Bio-Pen Pictures

            German Senter, a retired capitalist and business man of Santa Clara, was born in Belfast, Maine, in 1810, but was reared in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and received only a limited common-school education.  He served an apprenticeship at Lowell, Massachusetts, to learn the trades of carpenter and millwright, both of which he followed for five years at different places in the East; then he went to Rock Island, Illinois, where he pursued his trades, until he went to Galena, Illinois, in 1846, where he worked in a plow manufactory until 1852; next he went to Warren, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, where he engaged in manufacturing plows until 1859, when, having to discontinue all business on account of failing health, he came to California by the Isthmus of Panama, locating at Santa Clara in November of that year.  He was intimately acquainted with General Grant, who, on Mr. Senter’s departure for California, cashed a draft of $500 for him to use as spending money on his trip.  He remained in Santa Clara until 1868, having by that time so regained his health that he went to Santa Barbara, California, and engaged extensively in real estate, buying at one time 8,000 acres of land on the Peninsula of Lower California, near Ensenado, where he resided from 1882 to 1888.  He returned to Santa Clara to reside with his son.  Although Mr. Senter has accumulated much property and is considered wealthy, he has seen much of the darker phase of life, and has met with many reverses, but he never allowed himself to become despondent on meeting financial losses, which he considered temporary and possible for him to retrieve.  He thought his only and great loss was when death entered his family and took his loved ones from him.

            He has been three times married, his first wife being Margaret Vader, whom he married at Ellington, New York, in 1834, and who died at Warren, Illinois, in 1854, leaving him eight children, only four of whom are living: Mrs. Hannah Carlton, of Warren, Illinois; Mrs. Emma Stout, of Santa Barbara, California; James, of San Diego, and John, of Santa Clara.  He was again married at Warren, Illinois, in 1855, to Mary Vader, a sister of his former wife.  She died at Warren in 1857.  His third wife was Mrs. Raphela Hill, relict of the late Daniel Hill, of Santa Barbara, whom he married in 1871, and who died at Santa Barbara in 1881.

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. 279-280
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight