San Francisco Schuetzen Verein
The San Francisco Schuetzen Verein was one of the many ethnic-based citizens social and paramilitary groups formed in California in the aftermath of the Gold Rush. Such groups functioned as social clubs, as well as a form of milita or public safety committees. The Schuetzen Verein was organized in 1859 by German-speaking citizens of San Francisco. The groups program for its fiftieth anniversary tells of how it helped protect San Francisco following the assassination of President Lincoln.
As soon as the society had been organized, the members arranged to hold a three days shooting tournament and German Volksfest in Russ Garden, Folsom and Second streets. The arrangements were readily completed, and within a few weeks the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein made its first appearance in public, and created a most favorable impression. The members were well known and prominent in the young town, and their first appearance in public, attired in uniforms, elicited much favorable comment and many cheers from the population. On its march to the garden where the festival was to be held, the column halted at the corner of Kearny and Post streets, where Miss Katherine Meyer, now Mrs. Jacob Knell, on behalf of the ladies of San Francisco, presented the Verein with a magnificent banner.
Winfield Scott, who was sojourning in San Francisco at the time, viewed
the parade consisting of thirty-
practice was inaugurated in February, 1861, in Hayes Park, located in Hayes
Valley in the vicinity of Hayes and Grove streets, then a mere sandy desert.
The first eagle-
The following year, 1862, witnessed important changes. Captain Seidenstricker relinquished command of the company and enlisted in the Federal Army. Several members followed his example. John Wulzen, then Lieutenant, was chosen Captain and assumed command of the company, which he held for twenty-six years.
When in 1865
the sad news reached San Francisco that President Lincoln had been foully
assassinated, feeling in this then far-
The then Chief of Police Burke, who was in charge of the situation, covered the points most likely to be attacked by a frenzied mob, and the loyal and resolute Schuetzen Verein Company was assigned to duty near its headquarters, to be within easy distance of the storm center, should an attack be made upon the buildings occupied by newspapers then located on California street, near Kearny, and within one or two squares of Platts Hall, about which an angry mob had assembled and assumed a threatening attitude.
remained on duty for two days and nights; perilous days and nights they
were, when a company of Federal troops relieved the citizen-
When peace once more hovered over the land, and the brave sons of California returned to their homes and peaceful pursuits, the ranks of the Schuetzen Verein increased. Hayes Valley became gradually inhabited, and some of the homes were uncomfortably near the shooting range, or in a line with the targets, and the Schuetzen Verein transferred its target practice to Alameda county, acquired its own park and range in that county. The history of the Schuetzen Verein from that time until the present is one of honor and triumph, as a leader in German affairs in California, an ardent and most efficient exponent of the noble art of defending home and country, whether by chance of birth or from choice and adoption; and achieved many triumphs in social and other public functions.
IN:Fiftieth Anniversary Golden Jubilee and Shooting Festival of the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein at Shell Mound Park, Berkeley from Sunday, August 29, to Sunday, September 5, 1909