Grindstone History Timeline, page 2 

The Searchlight, February 7, 1918:
(list of approx. 110 men, John J. Bartosh is ID # 1765)

The Searchlight, March 19, 1918:
John J. Bartosh, newsdealer and tobacconist and one of the most popular young business men in Redding, finds at this late day that he is not subject to the draft, though he is already in class 1 and is subject to call very soon. And don't forget that Bartosh is ready to go. He is no slacker. "I am ready any time my country wants me," says Bartosh, "and I will not hang back a minute, even if I do have to sacrifice my business that I have been a lifetime building up."
Bartosh has always believed that he was born on December 18, 1885. That would have made him over thirty-one years of age in June last, when the draft law went into effect. But as he was born so near 1886, he gave the year of his birth as 1886 and registered for the draft, his age being at least 31.
His father, who has lived in Kenett for several years, seldom comes to Redding, but he was down here last week to attend a funeral. Having seen his son's name in the list of class 1 men, he remonstrated, saying to his son: "You were born on December 18, 1884. I looked at the date in the old prayer book the other day. I wrote the date there the day you were born. You had no occasion to register for the draft.
John J. Bartosh is exempt, so far as age is concerned, both by his own reckoning and still more by the records of his father. The official records of his birth in the church in San Francisco where he was baptized were destroyed in the big fire.
But all this makes no difference to John J. Bartosh. "Why should I claim exemption?" he asks, "I have no dependents. I will not stay here and let my young friends and neighbors go off to the war. I am ready to serve my country. I have passed the physical examination and will answer the call."

The Searchlight, July 14, 1918:
I must sell my cigar store and news agency on account of going to war. 

The Searchlight, August 7, 1918:
John J. Bartosh Sells Cigar Store
John J. Bartosh, proprietor of the Golden Eagle Cigar store, one of the landmarks of Redding, has sold his business to E. A. Aedes, a recent arrival here from Modoc county.
Bartosh was forced to sell, as he is due to leave for the war with a Shasta county draft contingent on August 15.
While the sale is really made it cannot be legally consumed until August 13, the expiration day of the usual legal notice of intention of sale.
Bartosh has proved himself to be one of the very best young business men in Redding. He has attended to business since his career began in Armory hall years ago, when as a tot in knickerbockers he sold "peanuts, chwing [sic] gum, chocolates and popcorn." John Bartosh has been popular and successful, because he has worked, because he has been polite, because he has been square. It is a considerabl [sic] sacrifice for him to part with the business whose foundation he laid so well, but he does not hesitate for one moment to do so. Bartosh wants to do his duty as a citizen and he answers his country's call without a moments hesitation.
For years and years the Golden Eagle Cigar store has been the meeting place of the Grindstone club, a local organization that has handled all the problems of government--national and world wide--and handled them well, too. One of the most important assets transferred by Bartosh to the new proprietor, E. A. Eades, is the charter of the Grindstone club.

The Searchlight, August 16, 1918:
John J. Bartosh and Herbert G. Moody were the guests of honor at a dinner party given last evening in the Golden Eagle hotel private dining room by the proprietors, George H. Gronwoldt and August H. Gronwoldt. The function was given on the eve of the departure of the honor guests for Camp Lewis. George Michaud and F. C. Scrivner of Redding and Roy Duggins of Cottonwood, who are to leave on the same train for Camp Lewis, were invited also.
The table was decorated artistically in flowers and the American colors. The dinner was elaborate and was served in course. Following the repast dancing was in order, and it was kept up till well after midnight.
While all were at the table a valuable wrist watch was presented to John J. Bartosh by the Redding shamber [sic] of commerce of which he has been the efficient secretary-treasurer for several months.
Those attending, in addition to the five guests already mentioned, were: Mr. and Mrs. Albert Ludwig, Miss Sally Hall, Mrs. C. C. Keen, Mrs. Freda Livermore, Miss Olive Forrester, Miss Kathryn Hall, Miss Mildred Evans, Mrs. Hazel Anderson, August H. Gronwoldt, Marion A. Nordyke, Peter Hoff, George W. Hartz and George W. Harrison.

The Searchlight, November 6, 1918
James E. Isaacs, one of the best known young men in Redding, died in the home of his mother, Mrs. Mary E. Isaacs, in Market street, at 1 o'clock Tuesday morning. Pneumonia was the cause. Never in rugged health, he was really ill for several weeks, but his loyalty to his employer in the Golden Eagle cigar store kept him at work after he really should have been at home and in bed. The dread disease had a hold on him before he finally gave up and took to bed.
"Jimmie" Isaacs, as everybody called him, was born in Redding on September 25, 1892, making his age a little better than 26 years. He was a son of the late James E. Isaacs Sr., for whom he was named. "Jimmie" attended the public schools of Redding, entering high school at the age of 13. After attending high school for two years, he quit to undergo a serious operation for a throat trouble. Recovering, he entered the employ of John Potts in the Golden Eagle Cigar store, and remained there ever since under two different proprietors. He was a good clerk and was as honest a boy as ever stepped behind a counter. Jimmie Isaacs was faithful to his employer and attentive to business.
The most delightful trait of his character was his intense love for his widowed mother. He was always thoughtful of her welfare and happiness, and yet he made no display of his devotion. Jimmie Isaacs was plain spoken. He covered up nothing, and had the way of speaking right out.
The decedent was drafted, but he was rejected on physical examination, showing that he was not in rugged bodily health and therefore not calculated to win out in a battle with pneumonia.
Jimmie Isaacs leaves, in addition to his mother, a sister, Mrs. Linnie Healey of San Francisco, who was at his bedside at the last, and Dorn Isaacs, a brother whos is a soldier at Camp Kearny. The brother left camp Tuesday morning and may arrive in Redding Wednesday evening, and then the time of the funeral will be set.
Young Isaacs was a member of the Native Sons and was an active fireman. He makes the sixth member McCloud parlor of Native Sons has lost since the epidemic came.

The Searchlight, November 21, 1918:
John J. Bartosh wired from Camp Lewis Wednesday to Dorn Isaacs in this city that he would be back in Redding on or about December 1 to stay.
Nobody will receive a heartier welcome coming home than will be extended to "John." Member of the Grindstone club will take a holiday.
When Bartosh left for the war he sold out his newsstand and cigar store in the Golden Eagle block. It is understood that he is negotiating to buy them back.

The Searchlight, December 24, 1918:
John J. Bartosh arrived home last evening and was showered with kisses at the depot, and the kisses were from the fairer sex.
John J. Bartosh wired his brother yesterday that he would be home from Camp Lewis Monday or Tuesday night. Bartosh has not been discharged but is anxious to go back in business at the old stand, the Golden Eagle Cigar store. Bartosh was at Camp Lewis ever since he joined the ranks. He expects to be discharged very soon.

The Searchlight, June 3, 1919:
Edward A. Eades has sold his cigar store the Golden Eagle block to Paul D. Henderson, a teacher of Red Bluff. The sale was really agreed on two months ago. Henderson will take possession on June 15, or as soon as school is out. 

Courier-Free Press, August 11, 1919:
John J. Bartosh, who owned the Golden Eagle cigar store before he entered the army last year, has purchased the business for himself again. The deal has been pending for several weeks and all that remains to be done is to sign the papers that have been drawn up with Paul Henderson, the present owner. The latter will go back to teaching in Tehama county.

The Searchlight, August 15, 1919:
Paul D. Henderson has filed for record the usual notice of intention that he will sell the Golden Eagle cigar store in Redding to John J. Bartosh. The sale will be made on August 23.

The Searchlight, Jan. 1, 1920:
J. N. Logan president of the Grindstone club was up from San Francisco Wednesday planning to attend the annual meeting.

The Searchlight, January 7th, 1920:
Bartosh is listed as proprietor in add wishing public happy new year from several businesses.

The Searchlight, October 30, 1925:
(Special to The Searchlight)
Kennett, October 29--Frank Bartosh, retired, died at home here at 1 o'clock this afternoon. He had been in failing health for weeks. The decedent, a native of Austria, was aged 72 years.
During the boom days of Keswick, Bartosh had a lodging house in that town. When Keswick went down he came to Kennett and engaged in the same business. His house burned down five years ago, and since that time Bartosh had lived retired.
The decedent leaves these sons and daughters: John J. Bartosh and George R. Bartosh, Redding; Frank A. Bartosh and Joseph P. Bartosh, Sacramento; Mrs. Fred Pritchard and Miss mary Bartosh, San Francisco.
The funeral will be in Redding at a time not yet set.
(Next day)
The funeral of Frank Bartosh of Kennett will be held at 11 o'clock this morning in the chapel of the Redding Undertaking Company. The service will be private.

Listed in Kappen's token book: Mechanics Saloon, Keswick, Frank Bartosh

Searchlight? June ?, 1928:
For 40 Years Wellknown Citizen Was A Merchant Tailor in Redding -- Was Aged 71 Years
Charles Piftschek, for forty years a merchant tailor in Redding, passed away in his home in Oregon Street at 3 o'clock Friday morning. 
For over a year he had been bedfast and almost helpless, requiring the constant care of his wife Mrs. Mary F. Piftschek, and his faithful stepson, George R. Bartosh.
Piftschek closed his shop in the Paragon block in California Street on May 1, last year, his lease having expired. But he had really been forced by failing health to give up work several months before. He was a hard worker, too, up to the very last, for he was seldom away from his shop unless he was at home.
Charles Piftschek was born in Bohemia, a part of Austria, in 1857, making his age 71 years. He came to this country in 1883, landing in New York with 10 cents in his pockets but with a thoro [sic] knowledge of the tailoring trade he had acquired while in the Austrian army. 
Drifting westward, Piftschek went to Eureka, San Francisco, Chio and finally arriving in Redding with only 50 cents in his pocket....opened a shop and soon his trade and stock grew into a well established business-- a business that he kept up for forty years or more, or until his health broke.
During his long industrious career he acquired considerable property--two houses in Redding, three-quarter sections of valuable timber, stocks, bonds, and real estate in Anderson, Richmond and Martinez. Realizing several months ago that he would never get well, Charles Piftschek made his will, but later on he called in his attorney and deeded away all his real estate as he wanted it to go.
Charles Piftschek was twice married. By his first wife he had two children, who were soon left motherless. In a fire that consumed the home in the absence of his housekeeper, both children were burned to death. The loss of his two children was a lasting sorrow in the heart of the father, but there are two little graves in the Redding cemetery that were always dept green.
In the course of a few years Charles Piftschek was married a second time, and now it is Mrs. Mary F. Piftschek who is left a widow. He was all but a father in name to her son, George R. Bartosh, who worked in the shop alongside so many years.
Charles Piftschek was an honest big-hearted man. He had a perfect abhorrence of being in debt. If he owed a bill it could not be presented to him too soon. He was liberal, too, and responded to calls for charity and public enterprises.
The decendent was a member of the Odd Fellows, encampment and canton; Rebekahs, Red Men, Eagles and Ancient Order of Foresters.
The funeral arrangements are not completed.

Redding Cemetery, Name, burial date, info:
Piftschek, Albert Aug-8-1891 3 yrs 9 mo 20 days
Piftschek, Freda Aug-8-1891 5 yrs 2 mo 8 days
Piftschek, Mrs. F. Dec-3-1888 31yr 2mo 6day; b. GER

Courier Free Press April 21, 1930:
Owned Golden Eagle Cigar Store When Grindstone Club Was Great Organization
Word has been received in Redding that John W. Potts, for years a resident of Redding, passed on in Los Angeles a week ago Saturday and was buried there on the following Tuesday. He was aged 71 and leaves the widow, Mrs. Clara Potts.
John W. Potts for a good many years owned the cigar store in the Golden Eagle building now owned by John J. Bartosh. The store became famous locally as the rendezvous of Redding citizens who formed what was called the Grindstone Club. While this was not really a definite organization, meetings were held nearly every evening at the cigar store, where questions of civil government and even theology and philosophy were discussed with abandon and oftentimes erudition.

There were men famous in the early day history of Shasta County who were active members and disputants, among them being Judge Edward Sweeney, F. M. Swasey, James Isaacs, J. W. Brackett, Allen W. Etter, James Drynan, John E. Reynolds and Bickford. 
Potts was the patron saint of the Grindstone Club. He did not enter into the windy discussions that often came up, but he was a good listener along with the late Judge Gardner.
John W. Potts always did a good business and it was when business was at its best tide that his health began to fail and he was advised to seek a change of climate. He sold his business to his cigar-maker, John J. Bartosh, who has been the proprietor of the historic shop ever since, barring the interruption of the World War. With the departure of John W. Potts for his new home in Los Angeles, the Grindstone Club soon disappeared as a new generation flocked around the new proprietor.
In the very early days Potts acquired a piece of property in Fall River Mills. He held on to it for years, always saying that some day he would make a fortune out of it, meaning the day when Fall River Falls power would be utilized. But after being in Los Angeles a few years, Potts became a little financially embarrassed and he sold his Fall River holdings at a sacrifice. He did not know that he was selling to an agent of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company and that if he had only held on he might have got ten times the sum that was paid to him for his land and riparian rights.
Speech apparently written by Judge Ross to Rotary Club upon the occasion of Bartosh's 50th anniversary as cigar store owner:
John J. Bartosh bought the Golden Eagle Cigar Store sometime between the 10th and 20th of July, 1907 and, except for his year's service in the Army during World War One, he has operated it ever since. He had worked for the former owner, John W. Potts, for seven years as a cigar maker.
Potts opened the store in the then-new Golden Eagle Hotel when the building was completed in 1888. During the depression of 1893 the hotel closed down and Potts was given free rent to sleep in the building to protect the insurance. He was the only occupant for a year. He told Bartosh that he remembered one day that year when his receipts were exactly 80¢.
Bartosh had learned the trade of cigar-making from Potts and when the latter had to retire in 1907 because of ill-health he gave Johnny the first chance to buy.
Long before that there had gradually come into existence an organization called the Grindstone Club, consisting of business and professional men who gathered from time to time in the back room of the cigar store to talk politics and other business of the day. In time they elected officers annually and had an annual banquet. In the summertime they would, one by one, take their chairs from the back room and place them on Yuba Street in front of the hotel. The street was then unpaved and there was not much traffic, and sometimes the row or semi-circle of chairs would extend half way across the street. Perhaps a horse and buggy would pass once every half hour and, therefore, traffic was not interfered with by these informal meetings of the Grindstone Club.
Some of the earlier members of the Grindstone Club were county officials, as the Hoff Building, immediately east of the Golden Eagle Hotel and constructed about the same time, was used as the Shasta County Court House in 1889 and 1890 until the new courthouse on the hill was finished after the removal of the county seat from Shasta. There were Superior Court Judges Aaron Bell and Edward Sweeny, County Clerk William Bickford, City Judge Jack Garden, and others. Carl R. Briggs, founder of the Shasta County Title Company, was active. My own father, Albert F. Ross, Sr., who was Sheriff and later associated with Briggs in the abstract and title business, was a member and, like myself, a good customer of the cigar store.
After Bartosh took over the store in 1907 the club continued up to about 1915 [1919], but the older members had passed on and the newer members met more informally and the annual dinners, the regular election of officers, etc. ceased. J. N. Logan, father-in-law of C. Fred Smith was the last regular president of the club.
Bartosh continued the cigar-making business as well as the retail sales until January, 1918. The store made and marketed the Grindstone Club cigar as well as several other brands, and the local cigars were also sold to merchants throughout the county for resale. The store also carried the following cigars, Robert Mantell, General Arthur, Owls, Renown and Fontella. The "ready-made" cigarets [sic] were Vanity Fair, Duke's Cameo, Virginia Brice and Pets. Most persons rolled their own in those earlier days, using Bull Durham or Duke's Mixture tobacco. Bartosh says that a man who bought the ready-made cigarets was considered "of ill repute".
After returning from Army service Bartosh also handled the agency for some auto-stage firms, one operating stages from Sacramento and Chico and one from Redding to Montgomery Creek and Big Bend. These later established their own offices in Redding elsewhere. John also purchased the distribution agency for the San Francisco papers, Chronicle, Call and Examiner and the Sacramento Bee from Reuben Hoyle about 1910. He says he had to borrow from the bank to do this and that it took him 20 years to pay off that note. Supervising the distribution of these papers was always a headache, he says, but he still sells them all today although each now has a separate local distributor.
John has been a member of the Redding Lodge of Elks for over fifty years and was a member of the volunteer fire department for many years. He was connected with Liberty No. Two Hose Company, whose duty in case of fire was to get the hosecart from the present location of the Masonic Temple and commandeer a horse and wagon from the street to pull it to the fire. Sometimes the men would have to pull the cart a block or two by hand before they found a delivery wagon to hitch to. "The fire had burned the house down before we got there some times", he says.
John also played in the "town band" for years. They gave Sunday concerts in the summertime from the second story porch in front of the Golden Eagle Hotel, and played at ball games, dances, and on other occasions.
Bartosh also was quite a tennis player and was a member of the Redding tennis club which built and operated several fine courts on the railroad reservation just west of the location of the present passenger depot.
John is one of the oldest members of this Rotary Club and has an almost perfect attendance record over the years. I feel sure that all the members congratulate him on his Golden Anniversary of the cigar store, and wish him continued good luck in the future.

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