Keep Martinez’s Rich History Alive!

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Written by Richard Patchin 2015, Judie Palmer 2021

The original content of this post was taken from the previous website and updated for republishing in 2021.

Haußmann/Tavan were local philanthropists. Money from their estates was put in a trust to provide funds to help maintain the cemetery. Every four years interest is accumulated and used to pay for improvements to the grounds.

Karl Friedrich Haußmann was born April 19, 1865 in Oberboihingen, Württemberg, Germany. Marie Barbara Weinmann was born January 7, 1866, also in Oberboihingen, Württemberg, Germany.

According to Karl’s passport application on February 21, 1896, he emigrated to the United States sailing on board the steamship Sorendo on October 10, 1887 from Hamburg. He resided 8 1/2 years (1887 – 1896) in Martinez, CA as a gardener.

Karl marries Marie on May 31, 1896 in Nürtingen, Württemberg, Germany. On October 4, 1896 Karl and Marie depart from Hamburg, Germany on the Palatia to arrive in the New York harbor on December 31, 1896.

In the 1900 U.S. Census. we find Karl and Marie owning a home in Martinez, CA with two children, Frieda and Charles.

Karl passes on May 29, 1903 in Martinez at the age of 38. He was survived by his wife, Marie, and his three children, Frieda, Charles and Henry. Marie passed on March 29, 1950 in Concord. Both are interred in the Alhambra Cemetery, CA.

Antone Joseph Tavan was born July 26, 1878 in Alhambra Valley. His father, Joseph Tavan and mother, Adele Tavan, were from France.

When Joseph Tavan passed on October 4, 1955, the Oakland Tribune wrote, “A. Joseph Tavan, 77, “Martinez citizen number one”, died today of a heart attack.

Mayor Jack O. Fries who described Mr. Tavan as the city’s first citizen, ordered all flags flown at half-staff until after the funeral.

Fries said tomorrow night’s council meeting also will be adjourned in respect to the civic leader and philanthropist… A retired rancher, Mr. Tavan has spent all of his life in the Alhambra Valley and Martinez.

He was an active member of the City Planning Commission for 10 years. He also served on committees that worked for better ferry service, a swimming pool and new sewage plant for the city. He seldom missed a city council meeting.

His philanthropic work included donation of a solarium to the Community Hospital, which he helped found and a $5,000 gift for the Memorial Swimming Pool.”

The Oakland Tribune on January 7, 1956, wrote about the hospital getting money from the Tavan Estate. “The Community Hospital will receive an estimated $67,454 on the residue of the $298,654 estate of the late A. Joseph Tavan, 77, described by Mayor Jack O. Fries as ‘Martinez leading citizen’.

Tavan who died Oct. 4, left $198,500 to the community and individuals. $33,000 to organizations and $70,000 in trust for Alhambra Union High School Scholarships and local graveyard maintenance.”

Though his parents are buried in the St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Antone Joseph Tavan was interred in St. Joseph’s cemetery, San Pablo, CA.


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