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