The accomplishments of the legal profession in California are exemplified in the person of Joseph P. Bernhard, the
well-known attorney of Fresno. A native son, he was born in Mariposa County on November 19, 1873, the son of George Bernhard, one of the Argonauts who reached California in 1849 by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and who having come to seek the elusive gold so recently discovered, immediately began mining and the next year was among the first prospectors and miners in Mariposa County. He continued to dig gold there for many years and experienced both the successes and the failures encountered by thousands of others. When the town of Fresno was started on the new line of the Southern Pacific Railroad running through the valley, however, Mr. Bernhard, in 1874, located there and engaged in mercantile pursuits ; and these he followed until his death in 1888, eight years after his wife, Barbara, also a Forty-niner, had preceded him to the other world. She was the mother of seven children, five of whom are still living, the subject of our sketch being the next to the youngest. Coming to Fresno with his parents the first year of his existence, Joseph Bernhard grew up in the town, which gradually assumed the proportions and character of a city ; and there, in its well-conducted schools he received the foundation of his education. On graduating from the Fresno High School in 1892, he entered Leland Stanford, Jr., University, from which he was graduated in 1896, with the degree of A. B. He then matriculated at the New York Law School, and in 1898 was graduated with honors (cum laude), receiving the degree of LL.B. He was admitted to the bar of California in the same year, after which he spent two years in San Francisco as associate editor of Rose's U. S. Notes. In 1900 Mr. Bernhard opened, a law office in his home city, Fresno, where his natural and developed ability, his conscientiousness, and his conservative counsel have brought him well-merited success and won for him a large clientele among the city's best citizens. He is the attorney for the Bank of Italy, as well as a member of their local advisory board. Always an ardent Republican, lie was accorded the chairmanship of the Republican County Central Committee in 1907 and again in 1911. Mr. Bernhard is a member of the college fraternity Chi Psi, at Stanford, and of the Sunnyside Country Club of Fresno. A prominent Mason, he is a Knight Templar and Shriner, and is chairman of the Committee on Appeals of the Grand Lodge of California, and an honorary thirty-third of the Ancient nd Accepted Scottish Rite.
Elizabeth B Bernhard
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