An early settler of California arriving here in 1862 is Octave J. Francis, a native of Canada, born at La Prairie, near Montreal, November 27, 1843, a son of Benoit and Flavy (La Fevre) Francis, natives of Canada, descended from old French-Canadian families. They removed to Malone, N. Y., in 1846, where they reared their family on the farm. Later in life our subject returned to Malone and brought his parents to his California home where they were cared for until their death at seventy-two and sixty-eight years, respectively. Octave J. was the fifth oldest of a family of eight children born to this worthy couple and from a youth learned habits of industry on his father's farm, three miles from Malone, and also attended the local public schools. When nineteen years of age he started for California, coming via Panama to San Francisco in 1862, on the old Constitution. He came immediately to Santa Clara County and followed farming.

In 1866 he made the trip back home via Panama, returning via the same route a year later. In 1869 he again returned East via Panama and the same year brought his father and mother out by rail, just after the railroad was connected at Promontory Point. Mr. Francis then purchased sixteen acres of raw land in Union district, setting out an orchard of prunes, peaches and apricots. His family made their home on this place while he was engaged in the sawmills in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 1870 he began work in Froment's mill, and worked up to sawyer. After eight years he left, to become sawyer for Jim Cunningham, on Boulder Creek, for two years, and then with Hubbard & Carmichael Bros., with whom he was head sawyer for twelve years, continuing steadily with them until all the available timber was made into lumber and the mill shut down, when he retired to his ranch where his family had resided all these years. In 1917 he sold the ranch and purchased a residence at 26 Asbury Street, San Jose, where he now makes his home.

Mr. Francis was married in San Jose to Miss Adelaide  La Montague, who was born at Malone, N. Y., also descended from an old French-Canadian family, their union having been blessed with five children: Dennis was accidentally killed in 1915 while driving in an automobile race in Fresno; Victor, Milton and Roy are engaged in the automobile and garage business in San Francisco; the latter was an aviator and was the first boy who ever flew over this county, and during the World War he was instructor at Kelly Field, Texas, holding a captain's commission; Venia is Mrs. P. A. Jerome of Lassen County. Politically, Mr. Francis gives his allegiance to the Republican party, while, religiously, he is a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

 Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1121


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight