Contra Costa County











            ANDREW GEHRINGER. The arrival upon the coast of Andrew Gehringer March 19, 1847, was not in response to a craving for gold, nor yet to the spirit of adventure which led men forth from comfortable homes to dare the obstacles and dangers of the plains. He came rather as a soldier of the Mexican war, his patriotism aflame not for his own, but for his adopted country, which he afterwards served as one of the foremost promoters of agriculture of Contra Costa county. Mr. Gehringer was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, January 12, 1823, and in early manhood learned the trade of linen weaver. At the age of twenty-one he sailed for America, arriving in New York City in July, 1843. Though without knowledge of the language or customs of the people on this side of the ocean, he found employment on a farm near New York City, remaining there for three years, and then enlisted in Company H, First Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Mexican war. Aboard the Susan Drew he came with his regiment around the Horn to San Francisco, arriving March 19, 1847, and until his discharge was installed in the Presidio. Pleased with the climate and prospects of the far west, he went from garrison duty to the mines of Tuolumne county, and in 1851 moved to Santa Clara county, where he engaged in farming for twelve years. Supposing the land to be his own, he labored faithfully for its improvement; but owing to a defective title he lost his ranch of three hundred acres and was forced to begin life anew.

            In the fall of 1863 Mr. Gehringer located in Contra Costa county, purchased seven hundred acres in the Mount Diablo valley, two miles east of Concord, commencing to farm under discouraging and handicapped circumstances. As his spirit had never quailed before the cannon of the enemy, so his resource never failed in this his hour of financial trial; and as success came to him with the passing years, he more and more believed in the virtues of energy, courage and perseverance. He became one of the most honored and prosperous ranchers of his locality, and when the snows of age began to whiten his hair and his step to lose its buoyancy he was able to retire from active life with the consciousness that those dependent upon his care were far from want, and to loan out at reasonable interest the money which had been gained by his honest toil. In 1861 he married in San Jose Mrs. Henrietta (Rengstorff) Bollman, a native of Hanover, Germany; and of their union two children were born, Lena Christina, wife of Joseph McKean, who reside on the old family homestead; and Andrew C. Mr. Gehringer was foremost in all movements for the betterment of his district, and was a stanch promoter of education, being one of the organizers of the Lime Quarry school district, of which he served as trustee for many years. In politics he was a Republican, but never active. During the period of its pioneer development he had a wide acquaintance with the leading men of the state, and acted as guard over the assayer’s office while the first gold discovered in California was being assayed. His death occurred April 19, 1896, his wife surviving him until May 6, 1903.





Transcribed by Marie Hassard 02 April 2016.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1061-1062. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2016 Marie Hassard.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library