Recognizing Some of the Hardest Workers in Piedmont
Most of the historical publications about Piedmont talk about the bourgeoisie of Piedmont, while not recognizing the proletariats.
Here are just a few of many deserved stories.
Oral History Interview with Frederick S. Farr, Publication date 1987:
FARR: I think so. I lived in a WASP [White Anglo-Saxon Protestant] city, Piedmont. I didn’t know any blacks; there were a few orientals who went to school there that were working as servants.
In 1910, 51 persons (3 percent of Piedmont's population) were of a race other than White. Based on the racial categories used in the 1910 census, this included 28 Japanese, 20 Chinese, and 3 Blacks. All were household employees except for three of the Chinese, who were reported as boarders.
• There were 214 live-in household employees in Piedmont in 1910, representing
12 percent of the city's population.
• The majority of household employees were reported by respondents to the census
as servants (124).
• While most household employees had occupations usually associated with
domestic service (such as servant, maid or housekeeper), some of these
employees had other occupations, such as nurse, cook or gardener.
• Of the 397 households in Piedmont in 1910, 135 households, or 34 percent, had
one or more live-in household employees.
• Of these 135 households, 96 had one household employee, 23 had two, 8 had
three, 3 had four, and 5 had five or more household employees.
• Of the 214 household employees, about two-thirds were female (146) and twothirds of these women were classified as servants (96).
• Among household employees, the occupations with both males and females
represented were servant, cook and laundress/laundryman
The Daily Telegram - Thu - May 11, 1922
(Pattiani’s) neighbors, she says, “had an alarm system on an even more elaborate scale.” In the Requa family’s case, the alarm system was staffed. “The butler, George Washington, a tall, courteous mulatto, was delegated to check the location of any alarm signal.”
Letters from my Nephew Slim, by Carl S. Smith 1965
Let's go all the way back to the days with the Thorntons. I worked as chauffeur, butler, and assistant cook. I was cook when the maid was off, or quit. I started going up to the Bohemian Grove, the Bohemians consisting of very wealthy gentlemen all across the nation.
Oakland Tribune - Mon - Mar. 15, 1920
It was not until 2:30 o'clock this morning that the absence of Ulla Carlson, murdered Piedmont domestic, from the home of her employer. Willard Brown, at 1225 Ashmorit avenue, was discovered. Then it was Mrs. Hilda Nelson, the cook, who made the discovery. Other occupants in the house had retired before Miss Carlson went with Miss
Marie Carlson; her visitor to the car.