A valuable farm of six hundred and fifty acres near Tracy is the property of John C. Droge, who is extensively and successfully engaged in general farming. He also owns a ranch of three hundred and twenty acres of grazing land near Tesla, California, and also a half interest in nineteen hundred and sixty acres of farming land in Stanislaus county. In this his partner is William Schmidt and the business is carried on under the name of Schmidt & Droge. Mr. Droge is recognized as one of the extensive landowners of his community and as he owes his success entirely to his well directed efforts he certainly deserves mention among the representative men of the county.

Mr. Droge was born near Hamburg, Germany, on the 23d of November, 1843, a son of Peter H. and Maria (Lorenzen) Droge, also natives of Germany. He was reared in the country of his nativity until fourteen years of age, when he crossed the Atlantic to the new world and made his way direct to California. He resided for a short time in Placer county and subsequently made his home for several years in San Francisco, where he was employed as a clerk in a store for a number of years. In the year 1868 he purchased land near Tracy, California, and made a temporary location there. After a year, however, he returned to San Francisco, where he was engaged in merchandising, but subsequently he sold his mercantile interests in San Francisco, in 1872. He then returned to Germany, where he resided for a time, and during that period he attended a technical school near Hamburg, where he studied surveying. In 1874 he came again to the United States and making his way once more to California settled at Chualar, Monterey county, where he conducted a general store for about eleven years or until 1885. At that time he disposed of his mercantile interests. He had also been engaged in surveying throughout Monterey county during the years in which he was connected with commercial pursuits. At the same time he carried on farming on quite an extended scale.

In 1885 Mr. Droge once more went to Europe, this time as a traveler. He spent a number of weeks in sightseeing, visiting the many points of interest both historic and modern in Europe. He continued there for a number of years and in 1892 again came to the United States, after which he continued to make his home in San Francisco until 1897. In that year he settled upon his present ranch at Tracy and has made his home here continuously since.

Mr. Droge is a Republican in his political views and has an intimate knowledge of the questions and issues of the day, but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking, although for a number of years he served as postmaster at chualar, California, while engaged in merchandising there. As his financial resources have increased he has made judicious and extensive investment in real estate and is now the owner of valuable and extensive tracts of land.

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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