Biography of Alexander W. Halk
Alameda County, CA Biographies





ALEXANDER W. HALK
Alexander W Halk has recently accepted a position as superintendent of the shop of The Scott Company, plumbing and heating, at 113 Tenth street in Oakland but still retains his house at San Leandro. He now lives at Hotel Touraine, in Oakland. He has had a career of varied experiences including seven years of military service in Europe and many parts of this country, but is now applying himself closely to business pursuits and has won a high place in the esteem of the people of the community in which he lives. Mr. Halk was born at Mt. Carmel, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, on the 14th of August, 1896, and is a son of Michael and Lucy Halk. His parents were born in Austria-Hungary (now Poland), whence they came to the United States in young manhood and womanhood and were married in Pennsylvania. The father was postmaster and steamship agent at Atlas, Pennsylvania, and was a man of prominence and influence in that locality. To him and his wife were born ten children, of whom five daughters and four sons grew to maturity, Alexander W. being the second oldest son and the second in order of birth of those now living. He attended the public schools until thirteen years of age, when he went to New Jersey and served an apprenticeship at the plumbing trade. Then for a number of years he worked for various plumbing concerns in Bayonne, New Jersey, New York city, Detroit and Chicago, after which he returned home for about two months.

Mr. Halk enlisted from Pennsylvania in Company I, of the Thirty fourth United States Infantry Regiment, and for seven months was in training at Fort Slocum. New York. He was then sent to El Paso, Texas, and served along the Mexican border from Juarez to Chichua. Later he was sent to Waco, Texas, and from there to Camp Merritt, New Jersey. He was ordered overseas, landing at Brest, France, and fought through the Meuse-Argonne offensive and in the Puvenelle sector, on the Moselle river. He then entered an officer's training school and was about to receive a commission as lieutenant when the Armistice was signed, at which time he was company clerk. After the closing of the officers' school, he returned to the Thirty fourth Regiment and was assigned to the headquarters company, and one month later was promoted to first sergeant. He served in France under H. A. Montgomery, who is now engaged in the blue print business in Oakland. On his return to the United States, Mr. Halk went to Camp Merritt, New Jersey, thence to Fort Riley, Kansas, and served through the trouble at the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. From there he went to Pittsburgh, Kansas, where he served through the coal strike, and was later sent to Denver, Colorado, where he served during the street car strike. He performed the duties of first sergeant for the entire Thirty fourth Regiment and received special mention for the able and efficient manner in which he discharged his duties, being in the line of promotion. From Denver, Mr. Halk was ordered back to Camp Funston, Kansas, and thence to Camp Meade, Maryland, where the regiment was split up and he was assigned to the headquarters company, which was sent to Madison Barracks, New York. From there he returned to Camp Meade, thence went to Fort Eustice, Virginia, and on to Camp Alfred Vaile, New Jersey, where he attended the radio electricians school. He was ordered back to Fort Eustice, where he received a three months' furlough and at once went to Detroit, Michigan, securing work in the planning department of the Cadillac Motor Company.

On the expiration of his furlough Mr. Halk returned to the army, but soon afterward bought his release and was honorably discharged in 1924. He then returned to his home in Pennsylvania, where he remained for several months before coming to California. Here he spent some time in looking up old army comrades in San Francisco and Oakland, and then decided to locate in San Leandro and engage in the plumbing business. He had pursued courses of study in mechanics with the International Correspondence School of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and a correspondence course in the Chicago Technical Institute, following these during his later years in the army, and is now taking a course in bookkeeping in the University of California. In San Leandro he went to work for Ambrose Brothers, with whom he remained until 1926, when he engaged in the plumbing business on his own account, employing at times as many as fifteen men, and handling a number of important contracts, including the Old Mission apartments in San Leandro and fifty eight houses built by Ostrom Brothers in San Leandro in 1926-7. Mr. Halk bought residence property at 351 Garcia avenue, and there had his office and shop. Recently he accepted the position of shop superintendent with the plumbing and heating house of the Scott Company and is living in Oakland. He is a member of the Woodmen of the World and San Leandro Post, No. 117, American Legion. His sterling integrity of character and strong personal traits have commended him to the favorable opinion of those who have come in contact with him, while in business circles he is regarded as a man of sound and reliable judgment.

From:
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928


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