Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Charles A. Palmtag, treasurer of the city of Watsonville, vice president and a member of the board of directors of the Pajaro Valley National Bank of that city, treasurer of the local chapter of the American Red Cross and in other ways actively identified with the general commercial, civic and social activities of his home town, is a native son of Watsonville and has lived in that progressive and flourishing city all his life. Mr. Palmtag was born November 1, 1872, and is a son of Christian and Fredericka (Gerber) Palmtag, natives of Germany, born at Baden-Baden in the grand duchy of Baden, who were married in their native place and then came to the United States.' Christian Palmtag was by vocation a dyer of silks. Upon coming to this country he worked at that vocation in Philadelphia for some years, and then he and his wife came to California, driving through by ox team with a wagon train from Omaha to the mining settlement at Dutch Flat in Placer county. For several years he remained in the mining region and then came to Watsonville and bought the brewery which had for some time been operated at that place. He made extensive improvements in the plant and continued actively engaged in brewing until his death in 1881, when he was forty-nine years of age. His widow carried on the business for sometime after his death and then sold the plant. She continued to make her home at Watsonville and there spent her last days, her death occurring in 1912, and she is survived by four children, the subject of this biographical review having two sisters, Mrs. Emma P. Walker and Mrs. L. C. Diggins, and a brother, W. F. Palmtag, all now residents of San Francisco.

Reared at Watsonville, the place of his birth, Charles A. Palmtag was graduated from the high school there in 1890 and then took a course in Heald's Business College at Santa Cruz. Following this preparation for a commercial career he was employed as a clerk in the Pajaro Valley Bank at Watsonville, now the Pajaro Valley National Bank, and ever since has been connected with that institution, the largest banking concern in Watsonville. It was on November 2, 1891, the day following the celebration of his nineteenth birthday, that Mr. Palmtag became connected with this bank, and he ever since has been giving his attention to its affairs, by successive promotions having been advanced through the posts of clerk, teller, assistant cashier and cashier to his present position as vice president of the bank. He long has been one of the leading stockholders of the bank and is a member of its directorate, for years having been recognized as one of the foremost figures in local financial circles. At one time he was appointed city treasurer to fill a vacancy in that office and by two successive reelections is still serving in that responsible civic capacity.

In 1896 Mr. Palmtag was united in marriage to Miss Grace Truman Lee of Ta-coma, Washington, and to this union three sons have been born: Alvin, now deceased; Lloyd and Raymond Palmtag. The family has a very pleasant home at Watsonville and Mr. and Mrs. Palmtag have ever taken an interested part in the city's general social and cultural activities. During the period of this country's participation in the World war Mrs. Palmtag was one of the active workers among the women in behalf of the Red Cross and other war service movements and upon the organization of the local chapter of the American Red Cross during that period of national stress Mr. Palmtag was elected its treasurer and has ever since been retained in that position. He also took a leading part in stimulating local war work and in encouraging subscriptions to the various Liberty loans and was chairman of the committee having in hand the last "drive" in that behalf, the popular "Victory" loan. He is an active member of the local branch of the Young Men's Christian Association and has for years been one of the earnest promoters of that useful organization's activities. Mr. Palmtag is a member of the local parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, is a Knight Templar Mason and a Noble of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and is also affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

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.