Contra Costa County











            Worthy of note among the successful ranchers of Contra Costa county is Ernest W. Steding, who is located upon a fine ranch of six hundred and forty acres in the neighborhood of Brentwood, where he is engaged in intelligent and practical agricultural efforts.  A native of Germany, he was born June 7, 1837, a son of Frederick and Frederica (Meyers) Steding, and was reared to young manhood in the Fatherland, receiving his education in its excellent schools and the training of a thrifty German father.  When twenty years old he decided to immigrate to the western world, believing the opportunities for advancement would afford him a more rapid rise in prosperity, and accordingly, in 1857, he took passage for America.  On his arrival in the eastern states he secured employment as a clerk, after which he engaged in farming.  With his habits of thrift and economy he accumulated a sufficient capital to justify his purchase of seventy acres of farm land in Suffolk county, N. Y., where he remained until 1868.  Not liking the rigorous climate of the Empire state, however, he decided to dispose of his property and locate in California, coming west in that year by way of the Isthmus of Panama.  In Contra Costa county he took up a quarter section of land in the eastern part of the county, but as it did not prove as desirable property as he had expected, he sold out in the fall of 1871 and rented the Clark ranch.  Later he purchased this ranch and as his means permitted continued to add to his property until he now owns six hundred and forty acres of as fine land as the county boasts.  He first devoted the greater part of the ranch to the cultivation of grain, but in 1878 began to set out almond trees, putting out six hundred at first, but afterward planting two hundred and forty acres to this nut, as he observed the great success which accompanied the efforts of almond growers.  He has made various experiments in the fruit line, one of which was the setting out of one thousand grape vines, but dissatisfied with the results he took up all but enough to supply his own demands.  He has also a fine orchard of five acres, set out to prunes, apricots and peaches, while the remainder of his large ranch is devoted to the cultivation of barley and wheat.  He has made many improvements upon his property, the most notable of which was the erection of one of the largest barns in this section, following out his belief that a successful farmer must have sufficient barn room.  He has also built a handsome and commodious residence which has added greatly to the value of the property.  Mr. Steding raises all of his own stock, boasting as fine horses, cattle and hogs as are raised in the county.

            In 1862 Mr. Steding was united in marriage with Christina Swanson, who was born in 1839 in Sweden and died in January, 1887.  He second marriage occurred in July, 1888, united him with Wilhelmina Everdink, a native of Germany, and to them were born the following children:  Christina, Minnie, William, Mabel and Mary.





Transcribed Joyce Rugeroni.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 458-461. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2015  Joyce Rugeroni.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library