It is usual in reviewing the history of a county to think of its pioneers largely as men who have been active in claiming and developing the natural resources of the state, but the pioneer women have borne a no less important, if less conspicuous, part than the husbands and fathers. Their infuence has been a very potent factor and they have also performed their full share of work which has led to substantial upbuilding and improvement. Such a worthy pioneer woman is Mrs. Rebecca Ohm, now residing about ten miles south of Banta. She came to San Joaquin county in 1867, and with the exception of a period of three years passed in San Francisco has since resided at her present home. She is a native of Bremen, German, born on the 14th of January, 1846, her parents being German and Rebecca (Segilkin) Von Bremen, who were also natives of Germany. Mrs. Ohm was reared in her native country, where she remained until her twentieth year, when with a brother and two sisters she came to the United States, sailing from Bremen to New York city, and then by way of the isthmus route she made her way to San Francisco, California. She was six weeks in going from Bremen to San Francisco.

On the 12th of February, 1869, Rebecca Von Bremen gave her hand in marriage to William Riecks, a native of Hanover, Germany, and to them were born three children: William H., Herman A. and Carl F. The husband and father died June 8, 1879, and on the 14th of August, 1881, his widow was again married, becoming the wife of Thomas Ohm, who was born in Holstein, Germany. There were also three children by this marriage: Henry T., Bertha M. and Tonie A. Mr. Ohm departed this life on the 19th of July, 1886.

It was in the year 1868 that William Riecks settled upon the ranch which Mrs. Ohm now owns and occupies. He was one of the early residents of the neighborhood and in boyhood came to California, crossing the plains in 1856. He first engaged in agricultural pursuits in Livermore county, California, and subsequently settled in San Joaquin county, where Mrs. Ohm and her children now reside. He was numbered among the worthy pioneer settlers who took advantage of the natural resources of the state and who in carrying forward his own business interests also promoted the general prosperity and welfare of this portion of California. Thomas Ohm came to California in 1866 by way of the isthmus route, sailing direct from Germany to San Francisco. He arrived in San Joaquin county in 1868, and in 1881, following his marrige, he settled upon the farm now occupied by his widow, and continued there until his death. He was a public-spirited citizen and was widely known in his locality, because of his devotion to the general good. He favored all measures for the promotion of the social, material, intellectual and moral welfare of his community, and he held membership in the Lutheran church. His widow is also a member of that church and is classed among the representative pioneer women of her district in San Joaquin county. She has made many friends, and her own home in the New Jerusalem school district has always been noted for its gracious and cordial hospitality. Mrs. Ohm has seen many changes during the long period of her residence in California and has watched the development of San Joaquin county as it has emerged from pioneer conditions to become a factor in the progress and prosperity of the state.

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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