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Calaveras County







            Joseph Heinsdorff is a resident and a native son of Murphy’s and is one of the active, enterprising mining men of Calaveras County.  He was born on the 5th of July, 1861, of German ancestry.  His father, John Heinsdorff, was a native of Prussia, and came to the United States, locating in Murphy’s, California in 1850.  He engaged in mining at Mokelumne Hill, near this town, taking out on the flat in the town ten thousand dollars.  He afterward established his home in San Francisco, where he conducted a restaurant and boarding house on the present site of the Russ Hotel.  Later he returned from there to the Mokelumne River and with a company dammed the stream, expecting to secure large quantities of gold; but the enterprise proved a failure and Mr. Heinsdorff found that he had sunk much of his money there without gaining any return from it.  He then again came to Murphy’s, where he established a bakery and also purchased a ranch of one hundred and seventy acres just west of the town, on which he spent the remainder of his days, departing this life on the 29th of May, 1899, at the age of seventy-six years.  Of the Masonic fraternity he was an exemplary representative.  He was an upright and honorable citizen and a liberal, progressive man, and did all in his power to promote the prosperity and advancement of his town.

            In 1858 occurred his marriage to Miss Eva Maria Hauselt, a native of Germany who came to the United States in 1852, and to California in 1854.  Five children were born of their union, three of whom are yet living, as follows:  Mrs. William H. Jenkins, who resides at Murphy’s; Mrs. B. L. Weymouth, of Alameda, California; and Joseph.  The good pioneer mother still survives and is now in the seventy-second year of her age.

            Joseph Heinsdorff acquired his education in the town of his birth and for the past twenty years has devoted his attention exclusively to his mining interests.  He is one of the owners of the Hercules mine, near Sheep Ranch, out of which they have taken nineteen thousand dollars.  He is the owner the Rose Rock mine, three miles north of Murphy’s, and owns stock in the entire group of Heinsdorff mines in the one-hundred-and-seventy-acre tract of land which was left to the family by the father, and which the subject of this review is now engaged in developing.  He thoroughly understands mining in all of its departments and is familiar with the best methods of procuring the metal and of transforming it into a marketable product.  His efforts have been discerningly directed along the lines that have brought to him success, and today he is a well-known representative of the industrial life of Calaveras County.

            On the 12th of June, 1898, Mr. Heinsdorff was united in marriage to Miss Ella Smith, who was born in California.  They own and occupy one of the pleasant homes in Murphy’s and have a host of warm friends in the community.  Mr. Heinsdorff is an active and valued member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  He is a past district deputy and has filled all the chairs in the local lodge, acting as the secretary through the past seven years.  His political support is given to the Republican Party.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 567-568. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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