HON. AUGUST E. MUENTER


Hon. August E. Muenter, whose life record is an honor to the locality which has honored him and who is now state senator from San Joaquin county, stands as a representative of our best type of American manhood and chivalry. Because of the breadth of his wisdom, his indomitable perseverance and his strong individuality he has left his impress upon state legislation and has aided in molding the public policy of the commonwealth. There is not in his entire life one esoteric phase, his history being an open scroll inviting close scrutiny. True, his have been "massive deeds and great" in one sense, and yet his entire life accomplishment but represents the result of the fit utilization of the innate talent which is his and the directing of his efforts into those lines where mature judgment and rare discrimination lead the way. He has been the promoter of various legislative movements which have had direct and important bearning upon the welfare and prosperity of San Joaquin county, and at all times he has commanded the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens by reason of his devotion to the general welfare.

August E. Muenter, now residing in Stockton, was born in San Francisco, California, on the 17th of December, 1866, and is a son of August and Antoinette (Maurer) Muenter, both of whom were natives of northern Germany. The paternal grandfather came to America in 1849, making his way to California. He died in San Francisco of cholera, and it was after this that August Muenter, father, came with his widow mother to the United States. August Muenter, Sr., was born March 8, 1835, and in 1851 emigrated with his mother to the new world, settling soon afterward in Stockton. The journey was made around Cape Horn to San Francisco, but the mother and her children did not tarry long at the Golden Gate, soon making their way into the interior of the country. August Muenter was a poor boy and his education was largely acquired through his own efforts. Determining to become a member of the legal profession, he took up the study of law, which he pursued in the leisure hours that remained to him after a day's work was completed. He was employed in various capacities, but largely followed bookkeeping in Stockton. In due course of time he had sufficiently mastered the principles of jurisprudence to secure admission to the bar, and entering upon practice in Stockton remained there for a number of years as an active and successful lawyer. He was also for several years the cashier of the Stockton Savings and Loan Society. He likewise served as city attorney of Stockton, and his career, from a financial as well as a professional standpoint, proved a very successful one. A number of years ago he removed to San Francisco, where he is still practicing, being numbered among the distinguished representatives of the bar of that city. In 1902 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died in the month of December of that year. Two of their children are yet living: Augusut E.; and Antoinette, the wife of Dr. E. Steltzner, of San Francisco. August Muenter, Sr., is a self-made man in the truest sense of the term. His education was acquired through his own diligence and determination, and he thus early displayed the elemental strength of his character. As the years have advanced he has improved his opportunities, and in a calling wherein advancement depends entirely upon individual merit he has made for himself an honored name and gained a prominent position.

Hon. August E. Muenter was reared in Stockton and attended the grammar and high schools of that city. For a brief period, however, he was in Germany, remaining in Geifswald, Prussia, between the ages of eight and eleven years. During that time he studies in the schools of Germany, and upon his return to America he entered the Stockton schools. In 1886 he matriculated in the Michigan State University at Ann Arbor and was graduated from the law department there in 1888, and was admitted to the bar in 1887, to the Supreme Court of Michigan, and the following year to the Supreme Court of California. For a short time he practiced law in Stockton, California, but for a number of years has been extensively engaged in ranching and the raising of cattle. His operations in this line are large and profitable and in control of his business interests he displays keen discernment, capable management and unfaltering enterprise.

On the 23d of July, 1890, Mr. Muenter was united in marriage to Miss Clara E. Steves, who was born July 23, 1868, in San Joaquin county, California, and is a daughter of Joshua and Clarisse Steves of that county. They now have two sons: August F. and Raymond H., both born near Laathrop, San Joaquin county. In a home noted for its good cheer they dispense hospitality to many friends, for they have a very wide acquaintance in Stockton and throughout the surrounding district.

Senator Muenter is a stanch Republican and is a most public-spirited citizen. Well fitted for leadership, he has become known throughout the state in connection with his labors in behalf of the principles which he believes will best promote the welfare of California. He was elected to represent the twenty-sixth district in the general assembly, and in November, 1900, was chose state senator from San Joaquin county for a term of four years. He was the author of and formed the bill for assessing shares of national bank stock in California. This was introduced and passed while he was a member of the house. In conjunction with Assemblyman John W. Moore, of San Joaquin county, he was the author of and introduced into the state senate in the session of 1903 the bill providing an appropriation of sixty thousand dollars for the purpose of securing the right of way for a canal to carry off the flood waters of the Mormon slough in San Joaquin county. This bill became a law and has proved of great benefit to the people living in that locality. His course as a representative as as state senator has been marked by unfaltering devotion to duty, by close study of the questions that have come up for settlement, and by a public-spirited interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of his community and of the commonwealth. Fraternally he is connected with the Masonic order, with the Elks and the Knights of Pythias, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Native Sons of the Golden West. Honored and respected in every class of society, he has for some time been a leader in thought and action in the public life of the state, and his name is inscribed high on the roll of fame, his honorable and brilliant career adding luster to the history of San Joaquin county.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine


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