Halm Avenue

Named for Karl (1879-1923) and Emma (1879-1950) Halm, who initially laid out Halm Avenue in Culver City in 1920. (Ironically, that first stretch was absorbed into Sherbourne Drive in 1939, probably to avoid confusion with Culver’s Helms Avenue.) Karl Halm was born and raised in Göppingen, Germany. He immigrated to Seguin, TX in 1899 to be a German Methodist minister and was soon joined by his parents Jacob and Caroline and his four siblings. In 1901, he married Emma Nagel, a Seguin local; they would have three children. Karl then had a stint as a photojournalist, capturing images of the Mexican Revolution in 1911. The Halms decamped for Los Angeles soon afterwards, where Karl’s devotion to the Fatherland led him to cofound several local German organizations – and during the first year of World War I, “Professor Halm” gave lectures to Teutonic expats in California and Texas that proclaimed both Germany’s righteousness and its assured victory. Those lectures ceased after a German U-Boat sank the British passenger ship Lusitania on May 7th, 1915, but he continued to speak out against American support of Allied forces – at least until the U.S. entered the war in 1917, at which point he and Emma kept their heads down and quietly launched a wooden coat hanger company. It was a great success.