Surnames: Hassinger, Herbert, Dinsmore, Moody
A native of Nevada, Lillie Blackford is a representative in both the
paternal and maternal lines of pioneer families of the state and in San
Jose. The Blackford family was established in Virginia during the
Colonial period in the history of this country. The paternal
grandfather, Samuel Blackford, started across the plains to California
with his family in 1850, traveling with ox team and prarie schooner and
going by way of Salt Lake Valley. His wife succumbed to the hardships
of the journey and passed away ere they reached their destination,
while he was kidnapped by Indians, but managed to make his escape and
rejoin the party.
He started out with a large number of cattle but ere he reached San
Jose these were all stolen from him by cattle rustlers, who left only
the ox team. He acquired from the Spanish government a 160-acre ranch
on the Los Gatos road, about four miles from San Jose, and on this
place he built a good house, devoting his land to the raising of grain
and continued active in the management of the farm until his death.
His son, George W. Blackford, was born in Ohio in December, 1843, and
he became a member of the second class that was graduated from the
University of the Pacific in San Jose, where he completed a law course.
Going to Marysville, he there opened an office, but at the end of a
short time returned to San Jose, where he wedded Miss Lillie G.
Hassinger, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., and a representative of an
old Maryland family. In 1859 she had come to California with her
parents, who settled in Santa Clara County.
Following their marriage the young couple went to Dayton, Nevada, where
Mr. Blackford practiced law for a few years and then returned to San
Jose, becoming one of the prominent attorneys of this city. He also
devoted considerable attention to fruit raising and took much pride in
the development of his home ranch which he, too, had purchased from the
Mexican government, which he irrigated by means of deep wells; also
adding many other improvments and converting it into one of the model
farm properties in Santa Clara County. On that place he resided until
1885, when he erected a beautiful home at 53 South Sixth street, San
Jose, and here his daughter Lillie is now livings. He passed away on
January 29, 1909, and Mrs. Blackford died April 29, 1914, and in 1917
the ranch was sold.
Mr. and Mrs. Blackford became the parents of six children, of whom the
subject of this review is the eldest. The others are May F, (
ed note- Graduated State Normal School, San Jose, 1888-and taught at least two years in Monterey County)now
wife of F.H. Herbert, of San Francisco; Mrs. Alice L. Dinsmore, a
resident of Los Gatos; Maude C. Blackford, who is at home with her
sister; Mrs. Florence G. Moody, of San Jose; and Walter G., who is also
living in this city.
Miss Blackford is a member of the Episcopal Church, while the other
members of the family are Presbyterians in religious faith. She gives
her political allegiance to the Democratic party, all that pertains to
the welfare and progress of community, state and nation. By inheritance
she bears a name that has ever been an honored one in connection with
the pioneer development and later upbuilding of the state and in her
own career she exemplifies those commendable qualities which have at
all times been a distinguishing trait of the family.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
TO SANTA CLARA PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES
published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 424
SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY- The Valley of Heart's Delight