George Steinmetz is a typical pioneer settler of San Joaquin county, belonging to that class of men whose force of character and strong determination enable them to face and overcome the obstacles incident to pioneer life and lay the foundation for the present development and progress of the locality in which they reside. Mr. Steinmetz has made his home upon his present farm near Banta, in San Joaquin county, since 1865, covering a period of almost forty years. Great changes have occurred in the county during this time, and he has never shirked any responsibility such as comes to the loyal and enterprising citizen, while in his business affairs he has won the success that crowns earnest, persistent effort, and is to-day the owner of a fine ranch of five hundred and ninety acres near Banta.
A native of Germany, Mr. Steinmetz was born on the 4th of August, 1834, and is of German origin and ancestry. He was reared in the land of his nativity until eighteen years of age, when, in 1852, he emigrated to America, taking passage on the westward-bound sailing vessel at Bremer Haven. The voyage lasted six weeks, but at length anchor was dropped in the harbor of New Orleans, and mr. Steinmetz then went to Howard county, Missouri, where he remained for a short time, and in 1854 came to California, traveling across the hot sandy plains and through the mountain passes until he reached the Golden state. He hoped that he might rapidly gain a competency in the gold fields and for a short time he engaged in mining, but realizing that he might make better advancement in other lines of labor he came to San Joaquin county in 1855. Here he has practically made his home continuously since, and in 1865 he settled upon the farm which is now his place of residence. He may well be called a self-made man and as the architect of his own fortunes he has builded wisely and well. He had very little capital when he left the fatherland, but he possessed what is far better,--strong determination, laudable ambition and indefatigable energy, and these have proved the salient features in his prosperous career.
Mr. Steinmetz has been married twice. He first wedded Christiana Boysen, a native of Schleswig, Germany, and to them were born five children, of whom four are now living: Edward C., George A., Lewis F. and Annie C., the last named the wife of Charles Brandeman. After the death of his first wife he wedded Geraldine Hahn, a native of Germany, and there are two children by this marriage, Sene, now the wife of Henry Brandeman, and August.
Mr. Steinmetz has been active in community affairs and is now serving as a trustee of the Valley school district. He votes with the Democracy, yet does not consider himself bound by party ties, and at times gives his ballot in support of the candidates of other parties. He has seen this section of the state debelop from a primitive condition to one of advanced civilization. When he came here wild animals were numerous, much of the land was still unclaimed and uncultivated, and in fact, the work of improvement and progress had scarcely been begun. He has seen the building of railroads, the founding of towns and the introduction of all the improvements and accessories of modern life, and has rejoiced in the advancement made in the county, promoting the welfare of this section of the state in as far as he has been able to do so.
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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