Lienau, Charles H. (1835-1906)

When this gentleman first saw Redlands, seven years ago, he decided in thirty minutes that it was the most beautiful place he had ever seen, in this country or abroad, and in about the same length of time closed a bargain for the fine ranch on Brookside Avenue, where he intends to spend the remainder of his days.  Born near Hamburg, Germany, 62 years ago, Mr. Lienau laid the foundations for the profession of school teaching and then came to America.  At first things did not go quite as smoothly with him as he had expected, and his battle with life included hard knocks on the farm, in the forest in mercantile and manufacturing business until seven years after his arrival in this country, he entered the field of German Journalism at St. Paul, Minn., in which he remained for nearly 28 years, editing and publishing the Weekly Volksblatt for six years, the Daily Volksblatt for two years, and the Daily Volkszeitung for twenty years.


Journalism naturally led Mr. Lienau into politics and he was soon elected to office.  He served first as alderman of St. Paul, then, in 1863, as City Comptroller.  In 1864 he was delegated to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago, which nominated Gen. Geo. B. McClellan for president.  Nominated, in 1868, as candidate for elector on the Seymour ticket, Mr. Lienau stumped the state with his opponent on the Republican ticket, Gen. Malmros.  During the legislative sessions of ’67, ’68 and ’72 he was a member of the House of Representatives of Minnesota.  In 1873 he was elected Judge of Probate and from 1874 to ’78 he served as a member of the Minnesota State Senate.  In 1879 he was at the head of the educational interests of St. Paul, as President of the Board of Education.  In 1882 and 1883 he held the office of Recorder of Deeds and in 1885 was again returned to the legislature.  A four-year term in the senate to which he was elected unanimously in 1890, closed Mr. Lienau’s political career and he retired to his orange ranch in Redlands.


Mr. Lienau was married when 22 years of age to Mathilde Speck of Germany.  They have eight living children, five boys and three girls, all of age, three of whom are living in California, three in Minnesota one in Missouri and one in Mexico.


(Source:  Illustrated Redlands, 1897, p. 11)