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Calaveras County








            The fact that honesty, industry, and perseverance will triumph over formidable obstacles has been many times proven; but the story of the struggles and successes of self-made men is always interesting.  Any truthful biography of Charles A. Werle, ice manufacturer and the proprietor of the bottling works at Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras County, must of necessity be an endorsement of the value of the priceless qualities to which reference has been made.

            Charles A. Werle was born at Buffalo, New York, May 21, 1849, and is descended from German ancestry.  Michael Werle, his father, was born of German parents at Paris, France, and his great-grandfather and his sons were the owners of a flouring mill in the fatherland.  Michael Werle was only six months old when his parents brought him to America.  They located at Buffalo, New York, and there he was reared and educated and married Miss Rosilia Baumgarten.  He came to California in 1852, and mined at Mokelumne Hill with satisfactory success until 1858, when he went back to Buffalo, New York, and brought his family to California.  Locating at Mokelumne Hill, he engaged in freighting between Mokelumne Hill and Stockton and between Stockton and Bakersfield, Kern County.  He died in 1875, at the age of forty-seven years, of pneumonia, which resulted from a cold caused by his getting wet in Kern River, where he met with an accident in the prosecution of his business.  His wife survives him and is now seventy-two years of age.  Three children were born to them after they came to California.  William died at the age of five years; Estella when in her twenty-first year; and Mary is in charge of the telephone office at Mokelumne Hill.

Mr. Werle was nine years old when he was brought to Mokelumne Hill by his parents in 1858.  He attended the public schools there and finished his education at St. Mary’s College, at San Francisco.  He was engaged in prospecting and mining until 1874, when he established at Mokelumne Hill his present business of bottling all kinds of temperance drinks, with which he combines the manufacture of ice.  He has built bottling works and an ice factory and keeps several teams busy distributing his goods throughout the surrounding country.

            In politics he is a Democrat, and he was appointed postmaster at Mokelumne Hill by President Cleveland and held the office during that national executive’s administration; and his sister, Miss Mary Werle, was his deputy.  His success in life has been well earned, and he is widely and deservedly popular.

            In 1871 Mr. Werle married Miss Emma Fray, a native of Calaveras County, and they have five children, all of whom were born at Mokelumne Hill:  Charles William, Frank W., Lee, Herbert and Rosalia.  The latter is the wife of Victor S. Lagarmarsino and lives at Mokelumne Hill.  Mr. Werle’s residence is near his bottling works and most of the members of his family assist him more or less in his business.  Mr. Werle is a progressive and capable businessman who has material gains to show for his labor, and his public spirit is such that he is regarded as a patriotic and helpful member of the community.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 368-369. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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