Today, over 50 years after the death of
George William Bauer, he remains somewhat of an enigma. He was
a life-time supporter of Naval enterprises and a prominent business
leader and "club man" in the San Francisco Bay area.
Between the years 1901 to 1939, George Bauer served in the Naval
Militia of the State of California and became the second Commodore
in the United States Naval Reserve.
He was born on May 4, 1874 and graduated from the University
of California at Berkeley in 1897 becoming a Colonel of the University
Cadets. Upon his graduation in 1897 he received the commission
of colonel and for several years following was identified with
the National Guard. His interest in the affairs of the University
continued during his adult life, in the Alumni Association and
as Colonel in Chief of the University Cadets conducting an annual
Captain Bauer was the fourth commanding officer of the Naval
Militia of California obtaining a commission as Commander thereof
on April 16, 1901. In 1903, at the age of 29 years, he advanced
to the rank of Captain and took full charge of California's naval
His headquarters were first aboard the USS MARION, then in the
USS ALERT and he was instrumental, together
with Brigadier-General Lauck of the National Guard, in obtaining
the loan of the light cruiser USS MARBLEHEAD
and later the battleship USS OREGON
for the State of California. While aboard the state flagship
MARION, in April 1906, he called up 800 sailors for service in
the April 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
In civilian life, he was the president of Bauer & Schweitzer,
a hop and malt company which supplied the breweries of the Bay
area. He took this business over from his father, John C. Bauer,
who was a native of Wurttemburg, Germany, who first came to Philadelphia
in 1850 and for a time followed the trade of being a baker. He
then changed employment to being a brewer and moved to California
in 1854. John Bauer operated a brewery and bakery (a synergistic
combination of waste mash) in Virginia City, Nevada for seven
years but returned to San Francisco in 1878 and formed the malting
Captain George Bauer was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1938 and
died by his own hand at the age of 74 on December 25, 1950. He
is buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.
He married Miss Wilma Hoffman on November 20, 1927 and was later
married to Evelyn Sheldon Bauer who pre-deceased him. For many
years he resided at the Fairmont Hotel at 1001 California Street
and it was there that a maid found him in death. He was survived
by his sister, Mrs. Theodora Wores and left an estate of $758,313.
He is remembered today as having served as the commanding officer
of the California Naval Militia, 14 years and having been instrumental
in bringing it an increased size from five divisions to nine
divisions up and down the state prior to its federalization with
the coming of the war in 1918.
He earned a Master's Certificate as a Master Mariner in March
10, 1908 for the piloting of all Naval Militia ships in the state
service; he was very proud of this.
Other activities marked him as being a prominent club man. Among
the clubs of which he was a member were the Olympic Club, the
San Francisco Press Club, the Commonwealth Club, the Union League
Club, the San Francisco Commercial Club, the Islamic Temple of
the Shrine, the Army-Navy Club, the American Chemical Society,
the Society of Chemical Industries, the American Society for
the Advancement of Scientists, the Master Brewers Association
of America, the Deutscher Club, the Excelsior Lodge #166-F and
AM, the Golden Gate Commandery #16KT, the San Francisco Bodies
@1A and ASR, Islam Temple AAON 31, the Royal Order of Jesters,
Court #4, and the University of California Alumni Association.
Admiral George William Bauer's keen interest in the activities
of the Naval Militia caused him to be termed the "Builder
of California's Navy" by Sunset Magazine in a September
1914 article, attached hereto, which we think you will enjoy.
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