California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
LOUIS RICHENBERGER, living on the old Rincon stage road, seven miles south of Chino, is a prosperous dairyman and farmer of this vicinity. Mr. Richenberger as a youth learned and became an expert cheese maker, acquiring that art in his native Switzerland. He came to California nearly forty years ago, and has lived in this state the greater part of the time since then.
He was born in Switzerland, January 17, 1858. His father was a Swiss cheese manufacturer. In the family were six children, the first three being sons, Louis the youngest. Louis Richenberger was reared and educated in Switzerland, and under his father acquired the art of making cheese. When he came to America in February, 1883, he was first attracted to the great dairy and cheese state of Wisconsin, but soon found the climate inhospitable and in the following December arrived at San Francisco, having made a tedious trip across the continent, a twelve daysí journey due to delays on account of snow and other causes. In California Mr. Richenberger negotiated with Governor Stanford and established for him the first cheese factory in that part of the state. He operated it very successfully for a year and a half. Then leaving California, he went to Tombstone, Arizona, but soon removed to San Diego. Mr. Richenberger once owned two lots in San Diego now covered by the Coronado Hotel. He sold these lots for forty dollars each. From there he removed to Bakersfield, and was a cheese manufacturer there four years. Then followed a two months visit to his native land. Altogether Mr. Richenberger went back to Europe three times, and spent all his savings each time. For two years he was a cheese maker at Phoenix, Arizona, and in 1898 returned to California and has since been identified with San Bernardino County. He bought twelve and a half acres of land and established a large cheese plant and dairy business, purchasing quantities of milk from surrounding farmers and manufacturing two hundred pounds or more of cheese daily. His special product, the Rincon Cheese, acquired a great fame and a broadening market. He continued in the business for ten years, and then abandoned cheese making and since has incorporated his dairy farm and sold his milk wholesale. Mr. Richenberger leases 380 acres and does farming on an extensive scale, operating two tractors and all other modern machinery.
He married Katherine Kuntz, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1868, and came to America at the age of sixteen. She first lived in Brooklyn, New York, and twenty-three years ago came to Chino. She had to master the English language after coming to this country. Mr. and Mrs. Richenberger have three sons: Alvis, born August 16, 1890, was educated in the Chino schools, married Miss Hazel Hayes on October 1, 1921, and had answered the call to the colors and was ready for duty when the armistice was signed. He is now associated with his father on the farm. Harold was born October 24, 1895, was educated in the Chino High School and is a mechanic. Albert, born March 4, 1908, is a student in the Chino High School.
Mr. Richenberger had no knowledge of the English language when he came to this country. He worked long hours during the day and attended school at night in Bakersfield to learn to read and write. He has had no help except that given him by his industrious and thrifty wife, and together they have accumulated a comfortable and substantial competency. He and his family are members of the Catholic Church, he is affiliated with Pomona Council No. 877, Knights of Columbus, and has always voted the republican ticket.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011