El Dorado County
GEORGE H. HILBERT
The state had not passed the first decade of its existence as an organized commonwealth when George H. Hilbert became one of its native sons, his birth occurring in Placerville, El Dorado County July 21, 1856. His father, Charles Hilbert, the pioneer banker of Placerville, was born in Baden Baden, Germany, and in 1854 came to California, making the journey around Cape Horn. Before leaving New York he was married to Miss Elizabeth Shaw, a lady of Irish lineage. He had learned the banking business in Germany, and soon after his arrival in Placerville he established a bank, which he has since conducted, the enterprise being one of the most reliable and conservative financial institutions in this part of the state. It has weathered many financial storms, thus demonstrating its strength and the trustworthiness of its founder and manager, who has passed the seventy-third milestone on life’s journey but is still actively connected with the affairs of business life. In addition to his banking business he has throughout the greater part of his residence in California engaged in mining with the usual success that has attended the efforts of the brave and persistent pioneer. His wife is also living, sharing with him in the prosperity which has crowned his later years, and to them have been born five children, all natives of Placerville, namely: J. H., Lizzie, William Charles, Albert Greely and George H.
George H. Hilbert, the youngest son of the family, conned his lessons in the Placerville public schools in early boyhood and afterward pursued an academic course in the academy at Placerville, conducted by E. B. Conklin. For three years subsequent to leaving school he traveled in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Montana, and also visited Seattle, Washington. After his return he was made deputy constable under J. G. Bailey and deputy sheriff under Thomas Galt in 1884. As an officer he was very efficient and capable and made for himself an enviable record in the murder case in which Colby was killed by Frier in 1885. He found and secured the wadding at the scene of the murder and extracted the wadding from the other barrels of the shotgun and found that it was taken from the same paper, the Sacramento Weekly Bee of December 11, 1885. The cutting of the paper and the coffee stains on it matched exactly and proved an incontrovertible element in the evidence. Mr. Hilbert worked upon several other cases, displaying superior ability and acquired great credit and commendation for his expert detective work. He was very efficient in ridding the county of the criminals that infested it, through his arrest, conviction and execution of a number who had committed crime. He was first elected sheriff of the county in 1892 and filled the position so ably that he was re-elected in 1896, making a very enviable record. His deputies were J. W. Corrigall and George Hofmeister, both of whom rendered him valuable assistance.
In politics Mr. Hilbert is a Democrat, giving an unwavering allegiance to his party. He is a charter member of Parlor No. 9, Native Sons of the Golden West, and belongs to Placerville Lodge No. 70, K. P., and has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for a number of years. Mr. Hilbert’s occupation is that of an expert amalgamist, and he has located and owned a number of gold properties. He located and was the owner of the Gentle Annie mine, out of which he took considerable ore, afterward selling the property to good advantage. He is still engaged in mining enterprises and his judgment is regarded as authority on matters connected with this industry, which is probably the most important followed by the citizens of California. In social life he is a true friend, and has many admirable qualities which render him popular with his fellow citizens.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2011 Gerald Iaquinta.