I recently stumbled upon the Municipal Reports for San Francisco, dated 1908. It contains a very concise summarization of the public life of my great great great uncle, Samuel Braunhart. By no means perfect, but dedicated, courageous, and often times too outspoken for his own good, he is one of my ancestors that I would have loved to have met.
Here is the tribute:
Samuel Braunhart, a former member of the Board of Supervisors, died May 28, 1906, after an illness extending over a period of several months. His public services were noteworthy, and his devotion to the interests of the city deserves to be permanently recorded.
A fitting tribute to his memory was that delivered by Judge J. V. Coffey on the occasion of the funeral services. Judge Coffey said:
"Samuel Braunhart has been for many years a consistent and fearless champion of the interests of our people. His services in this regard cannot be overestimated. He was elected a member of the first Legislature under the Constitution of 1879, and while serving in that capacity he proved himself a zealous, faithful, diligent and judicious representative. To such an extent did his fearless advocacy of the rights of his constituents call forth the venomous hostility of the corporations that they sought to silence him for daring to raise his voice against the aggressions of the monopolists. He never flinched under the fire of the enemy, and at the sacrifice of personal comfort and private affairs he always sustained his honor and his pledges to the people.
"Mr. Braunhart was a constant student, coming from a family noted for its literary achievements, his father having been intimately associated with Heinrich Heine. He was himself well versed in general literature and conversant with political and municipal matters; indeed, his mind was richly stored with material of great value to the development of this metropolis, and if he had been spared, in his public-spirited way, in or out of office, he would have contributed greatly to the reconstruction of San Francisco. Utterly unselfish, differing from many now seeking riches out of the ruins of San Francisco, Samuel Braunhart deserves to be remembered as a man who was not in politics for private gain, but always regarded his position as a post of honor and a public trust."
The Board of-Supervisors fittingly remembered and recorded the public services of Mr. Braunhart by the adoption of Resolution No. 82 (New Series), on June 4, 1906, as follows:
Whereas, The Board of Supervisors learns with profound regret of the death in this city, on May 28, 1906, of a former member of this Board, the Honorable Samuel Braunhart and
Whereas, The deceased served the people of the City of San Francisco and the State of California with fidelity and zeal, as a member of the State Legislature during the Twenty-third Session, and as State Senator during the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Sessions, and thereafter as a member of the Board of Supervisors of this City and County from June, 1900, until January, 1906, and as chairman of the Committee on Public Utilities of this Board was largely instrumental in the successful formulation of the plan by which bonds of the City and County were issued to the amount of over $17,000,000 for various public improvements; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, By the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco, that we hereby express our deep regret and profound sorrow for the loss of our devoted friend of San Francisco, and a citizen of the State whose public spirit was worthy of emulation; also
Resolved, That when this Board adjourns it does so in respect to the memory of Samuel Braunhart deceased.
Adopted, on motion of Supervisor Rea, and numbered Resolution No. 82.