Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


John A. Huffeldt is the wide-awake and accommodating proprietor of the Drapery Shop of Salinas and his enterprising business methods prompted him to put forth every effort to please his patrons, knowing that satisfied customers are the best advertisement. A native of Denmark, he was born at Copenhagen, August 20, 1878, the son of a furniture dealer, woodworker and mattress-maker. In his youth John Huffeldt crossed the Danish border into Germany and for four years was apprenticed to learn the upholsterer's trade, after which he returned to his native city and worked for his father.

Later Mr. Huffeldt engaged in building operations and erected six apartment houses, the highest-priced one costing two hundred and fifty thousand dollars; they were five and six stories high, after the manner of houses for many families under one roof. These he rented, bringing in an income of eighteen thousand dollars yearly. In 1914 he sold this property and went into business for himself; but the war came and he was obliged to close out at a big loss. Taking what money he had, he went to the Argentine republic in South America and there he worked at the upholstery trade. He later carried on the same line of work in Patagonia and at the same time that he went on a sheep ranch in order to learn Spanish. He also worked in Chile, San Diego and Valparaiso at different times and while in northern Chile worked in a copper mine owned by American capital.

In 1917 Mr. Huffeldt made his way to San Francisco, by way of the steamer route and soon afterward engaged in growing beans in the Natomis district of Sacramento county. Later he was employed as an upholsterer by the John Brennan Company on K street in Sacramento and next engaged in business at San Francisco under the name of the Danish-American Mattress Company. At the height of his prosperity, there, however, he suffered heavy loss by fire and on July 1, 1921, he arrived in Salinas with a capital of only seven hundred dollars.

Nothing daunted Mr. Huffeldt established business here under the name of the Danish Mattress Company on West Gabilan street, where he made mattresses until January 1, 1923, when he moved to his present quarters at 347 Main street. There he carries a full line of high-grade furniture, draperies and mattresses, and with a stock and machinery in the rear valued at fourteen thousand dollars, he might well boast of the record he has made as a successful business man. Indeed, he carries the highest grade of goods in his line in Salinas, and that is as much a source of pride to him, as it is a matter of satisfaction to the community.

Mr. Huffeldt belongs to Dania lodge, the Scandivanian Society, and the Danish Brotherhood, in each of which he is justly popular.

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.