The Valley of Heart's Delight


 Bio-Pen Pictures

            Thaddeus W. Spring, of the firm of T. W. Spring & Son, clothing merchants, corner of Santa Clara and Market Streets, San Jose, was born in Buffalo, New York, June 17, 1829.  His ancestors for many generations were residents of Massachusetts and Vermont.  While he was an infant, his father moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received his education up to the age of eighteen years.  He then enlisted in Magruder’s Battery, United States Army, and after making the voyage around Cape Horn with his battery on the ship Monterey, landed in San Diego, California, where he remained until 1851, when he was discharged and came immediately to San Francisco, and engaged in the auction business, which he continued for two years.  He then made a trip to the Sandwich Islands, after which he returned to California and commenced mining in various parts of the State and in Nevada, with the usual success attending mining operations.  He came to San Jose in 1861 and engaged in the auction business with N. Hayes, which he followed for four years.  He then commenced business for himself in clothing and gentlemen’s furnishing goods, which he has carried on ever since very extensively.  He was married in 1862, to Miss Emilie Houghton, a native of Iowa, and there have been born to them two children, viz.:  Marcella, wife of Fred W. Moore, of Santa Cruz, and Henry Mayo Newhall Spring, who is associated in business with his father.

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. 391-392

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy

-Merchant of San Jose-1865-1890

Bio- Sawyers

   A prominent pioneer and business man whose generous public spirit had much to do with the upbuilding of San Jose, Thaddeus Warsaw Spring, was born in Buffalo, N. Y., on June 17, 1829, and died in San jose on August 13, 1890.  He was a thorough gentleman, a successful business man, and lived a life worthy of emulation.  He was the son of Andrew Jackson Spring, a native of New England, and a descendant of English ancestors.  The father moved to New Orleans, La., when his son Thaddeus W. was three months old and there died when the latter was still a small child.  His home continued to be the Creole City until he was seventeen years old, becoming an auctioneer at the youthful age of fifteen years. Not satisfied however, with his prospects in Louisiana, he ran away, and in Baltimore entered the U. S. service, enlisting in General Magruder's Battery and came to California with him in 1852, making the trip around the Horn on the ship Monterey, a voyage which occupied five months. Landing in San Diego, Cal., he continued in the service under General Magruder for some time until he received his honorable discharge.

Accompanied by his mother, who had followed him across the Isthmus, he came north to San Francisco.  He went to the mines for a brief time, when meeting with only slight success, he soon quit mining and returned to San Francisco, where he engaged as assistant to his step fathe
r, Jasper Smith, who was then engaged in the auction business.  After making a cruise to the Sandwich Islands and returning to California, he located in San Jose in 1862, and engaged in the auction business with Nicholas Hayes, who aside from being an auctioneer, was also the owner and proprietor of a large general merchandise store located on the corner of First Street and Fountain Alley in San Jose and during Mr. Hayes' absence abroad, Mr. Spring was placed in charge as general manager.  Having carefully saved his earnings, in 1865 he started in the mercantile business for himself and put in a fine stock of dry goods and clothing on Santa Clara Street at the location now known as the Smout Building.  In 1869 the building at the corner of Market and Santa Clara streets, which is now occupied by Spring's, Inc., was built for him and there he built up a remunerative trade, and continued in business until the time of his death, being then sixty-one years of age.

   Mr. Spring was assuredly one of the foremost citizens of San Jose. Fraternally he was a Knights Templar Mason, serving as treasurer, and was one of the two senior members of San Jose Commandery No. 10. Personally he was self-made and self-reliant, and his generosity to those less fortunately situated was well known to many whose lives he had brightened by his benefactions.  All enterprises that tended to the upbuilding of his home city and county had his hearty support.  He was and active member of the Pioneer Society of Santa Clara County.  His portrait herewith published will serve to recall his sturdy figure, which was a very familiar one on the streets of San Jose, for which he did so much to upbuild, and whose good name and fame he was ever ready to champion and uphold.  He had admitted his son to the business some time before his death, the firm name then being T. W. Spring & Son. Later his son-in-law, Fred W. Moore, became associated in the management of the enterprise.  Since his death the business has been incorporated under the name of Spring's, Inc., and this firm continues in the lead and holds thousands of loyal customers throughout the valley, a fine testimonial to the worth of this pioneer business house.

   In 1862 at San Jose, Mr. Spring was united in marriage to Miss Emelie Houghton, who was born at Farmington, Iowa, a daughter of Amory J., a native of Massachusetts, and Jemima (Gruell) Houghton, who was born in Indiana.  She crossed the plains with her parents in 1859, starting from Farmington, Iowa, and settling in Santa Clara County.  She continued to live in San Jose until she passed away, the mother of two children: Marcella is the widow of the late Frederick W. Moore, who came from one of the earliest of California pioneer families.  His parents left their home in Tennessee in 1846, crossed the plains the same year and arrived in California in 1847, settling in what is now Santa Cruz County.  Mrs. Moore has four children: Mrs. Douglas H. Sim of San Jose, Mrs. Martin Luther, Jr., of Hollister, Mrs. William N. Donaldson of Los Angeles, and Frederick H. Moore of San Jose, who enlisted and served in the U. S. Marines during the late war.  Mrs. Moore stands very highly in San Jose's social and business circles.  The second child of Thaddeus W. Spring is Henry Spring, herein before referred to.  He married Miss Olive Haptonstall, who comes from a pioneer family in Oregon, and they have one child, Jackson.  The Springs continue to represent, as they always have, the substantial business element of San Jose.  While first and last attending to business, yet their love for San Jose grows with years and they seek and find great delight in the advancement of their community.

Transcribed by Joseph Kral, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 372

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