Nicolaus Koster, who is engaged in farming and stock-raising in San Joaquin county, his home being in the New Jerusalem school district, where he has resided since the fall of 1880, is a native son of the ftherland, his birth having occurred in Struvenhutten, Kr. Kalten Kirchen, Province of Holstein, Germany, on the 14th of May, 1855. His parents, John and Catherine Koster, were also natives of that country, and there Nicolaus Koster ws reared, remaining in Germany until nineteen years of age, when in 1874 he emigrated to the United States that he might take advantage of the opportunities which he heard were afforded young men of enterprise and capability. He sailed on a westward-bound steamer from Hamburg and ultimately arrived at New York city. He did not tarry long in the east, however, but made his way direct to Nebraska and resided for a time near Omaha in that state. In December, 1875, he came to California, was employed for a short time near Nicolaus, Sutter county. Subsequently he spent a brief period in work in Contra Costa county and later he removed to Oregon, where he continued, however, for only a brief period. In 1876 he came to San Joaquin county, and throughout the intervening years has remained here almost continously, settling upon his present ranch in 1880. He owns six hundred and forty acres of valuable land all under cultivation. He has made many improvements upon the proprty, and that it is now a valuable ranch well equipped is due to his untiring efforts and capable management. He is practical in all that he undertakes, and whatever he begins he carries forward to successful completion.

On the 9th of April, 1885, Mr. Koster was united in marriage to Miss Wilhelmina C. Hilken, of San Joaquin county, and to them have been born three children: Nicolaus, William and Wilhelmina C. Mrs. Koster was born on the 1st of May, 1865, in San Francisco, California, a daughter of John and Marie (Garlish) Hilken, both of whom are natives of Bremen, Germany. Her father came to California in 1849, when the state was largely unclaimed and unimproved. He engaged in gold mining and for a time made his home in San Francisco, after which he came with his family to San Joaquin county in 1869. He settled near the present site of Tracy and there spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1878. His wife, however, survived until 1892. They were the parents of the following children: Daniel H., who resides in Oakland, California; Gesiene M., the wife of John Rathjen, of San Joaquin county; Fredericka A., the wife of Harry Rhoads of the same county; Mrs. Koster; sophia M., the wife of the late William Schroeder, of San Joaquin county; Herman, who is living in the same county; John F., of San Joaquin county; and Charles H. L., of Oakland, California.

Mr. Koster has been a trustee of the New Jerusalem school district, and he and his wife are identified with the Lutheran church. The educational and moral development of the community are matters of deep interest and concern to him, and he is a loyal citizen who favors every project for local advancement. His business career is one which will bear close investigation, and in a county where he has so long made his home he has gained for himself an honorable name.

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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