Biography of Joseph Dieves
Alameda County, CA Biographies





JOSEPH DIEVES
The East Bay district of Alameda county is indebted to Germany for man of its best citizens, who have contributed in very large measure to the development and prosperity of their respective communities. Of this number was the late Joseph Dieves, who indicated his faith in the future possibilities of Oakland by making large investments in real estate here, and later developments abundantly proved the accuracy of his judgment. The year 1853 witnessed his arrival in California. His birth occurred at Heimetzheim on the Rhine, Germany, August 24. 1816, and he there received his educational training in the public schools. At an early age he was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker, and followed that trade in hi: native land until twenty five years of age when he left home and spent three year: in acquiring an added knowledge of his trade through practical experience in Belgium, France and Holland. He then returned home but in 1847 came to the new world settling first in Boston, Massachusetts. A year later he removed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, remaining a resident of that city until 1853 when he came to California by way of the Isthums route. After three months spent in Sonora he came to Alameda county, locating in Oakland where he was employed at the carpenter's trade for a time. He then went to San Leandro where he purchased five acres of land on which he built the Eagle Hotel, the first public house in that section of the county. In 1861 he went into the country and opened a road house on the old stage road to Stockton and in these ventures success attended his efforts but desiring a larger field of operation he built the Globe Hotel in San Francisco. After conducting it for a time he leased the Cosmopolitan Hotel at the corner of Seventh street and Broadway in Oakland and conducted this until 1868 when he sold to J. J. Hannifin and returned to his native land for a visit. On again coming to California he acquired an interest in the Oakland brewery, remaining a partner in that enterprise until his death, which occurred August 9, 1889. Through the pioneer period he had assisted in the material development and upbuilding of the region and the value of his labors in this section was widely recognized and appreciated.

In 1846 Joseph Dieves was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude Gette, also a native of Germany, who died in 1892, at the age of sixty seven years. They were parents of two children, Joseph Peter and Mary A., who in 1868 became the wife of I. Surryhue and died July 2, 1903. They have an adopted daughter Gertrude M., who became the wife of Thomas Bibber.

Joseph Peter Dieves was born at Cologne, Germany, January 2, 1847, but was only eight years of age when his father Joseph Dieves, established his family in the home on the San Leandro road near San Leandro. Thereafter he was closely identified with Alameda county and for many years ranked as one of her most popular citizens especially among the sporting fraternity. He became the owner of the Three Mile House on the San Leandro road now East Fourteenth street, having there five acres with picnic grounds, race track and other features. This was the rendezous of the East Bay sporting fraternity and the colored pugilist, the late Peter Jackson trained there for all of his contests on the coast and was backed financially by Joseph P. Dieves. His father, who had amassed a fortune in connection with the Oakland Brewery, started him in business but Joseph P. Dieves showed marked capability in directing and conducting his affairs. The Three Mile House became famous for its splendid meals while its cigars, wines and liquors were unsurpassed. It was regarded as the greatest treat that could be extended a friend to entertain him at the Three Mile House.

Mr. Dieves was married in Oakland, November 22, 1868, to Rose F. Siegrist, who was a famous acrobat and noted tight rope walker. They became the parents of three children: Joseph A., Charles I., and Adeline M., the wife of J. Parsons, all living in Alameda county. The mother's death occurred April 28, 1894, when she was forty seven years of age. On the eighth of October, 1895, in Oakland, Joseph P. Dieves was married to Miss Lilliam Plitt, a daughter of Justis Daniel and Ida Plitt, who were natives of Germany, and became pioneers of Alameda county, where the father was proprietor of Plittsville Park. He was well known as a popular hotel keeper and pioneer and after selling the popular summer resort, Piedmont Springs, he became the owner and proprietor of the Plittsville Hotel, about a half mile from Three Mile House, owned by Peter Dieves. This he alsQ made an attractive resort to the public. Mrs. Dieves was born in San Jose, April 4, 1874, and was one of three children: Emma, who became the wife of Edward Baldwin, and was killed in a railway accident, and Elizabeth, now the wife of William F. Maxwell of Stockton. The youngest daughter Lillian was reared in Piedmont and attended its schools.

In young manhood Joseph P. Dieves was a member of the Oakland Fire department. His genial manner made him known as "Joe" to all with whom he came in contact. As time went on his popularity increased as his acquaintance broadened, he became a factor in county politics but while he assisted many a friend to success in the poltical field he never aspired to office. He seems satisfied to aid his friends and this he did in other ways than in politics. It is said that the needy were never refused aid at his door and in his passing, Alameda county lost a citizen long a prominent figure in the county. He was a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he had in large measure those splendid qualities which make for genial companionship and strong friendship.

To Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Dieves was born one son, William J., who is an accountant and resides with his widowed mother in the beautiful residence which they built in 1926 at 581 Kenwyn Road.

From:
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928


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