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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The first representative of the Yoerk family in the new world crossed the ocean during the year 1832 and became a pioneer of Ohio, where he and his wife improved a homestead and remained until their death. While they brought with them to America the greater number of their children, there was one son, Christopher Frederick, the father of our subject, who had entered the German army prior to their departure and it was therefore impossible for him to accompany them. After he had completed his term of service and received his honorable discharge he married a young German girl and settled in Wurtemberg, where for many years he followed the butcher's trade. A spirit of intense loyalty to his community led him to accept civic positions and for fifty years he served his city continuously in some official capacity. At the end of his long and honorable service the city presented him with a diploma. When he passed away at the age of ninety-two years there was a universal expression of gratitude for his faithful labors as a citizen and a general appreciation of his sterling attributes of character.

Born in Wurtemberg, Germany, August 24, 1833, Charles Augustus Yoerk received the advantages of the excellent schools of his native land. At the age of twenty years, in 1853, he crossed the ocean to the United States and settled at Philadelphia, where he secured employment at $6 per month in a meat market. For four years he followed the butcher's trade in Philadelphia. Ambitious to try his fortunes in the then unknown west, he gave up his position in the east and came by the Isthmus of Panama to San Francisco, where he landed at the end of an uneventful trip of five weeks. From San Francisco he soon came to Sacramento, April 1, 1857, and secured employment at the butcher's trade, remaining for seven months. During the great gold rush to Fraser river in 1858 he went to Victoria, British Columbia, where it was estimated that thirty thousand men spent the following winter. Because of an uprising among the Indians, and having lost his money and even his boots, he remained in Victoria, and seeing the possibilities along the line of his trade, put up a tent and began to make sausage. That work kept him busy until the miners began to disperse and came by boat, sleigh and horseback to Portland. Thence they traveled by wagon to Corvallis, Benton county, Ore., where he engaged in the butcher business, but he soon returned by horseback to Sacramento, where he and Mr. Schwartz carried on a meat business for three years.

Upon disposing of his interest to his partner, Mr. Yoerk re turned to Philadelphia, where, June 22, 1862, he married Miss Margaret Lentz. About the same time he opened a market in that city, but a year later he sold out and returned to the Pacific coast by steamer, accompanied by his family. Late in 1864 he embarked in the butcher's business with Louis B. Mohr, and the connection has continued up to the present time, the firm meanwhile having greatly enlarged its business, with a corresponding increase in the returns. Subsequently they incorporated the Mohr & Yoerk Packing Company and erected the Mohr & Yoerk building on K and Eleventh streets, which covers a space of 80x160 feet and is five stories high. Two corporations were later formed from the firm, the Mohr & Yoerk Company and the real estate business of Mohr & Yoerk Realty Company. Three of the sons of Mr. Yoerk are stockholders and directors in the companies, and the two eldest, Fred C. and George P., have the management of the meat market in their charge. The youngest son, August, is manager of Hall, Lewis & Co., of Sacramento. The eldest daughter, Carrie R., resides with her mother. The younger daughter, Louise, married Eugene Nenhaus, a teacher of painting in the University of California. The eldest son, Fred C, was born in Sacramento May 23, 1865, and married Miss Uzilla Hand of North San Juan. From boyhood he has been familiar with the butcher's trade, and he still gives of his energy and time to the business so successfully established many years ago. Fraternally he is identified with the Woodmen of the World and Elks and also belongs to the Native Sons of the Golden West. In religion he holds membership with the German Lutheran church, and his parents, as well as the other members of the family, likewise adhere to that faith. Ever since the father became a voting citizen of the United States he had upheld Republican principles and that party received his ballot in local and general elections. Fraternally he was identified with the Masons for many years. To his adopted country he proved a true, loyal citizen, to the state of his adoption he was especially devoted, believing California's resources to equal those of the most favored sec- tions of the entire world, while the possibilities of the commonwealth in his estimation were beyond the vision of even the most optimistic. His demise occurred August 18, 1912, at the age of seventy-nine, removing from their midst one of Sacramento's most valued citizens. 

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