When much of the land of San Joaquin county was in possession of the government Frederick Von Sosten pre-empted a quarter section and began farming operations near Bethany. To this property he has added as his financial resources have increased until he now owns more than a half section. Having long resided within the borders of the county, his life history cannot fail to prove of interest to many of our readers because of his wide acquaintance and the friendly regard in which he is uniformly held.

He is native of Hanover, Germany, born on the 14th of September, 1841, and is a son of John and Dorothea Von Sosten, who were also natives of Hanover. The days of his boyhood and youth were passed in Germany and he acquired a good education in his native tongue. At the time of the war between Prussia and Austria he was a soldier in the Hanoverian army, which favored Austria, and he fought in two engagements, 24th and 27th of June, 1866, with the Hanover troops, opposing the Prussian troops.

Thinking that he would enjoy a residence in the "land of the free" and believing that he would have better buiness opportunities, Mr. Von Sosten emigrated to America, leaving Bremer Haven on the 15th of December, 1866. He took passage on the westward-bound sailing vessel which dropped anchor in the harbor of New York on the 1st of January, 1867, and there he remained for several months. The same year, however, he started for San Joaquin county, arriving in 1867. He had made the journey by way of the isthmus of Panama and by San Francisco, and since arriving in this portion of the state he has remained continuously, his attention being given to agricultural pursuits. The wild land offered him opportunities, and pre-empting a quarter section he secured the title to his claim and began its development. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon the place, but his labors soon wrought a transformation in its appearance, and to-day he has a valuable farm well equipped with modern accessories.

As a companion and helpmate for life's journey Mr. Von Sosten chose Miss Anna Finck, a sister of henry Finck, of San Joaquin county. She came to California from Germany in 1867, and the wedding was celebrated on the 10th of August 1869. her birth had occurred in Hanover on the 3d of December, 1848, and when she left the fatherland she made her way direct to California and has since been a resident of the Golden state. To Mr. and Mrs. Von Sosten have been born five children: William F., who is living in Bethany, California; Emma D., at home; John H., who is living in San Joaquin county; Anna R. and Frederick P., both at home. The parents hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church at Tracy and take an active interest in its work. He is a Republican in politics, favoring the principles of the party, yet he at times votes independently, where no issue is involved, considering only the capability of the candidates. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias fraternity of Tracy, and both he and his wife are well known in San Joaquin county as pioneer people. Many years have come and gone during the period of their residence here, and they have ever belonged to that class who uphold the public stability along material, intellectual and moral lines.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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