In 1851, Gustav Brauer was born near Danzig, Germany to Michael and Charlotte Rotike Brauer. He was an infant when the family came to America; and settled in Toledo where Michael joined his brother, Jacob, in his tailor shop. After four years in Des Moines they joined a wagon train for the trip to California. They lived in several places before settling in Burney Valley.

Gustav was nine years old and must have impressed the wagoneers because one of them dubbed him "Oscar" and the name suited him so well that he used it for the next eighty-three years.

On August 15, 1964, in Missouri, Martha Susan was born to Robert and Mary Elizabeth Crews. Three years later the family started west, arriving in California by train in 1873. After a brief stay in Healdsburg, they moved to Burney Valley where Robert kept the Pawnee store and was the only Postmaster (1894--1902).

Oscar and Martha were married February 5, 1883 and bought eighteen acres south of the Cornaz place. Oscar Leo was born in their log cabin on June 9, 1884. Though he was two months premature, he survived. but Roswell and Elaine both died shortly after birth. When she again became pregnant Oscar moved Martha and Leo to Redding for medical care; Lloyd was born full term and strong on July 3, 1888.

Oscar traded his eighteen acres in Burney Valley for a Ranch on Cow Creek, thirteen miles east of Millville and later moved again to a smaller ranch up Oak Run Road near Millville (which still belongs to the family).

Robert Ernest was born on March 3, 1890; Mary Elnora was born May l0, 1893; Vivian was born April 21, 1895; Sidney Emmons was born March 15, 1898; and Hazel Irma was born February 28, 1903.

Martha Brauer, who had always been frail and suffered from asthma. died of a heart attack in April of 1905, while visiting her parents home on Cow Creek. She was only forty one and left seven children, the youngest was two-year-old Irma. Martha's sister and brother-in-law, Maleta and John Brauer promptly took over care of Irma: soon the other two girls were living with their aunt.

Education was important to the family, Leo attended Shasta High School, living with his aunt Mary Wickert in Redding before going to Berkeley. Later John and Maleta moved to Chico to provide a home for the cousins while attending college.

Oscar spent his last years living with Vivian in Santa Monica, Ernest in Dinuba, and finally with May at the home he had built as a young husband and father. He died there in 1943 at the age of ninety-two.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

Biography Index