The Valley of Heart's Delight

Mateo Arnerich



    Bio-Pen Pictures

Mateo Arnerich, deceased, was born on the island of Brazza, in the Adriatic Sea, - an island under the jurisdiction of the Austrian Government.  In 1826, when fourteen years of age, he became a sailor boy, starting from Rome.  He followed a sea-faring life for fourteen years, visiting every sea and ocean.  He came from China to San Francisco in 1849, and never left the State of his adoption but once, when he went, in 1872, to visit the scenes and friends of his childhood days.  In 1852 Mr. Arnerich came to the Santa Clara Valley, and soon after became interested in agriculture.


     In May, 1856, he was united in marriage with Mrs. Elizabeth (Brown) Moylan, widow of Edward Moylan.  They bought property in the Narvaze grant, and opened a farm, which they occupied for twelve years.  They then found that no valid title to it could be obtained, and so left the place, and by pre-emption and purchase secured 160 acres of choice land, which constitute the present family homestead in the Union District.  The ranch is located in an angle of the Santa Clara and Guadaloupe road, which bounds it on the north and east.  Mr. and Mrs. Arnerich commenced life on the ranch in a comfortable house, which several years ago gave place to the substantial family residence of to-day.  Mr. Arnerich was an active, energetic man, and carried forward the improvement of his property quite rapidly.  The neighborhood lost in him a citizen actively interested in all movements tending to the general good.  His death, which occurred May 3, 1883, was caused by injuries received in being thrown from a buggy, near his own home.  His widow and her seven children, John, Catharine, Elizabeth, Mateo, Paul, Isabelle, and Margaret - all yet making their home with their mother, - are quite well provided for.


     Mrs. Arnerich was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1831.  She was nine years of age when her parents, William and Catharine Brown, emigrated to Australia, whence, after a residence of ten years, they came to San Francisco.  Later they became pioneers of Union District.  Mr. Brown's death resulting from an accidental fall, occurred in 1854.  His widow now lives in San Jose, on property belonging to her daughter, Mrs. Arnerich.  William D. Brown, the chief of police at San Jose, is a brother of Mrs. Arnerich.  The first marriage of Mrs. Arnerich occurred at San Francisco, in January, 1851.  Her husband died of consumption, ten months later.  Quite a large portion of the family homestead, of which mention has been made, is now devoted to the raising of grapes and fruit.  A vineyard of sixty acres furnishes a general variety of wine and table grapes.  In the orchard can be found olive, fig, pomegranate, orange, and lemon trees.  As a rarity, twelve trees bearing "St. John's sweet-bread" must not be overlooked.

     Mrs. Arnerich and her children are consistent members of the Catholic Church. 


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, Page 420, 421 

Transcribed by: Beverly Green