The Valley of Heart's Delight



PHOTO OF TANNERY-Grant Street-Santa Clara  1890

Senior member of the firm of H. Messing & Son, was born in Hesse Cassel, Germany, in 1824; remained in his native country until August 5, 1849, when he, together with his wife, came direct to California by the way of Cape Horn, in the Bremen schooner Julius,  which arrived in San Francisco on April 8, 1850. After trying his fortune in Southern mines, he located in Santa Clara County, working at different occupations until he accumulated sufficient means to buy a tannery in Santa Clara, together with Philip Glein and F. C. Franck, in 1859.  He sold his interest in the tannery, and located and established the business he still continues, first on Market Street.  Later he purchased property now occupied by his establishment, at Nos. 79 and  81 South First Street.  here he not only carries on the harness and saddlery business, but also the carriage trade, importing his carriages and buggies direct from Eastern factories.   They have established a valuable reputation in the saddlery and harness business, and supply dealers and individuals throughout the Pacific Coast, and also throughout the Territories.
Page 494 Pen Pictures 1888-transcribed by Carolyn Feroben

OBIT  for John H. MESSING- Mercury News Jan 21,1902
John Henry Messing who has been a  prominent businessman in this city for the past fifty years, died at 4;20 this morning at his residence on South Seventh Street.  He had been an invalid for some time and his final illness was occasioned by a severe cold, which developed into pneumonia.

John Henry Messing was born in Hese-Cassel, Germany in 1824.  He remained in his native county until August 5th, 1849 when he together with his wife came direct to California by way of Cape Horn in the Bremen Schooner Julius, which arrived in San Francisco on April 8, 1850.

After trying his fortune in the sourthern mines he located in Santa Clara County working at diferent occupations until he accumulated sufficient funds to  buy a tannery in Santa Clara, together with Philip Glein and F. C. Franck.

In 1859 he sold his interest in the tannery and located and established the harness and saddlers busines in his own building  adjacent to the City Store on Market Street.

In 1879 he removed to 81 South First Street, taking his sons into partnership with him, gradually increasing his business until it embraced a line of vechicles  of all kinds,.  Later the business of Hatman & Normandin on West Santa Clara Street was purchased and consolidated with that of H. Messing & Son, the firm occuping new quarters on West Santa Clara Street, where the business was continued without change until shorly before the death of the senior partner.

Mr. Messings life had been remarkabele for its application and integrity.  No taint of suspicion had ever attached to the slightes act of his long business career and his honesty has been rewarded by the accumulaton of an ample fortune.
He leaves a wife Mary, and five children, Rudolph Messing, Mrs. F. D. Hatman, Louis D. Messing, Fred Messing, and Adolph Messing.

The funeral will be held at the residence, 108 South Seventh Street, Thursday,at 2:00 pm under the auspices of the Masonic Fraternity.

BIO- Sawyers

Prominent among the substantial industries which have materially contributed to make Santa Clara widely famous may well be enumerated the Eberhard Tanning Company's plant, interesting as the oldest manufacturing concern continuously in business here, since 1848, when it was established by Henry Messing. It employes eighty men steadily; and while it is eveident that its total output is great, it has been maintained and increased its prosperity because it has never lowered its high standard of quality. It also has the distinction of being the oldest tannery on the Pacific Coast. As one of the natural consequences, and experienced, far-sighted and decidedly progressive men at the helm exert an enviable influence in the community in which they operate and live.

The company was incorporated in February, 1892, and Jacob Eberhard, who was a native of Kehl, Germany, and passed away in May, 1915, highly honored by all who knew him, was the first president, and he continued to fill that responsible office until his demise. He had married Miss Mary Glein, a native of Hesse-Darmstadt, and they had ten children all being born in Santa Clara.

The company makes a specialty of tanning skins of all kinds, even for tadxidermists, and they made sole leather, harness leather and especially leather for saddles--known to the trade as skirting--and they have in their time filled some very interesting commissions. The most beautiful and highest-priced saddle in the United States, for example, is owned by J.C. Miller, of the 101 Wild West Show. It is handcarved and set with gold and precious stones, and cost its owner $10,000. It was made by S.D. Myers, of Sweetwater, Tex.; and contains 166 diamonds, 120 sapphires, seventeen rubies, four garnets, and fifteen pounds of skirting with silver and gold. The leather in it was tanned and finished by the, Eberhard Tanning Company, and it goes without saying that it was the best that they could produce.

The present officers of Eberhard Tanning Company are; John J. Eberhard, president; Oscar M. Eberhard, vice-president; Miss M. Eberhard, secretary and treasurer. Henry P. Eberhard, who was its former secretary, died March 6, 1921.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922.


 Bio-Pen Pictures

            Jacob Eberhard, proprietor of the Santa Clara Tannery, at Santa Clara, is prominently known, not only in California, but also in many of the large islands of the Pacific and the various States where the products of his extensive tannery find a market.

            He was born in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, in 1837, and brought to America by his parents, Michael and Magdellena (Soth) Eberhard, when he was fifteen years of age, they settling at Galena, Illinois, where young Eberhard learned the trade of harness and saddle making.  He afterward traveled through Wisconsin, working at his trade as a journeyman until 1858, when in March of that year he came to California via Panama.  Here he was variously employed at his trade, or as a farm hand, or a miner in the gold diggings, until 1862, when he opened a harness shop in Sacramento, carryinig on that business there until 1865, when he came to Santa Clara and purchased the tannery that was founded in 1848, and engaged in tanning all kinds of leather for the markets.  Beginning on a small scale, he has increased its capacity to the largest of the kind in the State, requiring seventy men to perform the labors in its various departments.

            Mr. Eberhard is a plain, unostentatious man, who from an indigent journeyman harness-maker, has, by his industry, frugality, and good judgment, raised himself to the plane of California’s leading manufacturers.  His leathers, from the finest Moroccos to the heaviest sole-leather, are found in the marts of North and South America, the islands of the oceans, and of Europe.  In the community in which he lives he is highly esteemed for his integrity and benevolence.  He is a member of no church, but is a member of True Fellowship Lodge, No. 238, I. O. O. F., of Santa Clara.  In 1864 he was married, at Santa Clara, to Mary Glein, a resident of that village.  To them were born ten children, all of whom are still with them.

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. 286
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy