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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Conrad Poehlmann

The honesty and whole-heartedness of the predominating class of our early settlers is nowhere better exemplified than in Conrad Poehlman, a well-known retired citizen of Petaluma. Now in his seventy-eighth year, he is still vigorous and kindly, adhering firmly to the highest moral principles, and is a typical example of the noblemen of the west, whose efforts along all lines of activity have wrought such wonders in Sonoma county. As the name might suggest, Mr. Poehlmann comes of German antecedents, and he himself is a native of the Fatherland, his birth occurring in Bavaria in 1833. The son of honest, God-fearing parents, he early in life had instilled into his mind the necessity for adhering to a high moral standard in all circumstances of life, and the training becoming a principle with him has undoubtedly been the keynote of the success which has followed him through life.

When his school days were over Conrad Poehlmann entered his father’s butcher shop and learned the trade thoroughly, and the knowledge of the butcher’s trade was his chief asset when, in 18 51, at the age of eighteen years, he came to the new world to begin his independent career. An uneventful voyage on the Atlantic ocean brought him to the port of New York in due time, and as his funds were about exhausted he soon sought work at his trade in the metropolis. Altogether he remained in New York for five years, in the meantime familiarizing himself with the language and customs of his new home and laying aside from his earnings whatever was not needed for necessities. In 1855 he set sail for Panama on the steamer John L. Stevens, and upon reaching the Pacific side of the Isthmus, re-embarked upon another vessel that finally brought him to his destination, San Francisco. Here he found an opportunity awaiting him in the establishment of a wholesale slaughter house, a business which he maintained with success for two years, handling Spanish cattle almost exclusively.

Coming to Petaluma at the close of his experience in the metropolis, Mr. Poehlmann readily perceived the need of a well-stocked butcher shop in the thriving town, and the one which he then established in partnership with his brother Martin is still in existence and doing a flourishing business, although both of the proprietors have retired from active business. The business was started on a modest scale, and was increased in size as the growth of trade demanded, the quality of meats handled always giving it the first place among the markets of the town. The brothers were amicably and profitably associated for many years, when, in 1880, Martin retired from the firm, and although Conrad Poehlmann has not been actively connected with the business since 1909, he is still financially interested in the business, which is now being conducted by his nephew, Henry J. Poehlmann. Personal affairs have not absorbed the entire attention of Mr. Poehlmann since he took up his citizenship in Petaluma, but on the other hand he has entered actively into the upbuilding of the community and not a little of its growth in various directions may be attributed to his leadership or co-operation. At the present time he is a director of the Petaluma Savings Bank, and at one time was a member of the board of trustees of the town, on which he served for two terms.

Mr. Poehlmann’s marriage in 1902 united him with Miss Kate Schleicher, who like himself was born in the Fatherland. Fraternally he is well known in Masonic circles and also in the Odd Fellows order, being the oldest member of the latter organization in Petaluma. His first vote after becoming a citizen of the United States was for Abraham Lincoln, and every national election since that time has received the benefit of his Republican vote, although in local elections he has cast his vote for the man best fitted for the office in question, regardless of the party which he represented. Personally Mr. Poehlmann is known as a broad-minded, progressive and public-spirited citizen, with the best interests of his fellow-citizens at heart. He owns considerable choice real-estate in Petaluma, among which is his fine residence at No. 319 Third street.

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