EMIL A. HOEPPNER
By common consent, Emil A. Hoeppner, who is now living retired from active business cares on his fine estate in the foothills adjacent to Brownsville, is one of the leading construction engineers of the Golden State. His birth occurred at St. Louis, Mo., on January 16, 1868; and he is the youngest of three sons born to the late Capt. Arnold J. and Cecilia (Rosenmeyer) Hoeppner, both natives of Germany. Grandfather Maj. John Hoeppner served as major in the old 17th Prussian Infantry, and took part in the wars against Napoleon; while Grandfather Rosenmeyer was Burgomeister, or mayor, of Danzig. The three sons born to Capt. Arnold J. and Mrs. Hoeppner were Rudolph A., an employee of the Pullman Car Company in Chicago for twenty years; Herman, now deceased, who was prominent in the insurance business in Louisville, Ky.; and Emil A. Hoeppner, of this review.
Arnold J. Hoeppner was educated at the Stettin Military Academy, where he graduated as a lieutenant of engineers in the German Army, with honors such as would have promised a brilliant career at home. In 1852, however, with a number of his fellow-countrymen, he left Germany for the United States; and shortly after his arrival here, he became a member of the United States Geological Survey, of the Department of the Interior, and from 1852 to 1854 was engaged in the survey and mapping of New York harbor and other Atlantic Coast ports. In 1857, he became a citizen of the United States. Later, he did much pioneer work, as a scientific man, in the Middle West, prior to the construction of the railroads; and he was assistant engineer in the construction of the Eads railroad bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Louis. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he became Captain of Engineers under Generals Grant and Sherman; and he went through the Vicksburg, Arkansas, New Orleans, Mississippi, and Texas campaigns. After the close of the war, he became assistant city engineer of St. Louis, an office he held for many years. In 1878, the family removed to Louisville, Ky., and there Captain Hoeppner passed away, in 1894, a year after the demise of his devoted wife.
Emil A. Hoeppner, or Major Hoeppner, as he is familiarly known, attended the public schools of St. Louis, Mo., and Louisville, Ky., where he gave special attention to the study of mathematics; but circumstances did not permit him to continue the course. Instead, in 1883 he entered the iron works of Snead & Company, in Louisville, as an apprentice; and at the end of his first year there, he was promoted to the drafting rooms, where he remained until 1887. Later, he was an assistant in the estimating department, until he was sent to Chicago as assistant superintendent of the Chicago branch of the concern; and until 1891 he was active in the construction of buildings and bridges. At the age of twenty-three, he became general superintendent of the Illinois Terra Cotta Lumber Company, of Chicago, in which capacity he remained until 1903. He was then chosen general superintendent of the National Fireproof Company of New York, and conducted the affairs of his office to the entire satisfaction of his employers for two years.
In December, 1906, following the great earthquake and fire that devastated San Francisco, Major Hoeppner came West and took charge of construction work for D. A. Burnham & Company, architects, as general superintendent. He remained with that firm for two years, after which he financed the opening of the Midway Oil Field in Kern County, with L. B. McMurtry as partner. He then purchased mining properties near Brownsville, Cal., organizing a company to develop the properties. Thorough exploration and development work of the mine was carried on up to June,1918, but a tremendous flow of water came in at the seventh level, flooding the mine. The value of the ore blocked out, and other development work proved conclusively that the mine was not a paying proposition, and the enterprise was abandoned. Mr. Hoeppner had continued to reside in San Francisco until 1916, but liking the climate and location, he purchased the Knox estate in the Yuba foothills, and there he has built a comfortable home on the mountain-side, and has set out a fruit orchard.
Emil Hoeppner served in the National Guard in Illinois from 1895 to 1902, beginning with the 1st Illinois Cavalry, I.N.G., and becoming first lieutenant. On the breaking out of the Spanish-American War, he enlisted as a member of Troop C, and was commissioned first lieutenant. He served until the close of the war, when he again entered the 1st Illinois Cavalry, I.N.G., was commissioned captain, and served as such until 1902, when he retired.
The marriage of Emil A. Hoeppner occurred in San Francisco in 1914, and united him with Mrs. Ann M. Brown. Both of the grandfathers of Mr. Hoeppner were prominent Masons; and Major Hoeppner is a member of Garden City Lodge No. 141, A.F.&A.M., Chicago. He is also a thirty-second-degree Scottish Rite Mason, having membership in the New York Consistory, and is a member of Mecca Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., also of that city. Patriotic societies which claim Major Hoeppner as a member are the Illinois Commandery, Naval and Military Order of the Spanish-American War; and McKinley Post, Veterans of the Spanish-American War in Chicago. He is also a member of the Chicago Architectural Club.
History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924
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