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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Bertel M. Karr

Persistent, painstaking industry has characterized the activities of Mr. Karr ever since he became a resident of California a quarter of a century ago. Coming hither in 1886 from his native land of Germany, where he was born in 1869 and where e had learned the rudiments of farming under the careful oversight of a diligent father, he was qualified for the difficult task of earning a livelihood in a strange land, with whose language and customs he was unfamiliar. Agriculture in its various processes he found radically different here from his own country, yet the fundamental principles were the same and it was not long before he had grasped the details of the occupation as conducted along the coast of the Pacific. For seven years after his arrival from the old world he remained in Marin county and worked in the employ of others, thence coming in 1893 to Sonoma county, where he has since made his home. For a time he was engaged as a butter-maker and acquired noticeable efficiency in the work, but of recent years he has concentrated his attention upon general ranching and at this writing leases and operates one hundred and seventy acres near Petaluma, lying along Rural Route No. 3. On the place he has considerable stock and also a poultry yard with two hundred chickens. As a rancher he exhibits energy combined with industry and intelligence fortified by sagacious discrimination.

The Karr family is of Danish extraction. The parents of B. M. were both natives of Denmark, they being Hans J. and Anna (Griesen) Karr, the former born in 1837 and the latter in 1838, but from early years they lived in Germany. At the old German homestead, where in their younger days they actively carried on farm pursuits, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary December 5, 1910, receiving at the time the congratulations of relatives and friends from far and near. They were parents of three sons and four daughters, namely: Jens, Peter H., Bertel M., Mary, Helen H., Anna M. and Christina. Peter is married and the father of two children, William and Edna. Mary married Peter Thuesen, a native of Denmark, and they have a family of three children. Helen, Mrs. Nels M. Jensen, of Petaluma, has one son and five daughters, viz.: William, Anna, Nellie, Ida, Wilmar and Gladys. Anna M., Mrs. Edward Koester, is the mother of three children, Edward, Edna and Mabel.

The marriage of B. M. Karr was solemnized at Petaluma in 1904 and united him with Miss Carrie M. Snyder, who was born in Iowa, but was brought to California by relatives in 1878, when she was only two years of age. Since then she has made her home in Sonoma county and received an excellent education in the local schools. Her parents were George and Ellen (Caraway) Snyder, the former born in Germany in 1840, and from young manhood a citizen of the United States. Mrs. Karr has only one brother, Charles M., also an only sister, Lila J., who married Scott Whitaker and is the mother of two sons, Ray E. and George M. Mrs. Karr shares with her husband the esteem of acquaintances and highest refinement. Politically Mr. Karr votes with the Republican party, but has taken little part in public affairs and never has sought the honors of office. In fraternal matters he holds membership with Petaluma Lodge No. 30, I. O. O. F., and has maintained a warm interest not only in the local lodge work, but also in the activities of the canton.

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