Biography of Robert H. Gans
Napa County, CA Biographies





ROBERT H. GANS.
Robert H. Gans, a prominent citizen of St. Helena, where he has for many years been successfully engaged in the insurance and real estate business, has been an important factor in the development and prosperity of this section of the county and today is looked upon as one of its representative business men. Mr. Gans was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the 23d of September, 1852. In his childhood he was taken to Cuba, where he lived for two years, and he then was taken to Germany, where he was sent to school at Lehe, near Bremen. Four years later he returned to the United States, making the trip on a sailing vessel, which required ten weeks to cross the Atlantic. During his absences from this country he had forgotten the English language, and in order to reacquaint himself with it he went to school in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father died December 13, 1863, whereupon he was taken by an uncle to France, where he attended Chaptal College, in Paris. He was absent from his native land seven years this time, returning in 1870.

Mr. Gans then came to Oakland, California, and obtained a position as assistant bookkeeper in the Oakland Bank, afterward being promoted to bookkeeper. Later he became deputy county clerk of Alameda county, serving from 1882 to 1884. His next position was as assistant weigher in the United States customs house at San Francisco, and he subsequently became chief weigher. After spending nine years in the customs house, Mr. Gans bought a ranch in Niles canon, Alameda county, which he improved and developed into a fine summer resort, and he conducted that place for five years. In 1899 he came to St. Helena and bought a ranch located about two miles from the town, which he operated for about five years and then sold. Since then he has been engaged in the real estate business in St. Helena, a period of over twenty one years, during which time he has dealt extensively in ranch and town property, having sold one ranch five times. He possesses a comprehensive knowledge of land and property values throughout this section of the state and is considered one of the most reliable and trustworthy real estate dealers in the community.

Mr. Gans was married to Miss Hilma Kjellmann, a native of Sweden, who came to the United States at the age of seventeen years, and they are the parents of three children, Franklin R., Robert H., Jr., and Evelyn M. Politically Mr. Gans has always given his support to the democratic party and has taken a commendable interest in public affairs, particularly such as relate to the welfare of his own community. Fraternally he is a charter member of Oakland Lodge No: 103, Knights of Pythias, to which he has belonged since 1884, having been the first secretary of the lodge. He also belongs to Olive Camp No. 135, Woodmen of the World, at St. Helena, and is a member of the Oakland Pioneer Society, as well as of the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce.

From:
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
and Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1926


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