Sunday, September 29, 2013

Anna (Gautherat) Dietze, 1877 - 1941

Anna at her son's wedding in 1940

Anna Julia Marie GAUTHERAT was born on October 22, 1877 in Fontaine, Belfort, France. Her parents were Louis Gautherat and Celine Clemence de Pierson.

She completed her education in Lyons, France at the Academy of Languages, where she trained as a French language teacher and governess. She worked for families in Vienna, Austria and Roumania. Whenever possible she traveled throughout France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

In 1903, she followed her sister and brother-in-law, Clemence and Henri Gay, to New York City. She arrived on the ship SS La Touraine and was detained long enough to have one meal at Ellis Island while she waited for her sister to meet her. In New York she taught French and German at the Berlitz School of Languages. She also made return visits to her mother in Belfort in 1906 and 1908.

After five years  in New York City, she moved to California and was probably the Anna Gautherat who purchased a 3-room home for $500 in Los Angeles County. In 1909, however, she was in Boise, Idaho long enough to be listed in the city directory, boarding with the Manvilles (one of her students in New York was a Manville).

Anna met her future husband, Leo Dietze, in 1913 at the Mount Lowe resort where both were employed. They were married in Orange County at the courthouse and their son, Henry Leo Dietze, was born in Los Angeles in 1915. Whether he was motivated by parenthood or the United States entry into the Great War, German-born Leo applied to become a citizen in 1919. 

By 1926 the family settled in Doheny Park in southern Orange County to open a restaurant. They purchased two pieces of property which were not sold until after Anna's death. The entire family worked at the Golden Lion Cafe in Capistrano Beach from 1926 until it closed in 1934. Vivian Dietze, Anna's daughter-in-law, explained that during the Depression, Leo could not turn away anyone who was hungry and this was one reason the restaurant went out of business. Luckily, Leo found other work as a gardener.

Not much is known about Anna's personality and interests.  Vivian described her as a strong, upright person. Emigrating to the United States and pursuing a career certainly reflects that character. In the home, the family spoke French and Henry didn't learn to speak English until he started school. Sometimes, in his later years, you could hear a hint of French in his voice after he indulged in a second martini or was tired. Anna probably enjoyed cooking and was known to serve homemade wine to guests. Vivian remembered it as quite potent. 

The photo above is the only one we have of Anna. It was taken on her son's wedding day and I think she looks very serious. Perhaps more will surface since a few boxes of unsorted slides and papers are waiting to be examined.

Anna died at home in Doheny Park on September 2, 1941. The cause of death was rectal cancer. Her funeral was held at the Community Presbyterian Church in San Juan Capistrano. Burial followed at Fairhaven Cemetery, Santa Ana.

Selected Sources

California. Orange County. Deeds, Mortgages and Other Property Records, 1889-1953. Book 78, p. 45, Instrument 35852, Right of Survivorship Established, 14 October 1927; Book 315, p. 114, Instrument No. 32090, Lis Pendens by City of San Clemente, 25 September 1929; Book 322, p. 25, Instrument 32063, 7 October 1929; Book 1137, p. 594, Instrument 12484, Decree Terminating Joint Tenancy, 10 April 1942. Orange County Archives, Santa Ana, California.

Dietze, Henry & Vivian. Valley Center, CA. Oral Interview by A. Dietze, January 1992. Notes. Privately held, 2013.

"Funeral Services for Mrs. Dietze Held Saturday," obituary, Coastline Dispatch (San Juan Capistrano, California), 12 September 1941, v. 19, n. 4, p. 1; microfilm held by OC Public Libraries, San Clemente Branch.

"Looks for Boom After the Holidays," Los Angeles Herald, 29 November 1908, part II, p. 6; digital images, California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside ( : accessed 27 September 2013).

"Manifest," digital images, Statue of Liberty--Ellis Island Foundation ( : accessed 27 February 2011), entry for Miss A. Goutheret, age 28, arrived 1 Oct. 1906 on the S.S. Potsdam.
"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, ( : accessed 30 May 2011), entry for Anna Gautherat, 28, arrived 5 October 1908 on the S.S. Noordam.

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, ( : accessed 4 July 2010), Record of Detained Passenger, Anna Gautherat, 25, arrived 1 November 1903 on the S.S. La Touraine.
Orange County, California. Death Certificate. Local Registration No. 00043-0348 (2 September 1941), Ana Julia Deitze. County Recorder, Santa Ana, California.

"U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989," database online, ( : accessed 28 September 2013), Anna Gautherat, p. 188, image 95; citing Boise City and Ada County Directory, 1909-1910, v. 6. [Boise]: R.L. Polk & Co., Publishers, 1909.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Estella Athelina (Kosinski) McCollem
born ca. 12 September1890 to Polish parents in what is now Vilnius, Lithuania
grew up, lived, and loved in LaSalle Co., Illinois
died in Tampa, Florida, 7 February 1988
buried with husband and children at Wenona Cemetery, Illinois

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: A Norwegian Club in Albert Lea, Minnesota, early 1900s

From the Vivian (Vollum) Dietze Collection. Her mother, Ananda Dyrdal, is seated on far right and shown in profile. Ananda's sisters, Ida, Clara and Agnes, are nearby, but have not been identified. Information about the photograph comes from hand-written notes on reverse and probably dates to early 1900s.