George Klinger is in the premier class of pioneers of San Joaquin county, and is one of the oldest residents both as regards his own age and the many years that he has spent in the county. Having come out to California in the golden days of forty-nine, it is now more than half a century since he took up his abode among the first inhabitants of the San Joaquin valley. He has been enterprising, ambitious and industrious from his earliest years of active life, and his successful career has rewarded him accordingly. There is no more honored business man and citizen in this section of California than the venerable Mr. Klinger, and the effects of his work have been felt in many ways on the progress and life of San Joaquin county.

Mr. Klinger left Janesville, Wisconsin, in the early part of the year 1849, and after a six months' trip with ox teams across the great plains he arrived in Butte county, California. For a time he mined gold on the Feather river, but soon drifted from this pursuit of fickle fortune into his more substantial and certain road to prosperity. He came to San Joaquin county in 1851, which is one of the earliest dates in the history of civilization in this county, and during all the intervening years he has ben worthily identified with the welfare of the county. For a time he followed his trade of harness and saddle making, and subsequently went into business for himself in that line at Stockton, where he had for a partner Joseph Harrison, under the firm name of Klinger and Harrison. Mr. Klinger soon afterward became sole proprietor of this business, and carried it on very successfully at Stockton until 1855. It was in that year that he located on his present ranch near Linden, where he has had his home for nearly fifty years. He owns a nice farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and he still supervises its cultivation and management.

This worthy and honorable old citizen of California, on whose mind the history of both the old and new times of the state are deeply impressed, is a native of the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, where he was born December 4, 1824, and is accordingly, at the present writing, at the advanced age of eighty years. He was a son of Michael and Barbara (Ott) Klinger, both natives of Bavaria. The son George was reared in his native country, and received a good education. After his school days were over he was apprenticed to learn the harness and saddle trade, to which he applied himself so diligently that he was a master of the business by the time he came to America. In 1844, when twenty years old, he left Bavaria on a sailing vessel, and after a fifty days' voyage arrived in New York city. he worked at his trade in Albany and Buffalo, and then went as far west as Milwaukee, where he also did harness and saddle making. He was next in Whitewater, Wisconsin, for a time, and in the spring of 1848 went to Janesville, where he was engaged in the harness business for himself until his departure the following year for California.

Mr. Klinger is a Republican in politics, and fraternally affiliates with Scio Lodge No. 102, I. O. O. F., at Linden. He has been a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity since 1852, so that he is one of the oldest members of the order in the state. He has always taken commendable interest in public and political affairs. During his more active years he occasionally served as a delegate to the county Republican conventions. For eight consecutive years he served as deputy county assessor of San Joaquin county in Douglas township, and has also acted for many years as trustee of the Linden school district. Mr. Klinger is the agent for the Hartford and Fireman's Fund Insurance companies for his surrounding county.

Mr. Klinger was married, September 6, 1853, to Miss Mary A. Hellmert, a native of Germany, and by this long and happy marriage there are living nine children, as follows: Henry W., in San Joaquin county; Sarah, wife of Conrad Gischel, of Stockton; Mary A., wife of Harry Little, in Calaveras county; John, in Portland, Oregon; Minnie, the wife of Lewis Grimsley, of Stockton; Matilda, wife of Augustus Welsher, in Yuba county; Louisa, wife of Henry Reuter, of Stockton; and George W. and Charles A., at home.

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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