The Valley of Heart's Delight


BIO Pen-Pictures, 

was born in Louisville, Kentucky, November 9, 1842. His father, John Kifer, was a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother of Kentucky. In 1845 they removed to Jackson County, Missouri, where they bought a farm on the Santa Fe road, twelve miles from Independence, and lived there eight years. In 1853 they sold their farm and came to California overland, making the trip with ox teams. They left Missouri in April and reached California in November. Two of Mr. Kifer's sons had preceded him to this State--William coming in 1849, and Thomas in 1850. They were located near Santa Clara and Mr. Kifer made his home with them for a while, and afterward located on the Murphy Ranch, on Adobe Creek. He supposed he had settled on government land, and it later fell into the hands of the Murphys, when Mr. Kifer was obliged to abandon it. He then located at Mountain View, where he purchased a place from a man named Rice, which afterward turned out as the other place did, this time falling into the hands of John Sullivan. While living there Shelvy, the subject of this sketch, bought his present place, after which his parents moved on it and made their home with him for four or five years, when they returned to Mountain View, where his father died in Januar, 1873. His widow still lives, and resides with her children. She reared a family of eight children, of whom five are now living. Shelvy remained with his parents until 1860, and two years later he went to Montana, where he engaged in prospecting for six months in the mines. He then returned to Santa Clara County. Since he purchased his place he has lived on it, with the exception of two years spent in Monterey County, where he was engagd in farming. His farm contains seventy-five acres, all under cultivation, thirty acres being in wine grapes, four and five years old, and a family orchard of 500 trees four years old. The remainder of his land is in hay and grain. The place is lovated two and a half miles south of Mountain Vie. He erected a handsome dwelling-house in the spring of 1888. He was married in 1870 to Isabella Smith, a native of Nova Scotia, who came to California a few years before her marriage. They have five children: Susie B., Flora M., Lillian, Shelvy H., and Anna. They lost one--Johnny--who died in 1886, aged twelve years.

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 227
Transcribed by Carol Lackey


SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY-The Valley of Heart's Delight