Characterized by the same energy, business aptitude and integrity that distinguished his sturdy ancestors, Charles David Herrold, the eminent electrical engineer and specialist in radio, head of the Herrold Laboratories and Herrold College of Engineering and Radio at San Jose, holds as high a position among the most respected residents of Santa Clara County, where he has lived for more than thirty years, as he does among the most capable leaders in the field of science in which, both in the prosecution of his own interests as a professional man, and in the services rendered by him to the Government during the late war, he has accomplished so much. A man of ceaseless activity and extensive enterprise, he has been intimately associated with the industrial progress of the Santa Clara Valley, and by wise judgment and prudent forethought has steadily built up the famous business which he originated. Mr. Herrold is known far and wide as one of the first radio experts to operate on the Pacific Coast, and this speaks for itself, considering the importance attained by that branch of electrical science.

Charles D. Herrold was born in Fulton, Whiteside County, Ill., a Mississippi River town, on November 16, 1875, the son of Capt. William Morris Herrold, a veteran of the Civil War, who was a merchant and owned a large flour mill and grain elevator, and who had married Miss Mary Elizabeth Lusk, a school teacher and Bible lecturer. Mr. Herrold served in Company F, Ninety-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and there as captain became one of the popular commanding officers. He was of an unusual inventive mind, although he had been denied a technical education, and he gave to the world several practical, useful inventions, including the automatic prune dipper, used in every prune section of the country; and the "jumbo" wagon, so constructed as to be able to turn in a very small space, making it especially useful in orchards. He was a member of the first Grange, and for a number of years he was a director of the Farmers' Union of Santa Clara County. He owned a fine ranch of eighty-three and one-half acres, highly improved with peaches and apricots, which he planted at Riverbank, as well as having developed several of the finest ranches in Santa Clara County. He died in 1919.

Mrs. Herrold—whose grandmother was among the first settlers in Illinois on the banks of the Mississippi—passed away on September 15, 1920, a year after the death of her lamented husband. There are two surviving sons—Charles David, the subject of this review, and George H., who resides in St. Paul, Minn., filling the position of city planner. Mary Elizabeth Lusk Herrold had written and lectured extensively on Bible subjects. There is a genealogy of her family extending back to William the Conqueror and dealing extensively with the d'Omphrey Villes and the Humphreys.

In 1883 Mr. and Mrs. Herrold and family removed to Sioux City, Iowa, and the following year took up their residence at Sloan, in that state. This was situated in a rich grazing district, where the educational facilities were very poor; but this did not deter Charles in his trend as a student, and aside from mechanics, he began to take an interest in natural phenomena. The only books on scientific subjects in the town were two volumes of Zell's Encyclopaedia, and these books were read from cover to cover until they fell apart from sheer use. Fortunately for the lad, a teacher who was above the average, J. M. Jaynes, arrived to take charge of the little school, and he gave him a good grounding in English and mathematics, and helped him to gain clear concepts of science, so that in less than a year he had so far progressed as to be able to build unaided a perfectly-working telegraph line, including all the instruments and batteries, and even the insulating of the wires used in the coils.

After the fearful blizzard of 1888—in which a school teacher at Broken Bow, Nebr., just across the Missouri River, was frozen to death and her entire flock of little children lost—the Herrold family took a trip to California, to try and restore the little mother's health, shattered by the rigors of a prairie climate; and on their return to Iowa, Charles wrote up the records of the trip and won the rhetorical contest in which representatives from schools in several Iowa towns took part. The same year, the family migrated once more to the Coast and settled permanently in San Jose, and from that time on the facilities for Charles' education, immediately taken advantage of, rapidly improved.

In 1891 he was able to enter the high school at San Jose, and he began to evince intense interest in astronomy; and the files of the San Jose Mercury contain reports of his work in building a telescope and driving clock, as well as the observatory, which still stands at Fifth and Washington streets. During this period, he came in contact with R. S. Gray, the president of the National Microscopical Society, and became an expert microscopist, and he also succeeded in taking celestial photographs with his telescope, especially those of the sun, using a high-speed, focal-plane shutter of his own construction. The immediate result of his work on the sun was the formulation of the theory that there was a direct connection between facular disturbances and terrestrial electromagnetic phenomena. It was at this particular time, too, that he commenced his work as a teacher; and in his small private laboratory- he trained students in' chemistry, among others Dr. Will Bailey and Dr. Arthur Smith, now of Oakland. Although deeply engrossed in scientific studies—or perhaps because of them, considering the relation of the work of Helmholtz, for example, to sound and music—he found time for a study of counterpoint and harmony and of the pianoforte in the Conservatory, and wrote several musical compositions illustrating what he had learned.

Shortly after his graduation from the San Jose high school in 1894, the first reports of Marconi's experiments with wireless telegraphy across the English Channel excited his interest, and stimulated his delving into the works of Herz, Maxwell and others relating to oscillating currents and electro-magnetic waves; and in the laboratory at Stanford University he saw repeated the Marconi experiments, and in his own laboratory at San Jose sent the first wireless message, transmitted sixty feet, in California. When he entered Stanford University, he selected astronomy as his major subject, and he was one of two students enrolled in the new department; but when Prof. W. J. Hussey was called to Yerkes, the department of astronomy was left without a head, and so our subject changed his major to physics.

Continued ill-health compelled Mr. Herrold to take a year's leave of absence from university work, and after having accomplished over three years' study, he associated himself with an electrical undertaking in San Francisco, with which he continued until all operations were cut short by the San Francisco earthquake and fire. During the period he was able to keep active, Mr. Herrold produced over fifty different electrical devices in dentistry and surgery, and he perfected an electrical deep-sea diving illuminator used by salvage companies and in the pearl fisheries, and he attained reputation as a pioneer in some remarkable developments in electrical machinery for pipe-organs. After the great disaster to the Bay City, he removed to Stockton, took up the teaching of engineering, and became the head of the technical department of Heald's College, where he remained for three years. Much important work was accomplished during this time. including the designing and constructing by student labor of a high-speed turbine and electric generator, and he also laid the foundation of subsequent developments in underwater wireless, the firing of mines by wireless impulses, and radio-telephony.

In 1909 Mr. Herrold returned to San Jose and established a radio-telephone station, for experimental work, the oldest active radio-telephone station in the United States. He also opened, in 1909, a school of engineering and radio, which has turned out over 1,200 students. Perhaps his most important work was the training of some 200 young men during the late World War, 130 of whom were accepted by the Government and given work at the various stations and shops, so that at one time many of the Government radio stations on the Pacific Coast were in charge of men who had been instructed by Mr. Herrold at San Jose. In 1910 he commenced developments on the radio-telephone, and after two years of hard work developed a system of his own which was tested out at Mare Island Naval Radio Station and at Point Arguello, in 1913, and he had the distinction of being the first to maintain a wireless telephone system for almost eight months in continuous operation between the top of the Fairmount Hotel and his laboratory in San Jose, a stretch of fifty miles, and this great scientific attainment was accomplished at a time when wireless telephony was unknown outside of a few technical and governmental laboratories. A number of patents were taken out on these inventions, and at present Mr. Herrold is engaged in developments in the clarifying of speech by means of the radio, and apparatus for the magnification of heart sounds.

Mr. Herrold is principal of the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless at San Jose, and the head engineer of the Herrold Laboratories. The electrical engineer, Robert J. Stull—a son of the late Judson L. Stull, of the mercantile firm of Stull & Sonniksen—was Mr. Herrold's first student, and a young man of decided ability, who is fast becoming well-known in the radio and magnetic-electric world. Their laboratory is located at 467 South First Street, San Jose, where path-breaking work, following experimentation of a high order, is being accomplished day after day. There is table room for twenty students. Mr. Herrold perfected a successful street and station indicator in 1917, which underwent rigid practical tests. He is an active member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, and also of the Institute of Radio Engineers; he holds licenses from the Government for land radio stations, for portable stations, and for scientific experiments in the radio line, and without doubt he ranks among the best-known of California's radio experts, and it is safe to predict that, as the Herrold laboratories will continue to make San Jose a leading radio center on the Pacific Coast, he will become more and more famous.

At San Jose, on October 20, 1913, Mr. Herrold was married to Miss Sybil May Paull, the daughter of William and Maud Eva Paull, formerly of England. Her parents came out to the United States and Montana, and for many years her father was chief of the Butte City fire department, where he was highly respected for his personal worth. Two children have blessed this union: Robert Roy Herrold and Donald Sanford Herrold. Mr. Herrold is genial, kindly, tactful and generous, and with his gifted wife, whose public spirit is in harmony with his, he takes a keen interest in all that pertains to the development of the West, and especially of San Jose and Santa Clara County. Mrs. Herrold assisted greatly in war work and turned out several expert students. A large circle of friends and acquaintances enjoy the hospitality of their typically California home, all the more interesting because of the scientific devices to be seen there. In national politics Mr. Herrold is a Republican, but he appreciates the value of giving nonpartisan support to the best men and measures proposed for the community in which he lives and thrives.

Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1293