Richard T. Cohn, recorder of Sacramento county, with residence at Sacramento, has for a number of years been prominent in political, social and musical circles in this city and county. He is a native son of this city and has reached a high place in the esteem of his fellow citizens, many of whom have known him since he was a child. He made a mercantile life the first object of his endeavors, but his musical abilities led him in a different direction, and as a matter of fact he has largely sung his way to his present success. He is known all over the state as a tenor singer, and is connected with many of the foremost musical organizations and clubs. His record as a public official for nearly twenty years has been most gratifying and exemplary, and his popularity with the people is shown by the fact that he has been connected with his present office by election for ten years.

Mr. Cohn was born in Sacramento, February 29, 1860, and as a "leap-year child" has passed a number of milestones on the journey of life with fewer birthdays to his credit than many children of his acquaintance can claim. His father, Samuel Cohn, was born in Germany, was a clothier, and died in 1885. His mother, Mary (Kerrigan) Cohn, was a native of Ireland, and died in 1901.

Mr. Cohn's education in the public schools continued until he was seventeen years old, and he then began working in a Sacramento drug store. After thoroughly learning the business he took charge of a drug store in Tehama county, but afterward returned to Sacramento and from 1882 to 1886 was steward and druggist at the county hospital. His exquisitely strong and sweet tenor voice had often been the subject of remark among his friends, and he had been urged to take a definite course of training. In 1886 he went to San Francisco and studied misic, and since that time he has been high in public favor as a singer. After his return to Sacramento he accepted the position of deputy under the county auditor and recorder, holding that position under two successive incumbents, J. Henry Miller and Frank T. Johnson. In the fall of 1894 he was elected auditor and recorder, being the first officer to hold the newly lengthened term of four years. In the fall of 1898 he was re-elected for four years. In 1902 the duties of recorder and auditor were made distinct, and in the fall of that year he was elected to the four-year term of recorder. He was chosen to these offices on the Republican ticket, and he has always taken an active interest in the affairs of that party, having been delegate to county and state conventions.

Mr. Cohn has been in constant requisition for entertainments, socials and operas, and he also sings in the synagogue and Catholic cathedral choirs. He hs taken part in many musicales in San Francisco and elsewhere, and has been drafted into nearly every musical event of importance in the state. He is a member of the McNeill Club, a male chorus, the Sacramento Operatic Society, the Oratorio Society, the Elks Quartet, and the Sacramento Choral Society. He has got up many musical events on his own account, and has done much for the advancement of musical interest and taste in this section of the state. He is both a singer and a musician in the broad sense of the term, and is thus able to take the initiative in this line of work. He is past president of Sacramento Parlow No. 3, N. S. G. W., and a member of Lodge No. 328, B. P. O. E., and for a number of years was chairman of the entertainment committee of both these fraternities. He also affiliates with the Young Men's Institute, and the Woodmen of the World, and Fraternal Order of Eagles.

Mr. Cohn married, in Sacramento, April 17, 1901, Miss Lyda A. McMullen, a native of California and a daughter of George C. McMullen, former sheriff, supervisor and coroner of the 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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