of the New York Bakery, at No. 174 South First Street, San Jose, has been identified with the business interests of San Jose since 1860. He was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, in 1840, and received his education in his native city, attending the schools there until eighteen years of age. In 1858 he left home, since which time he has depended solely upon his own exertions, gradually building himself up to a position of independence. He landed in Baltimore, Maryland, December 24, 1858, where he remained two years learning the bakery business. In 1860 he came to San Jose and located, and worked at his trade for three years, and then began business for himself in almost the same location where he now carries on his business. He was married in 1870, to Miss Mina Bertlesmann, a native of Germany. They have three children: Henry,(see his bio below) now engaged in business with his father; Frederic and Louis, attending the public schools of San Jose.
        He is a member of the Independent Order of Red Men and of the San Jose Turn-Verein, and is an exempt Fireman, having served in the Fire Department for ten years, and also a member of the San Jose Board of Trade. In politics he is a Democrat, but believes in the protection of American interests. Mr. Doerr is a broad-gauge, enterprising man, active in the interests and development of San Jose. He has accumulated considerable real estate in San Jose, the portion situated near where the post-office has recently been located having lately greatly enhanced in value. 

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.

Pg. 587





A highly-esteemed citizen of San Jose who, after a strenuous, successful and most useful life, has been able to retire in comfort, is Charles Doerr, a native of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, where he was born on February 2, 1840. He attended the schools of his city, and when eighteen years of age he left home, to fight his way alone in the world. Depending solely upon himself, he gradually rose to affluence and independence--a splendid example of what a young man handicapped in various ways may do when blessed with courage and determination.

The city of Baltimore was the landing place of our subject, the day before Christmas in 1858, and there Charles remained for one year, during which time he learned the bakery trade. In 1860, he came to San Jose, and for three years worked as a baker for his brother, Philip Doerr, who came here in 1853; and then, in almost the same location where he later conducted for years the New York Bakery, he established himself in business. He came to know just what folks wanted, and he took the trouble not merely to give they what they asked for, but to anticipate their needs;and so he grew in popularity, and his modest business expanded until he retired in 1915.

In San Jose on March 13, 1870, Mr. Doerr was married to Miss Minna Bertlesman, also a native of Germany, and their union was made happier by the birth of four worthy children, all sons--the late Henry C.Doerr and Carl, who died in infancy, and Frederic and Louis Doerr. Mr. Doerr belonged to the San Jose Turn Verein, and he is also a member of the Independent Order of red Men, and a charter member of the Germania Verein. He was a Democrat in politics but for several years has been independent, voting for the best men and measures. He served in the city council 1895-96. Progressive and public-spirited to a commendable degree, Mr. Doerr has done good work in the Chamber of Commerce, and he also served in the Fire Department for ten years, so that he is now an exempt fireman. San Jose cannot fail to feel very kindly toward this estimable pioneer couple, Mr. and Mrs. Doerr, and this esteem and good will flow very naturally toward their family. Mrs. Doerr passed away at the family home on August 19, 1920, aged seventy-two years. They had lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary before she was called to her final rest.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 520


Bio-Coast Counties

Noteworthy as one of the most active and prosperous native-born residents of San Jose, and as a man of unlimited energy, keen perception and excellent executive ability, Henry Charles Doerr is deserving of more than passing notice in this biographical work.  As president and manager of the New York Bakery Company, located  in the Doerr building, on South First street, he is prominently associated with the manufacturing and mercantile interests of the city.  Of substantial German ancestry, he was born January 6, 1871, in San Jose, a son of Charles Doerr. (bios above)

Born and reared in Germany, Charles Doerr there learned the trades of baker and confectioner, becoming well skilled in each.  Leaving his native country in 1850, he came by way of Panama to California, and at once located in San Jose, where he soon bought out the business of his brother, Philip Doerr.  This brother was a pioneer settler of Santa Clara, where, in 1852, he bought a bakery that had been established in 1849.  He subsequently transferred his residence and business to San Jose, locating his bakery on the site of the present postoffice building, at the corner of Market and San Fernado streets, but afterward removing it to south First street, near its present location.  In the latter part of the year 1860 Charles Doerr bought this bakery and has since been iterated in its management, at present being one of the directors of the company, which was incorporated under its present name in 1898.  He has been very successful in his full share towards the upbuilding of the city.  He erected and owns the Doerr building, 91 x 100 feet, on South First street; the Minna building, 57-1150 feet, and three stories in height, located on San Fernando street; and owns two houses on South Second street, his own residence being at No. 266.  He is a strong Democrat in politics, and served one term as councilman.  He married Minna Bertelman, who was born in Germany, and came to this country with her father, Carl Bertelman.  The latter, who is a dyer by trade, is now eighty-two years old and makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Doerr, three children were born, namely:  Henry Charles, the subject of this sketch; Frederick, secretary of the New York Bakery Company (married Francis Botchrodt ) and Louis, a druggist, with the Wolf Drug Company.

Having acquired his elementary education in the public schools of San Jose, Henry Charles Doerr  further pursued his studies in the San Jose Business College and at the University of the Pacific.  Familiar with the bakery business from his youth, he entered into partnership with his father in 1892, and for six years was senior member of the firm of H. C. Doerr & Co.  In 1898 the New York Bakery Company was incorporated, and he as since served most efficiently as president and manager.  Located in the Doerr building, this company occupies a space about 40x 200 feet, and has a candy factory in which confectionery is made for the retail trade.  The bakery has been remodelled and enlarged, modern machinery has been introduced, and electric power is used for lighting and for moulding bread.  In the rear are large ovens, which have a capacity of five thousand loaves of bread daily. although the average output is but twenty-five hundred loaves. In the management of his extensive business Mr. Doerr employs twenty-eight people, and six wagons are used for delivering their manufactures. Mr. Doerr is also financially interested in the Garden City Electrical Company, which was formed for the purpose of installing electrical plants, and has been its secretary since its organization, its office being at No. 129 South First street.  He was also one of the organizers, and is secretary of both the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants' Association.

In San Jose Mr. Doerr married Elise B Cochrane, a graduate of Lake Seminary.   Her father, John Cochrane, came to California with the goldseekers of 1849, and was afterward engaged in farming.  Politically Mr. Doerr is a steadfast Republican, and fraternally he belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and to the Eagles.  He is likewise a member of Observatory Parlor, Native Sons, of which he is past president.

History of the State of California of Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California- Guinn, 1904, page 903
transcribed- cdf


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight