Bio- Pen Pictures



            John W. Lyndon, son of Samuel and Polly Caroline Lyndon, was born at Alburgh Springs, Grand Isle County, Vermont, February 18, 1836.  When between ten and twelve years of age he left home and began to earn his own livelihood.  At this age he went to New Hampshire, and from there to Massachusetts, and was in Maine for a short time.

 He came to California in October, 1859, by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and landed in San Francisco after a voyage of twenty-three days.  The next day after his arrival he went to San Jose, where he remained a few days, when he went to Lexington and hired out to H. M. Hervey, who kept a boarding-house.  His first business was the driving of an ox team, and it was the first attempt of his life in that business.  To show his skill in the work, he says he tipped his wagon over the first day!  Soon becoming dissatisfied with this business, he applied for something else to do, and was sent by the proprietor to his ranch.  When he began to work for Mr. Hervey he had but sixty cents.  After remaining with him two months, he hired to Bernard Joseph, who kept a grocery and general store in Lexington, where he worked more than two years.  The money saved during this time he invested in a piece of land in the Willows, near San Jose.

 He then went to San Francisco, bought some goods, and started a little store of his own in Lexington.  After carrying on the business for a year, Joseph proposed a partnership, which was accepted, and the business carried on under the firm name of Joseph & Lyndon.  After a year and a half, Joseph sold his interest to Lyndon, who continued in the business until 1868, making considerable money.  He sold out in 1868, and took a trip back to Vermont, going via Panama.  He came back to Santa Clara County in the fall of 1869, and bought the 100-acre tract on which the hotel called the “Ten Mile House” is situated, which at that time was owned by H. D. McCabb.  He paid $7,500 for it, and two months afterward sold it for $10,000, and four years thereafter he re-purchased it for $8,500!  Upon his return to this county he located in Los Gatos, and rented the piece of land on which the Wilcox House and depot now stand, and kept a lumber yard, supplying people all over the valley with lumber.  When the railroad came through Los Gatos, in 1877, Mr. Lyndon cut up a part of his land into lots, which was the beginning of the laying out and selling of lots in Los Gatos.  After he sold his 100-acre tract the first time, he bought a lot and moved his lumber yard to East Los Gatos, and continued the business there.  He also built a dwelling-house and store, which was the second store kept in Los Gatos.  Mr. Lyndon has been a very successful business man.  When he came to California he did not spend his money as fast as he earned it, as many did, but was saving and industrious, and invested his money in property as he earned it.  The first property he bought in the Willows for $500, he afterward sold for $4,000.  When Los Gatos was incorporated, in 1887, Mr. Lyndon was elected a member of the Board of Trustees, and again in 1888, and is now President of the Board.  He has been a School Trustee for many years, and has probably done more to build up the town of Los Gatos than any other man.  He was one of the original stockholders of the Los Gatos Fruit Packing Company, organized in 1882, and of the Los Gatos Gas Company, incorporated in 1884.  He is also a stockholder in the Los Gatos Bank.

            Mr. Lyndon was married, in 1872, to Theresa Rector, a native of Missouri, a daughter of W. H. Rector, one of the early settlers of Oregon, who afterward removed to California.  They have two children:  Ora Everett, aged twelve years, and Irma Lyle, aged eight years.  Mr. Lyndon built, in 1887, his present residence, situated on one of the beautiful knolls in Los Gatos, overlooking the valley and surrounding country, which he calls “Lyndon Home.”

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. 310-302
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy