San Francisco County
PHILIP C. KATZ
Now serving his second term as public administrator of San Francisco, California, Philip C. Katz has made an enviable record in the management of his important office, and is also widely known through his brilliant military record in the World war. He was born in San Francisco, December 12, 1887, a son of Fred A. and Virginia (Barker) Katz.
Fred A. Katz was also born in San Francisco, a son of Fred Katz, the latter a native of Germany, who came to San Francisco in the late ‘40s and here engaged in the butcher business. He was one of the first to engage in this trade in the old California market. Fred A. Katz was reared and educated in this city and then for the greater part of his life successfully followed the same business as his father. He was a republican in politics, and a Protestant in religion. His death occurred August 26, 1898. Virginia (Baker) Katz, the mother of Philip C., is descended from English and Irish stock, and members of the family came to California from Maine in an early day. She was the mother of four children by her marriage to Fred A. Katz, namely: Fred, of San Francisco; Philip C.; Florence; and Lillian, who is the wife of Clarence Ludlam, of San Francisco.
Philip C. Katz acquired his education in the grade and high schools of his native city, and at the age of seventeen years began to earn his own livelihood. He first took up seafaring, and shipped for a six months’ voyage to Alaska. On his return, he became an apprentice in the butcher business with the firm of Katz & sons, which had been established by his father. In this occupation he remained until shortly after the great fire of 1906, then entering upon contracting and construction work, which he followed until the United States became involved in the World war.
Soon after the declaration of war, Mr. Katz enlisted in Company C of the Three Hundred and Sixty-third Infantry, San Francisco’s own regiment, and with this unit he served for a period of nineteen months. He fought at St. Mihiel and in Meuse-Argonne, and was decorated many times by different nations for his bravery in action. He received the most desired honor of all from his own country, the Congressional Medal of Honor; from France he received the Croix de Guerre with palm and the Medaille Militaire; from Italy the Italian War Cross; and from Montenegro the Medal of Bravery. He was honorably discharged from the service on May 26, 1919, with the rank of sergeant.
On his return to San Francisco, Mr. Katz took up accountancy, which he followed for several years, and then was adjutant of the American Legion for a number of years. From 1924 to 1926 he served as a supervisor of San Francisco, in which public office he created a most favorable impression, justifying the votes of the people who had placed him in the position. He next became a candidate for the public administrator, and in the election of November, 1925, he was first chosen for the office. So well did he fulfill the duties of this position that the voters again expressed their approval at the polls in November, 1929, and he is now serving his second term with excellent credit to himself.
Mr. Katz is a member and one of the organizers of Argonne Lodge, No. 514, of the Masons; is a life member of the California bodies of the Scottish Rite; is a life member, also charter member, of Al Bahr Temple of the Mystic Shrine; and belongs to the Sciots No. 1. He likewise has membership in San Francisco Lodge, No. 3, of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks;
Presidio Parlor, No. 194, Native Sons of the Golden West; the Fraternal Order of Eagles; the Loyal Order of Moose; the Corinthian Yacht Club; the Rio Del Mar Country Club; the Maccabees; the California Grays; the Legion of Honor; the American Legion; the Veterans of Foreign Wars; the 40 and 8 Society; the United Veterans of the Republic; the Army and Navy Legion of Valor; Combat Veterans of the American Expeditionary Forces, and the Disabled American Veterans. Mr. Katz is an adherent of the Protestant religious faith, and in politics he is a republican. He has earned the respect and affection of his fellows by his courageous and loyal service to his country, and in his work since the days of war he has gained an increasing admiration for his successful conduct of affairs placed in his hands. Much credit is due him for these things.
Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.
Source: Byington, Lewis Francis, “History of San Francisco 3 Vols”, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1931. Vol. 2 Pages 264-266.
© 2007 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.