Bio-Pen Pictures

            Among the citizens who have recently identified themselves with Santa Clara County, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch.  He is a native of England, born in Leicestershire, April 8, 1833, his parents being Robert and Isabella Waite.  His father was a merchant in the shoe trade.

            The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in his native country, and at the age of twenty-two years emigrated to America, landing in New York.  He went to Hamilton, Ontario, where he engaged in contracting.  One year later he removed to Chicago, and from there to Quincy, Illinois, and thence again to Mississippi, where he engaged in contracting on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.  From there he returned to England on a visit of six months’ duration, and on coming back again to this country, resumed his connection with the Mobile & Ohio Railroad as contractor for bridges.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he again went to England, and engaged in the leather business as a master tanner and currier.  Five years later he was again in the United States, and engaged in a planing-mill at Quincy.  Four or five years later he went to Hannibal, Missouri, and engaged in the planing-mill business and contracting.  In 1875 he came to California, and for a year and a half was engaged in stair building at Oakland.  He then went back to Hannibal, and from there to Texas, where he established planing-mills at Austin and San Antonio, and a brick-yard at Laredo.  He built the government post-office building at Austin, and a number of large store structures and residences in San Antonio, Goldfrank, Frank & Company, and the Withers and Bennett Blocks.  He also built the Washington County Court House at Brenham, and additions to the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Asylums at Austin, and the Milmo Bank and other buildings at Laredo.  His last contract was the opera house at Saltillo, Mexico.  Having closed out his business interests in that region, he came to California, bought his beautiful residence place, and moved there in May, 1887.

            His home place is one of the most attractive on the Monterey road.  It is bordered in front with an evergreen wall, beautifully cut and trimmed, and a similar wall incloses [sic] the walk, which widens out before reaching the house, enclosing a fountain and flower beds.  There are ten acres here, planted in fruit in 1879.  The trees, which are healthy and productive, are principally apricots, though there are many choice prunes, plums, pears, a few peaches, etc.  A steam engine of six-horse-power does the pumping necessary for irrigation.  The residence is a handsome one, built in 1875.  Mr. Waite has another place of twenty acres, three miles from Santa Clara, on the San Francisco road.  Here there are six acres in apricots, prunes, egg plums, etc., six acres in fine wine grapes, and four in choice table varieties.  No irrigation is required at this place.  It has a good four-room house, and is altogether an attractive and valuable place.

            Mr. Waite was married in Hannibal, Missouri, to Miss Mary Ann Wilkes, a native of Detroit, Michigan.  They have one son, William.

            In politics Mr. Waite is a Republican.

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. 351-352
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight