[Hockenbeamer gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno]
August F. “A.F.” Hockenbeamer was born in Logansport, Indiana on March 6, 1871. He served as President of Pacific Gas & Electric Company from 1927-1935, where he had worked since 1907. Before moving to California, he worked for the Pennsylvania, B. & 0. and Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroads from 1887-1903. In 1903, he took a job with the investment firm of N. W. Halsey & Co., which later became National City Bank.
Hockenbeamer was a self-made man whose first job was as a newspaper boy and collecting bad bills for a book store.
The cigar chomping Hockenbeamer originated the idea that the general public should be invited to hold stocks in utilities. This concept led to an increase in stockholders during his tenure from 3,000 to 50,000. In 1933, he opposed the Central Valley Project Act, because it got the state involved in the generation of electrical power. He claimed that excess power generation was bad for the taxpayers.
In 1933, he drew a salary of $75,000 a year, which was exorbitant enough to draw criticism from the International Association of Machinists.
He was one of the original donors to the San Francisco Opera Association Founder’s in 1923 and was an active Freemason. Fellow Mountain View "resident" Julia Morgan designed his Berkeley home, which was completed in 1913.
Alexandria Bernhardt "Mimi" Hockenbeamer lived to the age of 101 and continued her philanthropy until the day she died. At age 100, she chaired the American Lung Association’s “East Bay’s Century Partners” campaign, which urged people to give $100 to the century old organization.
Alexandria was born on July 5, 1904 in Stockton, CA, and was married to Embree Frederick Hockenbeamer [If anyone has information on him, please post it under Comments].
Known as Mimi, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1925. During WWII she served as a nurse's aide at Georgetown Hospital, Washington D.C. and later at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. She got involved with the American Lung Association after her husband died from a four-year battle with smoking related illnesses.