Bio-Pen Pictures

            This gentleman, a prominent fruit-grower and typical man of Santa Clara County, came to California from New York State in 1851, settling first in Colusa County.  He is a German by birth, the place of his nativity being Hesse Cassel, and the year, 1827.  He attended the public schools of his native place until he was about sixteen years of age, when he commenced learning the business of wagon-making in Marburg, Germany, completing his apprenticeship when twenty-one years of age.  He then emigrated to New York, and worked at his trade about three years, when he came to California.  He opened a wagon-making establishment in Colusa, in 1852, carrying on that business until 1856, when he purchased a farm in the same county.  In 1857 he revisited Europe, traveling in Germany, France, and England until the spring of 1858, when he returned to California, arriving in Colusa in April.  While on this visit he was married, in Germany, in 1858, to Miss Elizabeth Kraft, a native of Hesse Cassel, bringing her immediately to the home of his adoption, California.  He remained on his Colusa ranch until 1874, cultivating wheat and raising stock, in which occupations he did so well that when he sold out in 1874 he had about 6,000 acres of the best valley land.  In 1875 he purchased his present residence, No. 574 Second Street, San Jose, where he has since resided.  In 1881 Mr. Booksin purchased eighty acres in the Willows of Santa Clara County, thirty acres of which were already in fruit-trees.  He immediately planted the remaining fifty acres in trees, and now has one of the finest orchards in Santa Clara County, consisting of thirty acres of French prunes, twenty-five acres of apricots, fifteen acres of peaches, and the remainder of cherries, which are all in full bearing.  In 1887 this orchard produced about 250 tons of apricots and 150 tons of peaches.  The prunes yielded their first crop that year, producing about thirty-five tons.  Mr. Booksin has on his place a Fleming dryer, with which he dried a large part of the crop, receiving about $16,000 for the entire product.  The prune crop of 1888 will probably double that of 1887. 

            The parents of Mr. Booksin, John and Catherine (Rodehause) Booksin, were natives of Hesse Cassel, died and are buried there.  His grandfather was in America during the Revolutionary War, one of the Hesse Cassel soldiers who fought with the British.  His father was a soldier under Napoleon in the Russian campaign, being a member of the Grenadier Guards, going as far as Moscow, and participating in the famous retreat from that city.  He was later a soldier under Blucher, and took part in the battle of Waterloo.

            There were born to Mr. and Mrs. Booksin four children:  Louis, now engaged in fruit-raising in the Willows; John and Henry, living at home, and assisting their father in the fruit business; and Gienni, who also lives at home.  Mr. Booksin’s first wife died in Colusa, in 1866, and he afterward married her sister, Miss Katie Kraft.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Booksin and family are attendants at the Presbyterian Church of San Jose.  Mr. Booksin belongs to the Republican party, believes in the protection of American interests, and is thoroughly American in all his feelings and sympathies.

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. 389

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy