The Valley of Heart's Delight

Prune Grower, Santa Clara County

Surnames:  White, Martin,

A man who by his own efforts has risen to a prominent pace among the agriculturists and horticulturists in the Santa Clara Valley is Joseph Walter Dudley Blabon, a native son of the county, born on the old Blabon ranch on the Mountain View Road, June 12 1865.  He is the son of Walter L. and Anna F. (White) Blabon, natives of Chesterville, Maine, and Boston, Mass., respectively.  His grandfather, Dr. Otis Blabon, was also a native of Maine and was a seafaring man, as well as a physician.  He had sailed all over the world, studied navigation and in time became a captain.  Deciding to come to California, he and his son Francis secured passage in a four-mast schooner named Sacramento, bound for San francisco.  On the way the captain and second mate died and when they put in to Acapulco the first mate was very ill and it was thought wise to leave him.  Thus it became necessary that Otis Blabon take command as captain as he was the only man aboard that understood navigation, and he brought the schooner safely into port where he turned it over to the company agent in San Francisco.

Dr. Blabon then came to Santa Clara County purchasing land on the Stevens Creek Road where he resided on the farm and practiced medicine until 1863.  He then returned to Maine  remaining there until 1875, when he came back to Santa Clara County  and located near Saratoga.  One of the sons, George Blabon, was the founder of the George Blabon Company of Philadelphia, today the largest  manufacturers of oil cloth in the world.  Walter Blabon came to California via Panama in 1860 arriving in San Francisco on December 8.  He farmed in the Cupertino district for four years.  In 1864 he purchased the old homestead which consisted of 130 acres where he engaged in  farming and reared a family of four children.

J. D. Blabon, as our subject is familiarly known, has been a close student of orcharding and is a pioneer in the fruit industry. By his well directed efforts and close application he has become one of the  largest prune growers in Santa Clara County.   His land holding over the state are extensive, his favorite possession being Madrone Mineral Springs, a hunting lodge beautifully located in the center of 400 acres of the Mount Hamilton range.  Mr. Blabon first became interested in these springs, when after a stay  of five weeks the drinking of the water entirely cured him of  a serious stomach trouble that different physicians had been unable to conquer, and on finding that property was for sale, he purchased it.  The medicinal property of the water has great curative power, so pronounced by the leading physicians of  the state.

In San Francisco March 8, 1874, J. D. Blabon was united in marriage with Miss Abbie  Martin, a native daughter, and their union has been blessed with three children:: Walter Vance, Kingdon B. and Elodiie.  The name of Blabon will always stand out prominently in California and Santa Clara Valley, for the first members oft he family in this state were forerunners of its development and aided materially in brining about its present prosperity  The younger generation are following in the footsteps of their sires and are found in the vanguard where progress is the watchword, and of these J. D. Blabon is recognized as one of the leaders.  His entire life has been actuated by high principles and honorable actions and his efforts in behalf of the progress of his community have been far reaching. As a horticulturist he is among the most successful in the valley.  He is a man of great energy and has accomplished much in the development of the great natural resoures of this famous valley.

Transcribed by  Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 596


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