The great state of California is splendidly endowed with natural advantages. Its mineral resources have added greatly to the world, its forests have been an important contributor to the lumber industries and its orchards have made it a fruit-producing center known to the world. It has been along the latter line that Mr. Chrhorn has directed his energies, and as a scientists has won a notable place in horticultural circles because of his comprehensive understanding of the great natural laws and scientific principles which underlie his chosen field of labor. He has made a close study of the subject of fruit culture and of everything upon which it is dependent, and is not only familiar with the requirements of the different kinds of fruits as to soil and climatic conditions, but also thoroughly understands the ravages made by insects and the best methods for the extermination of the pests. Because of his research and investigation along the last-mentioned line his labors have been of marked benefit to his fellow men, and in this connection he has an acquaintance and reputation that are not confined by the borders of California.
Mr. Ehrhonr was born in San Francisco on the 24th of January, 1862, and is a son of Adolph and Louisa M. (Macfarlane) Ehrhorn. The father was a native of Hamburg, Germany, and in 1850 sailed for California, becoming one of the first merchants and importers of San Francisco, as a member of the firm of Hellman Brothers & Company. This firm is still in existence, and with the business Mr. Adolph Ehrhorn continued his connection up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1873. His wife was a native of Tacna, peru, and came to California in 1852 with her sister. It was here that she was married, although she had formerly made the acquaintance of her husband while he was engaged in business in South America. She died in Santa Clara county at the advanced age of seventy-seven years.
Mr. Ehrhorn had four brothers and four sisters. When a youth of eight years he was sent to Germany by his parents, going to the home of an uncle in Hamburg in order that he might be educated there. He attended the public schools of Germany and later became a student in leading colleges of Switzerland and England. In 1881 he returned to California and for a short period was employed as a salesman in a mercantile house in San Francisco. His education had been largely along scientific lines and well qualified him for the work which he soon undertook. Going to Sonoma county he there engaged in the production of grapes and the manufacture of wine. Subsequently, in the year 1883, he took up his abode in the Santa Clara valley, and has since extensively engaged in fruit culture. He is a member of most of the scientific societies on the coast, and his business activity has always been directed along scientific lines. He holds membership relations with the Academy of Sciences at San Francisco, the San Francisco Microscopical Society, the Pacific Coast Entomological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He pursued a special course in entomology at Stanford University under Professor John H. Comstock, the noted entomologist, studying principally the scale insects, their habits and the detriment which they caused to fruit. Since leaving the university he has continued his investigations and researches along that line, and is regarded as authority on the subject throughout the entire west. Shortly after leaving Stanford he was appointed in 1893 as horticultural commissioner of Santa Clara county and has held that position up to the present time. During this period he has done much work in economic entomology, studying the various pests which have threatened the fruit industries. As the result of a discovery he has caused the importation of parasite of the black scale from South Africa, which is now effecting a marvelous work in the eradication of the pests throughout the state. In 1890 he was appointed deputy quarantine officer and assistant entomologist of the state board of horticulture and acted in that capacity for three years, but through an act of the legislature the appropriation of the board was cut off and his term of service was then closed. he has been a frequent contributor to the scientific journals throughout the United States and Canada and is considered an authority on the scale insects.
Mr. Ehrhorn has various fraternal relations, belonging to the Masonic Lodge, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the World and to the Grange. In politics he is a Republican and takes an active interest in the welfare, growth and success of his party. A man of broad and liberal education, his ability and talents have been of marked benefit to his fellow men and in scientific circles he has gained an honored name.
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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