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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


WILLIAM PLASMAN has been a resident of Ontario ten years, and in that time has gained a secure and enviable place in the business interests of the city as a real estate and insurance man, with offices at 204 South Vine Avenue.

Mr. Plasman was born at Holland, Michigan, April 14, 1879, son of Frederick and Henrietta (Brinkman) Plasman, farming people. William was one of eleven children, two of whom died in infancy. He grew up on his father's farm in Western Michigan, graduated from the Holland High School at the age of fourteen, and from that time he was diligently working to aid his parents in maintaining their large family. For several seasons he did work caring for the grounds of summer homes of Chicago people living around Holland. Even after reaching the age of twenty-one Mr. Plasman continued to give his parents some of his earnings, and he did this until he married and had a family of his own.

In 1902 he married Miss Margaret Slenk, also a native of Holland, Michigan, where her parents were farmers. She was one of a family of twelve children. Mr. and Mrs. Plasman have five sons and daughters, the first three born in Michigan and two in California. The oldest, Miss Hazel, who was born on Halloween in 1903, is a student in the Chaffee Union High School ; John W., born July 4, 1907, is in the first year of the Chaffee High School, is a real boy and a live member of the Boy Scouts; Floyd Leslie, born January 2, 1909, is also a member of the Boy Scouts and a grammar school student; Gertrude Dorothy, born December 23, 1914, and William, Jr., born January 27, 1918.

It was due to failing health that Mr. Plasman first came to California, spending some time in San Francisco, and San Diego, and then going to Pasadena, where he remained six months. Being much improved physically, he returned to Michigan, but on October 12, 1911, he and his family left that state and after a month at Pasadena established their home in Ontario. Mr. Plasman secured temporary employment with the Hot Point Electric Company, until he could embrace an opportunity to get into business for himself. While in Michigan he had subdivided a 30-acre tract, which was a part of his father's farm, and sold several of the lots, and he therefore had something more than a general knowledge of the real estate business when he came to California. On August 1, 1912, he began doing business as a real estate broker in Ontario and also as a representative of some standard fire insurance companies. He handles city and close in properties, conducts a rental agency, and successive years have brought him a very substantial patronage. Mr. Plasman since casting his first vote has been a prohibitionist, and has courageously fought liquor and its interests. He was registered under the draft during the war, but was not called to the colors. Mr. Plasman has made his own way in the world. When he left for California he had only three hundred dollars, but he has contrived to better himself and at the same time has worked steadily for the advancement of the community.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011