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