ELBERT JOSEPH WILCOX, Jr.
SURNAMES: McKee, Beasley,
A member of a family that has been closely identified with the history
of San Jose for almost seventy years. Elbert Joseph Wilcox was born in
San Jose, February 12, 1873, and has continuously resided in this
section of the country. He is a son of the late Elbert Joseph Wilcox, Sr.,
a California pioneer of 1853, who was born in Middletown, conn., July
19, 1829, and remained in his native state until he was twenty-three.
In October, 1852, accompanied by his bride, he took passage on the
Flying Dutchman and sailed around the Horn, arriving in San Francisco
January 29, 1853, after a voyage of 100 days. Upon arrival he
immediately joined his wife's brother, J. O. McKee, in San Jose.
During the year of 1856 he purchased an interest in a grocery business,
but two years later sold out and became one of the proprietors of the
Morgan House on the northwest corner First and San Fernando, well known
as the stopping place of the stage on its way to and from San
Francisco. After a time he purchased his partner's interest and bought
the site, and in 1867 he replaced the building with a portion of the
present brick structure. In 1871 he erected the Wilcox block, on the
same site, Gowen and company, and moved it to his new building, where
he conducted a shoe business until his retirement in September, 1899.
Elbert J. Wilcox's marriage occurred in Middletown, Conn. in
1852, united him with Miss Sarah Maria McKee, a native of Middletown,
and during girlhood a student in Meriden Female Seminary. Her father,
Capt. Joseph O. McKee, a seafaring man, brought the barque Isabella
around the Horn in 1849, and with him sent for his family to join him
and they also came out on the Flying Dutchman.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox were the parents of six children, three of whom are
living. Anna K., a graduate of Gates Institute; Edith, the wife of
Judge W. A. Beasley of San Jose; and Elbert Joseph, Jr., the subject of
this sketch. Formerly Mr. Wilcox, Sr., was a member of the Board of
Trade, later actively connected with the Chamber of Commerce. In
national politics a pronounced Republican, he was elected to represent
the fourth ward in the city council. On the organization of the free
library, he became a member of the board of trustees and continued in
that position for fifteen years. He was always keenly interested in the
meetings of the Santa Clara County Pioneer Association and was an
honored member. Mrs. Wilcox passed away in June, 1904, followed by her
husband in April, 1918.
Elbert Joseph Wilcox, of this review, was educated in the grammar and
high schools, later attending the University of the Pacific, and in
1901 he graduated from the school of Mechanical Arts of San Francisco.
After his graduation he entered the employ of the American Can Company
in San Francisco as draftsman, and remained with them for nine years;
since then, the management of his father's estate has demanded his full
attention, and largely through his energy and industry, the property is
becoming more valuable each succeeding year. Politically he is a strong
Republican and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He is treasurer
of the First Presbyterian Chuch of San Jose. Always taking an active
part in all public measures, Mr. Wilcox has sought in every way to
advance the interests of his native city.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 415
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