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 well-kept ranch.

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



 Bio-Pen Pictures

            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.

Pg. 356

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy