American-French Bakery - Los Gatos


Born in the province of Cuneo, Italy, Mrs. Madeline Stralla is the daughter of Judge Antonio Pirra, who was born in Nissa, France, of an old French family. He was a prominent attorney-at-law and served as judge at Lequio, Tonaro, for thirty-six years until the time of his death. He was a splendid man and left a most excellent record, his memory being still revered by the citizens of his district. Mrs. Stralla's mother was Catherine Abona, who was also born in the province of Cuneo and comes of an old and distinguished Italian family who were wealthy land owners. Her uncle, Capt. Carl Abona, was captain in the Italian army until his death. In his youth he studied for the priesthood but went to war, serving in the War with Austria in 1848, being twice wounded. Mrs. Stralla's mother was a well educated and cultured woman, loved by all who knew her. She died at the age of forty-two years leaving two children, Madeline and her sister Marina who still resides in Italy.

Madeline Pirra received a good education in the schools of Lequio, residing with her father, her mother having died when she was only eleven years old. In 1894 she was married to Louis Cornero, a native of Italy, but of Spanish descent. He was the owner of a good farm and after their marriage they engaged in agriculture, horticulture and viticulture. They were well situated but came to California the result of a dare which was accepted and carried out. Leasing their lands and residence they came to Santa Clara County. Mr. Cornero was employed at Los Gatos when he was accidently killed by a live electric wire on January 14, 1908. A year later his widow moved to San Francisco and engaged in business. In San Jose, January, 1911, she was married a second time, being united with Giacomo Stralla, who was born in the same part of Italy. They were proprietors of the Monviso Restaurant, 2124 Polk Street, San Francisco, continuing for five years, when they sold out. In 1901 she located in Los Gatos and soon afterwards she bought out Ripkins Bakery and established the American-French Bakery. It was a small affair, but she remodeled and enlarged it and installed up-to-date machinery. By the use of two auto delivery wagons, bread and pastry is delivered all over the adjoining country.

By her union with Mr. Cornero she was the mother of six children: Catherine; Antoniette, Mrs. North of San Francisco; Frank; Antonio; Louis, and Esther. Mrs. Stralla still owns her father's old farm and residence in Lequio, Italy, where he held his court and where she was born and spent her youth. She is a member of the Catholic Church in Los Gatos and is an American citizen, enjoying her franchise as a Republican.
From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1588



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