JOHN W. BLANCH
An enterprising and very successful contractor who has done much to
advance the development of the painting trade in San Jose, is John W.
Blanch, of 643 South Second Street, who was born in San Jose on
December 19, 1865, the son of the late Charles
Blanch. The latter was born in
Gloucestershire, England, on February 20, 1831, and there he was reared
and educated as a farmer. In 1851 he came to the United States and
settled in Iowa, where he farmed for three years; and then he went on
to Minnesota, and for five years continued agricultural pursuits there,
although for two years in succession his entire crops were destroyed by
grasshoppers. He crossed the great plains to California with the aid of
ox teams, and came direct to Santa Clara County, arriving at San Jose
in the fall of 1859. On the way the Indians stole their cattle. They
followed the redskins for several days, until they came across the big
band of thousands of Indians. Seeing no chance to recover their stock,
they went, back to their wagons and waited until another train came up,
and made arrangements to come through with them.
After living for two years in San Jose, Charles Blanch took up farming
about ten miles out of town, where he lived until 1868, and then he
proceeded to San Luis Obispo County and commenced dairying. but all of
his cattle sickened and died. He then returned to Santa Clara County
where he farmed for a year, and after that he made a journey to Oregon,
where he put in a winter. In the spring, he was back in Santa Clara
County. This time he settled at the place known as the White Oak Flat,
in Burnett township; and at the expiration of four years, he located on
a ranch of 150 acres in Hoover Valley, where he lived for many years.
At St. Paul, Minn., on April 27, 1859, Mr. Blanch was married to Miss
Maria Watkins. also a native of England, by whom he had ten children.
William T. was born on October 9, 1863. Then came John W.. the subject
of our review. Mary E. was born on January 5, 1868. Charles E. first
saw the light on December 7, 1869. Sarah M. was born on March 8, 1873.
Robert [see bio below]entered the family on March
27, 1875. Charlotte was born on February 17, 1879. The date of the
birth of Edmund H. was February 8, 1860, and he died on May 22, 1860.
Jessie A. was born on June 2, 1861, and died on September 21, 1866.
Richard, born on October 14, 1877, died three days later.
John W. Blanch attended the public school in the country districts for
a couple of seasons, and when eighteen years old he started to make his
own way in the world. He took up painting, beginning his apprenticeship
under J. C. Roderick and finishing under Michael Lenzen, after which,
as a journeyman painter, he worked for Mr. Baird for five years. Then
he became a contractor in painting, and he continued active in that
field for the following eight years, work ing throughout the Santa
Clara Valley and as far as Hollister and Livermore. In 1899 he again
became a journeyman, and he has continued as such for the past twenty
years, acting also as a foreman painter, especially, for years, in the
service of Walter McGinley, and during all that time making San Jose
his home. He took up a homestead of 160 acres in the hills about sixty
miles from San Jose; it is a valuable stock ranch, and is on the
Phoenix Mining Road.
At San Jose, on November 4, 1891. Mr. Blanch was married to Miss Mattie
Aborn, a native of Evergreen. Santa Clara County, and the daughter of
John Aborn who had married Mary E. Fullmer, born in San Jose in
October, 1848. Her grandmother, Mrs. Eliza Fullmer, was a member of the
famous Donner party and came to California in 1846. The Aborn Road was
named after John Aborn, who was a veteran of the Mexican and also of
the Civil War. This pioneer couple had six children of whom Mrs. Blanch
is the fourth. Four children have blessed this union of Mr. and Mrs.
Blanch. Charles R. is with the Santa Clara Mill & Lumber Company;
he entered the World War as one of the Grizzlies, on October 23, 1917.
and was in the One Hundred Forty-fourth Field Artillery. He was sent to
Camp Kearny and there he volunteered as a replacement man and was sent
overseas. He left for France on June 28. 1918. going via England to
Brest, and on July 26 went into battle with his new regiment, the One
Hundred Eighth Infantry, later transferred to the One Hundred Eighth
Field Artillery, and he has credit for the following offensives:
Aisne-Marne, the Vesle Sector. August 15 to 18, and August 18 to
September 10. Oise-Aisne offensive; October 30 to November 11.
Ypres-Lys. September 10 to October 10. Meuse-Argonne. He saw a great
deal of active fighting, and was wounded once on the hand with
shrapnel. He returned to the United States on May 19, 1919. and on June
2 following was discharged. Hazel, the second child, is the wife of
John E. Deeds of San Jose. Cecile has become the wife of Carle E.
McAdoo. of the Benson Garage at San Jose. Walter W. Blanch is with the
American Can Company. Mr. Blanch is a Republican, and he is a member of
the Eagles of San Jose.
cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara
County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 730
A thoroughly progressive,
up-to-date and successful rancher,
Robert Blanch, of Maybury Road, to the northeast of San Jose, is doubly
interesting as the son of the late Charles
Blanch, who was born in
Gloucestershire,England, on February 20, 1831, and there he grew up as
a farmer. He came to the United States in 1851, and for three years
farmed in Iowa; and then he went to Minnesota and kept bravely at
farming there for five year, although for two seasons in succession all
the crops he raised were eaten away by grasshoppers.
HISTORY OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY 446
SURNAMES: Watkins, Beck, Vance,Burke, Parsons, Markam
As early as 1858 he and his brother, William (who was one of the first
white men to be killed by an Indian in 1859, in San Jose) came across
the plains to California, bringing a band of Durham cattle, which were
all run off by Indians near Salt Lake, so that when they arrived they
had only three oxen. They pitched their tent at San Jose; but in 1861
Robert moved to a ranch about ten miles south of town. In 1868, he
established himself as a dairyman in San Luis Obispo County, and soon
had reason to repent his venture, for his cattle died from Texas fever.
Coming back to Santa Clara County, he farmed for a year, then went to
Oregon for a winter, and after that came south again to White Oak
Flat, in Burnett township, Santa Clara County, removing at the
end of four years to Hoover Valley, where he lived for many years,
operating a ranch of 150 acres, where he raised horses and carried on a
dairy. He died in 1896 on a leased ranch in the Calaveras Valley. On
April 27, 1859, he was married at St. Paul, Minn., to Miss Maria
Watkins, also a native of England, and their union was blessed with ten
children. The eldest was Edmund H; then came Jessie A; William T; next
came John W[see bio above].;
after that came Mary E., and the others were Charles E.,
Sarah M., and finally Robert., the subject of our sketch. Charlotte and
Richard, with Edmund and Jessie, all died in childhood.
Robert Blanch was born at San Jose on March 27, 1875, and he attended
the grammar schools of Santa Clara County. As a youth he began to help
his father on the home ranch, and he remained with him until the latter
died, when the estate was divided up. Then he took up ranching alone,
and for many years he has had an interest in a strip of range land of
some 2,000 acres lying in the hills between Livermore and Mt. Hamilton.
This ranch, which is leased , is devoted to grain, hay and stock, and
Mr. Blanch still maintains his equity in the stock raising on this
land. It was really railroad land, but it is better known as the
McLaughlin Land Companies holding.
In 1906, Mr. Blanch bought a ranch of fifteen acres on the Maybury Road
which is devoted to apricots, prunes and peaches--one of the oldest
orchards in Santa Clara County, having been planted in 1880 by one of
the Hobsons. The land is abundantly irrigated by water from a
neighboring private pumping plant which produces about 900 gallons a
minute. Mr. Blanch has lived on this ranch since 1906, and during that
time as a Republican in matters of national political import. but as a
nonpartisan "booster" in respect to local affairs, he has done what he
could to improve civic and agricultural conditions.
At San Jose, on November 29, 1905, Mr. Blanch was married to Miss Ruth
M. Beck, a native of San Jose and the daughter of Thomas and Laura
(Vance) Beck. Mr. Beck, who was an expert blacksmith, died in
1912, and his good wife in February, 1918. Of their six children, one
the world-renowned naturalist, who has traveled very widely to collect
scientific specimens; the others are Mrs. Addie May Burke; Dr. Edna
Beck, a medical missionary in India; Mrs. Helen Parsons; Ruth M., and
Mrs. Blanche Markham. Mrs Blanch was given the best of educational
advantages at the College of the Pacific, and she and her husband are
the parents of one daughter who is attending the Berryessa grammar
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 446
SANTA CLARA PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES
SANTA CLARA COUNTY -The Valley of Heart's Delight