SURNAMES: RICHARDS, WEBBER,
The old, ever-interesting and stirring story of the toil, sacrifice and accomplishment of the builders of our Republic is recalled in the life of the sturdy and highly-esteemed pioneer, Thomas Couch,
who came to California in 1868, a native of Cornwall, England. He was a miner and on coming to the United States followed mining for a short time in Michigan and then came to California, being employed
first as a miner at the New Almaden mine and after that he mined in Grass Valley and different parts of Nevada and Utah until he became manager of the Boston Montana Company, having charge
of both their mines and smelter at Great Falls. He then came to Oroville, Cal., and was the first to start dredging on the Feather River, constructing the first boat for the purpose. While building the
second dredger he was taken ill and died at Lane Hospital, San Francisco, in 1901.
He had married in Goshen, Utah, December 28, 1874, being united with Miss Rachel Webber, who was born in Glamorganshire, Wales, a daughter of John and Margaret (Richards) Webber,
who brought their family to Nevada when Rachel was five years old, and later they moved to Utah, where the parents spent their last days.
Mr. Couch had become interested in cattle raising in Montana, having purchased a ranch near Great Falls, where his family resided. They had eight children: Mary died at two years and
nine months; Thomas and Edward and Fred M. are cattlemen on the Couch ranch; Rachel M. the wife of Lee M. Ford, a banker at Great Falls; Albert C. was a soldier in the World War,
serving overseas and was wounded during the battle of Chateau Thierry; he now resides in Palo Alto; John D. served in the Engineering Corps overseas as a lieutinant; he also lives in Palo Alto;
William, an exceptionally fine specimen of young manhood, who had trained as an aviator, was in the aviation section of the U. S. Army and was on his way to the conflict overseas but died aboard
the ship just before the boat reached England.
After her husband's death, Mrs. Couch having a residence at 657 Webster in Palo Alto, moved hither, and it has since been her home. Mr. Couch took a keen interest in civic affairs
and as a Republican worked and voted with those of the party of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. 538
SANTA CLARA BIOGRAPHY PROJECT
THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT