The Valley of Heart's Delight


BIO- Pen Pictures


Rev. L. W. Krahl, of Meridian District, owns a productive farm of twenty acres, devoted to fruit culture, on the road leading from San Jose to
Saratoga, three miles west of the city.  He made the purchase of this property on the seventh of June, 1882, at which time about one-half of it
was set to trees, one and two years old.  During the following two years, the remainder of the farm was converted  into orchard, one-half of the work being done each year.  A small house was then on the property, and to it has been added the main building, forming the substantial residence of to-day.

Mr. Krahl is a native of Trumbull County, Ohio, where he was born November 16, 1835.  He is the son of Samuel and Catherine (Gray) Krahl, who married in 1825, and settled in the dense forests of that country during the following year, creating a comfortable home in the wilderness.  The first barn in all that section raised without the aid of whisky was erected by Samuel Krahl.  It still stands, possibly as a monument to temperance.

Samuel Krahl was born in Georgetown, on the Ohio River, of which place his father, who came from Far-off Germany to seek a home in the new country, was a pioneer.  He was one of the original Abolitionists, and a supporter of James G. Birney in 1844.  He was a practical Christian and a member of the Congregational Church, and in his death, which occurred in 1879, at the age of eighty years, the community lost an honored and respected citizen.  His widow has reached the ripe age of eighty-five years, and still lives upon the old homestead, with her youngest son, Eli B.  Her eldest son, George N., lives in Kansas, but intends become a resident of this county.

L. W. Krahl, the subject of this sketch, is the second son.  He spent his boyhood years on his father's homestead, receiving as good educational
advantages as the new country afforded.  At the age of sixteen, he entered Oberlin College, passed through its classes with credit, and graduated in  1858.  He then engaged in teaching, and followed the profession until 1861. On the twentieth of March of that year, he was united in marriage with Miss Nellie. S. Pepper, daughter of John and Ruth Pepper.  She was born March 20, 1838, in England, coming with her parents to Ohio (Ashtabula County) when fourteen years of age.

Mr. Krahl was converted in his nineteenth year, under the preaching of Rev. J. H. Fairchild, and joined the Congregational Church.  In the spring of 1862 he entered the ministry of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.  He engaged in preaching the gospel for sixteen years, being located in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.  When failing health necessitated a change, he came to California.  After visiting different portions of the State, he decided upon Santa Clara County as the place which combined a health-giving climate with a productive soil and great natural beauty.  His home, in this lovely valley, he calls the "Evergreen Place."  His orchard, of which mention has been made, is a very fine one indeed.  It contains 1,415 French prunes, 24 Silver prune, 2 Hungarian prune, 502 apricot, 140 peach, 230 cherry black and white), 200 yellow egg plum, 100 Columbia plum, 10 nectarine, 10 pear, 29 apple, 7 almond, 4 English walnut, and 2 Italian chestnut trees.  It is literally true that Mr. Krahl lives "under his own vine and fig tree," for his orchard contains also a fig tree!  The thrifty condition of the trees (so great in number and in variety) shows Mr. Krahl to be one of the most efficient horticulturists of the district.  Not only the orchard, but also the hose and all its surroundings, evince the care and attention bestowed upon them.  In connection with the fruit interests, more extended mention must be made of the productiveness of the orchard.  We give the estimate for 1887; 502 apricot trees yielded almost 30 tons, from which were realized nearly $900; while 230 young cherry trees yielded $380 worth of fruit.  The crop of prunes was the lightest, 24 tons being harvested, and sold for $960.  The total yield of all fruits was 79 tons, and the total receipts nearly $3,000.  Such results cannot but be encouraging.

Mr. and Mrs. Krahl have two daughters' Blanche, now the wife of the Rev. John B. Kinney, of Syracuse, New York, now of San Jose; and Bertha, wife of  Rev. T. H. Lawson, who is now pastor of the First Wesleyan Church of San Jose.  His niece, Miss Elleta Elmer, was adopted at the age of two years, and is now a member of their household.  She is the orphan daughter of Mr. Krahl's sister, Mrs. Pluma Elmer, who died at Yuba City, in this State, where her husband, Henry Elmer, made his home many years ago.  Mr. Krahl has two sisters living in this State.  The eldest is a graduate of Oberlin College, and is the wife of Judge J. L. Wilbur, of Yuba City.  The other sister, Alice, is the wife of J. S. Brame of  Monterey.

Mr. Krahl is not now actively engaged in the ministry, but is ready at all times to aid in extending the Master's Kingdom.  Many opportunities for  ministerial work present themselves, and Mr. Krahl cheerfully responds to all demands of this nature on his time.  For years Mr. Krahl was a member of the Republican party, but when prohibition was made a political issue he joined the ranks of its supporters, and has since adhered to that party.

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.
p. 461, 462  Transcribed by Debbie Machado Coombs