John Frerichs is one of the venerable and honored citizens of San Joaquin county numbered among the worthy pioneers to whom the county owes a debt of gratitude for what they have accomplished in reclaiming its wild lands for the purpose of civilization and transforming the district into a profitable place with splendid improvements and opportunities. More than a half century has passed since John Frerichs came to California, the date of his arrival in the state being 1851. Travel at that time was very slow and people reached the far west either by a long train across the hot sandy plains or by water route leading around Cape Horn or across the isthmus. It was in the last mentioned way that Mr. Frerichs came to the Golden state. He sailed from New York city, crossed at Panama, and thence re-embarked for San Francisco, where he resided until 1868. In that year he came to San Joaquin county and settled near the present site of Tracy, where he has since made his home. His life history has been closely interwoven with the annals of the county, and if written in detail would give a correct and comprehensive picture of the experiences and conditions of San Josquin county from pioneer times down to the present.

Mr. Frerichs was born in Hanover, Germany, on the 14th of August, 1824, a son of John L. and Ana Frerichs, who were also natives of Germany. He was reared in the land of his birth, and when a boy began learning the tailor's trade in that country. He completed his apprenticeship and afterward worked at the business in the fatherland until 1849, when he emigrated to America, taking passage at Havre, France, in a sailing vessel. The voyage lasted about four weeks, and he then landed in New York, where for for a time he followed the tailor's trade. In 1851, however, he determined to try his fortune in the far west and by way of the isthmus route came to California as before stated. In 1868 Mr. Frerichs settled near Tracy, and since that time has been engaged with agricultural pursuits. While living in San Francisco he had followed tailoring, and on coming to San Joaquin county he turned his attention to general farming, which has since claimed his time and energies. He owns four hundred and eighty acres of land, and all is arable and well improved, indicating the careful supervision which he has given to his agricultural interests.

Mr. Frerichs has been three times married. By the first union there were no children. For his second wife he wedded victorine De vouch, a native of France, and there were four children by that marriage, of whom three are now living, namely: Josephine, the wife of Maurice Coffey, of San Jose, California; William, who is living in Tracy, California; and Edward, who makes his home in Fresno, this state. The present wife of John Frerichs was Magdalena Schneider, a native of Switzerland, and they had four children, who are yet living: George L., of Tracy; Henry A., who makes his home near Tracy; John L., who is living in Byron, California; and Bertha M., the wife of Amos McGee, also living in the vicinity of Tracy.

Mr. Frerichs has long been an advocate of Republican principles. Fraternally he is connected with Siegel Heim No. 7, Ancient Order of Druids at San Francisco, and is the surviving charter member. He and his wife are identified with the Lutheran church. He is among the oldest pioneer settlers of San Joaquin county, having reached the eightieth milestone on life's journey, and few there are who have so long been identified with the development of this portion of the state. He is now enjoying the fruits of a life spent in usefulness and honorable toil and he has a very large circle of friends in this portion of California.

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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