Anna Francisca Heinzman: volunteer, world traveler, Mom

Anna Francisca Heinzmann 1920-1930 (courtesy of John James)

Anna Francisca Heinzman 1920-1930s

Standing in front of a Kodak advertisement and a sign for cigars, with a bobcut and knickers, she looks so… modern. Even almost 100 years later I instantly knew she was progressive. It made me wonder. What was she like?

I mean, not every girl wore “knickers” and rolled stockings in the 1920s. Cultural norms during that time dictated that it was acceptable to wear knickers for sport activities such as golf and hiking, but definitely not for everyday wear.

“The fact that the debate over women and pants was still happening the 1960s tells you that in the 1920s, women wearing pants were likely to raise eyebrows. Even Katharine Hepburn and her newsworthy trousers in the 1930s could not shake the public perception of women strutting around town in what was widely considered men’s clothing” (Vintage Dancer).

A woman wearing knickers (image courtesy of This Old Life).

A woman wearing knickers in the 1920s.  (image courtesy of This Old Life).

Anna, definitely rode “the wave of the future.” She saw a lot of change during her lifetime – and not just in dress lengths short options.

She lived through many events such as:
The use of Model T cars
The 1918 Flu epidemic
WWI
Women’s right to vote
KKK violence
Prohibition
The Great Depression
WWII

Anna Francisca Heinzman was one tough lady.

She was born in Sankt Leon Rot Germany, in 1908.

courtesy of wikipedia

courtesy of wikipedia

click to enlarge

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Two years later Her father Ludwig Heinzman, her mother Rosa, and her older brother Gene August Heinzman sailed on a ship named the S.S. Lapland to America. The ship left in Antwerp Belgium, and arrived in Ellis Island New York. My great grandfather Gene remembered the first time he tasted orange marmalade was on the S.S. Lapland. He had never tasted an orange before and thought it was delicious.

Lapland
Luckily, conditions were decent on the ship, even for second and third class passengers.

Washroom on the S.S. lapland Red Star line (image courtesy of Sanitation and Safety of Passenger Vessels (1911)

Washroom on the S.S. Lapland Red Star line (image courtesy of Sanitation and Safety of Passenger Vessels (1911)

Naturalization record of Ludwig, Rosa, Anna, and Gene

Naturalization record of Ludwig, Rosa, Anna, and Gene

Moving from Germany to Las Vegas, New Mexico must have been an enormous change for their family.

Las Vegas, taken in 1910.

Las Vegas, taken in 1910.

The Heinzman family eventually moved and settled in Oakland California.
A few years later Anna met Leslie Calvin Smith and they were married in Oakland on March 14, 1928. She was 19 years old, and Leslie was 23 years old.

According to records Leslie was known for his watercolor paintings and was a postmaster while studying at The California College of the Arts. I would love to see some of his paintings! However, I haven’t been able to find any.

Students painting outside  . CCAC - 1920s-1930s. (photo courtesy of CCAC archived images).

Students painting outside . CCAC – 1920s-1930s. (photo courtesy of CCAC archived images). It is very possible that Leslie Smith would have taken a class similar to this one.

Tragically, the young couple did not last. Leslie died three years later from unknown causes. Anna was left a widow with a young baby by the age of 22.
I can’t even imagine having your husband pass away during the beginning of the Great Depression with a young child.

Five years later in the summer of 1937 she married Harold August Dilberger, an electrical engineer.

Not much is said about her later years, but her obituary in the Alameda Star Times paints Anna Heinzman as a strong, caring, and accomplished lady.

DILBERGER ANN F. 93, of Montclair died Nov. 29th at Piedmont Gardens. She was born in Germany and immigrated to this country in 1910. She had been a resident of Oakland since 1922. Mrs. Dilberger was a homemaker and a small business owner. She also was a volunteer with Children’s Hospital, Republican Women, Campfire Girls, Girl Scouts and Piedmont Community Church. With her late husband, Harold A. Dilberger, she traveled extensively abroad. Loving mother of Lorraine Parmer of Pt. Richmond and Loretta Lawson of Nevada City Also surviving are six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and her brother, Gene Heinzman of Vallejo. Interment at Mt. View Cemetery. Private services. Memorial donations suggested to Children’s Hospital, 747 52nd Street, Oakland 94609.

What a lady.

Jacob C. See – The stuff legends are made of

Jacob

Jacob “Jake C. See (photo courtesy of James Mahar)

Here is my great-great-great grandpa.
That’s right, three greats.

He is great.

For one thing, he could put any No-Shave November participant to shame.
He really did have amazing beards and mustaches. But, he was so much more than his spectacular facial hair.

See how you're related! Click to enlarge.

See how you’re related! Click to enlarge.

He was a G-E-N-U-I-N-E real American cowboy in California.

According to San Luis Obispo Folklore and History:

Jake C. See was the quintessential American cowboy―a mountain of a man with a wide handle-bar mustache and sparkling, clear eyes; his cheeks and sharp nose were chiseled by decades of wind, rain, and dusty trails until his face became as burnished as the leather boots he wore; he was bow-legged from constant horseback riding, donned a wide-brimmed Stetson hat and a bandana, wore a gun on the hip, and when riding carried a 100 foot riata (lasso rope)―the use if which he was famous for. Con­sidered the “Robin Hood” of the West by friends and the devil incarnate by the rest, in 1880 was eventually arrested and convicted of sheep rustling but served only two years of a four year term in San Quentin Prison after local residents petitioned the governor for his early release. He ran unsuccessfully for Sherriff of San Luis Obispo County in 1918. (Apparently he was the popular choice until a scandal turned voters against him/he was picked up for bootlegging).

1918 poster for

1918 poster for “Jake” See running for Sheriff. (Photo courtesy of James Mahar.)

Not much is found about Jake See’s childhood. However, the little details that have been preserved are priceless. Jake See was an orphan and was adopted while “crossing the Great Plains by covered wagon train on the way to California” (San Luis Obispo Folklore and History: The Life and Times of Jake C. See).His new family settled in the in the California Frontier.  The times were different back then.

San Luis Obispo, 1876 (Photo courtesy of wikipedia)

San Luis Obispo, 1876 (Photo courtesy of wikipedia)

“San Luis Obispo was cow country―a time ruled by cattle ranchers and the cowboy way where the vigilante’s rope and the law of the gun prevailed” (San Luis Obispo Folklore and History: The Life and Times of Jake C. See).

A newspaper clipping from 1886 illustrates how life was different back then. Fights were a common way to settle business.

San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Jan 1886, Tue, Page 8

San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Jan 1886, Tue, Page 8

Not only was Jake accused for grand larceny and served two years for stealing sheep, on June 29, 1889 he was arrested for forgery when he was 44. According to the Sacramento Daily Union” vol. 1, No. 5 30 Jun, Jake See forged notes with MR Duffy amounting to $3,000. That was a lot of money back then!

The Record-Union, 30 Jun 1889, Sun, First Edition

The Record-Union, 30 Jun 1889, Sun, First Edition

Jacob See. Sepia tone print on card (Photo Courtesy of James Mahar)

Jacob See in his younger years. Sepia tone print on card (Photo Courtesy of James Mahar)

Jake See’s stories do not end with sheep rustling and money. In another account of Jake See’s life: Charged With Cutting Timber on Government Lands in Madera, it tells another side of Jake. 
Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 9.38.31 PMJake C. See may have been a colorful person, but some of the legends surrounding his name are allegedly untrue. In my family there is a legend that Jacob See was a horse thief and he was eventually hung for the crime. I am happy to report that Jacob C. See was no horse thief (as far as I can tell). He also was not hanged for a crime. Despite the legends, Jake See died of influenza. He was 73 years old when he passed away.

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Narcissa (Biggs) See. Sepia print on card. (Photo Courtesy of James Mahar).

Narcissa (Biggs) See. Sepia print on card. (Photo Courtesy of James Mahar). She was 13 years old when she married Jake See. He was 17.

Joseph See's poster from when he ran for Sheriff in 1918. Current Sheriff of San Luis Obispo County,CA. Ian Parkenson. (photo courtesy of No1deon of ancestry.com)

Joseph See’s poster from when he ran for Sheriff in 1918. Current Sheriff of San Luis Obispo County,CA. Ian Parkenson. (photo courtesy of No1deon of ancestry.com)

Lysander Gault – A Whaler in the Hawaiian Islands

stereoview photographs of whaling during the time period of Lysander Gault (courtesy of https://pplspcoll.files.wordpress.com).

stereoview photographs of whaling during the time period of Lysander Gault (courtesy of https://pplspcoll.files.wordpress.com).

Cove at Buzzards Bay, Wareham Massachusetts (photo courtesy of Google maps)

It seems that the ocean is in our blood.

It isn’t hard to love the water, especially when your home is nestled against the salty ocean of Massachusetts. That was the the case for Lysander W. Gault. Born November 14, 1824 in Wareham Massachusetts, Lysander grew up near the Atlantic Ocean.

Onset Bay,  Wareham Massachusetts

Onset Bay, Wareham Massachusetts (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

click to enlarge. See how you are related!

click to enlarge. See how you are related!

There is not much information about Lysander’s childhood, but it must have been adventurous growing up with eight other brothers and sisters. He married Hannah Jane Francis November 11, 1861in New Bedford Massachusetts. Lysander was 36 years old, Hannah was 25.

lysander

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It doesn’t say when he began his career, but Lysander was a whaler. He spent much time off the coast of the Pacific – including Hawaii. Immediately I had scenes of Moby Dick swirling through my head when I found out he was a whaler.

“In the mid-1840s, when the industry was at its height, the vast majority of the 600 ships that arrived each year at Oahu and Maui came from the United States.” (Courtesy of http://www.theamericanmenu.com/2014/01/king-kalakaua-of-hawaii.html)

As it turns out, whaling is a very time and labor intensive job. Lysander was often away from his family for years at a time. According to the National Maritime Digital Library, one trip lasted at least two years! “The ships were outfitted with whaling gear and enough provisions to last for a cruise of up to four years” (New Bedford Whaling Museum).

American School, 19th Century Portrait of the New Bedford Whaling Ship John Carver. Unsigned

American School, 19th Century Portrait of the New Bedford Whaling Ship the John Carver. Unsigned

He departed in June of 1875 and returned May 1879. According to Records his ship the John Carver, caught 972 sperm whale and hauled 375 bones.

When I first read the log, I had two questions, “how do you get that many whales onboard a ship?” and “What did they do with the whale fat and bones?”

Before a world of iPads, before a world of electric lights, lighting was very important. Candles and lamps fueled with oil were used.

“When a whale was killed, it was towed to the ship and its blubber, the thick insulating fat under its skin, would be peeled and cut from its carcass in a process known as “flensing.” The blubber was minced into chunks and boiled in large vats on board the whaling ship, producing oil.
The oil taken from whale blubber was packaged in casks and transported back to the whaling ship’s home port (such as New Bedford, Massachusetts, the busiest American whaling port in the mid-1800s). From the ports it would be sold and transported across the country and would find its way into a huge variety of products.

Whale oil, in addition to be used for lubrication and illumination, was also used to manufacture soaps, paint, and varnish. Whale oil was also utilized in some processes used to manufacture textiles and rope.”  Whale bones were the new plastic and used in everything from corsets to piano keys. – (“What Products Were Produced from Whales, Robert McNamara, 19th Century History Expert.)

Corset made with whale parts. (Image courtesy of http://amhistory.si.edu/)

Corset made with whale parts. (Image courtesy of http://amhistory.si.edu/)

 Whaling was usually strenuous, unpleasant work. It was often said that “the stench of processing whales was so strong a whale ship could be smelled over the horizon before it could be seen” (am history).

The good news is that crews were often close knit.

Below are short notes written to Lysander from John A. Coffin who was a Master Mariner with Lysander on the John Carver.

notes exchanged between shipmates - Lysander Gault and John A Coffin. (Courtesy of http://pplspcoll.wordpress.com)

notes exchanged between shipmates – Lysander Gault and John A Coffin. (Courtesy of http://pplspcoll.wordpress.com) click to enlarge.

The notes are short and talk about important things such as, “I have sent a barrel of ale, put it in a safe place.”  Or, “please let Julian have his things when he comes for them.” It is remarkable that such simple everyday notes were able to be preserved for hundreds of years.

Lysander Gault's gravestone

Lysander Gault’s gravestone (courtesy of findagrave.com)

Standing in a small boat while battling tossing waves, trying to take down a massive and extremely powerful creature takes guts. Serious guts.
It was a grisly job that was probably part courage, and part crazy. It was all or nothing.
Yes, it is true whales are especially majestic creatures and should be preserved, but, I also have to remember that was a different time back then. Ideas were different. Life was different.
Although the age of whaling is esentially gone, the stories and lives of whalers such as Lysander Gault will always be remembered.

Plus, its always cool to say that sailing runs in the family.