William Paul Hartman was born in France, September 10, 1841, the son of French parents. He received his education in his native land, and came to California in 1858. January 21 he crossed the Scott mountains, being twenty-two hours in crossing, and reached Yreka the following day. Upon his arrival at that place he began to work at the first thing that was offered, which happened to be blacking boots and taking care of a bathhouse. September 1, 1859, he went to Red Bluff and entered the barber shop of L.H.D. Lang to learn the trade, remaining there until 1862. He then went to Weaverville, Trinity County and opened a shop. The prices of those times were seventy-five cents for cutting hair, seventy-five cents for a bath, and twenty-five cents for a shave. In 1863 the great fire occurred; the town was destroyed; he was burned out, lost all he had, and was himself badly burned and received scars which he will always carry. After that he purchased a shop and continued in business till April 1885. He then removed to Shasta and opened a shop, in which he did business till September 27, 1889, when he came to Redding. While in Shasta he bought a residence which he still owns. He is now running a good shop, his son Carl having charge of one of the chairs.
Mr. Hartman was married, February 24, 1867, to Miss Malia S.P. Caroline, a native of Germany. They have had three children, born in Shasta, namely: Frederick Joseph, Carl W. and William P., Jr.
The subject of this sketch has been an active business man, having influence in political circles and also in the societies of Shasta. He is a member of the A.O.U.W.; is a Master Mason; and has passed all the chairs in I.O.O.F. In 1870 he received a handsome gold watch chain, with emblems appropriately engraved, from his brother Odd Fellows, as a token of their regard for his fidelity to the interests of the order, after having served two terms as Noble Grand. Mr. Hartman prizes it highly and wears it only on rare occasions. In 1876 he was elected chairman of the Republican Central County Committee of Shasta County. He served in that capacity ten years, until March 8, 1886, when he resigned; and he did the party such ominent service that, November 30, 1882, the officers elected showed their appreciation of the work he had done by presenting him with a beautiful and costly gold watch, appropriately engraved, "For services rendered the party."
Mr. Hartman has held the office
of School Trustee for twelve years. He was twice elected Public Administrator
of the county, the first term by 202 majority and the second by 268, when
the rest of his ticket was defeated. He ran for office at eleven
elections and never was defeated. He resigned his school trusteeship
to come to Redding. He says he still holds rank in the Republican
party, and the Democrats hate him worse than the devil hates holy water.
Source: Memorial and Biographical History of Northern
California, Lewis Publishing Co., 1891 pages 773-774
Transcribed by: Melody Landon Gregory August, 2004