HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD (Page 672-73)
ISAAC J. HATTABOUGH
Since 1849 Isaac J. Hattabough has been a resident of California, having crossed the plains in that year, unlike the many others who came to the state at that time seeking not wealth, but health. During the years in which he has passed his time as a citizen among the pioneer conditions of the west he has won for himself all the attributes which constitute success, a part of his efforts lying along agricultural lines, while he is even better known as an inventor and manufacturer, his agricultural implements being in use now in many sections of the country. Widely known and widely honored, he holds a position of universal esteem and respect throughout Santa Clara county. Born near Wilmington, Del., November 5, 1821, he was the son of Samuel and Mary (Jump) Hattabough, who removed to Richmond, Ind., in 1831, where the father followed the occupation of farmer. There he grew to manhood, trained to the practical duties of an agricultural life, which he continued to follow on attaining years of maturity. He was engaged with his brother-in-law in this work until his health began to fail and every symptom of consumption threatened to cut short his efforts for a happy and prosperous career. Advised to seek a change of climate he decided to emigrate to California, and though his friends feared he was not physically equal to the trip he bought an ox-team and in company with a train of emigrants set out on the long and hazardous journey across the plains. Shortly after the journey was begun the question arose as to whether they should travel on Sunday, and Mr. Hattabough, who had been a faithful member of the Methodist church from his seventh year, said at once that even if he had to travel alone he would observe the Sabbath day. This decided the remainder of the party and Mr. Hattabough was elected captain of the train. The party arrived in Sacramento, September 16, 1849, after a very pleasant journey, not withstanding the privations and hardships incident to such a trip. Mr. Hattabough, with his health entirely recovered, remained in Sacramento ten days, after which he went to Coloma, Eldorado county, and became an eye-witness to the excitement of the gold mining in all its phases. He then went to Cold Springs, and with others built a cabin, which he occupied during the time he remained in that locality as a miner. In the following February he went to Placerville and mined in that vicinity until July 1850, when he came to Santa Clara valley and entered upon an agricultural life. He located on a tract of land four miles west of San Jose, believing it to be government land, but which afterward proved to be a Spanish grant. Afterward he purchased this land - one hundred and seventy-four and a half acres - and made many and valuable improvements, erected a house, barns, and other out-buildings, and bringing the land to a splendid state of cultivation. He raised here the first field of wheat in this section, and remained in general farming until 1867, when he sold out and removed to San Jose. He here engaged in teaming and general contract work for about two years, when he located upon his present property, where he is now living practically retired.
In addition to his agricultural interests Mr. Hattabough has also spent much time and attention to the inventive line. Possessing much natural ability he has given to the study of inventions such thought as to be able to conceive and carry out several ideas which have resulted in some valuable farming implements, such as a hay fork and derrick, of which he has manufactured as many as $4,000 worth while farming. He later invented a gopher and squirrel trap, and has made and sold thousands of these and still manufactures them. He also invented a spring bed and prairie engine, as well as various other articles of minor note.
Mr. Hattabough has been married twice, his first union being with Mehitabel Jane Daves, of Galena, Ill. She died in 1888 at the age of fifty-three years, leaving a family of seven children, namely: Orlando Christopher, of Montana; J. Lemuel, of Arizona; J. Vaughn, of Salinas; Frank P., of San Jose; Mrs. Mary A. Sullivan, of Alabama; Abraham L., of San Francisco, and Fred, of Santa Cruz. Mr. Hattabough was afterward united in marriage with Mrs. Mary Jane Brackett, who was formerly Miss Boynton, daughter of John Boynton. A stanch Republican, Mr. Hattabough has always supported the principles of his party and given his efforts toward its advancement. During the Civil War he served as a second lieutenant of the Redwood cavalry, and served nearly three years, receiving an honorable discharge and commendation for courage. In his religious convictions Mr. Hattabough has been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church up to within seven years ago, when he became identified with the Volunteers of America, where he holds the position of sergeant. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Pioneers of California and Pioneers of Santa Clara Valley. In the early days he took quite an active part in all public affairs, serving as a member of the Know-Nothings, Sons of Temperance and Grangers.