The Valley of Heart's Delight


 Bio- Pen Pictures

was born in Stark County, Ohio, November 9, 1826. He was a son of Jacob and Barbara Schallenberger, who were emigrants from Germany, his father being of Swiss and his mother of German birth.  They both died in Stark County, when Moses was but six years of age, and he was taken into the family of Dr. Townsend, who had married his sister.  It was with them that he made the famous journey across the plains, as above related. [see The Murphy (Donner) Party]  Dr. Townsend was induced to undertake the journey to California by the ill health of his wife. At that time they were living in Buchanan County, Missouri, as was Mr. Montgomery, another of the party.  Montgomery was a gunsmith, and, during the winter of 1842-43 made a quantity of guns and pistols, ox shoes, and also fixed up the wagons, and did everything in the way of iron-work necessary to furnish a complete outfit for the trip.  They had intended to start early in the spring of 1843, but a Mr. Potter, who had an interest in the expedition, dying unexpectedly, the start was delayed until the next year.  They spent this time in perfecting their arrangements, among which was the marriage of Mr. Montgomery to a young lady, Miss Armstrong, who was living at Dr. Townsend’s. 

About the first of March they arrived at the rendezvous at Nisnabotna, where they were joined by the Murphy party.  To Mr. Schallenberger we are indebted for the facts concerning this historic journey which we have given above.  Of these first wagons that made tracks in California, Mr. Schallenberger has in his possession a wheel, which he guards as a precious relic.  Mr. Schallenberger’s first employment in California was in the mercantile establishment of Larkin and Greene at Monterey, where he remained until the termination of the Mexican War.  The firm was largely engaged in furnishing supplies to the United States navy, and Mr. Schallenberger’s duties consisted in procuring these supplies from the country, and superintending their delivery.  In July, 1848, furnished with an invoice of goods by the firm, he made a successful venture on his own account in the mines on Yuba River.  Later he engaged with James H. Gleason as a partner in trade in Mexican goods at Monterey, which he closed in December, 1850, when the death of his brother-in-law, Dr. Townsend, necessitated his coming to San Jose to manage his estate.

 The same fatherly care that he had received from the doctor was, in return, bestowed by him on the doctor’s only child, John H. M. Townsend.  He was married September 20, 1854, to Miss Fannie Everitt, at the residence of Thomas Selby, in San Francisco.  Mrs. Schallenberger is a native of Alabama, born in 1834.  Her father, John Everitt, was for six years judge of the Court of Common Pleas at Mobile, and his ability as a lawyer and fairness as a judge, is shown by the fact that no decision of his was ever reversed.  Mrs. Schallenberger came to San Francisco in 1852, with her brother-in-law, Mr. S. L. Jones.  The young couple set up housekeeping on Dr. Townsend’s estate, but a year later they moved to the homestead, on the Coyote River, two miles north of San Jose, where they have lived ever since.  The house they first erected was burned in 1870, but was immediately replaced by one more adapted to their prosperous circumstances, and in keeping with the progress of the country.  Their present home is large, convenient, and substantial, and is surrounded with beautiful grounds, ornamented with choice shrubbery and flowers.  The house was erected at a cost of $13,000.  The farm consists of one hundred and fifteen acres of fertile sediment land, devoted to the production of fruit and vegetables.  Mr. Schallenberger was one of the early horticulturists, having planted ten acres to orchard in 1858.  They have had five children, viz.:  Louise, wife of Thomas Montgomery, San Jose; Margaret E., a teacher in the State Normal School; Lloyd E., in business with his uncle, S. L. Jones, at San Francisco; Fanny, a student at the State Normal School; and Milton P.  Mr. Schallenberger is a member of the Santa Clara County Pioneer Society, by which association he is held in the highest regard, both on account of his trials in the early days, and his character as a citizen.

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. p. 56-57

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler