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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The first identification of the Kleinsorge family with the development of the west occurred during the mining era, Charles Kleinsorge, Sr., having crossed the plains in the summer of 1852 from the city of St. Louis, where he had settled immediately after his arrival from his native Germany. When he first landed in Sacramento he found a village of cosmopolitan attractions, the temporary head- quarters of miners from all sections of the world. Like other new-comers he tried his luck in the mines and followed other occupations that offered a livelihood, but eventually he returned to his old home in St. Louis and there he married Miss Mary Luebbering, a native of Germany, but like himself a resident of St. Louis from early years. The young couple crossed the plains in 1862 and experienced all the hardships and dangers incident to the memorable flood of that year. The home of the family was established in Sacramento, where the son, Charles E., was born August 23, 1865. At one time the father owned extensive tracts of land and engaged in the growing of hops. During the early days he also furnished supplies and outfits for mining camps. As a member of the firm of Kleinsorge & Bellmer he conducted the Old Plaza grocery, one of the leading establishments of Sacramento during the pioneer period. Now, at the age of eighty years he is living retired from business cares and is enjoying the comforts earned by long and arduous labors.

With a view to acquiring versatility in the use of the German language Charles E. Kleinsorge attended the German schools of Sacramento in boyhood and at the age of fourteen years he was confirmed in the German Lutheran Church. In addition he attended the public schools of Sacramento and was a classmate of Governor Johnson in the school occupying the present site of Hale Brothers' department store. After having graduated from the high school he entered the bank owned by D. 0. Mills and in which an older brother was employed until his death. For some time after the death of the brother he remained in the bank. Through the influence of Frank Miller he secured a position as night clerk with the Wells-Fargo Express Company, remaining two years.

A fortunate entrance into real estate activities began when Mr. Kleinsorge secured employment as bookkeeper and cashier for W. P. Coleman, at that time the largest realty agent in Sacramento. The position gave Mr. Kleinsorge an opportunity to familiarize himself with valuations, titles and other matters necessary to successful work in real estate. Eighteen years after he had entered upon the work Mr. Coleman died and thereupon Mr. Kleinsorge utilized his splendid experience and wide realty knowledge through his partnership with Otto L. Heilbron, thus founding a firm that has conducted a large business in handling property since 1904. The firm owns several tracts of land adjoining Sacramento and it is the intention of the two partners to subdivide the property into city lots at an early day, thereby affording home-seekers an excellent opportunity to acquire Iniilding sites at a reasonable cost.

The marriage of Mr. Kleinsorge occurred May 7, 1896, and united him with Miss Minnie Landis, who received a superior education in the Sacramento schools and is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their only child, Lydia, was born October 22, 1898, and is now a student in the public schools. Mrs. Kleinsorge is a daughter of Joseph and Lydia (Castleman) Landis, the former for a long period an associate in the railroad business with A. J. Stevens, a skilled master mechanic for years connected with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. By virtue of his birth in California Mr. Kleinsorge is eligible to membership in the Native Sons of the Golden West and we find him an active worker in Sacramento Parlor No. 3. In addition he has been connected with Washington Lodge No. 20, F. & A. M., also Columbia Lodge No. 42, K. P., besides which he is actively associated with the Sacramento Turn Verein. 

History of Sacramento 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: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011