First Blacksmith Shop in Gilroy, 1851

Gilroy Township

 Bio-Pen Pictures

            Milton T. Holsclaw was born in Howard County, Missouri, July 12, 1827.  He crossed the plains, and after working awhile in the mines, he came to Gilroy, in August, 1851, and a month later started the first blacksmith shop in Gilroy.  In 1852 he and his brother raised the first crop of wheat in the Gilroy District, of which they sold a portion in Alviso at eight cents per pound.  He now has a ranch of 140 acres along the Los Llagas Creek, two miles (in an air line) northeast of Gilroy.  Of this land he has thirty acres in alfalfa, which was sowed in 1876, and has borne continuously since that time without replanting.  This has been cut two or three seasons for hay, but it has been pastured the most of the time.

            On this he has the present year (1888) kept forty head of cattle, twelve horses, and fifty hogs, and has never fed them anything else.  The hogs he sold for market.  He keeps ten milch cows now, but usually milks from ten to twenty-five.  The product of the dairy is principally butter, for which he finds a ready market with regular customers in this vicinity.  He makes butter the year round,--from fifty to one hundred pounds per week.  He raises from fifty to seventy-five acres of barley every year, obtaining from thirty to forty bushels to the acre.  Mr. Holsclaw rented 230 acres of land in 1888, of which 115 are in wheat and 115 in barley, which will be cut for grain.  He never irrigates.  In 1875 he set out about 100 trees, consisting of apples, pears, peaches, prunes, cherries, etc., and has been adding to it since, until he now has about twenty-five acres in fruit, of which eighteen acres were set out this year in prunes and peaches.  The trees have borne well, the only drawback being the codlin moth in the apples and pears. 

            He came to Gilroy in 1851, and has resided within a stone’s throw of the town ever since.  His present residence he erected in 1875.  The first place he settled on is now within the city limits of Gilroy, owned by Thomas Rea.  He and his brother were the only ones who had grain to sell in Gilroy in 1852-53, and they sold to immigrants and others in the vicinity of Gilroy, mostly on credit, and out of $6,000 worth so sold, they only lost $16.

            He was married February 11, 1855, to Mary Ann Zuck, a native of Marion County, Ohio, by whom he has three children now living.

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. 341-342
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy

Transcribers Note- the license can be found at the San Jose Historical Museum

Title: Marriage License File
Location: San Jose Historical Museum
Call #:
Source:    Source Date: 2/11/1855
Volume:    Page:
Note: Bride: ZUCK, MARY A.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight