Santa Clara County History

History of Santa Clara County


Miscellaneous Items of Interest--Observations of a Weather Expert--Judge Belden and Mayor Pfister--An Auto Camp--Result of Presidential Elections in the County.

Weather Report

The Weather Bureau of San Jose shows the following seasonal precipitation for that city:

Seasons          July  Aug. Sept. Oct.  Nov.  Dec.  Jan.  Feb.  Afar. Apr.  May   June  Total
1906-1907 ....    0     0   0.13  0.01  0.98  6.39  4.61  1.88  7.75  0.46  0.08  0.42  22.71
1907-1908 ....    T     0   0.06  0.98  0.13  3.65  2.63  2.46  1.14  0.23  0.67  0.01  11.96
1908-1909 ....    0     0   0.09  0.19  1.11  1.54  7.69  4.87  2.77    0     0   0.05  18.31
1909-1910 ....    0     0   0.75  0.72  1.27  5.41  2.31  0.83  2.84  0.41    T   0.02  14.56
1910-1911 ....    T     0   0.09  0.20  0.28  0.68 12.38  2.03  6.26  0.45  0.21  0.07  22.65
1911-1912 ....    0     0     0   0.80  0.18  2.03  1.36  0.30  2.80  1.95  0.70  0.46  10.58
1912-1913 ....    T     0   0.71  0.21  0.29  0.43  2.29  0.09  1.17  0.38  0.77  0.01   6.35
1913-1914 ....   0.09 0.08    T   0.02  4.10  3.00  6.23  3.94  0.90  0.65  0.19  0.25  19.45
1914-1915 ....    0     0     0   0.50  1.36  3.73  4.85  7.02  1.49  1.07  2.69    0   22.71
1915-1916 ....    0   0.04    0     0   0.19  4.37  8.71  1.83  1.10  0.06  0.01    T   16.27
1916-1917 ....    T   0.01  0.78  0.84  0.41  3.48  0.98  4.88  0.77  0.26  0.22    0   12.63
1917-1918 ....    T     0   0.01    0   0.54  0.55  0.70  2.63  4.48  0.45    T     0    9.36
1918-1919 ....    0     0   6.33  0.15  2.24  1.28  1.06  4.87  2.87  0.06  0.01    T   18.87
1919-1920 ....    T   0.01  0.25  0.28  0.09  2.48  0.10  1.04  3.43  0.92    T   0.21   8.80
1920-1921 ....    0     0   0.02  1.71  1.84  3.58  4.75  1.09  0.80  0.40  0.82    T   15.01
1921-1922 ....    0     0   0.21  0.21  1.65
Normals .....   0.00  0.04  0.34  0.90  1.89  3.05  2.88  2.54  2.98  1.41  0.68  0.08  16.79

Dr. William Simpson, Santa Clara County's Health Officer and Assistant Collaborating Epidemiologist of the United States Public Health Services, gives his observations of twenty-nine years, in the following notes:

"Santa Clara County, or the Santa Clara Valley; has two separate and distinct climates, both ideal, but for different types of individuals. The north portion of the county, the valley portion, skirting the bay, cooled and freshened in summer, and tempered in winter by the ozone bearing winds from the ocean offers to the strong and vigorous, the golfer, the tennis player and student, the home seeker and worker, just the stimulus needed to keep him in form and up to his work, but the wind which carries ozone carries also moisture which, while it is most valuable to the rancher and his crops, to the small fruit grower and his berries, to the dairyman and his alfalfa, to the vegetable gardener and his products, is too stimulating for the neurasthenic, the asthmatic, the weak and those who need warmth and shelter and protection.

"For these the eastern and western foothills with their sunny slopes, their freedom from fog and frost offers an equally delightful and equally favorable location, and to all alike is offered a climate absolutely free from malaria and where cholera infantum, dysentery and the epidemic diarrhoeal diseases are so rare that they are practically unknown and never epidemic. The dreaded 'second summer' of the eastern and southern mother, the California born mother has never heard of, and the California baby cuts his eye and stomach teeth in ignorance of the troubles of his eastern cousin.

"For all water is pure, plenty and wholesome. Falling as snow in the Sierras or rain in the hills and valleys it is filtered through sand and gravel in natural filter beds many feet below the impervious strata which separates it from the surface water, and comes to the surface bubbling with oxygen from the spring or deep well safe, cool and refreshing. No typhoid in its sparkle, for no germ can reach its source.

"In Alum Rock Canyon, on the San Jose City Reservation, the city's playground, there are more than a dozen mineral springs each differing in its analysis from the other, and each and all absolutely free to the public, and equal in medicinal value to those of any resort. At Saratoga in a most beautiful canyon, easily reached, is the Congress Spring, only equalled by its namesake in New York, while but a few miles away are the Azule springs and in the southern portion of the county the Gilroy Hot Springs and others too many to enumerate, but all assets to the well being of those who are seeking health and a comfortable old age.

"An editorial in The Century for September, 1894, will bear repeating here.

"'What a blessed country California must be, practically exempt as its coast counties are from the summer complaints of children. What a boon to young mothers the glorious climate of the golden shores of the Pacific. No summer complaints, no diarrhoea of teething infants; no sleepless night, and tired nerves, and distracted parents, and worn out doctors, and exhausted nurses, and yarb teas.

"'There we have a climate for the little people who are slow in recovering, a climate which offers hope for parents who have suffered the loss of one or more little ones and who do not know which way to turn lest they lose others, perhaps yet unborn, and go childless through life.'

"It is the possibility of outdoor life, of every day in the year in the open air that makes the children of Santa Clara County so vigorous, our young men and young women models of strength and beauty and our elders so sturdy and well preserved."

Belden and Pfister

Speaking of the weather the following story in which two of San Jose's distinguished citizens figure has been often told.

Years ago when Adolph Pfister was mayor of San Jose and David Belden was judge of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, there was a drouth so intense that a W. C. T. U. convention looked like a spring freshet in comparison. The ministers and church people generally prayed for rain and prayed some more. Meeting Pfister on the street, Judge Belden said:

"Dolph, it's plain to me that the Lord is tired of being worried by these people. He wants to hear from us sinners. Let's you and me, the two leading sinners of this community, take a hand. You pray tonight, and so will I."

Two days after, with no rain in sight, Belden met Pfister again. "Look here, 'Dolph," said the judge, "did you pray for rain?" "No," said Pfister. "Why not, you old sinner?" "Had a sore knee and couldn't kneel down" "Well," replied Belden, "you pray tonight if you have to pray standing."

Whether Pfister prayed is not certain, but the next day it rained and rained plenty. Water fell in pails full. Everything was wet. It kept on raining. Then it rained some more. And then rained. Once more Belden met Pfister. "See here, 'Dolph," he said, "did you pray for this rain;" "Course I did," said Pfister. "Well," said Belden reflectively, "I'm glad we didn't start together as I first suggested, and I'm willing to give you most of the credit. But say, Pfister, don't you think it's about time to inform the Lord that he is being too darned good to us?"

An Auto Camp

The Directors of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, realizing the need of providing accommodations for the hundreds of automobile tourists who are now passing through San Jose from all over the United States, have established an emergency auto camp at Cedar Brook Park, Twelfth and Keyes Streets. Action was taken in the matter in order to prevent visitors from passing through the city and going to other points before they had properly seen San Jose. The park is available for immediate usage, under a lease obtained from the owner by the Chamber.

The new camping site covers an area of more than four acres, in which are hundreds of trees, benches and tables for the use of patrons, and numerous large buildings which could be used for shelter in case of heavy rains. Ample lighting facilities are provided by strings of electric lights running over the enter grounds, and a caretaker will be on duty all the time, it is stated, to assist and advise tourists in making their camp.

In order to aid campers who are passing through the city to find the grounds the Chamber of Commerce has arranged to place signs on the Alameda-Oakland Boulevard and South First Street, where they enter the city, directing people how to get there. The camp abuts onto Coyote Creek, along whose banks is an abundance of willows. The entire acreage is covered with a floor of grass, and a wonderful view of the mountains of the eastern slope of the valley is an added attraction.

Presidential Elections

Following is the vote cast in Santa Clara County at the different Presidential elections since the admission of California into the Union.

1852--Pierce (D.), 829; Scott (Whig), 682.
1856--Buchanan (D.), 809; Fremont (R.), 576; Bell (Ind.), 673.
1860--Lincoln (R.), 1477; Douglas (Northern D.), 881; Breckenridge (Southern D.), 722.
1864--Lincoln (R.), 1930; McClellan (D.), 1202.
1868--Grant (R), 2307; Seymour (D.), 2330.
1872--Grant (R.), 2219; Greeley (D. and Lib. R.) 1670.
1876--Hayes (R.), 3326; Tilden (D.), 3065.
1880--Garfield (R.), 3116; Hancock (D.), 2820.
1884--Blaine (R), 3839; Cleveland (D.), 3172.
1888--Harrison (R.), 4463; Cleveland (D.), 3933.
1892--Harrison (R.), 4624; Cleveland (D,) 4169.
1896--McKinley (R.), 6315; Bryan (D.), 4443.
1900--McKinley (R.), 7119; Bryan (D.), 4672.
1904--Roosevelt (R.), 8274; Parker (D.), 3090.
1908--Taft (R.), 7,988; Bryan (D.), 3836.
1912--Roosevelt (Prog. & R.), 10968; Wilson (D.), 9173.

In the 1912 primaries, held in May, Roosevelt and Taft were the Republican contestants. The result eliminated Taft, the vote for personal choice being 3296 for Roosevelt and 1666 for Taft. Roosevelt delegates to the National Republican Convention were elected at the same time. At the November election Taft, although he was the Republican nominee of the National Convention, had no place on the printed ticket. He received a few written-in votes, but the great bulk of the votes went to Roosevelt, who was nominated by the newly formed Progressive party.

1916--Hughes (R.), 16660; Wilson (D.), 14222.
1920--Harding (R.), 19,565; Cox (D.), 6506; Debs, 1667; Watkins, 1014.

Source: Sawyers, Eugene T. History of Santa Clara County, Los Angeles, Calif; Historic Record Company, 1922.

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