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February 6, 2008 > History


Joseph family history

Joaquin Joseph, the great grandfather of Elaine Joseph Caldeira Dias, was born on the Portuguese island of Madeira in 1840. At the age of 20, he came to America by whaling ship and settled in Centerville. The street off from Central Avenue, Joseph Street, was named after him. He grew and sold diversified fruits and vegetables at about the location of where the 7 - eleven is now. Joseph married shortly after arriving from Madeira. He and his wife, Mary raised eight children: Martin, Joe, George, Manuel, Charles, Anna, Lucy, and Mary.

Martin Joseph Elaine's grandfather, born circa 1870, married Mary Rose. Martin was a blacksmith. His shop was located on Main Street (now Fremont Boulevard) and Parish Avenue near Holy Ghost (Spirit) Church. Martin and Mary had one son, Louis, (Elaine's father) born in Centerville in 1903. Mary died in 1903, several months after Louis was born. Not long after, Martin moved to San Francisco with two of his brothers, Joe and George, and opened a produce market on Commercial Street they called Joseph Bros. Produce. Louis, Martin's son, remained in Centerville in the care of his maternal grandparents, Joseph and Maria Rose.

Louis Joseph worked at Centerville's Booth Cannery as a welder where he met Mary (Mae) Brazil. They married in 1925. Their daughter, Elaine, was born in 1932. Louis opened his shop, known to the local farmers as Louie Joseph's shop, on Emerson Street (now Jason Way). He operated his shop there for many years until his death in 1969. He designed and built much of the farm machinery seen in the area throughout the 1930s through the 1960s. His cauliflower carts, planters, seeders, cultivators, and numerous other types of farm equipment were prevalent throughout the farming community. He served as a volunteer fireman in Centerville and taught welding classes at Washington Union Adult School during World War II. Many of his students worked as welders in the shipyards during the war years. Louis was also an accomplished carver and inlayer of wood.

Elaine Joseph married Cyrus Caldeira in 1958. Elaine taught business classes and was a counselor at Washington Union High School - the school from which both she and Cyrus graduated. Their son Robert was born in 1962, a few months before the death of Cyrus. In 1968 Elaine married Eugene Dias, whom she met at Newark High School where they both were teaching. Gina Marie was born to Eugene and Elaine in 1970. Rob and Gina Marie also graduated from Washington High School. Elaine continued her teaching career in the Business Division of Chabot College until her retirement in 1998.

Robert married Pamella Dockter and they have two daughters, Christina and Alessandra, who are 6th generation Californians. Gina married Richard Adams and they have a daughter and son, Jenna and Mark, who are 6th generation Fremont Californians.

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