Rose Hill Farm
Bio-Pen Pictures 259
MARTIN J. TAAFFE, of Fremont Township,
is one of the enterprising young
men of Santa Clara County. He is a native of San Francisco, and son of
William P. and Elizabeth Uva (Murphy) Taaffe. His father was for years
a large wholesale merchant, and again carried on business in Santa
Clara County. His death occurred in San Francisco. The mother of the
subject of this sketch was a daughter of Martin
Murphy, Sr., whose
portrait adorns this work, and who, as the leader of that noble party
of settlers of 1844, did so much toward establishing the authority of
the United States over this section, and made for himself and his
descendants a name that will always hold a high place of honor in the
history of California.
Martin J. Taaffe was but two years of age when his parents
removed to Santa Clara County from San Francisco, and he was reared at
their residence, the old Martin Murphy homestead, near Mountain View.
He was educated at Santa Clara College, and then went to work
superintending the extensive farming operations on the old homestead.
Seven months later, in 1887, he came to his present location, on the
farm of the Taaffe heirs, consisting of 4,400 acres, in which he owns
an undivided one-fourth interest. He farms 1,100 acres, and calls this
tract Rose Hill Farm. The location of this farm is certainly a
desirable one. From it a commanding view may be obtained of a large
portion of the Santa Clara Valley, while the bay, Oakland, a part of
San Franicsco, and a part of several neighboring counties, may be
plainly seen. The Adobe Creek runs through the place, and numerous
never-failing springs supply an abundance of water for all purposes.
The new residence, constructed in 1888, at a cost of over $5,000,
occupies probably the most beautiful natural building site on the
ranch, being on a level, shelf-like spot, well up on the hill-side.
There is, however a large spring higher up, from which water for
domestic purposes will be obtained, and brought to the house by means
of pipes. About 800 acres of the tract is cut for grain, wheat being
the principal crop, and a fair average is about twelve sacks to the
acre, though as high as twenty-one sacks to the acre have been cut.
Barley averages between fifteen and sixteen sacks to the acre. An
average of hay is two tons per acre. Mr. Taaffe conducts his farming
operations on modern principles, and has an orderly appearing and
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 269
transcribed by Carol Lackey
SURNAMES: MURPHY, DUNNE
One of the most extensive farmers in Santa Clara County is the young
gentleman whose name heads this sketch, and who manages 3,000 acres of
the Taaffe Ranch, three miles from Mountain View. To
cultivate this amount is a large undertaking for one individual, but
everything about the place indicates good management and commendable
care and attention. In 1888 he cut about 1,000 acres for hay,
averaging two tons to the acre. Five hundred acres of wheat
averaged between twelve and fifteen sacks to the acre. The land
is very productive, and in particularly favorable years this average is
largely increased. The ranch, which occupies a beautiful
location, is watered by the San Antonio or “Adobe” Creek, and by a
number of large and never-failing springs. About sixty head of
horses are usually kept on the place, mostly Norman stock.
Mr. William Taaffe, who has given his personal attention to this place
since the spring of 1887, is a native of San Francisco, born July 16,
1864. He was reared at the Bay View Farm, in Santa Clara County,
and received his education at St. Mary’s, and at Santa Clara College,
at which he graduated in 1884. After completing his education he
superintended the Bay View Farm until he came to his present home
place. Mr. Taaffe is a son of William P. and Elizabeth Yuba
(Murphy) Taaffe, mentioned elsewhere in this volume. He is a
grandson of Martin Murphy, Sr., that
grand pioneer who left as a heritage to his descendants a name which
will always be revered in the history of the Golden State. In its
proper place in this book his life history is given, with the account
of the party he led to this coast, and to whom Santa Clara County owes
so much of gratitude. Mr. Taaffe was married, in San Francisco,
in April, 1887, to Miss M. J. Dunne, a native of that city, and
daughter of Peter F. Dunne, of San Francisco. She also comes of
one of the historic families of this county. In politics Mr.
Taaffe is a Democrat.
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.
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
CLARA COUNTY PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES
Proofread by Betty Vickroy
SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY AND GENEALOGY