WILLIAM B. HOBSON
SURNAMES:Speinhour,Henderson, Botsford, Macauley, Connel, O'Shaughnessey
For nearly three-quarters of a century the Hobson family have
been closely associated with Santa Clara County, of which William B.
Hobson is a native and for many years was engaged in the mercantile
business in San Jose. He first saw the light on November 11, 1857, in a
house that stood on the present site of Luna Park, and was the son of
George and Sarah P. (Speinhour) Hobson. The Hobsons are of Southern
extraction, George having been born in North Carolina in February,
1823. At an early age he migrated into Missouri and there met and
married Miss Speinhour, like himself a native of North Carolina , born
on May 18, 1828, and they were married on January 10, 1847. Early in
the spring of that same year they started for the then unknown West,
traveling with an emigrant train of sixty wagons by way of Forts
Laramie and Hall and arriving at Johnson's ranch, near the present site
of the city of Sacramento in October, having taken about six months to
complete the journey. They soon came on down into the Santa Clara
Valley, but did not tarry long, going to Monterey, then the capital of
California. They only had stopped there a few months and during the
time their eldest child was born, and then came back to San Jose in
January, 1849, and this city and county has ever since been the scene
of the activity of the Hobson family.
George Hobson tried his luck in the mines and met with gratifying
results. He and his companions struck a rich lead and from one pocket
alone each man washed out $1,000 in in three days. Two years of mining
satisfied Mr. Hobson and he returned to Santa Clara County and turned
his attention to ranching, which was conducted in a very primitive
fashion in those days, a great deal of the manual labor being done by
the Indians. San Jose was then a squalid village, made up of adobe huts
and the city of inhabitants were Spanish and uneducated Mexicans. Mr.
Hobson followed farming and also engaged in the dairy business, running
the first milk wagon ever seen on the streets of the town.
In 1861 he moved his family to what is now known as Luna Park, where he
owned about 1,200 acres; two years later he moved to a ranch of 160
acres upon which was an adobe house and in later years this section was
subdivided and became a part of San Jose and Hobson street, near where
the ranch house was located, was named in honor of George Hobson. Here
he and his wife with their three sons established their home, which
soon became the center of hospitality of the English-speaking residents
of the town. There were nine children in the family, of whom two sons,
and four daughters reached mature years. Thaddeus died in 1911; those
now living are William B.; Mrs. Mary Henderson; Mrs. Annie Botsford;
Mrs. Martha Macauley; and Mrs. Sadie Connel. George Hobson died in 1892
and Mrs. Hobson passed away in 1919, having reached the good old age of
George B. Hobson attended the public school and the old San Jose
Institute and after quitting he worked on a ranch for three years.
Finding ranch life not to his liking, he came to San Jose and 1876
bought out the clothing business of Obanion & Kent, who had
established the business in 1875. Mr. Hobson carried on the store alone
until 1882, when he took his brother, T.W. Hobson, in as a partner, and
they carried on the business under the firm name of T. W. Hobson &
Company, which continued active under the inspiriting influence of the
two Hobsons until W. B. retired in 1921. The reputation of the firm for
square dealing, strict business integrity and reliability enabled them
to build up a large and successful trade among all classes of people.
The marriage of W.B. Hobson uniting him with Miss Marguerite
O'Shaughnessey, occurred in San Jose January 13, 1886. He is a member
of the Chamber of Commerce and takes an active interest in every
movement that has for its aim the building up of San Jose and Santa
Clara County. He is a charter member of San Jose Parlor No. 22 , N. S.
G. W , belongs to the Elks, the Country Club and to the National Union.
In his younger days he served for some years in the State Militia.
Popular as a
citizen, genial in disposition, while a man of large interests, he has
never allowed himself to become completely absorbed in business, but
has found time for the pleasures of out-door life and is fond of
hunting, fishing and trapshooting.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 406
SANTA CLARA PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES
SANTA CLARA COUNTY -The Valley of Heart's Delight
July 19, 2005