one of the most extensive wool producers of the county, owns forty and one-half acres, situated on the northeast corner of the Kifer road and Wilcox Lane, in the Jefferson District, two miles northwest of the business center of Santa Clara. His ranch is devoted principally to the raising of hay and stock, the latter comprising 200 head of nearly full-bred Merino sheep, which yield annually about four pounds of fine wool per head. About three acres are devoted to fruit trees, principally Bartlett pears, with the addition of a few apples and plums. Two artesian wells furnish a plentiful supply of water for all purposes.
Mr. Larson is a native of Denmark, having been born near Aalborge, June 6, 1831. He is the son of Lars Paulson and Anna (Anderson) Paulson, both natives of Denmark. His father died when he was but three years old, and his mother married Gregrais Nelson. At the age of seven years the death of his mother left him to the care of his step-father, who, despite the boy's tender years, put him to the hardest tasks of farm labor, at the same time depriving him of all schooling facilities. This continued until he was twelve years old, when he was taken to live with his uncle, James Andersen. In this happier home he remained for two years, and then sought work on farms. This he obtained and engaged in for four years. After reaching eighteen years of age he devoted five years, with the exception of one year spent in the military service, to learning the carpenter's and cabinet-maker's trades. He thoroughly mastered these trades, and until 1858 worked at them in his native country. In the last-named year he came to the United States, and, landing at New York, proceeded directly to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He stayed there, however, but two months, before going to Racine, in the same State. That city he made his home for about two years, engaged in working at his trade. In the autumn of 1858 —after having worked at various things, such as farming, railroading, and lumbering—he went to Memphis, Tennessee. Four years were spent there in the work of a wheelwright. During the last year of his stay in Memphis, Mr. Larson was subjected to considerable persecution, and, had it not been for his usefulness as a wheelwright, he would have been forced to enter the Confederate army. When the taking of Memphis by the Union troops enabled him to go North he embraced the opportunity, taking a cargo of sugar to St. Louis in the autumn of 1862. After disposing of his sugar he spent a few months in East St. Louis, and then went to Columbus, Kentucky, where he established himself as a wheelwright. While there he was also employed in the government works at building and repairing gun carriages.
In the autumn of 1863 he took the Isthmus route to California, and, soon after his arrival in San Francisco, opened a wheelwright's shop, which he conducted for two years. Changing his residence to Dublin, Amador Valley, Alameda County, he there conducted profitably the same business until 1870, when he entered into sheep-raising and wool-growing, near Livermore, in the county above mentioned. Success attended his efforts during the first five years, his flocks increasing from 800 to over 5,000 head. Then came a series of years, in which his losses were very heavy, and, discouraged by these reverses, in 1879 he sold out and removed to Santa Clara County, and settled upon the property (described at the beginning of this sketch) which he had purchased two years before.
Mr. Larson never was married, and therefore has no family to record. Politically he is a stanch Republican, deeply interested in the public affairs of the country of his adoption. Enterprising, industrious, and honest in his dealings with his fellow-men, he is worthy of the respect in which he is held by his neighbors.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.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT
SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight