Among the worthy pioneer settlers of San Joaquin county is numbered Jacob Wolfe, who is likewise a leading representative of agricultural interests here and is well known as an apiarist. His home is located on an excellent farm of four hundred and thirty acres south of Lathrop, and the tract is under a high state of cultivation. Its fine appearance, however, is in marked contrast to the appearance which it presented when it came into his possession. Great Changes too have occurred throughout the county during his residence here, and he has seen its wild lands reclaimed for farming purposes while towns and villages have sprung up and all the comforts of an advanced civilization have been introduced. With the onward march of progress he has kept apace, as is evidenced by his fine ranch.

Mr. Wolfe is a native of Union county, Illinois, born on the 22d of September, 1832, and is a son of the Rev. George and Rua (Fogart) Wolfe, who were also natives of Illinois. The paternal grandfather, Jacob Wolfe, was born in Pennsylvania and was descended from German ancestry. The father was a minister of the German Baptist church, having devoted nearly a half century to that holy calling. He was known as Elder Wolfe and exerted a strongly felt influence in behalf of the moral development of the community in which he made his home. He removed with his family from Hancock county, Illinois, to California, in 1856, making the journey by way of the isthmus, and on reaching the Pacific coast he located in Monterey county, California, where he remained for a short time. Subsequently he established his home in Santa Clara county, California, where he resided for several years, and in 1860 he came to San Joaquin county, settling near the farm upon which his son Jacob Wolfe now resides. He was one of the honored pioneers of this locality and was a well known citizen, whose labors contributed to the material prosperity and upbuilding of the community as well as to the intellectual and moral advancement of San Joaquin county. He engaged in preaching the gospel, carrying the glad tidings of great joy into many a frontier community. He was a most earnest and logical speaker, and hs influence has caused his memory to be enshrined in the hearts of many who knew him. In all the various departments of church work he took a most active interest, and he became a bishop of the German Baptist church. He was ever tolerant of the opinions of others, while adhering firmly to those in which he believed, and he was a man of broad charity and wide sympathy. His death occurred in 1890 and thus California lost one of its most honored men.

Jacob Wolfe, the only surviving child of George Wolfe, was six years of age when his parents removed from Illinois to Lee county, Iowa, where he remained through the succeeding ten years. When a youth of about sixteen years he went with his parents to Hancock county, Illinois, and thence he emigrated to California, his wife and her parents being among the members of the party tht came by way of the Isthmus to the Pacific coast. Mr. Wolfe and his wife established their home in Monterey county, California, but soon afterward removed to Santa Clara county, where they remained until 1861, when they came with their children to San Joaquin county, where Mr. Wolfe has since made his home. He first purchased eighty acres of raw land, on which not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made. With characteristic energy he began its development and soon transformed it into rich and productive fields. To the original purchase he has added from time to time until he now owns four hundred and thirty acres of land, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation. His property is attractive in appearance and consitututes a desirable piece of real estate. While residing in Santa Clara county he turned his attention to bee culture in 1858 and has continued in active connection with this industry down to the present time. He now owns six hundred colonies of bees, and his son-in-law, B. C. Stuckey, who resides with him, has four hundred colonies. Mr. Wolfe is the pioneer in this industry in San Joaquin county, and his opinions are quoted as authority in all matters pertaining to the apiary. Annually he takes from the hives a large amount of honey, which is of excellent grade and quality and has a ready sale on the market.

In Illinois on the 6th of April, 1854, Mr. Wolfe was united in marriage to Miss Frances S. Lane, who was born in Ohio and is a daughter of Frederick Lane, a native of Virginia. They became the parents of the following children: George F., who is a resident of Hanford, California; John W. and Henry E., who are living in San Joaquin county; J. Milo, who is located in Lathrop, California; Emma, the wife of Frank H. Robinson, of Lancaster, Los Angeles county, California, now the editor and proprietor of the Lancaster Gazette; Nina M., at home; and Harriet, the wife of B. C. Stuckey, of San Joaquin county.

Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe are members of the German Baptist church, have taken an active part in its work and have contributed generously to its support. Mr. Wolfe is now serving as one of its deacons. In his political affiliation he is a Democrat, having firm faith in the principles of the party, but never seeking or desiring public office. He has served as a trustee of the Rustic school district, and is interested in all that pertains to the educational as well as the social, material and moral development of his community. On the 6th of April, 1904, he and his wife celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary, which was the occasion of a family reunion and an event long to be remembered by all who participated therein. Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe are numberd among the honored pioneer settlers of the county, and no history of San Joaquin county would be complete without mention of them. They have during the long years of their residence here won the favorable regard, good will and trust of all with whom they have come in contact, and in business circles Mr. Wolfe sustains an unassailable reputation, because he has ever been straightforward, prompt and just in his dealings.

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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