Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


The success of modern American laundrying is due to such talent for organization and such capacity for up-to-date enterprise, involving the use of the most approved methods and the most highly-developed machinery and appliances, as has been evidenced by Henry Gross, the energetic proprietor of the popular Salinas Steam Laundry and the Salinas Cleaning and Dyeing Works, in the town of that name. He was born at the San Juan Mission, at San Juan, in Monterey, (now San Benito,) county, June 16, 1867, a son of Charles F. and Ellen (Curley) Gross. His father, a native of Germany, was a genuine '49er, and helped to do things of importance in golden California before it was a state; he mined for a while in Tuolumne county and later located at San Juan, in the pioneer days of Monterey county. He worked in the New Edra Finch silver mines, drove burros loaded with ore, over the mountains from the mines to the shipping point. For several years he was town mar shall of San Juan. Five children, all happily living, grew up to honor this sturdy path-breaker and his devoted wife, a daughter of Erin's green isle: George, of Paso Robles, is the eldest; Henry, the subject of this review, comes next; Mamie, now the wife of Homer Hastings, of Los Angeles, was the third in the order of birth; Edward B., of Monterey, was the next youngest; while the last-born is Agnese, now Mrs. C. P. Krough, of Santa Cruz.

Henry Gross attended the San Juan district school, and then for years worked on ranches. He became proprietor of a hotel in Hollister, and later was proprietor of the Bardin Hotel at Salinas. In 1900 he first established a laundry business in Salinas, occupying the present site of the Index office on West Gabilan Street. It was a small plant, this first establishment, employing only four hands, and having a one-horse wagon for delivery but now his plant is thoroughly modern and fully equipped, having the best machinery, and employs thirty-eight hands, with four auto-delivery cars. His customers are scattered throughout the southern end of Monterey county and a part of San Benito county, as well as Salinas. The cleaning and dyeing works, established twelve years ago, are also fully equipped to do the best and most dependable work in those lines.

Mr. Gross was married to Miss Lottie Carlisle, a native of Woodland, Yolo county, California, and they have one daughter, Juanita Kathrine, now a student at Stanford University. Mr. Gross is a member of the Salinas board of education. He belongs to the Woodmen of the World, to Alisal Lodge No. 163, I. O. O. F., and is a past exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge. An expert trap-shooter and hunter, he is past president of the Rodes Game Club, and was a member of the Gavilan Gun Club, now disbanded. He was one of the organizers of the Salinas Rodeo Association, of which he served for three years as a director-general and has had a great deal to do with the widely famous rodeos held each summer at Salinas, which are among the most attractive and interesting events of the great west a genuine loadstone to thousands of visitors. Mr. Gross is a most interesting conversationalist and can relate the story of many adventures and absorbing occurrences personally witnessed by him in the stirring days of the past.

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.