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G. S. Breithaupt


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/23/2024 at 18:16:15

Oldest Knight Dead ~ G. S. Breithaupt, of Ackley, Succumbs to Infirmities of Old Age ~ Last Survivor of Golden Gate Disaster of California Coast in 1859 - Lost $10,000 in Gold with the Sinking of Vessel ~ One of Few Who Saved Lives by Swimming

Ackley; June 28 - G. S. Breithaupt, the oldest member of the Knights of Pythias, in length of membership, in the United States, and the last survivor of the Golden Gate disaster, off the coast of California in 1859, died at his home here at 1 o'clock this morning of infirmities due to old age.

Mr. Breithaupt had been a resident of Iowa since 1871, coming here from California. He was a native of Germany and was 82 years of age. Last November he and Mrs. Breithaupt celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, at which time their eight children visited the family home. At the time of Mr. Breithaupt's death but one of the children was in the city.

Mr. Breithaupt's life was filled with more thrilling experiences than usually fall to the lot of one man. He crossed the great plains with a wagon train, from St. Louis to California, in 1852, and during the long trip the party had many fights with Indians and experienced untold hardships.

During this perilous journey and throughout the years he was a resident of California, Mr. Breithaupt kept a diary which recounts many of the adventures he experienced in the early days on the frontier and the coast.

The hardy old pioneer was a passenger on the steamer Golden Gate, which was wrecked off the coast of California in 1859. He had with him $10,000 in gold, the result of years of hard labor in the mines of California, but he was obliged to sacrifice his fortune to protect his life. Few escaped the terrible disaster, but Mr. Breithaupt was one of the few. He took to the waves and by desperate effort managed to swim ashore. He was the last of the passengers or crew of the Golden Gate.

Much has been written about Mr. Breithaupt's experiences and of his long connection with the Knights of Pythians. He was one of the first members of the lodge, being connected with the Golden Gate lodge at San Francisco.

He was married in San Francisco in 1862 and is survived by his wife and eight children. Arrangements for the funeral have not yet been made, but it will probably be held from the home Monday.

Evening-times Republican; June 28, 1913


Franklin Obituaries maintained by Rose Rouse.
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