An old pioneer family is worthily represented by Augustus A. Schoenheit, who was born in Santa Clara County in the Cupertino district August 31, 1872, the son of Augustus and Julia A. (Lutz) Schoenheit. The father was the discoverer and manufacturer of the famous Schoenheit remedies, and he was also the founder, in the pioneer days, of a drug business in San Jose. Born in the midst of the Thuringian Forest, in Saxony, Germany, December 12, 1827, his earliest youth proved a keynote to his novel and out-of-the-ordinary career. He was born in a humble mountain home, in a region offering great inducements to his father, John Schoenheit, a civil engineer and surveyor. Left an orphan when three years old, while still a small lad, Augustus Schoenheit removed to Moscow, Russia, where he lived with his eldest sister and there he attended the gymnasium, and later pursued his studies in a similar institution in St. Petersburg. He remained in Russia until he was sent back to Germany for military service, when he enlisted in the Third Jaeger Corps of the German army and advanced to first lieutenant before his twenty-first year. From 1848 until 1851 he saw service in the Schleswig-Holstein war.' After completing his military service he spent two years in the University of Gottingen, and there met Prof. William Seelig, his lifetime friend. In 1853, Mr. Schoenheit sailed from New York for California, crossing the Isthmus of Panama on foot. He suffered great privations on this trip, and after arriving in San Francisco mined at Coloma, in the Sugar Loaf district, in Sonora and Big Oak Flat, in the latter place hearing from the Indians that there was a place where the water came pouring down from the sky. Knowing that the Red men meant to describe a valley, accompanied by three companions, they proceeded in the direction indicated by the Indians. Going through a forest of big trees and wading through grass as high as man and beast, they came upon the great Yosemite Valley from the Big Oak Flat side, and were overwhelmed by its vastness and grandeur. With the exception of Hutchinson, who had been there a few days before, they were probably the first white men to enter this now famous valley, and they may be said to be the first discoverers and practical explorers, for they brought back the first description ever given of one of the greatest wonders of the world. This was in 1854. Returning to San Francisco, Mr. Schoenheit soon afterward came to San Jose and became a clerk in the first drug store in California, founded in 1849 by an Italian by the name of Davini. Some years later it was sold to Dr. Van Cannigan and Dr. Lee, under whom Mr. Schoenheit worked as a druggist. Eighteen months later he purchased the business, located on North Market near the corner of Santa Clara Street, the present site of the Rea Bldg. In 1858 he moved to Santa Clara Street, where the Smout building now stands, and in 1878 he moved across the street at the corner of Lightston Alley and Santa Clara Street.

Mr. Schoenheit made a  trip to Europe, traveling extensively in different countries, where he continued his studies of chemistry and pharmacy in the great centers of learning, and experimented with certain remedies which he desired to place on the market. In 1898 the business was removed to the
47 Letitia building at 72 South First Street, and he continued to manufacture his remedies. His liniment gained for him a world-wide reputation, as well as his other remedies. He married Miss Julia Lutz, a native of Hartford, Conn., and two children were born to them, Augustus A., of this review, and Sophia, Mrs. Geo. E. Merrill of Santa Rosa, Cal., a graduate of Stanford University. Mr. Schoenheit passed away in 1906; and his widow now resides at Santa Rosa.

Augustus A. Schoenheit's early education was obtained in the grammar schools of San Jose, when he entered Santa Clara College, on completion of which he attended Heald's Business College in San Francisco, where he was duly graduated. In 1893 he took active management of his father's drug business. Many improvements were made and the capacity of the manufacturing plant was increased and newer and more modern methods were adopted. In 1907, one year after his father's death, he sold the business and took a position with the Security State Bank; starting at the bottom he worked his way up until he is now paying teller. In 1912 he bought a thirty-six acre ranch on the Stevens Creek Road between San Jose and Cupertino and two years later moved on to it; he built a beautiful bungalow residence, and laid out spacious lawns. For irrigating his orchard he has a pumping plant with a capacity of 1060 gallons of water per minute
On June 5, 1901, Mr. Schoenheit was united in marriage with Miss Winifred MacLeod, a daughter of Edward and Elizabeth MacLeod, born at Somersville, Cal. Mrs. Schoenheit received her education in the schools of Santa Clara. They are the parents of one daughter, Helen Marr. [transcribers note------It appears Helen's married name was MOORE not Marr. See Insurance Company History below] In politics he is a Republican; he belongs to the Presbyterian Church, and is a member of San Jose Lodge, B. P. 0. Elks.

From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1087




SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight