THE OLD SCHÜTZEN VEREIN
LOUIS B. ENGELKE
The San Antonio Express
The declaration of war between France and Germany in 1870 produced great excitement in the ranks of marksmen, natives of above countries in San Francisco . Some of them declared their intention to return to their native homes, and use their skill in battle against the enemy. Mr. Emil Weil, a young tobacco merchant on Front Street , a native of Elsas and a fair rifle shot, left in August for France , he joined the French army in Paris and during the siege of that city while the first time under fire, at a sortie, was taken prisoner by the Prussians and sent for detention to Berlin . Here Herman Jacoby a banker, brother of the writer, met him and made his involuntary visit to the capital of Germany as pleasant as possible. August 14th 1870 the German Consul Duisenberg and the writer organize a shooting festival for the benefit of the wounded in the Franco-German war. The festival took place at Harbor View and proved an immense success. Many and valuable prizes were offered by the San Francisco citizens and were competed for with the globesight, open sight, and military rifle targets. A unique feature was the competition with the Needle Gun which Philo Jacoby had brought from Berlin in 1868. Of the 200 cartridges presented to him together with the gun, he had 158 felt, which were shot off at $1.00 a piece at a bullseye target.
Wm. Ehrenpfort, with the best center won first prize at the needle gun competition, a splendid silver goblet; 1st prize, globe sight, went to Joseph Hug with 34 out of possible 36 rings. Philo Jacoby won the first prize at the open sight target with 33 rings and Captain McElhenny the first prize at the military rifle target. Markers and secretaries all worked without reward during the prize shooting and the sum of $1285.00 was realized which was sent the following day by Consul Duisenberg to the relief committee at Berlin .
Having accepted a position as war correspondent of the “ Alta California ” that time the most prominent daily morning paper in San Francisco the writer, August 27th, 1870 left for the seat of war in France . Arriving September 3rd in Chicago , he learned the news of the battle of Sedan and then capture of Emperor Louis Napoleon. Under guidance of police inspector Herman Mueller whose acquaintance he had made at the steamer on his return trip from Europe in 1868, he went sight-seeing through the town and witnessed the great procession of about 20,000 patriotic Germans, which was formed in a few hours, and whose singing and shouting could be heard for miles. Believing war was about over, Jacoby, attended the American Sharpshooters Bund Festival in Washington, where he won Kingship by scoring 101 four inch bullseyes at 200 yards, in one day’s shooting, winning the king medal (yet in his possession) and $100.
In 1871 the National Rifle Club was organized and held its practice and prize shooting at Harbor View. Prominent members were A. Lohse, the manager of The California Powder Works, James Stanton, and many members, among whom the writer, of the Deutsche Schuetzen Club. At the first public prize-shooting of the National Rifle Club in October, Joseph Hug won first prize for most bullseyes, and Wm. Ehrenpfort won a large handsome silver goblet presented by A. Lohse.
The first of the California marksmen to compare his skill with that of the world celebrated European champions was Philo Jacoby who left San Francisco in May 1873 to attend the great Shooting contests in Germany Switzerland and Austria . The Cantonal Shooting festival in Zurich June 20 to 30th of above year was the first in which he competed. There were 95 targets being placed at 1000 feet distance. The range was perfectly open, each target having a large number, corresponding with a place of like number in the shooting stand, which was a temporary erected wooden building. Jacoby had brought his heavy muzzleloading rifle along, but only open sight breechloaders were allowed to be used, so he hired from Joseph Staub (the celebrated shoott1g king) who had the keening of the armory in the shooting hall, a Vetterly rifle. This rifle was built after the pattern of the Prussian needle gun, but much handier than that weapon, weighing less, and requiring but three movements in loading to the needle guns six; it also had a good fine trigger.
At 1 P. M. of the first day of the festival a cannon shot gave the signal to begin the contest, the first event being for 10 goblets, for the first of which the main honor, the champions Joseph Staub, Haury, Knecht, Streif, Luchsinger and Emil Pfenniger, were the favorites to gain the first 100 numbers (10 inch bullseye) needed for the goblet. Staub and Haury finished at the same time but Haury was the first to announce and prove his score at the official counter, and so was awarded the much coveted honor and trophy which he received on the grounds with due ceremony, music, speeches, etc. Jacoby not being used to the light Vetterly which weighed about 10 pounds (his muzzleloader weighed 18) did not shoot well at first but gradually made better scores, and gained his goblet during rue afternoon. The following day Jacoby devoted to shooting on the Honorary targets. There were six sets of them, the main prizes being on “Vaterland” at which each competitor was allowed to fire two shots which were measured from the center.
The writer was present when Staub made his two shots, His first was a very good one, probably within an inch or two from the possible. When he had fired, his second shot he ex— claimed: “I got it! Right in the center!” but the marker on the target he thought he shot at, showed a miss, while on the next target, in the stand of which nobody had fired, a dead center was shown. Poor Staub had shot at the wrong target and lost, what surely would have been the first prize which on “Vaterland” amounted to 5,000 francs. He was so disgusted with the ill luck that he did not fire another shot during the festival. The main event of the festival, shooting for’ King took place the fourth day Wednesday: the conditions were unlimited shooting for most numbers, all day.
Jacoby had engaged the son of Staub, and his father’s rifle, and so was enabled to shoot continually, while young Staub was kept busy cleaning the other rifle. During the afternoon from 4 to 5, a heavy rain storm came down from the mountains, the black of the targets became scarcely visible and nearly all marksmen ceased firing except Jacoby who, by holding away on the left (where the wind came from) succeeded after a few misses, In scoring 15 numbers in succession. When the storm had passed away the firing opened again on all targets. But when at 6 PM at the sound of a cannon, the targets disappeared, Jacoby had gained the honor of the day. He had fired 1158 shots and scored 589 numbers, 54 more than the next highest Emil Pfenniger of Reinach.
After the result had been ascertained by the committee, a procession was formed and the California marksman crowned with a laurel wreath escorted with music to the banquet hall where on immense tables many hundreds of marksmen enjoyed a splendid meal with wine as a libation. (Over 500 francs which Jacoby won that day, he gave to the Schuetzenwirth for extra “Schuetzen Wine.”)
During the banquet many eloquent speeches were made by representative marksmen, over different objects, among others Jacoby was complimented as being the first Non-Swiss Shooting King in the history of shooting in Switzerland . In answer the writer truthfully stated that his teachers in the art of marksmanship were his Swiss comrades in California , Ebhner, Rahwyler and others who would be delighted when they heard of his success.
Well, they can hear of it very quickly, stated the president of the festival and at the close of the banquet he brought Jacoby in a carriage to the office of the Atlantic Cable operator, where Jacoby dictated the following message: John Mengel, Sutter and Stockton Streets, San Francisco “Schützenköenig – Philo.” When Jacoby wanted to pay for the
cablegram he was not permitted to do so; in fact he was royally treated throughout, and will surely never forget his comrades and good friends in Switzerland .
John Mengel (who died only a few mouths ago), a member of the S. F. Schuetzen Verein when he received the cablegram lost no time in making its contents known in San Francisco, and, as the writer later ascertained, winning many bets from unbelievers.
Jacoby next contested one day at the Cantonal shooting a Zofingen where he won goblets and other prizes, and having bought Staub’s Vetter Ii, a splendid shooting rifle in Zurich for 150 francs, he became quite at home in the Numbers. The week following, the great eight-day Cantonal shooting festival in Solothurn took place. From Zurich , Jacoby took the train to the festival place; his car was an open one and when the train entered the station in Solothurn it ran straight into another train left standing on the same rails. All occupants of the open car jumped; Jacoby was one of the first, the fall did not hurt him much but a 200 pound Swiss mountaineer marksman who jumped upon him with the spikes of his boots tore a deep cut in his right hip. Jacoby was carried to the station house where doctors soon attended him, sewed up his wound and made arrangements to send him to a hospital. The accident happened about 11 A. M. and the Cantonal shooting was to begin at 1 P. M. The Swiss marksman (his name was Streif Luchsinger,) who was the innocent cause of Jacoby’s accident, remained with him and helped to make him as comfortable as possible. He said he would leave for the shooting range at 12:30 as he had entered for the first goblet contest. Of course, the writer felt double sore; on his hip and that he should not be able to be at the opening of the festival. He asked Streif Luchsinger to help him on his legs, and when Jacoby found that he could stand fairly steady, he insisted on accompanying his new comrade to the Schuetzen Platz in spite of the advice of the doctors. Streif Luchsinger called a carriage and soon they were at the range. Jacoby’s baggage and rifle had been left at the station and he was supplied with weapon and ammunition by his friend. The contest began for the first goblet. Streif Luchsinger scored the first 100 numbers, and won the honor. Jacoby although somewhat unsteady on his legs, kept pegging away, and when he finally won his goblet (he was 7th on the list) he could scarcely keep upright. Streif Luchsinger carried him, accompanied by great many marksmen, on his shoulders to the Gaben Temple , where the gritty Californian received his hard earned trophy under resounding cheers. Then the doctors got hold of him and brought him in a carriage to a hospital where for the next three days he laid in high wound-fever.
When Jacoby regained consciousness on Wednesday, (the accident happened on Sunday) he found himself in a large finely furnished room, with a handsome young Swiss nurse bending over him congratulating him on his return from the land of Nod. On Friday he was able with the aid of crutches to visit the place of the Cantonal Shooting festival, and was lucky enough to win, with his two shots on the Honorary Target, “Solothurn’, the second prize, consisting of 500 francs, a fine silver ornamented Vetterly military rifle, and three cases champagne. The latter Jacoby donated to the Festival Committee and the Vetterli went up in flames together with Jacoby’s 20 other rifles, in the great earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906 .
After resting in Solothurn for eight days, the California rifleman, having secured credentials from the Mayor of the town, traveled to Thun, where the Federal Ammunition Factory is situated, for the purpose of securing 1000 each 41 caliber cartridges for his Vetterli, for neither in Germany or Austria, where he intended to compete, could this ammunition be had. The way to the factory led over the Lake of Thun , one of the most beautiful and romantic situated lakes in Switzerland on the southern border of which the ammunition works are situated. The officials received the strange rifleman very kindly, having heard of his success at Zurich , and let him have 1000 cartridges at a very reasonable rate.
At Vienna in July that year, during the world’s exposition, there took place a great contest with military rifles; all competitors had to use the Austrian Werdle Gewehr , a rifle which opened sideways near the breach, had plain open sights and a triggerpull of about six pounds, the distances shot over were 200, 400, and 600 meters, the targets were divided into 4 points, with the black counting 4, 23 by 26 centimeter (about 9 by 10 inches) and larger in proportion at 400 and 600 meters. The ranges were at the Militaer Schiesstaette in the Prater, about mile from the World Exposition buildings. At 200 meters the condition was standing, while at 400 and 600 meters kneeling was permitted, and chance was given competitors to fire 10 practice shots at each range.
The use of Werdle rifle with ammunition was given free to all competitors and Jacoby had the luck to get a very correct shooting one; he scored 38 at the first range; 37 at the second: and 38 at the 3rd range, together 113 points, which gained for him the first prize, a grand gold medal 500 Gulden and a fine large field glass. Next to him was Lord Elko Jr. from England with 106 points, whose father had given the great Elko Shield for yearly competition between an English, Irish and Scotch rifle team. The Shield, about 3 feet by 4 in size, of solid silver, beautiful workmanship and artistically engraved was on exhibition in the English department of the World’s Fair.
The next contest the California rifleman participated in was the Rheinische Bundes Shooting Festival in Düsseldorf. It was against the law to have cartridges as baggage, but he smuggled them through, having them in a big leather satchel hidden by underwear. When passing over the border into Prussia, the commanding officer at the station asked him what he bad in the satchel, he answered truthfully, “my washing,” “Well it seems pretty heavy washing, I noticed you carrying it,” said he. Then Jacoby told him all about coming from California to participate in the great German shooting and bringing his cartridges along from Switzerland a there were no 41 caliber ones for his Vetterli to be had in Germany. The officer laughed good naturedly, made some cabalistic chalkmarks on the satchel and wished the Californian good luck at the festival. In Düsseldorf where he arrived two days before the beginning of the event he was well received by the officers of Rheinische Schuetzen Bund, especially by the president C. de Loew, who knew of his success in Switzerland and Vienna .
There was a great procession in which Jacoby had a place of honor and he carried in the muzzle of his Vetterli one of the handsome small American flags with a golden bear painted upon it, which Mr. Pasquale of San Francisco had furnished him. When passing a large building many young ladies rushed out and, marching along cheered the flag most lustily. There were American students at the Düsseldorfer Painting Academy . The contest for the first 10 goblets began at 5:30 P. M. the shooting stand was near the Rhein river from over which a strong wind was blowing and Jacoby by holding accordingly had little trouble in gaining the first goblet and silver set, which were presented to him later in the evening, during a banquet and ball in the “Rathaus Halle” with great ceremony. He has them yet among his most cherished trophies.
The second day of the Rheinische Bundes Schiessen Jacoby devoted to the Honorary Targets of which there were four, “Deutschland, “Düsseldorf”, “Rhein” and “Lorely” the two former were at 300 meter (976 feet) distance and the two latter at 175 meter (569 feet.) There were a great many marksmen competing at these targets, and it took Jacoby nearly all day to complete his scores. At “Düsseldorf” and “Deutschland” he done well, making out of possible 60 rings, 53 on one and 51 on the other. “Rhein” and “Lorely” were center targets with one shot allowed on each; on “Rhein” his shot went too high, so when his turn came to shoot at “Lorely” he aimed away below the black; he pulled the trigger steadily and the marker showed a dead bullseye. The shot proved to be about one-half inch from the true center and gained for the Californian the third prize, 500 marks (about $115) and a beautiful bronze trophy “Diana” which was on exhibition at several Mechanics Institute Fairs in San Francisco . The great event of the festival, the competition for “Schützen Köenig” took place on the following day; the conditions were most points all day; the shooting distance 300 meters, at targets with an oblong black, 15 inches high and 9 broad with an inner ring 9 inches high and 3 broad, the former counting one, the latter two points. The target stands were crowded and Jacoby was only enabled to fire about 300 shots, but when the cannon sounded the close of the competition, he had scored 389 points, 87 more than B. Koerting, from Hanover, the Shooting King of the last Bund Shooting. Among the competitors for King were several good marksmen from Brussels, the champion of whom, Monseur Doreaux who had won the second goblet the rest day, generally shot at the same stand with the Californian, and followed him when he changed to another, but, although Doreaux shot well in the forenoon, once scoring seven two’s in succession, the Californian soon passed him; Doreaux broke up badly during the afternoon and bereft Jacoby of his company. The Kingprizes, a laurel wreath, a hand some goblet and 250 marks were presented to the Californian during the evening in the Pavilion at the Festival Place, with due ceremonies, among which occurred a Schuetzen Reigen, namely many marksmen, those from Brussels and Düsseldorf in the lead, clasped hands and danced around the Californian while singing a Schuetzen song.—Many young people from the Painting Academy were present and enthusiastically aided in honoring their successful American representative.
When Jacoby returned to San Francisco , his comrades of the rifle gave him a grand reception. The San Francisco Turner Schuetzen (whom he represented and in its, (at that) time white uniform he competed in all his contests in Europe) under command of Captain C. K. Zimmer (yet hale and hearty, and a resident of San Rafael) turned out in a body, while hundreds of other marksmen and friends (among them August Browning who had won the first prize, a silver goblet, at a free prize shooting given by Jacoby to his comrades before his departure for Europe) each bearing torches and headed by a fine band, escorted Jacoby through the principal streets to Martin’s restaurant on Commercial street, where an excellent banquet was enjoyed by all and the returned champion, his many trophies spread before him, related to his comrades the history of his struggles for the supremacy of California marksmanship over that of the best riflemen in Europe.
During 1872 the National Rifle Club was organized by the members of the old “Deutsche Schuetzen Club” which had ceased to exist, Joseph Hug, Alois Schneider, Wm. Ehrenpfort, John Bach, George Schmidt, Chas. Slotterbek, Philo Jacoby and others were original members. Their shooting range was at Harbor View where they practiced every Sunday and held several public prize shootings.
About that time there came to San Francisco a young man, about 19 years of age named Adolph Strecker. He was a journeyman barber of delicate built and in the shop he .was engaged in he came in contact with several riflemen, among them, Jacoby. The latter on Christmas Eve in 1872 invited him to be present at a turkey shooting which was held in a place on Kearny Street . To win a turkey the competitors had to fire at a small ring target, 75 feet away, and having a bullseye of one half an inch, in diameter, counting 10. There were 20 competitors and Jacoby had made two bullseyes and a nine, when Strecker who fired last scored, to the astonishment of all present three bullseyes and won the Christmas bird; a new champion had surely arisen. Strecker carried his prize in triumph to his boarding house in Morton Street , kept by Mr. Maas, and showed it to his friends. Sad to relate, the turkey escaped out of his hands, flew against the looking glass which it broke and for which damage Mr. Maas kindly accepted the hard earned prize of the young champion. Strecker soon afterwards joined the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein and became the champion of that association. The shooting that time, was at the distance of 150 yards and at a black target having a white bullseye of 4 inches in diameter counting 10, 11 and 12, the other rings being in the black. In his practice and prize shooting that time, Strecker seldom missed the bullseye.
In June 1874 occurred the American Bund Shooting Festival at Baltimore, and the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein resolved to send Strecker as their delegate to that event. The distance shot over at Baltimore was 200 yards, and as there was no range at that distance that time in San Francisco, Jacoby, who had taken Strecker in hand, improvised one by measuring off in the Alameda Schuetzen Park range, 50 yards from the firing point towards the entrance, and from that point shooting through a window of the shooting house at the target which was a duplicate of those to be used in Baltimore (25 inches in diameter having 25 one half inch rings and a 12 inch black, 14 to 25 rings in black and the others in the white)
Several times a week Strecker, under guidance of the writer, practiced and soon became very proficient at the new distance. One afternoon, Strecker after firing three shots, held his rifle In position for the fourth, and exclaimed: “Philo I cannot see the target, what is the matter!” I turned around and there inside the shooting house, before the window through which Strecker was shooting, stood a woman on whose back Strecker with his finger on the hair trigger had moved the sight of his loaded rifle around in the vain endeavor to find the target. Running to the shootinghouse we there found a well dressed woman to whom we stated the danger she had escaped of getting killed. She was greatly scared and explained to us that, while visiting the park she had strayed into the house, had heard the shots, and also, the zip of the bullets as they passed through the window to the target, but thought that the latter sound came from bees of which there were many around; well, she left for home in short order.
June 10th, 1874 Strecker started on his trip to Baltimore ; the writer escorted him to Oakland and gave him good advice on the way. At the American Bund Shooting festival William Ehrenphfort also participated, Strecker proved a great surprise to the champion marksmen assembled there. The fame of his great skill had not reached them, and when the young Californian, boyish looking and scarcely of age, beat the best of them, day after day for most bullseyes, and it became sure that an unknown youngster would become the Shooting King of the United States, they did not like it very much. The great event of the Bund’s Festival was the honor of being Shooting King, to win which, a marksman had to score most (4 inch) bullseyes during the 6 days of the contest. Shooting began Sunday afternoon June 21st after the great parade, and when it closed, Strecker had the most bullseyes, and he had the most during every day of the contest, beating his next opponent Wm. Hayes (who as Shooting King of the National Bund Shooting of 1898, competed at the Bund Shooting in 1901 in San Francisco) over 100 bullseyes. At the Honorary Target he won the third prize out of many hundreds, a very valuable one. He was declared shooting king of the United States and received honors and many prizes.
When young Strecker returned to San Francisco , the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein gave him a grand public reception. The whole company in uniform, headed by a music hand and accompanied by torchlight bearers, received him at the ferry and escorted him to the Wintergarden, a large public building on Stockton Street , near Sutter, where a grand banquet was given in his honor.
A. Palmer, the same Nevada hunter and sharpshooter who ten years before had shot a match against Joseph Hug losing not only $750, but also his ranch in betting, came to San Francisco in December 1874 and again challenged all marksmen for a contest. Philo Jacoby accepted his defy, and the match, for $100 a side, came off on Christmas day in Harbor View. Conditions were 20 shots, 220 yards offhand, each shot measured from the center of the target. Betting was in favor of Jacoby who won the match. His 20 shots measuring 61 inches against Palmer’s 99.
In October 1875 a communication from the Centennial World Fair Commission, Philadelphia was received by Philo Jacoby requesting him to organize a team of California riflemen to represent the Golden State at a champion rifle contest to be held under auspices of the American Sharpshooters Association during the Fair. The conditions being seven men to the team, each man to fire ten shots at the 25 one-half inch ring target, the first prize to be the World Champion Goblet (now in possession of the California Schuetzen Club). To be able to compete in the team match and also in the Bund Shooting Festival which preceded the same and lasted a full week, all members of the team had to be also members of a rifle association affiliated with the American Sharpshooters Association, the entrance fee of such membership being $50. As the then existing local rifle associations were not in favor of expending such a sum, Philo Jacoby, A. Rahwylcr, A. Strecker, Wm. Koenig, Captain C. K. Zimmer, Wm. Heber, Wm. Streuly, J. Ingold, 0. Momenthy and Leutgeb met Jan. 5 th at the musical headquarters, N. E. corner Kearny and Sutter Streets and organized “The California Schuetzen Club” for the purpose of representing California at the Centennial World Rifle Contest. Jacoby was elected president, A. Rahwyler vice-president, Wm. Koenig treasurer, Wm. Streuly secretary and Wm. Heber shooting master. The president offered a fine silver goblet to be contested for the following Sunday at Alameda Schuetzen Park . Mr. Ehrmann, an expert carpenter, and good marksman and hunter, made a double target frame on which handmade targets with 25 half-inch rings were pasted.
Outside the Schuetzen Park to the east, with the aid of Schuetzenwirth Hermann Bremer, the father of the present treasurer of the California Schuetzen Club, a range of 200 yards was measured off, a pit dug, an old chicken house lifted bodily from Bremer’s yard, carried through the opened fence and placed at the 200 yard mark from the rifle pit, and so the first 200 yard range in California came into existence. The signals to the marker were given with a large fishhorn, and the result of the shots on the target shown by numbers hastily painted on pasteboard pieces by William Koch. Sunday, January 7th the first prize-shooting of the California Schuetzen Club took place. The contest was for the best centers, and Wm. Koenig won the first prize the silver goblet, while several other prizes donated by members and friends were won by the other contestants. Seventy five dollars were realized by the Club of which sum 50 dollars were sent the following day as initiation fee of the California Schuetzen Club to the American Sharpshooters Association in Philadelphia . At the first meeting of the California Schuetzen Club, after its inauguration on January 12th, 12 new members, among them Wm. Ehrenpfort, A. Bauer, the German General Consul Duisenberg, Alois Schneider, John Horstman, August Browning. Freese, all good marksmen, joined the Club. Those who expressed their willingness to represent California , at their own expense, at the Centennial were Philo Jacoby, A. Strecker, A. Rahwyicr, Wm. Koenig, Wm. Streuly, Wm. Ehrenpfort and A. Bauer. Twice a week, Fridays and Sundays, up till the midst of June, the team and their comrades practiced at the new range and improved rapidly in their markmanship. A. Strecker and Wm. Koenig were active members, and A. Bauer, Wm. Ehrenpfort and Philo Jacoby passive members of the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein. At the May festival of that Society, members, both active and passive had as usual three shots at the company target, each shot being measured from the center. Adolph Strecker and Philo Jacoby scored three (4 1-2 inch) bullseyes each, Strecker’s shots measuring together 3¼ inches and Jacoby’s 2¾ the latters prize consisted of a 50 dollar slug, and the former’s of a gold watch. August Browning became Shooting King of the S. F. Schuetzen Verein by hitting and knocking down from the pole the last piece, no larger than a man’s hand, of the wooden Eagle.
Early in June the team left for Philadelphia . They competed individually with success in public prize shooting in New York and Newark City , N. J., in the latter city Jacoby had the good luck of winning the best center prize, $100, which was handed him by Wm. Hayes, the opponent of Strecker’s in Baltimore .
June 20th the team assembled at Capt. Busch’s Hotel in Hoboken, (Busch was captain of the N. Y. Independents Schuetzen; he weighed over 400 pounds,. but was lively and active; he paid a visit in the 70ies to San Francisco and the Schuetzen Verein gave in his honor a banquet in the Alameda Schuetzen Park) and proceeded to Philadelphia where they arrived in good order but had to wait for some time at the station before a member of the festival committee appeared and directed them to their hotel. June 24th the Bund Shooting festival of the American sharpshooters Union opened with a grand parade through the principal streets of Philadelphia . The California Schuetzen Club team was given a place of honor in front. They carried with them their handsome standard ornamented in gold with the seal of California, and their golden bear, carved in San Francisco, out of California Oak by a Swiss artist and heavily gilded It was the first time that the California flag and golden bear was shown in the East, and they and the team were greeted with cheers and received many floral offerings. The place of the Shooting Festival was situated in Germania Park , about 10 miles from Philadelphia , and the contest began at I P. M. Strecker, Rahwyler and Streuly competed for the most bullseyes, while Ehrenpfort, Bauer, Koenig and Jacoby entered the competition for the first goblets. The bullseye targets had a 12-inch black with a bullseye 4 inches in diameter, while the goblet targets had an oblong black 10 inches wide and 16 inches high,, counting one point with an inner line 3 inches wide and 9 inches high, counting two points. Strecker shot the most bullseyes in the afternoon, Rahwyler the second and Streuly the third most, while John Meunier of Milwaukee (our good friend who has paid his comrades in San Francisco several visits), won the first goblet, Wm. Ehrenpfort the second, Philo Jacoby the third, Wm. Koenig the fourth and A. Bauer the fifth.
The members of the California Schuetzen Club Team all resided during the week of the Bund Shooting Festival at a hotel near the Germania Schuetzcn Park . In the evening of the first day of the contest (and in fact on every evening during the week) Jacoby took train to Philadelphia and from there telegraphed the result of the day’s shooting to the comrades in San Francisco . When he returned he found Strecker a very ill man on the veranda of the hotel; it seems that the march and the excitement of the first day’s contest had been rather too much for him, and, although he shot fairly’ well the second day, he was not in usual form, and Wm. Hayes, whom he conquered in Baltimore two years before and who was in splendid trim, passed him in the contest for Kingship, shooting in one day 126 (4 inch) bullseyes. With the exception of Hayes, the seven Californian’s beat air other marksmen in the King Contest for most bullseyes during the week, and of the ten master sharpshooters diplomas, captured seven. Strecker was second, then came Rahwyler, Jacoby, Streuly, Koenig, Ehrenpfort and Bauer. Streuly won the first prize on the Stich Target (best center); Strecker and Rahwyler were the highest of the Californians on the Honorary (ring) target. On the Honorary (man) target each contestants had two series of five shots; the highest counted for prize, the lower for tie. Rahwyler and Jacoby shot together, both scored in the first series 86 out of possible 100; in the second series Rahwyler scored 83 and Jacoby again 86, the latter winning 2nd prize ($100) and the former 3rd prize ($80.) All the other Californians shot well on this target. An incident took place during the week of the festival which is well worth recounting. The first Bund Shootingsmaster who already on the first day of the contest had shown himself as an overbearing loudmouthed fellow, shot on Wednesday his score (3 shots) on the Honorary ring target. From the gallery in the shooting stand Rahwyler and Strecker were looking on. The schuetzenmeister’s first shot was a 21, and second a 3 and the last a 24 - (48) On the following day his score was placed as 68. Rahwyler and Strecker entered protest, so did other marksmen who had seen him shoot, and when the committee investigated the score-book, it was found that the noble schuetzenmeister, who had access to them, had written a 2 in front of the three (his second shot.) The miscreant was stripped of his schutzenmeister badge, had to forfeit all his prizes won, and was expelled from the shooting grounds.
The prize distribution of the Bund Shooting Festival took place in Germania Park . Win Hayes of Newark N. J., was crowned Bund Shooting King for having shot most bullseyes of the festival, thereby getting even with Strecker who defeated him in Baltimore . The latter promised to return the compliment when next they meet, a promise which he faith— fully kept by defeating Hayes and all other champion marksmen for Shooting King of the National Bund Shooting festival in San Francisco 1901. The Californian’s gathered in, each 7 silver and 7 gold medals, 7 silver goblets, each a handsome trophy on the Honorary Ring target, about $500.00 on the Honorary Man and Stick targets and about $500.00 for daily and weekly premiums for bulls- eyes.
The following week, the Californian’s devoted themselves to sight seeing at the World’s Fair and in Philadelphia . Strecker, Rahwyler Koenig and Streuly continued to reside in their hotel near Germania Park , while Ehrenpfort, Bauer and Jacoby had rooms in the Nord Deutsche Hotel in Philadelphia . The general meeting of delegates to the American Sharpshooters Association Bund took place July 2nd and on motion of the California delegation, the present point target, and present ring target (misnamed German ring target) were accepted as Bund targets.
In the evening of Jury 3rd, the evening of the great Centennial celebration, Ehrenpfort, Bauer and Jacoby sauntered forth to enjoy the sights in the streets of Philadelphia . The principal thoroughfares, all handsomely decorated, were crowded with all classes of humanity. Towards 12 all bells and whistles of the town started in with might and main to celebrate the Centennial year. Bauer and Jacoby (Ehrenpfort had lost himself) stood on the sidewalk opposite the old Town Hall and watched the procession of which the old Liberty Bell, resting on an artillery wagon and surrounded with ñ immense wreath, was the most prominent feature. The crowd rushing along with the procession swept the Californians off their feet and they and many others tumbled about 10 steps down to tile entrance of a large saloon in which they sought refuge, and after ascertaining that they escaped unharmed refreshed themselves, glad that they had seen the Liberty Bell and entered the hundredth anniversary of America’s Freedom without broken bones.
When July 6, 1876 , Bauer, Jacoby they found at the door Wm. Ehrenpfort, who accused them of having given him the slip, and enquired where they had been. Bauer, who was a great kidder) informed him, that he and Jacoby had been at a very interesting fancy masque ball on Gallow Hill, the Red Light district of Philadelphia, and Ehrenpfort has not forgiven Jacoby to this day that he had not taken him along to witness the great sights.
When July 6th, 1876 Bauer, Jacoby and Ehrenpfort arrived at Germania Park, they found the other members of the team Strecker, Rahwyler, Koenig and Streuly busy practicing. Capt. F. Greiner a member of the California Schuetzen Club, who was present was elected as Captain of the team and A. H. Lochbaum (now capitalist in San Mateo ) general supervision. Greiner was sent to supervise the shooting of the Helvetia Rifle team from New York , while the captain of the Helvetia supervised the shooting of the California team. Twenty one teams were originally entered, but the marksmanship displayed by the Californians during the Bund Festival probably discouraged some of them, for when the contest began there were only nine, but the members of these were composed of the best marksmen of the twenty-one originally entered.
Trainload after trainload of spectators arrived; there were trains from Baltimore , Washington , New York , St. Louis and Cincinnati , besides an immense throng from Philadelphia . The shooting committee assigned the Californians a stand where they could practice up to 1 P. M. when the Centennial team match was to begin. Five minutes before one the targets were lowered. From John Wieland the pioneer San Francisco Brewer, the team had received several cases of bottled beer, and from Kohler & Frohling select California Wine, while Rahwyler smuggled a bottle of fine Burgundy from a Centennial French Restaurant, so their table in front of their stand was well supplied. Jacoby asked the boys to drink to the success of California and that not one of them would pull the trigger of his rifle till his bead was on the spot where he wanted it to be. “I have no glass”, said Strecker. “Well, take a bottle,” answered Jacoby; so Strecker grabbed Rahwyler’s Burgundy and tilted it 45 degrees. Just then the cannon sounded and the targets appeared. Strecker jumped for his rifle (it was first in the rack) aimed scarcely two seconds and fired the first shot of the tournament. Instantly the red flag waived in front of the Californian’s target, indicating that the 25 ring (one inch in diameter) had been hit. Immense cheering broke out from the many thousands of spectators, and the Californians could also be heard. Next to them the Helvetia Team had their stand and their schuetzenmeister, Philip Klein turned towards the audience, yelling to them to keep quite, but he might just as well have yelled in a storm towards the breakers on a rocky coast and at the information from Jacoby that he had better watch his men who were shooting badly he desisted.
Strecker’s 25 was followed by a 24 by Koenig and every member of the California team scored well. Koenig’s first 3 shots were three 24’s. He was looking around for applause but his comrades thought they might break the spell, arid kept quiet, till Koenig said, “what do you think of it boys?” “nothing more than we expect of you” they answered. Strecker made four bullseyes in his first 5 shots. Jacoby had been shooting a good average, when, at the 6th shot, although he pulled the trigger steadily, he was shown a high 7, and every one of the team was shown a similar shot, When Jacoby’s turn came he, noticing that the light had changed from hazy to bright sunshine, aimed about 6 inches lower than before and was shown a 22. He informed his comrades of his experience and nearly all followed his advice and shot good again. Ehrenpfort in his second last shot was up high again, and he became badly disgruntled; but after the writer gave him something to steady his nerves, he scored a bullseye the last shot. By this time all had finished their scores but Jacoby; he had made a 23 his second last shot and when he raised the rifle for his last one, he was not satisfied with his holding and rested the rifle. Twice more this happened. Then a member of the shooting committee requested him to fire the last shot, as the other marksmen had all finished. The writer answered, that as he had come 3000 miles to fire 10 shots for California and as it was yet one half an hour from the closing time of the team shooting, he would use every minute of the time, if need be, to make a good shot. When next Jacoby raised his rifle he pulled the trigger just when his bead was where he wanted it to be, and as the shot sounded he took off his hat and threw it in the air; the marker showed a 23 and Jacoby had won the championship of the California Schuetzen Club team which had defeated the next highest team the Helvetia of New York by 68 rings. The representative marksmen of the Golden State were cheered to the echo. A procession was formed with the Californians, each crowned with a laurel wreath, at his head, and, when, after a march through the park the banquet hall was reached, they were called upon the stage where the high officials were assembled. Here after eloquent remarks, complimenting the Californians upon their marksmanship, the Governor of Pennsylvania presented them with the Centennial Champion Goblet under cheers of the thousands of spectators in the hall. Jacoby, in behalf of the team answered with a few heartfelt remarks and invited the donors to initiate the goblet with sparkling wine.
When the team retired from the stage J. A. Bauer, pointing to the box in which the golden bear of the California Schuetzen Club had been Packed, ready for shipment home, called out: “Comrades! Marksmen! Do you hear the jolly growling of our grizzly in the box? He wants to come out to help celebrate California ’s victory.” Well the Californians and their comrades celebrated in magnificent form and many a time the champion goblet was filled with sparkling wine and emptied in honor of our Golden State .
Wm. Hayes, the Shooting King of the Bund Shooting and Captain of the Newark, N. J. rifle team which won the 3rd prize in the Centennial Champion contest (the Helvetia team of New York having taken 2nd prize), was one of the first to congratulate the Californians upon their great achievement and invited them in the name of the Newark Schuetzen, to pay their town a visit. The Californians accepted his invitation, and in a few days took train in a body to Newark . Here they were received by a delegation of marksmen, placed in carriages and brought to a large hall in one of the principle streets, presented to the City Dignitaries and offered refreshments of the very best. After a short rest they were again escorted to their carriages and brought through the principal streets accompanied by many dignitaries of the city, Wm. Hayes and others were brought to the handsomely situated Newark Schuetzen Park, .of the city, Wm. Hayes and others where they were received with a salute of twenty-one cannon shots. In the large dining hail of the park they 1ound a splendid banquet waiting for them which they, seated between the representative marksmen and citizens of Newark , heartily enjoyed. Wine flowed freely and many laudatory speeches were made by the officials of the city, Wm. Hayes and others. After the banquet the Californians inspected the park, a most beautiful one, containing fine large trees, suitable buildings, large shooting house and extensive target stands. An impromptu rifle match was arranged between the Newark marksmen and the Californians, but as all of them saw more than one bullseye, owing to the splendid quality of the wine they had imbibed, the shooting was rather wild, and it has never been determined which team had won.
A. Rahwyler and Wm. Koenig embarked on a steamer to their respective homes, Rahwyler to Switzerland , where he engaged in many shooting festiva1s and won many prizes, and Koenig to Hanover , where, after he returned to San Francisco and resided here two years, he married and settled down as a Boniface and tiller of the soil. Three years ago he and hi good wife paid San Francisco an extended visit and received a hearty welcome from his brethren of the rifle, especially from his comrades of
The Rifle in California
By Philo Jacoby
The universal use of the rifle in California dates from the discovery of gold in California . Before this time a few rifles were owned by the doughty General Sutter at Sutter’s Fort, what is now Sacramento . Among the first gold seekers were many hardy hunters from Kentucky and Missouri who brought their hunting rifles along; rifles with barrels over five feet long, shooting a small round bullet. With these rifles they hunted deer, elk, black and brown bear, and the formidable grizzly. Courageous and good marksmen they were, for not to hit a vital part of a grizzly at close quarters meant death or terrible wounds to the hunter. Even after being shot through the heart with a small bullet a grizzly has been known to mangle his assailant. A living example of this fact is our comrade of the California Schuetzen Club and S. F. Turner Schuetzen, William Nolden, who while hunting near Mount Hamilton , shot a grizzly bear at close quarters through the breast. With one stroke of its immense paw the grizzly knocked Nolden down and then chewed his left leg to shreds. When his comrades found him, the grizzly, was lying near him stone dead. The hunters skinned and opened the bear and found that his heart had been perforated by Nolden’s bullet. Nolden was carried by his comrades to Oakland , and from there he came to the German Hospital , just then erected on Brannan Street near Fourth. Nolen gave the perforated heart of the grizzly to Dr. Loehr, the principal physician of the Hospital, which the Doctor kept for many years in a glass jar in his office. Nolden after being in the hospital for many months, left it cured of his wounds, but with a crooked leg, the large sinews under the knee having been bitten through by the grizzly, and in healing were shortened.
Valentine Ehrmann, one of the party who were with Nolden at the grizzly hunt, a first class carpenter and mechanic made for his friend a wooden contrivance for the lame leg with many fine screws which were tightened every night till Nolden’s leg became perfectly straight.
Several Swiss Gold hunters brought the first fine target rifles to California . Many of the citizens from the land of William Tell domiciled in Sacramento, the main attraction being no doubt the presence there of General Sutter. Here in 1853, the Sacramento Swiss Rifle Club (now Sacramento Helvetia Rifle Club) the oldest rifle organization in California was started. First the club had a shooting stand across the Sacramento River in Yolo County , and here in August 1859 the writer first learned to load and shoot the muzzle loading heavy Swiss rifle. General Sutter presented the club with a formidable cannon which was used in announcing the beginning and closing of the shooting festivals then held regularly twice a year, and at which later on many of the Swiss and German marksmen of San Francisco attended. In 1860 the Sacramento Swiss Rifle club moved its shooting range to the Tivoli Grounds near the town where the marksmen shot through alleys of grape vines at a distance of 180 yards the targets having a 12 inch black containing a 6 inch bullseye. Here many a hard friendly battle was fought between the Sacramento champions, Captain Ruhstaller, C. Ebner, Chas. Wolleb, H. Koppikus, John Stuber, Philip Sheld, Messrs Reno, Harris, Heinrich, Landecker, Krebs, Klune, Flobert, and the San Francisco champions Joseph Hug, P. A. Gianini, Abraham Rahwyler, Alois Schneider, Philo Jacoby, George Schmidt, John Bach, Wm. Ehrenpfort, Colonel Fred Tittle, and later on A. Strecker.
In 1854 the Zurich Swiss Rifle Club presented to the Sacramento Swiss Rifle Club a handsome heavily embroidered silk flag and John Stuber was appointed as custodian of the same. Upon his death the flag passed to the keeping of Captain Frank Ruhstaller and upon his death in 1907, which was deeply mourned by all California marksmen, into the safekeeping of his eldest son, Captain Frank Ruhstaller Jr., who has charge of it now.
In 1855 the San Francisco Turner Schuetzen section was started. A charter member and today active in its ranks is Wm. Nolden. The oldest San Francisco independent Schuetzen Association, the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein was organized August 29, 1859 in Minerva Hall, S. W. corner Kearny and California streets, kept by Jacob Knell and Batteaux (Jacob Knell is yet actively engaged by Captain Louis Siebe & Son at Shell Mound Park.) The S. F. Schuetzen Verein elected as its first officers, Dr. F. V. Meierhofer, president; Louis Kiehlmeyer, vice-president; ‘William Reichel, Secretary. F. Morsch, assistant secretary, F. Seidenstreiker, shooting master. The uniform adopted by Captain and company consisted of black blouse and pants, soft hat with feathers and black belt. Their arms were good muzzleloading rifles made by Slotter & Co. of Philadelphia. October 17, 1859 , the S. F. Schuetzen Verein held its first annual shooting festival at Russ Garden (that time situated between 6th and 7th and Howard and Harrison Streets.) The Verein 35 men strong, headed by a fine brass band, marched from Minerva Hall to the Occidental Hotel, corner Bush and Sansome Streets, where General Winfred Scott, the conqueror of Mexico , who happened to be on a visit to San Francisco , held a review over them, and complimented them upon their fine appearance. The company then marched to Russ Garden, and each member fired three shot at a ring target at double rest; the distance shot at was 80 yards. Jacob Knell won the first prize, a silver goblet (which is yet one of his most cherished possessions); Louis Kiehlmeyer won the 2nd prize, a gold chain; Captain Seidenstriker the 3rd, a watch; E. Ewald, the 4th, a revolver, and John Bach the 5th, a silver dessert basket. Fifteen prizes were distributed the prize judges were:
John Wieland, Sam Brannan, Joseph Hug, Dr. Zeile and Dr. Raabe; L. Kiehlmeyer, acted as marker. After the shooting was finished, the company marched to the Volks Garden in front of Wieland’s Brewery on 2nd Street , where they enjoyed themselves with dancing and athletic games
September 1st, 1860 the Swiss Rifle Club of San Francisco was organized and of its charter members there are to our knowledge yet three living in our city. Peter Croce, now an active shooting member of the Swiss Rifle Club, P. A. Gianini, its president and Louis Jury. In November of the same year the S. F. Deutsche Schuetzen Club came in existence. Among its charter members were Joseph Hug, John Bach, Alois Schneider, Geo. Schmidt, Charles Slotterbek, Harry Cook, and Wm. Ehrenpfort; at present time with 82 years an active marksman. For the above two shooting societies, Col. Jack Hayes built a line 150 yard target range at Hayes Park, (at that time between Hayes and Fulton; Laguna and Buchanan streets.) Here on Sunday and Monday, October 20 and 21, 1861, the first great prize shooting took place under auspices of the Swiss Rifle Club, but open to all marksmen. The targets had a black 24 inches in diameter divided into 10 rings and with a white bullseye measuring 4 inches. Prizes were given for the best ticket of five shots, most bullseyes, first 25 each day, and best centers. The rifles in use were mostly made by three excellent San Francisco gunsmiths, John Bach, Alois Schneider and Charles Slotterbek and the principal marksmen used them to most excellent purpose. P. A. Gianini shot in the two days, 281 bullseyes and Joseph Hug, 262. The first prize on the ring target was won by M. Stuber with 44 rings. J. Locher made the best center shot; the first 25 bullseyes were made Sunday by Joseph Hug, and Monday by P. A. Gianini. The price for a ring ticket of 5 shots was $5.00, while 6 shots were given for $1.00 on the bullseye targets. Towards Christmas 1861, Hayes gave a turkey shoot for all marksmen, who had to hit the head of the turkey 75 yards to win the bird, the charge being 50 cents per shot. The Swiss and German champions slaughtered the birds at such a great rate that Col. Jack Hayes treated them with a fine wine dinner under the condition that they should discontinue shooting.
In August 1863 an interesting rifle match took place between Joseph Hug and A. Palmer, the latter being a champion rifleman from Nevada . The conditions were 20 shots offhand at 50 yards with open sight; twenty shots offhand, globe sight at 150 yards and twenty shots, globe sight double rest at 220 yards, each match for $250 a side. The contest took place in a little valley back of the present Catholic orphan asylum. Betting on the result ran high for the American sporting men had great confidence in Palmer who had given them privately proof of his skill with the rifle, while the German and Swiss marksmen were staunch supporters of Hug; so, many thousands of dollars were bet on the result. In the first match at 50 yards Hug beat Palmer by 15½ inches (each shot being measured from the center of the target.) At 150 yards Hug won by 30¼ inches, after a short intermission the match at 220 yards commenced. A friend of Palmer, an old time marksman named Billy Wulf had loaned him his heavy rest shooting rifle weighing about 30 pounds. The contestants shot from the window of a small house on the grounds. Palmer had the first 20 shots and it took him 3 hours to make them, he evidently intended to protract his shooting till darkness had set in so that Hug could not finish his score. When he had fired his last shot, daylight was waning, but Hug loaded and fired his 20 shots in less than 20 minutes beating Palmer’s score by 43½ inches. Then the backers of Palmer, especially Billy Wulf who had bet 500 dollars on his winning, attempted to mob him and it was hard work to protect the defeated marksman whose former friends left him on the field.
The German marksman brought him back to the city, and as he had lost all his money and his ranch in Nevada betting that he would win two out of the three matches, Joseph Hug paid his passage back to his home in Nevada .
Another sensational rifle match took place about that time between Dr. Pardee (father of ex-governor Pardee) and Warren Loud. Both were expert rest rifle shooters and had been selected as judges of the fire arms displayed at the Mechanics Fair. Charles Slotterbek and Robert Liddle had each a fine target rifle on exhibition and the two judges became involved in a quarrel about the merits of the two weapons. The result was a rifle match, or rather three between the two marksmen, conditions three times 100 shots, double rest, telescope sights, each 100 shots for $1000 a side, distance 220 yards. The place of the contest was at San Bruno and although they began the match in October, they did not finish until March of the following year. Loud won the first match, and Dr. Pardee the other two.
In February 1861, the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein held its first shooting practice in Hayes Park , to which place a steam dummy made regular trips from the corner of Kearny and Market Streets, at that time a sand lot. The first public prize shooting of the S. F. Schuetzen Verein and its first Eagle King shooting, the first contest of this kind in California was held in Hayes Park , September 8 th and 9 th, of 1861. Mr. Warmuth shot down the last piece of the eagle and was crowned King with great ceremonies. The crown was shot away by A. A. Schaefer; the scepter by Geo Schmidt, ring by A. Herz, throat by Kiehlmeyer, the two wings by H. Julitz; right claw, Mentel; left claw A. Siegfried and tail by M. Schoenfeld. The first prize on the Company target was won by M. Schorte. At the public shooting contest Joseph Hug won the first prize with 48 out of possible 50 rings. The Hayes Park shooting range was used by the Swiss Rifle Club, Deutsche Schuetzen Club and S. F. Schuetzen Verein, each having their separate stands in the fine shooting house on the west end of the Park, where they held practice and medal shooting every Sunday, and several times a year public prize shoot while the S. F. Schuetzen Verein also held its Eagle shooting every fall.
May 15th, 1865 , the first long range rifle match in California took place between Alois Schneider, an expert gunsmith and good shot and Philo Jacoby (the writer, that time a young marksman with some skill and more nerve). The match came about through Schneider challenging all marksmen to a contest at 600 yards, globe sight and muzzle rest, with him using a 30 pound rifle of his own make. Jacoby, who owned a good rifle weighing about 12 pounds, made by C. Slotterbek, had the latter make him a high globesight, and by practicing with the aid of an old marksman, A. Beschauman, on a level stretch (now Bryant Street between 16 th and 22 nd) soon found that his rifle, with a somewhat larger load of powder, shot true, but that the wind deflected his bullets greatly. First he tried to set the sight of his rifle, but soon found it better to hold according to his last shot. The match ($100 a side), was shot near the beach in Alameda . Dr. Pardee being the second of Jacoby, and Joseph Hug the second of Schneider. Severin and George Schmidt and John Bach were the judges who measured the shots while Severin Jr., acted as marker. The targets were black, six feet in diameter having a 20-inch white bullseye. There were about 100 interested spectators present when Schneider fired his first shot, scoring a bullseye, Jacoby following with a shot just outside of the bullseye and to the right. Schneider’s second shot was also to the right, while Jacoby, who held to the left, scored a good center. The wind then freshened, and Jacoby, who continued to hold towards the wind, in fact he held and fired his last two shots clear outside to the left of the target, beat Schneider who didn’t follow the advice of Hug to hold according to the wind, 79½ inches, to the great astonishment of all present. The Sixth (German) Regiment of Militia commanded by Col. Fred Tittel, held it annual prize shooting the same day as the Odeon, and as Jacoby had promised to act in the afternoon as their prize judge, he instructed the stakeholder, Mr. O. Wertheimber the treasurer of the Deutsche Schutzen Club to entertain all present at Fasking’s Park, a resort nearby. This Wertheimber did to such a good purpose that he spent only the $200 stakes, but also a little more in giving the boys a good time. When the next day Jacoby asked Wertheimber for an accounting, the latter showed him a receipt bill for $207 from Faskings Park for refreshments comprised of several dozen Rhinewines, most expensive liquors, cigars, many roasted chickens, ducks, etc. etc. Champagne was lacking only because Fasking’s didn’t have any. As the betting had been 5 to 1 in the match in favor of Schneider, and Jacoby had taken many bets, he consoled himself.
In 1867 when the country west of Hayes Park, called the Sow Ranch toward where the marksmen were shooting, began to he more settled, complaints were made that some pigs had been killed by stray bullets, which fact on investigation was found to be untrue and a sort of blackmail. Col. Hayes and the Schuetzen club refused to pay the damages claimed by pig-owners, who brought the matter before the court with the result that although the pig-owners lost their suit, shooting with firearms was forbidden in Hayes Park . The different shooting associations now, for a short time, wandered about homeless. The S. F. Schuetzen Verein m held its annual Eagle Company and public prize shooting in Green Valley some where about west of and near to the German Hospital. Toward the close of 1867, A. Siegfried built a fine shooting stand, blasted out of solid rock near the pleasure garden “Odeon,” on 14th and Dolores Street, where the Deutsche Schuetzen Club and S.F. Schuetzen held their practice and prize shooting, while Rudolph Hermann built a fine range at Harbor View (both stands having a range of 150 yards, where the Swiss Rifle Club contested.
The first Company turkey shooting in California was given at Harbor View by the Deutsche Schuetzen Club, the third Sunday in December 1867, and a most exciting and difficult contest it proved to be. It had been raining for several days at a terrible rate, and the land north of Union Street was covered with a sheet of water extending to and into the bay, the shore of which could not be distinguished. When the large express wagon containing the members of the Deutsche Schuetzen Club and about 20 large live turkeys reached Union street, and the Schuetzen came in sight of the inland sea out of which Harbor View stood forth like an island, “Guter Rath war theuer” how to get to Harbor View, that was the question. The road to the Presidio was open and there we went, but the commanding officer of the grounds would not allow us to shoot the turkeys there. Finally a soldier volunteered to guide the wagon through the water to our destination, and under the guidance of Uncle Sam’s pathfinder we plodded along with our wagon axel deep in water and not knowing if we traversed the bay or the Presidio flats, till we finally reached Herman’s Harbor View residence. Here a good dinner soon revived our spirits somewhat dampened by our semi-aquatic voyage, and in that afternoon we proceeded with our turkey shooting. The waters having somewhat subsided, we placed the turkeys in a box about 50 yards from the house, and in a short time ended their earthly troubles by a shot through their heads.
January 1st. 1868 Philo Jacoby departed from San Francisco as a delegate of the California marksmen to the first great American Bund Shooting Festival in New York. His comrades of the Deutsche and Swiss Clubs gave him a great send-off on board the Pacific Mail Steamer, and many a glass of wine was emptied with good wishes to his success. The festival took place during the month of June and Jacoby before that time, made a tour through Germany , Austria and Switzerland , where he successfully contested in many shooting festivals. In Berlin he was the guest of the Berliner Schuetzen Gilde in their shooting range in the Linienstrasse , in. the midst of the town. The range was 1200 feet long and 200 broad; it lay in the rear of a splendid old building, the “Frey Haus”, a present together with the range, from Frederick the Great (in 1751). The Berliner Gilde has now sold this property and bought the Royal Palace and large grounds of Schoenholz near Berlin , which they are now using; the Palace as shooting house and the grounds as rifle and pistol range. Here Jacoby learned to manipulate the needle gun and won a contest with Unteroffizier (Sergeant Hermann Friedrich) with that weapon. He was presented with a needle gun and 200 cartridges by King Wilhelm under conditions that he should use the same at the American Bund Shooting in the contest of army guns which was a feature of the great festival. He did so when the time came, and won the prize for most hits, 11; in one minute shooting, the American breechloader won the prize for most shots 21, but only recorded 7 hits (the targets were 2 feet wide and 5 feet 8 inches high, distance 200 yards.)
The procession at the opening day of the great Bund Shooting Festival in New York was a splendid one. General Sigel acted as Grand Marshal and thousands upon thousands of marksmen and citizens filled Broadway from the Battery to Jones Wood ( 72nd street ,) the place of the festival. Joseph Hug, Alois Schneider and J. Bach of the Deutsche Schuetzen Club in San Francisco had promised to be at the Festival and bring Jacoby’s rifle along, but they did not realize that Jacoby used a small 44 caliber breechloader (called the thunderbolt) the first ever used in a prizeshoot with which he won many prizes, although on complaint of some marksmen that he could shoot faster than they with muzzleloaders, he was repeatedly interfered with. In the contest for the most bullseye during the festival, he was second and Jacob Lehman, yet living in this city, third. He and Jacoby fired shot for shot together on one stand during the last day of the festival. On several occasions during the week’s contest, the police inspectors stopped the shooting, claiming that people had been
struck by bullets near the range (a fiction, for it was proven that those people had been overcome by heat, it being nearly 100 degrees in the shade every day of the festival.) A liberal donation of greenbacks generally satisfied the inspectors that all possible precaution for safety had been ‘taken.
In the beginning of 1868 the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein organized ‘The Schuetzen Land and Bau Verein” and purchased an 8 acre tract in Alameda , fronting the Southern shore of the bay, near Mastic Station. A fine 150 yard range with shooting- house was built, also a handsome pavilion, restaurant, bowling alley and residence building, and Mr. H. Bremer installed as Schutzen Wirth. The grounds were perfectly level and contained many and handsome trees.
March 29, 1868 the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein held its first prize-shooting there. The president of the Verein, W. Schulte, under due ceremonies christened the place Schuetzen Park, and at the company shooting which followed F. Martens won a find gold medal, presented by the Schuetzen Land and Bau Verein. The first prize at the public prize shooting, a gold watch, was won by D. Ehrich. An incident of the day during the afternoon was the killing in the park of a large rattlesnake by Alois Schneider and H. Bremer.
We have to go back eight years to relate an interesting incident in the history of the San Francisco Schuetzen Verein. In 1860 Mr. P. Neuman was a popular member of the Verein and his young and handsome wife who conducted a fashionable Millinery Store on Kearney Street , near Clay evinced great interest in all society affairs of the Society. On the birth of her first child, a girl, it was proposed that it should be adopted as Schuetzen daughter, and so it came to pass. At the Spring shooting festival in Russ Garden, the first held there, the company, lined up in an imposing front, formerly adopted little Ida Neuman as their daughter and Pastor Moshake, a most popular and liberal minded divine, baptized the child with champagne, as Schuetzen Daughter. Thereafter every year, at their spring festival, the Schuetzen company made front before the Neuman residence on Kearny street, and, as soon as Ida could walk, she, dressed in a neat uniform had the place of honor next to the flag, and marched bravely along with her company. This Daughter of the regiment of the S. F. Schuetzen Verein is yet living in San Francisco , a handsome mother and grandmother.