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Male, born 1824-05-20, died 1873-02-04

Associated with the firms network

Eisen and Schmidt, Architects; Eisen and Son, Firm #1, Architects; Eisen, August F., Architect; Goddard and Eisen, Architects

Professional History


Principal, Augustus F. Eisen, Architect, Oakland, CA, c. 1854-1855; Principal, A.F. Eisen, Architect, Sacramento, CA, c. 1856-1860; an advertisement for the Eureka Asphaltum Company in the Sacramento Daily Union in 11/1856 indicated that "All orders left with Mr. A.F. Eisen, Architect, east side of Second street, between K and L, will be promptly attended to, and he (Mr. Eisen) is the only person authorized by us to make contracts, collections, &c., in this city." (See "Eureka Asphaltum Company Advertisement," Sacramento Daily Union, vol. 12, no. 1755, 11/10/1856, p. 3.)

Partner, Goddard and Eisen, Architects, Sacramento, CA, c. 1857. In 03/1857, G.H. Goddard worked with Augustus F. Eisen (1824-1873) on the tower, gateway and lodge of the Sacramento City Cemetery.

In 1857, during the excavation of a foundation on which Eisen was superintending, a neighboring building fell, killing a young woman, Sarah McCabe, who was a servant in the house. Eisen was building a house for a Mr. Clark on K Street, when his work crew undermined the foundation of the Pershbaker store and apartment building at 115 J Street. (See "Coroner's Inquest on the Body of Sarah Ann McCabe," Sacramento Daily Union, vol. 13, no. 1872, 03/27/1857, p. 2.) In this article, Eisen stated that he "Resides in this city, am an architect, and was formerly a bricklayer...."

Principal, A.F. Eisen, Architect, San Francisco, CA, c. 1860-1869. In 1861, Eisen had his office in a building on the southeast corner of Montgomery Street and California Street. (See San Francisco City Directory, 1861, p. 371.) He had an office in Room #16 of the Athenaeum Building during 1861 and 1862. (See San Francisco City Directory, 1861, p. 130 and San Francisco City Directory, 1862, p. 144.)

Partner, Eisen and [P.R.] Schmidt, Architects, San Francisco, CA, c. 1869. The firm had its office at 101 Post Street at the intersection with Kearny Street. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1869, p. 219 and 676.)

Partner, Eisen and Son, Architect, San Francisco, CA, c. 1870s.



According to the US Census of 1870, Augustus Ferdinand Eisen was born in Sweden. (See, Source Citation Year: 1870; Census Place: San Francisco Ward 12, San Francisco, California; Roll: M593_85; Page: 814B; Image: 339333; Family History Library Film: 545584, accessed 09/14/2016.) The surname "Eisen," meaning "iron" in German, is usually associated with Germany,and it is likely that A.F. Eisen's family relocated to Sweden from Germany. The 1880 US Census also indicated that A.F. was born in Sweden. Additionally, A.F. Eisen hosted a funeral reception at his residence in 1870 of a relative who was from Sweden. This notice stated: "At San Diego, March 30, George Eisen, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, aged 40 years. Friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral this (Sunday) afternoon, at 3 o'clock, from the residence of A.F. Eisen, northwest corner Grove and Franklin streets." (See "Died," Daily Alta California, vol. 22, no. 7324, 04/10/1870, p. 6.)

Eisen migrated to the US by the mid-19th century, settling first in Cincinnati, OH. He and his wife moved from OH to CA, sometime between 1852 and 1858 (the first date being the birthdate of son Theodore in OH, and the latter the birthdate of daughter Amelia in CA). It seems likely that Eisen relocated first to Oakland, CA, in either 1853 or 1854. The name of "A.F. Eisen" appeared in CA newspapers in 01/1855. An advertisement in the Daily Alta California of 01/23/1855, stated that a house was for sale in Oakland: "House is two and a half stories, contains eight rooms, and adjoins the brick building of A.F. Eisen." While this "A.F. Eisen" could have been someone else, it seems more likely that it was the architect who built a rare and notable all-brick building in early Oakland, composed primarily at this time of prefabricated metal and wood-frame residential and commercial buildings.

Eisen's name appeared next in Sacramento, CA, as an architect in 1856. He worked here between 1856 and 1860 before relocating to San Francisco.

Augustus Eisen's name was listed in the San Francisco, California City Directory of 1861, p. 371. He lived on the north side of O'Farrell Street near Powell Street in 1861 and 1862. (See San Francisco City Directory, 1861, p. 130 and San Francisco City Directory, 1862, p. 144.) Eisen prospered in San Francisco during the 1860s. According to the US Census of 1870, the Eisen Family owned a San Francisco house worth $25,000, a very large sum at the time; his personal estate amounted to approximatly $5,000. The Eisens also employed a servant, Goney Ah, (born c. 1856 in China) In 1869, the San Francisco City Directory indicated that Eisen lived on the northwest corner of Grove and Franklin Streets. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1869, p. 219.)

Augustus Eisen died in 1873 and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in San Francisco. During the 1900s-1940s, the City of San Francisco began the process of exhuming bodies out of its four main cemeteries--Laurel Hill (founded in 1854), Calvary (1860), Masonic (1864), and Independent Order of Odd Fellows' (1865)--and moving them to cemeteries in Colma, CA. Augustus F. Eisen was moved from the Masonic Cemetery to Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma on 07/25/1914.


Augustus F. Eisen married Babette J. Gottschalk Eisen (12/08/1824-04/18/1901), born in Germany. Data from two US Censuses disagree about the location of her birth. The 1870 US Census indicated that she had been born in Prussia; the 1880 US Census said Baden. According to the 1880 document, her father had come from France, her mother, Germany.

She was also called "Barbara."


Eisen had these children alive in 1870, all of whom were born in San Francisco: C. Eisen (born c. 1855), Ada (born c. 1857), Amelia (born c. 1858), Edward (born c. 1860), Francis (born c. 1862), Alice (born c. 1864) and Jennie (born c. 1867); August was also the father of the noted San Francisco/Los Angeles architect, Theodore Augustus Eisen (1852-1924), who was born in OH.

Biographical Notes

A record exists of "August Eisen" arriving aboard the S.S. Gilbert from Bremen, Germany to New York on 10/01/1853; it indicated that his "Place of Origin" was "Dillenburg," Hesse. It indicated that his occupation was a bricklayer. Information from: New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. (Year: 1853; Arrival: New York , United States; Microfilm serial: M237; Microfilm roll: M237_132; Line: 36; List number: 1023, accessed 09/14/2016.) Eisen began his career as a bricklayer, and it is possible that he traveled back to Europe in late 1853 to attend to family matters.

The last known newspaper mention of Augustus Eisen was for tax reassessment reasons in the Daily Alta California in 1873, the year of his death. The San Francisco Board of Assessments reduced its assessments on the personal property of "A.F. Eisen from $1,600 to nothing, being a duplicate assessment; Eisen Augustus, $1,500 to $700; Eisen Bros., $50,000 to $20,000." (See "Equalization of Assessments," Daily Alta California, vol. 25, no. 8517, 07/24/1873, p. 1.) These reductions may have been lowered to reduce the financial burden on his widow, as Augustus had died in 02/1873.

Associated Locations

  • San Francisco, CA (Architect's Death)
    San Francisco, CA

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PCAD id: 5037