Miner- Accountant-Income Tax Consultant


Among the firms that have their origin in San Jose is that of Sheehy & Helwig, chartered accountants and income tax consultants, who have several branch offices over the state of California, where they offer great advantages to Internal Revenue taxpayers in compiling reports of income tax, excess and war profits taxes, estate and inheritance taxes, capital stock and state taxes, accurately and according to the requirements of the Internal Revenue department.  The junior partner of the firm, Lester H. Helwig has been connected with both State and Federal service since 1904, in different capacities both in Washington and California.

Mr. Helwig was born in Nevada County, on February 2, 1880, and he was the son of John H. and Emma (Bishop) Helwig.  The mother is a native daughter of a '49er, her father Alexander Keith Bishop and wife having crossed the plans twice with ox team and once by the way of Cape Horn, while her husband, John H. Helwig, also crossed the plains at the age of nineteen,  arriving in California in the year 1849.   After mining for a while, he engaged in the wholesale meat business in North Bloomfield, Nevada County, the town that contained the largest hydraulic mine in the world.  The father passed away in 1909 but Mrs. Helwig, who was born at Chinese Camp is still living and makes her home in San Jose.  This worthy couple had six children, five of whom are living, our subject being the fourth child of the family.  He was reared in Nevada County and attended school there until he reached the age of seventeen, at which time he came to San Jose, where he graduated from the Santa Clara High School in 1900.  He then attended Stanford University for three years after which he took a course in Falkenaw (I believe the correct spelling may be Falkenau)  Mining School, San Francisco, for a year and then worked in the mines in Nevada and Sierra County in different positions.  He worked as an assayer in Searchlight Nevada, and was superintendent of the cyanide plant of the Searchlight  Milling and Mining Company for three years.  He also spent one year as superintendent of the Pine Grove Mining Company in Amador County.   He held the position of U. S. storekeeper in the employ of the government off and on for a period of ten years and then took charge of the Internal Revenue Office for another three years at a plant in Washington where ethyl alcohol was manufactured from sawdust.  On coming back to California, he resigned from the Internal Revenue service and accepted the charge of the San Diego office of the commercial Fisheries Department of the California State Fist and Game Commission.

In 1919 the present partnership with P. G. Sheehy was formed as chartered accountants and income tax consultants, as Mr. Helwig had been associated with Mr. Shelly as a deputy collector in the San Jose Internal Revenue Office during the income tax work in 1917 and 1918 when the excess profit law was first passed.  During this time he took another course in business training and higher accountancy and so is thoroughly trained both in income tax and accountancy work.  In 1919 he received the degree of chartered accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the State of California.

Mr. Helwig's  marriage in Nevada City united him with Miss Ethyl Landburg, born in Nevada County, the daughter of James S. Landburg, one of the pioneer of Nevada County, and they are the parents of two Children, Naida and Barbara.  He is a Knights Templar Mason and also a member of Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. , of San  Francisco and of the 100 Per Cent Commercial clubs of San Jose.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 670