Bio- Sawyers
An early settler, who came to California when eleven years old is John Sturla, Sr., who has been actively engaged in farming pursuits in the Gilroy district since he was seventeen. A native of Italy, he was born in Genoa on September 9, 1853, a son of Angelo Sturla, a farmer in Italy, who came to America in 1862, accompanied by his son James. They first located in San Francisco and were engaged in vegetable farming and sold their products in horse-drawn carts on the streets of the city. In January of 1864, John came to San Francisco via the Isthmus of Panama, taking four months to make the journey. He joined his father and brother in the vegetable business, and as they prospered they invested in eight and a half acres in Old Gilroy, fine rich land on the Pacheco Road. His father passed away about 1899, and John and James started out to make their own way independently. By economy and industry, Mr. Sturla now owns a fine place of fifty-seven acres in prunes, apples and pears.

Mr. Sturla married Miss Louisa Rolari, born in Italy, a daughter of Antonio Rolari, and she came to America with her parents when she was fifteen years of age. They are the parents of seven children Angelo, who has three children and lives nearby[see bio below; Antonio married Miss Alice Kickham and they reside on the Rucker ranch and have four children; Louis married and resides in Gilroy; Alexander married Anna Gubser and reside at Old Gilroy and have two children; John Jr., who is also married, served overseas during the World War for eighteen months; Harold; Mary is the wife of Joseph Batiel of Gilroy, and they have five children. Politically Mr. Sturla is a Republican and his religious faith is that of the Catholic Church. He is a stockholder and a director in the Gilroy Branch, Bank of Italy; and is a member of the California Prune and Apricot Association. He is a familiar figure on the streets of Gilroy, and his affable manner has won for him scores of friends.
From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1479



A worthy representative of the younger generation of the Italian-Americans, whose parents were early settlers of Santa Clara County, is Angelo Sturla, an esteemed citizen of Gilroy Township.  A native son of California, he was born at San Ysidro (Old Gilroy) on August 24, 1883, the son of John Sturla, Sr., a native of Genoa, Italy; his mother was Louisa Rolari, who came to America when she was fifteen years old.  John Sturla came to America when he was seventeen years old and went direct to San Francisco and joined his father and brother in the vegetable business.  The first investment in land was near Gilroy, and by good management and economy, John Sturla has become well-to-do and the interest he has taken in the development of the locality in which he resides has made him a prominent citizen of Gilroy.

The eldest of a family of seven children Angelo attended the public schools until about sixteen years old; then for the next eleven years helped his father develop his ranches, and the intelligence and care exercised in the development of their land has added greatly to the prosperity of the community.  The marriage of Mr. Sturla united him with Miss Anna Schmitt, a daughter of Frank Schmitt, a pioneer of San Ysidro, where Mrs. Sturla was reared and schooled.  They are the parents of three children: Evelyn Barbara, Leland Frank, and Richard John.  In national politics Mr. Sturla is a Republican; fraternally he is a member of the Improved Order of Redmen and the Eagles.  For twelve consecutive years he has served on the San Ysidro school board and his activities have resulted in many improvement, such as new buildings and improved equipment.  He has also served as judge of the election board of the San Ysidro district.  He is a member of the California Prune and Apricot Growers’ Association and he owns a fine twenty-five acre orchard set to French prunes, located on the Holsclaw Road.

From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1578

Transcribed by Susan Schooler


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight