Rudolph Mohr: Biographical Timeline

Key dates in the life of Rudolph Mohr (1853 – 1928). Read a short narrative biography here. More about Mohr’s Subdivision here.

For genealogy and immigration sources for timeline below, see this family tree on Ancestry.com (subscription required). Other sources in endnotes.

  • 1853 February 23: Marx Julius Rudolph born to parents Johann Jakob Mohr and Matilda Metz Mohr in Mellingstedt, a village just north of Hamburg, Germany.
  • 1871: Rudolph Mohr, age eighteen, immigrates to the United States.
  • 1873: First listing for Mohr in the San Francisco Directory. He is working at San Francisco Stock Brewery and living at the corner of Powell and Bay, one block north of the brewery. This was on the edge of the waterfront then, at Meigg’s Wharf.[1]
  • 1876 October: Rudolph Mohr is naturalized in San Francisco. He registers to vote; he is living at 509 Chestnut St, one block south of the brewery, where he works as a bookkeeper.
  • 1877: Rudolph Mohr becomes Secretary of the SF Stock Brewery.[2]
  • 1879: Rudolph Mohr becomes secretary of Alameda, Oakland, and Piedmont Railroad Company, a street railway in the East Bay.[3]
  • 1880s (perhaps earlier): Rudolph Mohr appointed Secretary of the Brewer’s Protective Association, an office he holds until Prohibition.[4]
  • 1882 Aug 15: Rudolph Mohr and Mathilda ‘Tillie’ Pape are married in San Francisco.
  • 1883 May: Birth of the Mohrs’ first child, a son who died in infancy.
  • 1884 Apr: Birth of the Mohrs’ child, Edna Lily.[5]
  • 1888: Rudolph Mohr living in Santa Clara, according to his voter registration.
  • 1889 August: Birth of the Mohrs’ child, Rudolph Jr.
  • 1890 October: Humboldt Building and Loan formed, Rudolph Mohr, officer.
  • 1891 January: Sunnyside Land Company founded and incorporated, Rudolph Mohr Secretary.[6]
  • 1891 December: Birth of the Mohrs’ child, Howard Emil.
  • 1892 April: Opening of the San Francisco and San Jose Electric Railway, San Francisco’s first electric streetcar line; Mohr is President Behrend Joost’s advisor.
  • 1892 September: Rudolph Mohr involved with the Democratic State Convention that year.[7]
  • 1894: SF Directory lists Rudolph Mohr as secretary for three building and loan associations: Germania, Monarch, and Humboldt. He is also secretary for Sunnyside Land Company, as before, and Golden State Land Company.
  • 1895: Rudolph Mohr is among those called for the Grand Jury in San Francisco.
  • 1896: Rudolph Mohr is on the Finance Committee for the city’s Fourth of July Celebration.
  • 1896 December: Rudolph Mohr is empaneled on another Grand Jury.[8]
  • 1897: Rudolph Mohr chairman of a committee on the public pound, formed to create a separate pound for the SPCA.[9]
  • 1902: Rudolph Mohr founds Moneta Investment Company, the core real estate firm for the Mohrs for decades to come.[10]
  • 1906 August: The Mohrs’ daughter Edna is married to Edmund Russ.
  • 1906 November: Rudolph Mohr empaneled on Grand Jury convened to reckon with pervasive graft of the Ruef administration, which is convened through 1907.[11]
  • 1908: Homeland Company, successor to the Sunnyside Land Company, sells large number of lots in Sunnyside to Moneta Investment Company.[12]
  • 1909: Rogers & Stone begin big advertising campaign, pushing lots in Sunnyside, but bad lending practices end their venture within a year, and they sell their speculative property to Moneta.[13]
  • 1910: Rudolph Mohr begins building in Sunnyside; purchases large number of lots in Sunnyside; secures a loan of $12,000 (today $334K) against Sunnyside property. Construction of 34 houses in the prewar phase of Mohr’s Subdivision, 1910 to 1913.[14]
  • 1912: Rudolph Mohr on constitution committee of the newly formed Automobile Club of San Francisco. Other news items mention his purchase of various automobiles.[15]
  • 1912 April: “Rudolph Mohr & Sons” company is formed for the purpose of home construction, as his sons Rudolph Mohr Jr and Howard E Mohr become part of the business.[16] The name is used through the 1940s, even after Rudolph Mohr has passed away.[17]
  • 1914: Rudolph Mohr, secretary of company to operate the California Theatre, early motion picture venue, Market and Fourth (SE).[18]
  • 1914: Rudolph Mohr’s son Rudolph Mohr Jr married to Olive Slack in San Francisco.
  • 1919: Beginning of postwar phase of Mohr’s Subdivision: Rudolph Mohr announces construction of 12 houses on 700 block of Joost Avenue in December 1919, contractor: NA Anderson, Architect [?]: Alfred W Smith, whom Mohr used for Berkeley houses. The name “Mohr’s Subdivision” is first used in March 1920.[19]
  • 1920-1923: Mohr’s Subdivision development continues south of Monterey in Sunnyside. Rudolph Mohr hires architect Bernard Julius Joseph to design these larger houses, but breaks his tie with Joseph in 1921 before project is finished. To create larger lots, he re-divides the lots on blocks 3115, 3122, and 3140, losing a few lots, in order to create wider frontages than the original 25 feet, most lots then being 31 x 112. Building begins on Gennessee St, then Staples, Foerster, Flood, and Hearst. Last house is built at the end of 1923, and the term “Mohr’s Subdivision” is not seen in print after this.
  • 1925: Rudolph and Tillie Mohr go to Hawai’i.
  • 1925: Howard Emil Mohr, Rudolph Mohr’s third child, marries Lynna Murphy.
  • 1928 April 11: Rudolph Mohr dies on board a ship off the East Coast; cause: diabetes.[20]

Biographical Summaries

  • Marx Julius Rudolph Mohr (1853 – 1928)
    • m. Mathilda ‘Tillie’ Pape Mohr (1859 – 1936)
      • Edna Lily Mohr Russ (1884 – 1979)
        • m. Edmund Russ (1879 – 1984)
      • Rudolph Mohr Jr (1889 – 1980)
        • m. Olive May Slack (1889 – -1966)
      • Howard Emil Mohr (1891 – 1923)
        • m. Lynna Murphy (1895 – 1984)

Full genealogy information in the Rudolph Mohr family tree I created on Ancestry.com (subscription required; free trial available).


ENDNOTES

  1. San Francisco Directory for 1873, p440, entry for Mohr, Rudolph. Meigg’s Wharf was a rough and ready place; here is a photo of Abe Warner’s Cobweb Palace, a saloon just near the SF Stock Brewery, and another. https://opensfhistory.org/Display/wnp37.02071.jpg vv https://opensfhistory.org/Display/wnp37.02847.jpg Meigg’s Wharf overview https://opensfhistory.org/Display/wnp37.00681-L.jpg
  2. Daily Alta California, 17 Sep 1877, p2. Part of an announcement for the regular annual stockholders meeting, held at the Turn Verein Hall, Bush and Stockton streets.
  3. First mention of Rudolph Mohr as secretary of Alameda, Oakland and Piedmont Railroad Company, Oakland Tribune, 22 Sep 1879, p4. Last mention is 1893: The Manual of Statistics, Stock Exchange Handbook, 1893, p379 (Google Books).
  4. First mention of the Brewer’s Protective Association is SF Examiner, 10 Dec 1874. First mention of Rudolph Mohr as Secretary, SF Examiner, 2 Aug 1889, although I suspect he may have been secretary long before this, and may even have helped found the organization, as its founding coincides with his arrival in the city, and its function accords with his methodical business acumen. We shall never know. He began to be very prominent in the BPA beginning with the union struggles in the 1890s and 1900s, being quoted in the newspaper numerous times, and also taking the stand during hearings.
  5. Daily Alta California, 13 April 1884, p4.
  6. Daily Alta California, 27 Jan 1891, p2.
  7. SF Chronicle, 6 Sep 1892, p11.
  8. SF Call, 27 Dec 1896. SF Chronicle, same date.
  9. SF Call, 14 Jul 1897, p8.
  10. First instance in a newspaper for “Moneta Investment Co”” SF Examiner, 2 July 1902; offices were located in the Flood Building downtown San Francisco. Incorporation papers were filed 31 Jul 1902, according to the 1902 Biennial Report of the California Secretary of State, with capital stock of $25,000. Source: Google Books. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Report/SbkgAQAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=%22Moneta%20Investment%22
  11. SF Call, 6 Dec 21906, p2. The Grand Jury was big news then, there were many news features on the process of selection. During the extended period of questioning of the prospective grand jurors, Mohr was identified as “an admirer of Abe Ruef” in the SF Call, 28 Oct 1906 (p22). He was empaneled anyway.
  12. SF Call, 8 Jul 1908, p15; Daily Alta California, 8 Jul 1908. More than 60 lots in Sunnyside sold to Moneta.
  13. Real estate sales: SF Examiner, 30 Jan 1910, pp33, 38. Mohr and his sons had a practice of watching and waiting, then swooping in to make a profit on others’ poor decisions.
  14. The bulk of the references about Mohr’s Subdivision will be in main post, to come [this was written Jan 2022]. The first notice in reference to the pre-war houses is a mortgage for lots that will be 212 to 236 Gennessee Street, in SF Recorder, 1 Aug 1910, p8, from Title Insurance and Guaranty Co., presumably to finance the construction of the four houses (which have an erroneous date of “1908” in SF Planning Dept records). Supporting this, there is a reference to a theft of 500 feet of redwood lumber, reported by Rudolph Mohr, from a building site at Gennessee and Flood Ave, just where the four houses were built.
  15. SF Call, 27 Jun 1912, p14. In 1908 it was reported that Rudolph Mohr of Moneta Investment Co had purchased a Maxwell Runabout. SF Chronicle, 21 Aug 1908.
  16. SF Call, 27 April 1912, p24. The last I find in the papers is SF Examiner, 22 Dec 1944 – in a classified ad.
  17. The first instance of “Rudolph Mohr & Sons” in a newspaper I find is 27 April 1912 in SF Call (p24).
  18. SF Chronicle, 22 Feb 1914, p36. Such diverse interests for a quiet businessman.
  19. Building and Engineering News, 3 Dec 1919 (p18); SF Examiner, 20 Mar 1920
  20. Obituary: SF Examiner, 13 April 1928, p1. The work highlighted by the paper was Mohr’s presidency of SF Brewers Protective Association—before Prohibition, of course. Mohr was never president, only ever secretary of the BPA, but his prominent and vocal role in the organization during brewery/union struggles meant many would have remembered him for this, especially old-timers in the year 1928.