NOTE: The first two pages of this section are missing. If you have that information, please contact me. The text is below as published, except for the capitalization of surnames.
At that time his mother's health began to fail and she was advised to taken an ocean trip. So in September, 1843, the family embarked in an old sailing vessel bound for the United States. The old ship was far from being fit for so long a voyage for she was leaky, dirty and only half provisioned and her stock of drinking water was so bad that vinegar had to be mixed with it before it could be used.
Travel in those days was quite different from now. The voyage was a rough one and when three weeks out a storm drove the ship far out of her course and swept away her masts.
However the most exciting event of the voyage was a backward somersault over the stern rail by H.J. HERWIG, Jr. But fortunately a sailor standing near saw the incident and catching up a rope plunged in and rescued the youngster.
After nine weeks of trials and hardship all passengers were landed safely at New Orleans. From here the HERWIG family went up the Mississippi to Quincy, Ill., reaching there Christmas morning at four a.m. Shortly after Mr. HERWIG, Sr. took up 160 acres of government land about three miles from the city. On this property the boy Henry spent the next ten years of his life helping to clear the land and farm it.
April 26, 1853, he joined a wagon train bound for California, condcuted by Messrs. DILLON, WHITE and VILE, men who had made the trip twice previous to this one. In the party were 33 men and 7 women and children. The company had 3 ox teams, 6000 head of sheep and 100 head of cattle. The first night out they were attacked by Indians and lost one ox, but other than that they had little or no trouble with the Indians.
The company in charge of the train agreed to take the persons in the party to either Sacramento or San Francisco in three months for $35 each, and it was conditional that the men of the party should help drive and guard the stock. But it took eight months to reach San Bernardino. Two days later eight of the party including Mr. HERWIG walked to Los Angeles, then a Mexican pueblo, arriving here Christmas day, 1853, at four p.m.
Mr. HERWIG then was a young man of eighteen. He was barefooted and his cash balance was twenty dollars in gold sewed in the lining of his coat. The balance of his earthly possessions were tied up in a bandana handkerchief.
Emma SIMMONDS, born in Australia, near Allen River, County Durham, April 30, 1845.
On May 25, 1856, Mr. and Mrs. SIMMONDS and their family of 8 children left Australia on the sailing vessel Jennie Ford, bound for San Francisco. When they were out about three weeks their boat ran on a coral reef and came near being wrecked and later put in at Tahite for nine days to make repairs. The next and only stop was at Honolula where fresh water and a cargo of sugar was taken on. Some time after leaving there they ran into rough weather and were driven far south of their course and finally arrived at San Pedro, August 19, 1856.
The SIMMONDS family landed there and lived for a while in a tent they had brought with them. Later on Mr. SIMMONDS took charge of the half way station for General BANNING's stage line and here the family stayed for one year. From there they moved into Los Angeles and occupied an adobe house at the corner of Sixth and Spring streets, where the Hayward Hotel now stands. It was at this place that Mr. and Mrs. HERWIG first met. They were married in a small cottage that stood on Figueroa street between Pico and Washington streets, April 30, 1861. Antone MENZ was best man and Mrs. S.J. NORTH, the bride's sister was matron of honor.
Mr. and Mrs. HERWIG took up their residence at the corner of Jefferson and Figueroa streets, then a farm owned by John GRAF. They have spent all of their fifty years of married life in Los Angeles, never going away from here for longer than a few weeks at a time. Mr. HERWIG engaged in farming on a 35-acre tract at the northeast corner of Figueroa and Jefferson streets, which he bought for $300 in 1864. In the off season he did teaming between Los Angeles and San Pedro. Later on he entered the express business and it was while in this business that he accumulated enough money to invest in some East First street property which he sold during the boom of 1887 and became independent. He was a volunteer member of one of the first fire comapnies, Confidence No. 2, and served for ten years of course without receiving compensation, but he greatly treasures the diploma he received when retired.
Mr. and Mrs. HERWIG have seen the city grow froma small village of adobe huts to the great metropolis of Southern California, with a population of nearly 400,000. And this too, within a period of fifty years for they have just celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary, which occurred April 30, 1911.
The occasion was fittingly celebrated at the Woman's club house amid a large gathering of friends and relatives among whom were their children, Mrs. Carrie M. BOSSHARD, Mrs. Emma DITCH, and Mr. Adolph W. HERWIG; seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. The honored guests of the evening were Mr. J.F. BURNS and Messrs. Henry T. and George W. HAZARD, life time friends of Mr. HERWIG and all three of whom crossed the plains with him in 1853.
A duplicate wedding ceremony was performed by Rev. William MacCORMACK. Mr. J.F. BURNS was best man and Mrs. Sarah HOWLAND the bride's sister, acted as matron of honor. After a delightful musical program by Miss COLEMAN and Miss BOSSHARD, the young old couple received the congratulations of their friends and renewed many old acquaintances. On this occasion the Pioneer's Society presented Mr. HERWIG with the wedding ring which was used in the ceremony and presented Mr. and Mrs. HERWIG jointly a Golden Loving Cup bearing the following inscription, "Los Angeles County Pioneers In Loving Testimony of Mr. and Mrs. H.J. HERWIG, 1861-1911."
At the next regular meeting of the Pioneer's Society Mr. and Mrs. HERWIG were feted by that Society and Mr. HERWIG was prestned with a Gold badge upon which was engraved an ox team drawing a Prairie Schooner, the name and the date of the gift. The presentation speech was made by Bro. MESMER, delegated by President HEWITT, in behalf of the Pioneer's Society. Mr. HERWIG was too filled with emotion to respond at any length and thanked the Society in a few simple words. But the writer, as a member of the family, takes this opportunity to express the sincere appreciation and gratitude of Mr. and Mrs. HERWIG toward the Society for their loving tokens of friendship and regard.