HENRY G. TRAEGER.
For more than forty years Henry G. Traeger, community builder, retired merchant, former town trustee and one of
the best known men in this section of California, has been a resident of Porterville and he thus has been a witness
to and a participant in the development of that flourishing trade center almost from the time of organized settlement
there, for when he arrived in Tulare county the village of Porterville was just getting a fair start in the race
toward community development, and it is undoubted that the efforts he presently was able to put forth in development
work thereabout had much to do with the general promotion of the commercial and general industrial activities of
the place. Now practically retired from the active direction of the interests which long engaged his attention,
Mr. Traeger is in a position to enjoy the well earned rewards of his useful endeavors and is thus approaching the
calm evening time of his life with the happy consciousness that not all his labor has been lost, for in the upbuilding
of the city of Porterville there are many permanent evidences of the part he has taken in that substantial growth.
Due to his many years of active participation in local affairs, there are few persons in this valley who are better
informed on the history and traditions of the locality than is Mr. Traeger, and his interest in local history is
a never waning one. As a member of the advisory board concerned in the compilation of this present History of Tulare
County he has rendered a further acceptable service to the community and his kindly and efficient services in that
behalf are hereby gratefully acknowledged by the publishers of this work.
Henry G. Traeger is a native of the old Buckeye state but has been a resident of California since the days of his
young manhood and his interests therefore for many years have centered in this state. He was born on a farm in
the immediate vicinity of the city of Kenton, the county seat of the county of Hardin, in one of the most interesting
and picturesque sections of the state of Ohio, April 10, 1859, and remained on the farm until he was sixteen years
of age, when, along in the middle '70s, he was caught by the lure of the west and left Ohio, facing toward what
seemed to him a fairer and more attractive horizon, and presently found himself in California, a land of promise
that during that period was offering much to young men from the east. After some adventuring in various sections
of the state Mr. Traeger, in 1884, found himself in the Porterville settlement in Tulare county. There had been
a death in the settlement the day before and the first job he struck following his arrival was that of grave digger,
it apparently being thought proper to pass this usually unwelcome task on to the stranger. He then got a job herding
hogs in the mountains, another unwelcome task. It was not long until he had enough of that sort of a job to last
a lifetime and he took to the woodchoppers camps and was for some time engaged in this strenuous form of exercise,
becoming an expert woodsman. He then got a job as a clerk in the general merchandise store of Wilko Mintz in Porterville,
and was for fourteen years thereafter connected with that old mercantile establishment, during that time becoming
acquainted with practically everyone in the county. Gold questing then attracted him for awhile and for a year
he was engaged in mining in the White river district. With the profits derived from this adventure Mr. Treager
opened a men's furnishing goods store in Porterville and was for some time thus engaged in business. He also acted
for awhile as grain buyer for Eppinger & Company and later became engaged in the furniture business.
As his affairs prospered Mr. Traeger expanded his operations and became a community builder in earnest, one of
the monuments to his enterprise being the attractive and substantial commercial block he erected on Main street.
He also laid out and put on the market a tract of two and a half acres of town lots known as Traeger's Subdivision
to the city of Porterville and in that venture profited fairly well and at the same time afforded an outlet for
city expansion that gave to the town one of its most attractive residential districts. For some time also he interested
himself in orange growing, and in other ways kept himself busy, for there was no place in his active life for idle
moments in those days. He had other mercantile interests in addition to those maintained in Porterville and was
for years the president of the company store at Rochdale. Diligent in his own business, Mr. Treager found time
to give a good citizen's attention to general civic affairs and for four years served as a member of the board
of trustees of the city, during which term of service he helped to put through the paving of Mill, Main and Putnam
streets. He also rendered public service for some time as deputy county assessor and in other ways has done what
his hand has found to do in the way of promoting the general public interest.
On September 5, 1891, in Porterville, Henry G. Traeger was united in marriage to Mrs. Mary Jane (Schmidt) Myers,
who died in 1915. To that union were born two sons: Henry A. and Wilko J. Traeger, both of whom now are living
in Fresno. By her former marriage the late Mrs. Traeger was the mother of two daughters, Mrs. Will Hall and Mrs.
Minnie Leyva, who are now living in Los Angeles. Mr. Traeger is a Royal Arch Mason and has for years taken an earnest
interest in local Masonic aufairs. In politics he is a republican. He is one of the veteran members of the Tule
River Fishing and Hunting Club, an organization of local sportsmen which in 1891 built a club house on Tule river,
and in his later years he has found his chief diversion in the activities of that club, one of the most experienced
and ardent disciples of Izaak Walton hereabout.
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
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