FRANCIS J. LOCHER
Francis Joseph Locher, of the firm of Burt & Locher, wholesale and retail grocery and provision dealers at Auburn, California, is one of the prominent and enterprising businessmen of the town. For a period of thirty-five years he has been a resident of California, and since 1875 he has maintained his home in Auburn. A brief sketch of his life is herewith presented.
Francis J. Locher was born in Grass Lake, Jackson County, Michigan, on the 22nd of December, 1841, of Swiss descent. His parents, Francis J. and Martha (Holderum) Locher, were born in Switzerland and New Jersey, respectively, and it was in 1834, when a young man, that his father came to this country, stopping first in New York. In 1837 he removed to Michigan and settled at Grass Lake, where he became a prominent and influential farmer, and where he spent the rest of his life and died, his death occurring in 1875 at the age of seventy-eight years. His widow survives him and still resides at the old homestead where they settled in 1837. They had seven children, all of whom are living.
The third born in the above family was Francis J. His boyhood days were passed on his father’s farm, assisting in the work of the farm in summer and in winter attending public school. At the age of twenty-one he started out in life on his own responsibility, and on leaving the farm went first to the iron and copper mines in Marquette and Ontonagon, Michigan, where he remained a short time, going thence to Stillwater, Minnesota. At the first named place he engaged in the lumber business, and remained there until 1865, the year he came to California. His trip to this state was made via the Isthmus route, the Atlantic voyage in the Costa Rice, the Pacific, in the Golden Age. From San Francisco he went direct to Sacramento and thence to Bath, Placer County, where he was engaged in hydraulic and drift mining, working for three dollars a day. Subsequently he went to Truckee, where he was employed to haul logs. Thus he was occupied during the summers and in the winter he went to Silvan in the Sacramento Valley, where he became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land which he took from the government. After several years spent on his farm, he returned to the mines at Bath and again engaged in mining, this time as part owner of the Greek claim, out of which he made some money.
In 1875 he came to Auburn and turned his attention to work at the carpenter’s trade, and from 1875 until 1883 was engaged in contracting and building. The last named year he became associated with Mr. Burt in the grocery and provision business, and from the first has prospered in his enterprise. They do both a wholesale and retail business in all kinds of groceries and provisions and also handle hay and grain, and their success may be attributed to their keen business insight, their liberal and honorable methods and their uniform courtesy.
Mr. Locher was happily married in 1875 to Miss Marian E. Mitchell, a native of New York. Three children came to bless their union, Albert J., Edward W. and Carroll D., and for nearly twenty-five years the home circle was unbroken. October 18, 1899, death claimed the beloved wife and mother. Of Mrs. Locher it is said by those who knew her best that she was a most estimable woman, kind and amiable and devoted to her family.
Mr. Locher has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1867. Politically he is what is called an independent. He is thoroughly posted in regard to public matters and casts his vote where he thinks it will serve the best purpose, choosing for his candidate the best man, or the one he believes best fitted for the office, regardless of party affiliation. A man of strictest integrity and enjoying a just deserved business success, Francis J. Locher stands high in the esteem of his fellow citizens.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.