History of Santa Clara County
Passing of the Old Landmarks of San Jose--The Fair Grounds, Live Oak Park and Prevost's Gardens--Stories of the Old Court House and the County Jail--Crimes and Tragedies of Those Days--Naglee, Hensley and Belden Residences.
The old landmarks of San Jose are fast disappearing. There are few, very few, of the old adobe houses of the '50s, '60s and '70s. The old pleasure resorts are gone, but in their places are spots better adapted to the large and rapidly growing population of the twentieth century. For years Agricultural Park, or the Fair Grounds, furnished entertainment for the farmer and the lover of speed performance. It was here that General Grant, after his trip around the world, was treated to a running race against time by Occident, then the property of Senator Leland Stanford. The park was owned and managed by an agricultural society organized in 1854. The first officers were: L. H. Bascom, president; J. F. Kennedy, vice-president; E. P. Reed, recording secretary; W. S. Letcher, corresponding secretary; F. G. Appleton, treasurer; and J. B. Allen, Mr. Frost, James Houston, Joseph Aram, W. R. Bassham, Dr. Langborne and Samuel Robinson, managers. No fair was held by this society, but in 1856 the State Agricultural Fair gave an exhibition, at which Santa Clara County carried off the honors. Prior to establishing the Agricultural Society a horticultural society had been formed and the two interests were united in 1857 with the election of the following officers: president, William Daniels; vice-presidents, Coleman Younger and Joseph Aram; secretary, J. C. Cobb; treasurer, R. G. Moody; directors, L. A. Gould and Louis Prevost. A fair was held in September and also one in 1858, but the difficulties attending these exhibitions made it evident that they could not be continued under the then system of management. The society had no funds, but was obliged to rely on voluntary contributions for its premium lists. After much discussion it was resolved to disincorporate. This action was taken and in March, 1859, there was procured the passage of an act incorporating the organization under the name of the "Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Society" and from this date ran its legitimate history. The first officers under the charter were William Daniels, president; Cary Peebels and Coleman Younger, vice-presidents; C. B. Younger, secretary; R. G. Moody, treasurer; Louis Prevost and H. H. Winchell, directors.
The Fair Grounds on the Alameda were purchased from Gen. H. M. Naglee, for $6,000 in 1859 and the work of improvement commenced. The tract contained seventy-six acres. Trees were planted from 1872 to 1876 and the grand stand was erected in 1878. Now all was serene. The society held yearly fairs, paid expenses and the best horses on the coast competed at each exhibition. Up to 1880, the Society drew an annual appropriation of $2,000 from the state. In this year the Legislature passed an act dividing the state into agricultural districts, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties forming District No. 5. When this law went into effect it stopped all state aids to the county society. This aid was absolutely necessary as the proceeds of a fair would not be sufficient to pay good premiums and other necessary expenses.
The society did not want to change its old organization to one under the state law, for it might jeopardize the title to its real estate which had become very valuable. The only way out of the difficulty seemed to be to organize a new society under the state law and arrange with the old society for the use of its grounds. This was accordingly done and for several years fairs were held under the auspices of the Santa Clara and San Mateo Agricultural Association. The new society was formed from members of the old one. But soon fair interest waned and debts began to accumulate. Finally the directors of the old society sold the grounds and Agricultural Park ceased to be. In the hands of private parties the place was made one of the most attractive in the county. Fences were torn down, buildings were removed, and streets were laid out and paved. Then building lots were sold and today the tract shows scores and scores of pretty bungalows with streets and sidewalks in keeping with the highest metropolitan requirements. Not a trace of the old racing track remains.
Live Oak Park and Prevost's Gardens
In 1919 the last vestige of adornment of what was once San Jose's most popular pleasure resort disappeared. The last live oak tree in the unimproved section of old Live Oak Park was leveled and nothing but an array of unsightly stumps remain to show that once upon a time great, many-branched and spreading oaks furnished shade and beauty to one of the pride spots of the Garden City. Live Oak in its glory was a place of romance. Here, on moonlit nights of the early period, were heard the soothing strains of the Spanish lover as he sang and played while his dark-eyed sweetheart raptly listened and softly sighed. Here, at picnic and dance, the bands played and the great platform quivered beneath the feet of happy dancers. No ragtime, no jazz music in those times. Instead there were the old time mazurka, varso-vienne, schottische, waltz, lancers, money musk and plain quadrille, the last named given laughable variety by the go-as-you-please antics of the irrepressible "Tucker."
In the late '60s and throughout the seventies Live Oak was in the flower of popularity. Family picnics, moonlight dances, and outside excursions, mainly from San Francisco, furnished joyous divertissement for town and country. There were tables for eating, a large pool near the banks of the Guadalupe for boating and other aquatic sports, ice cream and other booths, and long, shady walks among the giant trees and along the banks of the peaceful arroyo. Don Antonio Sunol, one of the early Spanish settlers, was the owner of the park and after his death the Sainsevains took charge of the property. One of Don Antonio's grandsons is Paul Sainsevain, the well-known surveyor and civil engineer.
The park, as originally used, extended on the north side from the Park Avenue bridge to Spencer Avenue and along Spencer Avenue, fifty varas deep to within 137 1/2 feet of San Carlos Street. On the east the property ran southerly about 300 feet. The creek was the eastern boundary and south and east of the park were the extensive grounds of Louis Prevost. He was an enthusiastic gardener and to make his place the most attractive spot in the suburbs of San Jose, he imported from Europe the choicest flowers, bushes and fruit and ornamental trees. The place was known as Prevost's Gardens and was open to the public, while for years Prevost kept open house in the large mansion in the middle of the gardens. About forty years ago Prevost went into bankruptcy and his property was sold by the Sheriff, Robert Page, then of the real estate firm of Rucker & Page, becoming the owner of the mansion. A few years later it was sold to A. S. Williams, former banker, who still occupies it.
Prevost lost considerable money in attempting to successfully establish a silk factory. He was the pioneer of Central California in this industry and while the factory was in operation products of his looms were exhibited and took prizes at the county fairs. The factory was located on Delmas Avenue near San Salvador Street, but the cocoons were raised on a platform above the roof of his mansion. The silk worms were imported and fed on mulberry leaves. Live Oak Park and its attractive neighbor, Prevost's Garden, were closed at about the same time. Now, where once live oaks flourished and choice flowers and shrubbery made beautiful over seven acres of ground, are seen up-to-date residences and new streets.
The old Court House is now but a memory. It stood at the southeast corner of Second and San Fernando Streets. It was purchased from A. S. Caldwell for $4,000 and in December, 1853, was officially declared to be the County Court House. The building was afterwards known as the What Cheer House and stood until about forty years ago when it was torn down to make room for the two-story brick building now occupied by the Geo. B. McKee Company.
One of the sensational events of the early days was the street duel between Thomas Shore and S. J. Crosby. In 1858 Paul Shore was killed on Henry W. Seale's ranch, a short distance from Mayfield. He had squatted on a portion of the ranch land and thereon had erected a cabin. Thomas Seale, Henry's brother, believing that Shore had no legal right to occupy the land, resolved to eject him. One day he went to Shore's cabin for the purpose of carrying out his resolve. He was accompanied by Alexander Robb, a hired man. Shore was at home and a wordy dispute arose between the two men. While it was going on S. J. Crosby, a neighbor, and a friend of Seale, came up. He had borrowed a pistol from Seale some time before and had hunted up Seale, so he said, for the purpose of returning the weapon. Seale took the pistol and in the altercation that ensued Shore was shot and mortally wounded. The report was afterward circulated that Crosby, who had witnessed the shooting, had set Seale's dog on the wounded man and had stood by urging the dog on until Shore had ceased to breathe. This report aroused a bitter feeling against Crosby. That evening Thomas Seale came to San Jose and delivered himself into the custody of Sheriff John M. Murphy, stating that he had killed a man in self-defense and desired a public investigation. The next day word came from Mayfield that the settlers were laying plans to lynch Crosby. To prevent such action Under-Sheriff John R. Wilson was instructed to go down to Mayfield, arrest Crosby and bring him to the County Jail. To legalize the proceeding a complaint charging Crosby with being an accessory to the killing of Shore was made out and placed in Wilson's hand. The arrest was easily made. A preliminary examination followed and Crosby was discharged.
In March, 1859, Thomas Seale and Robb, the hired man, were placed on trial in the Third District Court, Judge Sam Bell McKee presiding. J. A. Moultrie, as district attorney, conducted the prosecution and William T. Wallace and C. T. Ryland appeared for the defendants. Crosby had been summoned as a witness and it was while the case was before the Court on Second Street, corner of San Fernando, that the second tragedy was staged. It was near the noon hour and Crosby was walking by Thomas Bodley's stable on San Fernando Street, between First and Second, when he was hailed from behind by Thomas Shore, the brother of Paul. Crosby turned and the duel opened. At the opening of the engagement Crosby received a mortal wound, but for a few minutes was able to keep on his feet and use his pistol. His firing was wild and none of the bullets reached his adversary. But one man, an innocent party, received his death wound. The man was L. Posey Ferguson, a miner from Grass Valley, who had come to San Jose with a friend who was on his way to his Missouri home. Ferguson had entered the court room to listen to the proceedings. When the duel outside opened, he said: "What does that mean?" and rushed for the door. He was standing on the steps when a bullet entered his breast. He stepped back a few paces, then sank on a bench and died in a short time. The coroner's jury found that the shot had been fired by Samuel J. Crosby.
When Crosby saw that he was at a disadvantage, he staggered toward the Court House, but fell at Bodley's gate. It was claimed at the time that two or three persons, as well as Shore, shot at Crosby, who was on his knees, trying to cock his pistol, when there came the bullet that ended his life. The duel over, Thomas Shore mounted a horse and fled to the mountains. He was never prosecuted for the killing. The cases of Seale and Robb were transferred to Alameda. In each case a verdict of acquittal was rendered.
Another old landmark that has disappeared was the county jail, located at the southeast corner of Third and San Fernando Streets, not far from the Court House. The first county jail was located on the lot occupied by the old State House on Market Street, fronting the Plaza, and was erected in the days of '49. In 1854 a contract was awarded to Marcus Williams for the erection of a jail building at the southeast corner of Second and San Fernando Streets. The price was to be $15,000 and R. B. Buckner was appointed to superintend the construction. The jail was completed January 2, 1855. It was of brick, with iron cells, and was considered a remarkably secure place for the confinement of prisoners. It was used until 1871. When the new Court House on First Street, near St. James, was built, it was found necessary to have the county jail nearer to the court rooms and Levi Goodrich was directed to prepare plans and specifications. The plans were submitted and adopted and during the next year (1870) the jail was completed and in use. The brick of the old jail was used in the new building. The old jail lot was sold for $5,850.
The killing of Jailer Martin Roohan at the old jail was preceded by a tragedy at the adobe house of Harry Bee. The date was Monday, July 30, 1860, at about four o'clock in the morning. There had been a night of festivity and during the merrymaking Felipe Hernandez, a desperate character, who had already been tried for one murder and though convicted by one jury was on a second trial found not guilty, entered and proceeded to make trouble. In a dispute over the ownership of a guitar, Hernandez shot and killed John Bee, the son of the host. Oa hearing the report of a pistol Harry Bee rushed into the room and in trying to intercept the flight of Hernandez was shot in the leg. Amputation was afterward performed. Hernandez escaped, but after some months was captured, tried and sentenced to death. The account of the murder of Roohan is taken from the Mercury of October 2, 1862.
"Felipe Hernandez, a prison confined in the county jail for murder and sentenced to be hanged on Friday last (Oct. 24th), performed on the preceding evening one of the most daring deeds of desperation that it has ever fallen to our lot to record. Felipe is a native Mexican, about thirty years of age, rather fine looking, with a keen, piercing eye. He is about five feet eight inches in height, weighing not more than 150 pounds, but evidently possessing the strength and agility of a tiger. The jailer, Martin J. Roohan, was a large, powerfully built man, sixty-three years of age, possessing immense strength and cool, unflinching courage. He had had much experience in handling and managing desperadoes and had unlimited confidence in his ability and nerve for any emergency.
"On the lower floor of the jail there are three large cells, opening into a corridor or hall, about six feet in width and perhaps thirty feet in length. The middle cell, in which Felipe was confined, is lined with boiler iron and is otherwise made as secure as is deemed necessary to restrain the hardest cases. It is used exclusively for condemned prisoners or such as are awaiting trial for capital offenses. This cell Felipe occupied alone.
"On Friday morning (the 24th) while the sheriff was in our office attending to some business, his deputy, Mr. Chapman, came in and informed him that he was unable to get into the jail and wondered what had become of Roohan. Suspecting that something was wrong, in company with the sheriff and two or three officers, we repaired immediately to the jail yard and soon effected an entrance. The outer door of the jail was closed, but not locked. The door leading to the corridor we found open. On passing through into the corridor we discovered the jailer lying on the floor, stiff in death, surrounded bv all the ghastly evidences of a terrible struggle.
"In the other cells there were a number of prisoners confined for light offenses, some half a dozen in each. The doors of the cells are latticed with iron bars, and whatever is transpiring in the corridor, may be witnessed by the prisoners within. Roohan usually had some one of the prisoners to assist him in the domestic duties of the jail. At three o'clock on Thursday afternoon, as we learn from the testimony of the prisoners at the coroner's inquest, the jailer and his assistant brought in the dinner and placed it on the floor of the corridor near the cells. It was the custom to feed Felipe first. Mr. Roohan unlocked the door and bade his attendant to pass in the food. The attendant passed into the cell. Felipe, who had freed his hands in some way, with the quickness of thought dashed the man aside, sprang upon and seized Roohan by the body, at the same time getting possession of a knife which the jailer wore in a belt at his waist. Then commenced the fearful death struggle, in the presence of the other prisoners, who were unable to gender either party the least assistance. The waiter, who is an imbecile old Mexican, shrank with terror to the end of the corridor. The jailer carried a revolver at his belt, but Felipe hugged him so closely that he was unable to get at it. There were riveted upon the ankles of the prisoner at the time immense iron shackles, weighing one hundred pounds, and yet the other prisoners testify, they seemed of no weight to him. He had wound them with cloth and strapped them to his limbs in a way as to be of as little inconvenience as possible. With a knife in one hand at liberty and with the other firmly grasping the body of his victim, he was a match for anything human. He applied the knife first to the throat of his victim, inflicting frightful wounds. This brought Roohan to his knees. Struggling to his feet he put forth every effort to overpower his wily foe. But weakened by the blows already inflicted he was unequal to the task. Felipe then stabbed him through the heart and into the lungs, killing him instantly. He then informed the other prisoners, not one of whom was armed, that if they gave any alarm they would share Roohan's fate, and they knew he would keep his promise. The prisoners say he appeared perfectly cool, both at the time of the murder and afterwards. With the keys in his possession, he now had command of the jail. Unlocking one of the cells, in which there were five men, he thrust in the trembling Mexican waiter and again locked the door. Among the prisoners in this cell was a Chileno in irons, who had been imprisoned the day before for stabbing a man at New Alameda. Felipe, after working half an hour, removed the irons and released the man, and they both together went into Roohan's private room, where they found files and old chisels necessary for their purpose. The task was a long and arduous one. The heavy shackles spoken of were secured to the ankles with half-inch bolts, riveted in the most substantial manner. The witnesses testify that it must have been two o'clock in the morning when the filing and hammering ceased. The desperadoes then made their escape, taking with them two revolvers and over $800, which Roohan was known to have had in his possession."
Felipe was a desperate, bloody minded man. He had been several times tried for capital crimes; once for the killing of Carobine at Alviso, for which he received a sentence to state prison for life, but was pardoned out by Governor Weller. When sentenced to be hanged for the murder of John Bee he manifested supreme unconcern. But later he changed his tactics, successfully playing the penitent. The jailer frequenly found him on his knees, praying, and it was with difficulty that he was induced to partake of food. His cross was always before him and he prayed with a perseverance that would have done credit to a saint. By this means he threw Roohan off his guard. When the sheriff suggested the propriety of having some one stay with him on the night preceding the execution, Roohan declared that there was not the slightest necessity for such a precaution--all was serene and Felipe was as gentle as a kitten. As soon as the facts in the case became known to Sheriff Kennedy, every exertion to effect the capture of the murderer was made and a large reward was offered. It was afterward reported that Felipe escaped to Mexico where he joined a party of revolutionists and that on being captured he was shot and killed.
Another escape from the old county jail took place in 1863. A stage-driver named John Marr, alias "Wild Cat," had an altercation with another driver, a Frenchman named Peter Veuve, at the Washington Hotel, on Market Street, on the morning of Tuesday, November 18, 1862, which resulted in the death of Veuve. It appeared from the testimony that an old grudge had existed between the two men. "Wild Cat" accused Veuve of stealing money from Mr. Dutech, the stage owner. The Frenchman denied the allegation and threatened, on the day of the tragedy, that he would have a "Wild Cat" skin before night. Both men boarded at the hotel. There was trouble at the breakfast table, but they were prevented from doing personal violence. They then proceeded to the stable to "fight it out." On the way to the stable Veuve said to Marr, "I am unarmed. How is it with you?" Marr said, "No," a statement that proved to be false, as he shortly drew a knife and cut Veuve in the arm and the abdomen, causing death in a few hours. Marr was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to death. The sentence was imposed in the winter of 1862-63. Pending the carrying out of the death penalty Marr was placed in a cell at the old county jail, having as companion one Abner Smith, who was awaiting death by hanging for the murder of a man named Van Cleave at Santa Clara. Smith was a large, heavily-built man, while Marr was small and thin. At the time E. H. Swarthout was the jailer, succeeding Roohan, and when he assumed office a change was made in the jail arrangements.
Instead of entering the murderers' cell by way of the door, he had a hole cut in. It was about waist high, had a cover, and this cover was kept closed and locked when not in use. The cells were in a long tank with a corridor around it. The corridor had only one entrance and that was by a door opening into the jailer's office. One evening a short time before supper "Wild Cat" and Smith, who had been planning to escape, made ready to put their plans into execution. The lock of the cover was broken, and "Wild Cat," assisted by Smith, managed to get through the hole into the corridor. Then Smith tried to follow "Wild Cat's" example, but on account of his size was compelled to give up the attempt. He could insert his head and one shoulder, but his physical bulk prevented further progress. "It's no use," he groaned, "I can't make it, so get yourself out as quick as you can and I'll stay here and take my medicine." "I'll have to, I reckon," returned "Wild Cat," "but I'm sorry to leave you. If I only had an hour in which to work, I could make that hole big enough to get you through." As he had only five minutes at his disposal he bade good-bye to Smith, closed the aperture and sought concealment at the further end of the tank. The jailer appeared on time, carelessly leaving open the door of his office. "Wild Cat" was counting on this act and before Swarthout reached the cell door to discover what had been done, "Wild Cat" had slipped around the corner and gained the office. When the jailer found that "Wild Cat" had escaped from the cell, he hurried to the office and out of the office into the street. The fugitive was not in sight. That night a search of the city was made by city and coutity officers, but no trace of the missing prisoner could be found. On April 2, 1863, "Wild Cat" was arrested in Stockton and brought back to San Jose. But he was never hanged. A petition for a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence was granted and eventually the sentence was changed from death to imprisonment for life. Ten years later the Governor issued a pardon and "Wild Cat" returned to San Jose. He died here many years ago. Smith, for his crime, died on the gallows.
The last escape from the old jail occurred on the morning of February 15th, 1866, and was followed by a tragedy. Two Indians, under arrest for a murder committed in Santa Cruz County, overpowered W. H. Hendricks, the jailer, and after a desperate struggle succeeded in obtaining the jailer's pistol. They then ran out of the jail and into Third Street. Hendricks quickly secured another pistol and followed in pursuit. He came up with one of the fugitives before he had gone a block and fired, wounding his man. A return shot pierced Hendricks' brain killing him instantly. The murderer ran along Third Street and concealed himself under an unfinished building. A crowd gathered around and a fusillade of shots were fired at the crouching murderer. He was soon dispatched. The partner of his crime and flight was afterward caught and hanged at Santa Cruz, May 22, 1866.
The killing of William Cooper brought for a short time to the old county jail a man whose act created one of the great sensations of San Jose. The story of the killing hinged upon the actions of a girl in her teens. In the late sixties Blanche Dubois was a student at the San Jose Institute. She was a very pretty girl, tall, dark, slender and graceful, with languishing eyes and a sunny smile. She had many admirers and there was hardly a day when she was attending school that she was not seen walking with one or more of them. After she left school for her father's ranch on the Monterey Road near the cemetery male callers reached such numbers that Orrin Dubois, the father, grew irritable and suspicious. At last the girl's admirers simmered down to one young man, William Cooper, an Englishman. He was about twenty-five years of age, well-educated and of pleasing address. He had been a Union soldier and had in his possession his discharge papers. He had resided in San Jose for about six months and being short of money had worked at odd times for Dubois, his last engagement ending January 24, 1868. The evidence showed that during the last two weeks of his stay at the Dubois ranch he had induced Blanche to consent to an elopement, promising to take her to New York and marry her, as under the laws of California he could not do so here without the consent of her parents. It was claimed that the grandfather of the girl was a party to the secret arrangement and carried messages from one to the other.
On Monday afternoon, January 27, Cooper called on Dr. Kline, an acquaintance, made a confident of him, said he expected trouble, as Dubois did not like him, and requested the loan of the Doctor's revolver. Kline refused to lend the weapon, but Cooper succeeded in borrowing a Derringer of Wesley Stevens, another acquaintance. In the meantime, Dr. Kline, from a sense of duty, communicated his knowledge to Police Officer Mitch Bellow and advised him to keep a watch on departing trains. Bellow immediately notified Dubois, and Blanche, under severe cross-questioning, admitted that Cooper was to come to the ranch house on a certain night, after the old folks were in bed and asleep, meet her and then proceed to carry out the arrangements for the elopement. She also said that she had agreed to leave the front door partly open and also that she had promised to gather all the money and jewelry she could lay hands on. Thus forewarned, Dubois watched for the intruder the great part of Tuesday night. On Wednesday he came to town for the purpose of taking advice as to what he should do under the circumstances. He was advised to defend his premises, to treat Cooper as he would treat any marauder who should try to enter his house with felonious intent. On returning home, Dubois ordered Blanche to keep to her room after dark, for he intended to meet Cooper and have it out with the fellow. Night came and the hours passed until it was close upon midnight. The house was still and Dubois at the front door, which had been opened a few inches, waited, shotgun in hand, for Cooper to appear. His vigilance was rewarded. At the appointed time Cooper came up the walk, and was about to mount the steps to the porch when the door was thrown open and the shotgun spoke. Both barrels were discharged and as Cooper settled down to the ground, Dubois closed and locked the door and came out again no more that night. Both shots had taken effect in the side and stomach. Though mortally wounded, Cooper dragged himself through the Dubois grounds until he reached the home of a rancher named Reeves, half a mile away. He died an hour later. The next day Dubois drove to town and surrendered himself to the officers. Pending examination he was confined for a short time in the old jail. The court proceeding resulted in his discharge. Blanche married a few years after the tragedy and left San Jose never to return.
Shortly after the killing of Cooper, another man slayer was for a short time a cell occupant at the old jail. The man slain was Harry Love, alias "The Black Knight of the Seyante." He was a man of immense frame and of unquestionable bravery. He commanded the company that dispersed the notorious robber band of Joaquin Murietta, the last fight on the San Joaquin plains resulting in Murietta's death. Love's wife was a wealthy landowner and the family home was near Santa Clara. For a number of years she refused to live with her husband on account of his cruelty. He was, so it was said, in the habit of beating her when he could find her alone and unprotected. It was partly to guard against such attacks that she employed Christian Elverson to work on the ranch and live in the house. Love spent most of his time in Santa Cruz County, leading a sort of a hermit's life and visiting his wife occasionally. He conceived a strong aversion to Elverson, pretending jealousy, which was wholly groundless, for Mrs. Love at that time was over seventy years of age. Finally Love ordered Elverson to leave the place, threatening to kill him if he stayed on. Mrs. Love earnestly urged him to stay and Elverson promised not to leave, but prudently armed himself. On the day of the shooting--it was in July, 1868--Mrs. Love went to San Jose to transact some business. She was accompanied by Elverson. Love, who had been staying in San Jose for a week or so, saw them together and immediately hurried to his wife's house and there armed himself with a double-barreled shotgun, a revolver and a bowie knife. A step-daughter and a carpenter employed in repairing the house were the only persons at home when he arrrived there. He went out of the house with his weapons, locked the front gate and took a position behind the fence to await the return of his wife and Elverson, swearing that if Elverson attempted to enter the premises he would kill him. The daughter, fearing danger to her mother, went into the road and when the carriage approached, motioned it back. Elverson, misinterpreting the girl's gestures, only approached the more rapidly. When within about seventy-five yards of the gate, Love discharged one barrel of his gun, a shot striking Mrs. Love. Elverson at once comprehended the situation. Leaping from the carriage he drew his revolver, and moved rapidly by side steps, upon the enemy, who was still crouched behind the fence and protected by the gate post. When Elverson had come within a short distance of the fence, Love discharged the other barrel of his shot gun, a number of shots striking Elverson in the face and causing the blood to flow freely. But perfectly cool and undaunted, Elverson kept on his course, exchanging shot for shot until a bullet from Love's revolver disabled his right arm. Shifting his pistol to his left hand he rushed up boldly to the fence and sent a bullet through Love's right shoulder. Love, having exhausted his shoth, immediately took to his heels, shouting "murder," with Elverson in close pursuit. When near the house Elverson overtook Love and felled him with a blow from the butt end of the pistol. He was about to finish his work when the carpenter interfered. Love died shortly afterward from the effects of an amputation of the shattered arm. Elverson was arrested, and confined in the old jail pending the preliminary examination. At this proceeding the judge found that the killing was justifiable and Elverson was discharged.
Old Residential Landmarks
Another old and very attractive landmark was the home place of General Henry M. Naglee. It comprised 140 acres and extended from Tenth Street to the Coyote on the east and from Santa Clara Street to William Street on the south. The house was considered in early days to be one of the finest in San Jose. It occupied a position near the centre of the grounds and was surrounded by choice flowers, shrubbery and ornamental trees. It is still standing at the northwest corner of Fourteenth and San Fernando Streets. There was a perfect forest of trees on that part of the grounds not devoted to the culture of grapes. From these grapes brandy was made and the fame of Naglee's brandy was world wide. The General was a veteran of the Civil War. He commanded a brigade under McClellan, and served with gallantry and ability throughout the Peninsular Campaign. He resigned from the army shortly after McClellan's removal, because he held that his chief had been unjustly treated. When the avenue was extended from the Santa Clara Street bridge through East San Jose to the junction with the Mt. Hamilton road, General Naglee planted pine trees on both sides of the avenue for its entire distance and otherwise greatly assisted in the improvement of the roadway. In honor of his services the extension of the avenue was called for many years Naglee Avenue. Some years after his death, the heirs concluded to cut up and sell the property. The business was placed in the hands of Thomas S. Montgomery, now president of the Garden City Bank and Trust Company, and in 1907 the work was started. Today the immense tract of land is covered with pretty and costly bungalows, paved streets and sidewalks and lovely gardens, making it one of the finest residence spots in Central California.
Still another old landmark was the Hensley property, on North First Street. It extended from the Southern Pacific tracks to Empire street on the north and from First to Fourth on the east. The house was large, roomy and built in the old southern style, while the ornamentation of the grounds made the place one of the beauty spots in San Jose. Major Hensley was a '49er and died in 1865, highly respected for his integrity and public-spiritedness. In 1886 the old home was removed and the estate subdivided and placed on the market, T. S. Montgomery handling the sales. Today there are new streets and handsome residences where once was one large garden and a touch of the primitive.
In 1887 the old homestead property of Josiah Belden
on First Street near Empire was purchased by the Hotel Vendome company.
This sale marked the passing of another old landmark. The property comprised
eleven acres and was planted as a park. The house, or mansion, was one
of the few costly edifices erected in the early fifties. Josiah Belden
was a '49er and long before the sale to the Vendome company he went east
with his family, became a New York banker and died a multi-millionaire.
The Belden property, then owned by C. H. Maddox, was sold for $60,000,
and a hotel building, costly $250,000 was speedily erected. The original
board of directors of the Vendome company were J. B. Randal, W. S. Thorne,
J. S. Potts, L. Lion, C. W. Breyfogle, A. McDonald, T. S. Montgomery, F.
H. Mabury, and G. Lion.
Source: Sawyers, Eugene T. History of Santa Clara County, Los Angeles, Calif; Historic Record Company, 1922.