Biography of Charles N. Stahl
Imperial County, CA Biographies





CHARLES N. STAHL - The history of Charles N. Stahl and that of his brothers and two sisters is thoroughly interwoven with the pioneer day history of the great Imperial Valley. Mr. Stahl was born at Winesburg, Ohio, December 11, 1872. His father, Valentine Stahl, was born in the same village and his grandfather, John Stahl, was one of the earliest settlers in Ohio, coming to that state when cities like Cleveland and Columbus were mere hamlets. His mother, Elizabeth Stahl, was born in Switzerland of Swiss and French ancestry. She came to America when she was eight years old and with her husband is still living on the old Stahl homestead. Mr. Stahl received his education in the public schools and also has been a student at the Washington State Agricultural College. He spent ten years of his life in the school room as teacher, teaching in the states of Ohio, Nebraska and Washington. In 1903 Mr. Stahl and several of his brothers came to the Imperial Valley. Of course the entire valley was then an almost absolute desert. The hummocks and creosote bush were thick where Brawley now stands; a few adobe huts were under construction and a lateral ditch had been constructed as far as Brawley. There was lots of elbow room and optimism permeating everybody, even the Mexican adobe maker seeking shelter from the burning sun behind a stack of adobe bricks, talked of cities and farms. The Stahl Brothers came to Imperial Valley to pioneer and farm. They soon took up some land and leased a great deal more and for several years engaged extensively in farming. When the Colorado River in 1903 went on a rampage, and many of the settlers were in despair, some driving their stock across the mountains to San Diego and coast points, W. F. Holt was giving the people an object lesson in optimism by erecting the present Imperial Valley bank building. It was then that Mr. Stahl and some of his brothers decided to invest their surplus in a mercantile venture. They leased a store room from Mr. Holt and started in the business. The store was a success from the start and soon outgrew its store room capacity. After several years at the old location the store was moved to its present location and has grown to be one of the largest and most up-to-date clothing and dry goods stores in the county. Besides being interested in the mercantile business, Mr. Stahl owns three 80 acre ranches close to Brawley, and with his brothers owns three of the best business blocks in Brawley. Mr Stahl helped to establish the cantaloupe and vegetable industry at Brawley. He was for several years vice president of the Imperial Valley Bank. He has always been a Brawley booster and in various ways has helped to make Bradley a better and bigger city. Mr. Stahl was married to Miss Lucy Henderson on December 27, 1913. They have two children: Mary Elizabeth and Charles, Jr.

From:
The History of Imperial County, California
Edited by: F. C. Farr
Elms and Franks, Publishers
Berkley, California 1918


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