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Title: Sixty Years of California Song
Author: Alverson, Margaret Blake, 1836-1923
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sixty Years of California Song" ***


Margaret Blake-Alverson


[Transcriber's Note: Numerous typographical errors and misspellings
(especially of non-English words and names) in the original text have
been corrected in this e-text, where the correct spelling could be

[Illustration: "Should Auld Acquaintance be forgot?"

Margaret Blake-Alverson

_Webster Photo, Oakland, 1912_]

Address all correspondence to


_Copyright 1913 by_
_All rights reserved_

     _Man must reap and sow and sing;
     Trade and traffic and sing;
     Love and forgive and sing;
     Rear the young with tenderness and sing;
     Then silently step forth to meet whatever is--and sing._






This book has been written for friends and musical associates of more
than half a century.

The author's life has been a busy one, often with events of public
import, and so it may be that this volume has value as history. Those
who should know have so affirmed.

It is hoped that old-time Californians will find the book good
reading. The later generations of students and musicians will be
interested in the story of one who helped to prepare the way for them.

The narrative tells somewhat of the Christian ministry of a noble
father, of the writer's career as a public singer and of reminiscences
of many associated musicians, efficient factors in the development of
music in California to the high place it holds today.

Some mention is made of distinguished divines and men of note in the
professions and in business. The part taken by the author in political
campaigns and in the activities of the Grand Army of the Republic will
appeal to patriots.

Some chapters on the singing voice and its cultivation are the
fruitage of a wide experience of many years. A list of pupils for
three decades is added.

The illustrations have been at once a labor of love and an
extravagance of money cost, but it is believed that the reader will
find in that feature alone justification for the publication.


Antecedents and Childhood                                            1

Our Trip to California via the Isthmus and Early Days There.
First Church Choir in Stockton                                      13

Stockton in the Fifties. Benicia Seminary. Genesis of Mills
College. Distinguished Pioneers. Marriage                           33

How I Made the First Bear Flag in California                        43

Boston. Dedham Choir, 1858. The Civil War.
Musicians. Return to California. Santa Cruz                         48

Music in Santa Cruz in the Sixties. Return to San Francisco.
How and Why I Became a Dressmaker. Opera. Music in
San Francisco in the Seventies                                      59

Lady of Lyons Given for the Fire Engine Fund, Santa Cruz.
Flag-Raising at Gilroy Hot Springs. Visalia Concerts                69

On the Road with Dick Kohler, Mr. Vivian, Walter Campbell,
Mr. Wand and Charles Atkins                                         75

Early Music and Music Houses. Musical Instrument Makers.
Old-Time Singers                                                    83

As a Church Choir Singer in Cincinnati, Stockton, Benicia,
Dedham, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Bernardino and
Oakland. Rev. Starr King, Howard Dow, Henry Clay
Barnabee, Carl Zerrahn, J.C.D. Parker, Carlotta and
Adelina Patti, Jenny Lind, Joe Maguire, Georgiana Leach,
Sam Mayer, Harry Gates                                              92

Golden Jubilee of Song Service, June 12, 1896                      108

Camilla Urso's Festival, 1873. Madame Anna Bishop, The
Loring Club, Alfred Wilkie, Frank Gilder, D.P. Hughes,
Ben Clark                                                          112

St. Patrick's, St. Mary's, St. Ignatius' Cathedrals. Episcopal
and Jewish Music. J.H. Dohrmann. The Bianchis                      123

Great Musical Festival in Aid of the Mercantile Library, 1878.
At Gilroy Springs                                                  130

Authors' Carnival, 1880, President Hayes and General Sherman
Present                                                            137

Vacation Episodes at Deer Park, July 4, 1893                       145

In Oakland. Sad Accident. With Brush and Easel. Kind
Friends                                                            152

Party at Dr. J.M. Shannon's Home in 1907                           157

Lee Tung Foo                                                       161

What I Know of the Voice and of Teaching                           167

Tremolo                                                            172

More About the Voice                                               179

Political Campaigning. Work as a Patriot on National Holidays
and with the Grand Army of the Republic. Flag
Raising at Monterey                                                183

Repertoire and Other Data. Distinguished Musicians and
Singers of the Last Century                                        203

Reminiscences of Early California Musicians and Singers            216

Reminiscences of Later California Musicians and Singers            227

With My Pupils                                                     248

A List of My Pupils                                                262


Mrs. Margaret Blake-Alverson, 1912                       _faces Title_

Heirloom Jewel                                          _faces page_ 4

Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Henry Kroh and Family,
Stockton, 1852                                         _faces page_ 12

Coat-of-Arms of the Blake Family                       _faces page_ 16

Steamer "American Eagle," Sacramento River, 1852.
Home of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Henry Kroh, Stockton, 1853   _faces page_ 20

First Presbyterian Church, Stockton, Built in 1849,
the First Protestant Church in California                    _page_ 25

Pioneer Home of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Henry Kroh, Stockton,
1851                                                         _page_ 26

Associated Musicians and Singers, 1853 to 1879: Richard
Condy, Mr. Schnable, Lizzie Fisher, Ellen Lloyd, Mary Jane
Lloyd, Mrs. Anna Bowden Shattuck, Judge H.B. Underhill,
Carrie Heinemann, Mrs. Taylor                          _faces page_ 28

Business Men of Stockton, 1852: Austin Sperry, James Harrold,
Wm. H. Knight, Geo. Henry Sanderson                    _faces page_ 32

Reminiscent of Benicia in the Early Fifties: Benicia Young
Ladies' Seminary, 1852; Benicia Courthouse, 1853; Prof.
Jos. Trenkle, Prof. Schumacher, Prof. Beutler, Prof. Paul
Pioda                                                  _faces page_ 36

Masonic Sheepskin, London, England, 1811. Capt. Chas.
Blake                                                  _faces page_ 38

Major-General Benj. Lincoln, of the War of the
Revolution                                                   _page_ 39

Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. Mary Kroh-Trembly, Pioneer
Organist, Stockton, 1852                                     _page_ 42

First Graduating Class, Young Ladies' Seminary, Benicia,
Founded 1852: Mary E. Woodbridge, Mary Ridell, Mary
Hook, Mary E. Walsh; Principal, Mary Atkins; Teachers,
Sallie Knox, Kate Sherman; Pupils, Mary O'Neill, Agnes
Bell                                                   _faces page_ 44

First California Bear Flag, Made by Mrs. Blake-Alverson in
Stockton, 1852                                               _page_ 45

Dedham, Mass., Church Choir, 1861, Men Singers         _faces page_ 48

Dedham, Mass., Church Choir, 1861, Women Singers       _faces page_ 52

Typical Concert Programme of the Early Sixties in
San Francisco. Oratorio of Samson                            _page_ 56

Santa Cruz Choir, 1867: F.A. Anthony, Belle Peterson,
Chas. A. Metti                                         _faces page_ 60

Church of the Advent, San Francisco, 1880. Roman
Catholic Church, San Bernardino, 1888. Calvary
Episcopal Church, Santa Cruz, 1864. Pilgrim
Congregational Church, Oakland, 1893                   _faces page_ 64

Associated Musicians and Singers of the Seventies
and to Date: Sam'l D. Mayer, Mrs. Alfred Abbey,
"Joe" Maguire, Frank Gilder, Walter C. Campbell,
Mrs. Augusta Lowell-Garthwaite, H.S. Stedman, Mrs.
Mollie Melvin-Dewing                                   _faces page_ 68

Ministers with Whom Mrs. Blake-Alverson Has Been
Associated: Rev. Dr. J.K. McLean, Rev. P.Y. Cool,
Rev. V.M. Law, Rev. "Father" Akerly, Rev. Giles A.
Easton                                                 _faces page_ 76

Wm. H. Keith, Baritone, Pupil of Mrs. Blake-Alverson,
1881                                                   _faces page_ 80

Music House of Kohler & Chase, 1851 and 1910. Andrew
Kohler, Quincy A. Chase, S.J. Bruce                    _faces page_ 84

Heads of Pioneer Music Houses, San Francisco:
William G. Badger, Matthias Gray, Julius R. Weber,
C.H. McCurrie                                          _faces page_ 86

Music House of Sherman, Clay & Co. C.C. Clay,
Leander S. Sherman                                     _faces page_ 90

First Church Choir in California, Stockton, 1852:
Margaret R. Kroh, Sarah R. Kroh, Emma J. Kroh, Ann
L. Kroh, Mary M. Kroh, Sir Geo. Henry Blake, James
Holmes, Wm. W. Trembly, Wm. H. Knight                  _faces page_ 92

Henry Clay Barnabee, Opera Singer, Associate of
Mrs. Blake-Alverson in Boston, Mass., in 1861          _faces page_ 96

Organists of the Early Years in San Francisco:
Richard T. Yarndley, Gustav A. Scott, Chas. H.
Schultz, Frederick Katzenbach                         _faces page_ 100

Floral Tributes Presented Mrs. Blake-Alverson on
Her Fiftieth Anniversary of Song Service,
June 12, 1896                                         _faces page_ 108

Pen Sketch of Mrs. Blake-Alverson, Made by Richard
Partington. Sixtieth Birthday, June 12, 1896                _page_ 111

Mrs. Blake-Alverson on Her Fiftieth Anniversary as
a Public Singer, Sixty Years of Age, Oakland,
June 12, 1896                                         _faces page_ 112

Mme. Anna Bishop, Prima Donna, Teacher and
Associate of Mrs. Blake-Alverson                            _page_ 115

Associated Musicians, 1860-1913: Hugo Mansfeldt,
Sir Henry Heyman, J.H. Dohrmann, Alfred Wilkie        _faces page_ 116

Original Members Loring Club, San Francisco, 1873.
French Horn Quartette, San Francisco, 1895: Geo.
Fletcher, Wm. E. Blake, Nathaniel Page, Geo. Story    _faces page_ 118

Organ St. Patrick's Church, San Francisco, 1875.
J.H. Dohrmann, Organist and Choir Director            _faces page_ 124

Eminent Divines for Whom Mrs. Blake-Alverson has
sung: Rev. Dr. A.M. Anderson, Stockton, 1852; Rev.
Dr. Eells, Rev. Dr. Scudder, Rev. Dr. A.L. Stone,
the Right Rev. Ingraham Kip, Rev. John Hemphill,
Rev. Dr. H.D. Lathrop                                 _faces page_ 128

Musical Directors, May Festival, San Francisco,
1878: John P. Morgan, Carl Zerrahn, Rudolf Herold     _faces page_ 132

Bouquet of Artists, May Festival, San Francisco,
1878                                                  _faces page_ 134

Authors' Carnival, San Francisco, 1880: Mrs.
Blake-Alverson as Charity Pecksniff; H.G.
Sturtevant as Pecksniff; Alice Van Winkle as Mercy
Pecksniff; Dolly Sroufe, Italian Booth; Henry Van
Winkle, Cervantes Booth                               _faces page_ 140

Mme. Bowers, Etelka Gerster, Julie Rivé-King,
Associates and Friends of Mrs. Blake-Alverson         _faces page_ 144

Deer Park Cabin, Lake Tahoe, Dedicated July 4,
1893. Col. Richard Parnell, Sole Survivor of the
Battle of Balaklava                                   _faces page_ 148

Mrs. Blake-Alverson in 1852, 1864, 1874, 1880,
1905                                                  _faces page_ 156

A Group of Friends, Distinguished Singers in the
Seventies and Eighties: Mrs. Margaret C. Pierce,
Mrs. Sarah Watkins-Little, Mrs. Blake-Alverson,
Mrs. Helen Wetherbee, Mrs. Marriner-Campbell          _faces page_ 160

Lee Tung Foo, Pupil in the Nineties        _faces pages_ 164 _and_ 166

Mrs. Blake-Alverson and Her Two Sons, Wm. Ellery
Blake, George Lincoln Blake                           _faces page_ 172

Associated Musicians and Singers, 1854-1900:
Frederick Zech, Henry Wetherbee, Adolph Klose, S.
Arrillaga, William P. Melvin, John W. Metcalf, Wm.
M'F. Greer                                            _faces page_ 176

Trophies and Tributes Presented Mrs. Blake-Alverson   _faces page_ 180

"Sam" Booth, Popular Political Poet and Campaign
Singer in San Francisco in the Seventies                    _page_ 184

Mechanics' Institute Fair, 1879. Mrs. Blake-Alverson
in Costume                                            _faces page_ 188

Civil War Mailing Envelopes, 1861. Co. K, Seventh
California Volunteers, Capt O.P. Sloat, from San
Bernardino, 1898                                      _faces page_ 192

Stephen W. Leach, Musical Director, Buffo Singer,
Actor in San Francisco in the Seventies and Eighties  _faces page_ 228

Joran Quartette, 1883: Lulu, Pauline and Elsie
Joran and Mrs. Blake-Alverson                         _faces page_ 246



Akerly, Mrs.                                   240
Allison, George                                244
Ames, Lucille E.                               268
Avan, Clara                                    224

Bassford, Mrs. Mayme                           236
Beam, Edith                                    196
Beam, Mary R.                                  204
Beretta, Chelice                               208
Bishop, Biddle                                 196
Bisquer, Marceline                             272
Blake, Mrs. William E.                         212
Bonske, Hazel                                  272
Bouton, Cloy                                   208
Bradley, Dolores                               256
Brainard, Birdie                               196
Brainard, Carrie                               196
Brainard, Mrs. Hattie                          196
Bruce, Florence                                240
Bruce-Schmidt, Mrs. Winona                     244
Bruce-Wold, Mrs. Ruth                          240
Bullington, Marie                              272

Caldwell, Mrs. O.B.                            240
Case, Mrs. J.R.                                220
Caswell, Mabel                                 208
Champion, Rose                                 236
Christofferson, Jennie                         236
Cianciarolo, Lucia                             268
Collins, Dr. Addison                           208
Collins, Mrs. Minnie M.                        208
Cooke, Grace                                   260
Crandall, Harry                                236
Crew, Josie                                    212
Crossett, Louisa                               212
Culver, Susan                                  220
Cushing, Lillian                               224

Davies, Alice                                  256
Deetkin, Marjorie                              268
Derby, Hattie                                  224
Dickey, Lorena                                 244
Dobbins-Ames, Mrs. Grace E.                    220
Dowdle, Everett S.                             212
Dowling, Gertrude                              252
Dowling, Leo                                   260
Drake, Mabel L.                                244

Faull, Rose                                    196
Faull, Sophia                                  196
Ferguson, Dolores D.                           244
Flick, George                                  240
Foo, Lee Tung                          164 and 166

Garcia, Louisa                                 240
Gerrior, Maud                                  256
Glass, Mrs. Louis                              204
Graves, Bessie                                 196
Graves, Gussie                                 204
Greer, Yvonne                                  272
Griswold, Geneva                               256

Harrold, Elizabeth                             204
Harrold, Mary                                  204
Hermansen, Christine                           260
Hitchcock, Ruth A.                             260
Hunt, Elsie Mae                                236

Jackson, Geo.                                  256
Jones, Ethel                                   212
Jones, Ilma                                    260
Jory, Lilian                                   208

Keith, William H.                               80
Kiel, Stella                                   252
Kimball, Lorena                                244
Koch, Ada                                      220
Kroh, Blanche                                  256
Kroh-Rodan, Mrs. Mary                          252
Krueckle, Anna                                 252

Lahre, Freda                                   240
Lanktree, Elizabeth                            236
Lanktree-Kenney, Mrs. Sue                      240
La Rue, Grace                                  212
Lessig, Mrs. Chas.                             212
Louderback, Mrs. Caroline                      252
Louderback, Jean                               244

McMahan, Bernard                               244
McMaul, Juliet                                 244
Monnet-Swalley, Mrs. Emma D.                   224
Mulgrew, Margaret                              272
Munch, Mrs. Emma A.                            268

Nagle-Pittman, Mrs. Ethel B.                   240
Newell, Bessie G.                              220
Noonan, Elsie                                  236

Oakes, Margaret                                212
Osborn, Anita                                  260

Peterson, Geo. G.                              220
Peterson, Minnie                               224
Peterson, Pauline                              224
Pollard, Daisy                                 208
Pollard, Etta                                  208

Ramsey, Peter                                  256
Rayburn, Mrs. Cora                             236
Riley, Mrs. Edna                               268
Riley, Ruth                                    268

Sanford, Alice M.                              268
Sanford, Edw. H.                               256
Shaw, Lauretta                                 220
Shultz, Sarah                                  272
Sroufe, Georgia                                196
Sroufe, Susan                                  196
Sroufe-Tiffany, Mrs. Dollie                    196
Starkey, Irma                                  268
Stewart-Jolly, Mrs. May                        204
Stewart, Sue                                   208

Teague, Mrs. Walter E.                         272
Thomas, Edward                                 224
Tregar, Mme. Annie                             204

Valentine, Inza                                252
Valentine, Stella                              252
Van Winkle, Ada                                196
Victory, Arthur                                236

Whitney, Mae                                   204
Wood, Dr. J.B.                                 224
Woodworth, Leslie E.                           256
Worden, Nettie                                 204

Zimmerman, Charlotte                           224



As far back as I can remember my life was associated with music.
Father and mother were both highly gifted. In our family were three
boys and seven girls, and each possessed a voice of unusual
excellence. The looked-for pleasure every day was the morning and
evening worship at which the family gathered in the sitting room to
hear the word of God explained by my father, Rev. Henry Kroh, D.D. The
dear old German hymns, Lobe den Herren, O Meine Seele, Christie, du
Lamm Gottes and others, were as familiar to me as the English hymns of
today, such as Nearer my God to Thee and All Hail the Power of Jesus'
Name. We were not blessed with children's songs, as are the children
of today, but sang the same hymns as the older members of the

Father was descended from a royal Holland family. One of his ancestors
was the favorite sister of Admiral Theobold Metzger, Baron of Brada,
Major-General of all the Netherlands, who died of paralysis in the
sixty-sixth year of his life, February 23, 1691, in the house of the
Duke of Chamburg. He had gone with other lords and nobles of the land
to Graven Hage to swear allegiance to William III., King of Great
Britain, who had just come over from London as the regent of the
Netherlands. Even the physician in ordinary, who was sent by the King,
was unable to save him. By order of the King his body was placed in a
vault in the church on High Street in Brada, March 19, 1691, with
extraordinary honor and ceremonies. He had acquired large possessions
and wealth, therefore the King ordered that the large estate of the
deceased should be taken care of, and placed it under the care of
William von Schuylenburg, council of the King. At the same time notice
was sent to all princes and potentates in whose countries there was
property of the deceased to support His Majesty in this undertaking.
Three weeks before his death he had made his will and had given the
name of his parents and his five brothers and two sisters.

His sister Barbara was my great-grandmother. After the death of my
granduncle some of the family came to America. They were not aware of
the death of their distinguished brother and the heirs did not claim
the vast fortune, which amounted to 20,000,000 guilders at that time
and now with compound interest should be to 200,000,000 to 300,000,000
guilders, and is still in the possession of the King and in the
treasuries of the Netherlands. The heirs have been deprived of it all
these years, although they have from one generation to another fought
the case. At the same time the authorities of Holland are not a little
in doubt and are embarrassed for reasons to justify keeping the
Metzger von Weibnom estate for Holland.

But the reason of all their decisions, answers and refusals is the
unmistakable intention to keep the estate for themselves, even at the
cost of truth, justice and honor. The will has been suppressed. We
have proof that General Rapp in 1794 at the occupation of Brada had
taken the will, dated February 2, 1691, from the city magistrate to
carry it to Strassburg for safety. The will has never been executed.

I purposely made this break in my narrative of my childhood in justice
to my distinguished father who should have occupied the place that
belonged to him by right and title, as he was one of the original
heirs mentioned in my uncle's will--the grandson of his favorite
sister, Barbara Metzger von Weibnom. My father was a minister. He was
Christ-like with his people, and it was beautiful to behold with what
reverence the people approached him. He had the mild blue eye the
poets write about, his voice was soft in its tenderness when
addressing any member of his flock. His bearing was dignified and
reverent, and he was a delightful person to know. He was always
hopeful, no matter what difficulties arose in regard to the finances
of the church. In the true sense of the word he was a father to his
people and his family. His elders were all devotion and with them his
word was law. In all the years of his ministry I cannot recall any
unhappy situation with his congregation. Sadness came only when
parting, to be sent to work in another church. He was a great pioneer
founder of churches, and the Synod sent him first in one direction,
then another.

In consequence of these changes I traveled a great deal in childhood.
No sooner had father succeeded in getting a church started and in
good running order than he would be sent to some other section of the
country. In Virginia, where he was born and bred, he was ordained at
the age of twenty-five and soon had a promising charge in Berks
county, Pa. From there he was sent to Evansville, Ind. It was while he
was filling the pulpit at Womensdorf, Pa., that he met Miss Mary
Stouch, to whom he was married in the year 1819. Six children were
born to them while at this pastorate. The church in Evansville had
been without a pastor for over two years and father was called to fill
the position. The parting between the pastor and his people was
particularly sad. My mother had to leave her girlhood home for the
first time in her life.

Oh, what a sad journey it was for them. It was made by stage and boat
and my parents had six young children. Many a time in my childhood I
heard the sad tale repeated. And the reception at Evansville was still
sadder as the church had been closed and the building almost destroyed
by the vicious element and unconverted people who desired no religion
to interfere with their ungodliness. Many attempts had been made to
restore the building, but those who attempted it were stoned and
driven away. When father arrived the people of the congregation who
remained advised him not to do anything with the church, for he would
meet the same fate as his predecessors. But father was not daunted. He
visited the church and the sight of God's house in such a condition
made him more determined to do the work for which he had come. After
calling several members together he gave out the announcement that he
would open the church on the following Sabbath at all hazards. He
asked all of the faith to come to his home Saturday evening. About
fifty responded, and during the business meeting of the evening seven
elders were chosen. When all was satisfactorily adjusted, pastor and
people spent the hours in prayer until midnight.

Next morning the faithful people gathered and father, with the Bible
in hand, led them in procession until they arrived at the church. In
the distance could be seen a line of men, women and boys on both sides
of the steps. The elders tried to persuade father to give up the
attempt and go no further. He turned to them and said, "I came to
conquer for the Lord, and if you do not come with me I shall go
alone." When the rabble saw them coming, they began to shout, "Here
they come. Here come the saints." A boy approached--more bold than
the rest--and as he came father took him by the hand and said, "Good
morning, my little man. I am glad to see the young as well as the old
to welcome me." Then he spoke to the people and said, "You make me
very happy, my dear friends. I did not expect such a large
congregation to meet me, a stranger," and took each by the hand. In
one hand they held sticks, stones and staves. As he spoke kindly to
them, they dropped their missiles and extended their hands. His
bravery had awed them and his kindness and magnetism had won them. At
last he gained the upper step in front of the church and, like Paul,
he cried, "Hear ye the word of the Lord. For today shall peace and
righteousness dwell among you. Hear what the Lord God speaketh to you.
I came not to make war upon you, but bring you the message of peace.
As this building is not in condition to enter, I will give you the
divine message from the door of the temple." After a short sermon he
told them his mission was to rebuild the church, and he was going to
ask them all to help. A short prayer followed his remarks, and the
benediction closed this remarkable epoch in the history of the church.
Before the year was past the church had been restored. The membership
increased, the Sabbath school grew and the church nourished beyond the
expectations of the oldest members.

Two and a half years later we went to Mt. Carmel, a small town on the
Wabash river. Conditions were more favorable, yet it was not to be
stationary, for only two or three years. During that time I was born,
June 12, 1836. I made the eighth child--six girls and two boys. When I
was a little over three years old, father left Mt. Carmel to fill the
vacancy of the church in Jonesborough, Union county, Ill., in an
unsettled portion of the state, among good Christian people who had
begun to settle on farms and stock farms. Acres of grain and corn
fields stretched far and wide. Jonesborough was a very small town
where these people got their supplies in exchange for their produce.
The women wove their cloth and linen and spun their yarn and did the
dairy work, while the men cleared and planted and built log houses,
barns and cribs. We were heartily welcomed by these good, primitive
people. They had waited so long for a shepherd to lead them that many
of the congregation were in waiting and the elders and trustees were
on hand to see to the conveyance of the household goods, which were
quickly put in waiting wagons.


Great-grandmother of Mrs. Blake-Alverson]

It was the Indian summer of the year. The foliage was bright and the
air crisp and cool. Although a child, the impression made upon me was
one that I have gone over in my mind many times, and I can see every
inch of the road, the kind people, the beautiful scenery, birds of
bright plumage, and rabbits darting across the road at the sound of
our wheels. It was late when the journey was ended, but we were made
welcome and comfortable by more pleasant faces and willing hands. The
parsonage was a large, barnlike-looking place, built partly of logs
and "shakes." There was one large room and two small ones adjoining
and a shed that extended the length of the house. In the large room
was a fine, spacious fireplace, into which had been rolled a large log
and a bright fire was blazing which sent a glow of warmth and lit up
the logs and rafters and the strips of white plaster, used to close up
the cracks and keep the warmth within the room. The floors were made
of oak and were white and clean. Several old-fashioned split-bottom
chairs graced the room, a long table was placed in the center, upon
which was spread a snow-white linen cloth of homespun, and woven by
the women. While the wraps were being removed the women had placed
upon the table the best that could be prepared for the pastor's
welcome. I'll never forget the delicious roast chicken; baked sweet
potatoes, baked in the ashes, for cook stoves were not known; the fine
hot corn pone baked in the Dutch oven, hot coals heaped upon the lid
to brown and crisp; fresh sweet butter, pickles, preserves. Generous
loaves of bread, biscuit and cake filled the pantries.

When father entered the room and saw the preparation that had been
made he was overcome with the tender hospitality of the women of his
new charge. He could not restrain his tears. As they all surrounded
the table, he raised his hands in prayer and besought God's blessing
upon the people and the charge he had once more accepted. The
congregation was scattered far and wide. Many miles separated the
neighbors and once a week was the only time when gatherings were held.
On the Sabbath the log church was filled with solemn, substantial
people, men and women in their homespun garments, healthy and robust
the men and rosy and buxom the women. Families came in their
conveyances, wagons, carts and old-style buggies; some came on foot,
others on horseback, when they did not own a wagon. Rain or shine,
the faithful assembled for two services. After the morning service the
families gathered and seated under the trees or in their wagons
lunched of the food brought along. A fire was built and a huge caldron
of coffee was made of parched wheat ground and boiled. Coffee in these
days was only for the rich who lived in the cities. Delicious cream
and milk was in abundance for all the younger people. After the noon
repast the children gathered for the Sunday school. The second service
began at 3 o'clock and closed at 4. This work continued for seven
years. During that time the log church was replaced by a fine frame
church large enough to accommodate six or seven hundred worshipers.

During the years of this pastorate my oldest brother, Rev. Phillip
Henry Kroh, was graduated from the theological seminary in Ohio and
had returned an ordained minister. He was at once made an assistant by
my father, the field being too large for him.

In 1841 father returned from the eastern Synod with the sad tidings
that he had been appointed to go to Cincinnati, Ohio. We had lived so
long here, we expected it was to be our future home. We had a
comfortable house, a maple forest, gardens and stock, and the news
came as a severe blow to my poor mother. We had been so happy among
the fruits, flowers and country freedom, we were loath to give it up
for the city. It was with a sad heart that father parted from these
good and faithful people. The only balm for this separation was to
leave brother Phillip with them as his successor. He had become
endeared to them and had done such good work among the young, they
prayed father to leave him if the family must go.

After a journey of three weeks we arrived at the parsonage. The
congregation had purchased the old Texas church in the western
addition of the city, and the parsonage was attached to the church in
the rear. It was a comfortable place of six large rooms. The furniture
had preceded the family and everything looked homelike and
comfortable, so mother had not the sadness of coming to a bare,
cheerless, empty house. We were cordially greeted by the elders' wives
and families, and when we arrived dinner was upon the table for us.
This welcome was more homelike because of our own things having
preceded us. And then we were such a busy family that we had little
time to waste in repinings. We were all put in the harness--the
Sabbath school and choir. We made visits with our parents to the sick
and the poor. Because we spoke nothing but the German language, we
were obliged to go to school. My oldest sister, Mary, was soon
established in the German department of the public school. She was
graduated from the Monticello Seminary, St. Louis, before coming
there. She taught during the week in the public school and on Saturday
taught English in the synagogue. On the Sabbath she played the
melodeon in our church. It was there that, as a child, I learned the
grand old German hymns of the church under her guidance and which
helped to make me the singer I am today.

We had now been seven years in Cincinnati and the church had
flourished so greatly that a second German Reformed church was the
outcome of father's ministry. It was built on Webster street for the
purpose of housing the overflow of the first church on Betts street.
In all this prosperity California gold and missionary fields were
opened and discovered in November, 1847. Father was chosen for
California, and the only way to go was over the plains. What a sad
family was ours while preparations were made which would take father
and brother George, who was now 17 years old, away, as we thought, to
the other end of the earth. At last the hour came and the tie that
bound pastor and people, father, mother and children was severed. My
brother George told me the story of the trip as follows:

"The party left Cincinnati down the river on the steamer Pontiac about
May 10th, 1849, arrived in St. Louis four days after the fire, May
18th, and remained four days at Weston. We purchased a yoke of oxen.
At St. Joseph, Mo., we purchased two more yokes. On the 28th we went
up the river and crossed over on flatboats. Here we camped for the
night. As far as the eye could see it was one level stretch of land.
May 29th we started on the long journey across the plains to
California. Our first mishap came in crossing over a bridge made of
logs, called a corduroy bridge. In crossing over this bridge one of
the oxen was crowded too near the edge. He was crowded off into the
water below and was drowned before we could give aid. After traveling
for seven days more, the first days in June, we came to Ash Hollow. At
this place the party came in contact with a whole tribe of Sioux
Indians. They were peaceful, and we traded with them and gave the
squaws some necklaces of bright colored beads. After passing the
Indian tribe, about five miles away, we camped for the night. We
reached Fort Laramie by noon the next day. Here we purchased a fine
cow to take the place of the drowned ox. She worked well. She supplied
the party with fresh milk as well. Fort Laramie consisted of only the
fort and a blacksmith shop. We continued next day and made several
stops before we came to Fort Bridger, occupied by the man Bridger and
his family. He had a squaw wife and six children. When he learned that
father was a missionary, he brought his whole family to our camp and
they were all baptized. This was father's first missionary work.

"After leaving here we traveled for days before we got to Salt Lake
City, passing through Wyoming. At Salt Lake City father and Brigham
Young had a long and heated argument. A number of men and women joined
in. Among the women were several who did not believe as they were
compelled to, and they were on the side of the missionary. We remained
here a week, and we drove the cattle to feed and the Mormons stole
them two different times and compelled the company to pay fifteen
dollars each time as find money. Rather an expensive stay for one
week. When the party left, the women who favored us came out with
baskets filled with fresh vegetables, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and
squash. With tears in their eyes they said farewell. When we left we
employed the services of a Mormon guide. He purposely led us on the
wrong trail for sixty miles. It was necessary for us to return and get
the right trail. When we started once more he misled us the second
time and directed us into a deep canyon. In order to get out of this
difficulty we were obliged to take the wagon to pieces and piece by
piece we carried them out into safety. His object was to tire out our
oxen and get us to desert them so he could appropriate them. At last
we discovered his treachery and dismissed him at once. Then we
continued our journey along the Santa Fe trail. This was Kit Carson's
trail from Salt Lake to Lower California. We continued our travels
until we reached Big Muddy river and camped there. The Indians yelled
and whooped at us all night long. We could not sleep, for they were
the troublesome Piutes. We did not know how to act as they kept
concealed and were in great numbers. Two of them, more bold than the
others, being also curious, crawled through the willows. We
immediately shot at them. In the morning the oxen were rounded up and
one was missing. He was driven away by the Indians and killed. We
found him several miles further along, with seven arrows piercing his
body. Our next camping place was at the foot of the Sierra Nevada
mountains. The snow was eighteen inches deep and there was no food for
the cattle. After going a mile further the cow gave out. That left us
without any means to haul the wagons. Father left his wagon and we
packed our goods on a horse, this being the only animal remaining in
father's possession. We were compelled to leave many useful things
behind. Father's feet were frozen at this place and we were obliged to
cut off his boots to assist him out of his misery. Our sufferings were
great and we nearly froze on the trail. We kept going at a slow pace
and with great difficulty until we passed the snow belt, and when we
came to the green fields or plains our joy knew no bounds. But
misfortune overtook us here, for we turned our horse out with the
cattle and that was the last we ever saw of him. We came at last to
Cottonwood Springs and we camped there for two days to let the
remaining cattle rest and eat of herbage.

"In the evening of the second day we started to cross the great
desert. We succeeded in crossing by midnight and reached the mountains
on the other side. I was so tired I fell asleep beside the trail. The
team passed me as I slept. I did not awaken until 2 in the morning. I
followed the trail and found the team, a distance of four or five
miles ahead of where I took the nap. On reaching camp, father and the
company were anxiously awaiting me. We rested for the night. Next
morning we started through a deep canyon which eventually opened into
a beautiful valley where we saw houses made of adobe. The fields were
covered with cattle. This was the first civilization we saw since
leaving Salt Lake. Starvation had almost overtaken us and we besought
the owner to sell us an ox and we had a feast and appeased our hunger.
We had lost all accounting of time until we came here. We camped for
the night, and next morning we started for Los Angeles. We arrived
there November 18, 1849. The Spaniards had taken a strong liking
toward father and wanted to make him their Alcalde, but he refused the
honor and told them he had come to preach the gospel and had to go
further. On his going they presented him with a fine horse and saddle
as a token of their esteem for him. At that time Los Angeles had only
a few adobe houses and a Catholic mission. Commodore Stockton had dug
trenches around the place as a means of defense. We slowly wended our
way for another month when we met a man who had bought a thousand head
of cattle. He told father he could earn his way up the coast by
helping drive the cattle, but he was not able to do this spirited
work, so father and son exchanged places. Father turned the horse over
to me and he drove the supply wagon. For the first time in my life I
was a real cowboy.

"We followed the coast through Santa Clara and Santa Cruz, crossing
over to Livermore and San Joaquin valley, this being the end of the
cattle drive. Here we were paid and dismissed and our employer said we
were about forty miles from Stockton and about the same distance from
the mines. We plodded slowly along, following up the Stanislaus river.
The first place we reached having a name was Knight's Ferry. We were
out of money and clothes when we arrived at this place. The ferryman
took us across without pay and bade us remain all night. Up to this
time we wore buckskin trousers. I went out hunting and the rain came
down in torrents and my trousers got drenched. They stretched so long
I cut them off so I could walk. When they dried they had shrunken
above my knees. At this place we met Mr. Dent, a brother-in-law of
General Grant. With him also was a Mr. Vantine. When these men saw the
unfortunate condition we were in, they gave us each a pair of overalls
and a hat. So we were once more a little more civilized and passable.
On our way up the coast we encountered a heavy storm. We had prepared
to camp under a fine tree, but a large dead limb hung directly over
us. I told father that we had better move as there was danger. But he
thought it safe to remain where we were. But I insisted that we move,
and finally he listened to my pleadings and we each took an end of the
bed and lifted it over to the other side of the tree, away from the
dead limb. We had hardly gotten settled into the bed before the limb
came down with a crash, immediately across the spot from where we took
the bed. Had we remained, nothing could have saved us from instant
death. The next day we left Knight's Ferry without a dollar and
reached the mines that afternoon about 4 o'clock. One of the miners
gave me a claim. The next morning I started my first gold mining.
Father was obliged to rest after all this dreadful experience of nine
or ten months. I bought myself a rocker and began to work my claim.
The first day I had washed out $9.50. In eight days I had gotten out
$650. After getting the gold father went to Stockton and bought a
supply of groceries and started a grocery store at Scorpion Gulch. I
took up another claim and in ten days' time I had taken out a
collection of nuggets and small gold to the amount of $1,600."

This was sent home to the family in the East with the message for us
to come to California as soon as we could get ready.

After father started for California we were obliged to vacate the
parsonage for the family of his successor. So the church was raised
and a fine story made under the church for our use while we remained
there. We were all obliged to work and help mother in some way. The
older ones were teaching and we who were but children sewed a certain
amount each day before our play hour came. My sister Mary now played
the organ in the Presbyterian church and Mr. Aiken was the director of
the choir. I was about ten years old at this time, and with the new
minister other changes came in our church and we left the choir to
others who came after us. Shortly after this I remember going one
Sabbath to the church to hear sister play the pipe organ. While in the
choir loft Mr. Aiken came in. He came over and asked me how I came
there. I told him I had come with my sister. "Who is your sister?"
"Miss Kroh, who plays the organ." He looked surprised. Presently I saw
them conversing. When sister came to her place she said to me, "When
the choir arises to sing you go over and stand with the alto." I
demurred and she said, "Go and sing as you have been singing in our
choir. You know the music." After that Sunday I sang with the choir
five years, until we came to California. I was then fifteen. That is
how I became a choir singer when ten years of age. Mr. Aiken used to
pick me out from among the children of the public schools and place me
in the front row in every school I ever attended while he taught the

Mr. Aiken became musical instructor in the schools in 1848. It was
then I was selected to join the choral class. There were fifty boys
and girls picked from the different schools and we had a fine drilling
each Saturday afternoon in the basement of the church. One of the boys
had a high soprano voice and we all admired his singing to adoration.
He was as courteous as his voice was beautiful--unspoiled by praise.
We had one chorus we all loved, of which he was the soloist, and we
were not satisfied with the rehearsal until we had sung, and the
young master had so beautifully rendered the obbligato to the song,
"Shepherd, from your sleep awake, Morning opes her golden eyes, etc."
How well I remember the words of the song and the beautiful boy singer
that left the impression of his voice in my life, and I can see the
picture as plain as if it hung on the wall of my studio today. From
that voice and the correct guidance of my sainted sister Mary I have
been able to sing and please the many thousands of people who have
listened to me in my years of song wherever I strayed--in the East or

In speaking of Professor Junkerman's work in the schools of
Cincinnati, a coincidence happened in 1906 which recalled my childhood
days with all the vivid coloring traced upon my mind fifty-two years
ago. In the number of _The Musician_ for May, 1906, I saw two pictures
that were familiar and I looked without seeing the names printed
beneath them. To my utter astonishment they were the likenesses of Mr.
Aiken and Professor Junkerman, whom I had not seen for over fifty
years and yet I knew them at sight--the moment my eyes beheld them. In
reading the article and what it contained in regard to the music and
its development, I was able to go over the whole ground of Mr. Aiken's
teaching as if I were once more a school child. All three of these
persons were in the schools--Professor Junkerman, in languages, organ
and piano; my sister, Mary Kroh, his pupil on both organ and piano,
also teacher of English and German, and Mr. Aiken, the teacher in the
public schools for voice and the movable "do" system. Was ever such a
windfall of good fortune as this proved to me? I had tried to recall
the name of the dear old professor to use it in my narrative, but my
memory was at fault. We all loved him so well. He was a thorough
musician and thoroughly appreciated by all who had the advantage of
his knowledge, either in languages or in instrumental music. _The
Musician_ contains a complete detail of these two men who were
instrumental in promoting the best music in the early years of 1839
and later in 1842 and continued until 1879 for Mr. Aiken, and
Professor Junkerman closed his public career in 1900.


Rev. Phillip Henry Kroh
Geo. Z. Kroh
Olevianus Casper Kroh
Mrs. Emma Jane Kroh-Knight
Rev. Henry Kroh, D.D.
Mrs. Mary Stouch-Kroh
Mrs. Mary Matilda Kroh-Trembly
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Kroh-Flagler
Mrs. Margaret R. Kroh-Blake-Alverson
Mrs. Sarah Rebecca Kroh-Harrold
Mrs. Ann Lauretta Kroh-Zimmerman


Stockton, 1852]



At last the long-looked-for letter came that father and brother had
arrived in the mines of California, and in the letter were several
small flakes of gold wrapped in a bit of paper. We had so long hoped
against hope that the sight of the familiar writing caused the
greatest excitement. Poor mother could hardly hold out any longer and
the news was too much for her weak body, for she was just convalescing
from weeks of sickness brought on by hope deferred and waiting and
watching each day for a word from the wanderers. We were obliged to
refrain for her sake, but we were all like as if news came from the
dead--ten long months and no word. After we were somewhat quieted
sister Mary read the letter aloud. It was like reading the last will
of the departed, we were all so unnerved. At the close of the letter
we were informed to get in readiness and that the money was already on
the way for us. It had taken over two months for this letter to come
by steamer, and we counted the days for another with the gold to take
us away to California. What a consternation this news made in the
congregation! They had hoped that father might return if things were
not favorable, but the letter and the gold in the letter and the money
coming to take us away were too true. There was no hope now that he
would return. The successor of father was a young minister, Rev. Henry
Rust. He heard the news with a sad heart, for he and my sister Mary
were betrothed. Father's message was for sister Mary to take his place
as help to mother, who was not able to take the family alone over the
two oceans with all the uncertainty of travel. The weeks of waiting
were spent in preparation. Many busy fingers plied the needle (for
sewing machines were not known at that time). Young as I was, I was no
stranger to the use of the needle, for that is part of a German girl's
education, with knitting and crocheting. I was born in the time of
weaving, spinning and carding. Much brass and pewter household
articles were to be kept bright and shiny. Children in those days were
little housewives and took as much pride in having the family silver,
copper and brass polished as the older ones. The oaken floors were
made white with soft soap and sand, and the comfortable rugs of rag
carpet were woven with special care. The high-posted bedsteads with
the valance around the bottom of white linen, the canopy above draped
with chintz of the daintiest tracings of figures and flowers, and oh,
the feather bed well beaten and made high, and immaculate white quilt
finished a bed fit for a king to rest his royal body upon. While we
had not a grand home, it was a place of order, taste and refinement.
Each one was taught to feel responsible for the good or bad
impressions from strangers who visited us from time to time.
Consequently we all took pride in keeping order, which was the law of
the home, and as young as we were we felt justly proud of praise from
strangers. After school we had so much to sew, mend or knit. When that
was done, we were allowed to play until six. The evenings were spent
in preparing the lessons for the next day. My early years were spent
in work and play. Law and order was the rule, but none of us were
unhappy by the restraint. It was an education that has made the men
and women of our family what they are today. We were home keepers as
well as entertainers.

Having traveled so much during our lifetime, changing from one city to
another, we were not afraid to take this last long journey. The
difficulty was what to take, especially of many of the heirlooms that
mother still retained from her girlhood home. After inquiry and
instructions from the steamship company, we found to our dismay that
no furniture could go, as there was no way of getting it over the
Isthmus. All our long-cherished household furniture must remain
behind. Only things that could be taken up in small boats were
allowed. Kind friends of the congregation made their choice and took
them as keepsakes in remembrance of us when we were far away. This act
of kindness was much appreciated by mother, who suffered much anguish
of mind to see the familiar things of her girlhood scattered here and
there and her claim to them forever gone. She had heretofore been able
to go willingly to different places because the familiar things made
it homelike when settled in new surroundings, but this time all must
be left behind. California was too far--she was going out to the
great unknown world, far from civilization, not knowing what was
before her. If everything else had to be left, she still retained the
affection of her children, and we were as watchful of her happiness
and comfort as if we were her keeper. Her hopes of meeting father and
son, and her children with her, gave her the courage to begin the long

It was now the year 1851. Mary had been teaching in the public schools
and synagogue; sister Emma was sewing. They kept the finances from
running low, as father's salary had to go to his successor and we had
no other means of support. With good management and many friends we
all came safely through the ordeal. After the first letter we had
received no other word and the second year was passing, although we
had been ready for months with the disposal of our household goods.
The sisters kept their positions, so all went on as usual. In the
latter part of May a rap was heard at the front door and sister Mary
answered the summons and before her stood the express man of Adams
Express Company, and he handed her a canvas sack filled with gold and
a letter addressed to mother from California. Father had sent us
$1,600 and orders to come as soon as possible. He would be awaiting us
in Stockton, California. After our surprise was over, what was to be
done with all this money--we could not keep it here safely. So sister
Sarah was dispatched to one of the trustees of the church who had a
safe in his office. The money was placed in a covered basket and she
was sent with all haste to get to the office before closing time, but
fate was against her and Mr. Butler had closed the office and gone. So
she was obliged to bring it home once more. It was dark before she
came back and there were two men who followed her at a distance all
the way going and coming. What to do to protect this great amount of
money was a vital question. We occupied the first story under the
church and the front rooms faced on Betts street, as did the entrance
of the church. The original parsonage had not been occupied since we
vacated it because the new minister had no family. We still retained
the key. After our plans were made, myself and sister Sarah were sent
out on the sidewalk as if we were playing, to see if any strangers
were lurking around. Mother stood in the front door and talked with us
while sister Mary, accompanied by my small brother, took the money and
went up to the other parsonage and let herself in, then into the
church. It was still daylight. So as not to use a light, she quietly
slipped into the church, removed one side of the pulpit steps and let
my brother crawl over to the other side and put the gold beneath the
steps there. After depositing it, she quietly put everything in place
and returned to the house. Then we retired for the evening.

None of the neighbors knew of the money being received. It came at an
hour when no one was coming home or happened to be on the sidewalk.
The shutters on the first floor were solid wood so no one could molest
us. We had been clearing the house and packing things away. We were
all tired and slept well. Mary and Emma occupied the front room and
for some unknown reason left the wooden bar off that made the door
secure, and these two men came in so quietly that no one heard them.
They had unlocked the doors to escape in case they were discovered.
Mother was awakened during the night and said, "Mary, are you up?" No
answer. After a short silence she heard another sound and she called,
"Are you ill, Mary? If you are, I'll get up and help." Receiving no
answer, she reached out to light the candle, but hearing nothing more
she thought she had been mistaken and went to sleep. She arose early
and found the shutters unlocked and the side door ajar. Then she went
into the parlor and all the chairs had been taken from the front door
where they had been piled. She immediately realized that there had
been robbers in the house searching for the gold. She awoke the girls
and told them of what had happened, and you can imagine our
consternation. As long as we remained in the house we lived in fear of
a second attempt. The next morning sister Sarah was sent with the gold
to our friend, Mr. Butler, who was surprised and simply amazed at the
amount sister gave him to keep. He immediately put it into safer hands
at the mint where the gold was weighed and the value given in money
and placed in the bank subject to mother's order. When Mr. Butler was
told of the attempted robbery he immediately arranged to have the
house watched each night until our departure, which came the first
week in June, 1851. We left Cincinnati for New York and were welcomed
on our arrival by friends with whom we remained for a week. On the
following Monday we secured passage for California on the steamer Ohio
bound for Aspinwall. I was too young and also too ill to know just the
route taken, but after a month we arrived at Aspinwall, and when
our belongings were properly taken care of we started on our journey
across the Isthmus of Panama.

[Illustration: Blake

_Virtue Alone Ennobles_


We were nine days going up the Chagres river in flatboats. This trip,
girl as I was, I can recall perfectly and it was an experience which
has served in after years as an education which I have used in many
ways. We, as children, had access to father's great library and
magazines from which we learned so much of foreign countries and
people. I had artistic tastes and I used to find the tropical pictures
and scenes much to my liking and asked many questions in regard to the
different people among whom the missionaries worked. I had never
thought ever to see or realize such a picture in the tropics as this.
We had a large boat assigned to our family alone. Our belongings were
deposited and two great, black natives were placed at each end of the
boat or scow. They were without clothing, save for a short, full skirt
of white cloth fastened around their waists on a band. Each used a
long pole to propel the scow. We were the only family of women on
board the steamer. There was Mr. Biggar and his wife and a bride and
her husband, besides several colored women and their husbands coming
out to take positions on the Pacific steamers. All the other
passengers were men, coming to hunt their fortunes and go back rich.
There were about eight or nine of these scows. The railroad was not
finished, but it was being built at that time. The surveying was being
done and small cabins were built for the surveyors' use at the
different stations where we camped for the night. The captain had
provided us with food in cans and packages, toasted bread and other
things for our comfort and utensils for cooking, and we had a jolly
picnic for nine long days before we came to the place where we mounted
the burros to take us the rest of the way to Panama.

To describe this journey needs a more romantic pen than mine, but I'll
endeavor to tell you of some of the features and things that we saw
which were so strange and wonderful to me. After we had said our
good-byes to the captain and officers who were so gallant to us and
did all they could for us during the long month on the rough Atlantic,
we climbed into our boat and these natives took charge of it, one at
each end, with a guttural grunt from both. They lightly took their
places and we began our journey up the Chagres river. It was a warm,
bright morning, and a light haze in the atmosphere made it appear
like spring. At first we felt afraid of our boatmen, but soon we were
drinking in all of the panoramic effects of the changing scenes of
trailing vines, tropical flowers and other splendors. The chattering
of monkeys and parrots, the alligators lying upon the opposite shore
like great gray logs, some sleeping, some with their great mouths wide
open to allow the insects to gather on their tongues, were things
never to be forgotten. I observed that when a large number of flies
had gathered the alligators would close their capacious jaws,
satisfied with the sweet morsel, and roll their eyes with apparent
enjoyment. Then they once more slowly opened their ponderous jaws and
quietly waited for another meal. We had gone on our way several hours
without speaking, there was so much to see and it was all so new. The
quaint song of the natives amused us. They never seemed to weary of
the same "Yenze, yenze, _ah_ yenze." At the third "Yenze" the boat
would shoot up the stream twice its length. It was nearing noon and
the sun was getting torrid and the air close and stifling. Without any
warning the rain showered upon us and we were obliged to remain in our
places and let it come down upon us, regardless of results to our
clothing. The rain was of short duration, however, and we rather
enjoyed the cooling effect. Presently the sun shone in all its glory
and in an hour we were once more with dry clothing. This mixed weather
continued the whole ten days of our journey.

At noon of each day we disembarked and prepared our meal, generally
stopping at one of the stations of the railroad. We found quite a
number of white men and Mexicans at each place. They gladly received
us and offered us some of their fare. In exchange we gave them soup,
made in a large kettle, and had several things they were strangers to
in their life in the forest of vines, flowers and fruit of the tropics
where they subsisted on rations of pork, bacon, hardtack, etc. They
gladly accepted our fare and we partook of theirs. Before we started
again the men came to the boat with baskets of fresh cut oranges and
bananas and plantains. They were for us to take on the steamer and we
could enjoy them as they ripened on the way. We received marked
attention from the men at every station. Women coming to California
were a novelty, and when they learned we were all of one family of the
American Padre, they were still more gracious. So we journeyed for ten
days, each day bringing forth some new feature. At night we left the
boats and slept in the bungalows perched high in the air, and to
reach them we climbed steps cut out in a large log placed at the
opening. There was only one large room and we all slept on the floor,
rolled in our blankets. We got but little sleep because of the noise
from below made by Americans and Spaniards playing cards and smoking
cigarettes and Spanish girls dancing as the men thrummed on the
guitars. The Spaniards carried long knives at their sides and pistols
in their belts, wore wide straw hats and red sashes, black trousers
slashed down the side and trimmed with rows of bright buttons.
High-heeled boots and spurs finished the unique garb. The women wore a
white chemise and white petticoat and slippers. Their black hair,
plaited in two braids, and a silk shawl thrown gracefully over their
heads and a fan, which is an indispensable article to a Spanish lady,
completed the toilet. Nothing but troubled sleep came to our relief
during these days. Fear of the Spaniards and the movements of the
lizards on the rafters and walls, with now and then a tarantula, made
rest almost impossible. At last we had only one day more, the tenth
day. We had gotten familiar with the different scenes, the waving
palms, the trailing vines where the monkeys climbed or hung by their
tails and chattered in their own way. The scarlet lingawacha, or
tongue plant, hung in graceful lengths and brightened the varied
colored green in the background. Innumerable families of parrots
talked and screamed from the branches. Bananas and orange trees
everywhere interspersed with tall cocoanut palms, the large and small
alligators basking in the sun on the sand were pictures never to be
forgotten. The natives in their peculiar dress, the fandango at night,
the graceful twirl of the Spanish waltz put the life touch to the
picture that comes to me today at the age of seventy-five as it was in
those days when I experienced, a girl of fifteen, all the discomforts
of travel from Cincinnati to California.

It was about 4 o'clock on the tenth day when we arrived at the small
village where we were to remain for the night and next morning, then
ho! for Panama. We had better accommodations here, a large adobe
house, kept by a Spaniard and wife and daughters, under the
supervision of the steamship company, which also controlled the scows
that we used on the river Chagres. Our goods were transferred from the
scows to the pack mule train. After everything had been safely lashed
upon their backs, our burros were brought and we all mounted astride.
It was well for us we were no strangers to riding. My youngest
brother was too small to ride, so a large native bamboo chair was
brought and strapped upon the back of a large native and in the chair,
safely tied in, sat the brother, as contented as a lord. He was such a
handsome child, mother did not want to have the native take him for
fear he would steal him, so she had the slave start first and she came
behind and rode with him in sight all the way, but she was
unnecessarily alarmed, for he was most faithful. The day before we
left for the steamer he came with an offering of fruit and nuts for
the boy and the madre and senoritas. Mother gave him an extra dollar
and he was greatly surprised and smilingly picked up brother and
carried him to the steamer and assisted us in every way until we were
safely transferred to the steamship Tennessee, Captain Totten,
commander. The ride on the burros over mountains, hills and dales was
an experience never to be forgotten. Slowly, step by step we wound
around the mountain trail. These burros had gone the road so many
years that their tiny hoofs had worn places in the rocks. All we had
to do was to sit tight in the saddle as we ascended or descended the
steep places. The pummel of the saddle was high and we held on to
that, and enjoyed the novelty of the situation. Once or twice we
merged into a plain of a mile or so, then began the rocky ascent. We
refreshed ourselves from time to time at cooling springs that dripped
out from the rocks into a rustic stone basin. The scenery was very
attractive, but it became monotonous as we sat in our saddles while
the burros, step by step, ascended or descended the path they had
traversed so often. Toward night the mountains became more like
rolling hills and there was more open space and sky to be seen. By the
time darkness overtook us we were near the outskirts of Panama and
hoped soon to see the lights of the city. About nine o'clock we
stopped before an adobe building, long and wide, two stories high,
with a large enclosed place for the burros. This was also under the
steamship company's control. This time the proprietor was a white man
and we were able to obtain desirable beds and comfortable fare. He
gave us the best rooms, large and clean, more homelike than anything
we had seen since leaving home. We were so weary it was with
difficulty we got off the burros, having ridden all day long. I could
hardly feel the earth under me and I staggered many times before we
were comfortable in our rooms. After resting for an hour we were
summoned to supper. It was now ten o'clock. Late as it was, we found
the supper so appetizing we forgot the hour and really enjoyed the
first good meal in the ten days we were on the way. The host and his
good wife saw that everybody was made comfortable during the time we
remained there. The steamer Tennessee had arrived two days before and
had all the cargo in and fruits and fresh vegetables on board, so we
were able to sail the next afternoon at three o'clock.



Built in 1853. Still standing and occupied. Its material came around
the Horn.]

It was almost five when the signal was given for "all ashore," and in
an hour we were steaming along the coast and out of sight of Panama.
The sea was calm and the steamer was steady and I supposed I would
fare better than I had during the first part of the trip. But as soon
as I smelled the smoke from the stacks and the odor of the cooking
food, I was as miserable as before. The rest of the family fared
better and were able to go to the table when the sea was calm. There
were about fifty cabin passengers, and during this voyage we made
several lifelong friends of some of the most prominent men who came
here to make their fortunes. We received the most courteous treatment
from every one. It was like one large family. Captain Totten and First
Officer A.J. Clifton were like fathers to us. Mr. Clifton claimed me,
as I was the age of his daughter left at home, and I used to sing for
him and then I was his "Nightingale." We had learned a song to sing
for our father when we expected him home, and as he did not come we
related the incident to the captain and Mr. Clifton and our friends on
board, and nothing must do until we sang it for all on board. It was
on a moonlight night and we were going smoothly, consequently I was
not ill, and Captain Totten proposed that we should sing the song.
Everybody was on deck enjoying the delightful evening. Everything was
still; only the puffing of the smokestack and the plash of the wheel
were heard. We all clustered around mother and began our song.

     "Home again, home again from a foreign shore,
     And O! it fills my soul with joy to meet my friends once more.
     Here we dropped the parting tear to cross the ocean's foam,
     But now we're once again with those who kindly greet me home.
     Home again, home again," etc.

Mother, Emma and Sarah sang the soprano; Mary, Margaret and Lauretta
sang the alto. Mary's voice being a deep contralto, she improvised the
third part. The plaintive song, with the sentiment of home
surroundings, touched the hearts of all the passengers and turned
their thoughts homewards, and many an eye glistened with tears.

After the first night of song there never was an evening that there
was not singing of some kind. Sister found some good voices among the
men and we formed a chorus. In a short time we were without an
audience, for everybody gradually found he had a note or two to use,
and whenever it was good sailing we sang. We had two severe storms
when I, for one, was not visible on any occasion. I must confess the
sea and I are not at all friends. We had one storm passing the bay of
Tehuantepec. The steamer rolled and the sea dashed high for two days,
but the boat was faithful to her trust and we safely steamed into the
beautiful bay at Acapulco the last of the week. I had been ill all the
way, going without food, and when we arrived Captain Totten said I
should have one fine dinner. After the passengers had gone ashore we
were taken off in the captain's boat and had our dinner at the hotel
where the captain had ordered it in advance. We remained on shore all
day visiting this Spanish town while the steamer was loading food and
coal. We visited some Spanish homes where the captain had friends, and
we were entertained by these Castilian ladies, who sang their songs to
us. In return we sang for them and they appreciated our music. About
three o'clock we said good-bye and they gave us beautiful mementos of
shell flowers, nuts and fruits and accompanied us to the boat with
their servants to carry our gifts for us. Such a beautiful day of
happenings and surprises for us who had never seen people of this kind
before left lasting impressions in my heart of courtesy and kindness.

By nine in the evening we had left the bay and our newly made friends
far behind and we were steaming toward California as fast as the
steamer could carry us. We had come nearly half the way and were
nearing Lower California when we encountered rough weather off Cape
Lucas. Oh, how the ship tossed and rolled. I thought morning never
would dawn. The wind was against us. The masts strained and creaked. I
really feared we would not reach California. The sea was rough nearly
all the time until we passed Santa Barbara, when it became calm and we
could once more feel that we might reach our destination. We had been
now three weeks on the way and we were longing for sight of land. We
strained our eyes daily, hoping to see the hills, but not until we had
come within two days of the Golden Gate did we see any sign of land.
Fog and distance prevented our distinguishing anything but an outline
of the shore, but as the fog lifted we saw more distinctly the hills,
and each hour brought us nearer to the long-looked-for harbor within
the Golden Gate. And yet we saw no city, only sand hills. We steamed
past Telegraph Hill, then we began to see here and there low wooden
buildings and tents and shacks. Was this then San Francisco? Oh, how
disappointed we were; there was no place to go. We remained on board
until the Stockton steamer arrived. There was no accommodation for
women anywhere. The steamer, American Eagle, came in about 1 o'clock,
and our things were transferred on board, and Captain Totten cared for
us as though we were his family and had everything arranged as far as
possible for our comfort. He explained to the river captain that we
were to be met in Stockton by father. But the captain also had
instructions from Rev. J.H. Woods not to expect father, who had been
ill in the mines, but we were to go to his home until father could
arrive from Scorpion Gulch, where he and brother had a store, and it
was slow travel with the six-mule "schooner," over hills and dusty
roads to Stockton.

It was quite a change from the great steamer Tennessee to the little
stern-wheel boat as it slowly puffed across the bay through Carquinez
straits and up the slough, turning and winding along, sometimes being
caught by a sharp turn in the stream and one or two stops on the sand
bars if the water was too low. We did not sleep much because
everything was so strange and small. We were always in fear of some
accident. The hours dragged slowly until morning, when the boat came
to a stop about seven o'clock. At eight o'clock the small cannon was
fired, informing the people that the steamer had arrived. The captain
came about nine o'clock for us and we breakfasted with him and the
officers. We were the only female passengers, as we had parted with
the other friends at San Francisco, they having gone to Sacramento and
Marysville, with their husbands, to the mines. It was like the parting
of a large family. We had been together two long months, sharing the
changes and rough traveling and the happy evenings on board where the
genial officers did all they could to make the voyage comfortable with
the means they possessed. Before we came only men traveled and they
put up with any inconvenience to get to the gold fields. About ten
o'clock our friend, Rev. Mr. Woods, met us and gave us the message
sent by father, so it was arranged we should go to the reverend
gentleman's home and await his and brother George's coming. Mrs. Woods
was a Southern lady, from Alabama, and met us with warm hospitality.
She was glad to see us, being the only white woman in Stockton at the
time. And we were glad to meet another woman. These good people had
several boys but no girls. We were seven girls and one boy. As
ministers' families, we had much in common. The Woods' cottage was
pretty well crowded, but we managed well, as every one was able to be
a help instead of a burden. A tent was put up in the lot and bunks
were soon made, and we put the men in the tents and the women and
children indoors. We were not yet acclimated and suffered with colds
for several weeks.

We patiently awaited father's return, but three whole weeks passed
before the meeting was granted us. We were sitting in front of the
cottage, chatting and sewing, when about four o'clock in the afternoon
we saw several men approaching and, as we observed them, my quick eye
recognized father. With one spring from the porch I cried, "Father,"
and as fleet as a rabbit I was off before any one realized what was
the cause of my sudden exit. They watched my flying feet and by the
time they realized what I was doing I was in the arms of the dear old
daddy, coming slowly with Mr. Woods, brother George and two friends.
It was our habit, as children, to always meet father when he came home
at night, and when we all ran to meet him the youngest always received
the first attention, being taken in his arms, and the others clung to
his coat and skipped alongside, chatting as fast as we could until we
entered the house. Words cannot express the joy of the meeting after
more than two years' separation. When mother realized that father had
come at last she was like one dazed and could not move. The children
in their happiness were surrounding the long lost wanderers. At last
father spoke, with tears of gladness in his eyes, "Where is Mary, your
mother, my children?" We had monopolized his attention and poor mother
was neglected for the moment. As soon as we had realized the oversight
sister Mary beckoned us all away and we gradually disappeared and left
the two to enjoy their happy reunion. After a half hour had passed,
and while they were softly conversing, we gathered in the main room
and, clustering around sister Mary, we began the song--

     "Home again, home again from a foreign shore,
     And oh it fills my soul with joy to meet my friends once more."

Rev. Mr. Woods and family were more than surprised to find such voices
among us, and their appreciation was so genuine we gave them one of
our dear old German hymns, a favorite of father's also.

[Illustration: First Presbyterian Church, Washington street, Stockton,
California, built in 1849, the first Protestant church in California.
Mrs. Blake-Alverson, as Miss Kroh, was contralto of the first choir,
organized in 1852.]

The singing seemed to give new life to his long struggle in the
ministry. His was the only church in Stockton at that time, besides a
Catholic church, and it was uphill work to get the men to come to
service. A new thought came to him that perhaps music in the church
might be an incentive for men to forsake one day thinking of gold. So
the choir was established and a large melodeon was secured from San
Francisco from one of the music stores which had been established.
Joseph Atwill began the music business on Washington street in 1850,
just one year before we arrived in November, 1851. It was soon noised
about that the family of Rev. H. Kroh were singers and that by the
first of the month there would be a choir in the Presbyterian church.
A melodeon was to be purchased. Miss M. Kroh was to play the organ and
direct the music and the sisters were to sing. During the time the
melodeon was on the way we had become acquainted with William Trembly,
a fine tenor; James Holmes, bass; William Cobb, tenor; Will Belding,
bass; Samuel Grove, tenor; and William H. Knight, bass.

[Illustration: Pioneer home of the family of Rev. Dr. Henry Kroh, the
father of Margaret Blake-Alverson, Stockton, California, December,

Father had returned to take charge of his store and we had moved into
the only house to be found, a story and a half high with eight rooms
and a canvas kitchen. We would call it a barn today, but we thought it
a palace. It was originally built for a small hotel, cloth and paper
on the walls and ceiling, roughened wood floors, everything of the
most primitive make. The rent of it was $80 a month and it cost $1,100
to furnish it. We had matting for carpets, the most common kitchen
chairs in the best room, kitchen table for a center table, and our
dining table was made of two long redwood boards joined together and
placed on four saw horses. Having had so much to do in making the best
out of nothing in the many places before, we had not lost the art of
arranging the furnishings of this house. Fortunately we did not
sacrifice all of our bedding, linens and quilts. We were allowed them
in the freight. The stores kept nothing but the brightest colored
prints and some bright damasks for the use of the Indians who came
down from the mountains and traded for such things. We could get white
cotton cloth, so we were able to have curtains at the windows combined
with red damask. We covered boxes with the same damask, and with
castors screwed on the corners we had some very comfortable stools.
Then a square of damask was properly finished off and made a table
cover for the center table. When all was done we began to feel we were
once more at home. There was yet something lacking. We had no piano
and we were lost without the usual music that made our home so happy.
Dear sister Mary, how we all pitied her. We knew she was suffering
daily from homesickness, the separation from her sweetheart, the loss
of her organ and piano and no companionship with musical people.
Although she never murmured, we could see that her mind was where her
heart was. But her duty was here. She was bravely battling day by day.
We all saw it and hoped against hope to change the condition.

Finally the choir had been formed and the melodeon came. That was soon
compensation for her loss. So the rehearsals began, and on the first
Sunday of the month we gave the first service. We had anthems from the
old Carmina Sacra and familiar hymns and our new found friends all
joined the choir. It was a great service. It seemed that everybody
from the pastor to the choir was inspired. Such an outpouring of men!
Mother and Mrs. Woods in the congregation and five of us in the choir
composed all the female portion of the congregation. The rest
consisted of men of mature years and young men away from home and
entering a church for the first time perhaps in this new country. When
the hour arrived for service the church could hold no more. Those who
could not enter stood outside the door during the whole service. The
evening service was a repetition, and those who could not get into the
church obtained boxes and laid boards upon them and kneeled before the
windows which were opened so they could hear the sermon and the
singing. It was a strange sight for the men to see women and
especially young girls. The miners would come to Stockton on Saturday
to frequent the resorts. Drinking and card playing formed their
diversions. Many a young man turned away from the gaming table to
listen to the music and hear the sermon.

We arrived in Stockton the latter part of November. 1851, and remained
with Rev. James Woods until we obtained this house, where we remained
two years. During that time we had formed the acquaintance of the
foremost merchants, bankers and professional men. The first
Thanksgiving we invited the following gentlemen to dinner: William H.
Knight, Samuel Grove, William Belding, William Gray, Austin Sperry,
Frederick Lux, C.V. Payton, James Harrold, William Trembly, David
Trembly, James Holmes, Thomas Mosely, Charles Deering, Gilbert
Claiborne, Mr. Shoenewasser, Mr. Thompson, B.W. Bours, Charles
Woodman, William Cobb and Charles Greenly. Brother George still had
his team of mules and the large schooner and made his regular trips
from Scorpion Gulch with his friend, Fred Lux, who also was engaged in
the same business. On their way down for this occasion they killed
enough wild game to serve bountifully the needs for this first
Thanksgiving dinner, as the usual turkey was not to be obtained. Wild
geese, rabbits and squirrels were plentiful and our hearts were
gladdened to see such a display. How we worked and baked and planned!
By many willing hands the dinner was prepared and the guests began to
arrive. Including our family, there were thirty in all. Our home had
but two rooms on the first floor. A large parlor, hall and stairway
faced upon the main street, and the dining room led out from the hall
and was large enough to seat many guests. The kitchen was made of
canvas and led into the dining room. There were three fine windows in
the dining room, so it made a pleasant and cheerful place. Although
everything was of the plainest sort, the long table with the white
cloth and greens from the pine trees the boys had cut as they came
along, and the wild flowers we had gathered and placed in bowls to
grace the tables with the greens which were arranged tastefully in
wreaths and festoons, gave a homelike welcome to these men who for
months had not eaten a home dinner or enjoyed the society of women. As
the darkness came on, we lit up the room with candles, having no other
lights. We had not forgotten to bring our brass candlesticks among our
household effects. Mother could not part with them, so they were
carefully packed among our clothing in the trunks and served us
beautifully on this occasion. They got an extra polish of whiting from
sister and me, who were the decorators on this occasion, and we had to
attend to the tables while mother and the older sisters made the
cakes, pies and prepared the roasts and meat pies and other necessary
additions for a dinner of this kind. Father, mother and the older
sisters sat with the guests, and sister Sarah and I waited upon the
table. As young as I was, the impression was a lasting one. Some of
the gentlemen looked sad, some dignified, others joked and others
related stories of home and their experiences in different places
in California until the dinner was over and we adjourned to the


Richard Condy
Judge H.B. Underhill
Mary Jane Lloyd
Mrs. Anna Bowden-Shattuck
Lizzie Fisher
Carrie Heinemann
Mr. Schnable
Ellen Lloyd
Mrs. Taylor


1853 to 1879]

The dinner made such an impression that before the guests departed
they had it all arranged that we were to take them all as boarders.
After such a feast of things they had longed for so many months, they
were not willing to go back to the old way of batching it, as they
termed it. We were young and used to housework and we wanted a home of
our own some day. Father consulted us and we agreed that on the
following Monday they might begin to come. We were assigned our parts,
and for two years we worked until we were able to secure our own
house, which stands today in Stockton as one of the earlier homes and
our homestead. While in this house there were times when we still
longed for home and the old surroundings. Sister Mary wanted her
instrument which she supposed she would never have again. Our friends,
knowing this, quietly consulted father in regard to securing a piano
as a birthday offering. But as Christmas Day was the date of her
birth, it was too late for the year 1851. We had already entered upon
the year 1852, and it would take almost a year to get a piano here, as
Mr. Atwill had not imported any instruments as yet. Our friends were
good business men and they immediately set about to learn if a piano
could not be obtained. All this was unknown to any of us but father.
William Trembly and James Harrold, while in San Francisco, inquired at
the different musical stores as to arrangements to obtain a piano.
Kohler & Chase did not import at that time. They dealt in notions,
fancy goods and toys. They were not wholly in the music business until
later in the sixties. Mr. Atwill was at the time on Washington street.
He did not import largely, and when Messrs. Trembly and Harrold came
to him he gladly entered into the plan to get a fine Chickering here
by December 25th of 1852. The cost was to be $1,200, delivered in good
order. The piano order was given, and how it came to California,
whether by steamer or around the Horn, I am not able to say.

All through the year we worked early and late, and our boarders had
increased until they numbered thirty-five. We could not accommodate
any more. There were no amusements of any kind. We occasionally had a
moonlight ride as far as I.D. Staple's ranch, where we were
entertained for an hour or so, then we returned. Our rehearsals went
on each week. New people were coming all the time. Mr. Grove's sisters
arrived, which was another addition to our society. Mrs. George
Sanderson and Mrs. John Millar came to join their husbands, who were
the prominent men in business. Father had secured a lot and our home
was being built, at which we rejoiced greatly, for it was difficult to
work for so many people, and the lack of necessary household
conveniences and of proper kitchen utensils were a great detriment.
Nothing especially transpired during these months. We kept busily at
our work until the season for rain was approaching. Several rough
houses were built opposite, on the corner a saloon, which was an
eyesore to us for it was a busy place where men drank and sometimes
fought with knives. Next to our house was a one-story cottage where
the family of Louis Millar lived, and a fandango house next door where
they danced and played their guitars. We lived on the corner and
fortunately had a sidewalk on two sides of the house, but the streets
were not made and the mud and slush was dreadful. Men crossed the
streets in high rubber leggings. We never pretended to go in the
street at this time, everything being brought to us. We were almost as
closely confined as prisoners. There was no drainage, consequently the
mud remained in the streets for weeks while the rains lasted.

December was approaching and of course our thoughts turned towards
Christmas and preparations for its festivities. Everybody was busy. We
had much to do, for all these men were still with us. There was mince
meat to make, raisins to seed, cakes and pies to bake. Everything we
used came in bottles and cans. There were no fresh vegetables of any
kind, excepting onions and potatoes. It was wonderful how we managed
during all this time under the most trying difficulties, and yet
prepared meals in such a way that our large family was always
thoroughly satisfied. Sometimes we could get bananas from Mexico,
cocoanuts and oranges, but not very often. Christmas eve came at last
and such a busy place, no idle hands these days. Brother George and
Mr. Lux brought with them two large sacks of the finest English
walnuts. They were a windfall to us. We never had seen so many before.
We were used to black walnuts, filberts and other nuts at home. This
was the beginning of all that came to us this Christmas. It seemed
that each one tried to get something we had not had before. Christmas
came clear and bright, but mud was everywhere. Rubber boots were
indispensable this Christmas. Dinner was served about 1:30 o'clock and
everybody seemed to be in the happiest mood. It was sister Mary's
birthday and we were especially attentive to her.

The dinner was over and the dessert was almost finished when a rap on
the front door sounded loud and rough. Father asked Mary to go to the
door as she was nearest. She obeyed and, when she had answered the
knock, a teamster handed her a letter and asked if Miss Mary Kroh
lived here. She replied in the affirmative, and taking the letter she
glanced out of the door and saw a heavy truck with an immense box or
case on it. She said, "You must be mistaken." He said, "Are you not
Miss Kroh? This is for her." By this time we were getting excited and
with one accord the guests arose to see the result. Father became
uneasy at her long silence and came out in time to see her reel
against the railing of the stairs. She had read the note and realized
that her great desire had at last become a reality and her birthday
had brought her the long-wished-for piano. This is what she read in
the note:

"A merry Christmas and a happy birthday for Miss Mary Matilda Kroh,
from her father and many friends who have appreciated her noble
sacrifice of the musical environment of her Eastern home. This
instrument is given as a partial compensation for her cheerful and
noble performance of her duty to her parents and as full appreciation.
James Harrold, C.V. Payton, Charles Greenly, David Trembly, William
Cobb, Charles Deering, Gilbert Claiborne, William H. Knight, Samuel
Grove, A.M. Thompson, William Gray, Thomas Mosely, William A. Trembly,
Henry Kroh, James Holmes, Henry Noel, Austin Sperry, George H. Blake."

When the secret was out, all was excitement. Sister made her exit
upstairs and the men took off their coats and helped with a will. Soon
the beautiful instrument was out of the box and placed in the parlor.
What a rejoicing there was! Father gave orders that Mary must play the
first air, and we awaited her coming, but she had not been able to
control herself to meet the friends and see the most magnificent gift
she ever received. Sister Sarah was dispatched to bring her down
stairs. She found her in the attitude of prayer. After much persuasion
she came down and father met her and led her to the instrument. She
stood for a moment unable to proceed. Seating herself upon the stool,
she began to play the Doxology, but her head sank upon the piano. Then
the tears gushed forth, the spell was broken and after a short time
she was able to proceed. It was now about the hour of seven, darkness
had crept on and the curtains were closed and the lights lit. We all
became more composed, music was brought out, songs were sung and it
was like a new world to us, such unexpected happiness in a far-off
city of the Golden West. Father had occasion to answer a call at the
front door and before closing he accidentally looked out, and to his
surprise the sidewalks and porch were filled with old and young men.
Along the side of the house stood scores of men in the street as far
as the eye could see and some were sobbing. On entering the room he
said, "We have an immense congregation outside. Get out your familiar
tunes--'Home, sweet home,' etc." He then drew aside the curtains and
raised the windows, "Now, my children and friends, give these homesick
sons and fathers a few songs more before we assemble for the evening
worship." We sang until the hour of nine and closed with the Doxology.
Once more father went on the porch and thanked the people for their
appreciation of the music and dismissed them with the benediction. We
closed the windows and curtains and remained with our friends a short
time, when they departed fully assured that they had brought happiness
to many souls by their magnificent gift to one who was worthy to
receive it, my sainted sister, Mary Matilda Kroh.

This is the story of the first piano in Stockton, given to sister,
December 25, 1852. This night was not the only night when men
assembled on our porch to hear the music. Later on a number of men
accosted father and told him that the music on the first night we
received the piano had so vividly brought back home surroundings and
memories of father and mother, that it was the turning point in the
path from which they had strayed and caused them to see the error of
their ways and to come back. Such is the influence of song upon the
young and the old. Anyone who has no appreciation of music in his soul
is an unhappy man or woman indeed. Music is one of the most refining
factors among young men and women. They are always the happiest where
there is music, no matter what other entertainment has been enjoyed.


Jas. Harrold
Austin Sperry
Wm. H. Knight
Geo. Henry Sanderson




After this memorable Christmas our home was the center of musical
gatherings and the new arrivals to Stockton came into our large family
of young ladies. We were universally sought, and our musical
entertainments charmed young and old. Into our neighborhood there came
a Castilian family from Mexico, the Ainsa family, four or five young
ladies and a son. These young ladies had a musical education of the
highest order. Opera music was their chief delight. Mass music and all
classics were also included in their repertoire. A mutual friendship
was formed. They could not speak English and we could not speak
Spanish. Their voices had been thoroughly trained and we spent many
hours in their society. Very soon we learned to speak Spanish and
their visits were still more pleasant. They were devout Catholics and
in the mother's room was a sanctuary. She was helpless and unable to
walk. She sat in her bed and ordered everything pertaining to the
household. An altar was arranged in the room and they had worship
every morning and evening. Sometimes we would join them and sing the
songs of their church. It was beautiful to see the devotion of these
girls to their parents. We soon learned the vespers and masses and
often sang together for the mother when it was devotion hour and the
priest would say mass. After we moved from the neighborhood we did not
meet as often. After several years they married wealthy white men.
Senator Crabb married one. Afterwards he was killed in Mexico. Mr.
Bevan married one. Mr. Eisen, the flour man of San Francisco, another.
Anita died and Leonora married a wealthy Frenchman; later the family
moved to San Francisco. Miss Lola and Miss Belana sang in the Catholic
churches there. Another addition to the musical family was Miss Louisa
Falkenberg, a most excellent pianist. She afterwards became Mrs. B.
Walker Bours. Her son is also a fine pianist. He is director of the
choir of the Church of the Advent, East Oakland, at the present time.

In the month of March, 1853, we moved into our own home on San Joaquin
street, and most of our large family went with us. Cupid had been
playing pranks in the meantime and, June 18th, my sister Jane became
Mrs. Wm. H. Knight and the first break came in our family circle.
During the year of 1853 it was decided that I should have an
opportunity to finish my education, having left school at fifteen. The
Young Ladies' Seminary at Benicia was chosen, it being the only school
in California where I could complete my studies. I was one of
thirty-five pupils of the second term of the school's existence. Mary
Atkins was the principal, one of the best educators in California.
There was also a Catholic school in Benicia at the time, St.
Catherine's Convent for Young Ladies, and an Episcopal school for
boys. The public school of Stockton was for the lower grades, and I
had had these grades in the Cincinnati schools and had had one term
with my sister, Sarah, at Walnut Hill Seminary. Henry Ward Beecher's
father, Rev. Lyman Beecher, was at the head of the seminary and
Harriet Beecher was one of the teachers. My father and Lyman Beecher
and the members of the Longworth family, who lived opposite the
seminary and were members of the same church and congregation, were
old friends. When father started for California we were obliged to
leave school, consequently my education was not completed.

During my vacation in the year 1854, October 5th, sister Sarah became
the wife of James Harrold, one of the firm of Harrold, Randall & Co.,
of Stockton, and moved to San Francisco. The first class at Benicia,
of which I was a member, graduated. Near the close of the term,
November 7, 1855, my sister Mary married David W. Trembly in San
Francisco. They had been married but a few months when sister became
afflicted with bronchitis, the climate being too severe in San
Francisco for her. They came home, and on November 8th she passed
away. I was sent for, but was too late to see her in life. She died
while I was on the steamer, American Eagle, hastening to her. This was
my first great sorrow. I loved her to adoration and I could not
realize she had passed out of life. To her I owe my proper placement
of voice and art in singing. She was ever watchful of my progress from
the earliest years of my life until the end came. While I have had
several other teachers in voice, no one ever changed my method of

My first Italian teacher was Prof. Paul Pioda at Benicia Seminary. He
always predicted my success as a singer and told Mrs. Atkins that out
of all the sixty pupils there was but one singer, which was proven to
her in after years when I had attained my reputation. She was glad to
engage my services each yearly reunion until the end of her life.
While I was not her favorite pupil, strange to relate, I officiated as
a singer on four special occasions of great importance in her life and
death. The Sabbath she was baptized into the faith of the Episcopal
Church, Rev. Ingraham Kip, D.D., officiating, I sang for her a special
song in the church at Benicia. When she was married to Judge Lynch I
sang for her reception. The song was Call Me Thine Own. When she
passed out of life I was called to sing in the same church where she
had become a member, and one year after, when we had her monument
placed over her grave, I stood on the platform in the Octagon
schoolroom, where I could look out of the window and see the monument,
and sang the memorial song by G.A. Scott, There is a pale bright star
in the heavens tonight. After this memorial I never went back to the
old seminary but once and that was to visit the old spot where so many
memories clustered. To illustrate this visit I will here insert a
paper that I read before the commencement exercises at Mills College
in the year May 4, 1901.

Mills Seminary is the daughter of the Alma Mater at Benicia. At the
invitation of Mrs. Susan B. Mills the alumnæ of Mrs. Atkins-Lynch
Seminary attended the commencement exercises of Mills College of May
4, 1901.

The paper was as follows:

"My Dear Schoolmates: We who are still left of the pupils and
graduates of the old Benicia Female Seminary are assembled here today
at the request of our gracious hostess, Mrs. Susan B. Mills, to join
with her in the celebration of Founder's Day. As the children of the
pioneer of schools of California, it is a befitting testimonial for us
to meet in this magnificent institution which is the honored offspring
of the Alma Mater established in the year 1852. We are grateful for
the privilege she has extended us to meet again as school girls and
exchange greetings and talk over past reunions held yearly at the old
school in Benicia. I have been requested to say a few words in regard
to the school in my time. As I have only my memory to aid me, my
remarks will consist of a short historical sketch of the early years
of the seminary which I entered the second term of its existence,
early in the year 1853. Miss Mary Atkins was the principal and teacher
of all the classes of the school. The number of boarders were 35 or
40, the attendance being increased to 60 by the day pupils of
Benicia. The four years I spent at the seminary were years of struggle
for Miss Atkins, but her labors brought her the reward of seeing the
institution raised to the highest standard of excellence. The
unequaled reputation was firmly established for thorough training and
solid education. Before I left there were 75 boarders and a total of
150 pupils. More room was needed to meet the demand for admission, and
during the vacation the old buildings were enlarged and new ones

"It was a special day of rejoicing, January 1, 1855, when Miss Atkins
assumed the sole management of the school. As I was the oldest pupil,
she often asked me to come to her room to discuss private matters with
her. Although I was only seventeen years old, I fully understood the
great task of establishing an institution of learning in those rough
days. The needs of all kinds were so great and the only way of getting
ahead was to work and wait. Later she had her reward in sending out
into California some of the best educated women to be found in any
land. It is with sincere pride I look back and see those splendid
girls who were, with but a very few exceptions, an honor and credit to
the school, to society and their homes, as wives of some of our most
distinguished statesmen, lawyers and merchants. In my graduating year
I was called home by the death of my oldest sister and was requested
to take up her labors in a private school of sixty pupils,
consequently my diploma was never received. However, at the last
reunion of the graduates, held in the year 1883, I, being the first of
her early pupils to gain a public reputation as a teacher and
vocalist, was unanimously voted honorary member of the Alumnæ, having
attended all of the meetings except those that took place during my
residence in Boston, Mass., from 1857 until the spring of 1862, during
which time I perfected my musical education. On my return I attended
each reunion until the end. I think we all felt at the time that it
was the last. Consequently it cast a gloom over the pleasures of our
last meeting, May 30, 1883. On the 14th of September, 1882, Mary
Atkins-Lynch passed away. I received a letter from Judge Lynch,
requesting my presence at the funeral to sing the last song for her.


Prof. Joseph Trenkle
Prof. Beutler
Old Courthouse
Young Ladies' Seminary
Prof. Schumacher
Prof. Paul Pioda


"I returned once more to Benicia to sing at a concert given by the
Methodist Church. I sang in the same old Courthouse Hall where so
often we had our closing exercises. It was in this hall, June 12,
1856, that I sang Schubert's Serenade for the first time with
Johanna Lapfgeer, soprano, afterwards Mrs. Dr. Bryant of San
Francisco. I still have the programme which today is fifty-five years
old. My return was in 1898. After the concert I hoped to see many of
my old friends of Benicia, but there were but six present of all I
knew long years ago. I marveled at the small number left. The next day
I visited the old school. As I stood at the door I slowly surveyed the
scene and my thoughts went down the vista of time and filled my heart
with sadness at the dreadful dilapidation of the school where so many
bright minds had been educated and gone forth to make names and
reputations among the most honorable women in the state. After I was
admitted and allowed to survey the place I stood in the entrance of
the old schoolroom. In my mind I could recall the faces of the girls
as they sat at their desks long ago. The decay of the school was all
so dreadful to me I could not hold back the tears. I turned quickly
away and sought the old well where we had so often quenched our thirst
as girls, when life was young and hopes high. I found the friend of
long ago, but, like all the rest of the place, it was also in the last
stages of decay. I had become so sad at all this passing away I did
not feel the pleasure I had anticipated in visiting the school again.
The teachers that were employed during my time at school were: Prof.
P. Pioda, music and language; Mary Atkins, principal; Miss Cynthia
Vaughn, assistant; Mrs. Reynolds, teacher of the younger day pupils;
Miss Pettibeaux, painting and drawing; Miss Johanna Lapfgeer, piano
and German; Samuel Gray, bookkeeping; Margaret Kroh, writing and
drawing. The directors were: Dr. S. Woodbridge, B.W. Mudge, Samuel
Gray, Dr. Peabody, Captain Walsh and J.W. Jones.

"As far as I can recall them, the names of the former pupils were:
Emily Walsh, Benicia; May Emma Woodbridge, Benicia; May Hook, Benicia;
Mary Riddell, Benicia; Josie Latimer, Stockton; Minnie Latimer,
Stockton; Elizabeth Manning, Stockton; Frances Livingston, San
Francisco; May Livingston, San Francisco; Kate Grimm, Sacramento; Mary
Bidwell, Chico; Mary Church, Chico; Rose Reynolds, San Jose; Sallie
Tennant, Marysville; Mollie Tennant, Marysville; Althea Parker,
Stockton; Miss Rollins, Martinez; May O'Neil, Sacramento; Aggie Bell,
Sacramento; Maggie Kroh, Stockton; Sophia Dallas, Stockton; Mary
Dallas, Stockton; Nellie Meader, Stockton; Mary Vincent, Sacramento;
Ella Hunt, San Francisco; May Warren, San Francisco; Georgia Warren,
San Francisco; Grace Woodbridge, Benicia; Ruth Vaughn, Sacramento.

"The day pupils were: Mary Hastings, Benicia; Virginia Hubbs, Benicia;
Lou Boggs, Napa; Percy Garritson, Benicia; Maria Barber, Martinez;
Amanda Hook, Martinez; May Hook, Martinez; Mattie Carpenter, San
Francisco; Rebecca Woodbridge, Benicia."

The Benicia girls were seated at a table especially decorated for the
occasion. Through the thoughtfulness of Mrs. Mills, eighteen of the
old class were present at this time. This was the last meeting that I
ever attended of the members of the Alma Mater, for on September 1,
1901, I was thrown from a street car and made a cripple for the rest
of my days and my usefulness was cut short for filling engagements of
any sort. Since my recovery I have confined myself to voice teaching.
Only on a few occasions have I appeared in public. This was either on
Decoration Day or the Fourth of July, when my patriotism was aroused.
I was always ready to sing for Old Glory or help our boys who fought
in 1861.

[Illustration: Captain Charles Blake


In 1855 when I left the seminary I returned to my home in Stockton. My
parents were getting along in years and I felt it my duty to aid them
if possible. There were many families in Stockton at this time and
young children were everywhere. I conceived the idea of an infant
school composed of little boys and girls too small to go to the public
schools. My suggestion met with approval wherever I applied, and I
soon had thirty pupils promised. I rented a cottage of one room across
the slough from my home. On July 1, 1856, I began and soon had a
school full of little folks, numbering thirty-five. I continued
teaching until September 17, 1857, when I also followed my older
sisters' example and was married to George H. Blake, the eldest son of
Sir Edwin Blake, who was Minister Plenipotentiary to England from
America at one time. My husband was also the grandson of Major-General
Benjamin Lincoln, a heroic officer of the Revolution and a skillful
diplomat in the councils of his country. Lincoln was born in Hingham,
near Boston, May 23d, 1733. In 1775 he was elected a member of the
Provincial Congress and was appointed on the committee of
correspondence. In 1776 he received the appointment of brigadier and
soon after that of major-general. He rendered valuable services in the
trying campaign and signalized himself in the battles on the plains of
Saratoga which proved so disastrous to Burgoyne. He was severely
wounded during these battles. In the battle that took place on
October 7, 1776, he was obliged to leave the army. He did not return
until the following August, when he was immediately sent south to
assume command of the army in that quarter, which on his arrival at
Charleston in December, 1778, he found in the most miserably destitute
and disorderly condition. But his indefatigable industry and
diplomatic energy enabled him in the following June to take the field.
Such was his popularity with the army and the whole country that when
he rejoined the army in 1781 to co-operate with the southern army, he
had the high satisfaction of taking part in the reduction of Yorktown
and of conducting the defeated army to the field, where they were to
lay down their arms at the feet of the illustrious Washington.
General Lincoln took the sword from Lord Cornwallis and delivered it
to his Commander-in-Chief, Washington.

[Illustration: Major-General Benjamin Lincoln, of the War of the
Revolution. He was the grandfather of Mr. George H. Blake and the
great-grandfather of George Lincoln Blake and William Ellery Blake,
sons of Mrs. Blake-Alverson.]

I feel justly proud with my sons, George Lincoln Blake and William
Ellery Blake, to claim such illustrious descendants of our great
republic, especially Lincoln, who gained such high recognition from
our government for his patriotism and diplomatic energy in the
beginning of our republic. He quelled the famous Shay's insurrection
in 1786-87. He held the post of Lieutenant-Governor, was member of the
convention called to ratify the new Constitution, and for years was
collector of port in Boston and besides filled many minor offices. He
received from Harvard University the degree of Master of Arts, was a
member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as of the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and was president of the Society
of Cincinnati from its organization to the day of his death. He closed
his honorable and useful life in the seventy-eighth year of his life
at Hingham, Mass., May 9, 1810.

This bit of history I have selected from the papers of Capt. Charles
Blake, who was the grand uncle of my sons, who died in 1859 during the
time I visited Boston with my husband to pursue my studies in music.
Capt. Charles Blake was the seventh captain of the Blake family, was a
man celebrated for his bravery and as a sailor was unexcelled in his
time. I also found among his papers a Masonic sheepskin (which perhaps
will be an interesting bit of information for the Masons of
California), the first one that was ever gotten for an American. It
could not be obtained in America, consequently it was secured in
England. It bears the faded marks of "Grand Lodge of Master Masons,
London No. 25, Registered on the books of the Grand Lodge in London,
the 11th day of September in the year of Masonry, 5011." The grand
seal is attached and signed by Robert Leslie, Grand Secretary: Edward
Harper, D. Gr. Sec. This is the oldest Masonic sheepskin of the grand
lodge in America. It was received by my uncle when he was twenty-five
years old and has been in my possession since 1869, forty-two years
ago, when we received his trunks after his death. I alone am able to
give these facts of our family history, which should be known to all
the members of our family. This is a family book as well as an
intimate history of my life. I have been received during my life in
California with so much affection and appreciation by the public I
have served, that when I write I consider those who read are my
friends, that we are of one common family, and I cannot look upon the
people of California in any other way, for the very fact that
everybody I meet or have any dealings with greet me with such courtesy
and warmth.

The death of sister Mary Matilda Kroh-Trembly occurred November 8,
1856, in the thirty-first year of her life at the old home on San
Joaquin street, Stockton. In 1855 she was married to Mr. David W.
Trembly of New York. They settled in San Francisco, but after living
there for several months the climate was found to be too severe and
she contracted bronchitis, for weeks being unable to leave her room.
At last she became so feeble that she was brought home to Stockton and
lingered for weeks. I was at Benicia Seminary still and in my last
half year when I received a letter to hurry home. Uncle William
Trembly came from San Francisco to Benicia to meet me, and together we
came up the San Joaquin slough, but unfortunately for us we had many
things to keep us from arriving in time to see her alive. At last the
steamer was fast on the hog's back, the tide was out and we could not
proceed. The sailors worked with a will, but it was not until three
o'clock in the morning that we were on our way once more. What a night
of suspense! I loved my sister to devotion, and not to see her alive
was more than I dared to contemplate, but so it was to be. She passed
into eternity at the time we were trying to get off the sand bar and
when uncle and I arrived in the morning, she was dead.

This was the first death that had taken place in our family. All of us
had grown to manhood and womanhood and had been mercifully spared all
these years until now the dearest one of all had to pass away and
leave us to mourn her loss. She was the embodiment of all that was
good in life, a pattern for all to follow. She was our second mother.
When mother was attending to the church work or visiting the sick,
accompanying father at baptisms, weddings, funerals or other offices
that fall to the minister's wife, sister was always ready to take her
place and see that all was well at home. She taught in the public
schools, gave music lessons, was German teacher, organist on Sunday
and teacher in the Sabbath school. Her life was always full of duties.
She had also been father's secretary and attended to all of his
correspondence in his absence. Never complaining, always there to
attend to all the duties devolving upon her, she was a happy spirit
of the home, as much missed as mother or father. She was my pattern
and guide and if I have ever achieved anything to merit commendation
during my life I owe all my best to her. She was my first music
teacher and I have never deviated from her principles of voice
placement. By so doing I am able to sing today with a correct
knowledge of perfect tone production and able to impart to others the
same tonal art that I have given to hundreds of pupils that have come
under my supervision during my many years of successful teaching in
California. Being so widely known and loved by all who knew her, when
she was buried the schools were closed and the children, two by two,
marched in procession and every conveyance that could be procured at
that time was used so that all who wished to honor the beloved could
do so. All the dear friends who were the instigators in procuring the
first piano for her were in the procession and were most sincere
mourners for the loved musician who always gave them so many hours of
real happiness.

She was the leading spirit of the pleasures which they had so many
times enjoyed in their loneliness away from their homes in the East.
The music that was rendered by our family was the only diversion and
happiness that came into their lives in the early fifties when the
world seemed to be populated by men alone, all seeking the one aim--to
get gold and go back rich men and then enjoy wealth and ease and
comfort and make amends for the struggles and deprivations they had
suffered. Now the spirit of this cherished friend had passed out to
join the Choir Invisible, and a befitting burial was given her as a
memorial of the affection in which she was held by those who owed her
so much of real happiness in the severe struggles of the pioneer life
when we were but a small colony of the first white women and men in
the City of Stockton.

[Illustration: Sacred to the memory of Mary Kroh-Trembly, pioneer
organist, Stockton, California, 1852.]



When I was fifteen years old the San Joaquin slough was wide enough
for river steamers, schooners and sloops to make safe landings in the
heart of Stockton. This was in 1854. Schooners brought lumber,
potatoes and hay to Stockton from San Francisco. One of the boats
making a monthly trip to Stockton was captained by a popular young man
familiarly called "Captain Charley." That is my reason for not calling
him by his name. I never saw him, but my brother, George Kroh, would
often stand on the wharf and watch his men unload the steamer. It was
on one of these occasions that Captain Charley in conversation with
one of his friends said, "I tell you, John, I'd give a fifty-dollar
slug if I could get a Bear flag to fly from the topmast of my natty
schooner. Nothing would please me more than to come up this slough
with just such a flag. I won't rest, either, until I have Old Glory
and the Bear Flag flying on my craft." When the captain's friend left
him, my brother stepped up to him and said, "Were you in earnest,
captain, when you said you would give a fifty-dollar slug for a Bear
flag?" The captain laughed and said, "I certainly was in earnest, and
I'll say it again to you."

My brother said, "Captain, I have a sister who can make you that
flag." "All right," said Captain Charley, "You have a fine flag ready
when I get back and the slug will be yours." It was a bargain and they
shook hands on the deal. When George came home he said to mother,
"Where's Maggie?" "Up stairs," was the reply. He came up and said in
an off-hand way, "Maggie, how would you like to make a Bear flag?" I
looked up in surprise and said, "A bear flag? What kind of a flag is
that?" My sister, Mary, spoke up and said, "Why, Maggie, it is the
flag of California. I saw a picture of it in the newspaper, and I cut
it out." She then asked George who wanted the flag. "Well," he
replied, "Captain Charley of one of these schooners said this morning
he would give a fifty-dollar slug to get a Bear flag to float beside
Old Glory, and I told him you would make it for him." A fifty-dollar
slug all my own! "Ha, ha," I laughed in high glee. "I'll make it if
sister will help me." So it was planned I should make the first Bear
flag to fly on any boat up the San Joaquin river.

The next morning sister and I went to the dry goods store at Grove and
Knight streets, and after getting the proper materials we obtained
information in regard to the size of the flag and the bear and other
details. The work began early the next day and my hands were busy
hemming the sides and ends while sister drew the shape of the bear and
cut it out of brown drilling. We got our quilting frame and stretched
the flag on it, and when it was all nicely stretched we laid the bear
on the white surface and began to get it into the right place. Then
the basting began so that nothing should go wrong in putting it neatly
and correctly in the middle. After it was securely basted we had some
dark green drilling cut so as to resemble the grass under his feet,
and that was carefully basted and looked very proper. Now there was a
star to go on in the corner. We cut it out of blue selicia and soon
had it in its place. My sister Mary was an artist and could draw
anything and cut anything she wished. After the basting was done, we
stood and looked at our work with a satisfied air, pleased with our
effort in making a flag for the first time. Now came the work. All
this had to be done by hand. There were no sewing machines at that
time, and the only way was to hem down every figure, also the letters
and star. The edges must be secure or else the wind would soon play
havoc with the flag, so stitch after stitch was taken and everything
was thoroughly hemmed and carefully fastened. I was no stranger to the
needle, and my deft fingers flew over these letters and hemmed in the
corners, so that when it was finished and pressed they looked as
though they were woven upon the cloth. I was a whole month stitching
and hemming the different parts that composed the flag.


Sallie Knox
Mary O'Neill

Mary Atkins


Mary Emma Woodbridge, Mary Ridell, Mary Hook, Mary Emily Walsh

Kate Sherman
Agnes Bell


At last it was finished and ready for delivery, and we awaited the
coming of Captain Charley. My brother watched the boats come in and
after the third day of watching he was rewarded by seeing the craft
moving slowly up the slough, heavily laden with lumber and bags of
potatoes and other articles needed in the market and for building.
When the vessel was made fast to the dock Brother George came home and
reported, and we were all excitement to know if it was to be a
reality or a joke in regard to the flag. Next noon brother went down
and when he saw the captain he went to him and told him that the flag
he had ordered was finished, and it was a beauty, too. "All right,"
said the captain, "let me see the flag and I'll be on hand with the
gold in an hour." The flag was opened in the cabin of the craft and
when the captain saw the beautifully finished flag he had no words to
express himself. He just gazed upon it like a child with a new toy. At
last he turned to his sideboard and took from it two decanter stands
with bands of silver two inches high and heavily wrought edge on the
bottoms of the finest polished wood and in the center a silver deer's
head, with the name of the vessel in silver. He soon wrapped these
beautiful stands up and handed them to my brother, besides the
fifty-dollar slug. He sent them as a compliment to the young lady of
fifteen years who could make a flag of this sort with such exquisite
neatness. When brother returned it was our turn to be astonished to
see these beautiful decanter stands, fit to grace the sideboard of any
mansion in the land, and they were mine, and also the slug which
brother tossed into my lap. When I saw it I could not believe my eyes.
It looked as big as a cart wheel to me, for I never possessed so much
money in all my life before. You can readily believe it was a ten
days' wonder.

[Illustration: Bear flag made by Maggie R. Kroh (Mrs. Blake-Alverson),
1852, for a Sacramento river schooner, the first flag used at that
time. Compensation was a fifty-dollar gold slug.]

We had moved into our new home on San Joaquin street and the cost had
been great. To have a house in those days was a luxury and it was
always the rule of our family not to owe anything that could be paid.
We all worked toward that end, so when everything was paid there was
not so much income as of old. Following the hardships of crossing the
plains, father was never himself again, and we felt that he had earned
his rest after all these years of church work and mission-building
from one state to another. He had got so far away from the Eastern
Board of Missions and had always been such a tower of strength in all
his work that they neglected him and he felt it, in spite of all his
tenderness of heart towards the church and humanity. He gradually
failed and gave up all work and contented himself in his garden, shop
and library.

My sister Mary was always my guide in everything. For a few days I
kept my precious slug and looked at it and thought how much money it
was. One evening I heard father and mother talking together after they
had retired. The door of our sleeping apartments were always open into
the hall, in case of sickness or accident, and for some reason I could
not go to sleep. As I lay there I heard father and mother planning
some problem. I could not hear all, but I understood there was some
money needed. In the morning, after all the work was done and I was
sitting by my sister's side sewing with her, I told her what I had
heard before I went to sleep. "Yes," she said, "Father has still
something to pay and he feels he cannot take any more from the family
allowance, for there are so many of us." "Oh," I replied, "He can have
my slug. I wonder why he did not tell me he needed it." I soon had the
precious money in my hand and sister and I found a box to put it into.
The following little letter had to go with it: "My dear father and
mother: I am so glad I was able, with my sister Mary's help, to make
the pretty flag and so get this fine piece of gold to help pay on the
dear home which Mary, Jane, Sallie and I helped to buy for you with
the day's work with our boarders. It was a happy and cheerful task to
help you in building the first dwelling house in our dear Stockton.
Now it will all be yours as long as you live. I willingly give you my
flag money, so you will not have to fret any more over the debt of
the house. Always, your laughing, happy girl, Rosana Margaret."

The box and letter were put at father's place on the dinner table and
after he was seated he noticed it. Putting on his glasses he said,
"Children, what have we here. It is not my birthday." Not a word was
said while he read the letter, then he opened the box and saw the
bright golden slug. He laid down his glasses and looked over at me and
said, "So Rosana Margaret, it was by your cheerful handiwork that the
last burden has been lifted." I quietly lifted up my face and said,
"Father, Tilly helped me and we are glad you won't have to trouble any
more." He then lifted up his hands and said, "Let us ask God's
blessing." If prayer is the soul's sincere desire, uttered or
unexpressed, then I think the offering on Abel's altar was not more
acceptable before the Lord than was the prayer of my most reverent
father as he prayed for a blessing on his family, far from the scenes
of his early life and all that went to make him happy when he and
mother went hand in hand out into God's vineyard to do God's work, he
as an ordained man of God and she an ideal minister's wife who never
faltered in her duty through the roughest pioneer days in the swamps
of Illinois to the last journey to California to build up the Church
of God even here in the farthest west by the Golden Gate. All that was
mortal of these two faithful pilgrims rests in the new cemetery in
Stockton, always united in life and in death were not divided:

     "What's this that steals, that steals upon my breath,
     Is it death? is it death?
     If this be death, I soon shall be
     From every sin and sorrow free.
     I shall the King of Glory see,
     All is well, all is well."

(Father and mother's last hymn.)



In January, 1859, I accompanied my husband to Boston to visit his
relatives. My son George was seven months old. My husband realized my
voice was more than ordinary and as he was a fine tenor, and also a
good pianist, he desired that I should have the best advantages that
could be procured, so once more I made the pilgrimage of the ocean and
the Isthmus. We arrived at noon in New York in the midst of a heavy
snow-storm--gloomy, cold and raw--snow everywhere. I remained in the
depot while my husband attended to our baggage and secured the tickets
for Boston, and we left New York at three o'clock in the afternoon.
Blockades of snow twice stopped our train and shovel ploughs had to be
used. On the following day, taking rooms at the nearest hotel and
having been made comfortable, my husband sought his relatives. On his
return at four o'clock in the afternoon we went to the home of his
uncle, William Lincoln, on Chestnut street, who had been my husband's
foster father after the death of his parents. Here we remained until
we moved to 120 Charles street, afterward moving to Dedham, where Mr.
Blake was made a fine business offer.

In this city I began my musical studies. It was noised about that the
young merchant's wife was a singer from California. In a short time I
became a member of Dr. Burgess' choir, composed of men and women of
the first families in Dedham. Mr. Blake and myself were the only two
persons who ever sang with them that had not been born and bred there.
They had sung together for over sixteen years, some of the members had
grown old in the service. They were instructed each week by Edwin
Bruce, who came from Boston each Tuesday and drilled and taught us in
the best music of the day. He was a most competent leader and teacher.
With our choir he directed and drilled three more choirs. His soloists
were the best that could be procured and our concerts were looked
forward to by the people who filled Tremont Temple to years of
study I associated with and heard singers of all nations and had an
opportunity to study the music of oratorios, church and concert work.
The Handel and Haydn society had over 500 members, Carl Zerrahn,
leader, Howard Dow, organist. With our choir and the other three
choirs I have spoken of, we lived in an atmosphere of music
continually for four years.


Geo. M. Wight
Henry Sherwin
C. Churchill
G.W. Macbeth
Charles Wight
H. Hitchings
J. Eaton
Adelbert Calder
Edwin Bruce
Chas. J. Capen
Geo. H. Blake
Dr. Burgess
J.G. Taft
C.B. Danforth
Dr. Edwin Burgess
Alvin Fisher
Mr. Black
Ellery C. Daniells


Congregational Church Choir]

In the first part of 1861 war was declared and a state of great
excitement prevailed. Volunteers were sought and young men and boys
and old men who were vigorous, men filled with patriotic fire,
responded. Everybody was ready to go to the front. No one held back
services or money. Even the women began to feel they must do something
and while the recruits were drilling and women were sewing, making
comforters, havelocks, ditty bags, bandages, lint and other
necessaries required for the wounded, they formed themselves into a
Christian Commission Society and began systematically to plan ways and
means to meet the situation which needed so much attention and help
from every one, old or young. The Elders of the church gave us
permission to use the church parlors to sew in and four sewing
machines were put in and work began in earnest to help the cause. Old
ladies made lint and knitted socks and other necessary articles that
soldiers need. On the evening of May 1, 1861, we gave the first
concert in aid of the soldiers. The choir was assisted by Miss Louisa
Adams, soprano; Edwin Bruce, director; Charles Capin, organist of the
Orthodox Society. The church was crowded to its utmost capacity, the
overflow was sufficient to insure another house. Everybody was on
tiptoe to hear the choir give its first concert for the soldiers. The
sixteen ladies of the choir were dressed in white with tri-colored
scarfs over their shoulders. The men in dress suits back of them
completed the picture. Large flags were draped on either side of the
organ and festoons of evergreens fell gracefully from the front of the
choir loft and organ. Cheer after cheer rang out as the choir arose to
sing America. It was fully ten minutes before we were allowed to begin
the concert.

The praises of this first concert were so many that we were obliged to
give another in Tremont Temple in Boston. From that time we gave a
concert each month to raise funds for the volunteers during the year
1861. The treasury was always supplied from the proceeds of these
concerts and the supply of money never failed, to my knowledge, during
my sojourn in Dedham. The excitement of the hour was intense--regiments
of volunteers passed daily on their way to the front. They were
greeted and cheered by the people; garlands and bouquets were thrown
from the windows as they passed. It was a scene that never will be
forgotten, when we reflect that not two-thirds of these splendid men
ever came back. Later on the choirs visited the hospitals and we found
many brave hearts, who had fought and were wounded for their country,
lying there. To them we brought supplies of fruit, flowers and
nourishing food and sang to them. So the good work went on from week
to week until the year 1861 was nearly over. We decided to return to
California, business was demoralized and uncertainty reigned and we
had been four years from home. During that time I had become a singer
and was able to take my place with other artists of repute. I had
during my study become acquainted with the foremost artists of that
time and sang with them on many occasions.

Among the famous organists of 1858 were:

W.R. Babcock
Charles J. Capen
G.W. Harris
H.W. Edes
Adolph Baumbach
J.H.B. Thayer
Howard M. Dow
I.D. Parker
W.B. Clark
Carl Zerrahn, _Leader_.

The men and women singers of Dedham Congregational Church Choir in
1858 were:

Adams, Louisa, Miss, _prima donna_
Adams, Henrietta, Miss, _contralto_
Blake, Margaret, Mrs., _mezzo-contralto_
Bates, Helen, Miss, _soprano_
Bullard, Mary, Miss, _soprano_
Boyd, Mary, Miss, _soprano_
Bickner, Clara, Miss, _soprano_
Covell, O.M., Miss, _contralto_
Draper, M.J. Mrs., _soprano_
Daniel, Olive, Mrs. _contralto_
Everett, Hattie, Miss, _soprano_
Fisher, Mattie E., Mrs., _contralto_
Guild, Hattie, Miss, _contralto_
Guild, Mary, Miss, _soprano_
Kingsbury, Susan, Miss, _soprano_
Taft, Louisa, Miss, _soprano_
Williams, N.R., Mrs., _contralto_
Blake, Geo. H., _tenor_
Burgess, Dr. E.P., _bass_
Burgess, Edwin, _tenor_
Churchill, C.C., _bass_
Calder, Bert, _bass_
Danforth, C.B., _bass_
Eaton, J., _bass_
Everett, E., _bass_
Fisher, Alvin J., _bass_ (_former choir master_)
Hitchings, Henry, _bass_
Sherwin, Henry, _tenor_
Taft, J.G., _bass_
Wright, Geo., _tenor_
Wright, Charles, _bass_
Macbeth, G.W., _bass_
Capen, Chas. J., _organist_
Bruce, Edwin, _director_
Daniel, Ellery C., _choir master_

Thirty-five singers, men and women, composed the choir of Dr. Burgess'
church in Dedham, and as organist we had Chas. J. Capen. The director
and teacher of vocal music was Edwin Bruce. Ellery C. Daniel was choir
master. In addition to this choir, Mr. Bruce controlled three other
quartette and chorus choirs that could be called upon to aid us in
any entertainment we chose to give, consequently when the war broke
out it was not many weeks before we were in demand and continued to
successfully and constantly add new laurels to our large galaxy of
singers of repute. Carl Zerrahn was leader of the Handel and Haydn
Society, of which we were all members. The soloists were many of the
best on this continent. What magnificent music we gave. I lived just
in a world of song and associated with the best of them and was
accepted and acknowledged by them all. I remember well when we gave
the oratorio, David, April 3, 1859, the forty-third season. I never
had sung with so many singers before and I was in a maze of
excitement. I was ready also to enjoy every note, for it was the
largest aggregation of solo singers I had ever heard. The soloists

Mrs. J.H. Long, _dramatic soprano_
Miss Louisa Adams, _coloratura soprano_
J.P. Draper, _tenor_
P.H. Powers, _bass_
Edward Hamilton, _bass_
C.R. Adams, _tenor_
George Wright, Jr., _bass_
Carl Zerrahn, _conductor_
J.C.D. Parker, _organist_

With all these artists and 500 in the chorus to round out the society,
we gave a great performance. The Boston Music Hall was crowded to the
doors and the oratorio was as perfectly given as could be asked by the
most exacting critic. This was but one of the beautiful oratorios that
were given during my stay in Massachusetts. Instead of church service
on the Sabbath evenings, the oratorios were given. In this way I was
able to learn the music of all the most important works on oratorio. I
was but twenty-one years old when I began this kind of singing. Church
music I sang from my infancy, consequently my voice was fully
developed in the broad church style and I had no difficulty to acquire
this, although it was more difficult music than I had ever attempted,
but with patience and weekly rehearsals and daily practice it became
familiar and a part of my life. While the rebellion was raging we laid
aside oratorio work and studied patriotic music suitable to the
concerts that we were called upon to give to raise funds for the
soldiers. All social life was put aside and we devoted our time to
help our fathers, brothers and sons who were called away to fight for
the union of states. There were no laggards in these stirring times;
young and old alike were imbued with the patriotism that possessed our
forefathers of 1776.

Here I regret to say I am afraid in our later days there is not the
same spirit of patriotism as I saw it in the year of 1861. To me of
all the flags that ever floated in any country of the universe none
appeals as the American flag does. When I see its graceful folds
unfurled to the breeze, catching the gleams of the morning's first
beam, my heart leaps with pride and patriotic fire. To my mind I never
possessed voice enough to sing the praises of the finest flag that
ever floated under the canopy of heaven. Any one less patriotic in
spirit than this is not worthy to call America his country or home. In
vision I can now see these splendid men march to their death. Regiment
after regiment passed daily and was encouraged and cheered by the
enthusiastic women and children who watched the soldiers until out of
sight. Then after they had embarked, the women returned to their
firesides and wondered who would return. Tears came unbidden, yet we
were strong in the belief and hope that our loved ones would not be
sacrificed. After a hard struggle of four years some homes were made
happy and others felt the blow. Many returned wounded. To them we gave
all care. The hospitals were visited and relief given. There were
services for the sick and burial for the dead. Our voices as well as
the work were not spared as long as we could give aid to the living
and the dead. This experience of my life has prompted me to extend any
service I can for the men who fought so bravely when the crisis came,
and as long as I have voice and can help in any capacity in aid of the
American soldier who fought in 1861 I shall give the best I have.


Susan Kingsbury
Olive M. Covell
Hattie Everett
Clara Bickner
Mrs. Alvin Fisher
Louisa Adams
Mary Bullard
Mrs. Olive Daniell
Mrs. Draper
Louisa Taft
Helen Bates
Mary Boyd
Mrs. Margaret Blake-Alverson
Hattie Guild
May Guild
Mrs. Williams
Henrietta Adams


Congregational Church Choir]

Before I leave my Eastern subject I wish to recall some of the
celebrated singers and organists whom I had an opportunity to hear, at
their best, and with many of whom I passed happy hours musically and
in pleasant companionship. Most of the singers of my time were
American singers, even in the Italian opera:


Mrs. Jennie Kempton, _contralto_
Mrs. Washburn, _soprano_
Isabelle Hinkley, _soprano_
Abbie Plummer, _contralto_
Miss Louisa Adams, _coloratura soprano_
Mrs. Margaret Blake, _mezzo-contralto_
B.F. Gilbert, _tenor_
C.E. Pickett, _tenor_
I.P. Draper, _bass_
Mr. Wadleigh, _bass_
Mr. Emerson, _tenor_
Henry Clay Barnabee, _tenor_


Prof. B.J. Lang, _pianist_
Howard M. Dow, _organist_
Adolph Baumbach, _pianist_
Carl Zerrahn, _conductor_
Mlle. Carlotta Patti
Madam Colson
Adelaide Phillips
Anna Louisa Carey
Carl Formes, _basso profundo_



Lucia Di Lammermoor
Un Ballo in Maschera
La Juive
Il Giuramento
The Messiah
Moses in Egitto

I have placed these programmes here so as to show what singers were
considered the first and best fifty years ago. My impressions received
at that time left their imprint for excellence and a pattern for those
who aspire to real worth to follow.

The unfortunate training of the voices in our time has given us many
inferior singers who come and go and are forgotten. The great singers
of before are engraved forever in the hearts of those who were
fortunate enough to enjoy the exquisite rendering of their work. We
call this an age of progress. We may be wiser in some directions, but
as for the best music the past will have to chronicle the superior
singer. Carlotta Patti was a more beautiful singer than her sister
Adelina. On account of her lameness she could not travel as an opera
singer. I have heard both singers and Carlotta was my choice. Adelina
was the most advertised, for she was a money-maker and demanded just
so much notoriety when she engaged and signed her contracts. Her power
was supreme and no one dared to say her nay. Woe be to the poor prima
donna who sang better or had more applause or favors than she did. She
was the only queen of song as long as her reign lasted. Emma Nevada
and Madam Etelka Gersta were her especial victims when they sang the
same season with her. I am stating facts which will stand. To be a
good singer and up to the standard one must be a good woman with a
refined and educated mind, a sympathetic temperament, charitable
nature towards others who are doing what they can to bring up a
standard for generations to follow.

The war was still in progress when my husband decided in November,
1861, to return to California. I had been away from home four years
and had enjoyed all these advantages and had done what I could for
the volunteers who had fought for the preservation of the Union.
There were great surprise and murmurs of regret on all sides when Mr.
Blake made known our intention to go to California. He was one of the
tenors and very musical, and I as his wife shared with him the honors
in this choir of thirty-five voices. We had become such friends it was
like parting from a family. Our successful concerts in aid of the
soldiers, the many Sabbaths we worshiped and sang together, made us an
harmonious band of singers. We had one more meeting for the clubs and
choir before we made our departure. It took place on November 31,
1861. The ground was covered with snow and we were obliged to wear
rubber boots to be able to get on at all, but we were used to it and
it mattered not to us. The meeting was held in the parlors of the
church instead of the schoolrooms as was our wont. For a change our
leader said we would have an impromptu concert in the church choir so
as to use the organ. Edwin Bruce, our leader and instructor, came from
Boston and brought several fine singers with him. Mr. Blake and I were
asked to come somewhat earlier. On arriving at the church we found
quite an illumination in the parlors. Choirmaster Daniel and his wife
were the host and hostess and welcomed us. When we had taken our
places beside them the church doors slowly opened and the guests
arrived two by two, in full evening costume, and we received them
until all had welcomed us. The choir formed in a procession and wended
its way into the gallery which was darkened save for one or two lights
so we could see to reach our accustomed places in the gallery. When
all were in their places and our organist, Charles Capin, began
playing America, Mr. Bruce taking his baton and position, raised it
and the lights were turned on and before us sat the congregation,
every pew being filled. It was quite a moment before I could realize
this change and did not open my mouth to sing a note, for I was so
bewildered. At last, when I heard all were singing, I sang and cried
at the same time, for I realized this great kindness had been prepared
for us. Great was the applause when we had finished this song. We sang
until ten o'clock some of our best choruses, solos, duets, trios, etc.
We concluded with "Viva l'America," Miss Louisa Adams taking the solo
and the choir the chorus. Dr. Burgess spoke tenderly of us, strangers
from far-off California who had been so generous with our voices and
help these four years and wished us all good things and a safe return
to our home by the Golden Gate. We were then dismissed with the
benediction. Mr. Daniel had requested us to take our places in the
parlors and an impromptu reception was held until all the congregation
had bid us good-bye. About eleven o'clock only the choir remained and
the pastor and family. The Sabbath schoolroom had been decorated and
tables were spread for the banquet which had been prepared by loving
hands and through the kindness of the generous congregation that
appreciated our services. Three surprises in one evening was almost
more than I could bear. I was like one in a dream. After refreshments
had been enjoyed, Mr. Edwin Bruce came forward and with a very
appropriate speech placed in my hand an album filled with the pictures
of the choir, leaders, past and present, director and organist. I was
so astonished I had not the power to speak, so my husband, who stood
beside me, replied to the giver of such a beautiful and thoughtful
gift to us who were to sever the bonds of friendship and song after
these four happy years together. I do not suppose one of these
beautiful singers, either man or woman, is alive today, but I shall
present their pictures in this volume as a memorial to one of the most
distinguished choirs that ever sang together, some of the singers for
sixteen years, and that gladly gave its best for the Union and its
preservation in 1861.

[Illustration: A sample programme of the early Sixties.]

After we had severed our connection with the choir in Dedham, Mr.
Blake wound up relations with his firm, Parker, Barnes & Merriam, on
Milk street, Boston; we reluctantly gave up the dear old-fashioned
Taft home, with its shade trees and orchards and fine kitchen garden,
where we had passed so many happy years; we said good-bye to our
lovely neighbors the Adams, and Follensbee and Bullard families, and
moved to Hersey place, Boston, to remain until we left for California,
February, 1862. We took the same route I had taken in 1851 and were on
the way for two months. But things had changed and the scene was
altogether different. Over the Chagres river route we traveled upon
the rails we saw being laid when we came over in 1851. The trip was
uneventful, only that I was ill all the way, but being young and
hopeful and with the best of care, I once more came safely into San
Francisco bay. We surprised our sister, Mrs. W.H. Knight, and family,
who lived on Fifth and Market streets. Great was our rejoicing to see
our friends again. After a week's stay we left them for our old home
in Stockton. The rain had been severe, the creeks and rivers were
swollen, and we had a wet home coming, but we found the family in
waiting to greet us. It was soon noised about that the Blakes had come
home from Boston and we had no end of greetings and rejoicings. The
rain still came down and by May we were in dread of a flood, which
later came to pass. Water was everywhere. We were on the highest point
in the city, and before we were aware of it we had sixteen inches of
water in our house. On May 24th Dr. Grattin was called to our home and
he came in a skiff and rowed to the door, pointing the bow into the
parlor door and then stepping out into sixteen inches of water.
Provided with rubber leggings, he waded to the stairs where mother
awaited him with dry slippers and assisted him to my room. On May 25th
my second son, William Ellery Blake, was born. Both boys are native
sons of California and born in the home that was built in 1852. The
first family dwelling, built fifty-nine years ago, is still standing
as the homestead on San Joaquin street, Stockton, and apparently will
be a suitable dwelling for many more years to come.

After my son was three months old Mr. Blake obtained a position in
J.C. Johnson's saddle and harness business as expert bookkeeper and
first salesman. We then left the old home and moved to San Francisco
in the latter part of August and moved into the house owned by Dr.
Calif. He had recently died and his widow did not wish to occupy this
large house alone or desire the care of it. She arranged with us to
take two large rooms and the remainder of the house was at our
disposal. We were glad to have such a home. The rent was cheap and
everything was furnished just as it had been when Dr. Calif was alive.
We occupied this home until 1864, when Mr. Ben Smith made a
proposition to have Mr. Blake take the superintendent's place at the
San Lorenzo Paper Mill, about three or four miles from Santa Cruz. The
company had built a six-room cottage and furnished it completely for
us, should we decide to go. The large house was built for Mr. Sime and
his family as a summer home for them. It was an ideal spot to live.
The long flume ran along for miles. The river was dammed and the
overflow made a beautiful waterfall. The hills were covered with
chaparral and pine trees and wild flowers galore. The powder works
were situated about a mile above us. The road ran about fifty feet
from the cottage and, although we were among the hills, it was a busy
place. Ox teams were constantly passing. The large cook house was
below and the paper mill buildings were near at hand. About 150 men,
constantly going from one place to another in their departments, made
us feel we were not alone. There was fine fishing in the pool below
the falls. The salmon would come up the creek from the ocean and the
finest ones found their way into the pool, and on Friday the cook and
his men supplied the tables with fresh fish. How many times have I
seen those fine fish, caught on the prongs of a spear, writhe and
wriggle to get off. At first I could not taste them, I felt so sorry
to see them killed in that way. I would not go out on Friday until
after the fishing was done. The lamper eels crawled up the stream and
the men gathered them by the barrels full and made oil from them.

I had a Jersey cow and a fine milk house with a stream of cold water
running through. I made my own butter and had enough to supply the
Sime family when they spent their summer there. The lovely moonlight
nights on this fine sheet of water above the dam are with me now, and
how the hills resounded with our songs as we rowed along. I had a fine
horse and carriage, and it was great sport to go to town with our
splendid Jim, as we called him. Those were happy times. The children
had the best of air and full play among the hills. We remained two
years when Mr. Blake's eyes became inflamed from the fumes of the lime
used to rot the straw, and we were obliged to give up the place and
change once more.



We had become attached to Santa Cruz and concluded to live there and
begin some kind of business. When our time had expired at the mill,
Mr. Blake had found a convenient store. He was well known and had been
chief salesman for J.C. Johnson & Bros., saddle and harness dealers on
Market street, San Francisco, and later he was employed by Main &
Winchester in the same business. He was able to get his stock and
start under fine auspices. It was not long before everything looked
prosperous for us. Since we were both musical, Mr. Blake having a fine
lyric tenor voice and also playing the piano, we were soon the center
of musical attraction. We found other voices also that were of the
right sort, and it was not many months before the music of Santa Cruz
was recognized and appreciated. Mrs. Eliza Boston, a fine dramatic
soprano, was the wife of Joseph Boston, a wealthy business man, and
sang only for her friends and church, which was her pleasure, but she
was also kind when any necessity presented itself. She cheerfully did
her part, especially for the Calvary Episcopal Church of which she was
a devout member. The rector, Rev. Giles A. Easton, one of the pioneer
ministers of the church, appreciated her talent in the assistance she
gave to the music in those early days of California when music was so
hard to obtain.

What happy days were these to us who loved music and sang for the love
of it and for the little church that stands today covered with ivy,
planted when Mrs. Boston and I sang together in the choir. On high
days we were able to procure the assistance of some fine voices of the
men singers, Samuel Sharp, basso; Rollins Case, tenor; Charles Metti,
tenor soloist. There was no salary in those days for our services. We
did it all as God's work and it mattered not what creed. Wherever we
were needed our services were liberally given. Rev. P.Y. Cool was
pastor of the First Methodist Church and I aided his church for many
months and had fine support from Mr. Ossian Auld, one of God's voices
sent on earth to give us a taste of what was in store for us in the
Choir Invisible. How we sang together can only be appreciated by those
who worshiped and heard the voices, who by nature were created with
the musical temperament that sings. I never heard but one more tenor
of that nature during my singing life in California and of him I will
speak later, for it was after I returned to San Francisco that I had
the pleasure to be in the choir and sing with the dearly beloved Joe
Maguire. While I remained in Santa Cruz I sang for Dr. Frear's church,
also the Unitarian Church of which the pastor, Dr. Ames, and his good
wife were fine musicians. In the Presbyterian Church we found Mr. Fred
Anthony, a tenor, who was one of the useful tenors, and reliable young
men workers in the church. He came to California in 1854, a son of the
Wm. Anthony family, composed of musicians. Miss Louisa Anthony was the
organist of the church. The civil war was not yet at an end and money
was needed for the wounded and the suffering in hospitals and the
Christian commission was in need of funds to carry on the good work of
relief. All who were able and had voices or dramatic talent were
called upon to assist in the good work; consequently many
entertainments were given in aid of this cause. Young and old who had
talent were enlisted and there was no lack of enthusiasm, for the
cause appealed to all who were patriotic and in sympathy with the boys
in blue who were still marching, fighting and dying for our beloved
land. Those who were foremost in the good work during these trying
times are worthy of having their names enrolled in this history of
California's early days as actors for good in the development of the
state, upholding the government and assisting in the building of
churches and other institutions that have made our State the Queen of
the Pacific Coast. I feel proud that I can place on the roll of honor
such names as the following men and women singers, dramatic performers
and excellent musicians:


Auld, Ossian, _tenor_
Anthony, Frederick, _tenor_
Anthony, Louisa, _soprano_
Blake, Geo. H., _tenor_
Boston, Mrs. Eliza, _dramatic soprano_
Blake, Mrs. M.R., _mezzo-contralto_
Finkeldey, W., _tenor_
Grove, Mr., _bass_
Kittridge, Miss, _soprano_
Miller, Chas. M., _tenor_
Metti, Chas., _tenor_
Pringle, Wm., _bass_
Pioda, Mrs. Mary Emma, _soprano_
Battersby, Mr., _tenor_
Bender, Edward, _bass_
Baily, Miss Lorena, _soprano_
Case, Rollin, _tenor_
Sharp, Samuel, _basso profundo_
Steal, Miss Ella, _contralto_
Wilson, Mr., _bass_
Williams, Miss, _soprano_


Bender, Edward, _piano_
Emerson, Prof., _violin_ (leader)
Grove, Mr., _violin_
Hihn, Kate, _piano_
Jones, John M., _violin_ (leader of Santa Cruz Cornet Band)
McCann, Miss Pearl, _piano_
Pioda, Prof. Paul, _flute_
Rotier, Miss, _piano_
Sheppherd, Prof., _piano_
Woodbridge, Miss Abbe, _piano_
Cooper, Miss May, _piano_
Wilson, Prof., _violin_
Waldron, Mr., _piano_
Swanton, Mr. E., _piano_
Kirby, Mr. G., _piano_
Foreman, Mr. J., _piano_
Smith, Miss M., _piano_


Ames, Rev.
Ames, Mrs.
Binny, I.
Baldwin, Mrs. Fanny
Bittner, Miss A.
Cooper, Miss May
Cooper, Retta
Carpenter, Miss Mattie
Root, Miss May
Metti, Charles
Stanton, Miss Eleanor
Swanton, E.
Root, E.
Blake, Mrs. M.R.


F.A. Anthony
Charles A. Metti
Belle Peterson


Our programmes were of the highest order, the voices pure and full
without this abominable tremolo which is unknown to a person who knows
how to sing correctly and naturally. Occasionally we had the
assistance of some of the singers and players from San Francisco, who
came for the summer outing, and they thought it great sport to add
their gifts when called upon to help the country girls and boys, but
they did not get far in their fun before they found they would need
all their knowledge and do their best or else let the seaside talent
outstrip them. We were called upon from time to time during my stay
from 1864 to help different denominations in their work. Old folks'
concerts, sacred concerts, fairs and donation parties were the usual
efforts of those early days. There were no other places of amusement.
Sometimes, at rare intervals, there was a show of some kind in Otto's
Hall, a place that would hold 250 people. Whoever they were, they
could not give as much pleasure as our own home talent, consequently
they were not encouraged to repeat the visit. Mr. Blake continued his
business successfully, I supposed, until towards the close of the year
1868. He became despondent and I could see trouble was brewing. He
never brought his business home, so I was ignorant of anything in
regard to its standing. In early years he had much to do with mining
stocks and still held some that he thought would be profitable. The
four years we were in Boston he held much stock and that was one
reason we left, so he could be nearer and in touch with the rise and
fall of the market. I was not aware of all this, and when the crisis
came I was unprepared for the result. The money he made in the store
went to keep up the margins, and changes in the market. At last the
door of his store was closed and we were penniless and saw no way out
of it.

I being always hopeful, it was for me to raise the drooping spirits
and advise means of action. I left for San Francisco with the younger
boy and Mr. Blake remained with the elder to straighten out his
affairs as well as possible. I took my sewing machine with me and
intended to retrieve the family fortune with my voice and my needle. I
came to the home of Mrs. John Clough, a friend, on Third street,
between Market and Mission. Her husband was a fine tenor singer and I
knew she would help me get something to do. I was there but a few
weeks when the Lyster Opera Troupe came from Australia and began
singing at the old Metropolitan theater on Montgomery street. I was
one of the 300 members of the Handel and Haydn Society, which was
called upon by Mr. F. Lyster for voices for the chorus. A leading
contralto and a soprano were in the troupe. Mrs. Cameron and I were
chosen after the voices were tried and accepted. I had no trouble as I
had studied the choruses of most of the familiar operas. I also knew
many of the contralto arias, like Perlate de Amour in Faust and other
contralto numbers of the different operas that we gave. I was engaged
at $20 per week, which seemed to me a fabulous sum, for I was without
any means. These were strenuous days, sometimes fourteen hours in the
theatre a day, singing one opera and practicing a new one. I was not
unhappy as I was doing something to help along the good work of
regaining our footing and I worked willingly, but the operas of Norma,
Les Huguenots, Faust, Aida were heavy and required long rehearsals,
the theater was damp and cold and sometimes I wished myself out of it.
After singing in ten heavy operas I caught cold and was obliged to
stop, much to the disappointment of Mr. Lyster, as he had hoped to
take me with the troupe. But I was too ill and besides my sons were
too small to leave them behind, so I canceled my engagement and closed
my career in opera.

Before I recovered, Mr. Blake had settled as best he could and left me
to go to Reno, where his stocks were, to see if anything could be
saved at all. When he returned after three months' absence I had
taken the upper part of the house at the corner of O'Farrell and
Stockton streets, and with what furniture I still possessed I started
to rent rooms. I had also gotten the choir position as alto in St.
Patrick's church on Market street, on the lot where the Palace Hotel
now stands. While employed there a church was being built on Mission
street, where it now stands. When the basement of the new church was
finished the congregation was moved to Mission street, and we
worshiped in the basement until the main church was finished. I had
one room left to rent where I was on O'Farrell street when one day, to
my surprise on answering the bell, Mr. William Kitts of the opera
troupe called to rent a room. He was a splendid bass singer and I was
greatly surprised to see him, as I had supposed he had left with the
company. He wished to rest for a year. He had never seen America and
would remain until the troupe returned in another year. He was as fine
a man as he was a singer; in fact, all the principals of the troupe
were fine people. They were Madam Lucy Escott, the soprano; Henry
Squires, tenor; Mr. Baker, the lyric tenor, with a most beautiful
voice; and Mr. Kitts, the basso profundo. Before these people went
away I sang many times with them in concert. They gave a sacred
concert in Pacific Hall, on California street, in 1869. We sang the
Trio, te Prago, Escott, Blake, Squires for one number. Madam was so
pleased with my singing she kissed me and gave me her copy of the song
after writing her name on it. Mr. Squires said it was by far the best
combination for the trio that he had ever made. The first time I ever
sang this trio was in 1859 in Tremont Temple with Louisa Adams,
soprano, Edwin Bruce, tenor, and myself, contralto. Miss Adams was a
prima donna of that time. I had always received great praise for my
work in this trio.

I remained a year in the house on O'Farrell street, and as I knew I
could do better with more rooms I moved into a two-story house on
Powell street, near the corner of Broadway, when Mr. Kitts went to
Australia. Mr. Blake had returned from Reno and was employed at Main &
Winchester's on Sansome street. Mr. Goodwin, the furniture dealer,
furnished the house with $1,100 worth of furniture and I began to help
lessen the burden already so heavy. Youth was in my favor, being now
thirty-four years old. The children were at school and I still held my
church position and began to sing at concerts and entertainments. My
rooms were filled with the best of roomers and my house brought me in
$65 over my rent which was also $65 a month. I had no piano and no
place for one, as the children and I slept in the kitchen. I had given
up every available room to make the house pay. Mrs. Dr. Howard
permitted me to use her piano, so after the work was done I was
obliged to walk nine blocks to practice each day. When I thought
everything was going all right Mr. Blake began to act strangely. The
failure had affected him more than he let me know, and he was so
stunned by the blow that he had plunged us into poverty and it weighed
so on his mind that Dr. H.L. Baldwin advised a sea voyage. So we wrote
to his brother who was in Melbourne to expect him on a certain ship.
All was favorable and he sailed away the latter part of 1869. His
brain was softening and there was no hope for him if he remained.
After weeks of sailing he arrived safely in Melbourne. He so far
recovered that he was able to accept a position as expert in the
Omnibus railway office which he filled for one year and a half. In the
meantime I had been able to pay for all the furniture, through my
roomers and singing and sewing, but the large house was too much for
me, with sewing until twelve at night, and I concluded to take a
smaller house and called on Mr. George Lamson, the auctioneer. He was
Nance O'Neil's father and she was then a little girl. I selected what
furniture I needed for the house on Washington street and he sold the
rest. Four of the best roomers went with me to the new house, so I was
sure I'd not fail for awhile at least.


Church of the Advent
San Francisco, 1880
Rev. H.D. Lathrop, Rector

Father Stockman's Roman Catholic Church
San Bernardino, 1888

Calvary Episcopal Church
Santa Cruz, 1864
Rev. Giles A. Easton, Rector

Pilgrim Congregational Church
East Oakland, 1893


All these months of toil I had received one bill after another from
different men and business houses. When they came for money I told
them I did not have a dollar, only what I earned, but that if the
bills were correct, I would settle them as fast as I could earn the
money. I determined to pay all of Mr. Blake's indebtedness, rather
than there should be a blot upon his name or honor, and also for the
sake of his two sons who had their lives to live. I had been sewing
for Mrs. Letitia Ralph, the dressmaker, who gave me the children's
clothes to make after she had fitted and basted them up for me. I had
my own boys so beautifully clad she wanted to know who made their
clothes. She proposed that if I would make the children's clothing she
would prepare the work for me. After my work of the day was over and
all the family slept I sewed until midnight. After I had moved to
Washington street, I bought one of the Ralph charts and perfected
myself in the art of cutting and fitting. I had been but two months
in the new place when one of my roomers got married, to my sorrow, for
that meant another empty room with the two parlors which had never
been rented. My heart sank within me for I was doubtful as to the
outcome of the new departure. My usual courage left me and I was at my
wits' end as to how to continue. As I sat by the machine I realized
the situation and I laid my head on the machine and the pent-up tears
at last came to my relief. While in this state I felt a presence in
the room and on looking up I saw the dear friend of my youth, Mrs. Sue
Bird, standing quietly by me, not knowing what to say. It was the
first time she had ever seen me in tears through the whole distressing
time of the last two or three years. I told her I did not know where
to commence and for once in my life I was discouraged. Before she
departed our plans were laid and the next day her machine came to the
house with a lot of new goods that she wanted to make up for herself
and children. We put a machine on each side of the bay window. I made
some signs during the day and put them in the windows. We decorated
the windows with the new goods, a fish globe, a hanging basket of
ferns, a wire model and placed upon it one of my concert dresses. We
draped the lace curtains back and the window looked stunning and very
businesslike. I arranged my cutting table and had Harper's Bazaar and
other fashion plates and Butterick patterns on the shelves. Our signs
in the window read: "Children's clothing neatly done and made to
order." Our dressmaking parlors were in full swing and in apple-pie
order. All we lacked were the customers, so we sat at the machines and
sewed until the third day, hoping to have some one come, yet dreading
to see them, for fear we would fail in our efforts. We watched people
passing all day long, going and coming and stopping to look at the new
place. At last, on the fifth day, a lady with a bundle came in at the
gate, and my heart beat with excitement. When I opened the door a
gentle little woman asked if I was the dressmaker, and I told her yes
and bade her enter. She unfolded her bundle and told me what she
wanted. I found myself talking and planning as if I had made dresses
for a number of years. It was her wedding dress of dove-colored silk
and she wanted me to make a dress of it for her twelve-year-old
daughter, with an addition of three yards of blue to match. I told her
I could make a beautiful child's dress, a very suitable and pretty
combination. The next day the girl was measured and the dress began
and by the end of the week it was to be tried on. When the dress was
done she was so pleased that I did her work as long as I was in the
business of dressmaking, which lasted ten years. This was the

After Mrs. Bird had started me she was obliged to go to her home, so I
advertised for a forewoman. The next day I engaged a competent woman,
Mrs. Sheek from Nevada. She brought her sewing machine and was well up
in the ideas and ways of a shop. She saw right away I was new in the
art, but she and I soon understood what was needed. In one month
things went with such perfect system we were able to take in all the
work that was brought to us. Our window was always dressed and the
figure robed in the last garment finished, and we were becoming so
popular I was obliged to get more help. Before the year was out I had
ten girls constantly employed and three machines running all the time.
These were busy days, what with concerts, singing in churches and at
funerals, rehearsals, dressmaking and roomers. I also made costumes of
singers and actresses who heard of my ability. When singing, my
costumes attracted attention and I received many customers who were
struck by my gowns. Mrs. P.D. Bowers, the famous actress, sent for me
at the Palace and ordered her costumes for Amy Robsart, also other
costumes and dominos. Emilie Melville was my customer for her concert
and opera robes; so was Mme. Mulder and Mme. Elezer. I made the robes
for Signora Bianchi in the opera of "Norma," for Mrs. Tom Breese and
Mrs. Nick Kittle. Mrs. Tom Maguire and Mrs. Mark McDonald were regular
customers for years. Mrs. Maynard, a wealthy banker's wife, who lived
on Bush street, and her daughters justly appreciated my work, and I
found in Mrs. Maynard a lifelong friend. I continued in this busy way,
always hearing good news of the improvement in my husband in
Melbourne. He had been gone now a year and a half and I had received
encouraging letters from him and at last he informed me he would come
soon and take me and the boys to Melbourne to live. All the time he
was gone I had been paying off this tremendous amount of indebtedness
of his failure, and keeping it as a secret from him so as to surprise
him when he arrived. I was fully established and my church and concert
music was all I could ask for. My old spirit came back and I was happy
to know I had been able to help my husband through this $30,000
failure which had been such a blow to his pride and ambition and had
brought distress to his family. I received a letter that he was
coming on a certain steamer, and the boys and I were doing all we
could to have the home-coming complete. George was now fifteen years
old and William eleven. They had been going to school and had been
promoted each year and would have much to tell their father, himself a
man of letters and a graduate of Harvard University. His desire was
that the boys should excel, as had all the Blakes, Lincolns and
Sargents before them.

Each of these old and highly honored families of Massachusetts had
celebrated men among them, and they honored their forefathers and
tried to emulate their achievements and keep up the literary standard
of the Sargents, the military dignity of their great-grandfather,
Major Benjamin Lincoln of revolutionary fame, who took the sword from
Cornwallis and handed it to his general, George Washington; Eps
Sargent, the great writer of books, poetry and the song, "The Life on
the Ocean Wave," one of the famous songs of the time. These men were
the next of kin, and we were justly proud of the connection and tried
to uphold our side of the family honor as well as it was possible for
us of this generation to accomplish. The days were counted and each
evening we were happy in the recital of our part that was expected of
us when father returned. Only a short time remained to us who were
awaiting his coming. At last we were rewarded by the arrival of the
ship which was expected to bring our father, and the week had nearly
passed. On the fourth day a messenger from the ship came with a letter
from the captain that George L. Blake was dead and buried, in a
foreign land, with honors suitable to the man who had won for himself
the respect of all who knew him in the city of Melbourne. The railroad
offices were closed, the American flag at half mast, and men with
uncovered heads marched behind the hearse that bore the remains of
their distinguished member, the American gentleman from California, to
his last resting place. Our sorrow was too great to be realized, even
after reading the letter from the rector who had read the funeral
service over the dead, and who explained the circumstances of his
sudden death and told of the sorrow of his comrades and the officers
of the company who so honored him in a strange land. He had in a short
time won their esteem by his courteous and gentlemanly bearing towards
all who came in contact with him.

This was the sad message and the end of our bright hopes for the
future. The burden must now be borne alone with two children to
educate and this great indebtedness on my own shoulders to pay, until
all was done to honor his name and that of his sons. I saw no other
way but to work and keep busy. After several days my plans were mapped
out and I began to plan how to enlarge my business and still continue
with my music. When it became known that this sorrow had come to me, I
never lacked for friends, and in a short time I became so busy I had
no time to repine. After a year I needed more room, so I removed to
404 Post street, near the corner of Powell, into a cottage belonging
to a Mr. Simons. It was nearer town than on Washington and Stockton
streets. In a few days work went on as usual. Three of my permanent
roomers went with me. For four years I lived here, when Mr. Simons
sold the house and I was obliged to vacate. I found small rooms on
O'Farrell street and continued my work without cessation until the
beginning of 1875. During these years at 404 Post street I sang in the
St. John's Presbyterian Church, Post street. The organists during this
time were George T. Evans, later Frederick Katzenbach. The singers
were: Vernon Lincoln, tenor; Joseph Maguire, tenor; C. Makin, basso;
Mrs. Robert Moore, soprano; M.R. Blake, contralto. Later I resigned
and went for the second time to St. Patrick's Church and remained
there altogether ten years. The organist and director was J.H.
Dohrmann. The choir remained the same during that time. We had the
best talent that could be obtained and the music we sang was extremely
difficult. The sopranos were the best available. Among the singers

Mr. Brown, _tenor_
Sig. Bianchi, _tenor_
Sig. G. Mancusi, _tenor_
Karl Formes, _basso_
Sig. Morly, _basso_
Sig. Reuling, _baritone_
Sig. Meize, _baritone_
Mr. Fuchs, _basso_
Mr. Schnable, _basso_
Mr. Stockmyer, _basso_
Mr. Yarndley, _basso_
Miss Louisa Tourney, _soprano_
Mrs. Urig, _soprano_
Mrs. Young, _soprano_
Mrs. Taylor, _soprano_
Mme. Brandel, _soprano_
Signora Bianchi, _soprano_
M.R. Blake, _contralto_
Ella Steel, _alto_


Sam'l D. Mayer
Mrs. Alfred Abbey
"Joe" Maguire
Frank Gilder
Walter C. Campbell
Mrs. Augusta Lowell-Garthwaite
H.S. Stedman
Mrs. Mollie Melvin-Dewing


In the Seventies and to Date]



In 1868, while I was living in Santa Cruz, that city was without any
fire-fighting apparatus. The matter had often been discussed, but
nothing had come of it. Mrs. Alfred Baldwin, who was prominent there
as a school teacher, and her husband, a boot and shoe merchant,
conceived the plan of starting a nucleus for a fire engine. I being
her neighbor, Mrs. Baldwin naturally talked the matter over with me.
Santa Cruz then had some excellent talent to call upon, so we planned
to raise the money for an engine if possible. During these days Mrs
Elmira Baldwin came from San Francisco to spend the summer with her
sister-in-law, Mrs. Baldwin. She was a beautiful woman and talented,
and capable of taking a part in anything. We also had a friend of Mr.
Baldwin's who was a splendid actor in comedy or tragedy, Mr. I.B.
Binney. He was enlisted in the good cause, and through his efforts and
Mrs. A. Baldwin's we were enabled to collect all the talent necessary.
After the performers were secured, the next question was the form of
entertainment. Of course, Mr. Binney was consulted in the matter and
we decided to give the "Lady of Lyons," Bulwer's popular and beautiful
play. I had always sung my way into public favor, and had never tried
the drama. When the part of Widow Melnotte fell to me, I was
surprised, to say the least. I was only thirty-eight years old, and
the mother of Melnotte was fifty, but after much persuasion I
undertook the role. For a month we had a great deal of fun at the
rehearsals. It is true I had my home to care for, and it was also
fruit-canning season, and I was busy at something all the time, but at
my work my part was pinned before me and I was reciting aloud all day
long. Had any one come in unannounced he would have thought I had gone
stark mad. Sometimes I'd stand in the middle of the kitchen, dishcloth
in hand, admonishing Claude not to love Pauline too much, as he was
but a gardener's son, etc. At last the rehearsals were finished and
Thursday evening, August 27, 1868, at Otto's Hall, the only suitable
hall in town at that time, the play was given. Santa Cruz was crowded
with visitors and the tickets were sold so rapidly that the house was
sold out before the day was over.

The following criticism of the performance is taken from the Santa
Cruz Sentinel: "The object of the entertainment being appreciated, the
hall, with a seating capacity of 250, was crowded, and promptly at the
hour the curtain was raised, displaying a little family coquettishness
between Madam Deschappells and her daughter, Pauline. As a matter of
course a bouquet of roses was found, and it was queried in all
innocence of unsophisticated girlhood as to who could have sent it.
This act, Pauline by Mrs. Elmira Baldwin and Madam Deschappells by
Mrs. Fannie Baldwin, was well played and at once centered the
attention of the audience. Colonel Dumas by I.C. Wilson was far in
advance of his former attempts, and Beauseant by Thomas Beck added
laurels to his already established reputation as a first-class
amateur. Glavis by Master Asa Rawson was rendered in his usual
facetious style, creating a universal twitter all around the hall.
Mons. Deschappells by Albert Brown was laughable in the extreme,
partly from the age of so young a father, as seen through the scarcity
of his be-floured locks, and partly from its surroundings. The
landlord by B.F. Tucker was up to the mark. Captain Gervais was played
by C.W.S. Waldron with dignity and soldierly bearing. Widow Melnotte
by Mrs. Margaret Blake was grand and inspiring, and when she displayed
the character of a devoted mother many eyes glistened with a tear and
many hearts reverted to the days, gone forever, when a mother bent
over them with cheeks radiant with smiles of delight. Claude Melnotte
by I.B. Binney was excellent and deserving of the greatest praise.
Mrs. Elmira Baldwin, in her preference for the supposed prince, in her
rage and disappointment when she discovered his true character, and in
her determination in the final act to cling to him as the wife of an
humble gardener's son, acquitted herself splendidly. Mrs. Fannie
Baldwin acted well the part of the haughty and vindictive mother. When
Melnotte had returned as military chieftain and was happily united,
the curtain fell and the audience slowly dispersed."

Our audience was select and we had many fine comments upon our work,
individually. Several professionals were in the audience. It was
difficult to make them believe I had never acted before, and they said
I could carry that character anywhere and make a success of it. When
all expenses were paid we had $80 as a nucleus towards the fire
engine. The same was placed at interest, there to remain until called
for by proper authority for the purpose for which it was raised. This
play was given forty-three years ago. Three of the original
characters, to my knowledge, are still living. The curtain of life's
drama has been rung down on the other twelve. I have never inquired
whether the fire engine was bought, but suppose, after all these
years, that Santa Cruz must have several engines. We who live can feel
we gave our talents for a good cause. It was rather a peculiar part
for a minister's daughter to take, the straight-laced saints
suggested, but the minister's daughter smiled, knowing she had helped
in a good cause, and she still lives to tell the story of her
theatrical achievement in the little town of Santa Cruz, and how the
first money was obtained to get a fire engine for the town's safety.


In various times in my life I have assisted at a flag raising. This
incident occurred July 18, 1872, when I was on my yearly vacation to
Gilroy Hot Springs. The genial host, George Roop, and his excellent
wife, Elizabeth, were old friends of mine and they made it a point
each year to have me come, generally in July, when many people
gathered there. We had passed a very patriotic day on July 4 and the
enthusiasm had not yet died out and the decorations were still in
evidence. Our days were spent in fishing, playing croquet, in bathing
and climbing the mountains. There was one high peak that no one had
ever attempted and there was considerable banter between the guests
and the proprietor, Roop saying that no one had scaled the peak since
he had become proprietor of the springs. Among the guests were several
great climbers and one evening we concluded to try, at least, and if
we succeeded we were to put up the flag and sing America. It was an
ideal morning and we got a good start before the sun rose. Ten of us
started. We had but to follow the trail and keep going. We had a small
donkey, used to the trail, and our lunch, flag, spade and hatchet and
water-can were packed on his saddle, and with a hurrah and a shout we
were off. Our spirits were high as we slowly began the ascent. Before
we had gone a third of the way some of the party lagged behind. One by
one they fell back until only five were left. After we had gone half
the distance we rested for a half hour and refreshed ourselves with
part of the lunch. Then we journeyed on until we reached the sheep
ranch on the top of the peak, a level where you could see for miles
over hill and dale. When we looked for Gilroy Springs it seemed miles
away. The air was so clear our voices went out like clarion calls.
After our dinner we rested while the men hunted a suitable pole. They
soon found a tall sapling, chopped off the branches and pointed the
butt so it could be driven into the earth, and with spades prepared a
place and the tree was planted as near to the edge of the mountain as
we dared to work, in a spot where we could see the springs below.
About three o'clock in the afternoon the ropes were ready and the flag
placed in readiness. Capt. Mehan gave the sign to Dr. Coe and shouted
to let her go and in a trice the flag was flung to the breeze and as
it went up we began to sing America until the echoes rang far and wide
with the refrain and caught the ears of the guests below who shouted
and made the welkin ring by "firing off" anvils and making signals to
attract our attention. When we knew they had seen the flag and had
heard us we stood around the flagstaff and sang the Star Spangled
Banner. After the singing we gave three times three cheers for Old
Glory and they answered below by three shots and a hurrah for the
victors who had bravely put up the flag on the highest peak, 2,659
feet above the level of the sea.

Those who won the victory and helped in the flag raising were Captain
Mehan, Dr. Coe, Miss Foltz, Miss Farren and Margaret R. Blake. After
the cheering had subsided we prepared for the descent. Our faithful
donkey brayed with delight as he trotted off down the hill with a
small flag fastened to his bridle. It was almost eight o'clock when we
reached the foot of the trail, tired and foot-sore, but happy. As we
came in sight we found the guests had formed into a procession, and
headed by an impromptu band, arranged for the occasion. From the cooks
and waiters they had secured tin pans, tin horns, pot covers for
cymbals and other implements for the noisy demonstration. To welcome
the victors, wreaths of wild flowers and ferns were thrown over our
heads and shoulders and we were placed at the head of the parade and
escorted to the hotel porch, where speeches were delivered in welcome
and praises for our bravery showered upon us. Afterward we were
allowed to retire to the ever welcome sulphur bath, refresh ourselves
and rest before dinner. It was late when the call came. On entering
the dining room we found a separate table in the center of the room,
decorated with flags and blossoms. To this table we were escorted by
our host. We did not need the second bidding for we were a hungry five
and we were ready for anything prepared for us. After spending a
delightful hour partaking of the very best of everything, we adjourned
to the parlors and talked over the events of the trip and enjoyed some
excellent music which had been prepared for us. At 12 o'clock the gong
sounded and the lights were put out. Thus ended the eventful day of
our flag raising at Gilroy Hot Springs, July 18, 1872--thirty-nine
years ago.


Walter Campbell, Mr. Anderson, Sam Booth and myself were engaged as
soloists for the Visalia concerts that lasted three nights, given
under the auspices of the Good Templars of that city. Local talent was
used for choruses. We were paid $50 each and all our expenses. When we
arrived, December 3, 1878, the city was billed as for a circus.
Posters were everywhere, old fashioned stages carrying passengers had
posters on each side with our names printed in ten to twelve inch
lettering. We were amazed at our popularity and were a jolly
quartette. At the rehearsal we discovered some musical folk, capable
of interpreting the old-time songs and to our great pleasure and
surprise we found we had a fine support to aid us in our quaint songs
which had made for us a reputation in our own city. By seven o'clock
of the first night the sidewalk was crowded with eager and expectant
citizens, waiting with good humor until the time for the opening.
Before the concert began the house was filled to overflowing. Promptly
at eight the instrumental march began. In the first number it was
arranged for all the performers to be on the stage to make a
picturesque showing of the costumes. It was many minutes before we
were allowed to begin the programme. It was a demonstration to satisfy
the ambition of any singer and spur him on to greater things. We were
all in the best of voice and with the good will of the audience we
carried out the programme without an error, with encores galore.

The second night was a repetition of the vast crowd of enthusiastic
people. A surprise was in store for me. Rev. P.Y. Cool stepped upon
the platform and informed the audience that when he was pastor of the
First Methodist church in Santa Cruz in 1864 I was the solo singer in
his church. He said the audience had the opportunity of hearing by far
California's best and oldest singer and to his mind the best he ever
heard sing sacred songs. He finished by saying that he felt it an
honor to hear once more her beautiful voice. Because of the great hit
we had made we were asked to give a third performance and to this we
agreed. The choruses were the same for the third night as were the
character duets between Walter Campbell, Sam Booth, Anderson and me,
which were repeated by request. The solos were alone changed. Sarah
Walker also repeated her Opinions at the Pastor's Donation Party,
causing much merriment that such an old lady could still take part
with the younger set, even if she was seemingly eighty years old. The
programme came to an end about eleven o'clock, which closed three most
successful nights both artistically as well as financially for the
cause of temperance in Visalia. On our departure in the morning the
committee escorted us to the train and presented us with offerings of
autumn flowers and fruits as tokens of their appreciation.



In 1876, I signed a six weeks' agreement with the Vivian Kohler Troupe
to tour Oregon, Victoria and the cities on Puget Sound. We sailed from
San Francisco on February 24 on the steamer City of Panama. Our party
was made up of six people: Mr. Dick Kohler, the only Vivian, Walter C.
Campbell, Margaret B. Alverson, Mr. Wand, pianist, Mr. Charles Atkins,
advance agent. We were a goodly company indeed, all up in our parts
and anticipating success in our venture. We arrived in Victoria,
February 28. As we landed, rockets were sent up and cannons gave forth
a deafening roar to inform the people the steamer had arrived, but it
was too late for us to disembark, and reluctantly we repaired to our
bunks to pass another night on board. Morning came at last and I
opened my eyes upon a quiet little bay surrounded by high, rocky
mountains, covered with foliage, including tall pines, and in the
distance the snow-capped mountains, lighting up the background of the
beautiful scene before me. By seven o'clock we were taken ashore in
small skiffs to the opposite shore where we were met by our agent, Mr.
Atkins, who had arranged for our conveyance to Victoria. After a smart
ride of an hour we stopped at the Fayhard Hotel, too early for these
slow Englishmen. After a decided rattling at a heavy dark oaken door
of an ancient-looking mansion, a dull, grim old Chinese made his
appearance, wondering who was disturbing his slumbers at such an early
hour. The landlord, a polite little Frenchman, greeted us with many
bows and much palaver and popped behind the bar, which motion was not
lost on the chilled travelers who called for their favorite and drank
with a satisfied smack. I felt like the dog who had gotten into bad
company, the saloon being the only room with a fire. After a half hour
of waiting we heard the welcome call for breakfast to which we needed
no second bidding. I am a victim of sea-sickness and had eaten
nothing during the entire voyage except a little gruel, and I leave
you to imagine what I did to the delicious breakfast placed before me,
served only as Frenchmen can serve. It consisted of fish, chops,
steak, rolls, coffee, potatoes and an omelette.

After breakfast I was shown to my room where I had a good view of the
town and I found we had been largely billed to appear on Thursday
night. We had a day of rest before our first performance. We moved in
the meantime to the Colonial Hotel or Driard House, and were shown to
a comfortable room with a fireplace, quaint and small, in which a
bright fire was burning. The room was cheerful and attractive with
many windows. The floors were painted and covered with rugs, bright
and warm, and the white French curtains hung as in the days of
Napoleon. Mahogany furniture of old fashioned shape added to the
strange furnishing which was very attractive, and I felt at home at
once. About ten o'clock that morning, Walter Campbell came and
escorted me to the cupola of the hotel where we could see the city for
miles, a good-sized place, with several prominent buildings and
churches and a fine sight of Mount Baker in the distance, covered with
snow. After a quarter of an hour we decided to have breakfast and
joined the rest of the company and a stranger who was presented to us
as Commodore Maury, a pleasant and distinguished-looking man who was a
welcome addition to our company and extended us many a courtesy while
we were in the city. After breakfast the company separated. I retired
to my room and practiced an hour before going to try the voices in the
Theater Royal. While in the midst of my practice a queer accident
occurred in front of the hotel. A man in a watering cart, in backing
up to the sidewalk, turned too abruptly and the traces gave way, the
cart turned turtle and the poor horse hung in mid-air. Relief was soon
at hand, a dozen or more of the brawny Englishmen righted the position
of the animal and all was over and no harm done. After a good laugh
everyone went his way. At ten o'clock we strolled to the theater to
look it over. The people of Victoria think it is fine. They ought to
come to California and pattern after some of our playhouses. It was
small, the acoustics bad and the mixtures of colors was as a
crazy-quilt to me. The boxes were ludicrous in their attempt at
ornamentation. The seats were long benches, upholstered with
solferino-colored damask and the scenes were the merest daubs. We
did not rehearse in the theater. We returned to the hotel and
rehearsed in the parlors for an hour, then each one retired for the


Rev. Dr. J.K. McLean
First Congregational Church
Oakland, 1890

Rev. P.Y. Cool
First M.E. Church
Santa Cruz, 1864

Rev. V.M. Law
Church of the Advent
East Oakland, 1898

Rev. Father Akerly
St. John's Episcopal Church
Oakland, 1894

Rev. Giles A. Easton
Calvary Episcopal Church
Santa Cruz, 1864


At last the first night is over and we have taken the people by storm.
The theater is crowded and every number is encored. We have set the
town talking and I expect the theater will not hold the people for
tonight. House packed. Vivian is the funniest man I ever saw or heard.
I nearly choke with laughter. In singing my song in costume tonight, a
very pretty and touching incident occurred. Lord Mayor Drummond and
family occupied one of the boxes. With them was their grandchild,
about three or four years old. When I came out dressed as an old
Scotch woman and leading Mr. Kohler, who represented John Anderson my
Joe, her clear voice rang out, "Oh, grandpa, can I give my posie to
the dear old lady?" By the time I had placed John in the large arm
chair they had quieted her and the song proceeded. When the song was
finished a silence of death was the only evidence we received, until
we were nearly off the stage and the people awoke to the realization
that the song was done and the singers gone. Then applause broke like
a whirlwind and we were obliged to return three or four times to
acknowledge our appreciation. At the close of the performance the Lord
Mayor came with his family on the stage with his grandchild to see the
dear old lady. I had retired to the dressing room and removed my
costume and was ready to go to the hotel. When I came back Mr. Kohler
introduced me and pointed me out to the child. She drew back with her
posies and said, "Not this lady, the old lady." No persuasion could
induce her to give me the bouquet. At last I told her to come with me
and I'd show her the old lady. I returned to the dressing room and
showed her the cap and other articles of the costume and told her I
wore them and I was only playing I was old. She looked at me and drew
a long breath, smiled and handed me the posies. I took the flowers
from the child and we joined the party who were watching our
performance with much pleasure. They asked her if she found the old
lady and she replied, "Yes, she only played she was old like grandma."
Mayor Drummond complimented me on my song and reminded me that it was
his favorite Scotch song. Our first night won for us great
recognition. About two o'clock we were serenaded at the hotel by the
Victoria band. The company acknowledged the compliment but I remained
in my room.

The next day we were taken all over the city and shown the principal
features by the Lord Mayor and his family. At two o'clock we returned
to his mansion where we had luncheon. After passing several hours
pleasantly with his lordship we were brought home in time to rest for
the second night's performance, Friday. The house was again packed,
enthusiasm ran high and everything on the program was encored. The
boxes were filled with beautiful women and their escorts. The morning
papers were loud with praises of our selections and how they had been

The wind and rain had turned into a heavy snow fall. We were due at
Nanaimo for the next concert and despite the storm we started and
arrived safely Wednesday morning, March 8. We sang in Institute hall
and a fine place for sound it was. We had a crowded house and were
well received. We were to return to Victoria the following day. The
snow was deep and it was cold and blowing hard. Unable to secure an
express wagon, we improvised a sleigh and the boys put our things into
it and dragged the sleigh to the depot. We boarded the Northern
Pacific and started up the Sound. Snow everywhere. The scenery was
beautiful. Mount Baker was a lovely sight, just like one solid piece
of ice. We arrived in Seattle at one o'clock in the afternoon and went
directly to the Cosmopolitan.

Let me quote from my diary. Saturday, March 11th: "Our entertainment
last night was given in the cabin of a steamer which had been
fashioned into a music hall and it proved a fine place to sing in and
we had a packed house in spite of snow and rain. We met with a great
reception and one encore after another had to be given. Sunday, 12th.
We started for Steillacoom on the steamer Alida and arrived early and
were taken to the Harmon House. In the absence of a hall to sing in we
gave our concert in the hotel dining-room with a melodeon for our only
instrument. We made the best of the situation. All were in good humor
and our auditors enjoyed the programme very much. The next morning we
left for Olympia. At one o'clock we arrived in Olympia, the capital of
Washington Territory, and were taken to the Carlton House. Concert
tonight and off for Tacoma tomorrow at eight o'clock."

After the concert was over at Olympia I was surprised to be called
back to the auditorium by Mr. Kohler who informed me that some
friends wished to speak to me. To my surprise twenty-five persons
greeted me and made me welcome. I never knew one of them before, but
each one had heard me sing in San Francisco years gone by and was as
glad to hear me sing as if we had been old friends. My singing had
impressed them so that they desired to know me personally upon hearing
me again. Several of them even told me the songs I sang and others the
different places and particular concerts where I sang. At this point I
wish to say that to me this means the true singer. If the
interpretation of the song and the singer leave a memory of pleasant
remembrance, then the singer has found the secret of success and earns
the reputation that no one can deny or take away from him or her.
Riches, influence, envy, jealousy can never buy that which the singer
has not. It must rest with the individuality and musical temperament
of the artist and the art of giving to the hearer what the writer
intended he should give.

At Tacoma we had very comfortable quarters at the Carlton House. As we
were coming up the Sound in the steamer Zephyr I was in the cabin
asleep. The Sound was rough, I am not a good sailor, and how long I
slept I know not, but I awoke with a start and a loud report greeted
my ears. As I opened my eyes I saw the white faces of women and
children and steam filling the cabin. In my bewilderment I was really
frightened. All this must have taken place in a moment, for I had not
time to fully awaken when the members of our troupe hastily entered
enquiring for Mrs. Blake, is she hurt, etc. Well the Tacoma concert is
also a thing of the past and we left many friends in consequence of
our good work. Now we are off for Portland, Oregon. March 17th, St.
Patrick's Day. Our concert last night was a bouncing one. The
beautiful theater was packed and we were received royally and the
morning papers were loud in our praise. We are having rain this
morning. Being St. Patrick's day our house was not packed, but
comfortably filled. Of course we had an Irish programme which was just
the right key note and the people gave us a hearty reception and many
recalls. After the concert, friends came in carriages and took us to
the St. Patrick's ball given by the upper class of Irish citizens. It
was my first experience at an Irish ball. I did not retire until two
o'clock in the morning, pretty well convinced that the Gaelic dancers
are people to enjoy their fun to the utmost. March 18th. At the
matinee this afternoon a very laughable episode occurred. After
singing the second encore there was a fine bouquet thrown on the stage
for me. It failed to reach but fell in the orchestra. A nice looking
and well groomed gentleman quickly jumped over and caught the bouquet
and sent it upon the stage with a bow and a smile. As he attempted to
return he fell headlong. Such a laugh went up! It was funny to see him
sprawling on the floor in full dress. The cheers and laughter were so
uproarious I was obliged to stop until they had subsided. He turned to
the audience and made a profound bow, then we proceeded with the
programme. This evening's concert was a success from start to finish.

Sunday, March 9th. Having met some pleasant people in our travels,
Mrs. Baxter of Tacoma, Mrs. Gaten of Portland, and a friend of mine,
Mrs. Kilbourn, we were enabled to see more of the places of interest
during our stay in Portland. At ten o'clock our friends arrived at the
hotel and in a smart conveyance we were soon enjoying the brisk
morning air. Our destination was a Sisters' Hospital. After an hour's
ride we alighted in front of this spacious, comfortable-looking
building which proved to be St. Joseph's Hospital. We were welcomed by
Sister Josephine who guided us all over the place, the dormitories,
dining room, halls and corridors. Everything was kept in the neatest
order. At last we stopped in front of the chapel. The place was
partially lighted, showing the altar of white and gold, the brass
candlesticks and vases of marble filled with roses. The altar was
draped with white linen and pink silk linings and lace frills. A soft
pink light pervaded the place, which gave it an ethereal appearance
and filled me with solemn awe as I turned away. The day had begun very
fair but when we returned to the hotel the rain was in full force.
After dinner our friends called again and we were taken to their
beautiful mansion where we met a company of eight very interesting
persons, and with pleasant repartee and some good music we enjoyed the
hours until ten o'clock when we were once more returned to the hotel
and, tired out from our day's adventures, sleep soon claimed us.
Monday, the 20th, we gave our last concert and we had a most
magnificent reception and a crowded and enthusiastic house. Vivian was
in great form and his "Ten Thousand Miles Away" and "Where's Rosanna
Gone" took the house by storm. Walter and I received our share of
glory as did Mr. Wand and Mr. Kohler. Thus ended our three nights
and one matinee in Portland, Oregon. Left Portland for Oregon City and
arrived about six o'clock in the evening. The scenery here is
magnificent. The city is one long street, the valley is not wider than
to allow one street and two rows of railroad tracks, then comes the
Willamette river and across that the canal and the high mountains
again. Above the Imperial Mills are the Willamette Falls. As I stood
within several feet of the falls I looked on the scene below the large
mills, the canal, mountains, the small quaint town. We could see the
boats in the canal unloading their freight. The Cliff House was the
only hotel; not attractive but well kept. Our house was not well
filled; the mill men were angry at a dollar admission so remained away
and missed the fun for their pains.

[Illustration: WILLIAM H. KEITH, Baritone

Pupil in 1881]

Next morning we left for Salem. The trip was beautiful in the extreme.
The scenery was wonderful, rocks covered with moss of every shade made
a picture gorgeous to behold. Arrived in Salem at eleven o'clock in
the morning and drove to the Chemeketa Hotel, the largest one in
Oregon. We are billed for two nights, then we separate and start for
home. The concerts were well patronized and by the best people. Those
who generally go wanted circus pieces, therefore the grouch and thin
houses. Any one who knew Dick Kohler soon found out that nothing of
the cheap sort goes where he is the leader. We started out on a
venture on the 24th of February and separated on the 24th of March. I
was the only woman in the company and a queen could not have received
better attention than I from each member of the troupe. Wherever we
remained Mr. Kohler reminded the people I should have the best.
Sometimes we fared badly along the Sound and at the coaling camps the
fare was rough and the accommodations uncomfortable. Such occurrences
come to all who travel and we were the best natured company, ready for
good, bad or otherwise. We were four nights in Victoria, B.C., two
nights in Nanaimo, one night in Victoria on our return, two nights in
Seattle, one night in Steillacoom, one in Olympia, one in Tacoma,
Portland three nights and matinee, Oregon City one night, Salem two
nights--nineteen performances.

After all expenses and salaries, Mr. Kohler returned to San Francisco
with fifteen hundred dollars clear gain in four weeks. We left
Portland for home on the steamer Ajax. But friends in Portland
entertained us the last day and in parting came to the steamer and
brought papers and magazines to read during the voyage. But as for me,
I had no use for anything but the bed. I am not a good sailor. The
26th the snow came down so fast the pilot could not see to take us
out. After several hours there was a lull long enough for us to reach
the steamer. It was rough crossing the mouth of the Columbia river,
the rain and hail followed us for two days out. At last we came in
sight of the Golden Gate, and we were home once more. After a pleasant
trip, a welcome reception in every city and town in which we sang, our
salaries in our pockets and wiser for our experience as entertainers,
we were ready to take up the usual routine of our lives and continue
to the successful end when traveling days are done for us all. If we
had a regret it was at the hour of parting of our goodly company. The
good-byes were said on the 24th of March, 1876, and three of the
company never met again. To my knowledge all have passed away but
Walter C. Campbell and the writer, Margaret Blake-Alverson.



Before our time the beginnings of music were comparatively
insignificant. These we can divide into four heads, as follows:

     1. The music of the Indians.
     2. The Mission music of the padres.
     3. The Spanish and Mexican music.
     4. The music of the miners.

These epochs have no bearing upon the music of today. Even the
beginnings in 1850 and 1851 were of the most primitive sort. As early
as 1849 in the then village of San Francisco, music was given by
traveling companies from all parts of the globe, lured here by the
song of gold. As the priests built the missions and gathered the
people into the churches, they sang the songs of the Church, such as
the Gregorian chants. Their scores were written on sheets of
parchment, some of them exist today and can be seen in the Bancroft
collection of California music.

Most of the miners were men who sang songs which were not of the
highest order, and they showed no great proficiency as singers, but if
they were not singers they were good listeners, and occasionally a
strolling violin player would arrive in the camp and he was given the
closest attention and rewarded always with an ounce of gold, which had
the value of $16. He was extended full hospitality and shared their
grub (as the miners called their food in the camp in early days.)

Many of these quaint songs were composed by the miners in their camps,
and later we had men like the well known singer, Sam Booth. The titles
were unique as well as the sentiment, and fitted the time and place in
the early years. With the advent of women the guitars and banjos were
employed in the dance halls and fandangoes of the Mexican men and
women, who were the only women in the state when we arrived. There is
much romance coupled with as much stern reality in building up the
music of our state. The golden city was little better than trails
over the wind-swept sand hills, our beautiful bay was covered with
craft of all nations, lured here by the story of gold and deserted by
crews who joined the masses of humanity of all nations and creeds
ashore, infected with the delirium of the gold fever. They thought
little of music that was stable. There were a few practical business
men among them who looked farther than the mere hunting of gold.

Having been so closely identified with the earliest music and
musicians I have undertaken to give you an exact recital of facts in
my long association and in the performance of this pleasant art, which
is a beautiful memory in my long years of experience. In this work I
have been assisted by diaries, programmes and notes from the musicians
of my time. It will give me gratification and reward for my work if I
can present an historical account from the small beginnings of 1851 to
the colossal and substantial basis upon which the music houses stand
today. The pioneer men in the business had many struggles and
obstacles to overcome. The early fires swept away the beginnings
several times, but like the fabled Phoenix they steadily arose from
the ashes of their disappointments to begin again with renewed energy
and strength of purpose.

I think I can safely say that the music house of Joseph Atwill &
Company on Washington street was the first which dealt exclusively in
musical instruments. Atwill did not import largely but bought of Mr.
A. Kohler who dealt in musical instruments, notions, fancy goods and
toys. Mr. Atwill in 1860 sold out to Matthias Gray, a former clerk of
his, and he and William Herwig in 1862 opened at 613 Clay street.
After a short time Mr. Herwig, who was a clarionet player, dropped
out. Gray's business prospered rapidly, being aided by the acquisition
of the Steinway piano agency. Gray's music store was the headquarters
for many years of all visiting artists and it may be claimed that it
was the first devoted entirely to the music art. Later two of Gray's
clerks, Charles McCurrie and Julius Weber, established a favorite home
for the music business and during some years were on Post street near
Kearny street and later on Kearny street between Sutter and Bush
streets. In the meantime Gray removed to Kearny street next to the
White House. At this location McCurrie and Weber rejoined Gray and the
business was again moved to larger quarters on Post street and
included under its roof a large second story salesroom, that was
easily converted into a recital room and was designated Steinway Hall.
A very tempting offer from the then young dry goods firm of O'Connor,
Moffatt & Co. induced Gray to give up his lease and move a block
further out Post street. Just prior to this the business was
incorporated and known as the "Matthias Gray Co." Later Mr. Gray
passed away, and still later the business was terminated. The immense
stock of music was purchased "for a song" by Oliver Ditson Co. During
its existence Gray did an extensive publishing business and became a
member of the Music Board of Trade, which then controlled prices, etc.

Charles H. McCurrie and Julius Weber were so thoroughly identified
with music as an art for many years that a word about their present
activities may be of interest. Mr. McCurrie went into Eastern piano
factories and interested himself in the technical makeup of pianos and
the art of tuning and returning settled and still lives in Alameda,
Calif., where he has written several successful operettas and
collections of songs for children. Selections from the latter are in
daily use in the public schools, although not written for that
purpose. The Rival Queens and The Marsh King are also two successful
cantatas, the Quest of Truth being his latest work of that nature. Mr.
Julius Weber joined the faculty of piano teachers at Mills College and
remained there until recently, the demands upon his time by pupils at
his residence in Berkeley having compelled him reluctantly to resign.
He is still successfully teaching and is identified with the best
musical advancement in our college city.


Music House, 1910
S.J. Bruce
Oakland Manager for
Many Years

Andrew Kohler
Quincy A. Chase
Music House, 1851


San Francisco]

Kohler and Chase were established in 1850, starting as a toy and
notion shop and selling musical instruments. They were not wholly in
the music business until about 1853 or 54. Mr. Kohler imported nothing
but French and German upright pianos at that time. In 1860 they were
fully established as a regular music house, on Clay street and
afterwards moved to Post street. The same year A. Kohler opened a
large wholesale house on Sansome street. The first grand pianos were
imported by them about 1859. They came from Europe and arrived on
board ship just in time to be exhibited at the first Mechanic's Fair,
held in a building put up for that purpose on Montgomery street. At
that time Montgomery street toward Market street consisted mostly of
vacant lots. Kohler & Chase's music house has been one of the most
successful during all these years of changes which have come during
all these years. They had nothing but successful advancement until our
great earthquake demolished the entire city and they suffered as did
other music houses, but at the present time of writing they are housed
in a most magnificent building of their own on O'Farrell street and
Bagley place, built especially for them, and ten stories in height.
They occupy the entire building. It is the largest and most complete
music house in the West and an acknowledged musical center.

When the Matthias Gray Company went out of business Mr. McCurrie
selected from the shelves the music and books for the store of Wm. B.
Frisbee & Company, opened in the old Masonic Temple, Montgomery street
near Market. With Mr. Frisbee was the late H.M. Bosworth, a leading
organist and critic, Bohemian, etc. Later the firm became Frisbee &
Scott. Gustave A. Scott, now dead, was a well known and successful
music teacher and for many years organist of Calvary Church on Bush
street, and later at the corner of Geary and Powell streets. He was
also organist for the synagogue on Mason and Geary, Rabbi Bettelheim,
pastor, and accompanist for the early Handel & Haydn Society on
California and Dupont streets, where we occupied Dr. Lacey's church
with Mr. Oliver as business director and a brother of Judge Shafter as
one of the musical committee of the society which numbered 500 fine
singers. Later the business of Frisbee & Scott was transferred to the
southwest corner of Kearny and Sutter streets. Changing hands again
the business was taken over by A.A. Rosenberg, another music teacher,
and finally became known as the firm of Sherman & Hyde, Mr. Sherman
having been in the employ of A.A. Rosenberg. After several years,
Sherman & Hyde became known as Sherman, Clay & Company, who have been
doing a successful business, occupying at the present time a fine
building which has been erected since the earthquake. They are one of
the leading music houses. Since the earthquake the senior member,
Major C.C. Clay, has passed away. The business is now incorporated and
among the officials are Mr. Fred Sherman, son of L.S. Sherman, and Mr.
Phillip Clay, son of the late Major Clay. Mr. Leander Sherman, one of
the founders of the firm, is still living and continues in the
business as in former years. The firm also owns its own building in
Oakland at the corner of Fourteenth and Clay streets, built since the
earthquake, one of the finest structures in the business center of


Zeno Mauvais
Julius R. Weber
William G. Badger
C.H. McCurrie
Matthias Gray


Since music was so much a part of the life of the earlier days it may
not be amiss to mention the names of a few great specialists of that
time. There were the Zechs, Jacob and Fred, manufacturers and
repairers. Many examples of the former's work still exist. Jacob was
encouraged by the late Wm. C. Ralston and built many grand pianos for
the old Palace Hotel and other places. Both the Zechs have passed away
but their descendants are in the front rank as musical artists,
teachers and composers. A celebrated artist in his line was Urban, the
violin repairer. Phaff, the flute and clarinet man was another. Others
were Senor Nojica, maker of guitars, harps in the Italian quarter of
Kearny street, Charles Morrill, of banjos, Tall Dan Delaney, drummer
at Maguire's Theater (who wouldn't learn a note of music and played as
he pleased) who repaired drums, and C.C. Keene, maker of accordeons,
in former days much played, Professor Wm. T. Ferrer, the guitarist,
lately deceased, came here in early days from Mexico with his family
and made a place for himself as a guitar and mandolin teacher. His
family were all talented, Annita Ferrer was a beautiful soprano singer
and sang in concert and church. She occupied the place as soloist in
Calvary Church for a while when the choir was composed of Harry Gates,
tenor, Fred Borneman, bass, M.R. Blake, contralto, G.A. Scott,
organist. Prof. Ferrer was not a commonplace performer, but played
operatic selections of his own arrangement for the guitar that no one
else attempted as far as I can recollect. He had a severe time in the
beginning as prices for lessons were so low, and he had all he could
do to keep the wolf from the door. We gave him several benefits which
were greatly appreciated. One night we crowded the old Mercantile Hall
with his admirers. The singers and players were Mrs. Hall McAllister,
Mrs. Marriner-Campbell, Clara Tippits, Amphion Quartette, Mrs. M.R.
Blake, Sig. Mancusie, Wunderlich, J. Stadfeldt, Harry Hunt,
accompanist. I shall always remember that night. The dear professor
thanked us with broken speech, tears filling his eyes. He said the
excellent program was a surprise and one of the greatest pleasures he
had in California. He was made doubly glad by a well-filled purse of a
thousand dollars, the receipts of the concert. This act on our part
made him our perpetual friend until he died. He lived long enough to
see his prices increased fourfold, which enabled him in his later
years to live in apparent comfort. We were glad of it for everybody
liked Prof. M.W. Ferrer. He passed to his rest several years ago.

Among the earlier piano dealers were Badger & Lindenberger, who
handled the Chickering pianos and also did a wholesale clothing
business (a strange combination) at Battery and Merchant streets.
After several years they were succeeded by the surviving partner, Wm.
G. Badger, who continued the business until his death, after which it
was disposed of by his heirs. Mr. Badger was a faithful worker in the
Sabbath schools and took a deep interest to promote good music among
the young. Some time in 1874 he produced the cantata of Esther, with
Madam Anna Bishop, queen, W.C. Campbell, king, Vernon Lincoln, Hamen,
Mrs. M.R. Blake, Hamen's wife. The old Platt's hall was packed to its
fullest capacity. The cantata was given to the unbounded delight of
Mr. Badger, and the audience cheered us all to the utmost. Enthusiasm
was at the highest pitch and encomiums of praise were showered upon
us. Those were halcyon days for fine singers. We had no lack of voices
to call upon at all times.

Among the earliest music stores was that of an aged Italian named
Salvator Rosa. He occupied half of a store on Montgomery street, near
Market, and was a genial, quiet old gentleman, who spoke very little
English. His stock was principally selections from Italian operas, of
which he knew every note. Both American and Italian artists loved to
visit the old fellow and sun themselves in his doorway. Rosa moved
later to Sacramento street and continued in the field and was followed
by Rasche Bros., in turn by J.T. Bowers, a brother-in-law of the
Rasche brothers. After Bowers, the business was conducted by Chas. S.
Eaton, and then after some years faded from sight. Also established in
the music literature business at one time in Clay street, was Schubert
& Co.'s branch New York house, succeeded by the Ruppell Bros., their
managers, who later gave up the business. Blackman & Davis,
Southerners, tried the business for a while, being among the first to
occupy a store in the original Phelan Building. Another off-shoot of
Gray's was John Broder, who commenced work as a little boy. He is now
in ripe manhood conducting a similar business in the Byron Mauzy
building on Post street where he is still successfully conducting the
work he chose when a boy.

Engaged in the earlier years of the music business was Woodworth,
Allover & Co. Here the founder of the present firm of Benj. Curtaz &
Son was employed. Woodworth, Allover & Co. dealt mostly in imported
French pianos and harmoniums. They were succeeded by Woodworth, Schell
& Co. and with them was connected Mr. Curtaz, who later was in the
firm of Hemme & Long. Woodworth, Schell & Co. after several years
discontinued. A.L. Bancroft & Co. for a few years also engaged in the
music business on Market street but later retired. A. Waldteufel was a
late comer from San Jose and sold Blethner pianos. His chief clerk was
the late well known Julius Oettl, a fine teacher of the piano and an
encyclopedia of musical knowledge. Later he was in the music
department of the branch house in Oakland of Kohler, Chase & Co. with
whom he was connected until sickness prevented his continuing in the
business any longer. He died several years ago, mourned by many
friends he had made in his long career of music in the state. S.H.
Long, a music teacher from Marysville, after handling the Chickering
piano for a while at the corner of Montgomery and Post streets was
joined by August Hemme and for several years they manufactured the
Hemme & Long pianos. They are both deceased and the business was
continued for a while by Mr. E. Caswell and Mr. Curtaz but finally was
wound up.

The well known firm of the Zeno Mauvais Music Co. was established in
1877 at 420 Twelfth street, Oakland, under the name of its founder,
Zeno Mauvais. In 1882 it was deemed best to locate in San Francisco
and at 749 Market street the stock and sign was first shown to the
people on that side of the bay. Two years later the business had so
increased as to make a removal to more commodious quarters an absolute
necessity. 769 Market street was secured and with the increased
facilities for carrying stock and attending to the wants of patrons
the business was soon in a fair way to eclipse in volume its oldest
competitors. Mr. Mauvais saw early in his musical career that the
public demanded more "up-to-date methods" in the way of "bargains"
"right prices" and "square dealing" than had been offered before, and
he began to put into operation the policy of "quick sales and small
profits" which was characteristic of the house during its entire
existence and brought to it an ever increasing trade. One of the
special features was the handling of enormous quantities of the
50-cent folios and the 10-cent editions of popular issues. These were
bought in carload lots and sent out to nearly every quarter of the
globe. Pianos and musical goods of all descriptions were included in
the lines carried by the firm, whose well known policy of discounting
its bills enabled it to secure very desirable agencies and lowest
prices on all purchases. In June, 1890, the house sustained an
irreparable loss by the death of its founder, Zeno Mauvais, who passed
away after a very brief illness. Devotion to business and a never
ceasing expenditure of energy and vital force was the cause of this
man's withdrawal from the activity of an hitherto busy life, during
which he made and kept many friends. The incorporation of the firm
under the name of the Zeno Mauvais Co. was the next change made in the
affairs of this house. Mrs. Mae Mauvais was elected president and
during the next five years her brother, R.L. Eames, occupied the
position of manager. At this time a change being deemed expedient, Mr.
H.S. Stedman, who had been connected with the house since 1883, was
elected as manager and secretary, continuing as such until the
conflagration of 1906 destroyed the entire stock together with all the
books of the concern.

Under the new management the firm renewed its effort to expand and
took the two upper floors of the building in addition to the one
previously occupied. A very successful feature was the division of the
lower floor into rooms for the display and sale of different kinds of
small goods, each having a room of its own. This was a new thing on
the coast and was fully appreciated by the large number of patrons who
took advantage of the opportunity to try instruments in comparative
seclusion. In 1904 the largest holder of stock, Mr. Roy Mauvais, who
was actively engaged in looking after the interests of the firm
desired to concentrate his energies in furthering other lines of
business in which he had engaged, and found more congenial. At this
time an offer from the Wiley B. Allen Co. to purchase the entire stock
of pianos, organs and piano players was accepted, and in accordance
with the conditions of the sale the stock of small goods, sheet music
and books was moved to 933 Market street, in the room adjoining the
piano warerooms of the Allen Company and there handled under the name
of the Zeno Mauvais Music Co. until the fire of April, 1906,
obliterated all traces of it. It was not considered advisable by the
stockholders to re-establish the business after this unfortunate
occurrence and so one of the best and most favorably known music
houses of the Pacific Coast ceased to exist.


C.C. Clay
Leander S. Sherman


San Francisco]

I will close my chapter with the story of the Zeno Mauvais Company. My
story deals only with early history, for it would not be possible for
me to give any accurate account of the business except from 1851 to
1877. I moved away from San Francisco twice and as my work was upon
different lines, I got out of touch. My music was confined to the
churches and concert halls and teaching in music and art and other
branches of industrial development for the young of our growing city.
I am indebted to my good musical friends of earlier days for much of
this knowledge.

When my earlier co-workers in music heard that I was to write about
our early days they were all interested and entered into the
proposition with unabated enthusiasm and not one has refused to give
me information to make this volume a souvenir of the days when we
began as factors in the development of music from the small beginnings
of 1850 to the solid foundations of today.



My career as a church singer dates as far back as my childhood. As
children our father pressed us into the service of the Sabbath school
and church services. There were seven girls and three boys. As soon as
we were old enough to do the work, our parts were assigned to us,
consequently singing the church service was part of my young life.
Before I could read the notes I was able to make an alto part to
almost any hymn. That is one reason why I do not read notes as readily
as others, for it was easier for me to make my own part than take the
trouble to read the music. But later on I was obliged to read my part,
if I sang in concert with others.

We moved from Illinois and settled in Cincinnati in 1845. My father
was the founder of the Betts Street First German Reformed Church and
was its pastor for seven years. During that time I sang each Sabbath.
When father came to California and another pastor occupied the pulpit,
we were obliged to give up the parsonage. Other arrangements were made
for the music and my sister Mary became the organist of the old Sixth
Street Presbyterian Church and Mr. Charles Aiken, director of the
music. By accident I went with my sister Mary and sat in the choir
loft. Mr. Aiken noticed my presence and recognized me as one of his
pupils in the public school where he taught the singing during the
week. Surprised at seeing me he asked how I happened to come into the
choir. I told him I was with my sister, Miss Kroh, "Ah," he replied,
and smiled and left me. I saw him in conversation after she had
finished her voluntary. When she was seated beside me she said,
"Maggie, when the choir arises to sing go over and stand with the
altos and sing with them." When the time came she gave me the music
and I sang my first service when I was ten years old, in a double
quartette and in that capacity I sang for five years, each service,
until 1850, the latter part of the year, when father had arrived in
California and sent the gold for us to follow him to the golden land,
as he called it.


Mrs. Emma Jane Kroh-Knight
Mrs. Sarah Rebecca Kroh-Harrold
Mrs. Ann Lauretta Kroh-Zimmerman
Sir Geo. Henry Blake
Mrs. Margaret R. Kroh-Blake-Alverson
Mrs. Mary Matilda Kroh-Trembly
Wm. H. Knight
James Holmes
Wm. W. Trembly


Stockton, 1852]

At the time of our arrival in California there were no choirs or
singers in San Joaquin county. There was one Catholic church in
Stockton but it was only a mission and the worshippers were Spanish
and Mexicans, priest, Father Mauritz. Our family was the first white
family in the city of Stockton, there being only one white woman in
the place and she was the wife of Rev. James Woods. Gladly she
received us and we were made welcome at her home for two weeks before
we were able to see father, who had been sick in Scorpion Gulch for
some time and we were obliged to await his coming. After the arrival
of our father it was planned that a choir should be established in the
First Presbyterian Church of which Rev. Mr. Woods was pastor. We had
all the female voices needed. We had made the acquaintance of several
of the prominent men in Stockton who were fortunately also singers,
and they readily consented to sing as members of the choir. What was
to be done for music? There was nothing to be had in Stockton. There
were two music stores in San Francisco and the first task was to
supply an instrument, if possible. Fortune favored us and between the
joint efforts of these musical people we obtained a good sized Mason
and Hamlin melodeon, which was duly installed into the choir of the
church. The choir members were as follows: Sopranos: Miss Emma Jane
Kroh, Miss Sarah Rebecca Kroh; Altos: Miss Mary M. Kroh, Miss Margaret
R. Kroh; Tenors: Wm. W. Trembly, Henry Noel, George H. Blake; Bass:
Wm. H. Knight, James Holmes, Wm. Belding; Organist, Miss Mary M. Kroh.

These men and women were the original members of the first choir that
had its beginning in Stockton, in 1851. During the years of 1853 and
later, the men who had families in the Eastern cities arranged for
their coming and not many months elapsed before we had a goodly number
of splendid ladies, the wives of these men, and some children and
young maidens. Quite a colony of musical folks sprang up. They took an
interest in the different choirs that had been formed. There were the
Episcopal, Methodist and Baptist missions, begun during this time, and
they had their followers and formed their musical services as soon as
they were able to procure singers. During this time there came to
Stockton from New York, Mr. Henry B. Underhill. He was not only a fine
organist but an organ builder. He at once joined our colony of
musicians and we rejoiced in the addition of a second organist to rely
upon. Up to this time my sister was the only available musician that
could be called upon to play on all occasions where music was needed.
The Episcopal mission of which Rev. E.W. Hager was rector, desired my
sister as organist for his service which was held in one of the large
rooms of the city hall. As Mr. Underhill was a member of the
Presbyterian faith and desired to help the church they exchanged
places. The choir had grown rapidly, some of the singers were
Episcopalians who preferred their own service and all was amicably
settled with the result that Stockton could boast of two choirs and
two organs, or melodeons.

It was not many years before each mission had built a church of its
own with separate organs and choirs. During these years I was sent to
the Benicia Seminary, the only available school in the state, to
finish my education which had been interrupted when I left Cincinnati
to come west. Miss Atkins worshiped in the Presbyterian church, Rev.
Sylvester Woodbridge, pastor, and his daughter, Miss Mary Emma
Woodbridge, organist. She also attended the seminary and those of the
pupils who could sing were invited into the choir. I was one that was
chosen on the alto side to help in the worship. After singing here for
a year, Miss Atkins joined the Episcopal church and was confirmed and
baptised in that faith by Bishop Wm. Ingraham Kip, D.D. I sang a
special song at that time. I was now eighteen years old and was in the
last year of my school days. After leaving school I returned to
Stockton where I again joined the Episcopal choir--St. John's--and
sang until I was married, September 17, 1857, to George H. Blake, Rev.
E.W. Hager, rector, reading the service.

When my oldest son was seven months old we went to Boston, Mass., and
later to Dedham, a suburban town out of Boston, when my husband was
appointed manager of a department store by the firm of Parker, Barnes
and Merriam. I heard my first concert, where I listened to some of the
great singers of the day in Boston Music Hall, January 28th, 1859. The
oratorio, "The Messiah," was given by the Handel & Haydn society, with
300 or more in the choir. Among the soloists were Clara Louisa
Kellogg, Isabelle Hinkley, Adelaide Phillips, Signor Stigelli, Mons.
Guilmetti. On April 3rd, 1859, I heard Neukomm's grand oratorio of
David with grand opera principles. Among the singers were Mrs. J.H.
Long, Louisa Adams, C.R. Adams, P.H. Powers, J.P. Draper, Edward
Hamilton, George Wright Jr., Carl Zerrahn, conductor, J.C.D. Parker,
organist. After these two grand performances I heard many oratorios
Sunday evenings at the Boston Music Hall, where each Sabbath a sacred
concert was held instead of evening services in the churches. These
opportunities helped to lay the foundation for my musical training.
The oratorios were interpreted by the best singers. I never dreamed of
such an opportunity when my husband told me I should hear the best and
Boston was the place.

It was not many months before my opportunity came to be admitted into
the Oratorio Society. It came about like this. My husband's people
were Unitarians and attended the First Church, of which Starr King,
then a young man, was pastor. There was no choir singing, but
congregational song with a precentor who stood in the middle aisle and
led the people, with the large organ at one side of the church, J.C.D.
Parker, organist. As the service began my husband said, "Maggie, when
the hymn is given out you can sing, since the entire congregation
sings here." He had an excellent tenor voice, and we both sang,
unconscious that we were attracting any attention. Between the hymns
Mr. Barnes (the precentor) stood three pews behind us. After the
service was ended he came to our pew and introduced himself, telling
us that when he heard my contralto he thought the church had a
visitor, Miss Adelaide Phillips, of the opera company, and Boston's
foremost contralto. He was surprised to find my name was Blake
instead. I did not know until I heard this wonderfully beautiful
singer in opera oratorio how highly I had been complimented. Then I
realized the comparison and did my best to merit the praise which had
been bestowed upon me in my twentieth year. When we parted Mr. Barnes
invited us to meet some friends at his home on Monday evening, when we
met the principal members and officers of the Handel and Haydn
Society, and after a pleasant evening of part song, solos and duets, I
was asked to sing for the company. I was reluctant to comply, as I was
not considered a solo singer, my place was always in quartette work
and duets. Contraltos were not so popular in those days as the soprano
and tenor and not considered solo voices where I ever sang before. It
was only now I realized I was to have a place also. As I sang many
beautiful duets with my husband, we favored them with a number. It was
still insisted I must sing a song. My husband, accustomed to
accompany me, arose and led me to the piano and I sang the old song,
When the Swallows Homeward Fly, in the German language, as all German
songs should be sung to bring out their full feeling and significance.
That song was the climax and I was lionized for the rest of the
evening. There were also German professors present and their
compliments would have turned any one's head were it not poised on
good common sense shoulders. My success began on that night.

There were three factions or grades of society in Boston, the
literary, wealthy and musical. The position of my husband's family
enabled us to enter all three. Consequently the sails of my ship,
success, were flung to the breeze and for four years I had fair winds
and bright skies in the realm of song. Is it to be wondered at that
memory comes floating up before me like a panorama of beautiful
pictures and remembrances of happiness--times enjoyed with souls
filled with the love of song, good comradeship and lifelong friendship
which can never be erased? It is here where I sang for the first time
with the renowned singer and actor, Henry Clay Barnabee, a young man
then, just three years my senior, over fifty years ago. There are
still five of us left to tell the stories of the singing days, when
the city of Boston held scores of the finest male and female singers
that ever pleased an exacting public.

On April 3, 1859, began the forty-third season of oratorio with such
singers as Mrs. J.H. Long and Miss Louisa Adams, sopranos; Adelaide
Phillips, contralto; C.R. Adams, P.H. Powers and J.P. Draper, tenors;
Edward Hamilton, George Wright Jr. and Carl Formes, bass; Carl
Zerrahn, conductor; J.C.D. Parker, organist, and full orchestra. Among
the productions rendered were: Magic Flute, David, Creation, Messiah,
Moses in Egypt, Samson, Elijah, etc., with Clara Louisa Kellogg,
soprano; Isabella Hinkley, soprano; Adelaide Phillips, contralto;
Signor Stigelli, tenor; Signor Guilmetti, bass.

Grand opera began the season of 1861 and I had my first opportunity to
hear an opera given by such a galaxy of fine artists, being a member
of the Handel and Haydn Society, and assisting in the chorus and also
a member of the celebrated choir in Dedham, Mass., I was enabled to
have especial advantages to hear this grand music. "La Juive" was the
first with Mme Colson, Hinkley, Signor Stigelli and Susini as
Cardinal; Sig. Hartman, Mancini, Barilli, Sig. Sheele. Martha with
Colson, Phillips, Brignoli, Susini, Arili, Mancini; Il Giuramento with
Colson, Phillips, Brignoli, Farri; Lucia di Lammermoor with Isabel
Hinkley, Sig. Ferri, Sig. Lotti, Stigelli and N. Birelli.


Associated with Mrs. Blake-Alverson in Boston, 1861]

At the close of the season, January 28, Sig. Stigelli was prevailed
upon to give a farewell concert in Boston Music Hall, assisted by the
Oratorio Society and Orpheus Musical Society. Soloists for the
occasion were Mlle. Carlotta Patti, who sang the aria from the Magic
Flute, Carl Formes, basso profundi, Signor Stigelli, tenor. It was a
gala night and every seat was filled at the exact hour to hear for the
last time the famous tenor who had sung himself into the hearts of the
people by his beautiful voice and exquisite singing of the different
arias of the opera in which he excelled. The hall was crowded to
overflowing. Never had I beheld such beautifully gowned women and
brilliant lights; the tremendous chorus and the full orchestra left a
lasting impression upon me which cannot be erased by time. It is over
fifty years since I saw such gorgeous splendor and heard the marvelous
singing of these birds of song. The singing of Mlle. Carlotta Patti
was a revelation almost beyond my conception. I heard her in 1861 and
heard Adelina in 1886, twenty-five years afterwards, and of the two
sisters I'd give Carlotta the preference. Her trills were like
warblings of the birds and filled the auditorium and floated to the
high arched ceiling of the cupola in the center of the hall and
sounded like a chorus of birds rejoicing over the advent of their
nestlings. Words are not adequate to explain the beautiful work of
this petite singer and the reception she received on this occasion.
This concert was my first opportunity to hear such artists. They were
singers and players of the highest art.

It was to me not real. The music that I had heard and sung before was
sacred, on the Sabbath, and in songs familiar at that time, Home,
Sweet Home, Swanee River, Mary of Argyle, etc., and songs moderately
difficult, anthems and Te Deums and German leider were all we aspired
to. Others than these were not to be thought of. Nothing worldly was
tolerated. The minister's daughters must always be proper in all walks
of life. In 1846 when Jenny Lind made her tour of the world my sister
Mary was the fortunate one to be able to hear her. All of her
beautiful songs were in vogue and I was familiar with them, as my
sister was a fine singer. She obtained these songs and although it is
over sixty-six years ago I still have a great number of them, yellow
with age, published by Pond and Company, and Oliver Ditson Company.
These publishing houses were founded during my early life, Ditson and
Company began in 1834 and I was born in 1836. When I was ten years old
I was sent to these places to purchase the music sister required in
her teaching, church and home songs. For sixty-seven years I have
patronized the house of Ditson and Company. The original men have
passed out and the sons are now the members of the firm. Only this
year I received a cheery holiday greeting from the firm. I have
digressed somewhat and gone back to my girlhood days in Cincinnati.

Let us return again to Boston fifty years ago and listen to this fine
concert given in Boston Music Hall. It is almost impossible for me to
describe the grandeur of this magnificent chorus and the orchestra and
grand organ with Carl Zerrahn directing this multitude of singers and
players and Howard Dow at the organ, playing with such a masterful
touch. The brilliant audience listened with marked attention to this
beautiful music and the stillness was only broken by the mighty
applause of approval at the close of the grand performance and the
repeated recall of the artists who deserved all of this great
demonstration. The first great concert was but the beginning of my
career. In the four years I had opportunities that were of a lasting
profit to me. It was the cradle of my musical life and I often go back
in my mind and see those beautiful singers I learned to love as
friends and companions in song. Friends made then have lasted as long
as life. All have passed beyond and only five or six of the galaxy of
male and female singers of that time are left to remember with
pleasure the days of Auld Lang Syne.

During this period of 1861 the Civil War broke out and every patriotic
man and woman was called into action. The union of the states must be
preserved. The excitement was intense. Volunteers were called for and
business men, clerks and rich men enrolled at once and soon our boys
and men were drilling for the march to the south. It was not many
weeks before the order was given to march. The first fire had been
heard at Fort Sumter and the American citizen soon became a soldier
and as the call was given he marched away. Shall I ever forget the
sight of those splendid young men as they marched away, company after
company. As I saw them in the strength of their manhood going to their
destruction, my heart wept inwardly knowing many of them would never
return. But those at home had no time for repining, and we were called
upon also to supply the needs of the soldier who was fighting for us
with willing hands and stout heart. Each one kept busy. Our choir was
enlisted when the call came for funds, and faithfully we all
responded. Many choirs were united by Edwin Bruce, and we were at once
formed into a chorus of willing singers, great and small, in the
realms of music, and in several months were well equipped for the work
of raising funds for the war needs. The chorus was formed from Dr.
Burgess' choir of Dedham, Newton Musical Association, Boudoin Street
choir, Church of the Unity choir, the Bullfinch choir, number 200
voices in all. We were known as the Operatic Bouquet of artists. Our
repertoire consisted of national and martial songs, our choruses
selected from the following great compositions:

     Il Trovatore, Verdi; Lucrezia Borgia, Donizetti; Martha,
     Flotow; Semiramide, Rossini; War Songs (male voices), Adams;
     Bohemian Girl, Balfe; I Puritani, Bellini; Maritana,
     Wallace; Masaniello, Auber; Enchantress, Balfe; Hark,
     Apollo, H.R. Bishop; Enchantress (male voices) Balfe; solo
     and choruses from Lucrezia Borgia, Donizetti; Hail to the
     Chief, Il Templario, Nicolai; quintette and chorus from
     Martha, Flotow; Miserere, from Il Trovatore, Verdi; Chorus
     of Martyrs, Donizetti; La Fille Du Regiment, Donizetti;
     chorus from Maritana, Wallace; chorus from Il Lombardi,
     Verdi; trio and chorus, Attila, Verdi; solo and chorus,
     Martha, Flotow; trio, Charity, Rossini; trio and chorus,
     Ernani, Verdi; chorus, full, Gibby La Cornemuse, Clapisson.

In the spirit of the times these two hundred voices trained especially
for the occasion, it was not to be wondered at that success followed
our efforts. Whenever we were called old Tremont Temple was filled to
the doors. Our treasury was never depleted during all the months we
were doing service in the cause of the soldier and his needs. Boston
Music Hall, churches in the smaller cities were always filled to
overflowing whenever we appeared in Dedham, Medford, Roxbury and Old
South Church. For nearly two years this work went on. In 1862 my
husband decided to come home once more, as there was less need for our
services. We were in Santa Cruz when the war ended, still helping the
cause through the Christian Sanitary Commission, founded at the
beginning of the rebellion. Money was supplied through this medium,
and through free contributions from the different states of the Union
and churches and societies, etc. Having had much experience in the
East we were enabled to be of great assistance to the musical people
of Santa Cruz and made successful entertainments for the cause for the
following year which aroused the patriotic fire in the hearts of the
California defenders of the Union and crowned our efforts with success
until the end of this dreadful war.

In 1869, Mr. Blake having failed in his business, we left Santa Cruz
and returned once more to San Francisco to retrieve our lost fortune.
Youth, hope and energy were my strong salient points and I began in
earnest to gain a substantial footing in music. My opportunity came
with the Lyster Opera troupe and through efforts of a friend, Mrs.
Cameron, who was employed there as soprano, I secured a position at
$20 per week during their season in San Francisco.

I regret that I cannot remember the name of the Baptist pastor during
my stay in Santa Cruz. He is the only minister whose name I have
failed to recall, yet I can see his kindly face, and I gladly helped
his congregation many times when extra help was needed. It has been so
many years ago there is no one to help me in my research. This is the
first link in my chain of evidence that has to be left unfinished, to
my sorrow.

Returning once more to San Francisco I gave my services in the choir
of Calvary Church, then on the north side of Bush street, between
Montgomery and Sansome streets, Rev. W.A. Scott, pastor; Prof. G.A.
Scott, organist, and Washington Elliott, choir master of the large
chorus choir. I became the alto of the quartette, Mrs. Van Brunt
soprano, W. Elliott tenor, Charles Parent bass. Dr. W.A. Scott was
pastor for a short time and Rev. W. Wadsworth succeeded him. I
remained in this choir until 1863, when I was offered the place in the
choir of the First Presbyterian Church with a salary attached for the
first time during my services in these many churches. Rev. Mr.
Anderson was the pastor and George Pettinos organist. Sarah Watkins
soprano, M.R. Blake contralto, Matthew Anderson tenor, Cornelius Makin
bass--one of the best choirs in the city, splendid voices and good
singers. I continued here nearly two years, when there was an offer
for the place in St. John's choir for me at an advanced salary. I
regretted to leave where I had enjoyed the music and the singers, but
in the meantime my husband failed in business and I had two children
to support. I accepted the St. John's choir offer for financial
reasons. The pastor was Rev. W.A. Scott, Frederick Katzenbach
organist, Mrs. Robert Moore soprano, Mrs. M.R. Blake contralto, Joseph
Maguire tenor, and later, Vernon Lincoln and C. Makin, bass. I
resigned this choir after almost three years' service, to take the
alto position in Dr. Lacy's choir, Congregational church, corner of
California and Dupont streets. Later Dr. Stone arrived and on the
Sabbath of his first sermon the organist was Mr. Douglas; Georgiana
Leach, Mrs. Northrup, Mrs. Oliphant, sopranos; Mrs. Margaret Blake,
Miss Abbie Oliphant, altos; Signor Gregg, basso; Joe Maguire, tenor,
with a small chorus choir added. The musical service was of a high
order. The sopranos were the foremost singers of their time. Mrs.
Leach left later and became the soprano of Starr King Unitarian Church
in Stockton street. Mrs. Northrup went to the new First Congregational
Church in Post and Mason streets. She was there for years. Samuel D.
Mayer was organist at that time, Dr. Stone pastor and later Dr. Adams.
At the time of writing Dr. Charles F. Aked from New York is pastor.


Richard T. Yarndley
Chas. H. Schultz
Gustav A. Scott
Frederick Katzenbach


When Dr. Stone arrived from the East he had also in his company Mr.
George Powers, and, by some arrangement, without any warning, the
organist and quartette were unseated by the clique he had formed of
his friends. The members of his quartette were in their places the
next Sabbath when the regular quartette arrived, consequently we all
were obliged to retire. When the new choir began there was a surprise
in store for every one. There was nothing for the old choir to do but
walk out. There was great grief over the abrupt dismissal. Mr. Benchly
of the musical committee was consulted and nothing could be done with
the friends of the new pastor. It was a church scandal of the gravest
sort. Dr. Powers was from the East and intended to show San Francisco
superior music from Boston. He found out before he had been there long
that superior men and women were already in the field, and while he
continued at the church as organist his influence in music had been
tainted and his band of singers were so inferior to those ousted that
they had but a short life in the church. I immediately returned to St.
Patrick's Church in Mission street and remained there altogether ten
years. Our work was very difficult and we had many high days and
holidays, requiems, festivals and concerts for the organ fund which
had been ordered from abroad, and we were supposed to help the organ
fund along until it came. I am not sure how many concerts we gave, but
they were all of a high standard. Professor Dohrmann, one of our
leading musicians, was organist, also leader of orchestras, and our
concerts were given with orchestral accompaniment. Besides the great
voices in the choir we had operatic stars whenever they came with
their troupes. Nearly all of the Italians being Catholics, Father Gray
easily obtained their services and our soloists were artists
music-lovers were glad to hear. By permission of Professor Dohrmann I
have inserted this picture of the organ. It is the only thing left of
this magnificent instrument, which cost $10,000. The earthquake and
fire left not a vestige of anything that could be kept as a relic--one
of the most beautiful organs that I ever sang with and played by the
dean of organists.

During my time there were five fine singers, singing this difficult
music: Mrs. Taylor, a Spanish soprano; Mrs. Urgi, English soprano;
Miss Louisa Tourney, French soprano; Signora Bianchi, Italian soprano,
who afterwards became the contralto when her voice fell by much
singing and age. I became alarmed and feared I would also be obliged
to resign. I was offered the position in Calvary Church once more. A
new Calvary had been built on the corner of Geary and Powell streets,
Rev. John Hemphill, pastor. I mentioned the fact to our leader, Prof.
Dohrmann, and he objected to my going, saying he could not replace me.
When I told him I had been offered a year's contract with more pay he
consented. I remained until he obtained another contralto in Miss Ella
Steele. I remained as contralto in this choir for the years that Rev.
John Hemphill held it, which was twelve years, and also with Rev. Mr.
Spucher. At the same time I sang on Saturdays at the Synagogue in
Mission street, Rabbi Bettelheim, with the members of Calvary choir,
excepting the soprano. The choir soprano of the Synagogue was Miss
Carrie Heinemann and Mr. Newman was bass. I was the contralto of both
choirs, Harry Gates, tenor. I continued in this choir six years. I had
advanced toward the age of fifty years and the work of the two church
choirs, my many singing pupils, art work, added to my professional
work, began to tell upon my strength and at last I felt I must do
something as a remedy or succumb to the inevitable. This was in 1886.

My son, George Blake, lived in San Bernardino, where he played in the
Opera House orchestra and was leader of the Seventh Regiment band. My
son William, alarmed at my condition, had written, unknown to me, to
his brother, saying that I had worked long enough and that he should
send for me. I was surprised when I received the word, "Mother, come,"
not aware he knew the condition. I had many hours of thought before I
could decide when my voice was not even impaired, to give up my life's
work and be a drone in the hive. At last I yielded to the desire of
my sons to go south. I promised on condition that I came unheralded. I
supposed I was going so far away no one knew me. Alas, this world is
small, so it behooves us all to make our reputation without fault. I
sent in my resignation to Calvary and the Synagogue musical
committees, and bade good-bye, I supposed, to music and old
associations forever. I would never be able to describe the deep
sorrow that was depicted on the countenance of pastor and people,
rabbi and congregation and the members of the young peoples' societies
of the church with whom I had labored for so many years and assisted
in their successful efforts from season to season. It was the heroic
battle of my life to voluntarily cut loose from all that had been so
auspicious during my many years of service. I was held in great
affection by the people of San Francisco, who always gave me the most
cordial welcome whenever I appeared in the churches or concert halls
or took part in patriotic exercises.

I left San Francisco December 1, and had two days of travel. It seemed
as though I was in another world, cut loose from all I ever cherished.
The world never looked so vast to me before and it was as an open
desert without one friendly face in sight, alone, adrift, knowing not
the ultimate point of my travels. I was rudely awakened the morning of
the second day by the whistle of the engine and the clamor of bells
and bustling of feet. I arose quickly and soon was received by my son,
who was awaiting my coming, and I said, "Here I am, I have obeyed your
orders and now I am to do just as I please, and rest from my labor."
He replied, "You have earned your rest after all these years, mother."
So we happily proceeded to his cottage, where welcome awaited us. All
seemed strange to me after so many years in San Francisco where I was
known to all, yet I hoped to meet other pleasant faces and cheerfully
accepted the situation with my son and daughter and their friends.
During our conversation my daughter informed me that the ladies of the
Episcopal Guild had voted unanimously that I had been accepted as the
soloist of the choir of St. John's Church. Through their efforts I was
to receive the salary of $20 a month. The church was not more than a
beginning. The congregation worshipped in a large store on one of the
main streets which had been fitted into a comfortable chapel. Mrs.
Foster, from San Francisco, one of the many musical people there, had
settled in that city and was the organist of that church, unknown to
me, as I supposed, but when we met her greeting, "I am glad to meet
you, Charity Pecksniff," surprised me. Through her the people soon
found out who I was and I not only had the church position secured but
also eight pupils ready to begin lessons in voice when I was ready to
open my studio to them. So good or evil report follows us through our
lives and makes for us our success or failure.

I made my first appearance at the Christmas service, which had been
prepared with care, and extra voices were secured. My son had added
from his orchestra three instruments in addition to the organ for the
morning and evening services of the Christmas festival. The chapel was
crowded to the doors and those who were unable to come in remained on
the sidewalk during the services. The new singer was to be heard for
the first time. I had chosen the beautiful Cavatina by Raff, and was
accompanied by Mr. F. Erbe on the violin, who played the obbligato
with exquisite grace and finish. In the evening I sang Praise Thou the
Lord, O My Soul, by Holden, with two violins, cello and organ
accompaniment. This extra service was the forerunner of other good
services for the length of eight months, when the ladies' funds were
so low they were obliged to discontinue my services, with profound
sorrow, as the chapel had been crowded during all these weeks and the
place was getting too small for the worshippers. A church building had
been begun and money was needed there, so I reluctantly departed and
took up the work in the Catholic church with Father Stockman, priest,
at a salary of $40 a month, Miss Zabriskie, organist. The choir was
composed of sisters from the convent, with a tenor and bass by two
young priests who sang well the songs and chants of the church. In all
these weeks I had also begun my classes and taught singing and
painting. The change had benefited me and I busily passed the days and
weeks, adding all the time new voice and painting pupils until I
numbered fifty-one pupils and classes twice a week in Colton and San
Bernardino. I was as busy as ever I was in San Francisco. But, alas,
the hot climate (104 degrees in the morning) to which I was a
stranger, was more than I could stand. At noon no one stirred out of
the house or store. I stood the weather for sixteen months, then my
family doctor ordered me back to San Francisco if I wanted to live.

I left San Bernardino for San Francisco, May 11, 1889. Arriving in San
Francisco I took a flat on Geary street, near Steiner. On July 6 I
began my work in the Larkin Presbyterian Church and continued there
one year, when no funds separated singer and people. I gave the small
struggling congregation another month of my services. The congregation
met in a hall in the Western Addition. I think a church was built
later, but it, like everything else, was destroyed in the earthquake
year. I never returned, for after a year at the Geary street flat my
son William and I concluded to move to Oakland. I had lost my position
in the churches. Calvary Church offered me my old place but I did not
wish to oust another who was giving satisfaction, and declined the
honor. In Oakland we rented one of Mr. Bilger's cottages on Fourth
avenue. After remaining there for two years and a half my son William
married and returned to San Francisco to live.

I stayed in Oakland and began my music in the Pilgrim Congregational
Church, through the influence of one of my early musical friends, Mrs.
Nellie Wetherbee. I went to oblige her, as she was one of the leading
spirits of the church. I remained with this church until Miss Mary Fox
went East and the leader, Mr. Benham, came for me to take her place in
the choir of the First Congregational church, Rev. Dr. McLean, pastor.
I occupied this place for six months, giving the greatest
satisfaction. Then I returned to Pilgrim Congregational Church and
continued there three years. Miss Hough was organist and Mr. Redfield,
choirmaster. I sang at first with the quartette, Mrs. Mollie Dewing,
Mr. Redfield and Harry Melvin, now Justice of the California Supreme
Court. Afterward when Mrs. Dewing left for the First Methodist Church
as soprano we had Mrs. Andrew Fine, soprano. Later Mr. Redfield took
charge of St. Andrew's choir in West Oakland, and I was left as
soloist of the choir. Having a number of pupils in the members of the
Christian Endeavor Society, I was urged upon by the pastor, Rev. Mr.
McNutt, to take charge of the choir, which I did. Miss Hough continued
as organist until she went abroad to study in London. Miss Bertha
Hunter, who was an efficient organist, continued until my directorship
closed with the advent of Rev. Mr. Silcox, who wished a man director
in the choir where he was pastor. I left the choir after I had served
almost continuously from 1890 to 1895. Six months of that time I sang
for the First Congregational Church in Oakland. The first time was in
1890. In 1894 I substituted for two months while the contralto was
ill. After leaving this church I sang with the St. Andrew's choir from
January, 1893, until after the Easter service, April 2, almost four
months. On January 31, 1896, I began in the English Lutheran Church,
corner Grove and Sixteenth streets. Mr. Walling was director, Miss
Margaret Oaks and Miss Mabel Hussey were the organists during the
time. I sang here until July 16, 1897, as a memorial to my mother, who
was a Lutheran in her faith, and the church was new and beautiful to
sing in. I gave my services for a year and a half. Mr. Bushnell, the
pastor, was popular and the church flourished greatly during the time.
In December, 1897, I assisted the choir of the Church of the Advent,
East Oakland, Dr. V. Marshall Law, rector, at their Christmas service,
giving such satisfaction that I was prevailed upon to help the choir.
My sister, Mrs. Harrold, and family worshipped there and her two
daughters were in the choir. As I had no other church in view, I
consented and continued for eight months. During that time we gave
several fine concerts and on one occasion gave The Daughter of Jairus
with great success, H. Melvin, bass; Miss Alberta Morse, soprano; Mr.
Thornton, tenor; Mrs. M.B. Alverson, contralto. Several other artists
with violin and cello assisted the regular choir of forty voices. They
were strangers to me so I have reluctantly omitted their names. They
were excellent musicians. During the eight months' service there
occurred a number of pretentious musical undertakings which were
meritorious as well as financially successful.

In 1899 I was once more called to the English Lutheran Church to
direct the choir, with salary. I had twenty picked voices thoroughly
placed and true. We occupied the upper gallery and all was in
readiness to begin the new undertaking by the first Sunday in March,
1899. The church was full and also the Sabbath school rooms were
required to seat the people who were anxious to hear the new choir.
The rehearsals had been thorough and we had no fear of failure, and
the people were not disappointed at the new order of things. How well
they all sang--how beautiful was the service of those young voices,
and what praises were showered upon them for their work by the
congregation for their anthems, chants, hymns and offertories! For
three years this order of things lasted and all the time the voices
were fully developed and giving weekly more satisfaction. The Easter
and Christmas services were efforts worth remembering in history, and
I write with great pride because of the good work I was able to
produce with these young voices in the service of song. On December
30, 1900, I sent in my resignation, which was very reluctantly
accepted. I was now sixty-five years of age and my many pupils and two
services on the Sabbath with necessary rehearsals became too
strenuous. I had been in the active life of song long enough to lay
down the baton.

On January 6, 1901, I sang for the last time in regular active
service. Later in the year I assisted at different times the Fruitvale
Congregational chapel, Eighth Avenue Methodist Church, Brooklyn
Presbyterian Church, churches in Alameda and other small struggling
churches when they needed a helping hand. It was my pleasure to do
what I could to encourage the pastors and people of these small
mission churches and in other churches where I had sung before on
extra occasions. On September 1, 1901, on returning from St. Paul's
Church, after having heard the monthly programme of song, I met my old
Santa Cruz friends of 1864, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Metti and with them
walked to their home. After spending a pleasant hour with them Mr.
Metti escorted me to the San Pablo avenue cars. On alighting from the
car at the corner of Broadway and Thirteenth street the motorman
started up when I was but half way down and I was not able to hold on
firmly enough, consequently the car shot out and left me on the street
with a broken body. The accident closed forever my usefulness as a
public singer and rang down for me the curtain upon any future work of
this kind, to my great sorrow. Twelve long years I have borne this
unhappy condition of things, yet I have not been a drone in the hive
of busy humanity. I have fought the battle and won, and am still able
to wear a smiling countenance and guide the young people into the
pleasant path of song, and my success has been a compensation for all
the suffering which has passed. As long as I am a factor for
usefulness I will cheerfully do my duty. As long as I am able to
chronicle the best results as a competent teacher of voice, which has
been my vocation for over thirty years, I will be content. I have been
rewarded by having given to our state many beautiful singers who
remember with gratitude their aged instructor, no matter where they
may reside, and a number of them are climbing and have climbed to high
positions of prominence as singers of ability, and with personal
attractions which have given them their stepping-stones to higher
attainments in the art of vocal music.



Three days before my sixtieth birthday, which occurred on June 12,
1896, I incidentally mentioned to a friend that, on that date, I would
also be fifty years a singer before the public. The next morning a
phone message asked me to come down to the _Call_ office on some
G.A.R. business, as I supposed. This I did.

When I entered the office I was engaged in conversation for an hour
while, unknown to me, a shorthand reporter and an artist were taking
notes. I returned to my studio unconscious that my words had been
recorded and that my picture had been sketched by the quick hand of
Richard Partington. What was my great surprise on opening the _Call_
on the morning of the 12th to find myself pictured on the first page
as happily laughing as could be. The headlines ran like this:






     She Has Sung for Fifty Years in Scores
     of Churches, Halls and Theatres from
     Boston Across the Continent to California

My astonishment knew no bounds, for I always shrink from publicity
even though I have become conspicuous during my singing life. My
nature is domestic and, unless necessary, I avoid the notoriety of the

[Illustration: GOLDEN JUBILEE OF SONG, JUNE 12, 1896]

Directly I was called to the door and when I opened it who should be
there but two men and two ladies of Lyon Corps No. 6, G.A.R., bringing
me two beautiful oak chairs as an offering from the corps with
congratulations upon my birthday.

They had gone but a short time when another delegation arrived, this
time from Appomattox Corps, bringing me a handsome basket of beautiful
carnations and ferns, decorated with white ribbon and lettered in gold
with the congratulations of the corps.

After this second offering I thought it wise for me to do something by
way of preparation, so I brought out all of my cherished war relics,
flags and banners, medals and badges I had received in the years past.
I soon had my rooms adorned for whoever else might come.

I had not long to wait. Letters, telegrams, messages, flowers, an
immense cake decorated for the occasion with all kinds of suitable
emblems of music for "California's Prima Donna, Mrs. Blake-Alverson,"
from Henry Feldmann for the German Society of Oakland.

All morning various offerings were sent in. Early in the afternoon
friends began to come in by twos and threes and by evening 180 people
had called, people of all walks of life, some of the members of the
Handel and Haydn Society came from across the bay to renew an
acquaintance of many years. Walter and Mrs. Marriner-Campbell were
among the friends of long ago. Others were Messrs. Julius Oettl, J.H.
Stedman, Fred Katzenbach, Harry Hunt, Q.A. Chase, William Bellrose,
Zeno Mauvais, H.A. Redfield, John W. Metcalf, Clark Wise, S.J. Bruce
of Kohler & Chase, who honored me by their presence.

I was so excited I had not missed many prominent pupils; but when
evening came I heard voices and footsteps and going quietly to the
door I discovered some three score of my pupils and their parents
arranging their programme _sotto voce_ in the hallway for the final
surprise of the day. It was a happy chance I was ready for them. The
bay window of the music-room was a lovely bower of flowers and verdure
and on a draped table was the huge cake with its sixty candles all
ablaze, one for each year. My appearance disturbed their preparation
for a moment only, then all was mirth and jollity.

After congratulations a programme was given followed by a banquet.
Many happy speeches of compliment were made and I gave them in return
a short sketch of my musical life. At the close of the recital we
reluctantly separated after greatly enjoying the unusual opportunity
of celebrating two golden jubilees of one life on the same day.

Words are inadequate to express my gratitude to all who were factors
in making this one of the greatest days I ever experienced. It seemed
that everybody was a friend. The newspapers vied with each other in
their write-ups of the occasion. The _Call_, _Tribune_, _Chronicle_,
_Enquirer_, _Saturday Night_, _Berkeley Gazette_, _Santa Cruz Surf_,
_Examiner_, _Benicia Era_, the Stockton and Sacramento papers all ran
full articles and pictures in my honor. At this late day I tender my
sincere thanks for favors and kindly criticisms, from time

[Illustration: Pen sketch of Mrs. Blake-Alverson by Richard
Partington, made on the occasion of the semi-centenary of her career
as a public singer, June 12, 1896. Mrs. Alverson at this time was
sixty years of age.]



One of the most difficult tasks in writing my memoirs is the choice of
the most important happenings in a busy life. There are so many things
to speak of it is hard to know where to begin. I cannot begin with a
more appropriate event than the Fourth of July celebration which took
place in 1869, with William Seward, Secretary of State, in one of the
boxes of the California theater.

Alex Austin, Esq., was president of the day and called the assemblage
to order.

The programme was as follows:

     Prayer by Rev. H.D. Lathrop.

     Music by the orchestra.

     Reading of the Declaration of Independence by Lawrence
     Barrett, Esq.

     God Bless our Glorious Land (written for the Fourth of July,
     1869, by our friend Sam Booth). Full chorus, George T.
     Evans, leader.

     Poem by R.C. Hopkins, Esq., read by John McCulloch, Esq.

     Music, orchestra.

     Vocal music, Gloria in Excelsis, Mozart.

     Oration by Henry E. Highton, Esq.

     Song, Star Spangled Banner.

     Full chorus from the Handel and Haydn Society and quartette
     composed of Mrs. S.D. Mayer, soprano; Mrs. M.R. Blake,
     contralto; Mr. S.D. Mayer, tenor; Walter C. Campbell, bass.

     Music, orchestra.

In 1868 we were visited by the Lyster Opera company from Australia,
which gave a season of ten operas at the old Metropolitan Theater on
Montgomery street. They brought with them a goodly company of artists.

Henry Squires, _tenor_
W.F. Baker, _tenor_
Armes Beaumont, _tenor_
Lucy Escott, _soprano_
Geraldine Warden, _mezzo-soprano_
Mrs. Ada King, _contralto_
Mr. Sutcliff, _baritone_


Sig. Roncovieri, _tenor_
Mr. Nathanson, _bass_
Mrs. M.R. Blake, _contralto_
Mrs. Cameron, _soprano_

     They gave, December 21 and 22, Les Huguenots; December 23
     and 24, Bohemian Girl; December 25, Maritana.


On Her Fiftieth Anniversary as a Public Singer, June 12, 1896

Sixty Years of Age and Still in Good Voice]

After the close of the season Mr. Squires and Miss Escott gave a
farewell concert in Pacific Hall in which I participated and sang with
them the celebrated trio, Protect Us Through the Coming Night.

On May 16, 1870, the Handel and Haydn Society gave Rossini's Stabat
Mater in Sacramento, Prof. Hugo Mansfeldt, leader, assisted by the
societies of Sacramento. The chorus was 500 strong, the soloists were
the best to be secured, assisted by Henry Heyman, violin soloist.

Herr Wenderlich, _bass_
W.C. Campbell, _bass_
Samuel C. Mayer, _tenor_
Matthew Anderson, _tenor_
Mrs. Marriner, _soprano_
Mrs. S. Little, _soprano_
Mrs. J.M. Pierce, _soprano_
Mrs. McNeil (of Sacramento), _soprano_
Mrs. M.R. Blake, _contralto_
Miss Hewlett, _contralto_
Miss K. Stone, _contralto_

Cornet solo, Mr. Dick Kohler and full orchestra.
Anvil chorus, with artillery accompaniment.

The undertaking was a financial as well as a musical success and added
one more wreath of laurels to our musical advancement in 1873.

Also in this year the celebrated violin virtuoso, Camilla Urso, came
to San Francisco on a tour. The Mechanics Pavilion then stood on the
square of Stockton and Powell, Geary and Post streets, and numerous
entertainments were given there. The musical festival had been
successfully opened with Camilla Urso as soloist, and on the second
day she tendered the society a benefit concert. The programme, a noted
one which should be preserved, is as follows:


in aid of The Mercantile Library of San Francisco
at the


1. Overture, Ali Baba                                        Cherubini
   Grand orchestra of 150 men.

2. Glory to God on High (from 12th Mass)                        Mozart
   Oratorio chorus, 1,200 voices.

3. Symphony in C (Andante and Allegro)                            Gade
   Grand orchestra of 150 pieces.

4. (a) Sleepers, Awake, Choral from St. Paul               Mendelssohn
   (b) Prayer of Moses in Egypt                                Rossini

5. Grand Concerto for the Violin (orchestral accompaniment)  Beethoven


1. Chorus, The Heavens are Telling (from the Creation)           Haydn
   Oratorio chorus of 1,200 voices

2. Overture of Freischutz                                        Weber
   Grand Military Band, 150 men.

3. Hallelujah Chorus from "Messiah"                             Handel
   Oratorio chorus of 1,200 voices.

4. Anvil Chorus, from Il Trovatore                               Verdi

Full chorus of 1,200. Organ. Grand orchestra of 150. Full military
band, drum corps of the city militia, 50 anvils, 100 firemen, city
fire bells and cannon to be fired from the stand of the leader by use
of electricity.

General Conductor, Mr. R. Herold. Organist, Gustav A. Scott.

These concerts were among the grandest achievements of our time. The
music of the musicians and singers was par excellence and should never
be forgotten as long as history can keep it alive. How vividly is the
scene before me--the magnificent chorus, the pealing of the organ
tones, the excellent performance of the orchestra and the beautiful
playing of Camilla Urso and the enwrapt listeners that crowded the old
pavilion to overflowing. Those were days of music for Californians who
knew how to make it and we should always have the greatest pride in
recounting these magnificent efforts.

In the year 1874, when Madam Anna Bishop was making her American tour,
she included San Francisco, and with her troupe came also Alfred
Wilkie, tenor, and Frank Gilder of New York, an organist and pianist
of high repute. He was a genius in a class of his own. As the Salt
Lake papers said of him, "Frank Gilder, who can snatch more music out
of a piano than Beethoven could write in a week, is with the Lingard
Company and will play a number of solos tonight. He is an entire
orchestra, a sort of a condensed brass band, and those who don't hear
him will never know what pianos were invented for." This was a unique
"ad.", but was just about right. I was employed by him when he
inaugurated his popular twenty-five-cent concerts. He gave thirty-six
in the course and I sang twenty-five times for him. I sang one evening
at one of Madam Bishop's concerts, and after he heard me sing Gatty's
Fair Dove (my ghost song, as he called it) he planned out these
concerts--something out of the ordinary. Each artist received ten
dollars, no matter how high he stood in his calling, or the prices he
received from other managers. That was the order of things and each
one who sang must take that or not sing. We began in the hall of the
Y.M.C.A. on Sutter street. The following artists appeared: Mrs. M.R.
Blake, contralto; M.A. Anderson, tenor; Sig. C. Orlandini, baritone;
Frank Gilder, pianist.

The morning Chronicle had this to say in regard to the first concert:


"The first of the series was given in the presence of a large and
fashionable audience. The music was first-class in every respect and
nearly every piece was encored. Gilder's Galop de Concert and
Orlandini's Largo al Factotum most emphatically so. Mrs. Blake
distinguished herself as an accomplished vocalist in Millard's song,
When the Tide Comes In, and in the favorite old Scotch ballad, John
Anderson, My Joe. It was supposed from the low price that these
concerts would be beneath the notice of the high toned dilettanti of
the city, but the performance last evening has completely disabused
not only the nicely-critical, but the public generally of this idea.
The series is to be continued. The second in the course will be given
on Tuesday eve of next week."

[Illustration: Mme. Anna Bishop, beloved instructor of Mrs.
Blake-Alverson and with whom she sang in many concerts.]

The second concert on Tuesday was given with Madam Anna Bishop, Mrs.
M.R. Blake; Cornelius Makin, bass; Prof. von der Mehden, baritone;
Frank Gilder, solo cornetist. With the sixth concert in the Y.M.C.A.
hall we found the hall too small for our audiences, and then went to
Platt's Hall. Not two-thirds of the people could get in. We tried
Pacific Hall, and that did for several times, and then there were
enough people on the outside to fill an ordinary hall. The theaters
were too expensive, so we went on the road. We gave two concerts in
Stockton theater to packed houses; two in Santa Cruz in the pavilion,
with great success; two nights in Vallejo, when every seat was taken,
the gallery packed and faces peeping in at the windows. A laughable
act not on the programme occurred that evening which, I think, Walter
Campbell and myself will never forget. We had a duet in which we
always claimed the house, and this evening when our number came Mr.
Gilder began his quaint Quaker march and Reuben was to come from one
side of the stage and Rachel, on the other, and meet in the center of
the stage like two prim Quakers. I took the steps with Mr. Gilder's
tom tom of quaint chords and I arrived in the front of the stage and
no Walter. I was in dismay and the people began to laugh, especially a
portly individual sitting directly in front of the orchestra. He
thought it was all in the bill; Madam Bishop, in the wings, feared the
performance was ruined. I tried with all my might to keep from
laughing at Mr. Gilder, who was keeping up the incessant march. At
last I turned and saw Walter Campbell standing beside me with a face
like a marble statue, still and pious as the most devout Quaker,
waiting for me to begin, rising and falling on his toes. I began my
song, "Reuben, I have long been thinking, etc." and the song went on,
and between each stanza the applause was deafening and continued until
the last too-ral-loo had died away. We received five recalls. The
paper came out with glowing accounts of the success Walter and I had
won and we were lionized the rest of the season. When we were allowed
to retire, Walter, in his quaint way, said to me, "Susan Jane, you
almost made me laugh. I never went through such an ordeal in all my
singing days. It seemed I was destined to stand there forever before
you began." I think we have laughed over that concert time and time
again. It is one of our best jokes between us when we recount the
enjoyment of our successful concerts given in California, Oregon and
British Columbia.


Hugo Mansfeldt
J.H. Dohrmann
Sir Henry Heyman
Alfred Wilkie


After returning from these smaller towns Mr. Gilder resumed the
popular concerts in Pacific Hall until the close of the
thirty-sixth concert. It was while we sang in Pacific Hall that King
Kalakua was the honored guest. Sam Booth composed a welcome song to
His Majesty and great was the reception given him. These concerts made
quite a stir among the older musicians, who thought it strange that a
twenty-five-cent entertainment should receive such acknowledgment. The
halls of the dollar concerts were deserted and the twenty-five-cent
concert hall was overflowing with music lovers. The older musicians
challenged Gilder to play the music of the old masters. He consented,
but the trial never came to anything but words. After he had gone back
to New York these disgruntled musicians tried to do the same as Mr.
Gilder had done, but it was a complete failure. One of the thirty-six
concerts was given in the Tent Amphitheater back of the Palace Hotel,
July 4, 1874. The artists were Mme. Anna Bishop, soprano; Mrs. M.R.
Blake, contralto; Alfred Wilkie, tenor; Cornelius Makin, bass. The
Silver Cornet band was under the direction of Professor Henry von der
Mehden and Frank Gilder, pianist. There was an audience of 12,000
people and the programme was one to be remembered for its musical
value and splendid singers who received the plaudits of the people in
their great enthusiasm at the successful and artistic performance of
each number.


1. Overture--Poet and Peasant                                    Suppe

2. Song. The Sword of Bunker Hill                               Covert
     Mr. C. Makin

3. Scotch Ballad. Within a Mile of Edinborough Town.
   (encore) Annie Laurie.
     Mrs. M.R. Blake

4. Piano solo. America, with variations                         Gilder
     Frank Gilder

5. Grand Aria. Let the Bright Seraphim                          Handel
     Mme. Anna Bishop; Prof. Mehden, cornet obbligato

6. Song. The Anchor's Weighed                                   Braham
     Mr. Alfred Wilkie

7. Grand operatic pot-pourri                            Von der Mehden


1. Duet. The Moon Has Raised Her Lamp Above
     Messrs. Alfred Wilkie and C. Makin

2. Ballad. Old Folks at Home (by request)                       Foster
     Mme. Anna Bishop

3. Quartette for horns. Call Me Thine Own                       Halevy

4. Song. Vive l'America                                        Millard
   (Encore) Uncle Sam's Farm
     Mrs. M.R. Blake

5. Ballad. Will o' the Wisp
     Mr. C. Makin

6. Song. The Star Spangled Banner
     Madam Anna Bishop and the other artists

7. Grand finale, National Melodies of different nations  Von der Mehden
     Silver Cornet Band

In speaking of these concerts it is interesting to note the number of
fine singers that we had in California in 1874 and how easy it was for
a manager to select the best out of these for any occasion.

     Women's Voices: Madam Bishop, Mrs. M.R. Blake, Mrs. A.
     Thiesen, Miss Marian Singer, Mlle. Franzini, Mlle. Anna
     Elzer, Miss Susan Galton, Madam Babcock, Signora Bianchi,
     Mrs. Eliza Boston, Miss Rowley.

     Men's Voices: Signor C. Orlandini, Charles Metti, M.A.
     Anderson, C. Makin, Henry Baker (tenor of the opera troupe),
     Sig. Luigi Contini, Ben. Clark, W. Finkeldey, Carmini
     Morley, Alfred Kelleher, Sig. Fulvio Rigo, Sig. E. Bianchi,
     Alfred Wilkie, Sig. G. Marra, W.C. Campbell, Mons.
     Davidowitz (Russian opera tenor), Geo. Carltos, Sam Booth,
     Amos Durant, F.L. Phelps.

     Musicians: F. Gilder, Prof. Hartman, Prof. H. von der
     Mehden, Ernest Schlott, Mulder Fabbri, Prof. M. Schultz,
     C.J.J. Smith (flutist), Louis Boedecker (pianist), Stephen
     Marsh (harpist), George L. Blake (cornetist), Bender,
     Shepherd, Emerson, Wilson (horn quartet), Miss Rotier
     (pianist), Prof. G. Cellarius (violinist), A. Kessels
     (pianist), Miss E.M. Burkhardt (Chicago pianist), H.F. Todd

These men and women singers and musicians took part in these series of
concerts given by Frank Gilder in 1874 and were available at any time
when needed. They were only a number of the many fine singers then in
San Francisco. I doubt if you could be so successful today, for these
were genuine tried singers, ready to go at any time and fill the
place, either with sacred, secular or operatic music. There were also
the members of the Loring Club, all good singers, picked and tried,
who sang in choirs, concerts and also in prominent musical
undertakings of the period. I have tried to leave no name out of the
list of singers. Professional jealousy does not exist in any of my
musical life. It never did, and if people will use their good, common
sense and judgment and see a singer in her true light they will find
out very quickly that there exists no grounds for such a feeling with
true artists. In the first place no two people look alike, neither are
they made alike. I have had the strange experience of teaching five
pairs of twins. They were so much alike that it was with difficulty we
could distinguish them apart. Especially the Faull twins, who were
obliged to wear a gold bar pin with "Rose" and "Sophia" engraved upon
them to distinguish them, and yet they were unlike in every
respect. The figures were different; their voices, one a contralto,
the other soprano; one delicate, the other robust. Rose is living and
the other passed out of life. It is so in everything in life. The
petty jealousy of singers and players is a laughable farce. Even our
grandest singers have shown this weakness because a rival was billed
with lettering a quarter of an inch larger. This lowers the singer in
the eyes of the public. No two singers can sing alike, even if they
sing the same song. The interpretation belongs to the individual
singer. It will remain hers forever in the remembrance of the
listeners and no amount of jealousy will remove the fact. When once a
singer has climbed to a place of recognition and can be classed as a
true artist and acknowledged by the public as such, she is entitled to
recognition. "Give honor to those to whom honor is due," is the safest



Geo. Fletcher
Wm. E. Blake
Nathaniel Page
Geo. Story


Season of 1895]

I will continue my narrative of special engagements. I had eighteen
years' experience in singing for the Welsh colony of men and women who
formed a society known as the Cambrian Mutual Aid Society. It had been
in existence four years before I was engaged as vocalist. The society
was prosperous and about 300 strong at that time. Professor Price, Mr.
Jehu, Samuel Williams, Gomer Evans, H.J. Owens (Obedog), E. Meredith
(tenor) and J.R. Jones (bass) were the prominent persons connected
with the society. March 1st was the day for celebrating the yearly
singing tryout. The Welsh miners and their families came yearly from
Mt. Diablo mines for a holiday of sociability and song. The day was
called St. David's Day. My first engagement with this society occurred
on the 2d day of March, 1874, the first having come on Sunday. We were
obliged to sing the Welsh airs. This was a new departure for me, but,
nothing daunted, I began the study of the Welsh music, and when the
night came for the yearly banquet and evening of song I was well
prepared to give them their desire. I had as other artists, on this
evening programme, Mrs. Howels, a Welsh soprano who sang like a bird,
so beautifully; Mrs. Von der Mehden, soprano; Mrs. M.R. Blake,
contralto; C. Makin, bass; John Hughes, bass; Joseph Maguire, tenor;
Vernon Lincoln, tenor, and the Mt. Diablo singers, about fifty fine
voices. The initial concert was a pronounced success, about 600 being
present. In 1878, at the annual concert, I met for the first time Mr.
D.P. Hughes, tenor, who sang a Welsh song, Cwymp Lewelyn, also in a
male quartette, (oh, what full delight), Hughes, Roberts, Jones and
Hannis. This was Mr. Hughes' first bow to the society of singers in
San Francisco. I was the first American singer he had met in San
Francisco thirty-four years ago. Later he became director of the
Orpheus Society, leader of church choirs, teacher of voice, and still
teaches and directs a women's singing club in Oakland, Cal.

In September, 1877, the town of San Rafael was in need of a fire
engine, and to begin the collection for the fund a series of concerts
was inaugurated. The first was held in the district courtroom,
September 8th. The following well-known artists took part: Theodore
Herzog, violinist; J. Lewis, bass; Mrs. H.M. Bosworth, soprano; Ben
Clark, tenor; Walter C. Campbell, bass, and Mrs. M.R. Blake,
contralto. The room was full to overflowing and the singers were given
a splendid welcome. The women of the city decorated the hall most
lavishly and our reception was notable. The treasury received a
splendid amount of funds to carry on the good work so auspiciously
begun. This was the second city wherein I assisted in the beginning of
a fund for a fire engine. The other was Santa Cruz.

In 1877, old folks' concerts were often given with great success. The
quaint hymns of Father Kemp's collection seemed to be an attraction to
the people, and seldom a month passed without concerts of this kind.
The societies and churches reaped a goodly sum from them. The
different singing clubs concluded to give two concerts for the old
folks. They were to be on a grand scale, and the Grand Opera House was
secured. My programme does not give the promoters' names or the object
of this great gathering of singers. I remember only that I was engaged
for the two nights with Walter Campbell to sing those songs we were
accustomed to sing together on such occasions. The concerts were held
June 28 and 29, 1877. These were memorable evenings for us and we did
our best with Reuben and Rachel, Ten O'Clock and the Old Saxon, etc.,
which we were obliged to repeat to satisfy the great audiences which
greeted us. The chorus of 500, composed of singers in all walks of
life, people of leisure who had good voices which they had been taught
how to use, often take pleasure in giving the public a treat if a
pretext can be found for doing so. In this case it was thought that an
imitation of the manners, dress and costume of a past age would
attract an audience when a simple concert might not. This proved to be
true, especially of the Easter Anthem, which was magnificently sung,
and an encore was demanded by the delighted listeners. Each night the
stage was completely filled with this splendid chorus, and the effect
was tremendous when the voices rose with such magnificent volume,
unaccompanied. The leader gave the pitch from an old-fashioned tuning
fork, which was the only thing that was used at that time, to start
the music. The leader would cry out in a nasal tone, "All please
sound," when the pitch would be taken by the four parts led by the
timist to the successful finish.

Other entertainments of this nature were given. H.M. Bosworth's
operetta, "Mother Goose Reception," had a tremendous run. It became so
popular that it was played in every city and town of any size from San
Bernardino to Sacramento and Stockton and as far north as Oregon.
There was a rivalry between it and the Milkmaid's Convention which
received its full merit throughout the state. Mrs. Hodgkins and Miss
Lucy Grove were the bright originators of this cantata, which proved
one of the most interesting debates upon the milk question and
microbes ever propounded in any community with musical setting and was
a genuine side-splitting entertainment.

One of the special engagements that occurred yearly were the
commencement exercises of the Benicia Female seminary, a meeting of
alumnæ and pupils. From 1862, on my return to California from Boston,
until the death of our instructor, Mary Atkins-Lynch, I was the
honored guest as vocalist at these gatherings, and I count these
epochs in my career some of the special occurrences. I was among the
first pupils of the school and added my talent on all occasions of
note during the continuance of the seminary. It was in Benicia where
Mrs. Lynch first began her work as principal of the seminary. Her
pupils are now scattered over every quarter of the globe. A thousand
invitations were sent out and 250 accepted and others sent their
regrets from the different cities in which they resided. These were
put in a list and read with interest by those who gathered in
1878--the last and most notable reunion of the school. There were at
this time Messrs. Gray, Jones, Woodbridge and Hastings, trustees of
the seminary when it was founded. They had not met for years, and the
pleasure they felt at this accidental meeting can be imagined. It was
like one large family reunion, for these men were our friends as well,
and through their efforts the seminary was placed upon a high
standard. We were visited yearly by the notable men of the state
legislature, army and navy, professional men and women of culture and
talent. It would not be amiss to let the younger generation be
familiar with the names of early Californians who stood high in the
nation and honored men of the state: Capt. and Mrs. Matthew Turner;
Dr. Cole and wife of San Francisco; Professor Trenkle, pianist, San
Francisco; Dr. S. Woodbridge; Judge D.N. Hastings and wife; Hon. L.B.
Mizner and wife; Bishop Wingfield; Major Hackert; Professor Roger of
St. Augustine College; Capt. E.H. von Pfister; General Kautz; Major
Wells; Major Wilhelm; Captain Rixford; Lieutenant Scriven, U.S.A;
Lieutenant Weresch, U.S.N.; C.B. Houghton; Rev. Mr. Easton; Professor
Corbaz; Mrs. Brackett, class '59; Harriett Riddell, Class 72; Major
Townsend; Dr. Peabody; Samuel D. Gray and wife; John Denning; Judge
Lynch; Professor Trenkle, one of the pioneer musicians of the state
and seminary; Mrs. Mary Loughlin Kincaid, of San Francisco high school
fame, president of the alumnæ; Mrs. Mary Hook-Hatch, vice president;
Mrs. Agnes Bell Hill, treasurer; Miss Kittie Stone, secretary; Mrs.
M.R. Blake, the first vocalist of the seminary to distinguish herself
in the world of music and song.

Dr. Woodbridge in his address alluded to old memories connected with
this young ladies' seminary, the trials and vicissitudes of one of its
first principals; how she had taken the school in early days with six
or eight pupils and in a few short months had 140 scholars beneath the
roof. The doctor paid a fitting tribute to the ability and worth of
Mrs. Lynch and the grandeur of her position in the cause of education.
Her life was a glorious victory and one that should be handed down to



During my ten years' engagement at St. Patrick's Church, on Mission
street, San Francisco, we gave many masses and also arranged concerts
which would prove of great value to the singers of today who have
aspirations for better music than the frivolous songs and bad style of
singing which is in vogue. The masses that we sang were written by the
best masters. Our organist and director was educated in Europe and
received the best musical education and understood the standard which
should be upheld. We were familiar with all of Mozart's masses,
requiems and vespers. The Twelfth was the most frequently sung if
grand, joyful music was required. The Requiem Brevis, a gem of church
music, was given on the most solemn service. All Saints' Day generally
claimed that number. The Fifth Mass was the one chosen when we
dedicated the magnificent $10,000 organ, June 20, 1869, which was
bought with the money received from the grand concerts which were
given from time to time by the regular choir and chorus of thirty
voices with orchestra and visiting soloists of high repute, if they
happened to be in the city at the time of giving.

I am more than grateful that I can place within these pages a fine
photograph of this magnificent organ, a reminder of the once beautiful
and grand instrument which was destroyed and burned until there was
not a souvenir left to tell the story of the great and grand music
that it pealed forth so many years, and of the work of the beautiful
voices that once sang the praises and the power of the grandest music
ever written by a galaxy of writers who are no longer with us. Of
Haydn's sixteen masses we usually sang from one to eight, these being
the most used, and No. 16 B Flat mass was often chosen. His Vespers
No. 1 was sung many times. We generally used Weber's masses--one
written in E flat and one in the key of G. They were the most familiar
of his masses. One of the most difficult masses we sang was written by
I.J. Paine of Boston. It was the first mass and required artists to
give the proper importance to this magnificent mass. Rossini's
Solenelle was given on the solemn occasion of the death of Pius IX. It
was rendered for the first time in California October 31st, by sixteen
solo voices, thirty-five in the chorus and the regular choir, full
orchestra and organ. The following was the programme for the requiem
mass Solenelle sung by the soloists and assisted by the chorus and
orchestra and organ; Introit, Dies Iræ, Lacrimosa, Benedictus, Agnus
Dei, Lux Aeterna were all from Cherubini's compositions; offertory,
Dominus from Verdi, Libera from Palestrina:

Mrs. Brandel, _soprano_
Signora Bianchi, _mezzo-soprano_
Mrs. M.R. Blake, _mezzo-contralto_
Signor Bianchi, _tenor_
Signor Meize, _tenor_
Mr. Stockmyer, _bass_
Mr. Yarndley, _bass_
J.H. Dohrmann, _organist_

Orchestra 30 pieces.



Made in Germany in 1874]

With a crowded church and the altars draped in black, with the rest of
the gifted singers on that occasion, will candelabras that were all
burning, with many priests upon the altar, and the other accessories,
the scene was notable. Time never can erase the picture as it comes
back in memory. The wonderful music, in which I took part, with the
rest of the gifted singers on that occasion, will never be forgotten.

Later, as years rolled on and the old singers retired, we had other
artists who were the singers in this choir:

Mrs. Urig, _soprano_
Mrs. Young, _soprano_
Mrs. Taylor, _soprano_
Signora Bianchi, _mezzo-soprano_
Mrs. Herman, _mezzo-soprano_
Mrs. M.R. Blake, _contralto_
Miss Ella Steele, _contralto_
Mr. Buch, _bass_
Mr. Schnable, _bass_

We had also the masses of Lambillotte, the one in D being the most
familiar. There was Peter's Mass in E flat. His smaller masses were
complete. Mercadanti, four-voice mass, also one for three voices; W.A.
Leonard's mass in B flat, four voices; Millard's masses complete;
Farmer's masses, one in G, one in B flat; Schubert's five masses and
vespers, 2d, 3d and 4th; Beethoven's two masses, the one in C being
the most difficult. There was another written in D. Schubert's 2d, 3d
and 4th masses were sung frequently. The grand mass of John Sebastian
Bach, written in B minor, was sung by our choir for the first time in
San Francisco, April 17, 1869. No one who is a singer can be blamed
for being justly proud in rendering this music with the following

Miss Brandel, _soprano_
Signora Bianchi, _mezzo-soprano_
Mrs. M.R. Blake, _contralto_
Signor Bianchi, _tenor_
F. Shoenstein, _bass_

Only the solemnity of the sanctuary refrained the people from giving
the proper appreciation in applause when we sang this grand mass which
was rendered by this splendid choir and directed by our beloved
organist, the dean of that magnificent instrument (of which we were so
proud) for we were the principal workers in the cause for obtaining
the money for it. We then had the happiness to sing each week and
listen to its beautiful notes. Our happiness was complete.

In 1874, July 5th, we sang for the first time Roeder's heavy mass. We
often sang Concone's three-voice mass, Verdi's mass and Dominus,
Palestrina's Libera, Paolo Giorza, and Regina Coeli. The choir library
was complete with all kinds of masses, small and large. Many of them
we sang. Some of them were very old and written in manuscript. I
remember the professor gave me at rehearsal a celebrated old heavy
German mass (No. H Messe von Rader) in manuscript and my part was the
counter-tenor. Imagine my consternation when he placed it in my hand.
I could always make an alto to any tune, so I just looked at it
blindly and made my harmony as it fitted and did not disturb the
harmony of the music. After rehearsal he came to me and said, "You did
very well at faking, but if you will go up two notes and fall an
octave you will get your part." That was enough for me. On my way home
I bought some music paper and immediately set to work to get the mass
ready for Sunday. This was Tuesday. By Friday the task was complete
and I gave my work to my son George and asked him to look it over and
see if I was all right. There was not a correction to be made, and I
went to mass as proud as could be and sang the service through. After
the service the professor came to my music stand and quietly took my
fine copy and put in into the bookcase and that was the last I ever
saw of my week's work. He said it was very nice of me to make such a
good copy; it would be ready for the next singer who could not sing
the manuscript. While I was disappointed, he was pleased that I had
been clever enough to get out of the trap he had set for me, for he
well knew I had never seen that music before.

Besides a splendid supply of masses, there were vesper services,
Gregorian chants, Ave Marias, Veni Creator, solos, Mozart's Ave
Vernum, requiems from various writers, Stabat Mater by Rossini; Franz
Liszt's O Salutaris; Bach's Tantum Ergo; Salutaris, Carlo Bassini;
contralto solos from Rossini's Solenelle; O Salutaris, Agnus Dei, Quae
Te Christi by Millett; duet soprano and mezzo, Agnus Dei, Geo. Bizet;
Lascia ch'io pianga, Handel; Raff's Cavatina for contralto; Millard's
Ave Marias numbering 7 and No. 1, Salutaris; Mozart's 16th mass.

All these beautiful masses and songs, duets and solos were familiar to
me, and I had opportunity to sing them with the grandest singers of
the day. I also sang many times at St. Mary's Cathedral, California
and Dupont streets, (Bishop Alemany); St. Ignatius, when the college
and church was on Market street, where the Emporium now stands;
Vallejo Street Catholic Church, Mission Dolores, Notre Dame French
Church, Alois Lejeal, organist, Bush street. One special Candlemas Day
the St. Ignatius Church was so crowded I had to be carried by two
strong men who pushed their way through the jam of worshipers. We sang
Mozart's Twelfth Mass that day. The organist was one of the brothers
of the college. I think I sang requiems in every Catholic church in
San Francisco at that time. It seemed to be my share in life to sing
for the dead of all creeds and kinds. If I attempted to give an
account of requiems alone I could publish a book of good size. I have
also taken part in the musical service at the funerals of the great
men of California, like Ralston, Hopkins, Captain Metzger, Thos.
Breeze, J.B. Painter, Colonel Larkin.

In 1874 I lived on Post and Powell streets. Trinity Church was at that
corner and many people who were strangers were taken to the mortuary
chapel. One sad funeral occurred there on June 18, 1887, of Abner
Lincoln Blake, a grandson of Major-General Lincoln of revolutionary
fame. He was ex-deputy of the custom house in Port Townsend and was on
his way to Washington, with papers of importance, to give evidence
against certain men who were in government service. He was followed by
some of their hirelings all the way on his journey and, arriving at
Chicago, he was sand-bagged, but the villains were not quick enough to
get his valise. They were frightened by the appearance of some one
coming, and the victim was taken to the hospital. When the chief of
police discovered who he was he did all he could to save the valuable
evidence and notified the authorities at Washington. Everything was
done to save his life, but he lapsed into unconsciousness for a week
and died. He was brought to San Francisco, where a large family
awaited his coming. It was one of the saddest funerals I ever
witnessed or attempted to sing for. He had been cut down in the prime
of life doing his duty for his country.

After leaving San Francisco in 1886 I sang in the Episcopal church in
San Bernardino, and after eight months of service was engaged the
remainder of the time in the Catholic church, Father Stockman. While
there, I had a full repertoire of masses, old and some new to me. No
matter where one goes, the church must have the best singing, and to
my surprise I found the musical library was filled with masses, many
of which we had in St. Patrick's:

Mozart's 12th, Haydn's 6th in B flat, Mercadanti's three-voice mass,
Haydn's 3d in D, Haydn's 8th mass, Haydn's 16th in B flat, Mozart's
mass in C No. 1, Haydn's in C No 2, Farmer's Mass in G, Mozart's No.
7, Peter's Mass in E flat, Mozart's Vespers in C Dur.

The requiem for Good Friday, April 25th, was sung from the quartette
books used in the choir. We sang Buchler's vespers (the Memoria) and
masses, Borduse mass, Werner's mass, Concone's mass and Gregorian
chants. Before leaving San Bernardino choir for the closing masses,
November 20th, requiem was sung, Father Koenig and Father Stockman
officiating. On December 8th the Second requiem was sung from the
quartette books. On December 22, 1888, we sang Borduse mass for the
last time before returning to San Francisco.

I cannot give any information upon the music of the synagogue,
although I sang six years there. The music is all manuscript and the
cantors of the different schules all have their own services and
nothing else is used, but they are very chary of their services, as
they call them. I believe during my time we had six different ones,
with their accompanying hymns, responses and chants, all in the Hebrew
language. We had high days and holidays, which were very impressive
and solemn, and the music was very beautiful and delightful to sing,
even if we could not understand the meaning of the Hebrew. When the
words of one service had been conquered, the others were easy to
sing--like the Latin in the masses. The Episcopal service, which is as
familiar as all the others to me, has the same Te Deums, hymns and
chants, choruses and quartette, litany and vespers, services, glorias
and sacred cantatas. There is extra music for Christmas festivals and
appropriate music for Lenten seasons and joyful songs for Easter,
processional and recessional hymns written for this service by
well-known men. The orthodox services are not so elaborate--an opening
anthem, hymns, offertories selected from the many available churchly
compositions written by Dudley Buck, Adam, Mason, Ambrose and other
English and American writers of our time and before our time. I have a
wonderfully fine collection of such songs that I have used all these
years and have successfully sung. My sixteen years' service in Calvary
gave me opportunity to collect the best songs to use for the church.
We used the church and home collection, Mosenthal's collection,
Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise, cantata of O for the Wings of a Dove, Te
Deums by the best composers of sacred songs and anthems, oratorios,
Moses in Egypt, David, Samson, Creation, Elijah, St. Paul, Messiah (by
Handel), Stabat Mater (by Rossini), Daughter of Jarius, God, Thou Art
Great (by L. Spohr), Baumbach collection of sacred music, Easter and
Christmas music written by the well-known writers of the times.

Leaving the sacred work, I have also a grand collection of other works
that I have sung in my musical life--Racine's Athalie, The Erl King's
Daughter (by Miles W. Gade), First Walpurgis Night. Esther formed one
of the epochs of my time, given in Platt's hall, on Montgomery street,
by Mr. William Badger, for the benefit of the Episcopal Sabbath
schools of the city in 1874; Queen, Madam Anna Bishop, soprano; King,
Walter Campbell; Haman, Vernon Lincoln; Haman's wife, Mrs. M.R. Blake,
contralto. The chorus was composed of members of the Handel and Haydn
Society. The old hall was filled to overflowing and the singers at
their best, and certainly success crowned every number. The enthusiasm
of the audience knew no bounds and we were crowned with honors from
the beginning to the end. If ever there was a happy man, it was
William Badger, the piano dealer and Sunday school children's friend.
We were all paid the highest salaries and still the benefit was a
grand financial success for the Sunday schools. Should I attempt to
give all the different amusements and entertainments of every kind
during my life of song, it would require a book of many hundred pages.
It is my intention to speak of the most important musical and dramatic
performances and epochs of my life, as I have had a part in all
these demonstrations and met all kinds of artists. It will in a
measure, I hope, be an incentive for those who are musically inclined
to pursue with energy, enthusiasm and faithful work the delightful
task which music brings to us like other lines of education. You will
find there is no "royal road to learning." The highest attainments can
only be gained by careful, conscientious and intelligent study in the
different departments undertaken. Students must remember, "those who
go slowly go safely, and those who go safely go far."


Rev. Dr. A.M. Anderson
Stockton, 1852

Rev. Dr. Scudder
San Francisco

Rev. Dr. Eells
San Francisco and Oakland

Rev. Dr. A.L. Stone
San Francisco

The Right Rev. Ingraham Kip
Stockton, Benicia, Santa Cruz
and San Francisco

Rev. John Hemphill
San Francisco

Rev. H.D. Lathrop
San Francisco and Oakland

Rev. Dr. Bellows
San Francisco




The grand musical festival given in the Mechanics pavilion, San
Francisco, May 28, 29 and 30, 1878, was the second largest undertaking
since the one given in 1873 under the supervision of the Mechanics'
Library association with Camilla Urso, virtuoso, and R.H. Herold,
conductor, with 12,000 voices.

The general committee of this grand festival was composed of musicians
and singers and directors of various musical organizations. They were
as follows:


     A.M. Benham, Samuel D. Mayer, Wendell Eastern, Sumner W.
     Bugbee, manager.


     Business Men--Geo. E. Barnes, Geo. Brown, Wm. G. Badger,
     Quincy A. Chase, John T. Coe, James Denman, W.P. Edwards,
     Jr., Samuel C. Gray, Jas. E. Gordon, M. Gray, Robt. T.
     Harrison, F.A. Harnden, L.K. Hammer, August Hunme, Col. J.P.
     Jackson, G.S. Johnson, M.A. Kennedy, Andrew Kohler, Warren
     Leland, S.H. Long.

     Musicians--H.M. Bosworth, C.L. Crabtree, John P. Morgan, Wm.
     Fletcher, Geo. J. Gee, Ernest Hartmann, H. Heyman, R.
     Herold, H.O. Hunt, W.H. Kinross, D.W. Loring, Fred Lyster,
     W.J. McDougal, Charles McCurrie, H.L. Mansfeldt, E. Pique,
     Geo. H. Powers, Martin Schultz, Prof. Sleanter, Charles
     Schultz, G.A. Scott.

     Singers--W.C. Campbell, Chas. Dugan, Wash. Elliott, D.P.
     Hughes, F.A. Hyde, Alf. Kelleher, S.W. Leach, Carl Formes,
     G. Mancusi, D.W.C. Nesfield, I. Stadtfeldt, M.S. Stimson,
     J.E. Tippett, Jos. Trenkle, Wm. Toepke, H.T. Todd, John
     Trehane, David Wilder, D.L. Wetherbee, Jas. L. Wilson, Asa
     R. Wells, R.L. Thurston, D. Van Vleck, E.C. Mastin, Gen.
     John McComb, D.W. Murphy, Jos. O'Connor, Frank M. Pixley,
     H.H. Pierson, W.E. Price, J.B. Russell, John A. Rice, L.S.
     Sherman, Henry T. Scott and H.S. Smith.


     Soprano--Mrs. Marriner-Campbell, Mrs. W.C. Little, Mrs.
     Lizzie P. Howell, Mrs. J.M. Pierce, Mrs. Douglas Saunders,
     Miss Mary E. Wadsworth, Mrs. R.A. Van Brunt, Mrs. Ella Segar
     Lamphere, Miss Lita Farrar, Mrs. Urig, Mrs. M.P. Waldron,
     Miss Annie Ribbons, Mrs. Martin Schultz, Miss Flora McKinney
     (Napa), Mrs. John P. Morgan, Mrs. Clara McCheney, Mrs. H.E.
     Willy, Mrs. May Banta.

     Altos--Mrs. Blake-Alverson, Mrs. T.M. Clement, Mrs. J.F.
     Cooper (Sacramento), Mrs. Carter (Sacramento), Mrs. Geo. W.
     Drew (Sacramento), Mrs. Snow (Sacramento), Miss Ida Beutler,
     Miss Emma Beutler, Mrs. Wm. Fletcher, Miss Belle Thomas,
     Mrs. Chas. King, Mrs. S. Rightmire, Mrs. Withrow, Mrs.
     Chisholm, Miss Kate Stone, Miss Millar, Mrs. Ella
     Steele-Brown and Mrs. Adelaide Reuter.

     Tenors--Ben Clark, John Trehune, D.P. Hughes, Harry Gates,
     Samuel D. Mayer, Geo. W. Jackson, W.N. Otey, E.C. Masten,
     Dr. Geo. H. Powers, J.E. Tippett, Dr. A.M. Wilder, C.L.
     Crabtree, Wash. Elliott, J.L. Skinner (Sacramento), Robt.
     Burns (Arcata) and W.E. Price.

     Bass--J.W. Yarndley, J.E. Blake, Wm. P. Edwards, Jr., R.
     Jansen, Chas. Dugan, D.W.C. Nesfield, G. Nathanson, G.
     Mancusi, Phillip Jones, Charles E. Holbrook, E. Pique,
     Walter C. Campbell, Carl Formes, W.H. Kinross and Jacob

In addition to our many fine singers, the committee secured from the
East as director the well-known and popular leader, Carl Zerrahn.
Negotiations were made with the most celebrated singers of the East,
and among those to come were: Myron W. Whitney, bass; Miss Anna
Drasdil, contralto; Mrs. Helen Ames Billings, soprano; Mrs. Clark,
soprano, and Mr. Fessenden, tenor. With the assistance of these
strangers and local artists that could be depended upon for solo work,
everything looked auspicious for the festival. Rehearsals began
immediately. Our parts were assigned to us. For the first concert the
bouquet of artists sang Spirit Immortal (Verdi), and sextette, Chi Mi
Frena (Donizetti); second concert, Sleepers, Awake (Mendelssohn), male
chorus; The Soldier's Farewell; Anvil Chorus, full orchestra, anvils,
artillery, etc.; third concert, Inflammatus, Mrs. Marriner, soloist,
bouquet of artists and grand chorus; Spirit Immortal repeated; Chi Mi
Frena repeated; America, Hallelujah Chorus; Star Spangled Banner.

The solos of chorus numbers were sung by our local soloists. While the
Eastern singers were excellent, they found out that in California
there were also artists to be respected, as did the distinguished
leader, Carl Zerrahn, when he began the rehearsals. He had nothing but
the highest praise for the fine musicians he found in this section.
Before this great gathering of singers and people came to an end,
there was still another concert as a farewell tribute to the
strangers. It took place in the Grand Opera house and proved to be a
grand finale to this successful musical undertaking. Every seat in the
opera house was taken. The soloists were at their best; the choruses
grand and inspiring and full of animation. The orchestral numbers were
all new. The bouquet of artists sang their concerted passage from
Lucia even better than on the former occasions.

Besides these concerts there was also a promenade concert at the
Pavilion for the numerous visitors from the interior cities and 2,000
availed themselves of the opportunity. There was also an afternoon
concert by 3,000 children under the baton of Prof. Mansfeldt, and on
Monday night the sacred concert with portions of Elijah and the choice
numbers of the previous concerts was successfully given, and the
musical festival of 1878 passed into history.

Since the chorus played so prominent a part in this festival season,
it would be well to add also a tribute of thanks to these singers of
the city and interior delegations who came at the call of the
director, Sumner Bugbee, in splendid numbers, showing that all the
cities of the state made music a prominent factor. The number of
singers who took part in the first day's performance was 1,800. The
following were the places from which the choruses were drawn, with the
number from each, together with the names of directors:

     Bouquet of artists (50), Carl Zerrahn, director; Handel and
     Haydn society (453), J.P. Morgan, director; George Gee's
     class (100); Jackson's Glee club (165), G.W. Jackson,
     director; Apollo Glee club (95), Martin Schultz, director;
     Sacramento (60), J. McNiell and Chas. Winters, directors;
     San Rafael (24), R.M. Bosworth, director; Oakland Harmonic
     (165), J.P. Morgan, director; Oakland Orpheus (80), J.W.
     McDougall, director; Oakland High School (81), H.J. Todd,
     director; Healdsburg and Santa Rosa (41); San Jose (60),
     Z.M. Parvin, director; Gilroy (12), Prof. Johnson, director;
     Merced (2), San Juan (2), Eureka (24), J. Hetherington,
     director; Rocklin (4), Salinas (24), W.J. McCoy, director;
     Diamond Springs (26), M.R. Griffiths, director; Woodland
     (24), C.E. Pinkham, director; Suisun (18), D.R. Stockman,
     director; Stockton (26), E.W. Elliott, director; Portland
     (17), Prof. Morse, director; Soquel (14), T.S. Tartton,
     director; Modesto (21), W.H. Franzini, director; Sonoma (3),
     Santa Barbara (7), G.H. Young, director; San Diego (17),
     E.D. Blackner, director; San Buena Ventura (9), Max
     Eiderline, director; Vacaville (15), Theo. Ritzner,
     director; Nevada City (10), Visalia (8), Prof. Hirsch,
     director; Oregon (22), and many individual singers of no


John P. Morgan

Carl Zerrahn

Rudolf Herold
San Francisco


San Francisco, 1878]

It was a pity that after all this success there should come an
aftermath of unhappy, unpaid singers and players who were unable to
realize a farthing from their splendid work. Mr. Bugbee slipped
quietly out of the city, Mr. Kinross sailed on the Portland steamer,
Mr. Benham disappeared, as did also Mr. Easton. The concerts certainly
paid a splendid profit, but expenses and high salaries of these men
ate up the expected profits. Everything was carried out with a
lavish hand and Mr. Bugbee, with all his promises, did not fulfill
them as by contract. I do not know what the other soloists' losses
were, but my portion was to be $150 for three days, carriages, etc.
After the concert in the opera house I never saw Mr. Bugbee, although
I made every effort to do so. He was lost to San Francisco forever. A
number of years after all this trouble I saw a notice of his death in
a southern city. Carl Zerrahn was the only one who benefited by his
coming and he returned home with $2,500 in his pockets, a gold medal,
laurel wreath and embossed letters of appreciation from the musicians
of California. I never knew how settlement was made with the managers
and the Eastern artists. It is my opinion they received nothing and
were obliged to return on their own expenses. The papers were full of
sarcasm and by-play upon the names of the prominent men who had the
matter in hand. "Charles Stoddard, our poet, had his genius completely
crushed under the $20 that he did not receive for his work." The San
Francisco Chronicle said further: "In the meantime, the present
creditors are singing with much vim the Oweratoweriwoe of the

Laying all jokes aside, it was a great event. It would give the reader
only a faint idea of the mass of humanity to express its size merely
by so many thousands. The spectator looking down upon it from some
upper seat of the boundless gallery of the choral amphitheater saw an
awe-inspiring scene. People in numbers almost as great as the standing
army of the United States were packed so closely together that all
individuality was lost, and the pulsating aggregate looked like the
exposed and mottled back of some submerged sea monster. Between the
parts of the programme the combined hum of ten thousand voices floated
upon the air like the deep boom of the surf on the seashore. When the
raised seats were well filled in the vast gallery the graduation was
lost to the eye, and the whole presented a plane surface as rich in
coloring as if it had been a hanging of rarely worked tapestry. The
main floor was one solid mass of female loveliness and manly worth.
There were national dignitaries on a visit to the coast, state
dignitaries from Sacramento, city dignitaries and nature's noblemen
from all over the country at large. The amiable and heavily bearded
countenance of Governor Irwin was conspicuous in one of the boxes. The
buxom and benign countenance of Mayor Bryant, his person clad in a
rigorously accurate full dress costume, was not less noticeable. But
the ladies! Oh, there began the tempest of the soul of any man who
tried to pick out any one who was more pre-eminently attractive than
the other. The eye could travel on forever through the boxes from east
to west, from Mission street to Market, from the main floor to the
roof, and every prospect was pleasing and man was utterly outvied. At
half past two the tall and graceful conductor, Carl Zerrahn, arrayed
in a black frock coat and a pair of lavender colored trousers, stepped
lightly down the gorgeous hill of choristers to the front of the
orchestra, made a profound bow to the audience, then turned and raised
his baton to the chorus. Instantly the 1,800 rose to their feet with a
motion so well timed that it seemed as if the whole south end of the
pavilion was rising. As 1,800 scarlet-covered chorus books were
hoisted into view, the whole amphitheater seemed aflame as if for an
exaggerated incantation scene of Fra Diavolo. Then there was another
motion of the baton, with the precision of a machine fifty bows
scraped upwards over fifty violins and 150 other instruments, and
1,800 voices burst forth in melody.



May Festival, San Francisco, 1878]

From 1870 to 1882 it was my custom to go to Gilroy Mineral Springs for
my vacation. Many and varied were the programmes we gave there each
year, and not an evening of our stay lagged for entertainment. In 1879
I happened to be there at the time of my birthday. There were 150
guests and all entered with zest into a plan to honor me. I was not
aware that any one knew of my forty-third birthday, so unconsciously I
was doing my utmost to serve the many prominent guests and my friends,
George Roop and wife, who were the proprietors of the Springs. Among
the guests were: Mr. John F. Merrill and wife, the Misses Dolly and
Susie Sroufe, Phil McGovern and party, prominent merchants and
families from the neighboring towns of Santa Cruz, San Jose, Gilroy
and Monterey, Mr. and Mrs. George A. Smiley and others from San
Francisco, Isadore Lazinski of business college fame, the Remillards
and Folkers and Cottles and others.

After an early dinner the dining hall was cleared for our
entertainment. The room was decorated with ferns and wild flowers, and
flags and ribbons streamed in graceful folds. The programme consisted
of songs, music of piano, guitar, violin, classic and negro melodies,
etc. It was after I had given "Sarah Walker's Opinion" that Miss Grace
Roop stepped forward and placed a laurel wreath with streaming ribbons
floating gracefully from it upon my head, wishing me a happy birthday.
To my utter surprise, scarcely had she stepped aside when Mrs. Geo.
Smiley of San Francisco came forward and began reading a letter of
thanks and congratulations from the guests who had enjoyed the many
evenings of entertainment to which I had contributed. She then placed
an envelope in my hand containing three $20 bills and one of $5, as a
token of regard and appreciation from the guests. After a short speech
of thanks and the closing song and chorus of Home, Sweet Home, the
eventful day came to its close.

This was one of the many seasons that, away from the cares of life, I
gave others who were afflicted with many ills a little brightness of
song life. My coming was always heralded a week before, and expectant
faces awaited me, knowing I would give entertainment. There was one
poor sufferer who never expected to see his home again. On my arrival
he was not able to leave his room. Being informed that the singing
lady had arrived, he sadly sighed on his pillow, "Then I'll not hear
her, as I had hoped." After the second evening Mrs. Roop related the
story of the young man who was dying slowly and was so disappointed
that he could not hear me sing before he passed away. I was touched by
this appeal. I soon found four good voices among the guests and we
arranged the quartette and practiced together until we could sing with
soft effect. After we had entertained the guests for an hour we all
marched quietly to the cottage of the young man. The moon was at its
height and the time and scene befitting our tribute to the dying soul.
The nurse opened the door quietly. The invalid had fallen asleep in
the back room, the moon shining in at his window in soft light upon
his pale face. With voices subdued we began the song of Home, Sweet
Home. He talked in his sleep, "Yes, I am coming home." He heard, yet
was not enough awake to know the song was sung by earthly voices. At
last, with a deep sigh, he awoke and said, "Nurse, I have been called
home. Shall I hear her sing before I go?" "Yes, I think so." While he
spoke the sign was given and I sang Nearer, My God, to Thee, with the
other voices softly following each verse. "Oh, the angel has come at
last." "Listen, she is singing to you," said the nurse. "Hark, is it
not the angel voices? Is it real? Then I have heard the heavenly song
before I go. Oh, how beautiful it all is and how kind of all these
friends to come to me and make me so happy with their song in my last
hours on earth. Listen," he whispered. "Still another song for me," he
gasped out. Safe in the Arms of Jesus we sang and he was listening
intently as his life was ebbing away. As we closed the hymn, Sweetly
His Soul Shall Rest, he had crossed the River of Life and nothing
remained but the casket, emaciated and cold in death, with the face of
a saint and a smile on his silent lips--gone to his eternal rest to
hear the music of angelic voices around the Throne of God. This is the
cup of cold water our Savior bade us to give. If the gift of the human
voice is sanctified in such work of love, then it is worth while for
every one who can sing and has this glorious gift of song to strive
for the most beautiful use of it known to the art of tone production
so as to bring happiness to the singer and his enwrapt listeners, be
they young or old, rich or poor, sick or dying, in the sanctuary or
for the bridal rejoicings. Vitiate not this gift with the lower
thought of the art of singing. Strive for the highest ideals and your
happiness will be tenfold greater.



The grand Authors' Carnival given for the Associated Charities of San
Francisco, October 18 to October 28, 1880, can well be classed as the
crowning effort of anything attempted upon so large a scale. If there
are still living in San Francisco auditors of the wonderful
performance given by the 2000 participants who were enlisted in the
great work they will corroborate my statement. The wealthy women who
managed these homes financially, were also the officers of them and
had called for aid. It was so beautiful to see the spirit of these
people in completing the arrangements for this carnival. Meetings were
held weekly until their plans had matured and it was agreed
unanimously that the Booths of All Nations should be featured with the
principal works of the world's greatest writers. Charles Crocker was
chosen as treasurer. The books were selected and the booths received
their names from the author of the books. The book that fell to our
lot of actors was Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens. At first our
committee was inclined to refuse to act these queer characters, but we
had given our word to help and we could not go back on that. I asked
Mrs. Grove to let me take the book to see what could be done at this
late hour. All the other booths had begun their rehearsals. It was
fortunate for me that I had traveled much and seen so many odd
characters. As I read carefully I was convinced we could excel in this
very book. I went to the library and got a Dickens book illustrated by
Cruikshank. We called a meeting and found we needed thirty-two
persons. At this meeting I showed the possibilities of these seemingly
ugly characters. Parts were assigned and arrangements made for

The women of the general committee on booths were more than exultant
to think we were willing to take this rejected book. We were
determined to succeed. Our costumes were the art of perfection and we
were a motley crowd of characters from Sairy Gamp to Quilp, from the
Pecksniffs to Mark Tapley. Besides studying the proper characters we
were obliged to have a series of tableaux to represent the different
episodes in the lives of these people. Our book called for thirteen

      1. The Chuzzlewit Family
      2. Martin Jr. arrives at the Pecksniffs
      3. Visiting Miss Pinch
      4. Todgers Boarding House
      5. Truth prevails and Virtue triumphs
      6. Jonas entertains his cousins
      7. Sairy Gamp (the nurse)
      8. Sairy Gamp's corpse
      9. There is nothing he don't know
     10. Miss Pinch's pudding
     11. Sairy Gamp proposes a toast
     12. Pecksniff rebuked by Martin, Senior
     13. The wedding scene

Characters for the booth were as follows:

Martin Chuzzlewit Sr.               Walter H. Smith
Martin Chuzzlewit Jr.               D.M. Van Vliet
Anthony Chuzzlewit                  Scott Elder
Jonas Chuzzlewit                    Geo. L. Underhill
George Chuzzlewit                   Percival J. Keeler
Strong minded woman                 Lucy A.M. Grove
Daughter No. 1                      Miss Mary L. Brown
Daughter No. 2                      Mrs. J. Byles
Daughter No. 3                      Miss Lizzie Duncan
Mary Graham                         Mrs. Scott Elder
Pecksniff                           H.G. Sturtevant
Charity Pecksniff                   Mrs. M.B. Alverson
Mercy Pecksniff                     Alice Van Winkle
Mrs. Todgers                        Mrs. M.S. Williams
Deaf Cousin                         Mrs. C.C. Burr
Sairy Gamp                          Mrs. John Evans
Betsy Prigg                         Mrs. G.B. Holt
Mr. Spottletoe                      John Evans
Mrs. Spottletoe                     Mrs. William Hawley
Tom Pinch                           Miss Ruby Hawley
Mrs. Lupin                          Miss Addie McIntyre
Miss Pinch's pupil                  Miss Eva Reynolds
Mark Tapley                         Frank Harrold
Montague Tigg                       J.D. Brown
Chevy Slime                         S.T. Maguire
Jinkins                             C.W. Sturtavent
John Westlock                       A.F. Price
Chuffy                              Wm. A. Underhill
Bailey                              Geo. A. Mullen
Grand Nephew                        Wm. Romaine
Moadle                              Geo. L. Underhill
Mould                               Wm. A. Underhill

We worked hard for days perfecting our parts. Our first rehearsal was
a forerunner of our complete success. The critics were present at the
dress rehearsal and this is what appeared in the Carnival column of
the San Francisco "Chronicle" next day. "H.G. Sturtevant, assisted by
Mrs. Lucy Grove and Mrs. Blake-Alverson, is conducting the scenes
from Martin Chuzzlewit. Their full dress rehearsal was held last night
at 203 Post street. Tigg and Mark Tapley, the youthful Bailey, Charity
with upturned nose, the sanctimonious Mercy and her Pecksniffian airs
were all made up to perfection. The demure Ruth buttered her
pudding-pan and talked to gentle Tom as a genuine Miss Pinch should.
Jonas played his ace of hearts to the entertainment alike of himself
and friends. Sairy Gamp and the stolid Betsy drank tea and quarreled
with equal industry. The list of thirteen acts and tableaux to be
presented in this booth will illustrate every important episode in the
history of the Chuzzlewits from the arrival of Martin Junior at
Pecksniff's cottage to the period of the latter gentleman's rebuke and
downfall. The series will close with Charity Pecksniff's wedding, Mrs.
Blake-Alverson as Charity."

It would require too much space to present the criticisms of each
character of our booth as they appeared in the papers daily. It is
enough to say that after the carnival was over the committee of the
carnival in thanking us for our valuable services said that had there
been prizes given, the Pecksniffs should have received the first
prize. Each night as the procession started it began with our booth
and as we passed each booth they would join in the motley crowd of
characters until all the booths were in the procession. As we appeared
the people of the different booths would cry out, "Here they come,
here comes Charity Pecksniff," forgetting their own parts when they
saw the funny Pecksniffs leading off the procession. One evening a man
in the audience made a wager that he would make Charity Pecksniff
lower her elevated and scornful nose. As she passed he said: "There is
a twenty dollar gold piece at your feet, pick it up," but she refused
to betray her character and the ruse did not succeed.

One of the features of the carnival was the procession of each booth
to the center of the immense stage where the spot-light was turned on.
It was a most admirable detail. It looked like a long caravan of the
past sweeping onward through the vivid light of the present. The
intense light revealed the endless variety and marvellous beauty of
the costumes. It was understood that the same pageant would be
repeated each night so the people came early to witness the procession
of this immense number of participants winding slowly along until they
reached the stage. When the Pecksniffs arrived on the stage a shout
rent the air each night and we were obliged to remain in the spot
light until the cheering had subsided. It was ten days of notoriety
wholly unexpected by the Pecksniffs. We were only carrying out our
idea of these characters and had become the chief attraction of the
motley procession. While some of the characters had individual
pictures of themselves taken, there should have been large groups
photographed as a permanent reminder of the carnival. It would take
volumes to describe the separate costumes of these well represented
characters. There was but one incident which marred the happiness of
the revelers in the booths, the death of Mr. Biddle Bishop, the Don
Antonio of the Cervantes booth, who was drowned in the Alameda baths.
By his affable manners and intelligence he had endeared himself to all
of his associates who felt as though they were themselves bereaved.
Out of respect to his sudden death the Cervantes booth was closed for
one night. He was also one of the young deacons of Calvary Church and
was a well beloved pupil of mine with a fine baritone voice which was
fast developing and he would have been classed among the singers of
his time. I know of no one more worthy to meet his Maker for he was an
exemplary young man, full of Christian love and charity toward all.
The funeral services were held in Calvary Church, Rev. John Hemphill,
the pastor, spoke eloquently of his late parishioner. The music was
rendered by a female trio club composed of Miss Susie Sroufe, soprano;
Miss Dolly Sroufe, second soprano; Mrs. Blake-Alverson, contralto, and
Professor Scott, organist. His body was sent to his home in
Philadelphia for burial.

[Illustration: Charity Pecksniff in tableaux

Charity Pecksniff
Mrs. Blake-Alverson

H.G. Sturtevant

Henry Van Winkle
Cervantes Booth

Mercy Pecksniff
Alice Van Winkle

Dolly Sroufe
Italian Booth


In looking over the list of those who took part in the Authors'
Carnival only five of the number who made up the Chuzzlewit booth are
living, to my knowledge. The Dickens books booths were larger than the
other books. The tableaux required room to give the proper effect. The
carnival opened Monday evening, September 20, 1880, at 8 p.m. The
programme follows:

     Grand March. Marshals, Messrs. Joe P. Redding, Lent Mix,
     Capt. Chamberlain, Geo. H. Redding, Frank Horton, Mr.
     Putman, Jas. W. Burling, R. Gilmour, Chas. H. Woods, Col.
     Smedberg, W.E. Dean, C.E. Hinkley, Max Freeman. 2,000
     participants. During the march the Grand Military band under
     the direction of Mr. Gustav Hinrichs played:

     1. Marches aux Flambeaux, (a) in C major; (b) in E flat
     major (Meyerbeer).

     2. The Nation's Homage to the Muse of Music. (By the Musical
     Composers booth.)

     3. Overture--The Merry Wives of Windsor.

     4. The Fan Brigade. Twenty-five young ladies.

     5. Crowning of Corinne at the Capitol. (By the French

     6. Carnival Guard.

     7. Selections from Fledermaus (Strauss).

     8. Council of the Gods. (By the Homer booth.)

     9. Finale. Overture from Le Cheval de Bronze. (Auber.)


     After the Grand March each night these tableaux were
     performed and between them were selections of music suitable
     for the tableaux at the different booths. Spanish booth,
     Homer booth, the Egyptian booth.


     Mrs. Jarley's waxworks. Dickens' booth with twenty-eight wax
     figures. Classic funeral, Lytton booth; Fan Brigade,
     twenty-five young ladies. The Abbott Assolizes, Robert
     Bruce. Walter Scott booth.


     (a) Venus rising from the sea.

     (b) Council of the Gods, Homer booth. Egypt's gift to
     America, Egyptian booth. Concepcion de Arguello. Banquet
     scene. Bret Harte booth.


     The second flight of La Valliere. The concert scene. The
     French booth.


     Home Sweet Home. Scenes from the Homer booth, French,
     Egyptian, Walter Scott and the Lytton booths.

It is a well-known fact that a crowded house always produces
enthusiasm among the actors. This proved to be true on the opening
night of this tremendous undertaking carried out for ten nights. The
executive committee left nothing undone to make the old pavilion
attractive. There were international gardens and archery and fan
brigades, restaurant and refreshment department, Italian art gallery
and gardens, loan collections, and camp of the carnival guard. The
grand stage and the carnival bridge with the Shakespeare booth were
the largest divisions on the main and upper floors. Among the booths
were the following: Dickens' booth, pictures from artists and poets'
booth, musical composers' booth, Shakespeare booth, Hawthorne booth,
Arabian Nights' booth, Lord Lytton booth, Bret Harte booth, Charles
Reade booth, Tintern Abbey booth, Jacob Grimm booth, French booth,
Cervantes' booth, Egyptian booth, bon bon booth, floral booth,
executive committee booth.

The fine music of the carnival was under the direction of the
competent leadership of Mr. Gustav Hinrichs, who, with his splendid
military band, gave pleasure to thousands of spectators and
inspiration to the able participants, quickening their steps and
urging them on each night to even better work. The executive committee
spared no pains to make every part attractive to the public. Every
convenience of the spectators was promptly attended to. New
attractions were added from day to day, and rarely has there been an
entertainment given which offered so much genuine amusement for the
price of admission. The grand march was one of the most beautiful
spectacles ever seen. The rose-colored lights thrown on the French
booth, the blue on the Homer, the green on the Lytton produced a most
marvelous effect. On the grand stage four booths participated, the
members of each having the advantage of thoroughly rehearsing their
tableaux in their own booths before appearing. The result was a
splendid triumph for them all. "The Child's Dream of Fairyland," by
the Jacob Grimm booth, was a delicately conceived tableau. The quick
changing of the beautiful representation of "Peg Woffington," which
might properly be termed a pantomimic representation of a drama, was
efficiently executed, the characters all entering into the spirit, to
the delight of the interested spectators. The Alhambra booth, with its
wilderness of eastern magnificence, presented "The Lovers of
Abdallah." "The Minuet de la Coeur" was danced nightly by the French
booth. The Carnival Guard, with their bright dresses, was one of the
nightly attractions. The Egyptian and Arabian Nights' booth presented
a scene from the "Forty Thieves." The closing tableau by the Lord
Lytton booth was a grand success and represented scenes from Bulwer's
"Rienzi." The groupings and arrangement of the various scenes were
exceptionally fine and reflected great credit upon the managers. After
the grand spectacle on the main stage, the different tableaux were
enacted in the separate booths to which the immense crowds gathered.
The Dickens booth, one of the largest, because of the many characters,
was a great attraction. From the "Pecksniffs" to the "Old Curiosity
Shop," grotesque scenes were many. There was the one in which
grandfather and little Nell were the prominent figures, Nell trying to
comfort him in their poverty. Quilp enters and perches himself on a
high chair, leering at them. Quilp hops in at Mrs. Quilp's tea party,
she supposing herself free to entertain a few friends at the time.
Next in order was the meeting of Kit and Barbara; Kit's trial scene;
Sally Brass and the Marchioness discovered eavesdropping by Dick
Swiveller, and her punishment. Later the Marchioness and Dick at
card-playing, followed by Miss Montflather's seminary, and the whole
concluded with the panic of twenty-five young ladies.

The Scottish clubs of the Caledonian booth regaled their listeners
with quaint dancing of reels and strathspeys. The Walter Scott booth,
with bagpipe accompaniment, was an acquisition to the various
representations. The rustic harbor in the Italian booth was complete
and a pleasant retreat. The music and tableaux in this booth were
worthy of the immense audience which crowded the space each night. The
Italian poets and authors were represented here and it was not at all
unusual for Dante, Michael Angelo, Petrarch and Boccaccio to hobnob
over a glass of lemonade with a sprightly fairy from the Jacob Grimm
booth or some other personage diametrically opposite in legend and
dress. The matinees during the week were prepared in many ways for the
amusement of the school children. One special tableau from the
Egyptian booth was the finding of Moses in the bulrushes. Moses was
played by a beautiful baby a few weeks old, and the young people were
ever ready to crowd the pavilion to behold this tableau. There were
many quaint curiosities exhibited in the Old Curiosity Shop, loaned by
the owners. It took much of my time to borrow and arrange the articles
that were from 100 to 200 years old and very rare heirlooms. My aim
was to make the shop as perfect a counterpart of the original as was
possible. The gladiatorial sports, enacted by the 100 picked men of
the Olympic club of San Francisco, was a nightly attraction which
brought out much cheering.

During the carnival week the Dickens booth had several large groupings
and tableaux that created a storm of hilarity and amusement. Mrs.
Jarley and her famous waxworks, Mrs. Jarley, Mrs. Hodgkins herself,
was a sight that would move the latent risibilities of the most morose
Iago. It would be impossible for me to give the harangue of that queer
old lady, the unction, the comical postures would be lost on paper.
She was "sui generis" and must be seen to be appreciated. Her wax
figures were original and pertinent hits on the live issues of the
day. Dr. Tanner created much applause; the new charter 13-15-14 and a
dozen other topics kept the immense audience in a roar from beginning
to end of her harangue and only subsided at the drop of the curtain.
It would take too many chapters to tell of each actor and the nightly
performances. The managers of the booths were wide awake men and women
and the participants vied with each other, especially when their night
came to be prominently grouped on the main stage. Then it was that all
the artistic skill was brought out.

There were distinguished visitors at the opening of this great
carnival. No less a person than President Hayes and wife and party
with General Sherman had prominent places in the private boxes. Mr.
Hallidie and Manager Locks escorted the general and his party to the
booth in the Tintern Abbey where they partook of refreshments. In the
company were Mr. Burchard Hayes, representatives of the New York
Herald and Bulletin, the California Democrat and the Carnival Record.
The women in the company were the Misses Hayes, Elliott, Raymond and
Miss Nellie Smedberry. They had the highest praise for the carnival.
Mrs. Hayes said that it was far better than anything she had ever seen
in the East; that it far eclipsed her anticipation and that it was
sweet to see so many men and women and children busying themselves for
charity's sake. At the Floral Temple the guests were presented with
floral offerings. They closed their visit with partaking of tea in the
International Tea garden presided over by Mrs. Dr. Wanzer and waited
upon by Mrs. Phoebe I. Davis in a becoming Welsh costume. Before
going, General Sherman sent an orderly to Camp Sherman, the
headquarters of the Carnival Guard, with his regards, and regrets that
the stay was so short. The dignitaries of the state and city were
prominent visitors during this season of merriment. Not an evening but
some prominent visitors attended. Mr. Joseph Redding and his fellow
workers, and Mr. Charles Crocker, the treasurer, had a busy time
handling the receipts. The first two nights and afternoons the
receipts were $20,820.20, and daily increasing. The undertaking was an
unbounded success from the start. I do not remember the full amount
but I know it came beyond the expectations of the management. Many
unfortunate men and women and children were made happy and comfortable
by the generosity of the people of San Francisco and other cities over
the land who visited us there and enjoyed the grand spectacle and
praised the ability of our people to inaugurate and successfully carry
out such a laudable enterprise.


Etelka Gerster
Mme. Bowers
Julie Rivé-King




Beginning with June, 1893, I spent a three months' vacation at Deer
Park Inn, six miles from Lake Tahoe, a lovely spot between high
mountains owned by Mr. Scott. At that time he wanted an entertainer
for his guests. I needed a rest from my church and teaching duties and
a change to the high mountain air from the coast fogs and winds. I
spent June visiting the people whose addresses were sent me by Mr.
Scott and in a short time I had about thirty-five of Oakland's
prominent people as my guests during my stay at the springs. On a
beautiful June afternoon the coach stopped before the inn after a most
delightful ride in an open coach. Shortly after our arrival the night
shut off the sight of the beautiful scene. After dinner an hour or two
was spent with my new-found host and hostess. After a refreshing sleep
I arose early and standing on the wide veranda I had an opportunity to
see for the first time the magnificent spectacle before me. I thought
truly "the groves were God's first temples" as I beheld the high
mountains, covered with pines and chaparral, the sparkling waterfalls
dashing down the mountain side; the cottages here and there on the
level parts of the rocky steeps; the long building for the dining
hall; the laundry building, and below the dam, the row of white
buildings and corrals for the cows and horses connected with the dairy
conducted by Mr. Scott.

I was quartered in a section of the hotel which contained sixteen
rooms, a reception parlor and an office. All those who came were
received by me and their names registered and places assigned them in
the hotel, the cottages or tents, as they desired. In the evening I
was expected to have entertainment of some kind for the guests who
assembled in the parlors after dinner. I was rather put to my wits'
end to see how I was to please all these people with nothing at hand
to aid me. It was a new departure as well as a problem. By the
evening coach I sent a letter to Kohler & Chase with this message,
"Send me a Fisher right away C.O.D." Now with the piano assured and
with the aid of the guests who were to arrive we should not fail for
music at least. A log cabin on the side of the hill, complete except
for the roof, was large enough to accommodate a hundred or more
guests. On one end was a high fireplace and mantel, there were old
fashioned chairs and rockers, tables were placed there for the card
players, settees along the sides, and across the corner between two
windows was a place for the piano. After I was informed that I was to
have charge of this place of amusement I soon had willing hands to aid
me and by the time the guests began to arrive all was in readiness. I
had brought along some of my Old Folks concert costumes and books and
other things to help me out. Among the first arrivals was Mrs. Wasley
of Oakland. I had known her before I enlisted her services as pianist.
She could also sing so she was doubly useful.

It was decided that on the Fourth of July there should be a dedication
of the log cabin and a patriotic programme. I was most fortunate in
having as guests Mr. W.S. Goodfellow's family and their guest, Mrs.
Amsden. A more fortunate addition could not have been desired. After
my friends had rested from the journey I unfolded my plan and their
assistance was readily given. We had also as guests Col. Sumner and
wife, Bvt. Col. Parnell and family, Mr. Geo. Metcalf and two sons, Mr.
Johnson from Sacramento, son of Grove L. Johnson, and members from a
number of San Francisco's prominent families. On Saturday night there
were many notables from Sacramento, educators and others. I was in the
highest state of enthusiasm for my Fourth of July oration was to come
from Col. Parnell, the only survivor of the battle of Balaklava. Col.
Sumner was master of ceremonies. A prominent teacher from San
Francisco drilled all the children of the guests. Not one was omitted
who could add an acceptable number to our already excellent program.
Even our estimable housekeeper, Sarah Markwart, proved herself quite a
poet, besides surprising the great number of guests and strangers with
a delicious repast of cake and cream after the exercises were over.
The dining hall was decorated with evergreens, flags and wild flowers.
On each table was a delicious cake, graced with the American flag, and
patriotic emblems were upon the napkins. With all her labor she found
time to contribute her offering and wrote Lines upon the Racket, as
she called it, and when the guests were all seated the verses were
read by one of the teachers:


     High up in the snow-capped Sierras,
       Not far from Tahoe's beautiful sheet,
     Nestling amid the firs and pines,
       Is a beautiful summer retreat.

     There is where tired mortals go
       To rest their brains and weary bones,
     Forgetting about the busy world,
       Contented to be perfect drones.

     Enjoying the beautiful sunshiny days,
       And breathing the purest of mountain air;
     For the time caring for naught
       And saying with the poet, Begone, dull care.

     But as mortals cannot live on sunshine and air,
       In that beautiful canon near the foaming stream,
     Stands the famous Deer Park Inn,
       Midst forest trees forever green.

     There the most epicurean can find
       Food the envy of a king;
     Nowhere such trout in all the world
       And cooked as nice as anything.

     Dear host and hostess, may they live long;
       Health and happiness may they never lack;
     And when they retire from their rural home,
       May they carry with them a well-filled "sack."

     For none so watchful could be on earth,
       To please and satisfy each guest,
     As they have proved to be to all;
       Their fame will extend from East to West.

     There's another one must not be forgotten,
       The life of the camp, full of laughter and song;
     Kind words and smiles for every one,
       Happy may be her life and long,
     For Mrs. Blake-Alverson and her song.

     The dear Log Cabin on the hill,
       With its huge fireplace and cheery fire,
     Where met each eve both old and young,
       Mother and daughter, son and sire,

     To hear the piano's tuneful notes
       And raise their voices loud in song;
     To "trip the light fantastic toe"
       And strive the pleasures to prolong.

     Where could you find such beautiful girls,
       Such as the poet always sings,
     Gentle and kind, courteous and mild,
       We pronounce them angels, all but the wings.

     We regretfully leave such glorious scenes;
       But as all things must come to an end,
     We part for the time with reminiscences sweet,
       Resolving here next summer to spend.

     When at last we all arrive at St. Peter's Gate
       In the Sweet bye and bye,
     And when he calls the heavenly roll
       May he not pass us by.

These lines caused much merriment and were heartily applauded. I wish
to pay tribute here to a most noble woman who, left with three sons,
was happily doing her best. She was a fine cook and housekeeper in her
own home and each summer for three months she came to cook at the inn.
I never ate finer meals. There were Tahoe trout every day that would
fill an epicure's heart with delight, and venison, hot rolls, muffins
and waffles, cake, puddings and creams all splendidly prepared. We all
knew with what art Sarah prepared the food, but we were not prepared
to get in our menu, Lines on the Racket, which made a great hit.

The services began at two o'clock and consisted of opening remarks of
welcome by Col. Sumner, piano number of patriotic airs by Mrs. Amsden,
America by the guests assembled, patriotic exercises by the children
of the guests drilled by one of the teachers, and the oration by Col.
Parnell, which was in part as follows:

"Men whose lives are spent in the military or naval service of their
country are not, as a rule, accustomed to public speaking. It is
actions, not words that are demanded of them, those actions, properly
conducted and carried out being the safety and security of the nation.

"When I perceive that many of those assembled here to do honor to the
day we celebrate (away up in this quiet and delightful mountain
retreat--the Switzerland of America, free from the noise, turmoil and
fog of the city) are prominent educators of the nation's children, I
find my embarrassment increased lest a misapplied word, or misplaced
verb might cause my everlasting disgrace; for above all people whom I
honor and whose respect and esteem I appreciate, it is those devoted
men and women who give their time and their talents to the education
of the young; and to whose care, fathers and mothers, in unstinted
confidence, are willing to entrust their loved ones in preparing them
for the battle of life.

[Illustration: (The fireplace and the cabin are from paintings in oil
by Mrs. Blake-Alverson)

Col. Richard Parnell
In 1893 the Only Survivor of the Battle of Balaklava


Dedicated July 4, 1893]

"When our republic was formed, the wisdom of its founders manifested
itself in many ways. One in particular strikes us very forcibly in
contrast with our sister republics in Europe and even on this
continent. We have no legacy of royalty, no legacy of hereditary or
titled aristocracy that forever menace, and threaten the peace and
stability of other republics; the highest office in the gift of the
people becomes the servant of the people, hence we have the stability
of a government founded by the people, of the people, and for the
people, and although some thirty odd years ago the aristocracy of
Europe tried hard to destroy our republic, we are today stronger than
ever, a united country of sixty-five millions of people, whose
stalwart yeomen from Maine to Oregon and from the Lakes to the Gulf,
are ready and willing to take the field at a moment's warning, against
any foreign enemy whose temerity might prompt them to attack Old

"I speak advisedly when I say this for the war of the rebellion was
not confined, strictly speaking, to the people of the north and the
people of the south alone; the people of the north were fighting, not
only to maintain the unity and integrity of the United States, but,
much like the war of the revolution, they had to contend against
foreign foes in the moral and substantial aid given by France and
England to the south in its strenuous efforts to disrupt the unity of
the country founded by our forefathers, they (of the north) were
contending against the intrigue of the emperor of the French, whose
hostile armies had invaded the soil of our sister republic south of
the Rio Grande, for the purpose of establishing a monarchy in that
country, and blighting it with the titled and depraved aristocracy of
the French empire, as it then existed.

"We have ample proof to warrant the statement, that had the south been
successful in establishing a separate form of government, it was the
purpose of the French emperor to seize Louisiana, Texas and New
Mexico, and together with the aristocracy of England, to destroy the
so-called Southern Confederacy and thus, at one swoop, wipe out a
nation they were ostensibly trying to establish; for under the
contingent conditions mentioned, England's policy was to seize
Virginia, the Carolinas and other southern states bordering on the
Atlantic. To the everlasting credit of the masses of the English and
the French people be it said, that they had not part in, or sympathy
with, the efforts of the few political demagogues of the nations
mentioned in their efforts to aid in the destruction of this beautiful
country of ours, the most free and independent on the face of the

"My friends, from the very earliest period of American history the log
cabin has been the cradle of our greatest men. Lincoln, Grant and a
host of others began life in a log cabin. Our churches and our school
houses, the bulwarks of our nation's strength and greatness, began to
shoot out their branches of education from the 'little old log cabin.'
The magnitude of this great country is like the rough gem in the hands
of the lapidary. He takes no credit for its possession, but he does
take credit for what skill he may exercise in making it beautiful and
more valuable. So with the American people, it is left to them to so
exercise their skill, mentally and physically, in improving and
beautifying the gem that has so generously been bestowed upon them by
the Great Creator, that its lustre and brilliancy may shed its light
of freedom and intelligence over every quarter of the globe.

"Out here in California the pioneers work has only commenced, thanks
to the patient, enduring, uncomplaining and vigorous work of our
little army, the way has been cleared of the relentless foe of the
white man, barbarism lies buried beneath the blood-stained graves of
many a brave heart that wore the honored blue of Uncle Sam's (pioneer)
soldiers, then follows the sturdy citizen pioneer, as exemplified here
today, where our worthy host and hostess have so successfully improved
and beautified this rough gem of the Sierras following out the
traditions of the American nation, by the erection of that particular
mark of American thrift and enterprise, this little log cabin that
crowns the 'Acropolis' and in which today we joyfully celebrate the
nativity of our republic."

The oration was followed with Vive l'America, sung by the writer,
accompanied by Mrs. W.S. Goodfellow. Dedication of the cabin followed.
The whole performance closed with the Star Spangled Banner sung by the
writer, the guests all joining in the chorus. After the ceremony we
adjourned to the dining hall. By the time the banquet was over night
was approaching and shortly after the evening exercises began. The
young men had cut down a pine tree and split the logs. The boys and
girls had gathered sacks of pine cones, stacking these pine sticks
over the cones, and it looked as though we were making a defense. All
the guests were assembled on the porches of their cabins and at the
log cabin and as soon as darkness came these cones were lighted and
fire crackers, pin wheels, rockets and red light flashed forth, a
never-to-be-forgotten sight of lights and shadows. The tall pines rose
in the background like dark sentinels guarding the happy spirits in
their nightly revels. It was after ten o'clock when the last shower of
rockets went up and lighted the heavens with the beautiful gold and
silver showers, a befitting close for such an eventful day of



In the first part of May my son, William, moved from Alameda to
Oakland and I left the Thirteenth street home and joined his family at
324 Tenth street, in one of the Tutt flats. We had hardly got settled
when in September my son was stricken with typhoid fever. He was taken
to the sanitarium. I was obliged to move to 212 Eleventh street and
begin anew my music and art. I remained there two years and over. I
then moved to 116 Eleventh street where I found an ideal studio in the
Abbott residence. There I remained until the earthquake, after which I
moved to my present abode. This was on October 1, 1907. From 1903 I
continued my voice teaching and have been successfully teaching in
Oakland since. Since my affliction I have sung on several special
occasions, twice on July Fourth and also for the G.A.R. I will sing
for them as long as I can sing acceptably, and as long as I am able to
sing they will have me. We have grown old together and I suppose no
Daughter of the Regiment has ever been so loyally loved as I have been
all these years. No joyful occasion is complete until I have been
bidden. I have been invited to the Memorial Day exercises,
installations, banquets, socials and yearly gatherings. I began when
they marched away in 1861 and our concerts were many to supply the
things they needed, when disaster overtook them, when they returned
wounded. We visited the hospitals, buried the dead and brought comfort
to the widow and orphan. My duty and loyalty is not finished until I
have done what I can for every brave comrade that shouldered the gun
and marched in the ranks of the army of the U.S.A.

In 1902 I greeted the new year sitting in an invalid's chair. On
September 1 of the preceding year I sustained a compound fracture of
the hip and thigh bone through the inattention of a conductor on a San
Pablo avenue car, who started the car before I had time to get off.
For four months I passed through the different phases of such an
accident. My attending physician, Dr. J.M. Shannon, and my faithful
nurses at last brought me to a point where I was enabled to begin life
again. Only those who go through such an experience are able to
understand what it means to lose the use of any part of the body and
be disabled after many years of perfect health. To be deprived of my
ability to walk and the use of my body as of old, words are not
adequate to describe the dreadful change, knowing that in all the
coming years of my life I would have this burden. The stoutest heart
could not but feel the weight of such an affliction. Had it not been
for my hopeful disposition, my pluck and energy to overcome obstacles,
combined with clear reasoning, life would have looked drear enough.
With it all I had much to be grateful for. Such an outpouring of
Christ-like humanity! I, the recipient of all this unexpected and
spontaneous expression of benevolence from friends and strangers
alike. I never knew before the part I had taken in the community.
Having lived and sung for over sixty years I found I had made friends
unnumbered. Friends and people whom I never knew called or wrote their
heartfelt sorrow for my affliction and hoped my injuries were not as
serious as reported. The ladies of the Ebell and other clubs and
societies made daily inquiries after my condition and sent many tokens
of kindness to me during all those weary weeks of pain and

I was deeply affected one morning of the first week of my accident. My
nurse was summoned to the door by the ringing of the bell and on
opening the door before her stood five of Oakland's first citizens and
one of them inquired, "How is the afflicted singer this morning?"
Whereupon the nurse assured them that I was doing very well. They
received the news with evident delight. When they turned to leave she
asked, "Whom shall I say called?" "Oh, just say her friends who pass
in the morning." Who would not justly feel grateful for such deep
respect and appreciation from neighbors and strangers? In sweeping my
doorsteps and sidewalk and attending to the lawn and flower beds
before my studio to make the home look bright and cheerful I often saw
gentlemen pass early in the morning going to the city. But I never
dreamed that while I was getting things in order for the day, arising
early so as to escape notice at my rough work, that I had any part in
their attention as they were men of business. But it is evident that
they saw who the spirit was among the blossoms although I never
dreamed that I was observed. Following that first morning these five
gentlemen called often to inquire into my condition.

It had been my habit to keep a diary of facts and engagements since
the year 1870 and later on when I began teaching vocal music and
filling engagements I was obliged to keep a strict account of my
transactions so as to be upright and strict in my dealings with the
community. Since undertaking the work of writing my memoirs I find I
have more than enough for three good sized volumes of interesting
history and life-experiences that come to those who are forced by
circumstances unlooked for to pass through such a checkered career as
mine. If it were possible to tell it all, perhaps it might be an
incentive for other women left alone as I was, to do likewise. It
might be a stepping stone for a greater effort in life and receive the
plaudits of "Well done!" from those who have felt your influence and
respected a noble and self-sustaining woman. What more could anyone
ask? This great outpouring of tender solicitude, sympathy and charity
toward me in my great calamity, shall always be an oasis in the wide
desert of life that will make me return in my memory as long as life
shall last, and rest and be refreshed, feeling it was God's way to
find the bread that had been cast upon the waters through the years of
my active life in every city where I have ever lived. To all who were
thus kind I have built a lasting monument of gratitude that will not
crumble in the years yet remaining in my life. I feel I must make some
acknowledgment to all for these acts of kindness toward me in my
distress, which was so unnecessarily brought upon me, I am sorry to
say, by careless inattention of an unknown conductor.

This accident closed the usefulness of an energetic life. For sixty
years I had been active in many lines of endeavor such as drawing,
writing, painting, sewing and singing. The whole year of 1902 I was
convalescing and trying to regain my strength and learning to walk. It
was slow work. The expenses were going on and I could not be without a
nurse. I was unable to teach the pupils that I had before the
accident. In my planning I decided to paint and etch on linen. "I can
make pretty cards of all kinds, why not do something like this, try at
any rate. It will help me pass the time and I'll be happy in doing
this." So my dear nurse listened to my plan and we got everything in
readiness for business. There was never a day without some callers. I
hunted my art books for all kinds of favors, birthday favors,
engagement cards, club cards for whist, etc., and in a short time I
had a fine collection to suit the most fastidious society dame. The
first one who got a glimpse of the pretty things was the dear Mrs.
Robert Watt, a lifelong friend who had been unceasing in her kindness
from the first day of the accident. When she beheld all that I had
accomplished she was amazed at my ability and the pluck shown by my
making these dainty articles with pen and brush while sitting in bed.
She immediately made her selections to the amount of twelve dollars'
worth and ordered as much more. It was soon noised about and I had no
lack for orders. Mrs. W.S. Goodfellow, Mrs. William Angus, Mrs. John
Valentine and the prominent ladies of the Church of the Advent, pupils
and their parents came and ordered various cards and linen etchings.
The Woman's Exchange sent me word to place articles on sale there
which they would dispose of for me. For this kind act I am indebted to
Miss Helen Weidersheim and her sister, Mrs. Gruenhagen, who had
informed the ladies of the Exchange of the dainty work I had done. By
these acts of kindness I was enabled to keep my nurse and obtain the
necessary comforts of the sick room. Miss Pauline Peterson, Mrs. Henry
Wetherbee, Mr. and Mrs. James Melvin, Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Goodfellow,
Mrs. Derby and family, Mrs. Charles Farnham, Mrs. C. Webb Howard, Mrs.
Charles Lloyd, Mrs. Charles Kellogg and family, Mrs. Folger, Mrs.
Mauvais, Mr. John Britton, Thomas Magee, Miss Elizabeth English,
Calvary Church friends, C.O.G. Millar, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Cushing were
friends indeed. It seems they had me upon their minds constantly. If I
had been a relative more affectionate attention could not have been
bestowed. Besides these good friends there were others who came to
cheer me and from whom I received many offices of kindness that were
touching and fully appreciated. No one came to see me from the first
day whose names were not recorded and kept sacred by me until now. It
were not possible to write all the names. I have not the space allowed
by the printer for I have many important facts still to tell.

From September 1, 1901, to December 31, 1901, I received 1,666 calls
from friends and strangers alike, young and old, and not one came
empty handed. My rooms were redolent with the odor of floral tributes
that were constantly supplied by some kind friend or stranger. I
cannot pass over an episode that occurred March 29, 1902. I had passed
a restless day and about four o'clock in the afternoon Mrs. James
Melvin came in and brought an offering of fruit from her father's
ranch. During our conversation she thought I looked tired and I told
her I was. I tried to sit up and I could not find a chair that suited,
although I had several sent from the stores. I saw she was distressed
about it but said nothing more and went home. About nine o'clock of
the same evening the bell rang. I had already retired. Soon I heard
voices and in a few moments Mr. and Mrs. Melvin stood before me,
smiling, and between them was a fine bamboo chair. After Mr. Melvin
came home from the city and while they were at dinner, Mrs. Melvin had
told him of my trouble in obtaining the proper chair. They lived on
Grove and Nineteenth streets and I on Thirteenth street between
Webster and Harrison streets. It was too late to have the chair sent
and these two kind-hearted people carried it all that distance to my
studio, and there it was for me to use. It was not possible for me to
hold back my tears at such a token of sympathy and affection. I'll
never forget how dear they looked, like two happy children bringing a
favorite toy to the sick child in the fairy stories we all know and
teach to our children. After I could compose myself I begged the nurse
to let me get up and try the new chair and when I was ready the
whole-souled James lifted me and placed me in the chair. Oh, what a
comfort at last! I could sit up without weariness and I was loath to
go once more to my couch. I begged just for one hour more and I
promised I'd sing for them. They looked astonished, not thinking I
could sing. I said, "listen" and sang three verses of Annie Laurie.
When I got through there was not a sound. They were sitting there like
statues and with tears in their eyes. I saw the situation and let out
a merry laugh, saying, "Was it then so bad you had to cry?" They said
the singing was so far away it was not like an earthly voice. Knowing
what I had suffered and was still suffering it struck them as simply
miraculous that my voice was so pure and clear and they were stilled
and strangely affected. It did not seem real to have me sing like
that. So the evening ended and we were all made happy by doing what we
could in return for one another's kindness. Mrs. Melvin was a good
friend and a generous woman and I mourn with her family at her sudden
taking away which came as a shock to all who loved her.


In 1852
In 1874
In 1864
In 1905
In 1880




Since my accident I have not been able to go much in the outer world
because of my inability to walk or ride in the street cars. But I
spent an evening in the year 1907 that I think will be worth the

Persons who think and study a great deal need an occasional respite
from the drive of daily labor. So thought fourteen of our Oakland
doctors who agreed to meet once a month, talk over important cases,
read short papers on special topics and enjoy a social time at the
banquet table. Dr. J.M. Shannon, my family physician, was included in
the membership, and it was his turn to entertain the guests at his
home in East Oakland. During my convalescence I had promised to do him
a favor any time for his great kindness to me in my long sickness, and
my appreciation of his skillful art in my case which made it possible
for me to walk, even if on crutches. While I was living on Eleventh
street, Dr. Shannon came in one morning to ask for the favor. He
unfolded his plan, giving me a list of the members of the club and,
because I was so handy with my pen and brush, wanted fourteen place
cards for his banquet which was to take place in two weeks at his
home. His idea was to have something different. The cards were to
represent the different specialties of the physicians, and I was
somewhat bewildered with the subjects he gave me. It was a new
departure in art for me.

I realized I had to put my best efforts to the test to make a complete
success out of a knotty problem. I spent a week in perfecting my
sketches. After completing the cards, I called up Dr. Shannon to come
and see if all was to his satisfaction. I placed the cards before him
on the desk and awaited his approval. It was some minutes before he
spoke. He looked up and said quietly, "I guess I'll have these doctors
surprised this time," and he enjoyed the anticipation of the fun

"Now you have done this O.K.," he said. "I still have another favor to
ask. I want some music and I want you to sing. I will also have some
instrumental music so you will not get too tired, for I want music
every fifteen minutes between the courses during the dinner. The
guests are not to know who the singer is, and I will see that you get
there after they have passed into the dining room."

"All right," I said, "the music will also be provided, so you can
rest assured that my part of the programme will be carried out to your
liking and the pleasure of your guests."

I selected familiar ballads that most men like to hear if they like
music at all, and my accompanist, Miss Juliet Maul, prepared the
instrumental part, and as she was also a good second soprano, we
prepared two duets that always please, and we had a programme worthy
of our host. When we arrived at the appointed hour the dinner was;
going on and, as we were given the signal, Miss Maul began playing a
bright, pleasing, instrumental number, which was such a surprise and
also complete departure from the usual arrangement that all
conversation ceased until after the number had been given, and then
great applause came from the dining room. At the stated time Miss Maul
and I sang, Oh, That We Two Were Maying, which was highly appreciated.
It was not until I had sung my song, Because I Love You Dear, that
they began to wonder who the young lady singer was. Doctor smiled and
assured them that they would find out later. He started them to
guessing, and he was highly pleased at his joke. After the first
number had been played the folding door which had been closed was
quietly slid back by a unanimous request. Evidently the music was a
genuine surprise and a happy addition to the excellent menu they were
enjoying. After having successfully given nine numbers, the dinner
came to an end the curiosity had become intense--they wanted to greet
the singer, so they started up the song, She's a Jolly Good Fellow,
and I joined in the chorus when they had finished. I did not appear.
In a few minutes they began, So Say We All of Us, to the tune of
America. That was too much for my patriotic nature, so I began and
sang alto until I had reached the dining hall and appeared in the
doorway with crutch and came before the august presence of our
doctors. In one moment they arose with glasses in hand, and one of the
older members proposed a toast to Oakland's sweetest singer, Mrs.
Blake-Alverson. After I had acknowledged their compliment by my bowed
head, one of the doctors handed me a glass, and I responded. I said,
"We will now drink to our doctors of Oakland." After they were seated,
one of the oldest of the doctors asked me how I accounted for the fact
that I retained at the age of seventy-one the voice of a woman of
twenty-five. After my satisfactory answers to a number of important
questions, they informed me that I had done this evening for their
entertainment and great pleasure an act that had never been known in
medical history before. Those present voiced the remarks with hearty
appreciation and continued applause.

The third surprise of the evening took place after the doctors had
left the table and adjourned to the large hall and drawing room. When
they had all assembled, the lights were turned on and before them
stood in a row like statues their wives, ready to be received, with a
smile on their faces, the only visible indication of life in them.
They reminded me of Mrs. Jarley's wax figures, standing in a perfect
line while the demonstrator illustrates their beauty and natural
abilities as "first-class wax figgers." It was too bad the camera
missed the expression on the faces of those fourteen men, dressed in
full evening attire, and staring at the faces of their wives, it
seemed to me, for ten minutes or more. At last one of them broke the
spell by quickly stepping over to his wife and calling her by name. He
kissed her and said, "I am delighted to see you." The others followed
suit. The next half hour was spent in telling how they managed to keep
the secret, and to so arrange matters that in the future the ladies
would be included in the select gatherings of the medicos. The next
hour was spent in listening to some clever speeches and interesting
papers, which were very amusing and teemed with jokes and sharp hits
of sarcasm. At the close of the reading I was once more called upon to
repeat some of the songs that I had sung for them. We all gathered in
a spacious music room where for an hour I sang for them their favorite
selections, closing with "Home, Sweet Home," in which all who could
joined in the chorus. Thus ended one of the most delightful evenings
spent in the hospitable home of Dr. and Mrs. Shannon.

The members of the club who were present were: Drs. E.M. Keys, A.H.
Pratt, M. Lewis Emerson, A. Liliencrantz, J.M. Shannon, Samuel H.
Buteau, J.W. Robertson, E.J. Boyes, O.D. Hamlin, Francis Musser,
Herbert N. Rowell, Guy Liliencrantz, I. Frank Lilly and Chas. A.

It was in the small hours of the morning before the last auto wound
its way down the spacious drive towards Oakland.


Mrs. Margaret C. Pierce
Mrs. Sarah Watkins-Little
Mrs. Marriner-Campbell
Mrs. Blake-Alverson
Mrs. Helen Wetherbee




My experience in developing and placing the human voice extends from
1882 to 1912, thirty years. During that time I have had a wide and
varied experience with men and women and girls and boys of all ages.
The perfecting of the art of tone production in each individual case
varies with each student. No two persons can be taught the general
principles of the art only. The individual must be studied and the
voice analyzed as a doctor diagnoses a special case. Every nation has
also its peculiar way of using the voice in singing folk or national
songs. As we have in the bay cities a cosmopolitan population, it has
been my opportunity to study the different nationalities that have
applied to me for private instruction. The Italian and Spanish are the
most susceptible students. They live in the realm of music from
childhood. It is a part of their existence; they seem to have a
natural interpretation of songs and singing. After the first placement
of the voice I have had only to lead and give them the picture of the
work before them and my task was a pleasant hour spent in portraying
the poetical application of sentiment to their own individual
understanding. The English, Scotch and Welsh voices are known for
their fine tone production, unusually strong voices, clear, high and
sympathetic, especially the Welsh female voice. They sing high, most
of them, and clear as the meadow lark. The Germans sing with
enthusiastic spirit and most of them with Wagnerian effect, hearty and
robust in their chorus singing, a loud tone quality is their aim. It
is the teacher's art to bring out and to modify all these extreme
faults and change all these varied ideas and different accents of
speech into a harmonious blending and acceptable whole.

I have been obliged to reject many applicants for varied reasons. I
have always felt sorry for those with good voices and without means or
without encouragement at home. Many a fine natural voice has been lost
to the musical world by being ridiculed by the very ones who should
have given a helping hand. Had these parents known what music has done
for the world and for individual beings they would have realized the
advisability of giving their children a musical education. I have
found the French pupils the most difficult to control in regard to the
nasal quality of tone production. They use the nasal cavities
universally in their speech and I never was quite satisfied in my mind
about the tone quality. Being of the Bel Canto school, aiming for pure
melody and the best tone to be produced by the human voice, I was
never satisfied with the result and yet I have heard French artists
who were splendid singers. But the tone was always too high in
placement for my full appreciation. The American voices were
satisfactory almost without exception. Instability was the great
fault; they have not enough earnest concentration in their work and
soon discontinue or change to other teachers and many of them who
started out with a full determination to be singers have done nothing
for themselves. Several of my pupils were negroes and while I found
rare voices among them they were never in a financial position to do
much for themselves. One of these had a rich contralto voice of the
finest touch and was a fine pianist. Another had a still more
beautiful voice but, unfortunately, her husband was not musical and
she sang little after her marriage. This is a real tragedy.

I have often wondered why are we given these gifts and yet denied the
opportunity to develop them. I find the rarest voices among the poor
and middle classes. In relating to me many of the episodes of his
travels around the world, my son told me of the children, eight, nine
and ten years old, of Italy playing on the street corners the arias of
the operas on their violins with skillful and artistic fervor to the
astonishment of the travelers who visit their ports. It is a natural
gift, music is their life. There are few places in the civilized world
that have not produced singers of repute. Yet we have two nations that
we never expect to hear from in this respect, for it is a known fact
that the Japanese and Chinese are wholly unmusical. Five discordant
tones compose their scale, unmusical and untrue chords, or, one might
say, discord.

Knowing this, imagine my surprise when in January 1897, I received a
call from several women of the Chinese mission. With Miss Mabel Hussy
I had assisted in giving the Chinese pupils of the Presbyterian
mission Sunday school an entertainment on New Year's eve. I sang them
a Christmas story of Robin's return, descriptive of the coming home of
the sailor boy, with the picture of an open fireplace, the singing of
the children's carols, the wreaths of holly, the grandmother at the
spinning wheel, the mother tearfully placing the evergreens on the
wall and pictures, thinking all the while of her boy. At last the
Christmas bells chimed the midnight hour to be followed with the
raising of the latch and the happy return of the long expected son
with the snow upon his hair. All this was listened to with rapt
surprise as I carefully articulated the words so nothing of the story
be lost. I accurately scanned the faces as I sang and I saw I had
opened a new world to them. At the close of the number I was roundly
applauded by these 50 old and young Chinese students, who, well
groomed and in their best suits, sat prim and proper. I little thought
that among my auditors was a young man, about seventeen years of age,
the servant of Mrs. Zeno Mauvais, intently listening and satisfying
his long cherished desire to become a singer. This boy was the first
Chinese born in Watsonville, Cal. When he was small his parents
removed to several smaller towns near by but, not liking any of them,
they eventually settled in Ripon and started a Chinese laundry. Lee
Tung Foo, or Frank Lee, as he was called, went to the Mission Sunday
school and with the rest of the pupils learned to sing some of the
Gospel hymns in his way. He wanted to go to day school but his father
would not consent and placed him in one of the hotel kitchens to wash
dishes. This did not suit the young man and after a short time he ran
away to secure an education. He managed to get to Fresno where he
became cook and servant in the family of Prof. S.B. Morse. He was so
well liked that he was assisted in his desire for an education and
through the kindness of the daughter of the house began piano lessons.

After some years he went to Oakland and was employed by Mrs. Mauvais.
Having learned all of his notes he was able to read the Gospel hymns
and play them on the piano. Because he was continually at the reed
organ in the mission the other boys made fun of him and called him
Crazy Frank. After having heard me sing it occurred to him that I was
the very person to teach him and he importuned Mrs. Mauvais to find me
and she and her friends came to ask me to teach this boy the art of
singing. I only laughed at them as I was not particularly fond of the
Chinese and never employed them in any way. I refused three times,
explaining that it was useless to undertake such a task. I expected
nothing more to come of it, but in a week I was asked once more and
was told the boy was broken-hearted with disappointment so I
unwillingly consented. I was obliged to teach him after his work was
done and some times he came as late as nine o'clock, tired and unfit
to sing, but nothing daunted, he was there.

At last I believed that I might be able to achieve something in the
development of the Chinese that would be altogether new in the musical
line. Because I have succeeded with "the impossibility" (as he put it)
I have placed the teaching of this Chinese as one of my greatest
achievements in the art of vocal culture. He had the most indomitable
will and determination to succeed, and he was the most faithful and
conscientious and upright pupil I ever taught. It would require many
pages to tell of the difficulties in his pathway. His people were
enraged at me for leading their son away to be like all the "white
devils" of America. I had to hide him for a year. He was the oldest
son of the family and was obliged to marry before any of the other
members could marry and he appealed to me to help him. Mr. Waterman of
the Berkeley high school allowed him to come there and the Misses
Shaw, teachers, took him into their home where he did their work and
went to school. When the year was over the way was once more clear for
him to take up his music. He had not lost anything as he had joined a
church choir and sang bass. When the school closed he was given a fine
recommendation as a model pupil and all the teachers parted with him

[Illustration: LEE TUNG FOO

Pupil in the 90's]

After I changed my studio to Thirteenth street he worked for the
family of Mr. H. Stedman of Alameda, manager of the Zeno Mauvais music
store and went to school in Alameda. Later he worked for the Southern
Pacific Company at Wright's station. This made another break in his
progress for over a year. He began in earnest when he returned in 1903
and he steadily forged ahead. While he was away he studied and
pondered over all the former instructions and with the aid of a pitch
pipe he soon was busy at his songs and exercises. He returned in 1904
ill, discouraged to the breaking point. After my accident I was much
exercised as to the outcome of all these years of preparation. He
was ready to start out as a singer but his heart failed him at last
and he became disconsolate. He could not work and had no money. I saw
the situation was desperate and took things into my own hands. As a
favor Mr. Carlton of the Empire Theater, Oakland, called and heard him
sing October 24, 1904. He doubted his being a Chinese. I assured him
he was. "Well, certainly he shows his training," was the reply. He was
immediately engaged. He had a list of seventy-five songs, sacred and
secular, of which he could be proud, and he sang them in English,
German and Latin. For three months we had the excellent assistance of
Director J.H. Dohrmann at the piano and twice a week we had a full
rehearsal. By the time the engagement was secured we were ready for
it. He opened at the Empire, January 30, 1905, with unbounded success
and received many floral tributes from the pupils and friends. He sang
a week, beginning February 13, at the Lyceum, San Francisco. On
February 20 he was engaged by the Savage Opera Company in San Jose,
February 27 in Sacramento and March 13 in Fresno. He went to Portland,
Oregon on March 30 for three months and April 12 was in Astoria. I was
in constant touch with him. In 1908 he sang in Brussels and later in
London in the great Coliseum for 15,000 people in aid of the
Typographical Union of Printers and Engravers. I received a letter
from his manager who assured me I had reason to be proud of my singer
for he was making good and had many friends among the theater goers
and managers of the different circuits.

Before going abroad Lee Tung Foo had sung in all the larger cities of
the United States. During all these years he had much difficulty in
his art and in addition had to do all his booking single-handed. After
filling out his work in 1911 he came to California for the first time
in six years. He sang one week only at the Empress theater in San
Francisco and having an engagement of forty-four weeks on the Eastern
circuits soon left. When they were completed he came once more to his
home in the early part of 1912. After his week in Oakland he sang all
through the south and interior and later in Oregon and British
Columbia, returning in September to fill out the engagement at the
Empress, then again go on the Eastern circuit.

I have necessarily given more space to this special pupil and were it
possible to state accurately all the circumstances in his life you
would all agree with me that he deserved credit and recognition in a
musical way and proved himself a hero during the years he was
perfecting himself. He has never had any other instruction than mine
and has been true to the first placement of voice and development in
the art of singing. He goes to hear the best artists and takes his
lessons from their work; sends his criticisms of them all marked upon
the program to me for approval; keeps his ears and eyes open to all
advancement in his art; has acquired a graceful and acceptable
presence and personality on and off the stage. Musicians all like him;
his managers praise him and give him work as an acknowledgment of his
ability to entertain. I have still a circumstance to relate which
makes his singing the more marvelous and marks an "O.K." on my efforts
to make a Chinese with a dull, unmelodious, unmusical voice succeed.
Of course he never had the clear, ringing tone that is in the gift of
the white race and he could not always get the vowel sounds to suit me
and I attributed the fact to his being a Chinese, so I was obliged to
be satisfied with the result obtained. He made me a promise when he
came home in 1911 that he would not sing for any one until I had heard
him after all these years, for if he did not please me I would not let
him sing. I was trying his tones and found he had developed wonderful
deep and full tones and in the second series as high as E flat, but he
could not take high F to my surprise after having two other F's so
perfect in their tone color. I was so dissatisfied, I said, "What is
the matter that you do not take this note?" and as I spoke I noticed
he kept the tongue close to the front of his teeth. I said, "Why do
you use the tongue like that," and he said, "I have always done so,"
and I was most impatient at that when I am so particular with
pronunciation in a pupil. After an examination I found to my surprise
that he had all these years been tongue tied. I simply stared at him
with astonishment; to think that it was possible for any one to sing
as well as he did with this affliction. I said, "Now, Frank, you have
faithfully done everything I ever asked you. Will you do one more
thing for me?" He replied, "Will it make me sing?" I said, "Yes, will
you do it?" In an instant I had his promise and the next day his
tongue was released and on the fifth day he had his high F. He tells
me he can now sing it with power and hold it as he should. There is
nothing left to be done by me in a technical way. He is now a singer
and not a bad one.

[Illustration: LEE TUNG FOO

Pupil in the 90's]



In taking up this subject, it is not my purpose to give lessons in
voice culture on paper. There is, of course, but one way to sing and
that is the right way. Every teacher thinks his is the right one. This
can be proven only by the result upon the pupil. Does every teacher
understand the training of the voice and can he impart his knowledge
to the pupil and enable him to acquire a perfect mastery over the tone
production and management of sound in singing with this invisible
instrument? Can he surmount the technical difficulties and the
mechanism of the vocal organs? The inner consciousness is the only
safe guide for teacher and student.

The strictest attention should be directed in the beginning by all
students to the exercise of forethought, deliberation and mental
energy, attributes which are of the greatest importance, more so
perhaps than physical strength. A conscientious singer is rewarded
after arduous work by gaining the power of emotional expression which
the human voice possesses beyond any other musical medium. There are
two distinct branches used in the study of the voice--the technical
and esthetic. The mechanism and healthy production of the voice and
its development belong to the first work. Taste and feeling and a
sympathetic and sensitive nature, combined with a cultivated musical
organization, a poetic temperament and a pleasing personality, with
magnetic fire capable of holding listeners enthralled, are of the
other work.

In my long career in song I have especially noted the appearance of a
singer. My first impressions have usually remained. In justice to the
fine contralto, Schumann-Heink, I will relate my first impressions of
her in song. Mr. L. Sherman of Sherman & Clay sent me, to my great
delight, two tickets for the opera of "Lohengrin." I had never heard
the opera nor the singer. When I heard her sing her role, her first
notes so astonished me I just held my breath, I could not realize the
voice of a woman, she sang like a baritone. The opera was given in
German, and I thought I never heard such a masculine voice in my life,
and the whole opera was spoiled by her number for me, and the
impression was so lasting that nothing could induce me to hear her
again after that opera. I could not bear to think of such a man's
voice in a woman. This was when Mapelson was here in 1884. I never
heard her again until 1908 at Ye Liberty. Everybody had lauded her all
these years, and I never expressed my opinion but held to my
impressions on my first hearing of her work. At last I asked myself,
why should all these musical people call her great and praise her tone
productions as being so perfect, and I stand alone in my opinion. I
resolved, if she ever came again, to hear and see if the fault lay
with me. The opportunity was granted me in 1908 and, engaging a box in
the gallery, I took two pupils with me to hear the great singer and
accord her justice if I had erred. I beheld a wholesome looking woman,
but not beautiful. She was gowned in a stylish robe of rich material,
and on her head a white lace hat with soft white plumes which lent a
charm and softened her otherwise angular features. If I had received a
shock at her first appearance, I certainly was the most surprised
woman in the audience when she began her group of songs. Her first
notes convinced me that she had changed her methods completely since
singing in opera. She had found that singing in concert and singing
the heavy work of Wagner were two distinct methods, and to succeed she
had chosen the Bel Canto and forsaken Wagner. I never heard a more
beautiful lullaby than she sang, with all tenderness and mother love
running throughout her lines. Her German songs were also charming and
well phrased and the interpretation perfect. Knowing the German
language myself, I was able to appreciate and understand her rendering
of them. It was only once she gave one or two of those former
bellowing notes, and as quickly as she had uttered them she changed to
the touchful notes that were more pleasing. I fully enjoyed the
concert as much as I had disliked the opera which I heard in 1884 and
which had left such an ugly impression. It is with the greatest
pleasure that I also add my best appreciation of Schumann-Heink's
singing, for she now sings just as an artist should who understands
the art of singing, correctly, naturally, easily and comfortably.

To gain the height of vocal art is to have no apparent method, but to
sing with perfect facility from one end of the voice to the other,
emitting all the notes clearly and yet with power; to have each note
of the scale sound the same in quality and tonal beauty as the ones
before and after. This is the highest art and a lifetime of work and
study are necessary to acquire an easy emission of tone. One must have
a complete understanding of anatomical structure of the throat, mouth
and face, with their resonant cavities which are most necessary for
the proper production of voice. The whole breathing apparatus must be
understood because the whole foundation of singing is breathing and
control of all the functions which compose the musical instrument. A
singer's reliance depends upon the breath, as on the stability to
economize the air during its emission from the lungs. Steadiness,
strength, flexibility and sustaining power of the voice depend upon
this knowledge and intelligent use of it. I hold the art of singing in
such reverence that I feel I am walking upon sacred ground when I am
employed in the teaching of the human voice. It is notoriously
difficult to give rules for singing to every one alike. I have found
out in my long experience of development of different voices under my
guidance that no two persons can be taught alike. As faces and people
differ, so do also the voices. There are general rules to be observed
that all can understand, but outside of that, teaching of the voice
becomes an individual study of every conscientious and capable
teacher. No one should attempt it unless he understands perfectly the
anatomy of the muscles that are used and compose the vocal apparatus,
their placement and uses. Instructors should be perfect singers
themselves and able to give an example of every tone as accurately as
it can be produced by the human voice. A teacher who cannot produce a
perfect tone has not the right to teach. Why should the proper
training of the voice continue to be the least progressive of all
professions, and why should there be less care and work used in the
development of the most beautiful gift that has been given to mankind,
the human voice? While this gift has not been equally bestowed on
every one, yet there is not a being who could not sing if he were
properly taught. It is not the great-voiced singer that gives the most
beautiful song. While he is to be admired for his grand tones and
magnificent work, it has taken years of technique to produce those
tones through perfect knowledge of breath control.

Teachers of the eighteenth century required many years of hard study
from the pupils before they were considered competent to illustrate
the art of tone production and before the masters considered them
singers or sent them forth as exponents of their art. Why all this
work to acquire the art of producing beautiful tones? We must use
intelligent understanding in the use of this instrument which is such
a rare gift to us. Thrice happy are those who are able to give to
listening humanity the full comprehensive and soulful touch of song
which the individual instrument is capable of producing. There is so
much more in singing than the mere possession of a beautiful voice.
The singer must be able to supplement the beauty of the voice with
intelligence in the exposition of the song. But few realize how much
skill this demands. No amount of intelligence will enable a person
rightly to interpret a song if he has not learned the elements of
singing or has not a complete command of the technique of his art. The
most important element of beautiful song is the lung capacity, and
thereon hangs the whole success; control of the breathing muscles. One
has infinite gradations of the power of this column of air to produce
the result in exquisite variations over the power and the coloring of
his tones. Attack and management of the air column is an art in
itself--a correct poise of the larynx. Upon the art of directing this
column of air the quality of the tones depends. The greatest marvel is
that those whom I have had to instruct do not know the first elements
of breathing. To breathe to live and to breathe to be a singer are as
far apart as the poles. Not one in twenty knows what lung capacity
they have. The general rule is to breathe through the nose. That is
all right if he is a gymnast or a ball player, but singing is just the
opposite of this sort of breathing. Everything is relaxed and natural,
the breath is inhaled through partly opened lips, slowly, evenly and
quietly and allows not a particle to go through the nostrils until the
lungs are completely filled and inflated. The large cells are in the
lower part of the lungs, and when they are inflated and the diaphragm
properly used so as to direct and control this column, one can sing as
long as there is a particle of air to use. For seventy years I have
used this method of breathing, and I am a perfect example of the
preservation of the voice now in my seventy-sixth year, and have every
note I ever used and can sing with as much power and breath control as
I ever could. I feel no weakness or lack of strength in any part of my
tone production.

I taught every pupil in this way and cured many of the tremolo habit
by showing them how to breathe properly and then use this art
intelligently. The art of breathing is not alone the thing to
understand. There are many other points of importance to remember,
but the art of breathing is the fundamental stone that has to be well
grounded to secure the lasting success of the conscientious and
intelligent student. Each person must feel the action of the different
parts that go to make up the vocal instrument, which strengthens my
assertion that each individual must have his own separate instruction
as he possesses the charm of his own personality and musical
temperament. Many students may have complete knowledge of how it
should be done, and yet in the performance they do just the opposite,
from a feeling of self-consciousness and the fear of being ridiculed
in their efforts to sing. The mind must first recognize, then control,
until automatic action is established and there is no danger of
self-consciousness. One must learn the elements of singing--no amount
of intelligence will enable a person rightly to interpret a song if he
has not first learned that department thoroughly. For in order to
offer an interpretation to an audience, the singer must have a
complete command of the technique of his art. The singers of today are
not so skillful as they were in the eighteenth century, because they
are not patient enough to study the essential tone production which
must be produced to make tones that are satisfying to themselves and
also to the sensitive and cultivated ears of the listeners. A singer
must reject any unmusical sound and, above all things, rule out any
departure from the pitch. Singing out of tune is not singing at all.
They can never be relied upon and are therefore unsatisfactory for any
use at all. It seems simple enough to sing, yet to get the correct,
pure tone one must work daily to accomplish perfection. There are many
singers who attain a certain amount of distinction on the operatic
stage that cannot produce a full, round, sympathetic tone. They may
have powerful tones and astonish the public, yet in a short season the
tones become dull or heavy or sharp, ear-splitting and their
victorious career is finished and oblivion mercifully covers them.



In writing about one of the greatest faults in the teaching of vocal
music I wish to put my most emphatic criticism upon the Tremolo in the
voice and condemnation upon those who vitiate the human voice with the
most intolerable fault that any one who pretends to sing could
practice. In "The Musician" of November, 1908, there was an article
upon this subject, which I read with profound interest and I wrote to
Ditson & Co. to allow me the privilege of using the article as it was
just the very thing that the student who was learning to use the voice
ought to read. I was happily granted permission. The article entitled
"The Singers tremolo and vibrato--their origin and musical value," was
written by Lester S. Butter, who says:

"In April, 1795, in Romano, Province of Bergano, was born Rubini, King
of tenors. His voice, small in the beginning, developed marvelously in
tone volume and the swell and diminish of tones (messa di voce) called
by the Italians 'vibrato of the voice' was the characteristic of his

"This ebbing and flowing undulating wave of sound upon sustained notes
was the source from which sprung the modern tremolo and vibrato, which
is so much in evidence among singers and so offensive to all really
refined musical taste. There seems to be considerable confusion among
singers and even writers as to the use and meaning of tremolo and
vibrato. These terms seem to be used synonymously and the latter is
used where messa di voce is meant. The Standard dictionary defines
vibrato as a trembling of pulsating effect in vocal music caused by
rapid variation or emphasis of the same tone (evidently messa di voce)
proper distinguished from tremolo, where there is a vibration of
tones; and the latter is a vibrating beating or throbbing sound
produced by the voice or instrumentally.


Wm. Ellery Blake

Geo. Lincoln Blake]

"Ferdinand Sieber, in answer to questions 286 and 287, Art of Singing,
says: 'Question 286. How should the longer sung notes be taught? Here
the rule should be enforced that every radical note should be
accompanied with a swelling of the tone where it is intended to sing
the following ones in crescendo, and on the other hand, the strength
of tone diminishes when these notes are to be sung decrescendo. If
there is a pause, a messa di voce should be executed.'

"'Question 287. Is not then this constant vibration of the voice a
gross fault? It causes great confusion in regard to the expression
among singers of different degrees of ability. We read daily that it
is reprehensible in this or that singer to indulge in this vibration,
while in reality it is the tremolando which is blamed. The vibration
of the voice is its inmost life-throb--its pulse--its spring. Without
it there is only monotony. But if the vibration is changed to
tremolando the singer falls into an intolerable fault which is
warranted only in very rare cases when it serves as a means to express
the very highest degree of excitement.'

"W.J. Henderson in the Art of the Singer, says of messa di voce, 'It
is by the emission of tones swelling and diminishing that we impart to
song that wave-like undulation which gives it vitality and tonal
vivacity.' But when speaking of the rendition of Handelian arias, he
evidently uses the term vibrato in the same sense as Sieber does
tremolando. He declares it probably hopeless to plead for the
abolition of the cheap and vulgar vibrato in the delivery of these old
arias, remarking further that there is no account of its use in the
writings of the contemporaries of Caffarelli and Farinelli and that
master singers of their day were praised for the steadiness of their
tones and the perfect smoothness of their style. He asserts also that
vibrato is a trick invented after that day and out of place in the
music of that period.

"Referring to Rubini, the originator of the fault, he leaves the
impression that this singer used the vibrato only occasionally (which
may at first have been the fact) and that as a means of heightening
the dramatic effect. Grove, however, puts the matter somewhat
differently. 'Rubini,' he says, 'was the earliest to use the thrill of
the voice known as vibrato (the subsequent abuse of which we are all
familiar) at first as a means of emotional effect, afterward it was to
conceal the deterioration of the organ.'

"Imitators brought great discredit upon Rubini and his name is
associated with an impure, corrupt vocalization. This with other
influences, brought about a sentiment in composers as well as singers
favoring vocal declamation, rather than singing in the sense in which
that word was understood by the great tenor. In 1852 there was a cloud
of imitators and it became so prevalent almost all singers of the day
indulged in it.

"Ferri, a baritone who sang at La Scala in 1853, made such effective
use of it upon any note as to secure a place in the records of that
day as one whose whole song was a bad 'wobble.'

"Even the great Mario, whose voice is described as 'rich Devonshire
cream,' was afflicted, but usually free from the vice. Clara Novello
was greatly admired because she indulged in it with such
discrimination, and Campanini, entirely free from the fault, was
greeted with enthusiastic pleasure whenever he appeared. (The present
writer heard Campanini in 1858, and he was one of the grandest man
singers I ever heard. Stigelli was also one of the same style of
singers at that time and I heard them both in grand opera and there
was never a tremolo in either of their voices but perfect art in messa
di voce, Bel Canto singing.) Another reference to Mr. Henderson will
show that the weed still flourishes. Almost every singer of today
tries from the beginning to acquire an habitual vibrato, (the present
writer infers that Mr. Henderson does not use 'vibrato' with the
Italian meaning messa di voce) to be used at all times without regard
to fitness. Some of our singers have cultivated the trick, they have
developed it into a perpetual tremolo. He thinks it would be
interesting to know what Porpora, or Fedi, would have thought of a
twentieth century tremolo, especially when introduced in an aria by

"It seems that the tremolo came into general use as an imitation of
the so-called 'musical sob' of Rubini, which he used to express
certain phases of emotion and excitement, and then it was cultivated
by those whose tastes were lowered or having a desire to acquire more
power than their organ was capable of safely obtaining or to conceal
under the claim of artistic and real expression, the decay of their
singing voice.

"Emma Seiler (voice in singing) has this to say: 'Unhappily our whole
music is vitiated by this sickly sentimentalism, the perfect horror of
every person of cultivated taste. This sickly sentimental style has
also naturalized in singing a gross trick unfortunately very
prevalent, the tremolo of the notes.' In a letter to Dr. S.B. Matthews
(Music 1900), L.G. Gottschalk so succinctly gives his opinion as to
leave no doubt as to his position on the subject: 'Tremolo of the
voice is the result of either of the three following causes--diseased
vocal organs, old age, or defective breathing, and as such has no
excuse for its existence.' This is in agreement with Madam Marchesi in
answer to a question in regard to the tremolo. 'The continued vibrato
is the worst defect in singing and is a certain sign that a voice has
been forced and spoiled. It is the result of the relaxation of the
exterior muscles of the larynx which can no longer remain motionless
in the position during the emission of the sound. This distressing
permanent vibrato proceeds from ignorance or neglect of the register
limits.' W.H. Blare gives the warning, 'Do not allow the voice to
wobble, or become tremulous. A tremor is dangerous under any
circumstances and an ineffectual substitute for sustained, pathetic
tone color.' Sir Morrell Mackenzie, M.D., asserts that tremolo is
injurious, as tending to beget a depraved habit of singing. It is the
worst fault of a singer.

"In Kofler (art of breathing) he speaks of the tremolo: 'As to the
tremolo in the voice, I will only say that frequently the air is
expelled forcibly in order to picture with the voice a violent
outburst of passion and emotion, a light tremolo will produce a good
effect to give expression to a feeling of fear, anxiety, or anguish;
outside of this, the tremolo must never be used in singing. This is
often done to hide a worn-out voice, but more often because the singer
is under a foolish delusion that this tremolo is very expressive and
dramatic. I know of no style of singing so unnatural as a perpetual
tremolando brought on by injudicious training and the ignorance of the
art of breathing correctly.'"

I consider that I would be derelict in my duty as a teacher of voice
did I not insert this most important chapter in my book. I am glad to
have the best authorities on my side of the subject. I think it is the
true reason why we have such a dearth of fine singers in this
generation. It certainly is not because we have not the voices.
California can produce as fine voices as are found in Italy, but as
fast as they are found some unscrupulous fake comes along and finds
the unfortunate victim who begins training and in a few months the
papers are full of this wonderful find and future songstress. Then a
recital is planned and the beautiful young woman (if appearance has
any value) certainly fills all that has been noised about her. Endowed
by nature with a voice of unusual power and expressiveness she is a
most promising amateur and will perhaps be heard from in the future.
At least she will be if native gifts count. At last the opportunity
has arrived to hear this young singer of a few short months' training
in a group of songs. Our expectations are at the highest pitch as she
appears in all her youthful charms. But alas, how quickly is the spell
broken. This wonderful singer has fallen into the hands of an
incompetent teacher and the beautiful voice has been damaged until the
tremolo is unbearable and we listen with pity at the havoc made in a
few months of force upon the beautiful voice by such teaching. There
never was an age when so many singing pupils are being taught, and yet
we have no singers. Pupils do not apply themselves seriously to the
real study of the voice as they do to other studies. To sing a song is
all they aspire to do. They consider it all useless nonsense to
practice technic. They want the glory without the conscientious work
which is a daily requirement. Very few singers of today are provided
with real vocal technic. They learn to scream one note at a time. A
short life and a merry one, great glory and great salaries,
sacrificing their voices at the demand for big tone. Perhaps they
rejoice in a brief season. Afterwards their names are forgotten. Good
singing, as all other performances, consists in the due adjustment of
every factor connected with it.


Frederick Zech
Henry Wetherbee
Adolph Klose
S. Arrillaga
William P. Melvin
John W. Metcalf
Wm. M'F. Greer



I had my first experience in 1894 with the voice of a young girl that
had a perpetual tremolo. I was thoroughly amazed at the unsteady
wavering of each note. At last I asked her why she did not sing in a
steady tone. Her reply was she could not help it. I then inquired if
she had former instructions. She replied she had. After trying in vain
to get a pure tone, I told her I'd rather not teach her as I had no
knowledge of how to relieve her of this defect which could not be
allowed in a perfect singer. Her disappointment was so great as to
cause her to weep. My heart was touched for her misfortune and I told
her I had only one remedy and if she would try that I'd undertake the
work of restoring her voice to its normal state if possible. This was
Tuesday. I asked her to return on Friday and if I saw any improvement
I'd teach her if she would obey orders. I gave her a lesson in the art
of breathing, something which had been entirely neglected before,
and sent her away. On the following Friday she took her second lesson,
and the voice was as steady as if she had never done the other work. I
continued to teach her for two and a half years and at my first
recital she and I sang the duet, Qui est Homo, from Rossini's Stabat
Mater, and although my age was sixty and hers twenty, I was able to
use my usual strength in singing the song as if she had been a mature
singer. At the close of the number we were greeted with bravos and
applause that lasted for some time. It was the crowning reward for my
weeks of patient training and careful watchfulness. I never taught her
after that evening and I heard she had several other instructors. I
heard, however, that she had never returned to the tremolo after I had
once placed her voice in the right path. Had she been a student I
think the state of California would have been proud to have claimed
her, but she lacked stability in her work. She still sings but I have
not heard her for years. This was my first experience.

In the year 1907 I cured twenty-five young people, both girls and
boys, of this dreadful habit, which seems to be the death knell of all
of our California young singers. Every one of these became addicted to
this habit through wrong instruction by persons who were not teachers
at all in the true sense of the word, not knowing the construction of
the voice themselves so as to lead the pupil into the proper channel,
having lost their own voices by these methods they were not competent
to instruct others. How is it possible for them to guide the young
singer when they cannot give a pure tone example themselves for the
pupil to follow? Freshness and steadiness are the most valuable
properties of a voice, but are also the most delicate and easily
injured and quickly lost. When once really impaired they can never be
restored. This is the condition of a voice which is said to be lost.
The prostration of the vocal organs are thus brought on by injudicious
training if not the result of organic disease. This must be understood
by the competent teacher who should not be mistaken in the nature of
the organ or attempt by obstinate perseverance to convert a low voice
into a high one, or vice versa. The error is equally disastrous, the
result being utterly to destroy the voice. The teacher's vocation is
first to find the natural limits of the voice in question and then
seek to develop them into their most beautiful tone production before
attempting to develop either higher or lower tones until these have
been properly understood by both teacher and pupil. The pupil should
also at once comprehend the importance of guarding the voice from
injury and not transform or extend his gifts beyond their natural
power and capability. The voice is often seriously impaired in using
the high notes in both chest and head registers, by forcing of the
high notes, and exaggerating the timbres and, if often renewed, will
eventually destroy the best voice and the tremolo follows in
consequence and the once promising voice is lost and forever
inevitably destroyed.



     "There is little difference in the place we fill in life:
     The important thing is how to fill it."

This maxim applies also to the art of singing. There are singers and
singers, but few become artists. Thousands upon thousands of dollars
are spent upon them in America yearly. How many of these thousands of
dollars come back to these students? It is a rare occurrence if we get
one in ten thousand that really reaches this distinction in art, a
just reward for long years of patient study. When such an artist does
appear it is like a new star in the firmament, the wonder of the age.
The beauty and glory of this wonderful singer is not hidden under a
bushel, but the people of the earth flock to hear and see this rara
avis. The regret is that such a singer can not sing on forever. It is
strange that the human mind can retain the memory of song with such
distinctness and acuteness in the different singers and remember the
very songs they sang and how and where. When this can be done the
singer can well feel that his work has made a lasting impression.
Nothing less than the best will satisfy a lover of good music after
having enjoyed the best at the beginning.

We are often annoyed when we hear foreigners say, "Oh, we have it
better in Europe." There must be a reason for it, and it is not the
lack of voices in America, for we have given many fine voices,
including the only prima donnas who have risen to the height of
distinction in our day. We are foremost in producing fine singers
today as well as in the past years, both men and women, who are
acknowledged by all to be the brightest stars in the musical
firmament. Really fine artists have a charm that is recognized by all.
They are in a class by themselves and admirers feel honored to know
them or speak with them for a short while. It is a remembrance we go
back to with pleasure every time we hear the name spoken. Not one of
our generation ever saw one of the great composers like Liszt, Verdi,
Gounod, Wagner, etc. Yet there is not a musical person on this earth
but claims an acquaintanceship and comradeship with them and they are
only known by their pictures and what has been written or spoken about
them. We reverence them for their splendid work. It is the same with
men and women singers--their faces are as familiar as though they were
among us today. It is true we still have Nordica, Melba,
Schumann-Heink, Calvé, Eames, de Reszke, Adams, Sembrich and Terina,
but their stars have gained their heights, and we must expect to see
them dim and wane, but before they are entirely gone let us hope there
will be others as good to take their places. While all students cannot
be such artists they can strive for the best under good instruction
and develop their instrument as near perfection as it is possible to
bring it.

In my concert tour to Victoria, B.C., an incident occurred after the
concert given at Olympia. It was my first trip and everything was new
to me. I supposed I was a stranger to all and was to be heard in these
places for the first time. We had sung at all the small towns along
the Puget Sound and this was our last city before we returned. Our
company was a good one--Walter C. Campbell, Vivian the Great, Margaret
Blake, Mr. Wand, pianist, Dick Kohler, cornetist and leader of the
company, and Mr. Atkins, advance agent. A very successful concert had
been given and a fine audience appreciated us. A number of
distinguished guests were present, including the governor of the state
and officials of the city of Olympia. While I was preparing to go to
my hotel, I was recalled by Mr. Kohler saying I was wanted by some
friends in the hall who wished to speak to me. Imagine my surprise.
Twenty-five ladies and gentlemen were awaiting me and I had never seen
one of them before to my knowledge, but evidently I was no stranger to
them. They were people who had repeatedly heard me sing from 1865 to
1874 in San Francisco and they were so pleased to hear me again they
concluded to know me. My curiosity was aroused so I asked them when
and where had they heard me. Some at Platt's hall, others at Howard
Methodist church, Y.M.C.A. on Sutter street, Union hall, Mission
street, Metropolitan temple, Fifth street, etc. I then asked them what
songs I sang. Mr. Kohler jotted down the songs as they were given by
the different ones, and they came out in this wise: three remembered
Annie Laurie, four When the Tide Comes In, three Gatty's Fair Dove,
two Kathleen Mavourneen, two John Anderson, My Joe, two Within a Mile
of Edinborough, etc., two The Old Man's Song to His Wife, two Home,
Sweet Home, five Last Rose of Summer, two Darby and Joan.

[Illustration: 75th Birthday

73d Birthday

For Patriotic and Other Public Services

71st Birthday

72d Birthday


What a lesson it was to me of what a person can do as a singer. I had
left a lasting impression upon these people and whenever they heard
these songs spoken of or sung they went back in memory with pleasure
to the singer who sang them long ago and they were pleased to know
they were to hear me once again, even so far from where they had heard
me before, and pleased to make themselves known in this pleasant way.
I was touched deeply by their kindness and I asked Mr. Kohler to allow
me to sing for them Annie Laurie and The Last Rose of Summer. He
recalled Mr. Wand, our accompanist, and I gave them these songs as a
compliment. Such episodes occur in a singer's life and we are reminded
that when work is well done we will always have appreciation, and just
reward, and leave a lasting example for good that others may follow
with safety. These songs were not showy or brilliant, but they were
songs that touched the heart, and left an impression for good. Our
California audiences are metropolitan and changing forever. People are
here one day and in a twelfth month somewhere else and in my time it
was still more changeable than now. No matter what your audience is it
is the singer's duty to please every listener as near as possible and
leave an impression. My advice to the singer is: Make your song a part
of yourself, understand the composer's meaning, have a picture before
you of the situation, of the meaning of the sentiment. Never sing
anything that is beyond your powers, select that which you are able to
understand thoroughly yourself, and when you have mastered every
difficulty and can give yourself pleasure in the rendering of it, you
may be well assured you will make some one else happy. An audience
demands your complete resources, so you must not imagine you can
carelessly give anything but your best efforts. The selections should
always be less difficult than you are really capable of performing, a
safe rule to follow. Then your audience will know you bring authority
to your task, and authority is very necessary to command respect.

He who does not think well of this makes a grave mistake, for while he
thinks people will not know the inferiority of his work, there is
always some one in the audience who _does know_. True artistic work
should mean more to the singer than anything else, for that is what
makes his reputation. No one can afford to be careless in the least
effort if he wishes to become an acceptable singer to all classes that
compose an audience.



In recounting all these episodes of a full life of varied engagements
I must take in account my political career which has extended from the
rebellion to the present time. I have had an unbroken line of action
in political work and yet I never was a suffragette. My work was to
help the cause of my country and those who went bravely forth to
conquer or die. I come honestly by my patriotism, for I am a
descendant in a direct line from Revolutionary stock. It was therefore
most natural for me, when the battle cry was heard to "Be up and at
them." If the enemy was in the wrong and our flag was in danger my
voice went ever out in song. I can proudly say I have taken part in
every presidential campaign from Lincoln down to McKinley. From the
beginning of the Republican party I have worked for its candidates and
won every time except when James G. Blaine was defeated. Oh, what a
fight we had! I'll never forget the Mulligan letters sent out at the
last moment, too late for a reply. There was a noble quartette of us,
Charles Parent, bass; Mrs. Parent, alto; Sam Booth, tenor, and M.R.
Blake, contralto. How the old Wigwam rang with our patriotic songs,
the bands playing martial airs for the "Plumed Knight." How we stepped
off with the song of the Mulligan Guards to the appropriate parody
written by Sam Booth on these letters. Everything was done to win but
we lost and when Mr. Richart read off the returns my heart sank within
me and I said, "I never can stay to hear the result." I quietly went
off the platform to my home, only to wake in the morning to learn that
Grover Cleveland was to be the next president. He was never a favorite
candidate of mine, no matter what he was in the eyes of the world.
Impressions will remain in spite of facts. The faces of all our
presidents and their lives are as familiar to me as the faces of all
the masters of music.

[Illustration: Sam Booth

Conspicuous in the Seventies as a writer of political lyrics and a
campaign singer of great popularity.]

President Lincoln came first upon my list of successful candidates and
was the sixteenth president of the United States. I was one year old
when he became a member of the bar in 1837. He was twenty-eight when I
was born in Illinois. When he was inaugurated, March 4, 1861, I was
twenty years old and at that time in Boston when the mighty civil war
began. When he was elected the second term I was in Santa Cruz,
California and in the midst of the campaign. I wonder how many times I
sang Vive l'America and the Star Spangled Banner before the victory
was won and the hurrahs filling the air at our successes. But our joy
was turned into mourning when he was assassinated on April 14, 1865.
He had only a short time to serve the nation that honored him. He was
succeeded by Andrew Johnson, the vice-president. The eighteenth
president was U.S. Grant, who served two terms, 1869-77. I was in San
Francisco then and both times I was in the campaign and won. I saw him
also in 1879 as he returned from the tour of the world. The nineteenth
president, R.B. Hayes, came next in order. I was then in San Francisco
and also in the employ of the Republican committee as vocalist. James
A. Garfield became the twentieth president. He was inaugurated March
4, 1881, and had served only three months when the assassin's bullet
laid him low. Chester A. Arthur, vice-president, took his place, the
third vice-president, to become the nation's chief executive during
the time I aided the Republican campaign committee. I now come to the
twenty-third president, Benjamin Harrison, whose campaign was a record
breaker. At that time I was living in San Bernardino, California, in
one of the largest counties of southern California. This county had
been democratic since 1849. The Republicans determined to win the
county. There were enough progressives to attempt it and war on the
corrupt old ring. The Grand Opera house was engaged as the place to
inaugurate the campaign. My son was director of the Seventh Regiment
band and also of the orchestra at the opera house. I had signed an
agreement to sing for the committee throughout the campaign. With this
arrangement the music was assured. All other details completed we were
ready for the great battle. Our initial performance took place
November 9, 1888, in the Grand Opera house, San Bernardino. The
announcement in the morning papers after the first gun was fired was
the following:

"Record of the Democratic party shown on the Chinese question from the
days of '49, in an able and eloquent speech by Judge Adams of San Luis
Obispo, at the Republican meeting last night.

"Patriotic and stirring music by Mrs. Blake-Alverson who was recalled
five times.

"A magnificent speech upon the Tariff Question by Judge W.A. Cheney of
Los Angeles.

"The assemblage was called to order by H.J. Hurley, Chairman of the
R.C. Committee, who introduced John L. Campbell as chairman of the
meeting. The list of vice-presidents was called by Lyman Evans Esq.,

This was the opening gun. The campaign began so auspiciously that the
Riverside committee desired our services and on June 29 the train for
Riverside left San Bernardino with five hundred boosters and at Colton
about twenty-five men and a drum corps got aboard. On arriving at
Riverside the visitors were received by the Republican club, the men
forming in procession and seventy-five women taking carriages for the
Glenwood and Rowell hotels. The line of march was long and when the
procession arrived at the Opera house it was discovered the vast crowd
could not be accommodated. The women were given the preference. Nearly
a thousand torches were carried in a line headed by the Colton Drum
Corps. At the Opera house, Hon. H.M. Streeter presided with E.W.
Holmes as secretary. The gathering opened with political music and
patriotic airs by the band and glee club. The address of the evening
was made by A.H. Naftzger, followed by Capt. C.W.C. Rowell. Rev. T.C.
Hunt made a ringing speech for Harrison and protection to home
industries. Capt. N.G. Gill and H.B. Everest presented the new
features of the campaign issues. Judge H.M. Jones made a fine and
telling speech, causing much enthusiasm, followed by George
Nickerson's singing with fine effect, The Red, White and Blue. Other
telling speeches followed. Then Mrs. Blake-Alverson sang Vive
l'America and in response to a tremendous applause sang the following
song, to the tune of Tippecanoe:

     The convention last week in Chicago
       Decided, unanimously, too,
     To put up a man for the nation,
       The grandson of Tippecanoe.
     They balloted lusty and strong,
       Won over the enemy, too,
     And when they had counted the ballots
       They saw 'twas for Tippecanoe.


     Then vote for our Tippecanoe,
       Hurrah for our Tippecanoe;
     We'll pull down the old red bandana,
       And stand by the Red, White and Blue.

     Cleveland has made them a platform,
       And thinks he can win for them, too;
     But, boys, it's too weak and too shaky,
       Free trade with us never will do.
     John Bull tried to rule us before,
       He found the Americans true,
     And away ran the redcoats before them
       And up flashed the Red, White and Blue.


     Then vote for our Tippecanoe,
       Hurrah for Ben Harrison, too;
     We'll pull down the old red bandana,
       And run up the Red, White and Blue.

Words cannot describe the scene after this song. The Riverside papers
said next morning: "It was certainly a rouser. Nothing like it was
ever before seen or thought of in this city. Citrus fairs and all
others sink into insignificance. With stirring music and with Harrison
and Morton on top and that too without discrimination we must win, and
win nobly."

I am not a poet by any means and in writing these verses I was put to
my wits' end to have suitable lines for the occasion. I was but three
years old when William Henry Harrison was elected president. My father
was stationed in Evansville, Indiana. Small as I was I'll never forget
the procession of Indians who frightened me so I hid under the bed and
could not be found for the day. When I heard the grandson of
Tippecanoe was nominated I began at once to sing the old song that was
used in his grandfather's time and as I was getting the morning meal
my son, William, and I set to work to compose suitable lines. How we
succeeded you can see by the verses that took the house and every one
on the platform by surprise. The cheering was deafening after each
stanza was sung. It is unnecessary to state that the immense audience
went perfectly wild with excitement.

One of the papers said:

"At the conclusion of her song, Hon. H.M. Streeter arose and addressed
the immense throng and said, 'I thought I was a true American in
spirit and a staunch republican all these years, but my patriotism
pales this song and the patriotic spirit of this splendid woman. I
propose we give three times three cheers to Mrs. Blake-Alverson' which
were given with a vim that left no doubts of the sincerity of the
enthusiastic people who gathered on this occasion and their
appreciation of her efforts in making this demonstration such a
stupendous success."

This was the second rally. Already the Opera house in San Bernardino
was no longer adequate for the crowds that assembled nightly. Overflow
meetings were held in the streets each time. At last we were obliged
to have an amphitheater prepared to accommodate the crowds that were
increasing with each rally. Never was such political excitement in
that county. There was an enclosed stage erected and a piano placed
upon it and each night speeches were made (and ringing ones too) and I
think all the sleepy mossbacks were wide awake at last and realized
that their kind of Democracy was tottering and waiting for the last
blow. When Benjamin Harrison was elected the twenty-third president
of these United States, San Bernardino county had demonstrations never
equaled before or since. Every man, woman and child participated. Men
from miles around were in the procession, features and transparencies
of all kinds were carried by the marchers. After the procession they
adjourned to the amphitheater for the exercises. My voice had been in
constant use for two or three months and at the last moment I could
not sing. I had written another song to be sung to the same tune, "Old
Tippecanoe," and the chairman was obliged to let the people know I
could not sing any more--the voice was gone. Such a howl of
disappointment went up. I was obliged to stand before them and shake
my head. I was not even able to speak to them. At this juncture I
asked Mr. Brown to kindly read the verses, which were as follows:

     We've voted and won now, my comrades,
       The struggle decisive and strong;
     The nation's decided the question
       For our bold and brave Harrison;
     May the nation's protection be blest
       To the workingmen's families and homes;
     John Bull can decide his own problems
       And call his Lord Sackville back home.


     Then hurrah for our Red, White and Blue,
       Three cheers for our Harrison true;
     May peace and prosperity bless us
       For voting for Tippecanoe.

     We'll veto no more now in Congress
       The bills that should long have passed through;
     The Mills Bill's a thing of oblivion
       And its framer can follow it, too.
     Then we'll carefully fold up the rag,
       They flaunted so lusty and brave,
     And bury it with the old relics,
       'Way down in Salt River's deep wave.


     Then hurrah for our columns so true,
       Three cheers for Ben Harrison, too;
     May peace and prosperity bless us
       For voting for Tippecanoe.

     The American land is a nation
       And her people most loyal and true,
     And all others take care how they meddle
       Or insult her colors of blue.
     San Berdoo and the counties around
       Come in for their share of the fun
     And have rolled up the numbers most nobly
       And helped spike the enemy's gun.


     Hurrah for the people so true,
       Three cheers for Ben Harrison, too;
     Secession can float their bandanas,
       But the loyal, the Red, White and Blue.

[Illustration: Mrs. Blake-Alverson in costume


Mission Street, San Francisco, Sept. 4, 1879]

After the excitement had somewhat subsided, Senator Streeter called
upon the platform seven veterans who had voted for the first Harrison
and in a befitting speech decorated these men with a fine red silk
badge and I had the honor to pin these badges upon their coat lapels.
As I did so tears fell upon my hands from the eyes of these patriotic
old men. I also decorated General Vandevere and in return he decorated
me as the historical and patriotic singer of California.

The twenty-fourth president was Grover Cleveland who was elected in
1884, but was defeated in 1888 by Benjamin Harrison, and in 1892 was
re-elected and inaugurated March 4, 1893. I did not take an active
part in this campaign as I had never sung for a Democratic president
and I would not begin with Cleveland. The next president was our
beloved McKinley and in the last campaign for him I sang in the
Mechanics pavilion in San Francisco to 15,000 people. I was then
sixty-four years of age. I was worried a little that age would tell in
such a great place, but if I failed it was for a good cause and my
country. I consented to sing after much persuasion from Sam Booth and
W.H.L. Barnes. I had in all my singing life never failed. I
reluctantly consented, trusting to my knowledge of how to use the
voice. At the appointed hour I was at the pavilion with Mrs. J.M.
Case, my accompanist. When I came upon the platform I was cordially
greeted by the old guard, W.H.L. Barnes, Sam Booth and thirty-five
other men of the committee whom I had met in former years. After
taking in the situation I was a little disturbed when I found the
floor had been left for dancing and I was obliged to sing to the tiers
of seats that arose as high as I could see and all that empty space to
cross and one single voice to reach this great mass of people. For
once I felt my voice inadequate for the effort. In the highest row of
seats were several of my pupils and they were to give me the signal
that my voice and words carried distinctly. I was requested to sing
Vive l'America, the old civil war favorite song. I arose when
announced amid a most tremendous recognition from the people of San
Francisco. I was so excited I forgot my age and began my song. I had
sung but one line and on looking up I saw the signal and it aroused me
to my best efforts which proved most satisfactory. When I finished the
policemen's sticks pounded on the floors, the band gave a grand rally,
the people applauded and for many minutes nothing could be heard but
the deafening demonstration and a recall was demanded. I sang
Millard's Amalia from the Roman Charioteer and finished with the
exultant B flat which arose in the softest touch and increased to the
fullest crescendo and diminished to the pianissimo. At that moment by
a prearranged plan, unknown to me, one of the most beautiful flags
that ever floated was unfurled and fell in graceful folds by my side.
I involuntarily seized it with my hands and finished amidst one of the
greatest receptions ever given to any prima donna in my time, and I
felt I was not forgotten by the people of San Francisco whom I had
served for twenty-seven years. They gave me the honor to which my age
and experience as a singer and patriotic charitable worker in the
upbuilding of California and its institutions entitled me. Theodore
Roosevelt became president on the death of McKinley. With his victory
at the next election he became the twenty-sixth president of the
United States. My practical work for the Republican cause ceased then.
My voice and spirit still remained but the accident to me in 1901 put
an untimely end to my public work. I have sung for Decoration days and
Fourth of July demonstrations. My last one was in 1906 at the
Macdonough theater and the people of Oakland gave me a befitting
tribute. From the speaker and the twenty-five uniformed soldiers who
formed a half circle around me to the immense crowd that filled the
theater the applause for Vive l'America was spontaneous. I also sang
Annie Laurie, the favorite song of every soldier who fought in '61, a
song which was on the dying lips of hundreds of soldiers who fell
fighting and thinking of their loved ones at home. Can you wonder at
the tears coming to the eyes of our veterans when the strain is sung
And for bonnie Annie Laurie I'd lay me down and dee. I sing this song
with all the sincere feeling and personality that I possess. It is a
sacred song to me for I have heard the story many times as told by the
veterans since the war. After this final tribute of my career The
Oakland Herald had this to say next day: "The beautiful simplicity of
Mrs. Blake-Alverson's singing provoked tremendous applause and she
responded to the never-to-be-forgotten lines of Annie Laurie." The
Enquirer said: "The singing of Mrs. Blake-Alverson was a revelation.
It was enjoyed to the utmost. Every note rang clear and pure and each
stanza was applauded in a most hearty manner. This was especially true
of her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner in which the enthusiasm
was unbounded." The effect of the song was heightened by the giving of
the ceremony of retreat at sunset which is carried out in every camp
and garrison of the army of the United States. The ceremony was
conducted by members of Co. A, Fifth Infantry, N.G.C., under the
charge of Sergeant Breveton and were as follows: Sergeant A. H. Jones,
Sergeant H.B. Ongerth, Musician J.W. Stock, Musician E.J. Dow,
Privates Elmer Marsh, F. Keegan, J.C. Bowden, R.L. Nichols, H.B.
Loveridge, H. Bond, R. Trethaway.

In a letter to the editor of the Enquirer John Aubrey Jones said:
"What an inspiration it was to see and hear Mrs. Blake-Alverson sing.
Physically infirm, but vocally strong and pregnant, her pure, limpid
birdlike notes thrilled and stirred the soul and tears to the eyes did
unbidden come. It was eloquence sublime set to the all-subdivining
rhythmical harmony of divine music, rendered by a master whose spirit
was enwrapped. The writer felt an uplift in patriotic fervor that was
a joyous inspiration and so doubtless did all whose privilege it was
to hear and see Mrs. Blake-Alverson sing."

The Oakland Tribune said: "The singing of the Star Spangled Banner by
Mrs. Blake Alverson and the oration delivered by Rev. Charles R. Brown
proved the chief features of the Fourth of July celebration held in
the Macdonough theater yesterday morning. Judge E.M. Gibson presided.
Prayer was by Rabbi M. Friedlander. A chorus from Faust by
seventy-five singers followed. The Declaration of Independence was
read by Attorney Peter J. Crosby. Next Mrs. Blake-Alverson stepped
forward upon the stage and reached the flag-draped table surrounded by
twenty-five uniformed soldiers, who separated in the center to allow
her to approach, then closed as she passed, amid applause which was
deafening, and she could do nothing but bow her acknowledgment to the
audience. As she sang Vive l'America, in spite of her years, her
voice rang out pure and clear. Again and again she was forced to
respond to encores and when Judge Gibson finally led her off the stage
she was repeatedly cheered."

I do not think I would have done quite so well had it not been for an
incident that happened as I stepped upon the stage. When I saw the
immense crowd my heart gave one throb and I thought I had made a
mistake coming there at my age to sing. Like an electric flash I took
in the situation and said within me, "Dear Lord, help me once more,"
and in answering to the repeated cheers I glanced downward to the men
in the orchestra and to my surprise saw their looks of sarcasm as if
to say, "What can that old woman do?" In one instant my patriotic
spirit was roused within me and I gave them a look of defiance and
said within myself, "I'll show you boys what she can do," and nodded
to the pianist to begin. It took just one line of Vive l'America to
make them sit up and take notice. Every eye was turned upon me, the
leader sat back in his chair and folded his arms and never moved only
to applaud with all the rest between each stanza and continued to do
so until the song was completed, and then I received a rally from all,
tributes of flowers and tri-colored ribbons floating in graceful loops
from them. I responded with Annie Laurie, and the perfect attention
with which it was received was most affecting, and I was fully repaid
for my efforts, old as I was. I had won the battle nobly and to the
people of Oakland I give my heartfelt thankfulness for their
appreciation of my efforts to please them in legitimate song and show
my loyalty. More honors awaited me at the close of the exercises. As I
stepped from my dressing room there awaited me many prominent men and
women who came back of the stage to greet me and take my hand. Among
them were Rabbi Friedlander, Major Sherman, Alfred Wilkie, Judge
Gibson, Rev. Dr. Brown, members of the different committees, unknown
to me. About thirty minutes later, when I left for my carriage, I
found to my surprise that the sidewalk in front of the theater was
crowded with men, women and children, awaiting my coming. It was with
difficulty that I reached my carriage. I must needs take the hands of
these well-pleased people who wished to thank me. Through the efforts
of Mr. John T. Bell I entered the carriage and was driven to the Hotel
Touraine, where a banquet had been prepared. When I arrived the
committee and members of the chorus were seated at the tables. I was
escorted to the table at the end of the hall, decorated with
blossoms, flags and streamers and twelve uniformed soldiers standing
guard. During the banquet the band played patriotic airs and afterward
there were short speeches by prominent men. At the close of the
banquet the master of ceremonies asked the assemblage to rise and give
a tribute of three cheers for Mrs. Blake-Alverson, the patriotic
singer of Oakland. This was given with a will and the band played
America in which we all joined. With this song the celebration was
over and my career as a public singer for sixty-five years for the
people of California in the Golden State by the Golden Gate of the Far
West, the grandest state of all the galaxy of states, was ended.

WAR, 1861


At the Presidio, En Route to the Philippines, 1898]

While this closed my public life, as far as these holiday observances
went, I did not give up my music altogether, as I had no other way to
support myself and was still in possession of my voice and my ability
to teach was established. I went right on in the even tenor of my way
and did what I could toward making it possible for my pupils to take a
place with those who had succeeded in the beautiful art of music and
song. I had now taught in Oakland fifteen years and felt no uneasiness
as to the result, so I went bravely on doing what I could. My friends,
the soldiers of the G.A.R., felt their memorials and installations
were not complete without their Daughter of the Regiment who had never
denied them since 1861. Persons make a mistake who think they cannot
do much if they fail in the great achievements of life, but I contend
that the small things are not to be despised. I shall not be able to
put one-sixteenth part of my engagements in this book, but I will
illustrate with the G.A.R. and tell how often I have sung for that
organization alone. The reader will then realize the amount of work I
have done for churches, fraternal societies, missions, art classes,
sewing classes, functions of all kinds, club functions, singing
classes, holiday festivals, assistance to the young people of the
societies and Sunday schools of the churches with which I was
identified, guilds, charitable institutions and private affairs. Had I
not kept a diary for all these years I never would have known the vast
amount of work a person could do in a short life.

From 1861 until 1864 I did not keep a diary, but saved programmes of
special events. When the war started we were constantly doing
something for the soldiers. I will tell of an episode which convinced
me that the power of song is more lasting than we realize. When the
wounded men were brought home to the hospitals the different church
choirs were sent to sing for the sick and the dying, and at the
funerals. It seemed that each Sabbath afternoon I was administering to
the needs of the sick and wounded men. In 1862 I returned to
California and lived in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Stockton and
Oakland. I was the honored guest of the Appomattox Post, Captain
Thomas commanding, on April 26, 1894. It was the yearly visit to
inspect the Old Soldiers' Home at Yountville. Mr. Arbuckle and many of
the officers of the G.A.R. were in the party. I was to give the old
veterans some of the old melodies they loved. We had a full quartette
of musical people from the different posts, and when we arrived the
large hall was filled with the veterans. When my name was called upon
the programme it was impossible to begin until they had given vent to
their enthusiasm. I was in excellent voice and with my patriotic
spirit stirred I sang with a determined will to please once again, and
I certainly received a full return of appreciation.

After the concert a reception was held and I greeted them all as they
passed in file, and shook hands and received their expressions of
pleasure for my songs. After an excellent luncheon we inspected the
new kitchen and dining hall recently completed. One of the women, Mrs.
Sarah Markwert, and myself inspected the new kitchen and we came to
where one of the old veterans was washing the dishes. I said to my
friend, "Well, this is splendid, no one need mind washing dishes with
all these conveniences." At that moment the old man turned around and
with his hands in the dish water said to me, "Shure it's a many a long
day since I saw your face." I looked at him in astonishment and said,
"My dear comrade, where have I seen you before?" "Shure I was a sorry
looking man when you saw me in the hospital in Massachusetts as
helpless as a babe." "My dear sir, do you still remember me?" "Do we
forget the angels when once they visit us?" Then he went on with his
story until he brought the picture back to me as if it were yesterday.
Truly I was convinced of the power of song. He had listened to me when
sick and wounded and as his mind went back to the days of '61 he still
remembered the face and the singer and the song. After bidding him
good-bye and thanking him for his long remembrance of me, I turned
thoughtfully away. As we came upon the porch of the hospital I passed
a middle aged man and I nodded pleasantly and passed him by. As I
passed he said, "Are you going to forget your old postman of 120
Charles street, Boston?" I could not reply for a moment, and I looked
at him and said, "Are you Charles Blake?" He said, "I am." "What are
you doing here, are all the Eastern soldiers here in this place?"
"No," he replied, "Only two or three of us." "I was speaking to one
just now in the kitchen who remembered me." "Oh, yes, Patrick, he was
in the same place I was." "How did you happen to come here?" I asked
him. "My letter pouch became too heavy for me to carry and I asked to
be sent here, and I expect to remain the rest of my life." Truly,
wonders will never cease, said I, as we left him and went to the sick
room. There we saw rows of beds all occupied except three or four. At
the head of the stairs we stopped to speak to the old veteran and
inquired of his health. He said, "My days are short and I am ready to
go at any time now." I said, "You were unable to hear the music
today?" "Yes," he said, "I thought once or twice I could catch a sound
of it, but I could not tell." I asked him if he liked music and he
said, "Very much, and I wanted to hear the singer today for I had
heard her sing before I got bedridden, when she was a young woman, and
I was so sorry to have missed it." I said, "What song would you like
best to hear, now that you are sick, if you could hear anyone sing?"
"The song I have in my mind now is Nearer, My God, to Thee." I took
his wasted hand in mine and stood at the head of his bed and sang to
him and to all the sick in the ward. After I had finished a silence
was o'er all, save a sob or two from those who were deeply affected by
the song. The nurse approached and asked me if I would sing Rock of
Ages for one veteran who was lying at the other end of the ward. I
complied and when I had finished these poor afflicted men wanted to
thank me, so I passed from one bed to another and said a parting word
to each, and as I passed the bed of the old dying man, on my return,
he said with tears, "I shall not forget the song or the singer. The
memory of both will go with me to the gates of Paradise. I'll not
forget, good-bye." He lingered for another week, they told me, and his
last words were from the hymn, Nearer, My God, to Thee.

I have felt it my sacred duty to always answer the call of the
soldier. It began in 1861 and has always been listened to by me since.
I have sung at many exercises, at the Memorial exercises, which began
in 1880, I sang for the George Thomas Post. On January 18, 1885, I was
at the installation of post officers. Memorial day of that year I sang
at the Metropolitan hall, San Francisco. In 1886 I sang in the same
auditorium, which was packed, and I sang there again in 1887. In 1888
I sang for the W.R. Cornman Post, No. 57, San Bernardino. On January
5, 1889, installation exercises, and on January 30, 1889, G.A.R. camp
fire for veterans, I sang at San Bernardino. Returning to San
Francisco, I sang at the installation exercises in May, 1889, on
Memorial Day. On September 3, George Thomas Post concert in aid of
veterans' families. In 1890 I sang at the Sabbath service in the
Methodist Church for veterans. On May 30, Congregational Church,
Oakland, to a great congregation. Music was furnished by thirty picked
voices. Alfred Wilkie sang the Sword of Bunker Hill; Vive l'America,
and Tender and True were sung next. As Captain Thomas remarked, this
song was sung by the same singer in 1861, twenty-nine years before,
when the war was on, and once again to commemorate the brave who died.
On March 6, 1894, I participated at a grand rally and musical of Lyon
post and corps. On March 15, at Appomattox corps and post concert;
April 23, G.A.R. reception, Congregational Church, Edwin C. Seymour
and General W.H.L. Barnes, speakers, Mrs. Blake-Alverson, vocalist. On
April 24, reception of G.A.R. at Mills Tabernacle, Governor Markham
and staff present. The building was densely crowded and the enthusiasm
was marked. The band played the national anthems. I sang the Star
Spangled Banner and Annie Laurie amid the cheers and tremendous
applause of veterans and others present. On April 26 the Yountville
yearly visit to the Soldiers' Home was made by the Appomattox posts
and a concert was given and a general inspection of the home was held.
On May 8, 9, and 22 were days of receptions and entertainments to
raise funds. On May 30 I sang in the Methodist Church, Berkeley. On
June 14 I sang at the tenth anniversary of Appomattox Post and on June
15 anniversary of Lyon Corps and banquet. On July 19 I sang at
reception of G.A.R. officers and their families who had assembled from
other California cities and the East. August 6, September 1, 4, 22,
Admiral Porter Post No. 169, Lyon Post, Cole. E.D., Baker Camp No. 5;
October 25, National Guard of California; November 16, Flags of all
Nations concert; December 11, Lyon Corps entertainment. In 1895,
January 3, 8, March 13, May 30, July 4, July 9, 31, September 11,
November 13, were days of installation, memorials, processions of
importance, bazaars and concerts. In all I participated.


Georgia Sroufe
Mrs. Dollie Sroufe-Tiffany
Sophia Faull
Rose Faull
Edith Beam
Biddle Bishop
Carrie Brainard, Birdie Brainard
Bessie Graves
Ada Van Winkle
Mrs. Hattie Brainard
Susan Sroufe


In 1896, January 28, May 30 and 31, June 20, reception to
General-in-Chief Lawlor, G.A.R., were days to be remembered, but of
July 7 I must make special mention, as it was an honor that can only
come once to a singer. It was the golden jubilee of the flag-raising
at Monterey fifty years before, a scene of patriotic enthusiasm in
which I, with other patriotic people, participated. Through Major
Edwin Sherman, head of the arrangements committee, I was engaged to
assist in the demonstration. I had a previous engagement with Frank
Gilder at Santa Cruz for his concert a day or two before the flag
raising. When I arrived at Monterey I was met by Major Sherman, wife
and party and escorted to the hotel. After dinner the evening was
spent with rehearsals and completing the arrangement for the morning's
exercises. The day of July 7 was ideal, the air was mild and the sun
came out in all of its splendor and the streets were alive with people
who were assembling already in preparation for this great jubilee. The
procession started promptly at 10 o'clock and passed through the
principal streets of the city. Veterans of the Mexican war, sailors
from the battleships that lay in the harbor, United States soldiers
were in line. Many appropriate emblems, floats, and bands of music
followed. School children symbolizing the American flag presented a
feature never to be forgotten.

Across from the first custom house a large platform had been erected
and upon this platform all the performers for the occasion were
placed. At the top the children were grouped to form the flag, a most
novel and beautiful sight. The officers of the day, Mexican veterans,
musicians and speakers occupied the lower platform. The old custom
house opposite, with its high flag pole, the two armored cruisers
lying in the bay, the escort of hundreds of sailors from the ships
made a never-to-be-forgotten scene. At the appropriate moment William
P. Toler, the man who fifty years before raised the flag upon the same
pole, amid cheers from the multitude descended from the platform and
made his way through the crowd and ranks of the naval battalion to
where Lieutenant Roper of the Monadnock stood. He escorted Mr. Toler
to the northwest corner of the old custom house, beneath the staff,
while the quartermaster of the Philadelphia bent the American flag on
to the halyards which were placed in Mr. Toler's hand. At this point
Major Sherman called for three cheers for Old Glory and Mr. Toler,
with all the energy of his youth and his eyes sparkling with pride and
patriotic fire, grasped the rope (but the halyards were stiffened) and
after an adjustment of the difficulty the flag soon reached the
masthead and was spread out to the breeze. Then occurred a scene not
often witnessed. The people went wild at the beautiful sight. Hats and
handkerchiefs went flying into the air. All reserve of these military
men was forgotten in the moment of patriotic enthusiasm. The two
battleships anchored in the bay puffed forth the smoke from the
cannon's mouth. The air was filled with a riot of sounds from the
crash of guns, multiplying the echoes rising above the strains of the
Star Spangled Banner. It was a touching sight to see the veterans of
war behave like boys let loose from school, the children clapping
their hands, Queen California with her maids of honor upon her throne
waving handkerchiefs. The sailors stood at attention throughout this
demonstration, but when Mr. Toler turned to ascend the platform they
seized him and bore him triumphantly to the grandstand amid shouts and
huzzas for the midshipmate of fifty years ago. After the excitement
was over he bade them all farewell. This was the last public
appearance of Mr. Toler. He passed away the following year.

Upon the platform were gathered a number of notable men. Major Sherman
was orator of the day and the ruling spirit of this patriotic
gathering. Admiral L.A. Beardslee, U.S.N., retired, was the honored
guest and spoke with patriotic fervor on this occasion of the laying
of the corner stone of the Sloat monument and flag-raising. After the
address of Major Sherman the girls of the living flag sang with
splendid effect the Star Spangled Banner. Mrs. Eliza A. Pittsinger
eloquently recited an original poem written for l'America by myself,
with full spirit of patriotic fire and sweetness of song, which was
roundly applauded. At the close I brought forth a small American flag,
which created the greatest enthusiasm and responded with Old Glory,
Flag of Liberty. It was some time before I was allowed to retire.

Hon. H.C. Gesford, grand president of Native Sons of the Golden West,
followed with a telling speech; the Hon. Niles Searles, vice-president
of the California Pioneers, made a short and witty speech, after which
the multitude joined in the anthem of America. Rev. O.E. Edmonson,
chaplain of the U.S. flagship Philadelphia, pronounced the benediction
and the great celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the taking of
California and raising of the American flag at Monterey by Commodore
Sloat was ended and his honored fame gloriously vindicated.

My next work for the Grand Army was at an entertainment, July 14,
1896. I was asked to speak on the theme of Old Glory. I made my first
speech in public with Judge E.M. Gibson, Mr. Arbuckle and others who
were veterans on the speaking platform. In 1897 I sang at Memorial Day
exercises; May 28, Lincoln's memorial; December 14, Lyon Corps fete of
all nations closed the engagements of this year, with the addition of
many dollars finding their way into the depleted treasury. In 1898
Memorial Day was the first of the varied performances of the year;
June 25 was another departure from the regular things that took place
in the G.A.R. needs. About eight or nine of the patriotic women,
myself and four other singers of the different corps, went to visit
the boys enlisted for the Spanish-American war and staying at Camp
Merritt at the Presidio. They were awaiting the call to the
Philippines. We arrived in camp about four o'clock in the afternoon
and visited the different divisions and chatted with the soldiers
until eight o'clock, when we were due at the tent where Captain Sloat
was quartered, and his fine boys of San Bernardino, Cal.

We assisted the boys in their songs and listened to the remarks by
able men and women until nine o'clock, when Captain Sloat addressed
his men and called upon me to tell the boys of our work in 1861--a new
departure for me. I generally sang my patriotism, but this time it
took the form of a recital of events for about fifteen minutes, and
was listened to with the greatest attention. I told them of the dying
soldiers who passed away with the song of Annie Laurie on their lips.
Afterwards I sang it for them and gave them other songs. At the close
of my work Capt. Sloat made me an offering in the name of his men of
the most beautiful tribute of roses and ferns, contributed by the
individual members. I received their tribute with heartfelt gratitude
and appreciation. We were served with refreshments by the hospitable
women of the Red Cross before returning to the city. Taps sounded at
ten o'clock and we departed for our homes. October 11, 21, 24 finished
the entertainments for the year 1898. In 1899, January 5, the
installation of Appomattox Post and corps took place, followed on
February 21 with a grand reception of veterans and newly elected
officers and their wives. A musical program was provided as usual. On
May 30 the Memorial services were held in the Methodist Church with
suitable programme. On July 11 and 29 the Relief Corps had the usual
entertainment for friends. On September 3 memorial exercises for
soldiers who fell in the Philippine war were held. Nothing special
occurred in 1900 until Memorial Day, which was celebrated by befitting
exercises. On June 19 the Lyon Corps had an extra entertainment. On
June 23 the grand McKinley demonstration, San Francisco, closed the
engagements of the year 1900. I did not sing again for the G.A.R.
until 1903, because of my accident. On March 31, 1903, Lyon Post, as a
special request, needed my services. On August 21 and December 15,
they celebrated Veterans' Day, Lyon Post installation. On May 12,
1904, Captain Stillwell wanted the boys to have patriotic singing in
their armory opening, and asked me to sing for them Vive l'America.
This entertainment and Memorial Day, May 31, closed my work for this
year. 1905 began with the Lyon Corps and Post installation. On
Memorial Day I sang in the Congregational Church. As I sang The
Offering of Flowers I quietly placed a wreath of roses over the spear
of the flag, as it projected in front of me in the gallery over the
pulpit, and in an instant the audience rose to their feet in silent
appreciation for my tribute to the dead, comrades knowing my inability
to go to the cemetery for the services there. At the close of the
services, before I could leave my place in the gallery, many G.A.R.
officers and strangers paid their affectionate tributes of praise for
my services of song and honor to the dead. Once more I was urged to
sing at the Macdonough theater on the Fourth of July of that year, and
I received a most enthusiastic reception from the public. The banquet
of Lyon Corps for the post, July 11, and the memorial services of post
and corps for the annual deaths closed this year's services. I
supposed this would be my last public appearance, but in 1906 I was
needed at the installation as usual, and on the Fourth of July at the
Macdonough theater. In 1907 I sang at a special reception to veterans
and department officers of California and their wives. Judge Dibble
was most eloquent in his address, which was enthusiastically received
by the veterans. On July 31 and August 20 I closed my G.A.R. work for
the year. In 1908 I sang on two occasions, and in 1909 I sang at the
Bay School for Mr. Crawford, taking a quartette with me. We gave the
children some of the old songs for the inspiration of their patriotic
spirit. They in return gave us the "Red, White and Blue" with splendid
effect, led by Mr. Crawford, who is a patriotic spirit among the young
in the schools of California. On July 8 and November 30 closed the
engagements for 1910 and 1911, up to May 30, 1912. How many more
times I shall be able to help the Boys in Blue I do not know, but as
long as I have a musical note left it shall be to serve them.

My book has already assumed such proportions that I shall not be able
to give many of the interesting and worthy occurrences which have
occurred in my public life as a singer. I have sung for the Masonic
lodges, Knights of Pythias, Rebekahs, Eastern Star. I have sung at
concerts for the different charities, church societies, Christian
associations, on anniversaries of special nature, at public
demonstrations in the school department, among them the tree-planting
by the children of the Lincoln school and demonstration chorus singing
by the children in Mills Tabernacle. I have entertained artists who
have come to our coast and sung in opera and concert. Madam Etelka
Gerster and her company were entertained in my home in 1884; the prima
donna, Materna, of Wagner fame, and her tenor, Ondricek, and Madame
Anna Bishop and her artists were also my guests. I have enjoyed the
friendships of our artists, Rudolph Herold, Ernest Hartman, Prof.
Trenkle, J.H. Dohrmann and hosts of others. When Henry Clay Barnabee
and his opera company were at the Columbia theater I enjoyed many
hours of real comradeship, chatting about old times in Boston and
other artists of our day. Emma Shafter Howard made it possible for
many musical people to meet the celebrated violinist, Ysaye, a number
of years ago. It would require many pages to recount the number of
such meetings which have taken place during my sojourn in Boston,
Mass.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Oregon, Victoria, and throughout the cities
of California. In San Bernardino I found during my sixteen months'
stay many prominent families who extended their cordial support and
appreciation and welcome. I take great pleasure in mentioning
especially Mr. Seth Marshall and wife, Dr. and Mrs. Addison Collins,
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Perkins.

On returning to Oakland I received the right hand of fellowship from
Horace A. Redfield, who visited me in my studio, and his wife, Addie
Lowell Redfield and her sister Mrs. Gussie Lowell Garthwaite. Through
these friends it became known that I had come to this city to reside.
At that time Mr. Redfield was prominent as an impresario, a musical
critic and the writer of the Lyre and Song column in the Oakland
Enquirer. Through my singing in church choirs and public concerts I
later made permanent friends of many of the good people of Oakland who
encouraged music of the highest order in their homes. Mrs. Gutterson,
Mrs. John L. Howard, Mrs. Emma Shafter-Howard were among the earlier
friends and later in East Oakland Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Goodfellow, who
are thoroughly musical. He possessed a fine tenor voice while his wife
was a splendid musician and pianist. It was my good fortune to gain
their friendship while I served the Church of the Advent for eight
months, they being members of that diocese. During the life of Stephen
W. Leach, Mr. Goodfellow formed the Glee Club of friends who were well
known singers and players. S.W. Leach was director of this club. It
was Mr. Goodfellow's recreation from his much worry and work in his
profession. Mr. and Mrs. William Angus, Mr. George Collins, wife and
two daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Klose and Miss Augusta Klose were the
friends who were among the musical people of the club. It was in 1896
I began singing in the choir and in looking around for the leader for
the club I was accepted as soloist and leader. I was reluctant to do
this, as I well knew the ability of Mr. Leach, having belonged to his
Madrigal club long years before in San Francisco, but my good fortune
lay in knowing how to sing these English, Scotch and Welsh madrigals
and airs, many of them so familiar to me. For nearly three years we
enjoyed the advantage of the club and the carefully selected musical
library which Mr. Goodfellow possessed and placed at our convenience.
It was a delightful gathering of congenial friends and gave restful
pleasure to our good host and charming hostess who made it possible
for us all to benefit by their generous hospitality. These delightful
weekly gatherings were only discontinued when Mr. Goodfellow was
obliged to rest from his labor and travel for a year. Our last meeting
occurred February 2, 1900, when he and his wife left for their tour of
the world. During their absence changes had taken place among the
families. It has been my good fortune to meet prominent men and women
in the different cities where I have lived who devoted time and money
to promote the best music in their home cities. By their generosity
many worthy aspirants have received encouragement to greater
advancement in their chosen career who perhaps would not have had
opportunity to be known or heard otherwise.



Thinking it may be of interest to my readers and also of some
historical value, I append a list of the halls and theaters as well as
the churches where I have sung. A list of the masses, oratorios,
cantatas, etc., is also given. I also give a list of the pastors of
the various churches where I have sung.


Alcazar Hall, O'Farrell street.
B'nai B'rith Hall, O'Farrell street.
California Theatre, Bush street.
Old Metropolitan Hall, Montgomery street.
Pacific Hall, Bush street.
Mechanics Library Hall, Bush street.
Sherman and Clay Hall, Sutter street.
Old Dashaway Hall, Post street.
Greer's Hall, Minna street, between 17th and 18th streets.
Western Addition Hall, Mission street.
Grand Western Hall, corner Bush and Polk streets.
Hamilton Hall, corner Steiner and Geary streets.
Mission Music Hall, 21st and Howard streets.
Laurel Hall, Shiel's Building, O'Farrell street.
Mission Opera Hall, Grove and Laguna streets.
Old Platt Hall, Montgomery street.
Pacific Hall, Howard street.
Union Hall, Mission street.
Masonic Temple, corner Montgomery and Sutter streets.
Mechanics Pavilion, Union Square.
Mechanics Pavilion, Mission street.
Mechanics Pavilion, Market street.
Knights of Pythias Hall, Market street.
Woodward's Gardens, Mission street.
Pioneer Hall, Fourth street, between Market and Mission streets.
Metropolitan Temple, Fifth street.
Y.M.C.A. Hall, Sutter street. Sang eight years here.
Wigwam, political meetings, James G. Blaine and others, Stockton and
  Geary streets.
Odd Fellows Hall, Western Addition, Geary and Steiner streets.
Mark Hopkins Institute, California street.
Odd Fellows Hall, Mission street.
Tent Pavilion, Mission street, back of the old Palace Hotel.
Ixora Hall, Mission street.
Winter Garden, Stockton street, between Sutter and Post streets.
Ladies' Relief Society.
Protestant Orphan Asylum.


Mae Whitney
Mrs. May Stewart-Jolly
Elizabeth Harrold
Gussie Graves
Mary Harrold
Nettie Worden
Mary R. Beam
Mrs. Louis Glass
Mme. Annie Tregar



First Presbyterian Church, 1870-1871, Stockton street.
St. John's Presbyterian Church, Post street.
St. Patrick's Church, Mission street, March 21, 1869, 1870-1874.
St. Mary's, California and Dupont streets, 1869, 1870; 3 months.
Congregational Church, Dupont and California streets.
Calvary Church, Bush street.
Calvary Church, Geary street, May 7, 1882.
Fruitvale Congregational Church, Oakland.
Noe Valley Mission, Noe Valley.
Hamilton Hall Mission, Western Addition.
Howard Presbyterian Church, Howard street.
First Methodist Church, Mission street.
Church of the Advent, Mission street.
Church of the Advent, East Oakland.
Powell Street Methodist Church, Powell street.
Green Street Church, Green street.
Episcopal Church, Stockton street.
Larkin Presbyterian Church, Larkin street.
O Habi Sholom, Mason street, September 15, 1887, 1888.
Old Catholic Mission Church, Mission Street.
Pilgrim Congregational Church, East Oakland.
St. Brigid's, Western Addition, San Francisco.
San Bruno Road Catholic Church, 1875.
St. Ignatius Church, Market street, 1869.
Notre Dame, French Catholic Church; Organist, R.A. Lucchesi.
Unitarian Church, Geary street; Harry Hunt, organist.
Howard Street Methodist Church; Martin Schultz, organist.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
Trinity Church, Powell street.
Grace Cathedral, corner California and Stockton streets.
Alemany, Bishop, St. Mary's Catholic Church, California street, San
Akerly, Father, St. John's Episcopal Church, Oakland.
Anderson, Rev. John, First Presbyterian Church, Stockton street, San
Anderson, Rev. John Jr. (assistant), First Presbyterian Church,
  Stockton street, San Francisco.
Buchard, Rev. Father, St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, Market
  street, San Francisco.
Baylis, Rev. Mr., First Presbyterian Church, Stockton street, San
Barrows, Rev. D.D., Calvary Church, Bush street, San Francisco.
Beecher, Henry Ward, Congregational Church, Walnut Hills, Cincinnati,
Bettleheim, Rabbi, Jewish, Mason street, San Francisco.
Bailey, Rev. Mr., Congregational Mission, Sixteenth street, Oakland.
Beecher, Lyman R., Congregational Church, Walnut Hills, Cincinnati,
Bokum, Rev. Henry, Reformed Church, Betts street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Burgess, Rev. Dr., Congregational Church, Dedham, Mass.
Birmingham, Rev. Father, Roman Catholic Church, Mission street, San
Burrows, Dr., School for Boys, Stockton and Geary streets, San
Curry, Rev. James, Emanuel Presbyterian Church, Oakland.
Cunningham, Rev. Dr. D., Presbyterian Church, Stockton street, San
Cool, Rev. P.Y., First Methodist Church, Santa Cruz, California.
Cook, Rev. Dr., Y.M.C.A., Sutter street, San Francisco.
Cheney, Rev. B.G., Baptist Church, Washington street, San Francisco.
Cox, Rev. H., Methodist Church, Mission street, San Francisco.
Chapman, Rev. Dr., Congregational Church, East Oakland, California.
Dixon, Rev. Frank, Y.M.C.A., Sutter street, San Francisco.
Dille, Rev. E.R., Methodist Church, Fourteenth and Clay streets,
Dodge, Dr., Presbyterian Church.
Ells, Rev. James, Presbyterian Church, Stockton street, San Francisco.
Edwards, Rev. Mr., Hamilton Hall, Oakland.
Eston, Rev. Giles, Episcopal Church, Santa Cruz.
Freer, Rev. James, Congregational Church, Santa Cruz.
Frisk, Rev., Congregational Church, San Francisco.
Freidlander, Rabbi, Jewish, Fourteenth street, Oakland.
Gray, Rev. Father, Roman Catholic Church, Mission street, San
Gibson, Rev. M., Scotch Presbyterian Church, Jones street, San
Gerrior, Rev. Mr., Congregational Church, Jones avenue and East
  Fourteenth street, Oakland.
Guard, Rev. Thomas, Presbyterian Church, Bush street, San Francisco.
Hemphill, Rev. John, Presbyterian Church, Geary and Powell streets,
  San Francisco.
Hemphill, Rev. Joseph, Presbyterian Church, Noe Valley, San Francisco.
Hewes, Rev. Mr., Baptist Church, Mission District, San Francisco.
Horton, Rev. Mr., Presbyterian Church, Fourteenth and Franklin streets,
Hagar, Rev. E.W., Episcopal Church, Stockton, California.
Happersett, Rev. Mr., Presbyterian Church, Stockton, California.
Jewell, Rev. Frank, Methodist Church, Mission street, San Francisco.
Kip, Bishop Ingraham, Grace Episcopal Church, San Francisco.
Koenig, Rev. Father, Roman Catholic Church, San Bernardino.
Kroh, Rev. Henry, German Reformed Church, Betts street, Cincinnati,
Kroh, Rev. Phillip H., German Reformed Church, Stockton and Anna,
  Jonesboro, Union County, Illinois.
Levy, Rabbi, Jewish Synagogue, Mason street, San Francisco.
Lathrop, Rev. H.D., Episcopal Church, San Francisco and Oakland.
Lacey, Rev. E.S., Congregational Church, Dupont and California streets,
  San Francisco.
Larkin, Rev. James, Roman Catholic Church, Mission street.
Law, Rev. V. Marshall, Episcopal Church, East Oakland.
McClean, Rev. Dr. D., Congregational Church, Twelfth and Clay streets,
McSweeney, Father, Roman Catholic Church, Grove and Hobart streets,
Morrison, Rabbi, Jewish, Mason street, San Francisco.
McKenzie, Rev. Robert, Presbyterian Church, Mission street, San
Morrisey, Rev. Father, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, San
Machias, Rev. James, Presbyterian Church, Geary and Powell streets, San
Myerson, Rev. Dr., Jewish, Mason street, San Francisco.
Mathews, Rev. James, Presbyterian and Calvary Churches, San Francisco.
McNutt, Rev. George L., Congregational Church, East Oakland.
Nugent, Rev. J.F., Roman Catholic Church, Mission street, San
O'Brien, Rev. W.J., Episcopal Church, San Bernardino.
O'Connor, Rev. Father, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, San
Palmer, Rev. Mr., Congregational Church, Oakland, California.
Pittblado, Rev. Dr., Calvary Presbyterian Church, San Francisco and New
Patterson, Rev. Mr., Presbyterian Church, Stockton.
Rust, Rev. Henry, German Reformed Church, Betts street, Cincinnati,
Rader, Rev. Wm., Congregational Church, Oakland and San Francisco.
Reed, Rev. S.F., Presbyterian Church, San Francisco; came from
Smith, Mathew Hale, Presbyterian Church, San Francisco; came from New
Scott, Rev. Dr., Presbyterian Church, San Francisco; came from Glasgow,
Stone, Dr. A.L., Congregational Church, Mason street, San Francisco.
Sprecher, Rev. Dr., Presbyterian and Calvary Churches, San Francisco.
Silcox, Rev. Dr., Congregational Church, East Oakland.
Simmons, Rev. Dr. (1852), Methodist Church, Stockton.
Starr-King, Rev., Unitarian Church, Stockton street, San Francisco.
Stebbins, Rev. Horatio, Unitarian Church, Geary street, San Francisco.
Scott, Rev. W.A., D.D., LL.S., St. John's Presbyterian Church, Post
  street, San Francisco.
Stockman, Father, Roman Catholic Church, San Bernardino, California.
Scudder, Rev. Dr., Presbyterian Church, Mission street, San Francisco.
Talmage, Rev. DeWitt, Presbyterian and Calvary Churches, San Francisco
  and New York.
Thompson, Rev. J., Presbyterian Church, Mission street, San Francisco.
Upchurch, Rev. J., Methodist Church, Mission street, San Francisco
  (Eastern minister).
Wood, Rev. James, Presbyterian Church, Stockton.
Woodbridge, Rev. Sylvester, First Presbyterian Church, Benicia.
Wadsworth, Rev. Dr., Calvary Presbyterian Church, Bush street, San
Wendte, Rev. Mr., Unitarian Church, Oakland.
Williams, Rev. Albert, Presbyterian Church; founder of the first
  Presbyterian Church of San Francisco.
Wheeler, Rev. O.C., Baptist Church, San Francisco.
Willey, Rev. H.S., Presbyterian Church, Mission street, San Francisco.
Weber, Archdeacon, Episcopal missioner at Church of the Advent, East


St. Paul.
Moses in Egypt, by Rossini.
Creation, Haydn.
Messiah, Handel.
Samson, Handel.
Elijah, six different times.
Israel in Egypt, Handel.
Stabat Mater, Rossini.
Racine's Athalie, Mendelssohn Bartholdy.
Paradise and the Peri.
Schumann's Cantata.
Erlking's Daughter, Miles W. Gade.
First Walpurgis Night.
Daughter of Jarius, J. Stainer.
God, Thou Are Great, L. Spohr.
Baumbach's Collections Sacred Music.
Mosenthal's Quartettes--church and home collection.

Sacred music sung in San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, San
Bernardino, and other cities in California and United States.

All of Sudd's collections.

Millard's collection of songs for Sunday school children, Episcopal

While in Boston I was a member of the Edwin Bruce United Choir Chorus,
composed of the best soloists of the day.

Dr. Burgess' choir of Dedham.
Newton Musical Association.
Bowdoin Street choir, 200 voices, and
Church of the Unity choir.

We formed an operatic bouquet of artists. All through the war we gave
concerts for the volunteer soldiers of the State of Massachusetts. Our
repertoire consisted of choruses from:

Il Trovatore
Sicilian Vespers, Verdi
Lucrezia Borgia
Solo and choruses from Lucrezia Borgia, Donizetti
Solo and choruses from Il Templario, Nicolai
Quintette and chorus, Martha, Flotow
Miserere, Il Trovatore, Verdi
Les Huguenots
Bohemian Girl
Charity, Rossini
Chorus, La Fille Du Regiment, Donizetti.
Chorus, Maritana, Wallace
I Lombardi, Verdi
Trio and chorus, Attila, Verdi
Solo and chorus, Martha, Flotow
Chorus, Donizetti, The Martyrs


Mozart's 12th.
Haydn's 6th in B flat.
Mercadanti, three-voice mass.
Haydn's 3d in D.
Mozart's mass in C, No. 1.
Haydn's in C, No. 2.
Farmer's mass in G.
Haydn's 3d in D.
Mozart's No. 7.
Haydn's 8th.
Peter's mass in E flat.
Haydn's 16th in B flat.
Concone, three-voice mass.
Roeder's mass. Sung July 5th, 1874, for first time.
Weber's mass in G.
Mozart's 16th mass, St. Mary's church.
Weber's mass in E flat.
Beethoven's in C.
Mozart's No. 1.
Mozart's No. 7.
Bach's mass in B minor for five voices. Sung April 17th at St.
Haydn's No. 1.
Millard's mass.
Haydn's 16th mass in B flat.
Schubert's 2d mass and vespers.
Schubert's 3d.
Schubert's 4th.
Haydn's 3d mass in D.
Weber's mass in G.
Beethoven's mass in C.
Mozart's vespers in C dur.
Mozart's No. 1.
Mozart's No. 2.
Mozart's No. 3.
Buchler's vespers.
Mozart's 9th requiem.
Mozart's 4th mass and vespers.
Mozart's 5th mass. (Sung on June 20th at dedication of new organ which
  the choir aided in purchasing.)


Lillian Jory
Chelice Beretta
Cloy Bouton
Mabel Caswell
Dr. Addison Collins
Etta Pollard
Daisy Pollard
Sue Stewart
Mrs. Minnie M. Collins

PUPILS OF THE 80's AND 90's]


March 20, began singing in St. Patrick's church.
Candlemas Day, St. Ignatius church (Market street), Mozart's Twelfth.
March 15th, Notre Dame school.
April 4th, St. Patrick's.
April 11th, 18th and 27th, requiem mass.
May 2d, St. Patrick's.
August 29th, St. Mary's.
October 7th, September 6th, requiem at St. Mary's.
October 21st, requiem at St. Patrick's.
October 26th, requiem at St. Patrick's.
November 2d, 5th and 27th, requiem at St. Patrick's.
December 5th, 19th, and 23d, St. Patrick's.
Eighteen Mozart masses.
Requiem brevis.
Sixteen Haydn masses.
Lambillotte, First Mass in D.
Beethoven, two masses, one in C and one in D; very difficult.
October 31st, Weber's E flat (mostly sung).
Schubert's five masses.

On All Saints' Day, 1870, we sang Rossini's "Solenelle Requiem" with
16 solo voices and a full orchestra, and 35 in chorus.

I.J. Paine of Boston, first mass; very difficult.
Bach's masses.
Peter's smaller masses (complete).
Cherubini's masses (complete).

Choir in St. Patrick's during these years were: Soprano, Mrs. Urig,
Miss Louisa Tourney, Mrs. Young and Mrs. Taylor; mezzo-soprano, Mme.
Bianchi and Mrs. Herman; mezzo-contralto, Mrs. M.R. Blake; contralto,
Ella Steele; tenor, Mr. Buch; bass, Mr. Schnable.


December 24th, Midnight mass.
December 25th, repeated Christmas Day.
December 27th, requiem.
January 27th, requiem at 8:30 a.m.
June 25th, mass.
June 26th, mass and vespers.
July 7th, requiem at 8:30.
July 10th, Mercadanti, four-voice mass.
July 17th, Mozart's mass.
July 27th, requiem at 8:30.
July 31st, Lambillotte mass.
August 21st, Weber's mass E flat.
August 28th, Farmer's mass.
August 18th, Beethoven's mass in C.
September 4th, Beethoven's mass in C.
September 20th, requiem at 8:30.
September 25th, Beethoven's mass in C.
October 2d, Mozart's mass No. 1, vespers at six o'clock.
October 3d, requiem at 8:30 a.m.
October 7th, requiem, Mission Dolores.
October 8th, requiem at 8:30, St. Patrick's.
October 9th, Mozart's mass No. 1.
October 13th, requiem at 8:30.
October 16th, Mozart's 7th mass and vespers.
October 23d, Haydn's No. 1 vespers (black book).
October 30th, Beethoven's mass in C.
October 31st, benediction at church All Saints' Day. Requiem
  and chants. Rossini's "Solenelle" for first time in California.
November 1st, Beuhler's mass.
November 2d, requiem, All Souls' Day, 2 p.m.
November 3d, benediction evening. I sang solo.
November 3d, sang requiem at 10 a.m.
November 6th, Haydn's 5th mass. Benediction.
November 18th, requiem at 8:30.
November 20th, Mozart's mass No. 2.
November 27th, repeated same mass.
December 4th, Farmer's mass.
December 11th, repeated mass.
December 18th, Mozart's mass No. 2.
December 19th, 20th, 21st, rehearsal with orchestra.
December 24th, midnight mass.
December 25th, repeated midnight mass.


Rev. Father Bingham officiated as celebrant. Deacon, Rev. T. Larkin,
sub-deacon Rev. J.P. Nugent, Rev. P.J. Gray acted as master of
ceremonies. Father Gray delivered a brief discourse on the life and
character of Pope Pius IX. The music by the choir was of high order
and excellently rendered. The selections included Introit, Dies Iræ,
Lacrimosa, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei and Lux Aeterna--all from L.
Cherubini's compositions. Offertory, Domini from Verdi and Libera from
Palestrina. Artists were:

_Soprano_--Miss Brandel, Miss C. Bush.
_Contralto_--Mrs. M. Blake, Signora Bianchi.
_Tenor_--Signor Bianchi and Signor Meize.
_Bass_--Mr. Stockmyer and Mr. Yarndley.
_Organist_--J.H. Dohrmann.
Full orchestra, thirty pieces.


Mozart's 12th.
Haydn's 6th in B flat.
Mercadanti, three-voice.
Haydn's 3d in D.
Mozart's No. 1 in C.
Haydn's No. 2.
Farmer's mass in B flat.
Weber's in G.
Haydn's 3d in D.
Mozart's No. 7.
Haydn's mass No. 8.
Peter's mass in E flat.
Haydn's 16th in B flat.


Mozart's 12th.
Farmer's in B flat.
Weber's in E flat.


Mozart's 12th in C.


Weber's mass in G.


June 20th, Mozart's 5th mass.
June 21st, Concone's three-voice mass.
July 2d, a high mass for wedding at 10 a.m.; full choir and orchestra.
July 5th, Roeder's mass.
July 12th, requiem.
July 17th, requiem.
July 19th, Mercadanti mass.
July 26th, repeated the mass.
July 29th, requiem.
August 2d, Peter's mass.
August 8th, requiem.
August 9th, Roeder's mass.
August 11th, requiem.
August 14th, requiem.
August 15th, Holy Thursday.
Haydn's 16th in B flat.
Schubert's 2d mass and vespers.
Schubert's 3d mass.
Schubert's 4th mass.
Haydn's 3d in D.
Weber's Mass in G.
Beethoven's in C.
Mozart's vespers in C dur.
Mozart's 1st and 2d mass.
Mozart's 3d mass.
Buchler's vespers.
Mozart's 9th requiem.
Mozart's 5th mass.
Mozart's 12th, 6th, 7th and 8th.
Mozart's 9th
Haydn's 6th in B flat.
Mozart's No. 1 in C.
Haydn's No. 2 in C.
Farmer's mass in B flat.
Haydn's 8th.
Peter's mass in E flat.


April 17th, Easter Day.


Miss H. Brandel, _soprano_
Mrs. M.R. Blake, _contralto_
Signora Bianchi, _mezzo-soprano_
Signor Bianchi, _tenor_
F. Shoenstein, _bass_

Music rendered:

Vide Aquam, V. Novello.
Veni Creator, Mrs. M.R. Blake.
"Alma Vergo," Mrs. Brandel.
Mass in B minor (five voices), John Sebastian Bach. Sung for
  the first time in San Francisco.
J.H. Dohrmann, master and organist.
Romberg's Te Deum--Orchestra.
J.K. Paine, mass.
W.A. Leonard's mass in B flat, four voices.
Regina Coeli (Paolo Giorza).
April 8th, extra Easter music--violin, organ, voice.


October 28th, Concone mass. Vespers at 4 p.m.
November 20th, requiem--Father Koenig--Father Stockman.
December 2d, Bordeuse mass.
December 8th, requiem at 8:30.
December 22d, Bordeuse mass.


January 1st, Bordeuse mass.
January 6th, part of three masses.
January 13th, Werner's mass.
January 20th, Bordeuse mass.
January 27th, Peter's mass.
February 17th, Bordeuse mass.
February 24th, high mass--Millard's mass, second time.
March 3d, mass, Concone. Vespers at 4 p.m.
March 10th, Peter's mass. Vespers at 4 p.m.
March 24th, third Sunday in Lent, Gregorian chants.
March 31st, Gloria and Kyrie from Easter mass.
April 7th, Werner's mass. Vespers at 4 p.m.
April 14th, Palm Sunday, Millard's mass.
April 19th, Good Friday, requiem from green book.
April 21st, Easter Sunday, Buchler's mass and vespers.
April 25th, sang for the Sodality in the afternoon (Sisters of Mercy).
April 30th, closed my engagements at this church.


1852--Mary Matilda Kroh, organ, piano, Stockton, Cal., from
  Cincinnati, O.
1853--H.B. Underhill, organ, piano, Stockton, from New York.
1853--Paul Pioda, Benicia Female Seminary, from Italy.
1853--Mary E. Woodbridge, piano, organ, Benicia Female Seminary.
1853--Emily Wash, piano, Benicia Female Seminary.
1854--Johanna Lapfgeer, piano and organ, Benicia Female Seminary.


Mary Matilda Kroh, _organist_
Emma Jane Kroh, _soprano_
Sarah Rebecca Kroh, _soprano_
Margaret R. Kroh, _alto_
Mary Matilda Kroh, _alto_
James Holmes, _bass_
Wm. W. Trembly, _tenor_
H. Noel, _tenor_
Geo. H. Blake, _tenor_
Wm. Belding, _bass_
Amos Durant, _bass_


Mrs. Wm. E. Blake
Ethel Jones
Mrs. Chas. Lessig
Everett S. Dowdle
Louisa Crosett
Margaret Oakes
Josie Crew
Grace LaRue



Lucy Grove, _soprano_
Mary Newell, _soprano_
Lizzie Fisher, _alto_
Jennie Grove, _alto_
Sam Grove, _tenor_
Wm. H. Cobb, _tenor_
James Holmes, _bass_
The Ainsa Family (Castilians), Lola, Anita, Belana, Leonore, (1852)
H.B. Underhill, _organist and piano_ (1854)
Louisa Falkenburg, _pianist_


Anna Thillon's corps of artists were:

Julia Gould
S.W. Leach
Mr. Ronconvieri
Mr. Hudson
Geo. Loder, _director_


Beutler, Prof., _piano_
Bodecker, Louis, _piano_
Bosworth, H.M., _piano, organ_
Batkin, I., _piano, organ_
Bulle, Ole, _violin virtuoso_, 1854
Brandt, Herman, _violinist_, arrived 1894
Blankart, Otto, _violinist_
Blake, Geo. L., _cornet and drum, French horn_
Coggins, I.O., _cornet_
Dohrmann, J.H., _piano, organ, harmony, composer_
Dellepiane, F., _piano, organ_
Eaton, Prof., _organ, composer_
Espinosa, Signor, _organ_
Evans, George, _organ_
Fabbri, Mulder, _organ_
Foley, Prof., _violin_
Gee, George, _piano, organ_
Homier, Louis, _piano, violin_
Hunt, Harry, _organ_ and _piano_
Hartmann, Ernest, _piano_
Hemme, Prof., _piano_
Heyman, Henry, _violin_
Hefferman, Prof., _leader of band_
Herold, Rudolph, _piano_
Hinrichs, Julius, _violoncello_
Hinrichs, August, _violin, leader_
Hinrichs, Gustave, _piano_
Hartdegan, Prof. A., _violoncello_
Herzog, Theo., _violin_
Herold, Oscar, _piano, leader_
Holt, Prof., _organ_
Koppitz, George, _flute_
Koppitz, Henry, _arranger of music_
Kohler, Dick, _cornet_
Kuhne, Arnold, _piano, organ_
Katzenbach, Fred'k, _piano, organ_
Lisser, Louis, _pianist_
Loring, D.W., _Loring Club leader_
Linden, Otto, _piano_
Little, Geo. C., _organ, piano_
Mayer, James C, _organ_
Mayer, D. Samuel, _organ, piano_
Mundwyler, John, _bassoon, double bass_
Mundwyler, Louis, _oboe, clarionet, violin_
Mundwyler, Fred, _trombone, viola_
McDougall, W.J., _organ, piano_
Mansfeldt, Hugo, _pianist virtuoso_, 1873
McCume, Chas., _piano_
Oettl, Julius, _piano_
Pettinos, George, _organ, piano_
Pipers, Fritz, _violin_
Paddock, Nellie, _piano_
Rosenberg, A.A., _piano_
Rosewald, Prof., _violin_
Sabin, Wallace, _piano, organ, composer_
Schmidt, Louis Sr., _violin leader_
Schmidt, Louis Jr., _violin_
Schmidt, Ernest, _violin_
Schmidt, Clifford, _violoncello_
Schmidt, Alice, _piano_
Simonson, Martin, _violin virtuoso_
Scott, Gustave, _piano and organ_
Stedman, H.S., _organ, piano_
Sewell, Prof., _organ, piano_
Schultz, Charles, _pianist_. California Theater leader.
Schlott, Ernest, _French horn_
Schmitz, Christof, _French horn_
Schmitz, Joseph, _Leader_
Spadina, Prof., _clarionet_ and _director_
Solano, Mauro, _harp, piano, cello_
Seward, William, _organ, piano_
Stadfeldt, Jacob, _piano_ and _singer_
Sleuter, Prof., _piano_
Schultz, Martin, _organ, piano_
Seib, Prof., _organ, piano_
Trenkle, Joseph, _piano_
Toepke, Wm., _piano_
Uhlig, Robert, _violin_
Urba, Prof., _horn_
Von der Mehden, L., _cornet, flute, violin_
Wand, Prof., _piano_
Weil, Oscar, _piano composer_
Wysham, Clay, _flute_
Yarndley, T.R., _organ_
Zech, August, _pianist_, Royal Court of Leipsic


Beutler, Clara, _piano_
Blankart, Theresa Mrs., _piano_
Bacon, Alice M., _piano_
Carmichael, Carr, _piano_
Carusi, Inez, _piano_ and _harp_
Cohen, Madam Waldo, _piano_
Dillaye, Miss, _piano, organ_
Jaffa, Madam, _piano_
Cottlow, Augusta, _piano virtuoso_
Lada, Madam, _piano_
Tojetti, Madam, _piano_


Abby, Mrs. A., _mezzo-soprano_
Biscaccianti, Mme. E. (nee Eliza Ostinello), _coloratura singer,
Brambrilla, Signora Elvira, _prima donna, soprano_
Bianchi, Signora, _mezzo-soprano_
Bishop, Mme. Anna, _prima donna, soprano_
Blake, Margaret M., _mezzo-contralto_
Beutler, Clara, _soprano_
Beutler, Ida, _mezzo_
Beutler, Emma, _contralto_
Bateman Sisters, in 1854
Bowden, Mrs. Anna Shattuck, _soprano_
Buthen, Mrs., _soprano_ (St. Patrick's)
Carusi, Inez, _soprano_
Cowen, Safa Tate, _soprano_
Campbell, Mrs. Marriner, _coloratura soprano_
Chisolm, Mrs., _contralto_
Cameron, Mrs. _soprano_
Escott, Lucy, _prima donna, soprano_
Elzer, Anna, _prima donna, contralto_
Fabri, Inez, _prima donna, soprano_
Gerster, Etelka, _prima donna soprano_
Galton, Susan, _lyric soprano_
Gould, Susan, _contralto_
Howard, Etna, _soprano_
Keen, Laura, _soprano_
Little, Sarah Watkins, _soprano_ (1864)
Leach, Georgiana, _soprano_
Lester, Louisa, _soprano_
Mills, Louisa, _prima donna, soprano_
Melville, Emily, _prima donna, soprano_
Menans, Madam, _soprano_ (St. Patrick's)
Moore, Hattie, _soprano_ (opera)
Mohrig, Ida Semminaro, _mezzo-soprano_
Northrup, Elizabeth, _mezzo-soprano_
Neilson, Alice, _soprano_ (opera)
Orlandini, Gabriela, _soprano_ (opera)
Parker, Elizabeth, _soprano_
Pierce, Mrs. J.M., _soprano_
Rightmire, Sallie, _contralto_
Rosewald, Julia, _prima donna soprano_ (opera)
Shattuck, Anna B., _soprano_
Sconcia, Madame, _soprano_
Stone, Kate, _contralto_
Schultz, Susan, _soprano_
States, Agatha, _soprano_
Taylor, Mrs., _soprano_ (St. Patrick's)
Tourney, Louisa, _soprano_ (St. Patrick's)
Thursby, Louisa, _prima donna, soprano_
Uhrig, Mrs., _soprano_ (St. Patrick's)
Van Brunt, Mrs. R.A., _soprano_, (Calvary Church)
Valerga, Ida, _mezzo-soprano_ (opera)
Wilson, Alice, _soprano_
Wetherbee, Nellie, _mezzo-soprano_
Williams, Mrs. Barney, _soprano_
Young, Mrs. _soprano_ (St. Patrick's)


McDonough, Luckstone, _piano_
Materna, Amelia, _famous prima donna_
Frantz, Ondricek, _famous tenor_


Adler, Herman, _baritone_
Bianchi, Signor, _tenor_
Borneman, Fred, _bass_
Bettencourt, J. de S., _tenor_
Campbell, Walter, _bass_ (1859)
Clark, Benjamin, _tenor_ (1854)
Coch, S.W., _bass_
Dugan, Charles, _baritone_
Duffy, Thomas, _baritone_
Elliott, Washington, _tenor_
Formes, Karl, _basso profundo_
Fuchs, Prof., _tenor_
Freedburg, A., _tenor_
Gates, Harvey, _tenor_
Goe, Dr. S.E., _tenor_
Hughes, D.P., _tenor_
Howard, Frank, _baritone_
Kelleher, Alfred, _tenor_
Langstroth, J.A., _tenor_
Lyster, Fred, _tenor_
Leach, Stephen W., _baritone_
Mayer, Samuel D., _tenor_
Morley, Signor, _tenor_
Makin, Cornelius, _bass_
Mancusi, Signor, _baritone_
Maguire, Joseph, _tenor_
Nesfield, D.W.C, _baritone_
Otty, Major W.N., _tenor_
Reuling, Signor, _baritone_
Richel, M.D., _basso profundi_
Squires, Henry, _tenor primo_
Stadfeldt, Jacob, _basso_
Stockmyer, Herr, _basso_
Tippetts, J.E., _tenor_
Trehane, John, _tenor_
Wilder, Dr. A.M., _tenor_
Wetherbee, Henry, _tenor_
Williams, Barney (1854), _tenor_


Sabin, Wallace A.
Metcalf, John W.
Koppitz, Geo.
Lejeal, Alois
Dohrmann, J.H.




The first famous orchestra leader in San Francisco was Rudolph Herold,
born in Prussia, Germany, March 29, 1832, and died in San Francisco,
July 25, 1889. He received his musical education at Leipsic
Conservatory with Plaidy and Moscheles, his teachers on the piano, and
Mendelssohn, teacher of the theory of music and composition.

He arrived in San Francisco in 1852 as solo pianist and accompanist
with the famous Catherine Hayes. He saw opportunities in this young
city for fostering and cultivating good music and remained here until
his death. He was closely identified with every important musical
event up to the time when he was stricken with paralysis three years
preceding his death.

In the early fifties he organized, under the patronage of Harry
Meiggs, who was an ardent lover of music, the San Francisco
Philharmonic society and rendered such important works as Elijah, St.
Paulus, by Mendelssohn, Mass Requiem, by Mozart, The Desert, by
Felician David, etc., etc. He also organized the famous San Francisco
Harmonie, a singing society for male voices. He was organist at St.
Mary's Cathedral and the First Unitarian Church for over twenty years
and Temple Emanuel for twenty-five years. He had full charge of the
great musical festival in 1870, given by Camilla Urso in aid of the
Mercantile Library fund and conducted at the second festival given by
Sumner Bugbee in conjunction with Carl Zerrahn of Boston. He conducted
all the earlier Italian opera seasons given by Bianchi at the old
Metropolitan, Maguire's opera house. In 1874 he organized his Symphony
orchestra and continued his concerts without financial backing up to
the time of his illness, producing the standard symphonic works of the
old masters and also those of the more modern composers, such as
Schuman, Rubinstein, Raff, Brahms and St. Saens.


Mr. Dohrmann, a native of Hesse, Germany, took his first piano lesson
when but six years old. At the age of eleven years he had made such
remarkable progress that his parents sent him to a seminary at Homburg
to further develop his musical talent and other studies. Dr. Wilhelm
Volekmar, an eminent organist, pianist and accomplished musician, was
the head of the musical department. Under his tuition he became a
brilliant pianist and a good organist. He was an indefatigable
student, not only in music but also languages--the foundations of
which were laid there. After remaining a few years there, his parents
decided to emigrate to America and came to San Francisco, where a son
had preceded them in 1854.

Dohrmann went to school there to perfect his knowledge of the English
language, and continued his studies in music, harmony, theory and
instrumentation for some time, under the guidance of Prof. R. Herold,
and later alone, when compelled to live in the country on account of
failing health.

In 1857 he located in Sacramento, where he remained one year, then
went to San Jose, where he was successful as a teacher, also as
director of singing societies. However, being ambitious to associate
with better musicians, and to be in a greater field for music, in 1861
he came to San Francisco. There he soon became a favorite with the
musicians as a pianist. In 1862 he made his advent as pianist in a
theater of which he became the leader of the orchestra later. Since
then he has been the musical director in a number of theaters in San
Francisco--Metropolitan, Montgomery street; American, Sansome street;
Alhambra (later Bush Street Theater); Shiels Opera house, Bush street;
Platts Hall, Montgomery street; a few performances at the California
Theater, in 1876; Grand Opera House, Mission street; Winter Garden,
Post and Stockton streets; Tivoli, Eddy street; in Oakland, Oakland
Tivoli; Cameron Hall, Fourteenth street; Oakland theater, later
Coliseum, Twelfth street; also was director of the Oakland Harmonic
society until he became director at the Grand Opera House, San
Francisco. Became organist at St. Patrick's church, March, 1864, then
located at the corner of Annie and Market streets, San Francisco,
later on Mission street. Held that position until May, 1899. During
the greater part of his musical career he has resided in Oakland,
where he is still busy as a teacher.

I.G. Drebler, in April, 1910, desired him to accept the chair of
musical director and critic of the Technique System Conservatory of
Music, Los Angeles. His business of so many years' standing could not
be properly adjusted for him to accept this advantageous offer and he
still continues his musical instructions in his home studio, Eighth
street, Oakland, and San Francisco.


Mr. Condy was from Philadelphia. I never knew with whom he studied,
but I can safely say he was a thorough musician. In 1856 he organized
the first brass band in Stockton and was identified with it for four
years. He was unexcelled as an E flat cornet player and played several
instruments with great artistic skill. He was also a most beautiful
flute player. All the years of his residence he was closely allied
with the advancement of the best music in Stockton. In 1862 he
enlisted in the third regiment of cavalry and became the leader of the
cavalry band. At the close of the war he became a prominent member of
Rawlins Post, G.A.R. He also stood high in Odd Fellowship. His second
wife was Miss Lizzie Fisher, my early companion, the only daughter of
Alvin Fisher, who with his brother, Samuel Fisher, ran the first stage
coach line into Stockton. She came to Stockton from the East in 1854
and sang with me in the Episcopal choir. Being a fine alto singer she
was gladly welcomed among the musical colony of Stockton. Condy died
November 3, 1903, and was deeply mourned by many sincere friends who
honored and esteemed him. With his death the last of the pioneer
musicians are gone. He is survived by Mrs. Condy and three sons.


Mr. Kraus was born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1827. He arrived in San
Francisco in 1851. He was not only a fine musician but also took an
active part in civic affairs. He was one of the Vigilance committee,
of the Empire Engine Company, volunteers, and also belonged to the
Swiss sharpshooters. He was a familiar figure in those societies, very
few parades were formed without Fred Kraus, and his company of
sharpshooters, or as the leader of the Sixth Regiment band. He was
every inch a soldier and marched with his stately body erect, with
dignified step, proud of his companions and his band of fine
musicians. He also belonged to the Musicians' union for many years.
He answered his last call January 16, 1912. Five children survive him.


Miss Watkins was born in the little town of Mendham, N.J., July 10,
1842. She came to California in 1859 and to Oakland on the day before
Christmas. The following year she was engaged to sing soprano in the
First Presbyterian church. After two and one-half years there she went
to Calvary Church where she sang for another two and a half years and
then went to the Unitarian Church, where Rev. Dr. Stebbins preached.
In 1864 she was married to William C. Little.

Geo. F. Pettinos was organist in the First Presbyterian Church; Mr.
Anderson was tenor, Emily King, now Mrs. K.S. Latham, contralto, and
Mrs. Blake-Alverson contralto.

The choir in Calvary Church: Organist, Gustave Scott; large choir with
quartette, Washington Elliott, leader.

Choir Unitarian Church: Rudolph Herold, organist; Mr. Wunderlich,
superb basso; Mr. Mitchell, tenor; Miss Fisher, alto; Mrs. Little,

She was much interested in the oratorio society, Handel and Haydn, in
which she took part in Oakland, and was soprano at St. John's Church,
following Mrs. Shipman.

When Dr. Eells came to the First Presbyterian Church in Oakland she
had charge of the choir and was the soprano. She raised about $1500
toward the purchase of an organ for the church. She took part in solos
when Creation was given there.

When Hattie Crocker Alexander presented the First Congregational
Church of San Francisco with a large organ, Mrs. Watkins raised money
and purchased the original organ for Plymouth Church of Oakland and it
is now in use in that church. The first choir was as follows: Emily
King, contralto; Mr. Anderson, tenor; Sallie Little, soprano; George
Pettinos, organist.

After two and a half years she went to Calvary Church. Mr. Elliott was
leader of the choir and Gustave Scott, organist; Dr. Wadsworth,
pastor. Mrs. Little now lives in Oakland with her daughter, who is
also a gifted singer and a teacher of voice.


Mr. Campbell, basso, was born at Sacketts Harbor, St. Lawrence County,
New York, October 30, 1838. His parents removed to Buffalo, New York,
in 1842 and he was graduated from the high school in 1854. He left
New York October, 1858, for California via Straits of Magellan,
arriving at San Francisco July 2, 1859. After spending two years in
placer mining he returned to San Francisco in 1861. He joined the
Handel and Haydn society under its first conductor, Mr. Oliver of
Boston, and commenced the cultivation of his voice in oratorio with
Stephen W. Leach and in German with Mr. J.B. Butler, father of Mrs.
Clara Tippett, well known soprano who left this city for Boston some
twenty-five years ago where she was soprano of the Old South Church
for a great many years. After studying with them for several years he
went to New York City to live with his father and continued his study
of vocal music, commencing with some of the prominent Italian teachers
who were so pleased with his voice that they wished him to study for
grand opera, but not liking their methods of teaching he finally
secured a teacher who did him the most good, Mr. Phillip Meyer, a
German and a fine baritone singer, who after a year's teaching,
allowed him to make his debut at Irving hall, at an afternoon recital
at which a celebrated pianist, Mr. Wehli, just arrived from Europe,
made his first appearance in America. His success was great enough to
induce Mr. Lafayette Harrison, a well known manager to engage him to
sing at the opening of Steinway's new hall in June, 1867, at which
concert Mlle. Parepa made her first appearance in America. She
afterwards became Madame Parepa-Rosa. They were both under engagement
to Mr. Harrison for the season, singing in oratorio and concerts in
New York and Brooklyn.

After the summer of 1867 he returned to San Francisco and was engaged
as basso at Howard Presbyterian church. He remained there several
years, then went to First Unitarian Church where he sang for seven
years and then went to Grace Cathedral. He sang there for ten years
and then took charge of the choir at the Calvary Presbyterian Church,
resigning March 1, 1906, after eight years of service. During all
those years he was known throughout the coast as the San Francisco
basso. He made one tour of British Columbia, Washington, a territory
then, Oregon and California with Madam Anna Bishop. He made another
tour of California with Madam Camilla Urso, the violiniste, and a
second tour of the northwest with Charles Kohler, Charles Vivian and
Mrs. Blake-Alverson. He sang in all of the oratorios given by the
Handel and Haydn society of San Francisco as bass soloist, Creation,
St. Paul, Elijah, Samson, Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise and Messiah.
He also sang as basso of the Temple Emanuel from 1874 to 1888,
thirteen consecutive years, and was the basso profundo of that
celebrated male quartette, The Amphions, composed of Joseph Maguire,
H.J. Tippett, Jacob Stadfeldt, Campbell and Harry Hunt, pianist. Upon
the death of Joseph Maguire in 1878 the quartette disbanded as we were
unable to fill his place. While singing at the First Unitarian Church
the choir was composed of Mrs. Marriner, soprano; Miss Sallie
Rightmire, alto; Joseph Maguire, tenor; W.C. Campbell, basso. The
soprano and bass were united in the holy bonds of wedlock and are
still living happily together. Having given up concert singing for
several years past, Mr. Campbell still retains his magnificent voice
which gives great pleasure to those who hear him. His voice has a
range of two and one-half octaves from high F to low B flat, a
remarkable range at the present time.


Ada Koch
Geo. G. Peterson
Lauretta Shaw
Bessie G. Newell
Mrs. Grace E. Dobbins-Ames
Susan Culver
Mrs. J.R. Case



Mr. Zech, pianist and composer, was born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and came here with his family in 1860. He began his
musical studies early in life. He made such progress in his studies
that later he went abroad and studied from 1882 to 1887. While in
Berlin he became a private pupil of Theodore Kullack. He began to
teach in 1878. His first academy was the New Academy of the Tone Art
in Berlin. Before going abroad he had conducted symphony concerts and
recitals and was a successful teacher, also composed many beautiful
compositions in serious music, two symphonic poems and orchestral
music and conducted the same successfully.


Sir Henry Heyman is the dean of coast violinists, and occupies one of
the highest positions as a conscientious artist and a most successful
teacher. His beginning was under the direction of Frederick Buch, a
noted instrumentalist of his time. He studied a number of years in
Leipsig under such famous teachers as Ferdinand David, E.F. Richter,
E. Rontgen, Fred Herman, Carl Reinke and S. Jadassohn. During his
studies abroad he was prize graduate at the Royal Conservatory of
Music in Leipsig. On returning to his home in San Francisco he
organized the Henry Heyman String Quartette. With his own company he
gave concerts all over the coast cities as far north as Victoria,
B.C., and as far south as Honolulu, on which occasion he was knighted
by King Kalakua, who made him Knight of the Royal Order of the Star of
Oceanic, also solo violinist to His Majesty, an honor he fully
appreciates. Sir Henry is a vice-president of the Royal College of
Violinists of London, also an honorary member of the Bohemian Club,
and the Family, the latter one of San Francisco's most exclusive
organizations. Apart from his great success as a teacher and concert
leader he occupies a unique position in the social and musical life of
the city. He still teaches and acts as musical director at all great
functions. He is also an intimate friend of all the European and
American celebrities, including Paderewski, Joseph Hoffman, Ysaye,
Kubelik, Elman, Joseffy and many others who visit San Francisco as
artists and are entertained by Sir Henry. Many noted composers have
dedicated their works to him. As director and honorary secretary of
the San Francisco Institute of Art, Sir Henry comes closely in touch
with the younger generation of musical aspirants--many of the best
violinists of today are proud to call themselves his pupils. On the
occasion of the eight hundredth anniversary of the founding of Bologne
(Italy) university, he was made corresponding member of the musical
section for California. He is a member of the American Guild of
Violinists and later has been the recipient of many honors here and
abroad from those who appreciate him as a musician and genial friend
to those who know him best.


Mrs. Marriner-Campbell was born and educated in Waterville, Maine. She
was one of the early musical people who came here and has lived in
this state, especially San Francisco since the early sixties. Of her
early musical life I know nothing, it was only through our musical
life in California that we became known to each other and always have
been loyal friends. The first time I ever saw and heard her was at Dr.
Lacy's church when the Handel and Haydn society gave the Creation. She
sang the solo parts and I never have forgotten her or her singing. She
was gowned in a stylish robe of some soft clinging wine-colored
material and her blonde hair was done up in a soft coil on the crown
of her head. At her throat was a soft frill of lace, becomingly
arranged and finishing the picture, leaving a lasting impression,
which was still more strengthened by her beautiful singing, for which
she received the most hearty reception. Her voice was exceedingly
high and her trills were like a bird's in their perfect oscillations
and accurate touch, showing her perfect control of the vocal organs.
At that time she was Mrs. Marriner. Several years after her husband's
death she became Mrs. W.C. Campbell. She and her husband have both
been extremely popular in all undertakings of a musical nature. She
was the highest salaried singer of her time and foremost in all
musical advancement twenty-five years ago. Her musical career, which
has been exceptionally well-balanced and harmonious, is like a statue
of fine proportions that beckons the young to emulation. Mrs. Campbell
confines herself entirely to teaching the young people of San
Francisco and is acknowledged as a teacher par excellence. She has
studied abroad--in England, France and Italy, and during the years of
the seventies was coached by the famous prima donna, Madam Anna
Bishop, receiving from her all the traditions of the English school
and particularly the oratorio traditions. She is still in California
and happy both in her home and occupation of developing the young
voices of her city. While abroad Mrs. Campbell studied with Errani,
Albites and Muzio, a nephew of Verdi.


Mr. Mayer, organist and tenor, arrived in San Francisco, May 13, 1866,
from New York City where he was organist of Calvary and other churches
and solo tenor of Trinity Episcopal Church. The Sunday following his
arrival he commenced his duties as tenor of Trinity Episcopal Church
in San Francisco where his brother, James C. Mayer, was at that time
the organist. Continuing in that position until May 1, 1868, he
resigned to accept the position of organist in St. John's Episcopal
Church, Oakland, remaining there until May 1, 1872, when he was
appointed organist and tenor of the First Congregational Church of San
Francisco, serving in this dual capacity for forty years. He
relinquished the position of tenor but continued to act as organist
and musical director and on May 1, 1912, he will have completed forty
years of consecutive service in this church.


Mrs. Pierce has been identified with the history of music in San
Francisco since the early days. Born in Philadelphia, and losing her
mother when she was but five years of age, her father, Mr. Samuel
Cameron, brought her to California across the Isthmus, to place her
in the loving and motherly care of his sister, Mrs. Eugene Doyle, who
had one daughter of almost the same age. These cousins afterward
became very well known in the public school and church histories by
their duet singing, Ida Doyle and Maggie Cameron being in demand on
all important public festivals. On the night of the arrival of the
steamer when the father and little daughter reached the home on Rincon
Point, then the best residential part of San Francisco, where a hearty
welcome awaited them, the little five-year-old child was told to "sing
for her new-found relatives" and with pale face and dressed in deep
mourning even to a little black silk bonnet, for the lost mother, she
sang Lily Dale and Old Dog Tray while all listened with tears and
astonishment to the sympathetic voice, and an uncle, Mr. James
Cameron, exclaimed, "It's not a child, it's a witch." In the old
Rincon school, so famous for its splendid teachers and also many
scholars who afterwards became famous in California history, Maggie
Cameron was called Hail Columbia because her voice could lead the
singing of the entire school so strongly. In the old high school,
corner of Bush and Stockton streets, under the leadership of Mr. Ellis
Holmes, who was a devotee of music and himself possessed of a rich
bass voice, Miss Cameron developed into a public singer, doing her
first solo work on the "musical days" of the Girls' High School.

She was a pupil of Mrs. Marriner-Campbell five consecutive years,
singing with her teacher in duets all over the state; of Otto Linden
in sight reading; Mme. Rosewald, operatic repertoire, and of Richard
Mulder, husband of Inez Fabbri. Mr. Mulder called Mrs. Pierce "his
most distinguished pupil."

At this time she was also soprano at the First Baptist Church on
Washington street, Dr. Cheney, pastor. This historic old church
afterwards became a Chinese theater. Before graduation from school
Miss Cameron accepted the position of soprano in the choir of Rev. Dr.
A.L. Stone's church, corner of Dupont and California streets. Dr. Geo.
H. Powers was the organist. While in this church Miss Cameron was
married to Mr. James M. Pierce.


Clara Avan
Mrs. Emma D. Monnet-Swalley
Dr. J.B. Wood
Hattie Derby
Lillian Cushing
Minnie Peterson
Charlotte Zimmerman
Pauline Peterson
Edward Thomas

PUPILS, 1896-1900]

Soon after this Mrs. Pierce accepted the position of soprano at the
Church of the Advent, Rev. Mr. Lathrop, pastor; Louis Schmidt,
organist. After two years she joined the choir of the Plymouth Church,
which celebrated its golden anniversary January 12, 1912, Rev. T.K.
Noble, pastor. She was a member and the soprano of this flourishing
church for five years. Mr. and Mrs. Pierce and their two children then
took a trip East with the intention of making Boston their home, but
the longing for California was too strong and after an absence of two
years, during which time Mrs. Pierce was soprano in the largest
Congregational Church of Freetown, Mass., they returned to California
where Mrs. Pierce again resumed her church and concert work, singing
in the Church of the Advent, Mr. Lathrop, and after eighteen months in
Grace cathedral, Dr. William Platt, rector, and William Whittaker,
organist, where she remained as soprano six years. The fine
instruction she had received as a singer enabled Mrs. Pierce to hold
several important positions as teacher, being several years at the
Perry Seminary in Sacramento and also at the Irving Institute, San
Francisco, under Mr. and Mrs. Church. She had a large class of pupils,
many of whom hold important positions today. The position of soprano
of the First Unitarian Church, then the largest and most fashionable
congregation in San Francisco, being offered Mrs. Pierce, she accepted
it, and was for ten years in this very happy connection, Dr. Horatio
Stebbins, pastor, Mr. Louis Schmidt, Mr. J. Humphrey Stewart and Mr.
Henry Bretherick, the present incumbent, being organists. At this
period Mr. and Mrs. Pierce gave up their home in San Francisco, which
had always been recognized for its hospitality and charming musical
atmosphere, always welcoming and entertaining the musicians of the
city and new arrivals, and removed to Berkeley to enter their son and
daughter into the University. Here Mrs. Pierce again took up the
leadership in the Unitarian church choir, then being held in Stiles
hall and until the new church was built she sang but after the service
of dedication of the church she resigned, the singing being of a
congregational form and led by a baritone voice. At clubs and parlor
receptions, Mrs. Pierce is still a favorite ballad singer and is
always greeted with appreciation and pleasure, for her voice though
not so powerful as in its prime, still exemplifies the value of her
early training and fine method of pure Bel Canto. Like the authoress
of this book, she proves a perfect method in youth preserves the
beauty of the voice even unto and beyond the three score and ten. Mrs.
Pierce and Mrs. Marriner-Campbell were the singers at the famous
Chamber concerts given by Messrs. Schmidt and Weil and who were
considered by a patronizing public the exponents of the best music
ever given in California, and at the concerts given by Mr. Henry
Heyman and those of Mr. Jacob Rosewald. Mr. Joseph Maguire's last
appearance in public was when he and Mrs. Pierce sang at a concert
under the direction of Mr. Stephen Leach. They sang the fine old
English duet, When Thy Bosom Heaves the Sigh to tumultuous applause
and were recalled again and again. Before Mrs. Campbell's departure
for Europe, at a farewell concert (held in the Howard Presbyterian
Church, Mission street, before 1800 persons), Mr. Walter Campbell and
Mrs. Pierce gave a most spirited rendering of the difficult old
Italian duet for basso and soprano of Master and Scholar with
tremendous effect. At the music jubilee held in old Mechanics'
pavilion in 1878, Mrs. Pierce was seated in the third row of sopranos
and very willingly took her place, when after the first chorus, Mr.
Zerrahn, the leader, leaned forward and said, "Please, that lady, come
out here," and placed her at his side, so telling and pure was the
carrying quality of her voice that he at once singled her out for the
cherished "front row."

Always associated with the highest efforts in music, Mrs. Pierce is
one of the founders of the successful Musical Association of Berkeley
and also of the New Oratorio Society of Berkeley which has in its
membership many of the most prominent musicians in the University
town, the musical center of California.

A very high compliment was paid Mrs. Pierce on her departure for the
East in 1876 when the Handel and Haydn society of San Francisco, under
the distinguished leader, John P. Morgan, gave her a letter of
introduction to the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, bespeaking for
her all the privileges which it could grant to a "devoted and well
beloved member of its sister society on the Pacific Coast." This was
the first time this signal honor had ever been given to a member.

One of the most pleasurable remembrances I have of Mrs. Pierce is
associated with a Handel and Haydn concert in Mechanics' Pavilion.
Elijah was given and with Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Haydn, Mrs. Pierce
sang the immortal trio, Lift Thine Eyes, to tremendous enthusiasm. The
trio had to be repeated three times, so evenly and perfectly were the
voices blended. Later this trio was sung with great success at a
reception given by the Bohemian club. Mrs. Pierce, Miss Wood and Mrs.
Birmingham were the singers.




In the death of Joseph Maguire, California lost one of its finest
tenors. He was known to a wide circle, both in this state and Nevada.

He was a mining man, but it was as a musician that he made his
reputation. He was a tenor singer of great sweetness and power. The
public had a keen appreciation of the purity of his vocalization and
had the opportunity to hear him weekly at the Unitarian Church, Dr.
Stebbins, pastor. His sickness was of short duration and his death
came as a severe blow to his many musical friends and associates. He
was a member of the Amphion Quartette and Bohemian Club chorus. He was
tenor in the St. John's Presbyterian Church on Post street, in the
quartette, where he and I sang for two and a half years. It was a half
hour previous to his death while in a delirium that he sang like a
bird Gounod's Ave Maria, imagining himself at a musical gathering. The
last sad rites were performed under the auspices of Occidental Lodge,
F. & A.M., of which Mr. Maguire was a well-beloved member. He was a
native of Bolton, England, aged forty-four years.

In memory of our much beloved Joe Maguire, as he was affectionately
called by his California friends who loved him for his beautiful
singing and for his own self, I shall give the musical service as it
was rendered at the church. A most beautiful tribute of flowers, in
the shape of a lyre with the silver strings snapped and hanging
loosely, was placed in the choir where he stood each Sabbath and sang
his glorious songs. Certainly no one knew him but to love him, and the
last tribute of song given him by his friends will last as long as
memory remains in the living musicians who assisted in the ceremonies
at the church.

     Funeral Services in Memory of

     September, 1833--March, 1878
     First Unitarian Church, Geary street
     San Francisco, Sunday, March 24, 1878.

     1. Organ voluntary.

     2. Chorus of male voices:

     Brother, through from yonder sky
     Cometh neither voice nor cry,
     Yet we know from thee today
     Every pain has passed away.

     Brother, in that solemn trust
     We commend thee dust to dust,
     In that faith we wait 'till risen,
     Thou shalt meet us all in heaven.

     3. Readings from the Scripture: Extracts from the Book of

     Rev. Horatio Stebbins.

     4. Double quartette for female voices.

     Their sun shall no more go down; the Lord shall be their
     everlasting light; and the days of their mourning are ended.
     For the Lord shall feed them and God shall wipe away all
     tears from their eyes.

     5. Funeral oration, by Harry Edwards.

     6. Choral from Spohr's Last Judgment.

     Lord God Almighty, we adore Thee; Thou, Lord, will take away
     every sorrow; Thou wilt wipe away all tears from my eyes.
     Yea, every tear and every sorrow Thou wilt wipe away from our
     eyes; nor death, nor pain, nor sorrow shalt then be known.

     7. Remarks and Prayer, by Horatio Stebbins.

     8. Hymn, Abide With Me.

There were thirty-five voices in all from the societies with which he
had affiliated, and the sixteen female voices were the soloists of the
different choirs in which he had sung so many years. They were grouped
about his casket and with superhuman effort performed the last tribute
of affection for one of God's most beautiful singers whom all loved.
Rest, sweet spirit, rest.

[Illustration: STEPHEN W. LEACH

Musical Director, Buffo Singer and beloved Bohemian--Member of the
famous old California Theatre Company in the 70's and 80's]


Among our first singers were Stephen W. Leach and his wife, Georgiana
Leach. He was an English buffo singer. His wife was a beautiful
soprano singer and was soloist in the Unitarian Church in the days of
the sixties when the church was on Stockton. When the new Starr King
church was built on Geary street, this old church was bought by the
colored Methodist people. Mr. Leach formed a madrigal society in
that year, and we had weekly rehearsals, perfecting ourselves for
concert and other public demonstrations when required. I shall here
give one of our noted programs, given by the most prominent musicians,
both men and women, of our time. The numbers are worthy of historical
notice for the sake of the music and the musicians who took part in
this memorable concert, the first of the series.

Program of
At Platt's Hall
Monday Evening, Dec. 9th, 1878

1. Part Song. Strike the Lyre                                    Cooke
     Mr. Gee and Madrigal Society

2. Song. I Fear No Foe                                         Pinsuti
     Walter Campbell

3. Quartette for piano and stringed instruments. Sostenuto
   assai, Allegro ma non troppo.                              Schumann
     Miss Alice Schmidt, piano; Mr. Clifford Schmidt, first violin;
     Mr. Louis Schmidt, Jr., viola; Mr. Ernest Schmidt, cello.

4. My Queen                                                 Blumenthal
     Alfred Kelleher

5. Duet. Quanto Amore                                        Donizetti
     Mrs. J.E. Tippett and S.W. Leach

6. Let All Obey                                             S.W. Leach
     C.W. Dugan

7. Valse Chantée--Rajon de Bonhure                           Mattiozzi
   [Transcriber's Note: Possibly a misspelling of "Raison de Bonheur"]
     Mrs. Marriner-Campbell

8. Reading
     Daniel O'Connell

9. Part Song. Introduction and Valse                        S.W. Leach
     _Madrigal Society_

10. French Horn Solo
     Ernest Schlott

11. Solo
     Mrs. J.E. Tippett

12. Violin Concerto. Andante and Finale                    Mendelssohn
     Clifford Schmidt

13. Duet and Chorus. In the Days of Old Lang Syne          Neidermeyer
     Mrs. Marriner-Campbell and Ben Clark

14. Trio. This Magic Wove Scarf
     Mrs. J.M. Pierce, J.E. Tippett, S.W. Leach

15. Madrigal. O by Rivers (words by Shakespeare. Composed
    A.D. 1600)
      Accompanists, Geo. J. Gee and H.O. Hunt;
      conductor, S.W. Leach.

Concert to commence punctually at 8 p.m.


_Conductor_--S.W. Leach.
_Sopranos_--Mrs. Marriner-Campbell, Mrs. J.E. Tippett, Mrs.
  J.M. Pierce, Mrs. Sarah Little.
_Altos_--Mrs. M.R. Blake, Miss E. Beutler, Miss Ida Beutler,
  Mrs. Chisolm.
_Tenors_--J.E. Tippett, Ben Clark, J. Webber.
_Bassos_--Walter C. Campbell, C.W. Dugan, Will B. Edwards.
_Pianist_--Geo. J. Gee.

For years we served the public, winning fresh laurels yearly and
adding to our repertoire of madrigals and songs worthy the aspirations
of any competent and conscientious singers. Every number was a gem of
the music writer's art. Good music never grows old, and songs like
these should claim the student's attention in place of the common
everyday songs that cater to a lower taste or create a laugh. They
lower the standard of the singer. There are many comic songs that will
bring the wholesome laugh and be welcomed by an appreciative audience.
The singer makes the song as she builds her own character. It is the
understanding of the writer's meaning, of the sentiment he has tried
to embody, which shows the intelligent and artistic singer. Happy
indeed is the singer if his success follows the rendering of his
songs. This is the way our reputations are made. Is it not a great
happiness to the singer and the listener that the tones come pure and
limpid from the long-cherished instrument that still answers to the
beautiful strains of the Last Rose of Summer or Safe in the Arms of
Jesus? Can any one conceive the devotion with which a singer nurses
the beautiful gift which is above rubies--a priceless gem--only to be
made more beautiful when it returns to the God who gave it, and made
more beautiful by the knowledge that he has done what is possible with
the talent entrusted to him, and unconsciously made the gift more
suitable to join the Everlasting Choir, Eternal in the Heavens, to
join in the congregation of saints who had found the harmony of the
Lost Chord, and to make the heavens ring with the melody of the last
strain, Only in heaven I shall hear that grand Amen?

It is a fact that in writing my memoirs I felt a little reluctant at
first to write all about myself and my work, but I have come to the
conclusion that it is not vanity on my part to report history, and
certainly I have left no stone unturned to hunt out real facts and
occurrences from my letters, programs, diaries and other papers. As I
have been first in many things, perhaps it may be interesting to know
who sang the Lost Chord the first time in California, a song so
widely known and sung by so many singers. In the year 1878, while Mrs.
Louisa Marriner was in London on one of her yearly visits, in her
generous kindness she sent me the Lost Chord and also Sullivan's Let
Me Dream Again, two new compositions which, she said, were just
written for me. During this year Calvary Literary society gave an
evening of song for the Ladies' Relief society, and among the numbers
of the programme was the Lost Chord, with piano and organ
accompaniment. Mrs. Henry Norton was soprano; Mrs. M.R. Blake,
contralto; C.L. Gage, bass; J. de S. Bettincourt, tenor; C. Howland,
second tenor; E. McD. Johnston, bass; Miss F.A. Dillaye, organist;
H.M. Bosworth, organ and piano, and Prof. Theo. Herzog, violin. It was
on this occasion that I sang the song of the Lost Chord, with organ
and piano.

Sometimes in recounting incidents in our lives we often wonder how
they began, as, in this instance, "I wonder who sang the Lost Chord
first on this coast?" In this article you have the answer.


Prof. Katzenbach was born in the city of Freimersheim, Germany, 1834.
He came to America at the age of sixteen. He again returned to Germany
when twenty years old and studied in Mainz, under Prof. E. Paner and
Thopelus Syfert. His first position as organist was in the city of
Schwabsburgh, Germany, at the age of twelve years, a position he held
until he came to America, four years later. In the seventies he was in
San Francisco. His first position as organist was at the Howard Street
Methodist Church. Later he went to the First Presbyterian Church in
Van Ness avenue, and in 1874 he was organist for St. John's Church in
Post street, Dr. Scott, pastor. The choir was composed of Mrs. Robert
Moore, soprano; Mrs. M.R. Blake, contralto; Joseph Maguire, tenor, and
Cornelius Makin, bass. From 1870 to 1873 he taught piano at Mills
seminary. During this time his wife passed out of life and he was left
with one daughter and three sons. He grieved so much at his loss that
he gave up his position and went East, but his love for California was
too strong and he returned in 1875. He took up his musical profession
once more and for a while was organist at Calvary Presbyterian Church,
Rev. John Hemphill, pastor. The choir consisted of Mrs. Van Brunt,
soprano; Mrs. M. Blake, contralto; Cornelius Makin, bass, and John
Trehane, tenor. Later he moved to Oakland and played in the First
Unitarian Church in Castro street. Some years after that he had an
organ at St. Paul's Church in Harrison street. For thirty-five years
he was engaged in the churches and teaching piano, and taught many
fine players in San Francisco, Oakland and other places. He never had
gotten over the loss of his dear wife, and it unfortunately saddened
his life, for she was indeed a perfect mother in her family. His
daughter, Miss Elizabeth, was the image of her mother and was his
constant thought, and his ambition was to have her life guided into
the same channel of perfect womanhood. He began early with her
education in music and taught her until she had grown to womanhood,
and for a number of years before his death she taught with him in his
studio in Tenth street in West Oakland. Some time in the eighties he
desired his daughter to have a little instruction in the old-world
music centers. In 1903 she journeyed to Munich, Germany, and studied
for three years with Heinrich Schwartz. In 1906 she returned to
California and expected to meet her father at the station, but he was
taken suddenly ill and died shortly after from a nervous breakdown.
His daughter returned just two days after he died, doubly bereaved, as
he had been father and mother to her and her brothers since she was a
child of three years. After many months she took up her music once
more, where she had necessarily laid it down during her days of
mourning. She is busy always and is now one of our foremost teachers
of piano, and faithfully and successfully follows in the footsteps of
her honored father.


Mr. Yarndley was born December 5, 1840, in Manchester, England. His
parents were both musicians of a high order. His father was an
organist of the first rank and a viola player of exceptional ability.
He was first viola in the celebrated band of Sir Charles Halle and was
complimented at one time by Mendelssohn, the great composer. The Earl
of Ellsmere was his patron, who bought his pipe organ when he left for
America. Mr. Yarndley's mother was a concert singer, possessing a pure
soprano voice of rare sweetness and power. She sang repeatedly under
Mendelssohn's directing with such artists as Madame Anna and Sir Henry
Bishop, Sir George Smart, Simms Reeves, Parepa Rosa, Jenny Lind and
other great singers of her day, going to Dublin at one time with the
"Swedish Nightingale" as assistant at her concert.

The little Richard from the tender age of five years accompanied his
mother regularly at these concerts as her small chevalier. He was
thus from infancy reared in an atmosphere of the best music. His
training was principally under his father, although he received
instruction from the best teachers of the city. At the age of
seventeen years he was sent to this country to hold an organ position
at Detroit, Mich., for his father who was to come with the family the
following year. He was playing at that time in the largest church in
Manchester. He created quite a sensation the first Sunday, dressed as
all English boys were, in a roundabout jacket, broad turned-down
collar, and Scotch cap with long ribbons behind. During his ten years'
residence in the "City of the Streets" he acquired a reputation as
piano teacher, organist and conductor of the Handel and Haydn society.
In 1870 he removed to San Francisco and was at once invited to take
charge of the Harmonic society of Oakland and the organ of the
Congregational church of that city, which position he filled until his
departure for Portland, Ore., some three years later. Afterwards,
returning to California, he held positions in Grace Church and St.
Luke's Church, San Francisco, and in the Presbyterian church of
Oakland. He was an all-round musician of no mean order and might have
accomplished much, had he not been handicapped by ill health. Probably
his most marked success was in Albany, N.Y., where he was intimately
associated with Miss Emma La Jeunesse, afterwards Albani, who was his
lifelong friend. He was given many brilliant testimonials from the
musical association and citizens of Albany. Music was with him a holy
passion as well as vocation. He was a man of high moral principals,
singularly guileless and of a deep religious fervor. He died at
Livermore, Cal., September 7, 1895, aged fifty-four years, and was
laid to rest in the Masonic cemetery there.


Mr. Greer was born in St. Louis, Mo., September 22, 1850. He began his
musical education early in life, first on the violin. When he had
played for some years he sang in the boys' choir before his voice was
placed. After he had it trained he sang in the choirs of the churches
in Baltimore, Atlanta, New Orleans, St. Louis and San Francisco. He
was a member of the May Festival singers. He also sang in Temple
Emanuel, Sutter street, Louis Schmidt, organist; in the Mason street
synagogue and in the First Methodist Church on Mission street. In
Oakland, twenty years ago, he was one of the members of the early
choir of the Brooklyn Presbyterian Church, East Oakland. He has passed
out of life to join the Invisible Choir. He left a wife, daughter and
sons to mourn his loss. While in Trinity choir I had the pleasure of
singing with him often at high days and funeral services. He had a
beautiful tenor-baritone voice which was melody itself, and he knew
how to sing. It was evident to all, for he was always in demand as a
church singer and occupied these positions during his life. His
daughter is also the possessor of a voice of fine quality, and by
accident I found her and it gave me the same great pleasure to teach
the daughter as it gave me to sing with the father long ago. She
occupies the position of sewing teacher in the Girl's High School, San
Francisco, and is a most efficient teacher.


Mrs. Clark, daughter of Rev. D.B. Cheney, was a resident of San
Francisco for years as a singer and teacher. Her voice was contralto
and she occupied that position in her father's choirs. She studied
voice with Mrs. Georgiana Leach, one of California's rare sopranos and
wife of Stephen W. Leach, the well-known baritone. Her instructors in
instrumental music were Rudolph Herold and Professor Beutler. Later
she went to Boston and studied at the New England Conservatory and her
teachers were Fannie Fraser Foster, Carlyle Petersilea and Zerrahn.
She is still among us, but takes no active part in music outside of
her home circle in Berkeley.


Mr. Schultz was born in Herzheim by Landan, Rheinplatz, Baiern,
Germany, in 1830. His father, an organist of note in Herxheim,
superintended his musical education under Herr Geiger until his
gymnasium years, when he continued his studies under Professor Lutz of
Spire until he entered Heidelberg University. Coming to America in
1854, he accepted the position of musical instructor of Minerva
college, Nashville, Tenn. He married, in 1858, a cousin of "Fighting
Joe" Wheeler, the famous Southern general. After the death of his
wife, in 1871, he came to California, locating in Visalia, where he
gave private instruction and was organist of St. Mary's Church. In
1876 he married Mrs. Catherine Griffith and to this union four
children were born. In 1880 he moved with his family to San Jose and,
continuing his private instruction, he became one of the best known of
the musical instructors of Santa Clara county. In his seventieth year
he retired and a few years ago decided to make Alameda his home
where, at the fine old age of eighty-two, he is still enjoying a happy
and contented life.


Mr. Blankart studied the violin in Mannheim, Germany, with Carl Heydt,
second violin of the then renowned Jean Becker quartette.
Notwithstanding his showing of great talent in his youth, his father
refused to send him to the Leipsig Conservatory because of trouble
with his ears. His father apprenticed him to a wholesale coffee house.
When twenty-one years old he left for America. He went first to his
sister in Indianapolis, then to Quincy, Ill., where he took up his
violin studies again, played in concerts with Eastern pianists, got
pupils, besides having a position in a music store. There he met and
married Mrs. Blankart and they worked together constantly. About 1874
he came to San Francisco and gradually he gained ground as a teacher
and did very well. When the Blankarts had their studios on Geary
street, near Larkin, about 1882-89, they gave musicals every two
weeks, and musicians like Edgar S. Kelly, Fred Zech, Jr., Otto Bendix,
Luchesi, Miss Hanchette and others played there. During those years
Professor Blankart formed also, in connection with Miss Hanchette, the
Beethoven Quartette club and gave for several seasons in succession
public concerts. In the early nineties he left San Francisco for
Oakland. He went about three times to Europe on business matters, but
as usual discovered that it is better to stay with one's profession
than to change, and eventually, after some time, came back to the fold
and worked in a quiet way; that is, he practiced hard and gave
lessons. He has had the satisfaction of giving pleasure and rousing
interest for the better classical music.


Mrs. Blankart had her musical education with the renowned Louis Kohler
in Konigsberg, East Prussia, Germany. From the first she wanted to be
a concert player. There being no piano in her home, she was compelled
to practice at a piano house every morning from eight until twelve
o'clock, and she said many times that she could have practiced longer
if the military band passing the store daily at noon had not reminded
her of the time. She kept up this arduous practice until she broke
down with typhoid fever and was near death's door. When she was able
to start work again, Louis Kohler did not recognize her at all, she
had changed so much. He encouraged her very much, but stated at once
that, under the conditions, she ought to give up all hope of becoming
a performer, as she could not stand the strain. He said she could make
an excellent teacher and that he would help her in every way. For two
years she taught under the guidance of this great teacher and in 1868
came to America. She taught about seven years in the East and came to
California about 1874. She made the acquaintance of the then prominent
San Francisco piano teachers--Trenkle, Kuhne, Holzhauer, Hartman--and
they all very kindly recommended her after examination. She gradually
built up her reputation and had the satisfaction to see many of her
pupils become fine players. She was at the California College,
teaching for over twenty years, and many a pupil from this college is
today teaching with success. She always strictly attended to her
profession with great love and devotion and never had time to attend
social duties. Notwithstanding, she made many friends among her pupils
and others.


"Gussie" Lowell was born in San Francisco in 1857 of New England
parentage and began her first musical study with Professor Striby, one
of the earliest piano teachers. On moving to Oakland, when nine years
old, she studied first with Miss Mary Simpson (now Mrs. Barker) of the
Blake seminary, then Miss Gaskill (now Mrs. Andrews) and afterwards
with Mrs. Blanche Emerson and Mrs. Babcock. Organ study (on the reed
organ) was begun in 1874 with John H. Pratt, and when John P. Morgan
in 1875 came to Oakland from New York, where he had for years been the
beloved organist of Trinity Church, Miss Lowell took up the study of
the pipe organ at the old Congregational Church in Oakland and
practiced there, at the First Presbyterian Church and the Independent
Church, where she later became organist after a two years' service at
the First Baptist Church. As Mr. Morgan was the conductor of the San
Francisco Handel and Haydn Oratorio society and the Oakland Harmonic,
Miss Lowell had the unusual advantage as organist of these societies
of playing in all the oratorios given under the direction of Mr.
Morgan as well as Mr. Toepke and Mr. Gustave Hinrichs. After Mr.
Morgan's lamented death, Miss Lowell took his place as teacher of the
organ in the conservatory founded by him, where also taught Mr. Morgan
(piano), Mr. Louis Lisser, Mr. Henry Heyneman and Mr. Julius
Hinrichs (violoncello), Miss Susie Morgan, Mr. D.P. Hughes and dear
old Stephen W. Leach (voice culture).


Rose Champion
Elsie Mae Hunt
Mrs. Cora Rayburn
Mrs. Mayme Bassford
Arthur Victory
Elizabeth Lanktree
Elsie Noonan
Jennie Christofferson
Harry Crandall

PUPILS, 1898-1902]

For three years prior to Miss Lowell's departure for New York in 1880,
she was organist for Rev. Mr. Hamilton's Independent Presbyterian
Church, where she conducted a large choir of sixteen voices.

She studied for a short time in the New England Conservatory of Music
at Boston, but as New York had the greater attraction in the presence
of Mr. Samuel P. Warren, the leading organist of the country, she went
there and throughout her ten years' residence in the East studied
solely with Mr. Warren, but added two seasons of study in harmony
technique under that master, John H. Cornell. Miss Lowell's California
experience proved of great advantage to her in obtaining church
positions in the big city, and immediately upon her arrival in New
York she became assistant organist at St. George's and later St.
Bartholomew's, Grace and other churches, and for three years was
organist at the Madison Avenue Dutch Reformed Church. The desire of
her heart was attained, however, when the position was offered to her
as organist at the beautiful new Roosevelt organ at the Church of the
Incarnation (Arthur Brooks, brother of Phillips Brooks, pastor), to
succeed Frederick Archer, the great English organist. This position
she held for seven years, until her marriage in 1890. The choir of
thirty paid voices was the finest in the city, and at this organ Miss
Lowell gave over sixty recitals. While in New York, Miss Lowell played
in many public and private concerts and was conductor for seven years
of the Ladies' Vocal club at Montclair, N.J., and for three years of
the Choral club (ladies'), Mt. Vernon, N.Y.

After her marriage in Oakland in 1890 to Edwin Garthwaite, a mining
engineer of great reputation, she retired from public life and went
with him to Mexico, where much piano and ensemble work was enjoyed,
then later to South Africa for twelve years. While there was no organ
playing in the parts where she lived, she was able to gather musical
people about her always, and in her home near Johannesburg she
conducted a fine glee club of mixed voices. Up in Bulawayo, Rhodesia,
she was always identified with good music and formed a musical club,
where much fine work in ensemble and choral music was accomplished.

On her return to her native land, five years ago, after nearly twenty
years' absence practically from the organ, Mrs. Garthwaite was able
to give occasional public performances, playing as organist in the
First Church of Christ, Scientist, for a year and a half, and after
all these years is again organist of the First Baptist Church in
Oakland, the church where she began her career as a girl of nineteen
for five dollars a month.

Mrs. Garthwaite considers the most noteworthy event in her career to
be the anniversary recital given last year in the Baptist Church, when
she repeated her performance of twenty years before, substituting her
two sons and her nephew, Lowell Redfield, for Mr. Sigmund Beel and
Miss Lizzie Bogue, and giving as a great surprise to her audience a
wonderful and inspiring performance by Mrs. Blake-Alverson of "The
Last Rose of Summer." It was said afterwards that it was like a song
from heaven and would never be forgotten.


Mr. Arrillaga was born in 1848 at Iolosa in the Province of Guipuzcoa,
Spain, and at the age of ten began the study of music in the old
Spanish fashion, with a solfeggio master who employed no instrumental
accompaniment whatever. In the course of a year he had fully mastered
all that could be taught him by his master. He then began the study of
the piano as a recreation, his teacher being D.E. Aguayo, organist of
the parish church. He attended school, both in Spain and France, until
the age of sixteen, when, having decided to pursue the musical art as
a profession, he was sent to the Royal Conservatory at Madrid, where
he became the pupil of Don M. Mendizabal in piano, Don R. Hermando in
harmony and Dr. H. Esloa in counterpoint. At the close of three years
he was graduated with the highest honors, having obtained the first
prize at the public examination and being decorated with the gold
medal of the university, which was conferred on him by Queen Isabella
(the second). In 1867 Senor Arrillaga went to Paris, where he studied
at the conservatory and also took private lessons. At the age of
twenty-one he was seized with a desire to travel and, after a sojourn
in several South American cities and in the Antilles, he came to this

At San Jose de Costa Rica he remained for five years and he would in
all probability have made his home at that delightful place, as he had
every inducement offered him to do so, had not the climate of the
tropics shattered his health. This compelled him to seek a more
congenial locality, and in 1875 he departed for San Francisco, where
he has since resided. In all the places where he has resided or
visited he has given concerts with marked success, his playing being
particularly admired for the elegant and graceful style and his facile
technique. When Carlotta Patti visited the Pacific coast she
especially engaged him to act as her accompanist for her concert tour.
Although his time has mainly been devoted to teaching, he has found
opportunity to do clever and characteristic work as a composer.
Conspicuously successful have been his "Gata and Danga Habanera" and
his "Trip to Spain," the latter being for piano and orchestra. He has
written many piano compositions, two masses and a great deal of church
music, generally distinguished for its imaginative and musicianly
qualities. As a teacher, Senor Arrillaga has been remarkably
successful, and during his long sojourn in San Francisco he has
gathered about him a large coterie of pupils, to whom he is guide in
art and a valued personal friend.

[From "A Hundred Years of Music in America," published in 1889,
Chicago, by G.L. Howe and W.S.B. Matthews.]


Miss Heinemann was born in the city of New York, June 12, 1863. At the
age of thirteen she came with her parents to San Francisco, where her
father went into business on Leavenworth street. At the age of
fifteen, while visiting friends, her voice was tested under the
tuition of Miss Louisa Tourney, who successfully brought her out after
three years of study, so she was able to take her place as a leading
mezzo-soprano, suitable for church work and concert singing. The music
committee of the O Habai Sholom choir very promptly engaged her as
their soprano, a place which she successfully held for fifteen years.
During her time in this synagogue she was prominent in concerts and
festivals and sang at special services in different churches and
societies. During her singing career she was also a generous and
charitable singer and gave her services often to aid other churches,
societies and charities without regard to creed. I had the pleasure of
singing in the same choir with her. We were together six years with
the following members of the choir: Soprano, Carrie Heinemann;
contralto, Mrs. Blake-Alverson; basso, Mr. Mills; tenor, Mr. Newman,
and organist, G.A. Scott. On holidays extra singers assisted the
regular choir. I resigned from this choir to go to San Bernardino,
while she remained indefinitely. She married at that time. She still
continues her singing and assists the fraternal orders in San
Francisco, of which she is a prominent member as Mrs. Carrie


Mr. Stedman received his first instruction on the organ from Thos. N.
Caulfield at Indianapolis, Ind. During the ten years preceding 1876 he
was engaged continuously in the churches of that city, the larger
portion being in the First Presbyterian, the church of which President
Benjamin Harrison was a member and at that time a teacher of a Bible
class. In October, 1876, he arrived in San Francisco, having come to
the coast under engagement to the firm of Sherman and Hyde. He had
already been engaged as organist of the Howard M.E. Church and took up
that work at once. The "silver-tongued orator," Rev. Thomas Guard, was
in charge of the church then, and his popularity drew large audiences,
who were entertained not only with oratory but music also. The church
choir was under the leadership of Mr. Geo. W. Jackson, who was one of
the first to announce himself as a "voice builder." May 1, 1878, Mr.
Stedman was seated as organist and director of music in Plymouth
Congregational Church, a position filled continuously for twenty
years. During this period many of the very best known and ablest
singers, now occupying positions in the highest salaried choirs of the
coast as well as in the East, had their first start and encouragement
from this source. In 1898 the First Congregational Church of Alameda
made offers that, added to the comfort of being at home and free from
travel across the bay, were accepted, and Mr. Stedman began a service
which continued for five years. At this time business interests
impelled a change of residence to San Francisco and, having already
put in a goodly portion of time on the bench, all offers for
additional service were rejected, and no work of importance has been
undertaken in the way of organ-playing save an occasional day as
"substitute" for a friend.


Freda Lahre
Mrs. O.B. Caldwell
Mrs. Akerly
Florence Bruce
Mrs. Ethel B. Nagle-Pittman
Geo. Flick
Mrs. Ruth Bruce-Wold
Mrs. Sue Lanktree-Kenney
Louisa Garcia



One of the musical families of early years was the Hinrichs family. I
think Gustav, the object of this sketch, is the oldest. He was
connected with the old Tivoli and was the first to introduce opera
there at popular prices. His success was permanent. He is not only
a fine director but a teacher of the voice as well and is a busy man.
Even in the summer, when vacation comes, he is obliged to remain in
the city. Through Joseffy he was persuaded to go to New York, as the
field was broader.

In opera naturally the leading singers, the chorus, the musicians, all
play an important part, but by far the most important of all is that
assumed by the musical director. It is his hand that binds all the
component parts, that might otherwise not act in unison, into a
harmonious whole; his genius that brings out all the hidden beauties
of the score, all the delicate nuances the composer had in mind. It
was therefore an event of more than ordinary importance and an
entirely new departure in the musical world when Henry W. Savage made
the announcement in regard to his immensely popular comic opera. The
Prince of Pilsen, that he had as musical director no less a celebrated
maestro than Gustav Hinrichs, formerly conductor for the Metropolitan
grand opera company. Mr. Hinrichs ranks among the very foremost
operatic musical directors, standing on a level with such geniuses as
Alfred Hertz, Toscanini, Mancinelli, Campanari, Gustav Mahler and
Leopold Damrosch.

Julius Hinrichs was the cello player and a most sympathetic and
beautiful one. I remember in 1875 I gave a concert in old Platt's hall
in Montgomery street, and he played for me that night and also played
the obbligato to the slumber song by Randegger. I never sang it so
well in my life. Gustave Scott was the accompanist that evening, and
it proved to be the choice number of the concert. Mr. Hinrichs married
one of my talented pupils, Miss Nellie Paddock. She was not only a
sweet singer, but also a pianist of repute, and to hear those artists
play was truly a treat. They were popular for a number of years before
Julius died, some time in the eighties. I never heard what Mrs.
Hinrichs did after the death of her husband. I was living in San
Bernardino at the time, and when I returned to San Francisco I moved
to the Western addition and never met any of the Hinrichs family until
years after, when I moved to Oakland in 1891 and after the earthquake.
The youngest son, August Hinrichs, is the popular leader of Ye Liberty
theater orchestra, Oakland, and at this theater he charms his hearers
with the magic touch of his treasured Stradivarius which he uses with
such artistic skill. For years he was leader in the orchestras of old
San Francisco. After the earthquake he found in Oakland a permanent
refuge where he can continue his excellent work, which is duly
appreciated by the constant patrons of this theater.


Mr. Pasmore, composer and teacher of harmony, studied harmony and
organ and singing with John P. Morgan until the latter's death. Later
he studied organ with J.H. Dohrmann and piano with Professor Lisser.
When he was twenty-five years old he studied in Leipsic the art of
composition and harmony, a branch of music he is eminently able to
teach. He is still teaching in San Francisco. He has written many fine
songs and has translated with Torek, Jodassohn's "Manual of Harmony."


Mr. Sabin was born in Northamptonshire, England. His education was
acquired at Chardstock College and Magdalen College, school, Brackley.
He studied piano and organ under Dr. M.J. Monk, organist of Banbury
parish church, and later piano, organ, theory, etc., under Dr. T.W.
Dodds, Queen's College, Oxford. He was graduated as associate and
later as fellow the Royal College of Organists, London. He was
organist of Magdalen College school, Brackley, 1882-1886; St. George's
church, Oxford, 1887-1889; organist and choirmaster, S.S., Mary and
John, Oxford, 1889-1893; assistant organist, Queen's College, Oxford,
1886-1893; organist and choirmaster, All Saints', Warwick, 1893-1894.
He came to California in October, 1894, to take position of organist
and choirmaster of St. Luke's Church, San Francisco, which position he
held until the fire of 1906. Since that time he has played at First
Church of Christ, Scientist, San Francisco. In 1895 he became organist
of Temple Emanuel, San Francisco, which position he still holds. He
has been director since 1894 of Vested Choir Association of San
Francisco and vicinity; director of Saturday Morning (ladies')
orchestra and Twentieth Century Musical club, giving such works as
Bach's "Passion," Handel's "Alexander's Feast," etc. He was
representative as California organist, World's Fair, St. Louis, 1904,
giving two recitals. He has been president of the Musicians' club,
twice a director of the Bohemian club, and composed the music for a
forest play entitled St. Patrick at Tara, given at a midsummer jinks
of the Bohemian club. At present he is dean of the Northern California
Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, conductor of the Loring
club and the choral section of the San Francisco Musical club, and is
engaged in teaching and composition.


California has produced her share of composers. They have been
prominent as pianists, violinists, leaders of musical bodies and
teachers of harmony. They are writers of the highest merit and some
can be classed with the song writers of Europe. The state is too young
for many native composers. Our musicians all came to us in the days of
gold, and others who came later educated their sons and daughters in
the East and in Europe in the highest art of music and, returning to
the state, made a place for themselves as writers of music.

John W. Metcalf for the last twenty-one years has been among us as
teacher of piano, harmony and a song writer of the highest order, and
we are glad to claim him, even if he is not a native son. We love his
music and appreciate the writer who is able to give to the singing
world soulful compositions that compare with those of Schubert and
Mendelssohn. They are superlatively correct and scholarly. I am not a
song writer but a song singer, and when I find such compositions I am
proud to interpret them to the best of my ability.

John W. Metcalf is a product of my state, Illinois, and, like the
writer, he inherited his musical talent from the maternal side. His
first teacher was his mother's sister, who was a pupil of Bozzini and
prominent as a pianist and vocalist. In 1877 he went to Leipsic to
complete his schooling in music. He was accepted as a pupil at the
Royal Conservatory and was one of thirty who passed. He studied
faithfully three or four years, piano with Carle Reinecke and Louis
Maas; theory with Ernest and Alfred Richter; composition with
Reinecke, Rust and Jasassohn. The director of the conservatory, Conrad
Schleints, a warm personal friend of Mendelssohn, gave solicitous
attention to the promising young American and bestowed upon him at
graduation the coveted Hilbig prize, which had been won but twelve
times in the history of the conservatory. After returning to America,
he taught four years near Chicago, one year at the Dana Institute in
Ohio, and one year as head of the piano department of the Boston
Conservatory. He left Boston on account of ill health. After directing
for three years the Garfield University at Wichita, Kas., he came to
Oakland, Cal., where he still resides, and we are proud to claim him
as one of California's composers and renowned teachers of the
pianoforte. I feel honored to sing his songs and teach them to my
pupils. I append what I consider one of his best:


     Sometimes between long shadows on the grass
     The little truant waves of sunlight pass,
     My eyes grow dim with tenderness the while,
     Thinking I see thee, thinking I see thee smile.

     And sometimes in the twilight gloom, apart,
     The tall trees whisper, whisper heart to heart,
     From my fond lips the eager answers fall,
     Thinking I hear thee, thinking I hear thee call.


Mr. Blake, eldest son of George H. Blake and Margaret R. Blake, was
born in Stockton, California, July 8, 1858. When he was twelve years
old he began his musical education under Prof. Henry Von der Mehden.
He was a conscientious and faithful student. Four years later his
progress was so marked that his instructor gave him first cornet place
in the Silver Cornet Band, which was composed of his advanced pupils.
The excellent work of the band was soon recognized and the first great
public performance was at the old Woodwards Garden, before ten
thousand people. Their performance was received with tremendous
acknowledgment from the public. The band continued in its good work
for a number of years. In 1875 he made an educational visit around the
world and visited all places of interest and heard the music of the
Old World and when occasion presented also assisted in various
theaters in the cities where he sojourned. He returned once more to
California in the fall of 1876, resuming his musical and professional
engagements until September 30, 1879. He then made a second trip to
the Old World, visiting Queenstown, Antwerp, Cork and other cities. He
returned to California once more by way of the Indias and Japan,
November 1, 1881.

When he was twenty-four years old he began playing in the California
theater orchestra and remained there during the leadership of Charles
Schultz, and at the same time was a member of the Second Regiment band
at the Park. In 1887 he moved to San Bernardino and during his
residence there formed and was leader of the Seventh Regiment band,
was also the local leader of the orchestra at the Grand Opera house
when his services were needed for the passing shows without orchestra.
He remained in this capacity until 1879 when he moved to Santa Cruz
and remained until 1894 returning to Oakland and finally settling in
San Francisco where he continued in his professional line in the
various theaters and musical demonstrations which presented themselves
until the earthquake, when the theater where he was employed was
destroyed and music, like other business was at a standstill. For over
thirty years he has played with the best musical talent on the coast
and has been an acceptable and reliable musician in any capacity in
which he has been called. After the disaster he came to Oakland and
was at once engaged to play at the Ye Liberty theater under the able
management of Director August Hinrichs. At this theater he is at
present actively employed.


Mrs. Winona Bruce-Schmidt
Jean Louderback
Bernard McMahan
Juliet McMaul
Lorena Dickey
Lorena Kimball
Mabel L. Drake
Dolores D. Ferguson
Geo. Allison



Prof. Mansfeldt, whom all recognize as the dean of pianists, needs no
words from me to place him in higher estimation of the people of
California. My friendship with him extends through many years of
musical companionship and during that time he has risen until now he
is the acknowledged master of the instrument, and holds the most
distinguished position in the musical world. His art in bringing out
from time to time such a splendid array of clever pianists is proof
positive of his excellent qualities as a teacher and has fixed his
reputation beyond cavil. Much more could be said in regard to his
artistic reputation but it would be superfluous reiterations of facts
that are known to all who have heard him or have the advantage of a
personal acquaintance with him as I have. I feel honored to place this
sketch of him in my history with other distinguished musical
celebrities of this age and generation.


The subject of my sketch, A.W. Klose, was one of our pioneer singers.
In 1852, when I was a girl of sixteen, he sang the bass in the choir
of the Presbyterian Church of Stockton. He was there for three years.
He was born January 25, 1831, in Verden, kingdom of Hanover, Germany
and educated there. He came to California in 1849, to Stockton in the
early part of 1854. Business called him to San Francisco in 1862.
After he left Stockton we never met again until September 26, 1896,
in Oakland, after forty-two years. He belonged to the Handel & Haydn
society from 1860 to 1867. At that time I was in Santa Cruz. He was
one of the organizers of the Harmonic society, Prof. Dohrmann,
director. Later John P. Morgan was leader. He was also one of the
charter members of the Orpheus society of male singers, conductor,
Prof. McDougal. Connected with the Orpheus was also a choral of
women's and men's voices. They gave some fine concerts in Oakland at
that time. At the death of Prof. McDougal this society went out of
existence, but afterward reorganized with men's voices only, as it now
exists. Mr. Klose was one of the members of its musical committee for
years. While in San Francisco he was director of the Methodist choir
until he came to Oakland to reside. He sang in the First Presbyterian
church choir for over thirty-five years. He retired about three years
ago. He went to his final rest August 19, 1912, at the age of
eighty-one years. The death of my friend records the last of the
galaxy of fine men singers who came here in the earlier days to seek
wealth. He was always ready to assist in the advancement of the best
music. He sang in the days when we were judged by the knowledge of how
to sing correctly and with intelligent understanding of the work. He
was always a devout Christian, an efficient worker in the Sabbath
school and endeared himself to all by his quiet, dignified manner. I
think this testimony will stand for him in every community where he
sojourned. I, as one of his earliest friends, gladly pay him my last
tribute of respect and place his name in affectionate remembrance in
my record of old singers. Old-time friend, "rest in Peace."



The picture facing page 118 was taken in the Bohemian Grove on the
Russian river during the annual outing in 1895. This quartette was
part of the Philharmonic society of San Francisco. These musicians
with Mr. Wm. Wellman, flutist, were engaged during the season of
revelry among the pines and with their leader, Herman Brandt,
discoursed the music that made the hills resound with their funeral
chants over the death of dull care. Since this time Mr. Fletcher has
died, Mr. Page is now in London and has risen with great honors as a
composer as well as a fine musician and California is proud of her
native son. Mr. Storey and my son, Mr. Blake, are still in San
Francisco, playing when the occasion presents.


Pauline Joran
Elsie Joran
Mrs. Blake-Alverson
Lulu Joran



Prof. Solano, one of our best known musicians, has been a prominent
harpist among us since 1873, when he came here from Guadalajara,
Mexico. He was married July 24, 1862. He resided in Guadalajara eight
years, then moved to Mazatlan and lived there three years. Later he
came to San Francisco and taught the harp there for seventeen years. I
had always enjoyed his excellent playing in the different theaters of
San Francisco but it was not until I returned to San Francisco in 1888
that I fully appreciated his wonderful art in playing the Spanish
harp. I took up my residence on Geary street in a lower flat and
across the court in the upper flat was the professor's studio. We
became mutual friends, being in the same line of work and I had the
advantage of listening to his best efforts at his own practice hour
night after night, if he had no other engagement. How I longed to try
my voice with this beautiful music and be accompanied by a master. At
last my opportunity arrived when he asked me to come and sing for him.
He had fine songs for my voice. I gladly accepted his gracious
compliment and it truly was an hour of musical delight. It was not my
last pleasure for we had many such hours and his charming wife was an
appreciative listener and would enthusiastically applaud our efforts.
Those were happy hours but they too soon came to an end for he had
built a home in Alameda for his old age. Later I came to Oakland and
we have never met since. He was actively employed for several years
after that period but has retired and lives in Alameda. I read an
account of his fiftieth wedding anniversary on June 24, 1912, which
was celebrated with a high mass of thanks at St. Joseph's Church in
Alameda. In his profession he had many of our best known women for his
pupils, among them Miss Beatrice Tobin who is now Madam Duval of
Paris, Miss Theresa Fair now Mrs. Oelrichs of New York; Mrs.
Fitzsimmons, Miss Jenny Dunphy, Miss Gertrude Carroll.




Mr. Keith was born in the sixties in San Francisco. As a young man he
held for several years the position of manager of the art department
of Shreve's, corner of Montgomery and Sutter streets. He began his
voice lessons with Moretti. After a period he [Transcriber's Note:
missing word supplied] discontinued and began his studies with Madam
Blake-Alverson. After studying with her some time, he decided to adopt
music as his profession. He went to Paris in 1890 where, upon the
advice of Jean de Reszke, he studied several years with Sbriglia and
then prepared himself for opera under Giraudet of the Conservatory of
Music. He then went to London and prepared himself for oratorio under
Randegger. His European career was one of continuous success and he
sang in London, Edinburg, Berlin, Dresden, Paris, etc. His first great
work in American concerts was at the Worcester musical festival in
company with Madam Melba, Mme. Lillian Blauvelt, Campanari and other
artists, all under the baton of Carl Zerrahn. After singing in concert
and oratorio and other musical attractions for a number of years, he
received a flattering offer from the Mollenhauer Conservatory of
Music, Brooklyn, to teach the vocal department, the place he has so
successfully held since 1901, besides having large classes of private
pupils, both in Brooklyn and New York. He is considered a leading
concert baritone of New York and his services are constantly in
demand. Mr. Keith has made several visits to California with eminent
artists like Rivarde, Lachaume and others.


Madam Tregar was one of my San Bernardino pupils of English parentage.
At that time she was married and living in a modest way, desiring some
day to be able to satisfy her longing to sing. When she heard of my
singing and teaching she ventured to call and consult me in regard to
her voice. Her appearance did not inspire me with much encouragement,
but after hearing her story I decided to see what could be done. She
had never had any instruction except on the piano. I tried her rather
doubtfully. To my surprise I found she possessed more pure and natural
tones than I had ever heard in any voice. She had a range of almost
two octaves, every note without a flaw. I felt sorry that there was so
much to find in the voice, without a personality to round out the
perfect instrument. It was evident she would be a thorough student,
and do her work conscientiously, if she began. I resolved to try and
see what could be done. At the end of sixteen months the change in the
voice and woman was almost incomprehensible. The obstacles which
seemed unsurmountable at first were but the first defects to be
overcome, but with good understanding and proper placement these
faults disappeared as quickly as the frost before the morning sun. At
the closing recital of my sixteen months' stay she sang for her number
Gounod's Ave Maria with violin accompaniment, in the original key, to
the delight and great astonishment of the San Bernardino people, who
rather made her the butt of their musical jokes and hardly gave her
recognition previously, as they thought her musical ability was of the
most amateur sort. Her singing in the sixteen months of application in
the right direction and proper placement, brought out one of the most
phenomenal voices which has found favor abroad. She lives in London;
sang for the late King Edward and his royal household guests and still
holds sway among the musical people of London as the highest soprano
from America in this century. After leaving the south I never knew
what had become of her and often wondered if she kept up the good work
begun in 1888. In 1904, eighteen years after, she surprised me by
calling upon me to thank me for what I had done for her and her story
in this time seemed like a romance to me. After I left San Bernardino
she had succeeded so well that she concluded to go to her former home
in London and continue the work and, after eighteen years of success,
she came to San Francisco, stopped by the wayside to find her first
instructor and with deep emotion thanked her for her assistance and
good work when she needed a friend.


Prominent among the younger musicians of San Francisco in the 80's
were three talented children since become famous both in this country
and England, where they now reside. Their only teacher was their
mother, who was an English pianist of repute. They formed a concert
troupe in 1883 with Miss M. Hyde, accompanist and director.

Miss M. Hyde, _accompanist and director_.
Miss Lulu Joran, 16 years old, _piano virtuoso_.
Miss Pauline, 14 years old, _violin virtuoso_.
Miss Elsie, 12 years old, _piano virtuoso_.
Mrs. M.R. Blake, _soloist_.

It was most remarkable how these children interpreted the most
difficult masterpieces, and played them with art. Once at a special
concert in the Metropolitan temple, San Francisco, the youngest of
them, Miss Elsie, was seated at a Steinway grand piano, too small to
touch the pedals, (an adjustment had to be made) and with sixty of our
best musicians on the stage she played from memory the most difficult
concerto. All the children possessed the art of absolute pitch and
they were able with bandaged eyes to tell the notes of any chords that
were sounded. Miss Pauline was an excellent violinist besides
possessing a fine contralto voice which I had trained for the space of
a year and a half. She is, I am very proud to say, a most beautiful
singer in London today at the age of forty years. In 1910 I clipped
from one of the English papers the following: "Pauline Joran, one of
the most gifted young American opera singers now in Europe, made her
debut recently in Milan under Sonzogno, singing at the Teatro Lirico,
the role of Santuzza and Nedda with the greatest success. She has been
singing in Great Britain under Sir Augustus Harris and will be heard
here next season."

A teacher can be proud that her work of the foundation of tone
building resulted in such a successful finish. Pauline possessed the
talent and I could foresee the future if she had the proper means, for
she sang with taste and feeling. She accompanied the singer with
graceful interpretation on her violin and played the piano like an
artist. We traveled and sang together for two years and went to
Stockton, Sacramento, San Jose and all the smaller places around San
Francisco. The latter part of the eighties the Jorans returned to
London where they have remained ever since. In her girlish way Pauline
used to say, "Oh, dear auntie, when I am a great singer won't you be
glad and proud of me?" And so I am, and I hope all who have had the
same help will be as successful as this young pupil.


During my professional life as a vocal teacher I have been called upon
to part with some of my musical family and also to perform the last
tribute which one friend can pay to another--to sing the song asked
for on his deathbed. During my residence in Oakland I have parted with
five of my beloved pupils. The first string of my lute was severed by
God's decree when he called William P. Melvin to a higher life. He was
born in Steubenville, Ohio, March 18, 1859, and came here in his
infancy with his parents from Springfield, Ill. Dr. Melvin, his
father, entered the drug business and William was engaged in the same
business with him. Later on William was secretary of the Mountain View
Cemetery association, which office he held until his last illness.

He had a beautiful, resonant and full bass voice. He came to my studio
some time in 1895 and was enrolled among my students, and coming from
a musical family, his brother, Supreme Justice Henry Melvin,
possessing a fine baritone voice, and his beloved sister, Mrs. Mollie
Melvin-Dewing, an excellent mezzo-soprano, it was not strange he sang
so well in a few months. William received his instruction in the
evening when his daily duties were over and came to my studio which
was on the third floor of the building at 1108-1/2 Broadway, over the
Clark Wise music store. He continued his studies until 1897 when his
sickness began to affect his beautiful voice and his lessons were
necessarily discontinued. The first two years his progress was so
satisfactory that I hoped his third year would be the crowning year of
his efforts as an efficient and splendid bass singer. My heart sank
within me when I had learned the nature of the sickness that had
permanently fastened itself upon him. He was as reluctant to
discontinue as I was to have him, but we were obliged to submit to the
inevitable decree, "Thou shalt die and not live." It was a sad
parting. I tried to be cheerful and held out hopes for his recovery,
but it was not to be. On October 3, 1899, he was laid away in the
quiet tomb amidst beautiful blossoms and many tears from those who
knew him best. Mr. Melvin was one of the most delightful
personalities--gentle and kind as a woman, always genial and
accommodating, with always a pleasant word for every one. Even though
suffering from this disease which no doubt made life a burden, no one
in his presence was aware of his suffering. He was always bright and
cheery. As I passed his casket with other sad friends to take a
farewell look upon him and place upon his coffin my tribute of
violets, my tears dropped upon his last resting place as I beheld all
that was mortal of my beloved and affectionate pupil for whom I
mourned as a mother mourns for her son. A prayer arose to my lips to
the God of the universe that as peacefully as he slept in his earthly
casket that He would give him the peace that passeth all understanding
when he entered the portals of Heaven. Rest, sweet spirit, rest. You
are absent but not forgotten by your sincere and devoted teacher and


The second one of my musical family to pass out of life was Miss Rose
Champion. As Jesus wept at the grave of his dear friend Lazarus, I
wept, that one so young and gifted should be taken away from her
little family of three beautiful girls, and a sweet-voiced singer
should be forever stilled. She began her lessons with me in 1897 and
continued until 1899. She was possessed of a clear, lyric soprano
voice and sang with ease and grace and with soulful touch she
fascinated the listener by her intelligent interpretation of song. I
predicted for her a future to be envied, but circumstances over which
I had no control came in the way of her future progress and she
unwillingly made a change and I never heard a song from her after
that. When she was married she sent for me to sing at her wedding at
her home. As I was ready to return to my home she came to me before
she went on her trip, and embraced me and said, "I knew you would
come, and you have made me most happy for I always loved you so. It
was not my fault that I left you." I told her I was sure of that and
that I sang for her with all my heart and the fact that she had sent
for me to perform the highest favor she could ask was sufficient proof
that she had been loyal to her first instructions. For several years
she lived happily as Mrs. James Lanyon. On April 21, 1908, I read with
the deepest regret the announcement of her death. Having met with an
accident I was not able to attend the funeral or to hear the story of
the taking away of such a bright, intelligent and young mother and
sweet singer, but there lingers a sweet memory which will last as long
as I live. When I think of her, I also think of what might have
been had circumstances decreed otherwise. It is to be hoped she may be
foremost in the songs of the Immortal Choir. Sweetly sleep, sweet
singer, until the Grand Amen of the Lost Chord shall be sung at the
last great day, with all the redeemed in the congregation of the


Gertrude Dowling
Inza Valentine
Mrs. Mary Kroh-Rodan
Stella Kiel
Anna Krueckle
Stella Valentine
Mrs. Caroline Louderback



The third string of my musical lute was snapped asunder when the death
knell sounded for a most beloved and talented pupil, Miss Lorina Allen
Kimball. A young miss of sixteen summers, she had come to my studio,
212 Eleventh street, with her mother one afternoon in 1903. I found a
voice and a personality that could not be overlooked in one so young.
Her notes were pure and limpid, untouched by improper use or bad
training. I gladly enrolled her among my singers and she began at once
with her vocal instruction. She sang with marked progress for four
months when there was a break in the regularity of her lessons. She
had entered the Oakland High school and with her studies she was
unable to attend to the voice as she should. Lorina was born in
Manchester, New Hampshire, March 12, 1886, and her death occurred in
Oakland, August 5, 1906, at the age of twenty years. In 1905 her
mother was called away to Manchester on business and Lorina came to
live with me during her mother's absence. It was then that I learned
to know and understand her character and personality. I had moved to
116 Eleventh street, to the old Abbott home. There was a large room
built on for an art studio and another room led off from it which
Lorina called her room. I made this large room my studio and occupied
my couch on one side of it and it was here we worked each evening. She
was a most excellent student and no time was wasted when her lessons
were to be attended to. A bright pupil with clear reasoning ability,
she was first at one lesson, then the other. I used to watch her
evenings as she sat at the opposite side of the table with her books,
in deep study. I often thought of her possibilities and speculated on
all she could do. But our Master gives us from time to time just such
rare flowers of promise for a short season, then quietly transplants
them into His safe keeping from the bitter blasts of life's stormy
weather. He knows they are not made to stand the rough usages of life.
After finishing her term at the high school she entered the summer
school at Berkeley. While there she contracted a cold which became
alarming but she was unconscious that it was touching her vitals and
kept busy with her books. After the school closed her mother returned
and finding she did not improve, removed her to her home and concluded
she had better be attended to at once. She had been gone for over a
month and I supposed she was all right and was hoping to see her each
week return and resume her work. After eight weeks had passed I began
to be alarmed and made inquiries about her and I was informed that she
had been seriously ill for days and by her request the news was kept
from me. She failed rapidly after she went home.

On the morning of August 5, 1906, while I was at my breakfast table,
the telephone bell rang and a voice, strange to me, said "Mrs.
Alverson, Lorina Kimball is dead." Without any warning or thought of
receiving such a shock, of course, the day was done for me. I mourned
for her as for my own. A bright, sunny child, singing and laughing in
her childish glee, she made many friends, among them, members of the
Amoskeg Veterans who made her the Daughter of the Regiment in
Washington, D.C., and presented her with a beautiful silk flag and an
elegant crescent pin of jewels for her fine recitations and character

A clearer mind I never taught and I prayed and hoped that nothing
would intervene to stop her progress that had been so brilliantly
begun. But my hopes did not avail. Before the bud had unfolded into
maturity it was transplanted into the Garden of Eden above. Only those
who have lost loved ones are able to feel how my heart's deepest
sorrow went out with this young life. It was a pity that her notes
could not have been recorded as they floated out into the still hour
of the night. After her studies were over she would beg of me to join
her in the song duets which we had perfected. When I reasoned with her
not to sing, when so tired, like a spoiled child she pleaded. "My dear
Lady Margaret, I am tired only with my studies, sing with me, I want
to rest before I sleep." Who could resist the tender pleadings of the
tired song bird. I called her my nightingale for her singing was done
at night. One of her songs was the Nightingale's Trill or Queen of the
Night. The memory of her singing ever lingers with me like the sweet
perfume wafted from the distant isle, its subtle influence sinking
upon the senses, calming the tired child as upon the mother's breast
it rests in perfect peace and confidence. Its message accomplished, it
floated away into space to travel on, and, forever until it reached
the Giver of every perfect gift and rested in the Heavenly Courts
above from everlasting to everlasting.

     Rest, weary pilgrim, from toil reposing,
     Night's darkening shadow round thee is closing,
     Drear is the pathway frowning before thee,
     No stars on high to guide and watch o'er me;
     Rest, weary pilgrim; rest, weary pilgrim.

     Rest, weary pilgrim, 'till morning breaking,
     And birds around thee bright songs awakening;
     Hark, through the forest chill winds are blowing,
     Here there is friendship and kind welcome glowing,
     Rest, weary pilgrim; rest, weary pilgrim.



The fourth discordant note in my instrument came to me by the death of
one of my later pupils, Miss Pauline Peterson, who began with her
sister, Miss Minnie Peterson, in 1896. She was fair to look upon and
her voice was sweet and pure and in range two full octaves. She was a
member of the English Lutheran church in Grove and Sixteenth streets,
was one of the Christian Endeavor workers and Sabbath school teachers
and her ambition was to sing in the choir and among the young people
of the church. During the three years' directorship of the choir, I
had gathered the young people together and the music was of a high
order. A number of them sang in the choir.

During these years Miss Pauline had become the promised bride of the
man of her choice and the day was drawing near and all preparations
were completed and the cozy home furnished. Only a few weeks remained
before the chorus of Lohengrin was to be sung by the young voices of
her friends who loved her so well. While we propose, God disposes, and
our expectant bride fell sick and the edict went forth that she should
be the Bride of Heaven and on May 1, 1905, she passed away. Instead of
the wedding song I was called upon to sing the parting song for the
beloved pupil. I thought I had fully prepared myself for the ordeal
and was ready to comply and perform the sad task which befell me.
After the family had passed into their pew, my tears began to start as
I saw the bowed head of her devoted mother, who was giving up her
first-born child so young to lie in the tomb. But I was not prepared
for the sight of the white casket as it was wheeled into the church,
with the solitary mourner, her promised husband, slowly following all
that was left of his bride-to-be, robed as for the bridal and her
shimmering veil tied in a large bow knot and the bridal wreath placed
lightly upon the casket with lilies of the valley and maiden-hair
ferns, trailing in graceful festoons around the casket. Truly all the
heroes do not face the cannon's mouth. It requires bravery beyond
conception to do this last mission for those we love and esteem. I
realized for a moment the difficult task and during the reading of the
scriptures the battle was raging within me. When the moment came and
the organ began the prelude, I arose as in a dream, and casting my
eyes away from the beloved form, I began in a low voice the beautiful
song (by Felix Marti) "By the River." As I sang I forgot all earthly
sorrow and directed my thought above the earthly home into the blue
vault of Heaven and I followed the young spirit into the everlasting
gates of pearl and left her there.

     Safe in the Arms of Jesus,
     Safe on his gentle breast,
     There by his love o'ershadowed
     Sweetly her soul shall rest.


Dolores Bradley
Geneva Griswold
Geo. Jackson
Blanche Kroh
Leslie E. Woodworth
Peter Ramsey
Maud Gerrior
Alice Davies
Edw. H. Sanford

PUPILS, 1908-1912]


The last and fifth string of my musical lute became silent and was
hushed forever when my sweet friend and pupil passed beyond into the
unknown home not made with hands of mortals. Miss Bertha Grace Hunter
was born in Liverpool, England, and in 1889 came to America and then
to San Francisco with her parents, later removing to Oakland. She had
studied the piano in England and played well. In 1893 she decided to
take up music as a profession. She consulted Mrs. Gutterson who
informed her she possessed decided musical ability, well worth the
cultivation. She began to study with Otto Bendix of San Francisco who
informed her that she understood interpretation better than most of
his pupils. Afterward she wished to become an organist and became the
pupil of Mr. H. Bretherick. It was at Pilgrim church that I first met
her. She was organist there, while I occupied a choir position. She
was a beautiful accompanist as well and I could feel assured that I
would have her full artistic nature woven into the song I sang and
give me the inspiration to sing so as to call forth expressions of
approval from the worshippers from week to week for us both. She also
had a contralto voice of much feeling and sympathy and came to me for
vocal lessons in 1896 and was my accompanist in the studio for a year,
when she decided to visit England and perfect herself on the organ.
She studied three years with Dr. George Smith from the Royal Academy
of Music in London. She had remained so long abroad she became
homesick and great was the disappointment of her teacher that she
could not remain three months longer to take her degree. Her longing
for home became so strong she forfeited her honors to meet her family
at Christmas. Upon reaching Oakland she was appointed organist of the
First Christian Scientist church, which position she held for seven
years. Her untimely death in September, 1911, was a shock to her
family and friends. Being of a quiet disposition one would not expect
to find such a soulful and affectionate nature. To know her was to
love her. My long association with her in church and studio gave me an
opportunity to know her well and love her for her worth as a true
friend, a musical nature and loyal to all her associates and friends
and a most ardent student in her profession. She was in England when
my accident occurred and since her return I met her but seldom. Her
work lay in another direction in Berkeley. Her death was a sad
surprise to me and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to her bereaved
parents and devoted brother who mourn her loss grievously like David
mourned for his son and could not be comforted.


The subject of my sketch, George G. Peterson, began his studies at my
studio 1108-1/2 Broadway. He had a deep bass voice of fine quality
which he used with excellent understanding and soon attracted
attention at the First Christian church where he worshipped. George
was a devout Christian and prominent worker in the church and was in
demand for his musical worth as well, singing so well that he became
leading bass in the choir and occupied the position with honor. With
all his daily work as an artisan he found time to master and play
successfully the violin, mandolin, auto harp and harmonica combined,
banjo and guitar. He passed out of life April 26th, 1912, leaving a
wife, son and daughter to mourn the loss of a talented father. So my
musical family comes and goes and I am called upon to lose them first
in one way and then in another. This was a sad surprise and a shock to
me. I wrote to him to come and see me and the answer came, "George has
gone up higher. He is not here among us any longer." It was a sad
message from the devoted wife. He was still a young, bright and active
man, but thirty-seven years of age. Truly "God moves in a mysterious
way His wonders to perform." In all things may we be able to say, "Thy
will, not mine, be done."


     Dedicated to Lady Margaret, with much love, by Mary Alice Sanford.
     Christmas, 1909.

     Singing forever from morn until night,
       From low and sad to high and bright,
     The voice of my Lady resounds in the air,
     And tells all the world to put aside care.

     As if watching the distant horizon blue,
       We finally see the ships come in view,
     We hear the soft music rise to her lips,
     And those beautiful tones are our stately ships.

     But listen again! Now what do we hear?
     Why the rippling of the waters clear,
     Or the lark's sweet song in yonder skies.
     Or the soft flight of the butterflies.

     The low murmuring of the breeze,
     The nodding of the leaves on trees,
     The blushing rose, the lily pure,
     Is sung by a voice which can never be truer.

     The anger of the stormy water,
     The passion of lovers who never falter,
     The insanity of a jealous husband's rage
     Is sung by the marvelous voice of the age.

     Her voice is borne on the wings of a dove,
     With many kind thoughts and praises of love,
     She has sung to us all, and we'll never forget
     The beautiful voice of my Lady Margaret.

The writer of this poem, Mary Alice Sanford, came into my life in
1908. Her family moved into the flat above mine some time in August of
that year. Her mother informed me that she was musical, and from the
way she spoke I expected to see a young woman of about nineteen or
twenty years. I was surprised, instead, a few days later, to see a
slip of a schoolgirl looking at me in a timid way and rather reserved
in manner. Later I invited her into the studio and I asked her if she
liked music, to which she said yes. During the call she said she
wished to sing. She had never had any instruction, her music was
instrumental altogether. After she had given me an example of her
instrumental work I said she should sing also, but at this she
informed me she could not afford the vocal with the other, but her
desire was to sing as well as play. I asked her what ability she had
for reading or accompanying. She informed me she read her notes
rapidly. At this I handed her the fifty lessons by Concone and opened
to the first exercises, asked her to play while I sang for her. I
thought perhaps the first lessons were too easy so I gave her a more
difficult one, and I found she could read the most difficult lessons
in the book and accompany with the greatest ease. I asked her her age,
and she informed me in a month she would be sixteen years old. I asked
her if she would like to earn her own lessons. She looked at me
surprised at my proposition. Before her visit was over it was agreed
she should be accompanist for my students, who needed her services.
This was glorious news to her mother, who so greatly desired her to
sing but was unable to give her both branches at this time, and she
had also just pride that her daughter was able through her musical
knowledge to give herself the much longed for opportunity which had
come to her so unexpectedly. Everything was complete now, and the
lessons began at once.

I found in her a real student, a most attentive listener, a voice
small but clear and high. Later on in the development it proved very
elastic, nothing acceptable below middle C. A pure lyric soprano, it
was constantly developing higher in the tones. I often cautioned her
not to sing so high, it would not do, when she would reply, "I cannot
help it, it just goes there." I paid my closest attention to her for
the period of four years. In that time she had not only learned to
sing and play, but also studied harmony and languages. Latin and
German she studied in school, Italian in the studio with Professor
Arena, Spanish from her father, who is a linguist. With all this
colossal work for this young mind and her achievements in technic and
languages I was yet dissatisfied, for I had not yet received a
response that I had longed and hoped for while she was drinking in all
this vast amount of knowledge. She never gave out to let me see any
result of all this accumulation of musical knowledge which I knew she
possessed, never asking a question or advancing any question or
enthusiastic outburst of expression. Being romantic in my
interpretation of song I hoped she had imbibed also a strain of it
which she lacked, as I noticed in the beginning. I was at my wits'
ends to find the spring, but she resisted all my efforts. I knew she
was excessively shy but did not think that would prevent her in
showing in some way her appreciation of the instruction and her idea
of what she had formed of all this teaching, explanation and example
in these years.

Her songs were accurately sung in any language with which she was
familiar. Her singing was highly complimented upon, yet there was
something I had not yet found. I sang many hours for her the old and
the new songs and she accompanied with musicianly art, but no
expression came to me from her. I got an idea from her mother which
songs she liked best and I soon found she had supplied herself with
those she did like and I had sung for her in practice. In December,
1909, I at last reaped my reward. She, with other pupils, remembered
me, and before bringing her gift she felt as though she had not given
me enough, and at last she said, "I must do something more," and
entered her room, and closed the door for a half hour. She had given
me in verse what she could not say to me. Her excessive shyness
prevented her, much as she appreciated my singing and teaching and the
interpretation of song and its different modes of expression, whether
it be sacred, descriptive, florid or romantic. She portrayed these
lines with a poet's art--never did Tennyson write his first efforts
with more beautiful description than this young poetess has written in
these beautiful lines which I cannot read without emotion. She gave me
her affectionate expression in this poem which I appreciate more
highly than rubies, and with pride I place her offering in this book
of memoirs for all to read and for all young persons who are students
to feel that a conscientious teacher deserves their love and
appreciation in return for their efforts to develop the highest
perfection in the pupil. They cannot all be poets but they can at
least honor the master by showing appreciation.

In these four years of study she had outdistanced all of those who
began with her in 1908. She plays the organ each Sabbath at the
English Lutheran Church. She has several piano pupils and once a week
practices two hours in a private ensemble club, violins, cello and
piano; has completed the course of harmony of three months, has
studied composition, writes songs and the words for them. She has
written a number of instrumental pieces for both hands, and two
numbers for the left hand. I have been honored with the gift of two of
her songs, one sacred and the other a lullaby. She began in earnest to
compose some time ago and these pieces have been the result. She
practices the piano about four hours daily. Her compositions are very
meritorious. It is my opinion if she keeps up her work that it will
not be long before the public of California will have another musician
to add to the already great number gone before her. There is but one
regret in the makeup of this young aspirant. It is her self-consciousness
or excessive shyness, whether physical or mental, in relation to the
opinion of others. She is so thoroughly conscientious she will not do
anything unless it is just right. If she can overcome this malady in
her contact with people there is nothing left in her pathway to
prevent her successful career. It has been difficult for me to bear
with patience this affliction, for I see too well her future. Shyness
is no respecter of persons. Many of our great men like Charles
Matthews, Garrick, Sir Isaac Newton, Byron, were afflicted with it and
shunned all notoriety. She has fought successfully her other battles,
let us hope she will conquer this obstacle also. I, her instructor,
will be the first to rejoice in her victory and her Lady Margaret will
compel her to write another song. But this time it will be a song of
rejoicing and victory.


Ruth A. Hitchcock
Anita Osborn
Christine Hermansen
Ilma Jones
Grace Cooke
Leo Dowling

PUPILS, 1910-1911]



Ach, Annie, 1903, '04                                     _High soprano_
Ackerly, Mrs., 1901, '02, '03                             _Mezzo-soprano_
Adler, Celia, 1890                                        _Soprano_
Adler, Dora, 1890                                         _Soprano_
Adler, Elsie, 1900                                        _Soprano_
Aiken, Mrs., 1896                                         _Soprano_
Aitken, Mabel, 1898                                       _Soprano_
Aitken, Mr., 1897                                         _High tenor_
Allison, George, 1906, '07, '08                           _Baritone, bass_
Alwyn, Robert, 1897, '98                                  _Baritone, tenor_
Alwyn, Stella, 1898                                       _Soprano, low_
Ames, Lucille, 1910, '11                                  _Deep contralto_
Andrews, Mattie, 1892, '93                                _Alto_
Andrews, Vina, 1892, '93                                  _Soprano_
Angus, Alice, 1899, 1900, '02, '03                        _Soprano_
Angus, Mrs. Helen, 1899, 1900, '01                        _Soprano_
Angus, Wm., 1899, 1900, '01                               _Tenor, primo_
Arena, Angelina, 1901, '02, '10                           _Mezzo-soprano_
Arena, Irvin, 1912                                        _Boy soprano_
Arbergast, Mr. A., 1900, '01                              _Tenor_
Ashley, Chas. H., 1911, '12                               _Lyric tenor_
Atchison, Mrs. L.F., 1906                                 _Soprano_
Atherton, Ethel, 1890, '91                                _Soprano_
Atkins, Mr., 1896                                         _Baritone_
Atkins, Mrs., 1896                                        _Soprano_
Austin, Grace B., 1887                                    _Soprano_
Austin, Mrs. L.M., 1895                                   _Soprano_
Avan, Clara, 1898, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03                _Soprano_
Avan, Hattie, 1902, '03                                   _Contralto_
Avis, Ethel, 1908                                         _Contralto_
Bacon, Helen, 1898                                        _Soprano_
Baer, Mr., 1900                                           _Tenor_
Baker, Miss Sarah, 1898                                   _Soprano_
Ball, Louie, 1892                                         _Mezzo-soprano_
Ballentyne, Will, 1896                                    _Bass, baritone_
Banta, Clae, 1906, '07                                    _High Tenor_
Barnes, Pearl, 1909, '10                                  _Contralto_
Bartlett, Mrs., 1891                                      _Contralto_
Bauske, Hazel, 1910, '11, '12                             _High soprano_
Baylis, Etta, 1905, '06                                   _Soprano_
Beam, Edith, 1879, '80, '82, '84, '85, '87                _Soprano, also
Beam, Mary, 1879, '82, '85                                _Soprano_
BeDell, Miss, 1897, '98                                   _Soprano_
Bercham, Mrs., 1888                                       _Soprano_
Beretta, Chelice, 1890, '91                               _Low voice_
Beretta, Mrs. I.A., 1894, '95                             _Mezzo-soprano._
                                                           Passed out of
Bernard, Dan, 1890                                        _Baritone_
Bernard, Grace, 1890, '91, '95                            _Soprano_
Bernard, Fred, 1890, '91                                  _Baritone_
Bernard, L.A., 1895                                       _Tenor_
Bettis, Mrs., 1894, '95, '96, '97                         _Soprano_
Bichtel, Helen, 1901                                      _Soprano_
Bills, Miss, 1897                                         _Light soprano_
Bishop, Biddle, 1879, '80                                 _Bass, baritone_
Bisquer, Marceline, 1912                                  _Soprano_
Blake, Edith, 1886                                        _Soprano_
Blake, Ella, 1887                                         _Contralto_
Blake, Mrs. W.E., 1894, '95, '99, '00, '01, '02           _High soprano.
                                                           Accompanist for
                                                           the studio_
Blanc, Lottie, 1884                                       _Alto_
Bloss, Kittie, 1884                                       _Soprano_
Boise, Miss E., 1879, '85                                 _Soprano_
Bonham, Mrs., 1900                                        _Dramatic
Bolzer, Miss, 1896, '97                                   _Soprano_
Booth, Miss A.G., 1879, '80, '81                          _Soprano_
Booth, Maud, 1908                                         _Contralto_
Booth, Sue, 1909                                          _Contralto_
Boutton, Miss Cloy, 1899, '90, '91                        _Dramatic
Bowers, Genevieve, 1907, '08                              _Contralto_
Bowers, Cornelia, 1907, '08, '09                          _Deep contralto_
Bowen, Mary, 1884                                         _Soprano_
Bowles, Bessie, 1908                                      _Soprano_
Bowles, Kitty, 1898                                       _Light soprano_
Bowley, Kittie, 1884                                      _Dramatic
Bradley, Dolores, 1908, '09, '10                          _Contralto_
Brainard, Birdie, 1879, '83, '86, '87                     _Alto_ (child)
Brainard, Carrie, 1879, '82, '83, '86, '87                _Soprano_ (child)
Brandeline, Mrs., 1909                                    _Mezzo-soprano_
Braun, Mr., 1898                                          _Tenor-baritone_
Brennan, Misses, 1884                                     _Soprano and
Brown, Elizabeth, 1879                                    _Soprano_
Brown, Evelyn, 1890, '91, '92                             _Soprano_
Brown, Miss, 1888, '89                                    _Mezzo-soprano_
Brown, Miss L., 1880, '81                                 _Soprano_
Brown, Mary, 1884                                         _Mezzo-soprano_
Bruce, Florence, 1903, '04, '05                           _Lyric soprano_
Bruce, Mrs. S.J., 1903, '04, '05                          _Light soprano_
Bruce, Ruth, 1904, '05                                    _Contralto_
Bruce, Winona, 1904, '05, '06                             _Mezzo-soprano_
Bruenn, Mrs., 1892, '93                                   _Mezzo voice_
Brunning, Olive, 1899, 1900                               _Mezzo voice_
Brunning, Helen, 1899, 1900                               _Soprano_
Brydges, Ada Miss, 1912                                   _Contralto-mezzo_
Bryant, Miss, 1897, '98, '99, 1900                        _High soprano_
Bufford, Anna, 1888                                       _Soprano_
Bufford, Tidy, 1888                                       _Contralto_
Bullington, Marie, 1912                                   _Soprano_
Burch, Madeline, 1912                                     _Soprano_
Burch, Mrs., 1903                                         _Contralto_
Burns, Belle, 1892, '93, '96                              _Contralto_
Burns, Herbert, 1906                                      _Second tenor_
Burrell, Mrs., 1895                                       _Second alto_
Burton, Lester, 1905, '06, '07                            _Bass, baritone_
Caldwell, Mrs. O.B., 1900, '01                            _Contralto_
Calvin, Alice, 1901, '02, '03, '04, '05                   _Contralto_
                                                          _Also accompanist
                                                           for the studio_
Campbell, Mrs. Carrie, 1884                               _Soprano_
Campbell, Mrs. J.A., 1881                                 _Mezzo-soprano_
Cantua, Theresa, 1898, '99, 1900                          _Mezzo-soprano_
Cantrell, Kate, 1884                                      _Soprano_
Carpenter, Miss, 1897                                     _Soprano_
Carollis, Miss, 1888                                      _Mezzo-soprano_
Carovyn, Mr., 1897                                        _Tenor voice_
Carrigan, Mrs., 1896                                      _Mezzo-soprano_
Carrick, Mrs., 1890, '91, '92, '93                        _Mezzo-soprano_
Case, Mrs. J.M., 1894, '96, '97, '98, '99, '01            _Mezzo-soprano_
                                                          _Also accompanist
                                                           for studio_
Cauzza, Genevieve, 1912                                   _Mezzo-soprano_
Caswell, Mabel, 1890, '91, '92, '93                       _Soprano_
Champion, Rose, 1897, '98, '99                            _High soprano_
Chapman, Sylvia, 1890, '91                                _Soprano_
Chase, Linnie, 1906                                       _Soprano also
Cheschron, Lillian, 1883                                  _Soprano_
Chase, Mellie, 1890                                       _Mezzo-soprano_
Christofferson, Jennie, 1900, '01                         _Soprano_
Church, Mrs. Lin, 1897                                    _Mezzo-soprano_
Churchill, Byron, 1901, '02                               _Tenor_
Cianciaruolo, Lucia, 1905, '06, '07, '08, '09,
  '10, '11, '12                                           _High soprano_
Ciseneros, Henry, 1907                                    _Tenor, baritone_
Claire, Miss, 1891                                        _Soprano_
Clifford, Mrs., 1894                                      _Soprano_
Coghill, Mamie, 1879, 1880                                _Soprano_
Cole, Miss, 1888                                          _Soprano_
Condrin, Mamie, 1884, '85                                 _Soprano_
Commins, Anna, 1889, '97, '98, '01, '02, '03              _Soprano_
Collins, Mrs. Minnie, 1888                                _Soprano_
Conklin, Louisa, 1895                                     _Soprano_
Connors, Mrs. H., 1888                                    _Soprano_
Conroy, Anna, 1897, '98, 99                               _Soprano_
Cooke, Grace, 1911, '12                                   _High soprano_
Cooley, Allen, 1892                                       _Tenor_
Coombs, Miss, 1904, '05                                   _Soprano_
Cordes, H. Mrs., 1911, '12                                _Mezzo-soprano_
Courtain, Gladys, 1903, '04                               _Soprano_
Coyne, Miss N., 1901                                      _Soprano_
Craig, Carrie, 1888                                       _Soprano_
Cramer, Etta, 1908, '09                                   _Soprano_
Crandall, Harry, 1900, '01, '02, '10                      _High tenor_
Crew, Josie, 1897, '98                                    _Contralto Also
                                                           accompanist for
Crew, Louisa Carolyn, 1897, '98, '99, '00                 _Lyric soprano_
Cropley, F.M., 1898                                       _Soprano_
Crossman, Nellie, 1888                                    _Contralto_
Cullen, Lila, 1904, '05                                   _Soprano_
Culver, Susie, 1893, '94, '95                             _Soprano_
Cummings, Nettie, 1898                                    _Soprano_
Cunningham, Miss, 1889                                    _Soprano_
Cunningham, Mrs. Louisa Crossett, 1912                    _Dramatic
Cushing, Lillian, 1898, '99, '01, '02                     _Contralto_
Dam, Miss, 1889                                           _Contralto_
Danielwitz, Carrie, 1900, '01                             _Soprano_
Danielwitz, Rose, 1900, '03                               _Mezzo-soprano_
Danish, Mrs., 1897                                        _Mezzo-soprano_
Davies, Alice, 1910                                       _Mezzo-soprano_
Dean, Miss, 1890                                          _Soprano_
Dean, Mrs. J.E., 1910, '11                                _Mezzo-soprano_
Deaner, Annette, 1898, '99                                _Soprano_
DeBonis, Elvera, 1908, '09                                _Mezzo-soprano_
Deetken, Marjorie, 1906, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12     _Soprano_
Delepaine, Mrs., 1887                                     _Soprano_
Derby, Charles, 1901, '02, '03, '04, '09                  _Tenor_
Derby, George, 1901, '02, '03, '04, '05                   _Bass_
Derby, Hattie, 1896, '97, '98, '99, '00, '01              _Soprano_
Derby, Sam, 1896                                          _Baritone_
Derrick, Nellie, 1882, '84, '85                           _Soprano_
DeTurbeville, Amy, 1890, '91, '92, '93                    _Soprano_
Dickey, Mrs. Clarence, 1888                               _Lyric soprano_
Dickey, Lorena, 1905                                      _Soprano_
Diggins, Miss, 1900, '01                                  _Soprano_
Doan, Rebecca, 1880                                       _Soprano_
Dobbins, Miss Grace, 1894, '95, '96, '97, '98, '99        _Contralto_
Dohrmann, Dolores, 1903, '04, '05                         _Soprano, also
Dorsett, Gertrude, 1911, '12                              _Soprano_
Dorr, Ruby, 1884                                          _Soprano_
Dosier, Miss, 1884                                        _Soprano_
Doubleday, Mr., 1890, '91                                 _Baritone_
Dowdel, Addie, 1896, '97, '98, '99, '00                   _Light soprano
Dowdel, Everett, 1895, '96, '97, '01                      _Tenor_
Dowling, Gertrude, 1906, '07, '08, '10, '11, '12          _Mezzo-soprano_
Dowling, Leo, 1908                                        _Baritone, bass_
Downing, Lennie, 1879, '80, '81, '82                      _Soprano_
Drais, Jessie, 1897, '98, '99                             _Contralto_
Drake, Mabel, 1904, '05                                   _Contralto_
Draper, Mrs., 1888                                        _Mezzo-soprano_
Dugan, Susie, 1880                                        _Soprano_
Dumont, Ricardo, 1909, '10                                _Tenor, baritone_
Durbrow, Kate, 1884                                       _Soprano_
Dunn, Elizabeth, 1879, '80, '81                           _Mezzo-soprano_
Dunn, Mary, 1881                                          _Soprano_
Dunn, Rebecca, 1879, '80, '81, '85                        _Alto_
Dutton, Carrie, 1879, '82, '83, '85, '86, '87, '90        _Lyric soprano_
Dwight, Mr., 1888                                         _Bass_
Dyer, Ella, 1890, '91, 1900                               _Contralto_
                                                           (Died, 1900)
Edwards, Jessie, 1881                                     _Mezzo-contralto_
Edwards, Morton, 1880                                     _Tenor_ (Dead)
Edwards, Mrs. Morton, 1886                                _Mezzo-soprano_
Edwards, Daisy, Miss, 1884                                _Soprano_
Erne, Mrs., 1894                                          _Soprano_
Ellis, Miss Maud, 1901                                    _Soprano_
Ellis, Will, 1904                                         _Baritone_
Embly, Miss, 1897                                         _Mezzo-soprano_
Englehart, Ethel, 1911                                    _Soprano_
Epperly, Mrs., 1888                                       _Contralto_
Eubank, Susie, 1896, '97, '98                             _Soprano_
Ewing, Nellie, 1884                                       _Soprano_
Evans, Mary, 1886                                         _Soprano_
Farnum, Mrs. C.A., 1884                                   _Soprano_
Faull, Mrs. Hattie, 1882, '83, '85, '86, '87              _Soprano_
Faull, John, 1879, '82, '85, '86                          _Bass, baritone_
Faull, Rose, 1879, '82, '83, '86                          _Soprano_
Faull, Sophia, 1879, '82, '83, '86                        _Alto_ (Deceased)
Faull, Will, 1894                                         _Bass_
Finch, Miss Vivian, 1884, '94, '96                        _Soprano_
Finney, Miss M., 1898                                     _Soprano_
Finnigan, Annie, 1886                                     _Soprano_
Fisk, Mrs., 1882, '83, '84, '85                           _Soprano_
Fleming, Mrs., 1888, '89                                  _Soprano_
Flick, George, 1900                                       _Bass_
Flotie, Miss, 1891                                        _Mezzo-soprano_
Fogarty, Miss, 1896                                       _Soprano_
Folger, Mrs., 1900                                        _Soprano_
Foote, Miss, 1901                                         _Soprano_
Ford, Ella, 1894                                          _Soprano_
Foss, Mrs., 1908                                          _Alto_
Foster, Annie, 1884                                       _Soprano_
Foster, Lizzie, 1879, '82, '84, '85                       _Soprano_
Foster, Mrs., 1891                                        _Soprano_
Fountain, Beryle, 1909                                    _Contralto_
Fox, Mr., 1888                                            _Second tenor_
Frank, Cora, 1901                                         _Soprano_
Frankenstein, Sidney, 1889, '90                           _Tenor_
Frear, Bessie, 1901                                       _Mezzo-soprano_
French, Miss, 1895                                        _Soprano_
Friend, Mrs., 1890                                        _Soprano_
Frink, Abbie, 1879, '80, '81, '84                         _Soprano_
Frink, George, 1881                                       _Baritone_
Froeb, Emma, 1909                                         _Contralto_
Frost, Miss, 1901                                         _Soprano_
Frost, Horatio, 1879, '82, '83, '85, '86                  _Tenor_
Frost, Mrs. Mary, 1885                                    _Low soprano_
Fryer, John, 1896, '97                                    _Tenor_
Fryer, Regg, 1896                                         _Baritone_
Fusch, Laura, 1899                                        _Contralto_
Gale, Mollie, 1904                                        _Soprano_
Garcia, Louisa, 1900, '01                                 _Soprano_
Gardiner, Paloma, 1908, '09, '10                          _Contralto_
Geischen, Emma, 1893, '94, '95                            _Mezzo-soprano_
Georges, Bert, 1896                                       _Bass_
Gerard, Capt, 1900                                        _Baritone_
Gerrior, Maud, 1908, '09                                  _Contralto_
Gerrior, Rev., 1908                                       _Baritone, tenor_
Gibbs, Miss, 1880, '81                                    _Soprano_
Gibbs, Miss E.J., 1907                                    _Contralto_
Giffin, Miss, 1897                                        _Soprano_
Gilchrist, Jennie, 1898, '99                              _Contralto_
Gladding, Annette, 1904                                   _Contralto_
Gladding, Susie, 1903, '04                                _Mezzo-soprano_
Glass, Mrs. Louis, 1887, '89                              _Soprano_
Glaze, Mrs., 1891, '92                                    _Contralto_
Goddard, Mrs., 1888                                       _Contralto_
Gohst, Miss, 1897                                         _Soprano_
Goughenheim, Miss, 1891                                   _Soprano_
Goodfellow, W.S., 1904, '05                               _Primo tenor_
Gossip, Claire, 1898                                      _Soprano_
Granger, Adale, 1907                                      _Soprano_
Granger, Blanche, 1907                                    _Contralto_
Graves, Augusta, 1879, '82, '84, '85, '86, '87            _Contralto_
Graves, Bessie, 1879, '82, '84, '85, '86                  _Mezzo voice.
Graham, Mr., 1905                                         _Baritone_
Grant, E., 1904                                           _Contralto_
Gray, Maud, 1901, '07                                     _Soprano_
Greenman, Mrs., 1893                                      _Soprano_
Greer, Yvonne, 1911, '12                                  _Soprano_
Griffith, Ella, 1884                                      _Contralto_
Griswold, Geneva, 1908, '09, '10, '11                     _Soprano_
Groenberg, Margot, 1897, 1900                             _Soprano_
Grossett, Louisa, 1899, '00                               _Contralto_
Guilbault, Agnes, 1898                                    _Lyric soprano_
Gunn, Anna, 1909, '10                                     _Contralto_
Gunn, Eva, 1909, '10                                      _Soprano_
Hackett, Miss, 1879, '80, '81                             _Soprano_
Haggard, A., 1880                                         _Tenor_
Haggard, A., 1881                                         _Soprano_
Haines, Mr., 1904, '05                                    _Tenor_
Haley, May, 1898                                          _Soprano_
Hall, Mrs., 1894                                          _Soprano_
Halm, Mrs., 1888                                          _Contralto_
Hanson, Jennie, 1884                                      _Soprano_
Harlow, Frankie, 1910, '11, '12                           _Contralto_
Harney, Miss, 1887                                        _Soprano_
Harper, Janet, 1881, '82, '83, '84                        _Soprano_
Harris, Josie, 1892                                       _Soprano_
Harrison, Mr., 1906, '07                                  _Tenor, baritone_
Harrold, Alice, 1879, '80, '81, '84                       _Contralto_
Harrold, Elizabeth, 1879, '80, '81, '84, '85, '90, '91    _Contralto_
Harrold, Eva, 1880                                        _Soprano_
Harrold, Mary, 1879, '80, '81, '84, '90, '91              _Soprano_
Harry, Dolly, 1887                                        _Soprano_
Hart, Mrs., 1896, 97                                      _Soprano_
Harvey, Flora, 1895, '96, '99                             _Contralto, also
Harvey, Richard, 1895                                     _Baritone_
Hastie, M.A., 1884                                        _Soprano_
Hawes, Alice, 1884                                        _Contralto_
Herman, Mrs., 1902                                        _Soprano_
Hermansen, Christine, 1910, '11                           _Soprano_
Hewes, Gertrude, 1879, '81, '84                           _Contralto_
Hewes, Miss, 1888                                         _Soprano_
Hewes, Mrs., 1891                                         _Soprano_
Hewes, Sarah, 1894, '95, '96                              _Soprano_
Hewes, Mr. W., 1887, 1901                                 _Tenor_
Higgins, E.B., 1887                                       _Tenor_
Higgins, Mrs., 1887                                       _Soprano_
Hill, Miss, 1896, '97                                     _Soprano_
Hino, Walter, 1906                                        _Baritone_
Hitchcock, Ruth, 1909, '10                                _Contralto_
Hodges, Laura, 1892                                       _Soprano_
Hogan, Eva, 1903                                          _Mezzo-soprano_
Holland, Julia, 1880                                      _Soprano_
Holmes, Mr. 1905                                          _Bass_
Holt, Mrs., 1888                                          _Soprano_
Horton, Georgia, 1898, '99                                _Contralto_
Hosmer, Mr., 1884                                         _High tenor_
Hough, Ernest, 1892                                       _Tenor_
Huston, O.J., 1898, '99                                   _Tenor_
Howard, Kate, 1879, '80, '81                              _Contralto_
Howard, Mrs. C.W., 1894                                   _Soprano_
Hoyte, Mr., 1896                                          _Tenor_
Hubbard, Mrs., 1888                                       _Soprano_
Hudspeth, Mr., 1903, '04                                  _Baritone, bass_
Hugg, Mrs. J., 1888                                       _Soprano_
Huffschneider, Mrs., 1903, '04                            _Mezzo-soprano_
Huggins, Flora, 1890, '91                                 _Soprano_
Huggins, Hattie, 1890, '91                                _Contralto_
Hughes, Mrs., 1901, '02, '03                              _Contralto_
Hunt, Elsie May, 1897, '98, '99, '00, '01                 _Dramatic
Hunter, Alena, 1900, '01, '02, '03, '04                   _Soprano_
Hunter, Bertha, 1900, '01                                 _Contralto_
Hunter, William, 1892                                     _Tenor_
Hurd, Mrs., 1903                                          _Soprano_
Hussey, Ida, 1894, '95, '96                               _Mezzo-contralto_
Hussey, Minnie, 1896, '97                                 _Soprano_
Hyde, Marie, 1882, '83, '84                               _Contralto, also
                                                           for studio_
Hyde, E. Miss, 1898, '99, '00                             _Soprano_
Hymes, Mrs. 1903                                          _Soprano_
Huston, Mrs., 1903                                        _Contralto_
Ireland, Mrs., 1900                                       _Soprano_
Israel, Dora, 1889                                        _Contralto_
Jackson, George, 1908, '09, '10, '11, '12                 _Tenor_
Jackson, Mrs., 1904                                       _Contralto_
Jacobs, Gertrude, 1905                                    _Contralto_
Jacobs, Lena, 1905                                        _Soprano_
Jacobs, Miss P., 1901                                     _High soprano_
Jeffries, Jack, 1900, '01                                 _Baritone_
Jewell, Mr., 1888                                         _Baritone, tenor_
Johnston, Rita, 1908                                      _Contralto_
Jolly, May Stewart, 1886, '87, '89                        _High soprano_
Jones, Ethel, 1898, '99, '00                              _High soprano,
Jones, Lillian, 1884                                      _Soprano_
Jones, Ilma, 1908, '09, '10                               _Soprano_
Jones, J.W., 1887                                         _Tenor_
Jones, Mary, 1884                                         _Alto_
Jones, Miss, 1879                                         _Soprano_
Jones, Mrs., 1894, '95, '97                               _Contralto_
Joran, Pauline 1884, '85                                  _Contralto_
Jordan, M.F., 1895                                        _Soprano_
Jory, Blanche, 1890, '91                                  _Soprano_
Jory, Ethel, 1890, '91                                    _Contralto_
Jory, Lillian, 1886, '87                                  _Soprano_
Katzenbach, Charles, 1908, '09                            _Tenor_
Kean, Mrs., 1899                                          _Soprano_
Keith, Wm H., 1881                                        _Baritone-tenor_
Kelly, Edith, Miss, 1885                                  _Soprano_
Kelly, Miss A., 1897                                      _Soprano_
Kelly, Sarah, 1879                                        _Soprano_
Kelly, Louisa Foltz                                       _Contralto, also
Kerby, Mrs. A., 1903                                      _Soprano_
Kennedy, Walter, 1910                                     _Bass, baritone_
Kern, J., 1884, '85                                       _Baritone_
Kerosier, Miss, 1889                                      _Soprano_
Kiel, Stella, 1907                                        _Soprano_
Kimball, Lorena, 1903, '04, '05                           _Soprano_
Kitridge, Mary, 1879, '80                                 _Soprano_
Knight, Christmas, 1903, '04                              _Soprano_
Knight, Emma, 1890, '92                                   _Soprano_
Knight, Eva, 1890, '91, '92                               _Mezzo-soprano_
Koch, Ada, 1890, '91, '92                                 _Soprano_
Kroh, Blanche, 1908                                       _Soprano_
Kroh, Mary, 1908                                          _Contralto_
Krueckle, Anna, 1904, '05, 06, '07                        _Contralto, also
Kullman, Celia, 1879, '80, '81, '82, '84, '85,
  '86, '89, '90                                           _Soprano_
Kullman, Hattie, 1885                                     _Mezzo-soprano_
Ladd, Mrs., 1894                                          _Soprano_
Laher, Frida, 1903, '05                                   _Soprano_
Lake, Hazel, 1901                                         _Soprano_
Lamping, Hazel, 1905, '06                                 _Soprano_
Lancaster, Lillian, 1892                                  _Soprano_
Lancaster, Lottie, 1892                                   _Soprano_
Lancaster, Susie, 1892                                    _Mezzo-soprano_
Lane, Clara, 1908, '09                                    _Soprano_
Lang, Eliza, 1879, '80                                    _Soprano_
Lanktree, Bessie, 1900, '01, '12                          _Contralto_
Lanktree, Susie, 1900, '01                                _Soprano_
Larue, Grace, 1895, '96                                   _Contralto_
Larue, Laura, 1903                                        _Mezzo-soprano_
Law, Marguerite, 1898                                     _Contralto_
Lawlor, Mrs., 1893                                        _Soprano_
Layes, Frankie R., 1890, '91                              _Soprano_
Lazinsky, Josie, 1889                                     _Contralto_
Leach, Mrs. Wm., 1895, '96, '97                           _Soprano_
Leach, Wm., 1895, '96, '97                                _Tenor_
Learn, Chas., 1897                                        _Bass_
Leary, Dan, 1903                                          _Baritone_
Leavenworth, Mr., 1890                                    _Tenor_
Lee, Frank, 1897, '98, 1900, '01, '02, '04, '05, '06      _Bass Baritone_
Lee, Henry T., 1906, '07,'08, '09,'10                     _Tenor_
Leist, Bertha, 1890, '91                                  _Contralto_
Lenoir, Miss, 1892, '93                                   _Soprano_
Lessig, Mrs. C, 1896, '98, '99                            _Contralto_
Levy, Mrs., 1890                                          _Contralto_
Lewis, Mr., 1908                                          _Tenor_
Lewis, Mrs. Nellie, 1895, '96                             _Soprano_
Libby, Alice, 1901, '08                                   _Soprano_
Livingston, Malsie, 1900, '01                             _Soprano_
Lloyd, Mrs. Chas., 1899                                   _Soprano_
Longmore, Miss, 1879                                      _Soprano_
Lorsbach, Mrs., 1900, '01                                 _Soprano_
Louderback, Carol, 1904, '05, '06, '07, '08               _Soprano_
Louderback, Jean, 1904, '05, '06, '07, '08                _Soprano_
Louderback, Mrs. Caroline, 1904, '05, '06, '07, '08,
  '11, '12                                                _Soprano_
Lount, Miss, 1885                                         _Soprano_
Love, Minnie, 1884                                        _Soprano_
Lovick, Mary. 1906, '07, '08, '09                         _Contralto_
Lynch, Mrs. G., 1892                                      _Soprano_
Lynd, Mr., 1899                                           _Tenor_
Lynns, Miss, 1906                                         _Soprano_
Lysale, Miss, 1902                                        _Contralto_
McCarty, Miss, 1901                                       _Soprano_
McCloskey, Desaix, 1905, '06, '07                         _Baritone_
McCloskey, Florence, 1904, '05, '06                       _Soprano_
McClure, Mr., 1904                                        _Tenor_
McConkey, C.M., 1888                                      _Tenor_
McCullough, Jennie, 1896, '97, '06                        _Contralto_
McCullough, Mrs. B.T.                                     _Contralto_
McCutcheon, Mattie, 1910                                  _Soprano_
McDonald, Miss, 1895, '96                                 _Soprano_
McDonough, Anna, 1906                                     _Soprano_
McDonough, Ella, 1901                                     _Contralto_
McDonough, Helen, 1905, '06                               _Soprano_
McFarlane, Ivan, 1906                                     _Tenor_
McFarlane, Mabel, 1906                                    _Soprano_
McGovern, Maggie, 1879                                    _Soprano_
McIntosh, Miss I., 1898                                   _Soprano_
McMahan, Bernard, 1906, '07, '08                          _Baritone_
McMahon, Ella, 1902, '03                                  _Contralto_
McMahon, Miss, 1902, '03                                  _Soprano_
McLogan, Lizzie Miss, 1884                                _Soprano_
McPhale, Mrs., 1894, '95                                  _Contralto_
Mackey, Kate, 1879, '80, '81                              _Soprano_
Macomber, Mrs., 1903                                      _Soprano_
Magruder, Tony, 1879, '80                                 _Mezzo-soprano_
Maguire, Alice, 1882, '83, '84                            _Soprano_
Maitland, Velma, 1906                                     _Soprano_
Manning, Miss Davitte, 1897, '98                          _Soprano_
Mausel, Miss, 1901                                        _Soprano_
Marvin, Josie, 1897, '98, '99, '00                        _Mezzo-soprano_
Mauerheim, Aggie, 1890, '91, '92                          _Soprano_
Mauerheim, Minnie, 1890, '91, '92                         _Contralto_
Maul, Matilda J., 1905, '06, '07                          _Mezzo-soprano,
Mayfield, Miss, 1888                                      _Mezzo-soprano_
Mead, Miss C., 1886                                       _Soprano_
Melvin, Will, 1894, '95, '96, '97                         _Bass_
Melquiond, Clairess, 1905, '06                            _Soprano_
Melquiond, Lester, 1906, '07                              _Baritone_
Melquiond, Mrs. Rilly, 1905, '06                          _Mezzo-soprano_
Merrill, Frank, 1898, 1903, '04                           _Bass_
Merrill, George, 1898, '99, '00                           _Baritone_
Merry sisters (2), 1897                                   _Soprano_
Merzbach, Mrs., 1890, 1901                                _Soprano_
Mertzfelter, Mrs., 1890                                   _Soprano_
Mesro, Mattie, 1895                                       _Soprano_
Michler, Mrs., 1896                                       _Soprano_
Michlosen, Mrs., 1908                                     _Soprano_
Milan, Laura, 1894                                        _Soprano_
Milan, Mrs., 1894                                         _Mezzo-soprano_
Millar, Grace, 1900                                       _Soprano_
Millar, Florence, 1903, '04                               _Mezzo-soprano_
Millar, Anna, 1896, '97                                   _Contralto_
Millar, Bertha, 1903                                      _Soprano_
Millar, Evelyn, 1903                                      _Contralto_
Millar, Martha, 1898                                      _Contralto_
Millar, Rachael, 1898, 1902                               _Soprano_
Minor, Mabel, 1907                                        _Soprano_
Monett, Emma, 1898, '99, '00                              _Mezzo-soprano_
Moore, A.A. Jr., 1896                                     _Baritone-tenor_
Moore, Miss Carmen, 1896                                  _Soprano_
Moore, Bina, 1890, '91                                    _Soprano_
Morris, Mrs. H.C., 1895                                   _Soprano_
Moses, Clara, 1900                                        _Soprano_
Moss, Miss, 1887, '89, '90                                _Soprano_
Muhler, Mr., 1898                                         _Tenor_
Mulgrew, Margaret, 1912                                   _Soprano_
Mullen, Miss, 1879, '80, '82, '85                         _Soprano_
Muller, Mrs., 1908, '09                                   _Contralto_
Munch, Mrs. Emma, 1906, '07, '08, '10                     _Soprano_
Munday, Evelyn, 1903                                      _Soprano_
Munson, Clarence, 1898, '99, 1900, '01                    _Baritone_
Murphy, Edith, 1903                                       _Contralto_
Myers, Cecile, 1905, '06, '07, '08                        _Mezzo-soprano_
Nagle, Ethel, 1898, '99, '00, '06, '07, '10, '11          _Soprano, also
Near, Dr. J. LeRoy, 1908                                  _Bass_
Neblicker, Frank, 1901                                    _Baritone-tenor_
Newell, Bessie, 1892, '93, '94                            _Soprano_
Noble, Miss, 1880                                         _Soprano_
Noonan, Elsie, 1898, '99, '00                             _Soprano_
Norcross, Mr., 1884                                       _Baritone_
Nordin, Mrs. Alice, 1900, '01                             _Soprano_
Norman, Lillian, 1807, '08                                _Soprano_
Norton, Daisy, 1895, '96                                  _Soprano_
Oaks, Marjorie, 1894, '95, '96, 1901                      _Contralto, also
O'Brien, Mr. and Mrs., 1907                               _Soprano and
O'Brien, Mrs. Alice, 1891                                 _Soprano_
Olds, Brilliant, 1906                                     _Soprano_
Olney, Mrs. Carrol, 1897                                  _Contralto_
O'Neal, Fannie, 1900                                      _Soprano_
Osborn, Anita, 1910                                       _Soprano_
Osborn, Dade, 1910                                        _Bass_
Oxley, Mr., 1908                                          _Tenor_
Page, Miss, 1898, '99                                     _Mezzo-soprano_
Palloci, Miss, 1902                                       _Soprano_
Palmer, R.C., 1908                                        _Tenor-baritone_
Partington, Richard, 1896, '97                            _Tenor_
Payne, John, 1907                                         _Bass_
Payne, Kate, 1899, 1900, '01, '07                         _Contralto_
Peart, Lloyd, 1879, '82, '85                              _Baritone_
Peck, Kate, 1880, '82                                     _Alto_
Peltris, Alma, 1902                                       _Contralto_
Perata, Annie, 1898, '99, 1900                            _Soprano_
Perata, Jack, 1906, '07                                   _Tenor-baritone_
Percival, Mrs., 1894                                      _Soprano_
Perkins, C., 1888                                         _Tenor_
Persbaker, Ruby, 1899                                     _Contralto_
Peterson, George, 1901, '02                               _Bass_
Peterson, Minnie, 1900, '01                               _Soprano_
Peterson, Pauline, 1900, '01                              _Soprano_
Petrie, Elite, 1911, '12                                  _Soprano_
Peters, R.A., 1910                                        _Baritone_
Pettie, Mr., 1898                                         _Tenor_
Pettie, Mrs., 1898, '99                                   _Soprano_
Pfeifer, Miss, 1894, '95                                  _Soprano_
Phillips, Ethel, 1909, '10                                _Soprano_
Phillips, Miss, 1882, '85                                 _Soprano_
Phillips, Myrtle, 1879                                    _Soprano_
Phelps, Miss, 1908                                        _Soprano_
Pierson, Henry, 1912                                      _Bass-baritone_
Pinkston, Virginia, 1908, '09                             _Soprano_
Pinney, Grace, 1898, '99                                  _Soprano_
Pippy, George, 1879, '80, '81                             _Tenor_
Pittman, Mrs. Ethel, 1906, '07, '08, '11, '12             _Soprano. Also
Pitts, Mrs., 1894, '95                                    _Contralto_
Pollard, Daisy, 1892, '93                                 _Soprano_
Pollard, Etta, 1892, '93, '94                             _Contralto_
Porter, Ruby, 1899                                        _Soprano_
Potts, Mr., 1903                                          _Bass_
Powell, Miss, 1891                                        _Soprano_
Powell, Mrs., 1887, '89                                   _Soprano_
Pratt, Miss, 1905, '08, '12                               _Contralto_
Pratt, Mrs. 1911, '12                                     _Mezzo-soprano_
Presher, Ethel, 1906, '07                                 _Soprano_
Price, Nettie, 1892, '93, '94                             _Soprano_
Price, Pauline, 1888                                      _Soprano_
Prince, Mrs., 1890, '91                                   _Soprano_
Pritchard, Mrs. Jessie, 1897, '98                         _Soprano_
Proctor, Arthur, 1910                                     _Bass_
Quinn, Miss, 1898                                         _Soprano_
Ralston, Bessie, 1900                                     _Soprano_
Ramsey, Emma, 1908, '09                                   _Soprano_
Ramsey, Inga, 1908, '09                                   _Mezzo-soprano_
Ramsey, Peter, 1908, '09                                  _Tenor_
Randall, Mrs., 1880                                       _Soprano_
Rashman, Miss, 1906                                       _Soprano_
Raybum, Cora, 1900, '01                                   _Mezzo-soprano_
Reed, Grace, 1898                                         _Soprano_
Reeves, Mr. R.E., 1895                                    _Baritone_
Reyes, Mrs., 1898, '99, 1900, '02                         _Mezzo-soprano_
Reynolds, Miss, 1891                                      _Soprano_
Rhinehart, Mrs., 1879, '85                                _Contralto_
Rhodes, Kitty, 1898                                       _Soprano_
Rice, Amy, 1898, '99, 1901                                _Soprano_
Richardson, Mrs., 1908                                    _Soprano_
Richardson, Martha, 1884                                  _Soprano_
Riley, Mrs., Edna, 1907, '08, '10, '11                    _Contralto_
Robinson, Mr., 1904, '05                                  _Baritone_
Roden, Mary Kroh, 1911, '12                               _Contralto_
Rodgers, Leo, 1890, '91, '98, '99, 1900                   _Tenor-baritone_
Romaine, William, 1884                                    _Bass_
Rosenkranze, Maggie, 1884                                 _Soprano_
Root, Kate, 1886, '87                                     _Soprano_
Root, Geo. B., 1880, '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86         _Tenor_
Root, Mrs. Geo. B., 1883, '84, '85, '86, '87              _Soprano_
Runcie, Master, 1901                                      _Boy soprano_
Russell, Mrs., 1896, '97, '98                             _Soprano_
Rutherford, Marcia, 1901                                  _Soprano_
Sadler, Miss, 1890                                        _Soprano_
Sanderson, Georgia, 1891                                  _Soprano_
Sands, Anna, 1900, '01                                    _Soprano_
Sanford, Alice M., 1908, '09, '10, '11, '12               _Soprano, also
Sanford, Elinor, 1892, '93                                _Mezzo-soprano
Sanford, Hoyle E., 1908, '09, '10, '11, '12               _Baritone_
Saulsbury, Mrs., 1880, '82, '84                           _Mezzo-soprano_
Saunders, Daisy, 1900                                     _Soprano_
Schmidt, Alice, 1907                                      _Soprano_
Schmidt, Alma, 1895, '96                                  _Soprano_
Schultz, Sayde, 1911, '12                                 _Contralto_
Sellac, Mattie, 1884                                      _Contralto_
Sears, Mary, 1908                                         _Soprano_
Shair, Grace, 1882, '84                                   _Soprano_
Shaw, Lauretta, 1894, '95, '96, '97                       _Mezzo-soprano_
Shaw, Mabel, 1894, '95, '98, '99, 1900                    _Soprano_
Shepherd, Miss, 1885                                      _Soprano_
Shoonemaker, Miss, 1901                                   _Soprano_
Shulken, Albert E., 1908, '09                             _Baritone_
Simmons, Mrs., 1885                                       _Mezzo-soprano_
Simmons, Mr., 1884                                        _Tenor_
Simmons, Mrs. M., 1907                                    _Soprano_
Sinnard, Mrs., 1897                                       _Contralto_
Skelly, Miss, 1885                                        _Soprano_
Skinner, George, 1888                                     _Tenor_
Slatterly, Mrs. W., 1895                                  _Soprano_
Slaughter, Mrs., 1906                                     _Soprano_
Small, Bernice, 1912                                      _Soprano_
Smith, Ada, 1888                                          _Soprano_
Smith, Etta, 1879, 1882                                   _Mezzo-soprano_
Smith, Miss Fay, 1907                                     _Soprano_
Smith, Frank, 1898, '99                                   _Tenor_
Smith, Horace, 1884                                       _Baritone_
Smith, Miss, 1894                                         _Soprano_
Smith, Mrs. H., 1885                                      _Soprano_
Smith, Luella, 1888                                       _Soprano_
Smith, Anna, 1884                                         _Soprano_
Smith, Mrs. S.S., 1912                                    _Soprano_
Smith, W.C., 1899                                         _Tenor_
Snow, J.L., 1898, '99                                     _Tenor_
Solomon, Minnie, 1889, '91                                _Soprano_
Soule, Mrs., 1888                                         _Soprano_
Sprecher, Ella, 1884                                      _Soprano_
Sroufe, Dolly, 1879, '80, '82, '84, '87                   _Soprano_
Sroufe, Georgia, 1879, '80, '82, '84, '85                 _Soprano_
Sroufe, Susie, 1879, '80, '82, '84, '85                   _Soprano_
Starkey, Arma B., 1912                                    _Soprano_
Steele, Mrs., 1895                                        _Soprano_
Stevens, Annie, 1883                                      _Mezzo-soprano_
Stevens, Carrie, 1880                                     _Soprano_
Stevens, Louisa, 1887                                     _Contralto_
Stevenson, Bert, 1908                                     _Tenor_
Stewart, Mae, 1886, '87                                   _Soprano_
Stewart, Susie, 1889                                      _Contralto_
Steifvater, Ida, Mrs., 1906, '07                          _Soprano_
Stickler, Mr., 1890                                       _Tenor_
Stoddard, Grace, 1903                                     _Soprano_
Stoffles, Mrs., 1908, '09                                 _Mezzo-soprano_
Stolp, E.J., 1898                                         _Baritone-tenor_
Stolp, Miss, 1899                                         _Soprano_
Stoner, Viola, 1905, '06, '07                             _Contralto_
Story, Mrs., 1888                                         _Mezzo-soprano_
Storer, Miss Kate, 1903, '04, '05                         _Soprano_
Storer, Emma, 1903, '04                                   _Mezzo-soprano_
Stubbs, Miss, 1905                                        _Soprano_
Swain, Mrs., 1894                                         _Mezzo-soprano_
Swale, Lillian, 1902                                      _Soprano_
Swan, Eva, 1890                                           _Soprano_
Swan, Miss P., 1900, '01                                  _Soprano_
Taylor, Miss, 1894, '95, '96, '97, '98, '99               _Soprano_
Taylor, Chas., 1898, '99                                  _Baritone_
Teague, Mrs. W., 1912                                     _Soprano,
Terpening, Ruth, 1909                                     _Contralto_
Thomas, Anna, 1897                                        _Soprano, also
Thomas, Edward, 1897, '98                                 _Bass_
Thompson, Mrs., 1894                                      _Soprano_
Thorn, William, 1900, '01                                 _Baritone_
Tooker, Elsie, 1888                                       _Soprano_
Tooker, Mrs. S., 1888                                     _Mezzo-soprano_
Town, Mrs., 1888                                          _Soprano_
Treaby, Mr., 1897                                         _Tenor_
Treadwell, Florence, 1896, '97, '98                       _Soprano_
Tregar, Mrs., 1888                                        _Soprano_
                                                           3 octaves_)
Trumbell, Miss, 1895                                      _Soprano_
Turner, Mr., 1898                                         _Baritone-tenor_
Turner, Rachael, 1902                                     _Soprano_
Turner, Esther, 1902, '03                                 _Soprano_
Tyler, Mrs., 1901                                         _Soprano_
Upham, Mrs. Isaac, 1879, '80, '81                         _Soprano_
Valentine, Inza, 1905, '06, '07, '08                      _Contralto_
Valentine, Stella, 1898, '05, '06, '07, '08               _Soprano_
Van Pelt, Mrs. Georgia, 1884                              _Soprano_
Van Winkle, Alice, 1879, '80, '81                         _Soprano_
Van Winkle, Henry, 1879, '80                              _Tenor_
Van Winkle, Nellie, 1879, '80                             _Mezzo-soprano_
Van Winkle, Aida, 1879, '80, '81                          _Soprano, also
Victory, Arthur, 1901, '02, '03, '09                      _Baritone-tenor_
Von Glehn, E., 1906                                       _Soprano_
Walcott, Minnie Walcott, 1884                             _Soprano_
Wakott, Louisa, 1895, '96, '98                            _Soprano_
Wall, Annie, 1888                                         _Contralto_
Walls, Miss, 1901                                         _Soprano_
Walther, Marie, Miss, 1896, '97                           _Soprano_
Waite, Mrs., 1888                                         _Soprano_
Ward, Fanny, 1890, '91                                    _Contralto_
Waterous, Miss, 1900                                      _Dramatic
Wansner, Miss Ida, 1904, '05                              _Soprano_
Wedgewood, Mrs., 1898                                     _Soprano_
Welsh, Grace, 1882                                        _Soprano_
Wells, Mrs. E., 1888                                      _Contralto_
Westeran, Mrs., 1908                                      _Dramatic
Westphal, Mrs., 1891, '92, '93                            _Soprano_
White, Mabel, 1890, '91, '92                              _Lyric soprano_
Whitney, Mae, 1886, '87, '89                              _Contralto, also
Whittlesy, Mrs., 1884                                     _Soprano_
White, Lester, 1896                                       _Tenor_
Whyte, Malcolm, 1897                                      _Tenor_
Wight, Edna, Mrs., 1912                                   _Soprano_
Wick, Miss, 1898, '99                                     _Soprano_
Wild, Ella, 1894                                          _Soprano_
Wilhelm, Otto, 1901, '03, '04                             _Baritone-tenor_
Wilkins, Mae, 1894                                        _Soprano_
Wilkinson, Miss, 1894                                     _Soprano_
Willcox, Mr., 1907                                        _Tenor-baritone_
Williams, Gertie, 1892                                    _Soprano_
Williams, Miss Etta, 1894                                 _Soprano_
Williams, Miss, 1889                                      _Soprano_
Williams, Sadie, 1896, '97                                _Contralto_
Willings, Mr., 1896                                       _Bass_
Willis, Master, 1888                                      _Boy soprano_
Willis, Miss, 1888                                        _Soprano_
Wilmott, Susie, 1884                                      _Soprano_
Wilson, A.E., 1892, '93, '94                              _Soprano_
Wilson, Maud Booth, 1910                                  _Contralto_
Wilson, Gladys, 1908, '09, '10                            _Soprano_
Wilson, Alice, 1889, '90, '91                             _Soprano_
Wilson, Miss A., 1901, '02, '03                           _Soprano_
Wilson, Ernest, 1907                                      _Tenor-baritone_
Winsor, Mrs., 1896, '97, '98, '99, 1900                   _Soprano_
Wiscarver, Norma, 1911, '12                               _Contralto_
Witthall, Delia, 1894, '95, '96, '97, 1908                _Contralto_
Wood, Dr. J.W., 1897, '98                                 _Tenor_
Woodel, Miss, 1895                                        _Soprano_
Woodly, Carrie, 1895                                      _Soprano_
Woodside, Mrs., 1892                                      _Soprano_
Woodworth, E. Leslie, 1906, '07, '09, '10                 _Tenor_
Wooly, Bessie, 1898, '99                                  _Soprano_
Worden, Hattie, 1880, '81. '85, '86                       _Alto_
Worden, Nettie, 1879, '80, '81, '85, '86, '89             _Soprano_
Wright, Mr., 1907                                         _Bass_
Yarndley, Mattie, 1894                                    _Alto_
Yarnold, Hattie, 1892                                     _Soprano_
Young, Ruth, 1908, '09                                    _Soprano_
Zander, Mattie, 1896, '98, 1900, '01                      _Soprano_
Zimmerman, Daisy, 1880, '98, '99, 1900                    _Soprano_
Zedeskie, Miss, 1888                                      _Mezzo-soprano,


Mrs. Emma A. Munch
Lucia Cianciaruolo
Marjorie Deetkin
Irma Starkey
Ruth Riley
Mrs. Edna Riley
Alice M. Sanford
Lucille E. Ames

PUPILS, 1910-1911]


Marceline Bisquer
Marie Bullington
Sarah Shultz
Mrs. Walter E. Teague
Yvonne Greer
Hazel Bonske
Margaret Mulgrew

PUPILS, 1911-1912]

This list of men, women and young people are the names of pupils who
have been under my instruction in San Bernardino, San Francisco and
Oakland for the three decades, 1882 to 1912.

It does not include singers who have simply received coaching in
choirs I have directed, but only those who have had individual lessons
in voice placement and the art of song.

I am very proud to know that, while all have not distinguished
themselves, there are in this list names of teachers of good repute,
also prima donnas and men singers of established renown in this
country and in Europe.

It is especially a great satisfaction to me to note that, while
numbers of my pupils have studied with the great masters in the East
and abroad after leaving my studio, they have come back to testify to
the correctness of my prior instruction in the principles of
legitimate song.


_Oakland, California
February, 1913_

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sixty Years of California Song" ***

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