THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
JOSEPH R. WELLER-
Milpitas Pioneer Politician
Bio- The Pioneer
SURNAMES: BATTEY, HART,
Born in Warren county, New Jersey October 10, 1819. When he was at the age of five years, his father emigrated to the Geneese valley, New York, and there , in Temple Hill Academy, he received his early education under the tutorship of Professor Horatio N. Robinson. He afterwards taught in the public schools, and attended the Ithaca Academy, and while a student there, was elected by the Board of Supervisors of Livingston county to go to the State Normal School at Albany. Graduating there, in 1846, he was immediately engaged by Colonel W.W. Wadsworth, as an associate with Henry Willey to take charge of an Agricultural College, which he was commencing to establish in the Genesea valley, a position he occupied until Mr.
Wadsworth's health failed, and the college was discontinued.
In the Spring of 1849, he went to Staten Island and taught a private ceminary (under the proprietorship of Professor H.M. Bachm) until May, 1850, when under the influence of the prevailing California fever, he left New York, on the brig John French for the far off land of gold. After a stormy passage of thirty-three days the mouth of the Chagres river was reached, when, with six companions, they traveled, by way of rowing their own boat, to the town of Cruces. Thence over the old Boliver trail, on -pack-mules, to Panama,where, with several thousand others, six weeks were passed awaiting a steamer to convey them to San Francisco. At length the almost unendurable suspense was ended by the arrival of the ship Columbus from her first trip to San Francisco.
As soon as repairs could be made, he secured passage, and arrived in San Francisco, August 7, 1850. He soon went to the mines at Coloma, El Dorado county. At the end of a month he returned to San Francisco, ill with Panama fever. In the following Spring, still suffering from the effects of the fever, he came to Santa Clara county, and located on the Charles Weber Ranch, twenty miles from San Jose, where he remained until his health was fully restored. We next find Mr. Weller employed on the Laguna Ranch for one month, he then proceeded to the mines in Mariposa county, with Thos. Dougals, taking with them two loads of produce.
On his return to San Jose, after an absence of seven weeks, he acquired fifty acres of land from James Murphy, farmed it for two years, and then, May 1,
1853, came to Milpitas township, settled where he now resides.
In 1861 he was married to Mrs. Marion W. Battey, nee Hart, a native of Madison county, New York, by whom he has two daughters, Marion E., and May L. Weller. In 1855 Mr. Weller organized the Milpitas school district, being appointed a Trustee, which position he still holds. He filled the office of Justice of the Peace, from 1856 to 1878. In 1853 he received the nomination for the Assembly, and in 1855, was candidate for County Clerk. In 1878, he was elected to represent the county in the Constitutional Convention.
politics, Mr. Weller is a Republican, with progressive tendencies and decided character, truly a sympathizer with the working classes, and an active agent in all liberal movements for true advancement. His duties in life have not been in their nature brilliant or prominent; but they have been such as to require the most solid and useful of the civic virtues, courage, integrity, justice and steady, indomitable energy. Possessed of a genial disposition, and a firm Christian faith, he acts by his own honest convictions in the fear of God and is ever ready to assist all that is good and repress all that is wrong, or that, hinders the general prosperity of his fellow-men.
The Pioneer, published San Jose, Saturday, February 18, 1882
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transcribed by jchavnar
SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight