One of the foremost business executives of San Francisco is Ernest Held, who is the president of the Home Manufacturing
Company, Inc., situated at 552 Brannan street, and engaged extensively in the manufacture of bank, store, office
and cabinet fixtures of all kinds. Mr. Held was born in Alsace-Lorraine, March 21, 1870, and is a son of the late
George and Sophie (Del'arbre) Held, both of whom died in the old country, the father having been an agriculturist
by vocation. Ernest Held received his education in the schools of his native land, and after completing his studies
he was apprenticed to the cabinetmaker's trade, which he learned most thoroughly, becoming a foreman when he was
twenty three years of age. He was the first cabinetmaker to come to San Francisco from the old country after the
great fire of 1906. He was much impressed with the vista of San Francisco across the bay when he landed at the
Oakland mole, and immediately decided to make this city his future home. For a few months he worked at his trade,
in order that he might learn to speak the English language, and then he accepted a position as a draftsman, which
he retained for an interval of four years. He next established a business of his own at Sixth and Brannan streets,
but this site eventually became too small, and he purchased an interest in the Home Manufacturing Company. He held
a partnership in this concern, and then after a few years bought the other interests. Having real faith in the
future of San Francisco, he purchased the property and built the factory on the present site. He has been president
of the company for the past ten years.
The Home Manufacturing Company, Inc., established by a group of master craftsmen in woodworking, was incorporated
in 1895. The subsequent growth of the company, which specializes in store fixtures for every kind of merchandise,
has been one of the notable features of manufacturing in San Francisco. At this writing, eighty people are employed,
and the annual pay roll of the plant is estimated to be in excess of one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars.
One of the principal services rendered by this company during its existence has been for the archdiocese of San
Francisco in the building and installation of pews and church interiors. This service had its inception over thirty
years ago with the installation of the pews in the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, these pews still being in
use. Among the more recent works done by the company are the installations of the Sacred Heart Church; the confessional
and pews in St. Vincent's Orphanage; the pews for St. Charles Church, San Carlos; pews for Father Keller, Vacaville,
California; the teak wood doors, oak doors, altar, pulpit, and railing in the new Mission Dolores; pews for St.
Margaret's Church in Oakland; the Presidio Chapel; the Congregational Church of San Mateo; the First Church of
Christ, Scientist, in Watsonville, California; and the chapel of St. Agnes Church in San Francisco. The Gothic
organ screen, designed by Arnold Constable for St. Patrick's Church, was made and installed by this company. The
plant of the company has available over twenty six thousand square feet of floor space; the building is of concrete
and steel, absolutely fireproof, and designed according to the latest architectural ideas in factory building.
On July 2, 1918, Mr. Held was united in marriage to Miss Johanna Pleva, who is of German extraction. By a former
marriage, Mr. Held is the father of the following children: Rene; Camille, who is secretary of her father's company;
Anna; and Irene. In the companionship of his beloved family, in the raising of beautiful flowers, and in gardening,
he finds his greatest pleasures of life during the hours he is not actively engaged in his business.
The political support of Mr. Held is given to the republican party. He is a thirty second degree member of the
Masonic fraternity, a member of the Mystic Shrine, and belongs to the local Chamber of Commerce and the Builders'
Exchange. He is public spirited to a high degree in the local affairs of the city, and as a consequence he holds
a position of popularity and respect.
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931
San Francisco, CA
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