The son of a pioneer of 1850, Irving P. Vandervoort, secretary and treasurer of the Palo Alto Transfer and Storage Company, has spent all his life in the Golden State. His father, G. J. Vandervoort, was born at Belleville, Canada, near Toronto, came to California in the '50s, where he engaged in farming at Sunol and also taught the Centerville school in Alameda County. He was married at Centerville to Miss Eliza Proctor, born in Illinois, and they became the parents of eight children: Mrs. T. M. Fuller of Palo Alto; J. E., Chevrolet agent at Tracy, Cal.; S. M., of the firm of Fuller & Company, grocers at Palo Alto; W. S., rancher and mechanic of Palo Alto; Edward T., of Palo Alto; Irving P., of this review; Mrs. F. S. Allen, of Palo Alto; Mrs. G. F. Brown, of Palo Alto. The father passed away in Palo Alto in 1903, aged sixty-three, and Mrs. Vandervoort still maintains the family home at 241 Hawthorne Avenue, where she resides with her son, Irving.

Born in February 18, 1877, in Alameda County, Irving P. Vandervoort spent his early years on his father's farm there, where wheat and barley were grown on a large scale, and he had a thorough training in ranch life, becoming an excellent horseman. In 1898 he came to Palo Alto and for the next four years was with the firm of Fuller & Company, grocers there. He then became interested in the transfer business with Charles Mosher, who is now a prominent building contractor of Los Gatos. Mr. Mosher laid the foundations of the present transfer business as far back as the '90s, using eighteen head of horses on his wagons, drays and trucks. The Palo Alto Transfer & Storage Company, an outgrowth of this business, was incorporated in 1912, with a capitalization of $20,000, and their offices are located at 111 The Circle, Palo Alto.

The officers of the company are H. H. Vandervoort, president; I. P. Vandervoort, secretary and treasurer; Joe Silvey, vice-president. The company put on its first motor truck in 1914 and they now own and operate three Mack trucks of two and a half tons each, and two one-ton Ford trucks. This company specializes in the transfer and storage, packing and shipping of household goods, pianos and baggage, and in addition to their local business, they handle a large volume of moving to and from San Jose, Oakland and Fresno. They have several storage warehouses in Palo Alto, including the large, two-story reinforced concrete warehouse erected in 1919 at 165 Homer Avenue. The Vandervoort family have for many years been devoted members of the Episcopal Church and Mr. Vandervoort subscribes to the creeds of that denomination. In politics he has always been a stanch Republican.

From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 989


Bio- Palo Alto Community Book

One of the oldest residents of Palo Alto both ins years and the length of time he has been here, is John E Vondervoort (sic) who arrived in this city in 1894 and has been here nearly ever since.  It is interesting to note that a cousin, Mrs. Suiter, who was Palo Alto's fist school teacher, was instrumental in bringing the  Vandervoort  family of five boys and three girls to this city.  Her husband was the partner of Mr. Earl in the old grocery business known as Earl and Suiter.

Mr. Vandervoort was born in Sunol, Alameda County, California on September 3, 1869, son of Gabriel J. and Eliza Ann (Proctor) Vandervoort.  His father was born in Canada and was a farmer in Alameda County for many years.  He died in Palo ALto in 1903.

John Vandervoort attended public schools in his native community and subsequently took a course at Heald business College in San Francisco.  As a youth he worked in the grocery store of Earl and Suiter for a time, but soon he and his brother Sam and brother-in-law, T. N. Fuller, opened a grocery store known as Fuller and Co, and  Mr. Vandervoort continued as a partner i this business for about fifteen years when he sold out to George Brown.  During the typhoid epidemic in 1904 Mr. Vandervoort obtained ice for patients which lead to his establishing an ice company which he later sold to Frank Woodard.  He next entered the livery stable business, and had a chain of carriages which "taxied: people to and from the railroad station and to Stanford University.  IN 1906, at the time of the earthquake in San Francisco, Mr. Vandervoort carried the first milk into the stricken city, arriving there about four A.M.

In 1916, Mr. Vandervoort sold out his interest in Palo Alto and went to Manteca where he was in the real estate business.  Later he went to Los Angeles for a time, but returned to Palo Alto in 1928 and was active in the real estate and insurance business here for many years, and still does some insurance work.
transcribed from the Palo Alto Community Book, Guy C. Miller, published 1952

Bio- Palo Alto Community Book
Sydney I Vandervoort, president of principal owner of the Palo Alto Transfer and Storage Company, which was founded over fifty years ago by his uncles, Irving P and Harry Vandervoort, is a native son of Palo Alto, born on February 18, 1912, his parents being William Sydney and Jennie (Bracci) Vandervoort.  He attended Palo Alto schools, including high school, from which he was graduated in 1929.  Later he took a course at Heald business College in San Jose, and two years of night school in San Francisco.

During his school days Mr. Vandervoort worked part-time in the old grocery house of Fuller and Company in Palo Alto, and after leaving school he spent several months full-time with this firm.  He then joined the whole-sale coffee firm of Alexander Balart Company in San Francisco, with which he remained for five years.

It was in 1937 that he became connected with the Palo Alto Transfer and Storage Company, which he hs headed for the past three years.  This Company is the largest independent business of its kind north of Los Angeles.  It has gown from a stable in 1902, to a galvanized iron building in 1911, to a concrete and steel four story warehouse erected in 1925, and which was greatly extended in 1945.   About 90,000 square feet of storage space is available, sufficient to contain the furnishings of over a thousand medium sized homes. Fifteen trucks are operated, which include giant custom-built vehicles especially designed for  the movement of household goods  and personal possesions.  Nationwide and world wide connections are maintained by the company making it possible for one's goods to be moved and stored any place in the country or in the world where routes are open to commerce.  Additionaly local expansion has been brought about by the opening of a bank in Los Altos.  About fifty people are employed by the company, making the payroll one of the largest in Palo Alto. 

Sydney Vandervoort is well connected in Palo Alto organizations, being a member of the Board of Directors of both the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants' Association.   He is  former president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.  Fraternally he belong to the Elks Lodge, and is affiliated with the Los Altos Gold and Country Colub, and in line with his business is a member of the Transcportation Club of San Francisco.

During the Worlld War II Mr. Vandervoort volunteered for service, and was first stationed at Moffett field.  He subsequently was assigned to the Officers Candidate School at Camp Lee, Virginia, and after being commissioned was contracting offer with the Second Air Force, headquarters at Colorado Springs.  He also was commanding officer for a quartermaster detachment at Hamilton Field near San Rafael.  Another post was Fort Summer, New Mexico.  His total war service covered a period of four years, and he held the rank of First Lieutenant.

Mr. Vandervoort continues his interst in military affairs by being a member of the American Legion.

transcribed from the Palo Alto Community Book, Guy C. Miller, published 1952


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight