Although seventy-one years of age, Sam Pedgrift is still the leading plasterer of Palo Alto; Cal. He is of English birth, but an American by choice and adoption, a man of unquestioned integrity, reliable and honorable in all his business affairs.  He is of Saxon blood, originally removing from Holland to England, his name being "Von Grift" which in course of time became Pedgrift.  It is related that a Saxon ancestor settled in England was a soldier of the Crown, but left the army and took up the trade of plastering, and for seven generations, including our subject, have all been plasters, very thorough in their line.  He was born in Harleston, County of Norfolk, England, November 17, 1850, and when he was six years old was taken by his parents, James and Jane (Fox) Pedgrift, to London, where his father was a leading plasterer.  They were the parents of twelve children of whom our subject is the only one living.

Mr. Pedgrift grew up at Kingston-upon-Thames and began to make his own way in the world when only ten years old; he worked around at various joys such as a boy could do; then began to work for his father and when seventeen years old was a plasterer, having received practical knowledge during the time he worked with his father.  He arrived in New York on June 1, 1872 and lost no time in getting to Chicago, where he got busy at his trade.  An older brother, John Pedgrift, had also come to America, and the two brothers went into partnership as plasterers, continuing for two years; then in 1874 Mr. Pedgrift removed to Denver, Colo., and after the first year began contracting.  In 1885 he came to the Pacific Coast and settled in Victoria, British Columbia, and there resumed operations as a plasterer.  He was then chosen chief of the fire department and was there during the great fire which destroyed the entire city with the exception of one house.  He spent one year in Victoria and one year in Vancouver, then in 1887 came to Southern California and settled in San Bernardino; he plastered the first house in Redlands.  In 1901 he took a trip to the Hawaiian Islands and remained twenty months; returning to California he stopped at Hollister for  a short time; then went to Stockton, and while there was foreman for the workmen that plastered the court house.  He put in about three years working in Montana, mostly at Butte, and four years in Arizona, then went ot Oakland and came for the first time to Palo Alto in 1904; then he returned to Oakland and was there until 1906, when he returned to Palo Alto.  He has practically done all the repair working a about Palo ALto and much of the plaster work at the Stanford University.  He is an expert in his line and has done the largest and best jobs in Palo Alto and environs, including the Peninsular Hospital, and many residences and business houses; he does much art work as well as plain plastering.In August, i1921, Mr. Pedgrift was married the second time to Mrs. Edith Byron, nee Ormsby, a native of Chicago, Ill.,reared in California, a daughter of Elon Ormsby, a photographer at Oakland, Cal.  Mrs. Pedgrift has one son by her first husband, Clarence B Byron, who is married and resides in Oakland.  Mr. Pedgrift is the parent of four children by his first wife; Florence is the widow of Fred R. Brauer, a general contractor in Los Angeles, Cal., Jennie is the wife of Al Kastner of Los Angeles, Ethel and Robert reside in Los Angeles.  While residing in Colorado and Montana, Mr. Pedgrift was active in politics, being a progressive Republican, and was well acquainted with Senators Wallcot  and Teller in Colorado, also the governor, Alva Adams, and all the leading political leaders in Montana.  Graternally he is a member of the Odd Fellows, Woodmen and Knights of Pythias.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. 1527