Santa Clara County History

History of Santa Clara County



In August, 1920, the name, Farm Owners and Operators was changed to the Federation of American Farmers. At the annual meeting, held November 7, the following trustees were elected:

District No. 1--Robert Britton, Morgan Hill; Dr. H. R. Chesbro, Gilroy; J. J. Nielson, Morgan Hill; J. W. Britton, Morgan Hill. District No. 2--J. A. Fair, San Jose; John Hassler, San Jose; A. R. McClay, San Jose; J. S. Hensill, San Jose. District No. 3--T. D. Landels, San Jose; J. J. McDonald, Milpitas; A. M. Foster, San Jose; H. F. Curry, San Jose. District No. 4--A. P. Freeman, Lawrence Station; A. W. Greathead, San Jose; S. E. Johnson, Cupertino; V. T. McCurdy, Santa Clara. District No. 5--Luther Cunningham [,] Saratoga; R. P. Van Orden, Mountain View; W. H. Hobson, Los Gatos; C. E. Warren, Cupertino. Trustees at large--E. L. Fellows, Santa Clara; E. K Clendenning, Campbell; T. J. Henderson, Campbell; J. K. Durst, Sunnyvale, and F. C. Wilson, Sunnyvale.

In August, 1920, the Liberty Amusement Company, represented by James Beatty, manager of the Liberty Theater, purchased the old Brassey building and the old telephone building on South Market Street, together with a frontage of twenty-four feet on South First Street, for the purpose of erecting a new $300,000 motion picture house. Work will begin in 1922.

During August, 1920, workmen removed part of the old adobe wall, the last relic of the famous old Mission of Santa Clara, that for years has marked the confines of an old structure harboring a part of the present university. Researches made in 1920 to establish the site of the first Mission have been carefully made, and the Catholic Fathers at the University of Santa Clara believe that the site selected by George Bray, a member of the Santa Clara County Historical Society, on the Laurel Wood near Agnew ranch is the correct one, and a monument will be set up on the spot, which is about a mile north of Santa Clara. On account of floods a second site was located and the corner stone was laid by Father Junipero Serra November 19, 1781, the first cross on the Laurel Wood site having been planted on January 12, 1777. The second Mission, near the present Santa Clara railroad depot, was destroyed by two earthquakes, one in 1812, the other in 1818. The third and last site was selected in 1818.

In July, 1920, the Mohawk Oil Company leased 12,000 acres on the Dodge and De Hart property about a mile and half above Chittenden and commenced drilling for oil in 1921. The company's engineers selected seven favorable locations for drilling, one of which is on the spot of the old Humphrey Mormon settlement, founded there in 1843, the buildings of which were burned to the ground several years ago. The Shell Oil Company has gone into the business on a larger scale, having leased 12,000 acres to the left of Sargent, on the Miller & Lux property, and has already erected two derricks. The Shell people are spending large sums of money to develop this district.

The census figures for the cities and towns in Santa Clara County, released in August, show that the county has a total population of 100,588, a gain of 17,050 since 1910. One interesting figure is that of San Jose Township, which has 56,812. It is said that this represents the true population of San Jose much more nearly than the 39,604 given out.

The figures for the towns are as follows:

                          1920    1910    1900
Alviso, Town .........     517     402    ....
Gilroy City ..........   2,812   2,437   1,820
Los Gatos, Town ......   2,317   2,323   1,915
Mayfield, Town .......   1,127   1,041    ....
Morgan Hill, Town ....     646     607    ....
Mountain View, Town ..   1,888   1,161    ....
Palo Alto, City ......   5,900   4,486   1,658
Santa Clara, Town ....   4,998   4,348   3,650
San Jose, City .......  39,604  28,946  21,500
Sunnyvale, Town ......   1,675    ....    ....

In July the California Walnut Growers Association was granted a lease of five years on the old Dame property in Santa Clara and will locate their plant on this site. The structure will be 60 x 80 feet, and the Santa Clara County Association, affiliated with the California, plans to handle from 250 to 400 tons of walnuts every year. The present officers of the Association are T. J. Martin, president; G. Payne, vice-president; C. J. Parks, secretary and treasurer. These men, with J. Conner, O. R. Prien, of Morgan Hill, Mr. Ayers, of Mountain View, and D. Luther, compose the board of directors. Joseph A. Conner was elected manager.

The complete list of Santa Clara County boys in service during the European War who received citations or decorations for distinguished or meritorious service is as follows:

Frank Angell, Stanford University; Chevaliers de l'ordere de la couronne.

Captain R. W. Ashley, Palo Alto; British military cross.

Mrs. Frances Bean, San Jose; cited by Belgium.

Milton Brown, Stanford University; letter of commendation.

Lieutenant Douglas Campbell, Mt. Hamilton; distinguished service cross; four oak leaves; ace; Legion of Honor.

Kenneth Campbell, Mt. Hamilton; Italian war cross.

Donald Clark, Stanford; Croix de guerre.

Lieutenant C. C. Cottrell, San Jose; two American citations.

Philip A. Daley, Morgan Hill; distinguished service cross.

Rowland W. Dodson, San Jose; Croix de guerre.

Professor H. R. Fairclough, Stanford University; order of the white eagle.

Harold Gentry, Stanford University; letter of commendation.

Corporal Reuben L. George, San Jose; distinguished service cross.

John Goodman, Stanford; Croix de guerre.
Sgt. Walter J. Gores, Stanford University; Croix de guerre.

Bryce G. Greene, San Jose; Croix de guerre.

Sgt. Floyd Hopping, Los Gatos; distinguished service cross.

Sing Kee, San Jose; cited by America; distinguished service cross.

Mrs. Charlotte Kellogg, Stanford University; chevaliers de l'ordere de la couronne.

Harper H. Lewis, San Jose; cited by America

Palmer W. Lewis, San Jose; Croix de guerre.

Wm. H. Rhodes, San Jose; Croix de guerre; American citation.

Prof. Samuel Swayze Seward Jr., Palo Alto; French Legion of Honor.

Corporal J. Howell Smith, Stanford University; Italian war cross.

Walter R. Suess, San Jose; Croix de guerre.

Fred E. Vasquez, San Jose; distinguished service cross.

Maurice Widby, San Jose; letter of commendation.

Captain Robert Woodville, Palo Alto; French and American citation.

Sergeant Elmer T. Worthy, Stanford University; American citation; distinguished service cross.

Three more should be credited to Palo Alto. Alan Nichols, before he was killed, was awarded the Croix de guerre, and afterward two palms were added. John Greer was cited for bravery and awarded the Croix de guerre. Sara F. Harker received a decoration from the Queen of Belgium.

In August, 1920, Santa Clara voted grammar school bonds in the sum of $100,000. Bonds for a new high school were also carried.

In August, 1920, $90 and $100 per ton were offered for wine grapes in Santa Clara County. A dehydrating plant with modern machinery was opened for business in Los Gatos on August 26, 1920.

A Council of Boy Scouts of America was organized in San Jose in August, 1920. Officers were elected as follows: president, Robert I. Bentley, Jr.; first vice-president, Archer Bowden; second vice-president, Charles L. Snyder; third vice-president, Dr. J. L. Pritchard; secretary, J. Derol Chace; treasurer, A. B. Post. Fifteen acres in Alum Rock Park were set aside for the exclusive use and jurisdiction of the local Scouts, and were first used in 1921.

Announcement was made early in October, 1920, by several men closely connected with the Port Sunnyvale project that the Federal-Poulsen Telegraph and Construction, which had been operating a radio plant at Palo Alto, had secured a site from the Spring Valley Water Company about 1500 feet south of the turning bowl of the port for the erection of the largest radio station on the Pacific Coast. The new station will be one of the most powerful in existence, having sufficient power to send and receive messages to and from all parts of the world. Over 112 tons of structural steel, to be used in the construction of the tower, which is to be 600 feet high, are being prepared in San Francisco. Several carloads of piling have been ordered by the company for use in construction of the plant, which will occupy a site approximately 400 feet square. Over 4,000 cubic yards of concrete are to be used in the construction of the necessary buildings. The cost of the entire plant is estimated at somewhere in the neighborhood of $175,000. The Federal-Poulsen people plan to build a similar plant at Portland, Ore., the Sunnyvale plant and the Portland plant to be worked together on many messages. It was, however, found necessary to construct the Sunnyvale plant before starting work on the Oregon station.

D. B. Levin, for many years manager of the local Hippodrome Theater, was, in September, 1920, appointed manager of the Loew photoplay department of the Pacific Coast. William H. White was appointed San Jose manager.

On September 27, 1920, the San Jose Council reduced the annual salary of the city manager from $6000 to $3600. On October 5, W. C. Bailey, the manager, was discharged, and C. B. Goodwin, city engineer, was appointed in his stead.

In September, 1920, articles of incorporation of the Direct Steel Process Company, which is to have its principal place of business in San Jose, were filed with the county clerk by B. W. Lorigan, attorney. According to the articles the new concern is incorporated for the purpose of constructing iron works, foundries, rolling mills, developing and working iron ore, manganese ore, limestone, and other ore. Robert Lang, of Oakland, and Howard Bardue, W. J. Johnston, George Frank and Charles H. Nash are directors of the corporation.

Development of the Moody Gulch oil lands, situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains, above Alma, were undertaken on an extensive scale in October, 1920, as a result of the leasing of the holdings by the Trigonia Oil Company, an Oregon corporation. Wells were cleared out and twenty-five new wells were sunk. Charles Lilly, a Los Angeles capitalist, is the heaviest stockholder in the company. The oil thus far produced has a high grade paraffin base. Gasoline is also produced.

In September, 1920, a rich quicksilver strike was made at the Guadalupe mine. H. C. Davy is the owner of the property and he claims that the mine now ought to be good for 400 or 500 flasks of quicksilver a month.

In October, 1920, the city of San Jose used $33,000 out of the funds paid to the city from the estate of the late Anna E. C. Backesto in the purchase of a park site in the second ward. The property is located between Twelfth, Thirteenth, Empire and Jackson Streets, and was formerly owned by J. Q. A. Ballou. A tract of land adjoining may be purchased by the board of education for the benefit of the school department.

In 1922 P. H. Scullin, general secretary and organizer of the National Industrial and Peace Association, organized a branch in San Jose. It is claimed that the Assocation is one of the most efficient organizations in behalf of permanent industrial peace. On April 27th Dr. Ray Wilbur, president of Stanford University, was chosen president. The directors are Dr. A. C. Jayet, Dr. Tully C. Knoles, Victor Challen, F. J. Rogers, Dr. H. C. Brown, Mrs. J. R. Rogers, Rev. Chas. Pease, Rabbi H. B. Franklin, Rev. J. M. Ross, Mrs. A. T. Herrmann, Mrs. E. E. Stahl, Mrs. E. H. Osburn, C. D. Harvey, A. L. Wilson.

Figures given in the report of the State Controller show that San Jose is the cheapest governed city of approximate population in the state. The per capita costs are: Berkeley, $12.49; Long Beach, $15.61; Pasadena, $20.57; Fresno, $15.94; Stockton, $18.23; Alameda, $13.25; San Jose, $11.92. On May 1, 1922, at an election an ordinance was carried fixing the rate of taxation from December 1, 1922, to December 1, 1923, at $1.30 on each $100 of taxable property, exclusive of the amount necessary to pay principal and interest on the bonded indebtedness of the city. The rate it supplants is $1.35.

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

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