Bio-Pen Pictures

            Wm. P. Veuve, one of the junior members of the Bar of San Jose, was born in that city on the twenty-eighth day of March, 1853, under the shadow of the old juzgado, or town hall, in which the ayuntamiento, or town council, held its sessions in the days when, under Spanish and Mexican rule, the city was a pueblo, known as San Jose de Guadalupe.  Located in the center of the plaza, or square, the adobe houses of the pobladores, or founders of the pueblo, faced the juzgado from the four sides of the plaza.  In one of these primitive dwellings, the residence of Donna Juana Pacheco, the subject of this sketch first saw the light of day.  The exterior of Donna Pacheco’s adobe house might not have indicated that it was the adobe of opulence, yet the owner was the widow of a poblador whose lands were measured by leagues, and whose cattle were numbered by hundreds.

            The hospitality of the native Californians was proverbial, but at no hacienda in the land was there a warmer welcome for stranger or friend than at the casa of this good old lady.  Dead these many years, may she have found the “ever-during” gates of Heaven as widely open as were always the doors of her humble adobe on Market Street, in the pueblo of San Jose.

            Mr. Veuve’s father, Eugene L. Veuve, is a native of Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, of Huguenot ancestry, and came to America in 1845, landing at Mobile, Alabama, where, after a brief sojourn, he went to New Orleans, and from there, in 1849, made the overland journey to California, through New Mexico and Arizona, in an emigrant train.  Escaping the perils of “field and flood” and Indians, he reached Los Angeles in the winter of ’49.  He remained there about six months, and then joined the tide of travel setting northward to the mines, arriving in San Jose in the spring of ’50. Here, struck with the natural advantages of the place, he decided to locate for the practice of his trade, that of watchmaker and jeweler, and at once opened a shop on Market Street, near the old juzgado.  Mr. Jackson Lewis arrived in San Jose about this time, and he and the elder Mr. Veuve are the pioneer watchmakers of the city.

            Mr. E. L. Veuve’s wife, and the mother of Wm. P. Veuve, was born in the County Kildare, Ireland, and went to Chili, South America, when a young girl.  Her maiden name was Eleanor Nugent.  Upon the discovery of gold in California, the exodus from Chili to the New El Dorado bore her thither, with many other pioneer residents of all parts of the State.  Her husband (she had married a Mr. Pettit) had left Chili in a sailing vessel with all his worldly possessions, and she was to follow afterward by steamer and join him in San Francisco.  But one disaster after another overtook him.  He was shipwrecked off the coast of Mexico, and lost a valuable stock of goods that was a part of the ship’s cargo.  He was taken down with fever, and, while lying sick and helpless in a strange land, was robbed of his money.  But after many hardships he reached San Jose, whither his wife had gone, but only to be stricken with cholera, of which terrible scourge he died.

            Mr. Wm. P. Veuve’s parents were married in San Jose, in 1852, and have ever since then resided here.  Their old homestead, facing Market Plaza, was built about the year 1854, and is one of the ancient landmarks in that part of the city.  About this time there was established a public school in a rude building on the plaza, and a Mr. Erle presided over its destinies.  To this school went the subject of this sketch when but a child, accompanying his elder half-brother, who was a regular attendant at its exercises.  The school was afterwards transferred to quarters on Washington Square, Mr. Erle continuing to be its principal teacher.  Under this pioneer school-master of San Jose it was not a case of Spare the rod and spoil the child, for he was an exponent of what might be termed muscular tuition.  Young Veuve continued to attend the public schools of his native city until 1868, when he entered Santa Clara College, from which institution he was graduated in 1874.  His studies were not, however, continuous, for they were interrupted by a two years’ engagement with the firm of Auzerais Brothers, as their book-keeper.  After receiving his degree in the classical course, but not immediately, Mr. Veuve commenced the study of the law in the office of Thos. H. Bodley, Esq., and old and well-known practitioner at the Bar.  In April, 1877, he was duly licensed to practice by the Supreme Court of the State, and from that time he has devoted himself to his chosen profession, practicing at the Bar or presiding on the Bench.

            At the general election of 1880 he was elected city justice and police judge, being one of only two successful candidates on the Democratic ticket.  In 1882 he was re-elected to the same office.  Mr. Veuve was the first incumbent of this office, and in the beginning of his first term experienced considerable difficulty in administering its jurisdiction, owing to defects in the law creating it.  The Legislature, however, at the suggestion of Mr. Veuve, passed a remedial measure, and thereafter no trouble was encountered.  In 1884, having received superior inducements from friends in the county of San Luis Obispo, he resigned his office and took up his residence there.  The ties, however, which bound him to his native city were so strong that, after an absence of about two years, he returned to San Jose, where he has since continued to practice law, with ever-increasing success.

            In 1881 Mr. Veuve married Miss Jennie Wilson, and a little girl, named Vida, is the result of their union.

            He has a half-brother, H. H. Veuve, who is of the firm of A. Vignier & Company, French importers, San Francisco, and a younger full brother, A. L. Veuve, who was for a long time manager of the Pacific Manufacturing Company, at Santa Clara, and who is now engaged in managing the affairs of the Shasta Lumber Company, in Shasta County.

            Mrs. Mary C. Hoffman, widow of the late Herman Hoffman, is a half-sister of Mr. Veuve, whose parents, still living, hale and hearty in their old age, reside with her on Guadalupe Street, in San Jose.

            In politics Mr. Veuve is a Democrat, active and prominent in his party’s councils.

            He is a member of Los Gatos Parlor, No. 126, N. S. G. W., and takes great interest in the success of this distinctively Californian Order.

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.

Pg. 100-101
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler

WHITE - In San Jose, Cal., Sept. 18, 1927, Elizabeth Veuve WHITE, devoted wife of Edward G. WHITE, dearly beloved daugher of Mrs. Jane VEUVE and the late William P. VEUVE, loving sister of Mrs. C.P. MORRILL, Mrs. A.H. BRAY and W.P. VEUVE, a native of Los Gatos, Cal., aged 35 years, 9 months, 25 days.
Friends are invited to attend the funeral today (Tuesday), September 20 at 8:45 o'clock a.m. from the new funeral chapel of Thomas Monahan, 174 W. San Carlos street, thence to St. Joseph's church, where a requiem mass will be celebrated for the repose of her soul commencing at 9 o'clock. Interment Santa Clara Catholic cemetery.
Source: San Jose Mercury Herald, September 20, 1927, Tuesday, page 26

transcribed by jch



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight