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Obed Fosdick Alley

Written by Richard Patchin. Judie Palmer Rev. 2021

Obed Fosdick Alley was born on June 4, 1824 in Massachusetts. He married Phebe Ray Bunker (1928) on July 18, 1950 in Nantucket, MA where he was a mariner in water transportation.

Obed came to California from Nantucket in 1850. After working in the gold fields and spending some months in Martinez he sent for his wife Phebe who arrived in 1852. They had two children: Herman born in 1858, and Susan M. born on June 12, 1865.

In around 1859, he had an accident and lost a leg.

Obed started a dairy and dabbled in politics, serving at various times as county assessor and secretary of the Contra Costa Agricultural Society. He was the County Tax Collector and County Treasurer from 1868 through 1869. In the 1866 Voter Registration, he is listed as growing fruit trees in San Jose, CA.

Phebe, a teacher, talked the Masons into allowing her to use some of their meeting hall space for classrooms. She had first taught school in the kitchen at the Sylvanus Swain home. The Swains were also from Nantucket. Phebe didn’t teach long. She became more of a fund-raiser and dabbled in “magnetic healing”.

On November 17, 1869, a playground accident killed their 10 year-old son Herman when he was struck by a baseball bat. In 1874, the Alleys moved to San Francisco.

Obed died in San Jose from pheumonia on May 19, 1890 and Phebe died on August 2, 1891 in Springfield, MA. Both were buried here in the Alhambra Cemetery and laid to rest with their son.

No evidence of any grave marker was found on this plot. The present day marker was placed by the Clampers in recognition of the Alleys contributions to the community. The Clampers have been very much involved in restorative projects and clean-up of the Cemetery.

Their daughter Susan married twice; first to Willis Dermody Eitel (died) and then to Fred J. Botkin. She is buried with her husband, Willis Eitel and daughter, Millie Ray Annear, in the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.

The original content of this post was taken from the previous website and updated for republishing in 2021.


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