Bio-Pen Pictures

            Dr. Thomas S. Whipple, one of the most prominent and prosperous members of the dental profession in the Santa Clara Valley, has been in active practice in San Jose for nineteen years, and a resident of the city twenty-one years.  He is one of New England’s sons, born in Windham County, Connecticut, November 25, 1848.  He was left an orphan at a very tender age, his mother having died before he was a year old, and his father when he was four years of age.  A portion of his school training was received in Cortland County, New York, and the remainder in Madison County, Ohio, and San Jose, California.

            In 1864, while yet in his ‘teens, he left the Buckeye State, with broken health, for California, coming directly to San Jose.  Dr. Whipple at once became a member of the family of Dr. C. R. Spaw, his uncle, and the pioneer dentist of San Jose; entered Dr. Spaw’s office as a student, and after finishing his apprenticeship worked on a salary eight years.  Dr. Spaw opened a dental office on the site of the present one, southeast corner of First and Santa Clara Streets, in 1858, in the building which occupied that corner previous to the erection of the elegant “Safe Deposit Block,” in which the office is now located.  Dr. Spaw has been in active dental practice since 1849 until the past few years, during which he has been gradually withdrawing from it; and on March 1, 1877, the large and profitable business of the firm was transferred to Dr. Whipple.  When Dr. Whipple began to study dentistry he was several hundred dollars in debt, and while an apprentice received no salary; but, having determined to get a start in the world, he applied himself to his chosen profession with all his energy, and at the end of the two years he came out master of it, and by working over time had earned money enough to liquidate all his indebtedness, and $250 over.  The business of the office is now one of the largest in this part of the State.  Dr. Whipple owns one of the finest young apricot, cherry, and prune orchards in Santa Clara County.  It consists of thirty-five acres of four-year-old trees, on his sixty-five-acre tract, lying four miles east of San Jose.  In 1887 the crop of fruit from three-year-old apricot trees yielded $150 per acre.  Dr. Whipple has made a careful study of orchard culture, during the last four years, and hopes to make it a success.

            In November, 1873, Dr. Whipple was united in marriage with Miss Mary L. Flemming, a native of New York State.  Frank E. and Raymond T., aged respectively twelve and three years, constitute their family.  Dr. Whipple is a member of the California State Dental Association.

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.

Pg. 395-396
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight