Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thomas Prather (1855-1913) - Banker; In-Law of Adams Family

[Prather gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 33

Thomas Prather was a prominent Oakland businessman who married into a noted Oakland family.

Prather was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1855 and moved to Oakland with his parents in 1870. In 1885, Prather married Julia Adams, sister of Edson F. Adams and John Charles Adams, a prominent family in early Oakland.

He became business partners with the two men, running the Union National Bank and other financial enterprises. In 1908, Prather and the Adams brothers were involved in a huge scandal where they allegedly misused money from the bank for their personal use. Julia Adam Prather, along with her two brothers, inherited a fortune when her father Edson Adams died.

Prather was involved in a number of other business ventures, including the construction of the Yosemite railway, construction of the San Salvador harbor in South America, part owner of the Oakland Meat and Packing Company and the Yolo Water and Power Company. He also owned cattle ranches.

After his death, Samuel Prather, his brother, engaged in a nasty fight over the estate with the Adams family. Prather appears to have gotten the last laugh from the grave when his outstanding debts appeared to have wiped out any inheritance due to the Adams’ three children.

Coles Bashford - Scandal Plagued Wisconsin Governor; Arizona Territory Politician

[Bashford Gravesite Photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 13

Coles Bashford (January 24, 1816 – April 25, 1878) was an American lawyer and politician who became the first Republican governor of Wisconsin. His one term as governor ended in a bribery scandal that forced him to leave the state, but he was later instrumental in the government of the newly-formed Arizona Territory.

Bashford was born near Cold Spring in Putnam County, New York. He attended the Wesleyan Seminary (now Genessee College) in Lima, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1842. He served as the district attorney of Wayne County from 1847 until he resigned in 1850 and moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He won a seat in the Wisconsin State Senate in 1853 as a Whig. After the Whigs split on the issue of slavery, Bashford became one of the founding candidates of the Republican Party, winning a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly on that ticket in 1855.

Bashford ran for governor as a Republican in 1855 and was at first declared the loser to the Democrat incumbent, William A. Barstow, by a mere 157 votes. However, Bashford claimed the result was fraudulent, and it was later discovered that Barstow's win was due to forged election returns coming from nonexistent precincts in the sparsely populated northern part of the state, in addition to other irregularities such as two separate canvassing boards claiming legitimacy in Waupaca County.

With rival militia units converging on the state capital in Madison, Bashford was sworn in quietly in the chambers of the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Chief Justice Whiton on January 7, 1856. On the same day, Barstow was publicly inaugurated with full ceremony. After challenging the court's jurisdiction without success and noting that the tide of public opinion had turned against him, Barstow declined to contest the fraud allegations and sent his resignation to the legislature on March 21, 1856, leaving the lieutenant governor, Arthur MacArthur, as acting governor.

On March 24, the court unanimously awarded the governorship to Bashford by a count of 1,009 votes. The following day, as Madison was crowded with onlookers, Bashford entered the Capitol with the court's judgment in hand, in the company of a sheriff and a throng of followers, and announced to MacArthur that he had come to claim his office. Upon Bashford's threat that force would be used if necessary, MacArthur and his supporters quickly left. Despite initial opposition by the Democrats in the State Assembly, both houses of the Wisconsin State Legislature soon recognized Bashford as the new governor.

As governor, Bashford appointed the first African-American to Wisconsin state office when he made barber and entrepreneur William Noland a notary public in 1857. Bashford declined renomination from the Republican Party, and left office at the end of his term on January 4, 1858. Weeks later, an investigation was launched regarding bribes that he and members of his administration had accepted from the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad Company in exchange for approval of a major land grant. Bashford himself had received the largest payoff in the form of $50,000 in stocks and $15,000 in cash from the railroad company; state legislators and a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice were also involved in payoffs exceeding $400,000 in total.

Nearly every copy of the final investigative report was seized and burned by the implicated politicians, but public outrage spread despite the suppression. Bashford managed to cash in his stock before the railroad company folded as a result of the investigation, and fled the state. He travelled first to Washington, DC in 1862, and then left for the Arizona Territory in 1863 with his brother, Levi, who was to be Surveyor General of the newly-created territory. They made the arduous, cross-continental journey accompanying the "Governor's party"—the appointed territorial officials led by Governor John Noble Goodwin—and arrived in Arizona Territory in December of 1863.

Though moving to the Territory as a private citizen, Bashford was soon appointed its first Attorney General by Governor Goodwin, serving from 1864 until 1866. His position required him to journey throughout the Territory, frequently travelling through land considered "hostile Indian country", but he executed these duties without incident. Bashford was also the first lawyer admitted to practice in the Arizona Territorial Courts, and compiled the session laws of the Territory into one 400-page volume with the assistance of Associate Justice William T. Howell. He was elected President of the first Territorial Council (the Territory's upper legislative body) in 1864, and served from 1867 until 1869 as a territorial delegate to the United States Congress as an independent, rather than with his former party.

The last political office Bashford held was as Secretary of State for the Territory by appointment of President Grant in 1869 and again in 1873. After the Territory's capital moved from Prescott, where Bashford and Levi ran the Bashford Mercantile Store, Bashford resigned in 1876 to stay close to his business interests.

He died in Prescott two years later of heart disease. He and his wife Francis Adams had seven children: Belle (who had died at age 11), Edward, Elizabeth, Helen, Lillian, Margaret, and William Coles. The Bashford Mercantile Store remained operating in Prescott until the 1940s.

[Adapted from Wikipedia entry]

I have been unable to figure out why Bashford is buried in Oakland.

Annie Glud - "Drummer Boy" with General Ulysses S. Grant

[Glud gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno; "Drummer Boy" from Oakland Tribune]

Plot 13

Annie Glud became famous in 1921 when she revealed that she was drummer boy Tom Hundley, who marched with Ulysses S. Grant and the Union forces. Glud enlisted with the Union forces disguised as a boy and only Grant and Glud’s father knew of her secret.

Glud participated in two of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, those at Richmond and Gettysburg. Two of Glud’s brothers fought for the Union forces and her other two brothers fought for the Confederate forces.

Over the years, Glud regularly participated in the annual Armistice Day parades in Oakland and kept the drum until her death.

Glud made news two other times in her life, the first time again performing “the work of a man." In 1897, she joined a group of women for a two week search for gold in Shasta County. A year before the excursion Glud had discovered an old mine on her ranch just north of Redding. According to newspaper accounts, “Mrs. Glud told her friends about it, and she persuaded six of them to go prospecting in the vicinity…Each woman put on bloomers, rough boots, leggings, a man’s working shirt and a black slouch hat. Around their waists they strapped canteens and pans and on their shoulders they carried picks and shovels.”

In 1921, Glud again made news when she donated a historic cinnamon bear to President Warren G. Harding which was carved out of redwood by James Marshall, one of the discoverers of gold in California. According to the Oakland Tribune, “A letter offering the bear to the President was sent some weeks ago and has just been answered by the President, carrying his appreciation of the memento and accepting the gift.”

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Frank and Frederick Senram - Oakland Shoe Merchants

Frederick Senram was a noted shoe merchant in Oakland. He was born in Oldendorf, Germany in 1836 and moved to San Francisco, California in 1859, where he lived for four years.

In 1863, he moved to Oakland and opened a shoe repair and retail store named F Senram and Company at 3rd & Broadway, which he eventually moved to 1003 Broadway. He retired from the business in 1904.

Apparently, Senram had one of the nicer stores in Oakland. An article in the October 10 1907 Oakland Tribune commented, “There are no prettier show windows in Oakland or any coast city…An inspection of these show windows will reveal an artistic combination of woods and color effects all made complete with elegant electric lights.”

After his death, his daughter Bertha Sneathen successfully sued to prevent her step-mother Pauline Senram from inheriting any of the estate.

His older brother Frank Senram was a partner in the shoe business. He was a member of the German club Oakland Turn Verein and the Tecumseh Tribe No. 62, Improved Order of Redmen. His widow Wilhelmina died after accidentally drinking poison in the middle of the night, mistaking it for her medication.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Simeon Wenban - Silver Mining Pioneer and Innovator

[Photo of Wenban gravesite by Michael Colbruno; Wenban home at 1920 Van Ness Ave. from SF Public Library photo archives]

Simeon Wenban was the founder of the Cortez Silver Mine in Cortez, Nevada, which at one time was the third largest silver mine in the world. Ironically, Wenban made much of his fortune from the limestone surrounding the silver.

Wenban was born in the English parish of Hawkhurst in 1824, the son of a wheelwright. In 1828, his parents moved the family to Utica, New York and later to Cleveland. In 1854, Wenban moved to California to begin a career, but moved to Nevada in 1862. Before long, he was one of the richest men in the area having become a millionaire many times over.

Much of his success came from finding new and innovative ways to extract the maximum amount of ore from a mine. During a difficult financial time at his mine, he found it difficult to pay his Cornish workers. They became restless and angry with Wenban. He fired them and replaced them with Chinese workers who were far more patient in waiting for their pay.

Unlike many other miners in the area, Wenban befriended the Ute Indians of the area, who often brought him gifts of game and dressed skins.

In 1888, Wenban moved his family to San Francisco and erected a magnificent home at Van Ness Avenue & Jackson Street. In 1892, out of an act of sheer generosity, he decided to build a beautiful new home for the Bohemian Club, but the officers decided that the expense in maintaining it would be to great and they never occupied the building.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ina Donna Coolbrith - California's First Poet Laureate

[Coolbrith Gravesite Photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 11

Ina Coolbrith was born Josephine Donna Smith to Agnes Moulton Coolbrith and Don Carlos Smith, a brother of the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.. Leaving her polygamous marriage and the Mormon Church, Agnes took her daughter with her and moved to Saint Louis, where she married a newspaperman named William Pickett. They traveled overland to California in 1850 and Ina Coolbrith is said to have been the first white child to enter California, riding on the saddle of Jim Beckworth.

To avoid identification with her former family or with Mormonism, Ina's mother reverted to using her maiden name, Coolbrith. Her daughter followed suit, and shortened her name from Josephine to Ina to further conceal the relationship.

In 1873 Ina became librarian at the Oakland Free Library, and, in 1895, befriended and mentored the young, 12-year-old Jack London. Jack London called her his "literary mother." She also mentored the poet, George Sterling. Late in life, she campaigned for a proper burial in Westminster Abbey for the remains of her favorite poet, Lord Byron.

In 1915, she was named California’s first Poet Laureate by Governor Hiram Johnson, a post she held until her death.

On the day of her funeral the Legislature adjourned in her memory and soon afterward named a 7,900 foot peak near Beckworth Pass "Mount Ina Coolbrith." Her grave site, within sight of Frank Norris' monument at Mountain View Cemetery went unmarked until September 1986 when the Ina Coolbrith Circle placed the headstone pictured above in Plot 11.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Jackie Winnow (1947-1991) - Lesbian Feminist Activist

[Winnow gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 16

Jackie Winnow was a feminist, lesbian and progressive activist who played a major role in transforming health care activism. She was the first coordinator of the Lesbian/Gay and AIDS unit of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, where her work focused on discrimination both within and without the LGBT communities. In 1985, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she founded the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Berkeley the next year.

Winnow's involvement in the feminist health movement inspired her cancer activism. She once said, "We have to stop being nice girls and start fighting as if our lives depend on it, because they do." She became an outspoken cancer activist and infused the movement with energy and focus.

She also was a forceful voice for people with AIDS and once stated, “Both of these diseases are life-threatening and yet I have seen my community rally around one and overlook the other…No one takes care of women or lesbians except women or lesbians, and we have a hard enough time taking care of ourselves, of finding ourselves worthy and important enough for attention.”

After her death, her lover Teya Schaffer wrote a heartrending account of her grief called “A Ritual of Drowning: Poems of Love and Mourning.” The San Francisco Board of Supervisors adjourned in her memory.

Ida Louise Jackson (1902-1996) - First Black Public School Teacher in California

[Jackson gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno; Bottom photo - Jackson with Dr. Marcus Foster]

Plot 16

Ida Louise Jackson was born in 1902 in Vicksburg Mississippi, a daughter of a former slave. She attended private schools before transferring to public schools as a sixth grader, graduating from Cherry Street High School in 1914, enrolling at Rust College, but transferred to New Orleans University (renamed Dillard University) and graduated in 1917 with a Normal Teaching Diploma and a certificate in home economics.

She moved to California, and after being told she was "unqualified" to teach here, she entered U.C. Berkeley in 1920, majoring in vocational guidance, counseling and education. She graduated in 1922 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her Master's degree was earned in 1923, also from Berkeley. She attended Columbia University and obtained her Doctorate.

Dr. Jackson was a pioneering black woman; upon being hired by the city of Oakland in 1926 she became the first black public school teacher in California, instructing elementary and high school students in American History. She was a long-term substitute teacher at Prescott Junior High School starting in 1926, and she remained the only African-American teacher in the district until 1934. At the time, the city's white teachers protested her hiring. She taught at McClymonds High School and retired in 1953.

Although she was just one of seventeen black students at U.C. Berkeley in 1921, she was an organizer and charter member of the U.C. Berkeley Rho Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha.

With support from the sorority in 1934, she founded what became known as "Mississippi Health Project." for whom she was general director for the eight years of its operation. Over 4,000 children and many adults were treated in these mobile clinics, which traveled from plantation to plantation throughout Mississippi.

In 1979, Dr. Jackson donated her Mendocino ranch to U.C. Berkeley, specifying that the proceeds of its sale be used as graduate fellowships for black students pursuing degrees there.

Her oral history remains one of Bancroft Library's most popular with students.

Henry Alexander Melvin - Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

[Melvin gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 16

Henry Alexander Melvin was an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court from 1908-1920.

Judge Melvin was born at Springfield, Illinois, September 28th, 1865, in the same year that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, who was also from Springfield. Melvin’s father was a doctor, who was a neighbor, friend, ardent Unionist and supporter of the 16th President.

In 1873, the Melvin family moved to St. Helena, California, where they lived for three years before settling in Oakland.

Judge Melvin attended Franklin Grammar School in Oakland, Oakland High School, and then from 1885 to 1889 he attended the University of California, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. He received his law degree from the Hastings College of Law in 1892, and was admitted to the bar the same year.

Melvin was also a practicing pharmacist and ran a drug store, as well as holding a professorship at the Oakland College of Medicine and Surgery.

Justice Melvin was also a noted expert on military affairs and he was first lieutenant and inspector of rifle practice of the University Cadets when he graduated from the University of California. For many years he was a member of the Republican Alliance of Oakland, in which he attained the rank of major.

While still a student in 1891, he was appointed a justice of the peace of Brooklyn Township, Alameda County. He later served as a prosecuting attorney for the City of Oakland, deputy district attorney, chief deputy district attorney of Alameda County and a special deputy attorney-general of the State of California.

In 1901 he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Superior Bench of Alameda County, and in 1902 was elected to a full term of six years. He resigned to accept an appointment as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California on his birthday in 1908.

Judge Melvin became a Mason and rose in the Scottish rite to the fourteenth degree, and was one of the most active members in the California Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of which he was made grand Exalted Ruler in 1906. On July 18, 1921, the granite monument pictured above was unveiled on the Melvin plot by the Elks of the nation.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Rossell G. O'Brien (1846-1914) - Started Tradition of Standing During National Anthem

[O'Brien gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 6

Rossell O'Brien entered the military during the American Civil War enlisting in Company D of the 134th Illinois Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant. After the war, O'Brien stayed in the military and eventually reached the rank of Brigadier General.

He is most notably known as being the man who started the custom of standing and removing your hat during the playing of the National Anthem.

In 1892, O'Brien was elected the 15th mayor of Olympia, Washington. The next year, in 1893, he became adjutant-general of the state of Washington, serving until 1897.

Fred Korematsu (1919-2005) - Refused Internment

Fred Korematsu, born in Oakland, was a nisei, or second-generation Japanese American. On Dec. 7, 1941, Mr. Korematsu was a 22-year-old welder in San Leandro. Like all West Coast Japanese, the Korematsus were ordered in early 1942 to assembly centers and later incarcerated in camps. But Mr. Korematsu refused to go.

Planning to move to Nevada, he assumed another identity and even had plastic surgery, but was arrested in San Leandro and jailed. Aided by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, Mr. Korematsu challenged the exclusion orders in 1942.

The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the conviction by a 6-3 vote in 1944, ruling that military necessity justified the orders. His was one of a handful of legal challenges by Japanese Americans to military orders. But it was Mr. Korematsu's case that became the most well-known -- and is studied today by every law student in America.

Viewed by many constitutional scholars as one of the high court's worst mistakes, the 1944 ruling in Korematsu vs. United States drew stinging dissent from Justice Robert Jackson, who wrote that the "Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination. ... The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon. ..."

Mr. Korematsu's conviction dogged him, making it hard to support his wife and two children. Years later, when Irons came to him with vital documents denying that Japanese Americans were a threat during the war, he reopened his case with the help of a pro-bono team of young, mostly Japanese American lawyers.

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel threw out the conviction and called the case a "constant caution that in times of war or declared military necessity, our institutions must be vigilant in protecting our constitutional guarantees." The reversal followed a 1983 federal court ruling that found the internment of 120, 000 people of Japanese ancestry to have been an action based on "unsubstantiated facts, distortions," and racism.

He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton in 1998.

[Excerpted from obituary; Clinton photo from Associated Press]

Henry Goode Blasdel (1825-1900) - Nevada Governor and Gambling Foe

Henry Goode Blasdel (January 29, 1825 – July 22, 1900) was the first Governor of Nevada. He was a Republican and stood 6’ 5” tall, which made him a towering figure in those days.

Blasdel was born near Lawrenceburg, Indiana and married Sarah Jane Cox in 1845. In 1852, he made his way to San Francisco via Nicaragua. From 1852 to 1867 he operated a produce commission house before selling off the operation. He worked as a farmer in Santa Cruz, storekeeper and river boat captain before he came to Nevada in 1859, where he was active in mining and milling. Blasdel was the superintendent of the famous Potosi, Hale & Norcross mines.

In 1861 Blasdel was elected Recorder of Storey County. Blasdel was elected Governor in 1864, and re-elected in 1866. He served until 1870.

In Feburary 1866, the Nevada legislature created Lincoln County. In March 1866, Gov. Henry Blasdel traveled to the area to organize the new county. This foray into the wilderness frontier nearly proved fatal for the governor and his party. It was thought that the group perished because for three months there was no communication from the group. But they eventually straggled into the Pahranagat Mining District, a bit worse for the wear but alive.

Like his father, Blasdel was deeply religious and a strict believer in abstinence. He was also and ardent opponent of the burgeoning gambling industry in Nevada. In his 1867 message to the Legislature he stated:

“Gaming is an intolerable and inexcusable vice. It saps the very foundation of morality, breeds contempt for honest industry, and totally disqualifies its victims for the discharge of the ordinary duties of life. Every energy of the State should be invoked to suppress it.”

In 1869, the Nevada Legislature overrode Blasdel’s veto of a bill legalizing gaming. In his blistering veto message, Blasdel called gambling “the root of all evils.”

In 1891, Blasdel moved his family to Oakland, California, where he died on July 22, 1900. Sarah Jane remained at their house at East 24th Street & Orange in the Fruitvale District of Oakland until her death on November 1, 1904.

Governor Blasdel’s death received a one-line obituary in the San Francisco Call. He became the second Nevada Governor to be buried at Mountain View, following Charles C. Stevenson, who died in office a decade earlier.

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Stephen T. Gage - Powerful Railroad Lobbyist

[Gage gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno; portrait from Oakland Tribune]

Plot 14B

Stephen Gage was an assistant to Leland Stanford when he served as President of the Southern Pacific Company and a confidant to Collis P. Huntington when he served in the same capacity, but only after Huntington realized that he couldn’t push the powerful Gage aside.

Gage served in the California State Assembly for one term in 1856.

Gage began working for the Central Pacific Railroad in 1864, which later became the Southern Pacific Company. His rise to power came as he began organizing the railroad expansion into Nevada. His political influence in Nevada was said to be unmatched by anyone at the time.

Gage was responsible for securing all of the coal for the railroad system and began importing it from around the globe. At any one time, Gage had as many as 100 clippers bringing coal across the ocean.

The San Francisco Call newspaper claimed that other than Stanford and Huntington, no person did more to bolster the success of the railroad company than Gage.

Upon his retirement, the July 16, 1901 issue of the Call reported:

“The time was when Gage was the dictator of the political fate of the two States, and his influence reached from Oregon to Texas and his power was felt in the halls of Congress at Washington. No man in the history of the Golden State and its State sister across the mountains ever wielded greater power than the man who is about to be retired. Legislators were his playthings. He made and unmade Judges. He dictated the names of Congressmen and United States Senators. The Governors of sovereign States were oft times made by Stephen T. Gage.”

Gage died a man of relatively modest means considering that he had made many men millionaires many times over. He was paid a monthly stipend of $1,000 for the first year of his retirement, which was then reduced to $500. The San Francisco Call surmised that Gage didn’t die rich because he was as honest a man as one could find in business.

Paul Steindorff - Famous Conductor

Paul Steindorff was a noted conductor of musicals and opera who found great success in New York City, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area. He conducted marching bands, big bands, Broadway musicals, operas and choral groups. Much of his acclaim in New York was due to his association with the the opera company of noted soprano Lillian Russell and the New York Symphony Society, founded by the legendary Leopold Damrosch.

In 1895, he conducted Lillian Russell in an English language version of Offenbach’s “La Perichole” at New York City’s Abbey Theatre (later the Knickerbocker Theatre). The New York Times, apparently much cattier in those days, wrote, “Miss Russell has not become thinner during her absence from the scenes of her personal and artistic conquests nor has she lost either voice or self-consciousness.” Steindorff, they remarked, “…conducted with skill and vigor.”

In 1897, he again joined Lillian Russell at the infamous and less illustrious New York City prison The Tombs to perform separately for the women, men and children prisoners.

According to the New York Times, “Miss Russell was attired in black, with a few light touches. She had a black silk gown, with a black Persian lamb jacket, lined with ermine, a small bonnet trimmed with primroses and black feathers, and a muff of Persian lamb, with lace and violets.” She sang Frances Alliston’s “A Song of Thanksgiving.” There was no report on the status of her weight.

Between 1889-1900 he was the musical director of four shows on Broadway, The Belle of Bohemia, The Singing Girl , The Fortune Teller and The Charlatan.

In 1901, he moved to San Francisco and joined the 1700-seat Tivoli Opera House at the behest of his friend Teddy Hartman. While there he conducted the American premiere of Giordano’s masterpiece “Andrea Chenier” and Leoncavallo’s now forgotten “Zaza.” That same year, he conducted a memorial tribute at the Pavilion in Golden Gate Park in honor of President William McKinley, who had been killed by an assassin.

From 1902 until 1906 he served as director of the Golden Gate Park Band in San Francisco. Performances regularly drew 20,000 people. During a May 11, 1902 concert, he conducted a piece called “The Yankee Hustler,” which was written by San Francisco Mayor Eugene Schmitz. Steindorff told the San Francisco Call newspaper in 1908 that his greatest joy in San Francisco was directing the Band and exposing the masses to wonderful music.

In 1903, he led a band of forty at the Mechanics’ Pavillion that played for President Theodore Roosevelt during his visit to San Francisco.

After San Francisco was destroyed by fire, Steindorff and one of his colleagues, actor/director Ferris Hartman fled the city, but needed to concoct a scheme to get into Oakland which was being guarded by the military to limit the refugees. The two men secured a hearse complete with a coffin and drove safely into Oakland.

After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, stars from the Tivoli Theater relocated to Oakland and renamed themselves the Idora Park Comic Opera Company. Shows like The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance and The Wizard of the Nile were performed under the direction of Paul Steindorff in a large wooden opera house called the Wigwam Theater. Idora Park was bounded by Shattuck and Telegraph Ave., and 56thSt. and 58th St..

On November 19, 1908 he conducted the San Francisco farewell concert of internationally renowned opera singer Blanche Arral at the Christian Science Hall. In 1910, he conducted a Christmas concert at Lotta’s Fountain on Market Street in San Francisco with famed soprano Luisa Tetrazzini that drew 90,000 people.

In 1912 he organized the Oakland Municipal Band and from 1912-1923, he headed the Department of Music at UC Berkeley.

Paul Steindorff was a major celebrity in his day and, sadly, is generally forgotten today. If you’re visiting Mountain View, drive to the end of the main road until you reach the third fountain. Steindorff’s somewhat modest grave is to the left side, just before the fountain.