Ernest Benard was born in Orleans, France in 1859. He came to San Diego in 1887 as a foreman for the California Nursery Company
in charge of landscaping at the Hotel Del Coronado. In 1888 he began to develop the Mission Valley Nursery, the first nursery
in San Diego. On August 11, 1891, he married Margaretha Herkert. Margaretha was born September 17, 1868 in Calhoun County,
Illinois, and came to San Diego in 1889. They lived at 732 Cerro Gordo Ave. and ran the nursery sales yard at Sixth and D
Streets. Ernest died in 1928. Margaretha continued to run the business until her retirement due to ill health in 1945. She
died November 24, 1947. They had two daughters: Mrs. Rosa B. Becker and Mrs. Lily C. Colt.