Curly Gus From Third and Minna
A S, O. M. Boy Who Has Made Good
Gustave was the brother of my Grandmother's mother. A list of the family is on previous post
Gustave A. Melsing was born, the first male white child in Gold Hill, on the Comstock Lode, Nevada, the mining camp that made San Francisco the home of the Bonanza Kings and the most romantic and wonderful city in all the world. From rumors of the long, forgotten past, he came very near being born a few thousand feet under the ground in the Yellow Jacket Mine, where his mother had descended to collect a few specimens from a particular rich vein, for the collection of his father. At any rate the Hoist House was a fair enough maternity home for him to be born in. Rumors further state, that every man, woman and child, even the Piutes, celebrated this eventful occasion. All of the men and Piutes got polluted, not with "bootlegger arnica" but with the real, old, genuine hooch made out of "skunk cabbage."
After the Civil War Gus, at the age of 3, brought his father, mother and three sisters, by Burro-Pullman, over the Divide into Grass Valley and then by easy stages back to 'Frisco where they originally came from.
His father started and was the owner of "Humboldt Hall" on the corner of Dupont and Washington streets. This marvelous Emporium was a bakery, pool room, restaurant, first free-lunch, confectionery cafe, where the finest imported liqueurs (not liquors) would be served with the demitasse, except they called it coffee.
Not satisfied with "North Beach", the "Mission", "Telegraph Hill" or "Russian Hill", Gus moved, with the rest of the Melsings, including two dogs, a cat, several canary birds and other necessary things like a baby brother, into the Land of Promise, "South of Market", around the year of 1877. At the corner of Minna and 3rd streets a little bakery was opened and from that time on the little shop was known as "Melsing's Bakery."
Upon the sudden death of his father, Gus was called into action when only 17 years old and conducted the little place successfully, simply because it had to l)e done for want of funds to keep the family together until all of his sisters and his brother were married and provided for. Then and then only did he get married. Pie married Olive Blanche Bradshaw, daughter of one of the first wholesale grocers of San Francisco and the grand-daughter of Col. John W. McKenzie, the Mexican War veteran and the first Acting Chief of Police in San Francisco in 1847.