The Valley of Heart's Delight

Superior Court Judge of Santa Clara County


SURNAMES: Smith, Brown, Rucker,

California owes much, as one of the most attractive corners of the world in which to live, thrive and be happy, to its distinguished members of the Bench and Bar, and prominent among whom may well be mentioned the Hon. Perley Francis Gosbey, Judge of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, where he has made Department Two widely known for the high standards set in handling probate matters and the dispensation of justice. He was born on May 15, 1859, at Santa Clara, the son of Joseph F. and Sarah (Smith) Gosbey who were married in 1856 . Mr. Gosbey, Senior, was born in Nova Scotia in 1825, came to California via Panama in 1853 and setttled in Santa Clara. He ran a hotel, called the Morgan House, in San Jose for a number of yeras, giving this up to engage in the shoe business, which he conducted for fifty years. He died in 1915 having ranched almost nintely years of age. Mrs. Gosbey was born in Ohio in 1838, came to this state with her father, Ansyl Smith, crossing the Isthmus in 1852, and settled in Santa Clara; Mrs. Gosbey died in 1903. The later years of their lives Mr. and Mrs. Gosbey lived in Pacific Grove. There were two sons and two daughters in the Gosbey family, three of whom are still living.

Perley F. Gosbey pursued the elementary courses and was graduated from the Santa Clara high school in 1875. He then went to the University of the Pacific, and there in 1880 he was given his Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1881 he began teaching school and for four years was a teacher in the San Jose high school. Thur far he had laid the foundation for future attainment; but how well in this preparatory work he had builded can can be seen in the success he has attained as a professional man. Having decided upon the law as his future field, Mr. Gosbey went East to the University of Michigan and there matriculated in the Law Department; in 1888 he received his parchment and the degree of Bachelor of Laws. In June of that year he was admitted to the Bar at Ann Arbor, Mich.; and having returned to his native State, Mr. Gosbey was admitted, in the following Septemeber, to practice at the California Bar. In November, 1908, after years of private practice in which he had proven himself exceptionally qualified for work on the Bench, Mr. Gosbey was elected Judge of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, and he has continued to hold that high office ever since.

On October 28, 1891, Mr. Gosbey was united in marriage with Miss Susan Rucker, the ceremony taking place at San Jose. Mrs. Gosbey is a daughter of Joseph E. and Susan (Brown) Rucker, born in Santa Clara County and a gifted and attractive lady who has more and more shared in the Judge's increasing popularity. A preominent man in fraternal circles, Judge Gosbey is a Sottish Rite and Knights Templar Mason and a Shriner. He is a Past Grand Master of the Odd Fellows and Past exalted Ruler of the Elks and belongs to Observatory Parlor No. 177, Native sons of the Golden West and is a member of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County. A native son, not merely in name but in the intensity of his patriotic spirit, Judge Gosbey has always been conspicuous for his public-spiritedness. For four years he was a member of the Board of Education of San Jose, acting as its president.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 529