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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Herman Frederick Arenberg

Mention of the name of H. F. Arenberg at once suggests the patent brooder stove which bears the name of the patentee and manufacturer, whose product has simplified the chicken industry and been instrumental in no small way in making Sonoma county the largest chicken-raising center in the world. Mr. Arenberg makes no claim to being the originator of raising chicks with a stove by the does claim the credit for bringing it into popular use among up-to-date poultry raisers. The Arenberg brooder house distillate burner and stove is the embodiment of simplicity. The burner is open feed, and the flame and flow of oil are regulated together by a needle valve at the tank, there being no complicated parts to get out of order. The stove, which is made of good quality of sheet iron, is cone shaped, seventeen inches in diameter at the base, and thirty inches high, taking a five-inch pipe, which goes straight up through the roof. The first joint is furnished with the stove, in which the burner is set and connected with the feed pipe.

A house 14x20 feet would care for one thousand chicks, but with the same stove and a very little more oil, a house 20x20 feet would accommodate fifteen hundred chicks. It is suggested that the walls be five feet high to the eaves with peaked roof and without ceiling, and that the building be battened and all openings under eaves and at ends closed up. The stove has a row of small holes at the bottom edge which through out a stead light, so it is possible to see every chick by looking in the window. The light also helps to draw them around the stove when small, and later it gives them light to find a suitable roost. There are two heat deflectors or dampers in the Arenberg stove which keep the heat to the outer edge and down as low as possible, the hood also contributing in the respect, holding the heat down to the floor where it is wanted a feature not found in any other brooder stove. If there is one feature more than another that commends the Arenbert brooder stove it is its provision for ventilation, a feature found in no other similar device. Mr. Arenberg has been a close observer of chickens raised in both the ventilated and the “sweatbox” brooder houses, and it is his unfailing report that those raised under the latter process are not strong boned or well-feathered birds.

A native of Wisconsin, H. F. Arenberg was born in Hartford, Washington county, March 6, 1861, and in the vicinity of his birth grew to manhood years. With the close of his school days he at once set about preparing for the future by learning the cooper’s trade, later also learning the shoe-maker and blacksmith trades. All of this had been accomplished prior to the year 1883, for it was in that year that he came to California, with his recently acquired trade knowledge as his chief asset. He went direct to Edgewood, Siskiyou county, and established a blacksmith shop which he maintained for sixteen years, at the same time improving a tract of government land which he had taken up. Disposing of his interests in Siskiyou county, he came to Sonoma county and in 1904 took up his residence in Petaluma. Near town he purchased seven acres of land well suited to the raising of chickens, following this business in the old-fashioned way until patenting the stove which now bears his name. As the merits of the Arenberg stove became known the demand increased accordingly, until it became necessary for Mr. Arenberg to discontinue the raising of chickens himself and devote his entire time to the manufacture of the stove. It is now known and in general use all over the Pacific coast, which speaks well for its popularity, as does also the large number of prizes which it has taken. At the state fair in Sacramento in 1910 it received the first cash prize and gold medal, received the first cash prize in Petaluma at the Fourth of July celebration in 1910, and at the state fair previously mentioned received favorable comment as “the most meritorious invention at the fair.” His manufacturing establishment is located at No. 201 Washington street, and as an evidence that the Arenberg brooder stove is the most popular invention of the kind on the market, it may be said that Mr. Arenberg is enlarging his plant to accommodate the ever increasing output.

Mr. Arenberg’s marriage, which occurred in 1886, united him with Miss Elizabeth Ross. Fraternally he is well known, belonging to all branches of the Odd Fellows order, and to the Elks and the Woodmen.


History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011