A business establishment that has grown to be a leader of its kind in the county is that of F. L. Rathbun & Son, well drillers and dealers in pumps and well supplies, plumbing and plumbing supplies, in Los Altos, Cal. Mr. Rathbun was born on January 12, 1851, in Allegany County, N. Y., the son of Valentine and Myra (Geary) Rathbun. His father passed away when he was only six years old, and one year later his mother died. After the death of his parents, he went to live with an unde, and then at the age of nine he went to Pennsylvania and began to earn his own way in life. His father's people originally came from Scotland to the United States and settled in Connecticut, the Scotch spelling of the name being "Rathbone." The patemal grandfather was a captain in the War of 1812. The only one living of a family of nine children, F. L. Rathbun worked on farms at Erie, Pa., and grew to manhood there.

His marriage occurred in Erie City, Pa., and united him with Miss Sarah Stoll, born in that city, the daughter of George Stoll, among the first settlers of Erie City, where he engaged in the brickmason's trade. In 1875 Mr. and Mrs. Rathbun left Pennsylvania for Califomia and settled in San Francisco, spending two and a half years there; then removed to Placer County where Mr. Rathbun worked in a saw-mill as foreman, and continued in that capacity for ten years; in 1888 the family removed to Truckee, thence to San
Bemardino, remaining there for two and a half years. They then removed to Oakland, and Mr. Rathbun worked in a planing mill there and in San Francisco. In 1902 the family removed to Los Altos and bought a farm, and Mr. Rathbun was occupied with farming for nineteen years. In connection with his farming, he did contracting and building, and in 1911 established the well drilling business.

Mr. and Mrs. Rathbun are the parents of two children: George Clayton, an engineer in San Francisco for the New Process Laundry; for nineteen years he was an acrobat, traveling with circuses: he resides in San Francisco; Frank William was born in San Francisco, learned the plumbing trade and worked for ten years for George Dollarmore; he was first married to Miss Minie Fistini of San Francisco. and they had two children, Lottie now the wife of Ben E. Elkins. a radio operator residing in San Francisco. who was in the government service during the recent war; Juanita, married Walter Colbath, an employee of the Southem Pacific at Burlingame. and they have one child. Ethel B. Mrs.  Rathbun passed away and he was married to Miss Francis Nicholas. His third marriage united him with Mrs. Agnes Meeker. F. L. Rathbun and his sons are members of the Masonic order and all belong to the Sciots.

Transcribed by cferoben from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page  1611