Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Hary D. Freiermuth, a lifelong resident of Watsonville and one of its most loyal sons, is engaged in the hardware and plumbing business and ably continues one of the city's pioneer enterprises. He was born October 17, 1879, and his parents were P. J. and Permelia (Chapih) Freiermuth, the former a native of Germany and the latter of San Jose, California. The father was very young when the family emigrated to the United States, and in Minnesota he was reared and educated. He came to Watsonville early in the '70s, when a young man, joining his uncle, George A. Freiermuth, who had preceded him to the city and was the proprietor of its first hardware and plumbing establishment. Under his guidance P. J. Freiermuth learned the tinner's trade and afterward went to San Francisco, where he served an apprenticeship to the plumber's trade with the W. W. Montague Company, a pioneer firm of that city. Returning to Watsonville, he embarked in the plumbing and hardware business in 1882 with a small stock, and success attended the venture. He moved the business to its present location at No. 247 Main street in 1897 and remained at its head until his death in 1904. He was highly esteemed in commercial circles of the city and won and retained a position of leadership in the lines in which he specialized. He was a man of marked public spirit and became a member of the old volunteer fire department, also serving for a term as one of the trustees of Watsonville. Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Freiermuth, five are now living: Harry D., Loretta, George P., Vincent J. and Theresa.

The public schools of Watsonville afforded Harry D. Freiermuth his early educational privileges, and he also had the benefit of instruction in St. Mary's College. When eighteen years of age he entered his father's store and zealously applied himself to the task of learning the business, which he mastered in principle and detail. On the death of its founder he became president of the P. J. Freiermuth Company, in which capacity he has since served, and the other officers are George P. Freiermuth, vice president, and A. M. Earls, secretary and treasurer. The business has grown steadily, keeping pace with the development of the city, and has now reached large proportions. It has endured for more than forty years, and the success of the company is due to the fact that the master formula of honor, integrity and trustworthiness has ever remained unchanged. Mr. Freiermuth has proven a worthy successor of his father, closely watching every new avenue opened in the natural ramifications of the trade, and is constantly enlarging the scope of the undertaking. He also owns real estate in San Francisco and receives substantial returns from his investments.

On January 25, 1902, Mr. Freiermuth married Miss Lou H. Webb, a native of Texas, and they now have four children: Peter J., Arthur, Ruth and Beth. Mr. Freiermuth has always found time for civic activities and for eight years was a member of the board of aldermen, doing much valuable work for the municipality in that connection. He is a faithful communicant of the Catholic church and belongs to Watsonville Council, No. 953, of the Knights of Columbus. He is identified with the local lodges of the Elks and Foresters, the Exchange Club of this city, and also has membership relations with Watsonville Parlor, No. 65, Native Sons of the Golden West. His breadth of view has enabled him to recognize possibilities not only for his own advancement but also for his city's development, and his public spirit has prompted him to utilize the latter as quickly and as effectively as the former. Mr. Freiermuth is widely known throughout the valley and possesses those qualities which never fail to inspire respect and confidence.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.