United in Love and War

Emily Gustafson & Otto Nunenmacher

icon-female  Emelie/Emily Lovisa Gustafson (26/11 1867 – 23/11 1919)
icon-leaf  C3 branch []
icon-home  Daughter of Karolina Johansdotter & Gustaf Andersson
icon-location-arrow  Säby, Småland, Sweden
icon-globe  Emigrated to California
icon-wrench  Salvation army; laborer

icon-user  Otto Nunenmacher (7/8 1871 – 15/9 1958) (m. 1895 in San Francisco)
icon-location-arrow  San Francisco
icon-wrench  Clerk at Rouse & Co’s; teamster; gardener; ranch labourer; farmer; Salvation Army drummer
icon-play  2 children

icon-certificate  Primary sources
icon-check  27-03-2021

Emelie grows up in a rural family in Säby parish in Småland, but chooses to emigrate to America 31 March 1888, at the age of 21. She settles in San Francisco, where she joins the Salvation Army.

She was christened Emilia Lovisa, but already as a child she is called Emelie, and in America this naturally becomes Emily, which is pronounced almost identically.

Emily’s signature at her son’s passport application in 1919.

In 1895 she marries the local man Otto Nunenmacher, who was born in Oakland, California to German parents. He works as a clerk for Rouse & Co. There is a romantic article about how they met in the paper The San Francisco Call from 31 October 1895, in which she is described in the following manner:

Miss Gustaveson is a very solemn looking person, and reminds one of a demure Quakeress rather than a Salvation Army lassie. She is not of an emotional nature, and is quite determined in purpose.

She manages to persuade Otto to join the Salvation Army, where he becomes a march drummer for years, in spite of his parents’ recurring attempts at preventing it.

The San Francisco Call, 31/10 1895.

The couple settle at 706, 19th st. in Alameda in Oakland, San Francisco. In 1898 they have moved to 673, 33rd st. In 1899 Otto works as a teamster there, i.e. a driver, probably in farming.

A year after, he appears to be an inmate of the Napa State Hospital for the Insane. However, he can only have been there for a brief spell, as he is apparently back with his wife on 366 9th Street with their two children that same year. She is then a laborer, while he has taken up gardening. She is given as the head of the household while he is merely her husband, presumably because of his sojourn in the hospital; later someone has changed this with a pencil so that he is the head and she his wife.

  • 1.  icon-male  Francis Warren Nunenmacher (9/9 1896 – 1921) icon-stop
  • 2.  icon-female  Elsie Pauline Nunenmacher (9/7 1899 – after 1921)

Apparently, the couple is divorced sometime after 1900. Otto then moves to Concord just outside Oakland, and when Emily dies in 1919 the children move in with Otto’s sister Louise C. Marvin in Berkley.

Emily’s grave. Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California. Source: Billiongraves.com.

Both of the children work as stenographers. Francis works for the Red Cross until 1920, when he takes up work as an advertizer in farming. Elsie works as a private secretary in the insurance business. Their language is given as Swedish.

Tragically, the son Francis dies in an aircraft accident during training in California in 1921.

Otto finds work as a ranch labourer in Concord, and by 1930 at the latest he has acquired his own farm there. He dies in 1958.

Birth certificates

Francis’ birth in 1896. Oakland, California.

Elsie’s birth in 1899. Oakland, California.

Research data

The San Francisco Call 1895  icon-external-link
Ukiah Dispatch Democrat 1913  icon-external-link
Ukiah Dispatch Democrat 1913  icon-external-link

  •  signature: Emily Nunenmacher (1919)
  •  name (others’ spellings): Emilia Lovisa (1867-1871); Emelie Lovisa (1872-1888); Emeli Lovisa (1880-1885); Miss Emily Gustaveson (1895); Emily Gustafson (1896-1899); Emily Nunenmacher (1900-1919); Emelia Lovisa (1911-1912); Emily L. Nunenmacher (1919)
  •  name (others’ spellings): Otto Nunenmacher (1892-1958); Otto Nunemacher (1896-1930); Otto Nunenmacker (1911-1912); Otto Nunnenmacher (1920)
  •  b. Säby 1867: v36246.b109.s209
  •  d. San Francisco 1919
  •  hous.ex. 1867-1888 Säby: v22059.b57.s392(1867-1871); v22061.b168.s549(1872-1879); v22065.b163.s537(1880-1885); v22067.b211.s595(1885-1888)
  •  cens. 1900: 1900
  •  cens. 1900;1920-1930: 1900; 1920; 1930
  •  inh. v497173.b1970.s13(1911); v497173.b2000.s14(1912)
  •  inh. v497173.b1970.s13(1911); v497173.b2000.s14(1912)
  •  passport application 1919
  •  children b. Oakland: 1896; 1899