Stories From The Grave
John & Anna Bauman
Row 4, Plot 28
Whenever I wandered through the cemetery I was always drawn off my intended path to the Bauman Plot. There was something poignant and endearing about this plot and I longed to know more about the stories behind the headstones.
As I began my research, I was delighted to find a link to Anna and John’s 2nd great granddaughter, Marguerite Adams, from New York. She was able to share some family information with me, as well as giving me photos their family had. Her family was missing some pieces of their history and I was able to fill in a few of the blanks for them. It was such an exciting journey for me and I hope others will find it informative as well.
This beautiful plot is surrounded by Cypress trees and an elegant iron fence. Inside are the headstones of a family that had suffered the losses many had to endure in the early pioneer days. Headstones of young children and their mother who had died too young. I needed to know what I could find out about their lives and honor those lives as best I could, by sharing their tale.
John Bauman was born in
the Bavaria, Germany, December 13, 1833 and was the son of Frederick and
Margaret (Bohler) Bauman, both natives of Germany where they passed their
lives. John was educated in Germany, but being of limited means decided to
immigrate to America. Family lore says he jumped ship with the dollar in his
pocket, but there's no way to verify this. There is a record of a John Bauman,
who arrived in New York, 31 May 1851 aboard a ship "HARVE" from Le
Havre, France. He was just seventeen years old and it became a matter of
necessity to find work, which he soon did, on a farm on Long Island. From there
he went to New Jersey and engaged in labor at the India rubber factory, where
he was paid $40 a month. The habits of thrift which are taught to the young in
his country came to his assistance, enabling him to save the money until he had
enough to pay his way to California, by way of the Isthmus, this requiring
$100. He soon found employment in a brewery at San Jose, where he was paid $50
a month, and here again he saved his wages and came to Tuolumne County, where
he initially resided in Columbia where he pursued the life of a placer miner
and then settled in Sonora and eventually made his way back east, again by way
of the Isthmus.
When Mr. Bauman returned to California in approximately 1860 - 61, he brought his wife, formerly Miss Margaret Ederer (some family members called her Anna Majurt Haag) with him. She was also from Bavaria. John began brewing beer at the Philadelphia brewery which he leased in Sonora in 1861. In 1866 he purchased a building that was built in the 1850s that became the Sonora or Bauman Brewery on N. Washington St. The brewery stood where Vic's gas station is located at the present time. He made a special brand of cream beer, which was considered excellent. A local ad read "A Drink Fit for the Gods. A boon bestowed upon man. Manufactured by a philanthropist and sold everywhere. Is acknowledged by connoisseurs to be equal to anything of the kind manufactured in the state and superior to the best importations." (Union Democrat reprint from 1951, of original article, June 3, 1876). All the barley used in the establishment was grown in Tuolumne County. In fact both the wheat and barley grown in this county excelled, though neither were extensively raised.
Anna gave birth to their first child, Emelia, shortly after arriving in Tuolumne County, in September of 1861. Emelia later became the wife of Sonoran Fred Burden, and both are buried in Row 2 of this same cemetery. In November of 1862, a son, Albert, was born, but sadly passed away in June of 1863, only 7 months old. In 1864, Anna again gave birth to a son, William. William also would meet a tragic end, as at the age of 33 years, he shot himself in the head, with no explanation. According to all reports, he had appeared his usual cheery self just moments before walking into a shed behind his saloon that was across from his father’s brewery, and pulling the trigger. He is buried in the plot next to his parents, with his daughter Annabel and wife Lillie. Again, Anna gave birth to a daughter, also named Anna, in June of 1866, and once again, that sweet child dies in July, of the following year, at the age of 13 months! It really breaks my heart to know the anguish this young mother must have felt, not only at each death, but the fear she must have felt at each birth, wondering if the child would be strong enough to make it and if she would survive the delivery. Unfortunately, this was all too common an occurrence at that time in our history. Almost exactly a year later, in July, 1868, Emma Johanna was born to Anna and John, and she eventually married Lee Edmiston, of Mono County. In 1870, Charles Bauman is born and I have been unable to locate much information about him. Only his birth year is known and a grave labeled Charlie is found on our Odd Fellows map in the Bauman plot. No headstone has been found.
In 1873, Anna delivered George Tammany Bauman. Pregnant again in April of 1875, Anna heroically tries to deliver a little girl, but succumbs and they both pass away leaving their little family broken-hearted and motherless. With young children to raise, it wasn't unusual for a widow or widower to remarry quickly. It served both parties, as the children were cared for and the finances were provided. John married the year after Anna's death. His new wife was Hulda Reuter Smith, a young widow with two children, Danny and Adelaide (Addie). Hulda was 23 years old-John was twenty years her senior and very prominent in the community and financially quite comfortable. Hulda would give birth to two more daughters-Anna-who later married Carl Duchow and Zenobia( nicknamed Nobia), who married twice but had no children. Hulda's son, Danny, from her previous marriage, died at a young age and is also buried in this plot. I really wanted to know why Danny had died and at this point, fellow Odd fellow and researcher, Denine Urquhart joined the search. She tenaciously read through newspapers from the time and managed to find an obit stating that Danny had passed at the age of nine years , but , even more amazing was that she also found an article stating that his cause of death was diphtheria. This makes me wonder if his half-brother, Charlie, mentioned above, also died from this highly contagious disease. Denine found Charlie in the 1880 census, at the age of 10, so he would have been about 13 when Danny passed.
We may never know what caused Charlie's demise, but he is buried with his parents and at least that provides some closure. Some of the descendants of John's first marriage felt that Hulda took advantage of John by flaunting her youth and spending his money. A complicated probate ensued and was finally resolved, but very little money was left by that time. The brewery was closed when John died in 1907 and was torn down around 1941, as part of a realignment of Highway 49. This was such an enjoyable project for me, as I had the chance to work with an actual family member and also a fellow Odd fellow.
The Bauman's story was sadly typical of the losses felt by so many of our pioneer families. I feel honored to have met them through this research. *according to our cemetery map, the following people were laid to rest in this plot: Wife and mother -Anna M. and most likely the baby she was carrying (headstone and foot stone are present Husband of Anna and Hulda-Johann(John)-( no headstone) Son of Anna and John-Albert (headstone present) Daughter of Anna and John-Anna ( headstone present) Daughter of Hulda and John-Zenobia Hampton(no headstone) Son of Hulda and first husband- Danny Smith (no headstone)-map also says baby but no record of this child Son of Anna and John-Charlie( no headstone) Hulda is likely buried here too, as we know she was buried in this cemetery, but haven't found record of plot.
Written by Pat Dambacher
Tuolumne County Archives
Tuolumne County Genealogy Society
Back Row - Hulda, daughter Anna Bauman Duchow
Front Row - Daughter Zenobia and her husband Joe Hampton