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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Among the pioneer families of Sacramento that have taken a very important and influential part in the commercial and social affairs of the city, mention should be made of the Coolot family. The founder of the family in California was Anthony Coolot, an Austrian by birth, but after 1850 a resident of the United States. Born November 19, 1821, he received a superior education in various European cities, after which he spent some time in Algeria, his residence there bringing him into close association with the French people of that country, so much so in fact that he was always taken for a Frenchman himself. Becoming imbued with a desire to come to the United States he crossed the ocean and first settled in New York City, but the location did not prove congenial on account of his associations with people of the south. Going to New Orleans he secured employment as clerk in a large glass and crockery establishment, in which business he had served an apprenticeship in Europe. From New Orleans he set out on a tedious but uneventful trip around the Horn on the Yankee Blade, which brought the young man to the harbor of San Francisco during the year 1854 and from the coast he proceeded to Sacramento, thence went to Nevada county and began to mine near Moore's Flat. The mines, however, did not produce profitable returns and at the expiration of six months he returned to Sacramento, where he secured a position in a glass and crockery store. For two years he remained with the establishment, but then resigned in order to embark in the general variety and notion business, in which line of endeavor lie met with excellent results. Subsequently he embarked in the wholesale cigar and tobacco business, which he carried on until his death in 1900.

Mr. Coolot went through the fires and floods of the early days. It should be stated that previous to the fire he had erected a brick building at No. 812 J street and it was this structure that arrested the progress of the fire of 1862 and helped to save a portion of the city. He was a staunch supporter and friend of Sacramento and when the attempt was made to remove the city to Sutterville he fought the attempt, and though he received flattering offers, nothing would induce him to desert the city of his adoption, in which he had such abiding faith. He was one of the original subscribers and stockholders of the Central Pacific Railroad and always a liberal supporter of enterprises that he deemed for the betterment of the people and the building up of the city. He was a ready and willing taxpayer and was very enterprising and public spirited, although very modest and unassuming, and all of his donations and charities were accomplished in an unostentatious manner. After he became a naturalized citizen he voted at general elections, but never allied himself with any political party, being independent in his attitude toward national issues and governmental problems. Throughout his entire life he remained a loyal adherent of the Roman Catholic Church.

Mr. Coolot was married in Sacramento in July, 1861, to Margaretha Sommer, a native of Bavaria who had come to California by way of Panama in 1860. She became the mother of three children, two of whom were daughters, Mary Antoinetta, deceased ; and Mrs. Clara Louise Diepenbrock, one of the cultured women of Sacramento. The only son, Augustin E., was born in the year 1867 and to him were given the most select educational advantages the city of Sacramento then afforded. From 1876 until 1885 he attended the Sacramento Institute conducted by the Christian Brothers. Upon the completion of his course of study he began to assist his father in the cigar and tobacco business, and continued in the establishment until his death. Meanwhile, upon the death of its founder in 1900, the company was incorporated with Augustin E. Coolot president and Mr. Diepenbrock vice-president. For two years, until the dissolution of the company, the business was conducted as a corporation.

Removing to San Francisco in 1902 Mr. Coolot embarked in business in that city, but the great fire of 1906 wiped out the business. Thereupon he returned to Sacramento and organized the Aristo Mineral Water & Siphon Water Company, which has maintained a prosperous development and a steady growth. In this concern he fills the office of treasurer. As a business man he has displayed much of the keen discrimination, untiring energy and resourceful ability that brought success to his father. Unlike him, however, he has taken a warm interest in public affairs as a member of the Republican party and a stanch believer in its value to the country. His marriage took place in Sacramento January 8, 1902, and united him with Miss Rebecca Maude Elliott. The only child born of the union died in infancy. The family are generous contributors to the Roman Catholic Church and Mr. Coolot has been a sincere believer in its doctrines throughout life, having been reared in that faith. The Young Men's Institute of Sacramento has his name enrolled in its membership and he is also influential in the local work of the Benevolent Order of Elks. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011