Slavonian Community Leader
Bio- Sawyers

Having heard of the wonderful opportunities in California afforded to any man who was willing to work, Andrew P Lepesh left his native home in far-away Dalmatia to see what America had offer, and he has not been disappointed, for he came to this county a poor boy and has attained the success for which he has worked.  He was born in Smokavliani, Dalmatia, on December 11, 1865, and was the son of Peter and Kate Lepesh, natives of that county, who have both passed away.

Mr. Lepesh attended the schools of his native land, but gained most of his knowledge from the severe school of experience which, though sometimes a dear teacher, yet is a good one.  He started to work at the early age of twelve year, and at the age of seventeen he made the trip to the United States, coming direct to San Jose, in 1883, where he had a cousin living, John N. Lepesh, who had come here twenty years before and who died in 1888.   He began to work for fruit ranchers and was in this line of employment for a period of two years, when he engaged in restaurant work and continued in this occupation for about a year and a half.  In 1888 he bought the grocery and fruit store, located in the Rea Building from his cousin's widow, and in 1910, he and J. S Mise formed a partnership under the firm name  of Lepesh-Mise  Company and moved to their present location at Market and St. Augustine streets, where they are operating a wholesale and retail grocery business which has proved most successful.

Mr. Lepesh is an enthusiastic and energetic worker in the interest of his people and in this work also he has made great progress. His activities during the war in the various loan drives as a member and captain of the Slavonian committee, were very commendable, so much so that he received thanks from the state and received a medal from the Federal Government for the good which he had accomplished.  He is considered the leader among the Slavonian people, having been president of the Slavonian-American benevolent Society, and was a member of the committee from San Jose that made the Slavonian day, September 20, 1915, such a success at the San Francisco Exposition.  He is a member of the Red Men, the Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the advisory board of the Bank of Italy.  In national politics he is a Democrat, and in all charitable movements he has been a liberal supporter.

Transcribed by CDF, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1334