Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


The western spirit of enterprise finds embodiment in the career of W. J. Espindola, an exceptionally capable young business man of Watsonville, who has transformed his opportunities into tangible assets and is now at the head of an extensive business, operating a chain of cash and carry stores. He was born in this city on the 6th of October, 1894, and is a son of S. J. and Marie (Silva) Espindola, the latter a native of Santa Cruz county, California. The father was born in the Azores and in pioneer times emigrated to the Pajaro valley of California, where he still resides, concentrating his attention upon the growing of fruit. His wife's father was a California pioneer and one of the early agriculturists, a banker and business man of Marin county, California.

W. J. Espindola completed his education in the Watsonville high school, in which he took a commercial course, and as a clerk in the drug store of Fred Krough, a well known pharmacist of this city, first realized the value of money in terms of his own labor. In 1911, when seventeen years of age, he borrowed a sum of money from his father and bought a half interest in the Rochdale store at Watsonville. In 1915 he refunded the money loaned him and purchased his partner's interest in the business, which he moved from Peck street to Third street. In 1916 Mr. Espindola discontinued the credit and delivery departments and adopted the cash and carry system. The growth of the business has been phenomenal, and he now operates six stores, the Watsonville establishment being the first. Store No. 2 was opened at Salinas in April, 1919, and No. 3 was started at Hollister in November, 1923. No. 4 had its inception at Gilroy in January, 1924; the fifth store was opened in Watsonville in September, 1924, and the sixth store was opened at Monterey in January, 1925. At No. 516 Main street Mr. Espindola maintains his headquarters and base of supplies, sending out each morning trucks laden with merchandise for the branch stores. He displays notable foresight, sagacity and executive force in the control of his interests and is one of the most successful merchants in the state, transacting a business of approximately one million dollars annually. He is endowed with the qualities of leadership, and his integrity is unassailable.

In 1916 Mr. Espindola married Miss Marie Silva, a native of Marin county, California, and they now have two daughters, Arline and Gertrude. Mr. Espindola is a faithful communicant of the Catholic church and belongs to Westville Council, No. 953, of the Knights of Columbus, also to the local lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He is but thirty years of age and has to his credit a notable record of brilliant achievement through individual effort. Mr. Espindola is a master builder, and Watsonville is honored by his citizenship.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.