JOHN ALFRED KALLMAN, father of George and Gladys

This week's Sepia Saturday I present John Alfred Kallman; husband of Lorena Aina Beck; father of George and Gladys Kallman.

From what I've found, and I can't be sure it's accurate, Alfred was possibly born in Montana on August 27, 1892. He died at age 62 on Sept. 16, 1954 in San Mateo, California. What is confusing about what I found are his parents names. Mother is listed as Kaeko and the father is Lassfalk. So Alfred appears to have been adopted somewhere along the line.

Basically this is all I have for biographical information. The rest is just supposition from looking at the photos and other ephemera I have. Very few photos have anything written on the back. However, George did put a lot of photos in special envelopes with names on the front.

Click on any image to see it larger.

George labeled these folks as his Kallman grandparents. These must be the people who "adopted" Alfred. This is where the name Kallman begins.

This is the youngest photo I can find of Alfred.

Alfred, standing in the back, with possibly his mother Kallman. No idea who the other people are.

I have no idea what this is about, but I can tell you Alfred belonged to the Star Glee Club in San Francisco. They were members of the American Union of Swedish Singers. I have photos of him with the singing group, but I haven't a clue as to what's going on here.

Alfred made his living as a painter, decorator, and paperhanger. He also had a mine which I will feature in a future post.

The Kallman home in San Francisco on Edinburgh Street with Gladys on the steps.

The boat Alfred built.

Alfred with Mabel Roy.

John Alfred Kallman (Aug. 17, 1892-Sept. 26, 1954)

If you're new to my site you might enjoy seeing past posts about the Kallman family, all photos and ephemera from the George Kallman estate.


  1. He's not nearly as photogenic as Gladys, but I do see the family resemblance - and what a great bunch of puzzle pieces. The colorized photo is a little scary.

  2. Oh I agree. The hand tinted shot is strange. It's an odd pose appearing to look up his nose. Then you add the tinting with the strange suit and weird blue eyes. Not one of his best shots.

  3. That's quite a house (the one in Edinburgh Street) and is the car a late 1950s MGA? Very flash!

  4. I've also wondered about the car. MG or TR? Not sure.

  5. Alfred was a very handsome man! The boat he built is very cool too! The extremely white house looks like one you'd see in Beverly Hills! (Hollywood) Great post, thanks...have a happy wonderful weekend!

  6. Anonymous4/23/2011

    Incredible pictures, I can't wait to come back and take a look at all of your related posts, looks very interesting. But right now, my text books, an unfinished Easter card and a dirty oven are calling my name!

  7. Your photos are delightful! Alfred was handsome, and I love the adoption story too. It looks as if his parents were great, and that he turned out the same. We kind went along the same lines this week, didn't we?

    Have a wonderful Easter!

    Kathy M.

  8. Oh my Anna, a talking oven. Now that video would be a hit on youtube!

    Yes, Kathy it is interesting that we both had adoption as part of the thread through the photos. Perhaps this adoption is the reason nobody wanted George's photos after his death. At least we all have gotten to know the Kallman family.

  9. I find Alfred and Lorna in the 1930 census with children. . but it's hard tracking him earlier.

  10. Thanks Meri.

    I wonder if there is anything about the Kaeko and Lassfalk union. They had to been together at his birth in 1892. Wonder if there is something in the 1890 census in Montana.

  11. That first glee club(?) photo looks a lot like my father's college wrestling team,... except for the sashes!
    The house in San Francisco looks so familiar. I think it's still there and I think I've seen it.

  12. The Mister, a Triumph expert says it's a TR-3. The team photo looks like a gymnastics group with all of those dashing muscular fellows. Very enjoyable post!

  13. Too bad the 1890 census is pretty much gone due to a fire. so easy to get lost researching people. I am going to restrain myself from trying to find out about George! Good luck in the continuing search!!

  14. Kristin, thanks for the information. That explains why I can never find anything about my PA roots at that time.

    Muse, Thanks for clearing up the info about the car. I knew it had to be either a TR or an MG.

    Barbara, that house is a pretty common style around the city. Probably a whole development was put in. I should look up the address and see what section of town it's in.

  15. if the family lived in a city you can sometimes find city directories which list addresses and occupation for those missing years.

  16. Anonymous4/23/2011

    Could the 6th photo be some kind of athletics or gymnastics club? Just a thought due to the outfits they are wearing and they all look quite muscular and fit? Jo

  17. imagespast,

    It certainly could be. There's simply no information given. This photo is actually stapled to a page in a photo album and there is another photo directly above it showing a group in suits, Alfred being one of them. Who knows what sort of things the singing group did beyond singing. To me this shot almost looks like a tumbling team. It is a bit of a quandary.

  18. what a wonderful array. I can hear the glee club singing Lots to look at here

  19. Anonymous4/23/2011

    You always have such interesting photos. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  20. i like the pic where he sits alone in his chair. a very commanding look!!

  21. Hey I'm Swedish, love your post. Great pictures, also love your blog.

  22. The American Union of Swedish Singers — still going strong today!