Occidental Chop House Advertisement, March 7, 1882
Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper

The Claudianos family was from Zakynthos, Greece. There were three brothers, Anastasios, Peter, and Constantine. They were one of the earliest Greek families to settle in the San Francisco Bay Area. This story is interesting because members of the Claudianos family became associated with famous places in the west and famous San Francisco historical figures.

This story is primarily about Anastasios Claudianos and his family. However, another interesting part of this story is Anastasios' brother Peter who arrived in the United States in 1865.

Anastasios' brother Peter was born 5/25/1834 and he arrived in San Francisco in the 1870s and settled in San Rafael, CA. Peter married Julia, a woman from Ireland, who he later divorced. At some point he decided to move to Tombstone, Arizona about 1880. In 1882, he purchased the Occidental Chop House, a restaurant on Allen Street from Aristotle Petro, another Greek.

Aristotle Petro arrived in the United States via San Francisco on 7/27/1868 and was listed in the 1870 federal census as living in San Francisco with his wife Maria and son Pericles. He was issued a US passport on 10/5/1870.  His birth date is listed as 3/5/1838. The family was from Athens, Greece. In the 1870 San Francisco Directory the family is living at 210 3rd Street, and his business, a chop house, is at 205 3rd Street.  At some point,  Petro moves from San Francisco to San Rafael, CA. In late 1878 or early 1879, he travels to Tombstone, Arizona and opens the Occidental Chop House. It is quite probable that Aristotle Petro and Peter Claudianos knew each other prior to moving to Tombstone, AZ.

At the time of the Gunfight at the OK Corral in October 1881, there was a least two Greeks living in Tombstone.   Claudianos struggled in the restaurant business and a few years later he decided to go back to California and settle in Sausalito. He became the proprietor of the Yacht House restaurant.  In 1894, there is a record of him suing the Sausalito Sheriff for police brutality and he won damages.  By age 70, he decided to move to Reno, Nevada where he lived the remainder of his life.

Anastasios Claudianos and his Sons.... 

Anastasios C. Claudianos immigrated to the United States in 1884.  By 1900, he settled in San Francisco with his wife Eleni (Ellen), three sons John (bd. 4/1/1885), Peter (bd. 3/5/1886) and George (bd. 3/17/1895), and daughters Jennie (bd. 1/10/1887) and Mary (bd. 11/2/1883). The family lived at 18 Hunt Street, San Francisco. According to the 1900 census, Anastasios' profession was 'oyster dealer'. Prior to 1900, he owned the Fortune Fruit Stand on the corner of Stockton and O' Farrell streets. He later opened a restaurant at 126 3rd Street.

His son Peter worked at his father's restaurant until he was 20 years old.  He later traveled to Nevada and worked in mining camps. Records show that he worked in the towns of Goldfield and Manhattan.

After the 1906 earthquake & fire, Anastasios lost everything and moved to Oakland and then to Chico, CA.  He opened a restaurant and his sons worked in the business as well as other odd jobs to help the family. His sons occasionally resorted to petty crime.

As John & Peter became older they met Felix & Dionysios Paduveris (10/7/1868 - 11/14/1940), two Greeks living in San Francisco. Dionysios Pauduveris married John & Peter’s sister Mary. Dionysios was a fiireman for the Southern Pacific Railroad and settled in Oakland at 1658 16th Street. Dionysios and Mary had three children, Annie, George (bd: 7/23/1906), and Arthur (10/10/1908 - 10/18/1999). By 1920, Dionysios and his wife had divorced. All of their children later settled in the Oakland area. Arthur married (wife: Dorothy (10/4/1912 - 2/14/2001) and they had five sons, Arthur Jr., Donald, Raymond J., Robert M. (bd: 9/4/1931), James F. (bd: 12/14/1934), Alvin (bd: 12/27/1935), and one daughter, Geraldine (2/12/1933 - 10/18/1980).

Felix Paduveris served several Greek consuls including Henry Martin (a former San Francisco Sheriff and first Greek Consul in San Francisco). In several newspaper articles Henry Martin was acknowledged as the founder of the Hellenic Mutual Benevolent Society. He was highly respected within the Greek community and referenced in the Alexander Kosta autobiography.

Felix Paduveris was the proprietor of a saloon on Third & Harrison Streets prior to the election of Mayor Eugene Schmitz. After his election he opened an office at 328 Harrison Street. After the 1906 earthquake and fire,  Henry Martin worked in the Recorder’s Office. Martin & Pauduveris opened an office at 740 Harrison Street where Pauduveris owned a steamship ticket business and Greek employment bureau. Paduveris at one point served as the president of the Greek American Republican Club and held political rallies for the election of Theodore Roosevelt.

John Claudianos & Felix Paduveris
San Francisco Call, 7/22/1908

San Francisco Mayor Eugene Schmitz’s political boss was Abe Ruef.  A lot has been written about Abe Ruef and corruption.  Abe Ruef said that he hand-picked Schmitz to be mayor who at the time was a violin player and conductor.  Abe Ruef would collect bribes and share the money with the mayor. Ruef's accomplice in city government was San Francisco Board of Supervisors President James L. Gallagher.

Ruef was charged with bribery and corruption. During the trial, Felix Paduveris, a known employee of Ruef, hired John & Peter Claudianos to kill James Gallagher. John & Peter Claudianos found an inventive way to carry out their plan. No, they did not use a gun or knife. They bought 32 lbs. of dynamite with the intent of dynamiting his home.

On 4/22/1908,  the home of Gallagher's brother-in-law, W. H. H. Schenck, at 1370 19th Avenue in Oakland, was dynamited.  Gallagher and his wife had been living there for months.  All of the occupants narrowly escaped death.

The Claudianos brothers were arrested due to an accident, a undelivered letter from John to Peter that was left on the street in front of home of John Claudianos. The letter detailed the assassination attempt with a direct reference to Gallagher. John threatened to go the police in attempt to get money from his brother Peter. The letter was turned over to the police.

John Claudianos was taken into custody and he confessed then retracted his confession.  His brother Peter fled the state and was arrested in Chicago on 8/11/1908 and brought back to California for trial. Felix Paduveris fled San Francisco and escaped justice. In spite of Paduveris' criminal activities he left another legacy to San Francisco Greek community history.  Through the company he formed with Henry Martin, they were responsible for bringing hundreds of Greek laborers to San Francisco to rebuild railroads after the 1906 Earthquake & Fire.

When Gallagher was called to testify at the Ruef trial, he had fled to Canada and could not testify.  Reuf, under a plea agreement pleaded guilty. He implicated Schmitz which lead to him losing the mayor’s office 6/13/1907.

Peter Claudianos Police Photographs (mug shots), January 1909

Peter confessed, went to trial, did not offer a defense, was found guilty 12/23/1908 and was sentenced to life imprisonment for his crime. The jury deliberated six minutes.  He was sent to San Quentin.   When his brother John went to trial, charges were dismissed 6/19/1909. John left San Francisco and moved to Mountain Meadow, Latah County, Utah. He later married, had children, returned to Oakland, and the family lived with his mother. In city directories, family members changed the spelling of their last name from Claudianos to Claudeanos.

While Peter was in San Quentin he started the San Quentin Chess Club.  He became an advocate for prisoners learning chess and started playing chess by mail with other chess clubs in the United States.

As for John & Peter’s father Anastasios and their mother Eleni, someone tried to burn their home at 410 Montgomery Street in Oroville 8/18/1908. They escaped without injury.  Mr. Claudianos said that the problems with his sons preyed on his mind so much that he was committed to the Napa Insane Asylum. He passed away 9/26/1909 and was buried at the Old Oroville Cemetery (see photo).  After her husband's passing Mrs. Claudianos moved to 1723 Peralta Avenue in Oakland. In city directories, Mrs. Claudianos noted that she was a widow and that her husband's first name was Albert.

Peter Claudianos was paroled on December 9, 1918. Peter Claudianos' aunt, P. N. Eustathiu, hired him to work on their ranch in Oroville, CA. at a rate of $30 per month including room & board. As of 1920, Peter was living at the Claudianos family home in Oroville at 410 Montgomery Street.

Copyright: Jim Lucas & Greek Historical Society of the San Francisco Bay Area

Note: Descendants of the Claudianos and Paduveris families settled in California. If you have additional information regarding these families please send an email to the historical society at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you.