California Genealogy and History Archives
The thrifty, sturdy dependable qualities which come to mind when mention is made of a native of the Fatherland, are not lacking in this well-known rancher of Sonoma county. For many generations the name had been associated with that land, and there both the father and mother of Mr. Dannhausen were born and passed their entire lives. Five children, four sons and one daughter, were born to the parents, and of the number one besides our subject became a citizen of the United States.
William Dannhausen was born in Germany in 1872. While the parents were not well-to-do, still they were able to give their children some advantages, and in common with other German youths they were given good common-school educations. As soon as William Dannhausen was old enough he began to contribute to his own support by working as a farm hand in his native country, continuing to do this as long as he remained there. In the hope of finding a larger outlook than he thought was possible in his own country, in 1897, at the age of twenty-five, he set out for the United States with a brother, first, however, going to the Hawaiian Islands, and after continuing there a year, completed the journey to the United States. The end of their voyage landed them in San Francisco, and from there Mr. Dannhausen came to Sonoma county and worked as a ranch hand, in the meantime looking about for a suitable location in which to settle. This he found in the vicinity of Santa Rosa, and in the purchase of the ranch on which he now resides he has realized all that he hoped for. Here he has forty acres of rich, productive land, in vineyard and orchard. At the time the property came into his possession the vineyard alone yielded on income of $900, but in the meantime he has more than doubled the output, the season of 1909 producing $2,000 worth of grapes. To some extent he also raises horses and cattle, but these are for his own use on the ranch and not for market.
In 1905 Mr. Dannhausen was married to his brother's widow who in maidenhood was Meta Pregge, a native of the Fatherland also. By her first marriage she became the mother of ten children, all of whom are attending the schools of Santa Rosa. The only child of her present marriage is Walter E., born in 1907. To Mrs. Dannhausen's parents (both of whom are living in Santa Rosa) ten children were born, six daughters and four sons, all of whom are living.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011