The Valley of Heart's Delight




Prominent among those who have done much to make automobiling one of the pleasant and profitable features of Twentieth Century life in Santa Clara County is undoubtedly Orlando J. Smith, the popular proprietor of the Berryessa Garage at Berryessa, in which town, on May 27, 1880, he first saw light. His father was Christopher Columbus Smith, and his mother, before her marriage, was Sierra Nevada Ogan, so called from the fact that she was born when her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Ogan, were crossing the Sierras on their way to California from Missouri in 1853. Christopher Columbus Smith came to California from Illinois in 1852 with his parents, William Jarvis and Nancy Smith, and settled in Santa Clara County: Ever since then the family have made their home at Berryessa-- for a long time on the ranch on Capitol Avenue now operated by the Curry brothers.  Since the folks of both Mr. and Mrs. Smith were farmers, the Ogans having owned the ranch at the corner of Sierra and Piedmont roads, where W. W. Anderson now resides.

Mr. Smith died in 1910, esteemed by all who knew him, and by none more than those with whom he had had long and intimate dealings. His widow, Mrs. Sierra Nevada Smith, is still living. She belongs to the first generation of California girls and is bright and interesting. She has seen most wonderful transformations in this section. When she was a little girl the streets in San Jose were lighted by means of oil-burning lamps, probably sperm oil at that, as kerosene was very scarce in California at that time. She was present when the first railway train arrived at San Jose--an occasion for great jubilation. There were but two small orchards in the vicinity of San Jose then. Then, as now, the young folks liked to dance. Her father, John Ogan, lived to be eighty years old. He was quite a musician, as musicians went in those days, and he often helped the young folks to a good time, playing his "fiddle" at their dancing parties. Mrs. Sierra Nevada (Ogan) Smith was the youngest of nine children. The Ogans belonged to the Christian Church, while the Smiths were Baptists.

Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and seven are still living. Lola became Mrs. Sleightam, of Rio Vista, and is now deceased; Mamie is Mrs. W. W. Anderson, of the old Ogan ranch at Berryessa; Charles lives at Susanville; Olando is the subject of our story; Beede is Mrs. Nesbit of Concord; Euphemia is Mrs. Mathews of Fallon, Nev.; Hazel and Lila are deceased; Robert is at Berryessa, near to Maude N., who is Mrs. Arnold Gifford.

Olando Smith attended the Berryessa school and took charge of his father's ranch, shortly after the latter died. This ranch was a farm of 260 acres, no
little responsibility; and later he discontinued farming, and took up the carpenter's trade. On July 4, 1911, he went to Patterson, in Stanislaus County, and engaged in contracting and building. He put up a large number of the structures there when the town was built, and he stayed in the progressive town until the first of October, 1919. On that date, Mr. Smith returned to Berryessa and built a corrugated steel garage at the junction of the Berryessa Road and Capitol Avenue, and since that time he has been associated with his brother-in-law, Arnold Gifford, in the conducting of a general garage and repair business. They have a finely- equipped machine shop, and they also maintain a gasoline and oil station.

On November 11, 1911, Mr. Smith was married to Miss Clara Stewart, a native of San Jose and a daughter of Henry and Bessie Stewart, the former deceased. Mr. Smith is a Republican, but no one takes greater pleasure in throwing partisanship to the winds, when it comes to supporting the best local measures and men.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 549