Bio-Pen Pictures

            Robert Glendenning, deceased.  The subject of this sketch was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1824. His parents were Joseph and Margaret (Messer) Glendenning.  His early youth and boyhood were spent on his father’s farm.  His educational advantages were those afforded by the common schools of his home.  Having improved well such advantages as the schools he attended afforded, he succeeded in fitting himself for a teacher, to which vocation he devoted several years after leaving the farm.

            In 1847 he went to Australia, where he engaged in stock-raising for about three years.  During his residence in Australia, he was united in marriage, on the thirty-first of December, 1849, to Miss Margaret Howie, the eldest daughter of Rev. James Howie and Mary (Carr) Howie.  Mr. and Mrs. Howie were natives of Scotland, who emigrated to Australia in 1847.  Mr. and Mrs. Glendenning, the parents of our subject, were passengers on the same vessel, and from the acquaintance and friendship formed at that time sprung the marriage of Robert Glendenning and Margaret Howie.

            On the day following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Glendenning started for California.  Upon their arrival in San Francisco Mr. Glendenning engaged in teaming, but soon afterward came to Santa Clara County, in the autumn of 1850.  He bought out the squatter’s right of an English occupant of what was supposed to be Government land, located about three miles west of Santa Clara, on what is now the Homestead road.  At the time that Mr. Glendenning purchased the farm upon which Mrs. Glendenning and the younger members of the family reside, it was mostly covered with brush and large trees; and while soil was productive, yet he and all others of the early pioneers of the Golden West, labored hard to clear and cultivate the wild land, and endured many hardships in years of drought (such as 1864), so well remembered by the pioneers.  After these lands had been improved and buildings erected upon them, the owners of the Alviso grant made claim to the property, and Mr. Glendenning was compelled to purchase their right, paying $30 per acre for two hundred acres, after having paid other parties for the land!

            Many of the pioneers were so discouraged at having to buy the land, having paid other parties for it, that they abandoned their farms after having improved them more or less, and sought homes elsewhere.  Mr. and Mrs. Glendenning, though much discouraged, went earnestly to work to again purchase their home.

            In his death, which occurred April 23, 1868, his wife and children lost a faithful friend and protector, and the community an esteemed citizen.  After his death Mrs. Glendenning, with her young children, the oldest being but sixteen, continued to endeavor to pay for the home, and with an earnestness of purpose and a never-tiring zeal succeeded, after years of toil, in paying for the old home.  In accordance with Mr. Glendenning’s wishes, when the children reached the age of majority one-half of the estate was given to Mrs. Glendenning, containing the house and other buildings, and the remaining half was divided equally among the six children.  Sixty acres of the property is in vines and orchard, the remainder being utilized for the production of hay and grain.

            Mrs. Glendenning and her entire family are members of the Baptist Church.  Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Glendenning, all but one are living, and have homes near the old homestead.  Joseph G., the eldest, married Miss Harriet Turner, of Santa Clara, and resides on his portion of the homestead; Mary C. the wife of Geo. Crittenden, with their two sons, reside on the farm just north of the homestead; James E. married Miss Gussie Farley, of Santa Clara, and with their two children, son and daughter, reside on the Homestead road near Santa Clara; George W. makes his home with his mother and takes charge of her farm.  Maggie C. married William E. Burrell, of Alviso (now deceased), and with her little daughter lives with her mother; and Ella L. is engaged as a teacher in the Los Gatos High School.

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.
Pg. 222-223

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight