In 1857 J.H. Medau purchase approx. 500 acres for in what was then Piedmont or hills in the back of Piedmont. He bought the property as a ranch. The very best of the land was land was sold for $30.00 an acre and some of the ranch “the poorer land” was located in East Piedmont was sold for $10.00 an acre.
The ranch was located in the area that is now the Montclair Business District and Montclair Park.
For over 20 years he was a school trustee to Fruitvale and Hays Districts. Some of his children attended the Hays School.
He retired to a new home he had built at East 12th, where he lived for the rest of his life.
John Heinrich “Henry” Medau (1831-1918) was born in Holstein, Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1851 and became a naturalized citizen in 1857. He was a tobacconist by trade, and it is said he worked in that position in San Francisco before moving to the Oakland.
In June 1860, he married Regina Robenger (1860-1916), who was also born in Germany. They had the following children, all born at the ranch.