Carl Paul Lenhard Leichter

Carl "Charlie" Paul Lenhard Leichter (1845-1899)

Residences in San Francisco:
(1863-1869): 620/622 Vallejo St
(1871-1873): 349 Clementina St
(1874): 619 Tyler St
(1875-1876): 2 Telegraph Place
(1877-1879): 1711 Hyde St
(1880-1889): 1722 Clay St
(1890-1899): 2016 Vallejo St

Carl Paul Lenhard Leichter was born July 29, 1845 in Frankfurt, Germany to Friedrich Wilhelm Leichter and Antoinette Elizabeth Strohecker. He grew up in Frankfurt and left for San Francisco in the Spring of 1863. Passenger lists printed in the Sacramento Daily Union on May 7 record that "C. Leichtar" and other passengers, including a possible cousin named "R. Strohecker", had set sail from New York aboard the ship Northern Lights on April 11 and would be arriving soon aboard the Orizaba. Other records show that the Steamship Orizaba arrived in San Francisco on May 9, 1863. He stayed with his brother Adam on Vallejo Street and began work, probably right away, at Adam's company of Perry & Leichter - "importers and jobbers, native wines and liquors" at 508 Battery. It seems that Carl may have traveled regularly between Germany and San Francisco in those early years, possibly as part of his work with Adam. He is listed in the cities directory in 1863 but not in 1864, then he returns again in 1865. Then he's missing again in 1866. On October 30, 1867 he is listed on a passenger list for the ship Hansa from Bremen, Germany to New York and he's back in the city directories that year, again living with his brother. He is listed in the city directories every year from that point on until his death in 1899.

Carl continued to live with his brother at 622 Clay until 1870 when he married a young German girl named Pauline Waterman, she was only 16 and Carl was 25. By September the following year they had their first child, a boy named Paul Ferdinand Leichter. Carl moved his young family to a new home at 349 Clementina, and this is probably where Paul was born. They stayed there for three years until tragedy struck. Family tradition says that they went vacationing in the mountains, either Mount Diablo in the east bay or in the mountains north of the city on the other side of the "golden gate" - before the bridge. Pauline stayed with her young son while Carl went hiking with friends. When the party returned they found Pauline dead, she had been bitten by a snake. Death registry records list the young Pauline as age 19 years, 5 months and 20 days - died of "Phth Pul". This is a Latin abbreviation for the "wasting away" of the lungs and often used to describe tuberculosis. However, it is technically a generic term and the registry did specify "tuberculosis" for other individuals when that was the cause of death. It could be argued that the venom of the snake caused Pauline's lungs to collapse and, therefore, give the same generic cause.

After the death of his wife Carl moved to 619 Tyler and the following year to 2 Telegraph Place. It was probably while living there that he met his second wife, Julia Schuetze, another German girl age 19. They married and made their first home at 1711 Hyde Street. They had their first two children while living at this address. Elinor was born June 16, 1878 and Edgar was born April 12, 1879. With a growing family Carl moved again, in 1880, to 1722 Clay where they would stay for the next ten years. They had their third child here (or possibly still at Hyde Street), Olga on June 11, 1880. The 1880's seem to have been uneventful for the Leichters as their is no record of them other than in city directories and a trip to Lake Tahoe in July 1886 with Julia's sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Hess, owner and chief editor of the California Demokrat.

In 1889 Carl and Julia purchased a property in Pacific Heights, 2016 Vallejo St. He hired architect Henry Geilfuss to design the home for a cost of $5,000. It was completed by 1890 and the Leichters moved in. The house was located on a hill, facing uphill there was, and probably still is, a magnificent view of the bay through the back windows. There were very few homes in the area at the time. If you stood in front of Carl's new home back in 1890, you would see three empty to lots to the right and then the home of Captain William Leale, an Englishman who had been working on steamships in the Bay Area since 1872. Immediately to the left of Carl's house was the new home of Mrs. Sallie Huntington, a recent widow. Her late husband, Captain Thomas Huntington, was an old friend of Captain Leale's. Mrs. Huntington left the house a year later and eventually rented, and then sold it, to Mrs. Carmelita Mezes Wynne, a widow, and her mother Mrs. Juliet Johnson Mezes, another widow. Juliet's late husband was Simon Mezes, an early San Francisco lawyer who owned a large land grant in San Mateo now known as Redwood City. The rest of the southern half of the block was empty and no other homes were built there while the Leichters were on the block. There was one other house, built around the same time - the home of Mr. and Mrs. Talbot, behind the Leichters, downhill and to the west at the corner of Buchanan and Green. Carl and Julia had their final child here in 1896, Herbert, probably a bit of a surprise as Julia was 38 years old and Carl was already 51. Their daughter Ella was married in the parlor of the house on August 27, 1898 to Theodore Schucking, nephew and heir of Adolf Sutro, the recently late mayor of San Francisco.

After so many happy events of the past two decades, it's hard to say where Carl's mind was in the following months. He had been working for the same company since 1867 with no promotion. His eldest son Paul was in the wind, something of a black sheep, who had joined the army for the Spanish-American war and was sent off to the Philippines. He had a very young child at an age when he should have been reaching retirement. We will never fully understand what caused Carl to fall into a depression in April 1899.

One night at work he wrote a letter to his friends and family. Its impossible to say how long it had been there, if he had only written it a day or a week before. What we do know is that on the morning of April 8, 1899 he walked out the front door to go to work and was never seen again. When he didn't arrive at his office, his co-workers went through his desk and found a letter to them and to his family stating that he intended to take his own life. They immediately called the house and spoke with Julia, who said that he had left the house a couple of hours before. Later his jacket was found at the Presidio Wharf. His employers, Tillmann & Bendel, offered a $100 reward to anyone that recovered the body, but it was never found. Not a surprise considering the harsh currents of the bay. After his death Julia moved her family to a home owned by her sister and brother-in-law on California Street. She continued to own the home, renting it to the Jackson family. And so ends the life of Carl Paul Lenhard Leichter.

Relatives in San Francisco:
Paulina C. Waterman (1st wife); Julia Scheutze (2nd wife); Paul Ferdinand Leichter (son); Elinor T. Leichter (daughter); Edgar Charles Leichter (son); Olga H. Leichter (daughter); Herbert Walter Theodore Leichter (son); Maximilane Schussler (sister); Henry C. Schussler (brother-in-law); Lisa and Edith Schussler (nieces); Johann Adam Leichter (brother); William Friedrich Leichter and Carl "Charles" Leichter (nephews); Martin Joseph Waterman (father-in-law); Augusta Trinken Waterman (mother-in-law); Mary Schuetze (sister-in-law); Ella Schuetze Hess (sister-in-law); Frederich Hess (brother-in-law)


City Directories

Carl "Charlie" Paul Lenhard Leichter
1863 - Leichter, Charles, clerk 508 Battery, dwl 620 Vallejo
1863 - Perry (George) & Leichter (Adam) importers and jobbers native wines and liquors 508 Battery, res Gold Hill, N.T.
1864 - (not listed)
1865 - Leichter, Charles, book keeper, dwl 622 Vallejo
1867 - Leichter, Carl, clerk with Tillmann & Co., dwl 622 Vallejo
1868 - Leichter, Carl, clerk, dwl 622 Vallejo
1869 - Leichter, Carl, clerk with Taylor & Bendel, dwl 622 Vallejo
1871 - Leichter, Carl, clerk with Taylor & Bendel, dwl 349 Clementina
1872 - Leichter, Carl, clerk with Taylor & Bendel, dwl 349 Clementina
1873 - Leichter, Carl, clerk 409 Clay, dwl 349 Clementina
1874 - Leichter, Charles, salesman with Taylor & Bendel, dwl 619 Tyler
1875 - Leichter, Carl, salesman with Tillmann & Bendel, res 2 Telegraph pl.
1876 - Leichter, Carl, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, dwl 2 Telegraph pl.
1877 - Leichter, Chas. P, clk, r1711 Hyde
1878 - Leichter, Carl, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, dwl 1711 Hyde
1879 - Leichter, Carl, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1711 Hyde
1880 - Leichter, Carl, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1881 - Leichter, Carl P L, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1882 - Leichter, Charles P L, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1883 - Leichter, Charles P L, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1884 - Leichter, Charles P L, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1885 - Leichter, Charles P L, salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1886 - Leichter, Carl P., salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1887 - Leichter, Carl P., salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1888 - Leichter, Carl P., salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1889 - Leichter, Carl P., salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r1722 Clay
1890 - Leichter, Carl P., salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r2016 Vallejo
1891 - Leichter, Carl P., salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r2016 Vallejo
1897 - Leichter, Carl P. L., salesman Tillmann & Bendel r2016 Vallejo
1898 - Leichter, C. P., Res 2016 Vallejo (Tel Scott 465)
1899 - Leichter, Carl P., salesman Tillmann & Bendel, r 2016 Vallejo

++Newspaper Articles

Daily Alta California (San Francisco, California) - April 23, 1869

Sunday…. April 25, 1869
Performance begins at 1 o'clock PM

Address by the President, H. HUFFSCHMIDT
Calisthenic Exercises… by the Pupils
Groupings on the Parallels… by the Pupils
Horizontal Bar… by Members
Double Giant Swing… by Members
Rings… by Members
Double Trapeze… by Pupils
Acrobats… by Member and Pupils
ambour Aerial… by Member
Clubs… by Pupil
Japanese Ladder… by Member and Pupil
Boxing… by Members
Aerial Leap… by Member

During the performances GRAND CONCERT by CHR. ANDRES' BAND; R. REROLD, Leader.

At 6 o'clock return to the city, to MOZART HALL, where the Festival will close with a GRAND BALL till next morning.

Admission to the Garden… 50 Cents
Admission to Mozart Hall, (Ladies free)… 50 Cents

Honorary Committee:
Jacob Gundlach; Chas Kosler; Captain Wulzen; J. Mengels; W. Hardtmeyer

Committee of Arrangements:
H. Hoffschmidt; C. Leichter; L. Muller; Wm Koch; A. Assmann; Wm. Grappelfeld; A. Victors; E. Ehrenpfort

Daily Alta California (San Francisco, California) - June 13, 1880

LEICHTER - In this city, June 11, to the wife of C. Leichter, a daughter.

Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, California) - July 28, 1873

San Francisco, July 25 - Mrs. Pauline Leichter, 19 years, 5 months and 20 days.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) - July 23, 1886

Pacific Coast Press Association Come to Nevada

The Pacific Coast Press Association who have been rusticating in and about Lake Tahoe and who will pass through Reno in a few days, appear to be rejuvinating. Their ten day's recreation on the wing will enable them to wrestle manfully with California's various interests when they return to the Golden State. The party consists of President Wm H. Barnes and wife, Secretery L. P. McCarthy and wife, Robert White and wife, J. W. Rourke, wife and daughter, Wm. T. Gallway, J. A. Filcher, J. P. Bogardus, O. A. Dearing and wife, Jos. Winterburn, wife and daughter, Carl Leichter and wife, Fred Hess and wife, C. Newman and daughter, M. Shannon, wife and daughter, T. K. Philips, W. H. H. Tobey and wife, Walter N. Brunt, John G. Els, E. J. Wickson and wife, G. G. Burnett and wife, T. J. Duffy, C. Buntschu and wife, Thomas Houseworth, W. R. Radcliffe, J. S. Menasco and wife, C. W. Waldron, Watson W. Toppin, Miss Alice Dyer, Jos. N. H. Irwin, Dr. M. H. Logan, Miss Genevieve Green. A. M. Benham and wife. They represent the following papers: Weekly Call, Mountain Messenger, Daily Journal of Commerce, Placer Herald, Daily Figaro, Pacific Printer, California Stass Zeituna, Daily California Democrat, Commercial Herald, Fraternal Record, Pacific Churchman, Golden West, Millman and Mechanic, Pacific Rural Press, Architect and Builder, New Age, New York Music Trade, Circular, Weekly German Democrat, The Pajaronian, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Weekly Journal of Commerce, Daily Call, The West End, Colusa Sun, Postal Index, Annual Statistician

Daily Alta California (San Francisco) - April 15, 1889

Building Improvements:
Vallejo, near Buchanan - Two-story frame; owner, CPL Leichter; architect, H. Geilfuss; contractors, Schutt & Krecker; cost, $5000

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA) - June 28, 1890

The Leichter-Roebke Wedding

The wedding of Miss Frieda Roebke and Mr. Charles Leichter was celebrated at the residence of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Roebke, last Thursday evening, Rev. Mr. Fuendeling officiating. The parlors were nicely decorated for the occasion by lady friends of the bride.

At 9 o'clock the bridal party entered to the strains of the "Wedding March." First came Master Freddie Roebke and little Miss Bertha Browning, each bearing a little satin cushion, on which rested the wedding-rings. Next came the bride, leaning on the arm of the groom, assisted by his best man, Mr. Will Leichter, and Miss Emma Roebke, maid of honor, followed by the bridesmaid, Miss Emma Kuchmeister, and the groomsman, Mr. Alfred Roebke. The ceremony concluded, the happy couple received the hearty congratulations of their many friends, after which all repaired to the dining-room, where the health of the bride and groom was duly honored. Many telegrams were received from distant friends. The evening was spent in singing and dancing and viewing the presents, which were quite handsome and numerous.

Among those present were: Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Leichter, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Roebke, Mr. and Mrs. Browning, Mr. and Mrs. Heifrich, Mr. and Mrs. Ticher, Mr. and Mrs. Lindemann, Mr. and Mrs. Kuchmeister, Mrs. F. Fisher, Mrs. Maas, Mrs. Stangenberg, Mrs. Weidemiller, Mrs. Fuchs, Miss Emma Roebke, Miss Emma Kuchmeister, Miss Amelia Fisher, Miss Tony Heinemann, Miss Lizzie Fisher, Miss Emma Browning, Miss Gussie Browning, Miss Lizzie Weidemuller, Miss Alice Mass, Miss Amalia Wiedemuller, Miss Kate Mass, Miss Ophelia Widemuller, Miss Lena Stangenburger, Miss Anna Lindeman, Miss Julia Ackley from Benicia, Misses Irma, Ida and Bertha Browning, Miss Fuchs, Messrs, W. Leichter, Alfred Roebke, Mr. August Kersten, August Kuchmeister, Henry Kuchmeister, Theodore Brandes, F. Browning, John Schmidt, W. Hartdegen of Martinez, George Browning, Master W. Hefrich, Master Leo Fuchs, Master F. Roebke

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA) - January 31, 1892

The Hess Silver Wedding

One of the most interesting events of the past week was the celebration on Friday last of the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Hess at their residence, 821 California street.

Mr. Hess, who is one of the proprietors of the German Demokrat, was married on the 29th of January, 1867, to Miss Ella Schuetze. He is identified with the city's growth, having come here in 1853, and both he and his wife are widely esteemed. They are the parents of five children.

During the day the house was beseiged by bearers of letters of congratulations and presents coming at all sides. In the evening a number of intimate friends assembled to offer personal congratulations. The parlors were beautifully decorated and an elaborate supper was served by Abrams. A very merry evening was spent.

During the service of supper eloquent speeches were made by Messrs. C. Prieber, Dr. D. Cohn, Charles Bundschu, Charles Leichter, Julius Fay, Dr. Winterberg, Rudolph Jordan, F. T. Duhring, M. Greenblatt, W. T. Hess and others.

While Mr. Hess enjoyed the good things at his own house his co-workers were not forgotten. Schlaraffia Hall was engaged and a sumptuous repast was enjoyed by the staff of the Demokrat, when the health of the happy pair was duly toasted.

Among those present at the Hess residence were: Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Hess, Mr. and Mrs. I. Hecht, Mr. and Mrs. L. Gottig, Dr. and Mrs. D. Cohn, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bundschn, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Muser, Dr. and Mrs. Winterberg, Mr. and Mrs. M. Greenblatt, Mr. and Mrs. Max Harris, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick T. Dahring, Mr. and Mrs. C. Schilling, Mr. and Mrs. Julius Fay, Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Jordan, Mr. and Mrs. C. Leichter, Mrs. F. T. Duhring, Mrs. T. Helmken, Mrs. W. T. Schuetze, Mrs. Henry Schussler, Miss Eva Gundlach, Miss Meta Schilling, Miss M. Schuetze, Mr. Bendixon, Mr. Ankele, Mr. E. Stauf, Mr. Theodore Kirchoff, Mr. Fred Hess Jr., Mr. W. T. Hess, Miss Agnes Duhring, Miss Ella Leichter, Masters Otto Hess, Edgar Leichter, Miss Olga Leichters, Miss Ella Hess and others.

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) - Aug 3, 1895

Funeral of Edward Shelley

The remains of E. A. Shelley, late of 1610 Grand street, were deposited in the grave in St. Mary's Cemetery yesterday morning, after a requiem mass at St. Joseph's Church. Rev. Father Sullivan conducted the ceremony and paid a feeling tribute to the memory of the deceased. The pall-bearers were R. B. Bain, W. K. Brackett, F. Coates, C. P. Leichter, William Hammond, J. J. Tobin and Messrs. Kam and Foster.

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) - Aug 20, 1898

SCHUCKING-LEICHTER, In this city, August 17, 1898, by the Rev. Hermann Gehrcke, Theodore E. Schucking and Ella Leichter, both of San Francisco

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) - April 9, 1899

Strange Act of a Tried and Trusted Clerk
CPL Leichter Commits Suicide
No Motive Can Be Assigned
Employed as Salesman for Tillmann & Bendel

Had Grown Old in the Service of the
Firm and Had No Care or
Trouble of Any

C. P. L. Leichter, an old and trusted emplyee of Tillmann & Bendel, committed suicide early yesterday morning by throwing himself into the bay from the Presidio wharf. The case is one of the strangest that has occurred in the city for some time, and leaves the relatives of the unfortunate clerk in a state of perplexity. Thus far no motive for the deed can be discovered or even surmised, and it remains for the Coroner's jury to probe the affair after the body has been recovered.


Leichter has been employed as a salesman in the above mentioned firm for over thirty years and was always held in high esteem. He leaves a widow and four children and was deeply attached to home life. Yesterday morning he left his residence for his place of employement and a few hours later his family received the sad intelligence that he had probably taken his life. A note was found in the office by a clerk which stated that he intended to commit suicide and bidding his many friends in the firm farewell. Inquiry was immediately made at Leichter's home to ascertain the truth of the matter. His wife replied that he had departed for work a couple of hours before, and as no one had seen him in the interim it was feard that he had executed his threat. A search was instituted, the result of which was the finding of the clerk's coat and vest on the Presidio wharf.

So far as is known there is no motive for Leichter's self-destruction. He had no financial difficulties and his home life was a happy one. It is stated by his family that when he left home he was in unusually good spirits, and that he never evinced the slightest dissatisfaction with his surroundings. Among his fellow employees, however, it has been noticed that he occasionally became absentminded and that he had acted peculiarly for the past couple of days, yet not enough to indicate that he had any serious care or was losing his reason. It is the consensus of opinion that Leichter took his own life in a fit of temporary insanity.

Leichter was 55 years of age. He was a member of numerous German charitable societies and a director of the Altenheim. He had a very large cirlce of friends and was considered well to do. He resided at 2016 Vallejo street.

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) - April 12 and 13, 1899

Ad: $100.00 REWARD Will be paid for the recovery of the body of C. P. L. LEICHTER, drowned off the Presidio Wharf on Saturday, April 8, 1899, at about 8 A. M.