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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


John Christensen

While the pioneers of early days did a noble part in paving the way for those who were to follow and continue the work which they started, the latter have been faithful to the trust, so to speak, and but for their combined efforts present-day conditions could not be portrayed in the glowing colors we see today. Without doubt one of the youngest ranchers in Sonoma county is Mr. Christensen, and it may be said with equal emphasis that it would be hard to find a more complete up-to-date apple orchard than is his within a radius of many miles of Sebastopol, which is his postoffice and market town.

A native of Nevada, Mr. Christensen was born in Douglas county in 1881, the son of Lawrence M. and Annie (Christensen) Christensen, the father of native of Denmark, but since 1866 a resident of the United States. In the same year that he came to this country he went to Nevada and settled on a farm near Reno, Washoe county, which continued to be the scene of his labors until locating in Douglas county, where he was living at the time of the birth of his son in 1881. When the latter was still a small child he was able to perform many duties on the home ranch, and year by year he undertook added duties, until at the age of twenty he was a full-fledged rancher. It was with the knowledge and experience gained under the careful training of his father that he came to California in 1901 and on the gold Ridge section, near Sebastopol, Sonoma county, purchased the twenty-acre ranch upon which he now resides. Here may be seen row upon row of as fine apple trees as one might wish to look upon, the most of them of the Gravenstein variety, although there is also a good representation of Kings, Spitzenbergs, Wagners, Roman Beauties, Baldwins and Bellflowers. Seven hundred trees of the ord=chard are old stock and in full bearing, while the remainder of the orchard, or six hundred trees, are young and just coming into bearing. Under present conditions he averages a crop of two thousand boxes of high grade apples, and from six to seven tons of dried fruit, representing the crops from eight acres, which is a remarkable showing and denotes beyond a question that Mr. Christensen has made a careful study of the special branch of agriculture which he has undertaken. A well-kept, up-to-date drying house forms a necessary equipment to the ranch, enabling him to prepare his own fruit for shipment direct to market. Mr. Christensen's accomplishment is another evidence that congenial work means success, a fact which is demonstrated anew from day to day.

Mr. Christen's marriage occurred in 1897 and united him with Miss Lena Heitman, a native of Nevada, and two children, Lawrence M. and Annie L. were born to them. The latter died November 14, 1910.

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