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MATTIE’S DEATH

They were an odd couple, yet clearly devoted to each other. She had poise and grace, the embodiment of Victorian America gentility. He presented Southern courtliness if you were on his good side, but woe to anyone who rubbed his thin skin the wrong way. She was around six feet tall, towering over other local women in her only verified photograph. Besides being short-tempered he was also just short, five feet, seven and five-eights inches, and that probably counted the lift gained from the elevator shoes drawn in a caricature. She was Mattie Solomon Oates; he was husband James Wyatt Oates. In 1914 she died and afterwards he fell apart like a building that lost its cornerstone.

Mattie and Wyatt had no children; her legacy is (the home that would become known as) Comstock House and the Saturday Afternoon Club building down the street, where she was chairman of the building committee. Both were examples of the nascent Arts & Crafts movement and were bookends to the magnificent Paxton House that lay between them. Never again would architect Brainerd Jones have such a free hand to create not one but three buildings close together, while making an artistic statement using a cutting-edge style.

Much has already been written here about Mattie; all that’s left to do is tie her story together, while daubing in missing details about her early life and death.

Mattie was born in San Francisco September 11, 1858. Her father was Perrin L. Solomon, a Mexican War veteran and U.S. Marshall for the Northern District of California until he was removed from office in 1861, presumably because of Confederate sympathies. He died when Mattie was six; the only sibling who lived past infancy was sister Mary (“Fannie”) who died when Mattie was ten, and she kept a watercolor of Fannie the rest of her life. Her widowed mother lived with Mattie for 46 years until she died in 1910. (More about the family.)

Her lengthy obituary in the Santa Rosa Republican (transcribed below) is to be trusted, except for a few obvious typos; Wyatt was the publisher of that paper until shortly before she died. In her debutante years she was a “member of the naval social set in San Francisco” as well as a “member of the old southern set,” despite having never lived outside of San Francisco. The obit states Mattie was introduced to Wyatt by John B. Milton, a young naval officer; Mattie in turn introduced Milton to the woman he would marry. The Miltons and Oates remained close as John rose to admiral and he was a pallbearer at Mattie’s funeral.

There must have been considerable romantic intrigue beneath those dry facts, however; it appears Mattie was engaged to another guy when she met Wyatt in 1880.

In 1880 Wyatt was moving back and forth between San Francisco and Tucson, Arizona where he had a legal practice. In August of that year an item appeared in the Bay Area papers announcing Mattie’s engagement to Navy Lt. Emeric. Shift forward three months to the huge society wedding of her close friend Anna McMullin. Several papers listed all the guests and both Mattie and Wyatt were there – but no Lieutenant Emeric. (Guests were listed alphabetically, so we don’t know if Mattie and Wyatt attended together.) A few weeks later, in mid-December, an announcement appeared in Arizona and local newspapers that she was now engaged to James Wyatt Oates. They married August 11, 1881 and moved to Santa Rosa, where Wyatt was a law partner with a man he knew from college.

In Santa Rosa, Mattie was defined by she did – and particularly what she did not. The Oates’ were never part of the McDonald avenue clique (although Mr. and Mrs. Mark McDonald Jr. were good friends), living among the professional class in the Cherry street neighborhood before Comstock House was built. The town had dozens of “ladies’ clubs” where women got together to gossip over cards; she belonged only to a single card group which included husbands. She was very involved with the Saturday Afternoon Club and its focus on the intellectual life. In 1907 she made a witty presentation on “The Laws of California as related to Women and Children” the Press Democrat printed in full. Wyatt probably had a hand in writing some of it, but her character shines through.

She had a mentoring relationship with several young women, some of whom lived with the Oates’ for months on end; among those were Addie Murphy, daughter of the president of the First National Bank in San Francisco, and particularly Anna May Bell, who was treated like their godchild and ended up inheriting much of Mattie and Wyatt’s estate. For these protégées Mattie threw lavish parties and her friends did likewise. While Santa Rosa was still recovering from the 1906 earthquake, she and her neighbor Jane Paxton hosted the first post-disaster galas in honor of Anna May’s clockwork-like summer visit.

The Oates seemingly had few friends their own age except those who were parents of Mattie’s youthful crowd. In 1903 some young men formed a dancing club called “The Bunch,” renting lodge halls around town for monthly dances. From the beginning Mattie was listed as a “patroness” for the events, which presumably can be translated as, “the chaperone who paid for almost everything.” Attending these dances were the same twenty-somethings who came to Mattie’s protégée parties plus young marrieds, such as Mr. Shirley Burris and his wife and Florence Edwards with husband James. Shirley was the owner of an auto dealership and the recreational driving buddy of Wyatt; the Edwards became among the Oates’ closest friends.

(RIGHT: Mattie Oates and Brainerd Jones, detail from photo of the 1908 ground-breaking for the Saturday Afternoon Club (full image)

She became a semi-invalid after her first heart attack in 1911 and her death certificate would later date the beginning of her illness to that year and name the cause as “dilitation of heart” – an old-fashioned name for enlarged heart (cardiomegaly). From that point on it was a prolonged deathwatch. What few mentions of her in the society columns over the next few years usually concerned her failing health. The last time she held a dinner party at her home was in August, 1913. Predictably, it was in honor of Anna May, now married with a small daughter.

Mattie Oates died at home July 25, 1914, age 55. Besides the lengthy obit in the Republican, the Press Democrat columnist wrote an unusual personal tribute: “Mrs. Oates was a very beautiful woman and I never will forget the first time I saw her. It was many, many years ago when I was a small, impressionable girl. I was sitting on our front steps and out of a carriage that drove up before the house stepped Mrs. Oates. Never will I forget the vision of loveliness she was that day. Despite the soft trailing satin gown she wore and the dainty gloves, she stopped to make friends with me and my remembrance is that a very dirty little specimen, I was that day, for I had been busily engaged in the mysteries of mud pie making…Through her last long and trying iilness she fought bravely and cheerfully. Even to the last her thought was those dear to her and to them continually tried to speak words of encouragement.”

Her coffin was placed in the holding vault at the Rural Cemetery, where it would remain until after Wyatt died seventeen months later, still lost in melancholy and likely more than a little mad. At his deathbed request both their bodies – along with the previously buried remains of all her relatives – were cremated together with their ashes thrown to the winds.

Mattie’s presence is still felt in Comstock House; the seven-foot clawfoot tub reminds us of her tallness, as does the unusually high bathroom mirror. And sometimes in the back hall at night, in autumn when the house is very quiet, the drafts swirling from upstairs carry the faintest scent of something floral and old, lilacs and rose petal. Certainly it’s a whiff of some lost crumb from the previous owner’s potpourri sachets, but I instead like to think it’s a fading hint of Mattie’s’ perfume. For that instant in the quiet and dim light, the year is 1905 and here again it is that passing moment between gaslight and tomorrow.

Front seat, left to right: Shirley D. Burris, Florence Edwards. Rear seat: Shirley’s wife Evelyn Blanche Burris or Bernice Riddle (both age 22), with Shirley’s 49 year-old mother Laura Burris in the middle. Mattie Oates at far right and enlarged inset. Only the identity of the pair in the front seat can be confirmed with certainty. (PHOTO: Sonoma County Library)
 

IS THAT MATTIE OATES? The proof might lie in the mums.

After reading about James Wyatt Oates’ death and strange directive for mass cremation, fellow local history bloodhound Neil Blazey began looking into some of the curious corners of Oates’ life, including the dearth of pictures of Mattie. Although several images of husband Wyatt are around (five so far, including an early drawing found last week), the only known picture of Mattie was part of the Saturday Afternoon Club group photo, shown above. Her will mentioned an oil portrait bequeathed (along with other family items) to her closest living relative, cousin William W. Pepper, but a hunt for his descendants went nowhere.

Then Neil happened to read this little item in a Press Democrat description of the 1908 Rose Carnival:


Mrs. Shirley D. Burris was at the wheel of the next car. With her rode Mrs. George R. Riddle, Mrs. James W. Oates and Mrs. K. W. Burris. The auto was adorned with pink chrysanthemums.

The vast majority of autos in the Rose Carnivals of that era were decorated, not surprisingly, with roses. Chrysanthemums are typically available only in November or December; to have them in the spring – and enough to decorate an auto no less – was unusual, and probably quite expensive. Neil also recalled having once spotted a car covered in chrysanthemums among the hundreds of Rose Carnival pictures online via the Sonoma County Library. (Myself, I would not recognize a mum if it came up and bit me.)

Neil is confident the woman in the corner is Mattie Oates; my wife Candice, who has a very sharp eye for faces, believes it is not. I am strongly inclined to agree she is the same woman as in the group photo (which was taken exactly three months later) although the differences in lighting and her expressions make it impossible for me to cast an unequivocal vote.

But complications abound, starting with the library identifying this photo as from 1912, not 1908. The Library, however, has no information otherwise about the image including where it came from. There was a car with yellow paper chrysanthemums in 1912, but the 1908 parade entry was the only possible match from that era with real mums. The 1912 car had butterfly ornamentation not seen in this picture.

Also undermining the 1912 dating is the clothing. Other women in the 1908 photos are similarly wearing white dresses with high lace collars. Looking at the 1912 clothing ads in both papers plus the photo of the parade queen shows all women with their necks exposed and open collar, even sometimes a bit of decolletage.

The 1908 newspaper described three women riding in the car whose age seems to match the women in the back seat: A woman in her twenties plus two older ladies. The 1912 paper mentions only young women in the car with paper mums and newspaper accounts of the carnivals in the intervening years do not allow the possibility that the photo was taken on any of those occasions.

Add all this up and it’s 1908: 3 and 1912: Zip.

The final complication is that the two people in the front seat are not mentioned in the paper, yet are the only two who can be positively identified. Mr. Shirley Burris was the husband of the woman driving the car in the parade and Florence Edwards was part of the Oates’ tight social circle that included Mr. and Mrs. Shirley Burris.

Still all in all, “the mosaic of information” (as Neil poetically wrote) lends a very high probability that it’s Mattie. What do you think?

 

 

MRS. JAMES W. OATES PASSES TO THE UNKNOWN
Beloved Woman Enters Eternal Rest Saturday Morning

One of Santa Rosa’s most estimable and lovable women passed to eternal rest early on Saturday morning, when Mrs. James W. Oates eyes were closed in the sleep that knows no waking this side of eternity. Gently falling into peaceful rest, as a child drops off to slumber after hours of play, the deceased’s life passed out, and gave surcease from earth’s pain and suffering. Her death has left a void in the hearts of the people of Santa Rosa, which can never be filled, and her life will be a precious memory to all who knew her until the end of time shall come to them.

For many years Mrs. Oates had been a resident of Santa Rosa. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon, prominent residents of this state. She was a gentle woman, and possessed of admirable qualities of heart and mind, and endeared herself to all with whom she came in contact. She had a wide circle of friends, her activities having touched all classes of society, and she will be greatly missed by the entire community.

For several years past Mrs. Oates had not been well, the last sickness and death of her mother, Mrs. M. S. Solomon, having proved a great blow to her. Her waning strength flitted slowly, and the efforts of physicians and the best of care and attention proved futile in staying the hand of disease, which had marked her for its bright victim. To her mother, Mrs. Oates was the personification of devotion, and throughout the long illness of the mother Mrs. Oates gave her every attention. Following the monther’s death the health of Mrs. Oates broke perceptibly but she was the center of an admiring throung of friends, and her presence was always desired by those who knew her.

As hostess of the hospitable Oates residence the deceased entertained lavishly, and her guests were always delighted with a visit to her home. She was of the stately Southern women type and was much admired by her many friends.

Mrs. Oates was one of the first presidents of the Saturday Afternoon Club of this city, and to her untiring energies is greatly due the magnificent club house erected by the organization in this city. She was always assisting in all of the events which the club arranged, even when her strength did not permit, and never lost her interest in that splendid organization of women of this city. In her zeal for its welfare she went to extreme lengths when they were to her detriment.

In his bereavement Colonel Oates has the sympathy of a wide circle of friends. The hand of affliction has been laid heavily upon him in the removal of the partner of his life’s joys and sorrows, and it is a severe blow.

Death came to Mrs. Oates just after the midnight hour, when another day was beginning with all its bright prospects. To her it was the closing of a life well spent, and in which her good deeds were daily done. It can be truly said of her that she never let her left hand know what the right did, and her charities were many and done without ostentation. Many have been the recipients of her bounty, and her words of good cheer have smoothed out seemingly impassable obstacles in the pathway of others. She was genuinely happy in assisting others less fortunate than herself in the possession of this world’s goods. She was reared a Christian and devoted herself to the work of the church, being a member of the Presbyterian church of this city and one of its regular and devoted attendants. She supported the church and its institution at all times, and her voice was lifted in praise of the Master.

Mrs. Oates will be missed from her accustomed walks of life among the people of Santa Rosa, and it can be truthfully said of her that the world is better for her having lived therein.

Mrs. Oates was the daughter of Major and Mrs. Perrin L. Solomon, her father having been a Mexican war veteran, and he was a United States marshal for California under President Buchanan. He held many positions with honor and credit. Major Solomon passed away in San Francisco in the year which closed the civil war, 1864 [sic]. Four children were born to Major and Mrs. Solomon, three of whom died in infancy.

Mrs. Oates  became the bride of Colonel James W. Oates on August 11, 1858, [sic] and their married life was of almost thirty-three years duration. It was one of loving helpfulness and closest communication of mind and soul. Mrs. Oates was a decidedly talented woman, and of a high intellectual order. She was born in San Francisco on September 11, 1858. As Miss Hattie Solomon [sic] she was a member of the naval social set in San Francisco, and had one of the most charging of young girlhoods and woman hoods. She was a member of the old southern set, noted for its courtliness and chivalry, and associated with the Maynards, McMullins and Gwynns and enjoyed a most beautiful girlhood. One of the pallbearers at the funeral will be Admiral John B. Milton of San Francisco. Admiral Milton was a young naval officer in San Francisco when Colonel Oates reached that city from his southern home, and shortly after the gentlemen had met, Admiral Milton told Colonel Oates he desired to introduce him to a charming young lady friend, and it was thus that Colonel Oates was presented to Miss Mattie S. Solomon, and subsequently wedded her. By a singular coincidence, not long after Admiral Milton had introduced Colonel Oates to the lady who was to become his wife, Miss Solomon in turn introduced Admiral Milton to a young lady friend, and they were inter married. The lady friend was Miss Hattie Steele. The friendship thus formed was maintained to the end and Admiral Milton has been solicitous for the welfare of Mrs. Oates in her recent illness, making daily inquiries by phone to ascertain her condition. The quartette were the closes kind of personal friends since early manhood and womanhood. Admiral Milton is now retired from active service.

The great friendship of Admiral Milton and his wife, extending over these many years, demonstrated the durability of the ties Mrs. Oates always wove about those with whom she came in contact. Everybody loved her for her sweet disposition and her beautiful character.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday afternoon from the Oates residence on Mendocino avenue at 2:30 o’clock, and Rev. Wills G. White will return here from Carmel to conduct the services. Her remains will be deposited temporarily in the receiving vault until the concrete vault on the Oates lot is prepared and they will be tenderly deposited in a flower lined tomb beside her mother. There will be services at the cemetery. The pallbearers will be Blitz W. Paxton, Elwyn D. Seaton and Charles A. Hoffer of this city; Charles H. S. Rule of Duncan’s Mills, William E. Woolsey of Berkeley and Admiral John B. Milton of San Francisco.

 – Santa Rosa Republican, July 25 1914

 

The death of Mrs. James Wyatt Oates occasioned general grief and deepest sympathy is being extended to Col. Oates. For years in Santa Rosa Mrs. Oates led in club and social circles. Her natural charm, her tactful disposition and her kindliness endeared her to all. Mrs. Oates was a very beautiful woman and I never will forget the first time I saw her. It was many, many years ago when I was a small, impressionable girl. I was sitting on our front steps and out of a carriage that drove up before the house stepped Mrs. Oates. Never will I forget the vision of loveliness she was that day. Despite the soft trailing satin gown she wore and the dainty gloves, she stopped to make friends with me and my remembrance is that a very dirty little specimen, I was that day, for I had been busily engaged in the mysteries of mud pie making. Until her ill health prevented Mrs. Oates was an acknowledged social leader. Her entertainments were always brilliant and well appointed. The beautiful home where she presided with so much grace and ease will, indeed, be desolate without her. In club affairs she gave freely of her ability, her money, and her strength. In civic, literary and musical affairs she was always the first to aid and assist, Her work for bettering those less fortunate than herself was continual Without ostentation she gave freely, particularly in helping children and unfortunate sick women. She not only gave but always added, “Any time I can help, please let me know.”

Through her last long and trying illness she fought bravely and cheerfully. ‘Even to the last her thought was those dear to her and to them continually tried to speak words of encouragement. Mrs. Oates was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church and worked in the past diligently in its upbuilding. She will be greatly missed and her kind words and works will never be forgotten.

– Society Gossip, Press Democrat, July 28 1914

Colonel and Mrs. James Wyatt Oates charmingly entertained Wednesday evening complimentary to Mrs. S. T. Dunlap of Los Angeles and Mrs. William Martin of San Anselmo. Covers were laid for twelve around a table that was beautified with an artistic decoration of Dresden bouquets set in cut glass vases. A tempting course menu was served. The guests were: Senator and Mrs. Thomas Kearns, Mrs. J. D. Galllvan, Salt Lake, Dr. and Mrs. Jackson Temple, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Wright, Mrs. S. T. Dunlap, Mrs. William Martin and Hilliard Comstock. Little Sue Dunlap accompanied her mother from Los Angeles and has been much admired by Santa Rosa friends.

– Society Gossip, Press Democrat August 24 1913

Mrs. James Wyatt Oates, who has been confined to her house for a fortnight, is much better, Mrs. Oates’ indisposition was caused by over-exertion, and a complete rest quickly restored her.

– Society Gossip, Press Democrat October 26 1913

Miss Mattie Solomon, who was the guest of the Misses McMullan, of San Francisco, last winter, is soon to be married to Lieutenant Emeric, formerly of the United States steamer Tuscarora, now on detached service.

– Oakland Tribune, August 5, 1880

 

Lucky Fellow.

The San Francisco Chronicle says: The marriage of James W. Oates, of Tucson, Arizona, to Miss Mattie Solomon, of this city, has been announced to take place either during the latter part of April or the first of May…Mr. Oates has been practicing law and at the same time engaged in mining interests for the past ten months.

– Arizona Daily Star, December 17, 1880
OATES-SOLOMON.
The Marriage in San Francisco of Miss Mattie A. Solomon to Mr. J. W. Oates.

The event of the week in society circles in San Francisco was the marriage on Thursday evening last of Miss Mattie A. Solomon of the Bay City to Mr. J. Wyatt Oates of Santa Rosa. The ceremonies took place at half past eight o’clock at St. John’s Presbyterian Church on Post street. The interior of the edifice was elegantly decorated and the dresses of the ladies magnificent. Misses Rebecca McMullen, Alicia Morgan, Adele Martel! and Lillie Gurke acted as bridesmaids and Messrs. Horace G. Platt, Arthur Shatluck, C. J. Swift and R. B. Haffold as groomsmen. Miss Solomon, the bride, is the daughter of Mrs. W. S. Solomon and is well known in San Francisco. She has been one of the leaders in society circles, where she made for herself numberless friends by her uniform courtesy and gentle manners. The groom, J. Wyatt Oates, of the firm of Whipple & Oates of this city, though not long a resident here, is well known to all our citizens. He is a gentleman of scholarly attainments and a lawyer of ability. He is a graduate of one of the first colleges of old Virginia. He practiced his profession with merited success for several years in Alabama, and he moved to this State about two years ago. Subsequently he was a resident of Arizona until he came to Santa Rosa and entered into partnership with Hon. E. L. Whipple who was a schoolmate of his in the Eastern States. At the conclusion of the ceremonies on Thursday evening an informal reception was held at the residence of the brides parents. On the morning following the happy couple left on a wedding tour of several weeks. Mr. and Mrs, Oates will return to reside in this city.

– Sonoma Democrat, August 13, 1881

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DAVIS HOUSE: NOW WE ARE SIX

Take a look at the map below; it’s a section of the 1876 bird’s eye view of Santa Rosa. The arrow points to the house at 759 Mendocino avenue. It still exists, but not a single other building in the picture. In fact, there are only five four places left in town that are this old, including Luther Burbank’s house. Others include two of the Metzger houses on B street (1868 and 1869), possibly the Church of the Incarnation (1873?) and 209 Fifth street (1870). Correction: The Fifth st. house is no more.

A developer has plans for a high-density project on the site which includes moving the house from its historic location, shifting it forward to within fifteen feet of the sidewalk and pushing it as far to the north side as legally possible. Whether or not that’s a big deal depends on whom you’re asking – and when. Our ancestors moved houses around as if they were toys in a sandbox, but this is in one of Santa Rosa’s few Preservation Districts, which seeks to protect “the historic character of the structure and the neighborhood.” Complicating matters further is that the proposed move would block the public’s view of Comstock House, which is listed on National Register of Historic Places. We’ll see how this works out; the first meeting on the project is tonight (Feb. 1, 2017) at City Hall and another on February 8. Updates will appear on my OldSantaRosa Facebook page.

The home was built ca. 1872 by Josias Davis, a real estate developer who subdivided sixteen acres on both sides of College avenue as an addition to the city (PDF). For years the wedge of two short blocks between Adel’s restaurant and 10th street was called Joe Davis’ street in his honor, even though residents repeatedly begged city council to change it. If they played Trivial Pursuit back then, “Where is Joe Davis?” would have stumped nearly everybody.

(RIGHT: Walter S. Davis in Masonic regalia)

Josias suffered chronic health problems and was cared for by his only child since the boy was in his teens. After his parents died Walter continued to live at that house until his own death in 1916.

Between 1880 and 1915 probably everyone in town knew Walter S. Davis. He was an independent insurance agent but often mentioned in the papers for a wide range of other activities. He was a volunteer fireman, an elected city official (City Treasurer twice), a hop grower, speculator in Arizona and Southern California oil wells (his “Senta Oil Company” had a downtown office where he would sell you a share for a quarter), mortgage broker and real estate investor. He was a Mason and a leader of Santa Rosa Elks’ lodge which was no small thing after the Great Earthquake of 1906, as the Elks’ did more to organize relief efforts than anyone.

Davis had a lighter side and sometimes silly items about himself would popup in the Press Democrat, such as the time he was praised as a great fisherman for landing a prize catch at the grocery on his way home. He had a peach tree which produced fruit from May until October and twice the Press Democrat marveled at its bounty, even though the newspaper was trying to appear more cosmopolitan and rarely mentioning freakish fruits and vegetables.

The oddest item about him appeared on the Fourth of July, 1905. It was all nonsense, but apparently he got drunk with his new neighbor, James Wyatt Oates, who had recently moved into (the home which would become known as) Comstock House. Together they prepared a balloon containing a message for President Teddy Roosevelt, launching their airship by smashing a bottle across the prow. And it was a bottle of good stuff, too — that beer newly imported to the West Coast called Budweiser (see “THE VOYAGE OF THE ‘AER FERVENS‘”).

Walter’s wife, Evelyn, died after a long illness in 1902, when their daughter Alys Marie was only five. He remarried a couple of years later and the renewed Davis’ family was close, with Walter, wife Ann and his daughter often mentioned in the society columns for outings and visits to the City. He seemed particularly devoted to Alys, taking her along on business trips. When she was three Walter and his first wife threw a birthday party for her that was so swell there was a writeup in the PD.

After Walter died his wife and daughter rented out the house for about 25 years. The next owner was the sister of Helen Comstock, who lived next door. During the WWII housing shortage Frances Finley Nielsen and her husband Anders converted the home into four apartments and built four garages. Pretty much everything we see today is the same as it was soon after the war.

Two surveys have looked at the place and noted it was a “potentially historic property,” but it’s never been awarded landmark status because the house is plain (although Burbank’s home is likewise a simple farmhouse) and Josias and Walter just weren’t important enough to care about. Too bad they weren’t interviewing people after the 1906 quake; apparently none of his insurance customers had claims denied or were forced to settle for less. Considering some in Santa Rosa ended up fighting their insurance carriers in court for up to five years, Walter must have been viewed as something of a miracle worker.

(A version of this article first appeared on Facebook and in the Ridgway Historical District newsletter)
W.S. Davis House, c. 1901

 

FORTY YEARS AGO W. S. DAVIS CAME HERE

Walter S. Davis, the well known insurance man of this city, came to Santa Rosa forty years ago this month. Of course he was a very young man then, and people can hardly realize that he has attained the age he has on account of his youthful appearance. Mr. Davis is widely known throughout this section of the state, and is one of the best known insurance men in northern California.

– Press Democrat, September 4 1910
THREE YEARS OLD
Birthday Party In Honor of Miss Alys Marie Davis

A delightful juvenile event and one which will long be remembered by the little guests was the birthday party given at the pretty home of Mr. and Mrs. Walter S. Davis on Healdsburg avenue on Saturday afternoon. The occasion was in honor of the third birthday of their winsome little daughter, Alys Marie.

During the afternoon the guests played all manner of games, enjoying every minute of the time thus spent. Of course the birthday feast was a great feature for them. The tables with their floral decorations were laden with innumerable dainties, not to forget the center of attraction — the magnificent birthday cake. In the entertainment of the guests, the mother of the petite hostess, Mrs. Davis, and Miss Nan M. Orr, and the Misses Alma and Clara Elnhorn assisted. Those present were the little Misses…

– Press Democrat, August 29 1900

 

Another Gusher

The McKittrlck now enjoys the reptation of having the two largest oil wells in California, namely, the McPherson and the Dabney. From the Bakersfield Morning Echo of the 11th inst, it is learned that the Dabney Oil Co., operating on lands leased from the El Dorado people, has Just completed its well No. 5, and at noon on Wednesday, as soon as work was finished, the well commenced to flow at the rate of 2000 barrels a day and is still gushing.

This well is within less than three miles of the Seanta company’s holding. The directors and friends of the Seanta Oil company are jubilant over this new strike. Stock in the Seanta is still selling at 25 cents a share.

Those wishing to purchase may call on any authorized agent or at the company’s office, 445 Fourth street, W. S. Davis, secretary.

– Press Democrat, October 17 1900

 

COLONEL W. S. DAVIS NAMES NEW PEACH THE “HALLOWE’EN PEACH”

Colonel Walter S. Davis, the wellknown insurance man. has a fine garden at his Healdsburg avenue residence, in which he takes considerable pride. The Colonel has a remarkable peach tree on his place. Eighteen years ago he bought the peach tree in question from John Louis Childs, the noted seedsman of Philadelphia, and it has been bearing fine fruit for many years. The peaches ripen among the earliest in May.

A couple of years or so ago, some distance up the trunk of the tree, a branch grew out and now, near the latter part of October, It is bearing a fine cluster of ripe peaches. A Press Democrat representative on Saturday secured a branch on which hung fine, highly colored peaches and in the office during the day the branch and its fruit attracted considerable attention. it is certainly something of a novelty to have a peach tree, a part of which bears the earliest variety of peach, and the other part the latest.

– Press Democrat, October 24 1915

 

Very Fine Peach

W. S. Davis brought to this office on Monday a peach from a tree in his yard on Mendocino avenue. The peach has something of the nectarine appearance, and is said to be the earliest variety known. The flavor is most pleasing as the writer can testify from a personal knowledge.

– Press Democrat, June 21 1910

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COOK LIKE GREAT-GRANDMA

If you were invited to supper by your great-grandparents you might dislike their food – and probably wouldn’t recognize some of it.

We believe we know a little something about daily life in a small town such as Santa Rosa because of movies such as “The Music Man,” set in 1912. Overall it seems like a pretty nice place (and probably was, if you were white, middle-class and not too concerned about equality issues) so it’s not too hard to imagine living there. Oh, I could adjust to the uncomfortable clothes, we dream nostalgically, I could deal with a coal furnace, the lack of air conditioning and refrigeration, that both cars and phones needed to be cranked before use. But unless you’re a fan of the bland, mealtimes might be quite a struggle.

We’re fortunate to have two different sources of information about what we were eating in Santa Rosa during the early Twentieth Century. A local church cookbook showed what was actually on our plates and a 1913 week-long “cooking school” promoted by the Press Democrat took it a step further and demonstrated a few ways to prepare a meal other than boiling everything to death.

There are two versions of the cookbook: a 1900 pamphlet published by an insurance company and a lengthier 1908 hardbound booklet self-published by the Presbyterian church in Fulton. The later edition has about 25 percent more material (along with local ads, which are always fun) and is the version referred to here. Recipes were all from women of the Fulton/Mark West area whose names were familiar from the society columns in the Santa Rosa newspapers.

This was not a local cookbook like the midcentury versions found at yard sales today, which are heavy with special holiday recipes and every kind of cookie imaginable. The word “holiday” does not even appear in the old cookbook; neither does “thanksgiving” or “christmas” (although there are directions for stuffing a turkey). There are more doughnut recipes than ones for making cookies. Part of the reason it’s so hit-or-miss was because every home had an encyclopedic household management book, packed with all kinds of recipes for special occasions. If the pastor was coming over and you wanted to impress him with French veal in cream sauce and Italian sorbet for dessert, you found recipes there along with instructions on how to remove the stains from your finest tablecloth. So complete were those reference books that the one owned by Mattie Oates even had directions for embalming, which might come in handy if you forgot to ask the preacher if he had any allergies before serving that Waldorf salad with walnuts.

Another word you won’t find in the Fulton cookbook: “spicy.” The most common form of meat mentioned was boiled chicken, often diced or chopped. The recipes for chili sauce use bell peppers. Garlic is included only in five dishes, most of them labeled “Creole.” And speaking of ethnic dishes, the cookbook avoids mention of our major local minority groups. Seven times “Spanish” is in a name but never “Mexican” despite directions for making tamales; there are four “German” recipes but no “Italian,” despite two different recipes fot making ravioli and several using macaroni. There are also names which seem odd today; there are many recipes for fruitcakes which aren’t called fruitcakes and casseroles which are called meat scallops.

Here’s what you will find in that cookbook besides boiled chicken: Lots and lots of cakes but almost no pies. Butter and eggs are used nearly everywhere, including in dishes you might not expect. Nine recipes call for oysters which the author usually presumes will come from a jar. The cooks seemed obsessed with knowing the age of their poultry. “See that the chickens are not too young,” one recipe suggests. Another calls for a “chicken about a year old” and another, “young, a hen.” Directions read, “steam according to the age of the chicken.”

There are some things in that book I’d like to try. There are two recipes for grape pickles and something called oil pickles, which requires an inverse vinaigrette ratio. What I would not like to eat: Jugged pigeons and pot roast of liver. Fish chops. Pork cake.

While the cookbook represented our humdrum grub at suppertime, the Press Democrat’s “Big Free Cooking School” in 1913 aspired to help us bake, roast and sauce our way out of the doldrums.

The weeklong event was actually a touring lecture/demonstration series followed by a cooking competition. The PD loved using contests as circulation builders, which they always restricted to women only. The previous year it was selling subscriptions to vote for the “most popular baby in Santa Rosa and vicinity,” called the “Shower of Gold Contest” (oh, if only Trump were around then to watch them and pick a winner). And in 1911 the paper had a subscription drive to win a new car – a competition that turned so cut-throat it could have been the plot for a tragicomic Nathanael West novel (see “MR. CONTEST EDITOR IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU“).

The cooking demos were made by Louise Eubank (more about her below) who was a representative of Globe Milling Company of Los Angeles, which was waging war against the “Flour Trust” of Midwestern grain mills.* She had been putting on similar demos around Northern California for at least two years, appearing earlier in Santa Rosa in 1911 and in 1912 Petaluma. But those demos were strictly baking lessons in order to sell more flour; this would be the only time she prepared entire meals.

The cooking school was on the second floor of the Doyle Building – still there at the corner of Fourth and D streets, and one of the prettiest places downtown. There was seating for 500 and according to the PD, it was standing room only some days. Besides the food there was also musical entertainment, with a piano and Victrola; on some days Miss Eubank’s sister warbled a tune. People also came to gawk at the latest technology. According to the PD: “The electric stoves used by Miss Eubank and furnished by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, aroused much interest Monday, as many saw these new cooking devices in operation for the first time.”

(For those interested in Comstock House history: Mattie and James Wyatt Oates had a small gas cooking stove similar to the style shown at right, which was in keeping with their aims to have the house fitted with the best and most up-to-date tech, such as the gas electroliers which could provide gas or electric light or a combination of both. We know the size and type of their stove because it left scorch marks on the wood floor showing its footprint, as well as an adjacent plugged hole for the gas pipe.)

Each day Press Democrat society columnist “Dorothy Ann” offered a summary of the previous day’s events along with recipes and cooking tips, which ranged from hygiene basics (“trade at meat market kept the cleanest”) to the odd and maybe superstitious (“stand in front of an open window while beating eggs”). The newspaper filled out the rest of the page with many ads from grocers and other food vendors who rarely advertised daily.

Rather than transcribe everything, links are provided here to the online version of each day’s doings and recipes. The only detail that needs explaining is the reference to paper bags; at the time there was quite a fad for baking meats and fish en papillote; for more background, read this booklet published back then on paper-bag cookery. Otherwise, here are the menus and a sampling of the tips:

SATURDAY Menu: steamed pudding with creamy sauce, broiled chicken and cheese croquettes. Tips:  Only two things are boiled vigorously—rice and macaroni [while] all other vegetables are boiled slowly; The great advantage of paper-bag cooking is that it takes but one-half the fuel.
(Recipes were torn out of the online copy, but can be read on Sonoma County Library microfilm.)

MONDAY Menu: Macaroni and beef tongue casserole and a white loaf cake with icing.

TUESDAY Menu: cheese straws, quick raisin bread, egg muffins and a simple pie crust.

WEDNESDAY Menu: Plain bread, California raisin bread, Dixie biscuit, roast lamb, currant mint sauce, green peas, creamed chicken, baked onions and potato doughnuts (potato pancakes). Tips: Sour pickle put in paper bag white cooking will kill taste of mutton; mutton soaked in weakened vinegar will taste like venison.

THURSDAY  Menu: Planked Steak, Baked Bananas, Fruit Salad, Baking Powder Biscuits, Layer Cake. Tips: Scrape fiber from bananas before using; flour that makes perfect cake, perfect bread and perfect pastry is safe for family use, this the Globe “A 1” does; fat on steaks should be a yellowish color—not white; meat should hang 12 or 14 days after killing.

The last day was contest judging. All categories involved baking, as the whole event was really about selling flour – contestants had to “bring a Globe ‘A1’ sack, or the recipe for making plain bread that comes in the top of each sack of Globe ‘A1’ flour.” Grand prize was a Hoosier Cabinet (shown below) which really was something of great value; those things were like food prep workstations with all the specialized drawers, pullout breadboards and sturdy countertops for mounting meat grinders, apple peelers and such. Contest winners are listed below; note there was a doughnut category, even though they apparently were never mentioned in the class.

There was also a special division in the contest for young women from Santa Rosa High, and maybe some spent time with Louise Eubank and were inspired. She was a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Domestic Science Department, which is to say she was a protégée of Marion Talbot, a strong advocate for women having the same higher education opportunities as men. Along with teaching rigorous sanitation, a goal of her courses in household administration was to make kitchen work and other chores more efficient in order to give women more time for personal betterment (the classes were open to men, too).

Louise continued the flour demos at least through the end of 1913, and was next spotted among women doing a lecture series on home economics for the UC Extension Program. When the U.S. joined WWI she went to France to work for a YMCA program operating canteens. She apparently never married and spent most of her life as a teacher in the little farm town of Willows, close to her father and singing sister. She died in 1965 in Los Angeles at age 86 and is buried in Willows.

The “Press Democrat Cooking School” was held again in the following two years, although taught by another woman from the same flour maker. The dishes were much the same as those presented by Louise and sometimes identical; there were no introduction of new ingredients or flavors, but the PD write-ups heavily promoted the use of electric appliances, going so far in 1915 to even name the forty local homeowners who had an electric range.

The Sperry Flour Company – which established a distribution warehouse in Santa Rosa in 1912 and would later buy the local mill – offered its own cooking school one year which the PD gave little mention, but in 1916 the paper went all out for the weeklong “Pure Food and Household Exposition” held at the roller skating pavilion on A street. This was a paid admission traveling exhibit showcasing many vendors and included nightly dances to the music of its own orchestra. Featured also was “Princess Gowongo, the Food Astrologer.” (She was a carnival fortune teller who had appropriated the name of “Princess” Go-Won-Go Mohawk, a Native American woman who was famed in the 1880s and 1890s as an actress performing in Indian-themed melodramas in London, New York, and touring companies around the country.)

The Press Democrat elbowed its way into the exhibition by using it for the judging of its latest contest: The “World’s Better Baby Show.” Why the PD kept giving these infant competitions cryptic names is anyone’s guess, but thankfully this time their title didn’t seem to hint at a obscene joke.

 


* Organized by Charles Pillsbury and his pals, the Flour Trust manipulated the prices of most of the nation’s wheat crop and flour supply from the 1880s until the 1930s. Globe used West Coast wheat and built/bought its own mills in California and the Southwest, promoting its flour products strangely not by claiming they were the highest quality but by boasting they were made in the same region and then appealing to local pride – the equivalent today of saying Ghirardelli chocolate demonstrates support for Sonoma County. The Globe ‘A1’ flour brand was sold at least through the mid-1960s, never (as far as I can tell) boasting much about quality, except for it being “enriched.” In later years the bags included coupons for other products or discounts at amusement parks, and the occasional print ads sometimes still made the claim of being a strictly local product. It was usually the cheapest stuff on the supermarket shelf.
 THE PRESS DEMOCRATS FREE COOKING SCHOOL OPENS HERE SATURDAY
 Celebrated Culinary Expert Will Demonstrate Latest Methods and Ideas, Preparing a Full Meal Each Afternoon
Display of Modern Kitchen Paraphernalia lo Be Unique and Interesting Feature-See the Model Kitchen and Learn From What Part of the Beef the Various Cuts Come

Saturday afternoon at 2:30, The Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School will open in the large double store room in the Doyle Building, opposite the Masonic Temple, on Fourth street. Everybody Is invited, and from the interest already manifested it is apparent that the undertaking will prove the biggest kind ot a success.

Every afternoon from 2:30 to 4:30 scientific demonstrations will be conducted by Miss L. B, Eubank, graduate of the University of Chicago, Domestic Science Department. Miss Eubank is recognized as one of the most expert women in her line in the United States. She is bright and entertaining. and knows how to make her lectures interesting from start to finish.

She prepares her dishes in full view of the audience, illustrating every detail of procedure. As the “proof of the pudding is in the eating,” she also distributes samples of each dish or article prepared among those present.

It is planned to make The Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School a complete exposition of everything pertaining to the culinary art. In addition to Miss Eubank’s dally lectures and practical demonstration of the very latest and most scientific ideas in modern cookery, there will be displayed kitchen paraphernalia of all kinds, and a well-known butcher will explain the different cuts of meat, illustrating his remarks by a practical demonstration of cutting, which will be given in full view of the audience.

Model kitchens will be arranged, and displays showing all the newest ideas in gas and electric ranges, electric toasters, percolators, etc., will be shown. In her cooking demonstrations Miss Eubank will use both gas and electricity, and fireless cookers will also be employed. The entire idea is to show the very latest and most approved methods, regardless of anything but the results to be attained.

At the conclusion of the term, which is to last one week, a prize cooking contest will be held, and the cash and other prize* to be offered will cause people to sit up and take notice. The menu for each day will be published in advance, so that those interested will have notice of what is to come. Do not make any engagements for any afternoon next week, if you are interested In culinary matters. The big event is going to be The Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School, and everybody will want to be there.

It will be a county affair, and every body in Sonoma County is invited to be present. It will be absolutely free, no charge of any kind being exacted. Don’t forget the date — The Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School opens Saturday afternoon at 2:30, and will continue one week.

– Press Democrat, April 3 1913

 

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT’S FREE COOKING SCHOOL OPENS THIS AFTERNOON
Celebrated Culinary Expert Will Demonstrate Latest Methods and Ideas, Preparing a Full Meal Each Afternoon
Display of Modern Kitchen Paraphernalia lo Be Unique and Interesting Feature—See the Model Kitchen end Learn From What Part of the Beef the Various Cuts Come

This is the day! The Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School opens this afternoon at 2:30 in the Doyle building, opposite the Masonic Temple. A huge sign, the work of Geo. W. Salisbury, stretched across the front of the building, marks the spot. You can’t miss the place, and you mustn’t forget the time, for The Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School is going to be something well worth while.

Workmen were busy yesterday getting the place ready, and when Miss Eubank gives her opening demonstration this afternoon it will be in a model kitchen, equipped with electric and gas ranges, fireless cookers, electric percolators, toasters, broilers, etc., supplemented by the latest ideas in kitchen cabinets and other culinary paraphernalia.

Several hundred comfortable seats have been provided, a large stage erected, and music will be furnished before and after the lecture by a player piano and a fine victrola, provided by Manager Campbell Pomeroy of the Sonoma Valley Music Company. The various displays will be grouped around the sides of the hall.

The electric and gas ranges used in the demonstrations, as well as the heat and power required to operate the same, are being provided by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, of which Maitland G. Hall is the popular local manager.

The Great Western Power Company, through District Manager William N. P. Hall, is also co-operating to make The Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School a success.

The course will last one week, closing next Friday evening, when a grand prize cooking contest will be held. This feature will be under the auspices of the Irene Club. A partial list of the prizes to be offered appears on page one. There are a large number of other prizes, which will be announced later. The grand capital prize consists of a Hoozier [sic] Kitchen Cabinet, valued at $43, supplied by the Santa Rosa Furniture Company. This elegant piece of kitchen furniture will be exhibited on the stage during the entire week. It is something well worth working for, and the woman who gets it will be fortunate indeed. Cash prizes will be offered in addition to many useful and valuable household articles, only a few of which are mentioned in the list appearing this morning.

What housewife is not interested in the latest ideas in cookery? What woman has not some problem of the kitchen that she would not like to have solved for her by an expert such as Mlss Eubank. There is an abundance of literature published on the subject, but even if one knows where to find it the result would be far less satisfactory than seeing a practical demonstration. Miss Eubank is here to answer troublesome questions, and her helpful hints as the lessons proceed from day to day are bound to be productive of great good to the housewives of Santa Rosa and Sonoma county.

The fact that electricity as well as gas is to be in the demonstrations. has aroused much interest. Not many people know it, but a meal can be cooked entirely with electricity, and in as satisfactory a manner as by any other method. Many exports claim that in time no other fuel will be in use. The electric range used by Miss Eubank will prove a source of unfailing interest to all, because it will be something new to most of her hearers, few of whom have witnessed the process of cooking by electricity.

– Press Democrat, April 5 1913

 

HOUSEWIVES AND GIRLS GATHER AT CULINARY DEMONSTRATION
Miss L. B. Eubank Prepares a Meal Before an Interested Throng at the Press Democrat’s Free Cooking School

by Dorothy Ann

Good cooks, poor cooks, young cooks, old cooks, women cooks, men cooks and aspiring cooks of all kinds listened with tense attention while savory dishes were prepared by Miss Louise Barton Eubank, graduate of the Domestic Science Department of the University of Chicago.

The general appearance of the platform from which Miss Eubank spoke was that of a well equipped kitchen. She worked facing an auditorium with a seating capacity of five hundred or more. The auditorium was crowded with eager and enthusiastic women. The sterner sex stood in the background, secretly hoping the goodies would not give out before they had a chance to taste them.

Gas and electric ranges had been installed on the platform, a kitchen table neatly covered with white linen had been conveniently placed, and a beautiful Hoosier cabinet (which, by the way. is one of the prizes), filled with necessary cooking condiments and utensils, was nearby. Pots, pans and kettles of all shapes and sizes were within handy reach, to systematize the work. Miss Eubank was attended by a competent assistant, and both ladies wore white.

  Miss Eubank’s Little Speech

“It is our plan,” said Miss Eubank, “to make these lessons as informal as possible. You will be privileged to ask as many questions as you desire. If any one desires me to make a special dish, ask me and I shall gladly comply with any reasonable request. Our idea is to put on few frills. We shall deal with the three-meals-a-day proposition, and prepare things most suited to every-day living in every-day life. The menu will be changed dally, and we shall make it as varied as possible. I believe there will always be something to interest you.

“The Irene Club, a charity organization, as you know, will have charge of the prize contest we will institute. We shall have these lessons every afternoon at 2:30 o’clock until Friday. That day we wish you to stay at home and cook. Friday, between the hours of 2 and 6, competitive cooked articles will be received here by the ladles. Friday evening at 7:30 competent judges will select the best and award the prize. At 6:30 the cooked articles will be auctioned and the proceeds given to the Irene Club for charitable work.”

Miss Eubank prepared steamed pudding with creamy sauce, broiled chicken and cheese croquettes. The recipes for these are as follows:

– Press Democrat, April 6 1913

…The only restriction for contest is that the contestant use Globe “A1” flour. When delivering into Miss Eubank’s hands the cooked article on Friday, between the hours of 4 and 6 o’clock, bring a Globe “A1” sack, or the recipe for making plain bread that comes in the top of each sack of Globe “A1” flour…

The electric stoves used by Miss Eubank and furnished by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, aroused much interest Monday, as many saw these new cooking devices in operation for the first time. The Copeland Automatic Cookstove and the General Electric Range were used with great success. “The Reliable Gas Stove” also furnished by the same firm, was used tor the baking of the white loaf cake.

– Press Democrat, April 8 1913

 

INTEREST IN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT’S COOKING SCHOOL ON THE INCREASE
Miss Eubank Makes Her Work a Delight to All as She Demonstrates Many Dainty Dishes

Cooking became a glorified process under the skillful guidance of Miss Louise Barton Eubank Tuesday afternoon at the Press Democrat’s Free Cooking School. No sticky fingers, no mussed gown, no disagreeable odor that strikes terror to the heart because of a sure certainty that things are burned, no boiling over, and no unnecessary walking, because of adept arrangement of a model kitchen. All was easily, exactly and beautifully done. And how it was appreciated by the large audience that gathered to learn — not merely the embellishments of cookery — but the broader and deeper science of household economy!

That Miss Eubank has proved that she has more than ordinary knowledge of the art and science of cooking has been demonstrated again and again. Personally she has a sweet, attractive manner that makes friends with her audience immediately. And to demonstrate the power of mind over matter, I might add that the last two days Miss Eubank has been suffering excruciating pain with an ulcerated tooth. This did not deter her in the least from the demonstration, but did cause her yesterday to slightly change the menu.

Miss Eubank makes her cooking dainty and attractive. Those of us who occasionally dabble around in flour in the hopes of creating something, and come out looking as if we had fallen into the flour barrel, marvel at the ease and dispatch with which she works…

– Press Democrat, April 9 1913

 

THIS WILL BE THE LAST DAY OF THE PRESS DEMOCRAT’S COOKING SCHOOL
Many Interesting Features Will Be Presented by Miss Louise B. Eubank Prior to Cooking Contest

 

– Press Democrat, April 10 1913

 

CAKE BAKING CONTEST IS ON AND THE PRIZES ARE TO BE AWARDED TONIGHT
Cakes Winning Awards in The Press Democrat’s Cooking School Contest Will Be Auctioned off by the Irene Club for Charily

A large, eager crowd of townswomen gathered at the Doyle building Thursday afternoon at the Press Democrat’s Free Cooking School. The fact that it was the last lesson seemed to fill the women present with a determination to get all they could on this occasion. Miss Louise Barton Eubank graciously answered question after question, endeavoring in every way to assist those present to acquire the knowledge they so earnestly sought.

An interesting feature of the afternoon was the demonstration of meat cutting by Emil Miland of King’s Grocery and Market. A large chopping block of regulation design was brought in for his accommodation, and this was piled high with choice meats which he used to illustrate his remarks.

There will be no cooking school today, In order to give all contestants an opportunity to stay at home and cook. All entries are to he brought to the hall between the hours of 2 and 6 p. m. Miss Eubank will be there, and, assisted by her sister, Mrs, John Edwards, will receive the entries. The menu of Thursday was particularly attractive and it will be with sincere regret that the women of Santa Rosa see the Press Democrat Free Cooking School close…

Meat Cutting Demonstrated

Emil Miland of King’s grocery, explained the different cuts of meat from the fore quarters and the hind quarters of a beef and half of a lamb. Porterhouse, sirloin and round steaks were shown, as were rib roasts, short ribs of beef and breast meat for soups. Mr. Miland introduced a new name for steak to Santa Rosa women when he advised them to secure “chuck steaks” if they felt they could not always afford sirloin or porterhouse. The relative meat values were all explained at length.

 Mrs. John Edwards Sings

Mrs. John Eubank Edwards of Willows, a sister of Miss Eubank, rendered two vocal numbers during the afternoon to the delight of all. She will sing again tonight at the concert and should be greeted by a large audience.

 – Press Democrat, April 11 1913
PRIZES AWARDED IN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT’S COOKING SCHOOL CONTEST LAST NIGHT

If anyone thinks domesticity has gone with the granting of suffrage to women, let him forget it — and quickly. The splendid display of cakes, pies, bread, doughnuts and other good things shown at the Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School last night, all prepared by the women and girls of Santa Rosa, shows conclusively that the home is still the focus-point of feminine interest, as it always has been and always will be.

For the past week the Press Democrat’s big Free Cooking School has attracted the attention and interest of every homeseeker in town, and of many residing in different parts of Sonoma county. Each afternoon several hundred women have gathered to witness the scientific demonstrations of modern cookery, given by Miss Louise Barton Eubank. Yesterday everybody stayed at home and prepared their entries for the big prize contest, which marked the grand wind-up of the week’s session.

When the crowd gathered last night they found the stage beautifully decorated with flowers, the hall brilliantly lighted, all the various displays of kitchen furniture, electric appliances, etc., in apple-pie order, and — as the center of attraction, of course — long tables laden with delicious-looking cakes of every description, beautiful brown loaves of the finest looking bread you ever laid eyes on, huge piles of rich doughnuts, lucious looking pies of all kinds, besides other things too numerous to mention…

MANY PRIZES AWARDED AT PRESS DEMOCRAT’S  COOKING SCHOOL

LOAF CAKE DIVISION
1st. Mrs. C. D. Johnson – Hoosier Kitchen Cabinet, value $43 – grand prize – supplied by the Santa Rosa Furniture Co.
2d. Mrs. E. P. Gorsline – El Eggo – electric egg broiler – value $9. Supplied by Great Western Power Co.
3d. Mrs. J. Pursell Cabinet of Folger’s spices, extracts, teas and coffees.
4th. Mrs. W. A. Wallace  –  Glove order.
5th. Mrs. H. G. Hewitt – Sack Globe “A1” flour.
LAYER CAKE DIVISION
1st. Mrs. A. B. Lemmon – Fireless Cooker, value $18 – supplied by J. C. Mailer Hardware Co.
2d. Mrs. F. M. Havener – General Electric Toaster, value $4 – supplied by the Great Western Power Co.
3d. Mrs. F. G. Kellogg – Aluminum Ware.
4th. Mrs. J. W. Pemberton – Glove order.
5th. Mrs. C. D. Johnson Sack of Globe “A1” flour.
BREAD DIVISION
1st. Mrs. R. Y. Bearing Ruud Water Heater, No. 20, value $15  – supplied by Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
2d. Mrs. John Schroder – $5 cash.
3d. Mrs. F. C. Pearson – Cabinet of Folger’s spices, extracts, teas and coffees.
4th. Mrs. Jennie Reed  – Electric Iron – value $3.50 – furnished by H. W. Jacobs.
5th Mrs. John Ahl – Sack of Globe “Al” Flour.
PIE DIVISION
1st. Mrs. G. H. Wymore – Cut Glass Celery Dishes – value $6.50, furnished by C A, Wright & Company.
2d. Mrs. Gus Walker, Casserole.
3d. Miss Ethel Wooley – Sack of Globe “A1” flour.
DOUGHNUT DIVISION
Ist. Mrs. H. S. Hick – General Electric Toaster, value $4 – furnished by the Great Western Power Co.
2d. Mrs. R. Y. Bearing ~ six months’ subscription to the Press Democrat, value $2.50.
3d. Mrs. G. H. Wymore – Sack of Globe “A1” flour.
SPECIAL PRIZE FOR CALIFORNIA RAISIN BREAD
1st. Mrs. J. L. Gagne – Ivory-handled Carving set – Keen Kutter – value $6.50, furnished by Dixon & Elliott.
GIRLS OF DOMESTIC SCIENCE DEPARTMENT. SANTA ROSA HIGH SCHOOL
1st. Miss Edith Balsley – Cut Glass Powder Box – Furnished by St. Rose Drug Store.
2d. Miss Ruth Overton – Parisian Ivory Manicure Set – furnished by G. M. Luttrell.
3d. Miss Vivienne Collister – Sack of Globe “A1” flour.

– Press Democrat, April 12, 1913

 

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