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Six generations of Maiers lived in Glendale

October 09, 2010|By Katherine Yamada

The power of the press led Joseph Maier to Glendale. Born in 1845 near Stuttgart, Germany, the young boy read about the California Gold Rush and dreamed of coming to the United States.

He and his wife, Fanny, arrived in 1873. Their two sons, Fred and Herman, were born in Cleveland. After a move to Chicago, Maier read an ad promoting Glendale in the local newspaper, further stoking his childhood dreams of living in California, according to family historian Bob Maier, the fourth generation Maier to live in Glendale.

The Maier family arrived when Glendale was transitioning from a very small settlement into a town. They purchased property in the northern tip of the Childs Tract. (The tract, one of the first real estate deals after the huge Verdugo land grant was partitioned in 1871, was subdivided into 37, 10-acre parcels in 1882, according to Glendale Area History, published in 1981.) They built a house on Oak Street between Adams Street and Verdugo Road and the elder Maier worked as a pattern maker at Baker Iron Works in Los Angeles.

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When his wife died in 1893, Joseph Maier bought a family plot in what was then Grand View Cemetery, now Grand View Memorial Park, one of the few burial grounds then in existence. Fanny Maier was among the first to be buried there. Joseph Maier remarried and later built a new home at 250 N. Adams. The new house had just been completed when he passed away in 1910.

His oldest son, Fred, the second generation Glendalian, attended Glendale High School and worked at Baker's before starting his own company, Mechanical Pattern and Foundry Works, which made street lights for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and supplied materials for the city's aqueduct.

According to family history, Fred Maier drove home from work via Verdugo Road, where, as a boy, he used to hunt jack rabbits. When he and his wife, Lucia, built a new home, he recalled his childhood hunting grounds and selected a lot nearby, at 1355 Hilda Ave., as noted in the Glendale Evening News, Jan. 9, 1920. Their daughter Jeannette was born in 1920, and son Robert in 1922. Like his father, Fred Maier only lived in his new house a short time. He had a heart attack waiting for a red light on Figueroa Street and died in 1928.

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