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Madera Biographies: WEHRMANN


Notwithstanding a few experiences of a somewhat discouraging nature, the business career of Mr. Wehrmann has been successful and he now occupies a position among the capable and resourceful businessmen of Madera. He is of German birth and ancestry, a native of Halla, Saxon, and a son of Louis and Louise Wehrmann, both of whom spent their entire lives in that province. The father was a harness-maker by trade and served in the German army until he was retired. In a family of six children, four of whom are living, Arthur, the youngest of all, was born January 5, 1865. His boyhood years were uneventfully passed in Halla, where He had such educational advantages as the common schools afforded. At fourteen years of age he was taken from school and apprenticed to a baker, with whom he served for three years. At the expiration of his time he set sail for America, arriving in San Francisco, August 12, 1882. Three days later he secured work at his trade in that city and continued employed there until 1890, when he removed to Fresno. It had been his ambition to own a store and his savings were carefully hoarded with that object in view, but his first experience was not encouraging. The bakery and coffee house that he conducted for six months in Fresno proved an unfortunate venture, although he paid every dollar of his indebtedness even at considerable loss to himself. After closing out his business he worked for a baker in the same town.

On coming to Madera in 1893 Mr. Wehrmann bought out Stohl’s bakery, which he enlarged and successfully conducted. As the years passed by he established a reputation as a baker and commanded a large trade. Desiring to enlarge the business by the addition of a stock of groceries, in 1899 he formed a partnership with Mr. Meileke and built a new store, to which in 1903 another new building was added, making the total capacity 50x150 feet. A full assortment is kept of staple groceries, queensware, house furnishing goods, etc. The bakery has a capacity of four hundred loaves per day and its equipment is modern and complete. To this department Mr. Wehrmann gives much of his time and thought, his partner superintending the grocery department. The two are energetic, pushing businessmen, and deserve a large measure of success.

Of the brothers and sisters of Mr. Wehrmann, one sister, Eliza, has never left Germany, but the others came to America. Max lives in Chicago, where he is engaged in the furniture business, and Clara, Mrs. Lehmann, is also a resident of Chicago. Two brothers, Oscar and Ernest, came to California; the former died in San Francisco and the latter in Fresno. While making his home in Fresno Mr. Wehrmann married Miss Bertha Baden, a native of Germany, and by this union there are two daughters, Erna and Marguerite. The family is identified with the Lutheran Church and believers in its doctrines. Though not prominent in politics or desirous of holding office, Mr. Wehrmann always supports the Democratic Party and is a stanch believer in its principles. Local movements of a beneficial nature receive his support and co-operation, and notably the Madera Board of Trade, which has done much to promote the growth of the city. In his fraternal relations he is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Madera.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 1598.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: October 17, 2012
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