Zobelein Family History
compiled by Giulii Zobelein

(Note: this is a text-only version. Photographs will be added soon.)

FOREWORD

The purpose of this publication is to organize and record all the “bits and pieces” of family memorabilia on George Zobelein and to present the story of this man whose rich and colorful career helped to shape the history of early Los Angeles.

  George Zobelein, the immigrant son of a German brew master, would purchase the Los Angeles Brewing Company and within two decades turn it into a local institution and the country's fifth-largest beer producer.

  Upon arrival in the United States , he worked for a time at various jobs in San Francisco . After settling in Southern California , he operated general merchandise stores in Inyo County and Los Angeles before obtaining work as bookkeeper in a local brewery. He later became partner in the Maier & Zobelein Brewery and finally purchased the Los Angeles Brewing Company.

  George Zobelein was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. His home on the 100-acre property was the scene of frequent family gatherings. He provided generous benefits to his employees during an era when worker/ employer relationships were far from good.  He also took part in political and social affairs and faithfully maintained contact with relatives in Germany . Even after retirement and into his nineties, he remained a dynamic and influential force both in the business and in his city.

Giulii Zobelein, OP

Great granddaughter


JOHN GRAF AND THE ZOBELEIN PROPERTY

Historical Background

The fighting of the Mexican American War in California ended with the Treaty of Cahuenga in 1847. California was formally ceded to the United States with the Treaty of Hidalgo in 1848. In April of 1850 Los Angeles was incorporated as a city. At the same time the old landowners began to lose their lands. They were compelled to secure confirmation of their land grants in U.S. courts. Ten percent of the bona fide landowners of Los Angeles County had to move off their property and became reduced to bankruptcy. The more fortunate rancheros finally lost their status as “Californios” and became absorbed into other communities, depending on their wealth and color. Some Mexicans resisted the Anglo powers by resorting to social banditry. Tiburcio Vasquez, a legend in his own time among the Mexican population for his daring feats against the “gringos,” was captured and hanged in 1875.

John Graf

John Graf (Graff, Graft), born in Herzogthen, Baden , (southern Germany near the Swiss border) in 1823, immigrated to the United States in 1849. The lure of gold brought him to the West Coast. According to his obituary notice, he arrived in Los Angeles in 1851 at the age of 28.

John was a shrewd real estate dealer. He began purchasing property in 1853. His first purchase was a small parcel of 2.25 acres for $550 in cash. (The money could have been acquired from gold mining.) The land was located on the road to San Pedro, possibly what is today San Pedro Street . In November of 1854, one year later, he sold the same land for twice the amount. In September 1856, John began acquiring land on the south side. He purchased 35 acres that were bounded on the north by Jefferson St. slightly east of Figueroa. (The city granted 35 acre parcels through an 1852 City Council ordinance that allowed an individual to purchase the property for $10 with the promise to do $100 worth of improvements within one year.)

John de Graff was listed in the 1860 census. It showed no wife and the ownership or real property valued at $2000. He lived with three other men, all listed as farm laborers.

John Graf married Brigida Alvarez on April 9, 1861 . Census records show that Brigida was 13 years old and John 38. The marriage took place at Our Lady Queen of Angels ( Plaza Church downtown). The entry in the matrimonial register noted a dispensation was given, most likely because of religious differences.

The 1870 Hancock's Survey map shows that Graf had acquired two more 35-acre parcels, bringing his total to 105 acres.

(Greg Fischer researched the above information. Sources include: census records, survey maps, church register.)

John Graf died on August 12, 1870 , at the age of 47. He left his wife Brigida, then 23, a son John (9 months) and a daughter Isabela (four years). His obituary notice in the Los Angeles Daily Star on August 16, 1870, is entitled “Another Pioneer Gone” and states that there were 60 carriages in the funeral procession to the cemetery (Present location of grave is not known).

John Graf was a close friend of George Zobelein. During his last illness he asked George to take care of his family (Contributed by Paquita Machris). George (age 25) took this very seriously and married Brigida (age 23) just two months later.

Brigida inherited John Graf's property. A couple of weeks before her death in1912, Brigida asked George what she should do about her property. He said in his diary: “I told her that I had the greatest hope that she would get well and live for many years yet, but if she wished to save us all trouble in case anything should happen, she might sign over her property to the children and myself. She did it cheerfully and told the children about it. It was a noble act of hers.”

A copy of a certificate exists dated April 7, 1876 , and signed by Ulysses S. Grant in the City of Washington , giving ownership of 40 acres of land purchased by Abel Mason and the heirs of John Graf.

* * * * * * * *

GEORGE ZOBELEIN

In 1832, Conrad Michaelzobelein, brewer, innkeeper and butcher, married Magdalena Dorn.

They had five children. Only one, George Friedrich (1835), survived childhood.

Conrad then married Katherina Galster in 1841. The children of this second marriage were Philipp Jacob (1842-1879), Johann Georg (George,1845-1936) and Conrad (1847-1848).

THE LIFE OF GEORGE ZOBELEIN

by Zemula Zobelein Peukert in 1932

Among the eminent founders and leaders in the brewing industry of Los Angeles , we find no more colorful history than that of George Zobelein.

George Zobelein was born on August 12, 1845 , in Grafenberg (near Nurnberg ), Bavaria , Germany . When he was five years old his father died, and his mother followed six months later. This left him in the care of one of his uncles who had a general merchandise business. Although George's father had been a brewer, it would be many years before he became familiar with that line of industry. At the age of six, while attending school, George was also initiated into to his uncle's store as assistant clerk. Later he went to business college.

When he was seventeen, he went to Hof , Bavaria , as an apprentice in the wholesale dry-goods business. One can hardly say that he was overpaid, for he worked there three years with no compensation while paying his own room and board.

After that he obtained a position with a company in Barmen, which manufactured trimmings.

He worked there two years as a correspondent in the German, French and English languages. In 1866, war broke out between Prussia and Bavaria , and George was called by Bavaria to serve in the army. However, on the way there, he was captured on the frontier by the Prussians and imprisoned in the fortress at Ehrenbritsten for two weeks.

As the war was of short duration, he decided to go to America afterwards, leaving home in the summer of 1867 for New York . After three days, he took a boat to Colon , Panama , continued to Acapulco , and finally reached San Francisco by water.

When he arrived in San Francisco , he tried peddling goods and waiting tables, but after breaking most of the dishes, he decided that was not his calling! George soon obtained employment in a German bookstore, selling books and delivering newspapers. He worked from early morning until late at night, but received only $10 a week. However, the “pleasure” this afforded was augmented by the fact that when delivering periodicals at the Wieland Brewery, he often received a big glass of beer without cost.

His next position was as a clerk in the dry-goods store of a Mr. Held, whom he had met on the boat when they crossed from Europe . Mr. Held had always been very friendly, and he offered George a salary of $60 a month, which at that time was considered very good. He was happy, working only from eight to five, with Saturday afternoons free and dinners at his employer's house gratis. All this gave him considerable freedom for study, etc., and so he devoted time to the Spanish language, which was quite essential for a clerk in those early California days

George also lodged with a Spanish speaking family at that time, which helped him improve his Spanish. They told him so many wonderful things about Los Angeles that he soon decided to go there, little realizing that one day he would become one of its leading citizens.

However, George was unsuccessful in finding employment in Los Angeles , so he purchased a little grocery store at the corner of Sixth and Spring Streets for $300.

George ran this store for about a year, then moved to Lone Pine, California , to establish a general merchandise store there. He purchased the lumber, cut in proper lengths of 20x40 feet, from J.M. Elliot, who was then bookkeeper for the Griffith Lumber Co. and who later became president of the First National Bank of Los Angeles. This trip to Lone Pine, a distance of about 240 miles, used to take about six days by horseback.

After a year, George sold his business to his clerk and returned to Los Angeles . At this time he married Brigida Graf (1870) who made him a devoted wife and who was always content to live wherever he went.

He then started another grocery store on Main Street near Second. Hard times, however, forced him to close his business and move back to Inyo County to start another store. Having worked in Lone Pine first, he had a good opportunity to establish himself in Swansea on Owens Lake . There he engaged in business for about three years. This was shortly after the 1871 earthquake in Inyo County that killed so many people. For four years George did well until the silver mines gave out and people began to drift away.

Then great excitement developed at Panamint, a small mining town in Inyo County , which sprang up in 1874. It was a typical mining town, consisting of hastily built stores and houses along the main street, with barren, rocky mountains surrounding it. As there were no railroads, he had his merchandise moved there by team, engaging one of the “schooners” of Wm. H. Savage, who later practiced law in San Pedro and became a State Senator (George knew the famous bandit, Tiburcio Vasquez, who issued orders to his cohorts that this merchant's wagons be assured a safe passage).

From Panamint George moved to Darwin, another mining town, and stayed about a year. On January 12, 1876 , he closed out and returned to Los Angeles , accompanied by his wife Brigida and two children, John and Matilda. Four days after their arrival in Los Angeles , Edward was born on what was then a ranch at 38 th Street and Figueroa.

Upon returning to Los Angeles , he obtained his first employment in the New York Brewery owned and operated by Philip Lauth at Main and Third. He was employed as bookkeeper and manager for five years, until Lauth's brother-in-law assumed these duties. George regretted leaving but later found a position with the Philadelphia Brewery on Aliso Street , then owned by D. Mahlstedt, and which later became the Maier Brewing Co.

George became a partner of T. Mahlstedt in the fall of 1881, purchasing a half interest for $18,000. Mahlstedt sold his half in the business to Joe Maier in 1882. Later they formed a corporation under the name of Maier & Zobelein Brewery. In 1907 George sold his interests to Maier.

Three days later he bought the controlling stock in the Los Angeles Brewing Company from P. Max Kienrich and took possession of it on June 15, 1907 , assuming the office of President and General Manager.

George continued as President of the Los Angeles Brewing Company for over 25 years. At the age of 87, he still came to the office each morning and took an active interest in its affairs. His kindly face would brighten as he sat and visioned the future, and he seemed ineffably pleased that he would live to see his family conducting the business he had developed in an efficient and profitable manner, and giving employment to many who had been with the company since its inception.

GEORGE ZOBELEIN'S DIARY

A Family Chronicle ( taken directly from diary)

George Zobelein, born at Grafenberg near Nuremberg , Bavaria , Aug. 12, 1845 .

Brigida Zobelein née Alvarez, born at Alamos, Sonora , Oct. 8,1 1847; married John Graf on April 9, 1861 . John Graf died in 1870.

George Zobelein and Brigida married on Oct. 5, 1870 .

CHILDREN:

Isabela Graf, born Aug. 27, 1866 .

John Graf born Nov. 27, 1869 .

Mathilde Z. born Los Angeles Dec. 23, 1871; died Oct. 1873 at Swansea , Inyo County .

Mathilde Z. born at Lone Pine, Inyo County at the house of Mrs. Roche, Nov. 21, 1874 .

Edward Z. born at Los Angeles ...after returning to the ranch on Jan. 17, 1876 .

George Z. born at the ranch, Los Angeles , May 26, 1877 .

Rosa Margarita born at 156 Spring Street, Los Angeles Oct. 28, 1879 .

Philipp born at 156 Spring St. , Los Angeles , Feb. 22, 1881 .

* * * * * * *

Following the above list of family, George writes a very brief account of his life, including dates and places of business ventures. It ends with his partnership with Joseph Maier in 1882. Basically it is an outline of the above history by Zemula Zobelein Peukert.

The diary continues with the account of the illness and death of his beloved daughter Mathilda Viereck. She contracted tuberculosis in San Francisco and died on Feb. 20, 1903 , at age 28. He writes: “On her last couch she looked like a sweet, beautiful angel. She was the most affectionate grand-hearted and devoted daughter.”

Then he writes of Isabella, first married to Arnold Cordes in 1883; son Arnold born in 1884. She divorced in 1889 and married Cappel in 1900. Isabella died in 1907 at age 41.

The most poignant account is the very detailed chronicle of the last illness and death of his beloved wife, Brigida, who died of tuberculosis on Feb.16, 1912, at age 64. The diary includes names of various doctors and nurses and places where he took her for cures.

The last account is the brief illness and death of his son Edward who died in 1923 at age 47 from a stroke.

There are no more entries. The first part of the booklet, labeled ALBUM on the cover, is a guest book. There are many entries of those who probably visited their home. Most of them are written in German. Among a few newspaper articles in German is an article from the Los Angeles newspaper on the occasion of their silver wedding anniversary celebrated at the family home. It lists the guests, decorations and place favors: clusters of flowers tied with long bows for ladies and small beer barrels for the gentlemen. Pasted below the article is a piece of Brigida's gown as described in the article.

BRIGIDA ALVAREZ GRAF ZOBELEIN

The following information appeared in a eulogy written by members of the Los Angeles County Pioneers Organization. It provides some insight into the personal life of Brigida Zobelein.

This much beloved and universally esteemed woman, the wife of our much respected brother and prominent citizen Br. George Zobelein , passed away at the beautiful family home on Friday, February 16, 1912.

Mrs. Zobelein was born in Alamos, State of Sonora, Mexico, October 8, 1847. At the age of seven she came with her parents to Los Angeles and here received her academic instruction by the Good Sisters of Charity.

In 1870 she married Mr. George Zobelein. Mrs. Zobelein was a woman of most generous impulses and well deserved the fame of being known for her great hospitable nature and charitable consideration of the poor.

She was a great lover of nature, the culture of trees; shrubs and flowers occupied much of her

time, and one of her fondest ambitions was to have the settings of her home grounds the most beautiful and attractive in the city.

Her demise means a great loss not only to her dear family but to this entire community where her gracious presence meant much in its uplift and betterment.

Brigida's funeral was held at St. Vincent de Paul Church (then at Washington and Adams Blvd. now at Figueroa St. and Adams Blvd. ) on February 19. Burial was at Rosedale Cemetery at Washington Blvd. and Normandie Ave.

MAIER & ZOBELEIN ERA 1882 - 1907

Little is known of this period, since George Zobelein ends his diary entries on October 1, 1882 , when he and Joseph Maier became partners in the Philadelphia Brewery (est. 1874). Zobelein had purchased half interest from Mahlsted in 1881. In 1882 Maier bought the other half and in 1883 they incorporated as Maier & Zobelein. Maier served as president until 1904. Zobelein was then elected to the office which he held until 1907 when he sold his interest in the company. The Maier Brewery continued producing beer and became famous for its Brew 102 which came out after World War II.

The following extracts from articles in the Los Angeles Times help to fill in the history of the brewery during the Maier & Zobelein period.

Dec. 1886 : “A Fierce Blaze” - A 5000 gallon tank at the rear of the brewery was being filled with petroleum. Maier, on hearing that the tank was almost full, went with a light (open flame) to check. When he leaned over the tank the gas ignited and exploded. He received burns on face and hands. Firemen prevented the rest of the buildings burning. The oil tank was left to burn itself out. Damage to the brewery was slight.

June 30, 1889 : “The New Brewery” - The opening of the newly renovated Philadelphia Brewery (Maier & Zobelein) took place. These improvements made it one of the best in California and the largest in Southern California .

April 17, 1895 : “King Gambrinus” (parade float) - The Maier & Zobelein float represented King Gambrinus with his assistants of elves and fairies busy making beer. The brewer masters included the Maier brothers and Arnold Cordes (first husband of Isabella Graf Zobelein). Master Phil Zobelein represented Uncle Sam.

August 16, 1895 : “An Old Landmark Gone” - The old aliso (sycamore tree) was on the site of the Maier & Zobelein Brewery. It was a landmark from time immemorial when Los Angeles was a mere pueblo. It had been venerated by the local Indians for generations as a guide point and was said to have provided shade for the early Spanish settlers and a campground for General Fremont when he wrested California from the Mexicans. For some years Maier had wanted to remove the tree in order to expand the brewery. Zobelein was very emotional about the old landmark and succeeded at one point in having the brewery built around it. Eventually, branches fell and damaged a building. Finally the old tree died. Maier said, “That tree has cost us already about $8,000 all on account of Mr. Zobelein's sentiment.” Finally it was chopped down. Various persons took turns, but “Mr. Zobelein has felt too mournful over the fate of his old pet to strike any of its death blows.”

October, 1896: “Oil” - There are several articles about the discovery and pumping of oil on Maier & Zobelein property. “The oil territory on New Depot street promises to become an important exporter of the fuel product. Maier & Zobelein's experimental well is producing about eighty barrels a day and their new well promises even better things.”

October 7, 1897 : “Beer Boycott - Maier & Zobelein's Men Will Not Join the Union ” - The article relates that after considerable pressure from the brewer's union, the workers voted not to join. They said that all got union time. No one received less than union wages and some of them even more. Nearly all of them were stockholders. Employees and employers were on the same level, so why pay initiation fee and union dues.

May 21, 1900 : In baseball news, Maier & Zobelein beat Azusa . The article states that the Los Angeles team will be called Maier & Zobelein in the future because the brewery had provided the uniforms. Another article announces a game with San Diego . In 1902 the Brewers beat the Columbias 2 to 1. It was an exciting game, but only a small crowd was present.

1901: “The Battle of the Bottles” - During this period a fierce battle raged between the Los Angeles Brewing Company, just established four years earlier, and its rival Maier & Zobelein, the oldest and largest brewery in the city. The fight was over franchises to sell their beers in the city saloons.

August 3, 1901 : “Local Brewers Sign the Union Scale” - The Los Angeles Brewery and Maier & Zobelein conceded to union demands. There was a reduction to an eight hour day with wages of $18 a week.

August 12, 1905 : “Maier Partners Are Accused – Zobelein claims that he has been fraudulently ousted from control, and charges incompetence and neglect on the part of the Maier boys in conduct of business.” After the death of Joseph Maier in July of 1905, one of his sons, Fred, took over. Just weeks later, Zobelein sued, accusing the Maier brothers of manipulating the stock in order to gain control of the company.

March 4, 1906 : “Zobelein Wins Brewery Suit.” The court held that the original agreement between Zobelein and Maier (Joseph) was fair, stating that “worthy as these young men are

(Maier brothers), they are by reason of their youth lacking in the mature judgment and skill which comes only from long years of experience.”

LOS ANGELES BREWING COMPANY

George Zobelein bought the controlling stock in the Los Angeles Brewery in February of 1907 from Max Kuehnrich for $405,000. Since his brewery was on the east side of the Los Angeles River , Zobelein called his new beer Eastside.

During Prohibition (1920 - 1933) the brewery produced apple cider, pineapple juice, root beer and a near beer labeled Zest . Under government auspices the brewery sold alcohol to the medical profession and drug stores and denatured alcohol to paint companies. The production and sales of these items enabled them to keep pace with pre-prohibition sales. Before prohibition, the Los Angeles Brewing Company was the fifth largest in the United States from the point of production.

Although the government gave breweries only fifteen days notice at the end of Prohibition , the Los Angeles Brewing Company, since it was producing near beer, had only to skip the denaturing process. They were ready to roll at 12:01 on April 7, 1933 . Trucks had been loaded with bottles and barrels of beer on the property. Accompanied by two treasury agents, the trucks were moved to the parking lot to await the hour of departure. Actor Walter Houston said a few words and actress Jean Harlow broke a bottle over the first truck. Most of the trucks had armed guards riding shot gun. One of the brewery executives related that when the night was over they had collected a stack of money 18 inches high and taken in over a quarter of a million dollars.

The brewery prospered in the 30's and 40's . George Zobelein's son John took over at his father's death in 1936. Cans were introduced in 1937. Eastside Beer, Eastside Ale and a premium beer called Luxury Extra Dry Pilsner were sold. Brown Derby Beer was canned for Safeway stores.

In order to discourage any idea of a return to prohibition, the brewery ran a series of ads in the 1930's showing how much the brewing business contributed to the economy and how much would be lost if prohibition returned. The Eastside ad was entitled: “The Eastside Dollar – Helps Fill the Pay Envelopes, Provides Relief Funds, Pays for Schools, Contributes to the Welfare of Southern California.” It showed in pie form the amount and percentage of how every cent contributed to the economy: taxes, salaries, hotels, restaurants, grocers, law enforcement, schools, farmers, utilities, publishing, etc. It was quite unique that a single brewery would launch such a campaign.

In the 1940's the Los Angeles Brewing Company was number one in sales in California . Eastside had been a regional beer. Pabst, one of the three largest brewers in the United States , decided to expand to the West Coast. In 1948 Pabst purchased the brewery for $14 million. However, Eastside continued operating as a separate company. At this time the total production had reached 800,000 barrels a year. In 1953 Pabst took over the management and added new brewing facilities next to the old buildings. Although Pabst Blue Ribbon brand was promoted, Eastside Old Tap was still produced and became a low-priced discount beer. Pabst continued operating its Los Angeles plant until 1979.

The Zobelein family controlled the destiny of the Los Angeles Brewing Company from its purchase by George Zobelein in 1907 until its takeover by Pabst in 1948. In 1947 on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the brewery (1897) the following family members were at the helm: President: John Graf Zobelein; Vice-President and General Manager: Charles Lick, husband of Rose Zobelein; Vice-President and Treasurer: Philip Zobelein; Secretary: Richard Zobelein; Purchasing Agent: Eugene Zobelein; Chief Chemist: Oliver Zobelein. Zemula Zobelein Peukert, daughter of John Graf Zobelein was the only female member of the family who worked at the brewery. In 1930 she began working in the “Distilled Alcohol Department.” After prohibition ended she became secretary for the advertising manager and the sales manager.

“A History of California - Los Angeles and Environs - Biographical”- Volume II, 1915, contains a short biography of George Zobelein. After a brief account of his early life and the founding of the brewery it continues on a personal level:

“Mr. Zobelein's time and attention have not been wholly absorbed in the business just mentioned, but on the other hand he has been interested to a considerable extent in the improvement of his real estate in Los Angeles , which has become very valuable. His ninety-acre tract, known as the Zobelein tract, on South Jefferson between Figueroa and Main streets, is one of the sightly additions to the city and has proven a source of large profit to all concerned....

“In the midst of his busy cares, Mr. Zobelein has taken time to interest himself in social and political affairs, and is associated with the Turn Verein (a German-American social organization) of the city; he votes the Democratic ticket; and as a member of the Chamber of Commerce seeks the advancement of his adopted city. A straightforward, liberal and progressive citizen, he possesses traits which have won for him a place in the municipal life of Los Angeles .”

PIONEERS'S HOME: A SYLVAN RETREAT

The George Zobelein residence was such an astounding sanctuary of beauty that Alice Koons's article “Lives in a Forest ” from the Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11, 1931 , states: “The place has attracted professors of botany and nature lovers from far and near during the past years.”

On five acres of land, Zobelein created a veritable forest consisting of giant and majestic trees, rare and exotic shrubs, luxuriant flowers, and rare birds. Well-kept trails and paths led through this garden of beauty that was carefully cultivated and maintained, giving “an appearance of unhampered natural growth” in this last parcel of unsubdivided land in the vicinity. Even a dancing pavilion could be found along the paths, hidden among beautiful shrubbery, a reminder of earlier days of social living along the old Los Angeles homes on Figueroa Street .

Taking his “daily dozens” in this garden, it is no wonder that Zobelein found it hard to accept that his old homestead was in danger of extinction in a city that was fast growing and expanding all around him.

GEORGE ZOBELEIN'S DEATH

George Zobelein died at his residence on South Flower Street on June 23, 1936 , at the age of 90. Although he had been ill for the past three years, Zobelein was still president of the Los Angeles Brewing Company at the time of his death. The Rev. O.W. Wismar, pastor of the German Lutheran Church , conducted funeral rites at the family home. In charge was Pierce Brothers' Mortuary. Following the services, the man who came to Los Angeles in 1867 and amassed a fortune was borne to the family plot in Rosedale Cemetery by Joseph Mesmer, Cecil Frankel, Theodore Strassforth, Oscar Rasbach, Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz and Dr. Thomas Chalmers Meyers (Obituary notices from “The Los Angeles Examiner”).

GEORGE ZOBELEIN'S WILL

George Zobelein's will is dated December 31, 1930 . It was filed on July 2, 1936 , and admitted to probate on July 21, 1936 . John Graf Zobelein, Philip Zobelein and Rose Zobelein Lick were the appointed executors.

George remembered many of his relatives in Germany . He bequeathed $500 each to a cousin and two nieces; $250 each to eighteen nephews and nieces; $3000 each to his four daughters-in-law; and $500 each to his eight grandchildren. The gardener and housekeeper each received $250. George's son Philip received his diamond ring.

All the rest, residence and remainder of his estate, was set up in a trust for the family members: one fifth each to John Graf Zobelein, George Zobelein, Jr., Philip Zobelein, Rose

Zobelein Lick, Richard and Cecilia Zobelein - jointly (heirs of Edward Zobelein).

GEORGE ZOBELEIN'S PROPERTY

In the early 1900's, Zobelein and his son John Graf Zobelein subdivided the lands and created the Zobelein Tract, the Zobelein Main Street Tract and the Zobelein Grand and Figueroa Street Tract. The remaining parcel—bounded by the University and the Rindge Tract on the north, Grand Avenue on the east, 38 th Street on the south and Figueroa Street on the west—contained the Zobelein family home (see map).

The family began to sell its south side real estate holdings in 1904. The Zobelein Tract was recorded for subdivision in June 1904. Zobelein's Main Street Tract was filed for subdivision in July 1904. An addition to the latter tract was filed for subdivision in November 1904. It is interesting to note that these sales of property were made during the same year that George Zobelein became president of Maier & Zobelein. Zobelein's Grand Avenue and Figueroa Street Tract was filed for subdivision in February 1908. This was the year after he took over the Los Angeles Brewing Company.

When Flower Street was extended south from the growing city in the early 1930's, it pre-empted the site of the Zobelein home (see map). The house was moved east out of the street right-of-way and rotated slightly to align it with the new street frontage (this explains the two different addresses recorded for the residence: Figueroa and Flower). A few years later the house was razed. In 1937, John Graf Zobelein erected two Mediterranean style courtyard apartments (the Sable Arms) on the site. A third structure, also of the same design, was added in 1949.

Palm trees, a reminder of by-gone days, still line the driveway. The apartment complex was sold in 2003. (History of the Zobelein Courtyard Apartments on application for National Register status, 1990)


RESOURCES

George Zobelein's family home and ancestors: Gerhard Gundelfinger, Grafenberg , Germany

Research on John Graf and Zobelein property: Greg Fischer

Life of George Zobelein by Zemula Zobelein Peukert

George Zobelein's diary

Articles on Maier & Zobelein Era: Sesar Carreño

Website: Rustycans.com (Can of the Month: March 2005)

“Brewing: An Early Industry in Los Angeles ” by Elisa Zobelein Shambaugh

Articles from the Los Angeles Times historical file.

Special thanks to:

Gerhard Gundelfinger who researched George Zobelein's ancestors back to the 15 th century.

Greg Fischer for his research on John Graf and the family property through census records, survey maps and church registers.

Sesar Carreño who filled in the Maier & Zobelein period. Through his interest in baseball history in Los Angeles and the Maier & Zobelein team he has a large collection of articles on the company.

Sister Madeline Marie Nabonne, OP, Mater Dei Press for her technical help and use of the print shop computer program.

Catherine Marie Bazar: Editor

Giulii Zobelein, OP: Research

 

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