Augustus Herbert Gansser was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, on July 5, 1872, the son of Augustus Gansser and Johanna Bauer. The Ganssers had four children, Emma (1870-), Augustus (1872-1951), Eugenia (1873-), and Emil B. (1875-). The couple and Emma moved to Bay City, Michigan, in 1872, leaving Augustus with his maternal grandparents. When his grandparents both died in 1880, within months of each other, Augustus finally joined his family in Bay City. He attended school and quickly learned English. After graduating from eighth grade Augustus left school to support his mother and siblings. His father was presumably dead by then.
Augustus worked a variety of jobs including selling newspaper, working as a collector and clerk in a saw mill, as the manager of a carpet store, a newspaper correspondent, an insurance agent, and as a census enumerator.
Gansser joined the Michigan National Guard and held the rank of sergeant by 1891. He participated in the siege of Santiago during the Spanish-American War, in 1898, and served in the Mexican border duty, 1916-1918, and World War I, 1917-1918. Gansser was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 125th Infantry, 32nd Division, of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). In the 1920s he commanded the 340th Infantry, 85th Division. He retired from the Guard in 1934.
From 1911 through 1912, Gansser served as a Michigan Representative from the First District (Bay City). He also served as a Michigan Senator, 1915-1931, from the 24th District (Bay and Midland counties). Gansser was defeated in the 1932 election. He was a Republican. In 1927 and 1929 Gansser served as President Pro Tem of the Senate.
Active in many fraternal, veteran, and patriotic organizations, Gansser was a member of the Elks, Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, etc. He also served on the Michigan Child Welfare Conference Executive Committee.
In 1905 Gansser compiled and edited the History of Bay County, Michigan and Representative Citizens, a copy of which is available in the Clarke Historical Library.
On April 25, 1896, Gansser married Elizabeth Richardson, born on July 26, 1876. Together they had four sons: Emil A. (1898-1979); Webster H. (1900-1963); Victor L. (1902-1971); and Virgil Richardson (born and died March 7, 1904).
Augustus H. Gansser died on April 25, 1951. (This information is from the collection, some of which was copied from the vertical files of the Bay City Public Library.)