Pioneering Families
... with Roots in Madison County

Index to
  B. W. HOLLENBECK was born in Eaton, Madison County, New York, December 15, 1814. His parents, Abraham and Betsy (White) Hollenbeck, were natives of Connecticut. They were married in that State, and at a very early date removed to Madison County, New York, and were among the early pioneers there. In 1836 they removed to Cass County, Michigan, where their son, Albert G. Hollenbeck, was living. Abraham died there in December, 1836, and his widow returned to Madison County, New York, and died there in 1859. They had five sons and three daughters, of whom two are now living. Benjamin W., the subject of this notice, was raised on the old home place, and lived there and in adjoining counties at times until he came to California, in 1859. He came by way of Panama, and landed in San Francisco June 25 of that year. He first went to San Jose, where he remained a few weeks looking around, and then went to work for a man named "Jake" Hansen, in Little Calaveras Valley. After a while he took a trip up North, but, finding nothing to suit him, returned to this valley and bought a place near Saratoga, and went to work getting out redwood timber from the mountains. He lived there five or six years, and then bought his present place in the Lincoln School District, where he has lived ever since. It was rough, stumpy lumber; the tops of the trees were taken off, leaving the stumps standing ten or fifteen feet high, and it cost a great deal of labor to get them out. The place originally contained 160 acres, but he has sold off portions of it, so that he now has but sixty acres remaining. He has a vineyard of forty acres of wine grapes five years old, and besides has an acre or two of fruit-trees of different varieties. The rest of the land is used for hay and grain. In 1887 he made 10,000 gallons of wine. The same year he built a winery at a cost of $1,500 for machinery and cooperage. The building was erected some time before this.
   Mr. Hollenbeck was married in Madison County, New York, to Susan M. Hart, in 1857. She was a native of that county. They have two children, viz.: George E. Hollenbeck, and Addie, wife of H. M. Leonard, of Santa Clara. They also buried a daughter,--Minnie,--wife of Olof Hanks, who died January 7, 1887.

Source: Anonymous. Pen pictures from the garden of the world, or, Santa Clara County, California: containing a history of the county of Santa Clara from the earliest period of its occupancy to the present time, together with glimpses of its prospective future, with profuse illustrations of its beautiful scenery, full-page portraits of some of its most eminent men, and biographical mention of many of its pioneers and also of prominent citizens of today. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1888, p. 616.



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