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Stanislaus County








            When we view the extensive interests controlled by one individual we realize that the day of exclusively small undertakings is past and the era of gigantic enterprises is upon us.  Alfred L. Gatzman is now extensively engaged in farming and stock-raising, having two thousand acres of splendid wheat and grazing land in Stanislaus County, seven miles southeast of Knight’s Ferry.

            One of California’s native sons, he was born in Stanislaus County, on the 20th of March, 1862.  His father, Thomas Gatzman, immigrated from Germany to Boston, Massachusetts, when a young man and was there married to Miss Bertie Reves.  He came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama in the year 1851 and for some time engaged in the bakery business above Sacramento, after which he removed to a good stock ranch north of Knight’s Ferry, there engaging in stock-raising for some years and subsequently took up his abode in Dry Creek Valley, Stanislaus County, where he made his home up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1888, when he was seventy years of age.  His wife still survives him and is now seventy-six years of age.  They had five children, three daughters and two sons.

            Alfred L. Gatzman, the youngest of the family, acquired a limited education in the district schools, but in the more rigorous school of experience he has gained a practical and complete knowledge and is now one of Stanislaus county’s most enterprising, industrious and successful farmers and stock-raisers.  He was married on the 16th of January, 1884, to Miss Elizabeth Emma Smith, who was born in Stanislaus County in 1857, a daughter of William A. Smith, whose birth occurred in Sangamon County, Illinois, and who came to California in 1852.  While en route to this state he was married, at Fort Kearney, to Miss Sarah Ward, a daughter of Isaac Ward, a wealthy farmer of Platte County, Missouri, who emigrated to California at the time Mr. Gatzman crossed the plains and became a prominent pioneer of San Joaquin County.  He spent three years in Oregon, thence removed to Shasta County, this state, and from there to Columbia in Tuolumne County.  Later he took up his abode in Dry Creek Valley in Stanislaus County, near where Mrs. Gatzman now resides.  He had two hundred and forty acres of land on which he made a good living.  Later he removed to the hills, where he owned fifteen hundred acres of land and was engaged in the stock business, first raising sheep and later cattle and horses.

            He died on the13th of February, 1898, at the age of sixty-five years, and the community mourned the loss of one of its highly respected citizens.  His widow still survives him and is now in the sixty-eighth year of her age.  They were the parents of thirteen children, of whom nine are still living.  Mrs. Gatzman was the fourth member of this family and by her marriage she has become the mother of eight children, as follows:  Lillian Alice, Flossie May, Rose Clarina, Alfred Edward, Mary Belle, Bessie Lee, Frank Raymond, and Fred Karl.  In 1890 Mr. Gatzman purchased the farm in Dry Creek Valley which had formerly belonged to his wife’s father and where she was born.  In now comprises part of his extensive landed possessions, for he today owns two thousand acres of fine land, which is devoted to the raising of wheat and livestock.  His wife is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land in the foothills.  Of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Mr. Gatzman is a member, belonging to Stanislaus Lodge No. 170, at Knight’s Ferry; also of Summit Lodge, No. 112, F. & A. M., at the same place; his wife holds membership in the Order of the Eastern Star.  In politics he is a Republican.  Having spent their entire lives in California and having long resided in Stanislaus County, Mr. and Mrs. Gatzman are widely known and their many excellencies of character have gained for them a high standing in the esteem of their many friends.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 749-750. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2011  Gerald Iaquinta.




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