Member of USGenWeb Project USGenWeb logo

Biographies ~ Behrens, Charles Henry (1859-1917) & Kounts, Mary (1862-1949)
Home Page Image

Charles Henry Behrens was born Karl Heinrich July 17, 1859 in Whiskytown, the second son of Ludwig and Louisa Behrens who had emigrated from Germany. He attended Whiskey town School and when the family moved to Orland, Charles boarded with friends to attend school in Redding in 1874 and in Shasta in 1875.

Mary Kountz was born in Shasta, May 29, 1862 to Frank and Sarah Kruger Kountz, pioneers of 1854. Charles and Mary were married in June 1882 and had three children all born in Shasta:

Edna Mabel b. 1883 d. Dec. 4, 1969 m. Walter Eaton
Ella Genevieve b. 1885    
Earl Charles b. 1892    

Ella worked for twenty-five years in the Bank of Shasta County, the Redding National Bank and the Bank of America; she was one of the first women in California to be an assistant bank cashier. After that she had a second career as clerk for the Right-of-way Dept. in the Division of Highways. Earl Charles, their only son, graduated from Shasta Union High School and never looked back. He graduated from Stanford, served in the Army in the Philippines and Siberia. After that he began fifty-one years as political editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.

In the early years of their marriage, Charles ran a store and then a hay and grain business in Shasta. They lived with her mother until 1889 when he leased the Empire Hotel from John Scott and moved there with his family. He also served as Postmaster and Wells Fargo agent in Shasta.

In 1884 he was elected Constable and was the first lawman on the scene of the Ruggles Brother's stage holdup. In the 1890s, he was also engaged in quartz gold mining, investing in Mt. Shasta Mine and later was owner of the Oro Fino group of mines in Clear Creek Valley west of Shasta.

In 1898, he was elected Sheriff of Shasta County and in 1899 moved his family to Redding. He served one term as Sheriff and traded places for another term with his undersheriff James Richardson. Today, Charles Behrens would be called a joiner. He was member and officer in IOOF, NSGW, American Legion of Honor, Ancient Order of United Workmen and in Redding he joined the Masons.

Charles died January 3, 1917 in the family home. Mary lived there with her daughters and grandson until her death January 25, 1949.



Source: Shasta Historical Society - Aug. 2002
Return to Bio Index