered, some of them with arrows in them.
By pushing forward on Sundays and nights, Mr. Quivey’s family, and others, got a long distance ahead of the Donner party, and reached California seven months in advance of them. They stopped at Sutter’s Fort, and from there Mr. Quivey went with Fremont to fight the Mexicans, and helped to raise the American flag at Monterey. After the expedition had done its work, he returned to Sutter’s Fort, and in 1847 removed with his family to San Jose, where he put up the first frame house. He had the timber for the house cut in the Redwoods, and while engaged in hauling it, the wagon chain broke, and he was thrown against the oxen, breaking both legs. He recovered their use, however. In 1848 he went to the mines at Dry Diggings, and remained there with his family for three months. He then returned to San Jose and opened the Miners’ Home, the first hotel in San Jose, and conducted it between one and two years. The family, however, continued to reside in the frame house before mentioned. He had this torn down in 1850, and put up another and larger residence in its place, the family removing into it before it was dry, on account of the cholera epidemic then prevailing. This second house is still standing, opposite the Fourth Street fruit factory. The tract of land on which it was located, consisting of ten acres, was afterward sold to Robert Beatty, who cut it up and sold it in lots. In partnership with William C. Wilson, Mr. Quivey owned hundreds of square miles of land in and about Hall’s Valley. He sold his interest in this land to Samuel and William Miller, of Stockton, for $60,000. He imported some fine horses from Kentucky, and was the owner of two well-known racers—Dashaway, a runner, and San Jose Damsel, a trotter. He was a stanch Democrat, politically, and an active man in public affairs. His death occurred January 28, 1869. His widow, who resides with her son, Francis Marion, in San Jose, was born September 14, 1805. They had four children, viz.: Lizzie, wife of George H. Jefferson, of San Jose; James, the subject of this sketch; Angeline (Mrs. Carr), and Francis Marion.
James M. Quivey has a good recollection of the eventful journey across the plains in the pioneer times. He resided in San Jose until 1861, then removed upon the Almaden road, about three miles from San Jose. There he resided until November, 1884, when he removed where he now resides, on the Las Llagas Creek. There he has a ranch of 900 acres, on which he follows farming and stock-raising. He has about 100 head of horses and cattle, and a place which is rapidly acquiring a prosperous appearance under his care and management.
Mr. Quivey was
married, October 22, 1860, to Miss Melvina C. Marshall, a native of Indiana.
Her father died when she was young, and later her mother married James
Stevenson, who came to California early in the ‘50’s. Mr. and Mrs. Quivey have
four children, as follows: Willard H., who resides at San Ardo, in Monterey
County, where he is agent for the Southern Pacific Railroad; J. Howard, Charles
M., and P. Carleton, the three latter residing with their parents. Mr. Quivey
is a Democrat, politically.
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.
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT