BIO- Sawyers, History of Santa Clara




   One of the most prominent figures in the business life of the city of Campbell was Sylvanus Raynor Wade, now deceased. He was the pioneer merchant of this place, and having been engaged in business here for over twenty years, had helped much in its growth from a village to an up-to-date, hustling city, its civic improvements and educational facilities keeping pace with the rapid development of the city in popluation.

   Mr. Wade was born in Sag Harbor, Long Island, N. Y., in 1841, the son of Benjamin and Sarah (Raynor) Wade, both natives of New York state. At the age of eighteen the lure of travel seized him, and thinking he would like to see more of his country, when the opportunity came to sail with a whaling vessel he lost no time in making ready to embark. They sailed around the Horn, and encountering a storm, they were wrecked off the coast of Mendocino County, Cal. Upon finding himself stranded and in a strange town, he immediately began looking for work, and finally found employment tallying in a lumber yard at Casper. He was quick in figuring and became so adept in the business that he soon was advanced to the position of bookkeeper, and rose to superintendent of the mill and store. He was a constant student and became a telegraph operator, and was also an express agent. He was supervisor of Mendocino County and he held that position until he removed to Gualala, a different district; at the latter place he was manager of the store for the Gualala Lumber Company.

   In Point Arena, in 1872, Mr. Wade was united in marriage with Martha E. Walton, who was a native of Warsaw, Indiana, born in 1853, the daughter of Louis and Sarah (Blake) Walton, born in West Virginia and Ohio, respectively. Mrs. Wade came with her family by way of the Isthmus in the year of 1860, her father coming here for his health, first locating at Napa, Cal. Louis Walton was a farmer back East and was counted among the most prosperous when his health failed him and he had to seek a milder climate. Mrs. Wade was educated in the Napa schools and in a private college. Mr. and Mrs. Wade came to Santa Clara County in the year of 1893, principally on account of the educational advantages, and bought and located on a ranch of five acres a half mile from Campbell. Here they continued to live for the next twenty years, then having built a home in Campbell, they moved there, after selling their tract of land. They became the parents of four children, all of whom are living: Herbert R., of Alameda; Lila V. married John B. Strong of Campbell; Benjamin lives at Campbell; Florence is the wife of Martial Cottle of Edenvale.

   Mr. Wade was a man that took an active part in the life of his town, always trying to improve and make conditions better. He was interested in fruit growing and fruit drying and never missed an opportunity to encourage farmers in this line of work. He established a branch store of the San Jose Farmers' Union in Cambell and was manager of this store until his demise, which occured in 1913, after he had reached the age of seventy-two; after his death his son-in-law, Mr. Strong, took up the work of this sturdy old pioneer and is now the manager of this store at Campbell. Mr. Wade helped to organize and was vice-president and director of the Bank of Campbell. He was a helpful factor in many ways in the local affairs, always a leader in matters that tended to promote and increase interest in business and civic life of Campbell. His motto was "Always do well whatever you have to do." He was a strong advocate of temperance, and aided much in keeping Campbell a "dry" town. In national politics he was a Republican and was a thirty-third degree Scottish Rite Mason, and was buried with Masonic honors. Mrs. Wade is a member of the Grange. For years she has been a student of Christian Science and has been a Christian Science practitioner for ten years. She is a member of the Campbell Improvement Club, of which organization her husband was the president at the time of his passing away.

Transcribed by Joseph Kral, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1296