Royal Wedding at Belmont

Belmont means ‘Beautiful Mountain’. Many folks who aspire to being California Royalty, get married at Ralston Hall in Belmont. To envision oneself as a banking heiress whose Daddy owned gold and silver mines, and then be whisked off your feet by a Knight of the Realm who takes you to his stately home in Merry Ol England, is the Acme of good breeding!


SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 24.–The most brilliant wedding ever celebrated in California took place last evening at Belmont, the princely country seat of Senator William Sharon. Mr. Sharon’s daughter Flora, a petite brunette of 19 years, was united, in the presence of about 150 invited guests, to Sir Thomas Henry Fermor Hesketh, Baronet, of Rufford Hall, Lancashire, England.”

Louis Tevis was the daughter of Lloyd Tevis the President of Wells Fargo Bank. She married into the Breckenridge family who were not only Kentucky Bluebloods, they are kin to the Royal Stewarts as I discovered! Louis did not know this when she got a divorce, and then marries William Sharon, a partner of William Ralston President of the Bank of California! How many banks is that?

Now, all over the internet are claims there is a divine bloodline that descends from Jesus and Mary Magdalene that begat the Stewarts and the Freemasons, who in turn owned banks. Why not gold and silver mines? Surely folks kin to King Solomon would want to have a gold collection as big as this Davidic King who collected 666 talons of gold a year in taxes! Wow! How much silver was taken out of the Comstock mine that Sharon owned?

Last month I tried to communicate some doubt to a bunch of nasty Sinclair folk, that they are all what they make themselves out to be. Surely if they own God’s blood, then His Divine Will would have bid the Sinclairs to do truly wonderous things on His Green Earth – like find plenty of gold in the new world! Actually, they do make the claim the Money Pit is their doing, their Templar line finding all this gold in the ground – then putting it back where no one can spend it – not even the Sinclairs! The check is in the mail!

What was perfectly clear when Sir Thomas sailed into San Francisco Bay, he was looking for a rich heiress to marry – like so many other landed Brits before him – so he would have the monies to remodel his decaying estates. Thomas struck pay dirt when he married Louis Tevis Breckenridge at Ralston Hall, where my great grandparents were married in what may have been seen as the Oddfellow marriage of the century. Surely the Knight Templars in this Masonic-like fraternity, compared the Stuttmeister-Janke union as ordained.

Louis took no chances, and moved the Hand of Fater back into the Breckenridge-Stewart lineage, when her son married Florence Witherspoon Breckenridge, thus tying another knot that links this titled family to the Bentons and Prescos, via the marriage of the world famous artist, Christine Rosamond Benton!

My parents died without this knowlege, and the father of my niece, Garth Benton knew nothing about it. Since Christine died, I have sent letters to the Court that are filed in Rosamond’s Probate, that speak of the Grail, Knight Templars – did mention the Stewarts?

What is curious, is that the Oddfellows, and the Orange Lodge which Bennett Rosamond was the Grand Master of, beleived they were the remnants of the Royal Kings of Judea. Did I tell you that my niece, Drew Benton, descends from Colonel Thomas Hart Benton the Grand Master of the Iowa Freemasons, who saved Albert Pike’s Masonic Library, and thus the Scotish Rite? Add it all up, folks!

Gold and Silver Mines
Big Banks
Knight Templars
Royal Lineages
Signer of Constitution
Diasporic Lineages

Looks like God’s Work to me!

“The child plays
The toy boat sails across the pond
The work now has just begun
Oh child
Lokk what you have done ”

Jon Presco

Copyright 2011

Furthering the cause was the marriage of Flora’s son Thomas to another American heiress, Florence Louise Witherspoon Breckinridge. The union kept the Fermor-Heskeths in silver, at least until next week.
Flora’s branch of the Sharons does not appear to have any heirs left in the Bay Area, at least according to an online family history, and an official said there seems to be no interest in the goods at Ralston Hall — still a fine place for a wedding. Going once…….

Louise married John Witherspoon Breckenridge, son of Congressman, Senator, Vice President, Presidential Candidate and Confederate General John C. Breckenridge, c. 1878 and lived in San Rafael, CA. Their marriage ended in divorce and she married secondly Frederick W. Sharon.

Louise Tevis Breckenridge Sharon (1858-1938)

We are privileged to be able to offer a selection of exciting San Francisco made and retailed flatware owned by one of San Francisco’s leading 19th century families who married into the English nobility.

Louise Tevis Breckenridge Sharon, was the daughter of Lloyd Tevis, president of Wells Fargo and one of the richest men in California. When he became president of Wells Fargo, it was an express (coach) company; when he retired it was a bank as we know it today. Tevis was assessed by the state of California as having a fortune worth $1,590,000.00 in 18801.

Louise married John Witherspoon Breckenridge, son of Congressman, Senator, Vice President, Presidential Candidate and Confederate General John C. Breckenridge, c. 1878 and lived in San Rafael, CA. Their marriage ended in divorce and she married secondly Frederick W. Sharon.

Frederick Sharon was the son of Senator William Sharon (right), one of California’s very richest men. Sharon arrived in San Francisco in 1849, first investing in real estate, then also in mining and banking. By 1880, the state of California assessed his personal fortune at $4,470,000.002 and he was the largest single taxpayer in the state. Louise and Frederick were married at Sharon’s 55,360 square foot palatial estate ‘Belmont’ in 1884 (below).

In preference to William Sharon’s ‘Belmont’, Louise and Frederick Sharon lived in Paris, in New York at their mansion at 323 5th Avenue and at their Menlo Park mansion ‘Sharon Heights’ (below) after its completion in 1906.

In 1909 Florence Louise Breckenridge, Louise’s daughter by her first marriage to John W. Breckenridge, married Sir Thomas Fermor-Hesketh, 8th Baronet (elevated to the rank of Baron in 1935). Their wedding presents included a large selection of silver from San Francisco’s famous Shreve & Co.

Florence, then Lady Hesketh, lived in the Hesketh country seat, Easton Neston, one of England’s great country houses. It is currently on the market, see here. The silver descended in the family until recently.

It is interesting to note that after the death of William Sharon in 1885, such was his wealth that many people claimed to be related (one even claimed to be a wife) to get a share of the fortune. One person made a claim 30 years later, saying that records of his birth had been destroyed in the great San Francisco fire of 1906. None of these claims ever succeeded.

Most of these pieces appear to date to the time of her first marriage to John W. Breckenridge. Others, as noted below, are later. Some of these items, including the Vanderslice ‘Gargoyle’ pattern flatware service, the Gorham ‘Medallion’ tea knives and the Gorham ‘Old Medici’ salad forks are very rare.

“It’s quite clear the girls knew what they were up to,” Miller says. “They knew they had this cash, which would allow them to become objects of interest. Also, it was a passport to Europe, to a certain degree of freedom and what they saw as a more sophisticated environment. So they traded money for access to what they saw as the cream of world society.”
So Sharon — known here mostly as “Flora,” there as “Florence” or “Emily” — traded her cash for Sir Thomas’ cachet, and they were married at Ralston Hall (known as Belmont at the time) on Dec. 23, 1880

They boarded the Lancashire Witch and made their way to Japan, then zipped over to San Francisco, where Sir Thomas heard that a ship registered in Tahiti with Americans aboard had gone missing in Mexico.
Sir Thomas sent the yacht and a few of his shipmates over to search for the missing, but had the good sense to stay in San Francisco and party
“I was lucky enough to find a journal of this journey of 1879-1880, which was a pivotal moment in the family history,” Miller says. “It was written by someone aboard his ship, obviously a great friend, and it makes it quite clear that they were all aware of the, er, potential prospects America had to offer. So when they were in San Francisco, they knew there were pretty American girls who had ‘the needful.’ ”

The city toasted Sir Thomas for his heroic, though reportedly futile, rescue gesture, making him a member of the San Francisco yacht club and honoring him with a scroll from the Board of Trade, Miller says.
Society also feted him at parties from San Francisco’s Palace Hotel to Belmont’s Ralston Hall. By 1880, the former Nevada senator Sharon owned both, due to the suicide of his business partner, William Ralston, and had such a massive empire that he paid more taxes than any individual in California.
Here’s one of the journal entries: “I must say American girls are very pretty, dress well, have good feet, lots of fun & very sharp. Some have lots of money.”
And another: “To my astonishment Hesketh has been making love to Miss Sharon, a most charming girl, daughter of Senator Sharon. The engagement was announced in the Chronicle & Newsletter.”
No need to call Sir Thomas a cad, however.

When the new Lady Fermor-Hesketh boarded The Lancashire Witch, $2 million and a few hundred words of outrage accompanied her.
“There were lots of newspaper reports, general comments in San Francisco, saying how disgraceful it is that this money should leech out of the country,” Miller says.
The new lady of the manor quickly set out to spend some of that money when she found things not entirely to her liking. She had hoped for a “rambling, medieval” home, Miller reports, and had to work to instill those qualities in Nicholas Hawksmoor’s graceful Baroque masterpiece of architecture.
Hawksmoor’s painted oak model of the house is listed among the more precious pieces at auction, valued at more than $150,000. There are also many pieces of silver in mint condition — unused wedding presents from fine American purveyors such as Tiffany and Shreve — and a striking portrait of the lady of the house by Emile Charles Wauters.
“She’s got great style, doesn’t she?” says Miller, chuckling at the in- charge, elegantly clad image of Lady Fermor-Hesketh. “She was apparently very outspoken, too — you know, talked straight, where English girls didn’t, particularly. That’s a nice American characteristic.”

One perhaps Sir Thomas tired of, because after the birth of their two sons Flora eventually began to spend more time in London until she died in 1924.
“She seems to have had a lover who was an admiral at some point,” Miller says. “She converted her house in London to have the sash windows bricked up and put portals in to make him comfortable.”
The admiral’s comfort came at no expense to Easton Neston, which continued to be maintained by a steady flow of American dollars from San Francisco — interrupted, Miller says, only in 1906 by the great earthquake.

Furthering the cause was the marriage of Flora’s son Thomas to another American heiress, Florence Louise Witherspoon Breckinridge. The union kept the Fermor-Heskeths in silver, at least until next week.
Flora’s branch of the Sharons does not appear to have any heirs left in the Bay Area, at least according to an online family history, and an official said there seems to be no interest in the goods at Ralston Hall — still a fine place for a wedding. Going once…….

Easton Neston, built by Nicholas Hawksmoor in around 1700 in Northamptonshire, England, will open to the public for the first time for viewing Friday through Monday; the three-day auction of more than 1,500 lots of furniture, art, silver and other antiques begins on Tuesday. The full catalog is online at, and interested parties can call the firm’s San Francisco office for more information,

Daily Alta California, Volume 42, Number 14175, 24 June 1888

One of the most enjoyable weddings of the past week took place at
Belmont, Wednesday morning last, the contracting parties being Miss
Augusta Janke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. August Janke of Belmont,
and Dr. Wm. Stuttmeister of San Francisco. The house was
handsomely decorated with a rich profusion of ferns and flowers, and
at the appointed hour was filled with the relatives and intimate friends
of the contracting parties. At 11 o’clock the wedding march was played
and the bridal party entered the parlor. The bride was attended by Miss
Alice Stuttmeister, a sister of the groom, and Miss Minnie Janke, a
sister of the bride, as bridesmaids, and Dr. Muldownado and Wm.
Janke, a cousin of the bride, were groomsmen. The Rev. A. L. Brewer
of San Mateo performed the beautiful and impressive ceremony under
an arch composed of flowers and greens very prettily arranged, after
which the guests pressed forward and offered their congratulations.
The bride was attired in a very pretty and becoming costume of the
crushed strawberry shade, and wore a corsage bouquet of orange
blossoms. She carried a handsome bouquet of white flowers. After the
guests had paid their compliments the bride and groom led the way to
the dining-room, where the wedding dinner was served and the health
of the newly married pair was pledged. The feast over, the guests
joined in the dance, and the hours sped right merrily, interspersed with
music singing and recitations, until the bride and groom took their
departure amid a shower of rice and good wishes. Many beautiful
presents were received. Dr. and Mrs. Stuttmeister left Thursday
morning for Santa Cruz and Monterey, where they will spend the
honeymoon. On their return they will make their home in Belmont.

1911: Dr. Willian O. Stuttmeister was practicing dentistry in Redwood
City, CA. (Reference: University of California, Directory of Graduates,

1864-1910, page 133).
Records from Tombstones in Laurel Hill Cemetery, 1853-1927 – Janke
– Stuttmeister
Mina Maria Janke, daughter of William A, & Cornelia Janke, born
February 2, 1869, died March 1902.
William August Janke, native of Hamburg, Germany, born Dec. 25,
1642, died Nov. 22, 1902, son of Carl August & Dorette Catherine
Frederick William R. Stuttmeister, native of Berlin, Germany, born
1612, died January 29, 1877.
Mrs. Matilda Stuttmeister, wife of Frederick W.R. Stuttmeister, born
1829, died March 17, 1875, native of New York.
Victor Rudolph Stuttmeister, son of Frederick W.R. & Matilda
Stuttmeister, born May 29, 1846, died Jan. 19, 1893, native of New


About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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