One of the most successful pioneer citizens of Silver City is Frederick Crete, who is a native of Hanover, Germany, where he was born in August 1833. He is a brother of John Crete, Sr., whose sketch will be found elsewhere in this volume. While still a young man Mr. Crete decided to try his fortunes in the New World, of which he had heard so much, and bidding adieu to the Fatherland and all its happy associations, he embarked on a vessel which landed him in New York city in 1852. From there he found his way to Attleboro, Massachusetts, where for some time he worked at the jewelry business.
In 1858 Mr. Crete became a victim of the California fever and took a trip to the land of gold by way of the Isthmus of Panama, sailing on the steamer John L. Stephens. He remained in California until 1865, during that time studying and practicing dentistry, and then removed to Silver City, where he carried on his profession for some years. He also had a store at a place called Fairview, on Eagle Mountain. This town was burned out in 1875 and Mr. Crete lost all his property. Soon after this the great excitement caused by the discovery of gold in the Black Hills swept over the land, and our subject started with hundreds of others to test the truth of the reports. He traveled as far as Cheyenne, Wyoming, but on reaching there received some intelligence from Silver City which caused him to return, and soon afterward he started the Silver City brewery, which he has since carried on with great success. He is also the owner of the Brewery saloon. Mr. Crete is largely interested in the San Juan group of mines on War Eagle Mountain. They are now running a tunnel underneath the veins which they have been working and from which many thousands of dollars have been taken. Three hundred feet of this tunnel have been completed and two hundred remain yet to be excavated, when it is expected that very rich ore will be struck.
Mr. Crete was married in 1862, in the old town of Shasta, California, to Miss Wilhelmina Kornmann, a native of New York city, born in 1843, and a sister of Mrs. John Crete, Sr. She has been a resident of California since 1861. Of this union six children have been born, of whom three are living namely: Charles H., a well known merchant of Silver City; Ida, the wife of Severon Moe, a jeweler of Silver City; and Edward, who is associated with his father in business.
Mr. Crete is a silver Republican, but does not take a prominent part in politics. He is a much esteemed member of the Odd Fellows fraternity, receiving the degrees in Owyhee Lodge, No. 2, in 1869. He has passed all the chairs and has several times represented his lodge in the grand lodge. Mrs. Crete is past noble grand in the lodge of Daughters of Rebekah, and is also a member of the St. James Guild. She is highly esteemed for her kindness and benevolence, and with her husband shares the regard of a large circle of friends.