Biography of Harry A. Saxe
San Francisco, CA Biographies





HARRY A. SAXE
For over forty two years, Harry A. Saxe has been associated with the furniture business of San Francisco, and is now vice president of the Sterling Furniture Company at 1049 Market street, and considered one of the best informed and competent men in this business on the Pacific coast.

Mr. Saxe was born near Milpitas, California, on a ranch, July 4, 1870, and is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth Jane (Swift) Saxe. The subject's parents were both born and reared in Missouri, and were there married in 1844. They crossed the plains in a covered wagon in 1862, and first settled in Saratoga, California, then later on the ranch near Milpitas. In 1874, they moved to Irvington, in the Santa Clara valley. There were thirteen children born to this representative pioneer couple, namely: Charles, Alexander, Sarah, James, Matilda, Mary, George, Frank, Edward, John, William, Marion, and Harry. Thomas Saxe died in the year 1874, and his widow in 1919.

Harry A. Saxe was four years of age when his family moved to Irvington, and there he attended school until he was seventeen years old. At this time, he had earned a small sum of money, and with these funds he came to San Francisco to seek his fortune. He searched diligently for employment, and his money resources grew smaller and smaller, and when just about gone he found work in a furniture store, the California Furniture Company. In 1900, this concern was reorganized and Mr. Saxe continued with the new ownership until 1905. In that year, and in partnership with O. C. Bunster, he embarked in the furniture business for himself at 37 Sutter street. A year later, however, in the great fire which leveled the city of San Francisco, their store was destroyed. With courage they set about to rehabilitate the business and on June 20th after the disaster they reopened their store in a large residence at the corner of Gough and O'Farrell streets, and there remained until October, 1906, at which time they moved to Eddy and Larkin streets. In this location the business was conducted until February 1, 1911. On that date, they purchased the Sterling Furniture Company, which was founded by Gilbert & Moore in 1868, and later bought by Cole & Company, the original owners of the California Furniture Company, who operated it until it was purchased by the present owners. This is now one of the leading furniture companies on the Pacific coast, dealing in complete home furnishings, and employs two hundred and fifty people. O. C. Bunster is now president of the concern, and Mr. Saxe is vice president.

Mr. Saxe has always been a close student of the business in which he is engaged. It has been his hobby as well as his vocation. He has studied the psychology of salesmanship as applied to the business of selling furniture, with the idea that the intimacy of one's home furnishings with one's life is a determining factor in that person's career. He has been interested in the organization of furniture dealers, and after much labor associated eleven western states in the Western Furniture Conference, of which he is now the president, with San Francisco as the center of the industry. He is also president of the Retail Furniture Association of California.

Mr. Saxe has a family of four children: Ruth C., who is the wife of C. W. Homer, of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands; Elizabeth Jane; Harry A., Jr.; and William O.

The Saxe family has supported the republican party since the Civil war, and Mr. Saxe is loyal to the family tradition in this respect. He is a thirty second degree member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Occidental Lodge, No. 22, F. & A. M.; California Chaper, No. 5, R. A. M.; and California Commandery, No. 1, K. T. He is a member of the Menlo Circus Club and has been since its organization. His fellow citizens in San Francisco regard him as a most exemplary citizen, and his cooperation is always to be found in movements of local interest.

From:
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


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