RICHARD D. FOX
California Nursery Company
proprietor of the Santa Clara Valley Nurseries, was born in Dublin, Ireland, in the year of 1852. Orphaned at an early age, he was adopted by his uncle, Bernard S. Fox, and with him commenced life in Santa Clara County, when but twelve years of age. He pursued a course of four and a half years' study at Santa Clara College, concluding in June, 1869. He then became his uncle's assistant in the management of his large nursery interests, to the ownership of which he succeeded at the death of his uncle, which occurred July 21, 1881. Santa Clara County, and, indeed, the whole State, are largely indebted, for the prosperity which has followed the development of their horticultural interests, to the sagacity, enterprise, and abiding faith in the future, of Bernard S. Fox, one of the pioneer nurserymen of the Pacific Coast. His original research and skill in developing new varieties, and in adapting old ones, attracted such attention and patronage that he was compelled to extend his operations until his nurseries became noted throughout the coast, not only for their excellence, but also for their magnitude.
Richard D. Fox, reared, educated, and trained to the business by his uncle, as his worthy successor, has maintained the long-established reputation of the nurseries, and to-day, as in the past, "From Fox Nurseries," is a guarantee of first-class goods, true to their name and excellent in condition. No establishment, East or West, has ever won more lasting renown for honorable dealing. The subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Miss Julia Murphy (daughter of James Murphy and granddaughter of Martin Murphy, Sr., the pioneer of 1844) on the sixth of May, 1879. Mrs. Fox was born at the home of her parents, near her present residence, in February, 1857. Her education was received in the schools of the county, where all of her life has been spent. (For more extended mention of the Murphy family, the reader is referred to their history in another part of this volume.) Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Fox: Bernard S., Ada R., Lilly M., and James M.
Mr. Fox was
one of the incorporators, and is now a principal stockholder and officer, of the
California Nursery Company, an institution which was organized for the purpose
of meeting the immense and growing demand for trees, which the rapid development
of the fruit interests of this country has occasioned. This company owns a tract
of land about 500 acres in extent, near the north boundary of Santa Clara
County, which is entirely devoted to this branch of the nursery business. Since
the California Nursery Company has commenced operations, Mr. Fox has
discontinued the growing of fruit-trees at the home nursery, devoting those
grounds to the cultivation of flowers, ornamental plants and shrubs, in which
department every portion of the globe and every clime is represented. On these
grounds, about two and a half miles from the Court House in San Jose, on the
Milpitas road, is situated the family residence. It stands at the end of a long
avenue of stately evergreens, and is surrounded by the original orchard planted
by his uncle, B. S. Fox, while just across the road are located the botanical
gardens, filled with choice shrubbery and flowers, whose beauty attracts an
almost ceaseless stream of visitors from all parts of the State. Across the
Coyote River, near Wayne Station, another tract fully as large as the one
mentioned, and formerly devoted to raising trees, is now converted into orchards
and small-fruit farms.
Mr. Fox is
a member of the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Society, and is much interested,
not only in all that pertains to his especial branch of the business, but is
also active in helping any and all enterprises which tend to advance and build
up the interests of Santa Clara County.
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 The Valley of Heart's Delight