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Alameda County






Herman A. Muhr, M.D., a physician and surgeon of the regular school, was born in Pomerania, Prussia, in 1825, a son of Dr. Adolph and Emilie (Stilke) Muhr.  The father had studied chemistry under the celebrated Oerstedt, in Copenhagen, had the honor of the personal friendship of A. v. [sic] Humboldt, became a physician and surgeon, and served as an army surgeon in the war against Napoleon, and died of apoplexy in 1836, aged forty-eight.  Mrs. Muhr survived him nearly half a century, dying in 1885, at the age of eigty-seven [sic].


H. A. Muhr was educated from the age of nine at Berlin, receiving a collegiate and university education.  Being of liberal tendencies in politics, he was interested in the revolutionary movement in 1848, like General Siegel, Carl Schurz and many others who have become well known in the United States, and with whom he became intimate in this country.  He found refuge in Paris, and in 1849 entered the “

Ecole de Medecine,” or medical college of that city, where he took a full course of three years, including the “externe” education or practice, which consisted in attendance at different “outside” hospitals of the city, which attendance was enforced to insure completeness of instruction, the advanced students thus learning to perform all the duties of an assistant physician and surgeon.  Receiving his diploma in 1852, he was married in Germany, in 1854, to Miss Augusta Muller, born in 1832, and came to America in that year, settling in New York city.  For the first four months he was engaged chiefly with the sick of the Social Benevolent Society of that city, composed of German and German-Americans, numbering about 250 members.  He then became the regular physician of the members and their families at a regular salary, and served there fourteen years, but had to give up the position for more general practice, continued for nineteen years.  He was a resident of that city thirty-three years.  His republican tendencies found full scope on his arrival in America, and he soon became a real republican, even before he was a citizen.  He identified himself with the Republican party as early as 1856, taking an active part even to the prejudice of his professional interests.  He was Chairman of the German Republican Club of New York city for five terms, and delegate to the Republican General Committee of the city and county of New York, enjoying the fullest confidence and intimacy of the most prominent leaders of that party.


Dr. Muhr was attacked with a serious disease of the eyes in 1877, losing entirely the sight of the left eye, and taking five years of treatment before the cataract was removed from the right eye by Dr. Knapp, a prominent oculist of New York.  Still active for his years, he continued to practice his profession, and in 1887 concluded to seek the genial climate of California.  He settled in Oakland, and has here carried on his professional labors with success and marked acceptance wherever he has become known in the brief period of his residence.


Dr. and Mrs. Muhr have had several children, of whom five are living: Julia, the wife of Arnold Entzman, now of Alameda, an ex-officer of the Austrian army, later employed in the office of the United States Surveyor General, and at present a bookkeeper in San Francisco.  They have two daughters, the oldest born in New York, where they were married, and the youngest born in California.  Adolph F., a photographer, formerly of Chicago for many years, and now of the firm of Richthofen & Co., photographers, of Denver; Helena, living with her parents; Herman, Jr., cashier and bookkeeper in a mercantile house in San Francisco; Theodore, now of the firm of Eichwede, Muhr & Co., grocers of this city.  All the children have had the advantages of a good education.  Two maternal uncles of the children, Ferdinand and Herman Muller, came to America in 1857, and served in the Union army during the civil war.  Ferdinand was promoted as a Lieutenant for bravery in the field, and was severely wounded at the battle of Cross Keys.  Herman was an orderly with General Kearny.  Both are residents of New York city.


With his literary tastes and deep political convictions, Dr. Muhr has recently accepted the editorship of the widely circulated German weekly, the Oakland Journal, corresponding, too, for the Nord California Journal, Sacramento; the California Tribune, Fresno; the San Jose Herald; the Freie Blätter, Tacoma and Portland, Oregon.  His sharp causeries are widely copied in many other papers.


Transcribed by Donna L. Becker 

Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 2, pages 80-81, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.

© 2005 Donna L. Becker.