Bio- Sawyers

An educator of high standing in Santa Clara County who has had a long experience of unusual interest in the military service of his  country is Lewis H. Britton, now principal of the Live Oak Union high school at Morgan Hill.  Mr. Britton is a native of Santa Clara County and was born at San Jose January 14, 1881.  His parents were Ephriam and Mary Jane (Montgomery) Britton, the father a native of Ireland who came from County Donegal, in Ulster, to America when a boy of twelve years. He located on a stock farm near   Philadelphia, Pa., where he grew up, and after his marriage came to California, arriving here in the  early '60s, locating at Murphy station, now Sunnyvale, where he acquired a large farm and continued to prosper until his death in November, 1914, Mrs. Britton having passed away in 1904.

Lewis H. Britton attended the Braly district school  and later the Santa Clara high school.  While a student there, at the age of seventeen he enlisted in the U S Army during the Spanish -American War, serving for twelve months and receiving his honorable discharge in February, 1899, at San Francisco. On receiving his diploma from the San Jose high school he entered the Washburn Preparatory School and upon completing the courses there matriculated at Stanford University in 1901, receiving his A. B. degree in 1905.  He then entered the U. S. Army, was commissioned a second lieutenant and immediately dispatched to Manila, and remained in the Philippine Islands from 1905 to 1908.

On his return to civilian life, Mr. Britton was instrumental in organizing the high school of Gonzales, one of the first Union high schools in Monterey County, and he remained there for two years.  From 1910 to 1913 he was head of the history department of the Stockton high school, and in the latter year came to Santa Clara County  where he became the head of the Morgan Hill schools .  In 1916 he was given a leave of absence and again entered the military service of his county as first lieutenant in the Fifth California Infantry  Accompanying the expeditionary forces to Mexico; he was in that country for eight months, returning in March, 1917.  He became a member of General Funston's staff, and while on duty guarding the bridges and tunnels of the Northern division of the Southern Pacific Railroad, he received orders to report at camp Kearny, where he reorganized and named the One Hundred Fifty-ninth Infantry.  He was  promoted to a captaincy and went overseas, being attached to the Second Army in France, and he spent twenty-six months in the service there, a period filled with interesting experiences, during which time he was able to travel over a goodly portion of France.  On his return to the United States he received his honorable discharge in April, 1919.

On December 17, 1910, Mr. Britton was married to Miss Mabel L. Lopeman of San Jose, the daughter of Rev. A. S. and Amanda Lopeman, now residents of Imperial Valley.  One daughter , Nellie Jane, has been born to them. Mr. Britton stands high in fraternal circles, being a Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner, a member of the Elks at San Joe, and of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Politically he is a Republican. In addition to his professional work, Mr. Britton has important horticultural interest being a half owner of the holdings of Britton Brothers, fancy pear and prune growers, of Sunnyvale, Cal, an enterprise that has proven very successful.

Lewis H.  Britton School- Morgan Hill
Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922, page 1317-1318