The Valley of Heart's Delight

 Lyman J. Burrell
Came in '49
(see History of Burrell)

BIO Pen Pictures

LYMAN J. BURRELL, deceased, was born in Massachusetts, September 5, 1801. Both of his parents were natives of Massachusetts. His father, Jabez Burrell, was one of eight sons and three daughters. Lyman lived in Massachusetts until he was twelve years old, when his father removed to the Western Reserve and settled in Sheffield, Lorain County, Ohio. His father was a pioneer, and took up and cleared his land. Lyman had a farm in Sheffield given him by his father, which he cultivated. He married when about twenty-six years old, and his wife died six or seven years afterward. He was married again in 1839, to Clarissa Wright, a native of Connecticut. Previous to this he went to Elyria, the county seat of Lorain County, and was twice elected County Treasurer on the Whig ticket.

In 1849, he came to California, leaving his family at home. He worked in the mines with average success for two years or more, and made about $2,000. On returning to Elyria, and while crossing the Isthmus at Panama, he contracted the "Panama" fever, and was in a very weak condition when he reached his home in Ohio. In about a year, thinking himself sufficiently well, he started for California, but upon reaching New York was obliged to return home. In 1852 he made the journey, and his family joined him the following year. Upon his arrival in California he rented land from Cary Peebles, of Santa Clara, planted four or five acres to onions, and in 1853 he planted potatoes and pumpkins on land belonging to the late James Lick. In June, 1853, he made his first excursion into the mountains with a party looking for a home, and all took up land on the ridge between the Burrell and Los Gatos Creeks. He took one-fourth of a section, under the pre-emption laws, supposing it to be government land, and built a house and settled there. The other parties with him took up claims for stock ranches and were only there at times. The nearest permanent neighbor was Charles McKierman, familiarly known as "Mountain Charley", and he was three and a half miles away.

After living there six years he found he was on a Spanish grant. He thereupon bought a third of one-ninth interest in the grant, his share being about 3,500 acres, for which he paid $1,500. He engaged in stock-raising, first raising hogs, but had to give that up as there were too many bears and panthers. He then took a herd of cattle on shares from John A. Quincy, and made some money. During the first five years he lived there, there was no wagon road, till the Santa Cruz Turnpike was built. His nearest post-office was Santa Clara, and everything was packed to and from his place on the backs of horses. For two years he followed the old Santa Cruz trail, striking it at "Mountain Charley's". Instead of traveling this roundabout way any longer he picked out and opened a trail from his place toward San Jose, which was adopted by the Turnpike Company when it built the turnpike road. He sold off his land from time to time in large and small tracts, so that at the time of his death he had but about 1,000 acres left. His wife died in 1857. She was the mother of three children: James Birney, Martha, and Clara, the wife of H. C. Morrell. He married again in 1864, Mrs. Lucy Lewis, who died in January, 1875. He was again married in February, 1876, to Mrs. P. T. Vining. He died June 3, 1884.

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.

Transcribed by: Carol Lackey page 263


SANTA CLARA COUNTY-The Valley of Heart's Delight