Rudolph Wittenbrock, in whose death at his home in Sacramento county, January 24, 1900, his community and the state at large lost a man of great nobility and integrity of character and unusual usefulness in the world's affairs, was a member of that now rapidly thinning army of pioneers who sought homes and fortunes on the Pacific coast during the early fifties.

Born in Prussia, in February, 1825, so that he had reached the age of threescore and fifteen when death summoned him, at the age of nine years coming with his parents to America and being reared mainly in virginia, in 1850, in company with his brother Henry (also deceased), he left St. Louis, Missouri, which had been his home for some time theretofore, and came out to California to seek a fortune by gold mining. After a brief experience in that occupation he returned to St. Louis, was there married on October 8, 1852, to Miss Elizabeth Boylston, a native of Maryland and of German extraction, and in 1853, with his young bride, he crossed the plains with ox teams and after a five months' journey arrived in Sacramento county, which was destined to be his permanent home and center of activity until death. Locating on a ranch five miles north of the city of Sacramento, he there engaged in the cattle and dairy industry for a number of years, later moving to the city of Sacramento, which was his home through the rest of his life. He was among those who early became interested in the hop-growing industry in this part of the country, and his widow still manages a considerable hop farm.

Successful in business and influential as a citizen, the late Mr. Wittenbrock held a place of high esteem in his county. He had won this place by his own industry and persevering labor, for he had very few advantages at the start of life and passed among his fellow citizens as one who had achieved all that he possessed. He was a Republican in politics, and was a member of the German Lutheran church. He was a veteran member of the Odd Fellows at Sacramento, and his interment was conducted under the ceremonies of that order.

Mrs. Wittenbrock, who resides at 1800 J street in Sacramento, is esteemed as one of the noble pioneer women of Sacramento county, for she has spent over fifty years in that county, and her mind, still bright and active, travels back through a long vista of remembrances of events that occurred at the beginning of California history. She is an attendant at the German Lutheran church in Sacramento. She was the mother of nine children, and the eight who are still living are named as follows: Clara, who is the wife of Adam Damn, of Sacramento; Mary, wife of James M. Morrison, of Sacramento; George F., a deputy sheriff of Sacramento county; Laura, wife of J. Gestner, of Sacramento; Emma, wife of William Heavener, of Sacramento; Mrs. Elizabeth Martine, of Sacramento; Minnie, wife of Edward Weil, of Sacramento; and Katie, wife of Henry Kleinsorge, who is connected with the D. O. Mills and Company National Bank at Sacramento. The deceased child was named Ida.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume I

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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