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with, Jose, first, were, which, built, Club, from, that, First, City, organized, building, after, California, formed, Santa, decade, County, (May, (1891), Street, (April, this, American, (1890), became, five, Temple, continued


and in
League"I shall always think of the Santa Clara Valley as a sleepln.
maiden, fragrant with perfume and intoxicatingly beautiful, lying In Ma
a carven bed formed by the mountains of Santa Cruz, curtained by ment hEfleecy clouds, her coverlet of eiderdown, tinted with rose, quilted with
green, edged with gold; her pillow the sun-kissed waters of San Decemb
Francisco Bay. Ab
"When you come closer yOU find that the coverlet which eon­ (May 2ceals her gracious form is in reality an expanse of fragrant blossom.:
that the green tufts are the live oaks which rise at intervals above can W.
the orchards of cherry, peach and prune, and that the yellow edgln.
islandsis the California poppies which clothe the encircling hills."-E. Alu­
Ry First StW ITH J8,060 inhabitants San Jose now faced the turn of the century excellenwith a decade of retrenchment in which her population gained only
Second19 per cent and the County's 48,005 increased only 11.6 per cent-lowest
Theaterof American times. San Jose's boom continued until the free silver crisis
buildinsof 1893. but the valley did not feel the full effects of the depression until
one wa:
The breathing space. from the standpoint of new community integra..
tions. had a certain value. A horde of settlers had but recently arrived.
City Ba
"Old timers" were somewhat submerged among new faces seen on th
the Gar
streets of the City which they had watched develop from a scattering of
The Ur
Mexican huts. 'They dated from this period a change from the mellow old
five yec
days to a new bustle.
Of There was effort to pump prosperity into the times. Newspapers were
San Jo:
full of "boost" articles. Promoters attempted grandiose schemes such as
P. H. Wheeler's dream~city "New Chicago" (1891) in the sloughs north of
Alviso where the San Jose Watch Factory produced one "turnip" and
(1890) .
expired, not to mention W. J. Peall's "New Bethlehem" subdivision near
Agnew, nor the deliberate fraud of "Hacienda Park" atop some western
hills-all cluttering the county assessment rolls to this day. Antone
Substantial building continued in the first half of the decade, topped by
such structures as the $138,852 postoffice (1894) on its $39.454 site (Marke
and San Fernando), the $100,000 high school, and the $250,000 HaIl 0
TcRecords (1892), built by the County from current revenue. Civic leader.
In that were working for a San Jose deep water port at Alviso. Stanford opene'
five yethe world's finest group of university buildings (1891) on its nOO·ACf'
prunes,campus. and Palo Alto was growing from nothing to 1003 inhabitants b
apples.1895. Morgan Hill (theretofore Burnett Station) began in the subdivislo
193.901'of Morgan Hill's 19.000-acre rancho (1893) and San Martin (Tennan
Station) started in 1898.
WIn agriculture the trends previously noted became more pronounced.
the CcThe fruit industry was dominant, with packing and canning methods per­
producfected, and with growers definitely started on their co~operative history.
The wine industry attained its peak.
The City was laying its first pavements in the first part of the decade
and in the latter part citizens were forming (1896) the Good Government
League to reform the city government.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of American state govern­
ment here, San Jose entertained California with a notable jubilee program,
December 15, 1899.
About 50 San Joscans were in the First California Infantry that sailed
(May 25, 1898), the first army unit in the Philippines in the Spanish-Ameri­
can War. Other San Joseans were in the later units which served in the
islands during the war and the succeeding insurrection.
Banks and Business
Ryland's Letitia building (1890) and Ryland block (1892) on South
First Street are examples of substantial buildings of the period. The former's
excellent construction is credited with saving the business district in tht'
Second Street conflagration (July 4, 1892) that destroyed the California
Theater, South Methodist Church, Lick House, Krumb's Brewery and other
All but one of the City's banks stood the pinch of 1893-8 and a new
one was formed~the Security Savings Bank (July 31, 1891), from the First
,..--.....National's savings department, with Frank Stock as president. The Garden
City Bank relinquished its national charter and became a state bank (1893),
the Garden City Bank & Trust Co., increasing its capitalization to $200,000.
The Union Savings Bank closed its doors (1899) and liquidated in the next
five years.
Of the notable businesses established a few might be mentioned: The
San Jose Abstract & Title Co. (1890), combining the firms of Pomeroy
(Edgar) & Howes (Sam), and Pitman (J, M,) & Edwards (Thomas C.);
Hubbard (Thomas) & Carmichael Bros. (Daniel and Niel) lumber mill
(1890). after logging operations since 1874; the Home Union (1891); James B.
Leaman's Red Star Laundry (1890); A. S. Bacon & Son (S. 1.), shoes
(1892); Brennan (J. A.) & Tucker's (F, A.) Pacific Carriage Factory (1891).
Antone Zicovich built the Park Hotel (1895).
The Orchards Take Over
To emphasize agricultural trends, the 1895 assessment figures are taken.
In that year wheat acreage had dropped to 14,000, barley to 15.000. In
five years the orchard area had more than doubled, to 4,454,945 trees~
prunes, 1,542,094 bearing and 1,419,020 non-bea ring (under four years);
apples. 34,995 and 9845; apricots, 393,654 and 141,445; peach, 311,825 and
193,906; pear, 102,064 and 42,813; cherry, 86,194 and 69,994; almond,
17,389 and 6661; walnut, 6926 and 4746.
Wine production reached its 6,000,000-gallon peak in this decade when
the County produced a third of California's vintage. Paul Masson was
producing (250,000 bottles in 1899) the only American champagne outside
New York State. More than 1400 varieties of grapes had been experimented
with since the beginnings of commercial vineyards in 1866, but declining
prices and vine diseases were reducing acreage.
First Dried Fruit Cooperative
California's first general dried fruit growers' cooperative movement was
the Santa Clara County Fruit Exchange, incorporated 1892, with Col. Philo
Hersey president and moving spirit. It welded together as spokes in the
wheel that was its trade~mark a number of smaller neighborhood associa­
tions-Col. Hersey's West Side Fruit Growers Association (1891) of the
Willows district; the East Side Growers Exchange (1891) of the Evergreen
section; F, M. Righter's Campbell Fruit Growers Union (June 1892), and
soon after the Berryessa union.
The Exchange, which set up drying and grade standards. sold to the
best advantage to existing market factors, developed markets, built a two­
story 60x 150 warehouse on Sunol Street, and added unions from Los Gatos,
Saratoga. Mountain View, and Santa Clara. Business forced enlargement
of its packing plant (1896) and again (1899). Policies included annual
settlement with grower members, of which there were never more than 436,
and low salaries to officials. Tonnages handled grew from 3069 in 1893 to
7260 in 1902, the smallest, 2102 in 1895.
Canners of the state, to standardize methods and to promote efficiency,
formed the California Fruit Canners Association (1899), with T. B. Dawson
of the first cannery here in a position corresponding to general superintend­
ency. He became general superintendent of the California Packing Corp.
which grew (1916) from this association and additional canneries. Robert
I. Bentley, who got his start in the Golden Gate cannery here, was presi­
dent. George N. Herbert began his packing business in 1890 and J. C.
Ainsley (1891) his cannery at Campbell.
W. C. Anderson (1890) started his canning machinery factory, the
Anderson Prune Dipping Co. This (April 1902) incorporated as the Ander­
son~Barngrover Manufacturing Co., after absorbing Barngrover, Hull, &
Cunningham, which had fonned 1901, stemming from the factory Luther
Cunningham had established (1889) to manufacture prune dippers. This
consolidation merged (1928) into Food Machinery Corp.
High School Is Built
A $100,000 brick and stone high school was built by bonds (1897-8)
in Washington Square and its course extended to four years. It was the
only notable public school improvement in the hard-pressed period, wooden
sheds being built beside existing elementary schools to handle the overflow,
when the superintendent, pointing to overcrowded and badly ventilated
rooms, urged that classes be limited to 45, even at the cost of turning some
children away. In 1897, pupils numbered 4940 and current expenditures
totaled $104,335-gains of 151 and 109 per cent in 20 years.
Organized physical training was provided for fhe children (1893) when
the German Turn Verein donated the services of its instructor, L. Webber.
Present names were given to the City's schools (March 1892): Horace
Mann (Santa Clara Street School); Longfellow (First Ward); Grant
(Empire Street-Second Ward); Lowell (Reed Street); Lincoln (Fourth
Ward); and Washington (Oak Street.) The kindergartens were renamed
Peabody (Second Street) and Sarah B. Cooper (Guadalupe Street), and a
third was added, Park Kindergarten.
The Cottage Grove School was annexed to the department (1894), and
two more kindergartens added, the Quincy Shaw and Home Kindergarten.
Colleges and Churches
The Washburn Preparatory School (Devine and San Pedro) was
established (1894) by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur H. Washburn and Miss Lucy
M. Washburn, and continued 17 years. The San Jose Business College was
organized (1891.)
The University of Pacific absorbed the 20-year-old Napa Collegiate
Institute, (1896), built its chapel and Conservatory of Music (1891), which
absorbed Frank Loui King's Conservatory of Music.
Notre Dame Institute was founded (1893) in connection with that col­
lege and (1899) its Conservatory of Music added.
Churches organizing and building were: Second Presbyterian, Second
near William; Seventh Day Adventists (1893); Antioch Baptist (1893);
Christ Church (Epis.copal) Mission ( I892) , building at Fourth and
William (1905.)
The South Methodist church rebuilt after its 1892 fire and the
Christian Church (1891) moved to its new brick church on North Second.
The Associated Charities
The Associated Charities was formed (January 10, 1894) with church
and civic support, and the Ladies Benevolent Society, which had carried the
burden alone. now devoted its attention solely to orphans. The Women's
Exchange, to assist needy women, was organized (1899.) The San Jose
Chapter. Red Cross, was organized (1898) with the outbreak of the Spanish­
American War. The Volunteers of America started work here (1894.)
The Y. M. C. A.. reorganizing after long inactivity. erected (1890) its
two-story frame headquarters (Second near St. John) which it sold some
years later to the Labor Temple Association, meeting thereafter in rented
quarters until 1913.
Many Women's Clubs
The San Jose Woman's Club was founded (December 3, 1894), formed
its younger women's auxiliary and built its Third Street clubhouse (1906)
and its Eleventh Street clubhouse (1929. ) From the first it was active in
civic enterprises.
Other women's organizations formed included: Santa Ysabel Chapter,
D. A. R. (November 1896); Willows Reading and Study Club (1897); the
Fortnightly Club (1899); the Art History Club (1894); the Saturday Morn~
ing (musical) Club (1893); the Political Equality Club (1896); as well as
the Josephine Rebekahs (October 1894); Mizpah Temple (1895) and
Liberty Temple (1900), Rathbone Sisters.
The Sainte Claire Club (St. John and Second) was built (1894) by
Senator James D. Phelan and repaired (1907.)
The Union Battlefield Veterans organized (June 1892.)
San Jose Lodge. No. 522, B. P. O. E., was organized (October) and
instituted (December 9, 1899.) Its Christmas morning distributions to needy
families has become a unique custom, as were its annual Empty-Stocking
Observatory Parlor, Native Sons, organized in 1891, and other fraternal
organizations included Court San Jose, Foresters of America (May 1891);
San Jose Aerie, No.8, Eagles (April 1899), Alamo Camp, No. 80, W. O. W.
(December 1893); Manhattan Tribe, No. lOS, Red Men (March 1900.)
Cyclers and First Autoists
Bicycling was in its hey~dey. Besides the Garden City Wheelmen, now
came the San Jose Road Club (April 7, 1892), which also held many coast
road records. The Ladies Cycling Club organized (September 1893.) The
three clubs boasted 600 bicycles (1894) and members young and old. The
first "safety" bicycles on the coast had appeared here in 1888. In 1896, 28
San Jose bicycle agencies sold 1061 wheels.
But now were appearing the first automobiles as the century neared its
close-Dr. Fred M. Bangs' Locomobile, the Duryea of President S. B. Hun­
kins of the Garden City Bank, and the Stanley Steamer of Frank H.
Theaters and Newspapers
The California Theater burning (1892), Walter Morosco opened the
Auditorium (September) in what had been the Horticultural Hall (San Fer­
nando, west of MarkeL)
James D. Phelan's Victory Theater, first leased by Charles P. Hall,
opened on North First (February 2, 1899) with "The School for Scandal."
Newspapers were approaching present numbers. In 1898, Shortridge
lost his interest in the "Daily Mercury" to a local syndicate managed by
Clarence M. Wooster, and soon after Alfred Holman took over as editor.
Shortridge lost the "Evening Herald" two years later.
Meanwhile Williams was publishing his "Evening News" and (June
18, 1898) introduced the first linotype to local journalism.
The Dunham Murders
Most notable crime of the decade was James C. Dunham's axing and
strangling of six persons to death (May 26, 1896) on the McGlincey place,
six miles west of the City - his estranged wife, her parents, and servants.
Scores of citizens followed Sheriff James H. Lyndon on Dunham's supposed
trail in the eastern hills. He was never found, though $10,000 in rewards
offered by a shocked community encouraged officers throughout America to
turn up many suspects in th.e years to come.
First Paved Streets
Mayors were S. N. Rucker, April 28, 1890 to April 18, 1892; H. E.
Schilling, to April 16, 1894; Paul P. Austin, to April 20, 1896; Valentine
Koch, to April 20, 1898, and Charles J. Martin, to July 7, 1902.
First San Jose street to be paved (spring of 1890) was First between
Santa Clara and San Salvador, followed by San Fernando between Market
and Fourth. In the decade five miles of paving was laid in the business
district, with 26 water~wagons sprinkling macadam and dirt streets in the
residential areas.
The County was laying its first asphaltic macadam roads about the
valley at the same time and County Surveyor J. G. McMillan was designing
and building (1890-91) California's first concrete bridge, over the Penetencia
Creek east of San Jose. The valley was said to have the best roads in the
State and was building them at the rate of $90,000 a year. At the turn of the
century there were 280 miles of sprinkled roads in the county. In the same
time the bonded debt of the County was reduced from $360,000 to $160,000.
The City received a new freeholders' charter (March 5, 1897), effective
"'-----' July 1, 1898. The Alum Rock Park commission was created June 2, 1891.
Troubles of Public Utilities
Edwards' Electric Improvement Co. and Quilty's Light and Power Co.
filled the decade with keen competition in electric service particularly in
their struggle for the city lighting contract, spicing the contest with legal
shifts and political dodges.
When Edwards' "low light" company won the city contract by a San
Mateo county court decision, after losing the contract despite its low bid.
Quilty's "high light" company stirred public demand for the lighting of the
Electric Tower, which Quilty held. Edwards contended the tower was built
by public subscription over public land---was the City's to dispose of. The
Council agreed. Edwards evaded service of Quilty's injunction, lit the tower
March 1, 1891. Both sides were fined for contempt of court. Edwards then
rented the tower for a nominal sum.
Jacob Rich. whose street car lines had flourished during Bishop's ill~
starred efforts to electrify his. now fell on evil times. Backing Rich had been
the German Savings & Loan Society of San Francisco. encouraging him to
extend and impro~e his lines. Holding his first mortgage bonds, it agreed to
take up $150.000 second mortgage bonds. Then came the 1893 crash. and
with it new directors for the financial institution. who would not carry Rich.
who had already lost $75,000 in the failure of a winery. He mortgaged all
his property and delayed the crash until 1897, when the loan society forced
him into bankruptcy and bought his lines for $225,000, the amount of its first
mortgage. Rich made valiant efforts to pay his creditors before his death
in 1901.
Another venture was the narrow-gauge Alum Rock steam railroad.
started (1890) by a man named Quincy. who lost all he had by the time the
line reached White Road. It was taken over by Hugh Center (franchise.
July 1894) and continued to the mouth of Alum Rock canyon. The cars were
drawn at first by an 8-ton engine. later increased in size. It became the
"Narrow Gauge Electric" at the turn of the century.
The telephone utility continued a small but steady growth having by
1892. 311 subscribers. a gain of 229 in ten years.
gathered s;avings. The monument was unveiled (February 21, 1903) at
ceremonies addressed by the Hon. E. A. Hayes and Father R. E. Kenna, S. J.
A redwood in Washington Square and another at the Campbell school
recall the fifth preSidential visit to this City, that of President Theodore
Roosevelt (May 12, 1903.) Roosevelt spent the night in his private car here,
spoke to a large audience from a specially erected platform at the railroad
station, planted trees, and drove about the valley.
Library Building Donated
Andrew Carnegie gave the City (March 10, 1901) its $50,000 public
library in response to pleas by community representatives, notably O. A.
Hale and Mayor C. J. Martin. Its cornerstone was laid in Washington
Square (February 16, 1902) by the San Jose Elks, who commemorated the
fact on the cornerstone, much to the disgust of the Pastors' Union. The
legend being defaced one night, the cornerstone was thereafter replaced,
bearing nothing but the date.
The $7000 East San Jose Carnegie Library (1907) became a branch of
the main library on annexation of that city.
The county free library was established (July 1, 1914) in the Hall of
'---' Clubs and Organizations
The San Jose Golf and Country Club (now San Jose Country Club)
began as the Linda Vista Golf Club (October 19, 1899), its original club~
house being later the Linda Vista Sanitarium, with an 80~acre course. With
its new name it moved (19 13) to its present 93~acre course and built its
$15,000 clubhouse.
The South Bay Yacht Club, also founded in the latter nineties, built its
clubhouse at Alviso (1903.)
New women's organizations included To Kalon (1902), the Browning
Society (1902), the Monday Club (1904), the Ou tdoor Art League (1904.)
Minequa Council, Degree of Pocahontas, organized (September 1902).
G. A. R. 'posts combined, as did their auxiliaries. as the Sheridan~Dix
Post, No. 7 (February 1905.) Kate Sherwood Tent, Daughters of Union
Veterans was mustered into the national alliance (April 1905.) Spanish~
American War Veterans formed their organization, and a unit of Veterans
of Foreign Wars (May 29, 1901.)
, Scottish Rite Masonry was launched here by 22 Masons (November 6,
1904) and its first Temple was built on North Third (1908.) The $50,000
Masonic Temple (First, south of San Antonio) was built (1905) and
replaced (1908.)
San Jose Council. No. 874, Knights of Columbus, was founded (April
24. 1904) with 32 charter members.
Other new social and fraternal orders included San Jose Lodge, No.
643, Loyal Order of Moose (November 25,1910); Club La France (October
26,1902.) San Jose Elks erected their present building (1913.)

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