BIO-Pen Pictures


MICHAEL SANOR, one of the respected pioneers of California, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, October 1, 1822. He is the son of Michael and Susan Sanor, who were among the early settlers of that county. The early life of the subject of this sketch was spent in the laborious work common to the sons of Ohio farmers in those days---in helping to improve the homestead of his parents, caring for the stock, etc. He had but little time for schooling, and very limited indeed were the advantages that were offered to the children of that country fifty or sixty years ago, even to those who could be spared from labor. Close observation of passing events, the mingling with the world brought about by an active life, a naturally inquiring and retentive mind, all have enabled Mr. Sanor to more than merely overcome the disadvantages of his youth.

In the sprig of 1839 the family removed to Ray County, Missouri. There the mother died within one week after reaching her new home. The family lived upon a farm, but the subject of our sketch learned wool-carding and the cabinet-maker's trade. These two occupations furnished him employment until the gold excitement of 1849 induced him to seek for wealth in the mines of this State. With his father and two brothers, Jackson and Van Buren, he came by the overland route with ox teams, reaching Carson Valley early in September, 1849, after a journey of a little more then four months.

Only a short time was spent in the mines, when Mr. Sanor became a farmer in Santa Clara County, commencing the improvement of a farm of 148 acres in what is now the Doyle District, about two and one-half miles southwest of Santa Clara. There he made his home, and reared a family of children. There, as a prosperous farmer, he lived until August 1887, when, selling at a good price ($225 per acre), he erected a dwelling on Delmas Avenue, in one of the suburbs of San Jose. With the good wife, who had so well done her part in helping to build up his home and fortunes, he settled down to a retired life, free from the cares and anxieties of the management of his estate. But all of his plans for the future were disturbed by the greatest bereavement of his life. His devoted wife, Mrs. Susan (Norton) Sanor, passed to the better land March 9, 1888. She was born in Canada in 1837, and was the daughter of Edward Norton. She came to Santa Clara County with her parents in 1854, and was united in Marriage with Mr. Sanor in May of the following year. She was the mother of four Children, viz.: Susan, the wife of John P. Norton, whose history appears in this connection; John E. and Augustine H., who reside now (1888) in San Jose; and Walter, attending school. Since the death of his wife, Mr. Sanor has made his home with his son-in-law, Mr. Norton, in the immediate neighborhood of the old homestead, where he and his wife lived for a period longer than the average generation. The father of Mr. Sanor established his pioneer home on what has been, in late years, known as the "Dr. Warburton Ranch," on the Stevens Creek road. There he died in 1873. The two brothers, Jackson and Van Buren, are now (1888) living, the former at Los Angeles, and the latter in Santa Barbara County. One brother, William, who came to this coast about 1877, now lives in Oregon.

Michael Sanor is a good representative of the pioneers, who by indomitable courage and persevering labor laid broad and deep the foundations of the prosperity which Santa Clara County now enjoys. His worthy life has won the respect, esteem, and confidence of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

SOURCE:  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 449-50  Transcribed by Roena Wilson


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight