The Valley of Heart's Delight

Henry A. Harms
American Biscuit Company
San Jose , California

An enterprising , experienced business man who is making splendid progress is H. A. Harms, who is employed as the representative for the American Biscuit Company in the Santa Clara Valley.  He was born August 10, 1863, in San Lorenzo, Cal, the son of August T. and Louise E. (Hauschildt) Harms.  His father came to California in 1859, and here he ws married and they settled in San Lorenzo, later moving to Pleasanton, where the mother is still living, but the father passed away in 1890, aged sixty years.

Henry A. Harms was born and reared in a farm and attended the public schools of Pleasanton, and when he  was nineteen he took charge of the hay and grain department in a general merchandise store at Pleasanton, where he continued for the following fourteen years.  On July 21, 1896, he located in San Jose, purchasing a one-half interest in the local agency of the American Biscuit Company, and at the end of a year bought his partner's interest , and here he has resided since that time, making steady progress.  He has built up a very good business, and in proportion to the population of his territory his sales rank with the highest.

Mr. Harms' marriage in 1897 united him with Miss Emma Koch, and they are the parents of a daughter, Helen, who is now Mrs. F. M. Braun, of San Jose.   Mr. and Mrs. Harms are very popular in social circles and are members of the Second Presbyterian Church of San Jose. Mr. Harms is interested in Santa Clara County and San Jose and is always for good measures that will help in the upbuilding of this commonwealth. He is a Knight Templar and a Scottish Rite Mason, in which he has attained the K. C. C. H., and a Shriner, holding membership in Islam Temple A. A. O. N. M. S., of San Francisco; also is affiliated with the Sciots, the Odd Fellows, and the Woodmen of the World.  He is associated with the progressive work of the Chamber of Commerce and the 100% Club, and is likewise a member of the Merchants' Association.

 A true American, he showed his patriotic spirit in the various war drives, and he he was very active as the chairman of the Fourth Ward district. He is on the board of directors of the Masonic Hall Association and the vice-president and secretary-treasurer of the Scottish Rite Hall Association.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. 1539
Palo Alto Soda Works
An enthusiastic advocate of municipal ownership who did much to further this civic development in the days of its adoption at Palo Alto, George W. Harms is also well known throughout the vicinity as a pioneer blacksmith of this city, though he has recently entered a new field, being.proprietor of the Palo Alto Soda Works. He is a native son of California and was born February 22, 1874, at Pleasanton, Alameda County. His father, Theodore August Harms, was born in Germany and came to California when a young man, and in Alameda County he married Louise F. Hauschildt, also a native of Germany, who came to California when she was eighteen years old. She died May 3, 1922, at the age of seventy-eight, but the father passed away more than thirty years ago. They were the parents of six sons and four daughters, two of the daughters having passed away.

The seventh child of the family, George W. Harms, grew up on his father's farm at Pleasanton, and at the age of sixteen began his apprenticeship in the blacksmith's trade, serving for four years in the shop of C. B. Steane at Pleasanton. On January 16, 1906, he came to Palo Alto and immediately opened up a blacksmith's shop of his own at the junction of The Circle and Alma Street, where the La Paloma restaurant now stands. Then he located at 426 High Street, and in 1909 he removed to 601 Emerson Street, where he continued until he disposed of his business in 1921. On March 1 of that year he became the proprietor of the Palo Alto Soda Works at 942 High Street, and has complete charge of its business. The products of this growing concern are sold all the way from Mountain View to Millbrae.

Mr. Harms' marriage united him with Miss Ethel McKenzie, a native daughter of California, and they are the parents of two children, Lloyd and Elizabeth, both in the Palo Alto high school. Mr. Harms has built two residences in Palo Alto and the family home is now at 680 Homer Avenue. When the plan of municipal ownership was in its early stages, Mr. Harms was one of its ardent supporters and a stout champion of the advantages during the days when the idea still met with considerable opposition. For three and one-half years Mr. Harms had charge of the collection department of the municipal water and light bureau, a post he filled faithfully and well. He has always been prominent in fraternal circles and is a past master of Palo Alto Lodge No. 346, F. & A. M., past high priest of Palo Alto Chapter, R. A. M., was first consul commander of the Woodmen of the World, past chancellor, Knights of Pythias, and for more than twenty years has been master of finance of the latter order. In politics he is a Republican.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. 1472

SANTA CLARA COUNTY-The Valley of Heart's Delight