Saratoga and Mountain View Road

Bio-Pen Pictures

is the owner of a beautiful farm of 100 acres, on the Saratoga and Mountain View road, in the Lincoln School District, about five miles southwest of Santa Clara.  Sixty-five acres are in vineyard, producing the following varieties of wine grapes: Cabernets, Malbec, Golden Chasselas, Grenache, Carignan, Matero, Zinfandel, Trousseau, and Charbano. The remainder of the farm, with the exception of a small orchard, is devoted to the production of hay and grain and to stock-raising.

        Mr. Kerwin was born in Galway County, Ireland. His parents were Michael and Mary (Coulin) Kerwin. His mother dying when he was but nine years of age, and his father being a commercial agent and almost constantly away from home, he was left almost entirely to his own resources. At the age of thirteen years he left home and went to Liverpool, England. In that city he obtained employment as a messenger in the Harbor Police Inspector's office. After holding that position for more than two years, he secured employment as a collector for teamsters and draymen. He was engaged in this work for several years, in fact until he determined that he would come to the United States.

        He put this plan into action in 1849, and, landing at Boston, at once started for the country. He spent about ten months in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in gardening. Returning to Boston, he engaged in many different occupations, among them teaming. Later he was employed as a salesman in the furniture store of Russell & Co. He remained in their employ until, in 1854, he came to California.

        Mr. Kerwin sought the country, rather than the city, and soon came to Santa Clara County. He worked at orchard cultivation on the Gould place in Santa Clara for about a year, when he took up his residence upon the place where he now lives. He has devoted over thirty years to the improvement and cultivation of his lands, taking them in their wild state, while covered with chaparral, and inhabited by California lions, coyotes, and wild-cats. Thanks to his energy and perseverance, he has been most successful in labors. He has acquired a large amount of land, owning at one time about 600 acres, 320 acres of which he himself cleared and cultivated. He sold 280 of it several years ago in its wild state, and in 1881 and 1882 he disposed of 220 acres of cleared land.

        The subject of our sketch received very little schooling in his youth, but in later years, while earning his living, he managed to educate himself to a certain extent. But his success in life has been due, not to early advantages, but to his own indomitable will and steady perseverance.

        On the twenty-ninth of August, 1858, he was united in marriage with Miss Catherine McGauren, daughter of James and Ann (Gorman) McGauren. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kerwin: Mary Ann, who married John A. Dollard, a sea captain and a resident of San Francisco; Catherine Philomena, James Patrick, who died February 5, 1867; John B. M., Louis Joseph, and Ignatius Thomas.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
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