University of California Bancroft Library /Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office
Chester G. Gillespie
ORIGINS AND EARLY YEARS OF THE
BUREAU OF SANITARY ENGINEERING
With an Introduction by
Henry J. Ongerth
An Interview Conducted by
Ma lea Chall
1971 by the Regents of the University of California
Chester G. Gillesple
All uses of this manuscript are covered by a
legal agreement between the Regents of the University
of California and Chester G. Gillespie, dated 22 Feb
ruary, 1971. The manuscript is thereby made available
for research purposes. All literary rights in the
manuscript, including the right to publish, are re
served to the Bancroft Library of the University of
California at Berkeley. No part of the manuscript
may be quoted for publication without the written
permission of the Director of the Bancroft Library of
the University of California at Berkeley.
Requests for permission to quote for publica
tion should be addressed to the Regional Oral History
Office, 486 Library, and should include identification
of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use
of the passages, and identification of the user.
TABLE OF CONTENTS - ORIGINS AND EARLY YEARS OF THE
BUREAU OF SANITARY ENGINEERING
Chester G. Gillespie
INTRODUCTION by HENRY J. ONGERTH ii
INTERVIEW HISTORY iv
BACKGROUND OF THE BUREAU OF SANITARY ENGINEERING 1
Charles Gilman Hyde 2
State Board of Public Health 3
Mr. Gillespie f s Experiences After Graduation 3
EARLY YEARS OF THE BUREAU OF SANITARY ENGINEERING 5
SEWAGE TREATMENT FACILITIES 11
Golden Gate Park 12
Folsom Prison lU
Big Basin l4
SACRAMENTO WATER FILTRATION PLANT 15
SOME EARLY BEGINNINGS OF WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS 17
San Francisco 18
East Bay 19
FIRST OFFICES OF THE BUREAU OF SANITARY ENGINEERING 21
STATE BOARD BECOMES STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH 25
Santa Ana Typhoid Epidemic 28
REMINISCING ABOUT COLLEAGUES 30
AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION 36
AMERICAN SEWAGE WORKS ASSOCIATION 36
The development of sanitary engineering in California since the turn
of the century is the subject of a series of interviews conducted by the
Regional Oral History Office of the Bancroft Library under a grant from
the Water Resources Center of the University of California.
The idea jfor documenting this history was initiated by Henry Ongerth,
chief of the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering of the California State Depart
ment of Public Health. In a letter to Professor Arthur Pillsbury, director
of the Water Resources Center, he suggested that funds be provided to in
terview Chester Gillespie, the first chief of the Bureau (1915-194?), and
Professor Charles Gilman Hyde, head of the Department of Sanitary Engineer
ing on the Berkeley campus from 1905-19^. David Todd, professor of Civil
Engineering, provided leads for other interviews and the series came to
fruition. Major funding came from the WRC with some additional assistance
from the Department of Hydraulic and Sanitary Engineering on the Berkeley
Mr. Hyde was not well enough to interview, but Chester Gillespie,
Wilfred Langelier (chemist and water purification specialist UCB 1 916-1955) >
and Percy H. McGauhey (director of the Sanitary Engineering Research Labora
tory, UCB, 1956-1969) did tape their memoirs. As a result there is on record
information about administration, teaching, and research in sanitary engineer
ing from 1905-19715 a period which spans the time when the major emphasis
of the sanitary engineer was prevention of typhoid fever, to today, when con
cern is with prevention and control of pollution of the total environment.
These interviews have benefited greatly from the expert advice and
assistance of Henry Ongerth and professors David Todd, Erman Pearson, and
The Regional Oral History Office was established to tape record auto
biographical interviews with persons prominent in recent California history.
The Office is under the administrative supervision of James D. Hart, di
rector of The Bancroft Library.
Willa Baum, Head
22 February 1971
Regional Oral History Office
Room 486, The Bancroft Library
University of California
Chester G. Gillespie was the first Chief of the Bureau of Sanitary
Engineering in the State Department of Public Health. Chester Gillespie
was "born and raised in San Benito County, near Hollister. He entered the
University at Berkeley about 1903 and graduated in the class of 1907.
This was the first graduating class for Professor Charles Oilman Hyde, who
had come to the University about 1905 to teach Sanitary Engineering. Later,
Professor Hyde became Engineering Consultant to the State Board of Health
and by 1915 promoted establishment of a Bureau of Sanitary Engineering, in
what was then called the State Board of Health. Professor Hyde recommended
Mr. Gillespie as Chief for the new Bureau and Gillespie became Chief, about
Mr. Gillespie was a tall, slender, very friendly, rather shy person.
He had a tremendous knowledge of the details of water supply and sewage
disposal all over the State of California. He spent much time making
field trips throughout the State and had a detailed knowledge of what ex
isted in almost every community in the State. His men all referred to him
as "The Chief," though not when talking to him directly. At least in the
latter part of his career, Chester Gillespie worked largely by persuasion
rather than through formal methods of law enforcement .
Unquestionably, in the early years, through the twenties and into the
thirties, Mr. Gillespie was the most highly qualified Sanitary Engineer in
the State . He had a profound influence on the development of sanitary
engineering works within the State in that period. He employed each of the
men that succeeded him as Chief of the Bureau, E. A. Reinke, who came to
work for the Bureau about 1919; Herbert B. Foster, Jr., who came to work in
the Bureau in 1931; and Henry Ongerth, employed in 1938. Moreover, many
others who became leaders in the field of Sanitary Engineering worked under
Mr. Gillespie for varying periods of time.
Through the entire period of Mr. Gillespie s administration the Bureau
of Sanitary Engineering was a relatively small organization, always too
small for the task to be done. Even as late as 1938 there were only five
engineers in addition to the Chief. Early in this period the first water
treatment facilities were installed in California. In the period 1915 to
1920 the typhoid fever rate dropped from 13.6 to U.9 per 100,000 people,
in part, if not largely, because of installation of water treatment facili
ties. Many of the community water systems were created in this period and
many communities installed their first sewage treatment facilities. In
this period the ground work was laid for installation of sewage treatment
by the larger communities around San Francisco Bay, including San Francisco
and East Bay Municipal Utility District. One of the major events of the
Gillespie administration was the suit by the State Department of Public
Health against the City of Los Angeles. This suit which went to the State
Supreme Court, resulted in a judgment requiring Los Angeles to install
treatment for its sewage discharge to the Pacific Ocean.
Even in those days Gillespie fought for stream pollution control,
going beyond public health protection, for clean streams, bays, and
lakes, though there was little public support and much opposition by those
who were being urged to clean up. One successful effort of special note
relates to the policy by Gillespie to keep all sewage out of Lake Tahoe.
This policy saved the Lake from degradation until public awareness and sup
port to preserve this Lake took over. The Gillespie administration saw the
start of sanitary engineering in California and carried through to the period
immediately after World War II when standards and expectations had risen to
levels that approached those of this decade of the seventies.
Henry J. Ongerth, Chief
Bureau of Sanitary Engineering
8 February, 1971
Department of Public Health
2151 Berkeley Way
The memoirs of Chester Gillespie, the first chief of the Bureau of
Sanitary Engineering of the California State Department of Health,
1915-19^7, is one of three interviews on the history of sanitary engineer
ing in California which have been undertaken by the Regional Oral History
Time and Set
ting of the
Henry Ongerth, presently chief of the Bureau, suggested
this interview with his former boss whom he had known well
for many years, and he volunteered to conduct the inter
view. His offer was gratefully accepted.
After contacting Mr. Gillespie by telephone and arranging
the time and date for the taping, Mr. Ongerth spent many
hours going through old Bureau files to obtain material
for his questions, although his own familiarity with the
Bureau of Sanitary Engineering and its personnel through
the years provided its own rich background. He and Mrs.
Chall, staff interviewer, discussed some of this background
and decided what particular information they would like to
learn from Mr. Gillespie. Mrs. Chall then prepared an out
line for use during the interview.
The interview took place on January 27, 1970 in Gilroy,
where Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie were living with a sister-
in-law and her family. Taping was done in two sessions:
in the late morning, and again in mid-afternoon after Mr.
Gillespie had had lunch and a short rest .
Mr. Gillespie had been ill for several years and when inter
viewed was not strong. He spoke softly and slowly as he
answered questions and reminisced about his long career with
the Bureau. Although the passing of time may have dimmed
some of the background, the turmoil, and possibly some griev
ances of those years, they had not diminished the feeling of
excitement, interest in the job, goodwill toward his fellow
sanitary engineers, and even the fun which that job obviously
held for Mr. Gillespie during this thirty-two years as chief.
Mrs. Chall edited the transcript and is responsible for
subject headings. Because Mr. Gillespie s eyesight was
very poor, he asked Mr. Ongerth to review the edited
manuscript and make whatever corrections he thought
appropriate. Mr. Ongerth s specific comments are indi
cated by the letters H. 0. During the interim Mr.
Gillespie sent a photograph and some newspaper clippings
to insert into the manuscript where relevant . Mr .
Gillespie died on April 15, 1971, shortly before the
project was completed.
Male a Chall
18 May, 1971
Regional Oral History Office
The Bancroft Library
University of California at Berkeley
BACKGROUND OF THE BUREAU OF SANITARY ENGINEERING
Ongerth: I thought we could talk about the Bureau particularly about
the early years. The Bureau started in July, 1915-
Gillespie: That was the date? I wasn t familiar with that; I guess I
wasn t thinking about it "before you came, but August is the
date that the active Bureau started.
Ongerth: I see not July.
Gillespie : No . In fact in July I was up back of Lake Tahoe .
Ongerth: Oh? What were you doing there?
Gillespie: Well, we were at Hell s Hole (laughter) you know where that
is on the Rubicon River :
Ongerth: Were you working?
Gillespie: No, no, just vacationing.
Ongerth: Your first report... This is the volume of the Monthly Bulle
tin of the California State Board of Health--! m looking at
the 1915 period here and your first report is dated Septem
ber. This reads: Report of the Bureau of Sanitary Engineer
ing for August and September, 1915. So then, maybe you
started the first of August?
Gillespie: Yes I m sure that s right. Since I wasn t around here in
Ongerth: How did they get in touch with you : Did Professor Hyde
[Charles Gilman Hyde] offer you the job, is that how it
GUlespi*: It goes *** little farther to.. Jfell, it really starts
with M wurge of typhoid fevei that was rsnpege in this
cuwBi&xy. Do yon miiimiiiber Pasteur ?
UHllespie: Be founded bacteriology largely through his work on feraeot*-
tlon of grapes for wines. And froo that it soon spread to
,_ _ fc *^ A aV^M . - - * -- . -t^r* , - ^ *(
ATQBI u&vt y winter vwu men nwgpn *o r - ___ ;
So ittocy DB^MDI ^Mjjg^^Bip^Mrtiijj wHtzt slew
filters. Aiai they fbond that the reooval of becteria ey
slow sand filters was eztrenely Mf|&, way op im tine 9C per-
r.~ ;_r 1 : ; I- i.l^ij" - vd;
SQiespie: Then Massachusetts, I guess, was the earliest state to grstr
4ft 9UP(9aUfll O ^^TMl T-ffT W
r: tr. ? 5" j;-?~"5 i~ :. r" : r
and he was eafHoyed hy the Nassadtasetts State Health De
partment. le rosed to tell this little story that I think
is kind of interesting (laughter). Ee said tint oost of
his work was duut in the sewers * studying ftjyptMjiid fever v
he always carried *"<pwr with hint because he didn t have
to peel *en> till luachUoe. (laughter) Bat he had that
experience with the Massachusetts State Health Department
for a few years.
---.- : -?fi?r. 7r-ssid*r_- .: ttJS. - . that tiae, esugjM
on to all of this and decided BLC. should have a bcareaa of
sanitary engineering, and in looking axovnd Professor Hyde
^FRy FCCQDflalCQDQfBQ. wtfr miB m - . 3D t&ff C^flBC "fr^JBr JD "" ~ " "
the sanitary engineering curriculum in the University of
California. % to that tine there were a lot of the stu
dents, I was one of them, that didn t know what they wanted
to be they Just wandered around.
Qngerth: You started at Gal in 19Q3~
GUlespie: So, in *G2. So Professor nyde gathered a few of us together
to describe the course in sanitary engineering end aninig;
other things, he said, lEow, sanitary engineering; gives yoa
an opportunity to serve not just a few people, but literally
thousands.* Veil, I was enough of an idealist (laughter), I
guess, to grab on, and right then I decided I wanted to be a
sanitary engineer and that s what I ve been ever since.
Gillespie: It goes back a little further to... Well, it really starts
with a scourge of typhoid fever that was a rampage in this
country. Do you remember Pasteur?
Gillespie: He founded bacteriology largely through his work on fermenta
tion of grapes for wines. And from that it soon spread to
bacteriology. From that, water works men began to realize
that their water supplies were the responsible cause of the
typhoid fever. So they began experimenting with slow sand
filters . And they found that the removal of bacteria by
slow sand filters was extremely high, way up in the 90 per
Charles Oilman Hyde
Gillespie: Then Massachusetts, I guess, was the earliest state to grab
on to that and formed a Bureau of Sanitary Engineering.
And Professor Hyde was one of the students in bacteriology
and he was employed by the Massachusetts State Health De
partment. He used to tell this little story that I think
is kind of interesting (laughter). He said that most of
his work was down in the sewers , studying typhoid fever , so
he always carried bananas with him because he didn t have
to peel em till lunchtime . (laughter) But he had that
experience with the Massachusetts State Health Department
for a few years .
Benjamin Ide Wheeler, president at U.C. at that time, caught
on to all of this and decided U.C. should have a bureau of
sanitary engineering, and in looking around Professor Hyde
was recommended to him. So he came out in 1905 to set up
the sanitary engineering curriculum in the University of
California . Up to that time there were a lot of the stu
dents, I was one of them, that didn t know what they wanted
to be they just wandered around.
Ongerth: You started at Cal in 1903?
Gillespie: No, in 02. So Professor Hyde gathered a few of us together
to describe the course in sanitary engineering end among
other things, he said, "Now, sanitary engineering gives you
an opportunity to serve not just a few people, but literally
thousands." Well, I was enough of an idealist (laughter), I
guess, to grab on, and right then I decided I wanted to be a
sanitary engineer and that s what I ve been ever since.
State Board of Public Health
Gillespie: And then the next move, I d say was that, along about 1900
when Governor Johnson [Hiram], probably as enterprising a
governor as this state has ever had, became governor, he
appointed right off the bat a very active state board of
health.* Prior to that time the state board didn t amount
to much. Professor Ebright, George G. Ebright, was made
president. I think Johnson had a hand in that too. Both
Professor Hyde and George Ebright were aware of the typhoid
menace in the state and so they approached Governor Johnson
to approve of an appropriation for establishing a bureau.
That was in 1915.
When they approached Governor Johnson he says, Veil, I ve
got two requests for appropriations here, one for the women
folks a bureau of Tuberculosis and now comes yours for a
sanitary engineering bureau." And he turned to Ebright and
said, Veil, take your pick." And Ebright was a pretty fast
thinker, and he said to himself, Veil the women will be a
hornet in his scalp and so I m going to pick sanitary engi
neering." (laughter) So it worked just that way. The
Bureau got its money first. It only amounted to $30,000
for two years, and then oh my, how the women did turn on
Johnson and they got their money too! (laughter)
Chall: The same year?
Gillespie: The same year, within a few weeks.
Chall: That s the power of women, even in 1915.
Mr. Gillespie s Experiences After Graduation
Gillespie: That s right, (laughter) I had graduated by that time and
I d worked for Professor Hyde, and I had gone over filter
plants all over the country to get the lowdown of em. One
of my jobs was in Minneapolis as assistant engineer for
George W. Fuller. He was probably one of the greatest sani
tary engineers there ever was in this country. He had a job
*Hiram Johnson was first elected governor in 1910, again
Gillespie: along with Langdon W. Pearse of the Chicago Sanitary District,
Evanston was just outside of Chicago, and Evanston wanted a
filter plant and Mr. Fuller was engaged to design it. He
needed a sanitary engineer too so he called me from the West
to the East and I was a sanitary engineer for him.
Chall: Board experience by the time you got back here.
Gillespie: Yes, it was good experience it was, really. After the fil
ters were built at Evanston, the city wanted a superinten
dent of the plant and so they just naturally looked to me to
be the superintendent. So I served there I think about a
year or so, and then returned West. I think Professor Hyde
had told me that there was some effort to get a bureau of
sanitary engineering, and kind of looked on me as the logical
head of it.
The Bureau wasn t ready to be formed when I arrived in the
West that time. I did get a job with Sacramento. One of
the things we did was to make a bacteriological survey of
the Sacramento River from Sacramento down to about Rio Vista,
and one of the things we described there was of great inter
est. That was that though there was lots of pollution just
below Sacramento it pretty quickly disappeared it was self-
purification in the river. So that by the time Rio Vista
was reached there was hardly any trace of Sacramento sewage .
Up to that time we didn t really suspect there was such a
factor as self -purification.
Then it might have been in July, Henry, that they told me
I would be the Sanitary Engineer; but I think there was this
in it, that the money appropriated wasn t immediately avail
able by July, it was some time later, and that s how that
August date came into the picture .
Ongerth: I see here in this the Board s Monthly Bulletin for July
1915 inside the front cover they list your name as being
the Director of the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering. Of
course the thing might have been published as late as
August and they might have . . .
Gillespie : Sure .
Chall: July is usually the beginning of the fiscal year, anyway.
Gillespie: I think that s the explanation of that.
EARLY YEARS OF THE BUREAU OF SANITARY ENGINEERING
Chall: What did you do when you started to work on the job?
Gillespie: Here you were confronted by a lot of typhoid fever in
California. So naturally we thought of measures for com
batting typhoid fever. That was our first work. It lasted
nearly five years .
Chall: Just that program?
Gillespie: Just that program of dealing with water. Now and then
there d be interspersed some trouble the Board was having
from some city and we d have to go out and see what that
amounted to. You run on to some curious things (laughter).
One was that Marysville had a sewer farm on the sides of
the Feather River and the Yuba River and across the river
was Yuba City. Yuba City was kicking about the smells,
so I had to go up and see about the source of those smells.
I got the trustees of both Marysville and Yuba City. We
went down and followed the banks of first the Yuba River.
Pretty soon we come to an old dead hog along the bank and
all swelled up with decay. Everybody, including all the
trustees, had all the evidence we needed right there. Well
this was what they smelled. (laughter)
Ongerth: That solved that one!
Gillespie: Yes. And then another first job I had was down at San
Jose, or in fact out of San Jose--up at Wrights Station,
there was a family that had a fish farm. They wanted to
convert the fish farm into a swimming pool, and San Jose
didn t want that. So Dr. Simpson, the health officer, was
asked to investigate it. He turned to, the state health de
partment for help and I was picked to help him stop this
swimming pool. Dr. Simpson and I drove out in a buggy, mind
you . In those days . . .
*Clearly Gillespie was being sarcastic here meaning the
trustees were either lacking in understanding or eager to
find some other excuse for the odor problem . H .0 .
We ve been wondering how you got around.
Gillespie: Yeah, well we had a buggy and we drove out to this man s
property, and he had a guard at the gate and the gate was
locked, and the guard had a gun, and so it didn t take him
long to talk us out of wanting to get inl (laughter) So we
didn t get in. We turned around and went back to San Jose.
Chall: Did he build his pool?
Gillespie: No. No, he never did. It isn t built to this day.
Ongerth: Somebody else built a pool further down though, you may
remember; there was a place called Eva s. It was at
Aldercroft Heights and this was above the San Jose intake.
Eva s it was called this was in later years. Now I m
talking about the early thirties.
Gillespie: I should have known about that, but I don t remember it.
I m sure you did. My aunt had a place down at Aldercroft
Heights and I went down there for the summer and right next
door there was another summer home owned by Homer Theile,
who worked for the City of San Francisco. One Sunday Burt
Crowley drove Geiger [Dr . J . C . ] down there , and so Geiger
was down there at the swimming pool when I was, though he
wasn t swimming in it. And I can remember coming back up
somehow to talk to you fellows. I don t think I was in the
Bureau then this was after I graduated, I m sure, so it
would have had to be after 35.
I can remember telling you people that Geiger had been down
there and you were all eager to find out if he d been swim
ming in the water, (laughter) Well, Geiger was one of the
people that was in the department back when you came in 15,
wasn t he?
Geiger, yes. Yes, he was already in the state health de
partment and he was in the Bureau of Communicable Diseases.
Is he still alive?
As far as I know,
I have not heard otherwise. I m not
Well, if your inquiry takes you to the early days of typhoid
fever, I d suggest that there s a couple of people that
could help you out a lot, and that s Geiger and Ida May
Stevens. She was mighty active in typhoid fever. Dr.
Gillespie: Ebright used to say that Ida May Stevens and myself were
responsible for the big drop in typhoid fever that oc
curred in 1915-1920.
Ongerth: Looking at these minutes here in that period and other
earlier material, when you came to work there were very few
sewage treatment plants, some septic tanks, and that s
about all nobody disinfected sewage at all, did they?
Gillespie : No .
Ongerth: Some of them kept it on land, but not very many.
Ongerth: Mostly it went into the streams I guess.
Gillespie: That s right.
Ongerth: And as for water treatment, chlorination was just being
started, I guess.
Gillespie: It was pretty well started as chloride of lime. Professor
Hyde had designed a number of chloride of lime disinfectant
plants. They were scattered around the state. But then
about that time about 1915, I guess Wallace and Tiernan
Co. came into the picture.
They had machines for feeding chlorine gas. Previously to
that the lime chlorine lime was mean stuff to handle. So
they began selling their chloride their gas chlorine
Now, coming back to that question that you asked. We d have
a lot of argument with the trustees over whether their water
supply was contaminated or not, so we immediately thought
of a laboratory to examine the water and show the amount of
contamination. And in building up the Bureau we turned to
Chicago because I had quite an acquaintance there by that
time for their men in Chicago who had had experience with
laboratories. Bill Langelier [Wilfred F.] was one of them.
And while we didn t engage him in the early Bureau, the Uni
versity did, and he was a mighty fine professor of sanitary
engineering. Another was Frank Bachraann, with the Chicago
Sanitary District . He came out and joined us .
Ongerth: Did you hire him?
Gillespie: Yes. Let s see, Ralph Hilscher was another. I don t know
just where he was working at the time, but anyway he came
Gillespie: out and he was an assistant engineer in the Bureau. And
Joe Doman [191^] was a graduate of U.C. in those early years,
and he came to the Bureau.
Ongerth : I never heard that name .
Gillespie: No? He was an active worker, and we liked him very much, but
he didn t stay very long they wanted a sanitary engineer in
Connecticut so he went back there and that was the last of
Joe Doman. Well, that was about the size of the Bureau in
its early years.
Chall: That s three men, plus you?
Ongerth: Here in April 19l6, Mr. Gillespie, they list you and Bachmann
Gillespie: That s right. With $30,000 you couldn t do a great deal.
We had two stenographers and those few engineers, and then
we had in mind to cover the state by good inspections, so
we d know how to talk to these trustees [city councilmen]
that didn t want to go along with the program (laughter).
Well, we got through with our $30,000, it carried us through
the biennium. (laughter)
Ongerth: Two years?
Gillespie: Yes, it was thirty thousand for two years.
Ongerth: You wrote an article for California s Health in early 1936,
and you reviewed the twenty years of sanitary engineering
this is the February first issue, 1936, of the weekly bulle
tin (l thought it was monthly), and what you say here is,
"in 1915 the state legislature, harassed by sanitary problems
and pursuing the precedent of few other states, provided a
Bureau of Sanitary Engineering in the State Board of Health.
It has since been maintained with appropriations varying from
$15,000 to $25,000 per year."
Gillespie: With each legislature you had a chance to get a little more
Chall: You had to go all over the state then during those years,
to inspect and issue permits?
Gillespie: Oh yes, I should mention that even when the Bureau was
established, already the legislature had passed the permit
system. Does that agree with...
Ongerth: Yes. Yes, it had been passed in 07.
Gillespie: Is that so?
Ongerth: It says I ll continue where I stopped reading "The Public
Health Act of 1907 provided a permit system and state ap
proval of plans and sites . This had been rigorously ap
plied to sewage disposal projects, and as far as time has
permitted the companion Sanitary Water Systems Act has been
applied to water supply."
Gillespie: So, this is 07? The first application of that law was to
water supplies though.
Ongerth: The permit law?
Gillespie: Yes. That required quite a lot of knowledge of every
system that you acted on for a permit .
Ongerth: So the Board had already issued permits on some places when
you came, and this was on the basis of Professor Hyde s
work, I guess.
Gillespie: Yes. He had worked for the state board of health, but not
on any continuing basis, just as the jobs popped up.
Ongerth: He s listed as a consultant.
Gillespie: That s right.
Chall: Was it possible for communities to establish water systems
and sewer systems without coming to you for a permit? Could
they try to get away with it?
Gillespie: Not legally (laughter).
Chall: Not legally. How did you know whether they were acting
Gillespie: Well, I don t know. If we knew the project was pendingwe
generally found that out pretty easily we d go and talk to
Ongerth: Yeah, there weren t that many places in...
Gillespie: No. There weren t, no.
Ongerth: You know, I think Ed roust have told me thisI m not certain
my impression is that you had started out, I guess in the
20s with quite an aggressive program of trying to get things
Ongerth: straightened out in compliance with the permits, and that
the State Board of Health for a period in there didn t give
you much support when things came to a real showdown on
some of these situations. Does that accurately describe the
Gillespie: Not vividly in my mind. We didn t really use that permit
system or enforce it too rigidly. We went on the basis of
trying to convince a city that they had a problem and that
this was the best way to go at handling it. And since the
city engineers knew very little about sanitary engineering,
that wasn t hard to do.
Ongerth : It was the people who knew more that gave you the trouble .
Is that right?
Chall: How so?
Ongerth: I know in later times the consulting engineers that knew the
most were the ones that gave the trouble over disagreements
on details of sewage plants.
Gillespie: Well, I think that s a fair statement. Say, I wanted to ask
a question at this point. In the records of the Bureau, do
you find a tabulation of water systems and sewer systems in
Ongerth: Yeah, we dug one out not long ago, Mr. Gillespie, that was
prepared in 1923, I think.
Gillespie: Was it? I thought it was a little later than that.
Ongerth: Maybe I m a little off on the date, but we found one re
cently in some of the old collections.
Gillespie: Did you save it?
Ongerth: Yes, absolutely.
Gillespie: It s a good thing to hang on to. Because sooner or later
there ll be another survey made and then we can see how
much things have changed over that long period.
SEWAGE TREATMENT FACILITIES
Ongerth: You said here [article in California s Health ] that prior
to 1915 there were about 82 sewage treatment works built in
California , and you say since that time k^ of those have
been abandoned. And then you go on to say that out of l8l
plants built under state supervision since 1915 > only 10
have been replaced. So what you re saying is that prior to
1915 there were 82 plants and in twenty years after that
they built another l8l.
Gillespie: The early sewage plants were practically all septic tanks.
They were overrated for their capacity they were terrible
for smells, so they are the ones that contribute to this
heavy abandonment. The ones that the Bureau goton to and
steered em along better lines, they ve lasted.
Chall: What replaced the septic tank then, in those days?
Gillespie: What replaced them? Well, one of the simplest things was
the Imhoff tank. The Imhoff tank separates digestion,
which is the source of the smells, from the liquor that s
being clarified, and that was the simplest. Then we got
things like contact filters, sprinkling filters.
Ongerth: They were already in existence early in your career, weren t
they? In 15 and on? There were a few places...
Gillespie: Well, let s see. Yes, there were a few, like at Yountville
they had a contact bed. It was (laughter) a humdinger
though! There weren t any engineers out here before the
Bureau was formed that really knew the science of design of
these plants. Of course very soon after various civil
engineers found their way into employment by these different
cities, and our job was to educate the civil engineers.
( laughter ) And it s worked out all right .
Ongerth: Well, really in this system of having to come to the state
health department for a permit, you wound up really straight
ening out many poor designs, didn t you?
Gillespie: Yes, yes. And early too, when it s easier to get a change
made. If they get too far along, you re up against a big
Ongerth: I asked you earlier about Paul Bovard and how he happened to
be up at Santa Rosa. Apparently he was a consultant.
Services for Paul Bovard
Funeral services were held
here yesterday for Paul
Fountain Bovard, an engi
neer and former president of
the California Filter Compa
ny of San Francisco.
Mr.. Bovard, a 1906 gradu
ate of the University of Cali
fornia at Berkeley, died here
Saturday after a long illness.
He was 86.
A native of Los Angeles, he
was a consulting engineer,
i and was a past president of
the American Chemical So
ciety (San Francisco chap
ter) and a member of other
A resident of the Monterey
Peninsula for the past 22
years, Mr. Bovard and his
wife, Kathryn, had been liv
ing most recently at Carmel
He is survived by his wife;
two sons, Richard H. Bovard
of Carmel and Robert N.
Bovard of Pleasant Hill; a
stepdaughter, Mrs. Peggy
Arnold of Cincinnati. Ohio; a
stepson. William Bradley of
Connecticut; five grandchil
dren and six great-grandchil
Could you talk about the situation of Pittsburg and Antioch,
where they both discharged sewage into the waters there
which was really the lower San Joaquin tidal water?
Pittsburg was the lower city and subject to more sewage, you
see, its own plus Antioch, and we persuaded them to chlorin
ate their water and they did that. But in the course of the
years something went wrong with the chlorination and the re
sult was that they had quite a little outbreak of typhoid
themselves. In other words, they had lost their immunity,
and were subject to a new infection. Immediately, of
course it was no trick at all we persuaded them to renew
that chlorination. As a result Antioch got very little
typhoid out of that Pittsburg outbreak, though one city was
just a few miles from the other.
Uh huh, upstream,
But the tides ran every day up and down
I guess it would move that far?
Oh, yes. The tides carry water and even Sacramento sewage
as far as the American River.
Ongerth: Yes, they had that low flow period in about 23 or
Golden Gate Park
Ongerth: Mr. Gillespie, when they built the sewage reclamation plant
in Golden Gate Park...
Gillespie: Yes --oh yes!
Ongerth: Professor Hyde wrote an article about that. Could you tell
us something about that whole situation?
*Charles G. Hyde, "The Beautification and Irrigation of
Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, with an
Activated Sludge Treatment Plant Effluent," Sewage Works
Journal (November, 1937).
Gillespie: Yes. John McLaren was a person whom I knew and admired.
Well, I think there was a period when he felt the need of
more water for Golden Gate Park. Instead of buying it, he
conceived the notion of reclaiming the sewage.
Ongerth: It was his idea?
Gillespie: It was his idea. I don t know who engineered that.
Ongerth: Well did that plant come to the Bureau for a permit and a
Gillespie: No. No.
Ongerth: It never did?
Gillespie: It never did.
Ongerth: I wonder why, because there was no effluent discharge I
Gillespie: Well (laughter), I kind of think we looked on it as a bad
precedent to show approval for.
Ongerth: I see.
Gillespie: We couldn t stop it.
Chall: Over the years now, you wouldn t consider reclamation like
this a bad practice, would you?
Gillespie: No, it s been all right. I think if it was widespread it
would probably be pretty badly abused and become a danger.
But nobody else that I know of has patterned after Golden
Gate Park in that respect.
Ongerth: No, not in the same way. So the Bureau wasn t really in
volved in that project in any close way?
Gillespie: No. I think we thought it wasas an activated sludge
plantit was a good design, though. It s my impression
that somebody drank some water out of it (laughter), but
I don t know who it was!
Ongerth: I wouldn t be surprised.
Chall: I think somebody always does to prove that it s safe and
Cball: I notice that in 1917 the first activated sludge plant was
built at Folsom prison. Is that something you had anything
to do with?
Gillespie: Yes, yes. That was largely a design of the Bureau. That s
how we brought in Hilscher, too, come to think about it.
Hilscher had some previous experience with activated sludge
and we didn t, so we got Hilscher to come out and join the
Chall: How did it happen to be at Folsom Prison?
Gille spier Well, let s see. That was, I guess, the aftermath of the
drive on clearing up polluted drinking waters because Folsom
put its sewage in the same stream that it was taking its own
water out of. And they had quite a bit of typhoid themselves,
And all they had was just a septic tank, it was crude
(laughter), so the activated sludge plant was then a new
thing that sounded good and we persuaded them to build one.
Ongerth: The Bureau was involved in another plant design that was
an unusual advance also, and that was down at Big Basin, in
Gillespie: In the 30s? Is that so?
Ongerth: Sure. Herb [Foster, Jr.] and Ed [Reinke ] designed what was
really a reclamation plant down at Big Basin and that had a
sand filter as far as I know. The only sand filter in con
nection with a sewage treatment plant anyplace, in the State,
Gillespie: Did they have an activated sludge plant too?
Ongerth: No, I think they had a trickling filter, and then a sand
Gillespie: No, I never saw that.
Ongerth: Didn t you ever see that plant? Herb and Ed designed that
between them I think about 1937 it was before I came to the
Chall: Were you in on some of the early controversies opposing
chlorinating water? I understand that they were quite
heated in the early days.
Gillespie: No, I don t think I d say that.
Ongerth: No great public push against it the chlorinationthe way
there was later against fluoridation. You know how much out
cry there was.
Gillespie: No nothing like that.
Chall: I see.
Ongerth: Not in the West?
Chall: I had thought there was, but maybe that was earlier in the
East, at least when they were starting.
Gillespie: Mm. ..well, probably. Could ve been earlier.
SACRAMENTO WATER FILTRATION PLANT
Ongerth: You worked on the design and construction of the Sacramento
water filtration plant and then on the start-up of its opera
tion as well?
Gillespie: No. Not the operation. In fact, I think they ran out of
money at first and then they had to get another bond issue
through. I had nothing much to do around the place then,
and we took a little vacation trip up in Oregon and Washing
ton, Vancouver and so on. By the time I came back I think
Harry Jenks had been engaged.
Ongerth: Oh Harry came down from Canada or someplace and he took
some graduate work about the time Ed was graduating, didn t
Gillespe: Did he?
Ongerth: That s my understanding. What s your first knowledge of when
Harry was working in the field? Then at Sacramento?
Gillespie: I was down in Hollister my father had passed away, and I
was down there for the funeraland who should show up but
Gillespie: Harry, to want a job with the Bureau.
Ongerth: Oh! (laughter) when was this?
Gillespie: About 22 or 23.
Ongerth: And what happened?
Gillespie: I don t know. Harry got appointed. But he didn t stay very
long. His father was a consultant and Harry leaned that way.
But after he d learned something about sanitation from the
Bureau he took up some consulting work.
Ongerth: That s something I didn t know. You know his son John is now
carrying on his father s business.
Gillespie: We had a lad in the Bureau, he was an errand boy for one of
the drug stores downtown in Berkeley, and we employed him to
run little odds and ends, deliver messages, and so on...
Ongerth: Corney Herb?
Gillespie: Cornelius Herb. When the filter plant was finished Cornelius
got a job in the laboratory of the filter plant.
Ongerth: I see. As kind of a dishwasher and helper? lhat sort of a
Gillespie: Yes, and examine the water.
Ongerth: Oh, really?
Gillespie: He d gotten to be quite an expert.
Ongerth: You had taught him this in Berkeley?
Gillespie: Yes. He had picked it up in the laboratory that was in the
Bureau. And then I think soon after that Harry [Jenks] as
you say I didn t know that he had designed an addition to the
Ongerth: Yes, he did.
Gillespie: Well, anyway, the next thing we knew Cornelius was the super
intendent of the plant .
Ongerth: Well, he was into my time. I remember going to the plant in
the late thirties and he was running the plant in those days .
SOME EARLY DEVELOPMENTS OF WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS
Gillespie: I want to tell you something here that I ve thought about so
far as the history of water supplies is concerned: that
history should be read along with the record of growth of
population and industry in California. By that I mean that
the earliest people in California were these cattle men, and
they had their big ranches generally close to a river or
creek and that s where they got their water from. The early
residents of California followed that same principle they
located near a stream. Then the missions there were
twenty-one missions come on through the years. They did the
same thing. They had a few principles that seem pretty im
portant nowadaysthey located their missions approximately
twenty-one miles apart. That was a day s travel on a mule
back or by foot. Also, they got close to waterusually
streamsif you follow every mission along you ll find there
was a stream nearby. And then, of course, they were looking
for Indians to convert to Christianity (laughter).
The missions, then, followed that same principle as the early
farmers did of getting close to creek water for their water
supply. And for a long time, as the state grew, the water
supplies were simple ones. There d be a spring, a stream.
Later on they began boring wells, and then they wanted to
take water in their houses and what not and they put in wind
mills. And later on they improved the pumps that were pumped
by windmills, so they were a pressure type of pump. Well,
that went on for quite a while, maybe ten, no fifteen or
Gold mining had been started in California and as it pro
gressed they needed more water. So they started and this
was in the Mother Lode country where the gold was they
started digging ditches to bring the water from some river or
stream or reservoir, lake, down to the jets that they found
necessary to do their erosion. Now those ditches began to be
picked up and used by towns along the way.
Ongerth: Like Jackson, and Grass Valley.
Gillespie: Sonora, Volcano...
Ongerth: P.G.&E. ultimately acquired them and they vrere used for power
Gillespie: That s right. That became another use for those ditches.
San Francisco was an early supply point for the mining in
dustry, and San Francisco started out with just Lobos Creek.
Ongerth: In the Presidio.
Gillespie: In the Presidio. Now I think Schussler [Hermann] wasn t he
Ongerth: I don t know.
Gillespie: Well, this is something you ought to check with the water de
partment over there. I think Schussler was the early water
engineer of San Francisco.
Ongerth: With Spring Valley Water Company?
Gillespie: Yes with Spring Valley Water Company.
Chall: Does that antedate 1915?
Gillespie: Yes, that was away back around 1850 and 60 and 70s that he
was active. But he perceived the need of more supply than
Lobos Creek was capable of handling, and it was the next big
jump now in the history of water supplythe Pilarcitos
San Francisco peninsula series of reservoirs...
Ongerth: Crystal Springs reservoirs.
Gillespie: Yeah I had forgotten even the names of all of em, but they
could be gotten from the city...
Ongerth : San Andreas . . .
Gillespie: Calaveras, Pilarcitos....
Ongerth: Yes, I think those are the three names. And they built that
dam that is still there that s Crystal Springs Reservoir
at San Mateo.
Gillespie: Oh, yes. That was an old time reservoir of Schussler. Well
that was the beginning of the big jump now from creek water to
the modern water supplies, and San Francisco through Schussler,
started it. Now we have to jump across the Bay to the East
Bay. The story there is rather interesting, I think.
Gillespie: This man Havens [Frank] was in a position, of course, to
see these Schussler string of big reservoirs on the San
Francisco Peninsula, and he then put in some for the East
Bay at Temescal and Lake Chabot.
About 1900, when Roosevelt was President he had a Secretary
of the Interior, Pinchot, that was his name, and he was
sold on the value of what they called reforestation. The
idea of that was to plant trees on watersheds and hold back
the rain that fell; it couldn t run off in a hurry, but it
would sink in the ground. Havens caught up with that idea
and that was the reason for all those trees on that water
Ongerth: Is that right!
Gillespie: Yes. He planted, oh literally millions of pines and
Eucalyptus. That forest ation idea, though, didn t last
very long. Inside of I guess fifteen years or so, they
were giving it up. But the trees kept growing and along
in 1900 and something they were made subdivision land.
So this water company man proceeded to sell the land out
to sub . . .
Ongerth: He subdivided it himself?
Gillespie: All those little houses that you used to see out there
were due to his sales.
Ongerth: You mean like up in the area where you lived?
Gillespie: Oh, yeah. Guy P. Jones went up there ahead of us...
Ongerth: Up on Broadway Terrace?
Gillespie: On Broadway Terrace, just a little above us, and he per
suaded us to buy one of these lots and we d have it to
picnic on on Sundays. So we bought one. I remember the
price. It was only $6?0. (laughter)
Ongerth: Gee, that was a nice lot, too.
Gillespie: Yes. It had a fine view. It wasn t long until we gave up
the idea of picnicking there and decided to live there. And
that s how we came to build that house that we had. Did you
ever see that?
Ongerth: Oh, yes, yes, you were living there when I came to work in
Gillespie: Well that forestation idea I don t think you d get that
story from any other source. So it deserves some mention.
If you go to the water company and quiz them on it, I think
they could give you good facts.
A little more on these big reservoirs. I started with San
Francisco and this string of reservoirs in the Peninsula,
but I think that about 1900 or so, Schussler saw that there
was still a shortage facing San Francisco, and one of the
things that came out of that was the Hetch-Hetchy project .
That s one of the most famous water supplies in this state.
O Shaunessy was the city engineer then and he got John R.
Freeman, a water works man of great renown in the East, and
he investigated it.
And I think there s another reservoir. I haven t seen it.
Cherry Valley? It s pretty good sized.
Ongerth: Lake Eleanor up there in Cherry Valley. I think there are
two reservoirs up there. Can you tell us about the creation
of the East Bay Municipal Utility District, about when, 1921+ ?
Someplace in there . . .
Gillespie: I don t know.
Ongerth: What I was interested in was the controversy that developed
over whether or not they should go to the Mokelumne River;
whether they should go way off there or whether they should
take water out of the lower delta. Can you tell us something
Gillespie: The water company that they were superseding had embarked on
a program of bringing an augmented water supply into the East
Bay and they were going in for a lot of filtration, getting
waters near a dam, and their thought was to go down to the
lower Sacramento, like in the vicinity of Folsom or between
Crockett and Antioch.
Ongerth: Like the Mallard Slough intake, that was the California
Water Service Company. You know that Mallard Slough was just
about where the Sacramento Northern Railroad crossing was.
Gillespie: I thought that the water company was figuring on going down on
the Martinez side, to tap the river in there.
Ongerth: But then somebody else had the concept to go farther upstream,
to go to the Mokelumne project.
Gillespie: Yeah, I don t know who had that...
Ongerth: Do you recall what the pros and cons were of one project as
against the other?
Gillespie: No. The Mokelumne River would be more like following the
pattern of Hetch-Hetchy for San Francisco.
Ongerth: A better chemical quality.
Gillespie: I never appreciated that there was any heated controversy over
Ongerth: I thought there was some. I wasn t aware how much it was.
Was Louis Bartlett involved in that?
Gillespie: Louis Bartlett? I don t know that name.
FIRST OFFICES OF THE BUREAU OF SANITARY ENGINEERING
Ongerth: When you came to work in 1915 > and Hyde had been the con
sultant to the State Board of Public Health and he essentially
had hired you, then the Bureau was housed in the old civil
engineering building, wasn t it?
Gillespie: That s right. Right next to Professor Hyde s office.
Ongerth: And then did you have a fairly close relationship with him
in those years?
Gillespie : Yes .
Ongerth: He kind of kept track of what was going on then?
Ongerth: So you had lots of opportunity to talk with him about things?
Ongerth: I think you were probably in that one place until they built
the Life Sciences Building, which I think was 1930 then
probably you movedto 3093 Life Sciences Building.
Gillespie: I think this is an interesting point too, that we had a
laboratory that was housed though in the mechanical engineer
ing building mechanical that wasn t what they called it.
Gillespie: Mechanics. It was a galvanized iron building (laughter), roof
and sides; everything was about the cheapest construction you
could imagine. The laboratory was there until 1930.
Ongerth: Was that just in back of the Civil Engineering Building?
Gillespie: Yes. Did you know Arnson [Val]?
Ongerth: Yes he was an instrument man, wasn t he? Val Arnson.
Gillespie: Well, upstairs there was a second story and that s where our
laboratory was .
Ongerth: Then finally the Bureau moved. In the meanwhile Goudey [Ray]
left sometime in the late 20s, didn t he?
Gillespie: Yes. He was down South. I don t know that he had left the
Bureau. I think he merely took trips down Souththat kind of
a connection, see?
Ongerth: I m thinking of later when he went to work for L.A. Water and
Gillespie: Yes, well by that time he was living in Los Angeles.
Ongerth: I was wondering when that was that must have been around
1930 when he left the Bureau?
Gillespie: Yeah, I don t think he was ever in the new building.
Ongerth: Meanwhile you d hired Frank De Martini and later two or three
years later Jud Harmon.
Ongerth: Did you hire both of those fellows right out of school?
Gillespie: Yes. Frank De Martini I think was graduated in 27.
Ongerth: Right. You were in 07, and Ed was 17, and De Martini was
Gillespie: I hadn t thought of that till now (laughter). And then Jud
came in the Bureau pretty close to 1930.
Ongerth: I think he graduated in 30. And then Herb [Foster, Jr.] in
Chall: What were these men hired to do, specifically?
Gillespie: They were younger, but they d be assigned to a survey, or
sampling some streams or water somewhere.
Ongerth: Just the regular work of the Bureau.
Gillespie: Yes. Same as you probably started. . .(laughter)
Ongerth : Right .
Chall: But by this time you had more than two or three men on your
Gillespie: Yes, we did. I don t know how many we had then. Hilscher
had left, Frank Bachmann I m not too sure he went back to
someplace in the East. I don t think Frank Bachciann was
there very long. Well, there was .Ed Reinke, and Doman, I
guess was still with us.
Ongerth: And Goudey. And that must have been the staff in the middle
of the twenties?
Gillespie: And myself. That makes four engineers, and a couple of
Chall: That wasn t too much of an expansion.
Ongerth: You know one of the things that you did that I think is very
remarkable: You did the 1930 Sanitary Surveys.
Ongerth: Was that the first complete round that was made of all these
Gillespie: Yes, I think it was. If you could ever find the copies of
Ongerth: They re in the archives.
Gillespie: Well, they ought to show the date on them as to just when they
were made .
Ongerth: They were mostly in the year 30, some in 31, I think. Frank
De Martini wrote a lot of those and Ed some, and I guess you
wrote some of them...
Ongerth: And Ray Derby did some of that work. Now how long did Ray
work for the Bureau?
Gillespie: He was a pretty good man, too.
Ongerth: How long do you think he worked?
Gillespie: I don t know, but it wasn t very long. I think he got caught
in that Depression in the 30s.
Ongerth: Someplace along there Joe Sanchis worked for the Bureau.
Gillespie: That s right, he did too. But the two of them transferred to
the Los Angeles City Water Department.
Ongerth: You know, interestingly, Goudey and then Derby and then Sanchis
in turn headed up the water quality division in L.A. Water and
Gillespie: I hear from Sanchis quite often. You know he used to be a
bullfighter in Spain. He was born in Spain.
Ongerth: I didn t know Joe fought bulls, I ll have to ask him about that .
Gillespie: Well, right you do! (laughter)
Ongerth: I ll tell him you told me. (laughter)
Gillespie: But that s it that was the reputation he had when he came to
Ongerth: He was a tough hombre. (laughter)
Gillespie: He didn t fight anybody up here.
STATE BOARD BECOMES STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
I wanted to ask you, Mr. Gillespie, whether in 1927, when the
Board of Health became a full-fledged department this had any
effect on your work. The same officers remained...
It didn t affect us except as to whom we would be working with.
Those early years we used to work with Dr. Geiger and Ida May
Stevens; they were our principal cohorts. If you ever get into
the story of typhoid in California, those two would know more
about that part than anybody you could put your finger on .
Then Dorothy Beck came along someplace too . . .
Dorothy Beck came in there. She was an assistant to Ida May
She wrote up something on the epidemiology of the Santa Ana
Yes. I think she went down on that. She must have.
Did you ever have anything to do with Dr . Charles Halliday who
was Miss Stevens supervisor?
Oh yes, yes. He was an epidemiologist for the Board.
What were your relationships with Dr. Dickie when he was the
head of the Board?
Well, the very best (laughter). I still dream dreams about
He gave the Bureau good strong support?
Yes. Well, now to illustrate this point (laughter): In 192^,
I think, Goudey and I were on a trip, an inspection trip. We
went up through Dunsmuir and then on up to northern California
and headed down toward Eureka; but near Arcsta they had been
doing some road work and had a soft shoulder . Goudey was driv
ing, but I pointed something out that took my interest and
Goudey lost his view of this soft dirt on the shoulder (laugh
ter). So over we went, down and down a steep hill. Pretty
soon somebody came along that had a sleeping bed up on their
car top of their car and they loaded me into that and hauled
me into Eureka, and into the industrial hospital. But the
Gillespie: doctor there didn t take any interest in me and Dr. Dickie
sent Miss let s see, what was her name, she was killed down
there near Salinas, remember?
Ongerth: A physician? A nurse?
Gillespie: No, a nurse. Anyway, she came up there and went to the city
health officer, Dr. Chane I think his name was, and he got
me moved out of that industrial hospital into the one the
city had. In a few weeks I was able to travel again and Dr.
Dickie had me moved down to Oakland. First I thought I was
well enough that I could go back to my home there , but he
said, "Nothin* doin 1 , you ve got to go into a hospital."
(laughter) So I was put into Providence Hospital and I stayed
there several months .
Ongerth: Gee, you were badly injured.
Gillespie: I was, all right.
Ongerth: Ed told me the story, part of it.
Chall: What happened to Mr. Goudey?
Gillespie: Well, it just tore his trousers, (laughter) Right in front.
Mrs. Gillespie read in the paper about this, and she couldn t
find out anything about me, but she did know that Goudey was
in-- cause first we were put in Arcata. She called Arcata
Hotel and got Goudey, and he wouldn t come to the phone. He
wouldn t appear in public at all. (laughter)
Chall: Didn t have a change of trousers!
Gillespie: After a bit I got put onto one of the Northwestern cars I
think they were and came down to San Rafael and then over to
Ongerth: Back to relationships with Dr. Dickie. Did he givewere you
able to get financial support that you needed for the Bureau
as the job got bigger, as the years rolled on?
Gillespie: No, not too much. We did, gradually, as we kind of grew and
people appreciated the services, we d be able to get a little
support for an increase. Dr. Dickie was pretty shrewd. He
wasn t a spender by any means,
But he certainly was good to
Who followed him? Who were between him and Halverson?
Ongerth: There was a doctor Brown in there.
Gillespie: Yes. Dr. Brown and Dr. Porter [Giles].
Chall: Dickie was gone for about four years. He went off to be the
director of I think it was Public Relations at the CMA, and
then he came back. Dr. Porter was in there during that time ,
Gillespie: Dr. Porter was formerly with the City of Los Angeles in the
Health Department. Olson was the Governor at that time.
Ongerth: That was the early 30s.
Gillespie: Yes. An interesting story remember that Long Beach earth
quake about 33? Did I tell you this story?
Ongerth: Yes, you did over the telephone a couple of weeks ago.
Gillespie: Well. . .(laughter) It was this, that as I say we went out on
all these catastrophes. I was getting ready to drive down
in a car, but I happened on to Dr. Geiger who was then in the
city Health Department of San Francisco, and he asked me how
I was going and I said, "Drive down." He said, Veil, I m
going down and I ve got a special car from the SP, don t you
want to ride with me?" Well, I thought that was fine. So
(laughter), we go on this car, and being a special car
possibly two or three cars it had to be sidetracked for every
other passing, so the result was that it took us about three
or four days to reach Long Beach, (laughter) I went then to
the City Hall where Dr. Porter was stationed and he looked at
me, and he says, "Where in the hell have you been?" (laughter)
The story there was that Goudey was on the job, but there was
a fight on between the sewer department and the water depart
ment over chlorination . Goudey was on one side and the health
department was on the other. And poor old Dr. Porter, he was
caught in the middle. He didn t know who was right or who was
Ongerth: You said Goudey was there, wasn t it Jud?
Ongerth: Or both?
Gillespie: It was Goudey.
Ongerth: He wasn t working for the department then was he?
Gillespie: No, he might have been down there helping the Long Beach
Water Department, at that time, see. That frequently
Chall: What was Dr. Geiger like?
Gillespie: Oh he was fine! (laughter) I used to go out on investiga
tions of these typhoid outbreaks with him. He d always
holler for me. One outbreak I remember was on San Pablo
Creek, at the time they were building that reservoir...
Ongerth: The dam?
Gillespie: The dam, yes. He was pretty convinced it was a water-borne
thing. But you know, it s a peculiarity of water-borne
typhoid that it ll affect the majority of people who drink
that particular water. If you find a widespread typhoid
outbreak, you can be pretty sure it s water-borne and you
better be looking for polluted water somewhere. But the
most we could find in that was that the men used the same
water for their toothbrushes! (laughter) which seemed kind
of far-fetched for...
Ongerth: It would ve had to be transmitted with the water they were
brushing their teeth with. I d be a little dubious.
The typhoid outbreak in Santa Ana, of course, was a really
serious one .
Santa Ana Typhoid Epidemic
The Notable Santa Ana Typhoid Epidemic
by C. G. Gillespie
The Santa Ana Typhoid outbreak occurred in 192*4-
and by all odds was the most devastating sewage-
borne epidemic that has occurred during the life
Mr. Gillespie s answer didn t record properly. He dictated
this material to his niece for inclusion in the manuscript.
Gillespie: of the Bureau. The State Department of Health at
once sent epidemiologists and nurses to assist
the local Health Officer, Dr. Sutherland, and staff.
I remained in the Berkeley Office of the Bureau but
we sent Ray F. Goudey to the scene. Mr. Goudey had
come to the Bureau only recently on the high recom
mendation of Professor Whipple of Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, saying that Mr. Goudey was
a brilliant student and indeed he was. Mr. Goudey
phoned almost every day and it is from my memory of
these conversations that I write this story of the
Bureau s part in this epidemic. Were Mr. Goudey
alive today there is no doubt that he could write a
most vivid story of his part in the control of this
In the Santa Ana Water Works there were certain wells
which were pumped through a low level pressure line
into a low level reservoir. One noon hour Mr. Goudey
sauntered down to the reservoir and on peering into
it was horrified to observe several pieces of human
feces floating around on the surface of the water.
To his practiced eye this offered a clue to the cause
of the typhoid and explained why such typical sewage-
borne diseases as amoebic dysentery accompanied the
On investigation of the sewer system he found that
one of the sewer lines presumedly was a storm sewer
but also carried sewage. Some parts of the so-called
storm sewer lay close to the water line that supplied
the reservoir. Mr. Goudey also learned that on Mon
day (wash day) the sewer line overflowed on the ground
and thence into the water line .
This solved the cause of the outbreak and little re
mained except to take care of the ill, trace down
carriers, and to correct the faulty sewer and water
Probably the best thing that came from this experience
was the adoption by the State Board of Health of regu
lations prohibiting the cross connections between water
lines and sources of potentially polluted water.
PROBlMtN EASTBAY ONE OF
Parran U urges Eerly
Surrey to Qualify for
Possible U.S. Funds
jg the Metropolitan Oak
land water - frot pollution problem
s one of the most serious in the.
United States, Surgeon General
Thomas M. Parran Jr., director et
th United States Public Health
Service, urged officials of the East-
bay cities yesterday to proceed im*
inediatcly with survey of the sew
age disposal in order to qualify for
Federal aid U and when it becomes
available. - .
- Doctor Parraa. on a whirlwind
visit to the Bay region, met with the
Karthay Municipal Executives As
sociation in th office of Mayor Wil
liam J. McCracken for a discussion
of pollution and the possibility ot
gaining Federal funds for construc
tion of a unified sewage - disposal
ystem. The 1 meeting was arranged
by John H. Tolan Jr., secretary to
Congressman John H. Tolan.
"You have a filthy situation," Dr.
Parran said, "but you are to be
congratulated upon your effort* to
develop a regional plan for the
purification of your waterfront."
He said there is a good possibility
that Federal aid will be forthcom
ing under the Barkley pollution
feill which was passed by the Sen
ate and is now pending before the
Home of Representatives.
This bill, he explained, provides
for the setting up of divislorf f
water pollution control In the Ptlb-
Me Health "Service under which
money would be made available,
for 66fh~"preB&ftlnary studies end
corrective measures. Outright
grants of one-third of the cost and
loans for the remainder- are pro-
vided for in the legislation, he
C. G. Gillespie, chief of the State
Bureau of Sanitary Engineering
who was present at th meeting,
Mid that two-thirds of the State
pollution problem is in the Bay
.region and that the worst half is
along the east shore.
\ STEP FORWARD
"If we can clear up this Metro
politan Oakland problem we will be
well along the road of cleaning up
water pollution in California," GQ-
Dr. Parran compared the Zastbay
waterfront pollution with that of
the Passaic Valley, New Jersey,
where a regional sewage disposal
system was developed with the co
operation of a number of nearby
cities and a Federal grant
Mayor Henry A. Weichhart of
Alameda, president of the Eastbay !
Municipal Executives Association, i
told the group that a $80.000 survey
Surgeon General Thomas M. Parran Jr. (right), director of the
U.S. Public Health Service, discussed sewage disposal prob
lems of Metropolitan Oakland cities with C. G. GUlespie,
chief of the State s sanitary engineering bureau, at the City
Hall here yesterday. Tribune photo.
of, the sewage disposal needs of the
eight Metropolitan Oakland citie*
will be undertaken within two or
three months. Funds for the survey
have already been pledged by the
cities for this purpose. The Oakland
city budget for the current fiscal
year contains an appropriation of
$20,000, one-half of tpe-sum which
was agreed upon as Oakland s share.
Other cities which have either
pledged or appropriated funds for
this purpose are: Alameda, Berke
ley, Piedmont, Richmond, Emery
ville, El Cerrito and Albany.
REVIEWS RESEARCH WORK
Dr. Parran proceeded from Oak
land to the University of California
^o review research which is under
way in the treatment of influenza
and cancer. He was to speak before
the California Academy of Medicine
In Ran Francisco last nieht.
Others present at the sewage
pollution meeting were: City Man
ager Charles A. Schwanenberg of
Alameda, City Engineer Walter N.
Frickstad of Oakland, Acting City
Manager Charles Fisk of Berkeley,
Councilman George E. Bachelder of
Albany, Mayor Al LaCoste of Em
eryville, Mayor J. M. Turner of]
Cerrito, Mayor John Bell and City
Engineer E. A. Hoffman of Rich-
mond and City Engineer John Dy-
gert of Albany.
. pari-an sl^o visited tlie -Oakland
Venereal Disense Clinic at 282.
Eighth Street while here yesterday.
He was influential in starting the .
clinics throughout the country to.
battle the spread of social diseases.
REMINISCING ABOUT COLLEAGUES
You asked me once to enumerate some of the important figures
that I had dealings with?
Yes. If you can give me a little item about their personali
ties too that adds lustre to the report.
Of course Professor Hyde was my first contact and I ve loved
him ever since. I remember you told me this the other day,
that he is now ninety-five years old (laughter). He used to
pride himself on the longevity of his family and a short time
after that I noticed in the National Geographic magazine there
was a long article on longevity of the Hyde family. So it
looks like he s still carrying on that tradition.
I think my next important contact was with George W. Fuller.
He was easily the biggest sanitary engineer in this country.
He had done work for the Massachusetts State Health Department,
he was in charge of the Lawrence experiment station where they
studied these slow sand filters and their efficiency, and by
the time that I began to know him he was consultant engineer
in New York city. I ve told you how he brought me into Evans-
ton as his resident engineer and how that led up to my appoint
ment to the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering here .
And then another important figure that I met was George Whipple .
He was a professor in sanitary engineering too at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. It was he who put Goudey on to us. He
recommended Goudey very highly as very brilliant. Goudey was
hired, came out, and we were pretty quickly convinced that he
was brilliant all right. I ll tell you this little story. You
know the north entrance to the University?
Up by Northgate, at the foot of Euclid?
Yes, that s it. Well, I was coming in that gate one day, there
was s bulletin board right by the gate, and it said, "After
the Cosmos, What?" And I read on and it was a talk by Goudey
(much laughter). That was so far above me that I thought he
must be mighty smart, (more laughter)
Did he do much of that sort of thing?
I think he did. He had that kind of a mind.
Sort of a philosophical bent, huh?
Gillespie: Yes. Now let s see, well, that s Whipple and Goudey. Sam
Morris. I knew him very well. Everybody did he had a very
likeable disposition. Out in San Bernardino there was a Mr.
Livingstone [Bard], the water superintendent. We developed
a great acquaintance. And then at the same place I developed
an acquaintance with Louis Spence.
Chall: Tell me about Louis Spence.
Gillespie: He had been for a long time working for the telephone company
in that San Bernardino area. At the time that I began to know
him he was appointed a sanitarian for the local health depart
ment in San Bernardino county, and so I used to see Louis
pretty nearly every day (laughter). And to this day Louis and
I are close friends.
Louis was a fine fellow I haven t seen him for a long time.
One day we went out to Forty -Nine Palms on something, stayed
there overnight and in the same room. We both wore glasses;
so next morning I put on a pair of glasses, not knowing whose
they were , and Louis took the other pair . We went on out to
the Colorado River and that night coming back to San Bernardino,
the stars were falling to beat the band, and some dim and some
were bright, so finally I noticed that they had a peculiar
look. I asked Louis if they looked that way to him. Yes, he
thought they did. (laughter) So I said, "Do you suppose I ve
got your glasses and you ve got mine?" (laughter) So for a
day and a half there we d been wearing the other fella s
Mr. Gillespie, Karl Imhoff came to California one time... *
That was along about
Later, maybe 29, I think. Was it 2U?
Well, I remember it this way: Clyde Kennedy had got some land
up above Los Gatos, and he had invited Imhoff to see his place.
I went along with Imhoff. That was another contact I had. I
knew Imhoff well.
Chall: Was he the inventor of the Irahoff tank?
Gillespie: Yes. He was the leading German sanitary engineer.
Chall: From where? Where did he live most of the time?
Gillespie: Well, in Germany, that s where he had his practice.
* A small album of snapshots taken throughout California by Mr. Imhoff during
his visit in 1929 has been placed in the Water Resources Archives on the
jE-ap* 1 -^T n
^ \ L-^H*^
0. Bard Livingstone, retired Son Bernardino water superintendent, admires sign at reservoir named for him fay the city water board.
Reservoir, Pumping Plant Dedicated to Retired 5.8. Wafer Official
With tears in his eyes, retired city
water superintendent D. Bard Living
stone said "I don t believe it," as San
Bernardino s newest reservoir chid
pumping plant was named in his
Livingstone, who was water depart
ment superintendent from 1934 to
1952. disclaimed all credit given him
tor the development of the city water
svstem. saving it should go instead to
"the most faithful and best employees
I have worked with."
The new reservoir on 42nd Street
near Kendall Drive in San Bernard-
dino s north end, has a capacity of 8.9
million gallons and, with two other
reservoirs and a pumping plant, makes
up the Livingstone installation.
The plant was dedicated to Living
stone by Water Commissioners Mrs.
Margaret Chandler and W. R. Hoi-
Mrs. Chandler read a resolution of
ficially dedicating the plant to Liv
It said in part that Livingstone "de
voted 37 years of efficient and faith
ful service to the Water Department
... in the capacity of Superintendent
tor IS years . . . possessing a high
sense of duty and interest in the pro
motion of public welfare."
Mrs. Chandler then presented Liv
ingstone with a copy of the resolu
Caught by surprise by the previous
ly unannounced dedication, Living
stone was at first too choked up to
After a moment, he thanked Mrs.
Chandler and the Water Board, prais
ing his ex-employees for their service
to him and the department.
Then Holcomb praised Livingstone
for his work as superintendent, saying
he was responsible for one of the city s
major water sources two wells in
Cajon Canyon northwest of San Ber
"Water produced from this source,"
Holcomb said, "is the most economi
cal within the city s system. During
1967, approximately 17 per cent of the
water. proluccd by the city was from
this supply, costing less than $1 per
Following the dedication and un
veiling, some 200 persons were al
lowed to tour the new reservoir. A
reception for Livingstone was given
at a restaurant across the street from
The reservoir measures 254 feet by
294 feet on the interior. Because the
water is to be stored underground, all
that passcrsby can see is the dirt-cov
ered mound where grass is starting to
By comparison, the reservoir the
new facility replaces measured 343 by
165 feet aiid held only 3.2 million gal
lons of water.
The original facility was built with
the help of horse-drawn wagons as an
earth fill reservoir with an oil lining.
In 1930 a roof was put over the open
reservoir, and in 1944 gunite was ap
plied to the sides to prevent leakage.
Last year, with the help of a 50 per
cent grant from the Department of
Housing and Urban Development
(HUD), work on the new $387,900
faciilty was started by Lomar Cor]).,
and all construction was completed
Put into the makings of the sturdy
structure were 5,247 cubic yards of
concrete, 379 tons of reinforcing steel
and 168 concrete and steel columns.
A polyurethane sealant prevents any
The reservoir augments two others
at the site and provides a total capaci
ty at the Newmark location of 21.9
million gallons of water.
The total Newmark operation will
become the main pumping station for
the extraction of underground water
coming from Northern California in
1972. With the four wells at the site,
facilities have a total pumping capaci
ty of 4,541 gallons of water a minute.
Two other reservoirs, built in 1956
and 1963, are a part of the total New-
Livingstone is a former member of
the Board of Directors of the Cali
fornia Section AWWA. 1968.
Ongerth: Emscher, I guess, eh? You know, that reminds me that in
the bookcase the same bookcases that were there when you
were, there s a collection of photographs that Imhoff took
on that trip he made , and in there there * s a photograph of
your house up on Broadway Terrace and a few other personal
photographs that he had taken and I meant to bring that
along and I forgot it.
Gillespie: There was Imhoff among these notables that I knew very well.
I guess there was nobody else from Europe. I counted up one
day how many people I had good contacts with in this State .
As near as I could figure it out, there were about three
Ongerth: Well, I m sure you knew everybody that was working in the
field in those days, no question about it.
Gillespie: Well, these were people who leaned on me a good deal for
their information and advice. If they didn t, I didn t
count era (laughter) Let s see, who else is there. Sam
Morris is another good friend I had, and Geiger, and Ida May
Stevens, and Dr. Kellogg who was in charge of the laboratory
there. Bert Crowley, of the San Francisco Health Department,
Dr. Hassler of the San Francisco Health Department...
Ongerth: Before Geiger . . .
Gillespie: Yes, he was the head of the San Francisco Health Department.
Now let s see, who else might there be. Well, there was
Mr. Goodwin of the San Jose I think he was City Manager of
San Jose for a time. I ve forgotten his first name. Let s
see oh, yes, and then the first two men I worked for were
Wilfred Deberard. He came out on an experimental filter plant
for the East Bay, see. And Langdon Pearse of the Chicago
Sanitary District came out with him. And my first job was
under those two.
Ongerth: Wasn t he at Chicago for many years later?
Gillespie: Oh, yes, yes. You see, the Depression of I think it was 1907
or 08 came on while that experimental filter plant was in
use and the water company being a corporation found it hard to
raise money, and the result was that Deberard and Pearse both
left. Pearse went back to the Chicago Sanitary District,
Deberard he was a newspaper man with the Engineering News
Record and he joined them as their western representative.
He stayed there till he passed away.
Ongerth: Was that the time when you and Harold Gray together worked on
the operation of the filter plant?
Gillespie: No, I don t think we ever did. We went to Sacramento
together, but let s see, that was over yes it was, it was
in connection with the filter plant . We were both out of
U.C. with sanitary engineering training.
Ongerth: You were classmates?
Gillespie: Yes, classmates. And we thought we d go to Sacramento
(laughter) and be on the ground if anything ever came of it,
at that time .
Ongerth: Did you know C. E. Grunsky?
Gillespie: Oh yes, very well. Yes, that s another notable figure.
Chall: Did you have close relationships with various members of the
State Board? I noticed you were talking about Dr. Ebright
Gillespie: Oh yes all of them. But coming back to these people that I
had close contact with, there was Dr. Russell, Ed Russell,
he was the Orange County health officer. And Dr. Leesem.
Ongerth: Wasn t Leesem in San Diego? Alex Leesem.
Gillespie: Yes. That s where his office was. I guess that s right.
Practically every health officer and sanitarian in the state
I was very close to.
Chall: Before we leave today, I wonder if I could bring us up to
about the time when you retired. We haven t talked about
Dr. Halverson. He brought in quite a change to the department,
I would assume, when he reorganized after the Buck Report.
Chall: What kind of a person was Dr. Halverson?
Gillespie: He was fine too! (laughter)
Chall: How did you feel about this major reorganization...
Gillespie: The what?
Chall: His reorganizing the department, so the Bureau was placed in
one of the five divisions?
Gillespie: Well, that took place soon after I left. I don t know
I m not sure that it s a wise thing. It seems to me that
what it amounts to is that you decentralize control. In
other words, take our Bureau, now, there must be half a
dozen or more, aren t there, scattered around the State,
each one on his own decisions. In other words you lose
the centralized . . .
Ongerth: That s right. You re not nearly in so close touch with what s
going on, that s absolutely correct.
Gillespie: Well, let s see, is that enough of the people? (laughter)
Chall: I think so.
Ongerth: One thing I wanted to ask you about, Mr. Gillespie. . .the de
velopment of the sewer farm regulations: crop irrigation
with sewage effluent and the numbers that were used with the
coliform limits. Do you recall how those were established?
Gillespie: That was a pretty early regulation. No, I think most of those
figures, the number of B. coli that could be permitted, like
in swimming pools and sewer farms and so on, was based on...
going back to what the standard was for water supply, going
up or down a [rational - H.O.] relationship. Drinking water.
There was no other basis for it.
Ongerth: I remember a time when Herb Foster and I had made a sanitary
survey we spent a number of days on, on the Conn Reservoir.
They were going to build Conn Dam, and I did the
sanitary survey. We made a map out of little pieces of paper.
We made the map from some big sheets that the division of
water resources had. We made the scale convenient to the
pieces of paper, and when we came back in you looked at the
map and you pulled your scale out of the drawer to figure out
some distance someplace,and it was a bastard scale and you
were pretty disgusted with us cause it was not a normal scale ,
(loud laughter) Herb and I had worked like mad making that
map, worked at night in a... you d recommended we stay in a
little old hotel there off of the main street in St. Helena.
You liked those quaint places.
* The reorganization took place in 19^, just before
Mr. Gillespie retired in January,
Gillespie: Yes. I did. (laughter) Here s a good story. In the early
days we had a Ford in the Bureau for traveling, and one day
we were traveling homeward from Los Angeles toward Bakersfield
over the old ridge route remember that road?
Ongerth: I know the old Ridge Route, that was a pretty rough old road.
Gillespie: It was about nighttime when we came to the last place we could
get anything to eat. Let me see, there was Frank Bachmann,
and we were eating away and some fellow breezed in and said
he was going to Bakersfield and did anybody want to ride with
him. And Frank spoke up and said, "What d ya got?" He says,
"A Stutz!" (laughter) A Stutz was quite a car in those days,
see? So Frank signed up for the ride. He left us and joined
this other fellow. As soon as we d finished our meal we went
on ahead and we noticed this Stutz never did pass us on the way
to Bakersfield. When we got to the hotel where we were going
to stay there was still no Frank, and we didn t know what had
become of him. We thought he d gone over the bank. Next
morning we went down to breakfast and pretty soon Frank came
in and we said, Veil what became of you?" He says, "Aw, that
fellow didn t have a Stutz!" (laughter) with a disgusted face.
Ongerth: You mentioned the accident with Ray Goudey up in the Arcata
area, you were in another automobile accident in the 30s
with Jud up someplace .
Gillespie: Well, it was right near Pinole. That was when the Depression
was on, wasn t it? And a lot of people went in for oyster
gathering and selling and clam gathering, and one of the spots
was the mud flats out of Pinole. So on a Sunday Jud and I
thought we d go and see what we could see about these shell
fish gatherers out there. Well we got out on the point, you
couldn t see anything, but way off up the line there was a
lot of little boats out, so we hurried out of where we were.
We had to cross some railroad tracks, see, as we got out of
that area. It was beginning to get dark I think they called
it the Shasta Run, or something like that a fast SP train,
anyway came whizzing along. I wasn t driving here either.
We landed on the tracks and the train came along and the cow
catcher just swished our car it was a brand new Buick-- and
hurled us down the track and the track had a bank like this
away from it, and pretty soon we whizzed off the tracks and
down the slope in the bottom of this gulch. Well, Jud had a
bad cut on his nose, just as though it took a cleaver down
his nose; but you know I had glasses on, they weren t broken,
I didn t have a scratch, a tear or anything (laughter).
Chall: How fortunate.
AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION
Mr. Gillespie, I brought along something that I ll leave and
maybe Mrs. Gillespie can read it to you. It s George W.
Pracy s account of the formation of the California section
of the A.W.W.A. [American Water Works Association]
You were involved in that, weren t you?
Yes, yes. Professor Hyde was really the ring leader in that
but, there were probably half a dozen others that he d invited
into the meeting, and that s the way it started.
Ongerth: He mentions George Elliott.
And Mr. Johns, who came up from Hanford.
would be? I don t know that name.
Do you know who that
I knew Mr. Johns. Yes, I d forgotten him, but that s right,
he was one of the ring leaders. Yes. Professor Hyde promoted
the water works association. But I think it helped him out to
have the Bureau connected with it in it. We had some fellows
from pretty far off in that meeting of that organization. I
remember Mr. Johns had come up all the way from Hanford to
talk about how to organize the water works association.
He mentions M. M. O Shaughnessy in San Francisco,
any dealings with O Shaughnessy?
Did you have
CALIFORNIA SEWAGE WORKS ASSOCIATION
Ongerth: I also wanted to ask you about the formation of the California
Sewage Works Association about 1928. Can you recall any of
the circumstances of the formation of that?
Gillespie: It was already formed in many places in the East. We just
Fuller Award At
A signal honor was received by
Chester dlleapte of W. Wilson
street during the past week When
he. attended the American Water
works Association s national con-
rention in San Francisco. At a
dinner in the Fairmont Hotel the
president of the association pre
sented Mr. Giltetpie with the an
nual George Warren Fuller award.
This award Is given to one mem-!
oer In each section of the associa
tion for their distinguished service
in the water supply field and in
Jommemoratlon of the sound en-!
gineering skill, ttie brilliant diplo
matic talent and the constructive
leadership of men in this associa
tion which characterizes the JUfe of
George-Warren Fulterf.... "
The national association ia corn-
Posed, of 10,000 members making
up about 19 sections to tto.ff g
the California group, having about
> members, in" presenting the
award the presidnt : commented
on Mr. GlUespie s inspiring leader
ship and continuing energy .la, ttp-
wiUding research in tie- technical
Phases of wster purification
oughout the State-oT California.
X*. an*.J^10KJaglPt ? have been
permanent residents otf Biiinfng *h-
atoce last December, although
key have been coming to the
city for many years in -connection
ith Mr. Glllespie s work as State
Sanitary Engineer. They *ere Im
pressed with our fair c ny not only
because of its cllnttrte, but also
because of the quiet, friendly at
mosphere prevailing here. So,
three years ago they bought a
home on W. Wilson with the idea
%mind of coming here, permanent
ly as soon as Mr. Gillespie retired,
This h did last December, after
thirty-two years of service with the
State of California. , .
I>ast October Mr. Gillespie, be
cause of his invaluable knowledge
In the sanitary field, was appointed
special consultant in the Research
Grants Division of the U. S Pub-
flic Health Service. The purpose of
this Division Is to stimulate basic
research in medical and sanitary
sciences. There are twenty three
different groups which .consider Ap
plications for fedferai funds in
"these fields, and Mr. v Olilesple la
the representative for thd eleven
western states In the sanitation
otion. These groups meet ap
proximately four times year In
Washington, D. C. to consider ap-
plications. Mr. Gillessple will at
tend the next meeting fh the fall
Gillespie: called a bunch of the fellows together to see about having
one in California.
Ongerth: This was something you took the leadership in?
Gillespie: I guess so. I had just returned from the East and I had
some facts about their association back there.
Ongerth: And Ed became the first secretary, didn t he?
Gillespie: Yes, I think he did.
Ongerth: You don t remember who any of the people were who helped
form the organization?
Gillespie: No, I really don t.
Ongerth: Of course it would have been very logical for the Bureau to
be promoting something like that trying to get it going.
You spoke of having gone East. Did you attend regularly
each year the meetings of the Conference of State Sanitary
Gillespie: No, not every year, but I was also a member of the Society
of Civil Engineers and they would pay my way, see? So I d
go East for those things...
Ongerth: You say the A.S.C.E. would pay your way?
Ongerth: Well, you must have been an officer, or something then.
Gillespie: Well, I was (laughter) an officer.
Ongerth: I think we d better go, Mrs. Chall.
Chall: Yes, I think we ve done well with the interview.
An. i - ^r^ ^7 ^" ^j i ^ T *
Tour. Chance. To HeJp! j
ay- Nov. 19, is -National
p, sponsored- by Kiwani? i
The Banning Kiv/anis Club ;
nas arranged for an- &a -day sale
"f . red apples, to be carried al
by the boys and girts of Banning
Entire proceeds will go to th*
PJs- -welfare ^und, to Jt* used
\ the ,y.e8t%to r jna|ee^
happier and to
* 4 fot
a * y ^"a lads will help
, you -want to do your
So, b* on hand before 9 o clock
aturday morning, at the vacant
lot north of the postoffice and
,. ,..^.^. Hendricks Market, where the-
?K* is your oppftrti:- K**JS*? i **;wiJl start.
The committee wants every
youngster in Banning to ride a
Dike or Tnarr->i in +Vm __j_
*ti Jk^fiuJJIliJg U
or march in the parade.!
Streameis wlU be ftanfahed
e ansed to
/ 1 1 *" witho "t charge.
l you ned to b
.A Hftle .-can (sot a jar) to!
hold the coins you take inT
3. Your lunch, if desired.
ish to march.
At the end trf the day the Jsoy
and gl rl who have collected the
most money wiQ be crowned
of Banning s
Mayor Chester Hendrkks has
e5 ffl S a ^ Proclamation
Saturday, Nov. 19. u
toe kid* at play."
The other kids and the grown
ups of Banning will be looking
for yott.Jn the parade Saturday
Furtha- particulars on Page 2,
Section 2. of thii newspaper.
INDEX - CHESTER G. GILLESPIE
Bachmann, Frank, 7, 8, 23, 35
Beck, Dorothy, 25
Bovard, Paul, 11
Deberard, Wilfred, 32
DeMartini, Frank, 22-23, 2k
Derby, Ray, 2k
Dickie, Walter M., 25-26
Doman, Joseph, 8, 23
East Bay Municipal Utility District, 20-21
Ebright, George G., 3
Foster, Herbert, Jr., lk, 23, 3!*
Fuller, George W., 3, k, 30
Geiger, J. C., 6, 25, 2?
Goudey, Ray, 22, 23, 2i|, 25-26, 27-29, 30
Gray, Harold, 32-33
Halverson, Wilton L., 33
Harmon, Jud, 22-23, 27, 35
Havens, Frank, 19
Herb, Cornelius, l6
Hilscher, Ralph, 7, 8, lU, 23
Hyde, Charles Oilman, 1, 2, U, 7, 9, 12, 21, 30, 36
Imhoff, Karl, 31
Jenks, Harry, 15 -16
Johnson, Hiram, 3
Langelier, Wilfred F., 7
McLaren, John, 13
Pearse, Langdon W., k, 32
Permits, 8-10, 11, 13
Pracy, George W., 36
Reinke, Ed, lU, 23, 2k, 37
Sanchis, Joseph M., 2k
Sanitary Surveys, 1930, 23
Schussler, Hermann, 18, 20
Self -purification, k
Sewer farm regulations, 3^
Spence, Louis, 31
Stevens, Ida May, 6, 7, 25
Wheeler, Benjamin Ide, 2
Whipple, George, 30
Graduated from Reed College in 1942 with a B.A.
degree, and from the State University of Iowa in
1943 with an M.A. degree in Political Science.
Wage Rate Analyst with the Twelfth Regional War
Labor Board, 1943-1945, specializing in agricul
ture and services. Research and writing in the
New York public relations firm of Edward L.
Bernays, 1946-1947, and research and statistics
for the Oakland Area Community Chest and Council
of Social Agencies 1948-1951
Active in community affairs as a director and
past president of the League of Women Voters of
the Hayward Area specializing in state and local
government; on county-wide committees in the
field of mental health; on electioji campaign
committees for school tax and bond measures, and
candidates for school board and state legislature.
Employed in 1967 by the Regional Oral History
Office interviewing in fields of agriculture and
Jewish community history.