W. A. Z. EDWARDS
Company C, Fifth Regiment California State Militia
Supervisor of the Third District of Santa Clara County, resides in a beautiful cottage home on the Alviso road, two miles from the city limits of San Jose. Mr. Edwards has been identified with the county since 1857, and with the State since 1853, he having arrived at San Francisco on the nineteenth of February of that year. He dates his birth in Shropshire, England, August 31, 1823. He spent the time until his thirteenth year on his father's farm, and at that time became engaged in selling goods, which occupation he followed until, upon the attainment of his majority, he came to the United States. Landing at New York city April 19, 1844, he settled in Oneida County, New York. There various pursuits occupied his attention until he came to this State, as before mentioned, in 1853.
The first four years of his residence in California were spent in placer mining in Tuolumne and Plumas Counties. His life in this county, which has extended over a period of thirty-one years, has been devoted to agriculture, horticulture, and the growing of vegetables and small fruits. In all of these branches, a long experience and practical knowledge have insured his success. The improvement from a state of nature of the property which he now occupies, Mr. Edwards commenced in 1864. The homestead contains forty acres, and is almost entirely devoted to orchard and small-fruit culture, although ten acres are used for the cultivation of asparagus. The residence grounds are thickly shaded by pine, locust, pepper, chestnut, and almond trees, in addition to two of the grandest of weeping willows and several noble specimens of the redwood (Sequoia). An actual measurement of the ground sheltered by one weeping willow (grown from a slip planted by Mr. Edwards in 1865), shows a circumference of over sixty yards, this beautiful tree having in its foliage a circumference f about 200 feet. The ground underneath is used as a workshop and storage room, and is as completely sheltered as though under a roof.
Mr. Edwards also owns, on the Brokaw road, a tract of twenty acres, which he devotes to pasturage and the production of hay. He also has real-estate interests in East San Jose, in the University tract, and at Santa Cruz.
The subject of
our sketch is in full sympathy with, and an active supporter of, the Republican
party. During the Civil War the South had many sympathizers in this State, and
many who hoped and plotted for Rebel success, even hoping to carry California
into the Confederacy. When it became necessary for the Union men to organize,
the Alviso Rifles were recruited in May, 1863, and became Company C, Fifth
Regiment California State Militia. Mr. Edwards was among the first enrolled.
After the close of the war, the company became an independent organization,
building and owning an armory at Alviso. They disbanded only December 25, 1886,
and from July 27, 1869, to the date of disbandment, Mr. Edwards was their
Captain. The company was armed with Spencer Rifles. The Regimental Prize Target
Medal, costing over $100, contested for October 18, 1864, and November 13, 1865,
was won by Company C. This medal the company, at its disbandment, by vote
presented to Mr. Edwards as a testimonial of their respect and esteem for him as
a man and as an officer. He has had much to do with public affairs wherever he
has lived. In Plumas County he served as Magistrate, and under Lincoln's
administration as Deputy Assessor and Collector. To his present position as
Supervisor of the Third District, he was elected in 1884.
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.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT