August Helbing was born in Munich, Germany in 1823 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1844. He moved to San Francisco in 1850, shortly after the discovery of gold in California, and founded the firm Meyer, Helbing and Company, establishing himself as a prominent local dry goods merchant. Later Helbing became a partner in the wholesale crockery business Helbing, Strauss and Company and, in partnership with Jacob Greenebaum, a stock broker in the firm Greenebaum, Helbing and Company. Helbing served as first vice-president of the Pacific Stock Exchange Board was also a founder of San Francisco's Eureka Benevolent Society. In 1892, Helbing ran as the Republican canditate for San Francisco City Supervisor for the 12th Ward.
The collection includes a voting guide and political card from 1892 when August Helbing ran as a Republican candidate for the supervisor of San Francisco's 12th Ward. The collection also has a photocopy of an obituary for Helbing that appeared in the San Francisco Call newspaper (1896).