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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Henry Dahlmann

At the foot of Red Hill, Marin county, Henry Dahlmann was born July 18, 1863, the son of Henry and Wilhelmina (Starke) Dahlmann, the former born in Berlin and the latter in Bremen, Germany. The father came to California via Cape Horn in the early '50s, and after mining for awhile he settled on a farm of two hundred and fifty acres at the foot of Red Hill, Marin county, where he followed dairying until his decease, about the year 1869, his wife passing away the following year leaving seven children, as follows: Mary, Mrs. John Perry; Augusta, who became the wife of James King and died in Petaluma; Clara, Mrs. Christian Lauritzen; Minnie; Martha, Mrs. Peter Schumacker; Henry, of this review; and Fred, all living in Petaluma.

The brother of Mr. Dahlmann's mother, D. Frederick Starke, was one of the interesting pioneers of Sonoma county. He was born in Germany March 8, 1819. In 1845 he migrated to California via the Sandwich Islands, arriving in San Francisco on August 26 of the same year on a whaler, and while at anchor in Sausalito he deserted the ship, and, crossing through Marin county, he and his three companions came to the residence of General Vallejo. The officers of the ship followed in close pursuit, and he and his friends were compelled to flee to the mountains. They were employed by S. and B. Kelsey in the construction of a flour mill on Sonoma creek, remaining about five weeks, until the ship sailed when they returned. Mr. Starke then worked in the redwoods for two months, after which he went to Healdsburg, and was on the Captain Fitch ranch for six months. After a few months on Mark West Creek and a short time at Fort Ross, he returned to Sonoma county and, renting three hundred acres, followed farming. In 1848 Mr. Starke went to the mines, where he followed merchandising and placer mining for six months, when he again returned to this county, working on a steam sawmill on the present site of Freestone. He then tried speculating in lumber and lost all the money he had made in the mines. After farming in Bodega for one year he purchased one hundred and sixty acres two and one-half miles from Petaluma, where he resided until his death. He married on June 10, 1858, Miss Minna Hastler, born in Germany, January 23, 1822.

Henry Dahlmann was left an orphan and was reared on the farm by his uncle D. Frederick Starke, where he grew to manhood, having had the advantages of the public schools of the Wilson district. After his uncle's death he too charge of the place and was engaged in horticulture and the poultry business until 1899, when he located in Petaluma, at that time owning Cedar Grove Park, twenty four acres, in Petaluma. He resided there for some years, when he sold it at a good profit. In the meantime he became foreman of the George P. McNear feed store, a position he has faithfully held ever since. There is probably no individual in Petaluma that has so large an acquaintance in Sonoma and Marin counties among the ranchers as he, and having a splendid memory, he as a fund of information.

The marriage of Henry Dahlmann and Miss Georgia Ray took place in Wilmington, Ill. Mrs. Dahlmann died June 25, 1903, leaving seven children: Henry Wadsworth; Alba Flora, in the employ of the Western Pacific Railroad Company of San Francisco; Georgia Wilhelmina, with Hinz & Landt, wholesale milliners of San Francisco; Eugene, Eunice, Gladys and Miriam.

Fraternally Mr. Dahlmann is a member of the Odd Fellows, and the Encampment, the Woodmen of the World and the Women of Woodcraft. He is truly a self made man, having made his own way and is now occupying a responsible position, which he is filling with credit and satisfaction.

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