An efficient, genial public official
of Santa Clara County is Joseph Charles Stillwell, the popular
custodian of the State Normal School at San Jose, who enjoys a wide
acquaintance ship throughout the county and beyond. HIs native
town of San Jose where he was born on June 26, 1879, a member of one of
the historic families of California, his grandfather having come here
in 1846 as a member of the Donner party; his parents, who are happily
still living are Joseph M [bio below]and
Josephine Stillwell, the former also a native of San Jose. The Donner
party, it will be recalled, was part of a train which went its own way,
in the hope of finding a shorter route, and being lost in the Sierras
amid the heavy snows of the winter of 1846-47 suffered so terribly that
only a few survived. Fortunately Grandfather Stillwell was made
of those enduring qualities which enabled him to weather the storms and
suffer the famine and other privations, and eventually become one of
the most influential builders of the Pacific commonwealth.
Joseph C. Stillwell attended the
public schools of San Jose, and when he was through with the
school-mastesr, he learned the painter's trade, which he followed for
seventeen years. He then and there established a reputation for
excessive conscientiousness to work and duty, and this was part of his
capital when in 1909, he was appointed by the president of the State
Normal School custodian of that institution. He soon demonstrated
his fitness for this position and he as performed the responsible
duties ever since. He is a Republican, when it come to a
preference for national party programs, and yet there are few, if any,
more encouraging :boosters: of the city and locality, willing to throw
aside all narrow partisanship and help the town and its environs, and
particularly to advance in every way he can the progressive institution
with which he has the honor to be connected.
At San Francisco, and in 1905, Mr.
Stillwell was married to Miss Mamie Miskel, a member of another old
Santa Clara County family, and they have one child , Lorraine, to
brighten their home.
JOSEPH M. STILLWELL
Surnames: YOUNG, ZINGG, DOUGHERTY, SOURISSEAU
A true pioneer of Santa Clara County. Joseph M. Stillwell, is well
known and highly esteemed by the residents of San Jose, having here
spent his entire life, covering a period of sixty-six years, for he was
born in this city, on the Berryessa Road, August 6, 1855, the third son
of Joseph C. and Plina A. (Young) Stillwell. The father was a native of
Kentucky and in times of peace followed farming and stockraising, but
he defended the interests of the United States in the war against
Mexico in 1846. He came to California that year, joined Fremont at
Sacramento and rose to the rank of Lieutenant and after his services
were no longer needed he settled down to ranching. He returned East for
a visit and then came across the plains with the Samuel
Young party. He later married Mr. Young's daughter and both he and
his wife passed away in San Jose.
Reared upon a ranch, J. M. Stillwell attended the public schools of
Santa Clara County and on entering business life took up the painter's
trade, remaining in the employ of J. P. Jarman of San Jose until 1891.
He has since had charge of the Lowell School of this city as janitor
and is most capably discharging his duties in that connection, proving
faithful, efficient and reliable.
Mr. Stillwell was united in marriage in 1876 to Miss Josephine Zingg,
who was nine years of age when she made the journey across the plains
from St. Louis, Mo., to California. Four children have been born of
this union. Joseph C., [bio
above]who for the past eleven years has been custodian of the
State Normal School at San Jose, is married and has one child, Loraine.
Viola, a graduate of the Normal, is now the wife of Thomas T. Dougherty
and a resident of San Jose; Maude, who completed a course in the State
Normal School, is the wife of T. F. Sourisseau, by whom she has one
child, Thomas, and they reside at Campbell, Santa Clara County.
William, also a graduate of the State Normal, is a teacher in the
public schools of San Jose. He is married and has one child, Barbara.
The family reside at No. 452 South Ninth Street, which has been their
home for twenty-five years. Mr. Stillwell is identified with the
Independent Order of Foresters. He has been an interested witness of
the growth and development of San Jose and has been an active factor in
its progress. Wherever known he is held in high regard, and most of all
where he is best known.
Transcribed by Joseph Kral, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 485
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