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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Carl Plow

The “Alpha,” as its name would indicate, is as near the first creamery in the land as science, intelligence and diligence can make it. It is the hobby and the pleasure of its proprietor, Carl Plow, as well as his occupation, and there is no patent or improvement in the dairy line that he does not studiously investigate and put into practice if he deems it for the betterment of his plant.

Carl Plow was born in Denmark, near Haderslev, December 24, 1863, the son of Thomas S. Plow, who followed the profession of teaching until his declining years, when, in 1908, he died at the old homestead in Slesvig, surviving his wife, formerly Catherine M. Vogensen, by many years, her decease occurring in 1872. The family consisted of six children, of whom four are still living, those besides our subject being Georgina, Mrs. J. Breckwoldt, of Petaluma; George, a farmer living near Albany, Ore.; and Christene M., a teacher in Denmark.

Receiving his education while at home on the farm, Carl Plow taught school for a short time, when at sixteen and a-half years of age, he came to the United States, arriving in New York July 4, 1880. An uncle, John Caltoft, a farmer near Petaluma, was desirous of his assistance on his dairy farm, and he was in his employ for one year, after which he worked for two years in the creamery business with John Vonson. With this training and preparation along agricultural lines, Mr. Plow went first to Novato, Marin county, where he managed a creamery and dairy for a year, then to San Antonio, on the ranch of Abraham Ward, which he managed for nine months, after which he rented the Ward ranch and engaged in the dairy business for a period of twenty years, or until the death of Mr. Ward, when he sold out his stock of one hundred head of Jersey cows and bought a ranch at Willow Brook on the Nicasion road, four miles south of Petaluma. Here he engaged in the poultry business for four years, when he sold out and located in Petaluma, where he started the “Alpha” creamery, his business being located in the Rialto building, where cream is delivered, there being an electrical power plant for the manufacture of butter, and shipment is made to San Francisco.

In 1900 Mr. Plow was united in marriage to Miss Anna M. Neilson, born near Als, Denmark, and coming to Petaluma in 1890. They are the parents of three children; Carl Thomas, Harold Raymond and Norma Catherine.

Mr. Plow is a very public-spirited and enterprising citizen, has served several years on the school board and is a member of many fraternal orders. He is identified with the Dania Society of California, of which he was elected the Grand President in 1899 and 1900, and has served as Grand Secretary of the order since 1906. He was made a Mason in Petaluma Lodge No. 180, F. & A. M., and is a member of the Eastern Star, Petaluma Lodge No. 30, I. O. O. F., Relief Encampment No. 29, the Canton and Rebekahs, Foresters and Fraternal Aid, Dana Society and the Danish Masonic Club, of San Francisco. To all these orders he is a generous donator. He is a man of sterling worth, integrity and genial personality, and his sincerity and good fellowship have made him a favorite in the business and social community.

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