Seldner Street

A 1927 directory of realtors listed one “H. Seldner” as working for Walter H. Leimert, who laid out Seldner Street that year. This must be Enrique Seldner (1877-1937), known here as “Henry”. Born in Sonora, Mexico to a German father and Mexican mother, Seldner grew up rich and well-connected – so much so that, during the Mexican Revolution, he allegedly dodged both prison and bullets as he fled to California in 1912. He eventually settled in Petaluma, where he quietly ran a chicken ranch; his wife Margarita (1879-1958) and their kids joined him there in 1917. After the Revolution, the family returned to Mexico, where Seldner served as assistant to Adolfo de la Huerta, his cousin as well as the country’s former interim president. De la Huerta’s failed 1924 rebellion sent both men to Los Angeles to lick their wounds. Seldner was then hired by Leimert in 1926 to head up his “foreign division”: a team of bilingual salesmen. The gig didn’t last long. Seldner later worked as an automotive school’s “correspondent” – I don’t know what that means either – followed by a strange 1933 episode in which he was guardian of Pancho Villa’s mentally ill son Augustin. He and Margarita spent their final days back in Mexico.