Mountain View History
by Susanne Martinez
The 1876 map of Mountain View shows a plot of land in our Old Mountain View neighborhood running from Castro to Calderon bordered by El Camino and Church Street owned by a man named T. Stealey. Thomas Stealey had an interesting history. He arrived in California in the fall of 1849 and made a fortune in gold mining. He settled in San Francisco where he was engaged in real estate and construction, but was also prominently involved in the “Vigilantes Committee,” a controversial group of men who sought to bring ‘law and order’ to San Francisco during a period of lawlessness. Indeed, his 1899 obituary highlighted his role as one of these vigilantes. In 1870, he moved his family to Mountain View where he was actively engaged in local politics, serving as a Mountain View school trustee, and narrowly lost an election to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
Around 1885, he returned to San Francisco where he again ran for public office, but lost. Thomas Stealey and his wife Mary Louise had ten children, many of them born during their years in Mountain View. Many Old Mountain View houses are located on land once owned by Mr. Stealey. •