ADOLPH T. HERRMANN
DEPUTY UNITED STATES SURVEYOR
The subject of this biographical sketch, Mr. Adolph T. Herrmann, the well-known civil engineer and land surveyor, a Deputy United States Surveyor, and senior member of the firm of Herrmann Brothers, was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1839. He received his education in an agricultural college in Germany, studying land surveying and civil engineering incidentally. Leaving Germany in 1859, he spent some time in the Sandwich Islands, having charge of an estate in the island of Kanai, the most westerly and beautiful of the islands. He came to San Francisco in 1860, but as he contracted a chest disease there he remained only two years, returning to the Sandwich Islands. In 1865 he came again to California, and settled in San Jose, engaging extensively in land surveying and civil engineering. In 1872 he was elected County Surveyor, a position he held for two terms. During that time he established the boundaries of the county, fixed the grade and boundaries of the Alameda, made the first full and complete map of the county from actual survey, locating the roads, boundaries, names of owners, etc. The first start for a complete map for the use of the assessor was made by him, as was also the laying out and superintending the construction of the magnificent road to Mt. Hamilton. In connection with his brother, [see Charles below] he provided the fine system of sewerage of Santa Clara, and now, in 1888, is engaged in performing the same service for Santa Cruz. One of the largest pieces of work done by him in the county was the partition of the Las Animas Rancho, settling the land titles to that immense property. This was the largest partition land-suit ever had in California. Mr. Herrmann has located many of the main roads in this county, and also those leading to Santa Cruz and San Joaquin Counties. The firm has also done much of the Government surveying in San Benito, Monterey, Fresno, and Stanislaus Counties, as also surveying all the rough lands in this county. Mr. Herrmann’s parents are both still living in Germany, his father having been professor of philology and theology at Göttingen University and director of the Ritter Academy in Lüneburg, which was abolished in 1848. For generations the various members of the family have been military and literary men. A grandfather was a professor of the celebrated University of Leipsic. While the first Napoleon was in the plenitude of his power, this professor was so earnest in his speeches and efforts in urging the uprising of Germany against the French yoke, which culminated and ended in the dreadful battles of Leipsic and Waterloo, that Napoleon placed a price of 1,000 louis-d’or on his head. He was obliged to flee to Russia, taking with him Mr. Herrmann’s father, then a child, remaining an exile until the overthrow of the tyrant.
Mr. Herrmann has been a member of Garden City Lodge, No. 142, I. O. O. F., for nearly twenty years, as also of Mt. Hamilton Lodge, of San Jose, A. O. U. W. He believes in a just protection to American industries, and in a proper restriction of the immigration of undesirable elements.
Pen Pictures From The
Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated.
- Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy
FIRST COMPLETE MAP OF SANTA CLARA
SURNAMES: PURGOLD, HURST,
Charles Herrmann was born in Germany, in 1846, his parents being Adolph and E. (Purgold) Herrmann, both natives of that country. He was educated at the Polytechnic School at Hanover and Carlsruthe, in Germany, graduating in 1865 as a mechanical engineer. He at once accepted a position in that capacity on a steamer plying between New York and a German port, and also made one trip to New Orleans as engineer on the Saxonia. In 1867 he gave up this employment and devoted his time to the study of civil engineering and land surveying in Germany. In the spring of 1869 he came to California from his native land, via New York and the Panama route, coming direct to San Jose. Here he continued the study and practice of surveying, with his brother, [above]A. T. Herrmann, two years, when he went to Sacramento City and there was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, in his former profession as mechanical engineer and locomotive builder. After remaining there about two years, he returned to San Jose and resumed his occupation of land surveying, to which he has since devoted his time exclusively. He and his brother made the first complete map of Santa Clara County, which contains the subdivisions of land with the owner’s name, also the school districts, roads, etc.; this work occupied nearly two years, and the map formed the base of the assessments of the year 1873-74. From this all later maps of the county have been constructed. He has been elected County Surveyor of Santa Clara County three terms. One term he was obliged to resign the office and return to Germany to settle some affairs that required his attention. In 1882, when General Stoneman was elected Governor of this State, the only Republicans elected to office in this county were Messrs. Herrmann, Chipman, and Harris.
Mr. Herrmann was
married, in 1872, to Miss Helen Hurst, a native of Germany, who came with her
parents to this country when she was but four years of age. Mr. Herrmann owns
sixty acres of land about nine miles from San Jose, on the Young road, near the
Lieb orchard and the Hecney vineyard. This he intends to plant in prunes and
apricots. Mr. Herrmann is, and ever has been, an ardent adherent of the
Republican party, and believes in the protection of American industries.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy