Collection is composed of 18 handwritten letters, created and sent to Sacramento resident Clara Fountain between 1881 and
1916. Senders include future husband Charles Hoeckel, admirer John H. McCaughin, father William A. Fountain, stepmother Helen
Powers, friends Josie Stone and Lena Brink, and sisters Henrietta "Etta" and Grace "Gracie" Fountain.
Clara Fountain was born on July 7, 1864, in Sacramento, California, to William and Abbie (nee Brewster) Fountain. William
operated Fountain Brothers Brickyard, located on Y Street (today, Broadway) between Fifteenth and Sixteenth streets, which
was responsible for cobbling and paving various streets throughout Sacramento. With Abbie's death in 1879, William married
Helen Powers. Clara attended Primary School Number 5 at Sixteenth and N streets and was active in the performing arts, both
as a vocalist and instrumentalist. She is listed as a housekeeper in the 1880 Census. Based on the collection's content, Fountain
left Sacramento in the early 1880s to study, but it is not clear where or what for outside of music education, as Fountain
did give lessons in piano and organ in the mid-1880s in Oroville. Fountain married Charles Hoeckel (1861-1922) in 1888. The
couple went on to operate a grocery store, Hoeckel and Company, at 1001 J Street. Charles was also employed by the Southern
Pacific Railroad Company and, for a while, with the Thomson-Diggs Company. The Hoeckels lived in the Oak Park neighborhood
of Sacramento at 3036 Sixth Avenue. They had three children, son Carl, and daughters Edna and Gladys. Charles died in 1922,
Clara in 1853.
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