A contractor whose success is the clearest evidence of his ability and worth is Ralph Thomsen, of 330 California street, Salinas, in which city, as well as in other parts of Monterey county, he has established for himself a reputation for dependability. He makes a specialty of interior and exterior decorating, is well-informed as to both the latest art standards and styles and the trade conditions, and he has original ideas that afford pleasure to those wishing for the best and also desiring the charm of the unusual, approved by the most discriminating taste.
Mr. Thomsen was born at Salinas, September 3, 1893, a son of James Peter and Anna M. (Michaelsen) Thomsen, both natives of Denmark, and the former now one of the great silent majority. The father learned the painter’s trade in Denmark, and as a young journeyman traveled through Germany, France, and Italy, working at his trade. Some forty years ago, he crossed the great deep, made his way across the continent and settled at Watsonville. There and in nearby territory in Santa Cruz county, he plied his trade and after coming to Salinas he followed painting until his death ten years ago. He did expert carriage-work, lettered signs, and carried out house decoration, working on many of the old buildings still standing in Salinas, being one of the pioneers in his line hereabouts. He was a member of the Dania fraternity, and it goes without saying that no one found there a heartier welcome. Several children were born to him and his wife: Arnold and Ralph, both of Salinas; Mrs. Carl Nichols; Mrs. C. E. Lehman, of Hollister, and Mrs. L. H. Lambert of Santa Rosa.
Ralph Thomsen attended the public schools in Salinas, and then learned the painter’s trade under the direction of his father. Nine years ago, he and his brother embarked in business together, and a year later, Ralph Thomsen took up contracting alone. He was successful from the first and up to two years ago had all that he could do in auto and house painting. Now, however, he confines his efforts to house decorating, and has done fine work of this character in the Dr. Rolin Reeves’ residence, the Ross-Nissen dwelling. and the homes of M. M. Glickbarg, Robert Warnick, Paul Parker, Cris Autsen and Dr. C. B. Othier, his handiwork also being seen in the Sam Klett Garage, the T. & D. Theater, the Cominos Hotel, all in Salinas, while in Gonzalez he also decorated the Alpine Hotel and a number of very fine residences. He belongs to Painters’ Union, No. 1104, and is a member of the Monterey County Builders Association.
At Monterey, on the 21st of February, 1923, Mr. Thomsen was married to Miss Nell C. Keough, a native of San Francisco, and they have one child, Ralph W. By a former marriage Mr. Thomsen had two children: Thelma Maxine and Gladys Jean. Mr. Thomsen has always been a public-spirited man, desirous of contributing to the public weal. He is a member of the Salinas Fire Department and for five years he was a member of Troop C, California National Guard, in which he was quartermaster sergeant. He belongs to Santa Lucia Parlor, No. 97, of the Native Sons of the Golden West, and is also a member of the Woodmen of the World and Salinas Lodge, No. 614, B. P. O. E.
Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California’s history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925.