* Genealogy of the Klotz Family *
(version August 30, 2020)
Please email corrections to Mike Clark


  1. Heinrich "Henry" Oberbach (1825-1906), the maternal grandfather of Al Klotz (1901-1999) of Vacaville, was born on Oct. 21, 1825 in Adelmannsfelden, which is a town in the Baden-Württemberg province of Germany that is located about 40 miles northeast of Stuttgart. He was baptized there two days later on Oct. 23rd in the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church of Adelmannsfelden. His parents are listed on his baptism record as Karl Oberbach (1797-1854) and Margarethe Roether (1801-1871), who were married on Feb. 16, 1824 in Adelmannsfelden. Their son Heinrich married Catherena (Katherine) Hofmann (b. 1837) on May 27, 1862 in Adelmannsfelden, and they had several children, all born and baptized in the same town. Catherena died in Germany about 1888, as her daughter Carolyn "Carrie", who was born in 1879, remembered losing her mother when she was 9-years old.

    Heinrich decided, after his wife's death, to immigrate to the United States, where his son Heinrich Jr. was already living, arriving there about 1889 with his three youngest children - Barbara, Jake and Carolyn. A family story that was posted in 2012 on the internet states that Heinrich, "may be the father of Caroline Oberbach-Smith, [who] arrived with her father by train (after sailing from Germany) to Lexington, Nebraska. The family traveled by wagon to Eustis to farm with other German settlers. Carrie's mother (Heinrich's wife) passed away in Germany before they immigrated to the U.S.".

    The frontier settlement of Eustis that the Oberbach family moved to was located on the prairie in southernmost Nebraska. It sprang up in 1886 when the railroad first arrived into the area, and it was incorporated two years later as a village that was named after an official of the railroad. Heinrich probably came to Eustis to farm, and, so far as we know, he did not remarry.

    Another story, one by Martini (undated) that is based both on family interviews and newspaper articles, relates that, "they arrived in New York in 1889. When they arrived, name tags were pinned on them. They proceeded to Nebraska by train, where [Carolyn's] brother [Henry] had come earlier and homesteaded. Henry had come to the U.S. to avoid the draft [in Germany]. Her father had received glowing letters from him about the opportunities in America. When they arrived, they found him living in a sod house, with very little to live on. They were sure let down. The girls were farmed out to work in other families for room and board while they learned the language. In 1893, after 5 years of struggling, her father decided to go on to Wyo. where Carrie's sister lived. They traveled by immigrant train with goods and furniture in a box car."

    Heinrich’s three oldest children - Heinrich, Jr., Maggie, and Katherine - came to the U.S before their father, and were followed there by their father Heinrich and the three youngest children. The family was subsequently joined in Wyoming by Heinrich’s adult daughter Anna. She appears to have come to the U.S. on her own in the early 1890s, after Heinrich and the others. She found work as a servant on ranches in Sheridan County, Wyoming, and became the wife in 1897 of German settler Charles Schreibeis. Another adult daughter Maggie (Margarethe), along with her husband Jacob Klotz and their children, had remained in Eustis, but they too came out in 1895 or 1896 to Wyoming to join Heinrich and the others. This left in Nebraska the oldest son Heinrich Jr., who had been the first to come to the U.S., and Katherine Durner, an adult daughter who came to the U.S. separate from her father Heinrich, Sr. and her younger siblings.

    Remaining in Sheridan County, Wyoming were Heinrich's daughter Anna Schreibeis and her family, and also daughter Carrie, who married George Smith, and had several children of her own. Daughter Maggie Klotz and her family moved on to Whatcom County, Washington with Heinrich's daughter Barbara. His youngest son Jake Overbaugh ended up settling in Nome, Alaska. Heinrich, Sr. remained several years in Wyoming, where citizenship papers for him that are dated Nov. 3, 1896 are on file in the Sheridan County courthouse. However, he went back at some point to Eustis, Nebraska, presumably to be near his daughter Katherine Durner. Heinrich, Sr. died on June 12, 1906 in Eustis, and he is buried there in the Eustis East Cemetery.

    Baptism records from the town of Adelmannsfelden exist for all seven of the known children of Heinrich Sr. and Catherena Oberbach that we list below. All of them eventually left Germany to immigrate to the U.S., where their descendants live today. Though they originally spelled their name "Oberbach", today it is spelled "Overbaugh".
    children - Oberbach (Overbaugh)

    More families with the surname Oberbach/Overbaugh live in Adelmannsfelden than anywhere else. Likewise, more families with the surname Klotz live within 25-miles of Stuttgart than anywhere else.

    Heinrich "Henry" Oberbach, Jr. (1864-1950) was born on Jan. 30, 1864 in Adelmannsfelden, Germany, and baptized there five days later on Feb. 4th in the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church. He immigrated to America sometime in the 1880s to avoid being conscripted into the German army, and married Caroline "Carrie" Borkecher (1864-1945) on May 19, 1888 in the Plum Creek Township of Butler County, Nebraska. They homesteaded in the frontier town of Eustis, where they are said to have lived in a sod house out on the prairie, and where they raised a large family. They lived here until about 1901, when they moved to a wood-frame house in Leavenworth, Kansas. Carrie died on Sep. 14, 1945 in Tonganoxie, Kansas; and Henry died on May 23, 1950 in the same town. Both are buried in Tonganoxie Cemetery.

    Margarethe "Maggie" Oberbach (1865-1901) was born on Aug. 26, 1865 in Adelmannsfelden, Germany, and baptized there five days later on Aug. 31st in the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church. She immigrated to the U.S. before her father, and married Jacob Klotz (1863-1935) in 1887 in Nebraska. They continue as Generation II in this lineage.

    Katherine Oberbach (1871-1949) was born on Feb. 3, 1871 in Adelmannsfelden, Germany, and baptized there two days later on Feb. 5th in the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church. She immigrated to America in the late 1880s, probably before her father, and married Charles Durner (1852-1934) on Sep. 14, 1890 in Eustis, Nebraska. They remained in Nebraska after Katherine's father and several siblings moved on to Wyoming; and Nebraska is where all of her children were born. Charles died in January of 1934 in Nebraska, probably in Lincoln County, and Katherine died on Dec. 1, 1949 in Wellfleet, which is in the same county. Both are buried in the Wellfleet Cemetery.

    Anna Oberbach (1873-1946) was born on April 25, 1873 in Adelmannsfelden, Germany, and baptized there several days later on May 5th in the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church. She immigrated to America, possibly in the 1890s after the rest of her family, and settled either with or near her father in Sheridan County, Wyoming, where she subsequently found work at the Aber Ranch on Wolf Creek. She married fellow German settler Charles Jacob Schreibeis (1859-1930) on June 26, 1897 in Sheridan, Charles having homesteaded earlier on Hiddenwater Creek. He and Anna settled on his homestead, and had several children. Charles died on June 13, 1930 in Sheridan County, probably at the Schreibeis ranch; and Anna died on Jan. 1, 1946 in Sheridan County in the same county. Both are buried in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery.

    Barbara Oberbach (1874-1974) was born on Sept. 1, 1874 in Adelmannsfelden, Germany, and baptized there five days later on Sept. 6th in the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church. She came to America in 1889 with her father and two younger siblings, and settled with them in Nebraska. She married her first husband John Haury (b. c. 1858) on Dec. 29, 1892 in Eustis Nebraska. It is not known what became of him. She next married Elmer J. Crosier (1873-1945) on June 2, 1900 in Akron, Whatcom County, Washington, having moved there earlier, probably with her father. She and Elmer had several children, all born in Whatcom County, but we list below only their first born Norman. Elmer died on Oct. 30, 1945 in Marysville, Washington; and Barbara died on Aug. 3, 1974 in Yakima, Washington, only 4 weeks shy of her 100th birthday. Both are buried in Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park in Seattle. Barbara was the great aunt of Randy Klotz (b. 1930), and he remembers meeting her in 1947 or so, when he was 17 years old, and he and his father Albert made a trip together to Lynden, Washington to visit relatives.

    • Norman Peter Crosier (1901-1995) was born on April 30, 1901 in Everson, Whatcom County, Washington, but grew up in nearby Delphi and Lynden. As such, he was born in the same county, at about the same time, as his cousin Al Klotz (1901-1999), who follows in Generation III of this lineage. However, Al in 1906 moved with his father to California, leaving Al's twin John Klotz (1901-1924) to live with friends or relatives, probably in Washington. If so, John and Norman likely spent their teenage years together, whereas Al and Norman did not. Norman died on Oct. 25, 1995 in Yakima, Washington, having lived almost as long as Al.

    Jacob "Jake" Oberbach (1876-1977) was born on Sept. 4, 1876 in Adelmannsfelden, Germany, and baptized there on Sept. 10th in the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church. He immigrated to America in 1889 with his father, and lived first in Eustis, Nebraska, then later in Sheridan County, Wyoming and Whatcom County, Washington. He married Henrietta "Reka" Dreesman (1894-1968), in the 1920s in Washington, and they moved to Nome, Alaska, where their only child Lois Kay Overbaugh (1931-1980) was born. Sometime before Sept. of 1968, Jake went to live in a rest home in Alaska called the the Sitka Pioneer Home, whereas Reka remained in Nome, where she died on Nov. 5 that same year. Jake reached his 100th birthday, and died in May 1977 at the Pioneer Home, where he is buried in the Pioneer Home Cemetery.

    Carolina "Carrie" Oberbach (1879-1980) was born on June 10, 1879 in Adelmannsfelden, Germany, and baptized there five days later on June 15th in the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church. She immigrated to America in 1879 with her father to Eustis, Nebraska, then moved with him to Sheridan County, Wyoming, where on May 19, 1897 she married George Robert Smith (1871-1939), when "she was a month under the age of 18". They remained in Sheridan County, where all of their children were born. George died on July 19, 1939 in Sheridan, and was survived by Carrie by more than 40 years. She died on Oct. 8, 1980 in Sheridan, when 101 years old. She is buried with George in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery.




  3. Jacob Klotz (1863-1935) was born Johann Jakob Kloz on Jan. 18, 1863 in Oberstenfeld, which is a town in the Baden-Württemberg province of Germany that is located about 20 miles north of Stuttgart. It is also about 30 miles west of Adelmannsfelden, the home of the Oberbach family, who are Generation I of this lineage. Jacob was subsequently baptized on Jan. 21, 1863 in Oberstenfeld at the local Protestant (Evangelisch) church. His parents are listed on his baptism record as Johann Jakob Kloz (b. 1834) and Carolina Catharina Reser (b. 1843), who were married on March 4, 1862 in Prevorst, a village on the northeast side of Oberstenfeld. The younger Jacob was the eldest of ten children, all born in Oberstenfeld. But he and his younger brother David (1867-1938) left for America, possibly to avoid conscription into the German Army. Jacob and David's eight siblings, so far as we know, all remained and died in Germany. The button below leads to a list of these siblings.

    Jacob immigrated about 1885 to the United States, possibly with David, and settled first in Nebraska. Here he married Magrede "Maggie" Oberbach (1865-1901) on Sept. 4, 1887 in the town of Cozad in Dawson County. Jacob and Maggie remained in Nebraska for about ten years before moving to Wyoming, where she had family. Then sometime before 1901 they moved to Watcom County, Washington, where Maggie's sister Barbara Cosier was already living with her husband. Maggie died there, soon afterwards in 1901 in the town of Lynden, after giving birth to her twin sons John and Albert.

    Interestingly, a first cousin of Jacob's, named David Klotz (1872-1949), arrived about 1904 in Eustis, Nebraska with his wife and two children. This David is not to be confused with Jacob's younger brother of the same name. Cousin David remained in Eustis, where he is buried with his wife and four children in the local Eustis East Cemetery - Albert (1899-1944), George (1900-1964), Fred (1904-1996) and Emma (1909-1995). Cousin David probably came to Eustis because of his connection to Jacob, but no details on their relationship have been found. None of David's children appear to have had children of their own.

    Jacob moved in 1906 from Washington to Santa Rosa, California to be closer to family, bringing some of his children with him, and sending others to be raised by friends or relatives. We know that Albert, Charles and Mary came with him, whereas Albert's twin brother John remained in Washington. We do not know where the other children where sent, but some of them over the years moved to Santa Rosa and reunited with their father.

    Jacob's grandson Randy met his grandfather only once, probably in late 1934 or so, when Jacob was near the end of his days. Randy recalls that his grandfather had a magnificent white moustache, and that he lay in bed not doing much. Jacob died on Jan. 28, 1935 in Santa Rosa, at the home of his son Carl. He is buried in the Santa Rosa Oddfellows Cemetery. When Jacob died he was survived by his brother David Klotz (1867-1938), who was living in Sacramento. David died three years later on June 2, 1938 in Sacramento, and so far as we know he never married, nor had children. He is buried in the "Potter's Field" of the Sacramento County Cemetery, which means he died indigent, with no family to look after his burial arrangements.

    children - Klotz

    Anna Klotz (1888-1993) was born on March 14, 1888 in Nebraska, probably in the town of Eustis. However, it is also quite possible that she was born while her family was traveling through Nebraska to reach Eustis. She moved to California as a young woman, and married Joseph Gillen (b. c.1883) on Oct. 2, 1906 in Stockton. They subsequently moved to San Francisco, where they divorced on Aug. 11, 1914, with desertion listed as the reason. We do not know what then became of Joseph, but Anna is listed in the 1930 U.S. Census as a widow. Joseph is also mentioned as deceased in the 1948 obituary of his daughter. Anna died on Dec. 23, 1993 at the age of 105 years old in Pittsburg, California; and she is buried in El Cerrito in the Sunset View Cemetery. She and Joseph had the one daughter listed below.

    • Ione Gladys Gillen (1910-1948) was born on Nov. 4, 1910 in California, and married Virgil Arthur Lundquist (1909-1971). They had two daughters - Pamela Ann Lundquist (b. 1941) and Barbara Lee Lundquist, both of whom were born in California, married, and had children. Ione and Virgil divorced in June of 1948 in Contra Costa County, California. She died of tuberculosis a short time later on Oct. 11, 1948 in San Mateo County. She is buried in Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito.

    Bertha "Betty" Kathryn Klotz (1889-1984) was born Karoline Bertha Klotz on May 18, 1889 in Nebraska, and baptized on June 17, 1889 in the town of Eustis. Although she generally went by the name Betty, sometimes she used the name Kathryn, especially in her later years. She had at least five husbands that we know about. She married her first husband Sydney Clair Ross (1887-1963) on Nov. 1, 1909 in Santa Rosa, California, but they divorced a few years later. She then married her second husband Stanley Tyack (1888-1960) on Aug. 28, 1913 in San Francisco, but they were divorced by the time of the 1930 census. She married her third husband James M. Clark on May 18, 1931 in Carson City, Nevada, but we know nothing further of James. She then married her fourth husband Edmund J. Yunk (1899-1943) on Nov. 9, 1936 in Carson City, Nevada. Ed was a miner who worked in the Empire Mine in Nevada City. He died on Jan. 30, 1943 in Vallejo, California. Betty, who by now seems to have been using the name Kathryn, married her fifth and final husband Lloyd Steele on June 30, 1952 in Carson City, Nevada. He might be the Lloyd Steele Sr (1901-1953) who died on Feb. 20, 1953 in Reno, Nevada, and is shown with a wife named Betty Steele. However, this identification is uncertain, and needs to be confirmed with additional documentation. Kathryn died under the name of Kathryn B. Steele on Aug. 29, 1984 in Sebastopol, California. So far as we know, she had no children with any of her five husbands.

    It is no surprise that many family trees seem to confuse the above Bertha Klotz with a Bertha Mae Williams (1889-1959), who was born in California (probably in Calaveras County), and was married first to Carl Jacob Koltz (1883-1924) of Nebraska in 1910 in Sacramento, and then second to George L. Steele (b. 1882) of Australia. Despite the surprising coincidences in spouse names and birth places, these Berthas are actually two different, unrelated women. The second Bertha, who is not the one we are interested in, is buried as Bertha Steele with her first husband Carl Klotz in the Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento.

    William Klotz (1891-1975) was born on Oct 3, 1891 in Nebraska, and baptized on Nov. 15, 1891 in the town of Eustis. He lived for a time during his youth in Lynden, Washington, but later moved to Sonoma County, California. He served during WWI in the military, but we do not know any details. He worked as a laborer in fruit orchards immediately after the war, and worked his way up to either leasing ranches and working them, or as a ranch manager in the employ of others. He died on Sept. 23, 1975 in Sebastopol, and was cremated. He never married, nor had any children. His nephew Randy Klotz (b. 1930) remembers that William was a "really nice guy".

    Caroline "Carrie" Klotz (1893-1988) was born on April 10, 1893 in Nebraska, and baptized on May 14, 1893 in the town of Eustis. She moved with her father to Lynden in Whatcom County, Washington, and later moved to San Francisco, California. She married Bertrand Verdier on Sept. 25, 1919 in San Francisco, and later they moved Los Angeles, where their only child Shirley was born. Bertrand died on Jan. 22, 1953 in Los Angeles, and Carrie died on Aug. 1, 1988 in North Hollywood. Both are buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.

    • Shirley Verdier (b. 1923) was born on Dec. 31, 1923 in Los Angeles County, California; and married Norbert George Kabuss (1920-2012) on Nov. 13, 1946, probably in the same county. So far as we know, she lives today in San Diego County. Shirley and Norbert had at least one daughter, Deborah Lee Kabuss (b. 1951).

    Emma Pauline Klotz (1894-1996) was born on Oct. 10, 1894 in Nebraska, and baptized on Oct. 30, 1894 in the town of Eustis. She moved with her father to Lynden in Whatcom County, Washington, and later moved to San Francisco, California. She married Charles Nolan (1890-1967), and they generally resided in San Francisco, where their daughter Lorraine (1915-1987) was born. Charles died on Jan. 6, 1967 in San Francisco, and Emma died on Nov. 15, 1996 in the same city. Both are buried in Colma in Holy Cross Cemetery.

    • Lorraine Virginia Nolan (1915-1987) was born on May 9, 1915, most likely in San Francisco, California. She married James DeBenedetti (1921-1980) on May 22, 1954 in San Francisco, but we are told that the marriage did not last long, and she went to live with her mother. Lorraine died on May 11, 1987 in San Francisco, and though she and James had separated, they are buried in the same plot in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.

    Mary Klotz (1897-1998) was born on Jan. 7, 1897 in Wyoming, and came with her father to Lynden, Washington, sometime after her mother died. She was married first to a man named Peterson. Then, sometime between 1944 and 1956, she appears to have married a painting contractor from Texas named Morris Shepherd Belew (1902-1986), who was a convicted bigamist with at least four previous marriages. Morris predeceased her in 1986 in San Diego; and she died as Mary Belew on Sept. 30, 1998, possibly in San Diego, which was her last known address. However, her name does not appear in the California Death Index, which makes it more likely that she died out of state.

    Carl Klotz (1898-1982) was born on Aug. 17, 1898 in Wyoming, and moved with his father first to Lynden in Whatcom County, Washington, and later to Santa Rosa, California. He married his first wife Esther Augustus Trudgett (1901-1962) on Sept. 25, 1921 in Santa Rosa, but they divorced. He then married Lillian Knecht (1906-1998) in Santa Rosa. Carl became a well-known butcher in Santa Rosa, where for 40 years (c.1916-c.1956) he owned and operated the Klotz Meat Market. He then ran Klotz Meat Service until 1959, when he retired. He died on Sept. 20, 1982 in Santa Rosa, and Lillian died on Aug. 7, 1998 in nearby Healdsburg. Both are buried in Santa Rosa Memorial Park. Carl's first wife Esther remarried after she and Carl parted ways, and she had at least one child with her second husband. However, Carl and his second wife Lillian never had any children.

    John J. Klotz (1901-1924), the twin of Albert, was born on March 30, 1901 in Lynden, Washington. There is no documentation that we know of for his middle name, but a good guess is that it might be Jacob, in honor of his father and grandfather. When his mother Maggie died in childbirth, his biologic father Jacob was left unable to care for two newborn sons, so Jacob arranged for John to be adopted by Carl and Minnie Biehle, a local couple that Jacob probably knew from his days in the German community of Nebraska. John's name was subsequently changed to John J. Beihle, and he was raised separate from his brother Albert.

    When Jacob and Albert moved in 1906 with other members of the family to Santa Rosa, California, John remained in Washington with his new family. The only time that Albert ever saw his twin brother again was on a trip that he made to Washington as a young man to revisit his roots there. The only blood relatives of John remaining in Washington were his aunt Barbara (neé Oberbach) Crosier (1874-1974) and her children, who continued to live in Lynden until sometime after WWII, when Barbara relocated to Everett, Washington. Her second son Norman Crosier (1901-1994) was born exactly one month after John, and it is likely that the two of them spent time together growing up.

    John's adoptive parents were Carl William Biehle (1853-1927) and his wife Ernestena "Minnie" Wilhelim Prawitz (1864-1937). Both were born in Wisconsin of Prussian parents, and homesteaded with their families in Stanton, Nebraska. They married on March 29, 1882 in Stanton, and moved with several children in 1890 to Whatcom County, Washington, where they adopted John. He grew up in Whatcom County, and we find him at age 18 in 1919 working at a dairy there in Strandell, where he milked cows with a "Perfection" milking machine. He died on July 30, 1924 in nearby Everson, and he is buried with several members of his adoptive family in Nooksack Cemetery in Whatcom County.

    Albert Klotz (1901-1999) who follows:


  5. Albert Klotz (1901-1999), the son of Jacob Klotz and "Maggie" Oberbach, was born on March 30, 1901 in Lynden, which in those days was a small town near Bellingham, in Whatcom County, Washington. He was born with a twin brother named John J. Klotz (1901-1931), who apparently had some sort of a middle name, even though Al always insisted to family that his own birth name was simply Albert Klotz, and nothing else. However, no birth certificates were issued for either twin, so these details cannot be confirmed. Years later, Al tried to get a birth certificate to apply for a passport to travel overseas, but Whatcom County could not provide documentation of his birth, so the passport was denied, even though Al's sisters Anna and Betty testified on his behalf.

    Al and his brother were probably born at home, and their mother died soon after their birth. Al was raised from that point on by his father Jacob, whereas John was raised by Carl and Minnie Biehle, who were probably family friends. Carl and Minnie subsequently adopted John, gave him their last name, and raised him as their own. When Jacob moved in 1906 with three of his children - Al, Carl and Mary - to Santa Rosa in California, the twins were separated. So Al grew up in Santa Rosa, whereas John grew up in the town of Roeder, a few miles from Lynden. The two did not meet again, except for a brief visit that Al made to Whatcom County many years later to reconnect with relatives.

    Al as a boy worked with his father picking hops on a farm in Sloughouse (Sacramento County), which convinced him that he did not want to be a farmer, so he trained as an engine mechanic at a school that might have been in Oakland. He then worked for a short time in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta repairing irrigation pumps, until he caught malaria. Then in 1922, at the age pf 21, he moved to Vacaville, and rented the Nay Garage to work on car engines with Oscar Madson (1897-1980) as his partner (Automobile Topics, v. 67, Sept. 9, 1922, p. 346; Motor West, v. 37, Aug, 15, 1922, p. 60). Al recalled in later years that he walked into town with a suitcase and a box of tools, went to the bank, and managed to get a business loan. The garage was located on the east side of McClellan Street, just north of Ulatis Creek, and near the east end of School Street.

    Airplanes in the 1920s were new and exciting, and Al became very interested in them. This led him to buy one with a friend named "Chet" Carter, who knew how to fly. Together in 1928 they started the "Klotz School of Aviation" on some land that Al owned (Bowen, 1999, Solano Historian). There was no airport in Vacaville in those days, so Chet and Al had to construct their own runway, which the Vacaville Exchange Club in April enthusiastically voted to name "Klotz Field".

    The aviation school was short lived and closed when Al lost his plane in a crash that he was fortunate to walk away from. His son Randy recalls that the crash was near Vine Hill, which rises above the north end of Vine Street. Al's daughter-in-law Ailene Klotz remembers that the crash was in an apricot orchard that is gone now. Indeed, there are remnants of an old orchard on the ridge just east of where North Vine Street ends, and Al used to say that this orchard had the best apricots in town. Perhaps it is the one where his plane went down. Randy does not remember if Al was in the pilot's seat when the plane crashed, but Ailene is certain that Al was not the pilot. Al still displayed in his shop many years later the propeller from this crash to remind him of the incident.

    Al met his wife Isabelle "Izzy" Shaffer (1908-1972) in Yreka through a mutual friend named Fred Spring, who later became Al's brother-in-law. Izzy and her sister Margaret were working as waitresses in a Yreka cafe, when Fred, who was either dating Margaret, or already married to her, brought Al to the cafe and introduced him to Izzy. One thing led to another, and they married on March 11, 1929 at the Rectory for St. Marks Church at 48 Quince Road in Medford, Oregon. We do not know why they married in Medford, when Izzy's family lived in Yreka. They made their home in Vacaville, where Al had his car repair business, and there they raised their family.

    "Russell Beelard (1906-1979) launched his service station business in 1926 when he leased a Standard Oil Station on Merchant Street. [Then] in 1930 Beelard and Elmer Burton (1902-1998) went into partnership and purchased the old Vacaville Garage on Main Street.". They also opened a Buick dealership on the site. "Al Klotz leased the shop and ran it [for them] until World War II," as the "Al Klotz Garage". It was on the north side of Main Street (now Lincoln Street, back then part of U.S. Route 40), at its intersection with the old Bernard Street that no longer exists. There was a gas station in the front half of the lot, with the garage in the rear (Limbaugh and Payne, 1978, p. 217; Randy Klotz, pers. comm., 2019). Today the Pure Grain German Bakery in the Town Center Mall sits near where the garage was located.

    Al at first just did car repairs, but any parts needed for the work had to come all the way from either San Francisco or Sacramento, which sometimes meant long delays in getting cars back to his customers. So Al began keeping a large inventory of parts on hand to speed things up. Then a parts salesman named Jiggs Landen convinced Al that selling car parts could be very lucrative, so Al expanded the shop with Russell Beelard's help, and began selling car parts as a side line.

    Al also filed a patent on April 14, 1934 for a design that he came up with for a portable highway sign that could be put up temporarily at the site of a car wreck or other road hazard (Patent No. 94,354). This was in the midst of the Great Depression, which meant that most people did not have much money. Thus, Al's car repair business was probably not as profitable as it had been in previous years, and Al may have been hoping to make some extra money from his sign idea.

    When World War II broke out, "the government bought most of the lathes, presses, metal saws, and other tools [from Al's repair shop] for the war effort (from Limbaugh and Payne, 1978, p. 217)." Al went to work for the Navy repairing engines at the Vallejo ship yards. However, he also worked in his spare time on cars and farm equipment to make extra money. When the war ended, returning veterans created a huge demand for cars and services, which led Al to leave the shipyards and reopen his garage business.

    Al and two partners - the county tax assessor and an insurance salesman named George Lynn - purchased the "Triangle Building" at 400 Main Street in 1948 as an investment. It is an historic, three-sided, brick structure that still stands in downtown Vacaville, where it is surrounded by Main, Dobbins and Merchant Streets. He then opened "Al Klotz Auto Parts" in the Triangle Building, and Beelard and Burton took over Al's garage operation on the other side of the street at Bernard and Main.

    "Al Klotz Auto Parts" occupied the west side of the Triangle Building, at Dobbins and Main, where Schaffer’s men’s clothing store had onve been. George Lynn's firm, J.C. Insurance, was in the middle of the building, and James Miller’s Drug Store, and later the Vacaville Drug Company, was the tenant on the east side. Although parts sales were the mainstay of Al’s business, he still kept a machine shop in back for engine repairs. He and George Lynn later bought out their partner's interest in the building, and Al eventually bought out George.

    Al continued working full time at the shop until the mid 1960s, when he began letting sons Randy and Ronnie take over. He still came in from time to time after that to work the counter, always wearing a bow tie when he did - one that he tied himself, and not a pre-fashioned one. When the famioy made the decision was made in 1967 or 1968 to move the parts shop to a new location, Al had pretty much retired from the business.

    A mechanic friend of Al's named Frank Dimodica moved into the west side of the Triangle Building and started "Frank's Mower and Cycle", but that business was soon bought by Col. Ray Posey, Sr., who renamed it to "Ray's Mower and Cycle", and later to just "Ray's Cycle". Posey eventually bought the Triangle Building as well, and today Col. Posey's sons still own both the cycle shop and the building.

    Klotz Auto Parts moved to a new location at 300 Davis Street, just around the corner from the Triangle Building. It also incorporated, with Randy as President. Later, Randy bought out Ronnie's interest in the business. When the family made a difficult decision to sell the Davis Street lot to the city, "Al Klotz Auto Parts" closed its doors for the last time on Nov. 30, 1996, some 48 years after it first opened.


    Some memories of Grandpa Al and Grandma Izzy follow. Granddaughter Kelly Klotz remembers that Al "told me he worked as a paper boy - selling papers on a corner of Market Street in San Francisco when he was 7-8 years old. They lived in SF and he would take a horse and buggy down to the spot where he worked and would yell 'Extra! Extra! Read all about it!'" Grandson Don recalls hearing that Al spent a lot of time as a boy working with his father on a farm at Sloughhouse, which is located a few miles west of Rancho Murieta in Sacramento County. Although Al claimed in later years that this experience convinced him to never be a farmer, he always had a garden at home where he grew asparagus and other vegetables. In fact, tending his garden was his main hobby in his retirement years. Grandma Izzy was a fun-loving person, who at 4'11" tall was very petite. Unfortunately, she suffered from severe arthritis, so she and Al made frequent trips to Calistoga, where she felt that bathing in the hot springs there soothed her aches and pains. She was also a heavy smoker.

    Izzy died suddenly from a massive heart attack on April 2, 1972 in Clovis, California at an Easter Sunday family dinner held at the home of her brother Bob Shaffer (1910-2006). She was 63-years old, having been born to parents Francis Shaffer (1872-1948) and Annie Schnebele (1880-1929) on May 10, 1908 in Snowden, which is near Yreka. Izzy is of German ancestry, which we cover in more detail under the Genealogy of the Shaffer Family. Al survived Izzy by more than 20 years, and died on June 22, 1999 in a rest home in Vacaville, almost two months after his 98th birthday. Both Albert and Izzy were cremated, and their ashes scattered at sea.

    children - Klotz

    Albert Randolph "Randy" Klotz (b. 1930) who follows:

    Alvin Ronald "Ronnie" Klotz (1935-2001), the fraternal twin of Rollie, was born on July 9, 1935 in Vacaville, California in the Walker Mansion on the corner of Elizabeth and Catherine Streets, which from 1932 to 1945 was the Vacaville General Hospital. He went to Vacaville High School, where his class was the first to graduate after the school moved to its present location from the old School Street campus that is now Andrews Park. He joined the Marines after graduation, and subsequently went to work with his bother Randy for their Dad at Al Klotz Auto Parts. He married Mabel Elizabeth Stephen (b. 1938) on July 25, 1956 in Reno, Nevada, but they divorced after their son Kevin R. Klotz (b. Sept. 9, 1959) was born. He then married Reda Ailene Durrett (b. 1939) on Aug. 5, 1962 in Hayward, California. Ailene became very close to her sister-in-law Sally Klotz (neé Freeman), and when Sally died unexpectedly at a young age, Ailene helped with Sally’s kids until Sally’s husband Randy remarried. Ronnie and Ailene’s four children are listed below. Ronnie died on Jan. 18, 2001 in Vacaville from complications related to a kidney transplant he had many years before.

    • Wendy S. Klotz (b. Sept. 26, 1965) is married to Sean Griffin, and they have a son named Nolan Patrick, and a daughter named Riley Ailene.
    • Kristina "Tina" L. Klotz (b. Nov. 21, 1966) is married to Charles Metzinger, and they have a daughter named Zoe, and a son named Blake.
    • Kelly A. Klotz (b. March 18, 1969) is married to Bob Graweleski and they have three boys - Tucker, Grady and Jack.
    • Eric Paul Klotz (b. April 14, 1971) is married to Tracey Caren Cassela, and they have a son named Ethan. Tracey also has a son named Christian Dean Chandler.

    Allen Roland "Rollie" Klotz (b. 1935), the fraternal twin of Ronnie, was born on July 9, 1935 in Vacaville, California in the Walker Mansion on the corner of Elizabeth and Catherine Streets, which from 1932 to 1945 was the Vacaville General Hospital. He graduated from Vacaville High School with his brother Ronnie, and then did a tour of duty in Germany with the U.S. Army. He went back to school after his discharge and obtained a Ph.D. in Education, going on to work as a high school History and English teacher, and school administrator for the Beverly Hills Unified School District. He never married, and retired to southern California, where he lives today.

    The three sons of Al and Izzy - Randy in 1962 (left), and twins Ronnie in 1962 (center) and Rollie in 1973 (right).



  6. "Randy" Klotz (b. 1930), the son of Albert Klotz and "Izzy" Shaffer, was born Albert Randolph Klotz on Feb. 16 1930 in San Francisco, California at Mount Zion Hospital, where both parents had been admitted - Izzy for the birth, and Al for a recurring bout of malaria from his days repairing irrigation pumps in the San Joaquin Valley. Randy was then baptized on Sunday, Sept. 17, 1933 at the Epiphany Episcopal Church in Vacaville. He attended Vacaville High School, back when it was still located on School Street (Andrews Park), and lettered in varsity basketball and baseball. He also became an Eagle Scout on June 7, 1946 with Vacaville Boy Scout Troop 74. He spent much of his free time working at his father's garage, and later the auto parts shop. When the parts business started up in 1948 in the old brick "Triangle Building" in downtown Vacaville, Randy helped a carpenter build wood parts bins for the store.

    Randy enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948 immediately after graduating from high school, and was assigned for 42 weeks to Treasure Island in San Francisco, where he trained as an Electronics Technician. He was then sent to Japan, and stationed on a radio transmission facility in a remote area near Tokoyo, during which time he climbed Mt. Fuji. When the Korean War broke out in the summer of 1950, he was immediately reassigned to San Diego, where he worked for several weeks on recommissioning the U.S.S. Ulvert M. Moore (DE-442), a John C. Butler class, WWII era Destroyer Escort (306 ft, 215 men) that had been placed on reserve. He then sailed with the ship on April 26, 1951 for North Korea, where during an Oct. 17 bombardment of the coast, an engine room was hit by returning enemy gunfire that killed two sailors. The ship also sank a submarine before returning on Nov. 26, 1951 to San Diego, and then on to San Francisco for an overhaul.

    Randy, while back in California with the Navy, met Sarah "Sally" Carol Freeman (1929-1971), who had recently finished her schooling and was working as a secretary. Shortly before his Navy discharge, he and Sally married on July 26, 1952 at the Congregational Church of the Chimes in Van Nuys, California. Their wedding was held on the 59th anniversary date of when Sally's maternal grandparents Edgar and Carrie Shane were married. Sally's ancestry is covered in the FREEMAN and SHANE Genealogies.

    Randy and Sally settled in Vacaville, where he went back to working at his father's auto parts store. When his father retired in the mid-1960s, Randy and his brother Ronnie took over the business. They then incorporated on May 26, 1966 as Al Klotz Auto Parts with Randy as president, and moved the store to a new location at 300 Davis Street. Randy later bought out his brother's interest in the shop. Although the business took much of his time, he still participated with family on 4-H Club projects, and served as a counselor during summers at the La Honda 4-H Camp, south of San Francisco.

    Sally passed away from lung cancer on Feb. 28, 1971 in Vacaville. Randy then married Marita Joanne Olson Rowell (b. 1935) on Sept. 26, 1972 in Vacaville, Marita being a widow with three children from her previous marriage with Thomas Gerald Rowell (1935-1971). Randy's children with Sally, and his stepchildren with Marita are listed below. He continued running Al Klotz Auto Parts until late 1996 or so, when he retired. The family soon afterwards closed the business, and sold the property to the city, where the site is now a city parking lot.

    children (with 1st wife Sally Freeman)

    Donald Albert Klotz (b. 1954) who follows:

    Kenneth Hugh Klotz (b. 1956) was born on Nov. 14, 1956 in Vacaville, California. He married Mary Anne Murphy (1955-1993) on March 17, 1984 in Sierra Madre, California, and subsequently trained to become a registered nurse. Mary Ann died from skin cancer on April 21, 1993 in Los Angeles, and was survived by Ken and their two young sons - Nicholas Haley Klotz (b. Sept. 25, 1987) and Casey Orman Klotz (b. Sept. 7, 1989), both born in the Sierra Foothills.

    Ellen Marie Klotz (b. 1958) was born on May 29, 1958 in Vacaville, California. She married Daniel Lobay (b. 1950) on Sept. 29, 1979 in Sacramento County, California, but they divorced after the birth of their son Brian Michael Lobay (b. June 6, 1983). She then married Paul Vincent Lippolis (b. 1953) on Aug. 22, 1992 in Washoe County, Nevada.

    Thomas Edward Klotz (b. 1960) was born on Feb. 10, 1960 in Vacaville, California. He married Michelle Martha Lang (1962-1994) on Feb. 20, 1982 in Monterey County, California; and they had two sons - Ian Albert Klotz (b. Oct. 26, 1983) and Patrick William Klotz (b. Nov. 19, 1985). Michelle became a homicide victim on Dec. 29, 1994 in Pacific Grove, California, leaving behind her husband and young sons. Tom then married Debra Lynn Rust (b. 1962) on May 6, 2000 in Douglas County, Nevada. Debra has a daughter Jennifer Anne Miller (b. 1988).


    stepchildren (from Marita Olson's 1st marriage)

    Connie Elaine Rowell (b. 1956) was born on Oct. 14, 1956 in Vacaville, California. She married David James McCall (b. 1954) on Aug. 26, 1978 in Solano County, California. They divorced, having had no children, and she then married Ronald Willingmyre (b. 1961) on Nov. 8, 1987 in Solano County. She and Ronald have two sons - Thomas Ronald Willingmyre (b. March 23, 1988) and Garret Douglas Willingmyre (b. Feb. 11, 1991).

    Douglas Raymond Rowell (1958-1989) was born on Sept. 13, 1958 in Vacaville, California. He obtained a degree in photography from a southern California college, and was working as a professional photographer when he developed liver cancer, and died suddenly on June 15, 1989 in New York City, after an operation related to his illness. He is buried with his father in the Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery.

    Kenneth Alan Rowell (b. 1963) was born on July 2, 1963 in Vacaville, California. He married Jodie Moehrke (b. 1962) on May 9, 1986 in Nevada. They have two sons - Kevin Douglas Rowell (b. May 8, 1990) and John Thomas Rowell (b. Oct. 26, 1992).


    Left: Randy Klotz about 1936 when he was six-years old. This picture was subsequently used in a newspaper article about a bicycle accident that he had. Middle: Randy in the late 1940s at home in Vacaville. Right: Ronnie in the early 1950s in his Marine uniform.
    Left: Randy and a friend enlisting in the Navy. Right: Randy on board the U.S.S. Ulvert M. Moore in May or June 1951 in Hong Kong.


    Above Left: Randy and Sally Klotz about 1962 with (left-to-right) Don, Tommy, Ellen and Ken.


  8. Donald Albert Klotz (b. 1954), the son of "Randy" Klotz and Sally Freeman, was born on Nov. 28, 1954 in Vacaville, California. He served in the U.S. Army after high school, and then trained as a diesel mechanic at Klamath Community College in Oregon. He held a few sort-term jobs, such as working as a commercial diver in the Vallejo shipyards, and also as a field assistant for a mining company that was prospecting for uranium in Iran. He then worked for several years as a machinist at Al Klotz Auto Parts in Vacaville. When the family in 1996 decided to close the parts business, he worked for a time building custom personal computers, and retired working as a draftsman for Wunder-Bar in Vacaville, a company that makes commercial drink dispensers.

    Don married Jane Alice Carty on July 4, 1980 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fairfield, California. Jane was born on Dec. 31, 1956 in Hollywood, California. They have the two children listed below. Both children grew up in Vacaville, attended school there, and played on local soccer teams.

    Andrew James Klotz was born on Nov. 10, 1987 in Vallejo, California. He obtained a degree in Spanish from St. Mary's College in Moraga, and spent a year abroad in Seville, Spain, where he met Caroline Eddy. They subsequently married on July 23, 2016 on Camano Island (near Seattle), Washington. Caroline was born on Feb. 5, 1988 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

    Sara Elizabeth Klotz was born on June 23, 1990 in Vallejo, California. She obtained a degree in Global Studies, and then spent two years with the Peace Corp in Morocco. She subsequently earned an MPA degree from the University of Washington.

  9. Above and Center (L-to-R): Hugh Freeman with grandsons Tom, Don and Ken Klotz (1979). Lower Left: Four generations of Klotz men - Randy, Al, Andrew and Don (1988). Lower Right: Jane, Don and Randy Klotz (2004) at a Vacaville High School soccer game.

    Jane and Don Klotz in 2017 with (left-to-right) Caroline (Andrew's wife), Andrew and Sara.




* The German-born Brothers and Sisters of Jacob Klotz (1863-1935) *


Jacob Klotz, the father of Al Klotz (1901-1999), had a brother David who, like Jacob, immigrated to the U.S. Besides Jacob and David there were also several siblings who stayed in Germany, and probably died there. Below is a list of those brothers and sisters. Their parents are Johann Jakob Kloz, Sr. (b. 1834) and Carolina Catharina Reser (b. 1843), who married on March 4, 1862 in Gronau u. Prevorst, which are two adjoining villages on the NE side of Oberstenfeld in the Baden-Württemberg province of Germany. The German baptism records for Johann and Carolina's children give their surname as Kloz. However, Johann's record, and those of subsequent generations, spell their last name as Klotz.

Johann Jakob Kloz, Jr. (1863–1935) was born on Jan. 18, 1863, and baptized on Jan. 21, 1863 in Oberstenfeld. He immigrated to the U.S., and married Margaretta Oberbach (1865-1901) on Sept. 4, 1887 in Cozad, Nebraska. He died on Jan. 28, 1935 in Santa Rosa, California. He is covered in more detail as Jacob Klotz in Generation II of the above lineage.

Wilhelm Kloz (1864–1914) was born on April 6, 1864 and baptized, on April 10, 1864 in Oberstenfeld. He married Rosina Karoline Spörle (b. 1870) on March 14, 1891 in Oberstenfeld; and died on April 26, 1914 in Nassach (Spigelberg), Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Caroline Friedrike Kloz (1865–1949) was born on May 5, 1865, and baptized on May 14, 1865 in Oberstenfeld. She married Georg Gottlieb Schick (1861-1937) on Nov. 2, 1886 in or near Oberstenfeld; and died on May 12, 1949 in nearby Gronau u. Prevorst, Germany.

David Kloz (1867–1938) was born on April 10, 1867, and baptized on April 12, 1867 in Oberstenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. He immigrated to the U.S., and probably never married. He died alone on June 2, 1938 in Sacramento, California, where he is buried in the Sacramento County Cemetery. He is also mentioned as David Klotz in Generation II of the preceding lineage.

Christine Catherine Kloz (1869–1950) was born on May 2, 1869, and baptized on May 9, 1859 in Oberstenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. She married Paul Friedrich Mozer (1866-1933) on April 15, 1895 in Oberstenfeld; and died on Nov. 22, 1950 in nearby Gronau u. Prevorst, Germany.

Johann Gottlieb Kloz (1871–?) was born on June 8, 1871, and baptized on June 18, 1871 in Oberstenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. He married Luise Friedrike Weber (b. 1876) on May 1, 1900 in Oberstenfeld. It is not known what ultimately became of him and his wife, but they probably died in Germany.

Christian Kloz (1873–?) was born on May 3, 1873, and baptized on May 11, 1873 in Oberstenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Nothing further is known about him.

Carolina Kloz (1874–?) was born on June 2, 1874, and baptized on June 7, 1874 in Oberstenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. She married Wilhelm Schick (b. 1870) on April 15, 1895 in Oberstenfeld. It is not known what ultimately became of Carolina and her husband, but they probably died in Germany.

Christoph Friedrich Kloz (1878–1941) was born on June 10, 1878, and baptized on June 16, 1878 in Oberstenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. He married a woman named Wilhelmine Caroline (maiden name unknown); and died on Jan. 31, 1941, probably in Weinsberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, as he was buried there on Feb. 2, two days later.

Carl Otto Kloz (1883–1946) was born on April 21, 1883, and baptized on May 1, 1883 in Oberstenfeld, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is not known if he married, but he died on Dec. 18, 1946 in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

* * * *

There is also a David Klotz (1872-1949), who is the son of Georg David Klotz (b. 1836), and a nephew of Johann Jakob Kloz, Sr. (b. 1834), the patriarch of the above list of children. Therefore, this David Klotz is a first cousin of the above Kloz family siblings. He was born on Jan. 10, 1872, and baptized on Jan. 12, 1872 in Gronau u. Prevorst, which as we have already noted are a pair of adjoining villages that belong to the town of Oberstenfeld. He came to the U.S. around 1888-1890 and settled initially in Prowers County, Colorado. There he married Caroline Ploppert (1870-1949) in the town of Lamar. They subsequently settled about 1904 in Eustis, Nebraska, a few years after Jacob Klotz and his family had left. David Klotz and his wife are buried with their four children (all unmarried) in the Eustis East Cemetery.





* Genealogy of the Shaffer and Schnebele Families *
(version November 20, 2019)
Please email corrections to Mike Clark


Maps showing Schnebele family origins in Switzerland (above center), Shaffer family origins in the U.S. (left), and Ruhl family origins in Germany(right).


The Klotz family is German in origin, with Generations 1 and 2 all born in Germany. Al Klotz of Generation III was born in the U.S., and married Isabelle "Izzy" Shaffer, whose ancestry is also German, but less so than Al's. Although Izzy's father Francis Edward "Frank" Shaffer (1872-1948) came from Ohio, he is of Pennsylvania-German extraction (see the *note below). Izzy's mother Annie Schnebele (1880-1929) came from Yreka, California, but Annie's mother was born in Germany, and Annie's father was born in a German-speaking province (canton) of Switzerland. The story of Annie Schnebele's German and Swiss-German immigrant parents follows.

* Frank Shaffer's grandparents John Shaffer (b. c.1815) and Delilah Dearth (c.1820-1883) were born in Pennsylvania, and came about 1840 to Ohio. Then they moved after the end of the Civil War to California, and settled in Yreka. Their parents and ancestry are not known, but the Shaffer surname is said to have originated in Hesse, Germany. Many Shaffers immigrated from Hesse to Pennsylvania in the early 1800s, and more families with the Shaffer surname (333 families total) lived in Pennsylvania during the 1840 U.S. census than anywhere else in the U.S. (see the U.S. map above)

*       *       *

Annie's father Johann Jakob Schnebele (1829-1905) was born on July 3, 1829 in Knonau in the German-speaking canton of Zürich, Switzerland. He married Maria Habegger (b. 1830) on July 21, 1852 in Switzerland, and they emigrated with two Swiss-born daughters to the United States, departing on a ship named the Guttenberg from La Havre, France to arrive on Oct. 30, 1856 in New Orleans Harbor. They settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where a third child was born, and sometime after the 1860 U.S. Census Maria apparently died.

Johann then married Swiss-born Johanna Stoekle on May 12, 1861 in St. Louis. The American Civil War had started the month before, and Johann, at some point in 1861, enlisted as a sergeant in the Union Army in Company B of the 2nd Regiment of the Missouri Light Artillery. His unit was charged with the defense of the city, but otherwise Johann was probably able to spend most of his time with his family. Because Johann came into his regiment as a sergeant, we suspect that he probably had some prior experience in an artillary unit of the German Army. He and Johanna had three more children after the war ended, and she died in St. Louis sometime after the 1871 birth of their third daughter Bertha. Johann next married Annie Elizabeth Ruhl (1849-1923) on Nov. 19, 1873 in St. Louis.

Annie Ruhl, Johann's third wife, was born on March 30, 1849 in Darmstadt in the German province of Hesse, which was actually a separate German state when Annie was born. She came alone on the S.S. Europa from Bremen, Germany to the United States, arriving on June 5, 1866 in New York Harbor. Although she would have been less than 17 years and 3 months old on her arrival, the ship's passenger register shows her age as 18 years and 3 months, which implies that she lied about her true age in order to get passage as a minor. Her stated destination in the register is Ohio, which indeed is where we find her there during the 1870 census working as a servant. She subsequently landed in St. Louis, where she married Johann, who was twenty years her senior.

Soon after Johann and Annie married they moved west to Yreka in Siskiyou County, California, with two of Johann's daughters from his previous marriage. Here Johann and Annie had four children of their own. Annie's father Johann died on April 18, 1905 in Yreka, and her mother, also named Annie, died on Nov. 22, 1929 in the same town. Both are buried there in Evergreen Cemetery.

Johann and Annie's daughter Katie (1877-1961) married Charles Henry Shaffer (1870-1901) on March 8, 1896 in Yreka. He died prematurely in 1901 at the age of only 31 years, afterwhich Johann and Annie's youngest daughter Annie Schnebele (1880-1929) married Charlie's younger brother Frank Shaffer (1872-1948) on March 11, 1903 in Yreka - the younger Annie, of course, was the mother of Izzy Klotz. The 1903 wedding portraits of Izzy's parents are shown on the next page. Frank eventually got a job working as an employee for the city of Yreka, where he worked for many years until his retirement. Katie, Charlie, Annie and Frank are all buried in Evergreen Cemetery with Katie and Annie's parents (i.e., Izzy's grandparents).

Frank Shaffer (left) was born May 23, 1872 in Livermore, California, and died Nov. 7, 1948 in Yreka. His wife Annie Schnebele (right) was born April 19, 1880 in Yreka, and died there on Nov. 22, 1929. Their 1903 wedding portraits are above. They are buried in Evergreen Cemetery with Annie's parents.


children - SHAFFER   (Listed below are the children of the above Frank and Annie Shaffer. It includes Al Klotz's wife Izzy, and Izzy's many siblings.)

Elizabeth "Betty" Caroline Shaffer (1903-1972) was born on Nov. 22, 1903 in or near Yreka in Siskiyou County, California. She was a twin, but her unnamed twin sister died at birth. She married Henry John Lange (1890-1953), and they had two children. The 1966 obituary of her brother Stanley Shaffer indicates that she married a man named Calkins after the death of her first husband, but we know no details. She died on Nov. 1, 1972 in Yreka, and is buried there with Henry in Evergreen Cemetery.

  • Gerald Henry Lange (1925-2003)
  • Albert Fred Lange (1928-1993)

Margaret Shaffer (1906-2001) was born on March 26, 1906 near Yreka in Siskiyou County, California. She married Fred Spring (1890-1959), and they had one daughter. Margaret died on Oct. 23, 2001 in Humboldt, California; and she is buried with Fred in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.

  • Fredyne Ayn Spring (b. 1947)

Isabelle "Izzy" Shaffer (1908-1972) was born on May 10, 1908 in Snowden in Siskiyou County, California. She married Al Klotz on March 11, 1929 in Medford, Oregon. She died on April 2 (Easter Sunday), 1972 in Clovis, California. Please see the KLOTZ GENEALOGY for more on Izzy's story.

Anita Dorothy Shaffer (1910-1982) was born on Aug. 3, 1910 in Edgewood in Siskiyou County, California. She married Baker Bush Whitney (1904-1972) on Nov. 27, 1927, and they had five children. They evidently divorced, as she later married Donald Maurice Hansen (1921-1978). She died on April 23, 1982 in Auburn, California; and she is buried with Donald in Todd Valley Cemetery, which is near Auburn.

  • Marjorie Ann Whitney (b. 1929)
  • Beverly Jean Whitney (1931-1998)
  • Emma Lou Whitney (1932-2005)
  • Donald Baker Whitney (1926-1992)
  • Paul B. Whitney (b. 1948)

Helen Shaffer (1913-1996) was born on Jan. 11, 1913 in Little Shasta in Siskiyou County, California. She married Daniel Richard Quittner (1908-2002), and they had three children. She died on Feb. 11, 1996 in Walnut Creek, California; and she is buried with Daniel in Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette, California.

  • Geraldine Louise Quittner (1931)
  • Caroline Jane Quittner (1936) twin
  • Clifford James Quittner (1936-1985) twin

Frank Edward Shaffer (1915-2007) was born on July 11, 1915 in Edgewood in Siskiyou County, California. He married Evelyn Delores Castro on July 12, 1939 in Carson City, Nevada, and they had two children. Because Frank had a wife and children, he did not have to serve in the military during WWII, as did his brothers. He retired from Pacific Bell Telephone in Fresno, California, after working as a lineman for 46 years. He died on April 20, 2007 in Fresno, and both he and Evelyn were cremated by the Neptune Society.

  • Sharon Kay Shaffer (b. 1941)
  • Gary Edward Shaffer (b. 1944)

John Harral Shaffer (1918-1984) was born on Dec. 30, 1918 in Edgewood in Siskiyou County, California. He served during WWII as a corporal in the Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater, and either he or one of his brothers fought in the battle of Iowa Jima. He was discharged in 1945 and worked afterward as a heavy equipment operator for the U.S. Forest Service. He married Marguerite May Edmonds (1981-1985) of Canada. but they did not have any children. He died on Dec. 24, 1984 in Jackson County, Oregon, and he is buried with Marguerite in the Fort Jones Cemetery in Siskiyou County, California.

Robert "Bob" Marion Shaffer (1920-2006) was born on Feb. 15, 1920 in Edgewood in Siskiyou County, California. He served during WWII in the Pacific Theater as a private in the Marine Corps. He subsequently married Charlotte Wilma Wright (1925-2006). Bob died on Sept. 4, 2006 in Boise, Idaho, and Charlotte died there three days later, which indicates they may have been in an accident. Bob and Charlotte did not have children.

Stanley Clinton Shaffer (1924-1966) was born on July 19, 1924 in Yreka in Siskiyou County, California. He served during WWII as a staff sergeant in the 2nd Division of the Marine Corps, where he was in the communications branch of the Marine Air Force. He took part in the battles of Guadalcanal, Tarawas and Marianas, which left him suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome (PTS). He married Vera Bockman on March 21, 1959 in Carson City, Nevada. However, theirs was an off and on relationship, possibly due to his PTS. They did not have children, and they eventually divorced. Stanley died on March 6, 1966 in Sacramento County, California. He is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.





REFERENCES (Klotz, Shaffer and Schnebele Families:

  • Ancestry.com (subscription required) online databases and family trees provide the documentation for most dates and places given in this history.  

  • Grave and burial locations where known are listed with tombstone photos (when available) on Findgrave.com (free access).  

  • Klotz, Don (2020), Genealogy of the Klotz and Freeman Families of Vacaville, self-published, 80 pgs & appendix.

  • Download book (no cover)
    Download cover

  • Klotz, Randy; Klotz, Ailene; and Klotz, Don (2019), Notes on the Klotz Family, from interviews of Randy and Ailene conducted in July of 2019 by Mike Clark, Don Klotz, and Jane Klotz, along with Randy's written notes, and unpublished family papers, Vacaville, California.

  • Limbaugh, Ronald H. & Payne, Walter A. (1978), Vacaville: The Heritage of a California Community, Published by Vacaville City Council, Vacaville, California, p. 217.

    "Russell Beelard (1906-1979) launched his service station business in 1926 when he leased a Standard Oil Station on Merchant Street. [Then] in 1930 Beelard and Elmer Burton (1902-1998) went into partnership and purchased the old Vacaville Garage on Main Street. Al Klotz leased the shop and ran it until World War II, when the government bought most of the lathes, presses, metal saws, and other tools for the war effort."
  • Martini, Katherine (undated), "Carrie Oberbach's Story", unpublished family papers. Several versions of Carrie's story exist, which are various articles by Katherine Martini (1913-2007) about her parents George Robert Smith and Carrie Overbach/Overbaugh. There is Katherine's original typewritten manuscript, and Martini (1983), which is the published version of that manuscript. There is also a much more recent version on the internet that is compiled from several typewritten articles by Katherine, supplemented with newspaper articles in The Sheridan Press that contain actual interviews with Carrie. An excerpt from this internet version is below.

    Carrie was born Carolina Oberbach on June 10, 1879, in Germany. Her home [in Germany] was a quite large two-story house with stables on the first floor, and at one end there was a loft over it. There were two cows, she said, in the stable. A man lived on the first floor who raised canaries and made brooms. The house had a cess pool and toilet facilities, because she did not remember an outhouse. The upper level was living quarters with two fireplaces, one for cooking with an oven and one for warmth. Someone came to their house to make their clothes and a shoemaker made their shoes. She went to school in Germany for about two years at Geishaut Adelmansfelde. She didn't have to walk far to school or to town.

    Carrie's mother died when when was about 9. After her mother died, her father sold everything; and she and her father, Barbara, Carolyn, and Jake came by ship to the U.S. She came on a boat that took 30 days. In a newspaper article, she stated, "It took us a month to come across in one of those big sailing ships with all the sails. I was a little seasick."

    They arrived in New York in 1889. When they arrived, name tags were pinned on them. They proceeded to Nebraska by train, where her brother had come earlier and homesteaded. Henry had come to the US to avoid the draft. Her father had received glowing letters from him about the opportunities in America. When they arrived, they found him living in a sod house, with very little to live on. They were sure let down. The girls were farmed out to work in other families for room and board while they learned the language. In 1893, after 5 years of struggling, her father decided to go on to Wyoming where Carrie's sister lived. They traveled by immigrant train with goods and furniture in a box car. She was about 14 at that time. Carrie worked at housekeeping for people until her marriage in 1897.

  • Martini, Katherine (1983), "George Robert and Carrie Smith" in Sheridan County Heritage Book, State Publishing Company, Pierre, South Dakota, p. 829.

  • Newspaper articles were of great value in putting together this family history, especially obituaries, wedding announcements, and the like. Some of these articles came from family papers, most came from www.newspapers.com (subscription required).

  • Sheridan County Extension Homemakers Council (1983), "Jacob Schreibeis Family" in Sheridan County Heritage Book, State Publishing Company, Pierre, South Dakota, p. 804-805.

  • Wyatt, Sally Miller (1999) Aviation Takes Flight - History of Flying in Vacaville has Beginning in The Vacaville Reporter (newspaper), Sunday, May 30, 1999 (Special Edition - 1920-1929 Vacaville - The Past Century), p. 5. An excerpt from the article is below.

    In April 1928, Al Klotz announced at Vacaville Exchange Club meeting that he had a tract of land, had ordered a plane and lined up a man as an instructor. He was seeking support for his efforts to establish a flight school and the club voted in favor of supporting him; the also voted to call it Klotz Field.




by Don Klotz & Mike Clark

This history is an evolving document.
Despite our best intentions it probably contains mistakes.
Please let us know if you spot any by sending an email to Mike Clark



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