Frank Happersberger, a sculptor, whose studio is at 51 Park avenue, opposite the City Hall, San Francisco, was born in Placer county, California, in 1859. His father, Frank Happersberger, was a pioneer of this State and a native of Bavaria, Germany, who came to America in 1849, and after a few months' residence in New York was seized by the excitement following the discovery of gold and came to California. He engaged in mining and later in mercantile pursuits up to the time of his death, in 1870.
Our subject received his primary education in the public schools of San Francisco. His first step in his present profession was as wood-carver in the establishment of Kemp & Hoffman of this city, with whom he remained four years. Feeling that he must have a broad foundation of general knowledge to make a marked success in his profession as a wood carver, he went to Europe and after passing the preliminary examination he entered the Royal Academy, where he studied for eight years. At the competitive exhibits held each year at the academy Mr. Happersberger received several honorable mentions and a medal for a life-size bronze statue on an oriental figure representing an archer shooting his last arrow. After he had been in the academy about five years he competed for the Garfield monument at the Golden Gate Park, his model being accepted by the committee out of twenty-one competing designs. Mr. Happersberger returned to California in 1882 to perfect his arrangements for the statue. Returning to Europe in about two and a half years he completed the statue, which he modeled in his studio, the bronze casting being made in November by Prof. Clinton Lenz. He brought it to San Francisco in 1885, when it was unveiled in the park on July 4, before an immense crowd of people. Mr. Happersberger immediately established his studio in San Francisco county, where he has since devoted himself to his profession, his specialty being marble and bronze. He has furnished drawings for the Lick monument, his with those of three other drawings were selected from twenty-eight others, the models to be made from one of those drawings to be selected by the Lick trust.
Transcribed 10-18-04 Marilyn R. Pankey
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 1, page 551, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.
© 2004 Marilyn R. Pankey.
California Biography Project
San Francisco County
Golden Nugget Library