The Valley of Heart's Delight

Bio-Sawyers, page 485


WALDEN LORDS.--It is interesting to write the story of the pioneer who braved the dangers of frontier life and by enduring privations and hardships helped to conquer the wilderness, making it habitable and bringing comfort and happiness to the coming generations. Such a man was the late Walden Lords, a native of Ohio, born at Mansfield, August 14, 1825. His father, John Lords, was a New Englander, born in Maine, who was an early settler and farmer at Mansfield, Ohio. He married Mrs. Mary (McLaughlin) Osborne, who had one child by her first marriage, Nial Osborne, who, when he grew to manhood, was filled with the desire for adventure, and in 1843 he crossed the plains and mountains by the old Oregon Trail to the Williamette Valley, Ore., where he remained a couple of winters, then coming to California he was one of those sent in an expedition to the relief of the Donner party in 1846. He made a trip east and returned, and a second time when he came out in 1849 he was accompanied by our subject and his brother, Ira. Nial Osborne later returned to Iowa where he spent his last days.

To the union of John Lords and Mrs. Osborne were born six children, of whom Walden was fourth in order of birth. He was reared on the Eastern farm, where from a boy he was kept busy, assisting in the farm work as was the custom of farmer boys in those days. He crossed the plains with his half-brother, Nial Osborne and on arriving in California he followed mining at Placerville and later in the region of Ione, but it did not yield the profits he had expected, so he settled down to farming, purchasing land near Galt, Sacramento County, where in time he came to own 400 acres which he devoted to grain and stock raising. Here he also married, being united with Mrs. Mary (Slattery) Huston, who was born in Ireland and came to New York City when a girl of sixteen years, and there her first marriage occurred to William Huston. Soon afterwards the young couple came via Panama to San Francisco and thence to Sacramento. Mr. Huston followed mining until his death.

In 1872 Walden Lords rented his ranch and came to Santa Clara County, where he purchased a farm at Alviso, where he began his career as a horticulturist, which he became so singularly successful. He engaged in raising berries and also set out an orchard of Bartlett pears, and in time came to have an orchard of 80 acres, principally Bartlett pears, which yielded him a large return. He was bereaved of his faithful wife in 1903, after which he spent most of his time in San Jose at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Jennings, and there occurred his death on November 3, 1909, an honored member of the Santa Clara Valley Pioneers, who buried him with honors.

Mrs. Lords by her first marriage had one child. Delia Huston, who became the wife of Oscar Emmerson of San Jose, while Mr. and Mrs. Lords had three children: Ella is Mrs. Jennings of San Jose; John M. Lords resides on the old home ranch which he superintends; Walden died when twenty-two years old. It is a pleasure to note that since the death of Walden Lords his ranch has been kept intact in the family, who have taken the best of care of it and treasure the orchard improved by their pioneer parents, whose memory they cherish and revere.

Transcribed by Joseph Kral, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 485


-The Valley of Heart's Delight