The Valley of Heart's Delight



Bio- Sawyers, page 416
MICHAEL CASEY
Horse Trainer-Laurel Wood Farm and Race Track, Alviso
Mayor of Gilroy
SURNNAMES-McLoughlin,Clark, Tracy, 
Seldom, if ever, has any public official in California retired from office, been the object of more confidence and esteem than Michael Casey, the ex-mayor of Gilroy. He was born in Ireland, and when a lad of six years crossed the Atlantic to the United States and went to Massachusetts, where he grew up on a farm about eighty miles from Boston. On July 14, 1867, he reached San Francisco, handicapped in respect to education; but he had keen powers of observation and reflection, and what little he had learned he put to use, and so, in one way or another, he got on in the world. In 1870 he came to Santa Clara County and found employment on a farm; and he assisted in raising potatoes and grain, the chief crops in those days. Prior to this he tried his skill on a dairy farm near Menlo Park, and before coming to Gilroy he was employed on the Laurel Wood Farm and Race Track, near Alviso. He was a keen admirer of fine horses and knew how to handle them, and he had a reputation for managing the wildest horses.

In June, 1872, Mrs. Casey removed to Gilroy, and for ten years he was manager of John Pain's livery stable. In 1886 he acquired by purchase a share in a partnership with Mr. Herold, who owned the brewery(?); and when Herold entered politics he bought out his interest in the business. Owing to the unsettled state of the title to land upon which the very site of the town was placed, Gilroy was held back in its development; and when in the early '80s the sum of $763,000 was paid by the people to Henry Miller, it was evident that some day there would be a city there. Michael Casey was among those who put the most faith in the municipal project; and then he backed that faith with all the property that he could muster--$1,100 which he paid for his land. In the period of the town's interesting development he served as councilman for several terms, and has twice been mayor of the city, each time laboring for the benefit of the people. When Mr. Casey first came to this locality he became a member of the volunteer fire department and was chief engineer. During his time in the service he practically remodeled the department, making it modern and up to date for that period. He was a member of the city council and on the water committee during the installation of the water system, voting $50,000 bonds and saving actually $4,000 in the work. He has been a Democrat, but he has never allowed narrow partisanship to embarrass him in rendering support to the best measures and the best men.

Mr. Casey has been a stockholder and a director of the Bank of Italy, and since it absorbed the old Bank of Gilroy some four years ago, he has served as a chairman of the board of the Gilroy branch of the Bank of Italy. He has completed one of Gilroy's best buildings, and given the government a lease of it for ten years for post office purposes. This structure represents an expenditure of $20,000, is furnished throughout with oak, and the basement is scaled water-tight, against possible high water in rainy seasons. The burglar-proof vault was completed in October, 1920. At present, Mr. Casey is living, retired, enjoying the well-earned fruits of the long years of hard and responsible labor, in which he made so many friends.

At Gilroy, on September 25, 1872, Mr. Casey was married to Miss Margaret McLoughlin, a lady of Irish parentage, who had lived in Gilroy about six years prior to her marriage. She, also, made a host of friends, and she was widely mourned, when she died, in 1886. Seven children were born of this union. Mary  M., a trained nurse, resides in Gilroy; Josephine and Evangeline
are at home; Georgiana has become Mrs. S.W. Tracy of San Francisco; Emily, her twin sister, is the wife of Dr. J. Clark, and they reside with their three sons at Gilroy; Thomas Francis, a dentist of San Francisco, has the degree of D.D.S., and enjoys a lucrative practice, he is the father of one son; Elizabeth is the wife of Harry Tracy of San Francisco. There are six grandchildren. The family attend the Roman Catholic Church, and Mr. Casey is a member of the Improved Order of Redmen.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 416

GILROY

SANTA CLARA -The Valley of Heart's Delight