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ERNST, George

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Photo courtesy: Murphy Library Special Collections, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

ERNST, George. (Hessen Cassel, Germany, Dec. 1837--Brawley, CA, Oct. 31, 1908). At the early age of two, Ernst emigrated to New York with his family, and then to Pittsburg. In 1845 the elder Ernst settled his family in Dubuque. George Ernst received his education in the public schools while also learning his father's stonemason trade. He entered Kenyon College in Ohio from which he graduated with high honors in 1862. He then returned to Iowa and became a schoolteacher.

In 1863 Ernst worked as a schoolteacher in Dayton, Lyon County, Iowa and was also involved in civil engineering. In 1864 he was the first to suggest to Adolph Sutro, the feasibility of the enterprise resulting in the construction of the famous Sutro Tunnel. Ernst was given the honor of making the first survey, locating the tunnel and shafts.

In 1868 George Ernst's father retired to Nevada to live with his son's family. In 1870 the Ernsts took up farming in Hot Creek in Nye County. In 1870 he received the appointment of deputy county surveyor for Nye County under John Jack who was elected county surveyor on November 8, 1870. When the office was declared vacant on January 4, 1872, Ernst was appointed county surveyor.

In 1873 he moved to Belmont, Nevada to engage in mining engineering. He was elected county surveyor in 1874 and 1876. In 1877 he was put in charge of the office of County Recorder and Auditor and was elected to perform the duties of that office on November 5, 1878. He was then elected as a Democrat to the Assembly of the Nevada Legislature. In 1896 he was elected to the Nevada State Senate. He was also the Deputy United States Mineral Surveyor for eight years.

He amassed considerable holdings, both in land and urban real estate and in 1993 went into the sheep industry in Elko County. In 1904 he sold that property and settled again on a large ranch in the Old River District of Fallon where he engaged in general farming, along with raising cattle. His son, George D. also was a prosperous stockman in Churchill County.

In 1906 the Ernsts retired to Oakland, California where his son, Clarence was a real estate broker.

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Source:

"The Honorable George Ernst," Digital Public Library of America, Online: https://dp.la/item/68c9946e6b2a10b82e3e76a16dfe516a?back_uri=https%3A%2F%2Fdp.la%2Fsearch%3Fpage%3D162%26q%3DDubuque%26utf8%3D%25E2%259C%2593&next=3230&previous=3228