San Francisco Schools Bridge Medal - Henry Kugeler, a local boy makes good

Started by WillieBoyd2, October 26, 2019, 10:34:59 PM

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I became interested in the San Francisco Bridge Medals after discovering one that had been awarded to one of my father's relatives. Since then I have acquired several of these medals not connected to my family.

The Samuel Bridge silver medals were awarded to the top male students of San Francisco grammar schools from 1879 to 1915.

A similar medal, the Denman Medal, was awarded to the top female students from 1888 to 1915.

Samuel Bridge, a wealthy San Francisco resident, supplied the money to make the medals.

The medals were first struck at the Philadelphia Mint from 1879 to 1890 and afterwards were struck at private medalists in San Francisco, first by Albert Kuner from 1891 to 1906 and then by Robert Schaezlein from 1907 to 1915.

The medals were made of silver, 34 mm in diameter, weighed 15 to 21 grams, and usually had an attachment or a loop. Planchets of different thickness were used accounting for the varying weights. The award year was sometimes punched into the medal and the recipient's name was engraved.

San Francisco resident Henry Behrent Albert Kugeler was awarded a Bridge Medal in 1884.

San Francisco Bridge Medal awarded to Henry Kugeler in 1884
Obverse: Samuel Bridge facing left, GIFT OF SAMUEL BRIDGE MLCCCLXXVIIII (1879)
Reverse: Scroll with AWARDED TO

The Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Schools for the School Year 1884, Bridge Medal Pupils 1884, notes that the South Cosmopolitan Grammar School awarded a medal to Henry B. A. Kugeler.

Henry Kugeler became a doctor:

The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Volume 17, 1921, published by James T. White & Company of New York in 1920, notes that:

Kugeler, Henry Behrent Albert, physician and surgeon, was born in San Francisco, Cal., July 30, 1870, son of August and Meta (von Krog) Kugeler. His father, a native of Germany, came to America in 1856 and settled in San Francisco, where he was a merchant. Henry B. A. Kugeler received his preliminary education in the grammar and high schools of San Francisco, which latter gave him the Bridge Medal.

After a year at the University of California he entered the Toland Medical College of that institution, and was graduated in 1890 with the degree of M. D.

Dr. Kugeler (from the University of California Medical School Announcement for 1920-1921)

Dr. Kugeler "married well":

From the Colorado Transcript dated Dec 31 1903:

Coors-Kugeler Wedding a Notable Event

Undoubtedly the most brilliant wedding in the history of Golden was that of Miss Louisa M. Coors eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Adolph Coors and Dr. Henry Kugeler of San Francisco which took place at Calvary Church at high noon last Saturday, Dec. 26.

No pains or expense were spared in decorating the little church, and the result was most charming and altogether startling in its effects. These decorations and the placing of them are said to have cost nearly $81,000.

Dr. Henry Kugeler is a young gentleman of culture and refinement and has a brilliant future in his profession. He has been a great traveler and it was in Europe last year that he first met the young lady who is now his wife. It was a case of love at first sight.

Friends of the family who were in attendance were royally entertained at the Coors home after the ceremony, the newly wedded pair driving to Denver in the evening to start their elaborate wedding tour after which they will settle down in San Francisco to a life which all hope will be full of happiness and joy.

Dr. Kugeler, a San Francisco society member:

From the San Francisco Blue Book; the Fashionable Private Address, Season of 1905 a San Francisco society register, lists "Dr. HENRY Kugeler, 2 to 4 p. m. except Sundays, 813 Sutter St.". Dr. Kugeler was a member of the prestigious University Club.

Dr. and Mrs. Kugeler lived in San Francisco at 2210 Baker Street while waiting for their house, a gift from Mrs. Kugeler's father Adolph Coors, to be built at 3636 Washington Street in Presidio Heights. (the house sold recently for $15 million dollars)

Dr. Kugeler died in San Francisco on Dec 27, 1914 at the young age of 44. He was survived by his wife and three children.

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Great fun research that brings the medal to life. Thank you! I wonder if the large amount of money spent at the wedding (on Christmas day, when churches are presumably not easily rented) and the expensive house could be explained by the Coors brewery, even though the good doctor met his wife in Germany?

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.