Henry Sevening, President of the Bank of Alameda, was born in the city of Herford, Westphalia, Germany, June 8, 1833, and from the age of twelve to fifteen years he was an attendant at the gymnasium. Then for four and a half years he was engaged in mercantile pursuits. In the fall of 1852 he started for California, came around Cape Horn and arrived at San Francisco in June the next year. He immediately went on to Tuolumne county, to meet there his brother who had preceded him to this State, and engaged in mining there for several years. In 1856 he entered into partnership with Fritz Boehmer in mercantile pursuits at Campo Seco, and later at Columbia, that county, with satisfactory success. In 1879 he became President of the Tuolumne Water Company and held that position during his residence there. He was also Wells, Fargo & Co.'s express agent at Columbia for about twelve years, and carried on private banking. In 1884 he disposed of his interests there and came to Alameda, where he has since resided.
In April, 1886, he was elected President of the Bank of Alameda, which position he now fills, with entire satisfaction to the stockholders, as well as to the public. He is a thorough, practical business man and an honored citizen. Following is an account of the bank as published in the local papers:
"The Bank of Alameda is the outgrowth of a private bank which commenced business in Alameda, October 1, 1878. The firm name was John W. Hinds & Co. Mr. Hinds was then President of the First National Bank of San Jose. At the end of one year this bank was succeeded by the First National Bank of Alameda, with a paid-up capital of $50,000. This was the first national bank to be organized in California upon a currency basis, the others being national gold banks. In January, 1881, the capital was increased to $75,000, and in July, 1881, to $100,000. In January, 1883, Mr. Conrad Liese was elected president of the bank, the directors being Messrs. Liese, Thompson, Linderman, Knowl and Schroeder. Upon the death of Mr. Liese, in April, 1886, Mr. Henry Sevening was elected president,and he has continued to serve in that capacity every(sic) since. The bank moved to its new building January 1, 1888, and now occupies the handsomest and best appointed banking room on this side of the bay, with possibly one exception. The large fire-proof vaults and the burglar-proof safe protected by a time lock, are the most expensive and the most secure that are manufactured, all being from the well-known manufacturers, Messrs. Hall & Co. The vault is exposed to plain view on every side, and is inspected by a watchman at short intervals during the night, making it simply impossible for burglars to obtain an entrance. The well-known integrity and high standing of every officer and director places the bank upon as solid a basis as any bank can be. The assets of the bank are now $329,598.63. These are periodically examined in detail by a committee of the directors, and at the last examination, just held, were pronounced perfectly good and satisfactory in every particular. The fact that the deposits have increased about $80,000 in the past year is the best evidence that both the bank and city are on the high road to prosperity."
The present paid-up capital is $100,000; surplus and undivided profits, $30,000. The Alameda Savings Bank was organized February 1, 1890, with a capital stock of $100,000, and is managed by the same company and in the same manner as the Bank of Alameda. The number of shareholders is forty-nine, the most of whom are residents of Alameda. The vice-president of these banks is Dell Linderman; cashier and secretary, J. E. Baker; the other directors are A. Schroeder, R. R. Thompson, J. Knowl, D. L. Randolph and Columbus Bartlett.
Mr. Sevening is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Oak Grove Lodge, No. 215, of Alameda, Alameda Chapter, No. 70, R. A. M., and of Pacific Commandery, No. 3, K.T., of Sonora, Tuolumne county, California. At Columbia, that county, in June, 1860, he married Miss Louisa Wedl, a native of Bavaria, Germany, and they have one son and three daughters.
Transcribed 2-17-05 Marilyn R. Pankey.
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 2, pages 45-46, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.
© 2005 Marilyn R. Pankey.