Julius Baumann was born in Germany and arrived in the U.S. in time to volunteer for service in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. He enlisted under the name of John Bowman and served in the West Gulf Squadron. He received his American citizenship papers in 1868, married Henriette Ballin, who had emigrated from Germany with members of her family, and settld in the American Midwest and East. He owned and operated a highly successful women's shirtwaist factory and died in 1916. Julius's daughter Doretta was a debutante who attended secretarial school and married milliner Samuel Muhlfelder. Doretta and Samuel's son Gilbert moved to Oakland, Calif.
The collection contains family correspondence; citizenship papers and a certificate; booklets; a scrapbook of Doretta Baumann Muhlfelder; photographs; a membership card for the Associated Veterans of Farragut's Fleet (relating to Julius's service in the Civil War); and a letter signed by Admiral George Dewey. It also contains letters from Julius Baumann to the American government in which he requested a pension for his military service during the Civil War; a confirmation certificate for Henriette Ballin and her German religious schoolbook; and a fiftieth wedding anniversary booklet for Julius and Henriette Baumann, with accompanying photographs; and a family scrapbook.