Michael Broedel is a self-made man, all that he possesses having been acquired through his own efforts. He is now proprietor of the Pioneer carriage works in San Jose, and has built up a good business. He was born in New York city in September, 1857, and is of German parentage, his father and mother having come from Germany to the new world. He acquired his education in the public schools of Pennsylvania, and at the age of thirteen years put aside his text-books in order to earn his own living. He began working in a flx factory in Grenville, Pennsylvania, and later learned the trade of brick-making. In 1873 he came to California, locating in San Jose, and the following year he began learning the blacksmith's trade, at which he served a three years' apprenticeship. He was then employed in the same shop as a journeyman until 1883 and gained a comprehensive knowledge of the business, becoming an expert workman. In the latter year he removed to the vicinity of Alameda, where he opened a shop, conducting it until 1888. He then engaged in the vegetable and fruit business, but in 1890 returned to his trade and was employed as a journeyman blacksmith near Alameda.

In was in 1892 that Mr. Broedel came to San Jose, where he opened a general blacksmith shop and carriage works on Orchard street. In 1897 he removed to his present location at No. 551-555 South Market street. He manufactures only such carriages as are ordered and he makes a specialty of orchard trucks, and show wagons, for which there is a very large demand. The output of his factory is all sold on the Pacific coast, throughout Santa Clara and surrounding counties. He buys all of his stock from leading supply houses on the coast, thus insuring the best quality, and the product of his factory is always of the highest grade.

In 1880 occurred the marriage of Mr. Broedel and Miss Esibell Hamblen, a daughter of Alpeus Hemblen, an expert mechanic in the employ of the United States government in San Francisco. He has two sons, Charles X. and William M. Starting out in life for himself at the early age of fifteen years with no family or pecuniary advantages to aid him at the outset of his career, he has steadily worked his way upward, overcoming all the difficulties and obstacles in his path by strong and persistent purpose. Gradually he has advanced until he has gained a full measure of success and is well known as a representative of the industrial interests of San Jose.

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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