San Jose Brick Company
1888 Biography

 Bio-Pen Pictures

was born in Germany in 1850. His parents, Gustav and Wilemine Dreischmeyer, emigrated to the United States in 1852, and located at Chicago, where his father pursued his calling, that of brick-maker, until his death, which occurred in 1854. His mother also died in the same year. The family thus orphaned had a severe struggle for maintenance, and when but a mere lad Mr. Dreischmeyer was employed during the summer season in the brick-yards, at such work as he was able to perform, attending school in the winter months. He was employed in the yards at Chicago until eighteen years of age, becoming thoroughly versed in all the practical branches of his trade as a brick-maker.

        In 1870 he came to Santa Clara County, and was engaged as a foreman in the brick-yards of Michael Farrell, at Gilroy, until 1871. He spent the next two years working in the Redwoods. In 1873 and 1874 he rented a farm near the Twenty-one Mile House, on the Monterey road, and followed the occupation of a farmer during those years. He then worked at his trade as a journeyman until 1879, when he was employed as a foreman in the brick-yard of Michael Farrell for two years. In 1882, in connection with W. P. Dougherty and D. Corkery, he established the San Jose Brick Company, since incorporated under that name. Since that time Mr. Dreischmeyer has had the immediate charge and supervision of the two yards located on the South Pacific Coast Railroad, three miles south of San Jose. Mr. Dreischmeyer has devoted nearly all his life to brick manufacture, and is thoroughly skilled in all the practical details of his calling. This knowledge, combined with his energetic and sound business management, is rendering the enterprise a profitable investment. The San Jose Brick Company's brick-yards comprise one of the most important industries in the county, they being the largest manufacturers of brick in the county, and among the largest in the State. The magnitude of the business may be shown by a few facts. In 1887 the product of their yards was over 23,000,000 of brick, employing in their manufacture nearly 200 men. They consumed nearly 10,000 cords of wood in that year, which also furnished employment for a large force of men. The products of their yards, except what is used in the county, are sent to the San Francisco market, though their pressed brick is sent to nearly all important points on the Pacific Coast.


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. 584

1904 Biography
(note the name was spelled DREISCHMYER throughout this biography)

Bio- Coast Counties

The brick manufactory with which Hernry Dreischmyer, Jr., is connected is one of the most important industries in San Jose, the product being shipped to all parts of this section of the country and necsessarily adding much to the financial resources of the city.  Up to the present time San Francisco has used about thirty-five million of the San Jose brick which has won a reputation for excellence on account of the fine quality of clay from which it is manufacture. Mr. Dreishmyer has an unlimited  supply of this clay which is obtained from the banks of the Coyote creek, a purchase which he made shortly after entering business for himself in 1889.  At the same time he built a continuous Hoffman down-draft kiln, which burns coal screenings, and which has a capacity of five million brick.  Mr. Dreischmyer has met with success and the results of his work are evidences of the business ability, unerring judgment and keen foresight which have grough about the complete upbuilding of this industry , and made the owner one of the foremost financiers of this coummunity.

The Dreischmyer family is of German origin, the father of our personal subject, Henry Dreishmyer, Sr., being a native of Lippe-Detmold, Germany, from which city his father, a farmer by occupation, emigrated to Chivago, Ill., and there made his home until his death.  Hernry Dreischmyer, Sr., was a child when he came to America, and in Chicago he grew to manhood and learned the brick-maker's trade.  Decididng to follow the tide of emigration in its westward course he came to Santa Clara county in 1859 and established a brickyard conducted the same for a time.  Removing to New Almaden, this county, he engaged in the manufacture of brick in that location for two years, when he located in San Jose and continued in the same business.  In Gilroy, where he afterward located, he engaged in a brickyard for a time when he took up the lumbering business and at the same time was interested in grain-raising.  Through the misforutune of a fire he lost a greater part of his property about that time.  A few years later, after his return to San Jose, he became a stockholder in the San Jose Brick Company, and acted as manager of the yeard on Thrid and Keyes streets until they sold out.  He then engaged as a farmer and orchardist at mayfiled until his retirement from the active cares of lige, when he located again in San Jose, where he now makes his home at the corner of Third and Keys streets, at the age of sixty-nine years.  His wife Catherine Ashman in maidenhood, is a native of Hamburg, Germany.  Born of this union were six children, four sons and two daughters, the sons only surviving: Henry, Jr., of this review; Frederick, of Mountainview, superintendent and manager of the Kimball Brick Company; W. J., deputy sheriff of Santa Clara county and resident of this city; and Frank L., an orchardist and attorney, also of this city.

Henry Dreishmyer, Jr., was born in New Almaden, Santa Clara county, June 11, 1866, his boyhood years being spent pricipally in San Jose and Gilroy, where he received his education in the common schools,  At the age of ten years he was set to work as driver of a team on his father's farm, thus early being taught the energy and industry which characterize the Teutonic race.  In 1882, when sixteen years old, he came to San Jose and entered the employ of the Peterson Brick Company and remained with them for two years.  He then worked under his father in the employ of the San Jose Brick Company for the ensuing four years, at the end of which period he entered business for himself, leasing the site which he now occupies and putting in all necessary machinery, an gringing to bear all modern methods, which have resulted in the success that now numbers his business among the most important industries of San Jose.

In San Jose, November 26, 1903, Mr. Dreischmyer was united in marriage with Emma Zingg, who was born in Decatur, Ill., and came west with her parents when only a child.  In his fraternal relations Mr. Dreischmyer is a member of San Jose Lodge No. 522, B. P. O. E., and Palo Alto Parlor No. 82, N. S. G. W., in the latter organization serving as president.  Politically he adheres to the principles advocated in the platform of the Republican party, and always actively interested in public affairs he served for one term as a member of the board of police and fire commissioners.  In the interests of his business be belongs to the Standard Brick Association of San Francisco and wields a wide influence in business affairs.  Recently Mr. Dreischmyer invested in real estate and is erecting  a beautiful $5,000 residence at the corner of Eight and Marguerite streets.

History of the State of California of Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California- Guinn, 1904, page  1252
transcribed by cdf

page 1252

SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight