PETER RONKENDORF


Peter Ronkendorf, who follows agricultural pursuits at Roberts Island bridge, San Joaquin county, settled upon his present farm in 1871, and it has remained his place of residence continuously since. He now owns two hundred and seventy-seven acres of valuable land here and has placed it under a high state of cultivation.

Mr. Ronkendorf is a native of Holstein, Germany, where his birth occurred on the 12th of January, 1842. His parents, Peter and Abel (Olmuntz) Ronkendorf, were also born in Holstein, and there the subject of this review was reared to manhood, spending his boyhood days upon his father's farm and acquiring a thorough education in his native tongue. He was a young man of twenty-seven years when, in 1869, he emigrated to America, believing that he might have better business opportunities in the new world than were afforded him in his native country. He took passage on the steamer Teutonia at Hamburg, and after a voyage of twelve days landed at New York. He then made his way westward to Cook county, Illinois, where he was employed for several months, and in June, 1870, he came to California, where in the latter part of 1871 he settled upon the farm which has since been his home. To the development, cultivation and improvement of this place he has since devoted his energies and has thus become the possessor of one of the best farms of San Joaquin county. It is equipped with all modern conveniences and accessories, and his fields return to him good crops. Everything about the place is neat and attractive in appearance and the latest improved machinery is used in the operation of the farm.

In 1879 Mr. Ronkendorf returned to Germany and was married there on the 23d of March, 1880, to Miss Catherine Schluter, who was born in Holstein. They became the parents of two children, a son and a daughter: Henry P. and Annie C. The son is now a student in the mining and engineering department of the University of California and the daughter is at home. In 1902 Mr. Ronkendorf was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 12th of January. She was a lady who possessed many excellent traits of character and gained many friends, and therefore her death was deeply regretted throughout San Joaquin county.

Mr. Ronkendorf exercises his right of ranchise in support of the men and measures of the Democracy, but while he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day and has firm faith in the principles of his party he has never sought or desired public office, having always preferred to give his attention to his business affairs. He has served, however, as a trustee of the Fairchild school district and is deeply interested in everything pertaining to the educational, material, social and moral development of this community. His life has been characterized by strong purpose, guided by sound judgment, and his business career, thus crowned with success, has enabled him to more than realize the hope that led him to leave his native country and seek a home in America. In this country, where labor is not hampered by caste or class, he has steadily advanced on the highroad to success and is now accounted one of the substantial citizens and representative farmers or San Joaquin county.

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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