John Christ, who has served continuously as town marshal of Redwood City since 1887, is one of the successful retired business men of this place, where he has been established for over thirty-five years. During his lifetime, whose length is nearly that set by the Psalmist, he has traveled many seas and fared in many climes, has seen and experienced much of the world, has had dealings with men and with favorable and adverse circumstances, and after many years' connection with the business interests of California has practically retired from the "strenuous life" and is enjoying comfort and ease as well as the high esteem of his fellow citizens and many friends.
Mr. Christ was born June 8, 1838, in Gluckstadt, Holstein, now a part of the German empire, but at that time belonging to the kingdom of Denmark. His father, Neils Christ, was an officer in the Danish army, was retired and pensioned in 1847, and lived at his old home till his death in 1890, at the age of ninety-two years. His wife's maiden name was Margaret Rodges, who was of an old German family, and died in 1875 at the age of seventy-eight.
Mr. John christ received his education in the public schools of his native land. In 1854, when sixteen years old, he went to sea 'before the mast," and from an ordinary seaman, by close study of navigation, rose to the rank of second mate in 1858. He quit the sea in 1861, after having visited nearly all the countries of the world and made complete trips around the globe, and having spent considerable time in Australia and Chile. he arrived in San Francisco in 1861, and for about a year was mate of a schooner running to Sacramento and Redwood City. In 1862 he bought a schooner, of which he was captain and which he employed in a coast and river trade until 1868, in which year he located in Redwood City. He there established a warehouse and a wood and coal business, and also continued the operation of several schooners. He carried on these combined enterprises very successfully until 1896, when he sold out all his business interests, and has since been practically retired, giving most of his attention to his property and the executive and official duties which his fellow citizens have placed upon him.
In 1878 Mr. Christ was elected to the office of town marshal of Redwood City, serving for two years, and in 1882 was again elected for the same term. In 1884 he was chosen town trustee for a term of three years. In 1887 he was elected once more to the position of town marshal, and has ever since been honored with that place, having made a fine record. In politics he is a Republican. He affiliates with the lodge and encampment of the Odd Fellows and with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is a member of the Congregational church. He is an exempt, but still an active volunteer fireman.
He owns a fine home on Madison street, and it has been the scene of much domestic happiness for many years. In 1867 he married Miss Teresa Puttner, who was born in New York and was a daughter of Baron Charles Von Puttner, of an old German family. Nine children were born of this union, but four of them died in childhood, and a son, Cornelius, died at the age of thirty, during his short career having been recognized as one of the prominent young business men of Redwood City. The children still living are: Julia, the wife of L. D. Rathbone, a Congregational minister at Santa Rosa; George; Lottie, wife of Frank Wentworth, of Redwood City; and Olle, wife of H. Brace, a merchant of Redwood City.
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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