JONNI FREDERICK CARL "JACK" KAY was born February 08, 1875 in Bremmerlehe, Germany.
Jack was the second son of Carl Frederich and Anna Sophia to immigrate to the United States, coming in 1892 at the age of 15 years. It is unknown whether he arrived at Ellis Island or Hoboken, New Jersey, as Ellis Island opened in 1892, the year he arrived.
Jack lived with or was in the same area as his older brothers, Bill and Charlie (Schrader) on the East Coast. All three traveled together to San Francisco and worked for an uncle, Bill Pluns, who was a contractor.
In 1898, Jack volunteered to serve with the 1st California Regiment of U.S. Volunteers-1898. As noted by his daughter Grace, "My father was very proud of belonging to the First California Volunteers, Company H, United States Army. He became a corporal, serving in the Spanish American War and in the Phillipine Insurrection. It seems he got into a bit of a hassle with a superior because he did not want to stand guard duty there in the sun in that heavy blue wool uniform that used to hange in the barn. (Probably the only reason he didn't rise to be General!) He came home on a rickety tub called, I think, "City of Peking", which sank on its next voyage. He always enjoyed the annual get-together of Company H held in San Francisco."
Below is a brief background of where his regiment served along with the roster of Company H in which he was assigned. His name is located near the bottom of the roster.
Cousin Carolyn made a point:
"Can you imagine what his mother was feeling about her son volunteering after uprooting themselves from Germany because of political unrest?"
The First California Regiment, under the command of Col. James S. Smith, served in the Philippines both during the Spanish American War, and during part of the Philippine-American War. The unit took part in actions on July 31, 1898 (near Malate) and in the capture of Manila on August 13, 1898. In the former it lost one man killed, and ten wounded, and in the latter one man killed and two wounded.
It will be remembered by many of us, that California mustered two of its State Militia regiments for Philippine service. One was the First, and the other was the Seventh. The First California took its rush training, was mustered into the U. S. forces, and left San Francisco May 26, 1898, with the rest of the expedition, on the transports City of Peking, Australia, and City of Sydney, 115 officers and 2386 enlisted men.
* * * * FIRST TO THE FRONT * * * *
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26 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California
Warren F. W. Capt. Larkey Frank X Prvt. Cornish Wm. A. Prvt. Young Henry F Prvt. Davis Edwin F. 1st Lt. Lawler F. A. Prvt. Colby Joseph Prvt. Sangler J.E. Prvt. O'Brien T. P. 2d Lt. Lunsford J. W. Prvt. Conlon Jos F. Prvt. Aiken Wm. L. Prvt. Ehrenpfort A.E. Srgt. Morrison Roy Prvt. Conlon Peter W.Prvt. Baker Wm. P. Prvt. Broderick J. E. Srgt. Myers John F. Prvt. Connor Thos. Prvt. Bechler Jos. C. Prvt. Warren Francis Srgt. Miller Frank C Prvt. Case C. J. Prvt. Burrows Jr. T.R.Prvt. Nicolls D. J. Srgt. MullallyJas. A. Prvt. Campbell T.A. Prvt. Cassens Henry Prvt. Jackson F. L. Srgt. McGinerty G.H. Prvt. Crosby Fred. L.Prvt. Clifford Albert Prvt. Grimes Geo H Srgt. McLean A. W. Prvt. Dineen Wm. A. Prvt. Clifford Daniel Prvt. GuedetLouis T. Crpl. McArdle Frank Prvt. Dunne Wm. F. Prvt. Gordon Wm. J. Prvt. Binet John J. Crpl. Neilan Joseph Prvt. Durham Joseph Prvt. Hall George I. Prvt. Weckerle Chas. Crpl. O'Donnell J.A. Prvt. Dean Corbett G. Prvt. HeinrothO. H. Prvt. Magee A. J. Crpl. O'Neill E. A. Prvt. Dodini James A. Prvt. Keating S. Prvt. BurtnettC. A. Crpl. Pierson John Prvt. Doxey Thos. A.Prvt. King James Prvt. Ruston R. W. Crpl. Rohe Geo. W. Prvt. Dorr Louis F.Prvt. McGowan T. J. Prvt. Swift John L. Musn. Rourke John Prvt. Fairbanks D. Prvt. McKeon John J. Prvt. Androus S. N. Musn. Rogers Wm. A. Prvt. Fruend Martin Prvt. Nelson Wm. Prvt. Andrews Fred. Prvt. Reid/Keid Geo L Prvt. Grady William Prvt. Pendergast G.E. Prvt. Angelovich F. Prvt. Raye Charles Prvt. Grimes L. Prvt. Peters Ed. J. Prvt. Blake H. W. Prvt. Renner H. A. Prvt. Henkle Fred. Prvt. Probeck Wm. Prvt. Blake John J. Prvt. Ritter Harry Prvt. Holzhausen T.L. Prvt. Phipps Sam. C. Prvt. Blake Harry Prvt. Smith Chas.H. Prvt. Jaggie Fred. A.Prvt. Ray John Prvt. Browne Thos. F. Prvt. Smith Milton C. Prvt. Jones Ansel H.Prvt. Rivers David Prvt. Baker A. E. Prvt. Sedgley W. B. Prvt. Koschintzki J.F.Prvt. Schneider R. J. Prvt. Belmont G. H. Prvt. Valento Ed. Prvt. Kutz Jessie W. Prvt. Waite Alfred N. Prvt. Bryan Thomas T. Prvt. Weins Emil A. Prvt. Kenny Tim. J. Prvt. Waite Fred. O. Prvt. Bean Clarence Prvt. Walsh Wm. C. Prvt. Kirby John J. Prvt. Wall Thos. F. Prvt. Lattimer W.D. Prvt.
More about Jonni Frederick Carl "Jack" Kay:
Census: 1920, Residence: Maud Avenue, Bayview (now Sunnyvale), Santa Clara County, California.
Immigration: 1892, per 1920 Census
Military service: 1898, 1st California Regiment of US Volunteers-Company H
Name Change: June 16, 1921, From Koschnitzki to Kay
Naturalization: 1892, per 1920 Census.
Sisters Mary & Celia von Arx married the Koschnitzki brothers, Jack & Al, respectively. They were the daughters of Joseph von Arx and Mary Lang (Lange)
Jack met Mary and were married February 26, 1901 in San Francisco, California.
Notes from Jack's daughter, Grace: "A big reception followed at the dance hall (private) run by the husband (Martin Kurtzig) of Lena, Mary's sister. It must have been a party, because Mother said that Aunt Lee (Lena) saw snakes coming out of the kitchen sink the next morning!
John took Mary to a house on Castro Street on Nanny Goat Hill. Little Mary had a few scares with the goats, which followed her up the stairs once when she was carrying Clarence, their firstborn. There is a possibility that John built that house. He built the house at 111 Valley Street, where he put a bottle of whiskey in the bathroom wall. Wonder if anyone has found it? They were living there during the earthquake and fire. Clarence was ill; lights were forbidden, but Mary had a light, either a gas jet or candle, and a soldier rapped on the door to make her put it out because of the fire hazard. Cooking was done on the sidewalk.
John and Mary later moved into one of the two houses that John built on 12th Avenue in the Sunset District (1321 12th Ave., per the 1908 SF City Directory, occupation: contractor), then moved to a vineyard 6 miles from Napa, where Grace was born. Nine months later they returned to San Francisco, where John Frederick Carl Jr. was born (1321 - 12th Avenue). In 1919 the family moved to a pear and apricot orchard on Maude Ave., Sunnyvale."
John also worked as a contractor building many homes and businesses around the Sunnyvale area.
John and Mary had 3 children:
I. CLARENCE C.J. KAY, born August 12, 1902, San Francisco, California and died March 22, 1995 in Los Altos, Santa Clara County, California.
Name Change: 1921, Koschnitzki to Kay
Clarence was an avid collector of Model T cars and was a member of many antique car clubs.
Clarence married DOROTHY JUANITA MCKENZIE who was born February 25, 1906 in Oregon and died February 19, 1989, Los Altos, Santa Clara County, California.
Clarence and Dorothy had one child:i. JACK ALBERT KAY was born July 26, 1924 in California and died September 11, 1997 in Los Altos, Santa Clara County, California.
Clarence and Dorothy traveled quite a bit after Clarence retired, especially to Europe.
II. GRACE MARIE SOPHIA KAY, born December 4, 1909 in Napa, Napa County, California and died May 26, 2002 in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California.
Grace met and married LESTER CLYDE OGDEN who was born July 28, 1906 in Illinois, on July 26, 1947. They had no children.
1938-Teacher at Santa Rosa High School. Resident: 1013 Howard St.
From Niece of Grace (Kay) Ogden:
"Uncle Clyde was a big man. After teaching in Santa Rosa, he went to Fresno and was principal of the high school. Auntie Grace was teaching in Livingston at the time and they were introduced by the school secretary. He was also in the Naval Reserve, a Lt. Commander, so during WWII, he was stationed in the Marshall Islands. He was the military governor. It was his job to relocate the natives of one of the small islands so they could test the atomic bomb.
After, he came home, I think he went back to the Fresno area and by this time he and his first wife were divorced and he and Auntie Grace got together.
In the 50s Uncle Clyde became superintendent of the Sequoia High School District in Redwood City. They bought a house in San Carlos and were there until he left and went to work for USAFE which is the education branch of the military. They moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and were back there for two or three years. When he finished there, they came back to California and that is when he became Dean of Students at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo. They had a house provided for them and it looked down on the Carquinez Strait. One of his duties was to go to the various high schools in the spring and give the entrance exams for the next year. He would give the exams and Auntie Grace would spend the next day correcting them. They took their dog with them, and they knew the various motels up and down the state that would allow Mike to stay too.
When he retired, they built a house that Auntie Grace had designed, out in the Almaden Country Club. They only lived there a little over a year when Uncle Clyde had a massive stroke and he was never able to talk after that. He was in a skilled nursing home in Sunnyvale and Auntie Grace spent every day there making sure he was getting the proper care. When it became apparent, he was not going to get better, she sold the house in Almaden and moved to Sunnyvale. I think he lived like that about two years before he passed away in 1969.
Auntie Grace then started traveling and doing some of the trips they were going to do when he retired. One of her first trips was to Russia, and she took Russian at De Anza College, so she could understand some of the language while she was there. A few years later, she told me she could not remember any Russian. She thinks it was a reaction to so much stress and then all of a sudden not having all that stress. Anyway, I was always so proud of her because she had devoted her life to Uncle Clyde's wants and needs and then when she no longer had that to do, she was very independent and did not rely on everyone else to provide things for her to do. She traveled, she joined clubs, she played bridge, she took classes, and had a zillion friends. She also did a lot for Uncle Clarence while Aunt Dorothy was alive and after Dorothy died."
III. JOHN FREDRICK CARL KAY, born July 18, 1914, San Francisco, California and died May 12, 1990, Magalia, Butte County, California.
Name Change: 1921, Koschnitzki to Kay
John bought property next to his parents and it was an active fruit ranch. During World War II he was a machinist and also worked his ranch. Unfortunately, he injured his back and had to quit the ranch. Eventually John, Jr. ended up working in the automotive industry, retiring in 1976 to Paradise, California with his second wife, Catharine.
John met PRISCILLA HAIGHT who was born February 10, 1918 in Wisconsin and died January 6, 1962 in Santa Clara County, California.
They married on July 30, 1939. John and Priscilla had two children:i. LIVING
ii. JOHN FREDERICK CARL KAY was born February 01, 1942 in Santa Clara County, California and died April 02, 1983 in California.
After the death of Priscilla, John married CATHERENE MARIE FINGER DEHECK on August 4, 1962 in Santa Clara County, California, who was born May 22, 1922, in Iowa and died August 10, 1990 in Magalia, Butte County, California,
Jack died on April 1, 1948 in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County, California.
Source: San Jose Mercury Herald, April 3, 1948 (no page number given): KAY - In Sunnyvale, Calif., April 1, 1948, John Frederick Carl Kay Sr., beloved husband of Mary Kay; loving father of Clarence Kay of Sunnyvale, Mrs. Grace Ogden of Fresno and John F.C. Kay, Jr. of Sunnyvale; loving brother of the late Charles Schrader, William Kay, Frederick Kay (should be Koschnitzky-cj), Albert Kay, August Kay, Henry Kay and Mrs. Marie Johnson; grandfather of three; a native of Germany, aged 73 years. Friends are invited to attend the funeral services today, Saturday, April 3, 1948 at 3 p.m., from the Hays & Wyant Funeral Home of Sunnyvale. Interment, Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose.
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