Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Henry C. Steinmetz, a pioneer blacksmith, of Pacific Grove, was born in Huron, Huron County, Ohio, February 14, 1866, the son of Jacob and Helen Augusta (Leonard) Steinmetz, the former a native of Germany, the latter of the Buckeye state. Mr. Steinmetz crossed the ocean to New York when he was seventeen years of age, and in the American metropolis plied his trade of harnessmaking. In the early '50s he came to California by way of the Isthmus, and in 1866 returned east and brought his family to the coast. He then set up his bench in San Francisco and later was employed in the customs house at Benicia. Going to Sacramento, he had a harness business there and later he went into the gold mines in Amador county, and also at Center creek, not far away. In 1884 he went to the Mission San Jose, in Alameda county, where he opened a harness shop and subsequently carried on business in Warn Springs. He died in San Jose. His surviving children are: F. J. Steinmetz, at Palo Alto; D. W., at the Mission San Jose; Henry C; and Helen Augusta, wife of Jacob Scanlan. Mr. Steinmetz was at one time deputy assessor of Alameda county and was an Odd Fellow for fifty years.

Brought to California when he was six months old, Henry Steinmetz went to the public schools in Amador county and then worked at the quartz mill. For a time he was employed in the blacksmith shop of M. Matteson in Livermore, Alameda county. He served his time at the trade of machine blacksmith at Mission San Jose, under Jim Stanley who became public administrator of Alameda County. Then he worked for four years in the agricultural shop of Byron Jackson in San Francisco and afterward went to Warm Springs, where he ran a shop for twelve years. Coming to Pacific Grove in 1904, he bought the Fitch blacksmith shop at 223 Grand Avenue, and has been in business here ever since. In the early days of his experience at Pacific Grove, horse-shoeing and wagon-repairing was a considerable part of his day's work. At that time the Mammoth Stables housed the stages and horses which took the people over the famous seventeen-mile drive, and horse-shoeing and stage-repairing were important parts of a blacksmith's work, there being only two blacksmith shops in town then. He now manufactures automobile springs and makes a specialty of hand-wrought iron work, forging and ornamental iron work for house hardware, his shop being well equipped with expensive, modern machinery.

Mr. Steinmetz married Miss Ada V. Shaw, a native of Hollister. San Benito county and they have four children: Howard William, now with the Standard Oil Company, was a musician in the band of the One Hundreth and Forty-fourth Field Artillery of the Fortieth Division, and saw service in France in the World war. Clarence studied the radio in Harvard College and was sent to the radio station at New London, Connecticut during the war. Esther is a student in the Teachers' College, at San Jose, Leonard is a pupil of the Pacific Grove high school. Mr. Steinmetz is a member of the First Christian Church, belongs to Monterey Lodge, No. 182, I. O. O. F. and is a representative of the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce.

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.