Among the native sons of California, Will Green Harton is achieving prominence in a business way in San Jose, and well deserves the success that is the reward of strict integrity and a firm determination to progress. He was born in Fresno County, Cal., December 12, 1889, an only son of Charles Harton and Lulu (Green) Harton, the latter a daughter of Gen. Will S. Green, an early settler of Colusa County. He landed in Colusa on July 6, 1850, piloting the new steamer Colusa up the Sacramento River, and for five years more than a half century he was a citizen of that town, of which he first saw the site from the pilot house of the pioneer steamer.

Early in his experience in the Sacramento Valley, General Green saw that to reach their highest productivity there must be a drainage of the rich bottom lands, for protection against floods, and irrigation of the rich plains for protection against the normal drought of the dry season. He was one of California's first apostles of agriculture, and land was the text of all his epistles. As an engineer, he surveyed the land. As a legislator, he drew the land code of the state. As surveyor general of the United States, he protected the public domain for the settlers who would till it. As treasurer of the state, he conserved and economized the taxes paid by the owners of the land. As the foremost editorial writer of the state, he considered the land as first material object of human interest. He developed the first plans for irrigation and drainage of the Sacramento Valley; and though high-salaried engineers have wrought upon the same problem, his plans stand unimpeached'. On account of the vastness of the great work which he conceived, he came to be the final authority upon more things of vital concern to the state than any other man in California. This is but a brief resume of the important things for which he gave the best years of his life.

Mrs. Harton passed away when her infant son was only one year old, and he was given into the care of his illustrious grandfather. When he had reached the age of fourteen, he was sent to Bingham Military Academy at Asheville, N. C., a preparatory school for Webb's Training School, located at Bellbuckle, Tenn., from which institution he graduated when twenty years of age. General Green passed away in 1905, and Mr. Harton was thrown upon his own resources. He spent several years in various parts of the Middle West, working at whatever he could find to do to earn an honest living. At the outbreak of the World War in 1917, he was a resident of Southern California and he enlisted in the navy at San Pedro in the submarine service. He was immediately put into an officers' training school, receiving actual experience on submarine chasers, and thus twelve months were spent up and down the coast. At the close of the war he was released from active service, but is subject to call at any time. He removed to San Jose during the year of 1919 and was employed as sales manager of a local automobile firm; later he established his own business, selling used cars.

With a small capital he began business and in 1921 Dr. F. B. Pierce was taken into the partnership and the Harton-Pierce Motor Company was formed, Mr. Harton taking full charge of the business management. The company has the exclusive sale and service for the Oakland car, specializing on the "Oakland Sensible Six." The company realizes that their patrons' interests are a part and parcel of their success and that their business depends upon thoroughly satisfying their customers.

The marriage of Mr. Harton in January, 1920. united him with Miss Muriel Warner, a daughter of John Warner, a pioneer merchant of Santa Clara Valley. Fraternally he is a member of the Masons. Elks and American Legion, as well as of the N. S. G. W. Upright and honorable in every relation of life, Mr. Harton has won the esteem and respect of business associates and counts his friends and acquaintances by the score.

Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922.
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SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight