The Lorenz Hotel
Guest Writer Spotlight: Jeremy M. Tuggle: Shasta Historical Society
An iconic and historic building in downtown Redding, the Lorenz hotel, with an engraved date of 1901 on the front top of the building. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
The present-day Lorenz hotel is located at 1509 Yuba Street in Redding. It is currently owned and operated by the Christian Church Homes and is presently used to assist senior citizens with affordable housing. Four additional businesses continue to operate on the ground floor. In the lobby is a Barbershop, and on the east side of the building is the Deja Vu Restaurant. On the north east corner is the Station, a coffee shop boutique and on the north west corner is the Carousel, a clothing store.
In March of 1901 a contract was let by the estate of Henry Lorenz to Charles H. Barrett of the firm Arnold & Barrett to design a three-story hotel in downtown Redding on Yuba Street on a vacant lot which that estate had purchased that year. Henry Lorenz had been deceased since 1895. The family made their fortune to erect this hotel from the lucrative Red Hill Placer mine that they owned at Junction City in Trinity County. The lot was located between the Golden Eagle hotel and the railroad tracks. In previous years, before the hotel was built on the vacant lot it was a well-known piece of swampland containing malaria. Yet, the future construction of the hotel changed its environment.
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Early on, it was estimated that the building could be erected for $30,000 and paid for by the Henry Lorenz estate; which was managed by Franz Joseph Lorenz, one of the twelve children of Henry Lorenz and Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz. However, the figure changed drastically.
The twelve children of Henry Lorenz and Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz are the following:
1. Franz Joseph Lorenz (1862-1937), who married Annie Margaret Gilbert.
2. Henry Lorenz (1863-1915), he never married.
3. Christina Lorenz (1865-1938), who married Joseph W. Smith.
4. Mary Anne Lorenz (1868-1868), who died young.
5. John Nicholas Lorenz (1869-1936), who married Rose.
6. Matilda Lorenz (1871-1950), who married William Gribble.
7. Susan Lorenz (1874-1959), who married James H. Gribble.
8. William David Lorenz (1876-1961).
9. George Jacob Lorenz (1878-1912), he never married.
10. Emma Lorenz (1881-1963), she married first to James H. Hoyle, then her second marriage was to Herbert L. Moody and then she married for a third time to Amos Meininger.
11. Grover Cleveland Lorenz (1884-1973), who married Louise Machado.
12. Charlie Lorenz (1886-1888), who died young.
Above: is Henry Lorenz who was born on March 26, 1825 in Bavaria, Germany and died in 1895 from critical injuries received during a buggy accident in Trinity County. His estate helped establish the Lorenz hotel. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
Above: is Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz who was born July 8, 1844 in Allen County, Indiana and died on April 3, 1925, she is the wife of Henry Lorenz. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
Eventually, the plans for this hostelry were revised for the structure to become a four-story building with a basement. Barrett designed a Beaux Arts/Italian Renaissance building which contained forty-four rooms on three of the four floors. The basement included a cold storage room to keep large quantities of frozen meat, vegetables, and additional perishable goods preserved for an indefinite time. Also, in the basement was the billiard room, bath and toilet rooms. Then on, May 6, 1901, the Free Press newspaper of Redding published the following article:
“Contract Is Let For Lorenz Hotel — The first construction contract for the new Lorenz hotel was let Monday afternoon. It was awarded to Holt & Gregg over a number of other competitors. This firm will excavate and build the foundation and basement complete and up to the first story. The contract price approximates $10,000. The papers will be signed and then work must begin within three days and be completed within forty-eight days.” (SIC)
The Henry Lorenz estate began negotiations to lease their hotel after the above article appeared that month. They were negotiating with several well-known hostelry people to conduct the hotel for them under a lease option. Among them were Daniel G. Coy and his son Guy C. Coy, and D. McCarthy who made offers to the Henry Lorenz estate.
After the lease deadline expired, the Henry Lorenz estate issued the lease of their hotel to James H. Hoyle, a shrewd businessman and a son-in-law of Henry Lorenz and Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz. Hoyle became the first manager of this impressive hostelry. Their daughter, Emma was Hoyle’s wife and she became the hostess of the establishment.
During July of 1901, the media reported that Holt & Gregg of Anderson would continue to build this hostelry skyward for a final cost of $56,194 and the owners were still contemplating whether to include an elevator at that time. The Terry Lumber Company supplied Holt & Gregg with their wood from their lumber yard at Bella Vista during the construction. The materials used during the construction of this imposing building were brick and concrete in the foundation, the walls were made of brick and sandstone, the roof was made of wood, and other items were wood windowsills/frames and columns.
While the construction of the Lorenz hotel took place there were $100,000 of improvements being made around the City of Redding, on four different buildings and the construction of a brand-new post office building on Market Street. Redding was changing rapidly, and local businesses were thriving. As the construction waned, the Lorenz estate approved an elevator which was to be installed before April 1, 1902, this became the first elevator in Redding and Shasta County, as it made headline news in the area. However, it didn’t meet the deadline and wasn’t installed until later that year. After the installation of the elevator occurred, it cost the Henry Lorenz estate $750 per month to operate it twenty-four-hours per day. The electricity was supplied by the Keswick Power Company.
There is a bit of confusion regarding the grand opening of the Lorenz hotel, some historians celebrate October 18, 1902 as the big day, and that is incorrect. There is an article written by the Free Press newspaper of Redding which heralds the title of “Opening of The Lorenz Hotel” which was published on October 20, 1902. It mainly refers to the management holding a grand public reception in the future, but no date or time was rendered for the grand celebration. Then there is the following advertisement from the Lorenz hotel which claims November 15, 1902 is the grand opening of the new hotel.
Above: an advertisement showing a vignette of the Hotel Lorenz and rendering the grand opening date of November 15, 1902. From the November 14, 1902 edition of the Free Press newspaper of Redding.
However, an excerpt of an article from the Searchlight newspaper of Redding on November 18, 1902 claimed the following about the formal grand opening of the Lorenz hotel: “and on the following evening a grand reception will be given there in honor of the teachers in attendance at the annual convention of the Northern California Teacher’s Association , when an opportunity will be given the public to view the new hostelry.” (SIC) The date of November 19, 1902, is the last official date rendered for the hostelry’s grand opening.
Above: the lobby and the registration desk inside the Lorenz hotel. Date unknown. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
Above: the Lorenz bar inside the Lorenz hotel. Date unknown. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
Later, in June of 1903, Hoyle was approved by the estate of Henry Lorenz to employ additional help and they hired local hostelry man William J. Gillespie to assist Hoyle with the management. There are some sources that claim Gillespie was hired by the Henry Lorenz estate before Hoyle and that is inaccurate. By February of 1904 the Lorenz hotel was in competition with the following hotels in the City of Redding: the Del Monte Lodgings and Tenements, the Depot hotel, the Edmond hotel, the Golden Eagle hotel, the Mountain View House, the Temple hotel, and the S.P.R.R. Passenger Depot and Freight Hotel.
Even though Hoyle & Gillespie advertised as the proprietors of this establishment they were still the lessees of this hotel. Their contracts with the Henry Lorenz estate could change at a moment’s notice. Four years later, in February of 1907, it was James H. Hoyle who purchased Gillespie’s interest and then Hoyle resold this half-interest to his brother-in-law, Franz Lorenz. The purchase price was undisclosed, yet on June 1st, of that year Hoyle and Lorenz purchased a lease option for the next five years for $28,800, made payable to the Henry Lorenz estate, “at the rate of $400 per month – $200 on the 1st and 15th of each month. The lease just executed carries with it a privilege of five years more at the rate of $500 per month.” (SIC)
On the evening of November 20, 1908, a “muffled roar, and a flash of flame ajar that shook the entire building and wrecked three rooms, entailing a loss of about $1,000 a quantity of gas that had escaped from a broken gas pipe, exploded in a room of the Lorenz hotel.” The alarm rang out and fire crews immediately responded. Eventually this news was heralded by media outlets across the State of California.
Media outlets reported that there was no serious damage to the structure, however, there were five people injured in the explosion which was caused by a match which was lit in a gas charged room. Among the injured who received severe burns, but not critical injuries were Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz, D.A. Lancaster, a commercial traveler from San Francisco, Mrs. H.A. Jones, Walter Erskine, and John Rule. Erskine and Rule were employees of the hostelry.
Above: an advertisement for the Hotel Lorenz, based on the American and European plan, featuring an Electric Elevator, a fireproof building, reasonable rates and a cold storage plant. From the August 5, 1909 edition of the Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.
Business was thriving at the Lorenz hotel in Redding which was still under lease to Hoyle and Lorenz. When the 1910 U.S. Census was enumerated on May 10, 1910 it documented that James H. Hoyle was a partner in the hotel at the age of twenty-nine, Emma (Lorenz) Hoyle was listed at the age of twenty-eight, and Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz was documented as a partner in this hotel. She was living there at the age of sixty-five, along with her son Franz, his wife Annie, and their five children. Thirteen additional tenants are documented on this U.S. Census as living inside the Lorenz hotel.
Above: this photograph shows the Hotel Lorenz on Yuba Street. This hostelry hosted a number of local businesses since its grand opening. The Stadium Theatre is advertised on the north west window of the building. The Stadium Theater was originally located on Market at Tehama Streets in Redding, and it was opened to the public on June 17, 1908 by its proprietors Jane Olney and James Miller. The Stadium Theater later moved to the Lorenz hotel and it stayed in business until 1910, when Olney and Miller purchased the Majestic Theater from Julius Lang. Circa 1910. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
Five years later, another fire erupted inside this building on July 20, 1915, causing $3,000 in damages by fire and water. How this ravaging fire ignited was never determined but the Redding Fire Department battled the flames. Insurance was covered on the hotel. Two years later, on October 13, 1917, members of the Henry Lorenz estate filed articles of incorporation in Redding to establish the Lorenz Company with a capital stock of $81,000. At this time, a board of directors were organized as well with president, Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz; director, Franz Lorenz; director, Emma (Lorenz) Hoyle; director, Christina (Lorenz) Smith; and director, Grover Lorenz.
Above: a cancelled stock certificate for the Lorenz Company of Redding. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
The Lorenz Company employed Arthur L. Watson in 1920 and 1921 to manage the hotel. Then on, April 3, 1925, Susan (Leibrant) Lorenz died at the age of eighty years old at the home of her daughter Emma. She was an early pioneer settler of Trinity County who arrived and settled there in 1857. Surviving the widow of Henry Lorenz were eight sons and daughters at the time of her death. During the late 1920’s the Lorenz hotel became home to an auto stage stop for the Redding-Fall River Stage Line which conveyed passengers from Redding to Fall River (in Shasta County), and the Redding-Bieber Freight Line, which hauled freight from Redding to Bieber.
Once again, in the early morning hours of December 5, 1928 a mysterious fire of uncertain origin in which was estimated between $20,000 and $30,000 in damages was started in the fourth story front of the building on the Yuba Street side. During the excitement, an employee named Robert Johnson who was employed at the hotel as a bell hop caught a thief in his room who took Johnson’s wallet containing $14. The fire alarm rang out and the Redding Fire Department was on the scene fighting the blaze. The thief was turned over to the Redding Police who locked up a looter by the name of Ed Morris in the Shasta County Jail. Over time, the Lorenz Company remodeled the fourth floor of the building and business resumed.
To see other articles written by Jeremy M. Tuggle, make sure to visit his blog, Exploring Shasta History.
The Lorenz Hotel’s first lessee, James H. Hoyle died of a heart ailment at San Francisco in the Grand hotel of that city on January 4, 1935, where he had been living for the last few years. Hoyle had been a promoter of mining claims in Trinity County, and he was well remembered as conducting the Lorenz hotel when it was brand new. At the time of his death Hoyle was no longer married to Emma as they were previously divorced, and she later remarried to Herbert L. Moody of Redding to become his second wife. Moody was a retired newspaper publisher in the Redding area, and it was Emma (Lorenz) Moody who continued the management of the Lorenz Hotel, however tragedy soon struck Emma when her second husband Herbert L. Moody, died in San Francisco in 1931.
Emma continued to manage the Lorenz hotel and then she married a third time to Amos Meininger in 1939. Her new husband Amos Meininger was well-known in the community and had been a resident of Redding since 1937. He had purchased another well-known establishment in Redding called the Home Mortuary in 1945 and changed the name of this undertaking service to the Meininger Mortuary. During this time, business thrived for both. Emma had no children in either marriage.
Above: on March 30, 1937, a $100,000 fire broke out inside the Lorenz hotel as the top floor was gutted. Dense smoke is seen rising from the building. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
Above: on March 30, 1937 a $100,000 fire broke out inside the Lorenz hotel as the top floor was gutted. Firemen with hoses are seen on the roof with dense smoke rising from the building. This view is looking north-west from Placer and California Streets at the Lorenz hotel. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
Emma (Lorenz) Meininger had operated the Lorenz hotel up until her and her husband’s death in 1963 as a director of the Lorenz Company. After that, other members of the Lorenz Company operated this hostelry. Over the years, additional businesses moved into the ground floor store fronts of the Lorenz hotel. The Lorenz Company operated this hostelry until 1973, when the Lorenz Company closed the hotel and sold it in 1975.
Three years later the new owners of this hostelry opened the hotel for senior citizen living. In 1991, 5 million dollars’ worth of renovations were made to the building by the U.S.D.H.U.D. A plaque which was dedicated by the Lorenz family, Shasta Historical Society, the Charlie Moss Historical Fund, and the Trinitaranius Chapter #62 of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E. Clampus Vitus In Cooperation with Christian Church Home’s was dedicated by them on November 7, 2015.
Above: the historic plaque on the building which was dedicated November 7, 2015. Taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: the California Street side with Deja Vu the restaurant. The historic plaque can be seen on the lower right. Taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: On the Yuba Street side of the building is a National Geodetic United States Benchmark. The date of 1919 is visible on it. It was accidentally painted over with red paint. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: the lobby of the historic Lorenz hotel with its registration desk. Decorated for Halloween. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: the resident mail boxes at the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: today a barber shop occupies a portion of the lobby inside the historic Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: the original safe from the Lorenz Company is still in the lobby next to the elevator. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: The Lorenz hotel was the first elevator in operation at Redding and in Shasta County. This one was in working condition like its predecessor was and functions the same from floor 1 to floor 4. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: the doorway to the stair case at the Lorenz hotel, ground floor. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: a red stair case at the Lorenz hotel, ground floor. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: 2nd floor of the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: looking south from a window inside the hallway of the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: 3rd floor of the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: the 4th floor of the Lorenz hotel near the elevator. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: the 4th floor of the Lorenz hotel. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Above: this postcard image was taken between the years: 1904 and 1915. It shows the Golden Eagle hotel in the distance, the Lorenz hotel, the quartz water fountain and the Carnegie Library. On the north-west corner of the Lorenz building is the advertisement for the Norther California Power Company. The Carnegie Library was built in 1903. From the collection of Jeremy Tuggle.
Above: after the above postcard image was taken. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on October 31, 2019.
Meet the writer: Jeremy M. Tuggle
Education and Community Engagement Manager – Shasta Historical Society
Jeremy M. Tuggle, born in Redding, is a descendant of 11 pioneer families who settled Shasta County between 1849-1889. Jeremy attended Shasta College and is the author of two published books, Rooted in Shasta County (2003), and A Journey Through Time: Ono and the Bald Hills (2008), as well as various articles on local history.
In 2017 Mr. Tuggle was awarded a Community Service Award, a prestigious national award for community service in historic preservation, by the Major Pierson B. Reading Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Jeremy is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, and an Eagle Scout.
Tuggle has been employed at the Shasta Historical Society since November of 2009. In his present role as Education & Community Engagement Manager, Jeremy conducts research for the historical society’s programs and events, contributes to the Society’s social media presence, and ensures the highest quality guest and patron experience at our programs and community events.
Mr. Tuggle enjoys sharing his knowledge of local history and events, and is available to community organizations to present programs about Shasta County history.
Henry Lorenz (death notice) – The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, November 9, 1895
1900 U.S. Census
Lorenz Estate Promises To Build Redding By The Railroad – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 22, 1901
Hotel To Have Four Stories – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 28, 1901
Fine Hotel For Redding – The San Francisco Call call newspaper of San Francisco, April 19, 1901
Redding’s New Hotel, THE LORENZ, Designed by Arnold & Barrett – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 13, 1901
Contract Is Let For Lorenz Hotel – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 6, 1901
Hotel Is Now Building – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 23, 1901
Asks Bids For Hotel Lorenz – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 23, 1901
A $20,000 Theater Is A Possibility – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 11, 1901
Business Buildings as printed in The Engineering Record, January-June 1901, Vol. 43, No. 17 (New York), 412.
Changes Talked Of For Hotel Lorenz – The Free newspaper of Redding, July 3, 1901
Four New Buildings Rear Their Walls – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 16, 1901
Contract For Hotel Lorenz – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 18, 1901
Lorenz Hotel To Get Passenger Elevator – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 24, 1901
Coy & Son Try To Get Hotel Lorenz – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 23, 1902
Redding’s New Hotel Is A Revelation – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 6, 1902
The Lorenz Hotel Will Soon Be Open – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, October 12, 1902
The Lorenz Will Be Opened Soon – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, October 16, 1902
The Hotel Lorenz Will Be Open Before November 21 – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, October 15, 1902
Opening Of The Lorenz Hotel – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, October 20, 1902
James Hoyle Will Manage The Lorenz – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, October 21, 1902
Finest Fixtures In All California – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, October 22, 1902
The Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, November 14, 1902
Formal Opening Of Hotel Lorenz – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, November 18, 1902
Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) – The Searchlight newspaper of Reddding, November 21, 1902
The Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 19, 1902
The Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, February 12, 1903
New Landlord for Hotel Lorenz – The Red Bluff Daily News newspaper of Red Bluff, April 17, 1903
The Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) – The Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 21, 1903
City of Redding – The Sanborn Map Company ©February of 1904
Hotel Lorenz (advertisement) – The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, April 25, 1906
Falls To Death From Fire Escape – The Red Bluff News newspaper of Red Bluff, September 14, 1906
Hoyle Sells Half Interest in Lorenz – The Courier-Free Press, February 9, 1907
Half Interest Sold In The Lorenz Hotel – The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, February 11, 1907
Shasta County Will Entertain The Governor – The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, February 19, 1907
Hotel Leased For A Term Of Years – The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, June 16, 1907
New Theater Opens – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 18, 1908
Gas Explosion In Hotel Room – The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, November 21, 1908
The Majestic (advertisement) – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, January 1, 1910
Explosion In Redding Hotel Injures Five – The Chico Record newspaper of Chico, November 22, 1908
Hotel Men Meet Growing Demand – The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, June 13, 1910
1910 U.S. Census
Boardman Brothers & Co. brochure for the new Boardman Addition ©1910. From the archives of Shasta Historical Society.
Fire In Redding Hotel – The Riverside Daily Press newspaper of Riverside, July 20, 1915
Company Organized To Conduct Hotel – The Sacramento Union newspaper of Sacramento, October 14, 1917
Pioneer Woman Of Trinity County Dies In Redding – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, April 4, 1925
Early Fire At Lorenz Does Big Damage – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 5, 1928
H.L. Moody Passes On – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, September 3, 1931
James H. Hoyle Passes On At The Bay – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 4, 1935
J.N. Lorenz Is Called On In Santa Rosa – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 19, 1936
Mrs. Smith’s Funeral On Saturday Morning – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 26, 1938
LP-034 Lorenz, Susan (Leibrant), and Lorenz Henry, Pioneer Plaque File on file at Shasta Historical Society.
Redding Pair Die In Crash – The Redding Record-Searchlight newspaper of Redding, September 10, 1963
Lorenz Hotel, Redding, California – the Lorenz Log, November ©1987
The Lorenz Hotel by Marilyn Hoke – The Covered Wagon 1998, published by Shasta Historical Society, pages 83-88.
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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.