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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



As a factor in the financial affairs and commercial development of Sacramento the California National Bank occupies no secondary place. During the long period of its existence it has won and retained the confidence of a large army of depositors and has considered the interests of customers with a loyalty unquestioned and a sagacity unexcelled. No small measure of the steady growth of the institution is due to the intelligent supervision and splendid judgment of the cashier, Frederick W. Kiesel, who combines keen discrimination with conservative caution and progressiveness with painstaking forethought. The elements entering into his character form the ideal type for banker and financier and to their exercise is due his present standing in the banking circles of the city.

About midway between Head river bay and Cache lake lies the railroad town of Corinne, a village of some prominence in northern Utah, and there it was that Frederick W. Kiesel was born February 11, 1874, into the home of F. J. and Julia Kiesel, pioneer residents of that section of the country. An excellent primary education was obtained in private schools, which further enlarged his training through the high-school studies. During the autumn of 1892 he entered Harvard College, where he continued in the regular course until 1894, meanwhile enjoying the manifold advantages conferred by attendance in that ancient and honored institution. Shortly after he had left Harvard he returned to the west and settled at Sacramento, where he gave his attention to promoting the organization of the California winery. Being the principal stockholder in the business he became likewise its president until he sold his interest in the business.

The association of Mr. Kiesel with the California National Bank began April 1, 1898, when he entered the institution as a bookkeeper and later, in recognition of his superior qualifications, he was promoted to be cashier. This office he since has filled with recognized ability and foresight. For some years after his arrival in Sacramento he remained a bachelor, but on the 18th of December, 1901, he was united in marriage with Miss Jane Birdsall, one of the prominent and popular young ladies in Sacramento society. They are the parents of two daughters and one son, Corinne, born in 1907 ; Phyllis, whose birth occurred in 1910, and Robert Allan, born in 1911. It has not been the desire of Mr. Kiesel to enter upon political activities or to seek public offices. Indeed, he has steadfastly refused to take any part in politics whatever aside from the voting of a Republicans ticket in national and local elections. Nevertheless, he is interested in every movement for the general advancement and particularly in those measures having for their object the permanent welfare of Sacramento. In fraternal affairs besides his connection with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks he has been active in Masonry and holds membership in the Washington Lodge No. 20, F. & A. M., Sacramento Chapter No. 3, R. A. M., also Sacramento Council and Sacramento Commandery No. 2, K. T., and is also a Scottish Rite Mason of the thirty-second degree, and member of Islam Temple, N. M. S., of San Francisco. He is a director in the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, and is secretary of the Sutter Club. 

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