The Valley of Heart's Delight

Thomas Bodley
Pioneer Biography
Tax Collector of Santa Clara County

SURNAMES-McCabe, Downey, Ferguson, Smith,

What it means to have a man of exceptional ability and above reproach in an office of peculiar responsibility and
requiring for its successful administration much tact and common sense, is well demonstrated in the care with which Thomas Bodley manages the county tax collector's office, bringing him into personal relation to thousands throughout Santa Clara County.

He is not only a native son, but like a number of others who have risen to prominence in this part of the state, he was born at San Jose, and first saw the light on December 15, 1860. His father was Thomas Bodley, a Kentuckian, born in 1821, and
his mother in her maidenhood was Miss Julia A. McCabe, a native of Missouri, and she crossed the great American plains by ox-team train in the Argonaut days of '49, reaching at length the land of promise in safety, and Mr. Bodley came via Cape Horn that same year. In 1856 they were married at San Jose; and liking this region better than that of any of the other favored Coast sections, they continued to live here. Mr. Bodley, who was a Royal Arch Mason, was one of the first undersheriffs appointed by William McCutchen; and later he served in the State Legislature, and was also district attorney for a term. He died on September 17, 1887. Mrs. Bodley is still living, at the fine old age of eighty-three. These estimable parents had seven children, among whom only three are now living. The second oldest of the family, Thomas, went to both the grammar and the high schools, but owing to his father's death, he had to leave off his studies early and take up bread-winning work. He was for a while with Judge Buckner, in the justice's court, and then for four years he was in the county clerk's office. After that, he was city assessor and clerk for six years; then he was undersheriff for two years, and then for twenty years he was chief deputy of Tax Collector W. A. January. On the latter's death, he was appointed to fill out his term; and then, for a second term, he was re-elected without opposition. He was a Democrat, as party politics go; but his partisanship never prevents him from pulling never prevents him from pulling generously with his fellow-citizens for whatever seems to the best and most lasting interests of the community in which he is such an efficient and interested party.

In Neveda County, on January 10, 1884, Mr. Bodley was married to Miss Grace Downey of Nevada County, a gifted and devoted lady; and their union has been favored with the birth of two children, both daughters. Grace has become Mrs. R. N. Ferguson, the wife of an oil expert now in Bakersfield; immediately after the war he was in the service of the Polish Government; they have two sons, John and Richard; Miriam is Mrs. G. Smith of Bakersfield. Mr. Bodley is a member of
Friendship Lodge No. 210F. & A. M., has served as president of Native Sons Parlor No.82, when it was called Palo Alto Parlor, and also an Elk; he gives himself up, when he can, to outdoor life, and he is fond of both baseball and fishing.

Transcribed by Linda Gretty, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 458


SANTA CLARA COUNTY-The Valley of Heart's Delight