Contra Costa County











     The success achieved by Mathias Berlingen since coming to California has been such as to number him among the representative men of Contra Costa county, where he made his home until 1895, when he purchased property in Oakland and is now named as a resident of that city.  Empty-handed he came to the United States in 1861, and after a two years' residence in Illinois came west to California and gave his best efforts toward the accumulation of a competence.  That he has met with success is evidenced by his fine ranch of four hundred acres, as well as his residence at No. 4399 West street, Oakland, making his home in the latter location while he superintends the work of the ranch.  The same qualities which have won his material success have won as well the highest esteem and confidence of all with whom he has come in business or social contact, and he deservedly holds a position of prominence among the citizens of this section.

     Born in the Rhine province, Germany, January 18, 1830, Mr. Berlingen is a son of Peter and M. Eva (Linehart) Berlingen.  Both parents dying when he was thirteen years old, he was left with the responsibility of caring for a younger brother and conducting a small farm which was their inheritance.   The business of the farm was successfully carried on by these brothers until 1861, in which year he left his brother and came to the United States, finding his first employment on a farm near McHenry, Ill.  In the fall of 1863 he came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in San Francisco December 26 of the same year.  Shortly after his arrival he went to Suisun City, Solano county, and worked on a farm until the fall of 1867, when he bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land at the Point of Timber in Contra Costa county,  His first improvement on the property was a small house 8x10 feet in dimensions in which he ate, while he slept out of doors.  His land being specially adapted to wheat he began the cultivation of this grain, in which he met with a gratifying success.  In the fall of 1873 he went back to his old home in Germany and spent several months, and upon his return married in San Francisco January 25, 1874, Mrs. Elsie Katherine Schnoor, who before her first marriage was Miss Baum, a native of Schleswig, Germany.  By her first marriage she has one daughter, Kate, who is the wife of Theodore Lenzen, of San Francisco, and the mother of the following children:  Victor, Alfred and Katherine.

     After his marriage Mr. Berlingen took his bride to the ranch home, where in time he put up a substantial set of buildings, set out shade and fruit trees, and in many ways added to the value of the property.  In the early '70s he bought a quarter section of land, and later, by another purchase brought the number of acres in his ranch up to four hundred.  In 1888 he rented the ranch and with his wife and daughter made a visit to Europe, where they remained a year, following this with another in1890.  In 1895 he purchased his present beautiful home in Oakland, and while he gives his personal supervision to the affairs of his ranch also devotes much time and thought to the cultivation of the grounds and lawns about his residence.  A man of energy and ability, Mr. Berlingen has combined with his efforts for a personal success a broad, liberal interest in all public affairs about him, and gives his best aid to the promotion of all movements calculated to advance the general welfare of the community.





Transcribed 10-6-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1344. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library