John Lewis Brauer was the first child of Michael and Charlotte Brauer to be born in the United States. Be was born in Toledo in 1855. The family stopped in Des Moines and Council Bluffs before joining a wagon train for California in 1866.

Maleta Belle Crews was born in Kansas on April 26,1868 while the family were considering a move to California. Shortly after the completion of the transcontinental railroad, they came west, first to Healdburg, then to Burney Valley where Maleta met john Brauer. They were married New Year's Day1884; Maleta was 15 and John was 29.

Three children were born to the couple in Burney Valley -- Maud Anna on October 14,1884, Leslie Earl on July 25, 1886, and Easton Buryl on March 3, 1889. They, then moved to Montgomery Creek where Carrol Vern and John Clyde were born. Their next move was to a farm adjoining Oscar's place on Oak Run Road.

They were living there when Oscar's wife, Maleta's sister, Martha died and they took the two-year-old, Irma into their home; soon the two older girls, Vivian and May were living full time with Aunt Lete and Uncle John.

Maleta and John sent their oldest two children to a private college, but there were too many young Brauers so they moved to Chico where John ran a second hand store and all the Brauer cousins (and cousin Leila Snell) could attend Chico State Normal School. The young men went to school in the winter and worked on hay baling teams in Shasta County during the summer months. Maud married Frank Foster and lived on a homestead on Oak Run Road.

In 1912, at age 57 John Brauer died of heart failure. Maleta took in boarders and maintained a home for the younger Brauers and Snells who were still attending Chico Normal School. There were graduations, teaching positions and marriages until only Maleta's son Clyde and two nieces were still in school. Maleta moved her boarding house to Berkley so Clyde could study dentistry.

In 1920, Maleta married George Hill and they maintained a home in Oakland so the next generation could attend high school and college. Five of Maleta's granddaughters went to school and four were married from the house on E 15th Street with 'Grandpa' escorting each bride. George and Maleta moved to Santa Cruz before George's death in 1951.

May Brauer Bean came from Shasta County to help her Aunt Lete stay in her own home. On November 2, 1954, Maleta did her duty and went to the polls to cast her ballot; she died four days later, in the early morning of November 6, 1954.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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