As a politician, he started in the sandlots of San Francisco in the late 1870s and served his constituents up until the time of his death a month after the great Earthquake and Fire in 1906. Apparently his heart did not react well to the stress of that tragic event.
Sam never married and left a will, written in German, on the letterhead of his nephew Jakob, who had emigrated from the family home in Schubin, Germany, through New York City to San Francisco in the early 1900s.
There are four pages to the will, which are presented below along with the translation from our friend Matthias Steinke, who has so graciously translated all of the family letters, as well as other documents. Thank you Matthias.
There are three curiosities and one question, which likely will never be answered:
- It appears that the children of Alexander Braunhart are listed in birth order. Moritz was possibly the oldest, but he is the only one of Alexander's children for which we have not found a birth date.
- Bernhard, in the middle of the Alexander and Helene Braunhart "brood" is actually Philipp. It is not known when or why he changed his name. We have a family photos taken around 1904 where his name is penciled in as "Bernhard".
- For Sara Bernstein (Samuel's sister) again there is a birth curiosity. According to documents, Ernestine was born in 1870, and Max in 1873. Was Max listed first because he was male?
- Who was Kathe Buckley? And what was her relationship with Samuel? The will is cut off at the bottom of the page. Maybe we will never know. There was a Katherine Buckley, born in New York who lived in San Francisco in 1900 (per the Federal census) and she was single and lived about a mile and a half from Samuel. Girlfriend? Housekeeper? We likely will never know that answer.
Here are the images of the will, followed by the English translation:
Samuel Braunhart last will and legacy
I, Samuel Braunhart in city and district San Francisco, state California make herewith my last will and legacy in following manner:
1. I determine herewith, that the sum of 250 Dollar shall be paid for my funeral costs.
2. I determine herewith, that the sum of 1.000 Dollar shall be paid for the gravestone and other necessary
belongings of my grave.
3. I determine herewith, that the sum of 500 Dollar shall be paid for the grave of my parents in Schubin, Germany.
4. I determine herewith, that the sum of 500 Dollar shall be paid for the grave of my brother Bernhard Braunhart in San Bernardino, California.
5. I bequeath my brother Alexander Braunhart in Schubin the sum of 2.000 Dollar.
6. I bequeath to each of the children of the above mentioned Alexander Braunhart, who are living at the day of my death the sum which is listed in this will at the same line like their names as follows:
my nephew Moritz Braunhart (the sum of) 500 Dollar
my nephew Jakob Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my niece Martha Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my nephew Julius Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my nephew Karl Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my niece Cylly Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my niece Anna Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my nephew Bernhard Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my niece Selma Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my nephew Theodor Braunhart, 500 Dollar
my niece Frieda Braunhart, 500 Dollar
7. I bequeath my sister Sarah Bernstein in Brooklyn, New York the sum of 2.000 Dollar
8. I bequeath to each child of above named sister Sarah Bernstein who are living at the day of my death the sum which is listed in this will at the same line like their names as follows:
my nephew Max Bernstein, 500 Dollar
my niece Ernestine 500 Dollar
my niece Amalie, 500 Dollar
my niece Caecilie, 500 Dollar
my niece Hedwig, 500 Dollar
9. I bequeath herewith my nephew Harry M. Braunhart the sum of 1.000 Dollar. This sum shall be given to him as he needs it from time to time. [Harry was the son of Samuel's brother Bernhard and was often institutionalized throughout his life]
10. I bequeath herewith Mrs. Kathe Buckley ............