HENDRICKSON, SCHOFIELD, THOMAS, BERGQUIST, PETERSON
Among the well known ranchmen and cattle dealers of Santa Clara County
is John W. Strandberg, whose activities have constituted a valuable
contribution to the development and upbuilding of the district in which
he lives. Although living a retired life, his competency was gained
only through many years of hard toil. He was born in Gothenburg, Sweden,
December 14, 1840, a son of Jacob and Annie (Hendrickson) Strandberg.
During the year of 1844 the father passed away and the following year
the mother died, leaving John W. an orphan. Friends of the family took
the boy in and his time was spent between the city and country so there
was very little chance for schooling, his days being spent in hard
work. When he became old enough, he secured work in the steamship shops
of Gothenburg, remaining there until he was twenty-two years of age,
then spent two years in Stockholm and
then he embarked for the United States with the determination of
finding work in the copper mines on Lake Superior.
He came to America
in 1864 and soon after enlisted in Company K, Twenty-eighth Michigan
Infantry under General Schofield and General Thomas. His company saw
service in the battles of Three Rivers, N. C. and battle of Nashville
and he was discharged from the service June 6, 1866, at Raleigh, N. C.
He was then employed with the Union Pacific railroad, working in the
shops at Omaha, North
Platte and Laramie City, Wyo., and then he worked for the Western Union
Telegraph Company on construction work along the railroad toward California. He
was thus employed until the fall of 1869, then removed to Omaha and worked there until 1870; then to Helena, Ark.,
then to New Orleans, thence to Chicago and on to St. Paul,
working on the building of the Northern Pacific railroad from St. Paul to
Bismarck, N. D.
The work on the railroad was discontinued in 1873, and Mr.
Strandberg took up a farm fourteen miles north of Bismarck,
building a house and otherwise improving the place, and during the
great flood of that year caused by the overflowing of the Missouri River everything was washed away,
leaving him utterly ruined. He then removed to Mineral
Hill, Nev., where he spent
two years in the mines; thence to Eureka,
Nev., engaging in mining until 1886;
then came to San Francisco, after a
short trip to Alaska.
Upon returning to California, he
filed a claim for 160-acres of government land near Mr. Hamilton, Santa Clara County,
later acquiring by purchase an additional 160 acres. These 320 acres
were grazing land and for twenty-seven years Mr. Strandberg was engaged
in stockraising. After disposing of his ranch, he removed to Oakland where he spent one year, then to San Jose and has
resided here continuously for the past ten years.
marriage of Mr. Strandberg, in January, 1877, in Omaha, Neb., united
him with Miss Mary Elizabeth Bergquist, a native of Sweden, and they
became the parents of three children; Jennie, employed in the Bank of
Oakland; Edith, now Mrs. C. Peterson, residing in Oakland; Alma died at
the age of twenty-one. Mrs. Strandberg passed away in 1887 while
residing on the ranch. Mr. Strandberg is a member of Sheridan-Dix Post
No. 7 of San Jose,
he is a member of the Theosophical Society of San Jose and at the
advanced age of eighty-one years is living retired at 531 East William Street.
He has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to the
West and, utilizing the opportunities here offered, has made a name and
place for himself in the city of his adoption.