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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The family name borne by Mr. Ehret indicates Teutonic ancestry, but he himself claims a lifelong identification with California, to whose welfare he is devoted with an enthusiasm and loyalty characteristic of his affectionate regard for the commonwealth of his nativity. The fortunate possession of the western qualities of pluck, energy and determination, grafted upon the foundation stock of thrift, economy and patience characteristic of the German race, has enabled him to push his way forward in his chosen calling and has brought to him a high reputation therein. Indeed, as chief engineer of the Sacramento water works, he not only has made an enviable record among those directly connected with the plant itself, but he has risen to a position of distinct importance as one of the most capable engineers in the entire valley, where it is asserted by well-informed men that he has few superiors in the efficient discharge of occupational duties.

During the sojourn of his parents, Joseph and Pauline Ehret, at one of the mining towns of Tuolumne county, Louis D. Ehret was born at Columbia, April 1, 1879, but his childhood memories cluster around the city of his present residence, for the family removed hither during the year 1881, and his education was secured in the excellent schools of the place, while his later acquisition of the trade of a machinist dates from an apprenticeship in the Southern Pacific railroad shops in this city. His father, who was of German parentage and nativity, received the advantages offered by the excellent schools of the country and at the age of fourteen gave up his studies in order to begin an apprenticeship to the trade of cabinet-maker. At the expiration of his time he followed the trade as a journeyman in German villages, but soon becoming dissatisfied with prospects in his native land he determined to seek the opportunities of the new world.

At the age of twenty-one years be crossed the ocean to New York City and there boarded a ship bound for San Francisco via the Horn. The port of his destination remained his headquarters for a brief period, but soon he became interested in mining and for some time worked in various camps with more or less success. After he established a home in Tuolumne county in 1877 he still retained his mining interests and engaged actively in the occupation in local mines. When he came to Sacramento in 1881 he entered into pursuits connected with his early life and engaged as a cabinet-maker in the shops of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, in whose employ he remained until his demise, at the age of seventy-three years.

The Southern Pacific shops, with which his father was connected during the latter period of his life, furnished Louis D. Ehret with employment during the period of his apprenticeship to the trade of a machinist. On the completion of his time he began to follow the trade at Mare Island, where he continued in the employ of the government for three years, meanwhile doing considerable work as an engineer. Upon his return to Sacramento he secured a position in the Buffalo brewery as a machinist and engineer. The satisfactory nature of his services was indicated by his long retention in the employ of the company. When he resigned in April of 1910 it was to accept an appointment as chief engineer of the city water works under the administration of Mayor Beard. Since then he has devoted his time and attention to the duties of the office, which he fills with characteristic energy and capability. The demands of his various positions have been so numerous and important that he has enjoyed little leisure for participation in public affairs and his connection with politics extends no further than the casting of a Republican ballot at general elections. He was made a Mason in Tehama Lodge No. 3, F. & A. M., of which he is past master, is a member of Sacramento Chapter No. 3, E. A. M., and was exalted a Sir Knight in Sacramento Commandery No. 2, K. T. By his union with Miss Agnes Druck, which was solemnized October 12, 1904, in Sacramento, he is the father of a daughter and son, Gladys M. and Loiiis D., Jr. 

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