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Guide to the Grunsky Family Papers, 1830-1969
BANC MSS C-B 557  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Family Chronology
  • Family History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Grunsky Family Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1830-1969
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 557
    Creator: Grunsky family Grunsky, Charles, 1823-1891. Grunsky, C. E. (Carl Ewald), 1855-1934. Grunsky, Clotilde, 1830-1864. Grunsky, Eugene L.
    Extent: 8 Boxes, 3 Cartons, 1 Oversize Folder 6.25 linear feet
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: The Grunsky Family Papers consist of correspondence, documents, diaries, notebooks, and professional papers. Correspondence from German immigrant Charles (Carl) Grunsky and his first wife, Clotilde Camerer, describes California during and after the gold rush to family in Germany (written in German). Correspondence continues with Charles' children, Carl Ewald, Charlotte (Lottie), Otto, and Anna as well as Carl Ewald's wife Martha Kate Powers, her father Aaron Powers, and their children Eugene Lucius and Clotilde. The materials include descriptions of family life, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and World War I Germany. Also documented is Carl Ewald Grunsky's professional life as an engineer in California, serving as San Francisco City Engineer and on the Isthmian Canal Commission (Panama Canal). The materials provide an overview of a successful California family from the gold rush to the mid-twentieth century.
    Physical Location: Collection stored in part off-site. Advance notice required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Grunsky Family Papers, BANC MSS C-B 557, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Related Collections

    Illustrations for Stockton Boyhood from the Grunsky family papers [graphic] ca. 1849-ca. 1931. BANC PIC 1954.026-B. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Pictorial material from the Grunsky family papers [graphic] ca. 1850-1931. BANC PIC 1984.055-PIC. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Stockton boyhood; Being the reminiscences of Carl Ewald Grunsky which cover the years from 1855 to 1877. ed. by Clotilde C. Taylor. Bancroft Library publications no. 7. Berkeley, Calif. Friends of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1959.
    Grunsky, Charles, 1823-1891. From Europe to California: Extracts from letters of Charles Grunsky and his wife Clotilde, 1844-1853. F593.G87 The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Taylor, Clotilde Grunsky, b. 1891. Dear family; the story of the lives of Charles and Clotilde Grunsky, 1823-1891, xF860.T23 The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Grunsky, Carl Ewald (1855-1934). Papers. 18 boxes, 4.4 cu.ft. California Academy of Sciences Special Collections. San Francisco, California.

    Separated Material

    Pictorial material transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1954.026-B, BANC PIC 1984.055-PIC)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    World War, 1914-1918.
    Earthquakes--California--San Francisco.
    Fires--California--San Francisco.
    Family papers.
    Grunsky, Charles, 1823-1891.
    Grunsky, Clotilde, 1830-1864.
    Grunsky, C. E. (Carl Ewald), 1855-1934.
    Grunsky, Eugene L.
    Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919.
    Isthmian Canal Commission (U.S.).

    Administrative Information

    Provenance

    The Grunsky Family Papers given to The Bancroft Library by Clotilde Grunsky Taylor in 1954 and 1955 were originally cataloged as BANC MSS C-B 557. Additions given in 1984, originally cataloged as BANC MSS 85/63 c, have been consolidated into the collection BANC MSS C-B 557.

    Family Chronology

    1823 Charles (Carl) Albert Leopold Grunsky born, Maichingen, Germany (d. 1891)
    1844 Charles Grunsky immigrates to America
    1849 Charles Grunsky moves to California
    1852 Charles Grunsky marries Clotilde Camerer (1830-1864)
    1853 Charlotte (Lottie) Fredricka born (d. 1920)
    1855 Carl Ewald born (d. 1934)
    1857 Otto Maximilian born (d. 1922)
    1866 Charles Grunsky's second marriage, to Fredrika (Charlotte Louise) Camerer (1838-1874)
    1876 Charles Grunsky's third marriage, to Anna Marie Follert Wurster (1836-1903)
    1879 Anna Pauline born (d. 1935) to Charles and Anna Marie Grunsky
    1883 Carl Ewald Grunsky marries Martha Kate Powers (1858-1921)
    1886 Eugene Lucius born (d.1946) to Carl Ewald and Martha Kate Grunsky
    1891 Clotilde born (d. 1994) to Carl Ewald and Martha Kate Grunsky
    Note: This limited family chronology lists only family members included in the collection. For additional genealogical materials, see Series 3.7, Clotilde Grunsky Taylor.

    Family History

    Charles (Carl) Grunsky left Wurttenberg, Germany in 1844 to immigrate to America. Dissatisfied with his prospects in Saint Louis and Alabama, he came west to California in 1849. After a brief experience in the mines, Charles established a successful transport business in Copperopolis. Charles went home to Wurttenberg in 1852, returning to California with his bride, Clotilde Camerer Grunsky. The Grunsky family settled on a ranch near Stockton. Clotilde Grunsky had seven children from 1853-1863. After Clotilde's death in 1864, Charles married Frederika (Charlotte Louise) Camerer in 1866. Fredricka had three children before her death in 1874. Charles married a third time, to Anna Marie Follert Wurster in 1876. Anna had the last of Charles' eleven children. Charles died in 1891.
    Carl Ewald Grunsky was born to Charles and Clotilde in 1855. After graduating from high school, Grunsky continued his education in Stuttgart Germany, graduating as a Doctor of Engineering 1877. Returning to California, he worked with the State Engineering Department of California and the Examining Commission on Rivers and Harbors of California. Grunsky continued in private practice while consulting for the San Francisco Sewage Commission, the Commissioner of Public Works of California, and as San Francisco's first City Engineer from 1901-1904. Grunsky was a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission in 1904-1905 then a consulting engineer with the U.S. Reclamation Service from 1905-1907, while continuing private practice in New York and San Francisco. Grunsky was an active member of many organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Pacific Coast Technology Society, the Commonwealth Club of California, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected a resident member of the California Academy of Sciences in 1896 and was the Academy's President from 1912 until his death in 1934.
    Carl Ewald Grunsky married Martha Kate Powers in 1883, and they had four children. Martha Kate Power's father, Aaron Hubbard Powers, came to California in 1949 by Cape Horn. Carl Ewald and Martha Kate's sons, Carl Ewald Jr. and Eugene Lucius, followed their father's footsteps and became engineers. One daughter, Clotilde Grunsky Taylor, an editor and graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, researched the family genealogy and wrote books from the family correspondence. Clotilde Grunsky Taylor donated the family papers and her research in 1955.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Grunsky Family Papers consist of correspondence, documents, diaries, notebooks, and professional papers. Correspondence from German immigrant Charles (Carl) Grunsky and his first wife, Clotilde Camerer, describes California during and after the gold rush to family in Germany (written in German). Correspondence continues between family members and Charles's children, Carl Ewald, Charlotte (Lottie), Otto, and Anna. Additional correspondence from Carl Ewald's wife Martha Kate Powers, her father Aaron Hubbard Powers, and their children Eugene Lucius and Clotilde. The materials include descriptions of family life, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and World War I Germany.
    Also documented is Carl Ewald Grunsky's professional life as an engineer in California, as San Francisco city engineer, part of the Isthmian Canal Commission (Panama Canal), and as a member of the California Academy of Sciences. Records include correspondence, speeches, articles, and notebooks.
    The materials provide an overview of a successful California family from the gold rush to the mid-twentieth century. Researchers will be particularly interested in the historical topics within the family's correspondence and the professional records of engineer Carl Ewald Grunsky.