Search billions of records on


 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The conservative opinion of those whose long experience entitles them to an expression of their impartial, accurate judgment indicates that Mr. Hobrecht has attained to a position of marked prominence among the electrical specialists of California. In identifying himself with the electrical business he chose by an apparent accident of fate the occupation for which nature admirably had qualified him. His success indeed comes from his natural ability in the line of his specialty; this ability, supplemented by education and study, has been developed until it secures for him recognition among men of his occupation throughout the entire west. When he opened his store in Sacramento, at No. 1012 Tenth street, on the 20th of September, 1909, it was with a thorough knowledge of his own qualifications for the management of such a business, which includes the exhibition and sale of exclusive designs in lighting fixtures. Not only are these designs original with himself, but many of them are so beautiful as to attract wide attention and convince the observer of the artistic skill of the designer.

Born in Germany April 21, 1876, Joseph C. Hobrecht was a very small child when brought to the United States by his parents, Lawrence and Theresa Hobrecht. After landing in New York City the family traveled as far west as Nebraska and settled in Omaha, where the father, a skilled mechanic, secured employment at his trade. During 1903 he joined the other members of the family who had preceded him to California and settled in San Francisco, where he still lives, now being retired from occupational tasks that engrossed his earlier years. In the family there are eight children, all of whom are still living. One of the number, Philip J., is associated with his brother, Joseph C, in the ownership of the business at Sacramento and has spent considerable time in this city during recent years.

An education acquired in the public schools of Omaha and the Creighton institution in the same city qualified Mr. Hobrecht for the duties of the business world. In early life he assisted his father in a machine shop and thus acquired a comprehensive knowledge of such work, becoming indeed a skilled mechanic. For eight years he continued in that occupation. Going to Montana he started to work as an electrician, and continued to operate a plant in that city for some time. During the year 1900 he came to Sacramento, where he worked in the employ of the Bay Counties Power Company for eighteen mouths. On leaving that position he entered the employ of the Electrical Suppy Company, with whom he continued for seven years or until he had determined to engage in the electrical business for himself. In February of 1911 he was united in marriage with Mrs. Lillian (McCarthy) Hanford, of Sacramento, daughter of Patrick McCarthy, a pioneer of Eldorado county. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hobrecht are earnest members of the Roman Catholic church and he is identified prominently with the Knights of Columbus, a well-known organization under the auspices of that denomination. His fraternal activities are further enlarged through membership with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

When the city of Sacramento decided to install ornamental electroliers in the district bounded by I-J and L-M alleys and Front and Twelfth streets, embracing a section three blocks wide and one mile long, competition was sought from the leading electrical firms of the entire country. Designs were submitted from firms in New York City and Canton, Ohio, as well as numerous firms in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, but it was reserved for Mr. Hobrecht to be the successful winner in the great contest. His design was adopted by the Retail Merchants' Association of Sacramento, approved by the city trustees, and endorsed bv the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, the J Street Improvement Association, the Realty Board, the Home Products' League and the Jobbers' Association. The first contract called for four hundred and sixty-four electroliers and these were manufactured in Sacramento (the contract is now about completed), so that the city may claim with pride that the artistic electroliers are a product of home skill, representing the inventive ingenuity of the designer and the mechanical skill of the manufacturer. 

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