The Valley of Heart's Delight


 BIO- Pen Pictures


O J. ALBEE, of the Braley District, is the owner of eighty acres of land on the San Francisco road, fronting on Reed Lane, about three-fourths of a mile west of Lawrence Station.   This property is known as the “Oak Grove Poultry Yards,” Mr. Albee being largely interested in the raising of poultry, especially of the finer breeds.  Fifty acres of the farm are devoted to fruit culture, the orchard comprising 4, 000 French prune, 500 Silver prune, 600 apple, 400 apricot, 300 peach, and 300 pear tress, besides about 800 trees of plum and other varieties.  A beautiful feature of the place is the grove of fine forest trees, about eighty in number principally white and live oak.  About thirty avers are devoted to the production of hay and grain.


Mr. Albee was born in Wolverhampton, England, in 1836.  He is son of James and Sarah Albee, of that place.  His schooling was limited, much of his boyhood being spent in becoming conversant with the principles of manufacturing and of mechanical engineering.  He came to America in 1850, and remained in Montreal, Canada, for two years, engaged in the work of engineer.  At the end of that time, wishing to see more of the country, he left Montreal and went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he spent five years in the same work that had engaged his attention in Canada.  In 1873 he extended his travels to California, and after stopping in San Francisco for a few months, came to Santa Clara County, where many years were spent in following various occupations in different parts of the county.


In 1880 he established his poultry yards, and has found the venture a most successful one.  His knowledge of the business was acquired in boyhood form an uncle who was a prominent poultry fancier.  He has made a specialty of the business, and has established a paying industry, having done a great deal toward the improvement of poultry breeds in the county.  He devotes his attention to the finer breeds, and all his stock is thoroughbred.  It comprises about six varieties, and among them must be mentioned the White Langshans, an extremely rare kind.  With one exception Mr. Albee is the only possessor of this remarkable breed in the United States.  He is thoroughly conversant with all of the details of the business, and the painstaking care which he bestows upon this part of his work is amply rewarded in the excellence of his stock.  At the fairs at which he makes exhibits, his poultry is adjudged worth of the first prize.  And this is true not only of his poultry but also of his fruit, particularly apples and pears, the quality of which is unexcelled.  Thus it is seen that he is most successful, not only as a poultry fancier, but also as a horticulturist.  He is an active member of the San Jose Grange.  In October, 1871, Mr. Albee was united in marriage with Miss Jan A. Osgood, of Ogden, Utah  Territory.

 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 467-468 Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben


SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY- The Valley of Heart's Delight
AUG 3, 2005