John Bruhns, living near Tracy, has made his home in California since 1872, and two years prior to that time he came to America from Germany. He was born in the fatherland July 20, 1848, a son of Frederick and Maguerite Bruhns, both of whom were natives of Holstein, Germany. The son spent the days of his minority in that country and acquired a good education in his native language, but his knowledge of English has been obtained in the new world. He determined to seek a home and fortune in the new world, and in 1870 made his way from Hamburg to Liverpool, where he took passage on a steamer bound for New York. He spent about two years in that city and then came to California, where he has since made his home. He worked for others for some time, and in 1881 began farming on his own account on rented land in what is known as the Lammersville district, near Bethany, San Joaquin county. In 1884 he removed to his present farm, near Tracy, and has here resided continuously since. He now owns a ranch of three hundred and twenty acres, well cultivated and improved with good buildings. The fields are well tilled, and indeed he has practically made the ranch what it is to-day--a valuable farm property. All this indicates that his life has been a busy and useful one, and that his labor has been rewarded in the success which ever crowns honorable and earnest toil.

On the 3d of November, 1881, Mr. Bruhns was united in marriage to Miss Christena M. Schlichtmann, who was born in Hanover, Germany, March 20, 1862, and is a daughter of Claus and Anna S. Schlichtmann. Her father was born in Hanover, Germany, and came to America early in the '60s. Not long afterward he sent for his family, who joined him in the new world, and finally they came to California, living for a short time in San Francisco before they took up their residence in San Joaquin county. Casting in his lot with the pioneer settlers of this part of the state Claus Schlichtmann pre-empted a quarter section of land several miles from Bethany and took up his abode there. He afterward left that place, however, and established the family homestead which is now occupied by his son August. This place was near Bethany, and with charqcteristic energy he began its development and in course of time transformed it into a fine farm with modern improvements. His life was always devoted to agricultural pursuits, and he was one of the honored pioneer farmers of San Joaquin county. In his business relations with his fellow men he was always found trustworthy, and in matters of citizenship he was loyal and progressive, favoring all measures which he believed would contribute to the general good. He died July 5, 1899, respected by all who knew him, and his name is now enrolled among the honored dead of the county. He was a member of the Order of Druids, at San Francisco, and he gave his political allegiance to the Republican party. His widow still survives him and is one of the venerable pioneer women of her section of the state. She now makes her home in Alameda, California, but is well remembered by many residents of San Joaquin county.

To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bruhns five children have been born: Matilda M., who is now the wife of John H. Von Sosten; Anna C., Johanna, Bertha and John, all at home. The parents, having long lived in San Joaquin county, have a wide acquaintance, which is also a favorable one, for they possess many excellent traits of character. Mr. Bruhns votes with the Republican party, and fraternally is connected with the Knights of Pythias lodge at Tracy.

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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