Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
CHARLES G. GERLACH, one of the
well-to-do farmers and stock men of Lincoln county, resides now about eight
miles south from Wilbur. He came to this country in 1883 without
means and immediately selected a homestead which he improved in the usual
manner, having to go abroad to earn the money to do it with. From
that time until the present, about twenty years, Mr. Gerlach has been one
of the substantial and progressive men of the county. His labors
have been crowned with success on account of having been directed by wisdom
and a keen foresight. He has a large estate which is well improved,
besides other property. It may be said of Mr. Gerlach that wherever
he is known, he is esteemed as a respected and hospitable man. No
one can ever say that he left his door hungry or uncared for.
Charles G. Gerlach was born in Monroe, Michigan,
on March 3, 1863, being the son of John and Mary (Erdinger) Gerlach, natives
of Germany. The father came to America when very young and settled
in Michigan and followed mechanical work and engineering. The mother
died when our subject was very young. He had a very poor chance to
gain an education but was so industrious and painstaking in his research
that he soon came to be a well informed man. When twelve years of
age, he was bound out to a farmer to labor until twenty-one at which time
he was to receive a suit of clothes and one hundred dollars in money.
So well did he perform his labor, that the suit of clothes and the one
hundred dollars were given when he was twenty years of age. That
money paid his ticket to Walla Walla, where he worked for wages one year.
The next year, as stated above, he came to his present location where he
now owns eight hundred and twenty acres of land. The farm is one
of the typical ones of central Washington and is very valuable.
In 1898, Mr. Gerlach married Miss Eliza B.,
daughter of Moses and Susan (Stauffer) Brown, natives of Canada and now
dwelling south of Wilbur. Mrs. Gerlach was born in Ontario on August
23, 1866. To this marriage one child has been born, George R.
Mr. Gerlach has one brother, A. F., who was in the stock business with
him here for five years. He is now an engineer on the Great Northern.
So far back as Mr. Gerlach is able to obtain information, the entire Gerlach
family were mechanics. Our subject is a blacksmith by trade, but
only to a very limited extent has he ever labored of others.