Gartelmann was born in Bremen, Germany, September 29, 1829. His parents, Henry and Mattie Gartelmann,
remained in Germany, where they died.
They reared a family of eight children, of whom the subject of this
sketch is the eldest. He lived on his
father’s farm until 1847, when he went to London, England. In 1849 he came to the United States, and
first located in New York. He was
employed in the mercantile business as a clerk, and afterward engaged in the
business for himself, in which he continued until 1854. From New York he went to Savannah, Georgia,
where he remained a short time, and then went to Philadelphia, and was employed
in a sugar refinery, having learned the business during his residence in
London. From Philadelphia he went to
New York, and soon after, in 1857, sailed from that port for California, via
Panama, arriving in San Francisco in August of that year. He engaged in the mercantile business at San
Francisco, purchasing a half-interest in a business at the corner of Dupont and
Pine Streets, where he remained for two years.
He then sold out and again embarked in business on the corner of Drumm
and Jackson Streets, and continued there until 1864. He then came to Santa Clara County, but still retained his store
in San Francisco, until it was destroyed by fire in 1865. This was quite a heavy loss to Mr.
Gartelmann, there being only a small insurance on the property.
When he came to this valley he bought 320 acres of land, in company with a man named Henry Wilbern, which partnership continued for two years, when they dissolved, Mr. Gartelmann purchasing his present property in the Collins School District, Fremont Township. The place originally contained 160 acres, and in the course of three years he bought another 160 acres. The land was mostly in its wild state, being covered with chaparral and trees, with only a small part of it cleared. Mr. Gartelmann directed his attention to making improvements on the place, clearing the land, building fences, and getting the ground in a state suitable for cultivation. It has cost him many a hard day’s work, together with other expenses, and he has lived to see good returns for his labor in the products of the place, and the great increase in value of the property. About seven years ago he commenced selling off portions of the land, and at the present time has sixty acres, all in a high state of cultivation. There is a vineyard of forty-five acres that is seven years old, and an orchard of about 1,200 trees, consisting principally of cherries and French prunes, together with a smaller number of other kinds of fruit, some of the trees being twelve years old. In 1887 the vineyard yielded about 150 tons of grapes. The present year (1888) he sold $86 worth of cherries from three-fourths of an acre of ground, besides supplying the family with what they wanted for home use.
Mr. Gartelmann was married, in 1859, to Catherine Mary Vordman, a native of Germany, who came to California the same year. She died April 28, 1887, the mother of six children, of whom four are living: Matilda E., wife of Theodore Brohaske, of San Jose; Katie M., Annie, and Daniel H., all residents of this county.
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