—Among the early settlers of Santa Clara County who came here as early as 1876 and settled on Government land by homesteaded preemption, is John R. McCarthy, now living retired in the vicinity of Cupertino. His experience in the early days was typical of the growing West, and he worked his way from a very small beginning to his present state of independence. A native of Ireland, he was born in County Kerry, December 10, 1851, the son of Richard and Helen (Lane) McCarthy. John's opportunity for an education was very limited in his native land; his summers were spent in helping his father on the farm, the entire period of his school days being only two ears, during the winter months. There were eight children in his father's family, namely, Cornelius, deceased; Johanna, deceased; Florence, a resident of Ireland; Mary, deceased; John R., our subject; Katherine and Ellen, in Ireland, and Bridget, deceased. When a young man in 1876 Mr. McCarthy left Ireland for America and came direct to San Tose, Santa Clara County, Cal. His first work was picking cherries one day for Judge Archer for $1.50 a day, and he paid seventy-five cents for his board; then at haying and later on the railroad awhile, when he went to Solano County and worked on a farm for one year; then went to Los Angeles in 1877 and worked for "Lucky" Baldwin on his Santa Anita Rancho for eleven months. Returning north, he worked for two years on ranches near Menlo Park; then went to Alpine County and tried his luck at mining, but at the end of four months found that the work underground was too unhealthy and hard and left and came back to Santa Clara County and rented a ranch of 490 acres on the Permanente Creek and farmed this for twelve years. During the year of 1882 he preempted 160 acres, which was later changed to a homestead; he farmed this for twenty-four years, then sold eighty acres of it to the San Francisco Sugar Company; later he sold forty acres, and the balance was planted to vineyard. He lost his vines by disease and reset it to resistant vines and grafted them to wine grapes. In 1915 he sold the remainder of his ranch and purchased an acre and a half in Cupertino and built two residences on it, residing in one and renting the other.

The marriage of Mr. McCarthy occurred in Oakland, August 10, 1884, and united him with Miss Margaret Bronsan, a native also of County Kerry, Ireland, born within four miles of her husband's birthplace. She is the daughter of Cornelius and Eleanor (Casey) Bronsan, farmers in their native land. Mrs. McCarthy was the ninth of a family of twelve children, and during 1879 she came to the United States and lived in Oakland until her marriage. In his political belief Mr. McCarthy favors the candidate best fitted for the office regardless of party lines. Fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Columbus and both belong to the Catholic Church.

Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 729


Although retired from the active cares of life, Hugh Macdonald still takes an interested part in the affairs of his locality and can be counted on to to give his aid to all matters of progress and development. Born in Kings County, Prince Edward Island, Canada, April 12. 1846, the son of John E. and Margaret (Walker) Macdonald, also born there of Scctch parents, he came with his parents to California in 1867 and they first located in San Francisco, later removing to the Livermore Valley, where they engaged in farming. Both parents have passed away, the father having died in 1870, shortly after removing to the Livermore Valley, while the mother died in San Francisco.

Hugh Macdonald was the fourth oldest of twelve children and began his education in the schools. of Canada. He farmed in the Livermore Valley for seven years, then spent two years at Santa Maria. and later removed to the Santa Cruz Mountains, where he worked in the redwood country for two seasons. He then took up a ranch in the mountains at the head of Kings Creek and lived there for eight years. His marriage in San Jose, December 31, 1881, united him with Miss Marcella Moultrie, born near Santa Clara, and she is the daughter of Riley Moultrie, who was a member of the Donner party. The father was a rancher at Santa Clara and later at Saratoga, and he died in San Jose, being survived by his widow, who is now ninety-one years old. Mr. and Mrs. Macdonald are the parents of two sons. Harland B. and Jerome E., both in the Imperial Valley, and there is one grandchild.

In 1900 Mr. Macdonald removed to his present home on the Saratoga Springs Road, which consists of thirty-nine acres. He cleared the land and set out the trees, and this highly improved orchard now yields him a handsome profit each year. He also. has valuable property in the Imperial Valley. For thirteen years he was the trusted and efficient employee of the San Jose Water Company and purchased his land from them. He is a stanch Democrat and has served the Castle Rock district as a school trustee. In 1899 Mr. Macdonald went to Nome, Alaska. and engaged in mining at Council City until 1904. during which time he spent two winters in the frozen North. During his long residence here he has seen much of the development of this section of the state and Santa Clara County and his mental and moral characteristics are such as have won for him the esteem and confidence of all who know him.

Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 731