EDWARD L. MOODY


In reviewing the history of Edward L. Moody one is reminded of the words of the gret New York financier, "If you're not a success don't plame the times you live in, don't blame the place you occupy, don't blame the circumstances you're surrounded with,--lay the blame where it belongs, to yourself. Not in time, place or circumstance, but in the man lies success. If you win success you must pay the price." Realizing the truth of this, Mr. Moody has paid the price of concentrated effort, of indomitable energy, of perseverance and of well applied business principles and has won the victory which he started out to win years ago. he is now the president of the Berryessa Fruit Growers' Association and in this connection is controlling one of the important productive industries of Santa Clara county.

Edward L. Moody was born at San Jose on the 13th of September, 1857. His father, Charles Moody, was a native of New York and represented an old American family that was founded in the Emire state at an early epoch in its development. After arriving at years of maturity he married Martha J. Lee, who was a native of Arkansas. The year 1849 witnessed his arrival in California, having crossed the plains with an ox team. San Jose was his destination and he became a pioneer in the lumber and flour-milling business at that place. In 1856 he established the first flour mill in the Santa Clara valley on Coyote creek and was associated with his father and brothers in the enterprise. He continued in the milling business up to the time of his death, covering a period of more than one-third of a century, and the mill which he owned and operated was the nucleus of the business now owned and controlled by the Sperry Flour Company, formerly known as the Central Milling Company. This corporation now controls one of the largest milling enterprises in the United States. The death of Mr. Charles Moody occurred in 1890 and his wife passed away in 1904. They were the parents of eight children: Mrs. E. T. Sawyer; Mrs. W. C. Kennedy; Charles Henry, who is an orchardist of the Santa Cruz mountains; Edward L., of this review; Albert R., who is deceased; Elton Byron; Mrs. Edward Ament; and mrs. Horace Cureton.

Edward L. Moody began his education at the usual age as a pupil in the public schools of San Jose, where he continued his studies until he had completed the high school course. He was also a student in a local business college, and he put aside his text books at the age of seventeen years in order to enter upon an active business career. He learned the milling business with his father and followed that pursuit until a few years ago, but in recent years has been identified with the fruit-raising industry, which is one of the most important sources of wealth to California. In 1898 he planted a large orchard at Berryessa and now has forty acres devoted to the production of prunes and apricots. He has made a close study of the needs of fruit trees in this portion of the country, and he carries on his business along modern progressive lines. He is also the president of the Berryessa Fruit Growers' Association, which owns and controls one of the largest fruit-drying plants of the county, drying and packing from four to six thousand tons of fruit annually. The success and growth of this concern is largely due to his efforts, his enterprising activity being an essential factor in its control.

In 1883 occurred the marriage of Mr. Moody and Miss Minnie shaw, a native of Berryessa, Santa Clara county, and a daughter of Isaiah Shaw, who was one of the first settlers of this part of the state, having come to California in 1849. As the years advanced Mr. Shaw was sidely known as an extensive farmer and also controlled important dairy and horticultural interests. His death occurred in 1889. To Mr. and Mrs. Moody have been born two daughters, Hazel and Mildred, who are still with their parents. Mr. Moody votes with the Republican party, but the honors and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him, as he has preferred to give his attention in undivided manner to his industrial and agricultural interests. His activity in business, however, has not only contributed to his individual prosperty, but has also been an active factor in the development of this part of the state, and he is now accounted one of the representative and influential men of Santa Clara county.

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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