Bio Pen Pictures
JOHN W. BADGER
of the Willow District, owns a home on Plummer Avenue, between Curtner Avenue and Foxworthy road. He has been a resident of this neighborhood since 1880, in which year he bought forty acres, between Lincoln Avenue
and the Almaden road. This tract he changed from its natural state into one of the finest fruit farms in the district, planting about 4,000 trees, principally prunes. The purchase price was $200 per acre. In 1884 he sold fifteen acres, at $450 per acre, to Thomas Osborn, and in 1885 twenty-five acres, at $500 per acre, to Hugh L. Cameron. While the trees were developing, Mr. Badger planted about twenty acres to rhubarb, realizing from the product $1,000
per year, on the average. After selling to Cameron, he bought his present home, where he and his father together own eighteen acres, all devoted to fruit. They paid $500 per acre, the trees being five and six years of age. In
1887 $2,200 were realized from the product of thirteen acres, four acres being covered by re-grafted trees.
Mr. Badger is a native of Meredith, Belknap County, Hew Hampshire, dating his birth August 16, 1847. He is the son of George G. and Frances G. (Whidden) Badger, both of whom are natives of New Hampshire, the father of Meredith,
and the mother of Portsmouth. John W. is the eldest of four children, two sons and two daughters. He was reared to farm life, although his first labor in youth was in his father's tannery. Although but seventeen years of age, he
enlisted, in 1864, in the First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, and served in he Twenty-second Army Corps in the defenses of Washington, being discharged at the close of the war. His father inlisted, in 1862, in the Twelfth Volunteer Infantry of New Hampshire. He served with great honor, being severely sounded at the battle of Chancellorsville, when a musket ball passed through both hips. This wound necessitated his discharge from the army. In compensation for his services to his country, he receives a pension of $12 per month.
In 1872 John came to California, having borrowed the money with which to make the journey, and engaged himself as a laborer on a ranch owned by his maternal uncle, William Whidden, of Alameda County. Here he earned $40 per month
during the summer and $30 per month during the winter. At the end of four years he bought four horses and a gang-plow, and, renting land, commenced work for himself. He worked this place for three years, paying one-fourth of the
crop for rent, and clearing one year about $800. He came, in 1880, to the Willows, where, by industry and good management, he succeeded far beyond his expectations. In 1880 Mr. Badger was joined by his parents, who, until that
time, had lived at the old home in New Hampshire.
Mr. Badger is a Republican in politics, and a member of John A. Dix Post, G. A. R., No. 42, San Jose.
SOURCE: Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or
Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.-
page 453-454, transcribed by Roena Wilson
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
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SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY