When J. Carsten Grupe passed away on July 7, 1889, California and San Joaquin county, in particular, lost one of their most useful citizens and esteemed pioneers, a man who was among the famous forty-niners, who for many years stood in the first rank among agriculturists, and who for manhood integrity and large-hearted citizenship was held in the highest esteem wherever known.

Mr. Grupe was a true American in all essential qualifications, notwithstanding a foreign nativity and early rearing. He was born in his German fatherland, September 18, 1828. He received the standard German schooling, and was trained to useful and thrifty habits when a youth. In 1846 he emigrated to America, and for several subsequent years was engaged in the grocery business in New York city. In 1849 he embarked on a sailing vessel which brought him on the long voyage around the Horn to California. He had been attracted to the coast by the gold prospects, and for a time he was engaged in mining for the precious metal in Calaveras county. He later also turned his attention to freighting. In the spring of 1852 he returned to his home across the ocean, remaining there until the following fall, when he once more crossed the Atlantic to America. On December 1, 1852, he was united in marriage with Miss Catherine m. Behnke, who was born in Germany, near Bremen, October 14, 1831, being a daughter of John Behnke. When she was a girl of ten years she lost her mother, and in the following year she was orphaned by the death of her father. She emigrated to America in 1851.

Immediately after his marriage Mr. Grupe brought his wife out to California by way of the Panama route, and from San Francisco came direct to San Joaquin county. He located on land near the present site of Linden, and began his very successful agricultural career by taking up eighty acres of government land. he later settled at what is known as the Grupe homestead, near Linden, where he first purchased three hundred and twenty acres. He was a man of remarkable industry, thrift and sagacious management in all business transactions, as is shown by the fact that at his death his estate comprised thirteen hundred and sixty acres of fine San Joaquin valley land. This estate, known as the Woodlawn Farm, is superintended at the present writing by the son Charles H. Grupe, who is himself a progressive and enterprising agriculturist, in politics a Democratic, and has in a worthy manner maintained the high standard of efficiency and success set by the elder Grupe. The Grupe homestead is one of the finest in the vicinity, has excellent improvements and bears all the evidences of good cultivation, and is a property of which the present owners may well be proud, and which serves as a fit memorial to the life and career of the late J. Carsten Grupe. For many years Mr. Grupe made a specialty of raising fine Durham cattle.

As regarded political affairs Mr. Grupe was classed as an independent Democrat. he was a member of the San Joaquin Society of California Pioneers, and his widow belongs to the ladies' auxiliary of that organization. He was a member of the German Lutheran church at Stockton, nd his family also adhere to that faith. He was an active worker in the religious, institutional and business affairs of his community, was always known for his truth and loyalty to principle, and during almost forty years of continuous residence in one section of the state retained the high regard of all his friends and business associates. Mrs. Grupe, the companion of his activity for nearly forty years, is now past the age of threescore and ten years, and lives in the enjoyment of the comforts and blessing which came to herself and her husband through their diligent efforts in younger years.

Eight children were born to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Grupe; Hattie, who is the wife of H. Holman, proprietor of the United States Hotel at Stockton; Kittie C., the wife of W. C. Ramsey, proprietor of the Stockton Business College; Doris R., wife of C. A. Stowe, of Stockton; G. henry, in San Joaquin county; John C., in San Joaquin county; Mattie A., wife of Stark B. Smith, of San Joaquin county; Charles H., mentioned above; and George W., of Stockton.

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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