Bio-Pen Pictures

            Among the large land‑owners of the county must be mentioned the subject of this sketch. His fine ranch of 175 acres is on the Coffin road, in the Alviso School District, four miles northwest of Santa Clara, and one and a half miles south of Alviso. Ten acres are reserved for the culture of strawberries of the Longworth, Cheney, and Sharpless varieties, and the remainder of this large farm produces hay, grain, and stock. The stock which Mr. Parsons raises includes a dairy of thirty cows and the horses which are needed in carrying on the farm operations. A plentiful supply of water is furnished by three artesian wells, flowing from one inch to two and one-half inches above a seven-inch pipe.

Mr. Parsons dates his birth in Cumberland County, near Portland, Maine, November 2, 1819. His parents, Moses and Salome (Haskell) Parsons, were natives of the county of his birth, and descendants of the first settlers of the old Massachusetts Colony. His father died when he was an infant, and his youth was spent on a farm. He received the education of the common and private schools of the day, but, being ambitious and desirous of learning, he instructed himself to a certain degree, and was afterward a teacher in the district schools. When but twenty years of age, he commenced life for himself by engaging in farm labor, teaming, and various other pursuits.

In 1849 he married Miss Harriet A. Wright, daughter of John and Priscilla (Gardner) Wright, of Chelsea, Massachusetts. The discovery of gold in California was attracting thousands to the mines, and the wonderful stories of easily acquired wealth were not without their influence upon Mr. Parsons, although he never sought for the gold in its crude state. Soon after his marriage he made preparations to come to this State, and on the twenty-eighth of December, 1849, with his wife he embarked in the ship Plymouth, Captain Pousland commanding, for a voyage around Cape Horn. After a safe and uneventful voyage, he landed at San Francisco on the twenty-eighth of June, 1850, and on the twenty-eighth of July of the same year came to Santa Clara County. He became a resident of Alviso, then but a hamlet, and opened and conducted the American hotel. He was one of the pioneers of the county and first white settlers of Alviso.

After spending two years there, he purchased the place which he has ever since called his home, and at once commenced its cultivation, being also engaged, until the advent of railroads, in teaming. Thus we see that Mr. Parsons had been a resident of the county since 1850—a period of thirty-eight years. The wonderful development which he has witnessed forms in itself a rich experience. One can hardly give too much honor to the old pioneers of our State, who, through difficulties and discouragements, have created comfortable homes for themselves, and have made it possible for thousands of others to do the same. As is fitting in one who has been so long and thoroughly identified with the interests of his section, Mr. Parsons is deeply interested in all the public enterprises of the county. Politically, he is a fervent and consistent Republican.


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.

Pg. 425-426



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight