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 Elizabeth <I>Hatsfeldt</I> Hollenbeck

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Elizabeth Hatsfeldt Hollenbeck

  • Birth 17 Oct 1827
  • Death 9 Sep 1918
  • Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 7845121

In the early 1850's, German-born Elizabeth Hatsfeldt had emigrated from New Orleans to Nicaragua and was managing the Hotel Nicaragua. The hotel had recently been purchased by John Edward Hollenbeck, an entrepreneur who was the owner of several businesses catering to travelers to the California gold fields. Hollenbeck was so impressed with her business acumen that he increased her monthly salary from $50 to $75. Shortly thereafter, on March 30, 1853, he married her.

They had a young son, John Edward Hollenbeck, Jr. Political unrest led the Hollenbecks to send their son to live with relatives in Illinois for his own safety. About 1856 or 1857, Nicaraguan insurgents raided the Hollenbeck home, took Mr. Hollenbeck and Elizabeth as prisoners and held them for nearly three months. During the time they were imprisoneed, their store, house and goods were burned, and everything they had in the world was gone. Finding everything destroyed, they returned to the States, only to find, sadly, that their young son had contracted diptheria and died.

They returned to Nicaragua, rebuilt their business and succeeded until about 1874, when John's health began to fail and they traveled in search of a more favorable climate. They settled permanently in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles in 1876. He built a beautiful mansion, complete with verandas and towers.

John Hollenbeck died in 1885 and left his considerable wealth to his widow, Elizabeth. She believed that life's highest calling was to serve others, and it was her goal to provide a comfortable and secure lifetime haven for California Seniors.

She filed a judgment and decree with the Superior Court that would give all of her assets toward establishing a comfortable place of residence for the elderly. In 1926, Hollenbeck became the first licensed retirement home in the state of California. The home continues to serve the needs of seniors into the 21st century.

Family Members


  • Created by: Shiver
  • Added: 
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7845121
  • D C McJonathan-Swarm
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Elizabeth Hatsfeldt Hollenbeck (17 Oct 1827–9 Sep 1918), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7845121, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Shiver (contributor 46539565) .