The Valley of Heart's Delight

father to Phoebe Apperson Hearst

 BIO-Pen Pictures

RANDOLPH W. APPERSON. Among the successful agriculturists of the county, must be mentioned the gentleman whose name head this sketch. His farm, of eighty-two acres, in the Braley District, is situated on the Saratoga and Alviso road, about two miles north of Lawrence. With the exception of a small orchard, which yields a choice variety of fruit for domestic use only, the ranch is devoted to the production of hay and grain. Two artesian wells furnish all the water needed, one of them having a depth of 362 feet, and giving a fine flow of two inches above a seven-inch pipe.

Randolph W. is the son of Dr. John Apperson and Alice (Faver) Apperson, natives of Culpepper County, Virginia, who removed to Washington County, Virginia, where the subject of our sketch was born in 1809. He youth was spent upon a farm, which his father conducted in addition to his professional duties. In 1829, with his parents, he removed to Franklin County, Missouri, where his father continued the practice of medicine, while he engaged in farming operations, until 1831. Then, after spending one year in mercantile life in Franklin County, he went to Dent County, in the same State, opening here a general merchandise store, which he conducted with profit for about three years. Returning in 1835 to Franklin County, he resumed his former occupations of farming and stock-raising. That he was successful and contented we may know from the fact that he remained in that locality and business for twenty-eight years. When he left Missouri, in 1863, it was to make his home in California, the favored State of the Union. Reaching San Francisco via the Panama route, he made a stay of about eight months in the city, before coming to Santa Clara County. Upon visiting this county he purchased the farm which he now occupies and cultivates.

Mr. Apperson in his youth received such scanty schooling as could be gained in the rural districts in that day, but his ambitious disposition and habits of industry led him to educate himself. He may be styled a self-made man, for his successes have been due, not to particularly fortunate circumstances, but to his strong determination to merit success, by doing all in his power to advance himself by all honorable means. Public-spirited and a progressive in his views, he is a valued citizen of his section. Politically, he is a Democrat, but is liberal and conservative in his views. In 1830, when just entering manhood, Mr. Apperson became converted to the cause of Christ, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, continuing an earnest member of that denomination until after his marriage, when during a winter season spent in Iowa, he joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, becoming an elder of that organization. His life has been consistent with his profession of religion, for, by precept and practice, he has shown his love for the Master.

He was married in 1840, to Miss Drusilla Whitmire, a daughter of Henry Whitmire, a native of South Carolina, and a resident of Franklin County, Missouri. Of the three children born from this union, two are living, Phoebe Elizabeth and Elbert Clark. The former married George Hearst, of Missouri, who is now the able United States Senator from California. The latter married Miss Elizabeth Sutherland, daughter of William Sutherland, of Santa Clara County, and now resides upon a farm of his own near his father’s home.

{transcribers note---------Phoebe and George Hearst were the parents of William Randolph Hearst}
SOURCE:  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. - page 443-444 - Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight