THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
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PETER L. LINEHAN
PIONEER PLUMBER OF SAN JOSE
Bio-Sawyers

SURNAMES:  McGANN, VOLKERS, CARMICHAEL, McDONLAD, SCOTT, SMITH, PATTERSON, RAPP

Broad experience, close application, enterprise and natural mechanical ability have brought Peter L. Linehan to a foremost position in the business circles of San Jose and Santa Clara County. He is one of the pioneer plumbers of San Jose and so comprehensive a knowledge has he of
that trade that he wrote the original plumbing ordinance that was adopted by the board of health and that is now a municipal law. A native of New York, Mr. Linehan was born in Rensselear County, January 28, 1865, a son of James and Mary (McGann) Linehan, both natives of County Clare, Ireland. They came to the United States and located in New York, and from there came to California in 1869.

They took passage on the S. S. Alaska for Panama and from the Isthmus boarded the Golden City for San Francisco, arriving there the last day of December. The Golden City was lost on its return trip to Panama. Three days after arriving in this state, Mr. Linehan came to San Jose, and with the exception of about two years spent on a ranch at Half Moon Bay, they spent their remaining years here. Mr. Linehan died in his eighty-fourth year and Mrs. Linehan at the age of seventy-six. They reared a family of nine children : T. J., who died at the age of forty; Della, now the widow of A. H. Volkers, and living in San Jose; James H. who was a plumber by trade, married and died leaving two children; Peter L., of this review; Mrs. Alice Carmichael, deceased; Mrs. Margaret McDonald died leaving one son, Emmett, now an attorney in Washington, D. C.; Jennie, the wife of George Scott, died in december, 1921, in San Francisco; and Katie and Anna, both died single.

Peter Linehan received a common school education and at the age of fifteen went to work on the Murphy cattle ranch and continued for two years. He next served an apprenticeship at the plumbing trade under James A. Hagan and when he had mastered the details of the business he continued with that firm after Mr. Hagan turned the business over to his son, Charles A. Hagan. The last four years that Charles A. was in business, during his illness, and until his death, Mr. Linehan was manager of the establishment, serving in all for eighteen years and ten months under the Hagans. It was just before Charles A. Hagan died that Mr. Linehan purchased the business and for six years was sole owner. Then he sold a half-interest to Joseph W. Delaney and they carried on the business under the firm name of Linehan & Delaney for eighteen months, when Mr. Linehan sold out to his partner. The following three years were devoted to perfecting an acetylene gas generator and burner, known as the Star Generator, on which he secured patents. He then turned his attention to making gas from crude oil and cold compressed air for heating furnaces. After this venture he again turned his attention to his old trade and has continued active up to the present, doing a general plumbing business, keeping busy mostly with emergency calls. Mr. Linehan was one of the organizers and the first president of the San Jose Plumbers' Union and at the time of the Federated Trades procession held here in September, 1889, he acted as Grand Marshal.


The marriage of Peter L. Linehan in January 31, 1887, united him with Miss Lydia Esther Smith, daughter of the late Thomas and Esther (Patterson) Smith, and a native of Boston, Mass. Mr. Smith went to Virginia City, Nev., at an early day and followed mining until he came to San Jose, and it was here that he became a well-known figure about the county buildings, serving as superintendent for twenty years. Mr Linehan now has in his possession the first clock that was put in the criminal courtroom, presided over by the late Judge Belden and others, and which was given to Mr. Smith when the new clocks were installed. This clock is still keeping excellent time. Mr. and Mrs. Smith both died in San Jose.  Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Linehan one daughter, Lydia Esther, was born. She is now the wife of Otto Rapp, a rancher living at Morgan Hill. Mrs. Linehan passed away in San Jose on September 24, 1891.

It must not be presumed that Mr. Linehan has devoted his entire time to his own affairs; for two terms he served as president of the Y. M. O. I. of San Jose and has given liberally of his time to assist in the promotion of various movements for the betterment of society in general. He possesses a fine tenor voice and for twelve years was first tenor in St. Patrick's Catholic Church, where for eight uears his gifted wife was first soprano. While he was leading the singing there he and Miss Sullivan, later Mrs. O'Connell, arranged the music for the centennial celebration of Mission San Jose. He was an active member of the Wilkins Glee Club of this city during the two years of its existence; also a member of the Acme Literary and Musical Society and took part in many amateur theatricals. He is a personal friend of Eugene T. Sawyer, editor of the History of Santa Clara County, and acted with him in several productions in the early days. In fact where there was musical or literary enterainment Mr. Linehan could always be counted upon to do his share in carrying through the interesting programs that were arranged for the entertainment of the many who delighted in thsat line of social uplift. He is an interesting talker and is widely and favorably known throughout the county where he has lived for a period of more than fifty years.

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

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