John Kolmer Page last modified:
  •  
  •  
  •  

John Kolmer
(1836 - 1890)

On strike!  Forget it!

He was born in 1836 in North Carolina, U.S.A.  As a child he emigrated with his parents to California in 1845.  After his parents died, his brother in law Wilhelm Benitz gave him ownership of the Kolmer farm in Timber Cove (for more about the farm, click on the Kolmer Farm button above) and he lived there the rest of his life.  Per notes among his sister Josephine's personal papers, John died on 24 or 25 December, 1890.  Per a 1951 newspaper article about the farm (and letter by his grand-nephew Lee Williams, on file at Fort Ross) he was shot and killed outside his home by a neighbor (Ed Hatton) - apparently because John would not give Hatton a bottle of whisky.  An iron spike was driven into the ground to mark where he fell.  He is buried with his parents in the Benitz cemetery in Timber Cove, California.  John is thought to have married and had at least 2 daughters, however we don't know what became of them because upon his death he had no legal heirs and ownership of the farm reverted back to Wilhelm's heirs (see above).  Per anecdotes, he was not well liked by his neighbors.  Charles Fairfax, a subsequent owner of Fort Ross, found him so unpleasant that he preferred to build his own timber loading shute rather than rent or use John's.  Apparently John was so disliked that Ed Hatton was not convicted for killing him; Hatton claimed he shot John by mistake when shooting sea-gulls.

 


© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)