April 19, 2011 > History: The Nauert Family of Alvarado
History: The Nauert Family of Alvarado
Through newspaper clippings from East Bay newspapers starting in 1870, details of the Nauert family can be traced.
In 1870, George H. Tay & Company created a foundry in warehouse buildings built by John Horner at his landing on Alameda Creek. These buildings were moved away from the landing and down the street. The foundry hired Charles R. Nauert to be its business manager and superintendent.
Charles was born around 1841 in Buffalo, New York. He married Hattie Heyer, who was born about 1855, sister to Charles W. Heyer, Auditor of the German Savings & Loan Association of San Francisco. Charles arrived in Alvarado about the time that the foundry opened. The Nauerts home was on Smith Street, next to the Odd Fellows Hall and the Alvarado Hotel. The land on which the Nauert home and Odd Fellows Hall stood is currently an empty lot, unused since the buildings were demolished in the late 1960's.
Charles and Hattie had five children, Mildred H. (Millie), August B. (Gus), Katheryn Alva (Dot), Oscarna B. (Ossie), and Henry P. The only childbirth noted was Henry, born in Alvarado in February, 1891.
In March 1876, when Charles was the Alvarado Poundmaster, he was sued by Mr. Williams for impounding two of Williams' calves for straying. Williams argued that the Pound was "not a legal pound, because it was not definitely by order of the Supervisors at a special place, and hence putting his stock in an illegal pound is an illegal act, and the Pound Master is liable for all damages caused by such wrongful act."
In November 1890, a parlor of the Native Daughters of the Golden West (N. D. G. W.) was created in Alvarado. Olivina #61 parlor was founded with twenty-one members, including Hattie Nauert. The Nauert ladies stayed active in the Olivina Parlor and Mildred Nauert was elected as Second Vice President in August 1895. In July 1896, Mildred was elected as President of the Olivina Parlor and her mother, Hattie Nauert, was Financial Secretary.
In January, 1898, Ed Farley was unloading coal at a home on east Smith Street, when his horses became spooked and bolted. They ran west on Smith Street, crashing and seriously damaging Charles Nauert's wagon which was parked in front of his home. The horses were eventually stopped by John Ralph and others. Later in 1898, gas was installed at the Nauert home, one of the first on Alvarado to have gas.
The 1900 Census showed Nauert family members and their ages; Charles, 58; Hattie, 45; Mildred, 24; Augustus, 21; Katherine, 18; Oscarna, 15; and Henry, 9. On August 9, 1908, Hattie passed away at the age of 53.
In November of 1921, Charles celebrated his 80th birthday. In May of 1924, his home was completely remodeled and repainted. The last mention of Charles in newspaper clippings was in January of 1931, the year of his 90th birthday. It is unknown exactly when Charles passed away.
Mildred was active in a number of local groups. In July of 1895, Mildred Nauert led the Christian Endeavor on a Sunday Evening with the topic, "A Clean Life." In July, 1896, Mildred Nauert was elected as Vice President of the Christian Endeavor Society. She was active on both local Whist and Bridge clubs.
In March 1896, a leap year dance was given by the young ladies of Alvarado in the Odd Fellows Hall. The Grand March was lead by Miss Millie Nauert and Mr. John Ralph.
Mildred was elected by the Mistletoe Lodge, Lodge No. 54, Degree of Honor, Ancient Order of the United Workman (A. O. U. W) as delegate to the Grand Lodge. Both the N. D. G. W. and the A. O. U. W. met at the Odd Fellows Hall, next door to the Nauert home.
In 1922, she was involved with a local polling station. She continued to live in the Nauert home up into the 1960's. From reading the newspaper clippings, it appears that Mildred did not marry.
In the August 16, 1895, edition of The Hayward Review, in the "Around Town" section, there was the following cryptic line; "Ask Gus Nauert where he was Tuesday evening. If he did not worry his parents did." I'm sure there is a story behind that line, but there are no more details.
In 1898, Gus took a number of photographs of the Alvarado area including the family home, the George Tay & Co. Foundry and a bicycle relay that was held in Alvarado. In May of 1901, Gus purchased a new "runabout", an old style of car, with pneumatic (air) tires. Gus was also a board member of "The Andrade" club, a club comprised of younger men.
Gus attained a position of invoice clerk with the America Steel & Wire Co. in July of 1901. He stayed with that company for a number of years, coming home on weekends and spending two weeks of vacation in Alvarado. By 1908, Gus had a position with Pacific Steel & Wire. By 1935, Gus was living in Los Angeles.
Kathryn (Dot) started at Union High School #3 in Hayward in the fall of 1897. In June, 1903, she directed the one-act comedy "To Oblige Benson" for the Alvarado Camp, Woodmen of the World. The play was staged at the Odd Fellows Hall, followed by a special dance. By 1904, Katheryn was living in San Francisco, but there are no details of her vocation. The local newspaper documented her visits to the Nauert home over the years.
In 1905, Oscarna gave a bridal shower for Elma Salz of Centerville, who was marrying Irving L. Brown of San Francisco. Elma was the daughter of Sigmund Salz. In 1906, Oscarna provided the same service for her friend, Nina Dyer, who was marrying Frederick L. Washburn of Chicago.
In 1911, it would be Oscarna's turn to be married. Announcement of her engagement was made at a card party hosted by her school friends, Mrs. William Wallace Haley and Mrs. Leo P. Haas. Envelopes were passed around to be opened at the same time by the guests. The cards had the names of the engaged couple, Oscarna and Harry D. Heitmuller of San Francisco, with tiny red hearts. Harry was a baseball player in the early 1900's, playing for Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles. At the time of the wedding, he was the manager of a San Francisco tool company.
On April 24, 1912, Oscarna and Harry were married at the Nauert home, at 7 o'clock in the evening. The ceremony was presided over by Rev. Liebe of San Francisco. After the ceremony, the couple left by automobile to Hayward to catch a train to Yosemite Valley for their honeymoon. The couple would settle in Oakland, and Oscarna would make frequent trips back to Alvarado to visit her family.
In June 1948, Harry Heitmuller passed away at the Nauert home, then occupied by Mildred Nauert. He was 67 years old.
In April 1896, Henry Nauert, then five years old, helped avert a train wreck when he noticed a broken switch on the tracks. He immediately notified the Southern Pacific Railroad section foreman who had a crew make repairs before the 7 o'clock special came through town.