Abram Block, well known as a representative of the fruit-shipping industry of central California, makes him home in Santa Clara. He was born on the 12th of February, 1830, in bohemia, and is a son of Zalma and Maria (Kafka) Block, both of whom were natives of that country and in their family were four sons and four daughters, of whom Abram is the youngest and the only one now surviving. The father was a farmer by occupation and thus provided for the wants of his wife and children.

Abram Block pursued his education in the private school at Schwihau, Bohemia, continuing his studies until he reached the age of fourteen years. In the spring of 1845 he came to the United States, and going to Missouri he there continued his education as a public-school student for a brief period. Later he entered upon his business career as a clerk in a dry-goods and groceries establishment in St. Louis, Missouri, and continued in that trade until 1852 when he came to California. Men from every walk and station in life were flocking to this state, attracked by its business possibilities brought about through the discovery of gold and the great tide of emigration to the far west. Mr. Block came by way of New Orleans and the isthmus route. He too sought a fortune in the gold fiels, but after spending a short time in the mines he left the search of the precious metal to others and engaged in dealing in general miners' supplies in Nevada City. In 1855 he removed to San Francisco, although he still maintained his business in Nevada for a time. In the former place he turned his attention to manufacutring enterprises. He was interested in what was known as the Pioneer woolen factory, which he conducted with success for six years. In February, 1878, re removed to Santa Clara, where he has since been engaged in fruit-raising and shipping. With keen foresight he recognized that this was one of the coming industries of the state, and prepared to meet the demands that would arise in this direction. Levi A. Gould shipped the first fruit from California from San Francisco in the year 1869, and this has always been one of the leading fruit producing centers of the state. The fruit sent out by Mr. Gould was raised in the orchard now owned by Mr. Block. Mr. Gould, who originally owned the orchard, was one of the pioneer orchardists in this section of the country, and was a very active and enterprising man, doing much for the development of the fruit industry in this section. He not only raised fruit, but he operated the first dryer and was also an extensive manufacturer of vinegar. He came to San Francisco in 1853. Mr. Block's sales of fruit are extensive and he annually sends to the city markets of the west and of the east many boxes of pears and plums, his products being considered among the best in the state. His orchard comprises one hundred and eighty-seven acres and he has eighty acres in hte homestead place, while adjoining property is controlled by him in his fruit-raising industry.

Mr. Block belongs to the Masonic fraternity and is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His political views are usually in accord with the principles of the Democracy, and from 1873 until 1876 he was supervisor of the city of San Francisco, but he has preferred not to take an active part in politics in order that he might give his undivided time and attention to his business affairs, which have brought to him a very graditying degree of success, owing to his capable management and well directed efforts.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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