Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies

Thomas Garside

Submitted by Roger Lehman

Thomas Garside
One of the oldest residents of Monterey County is Thomas Garside, who at the age of eighty-nine years, is in possession of all of his faculties and still takes an animated interest in the affairs pertaining to this part of the country, as well as those of a world-wide nature. A native of England, he was born near Halifax, Yorkshire, December 22, 1820, the son of Robert ans Frances (Booth) Garside. The father was a carpenter by trade, and followed this calling throughout the greater part of his active life, first in Yorkshire, and later in the United States, wither he came in 1841 in the hope of a better business outlook. From Pennsylvania, where he first located, he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, in both of the latter places working his trade, but finally he went to Iowa with the idea of engaging in farming, as land was cheap and he hoped thereby to gain a foothold and become established in this new and growing country. His hopes were not realized, however, for he was taken ill and died soon afterward, in 1844. He had sent for his wife and those of his children still in England, but he had passed away before they arrived. His son Thomas, who had come to this country the year previous, 1843, was with his father during his sickness, and at his death buried him tenderly in the cemetery near New London, Iowa. At her death the mother was buried by his side.

After his father came to the New World, Thomas Garside was brought face to face with the serious side of life, and when he found employment hard to obtain in England he determined to follow his father to the United States, making the voyage in 1843. Landing in New York, he immediately sought work there ans in Buffalo, but meeting with no success in either place he went to Canada and was abundantly rewarded, those with a knowledge of the carpenter's trade being in great demand. On receiving word from his father, then in Cincinnati, that there was plenty of employment to be had in that city, he set out with a companion in February 1844, to walk from Thurle, Canada, to Pittsburg, Pa., the snow at the time being over a foot deep. After a long and wearisome journey father and son were finally reunited and for a time they worked together in Cincinnati, finally, however, going to Iowa, where was the father's ambition to prepare a comfortable home for his family. Instead he succumbed to the exposure and hardships which he had endured, alone and among strangers except for the presence of his son Thomas.

As a result of the gold discovery in California, Thomas Garside came across the plains in 1850, bringing with him two of his brothers, who had agreed to give him one-half of all their profits in the state during the first year. Their first efforts were at Mud Springs, Placer county, but they did not meet with the success they had hoped for, and to add to their distress one of the brothers was taken ill and given up to die by the physician. Suffice it to say, that in spite of this decision he regained his health and is now living in Phoenix Arizona, at the age of eighty-two years. Another brother now in his sixty-sixth year, also resides in Arizona. In consequence of the ill-luck with which the brothers met they decided to retrace their steps to Iowa in 1851, going by way of Nicaragua, and were the first party to take that route. The death of the mother occurred after their return from the west, and as this bereavement left the burden of the younger portion of the family to the care of Thomas, he decided to remain in Iowa, and once more resumed work in the carpenter's trade. He followed this occupation until his marriage, after which he settled on a farm of his own and continued farming until he came a second time to California in 1862.

Mr. Garside was united in marriage with Miss Ann Long, a native of Ohio. Besides himself and wife the party included the Archers, now respected residents of Salinas. At the end of the pleasant six months' trip Mr. and Mrs. Garside settled in San Joaquin county, where near Linden, they remained for five years on land which they rented from the Archers. Mr. Garside's experience during this time was far from successful, as he had to suffer with everyone else the dry years of 1863 and '64, but notwithstanding this discouragement he did not give up and finally was rewarded with a degree of success. In looking about for a more desirable place to locate permanently he traversed the country from Monterey County to Los Angeles, finally coming back Monterey county and leasing in the valley at $2 per acre, with the privilege of buying it after two years at the rate of $20 per acre. Until he could provide better shelter for his family they camped under some trees which still stand not far from the home which he finally moved into.

In 1873 Mr. Garside went to Oregon in the hope of getting a better foothold than he had thus far been able to secure in California, settling in the vicinity of Eugene, but on account of the prevalence of typhoid fever and fever and ague there he was glad to return to Monterey county. As he had sold his property here before going north, upon his return he decided to rent until he could find a property which he wished to buy. Two years later he purchased one hundred and sixty acres at the rate of $100 per acre, and thereafter, until recently he developed and devoted it to the raising of beans, mustard, potatoes and grain. For the past five years, however, it has been rented to a tenant who had devoted it exclusively to the raising of sugar beets, which have yielded bounteous crops and have brought excellent prices, the venture proving entirely satisfactory to both parties concerned.

Of the eight children born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Garside, the first four were born in Iowa, and the others after the removal of the family to California. The eldest of the family, George, died in Oregon at the age of twenty-one; Robert lives at home with his father; William is married and lives in Salinas, Cal.; Charles died in Salinas at the age of forty years; Mary Ellen also died at the same age, unmarried; John, Joseph, and Thomas make their home with their father in Salinas. Beside their own children, Mr. and Mrs. Garside gave a home to a niece, Alice Long Garside, who became the wife of F. P. Hiserman and she too resides on the home place. In following the events of the life of Mr. Garside one is compelled to admit that he is a self-made man, for he started in life with less than nothing and is today one of the respected and prosperous residents of Monterey county. In his early life he was affiliated with the Odd Fellows, but in his later years he has allowed his membership to lapse. In his political belief he has always cast his vote in behalf of Republican candidates and principles. Although he is now well advanced in years, Mr. Garside is still keenly interested in advancements of whatever nature, and at the time of discovery of oil in the Loanoke fields, he was one of the first to interest himself in the project and is now one of the largest stockholders in the enterprise.