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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Santa Clara in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

“Cowboy Jim” Donovan

 
 
“Cowboy Jim” Donovan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 16, 2012
1. “Cowboy Jim” Donovan Marker
Inscription. Born in San Francisco, James Donovan came to Santa Clara following the 1906 earthquake at the age of nine and resided in this house the rest of his life. Orphaned young, he started hauling baggage from the railroad depot using a few dogs pulling a cart. Later, as a young man he earned enough money to buy a horse and progressed to weed plowing for the town and watering the trees lining the unpaved streets. Less than 5 ft. tall, he got the nickname “Cowboy Jim” from working as a cowhand on valley ranches. For decades, Jim was a familiar figure around Santa Clara dressed in cowboy attire, marching in all the town parades using his horse and wagon or goat cart to give children rides around the neighborhood.

Calling the city council meetings “the best entertainment in town,” Cowboy Jim faithfully attended them for over 36 years. In September 1967, on his 70th birthday, the council declared “Cowboy Jim Donovan Day” in ceremonies held at a council meeting.
 
Erected by Santa Clara Historical and Landmark Commission.
 
Location. 37° 20.873′ N, 121° 57.223′ W. Marker is in Santa Clara, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker is on Benton Street east of Pierce Street, on the
“Cowboy Jim” Donovan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 16, 2012
2. “Cowboy Jim” Donovan Marker
left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1751 Benton Street, Santa Clara CA 95050, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Carmelite Monastery – Bond Ranch (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Fatjo House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Morgan House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kiely House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mission Santa Clara Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Santa Clara Campaign Treaty Site (approx. 0.3 miles away); De Anza Expedition 1775 – 1776 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Armistice Oak Tree Site (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Clara.
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 24, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 534 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on February 28, 2012. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 24, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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