Contra Costa County











            JOHN N. DENKINGER. Among the numerous citizens of worth who from a small beginning have achieved success in the field of agriculture, the name of John N. Denkinger must not be overlooked. For more than forty years he has been closely identified with farming pursuits in Contra Costa county, Cal., which is still his place of residence. In choosing the occupation of a farmer Mr. Denkinger but followed in the footsteps of his father, Lawrence Denkinger, a native of Ahiengen, Wurtemberg, Germany, who followed farm pursuits all his life, passing to his final rest in 1878, aged seventy-five years. He wedded Miss Francisco Mak, a native of the same place, who died in 1835 when but thirty years of age. Of the seven children born to her and her husband, two were sons and five daughters.

            Having but little opportunity for attending school, Mr. Denkinger obtained but a meager education in the schools of his native place. He was born January 30, 1830, remaining at home until he attained his majority, and assisting his father with farm work. He then took passage for America in the hope of bettering his fortune, landing in New York City in January, 1853. Proceeding to Buffalo, he remained there a couple of months, then pushed on to Ottawa, Ill., and engaged in farm work in that vicinity for three years. He subsequently determined to go to California, and making the trip by way of the Isthmus of Panama, he arrived in San Francisco January 15, 1856. A little later he engaged in farm work near San Jose and for four years he gave his undivided attention to this work, spending the following two years in farming on his own account.

            It was not until the fall of 1863 that he found a permanent location in Contra Costa county, purchasing at that time two hundred acres of unimproved land on the Pacheco grant in the Mount Diablo valley. He immediately began to improve and cultivate this farm, and from time to time added improvements, also acquiring more land, until he now has three hundred and thirty acres, mostly under cultivation. The balance of the land was utilized for grazing purposes, as Mr. Denkinger also raised stock quite extensively. Since his recent retirement from farm pursuits he rents his land and makes his home with his son-in-law, Andrew Gehringer, who also resides in the Mount Diablo valley. By his marriage in San Francisco on December 27, 1863, Mr. Denkinger was united with Miss Emily Balz, who was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, September 10, 1835, and died August 30, 1900, aged sixty-five years. The children’s names are Marie, George A., Emilie, and Friedrich. Two are deceased. Marie is the wife of A. C. Gehringer, and Friedrich, the youngest, is a resident of Chicago. Politically a Republican, Mr. Denkinger has served both his party and his community as school trustee. In his religious belief he favors the Catholic faith.





Transcribed by Marie Hassard 03 April 2016.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1067-1068. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2016 Marie Hassard.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library