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.



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