Home


Joseph Trenkle
Musician - Boston and San Francisco



Joseph Trenkle in America

Joseph and his older brother Emil were expelled from their native Baden, Germany during the Revolution of 1849 (Memoirs by Wilhelm His).  Their Father, Jakob, is named as a revolutionary in Waldkirch.

In September 1850, Joseph, then 19, comes to America to teach music and support Emil’s medical education at the University of Würzburg.

In 1851 and 1852 Joseph teaches piano and organ at the Pittsfield Massachusetts Young Ladies Institute.  He then moves to Boston, Massachusetts and teaches piano-forte until 1859.

In 1853, Emil finishes his medical studies at the University of Würzburg.  In September, he, his Mother, Josepha, and Josepha’s brother, Charles Litzelmann, all come to America.  Charles Litzelmann is a watchmaker and sets up business in Roxbury Massachusetts.

During aborted trip to Germany in 1858, Joseph was nearly impressed into the Prussian Army.  He quickly becomes a naturalized US citizen. 

In 1859 Joseph and his Mother move from Boston to San Francisco, California to seek a milder climate for Joseph's health.  In 1860 Joseph and his Mother are living at 653 Howard St., San Francisco and Joseph is teaching piano.

In 1861 Emil returns to America from Germany.  He goes to San Francisco begins practicing medicine.  

Joseph continues teaching piano until 1865 when he applies for a passport; he requests that the passport be sent to a New York hotel.  (The transcontinental railroad was not completed until 1869.  To go to New York from San Francisco he would have taken a ship to either Nicaragua or Panama, gone overland, and then boarded another ship to New York.  The journey would have taken about a month.)

In November 1870, he and his mother arrive in Baltimore, Maryland from Germany. Joseph returns to San Francisco by the transcontinental railroad (about 8 days). He resumes teaching music.

May 1876, Joseph is in New York and applies for a passport.  He apparently goes to Germany and returns May 1877.

October 19, 1878 he suddenly dies at the age of 47 in San Francisco.  His estate is valued at $18,000 in gold coin.

There are numerous references to Joseph Trenkle in newspapers, periodical, and books.  He is well respected for both his teaching and performances.

Sources, Joseph Trenkle:
•  Born 4 February 1831, Waldkirch, Germany
•  University of Freiburg Registration, 1848 Phil, 1849-50 Med (Die Matrikel der Univ. of Freiburg)
•  Memoirs by Wilhelm His
•  Immigrated to America September 1850
•  Teacher of Piano and Organ at Pittsfield Massachusetts Young Ladies' Institute 1851 (also 1852)
•  Mason, Columbian Lodge, Boston Massachusetts, 1854
•  Music Teacher, Boston, Massachusetts 1856 (also 1855) - Boston, Massachusetts City Directory
•  Music Teacher, Boston, Massachusetts 1857 (also 1859) - Boston, Massachusetts City Directory
•  Trip to Germany, August - November 1858
•  Joseph Trenkle US Naturalization Petition, Boston, Massachusetts, 4 March 1851
•  Joseph Trenkle US Naturalization Oath, Boston, Massachusetts, 1 July 1859
•  Joseph Trenkle US Naturalization, Boston, Massachusetts, 1 July 1859
•  Leaves Boston and moves to San Francisco for health reasons
• 
•  Joseph Trenkle Piano Concert, San Francisco, August 3, 1860
• 
•  1860 US Census, San Francisco - J. Trenkle and Mrs. Trenkle (Mother)
•  1861 San Francisco Directory - Joseph Trenkle Music Teacher at 653 Howard St.
•  1862 San Francisco Directory - Joseph and Mother at 653 Howard St., Emil at 646 Washington St.
•  1863 San Francisco Directory - Joseph and Mother at 653 Howard St., Emil at 611 Washington St.
•  1864 San Francisco Directory - Joseph, Mother and Emil at 612 Mission St.
•  Joseph Trenkle Passport Application, San Francisco, 31 May 1865
• 
•  Joseph Trenkle with Mother arrive in Baltimore from Bremen on Ship Ohio, 1 November 1870
•  Joseph Trenkle passes through Ogden, Utah 7 November 1870 on way to San Francisco
•  1871 San Francisco Directory (at 750 Folsom St 1871, 72, 73; at 752 Folsom St. 1874, 75, 76)
• 
•  Joseph Trenkle Passport Application, New York, 25 May 1876
•  Joseph Trenkle passes through Carlin, Nevada 7 June 1877 on way to San Francisco
•  1878 San Francisco Directory
• 
•  Joseph Trenkle Obituary, San Francisco Morning Call, 21 October 1878
•  Joseph Trenkle Obituary, The Argonaut, San Francisco, 26 October 1878
•  Joseph Trenkle Obituary, Dwight's Journal of Music, Boston, 23 November 1878
•  Joseph Trenkle Probate (Emil Trenkle Executor)
• 
•  Picture with John Beutler (Sixty Years Of California Song)