Probably no man in the vicinity of Napa is better known to the community at large than is Henry Wigger, the general
superintendent of the Tulocay Cemetery Association His work in connection with this position has stamped him as
a real genius as a landscape designer and gardener, the grounds as laid out and beautified by him having excited
much favorable comment from many who are ably qualified to judge of that class of work. Mr. Wigger is a native
of West Hoboken, New Jersey, where he was born on the 18th of April, 1874, and he is a son of Henri and Rosa (Muller)
Wigger. His parents brought their family, consisting of our subject and two sisters, to California when Henry Wigger
was but two years old. The father, who was an attorney by profession, located in San Francisco, where for thirty
years he was one of the most prominent, successful and influential members of the bar. He died in 1903, his wife
having passed away September 15, 1885.
Henry Wigger attended the public and high schools of San Francisco, completing his studies in Santa Clara College.
Because of ill health and the necessity of remaining in the open air, he then took up the nursery business, working
in a nursery at Niles, California, for five years without salary. This was one of the largest nurseries in the
state, and the experience was very valuable to Mr. Wigger. The first pay he received was at the rate of six dollars
and a quarter a month, but later he was made a foreman at a salary of one hundred and fifty dollars a month. He
next went to work for Timothy Hopkins, landscape gardener, and during the five years he was with him he did much
important work, laying out the grounds about several expensive mansions in Burlingame. Mr. Wigger's next employment
was in the propagating department of Golden Gate park, San Francisco, and he later went to the Napa State Hospital
to lay out the grounds. This was a big undertaking, for the grounds were absolutely without improvement, lying
in the rough, but he was enthusiastic over the possibilities there, and by a tremendous amount of hard work and
a clever utilization of nature as far as possible he at length produced one of the best pieces of landscape work
to be found anywhere. He was solely responsible for the building of the beautiful ornamental arch and the planning
of the grounds as they were finally laid out, and he gained marked prestige as a result of his work His next big
job was the laying out of the Tulocay cemetery grounds, which was, if anything, much more difficult than any work
he had done heretofore, but here too he succeeded admirably, and he is deservedly proud of his accomplishment.
He began without funds, but as a result of his work and the intelligent and businesslike administration of the
affairs of the cemetery it is now doing a business of forty thousand dollars annually. Mr. Wigger is a lover of
nature in all its myriad and complex forms, but he is also a lover of the artistic creations of man, and he has
shown that he has a thorough understanding and appreciation of the possibilities of truly artistic landscape gardening.
Mr. Wigger was twice married first, to Miss Maude Weston, of San Francisco, and to them was born a daughter, now
Mrs. Ruth Clark, of San Francisco. His second marriage was with Miss Hannah E. Rohde, who was born at the corner
of Clay and Taylor streets, San Francisco, of which city her parents were pioneer settlers. To this union have
been born the following children: Henry, Jr., Rohde V., Wilder Noyes and James Geraldson. Politically Mr. Wigger
has always given his support to the republican party and has taken an active interest in local public affairs,
having served as a member of the board of school trustees of the Coombs district. He is a member of the Free and
Accepted Masons, in which he has taken the Royal Arch degree, and he is also a member of the Benevolent Protective
Order of Elks. He is a lover of plant life, being deeply interested in its propagation and growth, and he owns
a large ranch at Atlas, where he has a fine growth of walnuts. Genial and friendly in his social relations, he
enjoys the esteem and good will of all who know him.
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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