Skip to main content
University of California Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office University of California
The Bancroft Library Berkeley. California
William Somers Mailliard
THE MAILLIARDS OF CALIFORNIA, A FAMILY CHRONICLE, 1868-1990
Interviews Conducted by
Copyright 1993 by The Regents of the University of California
Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing leading
participants in or well-placed witnesses to major events in the development of
Northern California, the Vest, and the Nation. Oral history is a modern research
technique involving an interviewee and an informed interviewer in spontaneous
conversation. The taped record is transcribed, lightly edited for continuity and
clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. The resulting manuscript is typed in
final form, indexed, bound with photographs and illustrative materials, and
placed in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and
other research collections for scholarly use. Because it is primary material,
oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete
narrative of events. It is a spoken account, offered by the interviewee in
response to questioning, and as such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved,
All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal agreement
between The Regents of the University of California and William
Somers Mailliard dated February 19, 1991. The manuscript is thereby
made available for research purposes. All literary rights in the
manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to The
Bancroft Library of the University of California, 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, Berkeley.
Requests for permission to quote for publication should be
addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library,
University of California, Berkeley 94720, and should include
identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated
use of the passages, and identification of the user.
It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
William Somers Mailliard, "The Mailliards
of California, A Family Chronicle, 1868-
1990," an oral history conducted in 1991
by Gabrielle Morris, Regional Oral History
Office, The Bancroft Library, University
of California, Berkeley, 1993.
William S. Mailliard, 1974
MAILLIARD, William Sommers (1917-1992) Congressman
The Mailliards of California. A Family Chronicle. 1968-1990. 1993, v, 278
Four generations of Mailliard family in northern California: Page,
Peterson, Somers, Ward, other relations, later descendants; horse, sheep,
and timber ranching in Mendocino and Marin counties; Mailliard & Schmeidell
food brokers and successors; Republican politics 1940s-1970s: San Francisco
election campaigns, Earl Warren as governor, career as U.S .Representative
and ambassador to Organization of American States; comments on numerous
civic and cultural organizations including S.F. Academy of Science, Cow
Palace, Opera, Police Commission, and Symphony. Includes an interview with
Charlotte Mailliard Swig.
Interviewed in 1991 by Gabrielle Morris. The Regional Oral History Office,
The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
TABLE OF CONTENTS- -William Somers Mailliard
A NOTE ON THE MAILLIARD FAMILY PAPERS --by William Roberts i
INTERVIEW HISTORY- -by Gabrlelle Morris 11
I WASHINGTON, D.C. RECOLLECTIONS 1
Reference Materials Available 1
Fellow Congressman Philip Burton 2
Early District Office 4
II DISTINGUISHED FAMILY CONNECTIONS 5
Mailliard Brothers, the Wards, and the Bonapartes 5
The Page Family; Marriage of Marin and Sonoma Counties 9
Roofing Grace Cathedral in the 1960s; Bishop James Pike 11
The Pages in Chile 13
Ralston Relatives 15
The Wards of Newport, Rhode Island 17
III FROM FRANCE TO AMERICA, 1868 19
Adolph Mailliard Brings His Family to Vallejo 19
With Joseph Bonaparte at Bordentown, New Jersey 22
Adolph 's Gold Mine and Other Ventures 24
Louis Mailliard and Angelique Marguerite Redet 25
The First John Ward Mailliard, 1862-1936 27
Adolph 's San Geronimo Ranch 28
Ongoing East Coast Influences 31
IV FAMILY CIVIC AND BUSINESS INTERESTS 33
Federal/Local Transportation Matters in the 1940s and 1990s 33
Mailliard and Peterson Homes on Belvedere 34
Joseph Mailliard and the Academy of Sciences 35
The Mailliard and Schmeidell Company 37
Association with Mcllhenny's Tabasco 38
V J. WARD MAILLIARD, JR., 1891-1954 40
Lake Tahoe Trips; Belvedere -San Francisco Commute 40
The Cow Palace 42
At Taft School and Yale University 43
Developments in the Family Firm 44
Continued Support for the Academy of Sciences 48
Seventeen Civic Boards: Chamber of Commerce and the 1934 General
Harry Bridges 53
Police Commission Problems 55
Childhood Sweetheart Kate Peterson; Family Fondness for Hunting 58
VI EARLY DAYS ON THE MENDOCINO RANCH 61
The Garcia [River] Gun Club 61
Building Log Cabins in the Twenties 62
Increasing the Property; Preserving Redwoods 64
Friends and Relatives Visit 66
Building and Rebuilding 67
Boyhood Pranks 68
VII SOS: SCOURING-PAD SUCCESS STORY 70
VIII KATE PETERSON MAILLIARD'S FOREBEARS 74
Coining from Denmark; From Friis to Peterson 74
The Red Salmon Canning Company 75
The Somers Family 79
Visits with the Elder Generation; Travels with the Wards 82
Vomen of Distinction: Louise Tharp, Julia Ward Howe and Maud
Howe Elliott 84
South Park Section of San Francisco; 1906 Earthquake Stories 90
Family Insurance and Grocery Businesses 92
IX LIFE WITH KATE AND WARD MAILLIARD 93
Youth and Marriage in Belvedere 93
Kate's Poetry 96
Young Jack, Bill, and Jim; Public and Private Schools 96
Brothers at Yale, 1937-1941; Social Life; ROTC 98
Sheep Ranching in Mendocino 103
Ornbaum Springs and Spa; Kate's Sheepdogs 107
X IMPACT OF WORLD WAR II, 1940-1946 113
Letters from Home 113
Childhood Illnesses and Games 115
Brothers' Reunion in the Philippines, 1944 117
North China and Manchuria Skirmishes and Negotiations 120
Growing Up Fast in the Service; Visiting the Great Wall of China 125
XI FATHER AND SON'S INTEREST IN POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT 129
Remembering Governor Earl Warren 129
California Republicans in the 1940s; Bipartisan Congressional
Considering Appointments to Office 133
XII BILL MAILLIARD AS AMBASSADOR TO THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN
STATES, 1974-1976 140
Appointment Strategies 140
Foreign Relations Study Committee 142
Observations of Richard Nixon 144
Politics of Interamerican Relations 145
Governmental Structure 148
Free Trade, Panama Canal Considerations 150
Co- sponsor of the Peace Corps 153
XIII FAMILY STORIES AND SPECIAL EVENTS 155
Christmases and Weddings 155
Life at the Ranch 157
Learning to Hunt, Training Piglets, Tall Tales 160
Horses, Mules, and County Fairs 164
Ranch Camps Expand 167
Cowboy Jack; World's Fair Visits 170
Jack Hailliard Meets Charlotte Smith; Jack Shelley Runs for
Mayor, 1964 173
Marlon-Leigh [Aunt Bayj's Scrapbook, 1962 178
Mendocino Landscape 180
XIV SAN FRANCISCO CAMPAIGNS AND ISSUES 187
Ward Mailliard's Love for the City 187
Running for Congress in the Fifties; Governor Varren's Health
Insurance Proposals 188
Republican Finance Committee Then and Now 191
Election Nuts and Bolts; Mother's Interest 194
More on the 1964 Mayoral Race; Leading Democrats 195
Jack Mailliard in Politics; Bill Knowland's Ambitions 197
Conservation Concerns; Selective Logging 199
Jim Mailliard on the Board of Supervisors 202
XV CHANGING TIMES 204
The Mailliard Foundation 204
Republican Leadership in the 1960s 205
Opposing Extremism 208
Warren's Eightieth Birthday 209
Pierre Salinger, George Murphy, and the 1964 Senate Election 210
Origins of the Guardsmen 212
New Voices in Politics 213
Mailliards in the 1990s 214
XVI AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE MAILLIARD 218
Jack Mailliard Continues Family Civic Responsibilities,
Changes at the Ranch 221
Police Commission Issues 222
Getting Along with the Burtons 223
Trail Rides and Practical Jokes 224
Getting to Know Kate Mailliard 226
The Next Generations; Future of the Ranch 229
Mendocino Neighbors; Family Gatherings 232
Creating Gala Civic Benefits; Guarantors and Media Support 234
Mailliard & Schmeidell Becomes Bromar 238
The Blyth-Zellerbach Committee, the Swigs, Later San Francisco
Volunteer Potential; San Francisco General Hospital Board and
Chief of Protocol 242
Post Script 245
TAPE GUIDE 246
A. "Adolph Mailliard," dictation made for Hubert Howe Bancroft, n.d. 248
B. "Mailliard," by Louise Marguerite Mailliard, n.d. 250
C. Letter from Meta McAllister to Lizzie Page Mailliard, December
5, 1937. 251
D. "Family History: the Page Family," Manuela Page Hellman to Elizabeth
Skewes-Cox, January 1940. 252
E. Genealogy of John Vard Mailliard, n.d. 256
F. John Ward Mailliard-Lizzie Page family tree, prepared by Marion-
Leigh Mailliard Baldwin Moore, ca. 1946. 257
G. "U.S. Woman Sheep-Breeder Here to Meet Merino Men," New Zealand
Express, circa 1960. 258
H. "Kate Mailliard of Ornbaum Valley," Mendocino Robin, April 1966. 259
I. "How Tex Rounds up the Bucks," Blake Green, San Francisco
Chronicle, May 15, 1987. 264
J. Excerpt from Fairhills, 125 Years of Mar in Life, Michel G.
Rousselin, F.P.O.A., San Rafael , California, 1990. 266
K. "Swig Cleaning Up this Dirty Old Town," Jerry Carroll, San
Francisco Chronicle, February 17, 1992. 271
A NOTE ON THE MAILLIARD FAMILY PAPERS- -by William Roberts
For more than a century the Mailliard family has been prominent in
California affairs, both in business life and in the public sector.
Adolph Mailliard arrived in California in 1868 and settled at San
Geronimo Ranch in Marin County. In 1896 his son, John Vard, founded the
food brokerage and importing firm of Mailliard and Schmiedell, which has
continued to be run by members of the family, particularly by Ward III
and by James, until his death in 1974.
William Somers Mailliard, their brother, after naval service in
World War II, chose to exercise his talents in the political arena,
acting as private secretary to Governor Earl Warren from 1948 to 1951, an
association documented recently by the Bancroft's Regional Oral History
Office in its Earl Warren series. W. S. Mailliard was then elected to
the House of Representatives in 1952 and reelected to serve ten
consecutive terms in Congress.
Various members of the family have been prominent in community
organizations ranging from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to Bay
Area Educational Television. The ranching tradition, begun by Adolph,
continues at the Mailliard Ranch in Mendocino County.
William Somers Mailliard and his relatives recently presented to The
Bancroft Library a great collection of family papers and a substantial
group of family photographs. Consisting of several hundred items, this
new pictorial collection documents all aspects of the family's history
from Adolph' s French ancestors and connections with the Bonapartes down
to the recent past. There are, as well, pictures from the families into
which the Mailliards married, particularly the Petersons (John Ward, Jr.
married Kate Peterson of San Francisco) .
Not only are there the formal portraits one expects to find, but
there are also pictures of informal family groups and outings, as well as
views taken with business associates and with the armed forces in World
War II. The majority of the collection consists of photographs, but
there are a significant number of daguerreotypes and even a few painted
The Library is fortunate to have received from one of this area's
leading families such a complete collection which will both provide
documentation of the Mailliards and aid scholars attempting to illustrate
particular ways of life and styles in our social history.
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
INTERVIEW HISTORY- -by Gabrielle Morris
In many ways the history of the San Francisco Bay Area can be told
through the fortunes of the early families that took hold of the
opportunities they saw in the 1850s and '60s and built the institutions
that made the region a center for banking, shipping, and culture. The
founders of these families were often forceful and colorful, and their
sons and daughters in each generation were expected to take leading roles
in business and civic matters.
Among such families, the Mailliards have played a distinguished role
for over a century, shaping and reflecting the distinctive flavor of the
Bay Area. Their origins are French, Colonial New England, and Danish by
way of Chile. They have been key players in business and finance; active
in local, state, and national governance; and also lovers of the land:
hunters, stockmen, and preservationists.
The Bancroft Library had long sought an opportunity to interview
William Somers Mailliard (1917-1992), the last member of the fourth
generation of Mailliards in California and former congressman from San
Francisco. The project became reality in 1991 through the generosity of
Charlotte Smith Mailliard, widow of John Ward Mailliard III (and later
Mrs. Melvin Swig). Previous interviews with Congressman Mailliard for
the Earl Warren Oral History Project and the Former Members of Congress
Project, available in The Bancroft Library, deal with his career in
public life. The present narrative was recorded to preserve his account
of the history of the Mailliard family.
Bill Mailliard' s narrative has the gusto of the born raconteur. He
had always enjoyed visiting with his numerous older relatives and
remembers their stories well. The first California Mailliard was Adolph,
who may or may not have been related to the Bonaparte King of Sicily.
Adolph 's wife, Annie Ward, was from a noted New England literary family;
they arrived in Marin County in 1868 with a string of thoroughbred horses
and set about developing an elusive gold mine on their property.
Their eldest son, the first John Ward Mailliard, established an
international wholesale grocery business that continues to flourish
today, even though Adolph disapproved of the family going into trade.
John married Lizzie Page, whose father brought half his brood to San
Francisco from Chile and helped rebuild the city after the 1906 fire; her
mother was a Liljewalch with ancient Danish connections. John's brother
Joseph was a talented natural history collector and the first curator of
the California Academy of Sciences, which the family continues to
John Ward Mailliard, Jr. , sat on over twenty company boards and city
commissions while overseeing the Mailliard & Schmeidell Company. He was
president of the Police Commission during the 1923 General Strike and, as
treasurer of the state Republican Central Committee, was a key advisor to
Governor Earl Warren in the forties. Ward, as he was known, married the
lovely Kate Peterson of Belvedere in 1913, when she was eighteen. They
went on a hunting trip in Mendocino County for their honeymoon.
They soon began buying ranch land in the area. The property became
the center of much of their life. Kate taught their three sons and
numerous friends, thirteen grandchildren and other relatives the
importance of ranch chores and herself became a skilled sheep breeder.
Of the brothers, John Ward, III (known as Jack), and James spent weekends
and summers at the ranch throughout their lives. Jack (1914-1986) was a
skilled horseman and became president of the Cow Palace and chamber of
commerce, among other urban endeavors. Jim (1925-1974) was a member of
the San Francisco board of supervisors, a founder of the Guardsmen and
detail man for the family business. Their brother Bill chose a more
independent course in public life.
All three were in the armed services during World War II, and the
oral history contains a classic tale of the impromptu reunion they
managed on a muddy Pacific island. The narrative continues with
Congressman Mailliard's recollections of the almost bipartisan politics
of San Francisco in the fifties and sixties, when candidates could
crossfile on both party ballots and a labor leader could tell him that
the Democrats would be happy to have him as their candidate.
In 1963, the Republican Mailliards did back Democrat Jack Shelley in
the mayor's race. Mother Kate found she enjoyed campaigning and also
hostessing events for her son in Washington. The Shelley campaign
included an energetic and talented newcomer from Texas, Charlotte Smith,
who later married Jack Mailliard and became devoted to her new family.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Jack continued to
sponsor civic activities. His encouragement plus Charlotte's talent for
creating gala occasions have given the city a host of memorable
occasions, such as the Black and White Ball in honor of the San Francisco
Symphony which now spreads half a dozen dance bands over as many venues
in order to accommodate all those who wish to party for a good cause .
It is this sense of enjoyment of the variety of life and enthusiasm
for participating in what's going on in the community that appears
throughout the Mailliard story. In following their adventures, the
reader can trace the flavor of life in San Francisco from the 1870s into
the 1970s. Now, in the nineties, there are changes in the structure and
institutions of the city and a new generation of leadership is emerging.
This oral history offers an opportunity to enrich what is to come by
connecting it with the traditions of the past.
Five interviews with Congressman Mailliard were recorded in February
and March 1991. Four sessions were held in Charlotte Mailliard Swig's
charming penthouse atop Russian Hill. Mrs. Swig sat in on all but the
second session and added helpful questions and comments. After the third
session, she provided a pleasant lunch; Kelvin Swig joined the group
briefly and he and Mailliard exchanged a few anecdotes about their mutual
friend, U.S. Chief Justice Earl Varren.
The fifth session was recorded at the family ranch in Mendocino,
where lunch was provided in the sunny farmhouse kitchen by Mrs .
Mailliard. An attractive person of medium build, Mr. Mailliard was
urbane and well-tailored. At the ranch he relaxed in khakis and
comfortable well -used work boots.
Charlotte Mailliard Swig graciously agreed to augment the narrative
with a sixth session that was taped in May 1991 to collect her memories
of Jack and Jim Mailliard during the years when their brother was in
Washington. In addition, she provides a lively picture of her vigorous
mother-in-law, Kate Mailliard.
The Mailliard family papers in The Bancroft Library were consulted
in planning the interviews. Cynthia Taves, a family friend, also
provided helpful background. Mailliard' s congressional papers too are at
The Bancroft Library. Early family records are at Yale University, and
some memorabilia are at the California Academy of Sciences.
After preliminary editing by the interviewer to check details and
remove repetitive passages, the transcript was sent to Mr. Mailliard at
his home in Washington, D.C. , for review. He returned the manuscript
with a few minor corrections and deletions early in June 1992. On June
10 he died while on his way to San Francisco to celebrate his birthday.
Charlotte Mailliard Swig's review of her portion of the manuscript was
delayed by the death of her second husband, Melvin Swig.
The congressman's widow, Millicent Fox Mailliard, kindly provided
additional assistance needed in completion of the volume. Special thanks
are due to University Archivist William Roberts for his note describing
the Mailliard Family Papers in The Bancroft Library.
The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to augment
through tape-recorded memoirs the Library's materials on the history of
California and the West. The office is under the direction of Willa K.
Baum, and is an administrative division of The Bancroft Library of the
University of California, Berkeley.
Regional Oral History Office
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
June 11, 1992
Dies of Heart Attack
By Jack Viet*
Cttronlett Stuff Writer
Former San Francisco Con
gressman William S. Mailliard
collapsed and died from a heart
attack at Dulles International
Airport near Washington, D.C.,
Mailliard and his wife, Milli-
cent. were preparing to fly west
for a celebration of his 75th birth
day at the Mailliard Ranch in Men-
docino County when he was strick
His seven children, six grand
children, nieces and nephews and
sister-in-law Charlotte Mailliard
Swig were scheduled to attend the
family birthday reunion.
Mailliard. a third-generation
San Franciscan from a family long
active in San Francisco social, cul
tural and business affairs, repre
sented his city in the House of Rep
resentatives for 21 years.
He retired from the House in
early 1974 after he was nominated
by President Richard Nixon to be
the U.S. ambassador to the Organi
zation of American States.
His old heavily Republican
Fourth Congressional District had
been reapportioned to include
strong Democratic areas of the
city and part of Marin County, and
he decided not to seek re-election.
Democrat John Burton succeeded
him in the seat, which is currently
held by Barbara Boxer.
Before he left the House to be
come OAS ambassador, Mailliard
touched on a theme that is being
echoed today by politicians who
are retiring from Congress
"It is not only that the job has
become a great deal more demand
ing and difficult; (the House) has
become bad-temperered," Mail
liard said. "It isn't fun anymore.
Politics has become much more
polarized. . . ."
He retired from Mouse in '74
In the House, Mailliard was the
ranking Republican member of
the Foreign Affairs Committee
and a senior member of the Mer
chant Marine and Fisheries Com
He was most proud of his work
on the legislation that created the
Point Reyes National Seashore and
the Golden Gate National Recre
ation Area. He was a co-sponsor
with the late Phillip Burton of the
bill that created the Golden Gate
After retiring as OAS ambassa
dor when Democrat Jimmy Carter
was elected president in 1976, Mail
liard became active in the Former
Members of Congress organiza
tion, serving as both secretary and
president and representing the
United States at numerous foreign
Mailliard, a 1939 graduate of
Yale University, was visiting in
London when World War II erupt
ed. Three days before England de
clared war on Nazi Germany, he
volunteered to serve as an assis
tant naval attache in the U.S. Em
Later, during three years of
combat duty in the Southwest Pa
cific, he took part in the planning
and execution of 56 amphibious as
sault landings. He was awarded a
Silver Star, a Bronze Star and nu
merous campaign ribbons. After
the war, he served as an admiral in
the Navy Reserve.
Mailliard was a member of the
Pacific Union Club.
In addition to his wife, he is sur
vived by his children, William S.
Mailliard Jr. of Petaluma, Anto
inette Mailliard of San Francisco,
Henry Ward Mailliard of Watson-
ville, Kristina Mailliard of Santa
Rosa, Julia Ward Mailliard of
Washington, D.C., Josephine Mail
liard Fleming of Arlington, Va.,
and Victoria Leigh Mailliard of
Connecticut and by six grandchild
Funeral services will be held at
2 p.m. Monday at St. Luke's Episco
pal Church at Van Ness Avenue
and Clay Street in San Francisco.
The family prefers memorial gifts
to the Mailliard Scholarship Fund
at Taft School, Watertown, Conn.
06795, or to the California Acade
my of Sciences.
I WASHINGTON, D.C. RECOLLECTIONS
[Interview 1: February 13, 1991 J" 1
Reference Materials Available
Mailliard: You know, when I was cleaning out Mother's house, I didn't even
look at a lot of this stuff. And when I showed it to Jim
[Hart], he just kept saying, "Yes, I want it! Yes, I want it!
Morris: I can believe it!
Mailliard: I still have a lot of stuff in Washington that I should send,
but it's one of those things that I keep putting off.
Morris: Is it California material or congressional or your work with
OAS [Organization of American States]?
Mailliard: It's mostly OAS, I think.
Morris: OAS undoubtedly has its own organizational archive, and they
might really like your material to fill in their holdings.
Mailliard: I doubt it. I don't think I'd have anything that they wouldn't
have. I never kept any kind of confidential diaries or
anything like that in any of my jobs.
Morris: Why not?
Mailliard: I had a completely open door. I mean, nothing was ever locked.
It was all open to anybody. Stuff I didn't want repeated I
kept in my head.
Morris: That's the best kind of security there is.
Mailliard: I Just didn't keep any records. I just didn't keep any
records. What I really was going to do was to send it to you
folks and let you toss whatever you don't want.
symbol (////) indicates the beginning of a tape or segment of
tape. For a guide to the tapes, see page following transcript.
Unless it's California, you're not really interested?
Pretty much. In general, archivists feel that the best place
for historical materials is with the organization that created
them. Therefore, Berkeley is trying to concentrate on
California and the Bay Area.
My congressional stuff was all in the state library, and then 1
had to transfer it to Bancroft. The state library didn't want
it any more .
Yes. It was transferred to Bancroft. I told Jim then that if
they were going to go through it, they could throw anything
away that they didn't think was of any use.
That's what we usually say.
us permission to do that.
You're just ahead of us in giving
For instance, all the casework that a congressman does [for
constituents]. You have it all. That might be of some
interest, I suppose, but then again, it might not. If you have
a lot of congressional stuff, you must have it coming out of
your ears !
Fellow Congressman Phillip Burton
Morris: It's interesting that we have not only your papers, but we have
Phil Burton's papers, so we've got both sides of the aisle
overlapping for a number of years.
Mailliard: I don't know whether you ever got anything from [former
Congressman and Mayor] Jack Shelley or not, but probably not.
He would have been USF [University of San Francisco] -oriented,
Morris: I don't believe The Bancroft Library has any of his papers.
One of the things I want to mention is that John Jacobs , who is
a political reporter for the Examiner, who is now on a year's
leave from the Examiner doing a biography of Phil Burton- -
Mailliard: A woman came to see me who is doing a biography of Phil Burton,
and I spent a half a day with her.
Morris: Jacobs asked if I would please tell the congressman that I
would like to talk to him, too. I said I would convey that.
Mailliard: I'll tell you what I told this girl. I said, "You know, Phil
Burton was a very unusual fellow, and he had a lot of very
unattractive qualities and a lot of very attractive qualities."
He could be a holy terror. First, he was very unusual because
he had no other interests. It was politics seven days a week.
He had no children; he had no sports that he was interested in.
He was purely a political animal.
Morris: Even before he went into politics? Vas he always directed
towards going into politics, first in the legislature and then
to the Congress?
Mailliard: Veil, I never knew him then, and I never had heard of him even
until he beat Tom Maloney, who was considered to be unbeatable
for the state legislature.
Morris: That's unusual.
Mailliard: I never had heard of him before that. But then, of course, 1
got to know him extremely well. You know, he had a very
abrasive personality. My wife wouldn't have him in the house.
His manners were atrocious, [chuckles]
Morris: In the sixties when he was elected was kind of a new phase in
politics in the Bay Area, wasn't it?
Mailliard: Yes, because he was a great organizer.
Morris: In the sense of union organizing, labor union organizing?
Mailliard: No. He was a political organizer. A very interesting
beginning career because he ran against a dead man and lost.
Morris: That's spooky.
Mailliard: The dead man won.
Morris: And then somebody appointed Maloney?
Mailliard: No, no. That was in a different district. Tommy Maloney had
been a labor Republican forever and ever and ever, and nobody
ever ran against him. Phil decided that he could beat him, and
he did it.
Morris: By good organizing?
Morris: Neighborhood, kind of door-to-door?
Nailliard: I don't know because I wasn't paying any attention.
Early Diitrict Office
Morris: Did you have a watcher here in San Francisco?
Nailliard: Not in those early days. Burton really was the one- -he forced
me to do it because he did it, and I had to do it in self-
defense. But when Shelley had that seat [1953-1964], we closed
our San Francisco offices unless we were here. Ve had nobody
Morris: You didn't have somebody who was kind of your field campaign
Mailliard: No. We put together a campaign every two years, and that was
that. But of course, don't forget, Congress wasn't in session
the way it is now. We were home in the fall. I'd bring some
of my Washington staff out and then open the office from
probably August to January. Well, then pretty soon the
Congress was in session all year round. Eventually, I had an
office both in San Rafael and in the city. But in those early
days, we only got one paid trip home a session. The rest of
time, if you wanted to come out to your district, you paid for
Now they get thirty-six trips a year or something. Maybe
it's more than that by now. [laughs] They're out here every
weekend. Don't forget, now it takes four and a half to five
hours to make the trip, and in those days, it was nine, ten
hours. It was a long haul, and people didn't expect you to--
When Congress was in session, you were in Washington. It's a
totally different game now. I won't bother you with my
opinions about that.
Morris: Well, they're useful. This is a rare opportunity to talk to
somebody ten years after they first recorded their
experience. 1 A lot of things have happened since then, so
whenever the spirit moves you to add some more comments about
Congress or California politics, please do so. It's always
useful to have additional details.
1 See Mailliard' s interview on his congressional career, recorded for
the Former Members of Congress project. Copy in The Bancroft Library.
II DISTINGUISHED FAMILY CONNECTIONS
The Wards and the Bonapartes
Morris: Going through the Mailliard papers in The Bancroft Library
makes me feel a bit like I've been reading somebody else's
mail. I feel as if I know your family very well, and I will
probably be very rude and call them all by their first names,
since I've been reading about your parents as Kate and Uard. ]
have made an outline for our discussions of the things that we
like to ask.
I'll do my best to fill you in on the family stories, because
I'm the last one around.
Morris: That's kind of startling. You had two brothers and you were
all born not that far apart.
Mailliard: Well, Jim was quite a little bit younger. Jack was born in
1914, I was born in 1917, and Jim was born in 1925.
Morris: He was a post-war baby. Did your father go to Europe in World
Mailliard: No, he never went overseas. He was in the army, but the war
ended before he left the country.
Morris: You put me on to Three Saints and A Sinner, 1 and I came across
a couple of reviews of it that were really interesting. One of
them was by Henry Steele Commager, who was quite a noted
Subtitled "Julia Ward Howe, Louisa, Ann<e and Sam Ward," Louise
Hall Tharp, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1956.
Mail Hard: I remember the name,
I don't think I ever read anything of
Morris: Some of his books are rather tedious, but he has interesting
ideas. He says, "Much of English history, particularly
intellectual and artistic history, can be told in terms of
great families: families that have a traditional connection
with famous schools and colleges; families that are wonderfully
interconnected. There is very little of this in America, for
the American environment disperses families, and the American
social climate fragments rather than consolidates." 1
That really caught my eye because, in effect, that's what
we're after- -the way your family pulls together so many strains
from so many places.
Mailliard: Let's start there, and you break in with any questions you
want. Start off with the Mailliard family. We know that Louis
Mailliard came to America with Joseph Bonaparte [in 1815], and
as you probably have discovered, it has been in print many,
many times that he was the illegitimate son of Joseph
Morris: It never says who his mother was.
Mailliard: I don't believe it. I think this is a family myth.
Morris: Do you? [laughs]
Mailliard: Not only that, butI'll send you this stuff; I didn't bring it
with me this time- -there never was any mention in the family of
any other Mailliard but Louis. I got a letter a few years ago
from a woman in Santa Rosa who says there were three brothers,
that were all involved with Joseph Bonaparte . The youngest
brother died fairly young, and the other one's name was--
however you want to say it in French or English- -Eloi , who
settled in Illinois.
If this is true, and I don't have any reason to believe it
isn't, there must have been a complete separation of the
family. I wouldn't be surprised if Adolph was probably
somewhat of a snob, and when he married a daughter of the old
New England Ward family, he considered himself in a different
class than anybody else in his family.
: Henry Steele Commager, "The Story of a Magnificent Family,"
(review of Three Saints and a Sinner), The New York Times Book Review,
September 30, 1956. See appendix.
If it is true that there was a brother, Eloi, who was a
barber and was with Joseph Bonaparte right to the end as a
valet, there was something of a class distinction when you
consider that Louis, the older brother, was Joseph's secretary
and managed his affairs and was his confidante and so on.
And, according to some of this other material, it was a
fairly well-known family in the vicinity of Chantilly north of
Paris where Joseph Bonaparte had his mansion, which is called
Mortef ontaine . Both brothers (and Adolph, of course) spelled
Mailliard with the extra i- -which in most cases it doesn't
have. Halliard is a fairly common name in France and a common
name in Switzerland and several other places.
[interruption. Charlotte Mailliard Swig enters; her comments
are identified by "C.M. Swig")
Mailliard: That's Adolph Mailliard sitting down. [Nods toward full-length
portrait at end of Swig drawing room]
C.W. Swig: The attractive one.
Morris: The one with the handsome beard?
Mailliard: Yes. And the other person in the painting is Prince Joseph
Bonaparte, who was Joseph Bonaparte's grandson, and whose
parents were cousins. He was a Bonaparte on both sides. His
mother was Zenaide, who was Joseph's daughter, and his father
was Napoleon Ill's older brother. And they were great buddies.
I don't think the Bonapartes and Mailliards are related at
all. I think that's a family myth. But it's been repeated so
often that it's accepted as fact.
Morris: And it has become sort of a cachet to have an illegitimate
prince in the family.
C.M. Swig: But that story goes back so far.
Mailliard: It goes back very far, but there isn't any evidence whatsoever.
Knowing my Grandmother Page, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if
she made it up.
C.M. Swig: But the story goes back long before she could have told--
Mailllard: That's true. One of the things that I think I gave to Bancroft
was an article from a racing magazine. It goes back quite a
long ways talking about Adolph and his horses- -you know, his
faaous stallion, Monday, who sired practically all the
racehorses in California. In that publication, whatever it is-
-it's called the Thoroughbred or something- -it says that Louis
Mailliard was the illegitimate son of King Joseph Bonaparte.
Morris: Veil, it also turns up in Gertrude Atherton' s book, My San
Mailliard: I know. All right, I can give you that one. I walked into the
room one day when my grandmother was on the phone , and I heard
her telling all this family lore, and I said, "Nana, who were
you talking to?" "Oh," she said, "I was talking to Mrs.
Atherton." I said, "Well, practically everything you told her
was wrong." She said, "Never mind, never mind." [laughs]
"It's a good story." That chapter in Dirty Gertie's book on
the Mailliard-Page clan, if I remember correctly- -
C.M. Swig: Why do you call her "Dirty Gertie?"
Mailliard: Everybody called her Dirty Gertie.
C.M. Swig: Why? Did she tell dirty stories?
Mailliard: She was quite a bit of a gossip. And she wrote this scandalous
book that absolutely shocked the town called- -now I can't
remember. But it was a novel about a woman who was eternally
young and had the use of monkey glands in some peculiar way.
It was considered totally scandalous. And I think maybe that's
why she was called Dirty Gertie. I don't know.
But when I grew up, I always knew her as Dirty Gertie, and
she lived to be an old lady. I remember she drove this bright
yellow Fierce-Arrow automobile, and I don't think she could see
as far as the radiator cap . Everybody got out of the way when
that car came charging down the street.
Anyway, Nana was talking to Gertrude Atherton while she
was writing this book. Most of it is hogwash. And the
scandalous stories made the book even more popular.
A Wayward Biography (Indianapolis, New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co.,
The Page Family: Marriage of Marin and Sonoma Countlet
Morris: Which of your grandmothers Is Nana?
Mailliard: Lizzie Page Mailliard, who, incidentally, was christened
Lizzie. She never was Elizabeth or anything else.
C.W. Swig: So that's the beginning of the Pages and the Mailliards being
Mailliard: That's right.
Morris: And she's the Chilean connection.
Mailliard: She was born in Valparaiso. And Dr. [Thomas Stokes] Page and
that's another thing I'm going to send youI've got a copy of
the diary that he wrote. It's not very interesting reading. I
can say that. It is about his trip from Philadelphia by way of
Europe around the horn to Valparaiso.
C.W. Swig: That's the long way around.
Mailliard: Yes, but he probably wanted to travel in Europe I guess.
Anyway, he was a medical doctor, and he was hired as the
company doctor by a British company that had coal mines in
Morris: Really? I didn't think that many companies were that
enlightened in the early 1800s.
Mailliard: I'm only telling you what I've been told, [chuckles]
After he had been there a while, he married the daughter
of the Swedish consul general, and they had thirteen children.
C.W. Swig: Was that Anna Liljevalch?
Mailliard: Yes. I don't even know how to spell it.
Morris: It's got several spellings. Actually, the name was Persson,
and their country property was called something water, which
corresponds to Liljevalch. There's a rather complete
description of that branch of the family. 1 They were military
people since the 1600s.
J In Mailliard family papers in The Bancroft Library.
Mail Hard: I don't know anything about the Swedish side, and I don't know
anything about the Page side of it, except starting with Dr.
Thomas Stokes Page.
To finish that little piece, his oldest son, Olof--
naturally, since he'd married a Swede- -came to this country,
went to Yale, became a doctor, married a Mary Ann Delano, and
went back to Chile and took over his father's practice. Then
Dr. Page bought the Cotati ranch in Sonoma County. They had a
house in San Rafael, as did the Mailliards. The Mailliards
also had a ranch at San Geronimo, and they said when Jack
Mailliard married Lizzie Page, it was the marriage of Marin and
Sonoma County . [ laughs ]
C.M. Swig: How big was the property at that time?
Mailliard: I don't know if it was ever very big.
C.M. Swig: 1 thought it was, because we'd drive along that road toward Pt.
Reyes, and Jack would say, "All that land on that side was
Page . "
Mailliard: Well, Jack never let the truth get in the way of a good story,
either, [chuckles] I don't think so. My guess is that it was
maybe, at the most, three or four thousand acres. But the
ranch in Cotati was a dairy ranch. Much better land than San
Geronimo and much better land than the Mendocino County ranch.
It did very well as a dairy ranch.
I don't know when Dr. Page died , but both the San
Geronimo ranch and the Cotati ranch went broke, and the
property was all sold off long before my time.
C.M. Swig: Was it because of hard times?
Mailliard: I really don't know. If anybody wanted to follow the Page
thing, I think either my cousin, Thomas Stokes Page named
after the doctor or one of the Skewes-Cox kids would probably
know. I had lunch with Tom in Washington the other day, and he
said that the Pages had lived in New Jersey for a long time and
eventually moved to Philadelphia. But I know nothing about
that; we never talked about it.
It's a fairly common English name. I mean, you look in
the phone book, and there are millions of Pages. If they all
had thirteen children like Thomas Stokes did, I would imagine
that there would be a lot of them.
Morris: Yes, indeed.
I'm interested in the Chilean-California connection. In
one of the papers 1 read, it sounded as if the elder Dr. Page
had health problems and brought half of those children to the
Yes. All the younger children cane with him, and I presume his
wife had died. Nobody ever mentions her. The younger
children, of which my grandmother was one, all cane to Cotati.
The older children were grown up and established in Chile.
I've been down there. I had a big evening. They gave me
a party down there one time, and there were fifty second
cousins! And they all looked alike.
Well, all the Mailliards look alike,
Have you ever noticed
It's the Page blood. And even the different generations. I
mean, pictures of my father at the age of about eight or nine,
and me about eight or nine, and my oldest son [William Somers
Mailliard, Jr.] about eight or nine, and his oldest son- -I
can't tell which is which except by the clothes we wear.
There's one of your son in his choir boy robes, which I came
Yes, I guess he was at Saint Luke.
He's the only choir boy I saw in the family photo collection.
Yes. We weren't big on choir boys.
The whole family sang, though.
They all sang, but not in church.
Roofing Grace Cathedral in the 1960s: Bishop Pike
Morris: But you did help build Grace Cathedral somewhere back along the
Mailliard: Jack did. Jack was co-chairman. He and Peter McBean were the
co-chairmen of the big drive to finally finish the damn thing.
It had been sitting there for forty years with no top on it!
Morris: That's what I've heard, but I'm a fairly recent California!!, so
I don't know if it was there open to the heavens --
Maill lard: No, no. It was covered. All it really had were the
foundations and a one -story building that had a temporary roof
on it and that sat there for twenty, twenty-five years.
C.M. Swig: And they did raise the money for the doors --the bronze doors.
Mailliard: Again, I don't guarantee you the truth of it, but my brother
insisted that he agreed to be co-chairman on the condition that
he didn't have to ever go in the place, [laughs] It wouldn't
surprise me if it were true .
C.M. Swig: Did you ever know Bishop [James] Pike?
Mailliard: Oh, yes. Had to tell him that he was drinking too many
C.M. Swig: Yes, Peter Me Bean and Jack Mailliard were assigned to go and
tell the bishop that he drank too much. So they parked their
cars at the P. U. [Pacific Union] Club--they were meeting at
eleven o'clock- -and their big decision was whether to have a
martini before they talked to him or after.
Peter would say they needed a drink first. Then Jack says
he said that we must go and talk to him first, and then we'll
come back and have a drink. So they walked over to the church,
and (the bishop used to call Jack, "Boy") he said, "Boy, sit
down." And Jack said, "No, we're going to stand up for this."
So he and Peter stood there like a pair of guardsmen and
said that they'd been asked to tell him that his drinking was
causing comment and it was feared it would interfere with his
responsibilities. I guess Pike just gave them this cold stare,
and after taking care of that message of mercy, they ran back
to the P.U. Club and got a double martini! [laughs]
Morris: You can't really tell somebody he drinks too much if you've got
whiskey on your breath!
Mailliard: Well, of course, Jim Pike was such an oddball anyway.
Morris: How did he happen to get called to California? He was a Yankee
Mailliard: Yes, what a strange character. Born a Roman Catholic, became a
belligerent atheist, and eventually an Episcopal bishop. I'll
tell you, that's covering the ground! [laughs] And eventually
disappeared in the desert.
I knew him. He came in to see me when 1 was in Congress
one time and wanted me to sign a discharge petition on some
bill that I didn't want to do. Finally, I said, "Jim, I don't
tell you how to run your services at Grace Cathedral. Now
don't you tell me how to run my business!" He said, "You know,
I think that's a reasonable position." And he left.
He was something of a nuisance. He was getting goofy,
really. And then his son had died, and he was big on
communicating with him, too.
The Pages in Chile
To continue a little bit with the Pages, of those thirteen
children, some died fairly young. I asked my grandmother once
to name them, and she would go on: Olof, George, so forth; and
then she'd say, "Now, what was that little girl's name?" That
one didn't last to maturity.
The younger one was also a doctor, Olof.
and had a practice there.
He went back to Chile
Oh, yes. His son was the one that gave the party for me in
Santiago. And we looked very much alike. 1 went with him to
the races one day in Santiago, and people would come up to him
and say, "Well, this must be one of your California cousins."
Ve definitely looked alike. We're about the same age.
There's both a Danish side of the family and then the Swedish.
But Danish is Mother, though. That's not the Page side of the
family; that's Peterson. Let's try to follow the Pages through
a little bit; although 1 don't know too much about them.
My recollection is that there are about five other
children or six, maybe, that came to California with him. The
other one that I knew very well, married two Chileans- -
brothers. One died, George Smith, whom she married in 1879;
and then she married the other one [Benito Forbes Smith, in
1890.] They were very wealthy. Had the distinguished Chilean
name of Smith. That was Anita [born about 1850.] She was one
of the older ones. This was Edith [Page] Skeves- Cox's mother.
Edith, I think, was born in Chile [Valparaiso, 1893.]
But then she came here and sort of tried to become the
grand dame of the family because she had a lot of money.
C.M. Swig: How did that work out?
Mai 11 lard: Nobody bought it.
C.M. Swig: So she married Mr. [Vernon] Skewes-Cox. That's how the Skewes-
Coxes are all over the Page family side.
Morris: Let me make sure we've got this right. Anita Smith married a
Mailliard: No. Anita was a Page, one of Dr. Page's children; one of the
older children who stayed in Chile but eventually came to San
Francisco [in 1919] as a very wealthy widow, having survived
two husbands who were brothers.
C.M. Swig: She was your grandmother's sister.
Mailliard: That's right. Her daughter Edith married Mr. Skewes-Cox;
there are a lot of Skewes- Coxes around. And her husband was an
Englishman, Vernon Skewes-Cox. Did you ever know him?
C.M. Swig: No.
Mailliard: Nice guy, but she was a terror. The poor guy. Did exactly
what he was told, or he was in deep, deep trouble.
Morris: That doesn't sound like an Englishman- -
Mailliard: But it was, I'll tell you. Well, I don't know. Englishmen,
especially if they married for money, which I think he did--
Anyway, he was a very nice fellow.
Morris: Did they do something else in Chile besides doctoring? I had
the feeling that there was a--
Mailliard: Yes, but I honestly don't know very much about it. I've met a
lot of them, but I didn't keep any notes, and my memory is not
There, as often happens in Latin America, some of them got
a double-barrelled name. One branch of the family was known as
Brown- Page- -hyphenated. And Doris Brown-Page, whom I met,
probably long gone now, interestingly enough was married to the
senator from Valparaiso, who had a Czechoslovak! an name - -
Breklovic or something like that. She was very attractive; a
very attractive woman.
Morris: Some Spanish ancestry, as well as Northern European?
Mailliard: I don't think so. Although Chile was part of the Spanish
empire, the people there --an awful lot of themwere Irish,
English. I mean, the great naval hero of Chile was an
Irishman. What was his name? [O'Higgins] One of their ships
is named after him. There were some Spanish there, all right,
but an awful lot of them were Northern Europeans.
Morris: And there weren't many indigenous, local people before the
Mailliard: Very few, and they are still there. They stay to themselves.
Morris: Because Chile is sort of separated from the rest of the
continent by mountains?
Mailliard: I don't know. There was a very close connection in those days
between California and Chile. They had very similar climates,
and they had the mountains and the highly productive central
valley just like California. And since there was no Panama
Canal from Chile to go to Europe or anywhere, they had to go
around the Horn. So there was a very close connection between
Chile and California up until the time the Panama Canal was
Morris: Would Chile and California have been interested in the building
of the Panama Canal, or did that cut into their shipping?
Mailliard: I don't know. I would suppose so, but certainly for Chile, it
made a route to Europe and a route to the East Coast of the
United States, where the heavy population was. So for their
exports , I would think the Panama Canal was very important , but
I don't have any firsthand knowledge of that.
Is it the Chilean family connection that led to the family
going into the export and import of foodstuffs?
No. No connection,
A couple of Nana's brothers were in the
One of her brothers , Arthur Page , whom I
knew as a little boy, was married to Emelita Ralston of the
ilver-king family, founders of the Bank of California
C.M. Swig: And the Palace Hotel.
Mailliard: That's right.
C.M. Swig: In fact, we're having a party this summer at the Palace Hotel
to re-open the Garden Court. There are two families involved.
One is the descendants of William Ralston, who built the
Palace, and the other is the descendants of William Sharon, who
bought the hotel from Ralston. Ve are to get all of our family
members and go to this party in honor of Ralston and Sharon.
There aren't that many Sharon descendants around, but there are
a lot of Pages. Actually, the current Charles Page was the
architect for the restoration of the Garden Court and the
outside of the building.
Mailliard: Well, Bill Ralston had two daughters. One married Arthur Page,
and to make it more complicated, Page Mailliard' s first wife
was the daughter of Emelita's sister.
C.M. Swig: So these two sisters married a Page and a Mailliard.
Mailliard: These two Ralston girls- -their children married each other.
So, for instance, Patricia Mailliard and Dick are direct
descendants of Ralston through their mother.
Morris: And he was one of the people who owned the silver mines --
Mailliard: Veil- -he was more of a manipulator. He was a banker who
invested in the mines.
But anyway, the families were intermarried in two
different generations. Tom Page told me about this. He found
an interesting article about the Ralstons. Page Buckingham,
whom I haven't seen for thirty years, I guess, was Arthur
Page's grandson, so he's a direct descendent of Ralston.
Morris: Is there still a branch of the family named Ralston?
Mailliard: There were no sons; Just the two daughters. Emelita's son was
Ralston Page. I don't know whether he's still alive or not.
Morris: You'd better come out for this reopening of the Palace Court.
Mailliard: I'm not a Ralston! [laughs]
The Ward* of Newport. Rhode I land
Morris: The interrelationships are marvelous. I guess what it says is
that at one time San Francisco was a small town, and people had
large families, and their sons and daughters married into their
business associates' families.
Mail Hard: Yes; but, of course, the Mailliards and the Pages were
originally strictly North Bay. They had very little to do with
San Francisco, but they knew everybody in San Francisco.
Then when my grandfather, the original John Vard
Mailliard, started Mailliard and Schmeidell Company, his
father, Adolph, practically never spoke to him again because he
went into trade. This uppity Frenchman who got his
respectability by marrying a Vard. [laughs]
Morris: The Wards had Boston gentility, and going into the wholesale
grocery business was seen as coming down in the world?
Mailliard: No, no. Not Boston. Newport. I have a book, so I won't go
into this a lot. I've got a book on the genealogy of the Vard
family. But just to give you an example, one Vard was governor
of the colony of Rhode Island, and his grandson was the
governor of the state.
Morris: But then by the time we get down to the third Sam Vard, who was
Adolph Mailliard' s chum, that Sam Vard was the sinner in the
well-known Three Saints and a Sinner book. It sounds like he
was a charming rascal. The quote I came across was, "He went
through the family fortunes, including his sister's."
Mailliard: Several times. His first wife was an Astor, but the Astors
never let loose of any of their money. They didn't trust him.
She died fairly early on, and then he married Medora Grimes
from New Orleans. She was, apparently, a very attractive
three-cornered bitch! Treated him very badly.
Yes, Sam went through a lot of money. He made a lot of
money and lost it all. He was a big spender.
Morris: He was a big lobbyist, I gather.
Mailliard: "King of the Lobby," they called him. There's also a book
called Sam Ward: King of the Lobby. Sam was very successful.
There was an article in a Vashington paper way back. In
one of the gossip columns, it said, "Vho is this strange man
seen kissing Mrs. Julia Ward Howe on the steps of the Willard
Hotel?" It was her brother! [laughs]
Morris: I'd like to read about his lobbying career.
Adolph Mailliard (1819-1906) m. Ann Eliza Ward (1824-1895)
John Ward Mailliard (1862-1936) m. Lizzie Page (1861-1950)
III FROM FRANCE TO AMERICA
Adoloh Mailliard Brines His Family to Vallelo. 1868
Morris: We need to go back to Adolph. I came across a wonderful letter
from Meta. 1 This is dated 1937. [See illustration next page]
She seems to have been a McAllister.
Mailliard: There was also a Meta Petersen on my mother's side. The
McAllisters and the Wards are related. They are cousins. Hall
McAllister was a noted lawyer in San Francisco.
When the Mailliards came out here, the McAllisters were
living up in Benicia. And the Mailliards stayed with them for
one solid year- -cattle, horses, children, maids!
Morris: "Four children, a governess, two maids, innumerable animals,
sheep, cows and horses, one valuable race horse," which
probably was Monday. "Father"- -the McAllister father- -"felt
the animals were an imposition, and he told Uncle Do," which
seems to be--
Mailliard: Adolph. That was his nickname.
Morris: "There were no men in the garden stables who understood the
care of race horses, and he could not be responsible. Uncle Do
left in a huff with his animals, and Benicia never saw him
Mailliard: That sounds right.
C.M. Swig: [laughs] I never knew he was called Do.
: Meta McAllister to Lizzie Page Mailliard, December 5, 1937, Mailliard
Family Papers, The Bancroft Library, Carton 1.
Mailliard: Some people called him Dolph, and then some cut it to Do.
Morris: Do sounds like a family diminutive.
The beginning of this letter is why I wanted to go back to
that first generation: "When Mr. Mailliard decided to bring
his family to California in order to keep Cousin Louisa away
from her admirers."
Mailliard: Aunt Lou.
Morris: And then, further down in this same letter, it says, "When the
beaux continued to come to San Rafael, Uncle Do moved his
family to the ranch." But that did not stop them, "and Uncle
Do decided to take them to Honolulu."
Mailliard: That's right. And Annie put her foot down.
Morris: It was the only time dear cousin Annie ever put her foot down,
according to this.
Mailliard: [Laughs] She said, "Honolulu? I am not going!"
C.M. Swig: But Aunt Louisa- -that was her sister?
Mailliard: No, daughter. This is Adolph's daughter, Aunt Lou, whom I knew
C.M. Swig: Adolph was married to Annie Ward?
Morris: And this procession to the McAllister's in Benicia included
Louisa Marguerite, referred to in Meta's letter as Louille, who
was born in New York, according to my research, and Cora, who
was born in 1855, and then Joseph.
Mailliard: Joseph and Jackthose were the four children. Two boys and
two girls .
C.M. Swig: Louisa- -they must have named her after her sister, because
Annie Ward had a sister named Louisa.
Mailliard: Yes. Louisa Crawford.
Morris: Did Louille ever marry?
Mailliard: [Great] Aunt Lou? No.
C.M. Swig: After all that? Isn't that sad.
Mailliard: I knew Aunt Lou very well, but I had never laid eyes on Aunt
Cora. So I asked my father one time, "Whatever happened to
Aunt Cora?" He said, "Veil, she died." And 1 said, "What was
she like?" He said, "1 don't remember her very well, except
that I don't think she was very bright, and she had a luxurious
moustache." [laughs] That was all I could get out of my father
about Aunt Cora.
C.M. Swig: So Aunt Lou lived with Uncle Joe, and he stuffed birds or eggs.
All of his collections are down at the Academy of Sciences.
Mailliard: Yes. He was curator for many years. That's why my father took
such an interest in the academy.
C.M. Swig: And they lived in the house that was right behind the Mailliard
house on Vallejo and Gough [2461 Cough Street].
Mailliard: That's right. The two brothers built those houses on the same
C.M. Swig: And Uncle Joe was an- -what do you call it?
Mailliard: An ornithologist.
C.M. Swig: And they were both unmarried?
Mailliard: Oh, no. Joe married. Oh, that was a scandal. She ran off
with the family coachman. She was a Tompkins , Emily Tompkins .
C.M. Swig: Were they at the ranch when she left?
Mailliard: I don't know.
C.M. Swig: And your grandfather offered a reward. Somebody sent me a
bunch of newspaper clippings. It was a big deal because they
thought she had just disappeared. Then when they found out
that, everything died; there were no more stories.
Mailliard: I don't know. All I know is that her name was Tompkins, which
was a very prominent Marin County family, partly Jewish, which
didn't please the family too much, apparently, at that stage of
the game. They had two children- -Ernie , whom you remember- -
C.M. Swig: Ernie [Ernest Chase, b. 1887] Mailliard, yes. Moanie and
Mailliard: Ernie had no children, and his sister died when she was about
eighteen or nineteen. She's buried over there in a cemetery
over in San Rafael. Her name was Rena [Rena Hort, 1884-1903.]
C.M. Swig: So Joe's wife is the one that left.
Mailliard: Yes. And then after that, he built the house on Vallejo
Street, and he and Aunt Lou lived there- -brother and sister. ]
used to go over there and visit with Aunt Lou when I was a
little kid. She was very charming.
Morris: Did she ever tell any tales about what sounds like an
absolutely marvelous young ladyhood?
Mailliard: I don't remember hearing any stories from Aunt Lou at all.
Morris: That's really sad. I've heard before of hauling the family
halfway around the world because a young daughter was seeing
Mailliard: Well, I think to Adolph, everybody was unsuitable. That's why
he retreated to San Geronimo, and then he turned the Jersey
C.M. Swig: Turned the bull loose?
Mailliard: To chase away the boyfriends; they were afraid to come to the
ranch house .
C.M. Swig: And then she never married.
With Joseph Bonaparte at Bordentovn. N.J. 1915
Morris: Before then, Adolph had been in fiordentown with Prince Joseph.
I gather it was quite an elaborate establishment.
Mailliard: It was at Point Breeze.
Morris: And at one point while you were in Congress (there's some
correspondence) somebody came to see you about getting that
property made part of the National Historic Trust.
Mailliard: I've forgotten that completely.
Morris: You've got to be careful what you put in the library.
Somebody's going to read it and come up with these questions.
Mailliard: We had a huge painting of Point Breeze. I was telling Peter
Freylinghausen, who was a congressman from New Jersey and a
very good friend of mine, about it, and 1 said, "You know, I
don't know why that's in California. I'm the only one in the
family that would have the remotest idea what the hell it was."
He said, "I bet the New Jersey Historical Society would go onto
that in a hurry." So I got Mother to give it to them.
C.M. Swig: Did she have the painting hung in the house?
Mailliard: Up in the attic. It was a big one. And so at my suggestion
she gave it to the New Jersey Historical Society.
Joseph built a palace there. He practically never lived
in it because he had a girlfriend in Philadelphia, and that's
where he spent most of his time.
C.M. Swig: Did he have a wife?
Mailliard: Yes, but I don't think she ever came to this country. She
stayed in France, I think. Or she may have lived in Italy.
And there's another interesting connection, because his wife
was a sister of Desiree, who became Queen of Sweden. She
married Bernadotte. Desiree was Napoleon's girlfriend, and
Joseph married the sister. Napoleon threw over Desiree, and
married her off to Marshal Bernadotte, who eventually became
King of Sweden.
Morris: Once the prince came over, did he settle here in the states, or
did he keep going back to Europe?
Mailliard: He eventually went back to France, and he died in Europe. He
went first to England and then to France. I guess when
Napoleon III came to power, it was safe for him to go back to
Morris: Did he come out here to California at all?
Mailliard: No, not that I ever heard of.
Adolch's Gold Mine and Other Ventures
Morris: There's some correspondence that suggests that he perhaps put
one money into some of the Mailliard family enterprises in
Mailliard: Well, Adolph was always scrounging money from the Bonapartes
for his mythical gold mine at San Geronimo, which never
Morris: According to the correspondence, it sounded as if the prince
was not happy. It read as if he had put up some money for a
gold mine on fairly short notice. He was going to get his
money back with large interest in just a short time.
Mailliard: That was Adolph. He was a dreamer. Nobody knows whether he
believed it himself or not. He might have, but he scrounged
money anywhere he could get it, and eventually went broke. I
mean, at one time they had to buy the ranch back. That's why
it's very interesting if you look on some of the old maps, they
show the San Geronimo ranch belonging to Mrs. Annie Vard
C.M. Swig: Yes. I just read something where someone gave some money, and
they wouldn't let it be put in Adolph 's name because, I guess,
of all his wheeling and dealing.
Mailliard: I think that's right. I don't remember, but I think they all
had to do with this debt. I think the Ward family finally
bailed him out, but they made sure that the property went into
her name and not his .
Morris: Was Annie reported to be a strong-minded lady who did take a
hand in family finances or decision-making?
Mailliard: I think so, because all those financial records and so on--
housekeeping records- -that I told you were in the Yale library,
they're all in her handwriting.
C.M. Swig: These are at Yale?
Mailliard: Jim Babb came out here, who was the longtime head of the
Sterling Library, and conned Dad into giving him all this
: See Mailliard family papers in The Bancroft Library.
Louii Mall Hard and Angel toue Marguerite Bedet
Louis Mailliard went back to Europe?
Yes. He managed the prince's affairs and would have travelled
with him. And Adolph, too, when he completed his studies in
France, was also a secretary to Prince Joseph.
He served as a secretary or an aide to Joseph,
friend, as well?
Vas he his good
Yes, he was the executor of his estate and everything else.
That's why I was just telling you about this mysterious brother
supposedly in Illinois that I had never heard of.
My son, Bill, got a letter and sent it on to me, which I
still have, from a woman in Santa Rosa who claims she's a
descendent of Louis.
Mailliard: --years ago when I was in Paris, I went out to Chantilly and
found that Mailliard with the second i, which is an unusual
spelling, was a well-known family in that area, which is where
Joseph lived long before he became king of anything. That's
why I frankly think it is likely that we are part of that
According to this letter, there were three Mailliard
brothers- -all worked for King Joseph at one time or another- -
and one of them was a barber. I think that Great grandfather
Louis probably had nothing to do with his brother after he
became Joseph's secretary; he considered a barber beneath
himself. Or maybe it was later, Adolph considered himself
superior to the French uncles after he got married to a Vard.
C.M. Swig: And then there was another brother, somebody said.
Mailliard: Yes, who died fairly young. Nobody knows what happened to him.
But this other family somehow got to Illinois. This is all a
little bit hazy.
C.M. Swig: Who was Louis' wife?
Mailliard: She was Marguerite Redet, wasn't she?
Morris: Yes. Marguerite Angelique Redet. She died shortly after
Adolph was born. There's this sad tale that she died ten days
after Adolph was born [in 1819 in Bordentown] , and at age two
and a half, Adolph was sent back to his grandfather in
France. 1 Who sent him to boarding school at age five and to
college, under the name of "Henri Lustre," in the care of a
You wonder who looked after him when he was a toddler , or
if he just rattled around the estate in Bordentown?
Mailliard: I don't know.
Morris: Then at some point, he came back to Bordentown, presumably on
some business for the Bonapartes. Because I came across a
letter from Joseph, the ornithologist, saying that he remembers
being a youngster in Bordentown and coming out by steamer to
California in the 1860s. 2 It occurs to me that it's likely
that Uncle Joe was named after Prince Joseph.
Mailliard: Now, that one I don't know about.
Morris: The letter is in The Bancroft Library. I feel as if I've been
reading the family mail.
Mailliard: You know more about it than I do because I've never read any of
this stuff. I just wanted to get rid of it. I wanted to get
rid of it because I knew after Mother died, it was going to be
scattered to hell and breakfast, and you'd never be able to put
the collection back together again. So I just told Jim Hart,
"You take them."
C.M. Swig: Was this after your dad died or your mother?
Mailliard: My mother. She had all this stuff.
C.M. Swig: But Mr. Mailliard gave his things to Stanford.
Mailliard: No. That's a mistake. Stanford refused to take them. They
are at the California Academy of Sciences still. Those were
Bonaparte things like a sword, some toilette articles--
1 From a short sketch of the boyhood of Adolph Mailliard by Louise
Marguerite Mailliard, in family album compiled by Marion-Leigh Mailliard
Baldwin Moore, 1962. See appendix.
2 In Mailliard family papers in The Bancroft Library.
C.M. Swig: The silver chocolate cup and the egg coddler.
Mailllard: I have that, but I don't think those were Bonaparte's. I think
they were Mail Hard family things that went back a ways.
C.W. Swig: I told everybody that they were! [laughs]
The First John Vrd Mailliard. 1862-1936
Mailliard: There was a letter--! think I sent it over- -from somebody in
the family saying the egg coddler wasn't really silver.
Morris: That was the letter recalling that one of Adolph's sons, I
think it was Jack, liked to play with it when they were staying
with the McAllisters. Later it was plated and given to him, if
I recall correctly. 1
He would have been your grandfather, the first John Ward
Mailliard. Did you know him at all?
Mailliard: Sure. He died when I was in college; about 1936, I think.
Morris: So he was part of your growing up.
Mailliard: Yes. He was known to all of us as Two-Papa.
Morris: How did that develop?
Mailliard: Jack Bridgman, who was the oldest grandchild, dubbed him Two-
Papa, and I suppose his mother- -
C.M. Swig: Is that his second papa?
Mailliard: No. His children all called him Papa. So I think Anita
probably told Jack Bridgman that he was his papa's papa, or
something like that. Anyway, it came out Two-Papa, and that's
how he was known to all his grandchildren.
Morris: So there was still a distinct French flavor to your
, Meta to Lizzie, December 5, 1937, loc. cit.
Mailliard: Yes- -not so much to him, but Aunt Lou and Uncle Joe both spoke
French. They were both patrons of the French theater here,
which was here for so many years.
Morris: Was there a distinct French community? Wasn't there a French
Mailliard: A French hospital and the Lafayette Society, which, needless to
say, always endorsed me for Congress. 1 used to go and make a
speech in French there every two years! [laughs]
Morris: Were you and your brothers expected to learn French?
Mailliard: No. We did not learn French. I studied French in school, and
Jack studied Spanish. He always insisted that the reason he
studied Spanish was because Nana used to swear at her maids in
Spanish, and he wanted to know what she was saying.
Morris: I believe that, [laughs]
So the terrible Adolph disowned his son when he went into
the wholesale grocery trade?
Mailliard: I don't know that he went that far, but he was very
Morris: Why did the first John Ward Mailliard decide to do into food?
Mailliard: He had a bunch of children he had to feed! [laughs]
Morris: And his father--
Mailliard: --was broke. The ranch had all been sold, I think, except one
little piece in Woodacre that Uncle Joe kept for a long time.
But the ranch had all gone; they sold it off piece by piece.
Adolph 'a San Geronimo Ranch
Morris: The name San Geronimo still exists, along the road to Point
Reyes on the way to West Marin. I found some photographs in The
Bancroft Library collection labelled "Hunting Camp at San
Geronimo." They look like they were taken about nineteen
hundred, 1910, somewhere in there.
Mailliard: Well, my father was born in '91, and they may have still held
on to some interest in the ranch, because I do know that they
used to go deer hunting there. My mother remembers going as a
girl to visit Aunt Lou at San Geronimo. My mother was born in
'92, so they must have held on to some part of it into the
Morris: Was it a permanent, year-round residence?
Mail Hard: Oh, eventually, yes. They sold the house in San Rafael and
moved totally to San Geronimo.
Morris: Vas that the house called Fair Hills?
Mailliard: That's the house in San Rafael. 1 That's not San Geronimo.
Fair Hills is the house he built in San Rafael. Eventually,
when I was a kid, it belonged to old A.V. Foster. But, there
again, there's a little bit about Adolph Mailliard in there --
[looking over the book] What does it say about him? 2 It
doesn't say anything much, as I remember. Somebody sent me a
copy of that.
Morris: In those days, San Rafael would have been town for people who
had ranches out in the Vest Marin area.
Mailliard: Yes. And the Pages had a house in San Rafael, as well as the
ranch in Cotati.
Morris: So San Rafael was quite an elegant community in the late 1800s.
Mailliard: Yes, it was. The house that Dr. Page built- -you know who lives
there now? The LaCustas. Boris and Mary LaCusta.
Morris: Would the ranch itself have been on the creek that still runs
through Woodacre? The present roads ends below Point Reyes and
the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Mailliard: The ranch included Woodacre, San Geronimo. I don't know
whether it went all the way down to Lagunitas or not. I think
it probably did.
Morris: And it included the Nicasio hill?
J See Fair Hills, 125 Years of Marin History, Michel G. Rousselin,
F.P.O.A., San Rafael, California, 1990.
2 "When Adolph was a young man, he took part with his cousin Prince
Joseph Bonaparte [sic] in a rebellion in Tuscany for which they were jailed
by the Austrians. Both escaped to the U.S. and lived at Point Breeze."
Fair Hills, p. 2. See appendix for additional information.
Mail Hard: Yes. I think you have a map dated about 1900 somewhere in the
Morris: I'll check with the map people.
C.M, Swig: Somewhere over there where San Geronimo is, there are evidently
some gates, and they still say San Geronimo.
Morris: Yes, but there are now subdivisions over there, although the
atmosphere is still pretty rustic.
Mailliard: In that Fair Hills book, isn't there a duplication of a
painting that I have? 1
C.W. Swig: Is this Morning in Harin your painting?
Mailliard: Yes. I have that original painting. There again, my father
didn't believe in letting the truth stand in the way of a good
story, either, because he swears that he watched Welch paint
this 2 , which I'm sure he didn't.
C.W. Swig: But he did! He said so. I like to believe all these things.
Morris: It's useful to document the fact that this is attributed to and
that somebody objects to this attribution. Somebody will track
Did you ever go hunting out there in San Geronimo?
Mailliard: San Geronimo did not enter my life at all. It was totally
gone. There's nobody alive now that would have had any
firsthand knowledge of it.
Jack [John Mailliard] Bridgman, who was the oldest in the
family in my generation, was born in Nashville, Tennessee [in
1912], or someplace like that. His father was a mining
engineer, and they lived in the East. It's kind of interesting
that they all came back to California. He grew up in
Connecticut, but they used to come out here to our ranch in
Mendocino County in the summer. And then as soon as he
graduated from Yale, he came out to work out here. Only after
he retired did he go back; and he now lives in New Hampshire or
1 See appendix.
2 Thaddeus Welch [1844-1919] arrived in California in 1866 and
established a reputation for his canvases of Marin and other bucolic areas
as well as for his portraits.
Ongoing East Coat Connection*
Mallliard: By the same token, my oldest son vent to the Taft School and
then to Yale and then to Georgetown Law. He was never here for
ten years. 1 thought he was an Easterner for sure.
Morris: And he's now back here?
Mailliard: He's practicing law in San Francisco! They all come back.
C.W. Swig: Except you. You don't spend enough time here.
Morris: You're sort of a bi-coastal person.
Mailliard: Well, that's true, but, of course, I certainly wouldn't ever
have lived in Washington if I hadn't been elected to Congress.
I would have been a permanent Bay Area resident. But having
been there for so many years, and having a wife [Millicent Fox
Mailliard] who is not a Californian--
C.M. Swig: She has her roots there?
Mailliard: She's got three children [Julia Ward Mailliard, Josephine
Mailliard, and Victoria Leigh Mailliard] that are there and her
mother and so forth.
Morris: Her children?
Mailliard: Well, I have two sets of children, [laughs]
Morris: And never the twain shall meet?
Mailliard: Oh, no. They are all very friendly. They support AT&T, I
think, because I'm always hearing things by a roundabout
fashion. Tony has talked to Julia or--
Morris: Further down the line, we should talk about the Taft and Yale
connections. That's your father's school as well?
Mailliard: Yes. My father went to Taft.
Morris: And your grandfather?
Mailliard: No. Taft is not that old. Taft just celebrated its hundredth
Morris : Would your grandfather have gone to Bordentown?
Mailliard: My grandfather was born in Bordentown. I suppose he went to
school there .
Morris: Bordentown Military Institute?
Mailliard: Oh, I don't think so. The Bordentown Military Academy was born
in the Mailliard house in Bordentown and operated there until
the house burned down.
IV FAMILY CIVIC, BUSINESS, AND SOCIAL INTERESTS
[Interview 2: February 14, 1991 ]f#
Federal/Local Transportation Concerns in the 1940s and 1990s
[Preliminary chat about traffic in San Francisco]
Mailliard: [Solving local traffic problems] really isn't a federal
responsibility. But I got very disturbed while I was in
Congress [1953-1974] when we started working on these freeways
around here because I was convinced that all freeways- -it's
like the old theory in the navy, where they always said if you
had to build a communications system, the communications will
come up to the capacity of the system. There's no way you can
So I tried very hard for a number of years to get the
state program, which was 90 percent federal money, coordinated
with the federal highway program; so that when they were in
metropolitan areas, the state would at least acquire rights of
way for rapid transit. It was perfectly clear to me that you
can't take a city like this and dump all these cars into it
every day without having terrible congestion.
But there again, that's one of the problems you have with
our system, and that is that the Congressional Public Works
Committee, which handles these things, is highway- oriented.
They are not trans it -oriented. It's very hard to penetrate
this. All of the people that they do business with the
department and the government and the rest of it, all think
highways. They don't want to think anything else. The money
we would have saved if we could have just acquired the rights
Morris: Forty years ago.
Mailliard: Right. And it wouldn't have cost hardly anything, compared to
the cost of building a freeway, to have taken the land under
them so that you would have had the rights of way to build a
transit system instead of having waited until we had to start
all over again. But you couldn't talk to those people. They
were dominated by highways, oil companies- -people who were
interested in highways.
Morris: The one man, one car approach.
Was that a consideration when the bridges were built?
Vould your father have been involved in trying to get the Bay
Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge?
Mailliard: Well, he was involved in those things because he was president
of the chamber of commerce; he was always involved in civic
affairs. But I don't think anybody in those days ever thought
of the kind of population growth and the growth in the
ownership of automobiles that has taken place. I don't think
anybody really foresaw this terrible congestion. Not that far
back. You're going back now fifty years or more.
Morris: It didn't seem possible.
Mailliard: And the thing is that the Bay Area had a relatively small
population in those days. San Francisco actually had a higher
population than it does today, but the growth in the East Bay
and the paving over of San Mateo County had not yet happened.
Mailliard and Peterson Homes in Belvedere
Morris: And when you were a small boy, Marin was still relatively
rural. Am I right?
Mailliard: Yes, pretty much. San Rafael was a fairly decent-sized town.
Belvedere- -where we were talking about the other day- -there was
nothing on the west side of Belvedere. Everything was on the
Corinthian Island side --the Tiburon side. There were no houses
on the west side. Absolutely no houses at all on that side.
There was an old fish cannery and a little railroad. I don't
think there were over a hundred houses in Belvedere.
Morris: And did you all know each other?
Mailliard: Pretty much, yes. A lot of them were relatives. The Arthur
Pages had a house there; both the Peterson and the Mailliard
grandparents had houses there; I guess the Hellnans had a
house; I think Nana had one brother and two sisters that had
houses in Belvedere; and several cousins.
Morris: Why did they happen to build houses over there?
Mailliard: That I don't know.
Morris: It pre-dated the earthquake?
Mailliard: Yes, it did.
Morris: And those were their main residences?
Mailliard: Not the Mailliards. The Petersons, yes. Later on my Peterson
grandparents would rent an apartment in town, and eventually, I
think, they lived at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in the wintertime.
But when 1 was a little kid, they were there all year round.
They didn't come into town at all. But the Mailliards did.
I don't know the date the Mailliard house in Belvedere was
built, but it was certainly before 1906. The house in town,
which is on the corner of Gough and Vallejo, was built in 1902,
Morris: By your grandfather?
Mailliard: Yes. When his widow died, I bought it.
Morris: Really? So it stayed in the family?
Mailliard: Then when I was divorced, I gave it to my wife [Elizabeth
Whinney Mailliard) and she sold it.
Joseph Mailliard and the Academy of Sciences
Mailliard: Well, where do we want to go?
Morris: I'd like to go back. We were back in Adolph's era still. You
said he was educated in France, and we talked a little bit
about whether the French language and culture was a part of the
Mailliard: A little bit. But by my father's generation, it was really
gone. Aunt Lou and Uncle Joe, I think, had a French
connection. I don't remember my grandfather ever speaking
French, but I do remember his sister. But by my father's
generation, I think the French connection was gone.
Morris: Did Joseph and your grandfather start the family business
together, or did they do separate things?
Mail Hard: No. Uncle Joe was an ornithologist. He was curator of
ornithology at the Academy of Sciences.
Morris: Really? He must have been part of the founding of that
Mailliard: That institution is older than the University of California.
Morris: That's wonderful. How did that come about?
Mailliard: That's all a matter of record. A group of men got together and
decided to do this in 1853, and it was actually before the
university was founded.
Morris: That was in the 1860s. So the academy goes back almost to the
founding of the city.
Mailliard: And then, of course, they were completely burned out in 1906,
and that's when they moved to Golden Gate Park.
Morris: Joseph was trained as an ornithologist?
Mailliard: Now you're asking me things I don't know. But he and my
grandfather --the two brothers --were very much interested in
birds. They collected bird eggs and nests and specimens and so
forth, and they gave their collection, which had been in the
basement of the Gough Street house, to the academy. That
founded the North American Hall, and that's still there --the
Mailliard collection of birds.
Morris: Collecting birds is sort of a classic small boy hobby. You
don't often hear of it going into life's work.
Mailliard: Well, it did with Uncle Joe. I've got a copy of one book he
wrote about the birds in Golden Gate Park, but all of that's
there in the academy.
Morris: Did he take you and your brothers birding?
Mailliard: No. Mother used to go with her father-in-law, but I don't
think my father was ever much interested, and I never was
Joseph Mailliard (1857-1945)
Morris: Vas Uncle Joe part of the family activities?
Mailliard: Well, we didn't see him very much. He lived next door. The
two brothers built those houses on a lot on the corner of Cough
and Vallejo, side by side. One of them Uncle Joe and Aunt Lou
lived in, and the other the Mailliards lived in.
Morris: So they were close as a family?
Mailliard: I don't know how close they were, but it didn't impact much on
me. I mean, I'd see Uncle Joe and Aunt Lou at Thanksgiving or
Chrlstmases , but otherwise I didn't have much to do with them.
The Mailliard and S chine i dell ComDanv
Does the record recall why your grandfather went into the food
import and export business?
I haven't any idea. He and Mr .Schmeidell , I guess, decided to
see if they could make some money.
And Schmeidell was a family friend already in the business?
I don ' t know .
You were saying yesterday that he wasn't around- -that he didn't
take a great--
I really don't know a lot about that. I'd be guessing. But
they all lived in Marin County. The Schmeidells lived in Ross.
I just plain don't know the connection back that far. I mean,
I knew Ed and Alice Schmeidell. But how they got together, I
simply don't know anything about it.
How extensive were their imports from South America?
a significant part of the business?
No. They did some importing and exporting from there, but in
my time the imports were mostly from Europe: Norwegian
sardines, Castille soap from Spain or Portugal--! forget. But
that ended up being less and less of the business. It's a
misnomer. They are called food brokers, but what they really
are are manufacturers' agents.
There was a time when Mailliard and Schmeidell had
warehouses and actually took title to goods to be resold, but
eventually, that was all entirely gone. All they are are
merchandisers. Their salesmen go out to grocery stores to see
that the product that they represent is properly displayed.
They don't actually buy or sell anything. They are purely
agents of the manufacturer.
Morris: I see. So they are past the distribution stage and into the
actual point of sale. Interesting.
Your brother, Jack, at one point was president of the Food
Brokers Association of America. So they were still in food
products rather than other--?
Nailliard: Veil, it was not necessarily food products, but the kind of
things that are sold in grocery stores. Not fresh food at all.
Morris: Soap and paper products and--
Association with Mcllhennev's Tabasco
Mailliard: --canned goods. One of the big accounts, which they still
have, they just got some recognition for selling more tabasco
sauce than anybody else in the world. How they got into that
is kind of an interesting story all by itself. Mr.
Morris: --whose name is on the Tabasco bottle?
Mailliard: Yes. He and my grandfather were both stamp collectors, and
they had corresponded for years about stamps. My grandfather's
secretary made a mistake and put one letter to Mr. Mcllhenney
on the firm's stationery instead of on his personal stationery.
And Mr. Mcllhenney apparently wrote back and said, "Mr.
Mailliard, I notice you're a food broker. We make a little hot
sauce that is kind of popular down here. Maybe you'd like to
try to sell it."
Morris: That's marvelous. He was looking to get a wider market.
Mailliard: Yes. That was just a local Louisiana product. And that was
back in the 1890s, because they just celebrated a hundred years
of having represented the Mcllhenney Company.
Morris: That's amazing. And it's become a staple all over the country.
So the company dealt around the world, not just with the
No. It was primarily Vest Coast. At one tine they had an
office in New York, but I think the office in New York was
ainly involved in imports. But that was closed before I can
remember. I think my father closed it when he took over the
business. Mailliard and Schmeidell got pretty much out of the
import -export business.
Did he do this as a young man?
I don't know. I'm sure you've got all that somewhere, but I
don't know when. It was probably in the 1880s or nineties.
I'm not sure.
And what happened to the stamp collection? Was that passed
through the family to other stamp aficionados?
No. I think we talked about it, and nobody was that
interested, and I think my father sold it.
V J. WARD MAILLIARD, JR., 1891-1954
Lake Tahoe Trips: Belvedere-San Francjg
Morris: Did you say that your grandfather's generation of the family
was already going up to Lake Tahoe?
Mailliard: No. They may have visited the Schmeidells up there. But going
to Tahoe was to try to get Jack and me away from this terrible
asthmatic condition. They discovered that we didn't get asthma
over five thousand feet. I would guess, maybe, our first year
at Tahoe was 1920 or 1921.
Morris: As very small boys. And the Schmeidells were already spending
a lot of time up there?
Mailliard: I don't know much about the Schmeidells. They had a beautiful
place there, but how much time they spent there, I don't know.
Morris: Would you drive up or take the train?
Mailliard: We would drive.
Morris: That must have been quite a trip in those days.
Mailliard: It was a long trip, and we usually stayed overnight somewhere --
Strawberry or Placerville.
Morris: Did your mother drive or bring along somebody to do the
Mailliard: My mother and father both drove. We didn't bring along
anybody. Of my four grandparents the only one that drove a car
was my mother's mother. The others never learned to drive.
Morris: Was she still driving when you were a youngster?
Mailllard: Yes. She died in 1929, but she drove right up until the time
of her final illness. But her husband never learned to drive,
and neither of my Mailliard grandparents ever drove. They had
Morris: Do you recall why the family decided to move to San Francisco
rather than staying in Belvedere?
Mailliard: You mean my immediate family?
Mailliard: Yes. Dad found that representing all these Eastern
manufacturers, he had to entertain them when they came out
here, and he decided that fighting the ferry boat trip was just
They had built the house in Belvedere next door to the
Peterson house, which is where I was born, but I think I was
only two or three when they moved to town. The commute just
got to him.
Morris: Where did the ferry come into San Francisco?
Mailliard: The Ferry Building.
Morris: It came all the way around?
Mailliard: No, there was a little passenger ferry- -not an automobile
ferry- -from Belvedere and Tiburon to Sausalito. The big ferry
was from Sausalito to the Ferry Building. The Golden Gate
ferry system wasn't in yet. It stopped here at the foot of
Hyde Street. There was a ferry that went to Tiburon that
connected with the train there, but that was before my time.
Morris: There used to be a train you could get in San Rafael, I think,
up into the fifties.
Mailliard: There was a line from Tiburon up to San Rafael, and then there
was another line from Sausalito up to San Rafael, and that went
on up to Ukiah. That was the Northwestern Pacific. There were
several rail lines. One of them went right through the San
Geronimo Ranch- -a narrow-gauged railway.
Morris: Really? Out to West Marin?
Mailliard: I guess so. Again, this is all before my time.
Morris: Was your family still involved in dairying when they lived in
Belvedere? There was quite a dairy activity there. That was
just in Adolph's generation?
Mai 11 lard: As I say, both the Pages and the Mailliards had cattle. The
Cotati Ranch and the San Geronimo ranch were gone twenty years
before I was born.
Morris: And the racehorse? That's legend?
Mai 11 lard: I don't know what ever happened. After the Fosters bought the
house in San Rafael--! knew all the Foster kids, and I remember
the barn. It eventually burned down. But 1 don't know
anything, really, about what happened to the livestock.
Morris: . The story of Adolph and his family coming around the Horn with
the racehorse and the cattle is rather incredible. It sounds
like they must have had a whole ship to themselves. I wonder
if there would be records of racing going back to the 1860s.
Mailliard: I just don't know.
Morris: Your grandfather and great uncle didn't continue their interest
Mailliard: No, no. All of this is long gone before my time,
is what I heard.
All I know
The Cov Palace
Morris: Would your father also have been involved in the Cow Palace?
Mailliard: Yes, he was. He was involved in the original building of the
Cow Palace. Jack then became president of the Cow Palace. 1
don't think Dad was ever on that board, although he might have
been. I really don't know. But he is usually credited with
giving it the name, Cow Palace.
Morris: Tell me about that.
Mailliard: Well, its proper name is the 1A Agricultural District
Association. Dad said, "That's too big a mouthful. Why don't
we just call it the Cow Palace," and it stuck.
Morris: It's a wonderful name. It's also kind of an anomaly to have
what in essence is a city venue for livestock events. How did
Mailliard: I remember when it was being built, but I really never knew
much about it.
Morris: Were there livestock shows?
Mailliard: We used to go to horse shows and rodeos.
Morris: Was your father interested in it from the livestock end?
Mailliard: Yes, I think so. But to what extent, I really don't know. I
think his motivation was primarily a result of chamber of
Morris: It is outside the official organization of county fairs that
are administered out of Sacramento and get funding from the
Mailliard: You're into something I don't know anything about! It's a
state, not a county thing. It's a state thing. The governor
appoints the board.
Morris: It's celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, so it
would have been 1941.
Mailliard: I don't know. I went away to school, and then I was in the
navy, and I never was around. So that whole war period, I
don't know anything about San Francisco. I never was here.
At Taft School and Yale University
Morris: How did the family get into the habit of sending its sons to
Taft and then to Yale?
Mailliard: I think- -again, I'm guessing pretty much- -but the Pages,
apparently, had been at Yale for generations. So all my
Grandmother Page's brothers went to Yale. Even the ones from
Chile went to Yale.
Really? That must have been quite an expedition.
Mailliard: At least some of them did. I'm just guessing, but I think
that's probably why she sent her older son to Yale, but he only
stayed one year. Dad never graduated from college. But his
two younger brothers went to UC, as did my grandfather and
Uncle Joe. They were all at the University of California.
Morris: That was probably okay because in the early days, UC had a
connection with Yale. Divinity students from Yale came out to
civilize the heathens, [laughs]
Maill lard: I wouldn't know anything about that. But the Taft connection- -
I have heard the story that Horace Taft came on a West Coast
tour because he wanted to have students not Just from the
Connecticut -New York area.
I gather that he charmed my grandmother and several of her
friends, because there was a whole group of boys that went to
Taft: Lloyd McClaren; one of the Monteagles, Ken; Ted Eyre; my
father. I don't know who the others were, but there was quite
a group around 1905, '06, '07, '08, '09 --in there. Dad was the
class of 1909, as was Ted Eyre. I think Kenneth Monteagle
maybe was the class of '10. Horace Taft came out on a
proselytizing, recruiting tour.
So Dad, I think, spent two years at Taft and then one year
at Yale. What happened at Yale, as I understand it, was that
in those days --you see, now Yale has what they call the
undecided freshman year, then you can decide to go to Sheffield
Scientific School or Yale College- -but in those days if you
went in as a freshman into Sheffield, you couldn't transfer.
If you wanted to, you had to start over again. My father was
studying to be a civil engineer, and he realized after one year
that this was not his cup of tea.
Morris: Yes. There are some records that his academics suffered.
Mailliard: I don't think he was in any trouble of getting kicked out, but
I think he realized that he really belonged in Yale College and
not in the Sheffield Scientific School. I think his father
drew the line at paying for two freshman years. I don't know.
I'm just guessing that. But anyhow, he never went back. He
got several honorary degrees, but he never got a degree!
Developments in the Family Firm
He went into the company?
Mail Hard: No, not immediately. I think he worked first for an insurance
company or something like that. There was a rule in my
fanily--I don't know whether it started with my grandfather or
with my father- -but the rule of the family was that you could
not go into the company for your first Job. You had to go
somewhere else first. And they all did. Jack worked for the
Walton N. Moore Dry Goods before he went to work for Mailliard
Morris : Did your father want you to come into the firm?
Mailliard: No. Because of this rule, if you want to call it that, there
never was any question. He would not allow anybody to come
work for the firm until they'd worked for someone else.
Morris: Why was that?
Mailliard: I think he thought that you ought to start out working for
strangers, not your family.
Morris: It sounds like that would also mean that your brothers didn't
start out as vice-presidents. They were expected to learn the
Mailliard: Everyone went through the mill being a salesman. And it was
interesting; for instance, my father and his brother, Tom
[Thomas Page Mailliard] - -Dad was an excellent salesman. He
could sell ice boxes to Eskimos , and Tom never could sell
anything. So it ended up that Dad was the outside man, and Tom
was the inside man. With my brothers it was exactly the same
thing. Jack was the salesman, and Jim was the inside man. Jim
and Tom were not good salesmen, and Jack and Dad were very good
Morris: So Jim managed the bookkeeping and the management?
Mailliard: And Tom did the same. And then of course, it was Jack's
decision to- -What he found out, I gather, although he didn't
talk much about it, he found they had these partners, if you
want to call it--
You see, Dad changed it from a partnership to a
corporation, and in the corporate structure, you couldn't own
stock in the company unless you worked for it. That's why it
is the oldest and the biggest brokering house in the world:
because it's always owned by the people who produce the
Morris: Before the employee stock option became an article--
Mailliard: And it wasn't a question of stock options, either. The
requirement was that when you left the company, there was a
formula at which you had to offer your stocks.
Morris: So the stock went back to the other partners.
Mailliard: Or if they didn't take it up, then to the employees. That's
still true. Charlotte is on the board of Bromar, which is the
successor company, because when Jack died, the company didn't
want to buy all their stocks, so she agreed to hold it. In
order to qualify, she had to go onto the board because she had
to be an employee .
Morris: Be a member of the firm. So there are no outside directors to
the firm. That's kind of unusual in 1990, isn't it?
Mailliard: Yes. This was in 1924, '25, '26, somewhere in there, that Dad
changed it from the Mailliard- Schmeidell partnership to a
Morris: At that point Mailliard and Schmeidell was dissolved and
Mailliard: No, no. Bromar didn't come until thirty years later. That's
what I was going to tell you. They were growing like crazy.
My memory goes back to when they had an office in Los Angeles,
one in Portland, and one in Seattle. Then they began to grow.
They had gotten to where there were offices in eleven Western
states. He found out that all of a sudden what had happened
was that people who had grown up in the business and managed
the various departments in it were all getting old at the same
time, and he just didn't have the management talent to replace
them from within.
That's when he decided to hook up with a couple of
relatively new Southern California people who had a lot of
eager young beavers, which he Just didn't have. So that's when
they made the deal to put several companies together under the
umbrella of Bromar.
Morris: I see. What does Bromar stand for?
Mailliard: I don't think anything.
Morris: Oh, it's just an invented name. Was that a merger, or did your
brother buy them out?
Mailliard: No, a merger. D.V. Brown, who, I guess, now is chairman of the
board, and who, I'm told, is in very bad health, was the head
of one of the two companies that 1 think they merged together.
And they kept the same rules. It's still owned by the
Morris : At what level do you have to own stock in order to work for the
Mailliard: You don't have to own stock.
Morris: But the owners all work for the company.
Mailliard: Yes. What happened is that when my grandfather died, his stock
was offered to the other stockholders. If they didn't take it
all up, then they offered it to their top employees that were
Morris: What happens to members of the family who don't work for the
firm? When your grandfather died, presumably in the normal
course of events, his estate would be divided up amongst the
Mailliard: Oh, yes, because a widow can't inherit- -
Morris: --if she doesn't work for the company?
Mailliard: Yes. That's why the company has survived. This is a very
short- life business because usually it is started by one man or
a couple of partners, and then the first thing you know, they
die off, and it's owned by a widow.
Well, there's no capital involved. All you need is a
telephone and a couple of salesmen and an automobile, and
you're in business. So what would happen would be that the
people who were producing would take off on their own, and the
company would die. That's the pattern in the food brokerage
business, and that's why Mailliard and Schmeidell has survived.
It's because the producers always owned it.
Morris: The widow presumably needs an income.
Mailliard: That's not the company's responsibility. The stock must be
offered for sale at a formula that has to do with its earnings
over the last five years, whatever it is. There's never any
doubt as to what the price is; that's fixed by a formula.
Are there Mailliards currently with the firm?
Mailliard: There are no Mailliards and no Schmeidells.
Morris: But the name continues and the tradition continues,
till your grandfather's picture in the boardroom?
Mailliard: [chuckles] I don't know. I haven't been in the boardroom. The
boardroom now is in Los Angeles. Ask Charlotte. I have no
Morris: There's also a note that your grandfather was not terribly
Mailliard: He got tuberculosis sometime in the twenties. He was a semi-
invalid. He was really quite an invalid for a while, I think,
and then he got better. I don't know what finally killed him.
All they ever did for tuberculosis in those days was bed
rest, 1 think. And that's how he got to collecting stamps.
Continued Support for the Academy of Sciences
Morris: Because that he could do and enjoy. Did he take an active
interest in the development of the Academy of Sciences with his
Mailliard: Yes. To what extent 1 don't know. Of course Dad was chairman
of the board of the academy for a while. Jack was on the
board. He lost interest. 1 worked for the academy for a year
Morris: I noticed that, and I wondered if they were looking to expand
Mailliard: No. Dr. Miller, who ran the place, apparently would complain
to Dad that he had a problem: he had a lot of brilliant
scientists, and the scientific work that went on there was
great, but he didn't have any managers. I was just leaving
Sacramento --leaving the governor's office. 1 So Dad said,
"Would you like my son, Bill, to come for a while and see if he
can help you with the administrative problems?" Which I did
till I ran for Congress again.
J See interview with Mr. Mailliard in Earl Warren's Campaigns. Regional
Oral History Office, University of California, Berkeley, 1976.
I was wondering if at any point you thought you might stay with
the Academy of Sciences.
It was an interim kind of a thing.
The scientific program is interesting. I think most
people think of the Academy of Sciences as a place to go on
weekends and to take the visitors from out of town.
Yes, but it's a tremendous scientific organization recognized
all over the world.
What are their special interests?
All of the natural sciences.
Specializing in the West Coast?
All over the world,
They are part of the world scientific
How come that is not better known in the Bay Area?
It's known to the scientific community, but the public isn't
interested in what goes on in the dusty shelves. Of course the
library is named after my father. He left them a quarter of a
million dollars, and then his friends put up quite a lot more
after he died. And they built the library.
They had a marvelous collection of books that were all in
crates. You couldn't get at them. And my father- -this just
upset him terribly. Quite a surprise to the rest of the
family, but not to me because he talked to me one time about
it. He said, "You know, it's just a shame that this rich
scientific library that has been collecting for a hundred years
is not usable, because nobody can get at the books."
These were books people had given to them over the years?
Well, they collected scientific papers they exchanged with the
Russians and the Germans and the Japanese, but they were not
usable. So he said, "What do you think if I left a chunk of
money to them." I said, "For God's sake, if it's what you want
to do, do it! You made your way; we can make our way."
Did he ever resolve the debate with the Internal Revenue
Service people? There was some correspondence in The Bancroft
Library about making a large gift in one year and then
spreading the credit for it over a number of years' taxes. I
think now that is a generally accepted tax principle, but it
wasn't at the time.
Mailliard: You're out of my depth. All I know about taxes is I have to
pay them! [chuckles]
Morris: He wrote you a couple of letters asking if you knew anyone in
Washington he night talk to about that.
Mailliard: I've forgotten that, but I did know the director of Internal
Revenue all the years I was in Congress. It's one guy in town
you've got to know because your constituents have problems.
Morris: Really? Is that a major question that people bring to their
Mailliard: That's one of them. Anytime they get into difficulty dealing
with the bureaucracy, they have a tendency to come to the
congressmen. They say, "I can't get an answer; I can't get
through to them to get a decision." That's part of the job of
a congressman- -a big part.
Morris: Did your father ever speak of regretting that he didn't go back
Mailliard: No. Jim never graduated either. He was in the naval reserve.
They pulled him out during the war. When he came back after
the war was over, he talked to Jack and me one day at lunch. I
said, "You ought to go back," and Jack said, "Don't bother."
He took Jack's advice.
Morris: Jim was already planning on being active with the family firm?
Mailliard: I really don't think I know the answer to that. As I say, he
went to work for Castle and Cooke.
Morris: Their main activity here is insurance, isn't it?
Mailliard: I don't think so, but I don't know. It's a totally different
company now. It mostly represented Hawaiian interests.
Morris: Did Mailliard and Schmeidell do business in Hawaii?
Mailliard: I don't know. I think they do now, but I'm not sure that they
Morris: I understand that there was quite a Hawaiian business
connection with California.
Mailliard: There was a very close connection between San Francisco and
Honolulu because San Francisco was then the port. Nobody ever
heard about Los Angeles at that point.
And so it was, yes; it was the main communication between
the islands and the mainland.
Seventeen Civic Boards: Chamber of Commerce and the 1934
Morris: If your father was working in a business where he was involved
in a lot of selling, how did he find the time to take on all
the civic chores that he did?
Mailliard: Veil, of course, he was way beyond being a salesmen. You hire
Morris: So as time went on, he spent more time on his civic
Mailliard: He tapped into all kinds of things. He was at one time on
something like seventeen boards of directors. I think the
reason was he had awfully good common sense , and he had no ax
to grind. Here was this little company that had no connection
with anything else, and he ended up on the board of Wells Fargo
bank and on the board of American President Lines, on the board
of Western Pacific Railroad. I can go on and on and on. He
became very much sought after as an outside director whose own
business had no conflicts. He could be completely objective.
Morris: I see. And who ran his own company well. But being on boards
of directors for companies can use up a lot of time, and there
he was on the chamber of commerce and the community chest.
Mailliard: It uses up a lot of time, but I'll tell you, you want a job
done, give it to the busy man. He knows how to use his time.
Morris: Did he ever talk about a feeling of responsibility for San
Francisco? Did he enjoy the workings of the community?
Mailliard: Yes. Well, he was a little bit of a revolutionary, I gather.
At that point, the chamber of commerce was a very stodgy
outfit, and the president of the chamber of commerce was always
some senior citizen. Dad and a bunch of his young friends- -
this was in the twenties- -decided that the chaaber of commerce
was a dead duck. It wasn't doing anything. And they formed
something called the Industrial Association and tried to liven
up the business side of the town and so forth. As a result,
Dad becaae the youngest president of the chamber of commerce.
Morris: They co-opted him.
Mailliard: They said, "If you can't lick 'em, you better Join 'em!" That
record stood until my brother, Jack, became president of the
chamber of commerce .
Morris: As the youngest member?
Mailliard: Yes. Dad was forty, and Jack was thirty-nine. I don't think
there had ever been a president of the chamber of commerce
under sixty before that.
Morris: He must have told some wonderful tales about getting some of
these older guys to see things his way.
Mailliard: He never talked about it much. Well, he became president of
the chamber of commerce at the time of the general strike of
1934. Boy, that was a brute. That was almost civil war in
Morris: I can believe that. Were you still living at home then?
Mailliard: I was at school in San Rafael, but I was home a lot. Yes, and
there were threats against my brother, Jim, who was only five
or six years old. They threatened to kidnap him. It was a
mess. We all lived at the ranch. We never came into town that
Morris: You all stayed up in Mendocino. Did other businessmen move
their families out?
Mailliard: Quite a few did. Dad stayed in town, but the rest of us were
not allowed to come into town.
Morris: Why did it take such a violent and unpleasant tone?
Mailliard: Oh, a general strike, you know--
Morris: It's very real, isn't it?
Mailliard: Yes. The town was paralyzed. The town just wasn't going to
put up with it when women couldn't go to the grocery store and
get a bottle of milk. Public opinion turned against the unions
so strongly. But, you know, San Francisco was the first almost
totally unionized town in the country.
Really? How far back does that go?
Back into the twenties. I can even vaguely remember going to
school under guard when they had the- -in the middle twenties;
my memory is very, very vague. It was a very turbulent time
because the unions got so powerful. This is when Harry Bridges
arrived on the scene.
The general strike of '34 started as a waterfront strike,
must have really been a shock to the businessmen in town
because without the waterfront, business was pretty well
paralyzed, wasn't it?
I don't think I'm qualified to answer that,
know. I mean 1 was, what, seventeen.
I don't really
Vould your father have stayed in town to be part of the
Oh, yes, he did. He and Jack Shelley. This is according to
Jack Shelley. Dad never talked about it. Shelley was head of
one of the big unions. He eventually became state president of
the AFL [1947-1950]. Anyway, he claims that he and Dad worked
out a compromise over a couple of beers in a little joint off
California Street somewhere.
Does that sound reasonably realistic to you?
I would think so, because Jack Shelley was a very strongly
anti- Communist labor leader. He was beaten up a few times on
the waterfront when the Communist element dominated the
longshoremen. And Dad was a pretty reasonable businessman.
They both, as Shelley used to tell me, loved the town, and the
strike was going to kill the town if they didn't stop it.
Morris: Well, Harry Bridges has become sort of an icon.
Mailliard: Is he still alive?
Morris: I think he died a couple of years ago.
Yes. I got to know him very well. He came into my office
after I was elected to Congress. Of course they had been dead
against me; they really fought like hell to keep me out. But
then I won the second time around. Harry came in to see me. I
can't even remember now what it was he wanted me to do, but I
looked at him, and I said, "You've got to be kidding. No, I
can't do that I* [chuckles] He said, "Veil, at least you listen
to me. The Democrats are scared to be seen with me!*
I thought he was finally vindicated; that after three times
through the courts, it was determined he was not a Communist.
No, that was not the case,
never was determined.
The whole thing was dropped. It
Morris: I see. Why was it dropped?
Mailliard: The story was, and as far as 1 know, it's true, that Mrs.
Roosevelt intervened. Harry told me one time. He said, "Your
father was the first man to ever publicly call me a Communist."
I said, "Was he right?" And he said, "I take the Fifth
Amendment." [chuckles] Harry became one of my staunchest
supporters. He eventually re-registered as a Republican.
Morris: That's an interesting switch.
Mailliard: Dad told me way back, "All right, I'm always on the opposite
side from Harry Bridges, but if there's one thing I've learned,
it's that you can trust him. He will do what he says he will
do." The other thing was that he ran an honest union. Harry
never made any money. And not only that, but that union was
democratically run. They got fined if they didn't attend the
union meeting. It wasn't like the building trades, where half
a dozen men would decide what the union's position was.
Morris: Yes, that has been a problem with a lot of them.
Mailliard: That's right. And a lot of corruption came out of that. But
there never was any hint of it in the longshoremen's because it
was really run by the members. As I said, they were fined if
they, without a legitimate excuse, didn't attend a meeting at
the union hall .
Morris: If he ran a good organization, you wonder how the general
strike turned so nasty.
Mailliard: Well, I'm talking about many, many years later, this is the way
it was run. I don't know how it was run in those early days.
I don't have any doubt in my mind that when he came over here
from Australia that he was a card-carrying Communist. But I
think as he grew up and grew older and so on, he sensed long
before a lot of other people did that Communism was great in
principle, but in fact it didn't work worth a damn! [chuckles]
Morris: You would think that the principles of Communism as a political
philosophy had limited relevance to the San Francisco
Mailliard: I don't think that was a question of relevance. I think they
were attempting to get a political movement going, and it
Morris: I see. And that was part of the 1934 strike?
Mailliard: I'm Just guessing.
Morris: It sounds as if even though there was a general strike, all
unions were not necessarily in support.
Mailliard: Well, a lot of them were not in support, but I think they all
did support it when it was voted by the labor council. But it
only lasted a few days because the public just wasn't going to
stand for it.
I remember General Mai in Craig was in command of the army
at the Presidio. He later became chief of staff of the army.
Harry Bridges went to him and said, "Now, we don't want any
trouble with the army. You just have stickers put on all of
your vehicles." And General Craig said, "I'm going to move my
vehicles around with your permission? Get the hell out of
here!" [laughter] Bridges told me that story himself.
Morris: You would think that one could tell an army vehicle without a
Mailliard: That's how arrogant they were, though. Can you imagine a
general in his right mind getting permission from the ILWU?
Police Commission Problems
Morris: Your dad was called in by Mayor [Angelo] Rossi several years
later, when there was a retail strike.
Mailllard: I don't know about that. But the Rossi connection was that
there was a major scandal in the police department. They found
all these policemen with large bank accounts that they couldn't
account for. It was such a scandal that Rossi figured that his
chances of re-election were almost zero. I can remember being
up at the ranch, and Dad came up for the weekend. He said,
"There's something I ought to chat with you about. The mayor
wants me to take over as president of the police commission to
try to clean up this mess." 1
You may remember that there was a fellow who had been
president of the police commission for twenty-five years,
Theodore Roche, who was a law partner of Senator Hiram Johnson.
I don't think that there's anything you could throw at Ted
Roche, except 1 think he had been there so long that he was
Dad said, "Well, do you think I should do it?" I said,
"Yes, I think you should do it, but what I would do" --not
knowing I was going to become a politician myself --"You know,
these political people, you can't trust them. I just think
that the mayor ought to give you an assurance for just a three -
man commission; that he will not appoint anybody else to the
commission that's not acceptable to you. You don't want to
choose them, but you want veto power."
Mailliard: --Well, this was maybe a year before Rossi was to come up for
re-election, and he figured the scandal was going to sink him
unless he could get somebody with an impeccable reputation that
the public would have confidence in.
Well, he got re-elected, and it wasn't weeks later, I
don't think, that he appointed two other commissioners without
consulting Dad at all. And so Dad quit. It was a major
excitement in the town. The town leaders gave a testimonial
dinner for Dad at the Bohemian Club, the theme of which was "A
policeman's life is not a happy one." Right out of Gilbert and
Morris: Was one of the famous Bohemian Club songs written for the
*Ward Mailliard was chairman of the San Francisco Police Commission
from 1937-1940. See materials in Mailliard Family Papers, Carton 2.
Mailliard: I don't know. In any case, the thing that made him quit was
that Bill Quinn was chief of police --not the smartest guy in
the world but an honest cop who wasn't responsible for all of
this corruption at all. The way the police department worked- -
I don't know if it still does or not- -you could become chief,
but your permanent rank might be corporal or sergeant if you
were a career policeman.
The other two commissioners voted to fire the chief when,
had he stayed on for two more months, he would have been
entitled to retire with the rank of chief. Instead of that he
retired with the rank of corporal or sergeant or something.
Morris: That's very vindictive.
Mailliard: Oh, and Dad said, "That's just too much." I mean, this guy was
absolutely blameless. And as a result, Bill Quinn retired on
such a pittance that Dad got him a job as a night watchman at
the California Academy of Sciences to give him enough income to
Morris: How could the chief of police be chief of police and not know
all that is going on in his department?
Mailliard: Well, he hadn't been chief of police that long. I shouldn't
press my memory. I think he was brought in in a clean-up
process. I don't know. That's when Charley Dullea became
Morris: Is he related to the Dullea that recently retired as head of
the University of San Francisco?
Mailliard: I think it was his father. Dad had no criticism of Charley
Dullea. As a matter of fact, he would have chosen him as the
next chief. But he didn't want to fire Quinn when he only had
a couple of months to go to qualify for a decent retirement.
Then they tried to get Dad to run for mayor. They said,
"We need a businessman for mayor." He said, "I'll tell you, if
you want a businessman, why don't you get someone like Roger
Lapham to run." Roger was rich and a dilettante somewhat, but
interested in the town, and he agreed. They elected him [in
Morris: Did your father then endorse him and campaign for him?
Mailliard: Oh, sure.
Morris: Lapham had more time?
Mail Hard: Oh, yes. His grandfather was one of the original owners of the
Texas Oil company. Big, big bucks. They also owned American-
Hawaiian Steamship Company and a whole bunch of other things.
That's where the money came from.
Childhood Sweetheart Kate Peterson: Family Fondness for Hunting
Morris: It sounds as if your father was more into civic things than
your mother; that your mother was more interested in the great
outdoors and in the children and their activities?
Mailliard: No, no, on the contrary. My mother was brought up as sort of
the country club set. She was a top-ranking tennis player.
When she married him, she became a hunter and a fisher and a
frontierswoman. She was brought up on Belvedere sailboats and
Morris: He was the boy next door. They were childhood chums?
Mailliard: Well, their houses in Belvedere were not next door, but they
were not very far apart. Nothing in Belvedere is very far
apart. I think maybe Dad--I'm only guessing at this and
Somers Peterson, mother's older brother; they were the same
age, and they were great friends all their lives. I think that
was maybe the connection.
Morris: It was propinquity.
Mailliard: I think so. And then, of course, he would have met the younger
Morris: It sounds as if the families were friends.
Mailliard: I don't know that on the parents' level that the Mailliards and
the Petersons were particularly good friends. I mean, they
certainly were acquaintances. I think they moved in slightly
Anyway, we're really getting into civic stuff now, not
what Charlotte wants! [laughs]
Morris: I argued that San Francisco as the setting is an important part
of the story, too.
Mailliard: Perhaps, but I think Charlotte is still more interested in the
Morris: Well, then let's go back to the family over in Belvedere. The
Petersons were involved in sailing and tennis playing, and your
other was a championship tennis player?
Morris: Good for her. Were there grass courts that she played on?
Mailliard: No, I don't think so. There was a country club in Belvedere.
1 think there was a nine -hole golf course and a few tennis
courts. One of my uncles told me one time that Mother
scandalized the place because she wore a tennis dress that
showed her ankles. She got tired of sweeping the courts with
Morris: Keeping those tennis whites clean must have been a nightmare.
Mailliard: She was apparently a very good tennis player when she was in
her teens. But as far as 1 know, she never played tennis after
she got married. But she and Dad fished. They spent their
honeymoon on a hunting trip. That was his interest. They
always laughed at mother: they said she became more of a
Mailliard than any Mailliard ever was. [laughs]
Morris: Was it a hunting trip in California?
Mailliard: Somewhere in the Sierra.
Morris: How had hunting become a Mailliard family activity?
Mailliard: San Geronimo. All in the family were hunters. Uncle Joe was--
Morris: What about your grandfather? Had he been a hunter before he
became stricken with TB?
Morris: This produces a mental image of wonderful deer heads and
whatnot over the dining table .
Mailliard: Oh, yes. All over the place.
Morris: Was it mostly deer or were there more exotic creatures?
Mailliard: It was mostly deer. They did quite a lot of fishing, too, and
camping. They were outdoorsmen. My mother simply adopted it,
and she would mostly beat them at their own game.
You mean your mother had a competitive streak to her nature?
Mailllard: Oh, yes.
Morris: There's a wonderful photograph of her, also in a long white
dress, with, I guess, a shotgun standing on a hillside next to
a horse that's got a dead deer strung over it.
Mailliard: Not a shotgun, a rifle.
Morris: Rifle, sorry. I don't come from hunting people. But the
Juxtaposition of this wonderful white dress and the deer that
she has obviously shot is absolutely unbelievable.
Mailliard: Yes. She killed two deer with one shot once.
Morris: Good heavens! Where was that?
Mailliard: At the ranch. She wouldn't go down and look. She was sure
that one of them was going to be a doe, but they weren't. They
were both bucks. It went right through the neck of one and
into the other.
Morris: What an incredible shot.
Mailliard: That's a longshot! [chuckles] Anyway, she was very good, and
she loved it. And that's what ended up --after my father died,
she went on all these pack trips up in Montana. 1
Morris: Together they didn't go to Montana on pack trips.
Mailliard: No. They used to go to Lassen and up that way to get the
bigger deer --the mule deer, rather than the coastal deer. But
once we got established at the ranch, they didn't leave much.
They pretty much stayed there.
a The family papers in The Bancroft Library include a series of photo
journals Mrs. Mailliard made of these trips taken in the 1970s.
VI EARLY DAYS ON THE MENDOCINO RANCH
The Garcia f River! Gun Club
Morris: How did they happen to first go up to Mendocino?
Mai.ll.iard: 1 don't know the answer to that exactly, but 1 do know that
very early on- -I don't know how they got the connection with
that particular part of Mendocino County, but Dad and his
friends used to pay the local ranchers to take them out on a
hunt. There was the famous story about how they got into a
battle with [California Attorney General] U.S. Webb.
Morris: Tell me that again.
Mailliard: Well, they thought that they had the exclusive hunting rights
from, I guess it was, Bide Ogle. Then they found out that he
had also given the hunting rights the same weekend to Attorney
General Webb, and they found themselves dodging bullets,
I think that's when they formed the Garcia Gur Club. It
still exists. It's not really a club; it's just an
association, but that's what it's called. That's when Dad and
one of Bide Ogle's sons, Alvie Ogle, bought a piece of
property, which was known as the Milk Ranch, that adjoined his
father's property. Alvie ran sheep there. I don't know
whether each put up half the money or whether Dad put up all
the money. I don't know about that.
Morris: Who were the chums in the hunting group?
Mailliard: Ted Eyre was one; Sam Abbott, whose wife was a Foster, and also
worked for Mailliard and Schmeidell at that time. I think
somewhere around in there, there got to be about twenty members
including, I guess, both of my father's brothers. But the cast
of characters changed over the years.
Morris: I was wondering if they were mostly business associates, or if
they were social friends.
Hailliard: I would think not business associates for the most part. I
would think they were mostly social friends, but I really don't
Building Log Cabins in the 1920s
Mail Hard: Anyhow, they bought the property. Dad was somewhere where he
met some fellow that came down from Alaska. He said, "You've
got this property. Why don't you build yourself a log cabin?"
Dad said, "1 don't know how to build a log cabin." He said,
"Well, you get a few of your friends and decide where you want
to put it, and I'll come up and show you how to build a log
cabin." And then he said, "In advance you've got to prepare
forty-eight logs." Dad said, "What do you mean forty-eight
logs? You don't even know how big a cabin I want to build."
He said, "No matter how big a cabin you want to build, it takes
So they built it. This would have been '25 probably. I
was not there; I was at camp at Tahoe Boys Camp that summer.
The first summer I ever spent at the ranch, 1 think, was when I
was ten. And the place just grew. We built more log cabins.
Mother and Dad had a little cabin of their own, and then we had
two guest cabins and the main house. The rest was all kept out
of doors. And eventually we built barns and had horses and a
Morris: Does history relate how those first forty-eight logs were
felled? Did they have to bring in equipment?
Mailliard: Oh, no. Used an axe.
Morris: Had your father chopped a tree down before?
Mailliard: Oh, yes. They were outdoors people. They understood it all
right. These were Douglas fir, and he had to peel the bark off
of them because if you don't, the bugs get in under the bark.
Morris: Is that why the logs are peeled?
Mailliard: Yes. I think it's eight logs high--maybe it's nine logs high--
and four underpinnings and four rafter logs to hold it
Morris: Four underpinningsyou mean like under the floor?
Morris: On stone sills or cement blocks?
Mailliard: I don't remember. I was not there when it was being built.
Morris: But did you participate in building some of the later ones?
Mailliard: Some of the later ones, yes. But anyway, you build four walls
solid, and then you cut out the doors and windows.
Morris: Don't they collapse?
Mailliard: No. You've got to put two-by-fours or something where you want
them and cut the logs through. This old Alaskan said, "Put 'em
up in twenty-four hours if you've got the logs ready."
Morris: Notched the corners like the Lincoln logs one had as a child?
Morris: Is it square?
Morris: So some of your forty-eight logs were longer?
Mailliard: Well, the main cabin was twenty by thirty feet- -the interior
dimensions. I suppose the exterior- -the logs were probably
thirty- four and twenty- four or something like that.
Morris: I assume these were all logs off the property.
Morris: So somebody has to go out and scout?
Mailliard: You've got to go find approximately the same size trees.
Morris: Is there a floor?
Mailliard: Oh, yes. That all comes later. You buy the lumber for that.
Morris: Did this Alaskan fellow stay around?
Mailliard: No. Never saw him again, [chuckles]
Morris: Isn't that wonderful? Does history relate who the friends were
that were rounded up for this project?
Mail Hard: No. I could probably hazard a guess, but again, it was
probably one or the other of Dad's brothers, and I suspect it
was probably largely the Garcia Gun Club people.
Morris: Why was it called the Garcia Gun Club?
Mail Hard: It was on the Garcia River, which originates on the ranch and
goes to the Pacific.
Increasing the Property: Preserving the Redwoods
Morris: And more acreage was acquired as time went on?
Mailliard: Yes, and some was sold. The original property was about- -my
recollection may be totally wrong--! think it was about 2300
acres. Then, bit by bit, he bought adjoining land.
Eventually, he bought Ogle's ranch, and then eventually bought
the Ornbaum property, which was the old Ornbaum Springs Hotel.
Morris: Really? Was that still in operation?
Mailliard: The hotel was still there; we tore it down. But I don't think
it was still in operation.
That was apparently quite a weekend jaunt. There's a
spring that's still there that smells like rotten eggs--
Morris: Wonderful. Very healthful.
Mailliard: Very healthful. None of us could stand it. It made pretty
good lemonade, but otherwise I couldn't get near it.
Then he sold some of the outer parts that are rounding it
up and so forth, and bought some more.
Morris: Is there any state park or federal park or preserve nearby?
Mailliard: The Mailliard Redwoods Dad gave to the state. They are right
in the heart of the ranch on the county road- -the Fish Rock
Road. Now, there is a road on the Avenue of the Giants that's
named after my father, but his friends did that. He didn't do
Morris: And your mom?
Mailliard: Yes, I guess.
Morris: I Just wondered if there's sentiment in the area, and was then,
for preservation of open space.
Mailliard: I don't think people thought much about it then. But Dad, I
can remember, said, "I'm going to give this piece to--" I
think he gave it to the Save -the -Redwoods League, who in turn
gave it to the state. I think that was the way it worked.
Morris: The Mailliard Redwoods?
Mailliard: Yes. That's a mechanical thing. So he said, "At least I know
my grandchildren will be able to drive through a redwood
grove . "
Morris: Your parents were up in that area before the Save -the -Redwoods
League was founded, weren't they?
Mailliard: I don't know when the Save -the -Redwoods League was founded.
Morris: It was 1918.
Mailliard: I think he gave them the property in the thirties because it
was part of the Ornbaum property, which we didn't own until the
thirties. It may have been even in the early, early forties.
I 'm not sure.
Morris: Were there still Ornbaums around when you were first there?
Mailliard: Yes, but they didn't own any property. Well, one of them did.
One Ornbaum owned the old Yorkville ranch, but we didn't know
Morris: It was Just that the property became available, rather than
that your folks were looking to buy. But the other family- -the
Ogles --they worked on the ranch?
Mailliard: No, we bought them out. Old Bide moved to Boonville, I think.
You know, they were getting old. They didn't want to run the
ranch anymore .
Friends and Relatives Visit
Morris: Vere there other people from San Francisco that far back who
were interested in having a little country adventure?
Mailliard: I don't think very many. My uncle, Page Mailliard, bought an
adjoining piece of property, which has since been sold, and my
cousin, Jack Bridgman, bought a smaller piece of property
nearby, but that has also been sold. No, 1 don't think there
were too many city people that had bought up in that area. You
know, it was a five-hour trip to get up there in those days. I
mean, you had to take the ferry, and then the roads were pretty
Morris: Two lanes?
Mailliard: Oh, yes. In San Rafael what is now the main highway was two
lanes, and you had to go through Corte Madera, Ross, San
Morris: Through the towns themselves.
Mailliard: Sure. It was a long trip.
Morris: Then you get to Cloverdale, and is that where you turn off?
Mailliard: Well, just north of Cloverdale, you head towards Fort Bragg.
Morris: It's still a very scenic and winding road.
Mailliard: Yes. I don't remember whether it was paved, I think it was,
but I'm not sure.
Morris: But it's still a two-lane road.
Mailliard: Oh, yes, but now it's two hours from house to house. Then, of
course, we were further in to the ranch than we are now. Now
we are closer to that highway- -the Fort Bragg highway. So it
was another half-hour after you got onto what is now the ranch
to where we had property then.
Building and Rebuilding
Morris: Your mother describes building a swinging pool and says her
three young sons helped lay the pipe from the water supply.
That must have been quite an undertaking.
Mailliard: It was. I've even got some movies of building the pool.
Morris: Wonderful. At the crack of dawn she would get you out of your
sleeping bags to--
Mailliard: I guess so. [chuckles]
Morris: The pool being fed from local springs made me think the water
was very cold.
Mailliard: It was.
Morris: Does that pool still exist?
Mailliard: No. I mean, you can see where it was, but it is abandoned.
See, the cabins are abandoned; we tore them all down.
Morris: And built more citified versions?
Mailliard: Yes. We kept using the cabins for a while in the summer, but
in the wintertime, Mother and Dad would go up to where the old
Ornbaum house was, which they rebuilt. Then, it later burned
down, I think it was about 1945. They replaced it in 1946.
Morris: Was it mostly a weekend place, or would you go up and spend the
Mailliard: We spent the summers. Dad would come on the weekends.
Morris: Did you have ranch chores and organized activities?
Mailliard: Well, somebody had to feed the horses and the cow and milk the
Morris: And were there usually cousins and friends or other young folks
Morris: It sounds like a lovely life.
Mail Hard: Yes. The Bridgman kids would come out from the East, and the
Baldwin kids were there a lot. They are the only ones I
remember being there very much. Others would come, and other
people would come for the weekend: business friends of Dad's
and social friends.
Morris: Did you grow your own vegetables and things like that?
Mailliard: To a limited extent.
Morris: So somebody had to bring in a lot of supplies, it sounds like.
Mailliard: They had to bring them in. During the general strike, I used
to drive into Cloverdale. My children don't believe this
story. My mother would give me a twenty-dollar bill, and we
would feed twenty- three people with it.
Mailliard: That summer, we had twenty-three family and friends living
there. Mother would give me a twenty-dollar bill, and I would
drive to Cloverdale, and 1 would buy the supplies that we
needed in addition to milk from the cow and what vegetables and
so forth we had. For twenty dollars. Watermelon was a penny a
pound. I remember that, although I found it much more fun to
steal watermelons than to buy them, [laughs]
Morris: Were there any farmers near enough that you could go and steal
Mailliard: Oh, yes. On the way into Cloverdale, if I saw a watermelon- -
Morris: --you would liberate it.
Mailliard: I would liberate it. They always tasted better when you stole
Morris: Did your parents know about this propensity of yours?
Morris: How come you got the grocery assignment, and not your older
Mallliard: I think he was always doing things like building fences and
whatnot. He was much more of an outdoorsman than I was.
Morris: Growing up, how did the three of you- -who took the lead in
Mailliard: We didn't compete very much. We did different things. Of
course, Jim was so much younger- -he was a baby that was brought
up by nursemaids and whatnot. We weren't.
Morris: Because by then your mother was involved in so many things?
Mailliard: No, by then they had enough money to hire a nursemaid.
VII SOS: SCOURINC-PAD SUCCESS STORY
Morris: I see. So your father really built the business. Your
grandfather started the family business, but your father really
built it up?
Mailliard: Well, Mother inherited some money from her family. As a matter
of fact, it was kind of interesting, in a way, because all of
my rich friends got poorer and we got richer. They all got
caught in the crash of '29 and Dad didn't, because he didn't
have any money to invest.
Morris: How clever of him. Were his assets all in the firm?
Mailliard: Yes, and in the SOS Company. That's what made the family
Morris: The SOS Company? That's the scouring pad?
Mailliard: Yes. Dad was one of the first original financial backers. He
borrowed $10,000 from his father.
Morris: I don't think of that as a California company.
Mailliard: It isn't any more, but it started right in Oakland. A man with
the unusual name of Smith invented it. He got tired of using
Brillo. Brillo--you know, you had a separate piece of soap and
a steel wool pad.
Morris: And the steel wool disintegrates and gets into your fingers.
Mailliard: This fellow, Mr. Smithif I ever met him, I don't remember- -
decided there ought to be a way to put the soap in the pad. So
using his wife's muffin tins, he'd get the steel wool in there,
and then he'd pour in the soap and press it down and put it in
the oven and bake it.
But he didn't know what to do with it. I mean, it worked
fine; he perfected it, and it really did work. So somebody
said, "Veil, you ought to go see Ward Mallliard because his
company represents manufacturers of this sort of thing." Veil,
Dad took one look at it. I remember he brought some home, and
we used it. So he went out and got Eli Weill, Charlie
Kendrick, and Henry Hawes. Henry Hawes was the head of McCann-
Erickson out here- -the advertising agency- -and a great friend
of Dad's. Kendrick, Mailliard, Hawes; 1 think my Uncle Somers
put a little bit into it. Anyway, they put up $50,000. I
don't think they ever really manufactured it here. I think
they decided that this was something that had a real future;
and since it was steel and soap and because it would have a
better distribution area, they put the factory in Chicago.
Morris: Out from under their immediate supervision?
Mailliard: Oh, no. Dad was president for a while; Charlie Kendrick was
president for a while. They ran it. They hired a professional
manager to actually run it, but they set the policy. I don't
know that one can document it, but it began to catch on in the
Depression, and I think the reason was that people who had
servants suddenly didn't have servants anymore. You never
could get a Chinese cook, for instance, to use anything new.
He wanted to do the same thing- -
Morris: --that his great-grandfather did.
Mailliard: Right. But as women began discovering in their own kitchens, a
labor-saving device like that, which was cheap --
Morris: And having one of the founding partners be a partner in McCann-
Erickson would sound like you had a leg up.
Mailliard: Yes, and, of course, Eli Weill was a very wealthy Jewish
gentleman who owned the Buckingham and Heck Shoe Company or
something like that, I don't remember, but anyway, he was a
wealthy man. And Charlie Kendrick was the head of Schlage Lock
at that point. Dad was the only one that didn't have any
money! He had to borrow it.
Morris: But it looks like he was the one that thought it was a good
proposition and rounded up his friends.
Mailliard: Yes. And I think they figured if anybody knew the retail
grocery trade, Dad did.
Morris: So he was kind of the entrepreneur in backing Smith's idea.
Mailliard: I think pretty much. Well, I guess the others were, too.
Morris: What happened to Mr. Smith?
Mai 11 lard: He died very shortly after we put this together, and
eventually, I think, his widow had to sell all the stock. The
stock wasn't worth very much in those days. The company didn't
really start to make money until the thirties. It was pretty
lean times in the twenties, and then it began to go like a
house afire. Then the war stopped it cold because you couldn't
get steel, and you couldn't get soap. So they made steel wool
for the navy at no profit practically.
Morris: But kept the plant going.
Mailliard: Kept the plant going, and then when the war was over and they
could get supplies again, they did a tremendous merchandising
job. They began advertising nationwide, and the stuff just
sold like hotcakes. They had the plant on a three-shift basis
right after the war. They made a hell of a lot of money.
Then came the big sixty-four dollar question: we were
making so much money that some big outfit like Proctor and
Gamble or somebody was going to come in and just knock us. We
decided either we had to start buying other products and become
big ourselves, or we better sell out. Dad tried to negotiate
some sales and never could get what he thought the thing was
After he died Mr. Kendrick and my brother, Jack, sold it
to General Foods at not a huge price , but we got General Foods
stock, so we didn't have to pay any capital gains tax. That
was at the point when the Justice Department thought big was
bad, so they made General Foods sell it. But we still had the
General Foods stock. General Foods sold it at a profit; but
they got more for it than they paid us.
Morris: So that was a benefit to your stock holdings?
Mailliard: Right. And then when General Foods was bought out by one of
the tobacco companies--! think Phillip Morris- -that' s when it
really hurt, because that was a cash sale. Imagine that this
original investment went back to 1920, and this was about 1960
or maybe even later than that.
That's why that capital gains tax was so unfair, in that
it didn't distinguish between an investment that had been made
forty years before and one that was made a year ago. So most
of the profit was in inflation, on which we got taxed.
However, it left us all much better off than we deserved, I
Morris: That's probably what the tax writers figured.
Mallliard: I didn't cry, but when I had to write a check for $700,000 or
whatever it was, that was a little unnerving, [laughs]
Morris: I can believe it.
VIII KATE PETERSON MAILLIARD'S FOREBEARS
[Interview 3: February 18, 1991 ]ff
Comins from Denmark in the 1850s: From Friis to Peterson
Mailliard: Let me tell you about Marie Peterson, my great -grandmother.
That would be my mother's grandmother on the Peterson side.
And I think maybe that's where we ought to start now. I ought
to go back to those families, what little I know about them.
Let's see, that would have been the Danish couple that,
according to legend at least, met on the boat, got married in
New York, and came around the Horn to San Francisco. His
family name was a very old Danish name: Friis. But the double
i looked like a u when he got to this country, and they called
him Frus and thought he was a German. Well, no Dane wants to
be thought of as a German, so he changed his name to Peterson.
Morris: [laughs] That's quite a change.
Mailliard: Of course, the Scandinavians frequently did that. You know s
the son of Peter- -they adopted that as a family name.
Morris: So he had been Peter Friis?
Mailliard: No, his father would have been Peter. I don't even know what
his name was. Soren, I think, but I'm not positive about that.
And I don't know the exact date of that, but my grandfather,
their oldest child, was born in San Francisco on Rincon Hill in
Morris: That's Ferd?
Morris: Before Rincon Hill was dug up to fill in the bay?
Mailliard: I presume so. That was a residential area.
Anyway, I would have to assume that their marriage was
early eighteen fifties, but just which year I wouldn't know.
Since he was born in '55, and they weren't married until they
got to New York, and they had to come around the Horn, which
took quite a while, they must have come over in '52 or '53, I
Morris: Did Great-grandfather Peterson arrive with a trade or capital?
Mailliard: I have no idea. I didn't know any of that generation- -I knew
all of my grandfather's brothers and sisters, I think. Well,
one of them, I guess, I never did meet. I think Meta--we were
talking about Meta, and that's why I was getting confused,
because one of the Peterson women was Meta. I think she was
the one that married a Simmons. And then there was Aunt
Harriet, who married a Miller. Some of those descendants are
around; John Miller I see once in a long while. Then there was
Aunt Carrie, who was an opera singer and lived mostly in Paris;
Morris: Does history relate whether she did her music training here?
Mailliard: I don't know. I think not. Well, maybe she did some. When I
knew her, she would come back once in a while, but mostly she
was in Paris. And she was an almost first-rate opera singer- -
Morris: But good enough so that she made a career in music.
Mailliard: Oh, yes. She was professional. Then there was Uncle Frank,
who never married and who, I think, with his father- -I'm not
sure about thiswent into the grocery business at some point.
Red Salmon Canning Company
Mailliard: I'm not exactly sure when, but then they went to Alaska to
build a salmon cannery. That was known as the Red Salmon
Canning Company. Uncle Frank ran it. I think he was
originally in partnership with his father, but I'm not sure
about that because I never knew him. But Uncle Frank I knew,
and he was very wealthy. Liked to give parties. He lived at
the Bellevue Hotel on Post Street or Geary.
Morris: It sounds like he didn't spend too much time in Alaska once the
business got going.
Mailliard: No, I don't think so. It became quite a business. They had
two ships, and they would load up here and then go up for the
salmon run and come back. Then when [waterfront union leader]
Harry Bridges began to take over things, they moved the whole
thing to Seattle because he'd call a strike just as they were
about to leave for Alaska. And of course if they missed the
run, they were finished for the year.
Morris: That explains a reference in one of your father's letters; he
says he has to stop writing the letter because he has to go to
a Red Salmon meeting. I thought that might have been some of
his fishing buddies.
Mailliard: Yes, he was on the board. Then when Uncle Frank died, Baltzer,
my mother's younger brother, ran the company until they finally
sold it about World War II. I don't know exactly, but I think
it was right after the war .
Morris: To Del Monte or one of the big packing companies?
Mailliard: I don't remember who they sold it to. I know that in the
family it was a big joke. They said that the salmon business
was like playing roulette. I mean, if you hit, you get paid
off; and if you didn't hit- -because , you see, you had your
expenses all year round. If that run was small or something
interfered with the fishing, you busted because your income for
the year was gone. Nevertheless, Uncle Frank managed to make a
lot of money out of it.
The youngest brother was Seabury, who was married but had
Morris: Do you recall who his wife was?
Mailliard: She outlived him by a lot, and she and Mother were great
friends, but right now I do not remember her name. I think
I've named them all. I might have lost one somewhere.
Morris: Baltzer was the one that was closest to your mother in age?
Mailliard: Mother was between the two brothers.
Morris: Baltzer appears a lot in references in your mother's letters
and correspondence. Were they close friends?
Mail Hard: Yes. He died quite recently, three or four years ago, at the
age of ninety.
Morris: A good, long life. And did he marry?
Mail Hard: He married twice. His first wife was a European. She was half
French and half Austrian. Her name was Jeanne, and she had
been married before. She'd been married to an Englishman. And
she died a long time ago.
Morris: Baltzer was also a close friend of your father's?
Mailliard: No. Somers and my father were the same age. Baltzer was quite
a bit younger.
C.M. Swig: And Baltzer and Jeanne had one daughter?
Mailliard: Yes. They had one daughter.
C.M. Swig: Her name was Mae. Would she have been named after your
Mailliard: Mae, and her mother was Jeanne, so she was Mae Jeanne.
C.M. Swig: That's a pretty name, isn't it?
Morris: Yes, and Baltzer is a lovely name. That sounds like it is also
a Danish name.
Mailliard: That was a family name, yes. I think my great-grandfather
[whose widow was Marie] was Soren Baltzer Friis originally, and
then changed the name to Peterson.
There are not too many descendants of that family. Well,
there are some Millers around.
Morris: Is that the Lux-Miller clan?
Mailliard: No. Aunt Harriet had only one son, Earl Miller, but he had a
raft of children. [To C.W. Swig] You know John Miller?
C.M. Swig: Sure.
Mailliard: Well, that's one of them, but he's got brothers and sisters
whom I don ' t know .
Morris: So John is your generation?
Mailliard: Yes. Well, that's about all I know about the Petersons.
It's good to know something. I never knew anything.
Aside from the son who did well with the salmon cannery, it was
Father Peterson who started the grocery business, is that
Well, that's very vague. That was long before my time. I just
remember hearing that they were in the grocery business for
some time and, I think, made a little money there and then
started the salmon cannery.
That must have been early days in Alaska. They didn't go for
gold; they went for fish.
Yes. It was the Red Salmon Canning Company in Naknek, Alaska,
just inside Bristol Bay.
Both Baltzer and Somers were in the cannery?
Well, they eventually inherited some stock in it, and I think
Somers and my father were both on the board. But Somers was in
the automotive -parts business.
Did he stay over in Marin?
Yes. After my mother and father built their house in
Belvedere- -the house where I was born- -Dad decided that the
commute was too much for him; so we moved to San Francisco,
and Somers and his wife, Helen Holton- -she's a Canadian; I
don't know whether they bought the house from my parents or
whether they rented it, but they lived there. I don't remember
the house when we lived in it. 1 was too young. But 1 do
remember the house when Somers and Helen Peterson lived there.
They eventually bought a house in San Rafael, and they lived
there the rest of the time.
It's on Peterson Drive, I think; and it had a playroom and a
bar that was designed to look very much like a ship.
Yes. He was a yachtsman. He was the founder of the Marin
Yacht Club, and its commodore for many, many years. They bought
the house from a distant cousin--! think one of the Millers. A
beautiful house. It's got a gorgeous view. It just sits up on
the hills over what used to be the Marin Country Club, which
doesn't exist any more.
And beautiful gardens.
What was that gardener's name?
Mailliard: If you hadn't asked me, I could have told you. I remember it
very well. They grew orchids and had a gorgeous garden.
The Somers Family
Mailliard: Anyway, skipping over to the Somerses- -I don't know much about
him, William James Somers. 1 He was married to Kate Burbank,
who came from New England. I don't know where the Somerses
came from, but they came out here very early in the 1850s. He
got into real estate and prospered.
Morris: He was the one that got burned out?
Mailliard: He got wiped out in the 1906 San Francisco Fire and started
C.M. Swig: He was your mother's--
C.M. Swig: That's where Kate's name came from?
Mailliard: Was from her grandmother.
C.M. Swig: And that's where William and James came from.
Mailliard: Right. But I never knew any of them. Kate Burbank was not a
first cousin, I don't think, but about a second cousin of
Luther Burbank, the famous horticulturalist . The family had
come from New England in the early days . 1 think he already
was an agricultural whiz of some sort when he got here. And,
of course, he invented all kinds of new plants --the navel
orange, 1 think, was his, and loganberries, which was also a
J See "Kate Mailliard of Ornbaum Valley,
Mendocino Robin, April, 1966,
cross. He was preeminent in his field; well-known worldwide. 1
I net him once when 1 was a small child.
Anyway, the Somerses had three children. George- -Uncle
Doctor, as we called him- -was the head of Stanford Lane
Morris: When it was still here in the city?
Mailliard: Right. He died long before it was moved to Stanford in the
1950s. Then my grandmother, Mae, and finally the younger
C.M. Swig: --Burbank Somers--
Mailliard: Yes, and he died quite young. I barely can remember him.
Morris: Is Mae the grandmother that you used to call Nana?
Mailliard: No. That's Mailliard. That's the Page side. Grandmother
Peterson was Grandmother.
Let's see, tracing them down, Burbank never had any
children. Uncle Doctor did have. His wife was a Hooper.
Her father, old Mr. Hooper, owned most of Voodside in those
days. Incidentally, he was in Ford's Theater when Lincoln was
Morris: Oh, my goodness! He spent a lot of time in Washington, do you
Mailliard: I don't know. I just barely knew him. I met him when he was
in his nineties. For me to have known somebody that was in the
theater when Lincoln was shot is stretching time, isn't it!
[laughs] But he was about ninety. There are lots of Hoopers
around. If you ever wanted to check it, John Hooper probably
knows all about it, but I don't.
C.M. Swig: How are they related to you?
J In A Companion to California (New York: Oxford Press, 1978), James D.
Hart notes that Burbank followed his three brothers to California in 1875.
Strongly influenced by Darwin's writings, he settled in Santa Rosa with ten
potatoes of a strain he developed himself and spent the rest of his life
[1849-1926] experimenting with hybridization and production of new strains
of fruits, flowers, and vegetables, becoming known as a beneficent wizard
of the plant world.
Mail Hard: Not really related. John Hooper's father was the brother of
another Nay, spelled M-a-y, who was married to Uncle Doctor.
So there was no blood relationship. The families are related
Morris: The father of Mrs. Uncle Doctor, who was in the theater when
Lincoln [was shot] --was this a story that was recorded
regularly in family gatherings?
Mail Hard: Well, of course he wasn't that close a relative really. His
daughter married my great uncle. And they owned practically
all of Woods ide- -the Hoopers.
Morris: An article in the Mendoci.no Robin article said that James
Somers was a forty-niner. 1 He was here before California was
Mail Hard: That I don't know. I really know hardly anything about him,
except that he was big in real estate and got wiped out.
[ laughs ]
Morris: I wondered about that. How many of them were living in San
Francisco in 1906? Is that what produced the exodus to
Mail Hard: I don't know. The Peterson family house, which they used even
though they had other places, was at 2420 Buchanan Street. I
remember it very well. They were in Belvedere before 1906.
Morris: So they had two residences- -one in the city and one in
Mailliard: Well, the Petersons never owned a city house. They would come
and rent an apartment for a month or two. They lived year
round in Belvedere, except they'd come over for a short time.
My grandmother's last days, they lived at the Mark Hopkins
Morris: And the Buchanan Street house belonged to--
Mailliard: Belonged to the Peterson family. I remember Aunt Carrie, when
she'd come back from Paris, she'd live there. And Aunt
Harriet, who lived in Palo Alto, that was her townhouse. It
was sort of the family townhouse.
1 "Kate Mailliard of Ornbaum Valley or as she calls it, Mailliard
Meadows," Hendocino Robin, April 1966, 9-12, 20. See appendix.
C.M. Swig: Who ran it?
Mailliard: I don't know. That did not concern ne at that point in my
Morris: Was it near the San Francisco house where you grew up?
Mailliard: Veil, it's all in the same general neighborhood. For instance,
my grandmother's funeral was from that house.
Morris: So there was always somebody in the family living there, maybe
not at the same time?
Mailliard: Now you're asking me questions I can't answer. [laughs]
C.M. Swig: Oh, that's wonderful! It's sort of spooky, in fact.
Mailliard: Different members of the family used it, I remember that. But
who ran it, I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if Aunt
Harriet might have run it because she was here. Aunt Carrie
was in Paris most of the time.
Visits with the Elder Generation: Travels with the Wards
Morris: Was there a big flurry when Aunt Carrie came back from Paris?
Mailliard: Not particularly. At least not that I can remember. I was a
funny little boy. I liked to go visiting all the old folks.
Morris: You must have been a treasure.
Mailliard: You see, I went to boarding school in San Rafael when 1 was
ten, but I would always go see the little lady that married the
two Chileans, and I'd go see Manuela Hellman, who was one of my
grandmother's sisters. I always made the rounds. These were
all of my grandparents' vintage.
C.M. Swig: That's probably the reason you know so much about all this,
Morris: Would they sit you down and have tea and cakes for you?
Mailliard: Yes, sometimes.
C.M. Swig: When you say Hellman, is that related to Marco?
Nailliard: Yes, not too close. He was [Horace] Hellman, and there was a
connection, but it was not a close connection.
C.M. Swig: And this is your grandmother's sister married to Horace
Mailliard: Yes, and they had no children.
C.M. Swig: It sounds like everybody is related, doesn't it?
Morris: It does.
Mailliard: It was a very small community.
Morris: That's what I was going to ask you to hazard a guess: what was
Mailliard: I wouldn't know. But you know, in that era there were
relatively few educated people, and they knew each other all
over the world. They really did, literally. When Adolph and
Annie would go to Europe, they knew everybody in London, Paris.
It was a very, very small community of people who, in effect,
were educated people.
Morris: And they knew each other because they had all been to school
together or they all did business together?
Mailliard: No, I think they all just- -well, how they travelled in those
days! You know, you'd take a trip to Europe and you'd go for
two years. You didn't go for a week. And then, of course, one
bunch of the family had lived in Italy- -one of the three
sisters, Julia Ward Howe. And they all came from Newport and
New York. She moved to Boston when she married Dr. Howe. What
was the other girl's name? The one that married the sculptor?
Well, I know perfectly well, but I can't think of it at the
moment. She married first a sculptor and then an artist.
Louisa. They lived in Florence for decades.
The sculpture on the dome of the capitol was done by
Thomas Crawford, who was married to Louisa Ward. Then he died,
and she married a fellow named Terry, who was a painter. There
are some of his paintings in the capitol.
C.M. Swig: They lived in Washington?
Mailliard: No, they lived in Florence. That statue on the dome of the
capitol- -what's it called, Victory or something- -was done in
Morris: You wonder how his statue was selected to go on the capitol.
Did he win a competition?
Mailliard: You've lost me. I have no idea.
Morris: So whenever anybody in the family went to Europe, they would
stop in Italy and hobnob with the artistic relatives?
Mailliard: People visited around a lot in those days. Not to the extent
that the Mailliards did with the McAllisters, but-- [laughs]
Morris: They didn't all bring their livestock!
Mailliard: When Uncle Sam went on the grand tour, he kept moving fast
enough that his father's letters telling him to come home never
quite caught up with him.
Morris: This is Sam Ward?
Mailliard: Yes. His travelling companion- -they didn't stay together, but
they would meet up various places in Europe- -was Lord
Roseberry, who later became prime minister. 1 have a portrait
of Sam as a young man during his grand tour, and it has a dog
in it. The family story- -and I don't guarantee this at all- -is
that this portrait was painted in Germany. They said that when
Lord Roseberry caught up with Uncle Sam, he showed him the
portrait. Roseberry said, "Well, it's very nice, but Sam,
aren't you the oldest son?" And Sam said, "Yes, I'm the only
son." He said, "The oldest son always has a dog at his feet."
So the story is that the dog was painted in later. I have
asked several art experts to look at the portrait- -"Now, was
the dog painted in later?" Some say yes, and some say no! So
I still don't know. [laughs] Anyway, that's a portrait that I
have, and it's reproduced in Three Saints and a Sinner. 1
Women of Distinction: Louise Tharp. Julia Vard Howe, and Maud
Mailliard: It was very interesting how Louise Tharp came to write that
book. Her husband was an officer of the Metropolitan Life
Insurance Company, so there wasn't a financial need, but she
1 At the time of the interview, this painting hung in Charlotte
Mailliard Swig's home in San Francisco.
wrote children's books --lots of them. They were very
successful . And then on one of her trips somewhere , she got
interested in the Peabody sisters. And that was her first
adult book, The Peabody Sisters of Salem. Well, as she got
studying to do that book--
Mailliard: She would run into these people named Vard. She'd decide,
"That's interesting; I'll write about them."
Morris: What a lot of talented women. You're talking about a
successful singer and writer in the family, and she's writing
about women of note in an era when women were generally
considered not to be very notable.
Mailliard: Oh, Aunt Julia wrote lots of things under an assumed name
because her husband had a fit every time her name was in the
public eye. He didn't like it at all. Of course, the "Battle
Hymn of the Republic" was written as a poem. It wasn't ever
thought of as a song. And the soldiers picked it up.
C.M. Swig: Who wrote the music?
Mailliard: It was an old English tune. You see, the soldiers' song in the
Civil War in the North was [sings] "John Brown's body lies a-
mouldering in the grave--" That's the same music. And she
heard them singing this and unconsciously, when she wrote it--
she wrote it in the middle of the night in the Willard Hotel.
C.M. Swig: The Willard Hotel is in Washington, D.C.
Mailliard: She wrote it in the night. And--I'm only guessing at this--
because the soldiers sang this "John Brown's body" song,
unconsciously she got the rhythm. So when the soldiers picked
up this thing, they made it the song. "Dixie" was the song of
the South; the "Battle Hymn" was the song of the North.
C.M. Swig: I use that song all the time when I put on things at City Hall
for the theme. Invariably, people cry. I mean, it's really
Mailliard: Yes. But it was published as a poem. I don't exactly how it
was picked up, but apparently it just became so popular with
the troops because it's a rousing tune. If you read the full
text of it, of which aost of us only know the first verse --the
president gave her a carriage, and she went out to the battle
field at Manassas or Bull Run or one of those places out there
The President of the United States?
Mr. Lincoln. And they were coming back sort of at dusk, and if
you read the thing, you can see that she, in effect, was
telling the story of her ride in from the battlefield back into
Washington. The story was--and I assume it's correct -- that she
had a baby with her, and it would have been cousin Maud
Elliott, in the room with her in the hotel. She didn't want to
wake the baby, so she didn't want to turn on the light. So she
scribbled this in the dark with a pencil and had a hell of a
time reading it the next day. Apparently, she changed it
somewhat when she reread it. But it caught on almost
instantly. And the interesting thing is, of course, that's all
she's known for. But she lived until 1910, and she was a
fighter for the women's vote. She was a terrific personality,
absolutely having nothing to do with the "Battle Hymn." But
now that's all they know about her.
Somebody told me that she started Mother's Day.
I don't think so. I think that was another leader for women's
rights. I don't think it was Aunt Julia.
Why was she in Washington if they lived in Boston?
Because Sam was in Washington- -her brother.
Did she keep house for him or just go and visit?
I don ' t know .
Was she married when she wrote that?
Yes. I'll tell you, they got around. They traveled around a
lot, those people, and it was tough traveling. Although there
were some trains maybe by then.
That she took the baby with her is amazing,
home and wrote sermons?
Her husband stayed
I don't think so. Again, I can't tie this together in time,
but you know, Dr. Howe went over with Lord Byron to fight the
Greek War of Independence, and there's a street in Athens named
after Howe. Now I don't remember when the Greek War of
Independence was, but I think that was before he and Julia were
married because he was a lot older than she. I can't tie it
all together, but he did his own thing. I'm sure they were
married before she wrote the "Battle Hymn," but I don't think
they were married when he went over to fight with the Greeks.
Yes, that sounds a little earlier. But did he come to
Not that I know of.
Because the Fair Hills book makes a reference to Adolph
Mailliard buying the San Geronimo property from Henry Ward, and
that caught my eye as either something that's gotten turned
around in translation- -
I've never heard of that one.
--or I wondered whether the Wards put up the money twice for
I think Aunt Julia still had a fair amount of money at that
stage of the game. I'm pretty sure. They must have had money.
I think she was pretty well-off. One of her daughters, Maud
Elliott, was the only one that I actually knew, and that's kind
of a funny story in itself:
I went to the Naval War College in Newport, and cousin
Maud lived there. So I called up- -she was then eighty- seven- -
and said I'd like to come and visit her. The woman that
answered the phone, who was a trained nurse, said, "Well, Mrs.
Elliott can't receive visitors. She's had a heart attack, you
know." I said, "No, I didn't know." Then she tells me this
story over the phone.
She said, "Well, you know, we go to Florida every winter.
Mrs. Elliott was surfing"-- at the age of eighty-seven- -"and
she had a heart attack. So the doctor put her to bed. It came
time for us to come back to Newport, and the doctor said,
'Well, Mrs. Elliott, you're in no condition to travel, and you
can't go back to Newport.' She said, 'Young man, you mean I'm
going to die at the age of eighty- seven? I should worry about
this?'" So back to Newport she went.
Finally, I got a call from the nurse. She said, "Mrs.
Elliott would like to see you. Would you come to tea?" I said
I would be delighted. She said, "Are you married?" I said,
"Yes." She said, "Well, please don't bring your wife. Mrs.
Elliott really doesn't like women very much."
[ everyone laughs ]
That's wonderful. Did she live in one of those wonderful,
gray shingled houses?
Mailliard: Well, it wasn't a huge house, no. A modest little house. Oh,
no, the Wards did not approve of the Rockefellers and the other
people that built the mansions.
Morris: Oh, they were there before?
Mailliard: Yes. They'd been there since it was a colony. You know, one
of the Wards was governor of the colony. So it was hfiir
Newport. She finally wrote a book called This Was My Newport.
Anyway, she was a fabulous old lady. I thoroughly enjoyed her.
I began to hear stories around Newport as I got to know
some of the local people. They told the story that the sort of
cultural center of Newport for the old residents, called the
C.M. Swig: Oh, yes, that's a fancy club.
Mailliard: I guess. They tell the story about her that she was making a
speech to the ladies at the Reading Room, and in the course of
the speech, she said, "Well, of course, my father was a great
friend of Lafayette." And a couple of the ladies in the back
rows said, "Oh, the poor old lady, she's getting confused. She
must mean her grandfather." Not at all. Her father was in his
sixties when she was born, and Lafayette was nineteen when he
came to America. They were good friends. This was a little
bit of a shock in the 1940s to have her say, "My father was a
great friend of Lafayette."
My oldest son was born in Newport.
Morris: But you had to leave your wife at home to go call on Cousin
Mailliard: Yes, because Mrs. Elliott didn't want to see any women. And by
golly, after a heart attack and all the rest of it- -my mother
came back when Bill was born- -my mother and 1 were sitting
there one time when Liz was still in bed, I guess- -in those
days, they stayed put after they had babies for a long time,
which they don't do any more- -and the doorbell rings and by
golly, there is Mrs. Elliott paying her respects to the newborn
member of the family.
Morris: Isn't that charming.
Mailliard: It was the custom.
Morris: Yes. She must have been delighted to have a relative from out
here in Indian country come to visit.
Mailliard: So, by golly, there she was. Then I got a letter from her,
which probably is there in the papers you have , that said
something like this: Dear Bill, my closer relatives attempted
to kill me with kindness on my ninetieth birthday, but they
didn't quite make it.
C.M. Swig: You named your dog Maud. Vere you being disrespectful?
Mailliard: Not at all. We all loved our dogs. Everybody asked me, "How
did you ever name the dog Maude?" And 1 said, "Because 1 never
heard of a dog called Maude!" Maude with an e. Her official,
legal name on the papers was Princess Maude.
Morris: This is the dog, not your cousin.
Mailliard: [laughs] A pedigreed dog.
Morris: With an e to tell her from Cousin Maud?
Mailliard: [chuckles] Not really.
C.M. Swig: I guess the Mailliard family has had that spunk all the way
through--! guess that's just in the bloodline. You know, the
pioneer spirit and creative doers.
Mailliard: Yes, they were doers.
Morris: Is it genetic, do you suppose, or is it something that these
cousins and great-uncles would tell you and your brothers, that
you had to live up to the family traditions?
Mailliard: I think some of it must be genetic, but I think an awful lot of
it is just example. You were accustomed to it, surrounded with
people who were doers.
Morris: At supper time, as small boys, would your mother and father
talk about the family comings and goings and the things they
were involved in?
Mailliard: I don't remember a lot of that. I was interested, so that I
picked up a lot. I don't think Jack would have known any of
C.M. Swig: He was more likely to know things that had to do with the
Mallllard: Yes, first-hand stuff. And Jim had no interest in family
C.M. Swig: Well, as you said, you liked to go call on elderly relatives.
Mailliard: Yes, I did because I learned a lot from those old folks.
South Park Section of San Francitco: 1906 Earthquake Stories
Morris: Are there any family earthquake stories?
Mailliard: Well, mother was living at 2420 Buchanan Street, with which
relatives I don't know. I guess with her mother and father.
When the earthquake hit, they weren't sure whether they could
stop the fire at Van Ness Avenue. They planned to dynamite
west of Van Ness Avenue , and that would have included the
Buchanan Street house. They were going to dynamite up to
Fillmore Street, I think.
So they had to get out, and they went to the Presidio
until somehow they were able to get back over to Belvedere. I
don't know how they did that. And I don't know where my father
was. He was presumably at the 2420 Gough Street house, which
was built in 1902. And they, I think, escaped to Belvedere,
too. My father would have been fifteen, and my mother would
have been fourteen.
Morris: Have you seen this nice article about your mom in the Hendocino
Mailliard: Not that I ever saw.
Morris: Well, it said, "Kate Mailliard was born in San Francisco at
1034 Mission Street --then one of the more fashionable
residential areas." It's right in the block next to what is
now the federal courthouse and post office. I went round by
there this morning to take a look.
1 "Kate Mailliard," Robin.
Mailliard: That very well may be true; the Buchanan Street house might not
have been built yet, because Pacific Heights was one of the
last areas, really, to be built.
Everybody lived south of Market [Street] in those days.
It was then a fashionable residential area, near what was then
known as Rincon Hill. I know the Pages lived at what was
called South Park, which was just a little bit further south
C.M. Swig: That whole area has been rejuvenated, with attractive
restaurants and apartments. They still call it South Park.
Mailliard: I know Nana used to talk about South Park. That article is
probably right; Mother probably told them that. I would have
thought she was born on Buchanan Street, but now that I think
of it, I don't think Buchanan Street would have been built by
Morris: That's getting out toward the missionMission Dolores- -which
must have been already a major landmark. Back inland from the
hurly-burly of the waterfront.
Mailliard: They just didn't built over here [on Russian Hill] because the
good weather was in that area. This was too foggy. They
didn't want to build over here. 1 bought a house on Jackson
Street because that, again, was further out. Cow Hollow was
built up long, long before Pacific Heights. That was
relatively much later. My grandmother remembered when there
were no houses west of Van Ness Avenue. Mother used to talk
about sledding down the sand dunes on Van Ness Avenue.
Morris: I thought they were further out towards what is now Golden Gate
C.M. Swig: The whole place was sand dunes.
Mailliard: It was. The whole city is built on sand.
Morris: But the Presidio was there from Spanish times.
Mailliard: Originally, San Francisco had the Mission Dolores and the
Presidio. That was all: the church and the army. I think it
was 1836 that the first civilian house was built in what is now
San Francisco. That's comparatively recent!
Morris: Yes. One's grandmother could remember that. Was that first
civilian house between the mission and the army post?
I don't know. But there wasn't much here before 1849.
were a few houses, but not much.
This article also reports that in spite of getting burned out
in 1906, James Soners went around two days later and borrowed
enough money to start building his properties up again.
I've heard that, but I don't know. I don't know when he died.
He was seventy -three in 1906.
Yes, and he died fairly shortly after that, I think. But he
must have done pretty well in the real estate business to
recoup because my grandmother was a woman with a moderate
Family Insurance and Grocery Businesses
Mailliard: My grandfather, Ferd, never really made any money. He worked
for an insurance company most of his life, and then when he
retired, he set himself up as an insurance broker.
He had an office in his son's, Somers Peterson's, office.
I remember he had this great roll -top desk. My God! He'd open
that thing, and it was stacked with papers. The phone would
ring- -I think he just a kept a few old-time clients who just
automatically renewed their insurance --and he'd reach into that
stack and pull out their insurance policy just as if it had
been filed! [laughs]
Morris: So he kept an office in his son's place of business?
Mailliard: Yes, at 57 California Street. The Mailliard and Schmeidell
Company office was 203 California Street, and then it was 302,
and they finally moved to Montgomery Street, and then finally
moved to Sausalito.
Morris: Because you don't need to be in the city?
Mailliard: Jack moved it because he found that the cost of getting a
parking place downtown -- and the salesmen, they have to come
into the office and so forth- -he just found this was getting
excessive. Most of their people lived in Marin County anyway,
and there was no reason to be in the high-priced business area.
Morris: It sounds like, from what you were telling me the other day,
that the people in the firm spent most of their time out
calling on clients.
Mailliard: There were Just a few people who did the office work. Oh,
they'd come in, they'd telephone around, make their
arrangements, make their calls, and all that. So Jack was
doing a reverse commute. He'd be going that-a-way when
everybody else was coming this-a-way. Then he'd come in to
have lunch at the club or go to a board meeting or whatever.
Morris: And it put him an hour closer to the ranch on weekends.
John Ward Mailliard, Jr. (1891-
1954) and Kate Peterson (1892-
1966) on their wedding day in
IX LIFE WITH KATE AND WARD MAILLIARD
Youth and Marriage in Belvedere
Is there some more on your mother's side of the family, about
her childhood and growing up?
Well, I don't know a lot about It. I know that they lived in
Belvedere, and her brothers were sailors. I remember they had
one sailboat called the Imp, which was a tiny little thing; I
got dumped out of it when I was about four years old. She was
a tennis player. I think their life kind of centered around- -
there was a country club in those days on the far end of
Belvedere. It's long gone.
She went to Blanche Gamble School in Santa Barbara,
which was a boarding school, but I don't know for how long.
A finishing school kind of thing?
I suppose so. She and Mildred Hall.
Who was in her wedding?
She was the matron of honor , yes .
Was Mildred also from Belvedere?
No, but they were school friends in Santa Barbara,
I imagine she died. She did visit Kate at the ranch in my time.
Did you ever meet Bun Hall- -James Low Hall, Jr? I've lost
track of them. Clark, their older son, kind of retired to
northern Mar in County somewhere. The middle son, who was a
surgeon, committed suicide. These were San Francisco Halls.
Did Kate go to college?
No. She didn't. Women didn't go to college in those days very
much. A few did, but they were not married. Mostly women
completed their education at the high school level.
Did she get married early? How old was she when she got
In 1913 she would have been twenty-one.
Were she and your father childhood sweethearts?
More or less. I think so. At least they certainly knew each
There are some wonderful bits in her diaries in The Bancroft
Library. One that 1 came across was written on Belvedere
during the summer, and every other page says, "Ward came by,"
and, "Ward and 1 went for a walk," and--
You see, he came back. He went to Yale for only one year. He
came back- -that would have been 1910. Before he went in with
his father, he worked for an insurance company, I think. I'm
not sure about that, but he certainly worked somewhere else.
They were engaged, I think, for quite a long time. They didn't
have enough money to get married.
That's what I wondered. It's listed somewhere that his first
job for M and S was as office boy, which sounds like they
really started him with a broom. And, in those days, you were
supposed to have a sufficient income before you got married;
you didn't just go off to Nevada on a weekend.
Beautiful wedding pictures,
and fancy wedding.
It looked as if it were a large
You were there, weren't you? [laughs]
There are some photographs of Kate in an absolutely marvelous
short dress with a long train. It's got a square bodice- -
Mailliard: She wore it at their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
C.M. Swig: The hem cane up in front. Yes, she gave it to the De Young
Morris: Was it from France?
C.M. Swig: I don't know. Do you?
Mailliard: I don't know.
Morris: It's almost a flapper look, but it's got great style.
Mailliard: They were married in the Peterson house in Belvedere.
C.M. Swig: She got married there, and the reception was there, too?
Mailliard: I wasn't there.
C.M. Swig: I heard you were. [Chuckles] Which aunt married Templeton?
Mailliard: No, not Templeton; George Temple Bridgman.
C.M. Swig: What did she used to say? She used to shock him.
Mailliard: Oh, yes. Anita.
Mailliard: The story goes that somebody asked Anita how long she'd been
married, and she said, "Well, let's see. Jack's fifteen?
C.M. Swig: And Uncle Bridgman was rather proper, right?
Mailliard: Yes. He referred to himself as a New Englander married to and
corrupted by a Californian. [chuckles]
C.M. Swig: So they had a big wedding. There are several bridesmaids in
Mailliard: Yes, and you know, one of them was Helen Peterson's sister.
C.M. Swig: Somers Peterson's wife?
Mailliard: Right. Those families were very big. They are a Canadian
branch of the family, but they had intermarried with the
Peterson family on several different occasions.
Morris: Did your mother start writing poetry as a schoolgirl?
Mallliard: Not that I know of. No, not until after my father died.
Morris: Really? Because there is really quite a remarkable body of
work In The Bancroft Library papers.
Mailliard: I don't ever remember her either writing or reading or anything
else- -poetry- -until after Dad died. 1 think that was sort of a
C.M. Swig: Dealing with grief and expressing it.
Young Jack. Bill, and Jim: Public and Private Schools
Morris: Shortly, you three boys came along.
Mailliard: Jack and I were three years apart, but Jim was eight years
later. I was born in 1917. So Jim would be 1925.
Morris: Would you have had a nanny?
Mailliard: We didn't, but Jim did. Ve didn't have enough money. When we
were little kids, we sometimes had an Irish immigrant girl
that, I think, got paid fifteen dollars a month or something.
C.M. Swig: But your mother took care of you and Jack.
Mailliard: Sometimes we had a maid, and sometimes we didn't.
Morris: Vould you and your brother have been raised to do chores and
help around the house?
Mailliard: 1 presume so, knowing Mother, but I don't really remember this
very much. I mean, we lived in rented houses. I can remember
each house and approximately when we were there, but I don't
remember any servants. Well, I think only occasionally. I
don't know. We were so little then, we wouldn't have done
much. 1 was ten years old when I went to boarding school.
Morris: And you went back to San Rafael to boarding school.
C.M. Swig: Was that Tamalpais, where Jack went?
Jack went ahead of me, but he wasn't quite so young. He was
only there a couple years . I would say he was fourteen or
fifteen- -a normal tine to go to boarding school.
Didn't he go to
Veil, he must not have been there very long.
Yale when he was sixteen?
I guess he was accepted when he was sixteen, and then went when
he was seventeen.
Was Tamalpais a new school at that point?
Yes. A group of men, including my father, decided that there
ought to be an Eastern- style preparatory school in the Bay
Area. So they started the school, I'd say, in the early
Did they bring out a suitable pedagogical person to run it?
Was it stiff and stern?
It certainly had the highest scholastic standing of anything
around here . Thacher would have been the only other school in
California that would have had similar standards.
Thacher was already in existence?
Yes, and, of course, there was a very close connection between
Thacher and Taft. Mr. Thacher and Mr. Taft were classmates at
Yale. I have a very interesting book of the Taft-Thacher
letters that they wrote back and forth about the miseries of
trying to run a school. [chuckles]
Why didn't they send you down to Thacher?
Thacher was a different kind of school. In those days, Thacher
had no interscholastic athletics. Thacher boys just rode
horseback. They didn't do anything else. They didn't really
have that breadth. It was a different kind of school.
So your dad wanted this school to be well-rounded.
Veil, I guess he thought there ought to be one up here. I
mean, in those days it was a long way to Ojai from San
Francisco. I don't know. But at any rate, they started
Tanalpais. Then, of course, it ran into rough times in the
And not only that. There was no tradition here. See,
California had much better public schools than they had back
East. Most people didn't think in terms of a preparatory
school. Before he went to Taft, Dad went to --they had a high
school, and now 1 can't think of its name--
Mailliard: Yes. It was the college preparatory high school in San
Francisco. You wonder that they can get away with that now,
that it isn't considered discriminatory to have one public high
school with very much higher standards than another. There was
Lick-Wilmerding, which was private, so you could do it. This
was a public school.
My son, Bill, went there briefly before he went to Taft.
C.M. Swig: Why didn't you go to Taft?
Mailliard: Probably money as much as anything, and the fact that Tamalpais
was sort of an equivalent. I did go to Taft for two years.
The only reason for that was because I was too young to go to
It was largely Jack convincing my father that he had been
too young when he had gone to Yale at seventeen. I would have
gone at sixteen. Jack said, "That's just stupid. You're not
ready for college at that age."
Morris: That's what Jack felt about himself?
Mailliard: About himself, but even so, I was going to be still a year
younger than he was. And so Dad got in touch with Mr. Taft to
see if I could take one year. Mr. Taft said no, they didn't
want anybody to come to the school for less than two years.
But they would agree to let me go in as a senior. I had
already had one senior year at Tamalpais, so I ended up having
three senior years in high school!
Brothers at Yale. 1937-1941: Social Life: ROTC
C.M. Swig: You must have been smart by the time you got to college
Mailliard: Well, I'll tell you, I had had so many advanced courses that-
well, it's all different now, but in those days, schools like
Yale had very specific requirements that you had to get rid of
before you could go into your major course and so on. 1 was
able to get rid of all of them in freshman year instead of
taking two years . So I had three years where I could take any
elective I wanted to. I was overeducated at that stage!
Morris: What did you do with those three years to do what you wanted?
Mailliard: I majored in English. I took two English courses each year,
then a history course, and then I'd dabble. One year I took
economics and knew I didn't want any more of that!
C.M. Swig: Were you and Jack there at the same time?
Mailliard: No. I graduated from Taft the same year he graduated from
C.M. Swig: So did you all see each other when you were back there?
Mailliard: Yes. I used to go down to New Haven and see him once in a
C.M. Swig: Because he got in lots of trouble at Yale, right?
Mailliard: Yes, he did. He got kicked out twice.
Morris: What did your brother get kicked out of Yale for?
Mailliard: Inciting a riot.
Morris: Would you tell us about- -
Mailliard: I wasn't there, and he never talked about it. [chuckles]
C.M. Swig: He said that he was just walking across the quadrangle- -
Mailliard: It was at the old campus, and somebody started throwing bottles
out the window or something, and he got the blame for it. And
he probably deserved it.
Morris: Would this be in relation to a football weekend or something,
rather than a social protest?
C.M. Swig: He was kicked out.
Mailliard: Then he got back in again. He had to go to a cram school or
something and pass some exam. Anyway, they reinstated him.
His class officer was Dean Buck- -Norman Buck- -who was the head
of the economics department. And when I walked in, Dean Buck
said, "I don't have to deal with another Mailliard, do I?"
C.M. Swig: Jack said your father couldn't understand why he would be on
the dean's honor roll one time and the next time on probation.
I guess he would get in so much trouble that he couldn't do
anything but study.
Mailliard: I did it the other way. When you were on the dean's list, you
had unlimited cuts. So I wouldn't go to class, and then I'd
get on probation. Then I'd be on probation, and then you
didn't have any cuts, so I'd get back on the dean's list!
[chuckles] One year I went to Bermuda for a month, I think,
when I was on the dean's list.
Morris: Would you go down to New York at all?
Mailliard: Occasionally. I used to go down to debutante parties.
Morris: Will you tell me about that again, so we get it on tape.
Mailliard: Well, apparently Miss Cutting's listshe organized the
parties- -had somehow evolved from Cousin Ward McAllister's Four
Hundred. 1 Somehow I was on that list and my fancy friends
from Long Island and so on weren't. And they didn't understand
that- -why I was getting all these invitations and nobody else
was. Well, a few others were, but not many. How this
interloper from California was getting all these invitations
and they weren't, they didn't understand that at all.
C.M. Swig: Were there many people from California?
Mailliard: Oh, yes. There were a lot in my class- - [William Matson] Bill
Roth, Bill [Swinerton] --that are still alive. Rudy Schilling,
of course, my roommate. Ted Nash, but he was not then a
Californian. He is now. And there was Rosie Kramer from Santa
Barbara. There were a lot from Hawaii.
the late 1800s, social arbiter Ward McAllister named 400 persons
he proclaimed the cream of New York society. His father, Matthew A.
McAllister, was California's first U.S. Circuit Court judge .
Morris: Did you stick together and socialize, or did you spread out and
make other friends?
Mailliard: I don't think we necessarily stuck together as a group. We
used to have some pretty good parties on the train going back
and forth. And who were the Pacific Lumber Company people?
Murphy- -one of them was in my class and one was a class below
me, I think.
Morris: Vere the Murphy and Nash and Roth sons the first of their
families to go to Yale, or were they sort of Yale families?
Mailliard: The Roths were not Yale. [William P. Roth] Bill Roth, senior,
came from nowhere. He married the boss' daughter. I'll never
forget introducing Mrs. [Lurline Matson] Roth at a party in
Washington one time, and someone saying (they knew about the
Matson liner named the Lurline) that the ship must have been
named for her. She admonished them very forcefully and said,
"The ship was not named after me; I was named after my father's
first ship," which was true. Old Captain [William] Matson had
borrowed an ancient ship to start his empire, and it was called
the Lurline before he bought it. So he named his daughter
after the ship. She was very positive about this. [chuckles]
The story goes that Bill Roth was an apprentice tailor in
Honolulu, and Captain Matson needed a button sewn on his pants
or his coat or something, and took to this bright kid.
Sometime later as the Matson situation developed, why, he hired
Roth. And eventually he married Matson' s daughter.
Morris: He must have been a competent fellow.
Mailliard: Oh, I think he was, yes. But that's fate, isn't it! Anyway,
there wouldn't have been any Roths at Yale. Of course, in
Hawaii the old families almost all went to Yale or Harvard
because the original missionaries that came out there were from
Yale and Harvard. What was the family in Maui? One of them
was a great friend of Jack's. Anyway, there were the Castles
and the Cookes and all those people. The Cookes all went to
Yale. The Dillinghams all went to Harvard.
That was not the case so much here .
C.M. Swig: Where did people go here? Stanford?
Mailliard: Or Cal. See, Dad was the only one in the family who went to
Yale. Both of his brothers went to U.C. Both my mother's
brothers went to U.C.
Morris: Your mother could have gone to U.C. There were women at U.C.
Mail Hard: Yes, but not many of them did it, though. There were no women
at Stanford then. 1
Morris: Did you sign up for the ROTC while you were at Yale?
Mailliard: I did.
Morris : Because you could see a war coming?
Mailliard: I don't think it was that particularly. Jack Joined the Army
ROTC [Reserve Officers Training Corps] for one very simple
reason that had nothing to do with the army: it was a field
artillery unit, and they had horses. He wanted to play polo,
and he couldn't afford a horse of his own, so he played polo on
the army's horses.
Morris: Was this an official Yale activity, or did the guys in the
artillery unit just use the horses to play polo?
Mailliard: Well, the field artillery unitsyou know, they still had
horse-drawn cannons and things, so they had to have horses. I
don't know beyond that.
One of my cousins had been the head of the Naval ROTC. I
think it was Jack Page who had conned me into joining. Naval
ROTC was a rarity. There were only six of them in the country.
Morris: Really? How come?
Mailliard: I don't know. And they were hard to get into. It was very
C.M. Swig: Did you have to take a test?
Morris: Did you have to know how to swim?
Mailliard: No, it wasn't required. And freshman year you were strictly on
probation as to whether they'd let you continue on. I guess it
was sort of expensive to run those things. Not expensive so
1 Professor Hart's Companion to California, reports that the Stanford
student body was coeducational from the outset, although the number of
women students was limited to 400 until the 1940s.
much in money ways, but they had to get some awfully good
officers tied up for a considerable length of time.
Morris: For the navy to run the ROTC?
Mail Hard: Yes. There was a professor of naval science who was a full
professor at Yale. Admiral [Chester] Nimitz started the one in
California, and he was the first commanding officer.
Morris: I knew he had very close connections to Cal, but I didn't know
that was why.
Mailliard: He founded it, and I think the guy that succeeded him was the
admiral that was killed on the bridge of the L'SS San Francisco.
I can't remember his name now. Anyway, they always had top-
notch people, in those days at the commander rank, but then
later they were all captains. They were at Yale, Harvard,
California, University of Washington, Georgia Tech, and
Northwestern, and that was it.
Morris: What an interesting conglomeration.
Mailliard: Yes, but all prestigious universities.
Morris: Does that mean that when you then went into active service, you
would run into people you had known in the ROTC? This is a
relatively small cadre of officers?
Mailliard: Not so much, Just because there were so few of us.
Morris: How did your mother feel about you two boys going off across
the country to college?
Mailliard: If she had any feelings, she kept them to herself.
C.M. Swig: She was a lucky woman. She had three sons and husband, all of
whom were attractive.
Sheep Ranching in Mendocino
Morris: I'd like to go sideways a little bit and talk about your
parents and the sheep-raising venture up at the ranch. Had
they already gotten into stock breeding before you went East to
Mail Hard: I didn't know too much about it because I wasn't here. But
when Dad bought the first piece of property, as I think I
already told you, he went into partnership with the son of a
local rancher, and that was sheep. That's all it was in those
days in that part of the world. Then as we bought more
property and more sheep and began to realize that the quality
of the sheep was pretty bad--
Morris: They were mostly raised for meat?
Mail Hard: No, it was wool, but the wool was of spotty quality, and it was
very dirty. It wasn't very profitable.
Morris: Did your father study up on this, or did he know people in
animal husbandry at U.C. Davis?
Mailliard: I don't think he gave a hoot about the sheep. I think it was
Mother. I don't think he even liked sheep.
Anyway, Mother was always digging into things. I think
she did it with Dad's backing, but I don't think he ever was
particularly interested. They both somehow got tied up with
U.C. Davis. I don't know exactly how.
Morris: That's the connection I'm really interested in. It sounds as
if Davis may also have been looking for ways to improve the
California sheep population.
Mailliard: They were, but I think that's not exactly the way it worked.
What was his name --the professor that was a wool expert?
Morris: Jim Wilson, there's some correspondence in the family papers
with references to working with him.
Mailliard: Jim Wilson. They became great friends. Jim used to come up to
the ranch sometimes.
Morris: Was he an Australian?
Mailliard: No, an American. And so was his wife, Peggy, I believe. She
was an oddball. Nice enough, but kind of edgy. Anyhow, Mother
got interested in it, and just to what extent Dad was
interested, I don't know. But he backed it.
Morris: Financially. There are records of his putting up the money to
buy some of this special breed that Professor Wilson apparently
went all the way to Australia for and brought back to the
Mail Hard: Yes, that was the deal that was finally made, but what they
For fifty, sixty years, Australia had an embargo on merino
sheep. They wouldn't sell them because they had so perfected
the breed and improved the quality of the wool, that the only
place they were allowed to be exported to was New Zealand.
Otherwise, you could not buy them; it was against the law.
So the first time Mother and Jim Vilson went down there,
they went to Australia to see what they had. But since they
couldn't purchase any sheep, they went and got second-
generation stock from New Zealand.
C.M. Swig: You could take them from New Zealand?
Mailliard: Yes. Not the ones that were imported from Australia, but their
offspring you could.
Morris: Your mother herself went off to Australia?
Mailliard: That's right. They both went.
Morris: Is this before the war started?
Mailliard: 1 was never here, so I can't time it exactly. But I know later
on, Mother and, 1 think, Jim Vilson went back. Mother talked
to Parliament asking them to make an exception in her case
because, while she was paying for it, Davis was running it,.
And the Australian government decided that it was in their
interest, on a very limited basis, to see how these animals
would do in a totally different climate, reversing the cycle of
the year, with none of the things that sheep eat most in
Australia, which is salt bush. Apparently, she convinced them
that this experiment would be of use to them to know more about
these breeds that they had developed- -
Morris: You'd think that the embargo of Australian sheep might begin to
get their line a little thin- -you know, too much inbreeding.
Mailliard: I guess they could import from other sources. Anyway, then
Mother began to get her own ideas. She'd acted entirely on Jim
Wilson's advice, and she became convinced that he had selected
sheep that were producing too strong wool --not fine enough. So
then she began to breed these sheep. I think they got another
shipment. I'm not too clear about this. But anyway she began
to supervise the breeding of these sheep.
First thing, the Australians' ideal was to have these
heavy folds on the neck of the sheep because there ' s more skin
and therefore more wool. In Mendocino County, they tended to
get fly-struck. 1 Mother didn't like this at all, so she
started breeding for smooth-bodied sheep. Now Australia is
doing the same thing after all these years. They've decided
that these heavily -folded sheep --
Morris: The streamlined sheep are better.
C.M. Swig: And she bred- -maybe this story is true- -she bred them to have
longer legs so that the wool on their bodies would not pick up
stickers and grass seed from the ground.
Mailliard: That one I never heard.
C.M. Swig: And then she had them breed twins and triplets.
Mailliard: She certainly bred for twins and triplets and got them.
Talking to my brother on the phone one night, 1 said I had
a friend back in Virginia who wanted a ram. He said, "Okay,
we'll sell him one." So this magnificent merino ram came back
to the hills of Virginia. My friend had all kinds of sheep:
black sheep, curly-haired sheep. A whole bunch of kinds, you
know. Veil, this Mendocino ram's bloodlines were so strong
that he produced his own image even out of these totally
C.M. Swig: When we visited you in Virginia, we went over to see your
Mailliard: Yes. I still see him. He's a good friend.
Morris: Did your mother ever talk about what it was like to bring this
bunch of sheep back on the ship?
Mailliard: She never brought them back. They were Just shipped.
Morris: She didn't bring them with her when she went over?
Mailliard: She didn't travel with them, no.
^Fly-struck" refers to flies that lay eggs in wool; the resultant
maggots cause sores that can be fatal.
C.M. Swig: The other thing she did, she bred her sheep have their lambs in
November, while in the rest of the country up there, they have
then in the spring. So that gave them that much longer fiber,
staple of wool. When you shear in May or June, hers have a
two-month jump on everybody else, right?
Mailliard: Yes, and also she was willing to build sheds and so forth so
they could birth the lambs inside and provide shelter for them
over the winter.
Morris: It sounds as if the move from Australia to California may have
altered their lambing cycle because of the seasons. This
Mendocino Robin article, which really is awfully good and very
interesting, says that the first lambs arrived Christmas week
in 1943 or something like that. It is a terrible, harrowing
tale. It had been a dry year--
It sounds like they were lambing in the fall of the first year
that they came here. You wonder whether that's the shock of
the sea voyage and being in a different environment.
Mailliard: No, I don't think so, but this is part of the thing they
weren't sure about. I don't know enough about breeding sheep,
but I think when they're going to lamb depends on when you turn
the rams in with the ewes. But then there was always the
question mark: would they breed, because here they were
reversing their seasons and so on. But they did.
Morris: The local rams seem to have been very happy to see the new .
Mailliard: She wasn't allowed to bring a ram in to start with. She
Morris: So it was ewes at first.
Mailliard: I think it was ten ewes to start with. I'm no good at this
stuff because I was in the navy. I never was home during the
entire period from 1939 to 1946.
Ornbaun Springs and Spa: Kate's Sheep
Morris: We've talked a little bit about acquiring the ranch. Ve
haven't really talked about some of the times when you and Jack
and Jim were there and some of your hunting expeditions.
C.M. Swig: What were those great stories- -like the one about Miss
Mailliard: I wasn't there that much.
C.M. Swig: But you'll know some of it from Jack and Jim.
Mailliard: I think we've pretty much--
Morris: [To Mrs. Swig] You commented that there are stories that Jack
told you that aren't part of the family lore.
Mailliard: I wouldn't have known necessarily, because Jack was the real
rancher. I never was. I mean, I was there a lot, but any
chance 1 got, I'd go down to a dance at the Meadow Club or
Morris: The Meadow Club --is that in Boonville?
Mailliard: No. It's on Mount Tamalpais.
C.M. Swig: When was it the house burned?
Mailliard: I wasn't there.
C.M. Swig: But you heard stories about it. Your father turned over his
truck trying to get there.
Mailliard: I know he saw the smoke. I didn't know the truck turned over.
But apparently, he raced like hell to get there.
Morris: He was on his way up for the weekend?
C.M. Swig: No, they were at the ranch and he could see the house burning
from where he was mending fences or something.
Morris: Have there been more fires than one?
C.M. Swig: We've had a lot of fires on the ranch, but this is when the
house burned down.
Mail Hard: That's the only one that I know of.
And then trying to build another house. It was right at
the end of the war and there were no materials. We had to
build out of patches and pieces.
Morris: That was the main house?
C.M. Swig: And then did you touch on when you bought the ranch, that the
Ornbaum Hotel there?
Mailliard: We mentioned it.
Morris: Was that still an operating hotel?
Mailliard: No. But the Ornbaums were still there. I know very little
about it, except that it was a spa. People took the Northwest
Pacific train to Cloverdale or Ukiah- -I don't remember which.
The springs are still there. The water tastes terrible.
It's just as repulsive as it was then.
C.M. Swig: There are stories about that. Whoever owned the hotelwas
that Mr. Ornbaum?- -said that this water made the sheep barren.
So I heard the story that the men brought their lady friends
there or their wives--! don't know who- -and told them this
story. Then nine months later they had babies. They went down
to drink the water and thought- -
Mailliard: That's a story I never heard.
Morris: Isn't there an odd dialect that some people speak around
C.M. Swig: Yes. Boontling.
Morris: Does that turn up in stories about the ranch?
C.M. Swig: All my years there, when we went to the ranch, we never went
anyplace elsewe didn't go into town. Though I guess in years
past, they used to go in and ride in the parade --with the
horses all decorated.
Mailliard: It was the Apple Fair before it became the county fair. The
county fair was in Ukiah. We used to go to that, too. We went
to a lot of county fairs. We rode in various classes. Mother
and her dogs .
C.M. Swig: Kate was very good with sheep dogs. She had her little whistle
and she'd make them go through this and do that.
Morris: Did her sheep-dog phase predate the sheep -raising?
C.M. Swig: They came along with it. But she was well known for her sheep
dogs also. McNab Shepherds.
Morris: She trained them to herd the sheep and run them around?
C.M. Swig: Let's put it this way: Grandmother trained everybody and
everything . [ laughs ]
Mailliard: True. Guido.
C.M. Swig: That's right. And Pete, who worked at the ranch.
Morris: She liked a well -organized world?
C.M. Swig: That was her only world. Well, she had a great sense of humor,
too. But she really liked things done in a proper, organized
way, and that was the way it was going to be --how the house was
dusted, cleaned, what you ate, what you did. Right? I don't
mean to make her sound stuffy because she liked to sing and
Mailliard: I don't think she thought so much about what you ate. 1 mean,
you could cook your own or--
C.M. Swig: Yes, but she brought the food up and it was there.
Morris: Did you take turns as to who would do breakfast and dishes and
Mailliard: Jack used to do all that in the early days, I think. Not later
C.M. Swig: Because she was busy with sheep probably.
Mailliard: And of course, how those two ever got along as well as they
did, I don't know. My father had a clock in his stomach. He
was used to eating at noon or maybe 12:15. She was a Peterson
who never knew what day it was, let alone what time it was.
She'd be out with her sheep or cutting thistle, and Dad would
be dying of hunger.
Jim, Jack, and Bill Mailliard in 1946,
X IMPACT OF WORLD WAR II, 1940-1946
Letters from Home
Morris: All during your military service, you and your father, your
mother, and your brothers kept an amazing number of letters
going back and forth.
C.M. Swig: What did you do with all of the letters?
Morris: Most of them are in The Bancroft Library.
Mailliard: Anything that wasn't thrown out went to The Bancroft.
C.M. Swig: I have all of Jack's. I was thinking about whether the girls
should have them. I think I may have given some to his
daughters. They probably should go to The Bancroft Library
Mailliard: Well, that's why I took them over to The Bancroft; because you
start spreading those things around, and somebody's going to
say, "What the hell do we want all these for," and in the fire
C.M. Swig: They are wonderful letters. I love all these letters.
Mailliard: I just took them all letters between me and my parents, any
letters that I had. I never kept anything. My favorite
receptacle is the wastebasket. So I never kept hardly
anything, but Mother did.
C.M. Swig: She had one from Jack that he wrote when he went to Tahoe and
stayed with the Hinmans--Dr. Frank Hinmans' family; does that
sound familiar? They have that place there at Rubicon, where
all the wonderful houses are. He was very, very young. Five
Mailliard: Oh, no. He was older than that.
C.M. Swig: The date made me figure he was seven years old. But at any
rate, it's a child's handwriting and in child's language. It
said, "The funniest thing happened today. The cook and the
butler went out on the lake in a canoe. The fat cook fell in
and the canoe turned over, and the skinny butler was trying to
get her back into the canoe. That's all for now." [laughter]
Morris: All during the time you were overseas, you managed to get
separate letters off to your mother and father about every two
weeks, and they all got through. I was impressed at the mail
service during wartime.
Mailliard: Oh, it was very good. I think 1 tried to write to Mother once
a week. I probably didn't quite succeed. More likely to write
my father once a month, I think.
Morris: Yes. There are a couple of letters--! didn't read the whole
correspondence- -in which it sounded like a couple times your
father was cross that your mother had gotten more letters than
he had. And there's an answer from son William saying, "Well,
I thought a letter to my mother would be read by both parents."
[laughs] You must have been trained from an early age to write
letters. Letter-writing is a lost art in the twentieth
Mailliard: It certainly is.
Morris: But this Mailliard clan writes letters back and forth all the
Mailliard: Well, for one thing, the phone was very expensive in those
days. I remember I used to save up to call my mother on her
birthday or on Christmas if I was away. And, as I remember,
Just to call from the East Coast to San Francisco was like six
or seven dollars, and I didn't have six or seven dollars very
Morris: But then, there you are in the middle of the war, which was
getting increasingly lively around you, and you were writing
off to your parents .
Mailliard: That's one thing about the military and wars there's always
time between things.
Morris: And you wrote letters rather than playing cards with the others
Mailliard: Well, I played cards a little bit, too, but not much.
Childhood Illnenei and Garnet
C.M. Swig: All the Mailliards played games. 1 remember Jack telling me
that when he was a boy- -he would get sick a lot, so he'd play
solitaire and checkers and dominoes.
Mail Hard: When Jack and I were in the period when we were ill so much, we
made up our own games. My grandfather was then an invalid, and
I used to make up crossword puzzles for him to do, and he'd
make up crossword puzzles for me to do. And Jack and I had a
ranch game that we invented.
C.M. Swig: What was that?
Mailliard: Ve had reins that went to the foot of the bed, and we'd be
riding horseback in bed. He had a ranch and 1 had a ranch, and
we each had maps of the other guy's ranch, and we'd tell each
other where we were and what we were doing. Ve made up all
kinds of things. It would drive you nuts to stay in bed.
C.M. Swig: It's amazing how healthy you all got after being so ill.
Mailliard: I think it was because-- [Edward B.] Ed Shaw was the one that
said, "Give them plenty of time to recover from these attacks.
Don't be rushing them back to school." Is Ed Shaw still alive?
C.M. Swig: I don't think so.
Mailliard: He had to be in his nineties the last time I saw him, which was
three or four years ago.
Morris: The pediatrician who used to be head of the student health
service at Cal?
C.M. Swig: Was Dr. [Hulda E.j Thelander in that same office?
Mailliard: Yes. When Shaw came in, it was Dr. --who was the gruff old guy
none of us could stand- -Fleischman. And Shaw came in as a very
young doctor, and we were among his first patients.
C.M. Swig: Where did Dr. Thelander fit in?
Mailliard: She came into the practice after Shaw.
C.M. Swig: Wasn't that smart of him to figure out that time would take
care of all these illnesses.
Morris: You wonder if you also outgrew it.
Mailliard: Veil, we did. But the question, when you're that sick, as we
were, that much of the time, is whether you're going to get
proper growth and so forth. Yes, we outgrew it, but it's what
happens in the meantime that counts.
Morris: And bed rest was what was prescribed for asthma in those days?
Mailliard: Yes. And if we had a temperature, we were not allowed to get
out of bed until we had been normal for two days.
Morris: It must have driven you up the wall.
Mailliard: Oh, it did, because by this time you were feeling fine.
C.M. Swig: That's why you had those games, right?
Morris: How about Jim- -did he go through this, too?
Mailliard: No. Never had it. The doctors blamed it again, medicine has
changed, so that today this may be totally stupid- -but Jack and
I had measles and whooping cough at the same time, and that's
where it all started. Apparently, we were just down so low
that we developed these allergies.
Morris: You had measles and whooping cough together or one after the
other? Or you had them at the same time that your brother did
in separate incidents?
Mailliard: I think it was together, but I don't know.
Talk about childhood illnesses, my kids started to get
mumps. I said, "Well, that's all right. I've had them." And
then my mother came along and said, "Well, the doctor said you
had mumps, but I never really believed him," and, boy, she was
right! I got them. [laughs] That was awful! That was when I
was running for Congress the first time .
Morris: No wonder you had trouble with that campaign. You were out
C.M. Swig: Bill had the worst night just recently; he had a nightmare that
he was running for Congress again, [chuckles] We had been
talking a lot about that with my husband, Mel, who is
politically inclined. We also had a huge dinner at an Italian
restaurant that night.
Mail Hard: I probably went to bed too soon. [laughs]
So, except for letters, I really was never here from late
1938 to Christmas of '45. I mean, I did go through a couple of
times, but I really didn't know what was going on.
Brothers' Reunion in the Philippines. 19A4
C.M. Swig: That must have been a great Christmas in 1945. Was that the
first time that everyone was together after the war?
Mailliard: Well, we weren't all together. Jim wasn't back. He wasn't out
of the navy yet. He was in China. I had left him in China.
C.M. Swig: You left him? How come you did that?
Mailliard: [laughs] Well, because I left, and he didn't.
Morris: There's a China story I'd like to ask about, but before then,
I'd like to know how the three of you managed to get leave at
the same time. There are a couple letters about the three of
you off together in the Philippines.
Mailliard: I had seen Jack when I had come through Pearl Harbor when he
was there. I had seem Jim when his ship eventually got out to
the Philippines. Jim's ship was under my boss's command, so I
could keep track of it. Jack had told me --written, I guess --
and said he was going to join the Tenth Army in Okinawa. Then
I knew that Jim's ship was going to Okinawa, so I wrote to Jack
and told him what the ship was going to do and so on, so they
found each other.
C.M. Swig: That wasn't easy, was it?
Mailliard: It wasn't so easy to get around. My boss's flagship was going
to Okinawa, and Cardinal Spellman was visiting us.
Morris: Cheering up the troops?
Mailliard: Yes. And he had promised to do some great open-air mass on a
Sunday, and the ship was going to leave on Friday, and he
wanted to go with us. So I stayed behind with a plane and
picked up Spellman after his mass, and flew him to Okinawa. We
arrived in Okinawa, and all these colonels and generals were
kissing the ring.
Filially he said, "Now Bill, what are you going to do?" I
aid, "I'm going to look for my brothers. They're somewhere
around here." He said, "Well, how are you going to find them?"
I said, "I don't know. I'll see if I can bum some
transportation of some kind." Spellman said, "General, give
him a Jeep and a driver so he can find his brothers!" [laughs]
I guessed about where Jim's ship would be. It had to be
tied up in a certain area of the island because that's where
all our ships were. Of course, they used to tell the story
that they're trudging through the mud up the pier, and here I
come in a Jeep with my uniform carefully starched.
Like General [Douglas]
MacArthur. Quite a trick in times like
Well, being an aide to an admiral had some advantages.
Okinawa- -the ships were landing there, Just up on the shore?
No piers or anything like that?
Not at that stage of the game. The island was still not
totally secure, but there were no landings being made any more.
So we got together, and it was a very fortuitous
combination because I kept my liquor under the admiral's bunk,
which I didn't think anybody was likely to inspect. Of course,
liquor was not allowed aboard ship.
The admiral didn't suspect?
Well, if he had, he would never have let on.
He might have wanted to share it.
Oh, he always got his share. It's just where I stored it.
They had a little- -well , you couldn't hardly call it a
club, but they built a little shack that was called Guns and
Castles. The engineers and the artillery people. Jack was in
the artillery. They had gotten together and built a little
shack where they could get together if they could find any
And then Jim was on a LSI [landing ship troop] that was
converted basically into a supply ship to supply the other
landing craft. So they'd fill the tank deck with refrigeration
units and so forth. So he had food, I had booze, and Jack had
the place. The party lasted for several days.
[ e ve ry one 1 aughs ]
C.M. Swig: You brought the booze- -that's the most important thing. And
then Jim had ham and eggs?
Mailliard: Yes, he had all kinds of things that nobody could get.
C.M. Swig: They'd all been eating K-rations.
Morris: Not on the admiral's flagship, surely.
C.M. Swig: No, but I mean Jack had to eat the awful stuff.
Mailliard: By this time I wasn't on the flagship. I'd flown the cardinal
up. I guess he wasn't a cardinal then; he was an archbishop.
C.M. Swig: Then there was the story that- -I don't know if this is true or
not, but all of you drank a lot and Jack wanted to get Jim back
to his ship--
Mailliard: I heard that story, too, but that was before I got there.
They'd had a party before. I don't think they had any good
liquor, but I think they had beer. The story was that Jack
carried Jim across on a piece of wood about this big--
C.M. Swig: A two-by-four; across this mud beach, in order to get him back
to the ship so he wouldn't be AWOL [absent without leave].
Mailliard: That happened before I got there. I got there the next day,
and they were still talking about it.
C.M. Swig: I think I have seen an article in the paper about the three of
you meeting- -
Morris: How amazing. And under wartime circumstances. Were things
serene enough that you could just automatically get two or
three days leave to carouse with your brothers?
Mailliard: I had no problem because the admiral was on the ship, and he
hadn't gotten there yet. [chuckles] Anyway, I never had any
problem. I mean, the admiral's aide can break all the laws as
long as the admiral doesn't object. You don't pay attention to
You're a one-man dog when you're a flag
Morris : Were your brothers equally- -
Mailliard: I think so. 1 think things were relaxed enough then that--
there was still sniping and whatnot going on, but the war was
over. It hadn't all been calmed down yet, but--
North China and Manchuria Skirmishes and Negotiations
Morris: There was a really interesting letter from your father back
home in charge of the harbor here saying that one of the
problems with getting everybody home was that San Francisco
couldn't handle all the shipping.
Mailliard: There wasn't that much shipping available. 1 mean, we had an
awful lot of troops scattered around over there . We were
getting ready to invade Japan, and we were really piling them
up. Then, of course, we took the troops into Korea, and then
we took the Marines into north China.
Morris: What was that all about? That sounds like something that isn't
generally in the history books.
Mailliard: No, that was occupation. Sure, the Marines were in north China
for years after that battling the communists. 1 don't mean
that they were carrying on an offensive, but they were trying
to preserve Tientsin [Tianjin] and that whole area by there
from being taken over by the communists. There were a lot of
skirmishes for a long time until finally we pulled them out.
Morris: And your flagship was leading this flotilla to take in those
Mailliard: Yes. First we landed the army in Korea. Then some of our
ships went back to Guam. Ve went back to Okinawa and picked up
the First Marine Division and took them into Tientsin. Then
went back and picked up the Sixth Marine Division and took them
into Chengtao. This was an occupation business.
Morris: When and where did you come into contact with Chiang Kai-shek?
Mailliard: We went to see him in, I guess it was, Chungking.
Morris: That's inland, isn't it?
Mail Hard: Yes. That's where he sort of retreated to when the Japanese
were pressing him. His headquarters were there all during the
Morris: How did you get there?
Mailliard: Flew. Kind of interesting, too, because we were reported
nissing, and the word got back here to my faaily.
C.M. Swig: That who was missing?
Mailliard: That Admiral Barbey and I were on a plane that had disappeared.
C.M. Swig: Oh, no. Had you really disappeared?
Mailliard: No, we had never taken off.
C.M. Swig: How did that get back?
Mailliard: Ve had filed a flight plan and then changed our minds or
something. 1 can't remember the details. So the place where
we were supposed to go reported us missing.
C.M. Swig: You said you left Jim there. Where was he?
Mailliard: His ship came into Taku bar, just outside of Tientsin. By this
time my boss had become fleet commander, and one of our
subordinate commanders had taken over the amphibious force, and
his flagship was right there where Jim was. 1 guess 1 told him
one day that I was going to go ashore to see my brother,
because Jim's ship was tied up on alongside the dock, I think.
And he said, "You've got a brother out here?" I said yes. And
he said, "What's he doing?" I said, "Well, he's on this APB,"
they called them, which was just a converted LST.
Then I went on down to Shanghai where the fleet flagship
was, and apparently Admiral Noble picked this right up because
he figured that if I had a brother, maybe he'd be useful. So
Jim kind of got put in charge of things there because the
admiral knew who he was. He didn't have enough points to get
out, you see. 1 had too many. 1 had to request in writing not
to be returned. You remember, this was when "Get the boys
home" was --and Congress was insisting on bringing everybody
home. Boy, they decimated our staff. I thought, "I've been
with this guy for three years. I can't just desert him now."
Morris: Your father was saying in his letters that it was time that you
came home .
Mailliard: I guess he was. I had to, in writing, request to remain or
they wouldn't have allowed me to. I would have been shipped
Morris: Was it Just because you thought that the admiral couldn't do
Mailliard: Well, he had lost all his experienced people, and we were
negotiating with the Russians up in Manchuria. He just didn't
have any experienced people left. They took them all away.
Morris: And the admiral was conducting these negotiations himself?
Morris: No State Department people from Washington?
Mailliard: And I did a lot of it. He was told by his then-boss that he
shouldn't go too far inland, so I did a lot of the negotiations
C.M. Swig: You mean you were expendable, but he wasn't?
Morris: With Russian military personnel? And this was all without any
Mailliard: Colonel Leonoff and 1 had several meetings. Apparently 1 so
intimidated him that the next meeting he came with his neck all
wrapped up in towels --he'd lost his voice!
C.M. Swig: I think I interrupted you telling about the meeting with Chiang
Mailliard: That was of no significance whatsoever. It was a courtesy
call. We had dinner there and left.
Morris: You got some kind of a decoration from him.
Mailliard: Yes, but that was delivered later. He didn't actually give it
to me .
Morris: Interesting. What was the decoration for?
Mailliard: Well, you know, we were operating in a huge area. Among other
things we were bringing his troops from the southern part of
China up to Manchuria carrying out a deal that ve ' d made with
the Russians, and the Russians sort of reneged on the deal.
Morris: Do the Russians in Manchuria go back to the Russian- Japanese
Mallliard: Not really. They didn't take over Manchuria, but the Japanese
did. The deal was that as we disarmed the Japs and shipped
them out, that we'd let the Nationalist troops come in, and the
Russians guaranteed it. But it was to be on a certain date.
I've always felt, although I have no way of knowing
whether I was right or not, that the Russians figured there was
no way we could get the Nationalist troops there. But what
they didn't know was that we'd already loaded them, and they
were on their way.
Morris: Flying them in?
Mailliard: No, by ship. So when the date arrived, we went in to talk to
the Russian commanders to make arrangements to land these
troops. And they decamped. Ve went into one place called
Hulatao, and when I went back to talk to them the next day,
they were gone. They just pulled out.
Morris: They didn't want to be part of this deal?
Mailliard: Of course not. They had already brought Chinese communists in,
and they were taking over. Then, we were in a position where
if we wanted to bring in the Nationalist troops, we'd have to
fight them ashore, which we wanted to do. But the powers that
be in Washington said no; that we could only land if we could
guarantee it would be unopposed.
Morris: So this was a question of territory- -who was going to control
Mailliard: Absolutely. As a result- -we had already landed marines at
[Ching Wang Tao] , and we had to bring the Chinese troops in
where the marines controlled the port because the Russians had
gone, and there were hostile Chinese ready to oppose us.
Morris: What did you do for communication with Leonoff before he lost
his voice? Did you have a Russian-speaking--?
Mailliard: I had a marine captain and a navy lieutenant, both of whom
Morris: Russian-born, or they had been to one of our language schools?
Mail Hard: They weren't Russian-born. No, I didn't have two of them that
spoke Russian. I had one that spoke Russian and one that spoke
Morris: What did Leonoff have? Did he have an English-speaking aide?
Mailliard: I think so. I don't think he was very good in English, but you
could understand him.
Well, all I was trying to do was to be insistent that they
do what Marshal Marinofsky had said they would do. When 1
really pressed them hard, they said they didn't know anything
about this agreement; nobody had told them. I said, "Veil,
you'd better get in communication with them up in Mukden"- -or
wherever the hell they were--"and I'll come back tomorrow."
And tomorrow they hadn't heard anything. So I came up for the
third time, and they were gone. There wasn't a Russian in the
Morris: Did they later apologize?
Mailliard: They certainly did not. [chuckles]
Morris: Was Marshal Marinofsky the opposite number to Admiral Barbey?
Mailliard: They, in effect, occupied Manchuria. But what they did was
that when we tried to get them to do what they said they would
do, which was to allow us to bring the Chiang Kai-shek forces
in to take overwhich they had agreed to- -instead of doing
that, they just pulled out and left the Chinese communists in
Morris: So they didn't really mean what they had agreed to earlier?
Mailliard: No, I don't think they ever meant it. I think where they
miscalculated was --they set the date, and I thought they
thought it was a date we couldn't meet. Therefore, the
agreement would be invalid. But we did meet it. They didn't
know that we had all these Nationalist troops already aboard
ship and on their way.
Morris: That must have been quite a logistical maneuver.
Mailliard: Believe me, it was. But we were used to doing things in a
hurry. We moved on short notice.
Morris: How many troops did you move in? A battleship full or more
Mai 11 lard: Battleships don't have room for troops.
Morris: Who had done the negotiations that had been agreed to before
you had to supervise the actual movement of troops?
Mailliard: I don't know. Some one of MacArthur's right-hand men.
Morris : In some other place back in Japan?
Mailliard: I don't know. Read your history books. That's all a matter of
record, and I don't remember that well.
Morris: The on-the-ground happening is a pretty exciting tale.
Mailliard: Well, what do you do? There you are. You've got to do
Growing Up Fast in the Service: Visiting the Great Vail of
C.M. Swig: Yes, but you were in a very good spot to really know what was
going on. I guess you could be in the army or navy and be told
to go bomb that ship there, but you don't know--
Mailliard: You don't only not know, but you don't care. Your job is to do
your job, it isn't to worry about somebody else's job.
C.M. Swig: But you were in a position to know what was going on.
Mailliard: Ve had to know everything, because we had to tell them what to
do. You see, I'd been working for this same admiral for three
years, living in his pocket practically. As he said, I knew
what he was going to do before he'd made up his mind,
Morris: It sounds like you developed a really good working
Mailliard: Yes, we were very good friends.
C.M. Swig: How old were you then?
Mailliard: I first went out there to Australia In January 1943 and then
came back In December of '45 --almost three years. In '43 what
would I have been? Twenty-six? But don't forget that I had
already spent a year In the embassy In London; I'd already
spent a year in the navy in Washington; I'd gone to the War
College in Newport.
Morris: Is that what they teach you at the War College --diplomacy under
fire and things like that?
Mailliard: No, but they teach you strategy and tactics and how to conduct
operations, how to issue operation orders, intelligence
summaries, all the things that your people down the line are
going to have to know. So I was trained as a staff officer.
Morris: On the business of Barbey not being able to go inland, and so
he sent you, did you and he discuss the possibilities and pros
and cons and what might happen? Or he just said, "Go deal with
Mailliard: Yes, well, at that point we had some pretty good officers, but
they had very little experience. There was a navy captain,
Steve Barquet. He hadn't been with us very long. Anyway, the
admiral felt that at this particular conference, somebody with
more rank than I had had to go. But he sent me with him to
make sure that he stayed on the job! [chuckles]
C.M. Swig: How did you come to have that much good judgment at that age
(or at least people thought you had) to be sent in to negotiate
with the Russians! I guess people during a war grow up fast.
Mailliard: Damn right. You have to. And don't forget, by this time I'd
had three years of amphibious landings- -fifty-six of them
total. So I was not inexperienced.
C.M. Swig: I didn't think you were inexperienced, but just at that age--
Morris: A lot more responsibility than most people age twenty-six have.
Mailliard: That is certainly correct, but you learn to live with it.
You're told to do something. I can remember one time, a whole
bunch of officers sitting around, and there was a job that had
to be done. The admiral was away, I think- -for some reason I
wasn't with him. The chief of staff said, "Okay, Mailliard,
you do it." I thought to myself, "I don't have any experience
to do a thing like this." And then I looked around the room,
and neither did anybody else. [laughs]
Was Barbey regular navy?
Mailliard: Yes. Three-star admirals were all regular navy in those days.
They were all Annapolis graduates.
Morris: Was there some tussle between him and your father? Your father
wanted you out, and Barbey wanted you to stay in the service?
Mailliard: If there was any tussle, and I don't remember one, it would
have been between me and my father. I would have never told
Morris : He seemed to be ready to have you come home .
C.M. Swig: So you and Jack came home. Jack got out right away. He
somehow got on some kind of aircraft.
Mailliard: Yes. He bummed a ride, I think, rather than waiting. I came
back by ship.
C.M. Swig: I don't know where he was, but he got out of there quick. The
two of you were home for Christmas of '45.
Mailliard: Yes. I just got here for Christmas. I think he was maybe a
month before me.
Morris: Somewhere along the line, there is a reference in one of
Barbey 's letters to you about walking along the Great Wall of
China and getting into some minor scrape.
Mailliard: I remember going to the Great Wall. I don't remember anything
particularly exciting about it.
Morris: You weren't supposed to be the Great Wall of China, was the
impression that I got.
Mailliard: That may have been true. We did lots of things we weren't
supposed to do.
C.M. Swig: Probably in war you do, because it's like here today, gone
Mailliard: I don't know, but sometimes you get instructions that don't
make any sense, and if you're far enough away from the source
of the instructions, you don't pay any attention to them.
Morris: That sounds like good military logic. But if you'd been to see
Chiang Kai-shek in Chungking, how did you get to where the
Great Wall is?
Mallllard: I don't remember. Veil, we had an airplane. We went whenever
we wanted to. We went up there by train. Ve went to Peking,
as we called it in those days, and then we just drove out to
the Great Wall or something. An hour's drive, maybe two hours
*t the most. I've been there twice since.
Morris: Did it look any different the subsequent times?
Mailllard: More people. When we went out there the first time, it was
like a desert. They had cut all the trees down. Now they've
planted lots of trees, so the approach is much more attractive
with the trees.
C.M. Swig: They probably didn't have as many people selling things. They
attack you selling the tee-shirts and the pieces of pottery.
XI FATHER AND SON'S INTEREST IN POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Remembering Governor Earl Warren
Morris: Unless you have more war stories, do you think we should go on?
Mailliard: I don't think so. I've forgotten- -it was so long ago- -in the
Earl Warren interview that I did whether I ever told you the
story of Dad becoming the head of the port, and then how he got
out of it. 1
Morris: No, but I'd like to include that.
Mailliard: Well, it's really a very quick story. Dad was busy with his
own business and trying to keep the ranch going under wartime
conditions and all the rest of it. [Governor] Earl Warren
called him up one day and said he wanted to appoint him as
president of the Harbor Commission. Dad said he just didn't
have time, he just couldn't do it. Earl said, "Okay. Well, I
thought you might be interested. I understand you have two
boys out in the Pacific and a third one that's about to go out.
The military tells me that the port of San Francisco has got to
carry something like six times the amount of cargo that it was
designed to carry." Dad is listening to all this, and finally
he says, "Okay, you s.o.b. I'll take the job." [laughs]
Morris: The piece I read in the paper was that Warren ousted the
previous port commissioner.
Mailliard: I think that's probably right, but I wasn't here.
Morris: I wondered if it was more than just that he was [Governor]
Culbert Olson's appointee.
1 See Congressman Mailliard' s interview in Earl Warren's Campaigns.
Vol. I, Regional Oral History Office, University of California, Berkeley,
Mailliard: I don't know. But then the sequel to it was --and this I was
here for- -when the war was over, Dad called the governor and
said that he wanted to resign. Earl said, "I won't accept it."
He said, "You've got to carry this thing through until I can
get somebody that's competent to do it."
So Dad said okay. And he hung up the phone and dictated
to his secretary, "Since you have asked me to be the Northern
California Finance Chairman for your reelection campaign,
knowing it would be incompatible with your high ideals of
public service, I resubmit my resignation." [laughs] Under
those circumstances, the governor had to accept. Turnabout was
C.M. Swig: We're still using those envelopes at the ranch that have your
father's name on them as finance chairman.
Morris: Your stories about Earl Warren certainly add color to the
Mailliard: Yes. I'll never forget it- -there was one thing that mildly
annoyed Earl, and that was that I knew some of these political
people better than he did. You know the man I succeeded as
traveling secretary was [Merrill] Pop Small. He was determined
not to be a servant. He wouldn't pack a suitcase. Well, I can
understand this. Of course I didn't give a damn. No skin off
my nose. Anyway, Earl had never had a secretary that knew
everybody as I did. We'd go to Los Angeles and one of his old
buddies would invite him to dinner, and they always invited me.
They had never invited Pop Small because they didn't know him;
but they did know me? In a way Earl liked it, and in a way he
really didn't like it.
But this time we'd come down the gangway to the airplane.
Admiral Nimitz is at the foot of the stairs and says,
"Governor." The admiral introduces himself, and the governor
turns around- -I'm right behind him- -and says, "I'd like you to
meet my secretary." And Nimitz looks at me and says, "Jesus
Christ, Mailliard, are you going to be a flag lieutenant all
your life?" [laughter]
I thought to myself, you know, that's a pretty interesting
question. I had been an alter ego for big people for an awful
lot of years. I thought, the admiral has got a point. I've
got to start doing something on my own.
C.M. Swig: So that really made you think?
Mailliard: Yes. So I quit. That's when I ran for Congress the second
time. I decided to do something on my own. [chuckles]
California Republicans in the 1940s
Morris: Had you really been intrigued with politics?
Mailliard: I never thought of myself aswell, the one abortive run that 1
had made- -I didn't consider myself a good candidate.
C.M. Swig: That's what you think when you lose. Right?
Mailliard: Well, I didn't lose by much. But, of course, the thing that
eventually almost forced me back to run was that I lost in '48
when Tom Dewey was bringing down the Republicans to defeat.
The next election, 1950, was when Republicans did extremely
well all over the country. I had lost by 4800 votes, and the
Republican candidate in '50 lost by 50,000 votes against the
same incumbent. Of course, then the heat was on me to run
again because it was perfectly clear I could win.
Morris: Were your father and your brother in favor of this?
Mailliard: My father was. 1 don't think I consulted my brother.
[chuckles] But, I mean, it was so clear. The district had
been slightly changed, but I would have won anyway.
So then I had Republican opposition in the primary, but I
won that without too much difficulty. Frank Havenner told me
years later, "When I saw you were going to run again, I knew
I'd had it." [laughs] Because he knew I could get financed; I
had already made the run once and damn near beat him.
Morris: And you were plugged in to the people who knew what was going
on and cared about it seriously.
C.M. Swig: What was the percentage then of Republicans and Democrats?
Same as it is now?
Mailliard: No, no. It wasn't that bad. I think then it was maybe 32
percent Republican or something like that. Then it went down
to 27 percent.
C.M. Swig: What is it now?
Mall Hard: I think it's less than 25 percent now.
Morris: You were talking the other day about labor Republicans. I
didn't quite understand that designation.
Nailliard: The Republican party in those days was very pro-labor, in
California. Not so much nationally.
Morris: But San Francisco is the district you have to win in.
Mailliard: Well, Theodore Roosevelt, Hiram Johnson, who had cleaned up the
Southern Pacific from Sacramento- -these were very progressive
Morris: And that feeling was still a force?
Mailliard: Yes. Dick Welch, who was in Congress for years and years and
years, was a labor man; Tommy Malone. Earl Warren and I talked
one time about this business of who's a liberal and who isn't.
We both said we really don't understand these terms too well.
So I suggested, "Well, Earl, if they ask me to describe you,
I'll say you're a social liberal and an economic conservative."
That's what I was in Congress, I'd want to solve problems, but
I'd want to know what it was going to cost.
Morris: That's still a designation that a lot of people give
themselves. You had a number of endorsements from the AFL-CIO
and the ILWU and others.
Mailliard: Yes. The ILWU, that was really because of the [House Marine
and Fisheries] Committee that I was on. They had been for
years trying to get the Harbor Workers and Longshoremen Act
brought up to date. It was twenty years old. I said, "Come
on, what do you want?" So they worked it out. I said, "I
can't sponsor this for obvious reasons. I can't be the
principal sponsor." So I said, "Why don't you come back after
lunch," and I called [Congressman] Jimmy Roosevelt. I said,
"Jimmy, would you come up after lunch and talk to these
people?" So it was the Roosevelt-Mailliard Bill. It went
through the House like that [snaps his fingers].
Morris: It was bipartisan.
Mailliard: And it was updating all that needed to be updated. We didn't
go too far in any direction. Jimmy got it through the House
committee with no trouble.
And you got the support of the shipping companies?
Morris: And they didn't object?
Mailliard: No. They didn't have any good reason to object. Some of them
said, "The damn lav ought to be repealed.* I said, "Maybe it
should. But let's face It, it isn't going to be repealed, so
why shouldn't it be brought up to date?" That was fun doing
things like that.
I could have never gotten it through without Jimmy. Jimmy
could have never gotten it through without me!
Morris: Was that your experience that generally bipartisan things work
Mailliard: Work them out. Find something that you can both live with.
It's not going to be, probably, what either one of you really
wants, but it's in the art of the possible. Get it done.
Morris: Did that change from president to president?
Mailliard: No. They have their job, I had mine. [chuckles]
[Interruption: Mel Swig enters]
Considering Appointments to Office
The history group is meeting I see.
history of my father [Ben Swig].
I wish we had an oral
We do have a little volume that I guess your father must have
given us. A newspaperman named Walter Blum wrote a family
history. It goes back to the East Coast?
Yes, that's right. I have it upstairs. My brother and I had
that done for his seventy- fifth birthday, and Blum wrote It up.
He did a nice job.
Then there was a lot of stuff left over. I forget where
it's stored at this moment. It was all collected at one point,
and we had it weatherproofed or fireproofed or whatever the
hell they do. Preserved, I guess. I think it may be stored
out at Temple Emanu-El, if I'm not mistaken. You know, this
year is the hundredth anniversary of my father's birth, and I
said to myself, we should do something about it.
Mailliard: This year is Earl Varren's hundredth birthday and my father's.
Mailliard: You know, on his birthday, Earl used to like to find out where
Dad was, and he'd call him up. I remember one time we were at
the Pacific Union Club. They called Dad to the house phone,
and it was the governor saying, "Ward, you're not dry behind
the ears yet!" [laughter] And for six days, he was one year
They must have had a lot of fun together.
I don't know that they knew each other so well but, of course,
Earl in his own reminiscences said finding guys like that who
didn't want an appointment but who would take on a job was
awfully hard. 1 You know, usually people who were good
managers were the heads of corporations. They always had an
angle. That's how Dad got to be his state finance chairman.
Charlie Blyth was, and then Charlie wanted an exclusive on
state bonds and Earl threw him out of the office. That's the
way it was.
That's true. My dad did the same way. He turned them down,
wouldn't take anything. [Governor] Pat Brown wanted to put him
on the board of regents at Cal, and he wouldn't take it. And a
few other things 1 know that people wanted him to do , and he
wouldn't take it because then, he'd say, "I'd lose my
independence. I can't get out and do the things I want."
I'll tell you, it's very difficult. I mean, in my small way.
[President] Dick Nixon called up one time and said, "I've got
an appointment on the ninth circuit court and the people
they're putting up are just no damn good. You've got to find
me somebody." I said, "Well, I'll try." So I came out and
[talked to various people]. The guy that really desperately
wanted the job was Henry Rolph.
However, I finally came back and called up the president
and said, "I cannot find a Republican that I think is circuit
court quality who will take it. They are all making too much
money." Those judges were only making something like $40
thousand a year.
Mel Swig: That wasn't a lot of money.
1 See The Memoirs of Chief Justice Earl Warren, Doubleday and Co., New
Any lawyer who is worth his salt can break $200,000 without any
But I said, "I'll tell you what. I've got an absolutely
first-class guy who is a Democrat, who's got independent
wealth, and who'd love to do it." And that was Bill Orrick,
who is a superb judge. Bill still doesn't like me to tell him
the fact that he was appointed by Nixon. [laughter]
Quite a guy. Does a good job. But 1 could not find a
Republican lawyer that I thought was of that caliber.
Or one that you thought was that would take it.
That would take it. Do you know- -his name is Hart? He's an
accountant --he's a member of the Pacific Union Club, but I
haven't seen him for years. But towards the end of the
Eisenhower administration- -when you get towards the end of an
administration, it's very hard to find good quality people
because they figure they may only be there for a year or
eighteen months. They asked me to find a guy that could be the
chief lawyer for the IRS. Once again I searched, and I finally
found a guy. Then I found out he was a Democrat. [laughter]
Veil, I told you, Bill, all these years you've been in the
wrong party. The Democrats have the better people!
By golly, I got him the appointment!
You were telling about people you talked to about changing
their registration from the Democratic party to the Republican
Yes! George Christopher. That was the worst advice he ever
got from anybody! [laughter]
But it was interesting
around town, you could find
know, for a guy to be chief
enhance his future; there's
presides over a hundred and
that. But I could not find
was any good.
With the connections that I had
out who was really qualified. You
counsel of the IRS, it's going to
no question about it. I mean, he
fifty lawyers or something like
a Republican hat would take it who
Would that be because people were not happy with Mr. Nixon at
No, this was Eisenhower. This was when Eisenhower was in his
second term, and there were only eighteen months to go.
C.M. Swig: So they would give up what they had in order to go there.
They'd have to come back and start over.
Mailliard: That's right. But I finally found a guy that had sense enough
to realize that there was money in the bank, really. To have
held that job. I didn't know whether he was a Republican or a
Democrat. I never asked!
Mel Swig: You were supported by more Democrats than you were by
Republicans in this town.
Mailliard: Veil, it never occurred to me to ask. It's just that Dick told
me to find a guy, a highly competent lawyer in that field. So
I found him.
Mel Swig: I wish all the people who had the right of appointments were as
thorough as you were in finding people.
Mailliard: I even remember --going back to my days with the governor --when
there was a major battle in Marin County between the district
attorney and the state senator. The both wanted to be
appointed judge. There was no way you could win on that one.
So Earl calls me up one day, and he said, "You get down
there and find me who's the best qualified man in the county."
He figured he had to appoint somebody else if these two were in
open warfare. I went down and I asked all my lawyer friends.
They said, "Martinelli, yes. Of course, he won't take it."
C.M. Swig: Did he take it?
Mailliard: Earl called him up: "I am advised that of all the lawyers in
Marin County, you would bring the most credit to the superior
court." Martinelli must have been surprised; he doesn't know
Warren, he's never met any of them. Again, you have a highly
successful lawyer; made a hell of a lot of money.
He said, "Well, Governor, I think I have to talk this over
with my family." Fine. So, by golly, he talked it over with
his family and decided that he'd made enough money and that he
was doing all right, and he'd like to be a judge. Of course,
it got Earl off the hook.
C.M. Swig: Even though both of the others would be mad at him.
Mailliard: But that doesn't matter so much. You pick one side, you're
going to make the other side really mad at you. And if you get
a guy that far, it's very hard for them to get very mad.
Mai 11 lard: Well, yes. You've got to go find a guy whose reputation is
good, impeccable. It's very hard for them to raise any hell.
Morris: What about the business of talking to the bar association for
their recommendations for the bench?
Mel Swig: You have to go through them and talk because that's part of the
process, but they're not perfect.
Mallliard: If you go out and find a guy with a reputation aaong the other
lawyers that are practicing in the community, you aren't going
to get much trouble over that. But frankly, neither the
district attorney nor the state senator were great lawyers
But that is fun. I love doing things like that. I went
out and spent seven or eight days looking up my lawyer friends
that practice in Marin. "Say, who's the most respected man in
Mallliard: That gave me a job to do nobody else was likely to want.
Morris: But he had a legal affairs officer, who was in charge of
looking up appointments.
Mailliard: Sure. But here he finds himself caught in a political
situation. He figured I knew people there. Nobody else on the
staff was ever going to question the governor having decided to
ask someone to do something, believe me! They would have been
gone very quickly. [chuckles]
Morris: Well, you certainly had some tough cookies to answer to in the
Mailliard: Well, sometimes I came back and said, "I can't find the
answers." This time I happened to be able to do it, but there
were many other little chores he gave me to do when I had to
come back to him: "I can't find the answer." By God, if I
came by with a recommendation that later turned out to be not
so good! [laughs] I never made a recommendation that I wasn't
pretty damn sure I was right.
Mel Swig: Pretty different from Nixon.
Mailliard: I was frankly always surprised, especially with Nixon. I
figured he wouldn't appoint a Democrat. And then when he had a
vacancy on the court, there were three or four Republican women
who were just itching to be the first woman who went on the
Supreme Court, and they were not competent. And he knew it.
This guy was no dummy for all the peculiarities,
He was a very
He called me: "I'd like to appoint a woman, but these
three just shouldn't be the first woman on the Supreme Court.
That's all there is to it. Can you find me somebody?" The
woman I came up with was a Democrat- -Shirley Hufstedler, who
was a first-class judge. She then made the mistake of becoming
the first secretary of health and welfare and came a cropper.
Shirley was a very good judge. But finally, he said, "I Just
think I better not. I mean those three Republican women will
tear me up into little pieces." He said, "I think I'm going to
have to appoint a man," which he did. I don't even remember
who was appointed.
Mel Swig: The only person that I ever remember Earl Warren talking badly
about was Mr. Nixon.
Mailliard: Oh, he couldn't stand him.
Mel Swig: He never knocked anybody. He loved everybody except Nixon.
Mailliard: Well, that's not quite true.
Mel Swig: Well, in my experience.
Mailliard: Earl didn't make a habit of it, but I'll tell you, if anybody
double-crossed him once, he had a memory like an elephant.
Disagreement didn't bother him. But Nixon double-crossed him.
There's no question about it, and he couldn't stand him. As a
matter of fact, [Senator] Tom Kuchel and he and I were having
lunch two or three days after Nixon was elected. And Earl
said, "I won't swear the son-of-a-bitch in! I won't do it!"
[laughter] Tom Kuchel and I said, "Just a minute. That is the
ministerial function. It doesn't indicate approval or
disapproval. You've got to swear him in!"
Can you imagine if the chief justice refused to--. He
finally agreed that his personal animosity had no place in
this. Oh, he hated him.
Morris: Because he thought that Nixon had done him out of the
Mailliard: No, no. Earl never seriously expected to be nominated for
president. He was double-crossed. He was telling him one
thing and doing something else. That Earl Warren never forgave
It's absolutely unforgivable, really. People tell you the
truth, and they're against you or whatever It is, okay. Forget
it. But when a guy tells you one thing and you find out he's
doing the opposite, you don't do any business with him any
ore. And that was a double-cross.
Morris: Well, thank you for a lovely, lovely luncheon. To be
continued, as we say, Congressman, whenever you return to the
Mailliard: I think I've told you everything I know, and naybe a lot of
things I don't know!
XII BILL MAILLIARD AS AMBASSADOR TO THE ORGANIZATION OF
AMERICAN STATES, 1974-1976
[Interview 4: February 19, 1991 ]ff
Morris: Today I'd like to ask about the Organization of American
States. How did you come to be that ambassador?
Mailliard: When I announced, oh, I guess, around the first of December
that I would not run again, Kenneth Rush, who was then deputy
secretary of state, called me. He read the newspapers and
called me and said, "I think you ought to get an appointment as
an ambassador. I mean, why be a lame duck?" So I said, "Well,
what do you propose?" He talked to [Secretary of State Henry]
Kissinger, and they offered me a couple of ambassadorships in
South America, but both of them were in countries that were in
turmoil. I turned them down because I had three teenaged
daughters, and I just didn't want to take them to a place where
they had to be under armed guard around the clock. That just
didn't seem fair to them.
Then, finally, he came up with the idea of the OAS . Of
course, I said that was fine because its headquarters are in
Washington. And while I had to travel a great deal in Latin
America, the kids could still stay in the schools they were
going to, and it wasn't as disruptive as it would have been to
have gone to- -well, the first they offered me was Argentina.
There, you would have had to have been under guard constantly.
Anyway, so then I told Kissinger, "Mr. Nixon and I never
got along very well. I'm not sure he'll sign the appointment.
Henry said, "Well, let me worry about that." Then I got this
news that I had to have an operation for cancer. So I called
Kissinger and said, "I don't think you ought to bother with
this appointment because I don't know how long I'm going to be
out of commission or even what the prognosis is going to be."
"No, no," he said. "I'll take the thing down to get the
president to sign it, and then we can just leave it on hold for
the time being."
Then I came out here. That was when my brother Jim died.
One day the phone rings and it was Mike Mansfield, the majority
leader of the senate. He said, "Bill, you got any enemies in
the senate?" I said, "Well, after twenty years I suppose I've
probably acquired a few." [chuckles] He said, "Well, we may
have a problem. There's a pay bill that's going to be voted on
pretty soon. If that passes, you're constitutionally
ineligible." You know, the Constitution says no member of
Congress can accept an appointment to a post the emollients of
which have been increased during his term. And you could see
why they put that in there- -so they could stop what could be
considered as payoffs. A member of the senate or the house
persuading the Congress to raise the pay of some job that he
But it's all right to raise the salaries of the congressmen
while they're in office?
But if you're a congressman, you can't take a post in the
executive branch, the pay of which has recently been increased.
Well, usually if you increase Congress's pay, you also increase
comparable things in the executive branch. I mean, they're all
tied together as a rule.
Anyway, I said no, I didn't know that I had any really
vicious enemies. He went on to say that Bill Fulbright, who
was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, "has gone back
home to fight for his life, and he's going to lose. So we
can't get a committee hearing for you because the chairman's
back in Arkansas." So what he did was he got up on the floor
of the senate and asked unanimous consent that the nomination
of William Mailliard be discharged from the committee and
So it just bypassed the committee.
Mailliard: Yes, pulled it out of committee and took it to the floor of the
senate. I don't think there were probably more than three
senators on the floor but-- [laughter]
So when I got the appointment, I got sworn in here by Al
Wollenberg. Weren't you there?
C.M. Swig: Yes.
Morris: He was on the district court at that time?
Mail Hard: Yes, and was an old friend, so 1 just sent my letter to the
governor and to the speaker of the house submitting my
resignation as of that day. That day 1 was sworn in here.
Anyway , when 1 went back to Washington I asked Mike , who
was a good friend--! mean, we disagreed on some things, but a
good friend- -and 1 said, "Why did the Democratic majority
leader bother to do all this?" And he said- -you know, Mike
didn't talk very much- -and he sort of glared at me and said,
"Veil, I know you, and God knows who Nixon might have sent up
Morris: Had you worked with Mansfield on other foreign affairs?
Mai 11 lard: Yes, lots of things because he was on the Foreign Relations
Committee as well.
Foreign Relations Studv Committee 1973-1975
Morris: And did you feel that you and he tended to think in the same
Mailliard: Well, on some things. And we both served on a commission that
was appointed for a long-range look at foreign policy. There
were two members of the house , two members of the senate , and
then the house and the senate appointed outsiders.
Morris: Nongovernmental people?
Mailliard: Yes. And then the president appointed--! don't remember the
exact numbers now. Anyway, Mike and I were both on it. While
we might have disagreed at little bit on policy, we agreed very
definitely on how to put this thing together and how to staff
it and so forth.
Morris: How does one go about setting up a long-range approach to
Mailliard: The first thing you've got to do is set up a staff, because all
these people are too busy to really do it themselves. There's
one point we disagreed on: Senator [William] Spong of Virginia
had been defeated, and Mike wanted to make him the head of the
staff, and I thought this was a very poor idea. So at the
opening meeting of the commission, I said, "Obviously, the
thing we've got to do is get some staff." And I said, "I want
to express my opinion that the head of the staff should not be
a member of the house or senate, should not be a career state
department type. We should find a man who is basically an
academic, but who has had some experience in government."
Veil, Mike got himself trapped because he didn't agree
with it. He wanted to appoint Senator Spong. He said, "Veil,
Bill, I think you're absolutely sound on your thinking, but
there is no such person." I said, "Yes there is." He said,
"Vho would that be?" I said, "Francis [Orlando] Vilcox." He
said, "Yeah, but he's not available." I said, "I had dinner
with him last night, and he is available." [chuckles]
You'd been doing a little exploring of your own?
So he fell into my trap. Then I backed off and said,
don't we make Senator Spong the chief counsel of the
committee." So he got a job for Spong, and I got the academic.
Fran Vilcox had at one time been the head of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee staff, and he'd been an assistant secretary
of state. But at this point, he was the head of the Johns
Hopkin School of International Studies, or whatever it's
called. So he absolutely, perfectly met the qualifications
that I said I thought he should have. And Mike couldn't argue
with it because he knew him as well as I did.
So a little preparation helps sometimes.
Veil, yes. You spend a little time thinking about it and- -I
wanted somebody that would be pretty objective. I was
appointed by the speaker as a Republican member from the house,
which astonished me because I had opposed the bill that created
Mailliard: Yes, because those commissions- -the staff works, and the
commission meets and tries to make policy decisions and so
forth, and then you write a wonderful report and it goes into
the archives. Nobody ever pays any attention to those
Morris: It does seem like it might duplicate the work of the Foreign
Relations and Foreign Affairs Committees.
Mailliard: It's such a convenient way to get a problem off of your hands,
but nothing ever happens. Those commissions- - there have been
hundreds of them, and 1 don't know of any that ever produced
any concrete results. I asked him, "Why in the devil did you
appoint me?" He said, "Because you opposed it." I said, "I
thought it was a silly idea." It was just going to cost money,
and it wasn't going to produce anything that was useful. And
it didn't. [laughs] A good report; I mean, we did a pretty
good job. But nobody pays any attention to those. The
commission then gets dissolved, and there's nobody to press to
implement the recommendations.
Observations of Richard Nixon
Morris: Going back to the OAS , did you meet at all with Mr. Nixon and
discuss what his concerns were for Latin America?
Mailliard: No. Nixon was already in deep trouble, and so Kissinger was
running everything. I did ask Henry, "Did the president say
anything when you took the appointment thing up there." He
said, "Yes, he did, and it was kind of interesting. He looked
at it, and he said, 'Oh, Bill Mailliard. He's never been a
friend of mine, but when he's agreed with me on policy, he's
fought like hell for me.'" And he signed it.
Morris: A number of people that we've talked to over the years have
made similar comments to the one you did yesterday, that they
had experience with Nixon's manipulations and maneuverings that
they disagreed with seriously. 1 wondered, if there were so
many political people in California who disliked his methods,
how did he ever build his support to enable him to win the
Mailliard: He did what vice presidents have been doing- -there was a period
when a former vice president was never even considered to be a
candidate. But he worked and he visited every state and every
city. He very carefully built his reputation among the party
people, as opposed to the elected people.
And that's what a vice president can do. He goes to every
Republican gathering that he can possibly get to and gets to
know the local political people who run the party machinery.
And they're the ones that go to the convention. So he's got a
real power among those people who don't amount to anything
except every four years. Of course, that's one of the
[comments] that's obvious- -that under our system, you don't
have national political parties except once every four years.
Morris: Even though, I'm told, it's different in other states; that
California has a weaker party apparatus than other states.
Mailliard: It's pretty weak everywhere.
Morris: It sounds as if the party wasn't particularly helpful to you in
Mailliard: They were of no use at all. You see, the time was when that
was absolutely true. California was unusual in that it had
very weak parties, and that was partly because we had cross -
filing, partly because we had direct primaries. When you have
a direct primary, then the political bosses don't have the
influence that they did when you had party machines in so many
places. And Hiram Johnson killed it here. He ran against the
Southern Pacific, which owned the state. And when he became
governor, he put in all these reforms that virtually destroyed
Politics of Interamerican Relations
Morris: What did Henry Kissinger have in mind for OAS?
Mailliard: Absolutely nothing. He wasn't the slightest bit interested.
Morris: Because there was political unrest?
Mailliard: International organizations, including the U.N. , really never
accomplished anything. Just a lot of talk. I mean, now is the
first time the U.N. has ever functioned the way it was
Morris: In this Persian Gulf situation.
Mailliard: When you had unanimity of the Security Council. And of course,
the other trouble with the OAS was that there was no security
council. Here we were paying 85 percent of the cost or
something like that, and we had just one vote. The U.N. was
partly the same thing. We were footing the bills, and the
other people were determining what they were going to spend the
money on. That is inherently sort of unsound.
But the OAS is a separate, free-standing entity of its own?
Mallllard: Entirely. It predates the U.N.
Morris: Did it grow out of some of Nelson Rockefeller's Good Neighbor
Mailliard: I honestly don't know the details of that. It was Franklin
Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy. It was called the Pan-
American Union in those days. It didn't become the OAS until
after the war . But it went back originally, I think, to
the health organization. I think that was the beginning of it.
Some time way back, they decided that they should have a
Western Hemisphere, in effect, health organization, which
eventually pretty much merged with the World Health
Morris: Pan-American Union had some problems with being considered
pretty radical, didn't it?
Mailliard: Not that I know of, and I never bothered to go back and look at
that because the charter that I operated under was relatively
new. But it was the successor to organizations that had
existed for decades.
Morris: With your family connections, did you find some relatives down
there that would be helpful in understanding what was going on?
Mailliard: No. I met a lot of relatives but- -well, again, the Latins are
pretty irresponsible, and ganging up on Uncle Sam was a
favorite indoor sport.
Morris: How so?
Mailliard: Any time they could embarrass the "colossus of the North," they
would have to do it. It's good politics at home, picking on
Morris: They didn't like OAS, or they didn't like the American
representatives in it?
Mailliard: That had nothing to do with it. This was all a political game
at home. They get headlines in the newspapers if they take a
poke at Uncle Sam. They'll tell you one thing privately;
they're all for us privately, but publicly, they're always
Morris: That must make it hard to move some kind of international
Mailliard: Very difficult. And there are always one or two troublemakers.
When I was there, it was mostly Peru and Panama that were
constantly making trouble. That's one reason why I think that
job should go to a politician and not to a diplomat, because
it's a political game. See, I'd had a lot of experience in
this. I'd been to every OAS foreign ministers' meeting for the
previous six or seven years probably.
Morris: With your U.N. hat on?
Mailliard: No. The U.N. hat only lasted for one year. No, as a
congressional adviser to the secretary of state, because I was
the ranking Republican on the Inter-American Subcommittee of
the Foreign Affairs Committee. And the chairman and I were
always invited to go to these meetings; he didn't bother to do
it very often, so I did.
What I did right away, because I knew how the system
worked, was I started making trips to all the member countries.
I took three swings to get to them all. I played it very low
key. I would ask the ambassador to arrange for me a meeting
with the man in their foreign office who dealt with OAS
But when [Gerald] Ford became president, and the Latinos
realized that I had served for twenty- one years in the House of
Representatives with Mr. Ford, they presumed I had great
influence. I didn't, but they thought I did. As a result,
although I would ask to see a relatively low official in the
foreign office, I was always met by the foreign minister and
frequently by the president. They figured that I might have a
lot of influence .
Well, after several trips around, I got to know some of
these people very well- -the foreign ministers and even some
presidents. And I had known some of them from the time I was
at the U.N. because guys that were there, sometimes not as the
top man even- -second or third echelon- -but ten years later some
of them were presidents or they were foreign ministers. So I
got to know them quite well.
If I had a real troublemaker in the OAS, I'd pick up the
phone and call the president or his foreign minister and say,
"Gee, you know, your man up here is causing us an awful lot of
trouble, and I would hate to have to tell President Ford that
this is really becoming a nuisance. I'd hate to have a problem
in this international organization affect our bilateral
Morris: As in foreign aid?
Mailliard: Or anything else. I'll tell you, things really happened. One
time I called, and the aan was gone in twenty- four hours. And
several other cases, the guy immediately got the word not to
rock the boat. That's why I say it's a political game. No
career foreign service officer would dare to do that- -go out of
channels, pick up the telephone and talk to the president of
another country; no, he'd have to go through the secretary of
state. So it's pretty good to have a political guy in there.
I was succeeded by a former senator, Gale McKee , who was a very
close friend of mine.
Hailliard: One of the weaknesses in the structure of our government is the
difficulty of getting decisions when more than one department
is involved because there's no system, other than the
president- -or he may delegate it to his chief of staff --to
resolve differences between departments. I'll give you an
example. I had on my staff an economist, and I didn't have
enough work for him to keep him busy three months out of the
year. You have people around that don't have anything to do,
they don't do anything. He began to get out of date because he
didn't have anything to keep himself up to date on. The
Economic and Social Council of the OAS ordinarily met once a
year, and that was the only time that I needed an economist.
So the particular guy was ready to retire and I just never
replaced him. What I did was to request, through channels,
through the secretary of state to the secretary of the
treasury, temporary assignment of two or three of their top
guys who were up on things. And, of course, it eventually got
back saying, "Sorry, we can't spare them." So I picked up the
phone and called [Secretary of the Treasury] Bill Simon, and I
said, "Well, you turned me down." He said, "What did you ask
for?" I told him and he says, "You've got 'em!" Now, of
course, a career foreign service officer couldn't do that.
Mailliard: Well, he probably couldn't get through to Bill Simon if he
wanted to, and anyway, it's forbidden. You've got to go
through the secretary of state, and then it goes down to the
bureaucracy, and they always say, "We can't spare anybody."
Morris : la that sort of rigidity the reason why there were some rumors
in the 1980s that the foreign service was in trouble, and that
people were resigning in great quantities?
Mallliard: Veil, you can't attribute it to any one thing, but the
bureaucracy is a real problem. They hunker down. They know
that the political people at the policy level are only going to
be there for a limited length of time, and their power of
resistance to change is incredible.
Morris: And is it a problem? Did you have some career foreign service
people working for you--?
Mail Hard: All of my staff were from career foreign service or other
bureaucrats of one kind or another- -civil servants.
Morris: What do you do when they think things ought to go one way
because that's the way the foreign service says it should be,
and your political instincts say you should do it another way?
Mailliard: Well, if they don't do what I tell them to, I'd fire them. I'm
the representative of the president, not even of the secretary
of state. An ambassador is a person who is the representative
of the president of the United States. Now, as a practical
matter, you go through the secretary of state. But in theory
at least, you don't have to pay any attention to the secretary
of state. Of course, you'd probably get fired if you didn't,
Morris: Did Ford take more interest in South America than Nixon had?
Mailliard: No, I think Nixon was very much interested, but I think at this
point, Nixon was a wounded elk. I think Kissinger was very
Europe -oriented at that stage. And, of course, this is the
history of our relations with Latin America. Every president
going back before Roosevelt has said, "We're going to have a
new relationship with Latin America." But then some crisis
someplace else becomes acute, and all the attention gets
focused there, and that's usually Europe.
Morris: Could you see the beginnings of what has become one local
revolution after another into which we have poured a lot of
money, and which has led to the great destruction in Nicaragua
and Argentina and other parts of South America?
Mailliard: Well, you're talking apples and oranges. A banana republic's
problem is quite different from the problems with South
America. Central America- -those are little, bitty countries.
Morris: Did your responsibilities extend all the way through Central
and South America?
Mail Hard: Everybody in the hemisphere except Canada. And the reason for
that was that when the organization began, Canada was not
considered to be an independent country. Its foreign policies
ran from London. So they never became a member. They are now.
Free Trade. Panama Canal Considerations^/
Morris: Was there any interest at that time in any arrangement similar
to the European Economic Community?
Mail Hard: Well, we've got an arrangement with Canada, and we're talking
about an arrangement with Mexico to see if we can't get a free
trade, but that's got lots of complications. It's not easy to
do. Firstly, the labor unions will all be against it. They'll
be compelled to compete with cheap labor in Mexico. But you
don't have that problem in Canada, so that's why we were able
to come to pretty much an agreement with Canada. But Mexico
really creates problems. We'll do it eventually. We'll work
Morris: Did you feel like you made some progress in your years at OAS?
Mailliard: Not much, because most of these things are really bilateral.
They don't go to the international organizations as a rule
unless it's a really critical situation.
Morris: Who doesn't?
Mailliard: Anybody. And we hadn't really taken problems to the UN, except
in the Security Council, where we've got some control.
International organizations just haven't worked very well in
the political side. Now, some of the lower organizations that
are specialized to a particular problem have done a very good
Morris: Like the World Health Organization?
Morris: Did you get involved at all in the Panama Canal question?
Mailliard: Yes. Not while I was at the OAS really, but I was considered
to be sort of the expert on the Panama Canal because I was on
the subcommittee of the Merchant Marine Committee that dealt
with the Panama Canal and on the subcommittee of the Foreign
Affairs Committee that dealt with Latin America. And those two
subcommittees never agreed on what time of day it was. I mean,
I was sort of schizophrenic because I belonged to two
committees, one having a totally different point of view from
Morris: But there was a deadline coming up for the planning of--
Mailliard: There was no deadline.
Morris: I thought there was a deadline for converting the Panama Canal
back to an independent entity.
Mailliard: That treaty was incredible. It gave us in perpetuity the right
to act as if we were sovereign. That's the treaty.
Morris: Then how come it was decided that there should be a time set
Mailliard: The treaties were renegotiated, and we set the date for the
year 2000. All that went on after I was out of office. The
treaties were signed in the Carter administration, and 1 was
gone by then.
Morris: Weren't you called in as an expert?
Mailliard: Oh, I was. For one thing, I was one of the very few
Republicans that was willing to support the treaty. So I made
speeches all over the country in support of the treaty.
Morris: In support of returning the canal to Panama. That's
interesting. What led you to that conclusion?
Mailliard: It was inevitable. Imagine today if you tried to negotiate a
treaty that gave you the right to act as if you were sovereign
on a strip of property right through the middle of another
country. I mean, no way. And incidentally, that treaty was
never signed by a Panamanian. It was signed by a Frenchman who
had been given by the government of Panama the authority to
sign for them.
Morris: That sounds sort of unique in international relations.
Mailliard: Well, the whole history of Panama- -it's very simple. Panama
was part of Colombia, and they decided to have a revolution.
Theodore Roosevelt decided to send a battleship down there to
nake sure the revolution succeeded so that we'd get the right
to build the canal.
Morris: More than one way to skin a cat, as they say.
Mailliard: But you couldn't get away with that today.
Morris: Although sometimes it sounds as if we're trying to.
Mailliard: Yes, but now you could only do it with some international
support. You couldn't do it unilaterally. They'd murder you.
But we did. The language in that treaty was absolutely
Morris: In the original treaty?
Mailliard: Yes. In perpetuity to act as if you were sovereign in somebody
else's country. [laughs] Ridiculous!
And then it took us years to build the canal. You know,
the French had tried to build a canal down there with some
arrangement with Colombia, when it was still part of Colombia.
Yellow fever finally stopped it cold. And Teddy Roosevelt
decided that we ought to do it, and we did it. Ve solved the
yellow- fever problem.
Ve built a railroad, of course, which was absolutely
essential in the process of building the canal. Otherwise you
could never move the amount of stuff --
Morris: --to move supplies and equipment and men. Is that railroad
still in operation?
Mailliard: It was the last time I was in Panama a few years ago.
Morris: Did you learn Spanish at some point along the line?
Mailliard: I learned to understand it pretty well, but when you're in a
diplomatic post, you don't dare speak a language that you don't
really know that well.
Morris: It sounds like then it would be really important to have an
aide who was not only totally fluent, but whom you had total
Mailliard: And I did have a former Peace Corps kid who had come into the
foreign service and who lived for a few years both in Colombia
and in the Dominican Republic. He wasn't totally bilingual,
but he was almost bilingual.
Morris: What was his name?
Mailliard: You shouldn't have asked me that. [chuckles]
Morris: Maybe it will come through when you see the transcript.
Mailliard: His name was Phil, but I don't remember his last name.
Co-Sponsor of the Peace Corps
Morris: Did I read that one of your functions somewhere along the line
was to visit Peace Corps encampments?
Mailliard: When I was in Congress, and that Subcommittee on Inter- American
Affairs would visit countries, I always spent some time with
the Peace Corps people .
Morris: Was that at the president's request?
Mailliard: No, congressmen don't pay any attention to presidents. You've
got to understand that. When I was ambassador, I might meet
with someone at the president's request! [laughs]
Morris: What was there about the Peace Corps that made it interesting
enough to call on a bunch of long-haired kids out in strange
parts of the world?
Mailliard: When Jack Kennedy wanted to create the Peace Corps- -and
incidentally, he made the speech proposing it here in San
Francisco, and he got his brother-in-law to put the thing
together- -Sarge Shriver came in to see me one day and said, "I
can get a few Democratic sponsors, but I don't seem to be able
to find a Republican sponsor." And I said, "Well, you've got
one now." So I was a co-sponsor of the bill that created the
Morris: You were impressed with Kennedy's speech?
Mailliard: No, I just thought it was a good idea.
Morris: And what did you learn from the kids?
Mailliard: I was very critical of a lot of it, because in the beginning,
It was too idealistic. They were sending these kids who were
English majors or social studies majors and so forth into this
hinterland of all of these underdeveloped countries. Poor
kids, some of them were just culture -shocked. It was something
else. And they really didn't know what they were supposed to
do. They were supposed to be friendly, and lots of times the
mayors of these little villages considered this outrageous
interference. The central government approved it, but the
local officials felt that these people were a nuisance. And In
a lot of cases, they were.
And partly because of some of the reports that I made when
I came back, they began to change, so they would get people who
were teachers or people who had some skills or knew something
about water systems where they really could help these people.
But these idealistic youngsters who were generalists, like I
was, they didn't know what the hell to do.
We started then sending practical people. Then
eventually, we even got retired people into the Peace Corps.
You know, they weren't kids. They were people that had some
skills that could be used. In the beginning it was a great
idea, but nobody had really thought it through as to the kind
of people that they should get; that they should get people who
had agricultural skills or things that would really be of
practical value rather than just being big-hearted and trying
to do good.
It was a great idea. But nobody had thought- -when you go
out in the boondocks, and there's no plumbing, what are these
kids going to do to be helpful? Well, they don't know anything
to be helpful. Some of them were very inventive and figured it
out, and some of them had trouble coping with a strange
Lizzie Page Mailliard on her 88th birthday in 1949, with her five children
plus their husbands and wives. Left to right: Tom with wife Jean Howard
Mailliard, Page with wife Donna Ellen, Marion-Leigh Mailliard Baldwin, Anita
Mailliard Bridgman with husband Grenville Temple Bridgman and Ward with wife
Kate Peterson Mailliard.
XIII FAMILY STORIES AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Chrlstmases and Weddings
Morris: There were a couple questions that came up yesterday that I
would like to go back to. One was, you were talking about the
games you and your brother invented; I was wondering if there
are some family traditions and festivals that we haven't talked
about. I've come across some references to Christmas Eve.
Mailliard: Oh, Christmas was really something! Why we kids ever survived
Christmas, I'll never know. There was a fixed pattern. My
parents had an egg-nog type of cocktail party Christmas Eve
that was big. I'm going back now to the early days. That
night, we went to the Petersons'.
The next day at 11 o'clock, on Christmas day, there was a
big egg-nog party at the Skewes-Coxs's. And that night, we
would go to the Mailliard grandparents'. By that time, we kids
were just totally exhausted! [laughs]
Morris: And all of your cousins went to the egg-nog parties, too?
Mailliard: Yes. Then when my grandmother Peterson died, which was in
1929, we took over the Christmas Eve dinner and scrapped the
cocktail party. Well, I think maybe we had both for a little
while. Those dinners got to where they were fifty people or
more. I finally went to my mother and father and said,
"Really, these things are getting to be a chore. We've just
got to cut it down to our family. It just isn't going to
C.M. Swig: Who was included in those fifty?
Mailliard: Everybody was invited. The people who came usually were Somers
and Helen, maybe Baltzer and Jeanne. The Bridgmans, if they
were out here. It got too big. My grandparents had fifteen
grandchildren, and as they started to grow up and got married,
you'd have thirty people there, and then including some of the
aunts and uncles and some of their kids. Immediately, you were
up in the fifties.
Morris: This would have to be buffet, wouldn't it?
Mailliard: It wasn't. No, formal, seated. [chuckles] Formidable. And
frankly, it really got to be a nuisance.
C.M. Swig: You were all out the night before also. To the Cotillion.
That's usually the twenty-third. Of course, there were all the
other parties on Christmas Eve, but this was just the three of
you: Jim, Jack, and Bill and your families.
Mailliard: That's right. And then Irene Sheldon was always invited.
There were a couple of outsiders that weren't family that had
The three of us had fifteen children between us. And then
there were fifteen in the next generation.
Morris: And most of them have stayed, at least while you were growing
up, in the Bay Area?
Mailliard: The Bridgmans lived in the East. Their kids used to come out
for the summer.
C.M. Swig: When you say fifteen, you're talking about Mailliards?
Mailliard: That's right. Not counting the Peterson side. But there
weren't that many there, you see.
C.M. Swig: Aunt Louise and Baltzer had one--
Mailliard: Baltzer had one; Somers had one that was retardedwell, he was
more than retarded, so he disappeared. So there was only one,
which was Pete.
C.M. Swig: Later when I came along, the Mailliards did Christmas Eve, and
then on Christmas Day, we went to Baltzer and Louise's for
Mailliard: Yes, much later. And you know, Baltzer and Jeanne, before
Louise, lived in Seattle for a long time until we sold the
C.M. Swig: So this egg-nog party- -when you say the Mailliards had it, that
was your mother and father?
Mail Hard: My mother and father. At four o'clock Christmas Eve, and then
we'd go to the Peterson grandparents.
Morris: And did you all get trundled off to church to sing Christmas
Mailliard: Mailliards don't go to church.
Morris: I remember hearing at some point that Jack Mailliard helped to
raise money to complete Grace Cathedral.
Mailliard: Yes, provided you didn't have to go.
Morris: None of you were even baptized or anything like that?
Mailliard: Yes, we were all baptized. But for instance, I wasn't baptized
till 1 was about three years old, and the reason that I was
baptized then was because 1 was supposed to be in Marion-
Leigh's [Marion-Leigh Mailliard] wedding as a ringbearer. So
they quickly got me baptized.
C.M. Swig: You couldn't be a ringbearer if you weren't baptized?
Mailliard: No, apparently not. Then, I didn't want to be a ringbearer, so
I got a pair of scissors and cut my hair all off; so 1 didn't
have to be a ring bearer. [laughter] 1 looked so awful,
Marion Leigh wouldn't have me in it. She was my godmother.
Life at the Ranch
Morris: Were there any special days or events at the ranch- -the opening
of the ranch in the spring?
Mailliard: Mother's birthday was the twenty-ninth of May, so that tied
with the Memorial Day weekend. We always went to the ranch,
and it always rained.
That's late for rain.
Mailliard: That was always the last rain, and it didn't rain again until
September. But that's different now.
C.M. Swig: So everybody was there. All the camps and everything?
Mailliard: No, in those days there weren't any camps. Ve slept under the
trees. If it rained too hard, we had to pick up our beds and
go into the cabin.
Morris: The cabin was just for cooking and meals?
Mailliard: No, it was a big, twenty -by -thirty log cabin with a kitchen and
Morris: So the cooking wasn't done out of doors?
Mailliard: Originally it was, but we gradually built things inside.
Originally we had a camp table set up with a grill.
Morris: Did you take somebody up from town to help with the pot-
Morris: All hands did cleaning.
Mailliard: Never had any servants at the ranch until Mother used to take
Lupe up there. There were never any servants. The only help
we ever had was this old bohunk that worked at the duck club in
the winter and would come up to milk the cow and do chores like
that. But we never had any domestic help.
Morris: You were saying something about Kate had a special tree that
she slept under?
Mailliard: Ve all had platforms, where we put the beds and so forth, that
were scattered around different places. Mother and Dad had a
place that had four redwood trees .
Morris: Four redwood trees? Space for a platform in between. Sounds
Mailliard: And eventually, they built a little cabin there, but in the
early days, they only had the main cabin.
Morris: And was there canvas over the platforms?
Mailliard: If it rained, you scurried for the cabin.
C.M. Swig: And you had horses down there.
Mailliard: Yes, in the summertime.
C.M. Swig: You went up in the wintertime, didn't you?
Mall Hard: Oh, we used to go up in the wintertime.
C.M. Swig: It must have been cold. You slept out in the wintertime?
Mall Hard: No, we'd sleep in the cabin.
C.M. Swig: It must have been muddy to get down there.
Mailliard: Sometimes we couldn't get there because the roads were torn up.
Morris: Where did the horses stay in the winter? In town?
Mailliard: No, we had a horse pasture. Ve just turned them out.
Morris: Really? These weren't the descendants of Adolph Mailliards
Mailliard: No. [chuckles]
C.M. Swig: That camp- -you all were talking about it earlier- -when they
first went to the ranch, did that camp belong to you, or was it
just being used by the Mailliards?
Mailliard: No, actually it was on Ornbaum property.
C.M. Swig: And you just used it?
Mailliard: No, no. We built it.
C.M. Swig: But you didn't own the property?
Mailliard: We did own property right nearby. But we liked this particular
setting. Dad's partner was Bide Ogle's son, so this was a
gentleman's agreement. Then, of course, we eventually bought
C.M. Swig: So when your dad first moved here, he had a partner?
Mailliard: Not when he first went up there, but when he first bought the
first piece of property, his partner was Alvy Ogle.
C.M. Swig: When he first went there they leased the property.
Mailliard: They leased the hunting rights.
Learning to Hunt. Training Plalets . Tall Tales
Morris: I came across a letter, I think to your father. You were
asking if "somebody could take your son [in hand). He's about
ready to learn how to hunt." 1 was wondering if learning to
hunt is a rite of growing up, and who taught you to hunt.
Mailliard: Yes, I think that probably my grandfather taught my father to
hunt, and my father taught me to hunt.
Morris: Up at the ranch in Mendocino?
Morris: How old are you when somebody thinks that you are old enough to
hold a gun?
Mailliard: I don't know. There was a rule, and I don't know what it was.
I don't remember what age it was. I know the first summer I
spent up there, I was ten, and I did not hunt. I don't know
when it was that I started to go out with the hunters.
Morris: Jack was already--?
Mailliard: Yes, Jack probably was already hunting. I think we were maybe
thirteen or fourteen when we'd start to hunt.
Morris: Target practice first? Or did somebody take you out and show
you a duck and say, "Shoot it."
Mailliard: No ducks, only deer and jackrabbits.
C.M. Swig: Were there ever any wild pigs there?
Mailliard: I don't remember any then.
Morris: I always heard of wild pigs south, in the Carmel area.
Mailliard: These were domestic pigs that went wild.
C.M. Swig: There used to be a lot of dairy farms around there. Dairy
farms always had pigs, right?
Mailliard: You've lost me now. 1 don't know.
C.M. Swig: Well, anyway, that's the story I heard. And then they went
wild from these dairy farms.
Mall Hard: Veil, people raised pigs. They ate your garbage. 1 don't
think that had anything to do with dairy farms. Anyway, 1
don't think there ever was a dairy farm around there.
C.M. Swig: Anyway, they were domesticated and went wild. And the ones
down south are really wild.
Morris: A wild variety?
C.M. Swig: Yes. Grandmother or somebody used to catch the little ones.
She had some of them as pets. She had one that --she would go
in the front door and run as fast as she could down to where
her room was, and this pig would beat her running. And all of
Larry's [James Mailliard's son] kids catch little ones, and
once they raise them, they are just like domestic pets.
Mailliard: It used to amuse me because we had picket corrals for the
horses. The pickets were set pretty close together, and I'd
get this little pig, and I'd call him out. Then I'd feed him,
and he'd blow up so big that he couldn't get back. To see this
little pig trying to get through the picket fence! He'd come
through that way, and he couldn't figure out why he couldn't go
back that way. [laughs]
Morris: I've been told they make very good pets --that they're bright,
Mailliard: So they tell me. I've never had one as a pet.
C.M. Swig: Nowadays, people are having these little miniature pigs as
pets. John Traina has one.
Mailliard: They were just the garbage disposal as far as I was concerned.
C.M. Swig: So there weren't many then?
Mailliard: There must have been some, but certainly not the way they are
C.M. Swig: Isn't there a story about the mountain lion?
Mailliard: Yes. I think I saw a mountain lion twice in my life.
C.M. Swig: Were there coyotes there then?
Mailliard: No. On the other side of the highway, but we never had any.
Mailliard: Yes, but they were very rare. Ve had skunks, and we had
raccoons , and we had bobcats . Do you ever see any bobcats now?
C.M. Swig: I think somebody told me that they saw one, but I haven't.
Then after you left that camp and began buying pieces of
property, the Ornbaums had a house where Grandmother's house is
Mailliard: That's right. When we bought the Ornbaum property. Up until
then we didn't have a so-called winter house. Then for a good
many years, they would go to the cabins in the summer and then
go the old Ornbaum house, where the main house is now, in the
C.M. Swig: Still camped out in the summertime even when they had the
Mailliard: Summertime, yes. Then I guess--I'm a little hazy about this--
during the war, probably, when none of us were around, they
tore down the cabin. It was about seven miles from where the
ranch buildings are now.
Morris: What happened to all the records your mother kept? All the
breeding records and lambing? Did they go back to Davis?
Mailliard: They certainly should have gone back to Davis, but I honestly
don ' t know .
C.M. Swig: 1 don't know either. They were all in that office for years.
Mailliard: Maybe they're still up there.
Morris: Did she have any help at all? She was up there for months and
months at a time.
Mailliard: During the war, there was practically no help because there
wasn't anybody around. But after that, yes. Veil, Guido was
there all during the war I think.
Morris: Did he come with the property?
Mailliard: I don't think so.
C.M. Swig: He was hired as a ranch hand, but he'd been in the army, and he
could sew up pigs and dogs and everything because he had been a
Morris: Was he a local fellow from Mendocino?
Mailliard: I don't know where he came from.
C.M. Swig: He was from up in that area. So he was up there. Ve had a
party for him to celebrate the forty years he'd worked on the
Morris: He was sort of year-round help?
Mailliard: He was sort of the ranch foreman, if you want to call it that.
C.M. Swig: But there must have been others. I always heard about Old
Mailliard: Ve had various people that were up there. Old Bill was the
horse guy, when we were raising Arabian horses.
C.M. Swig: Wasn't it Newton- -Newt Ornbaum- -who used to listen in--
Mailliard: The telephone was on a party line--
C.M. Swig: On the party line Jack said you could hear him breathing when
he was listening in. So Jack would say, "Newt, hang up! This
is long distance." Because the more phones that were open, the
harder it was to hear.
Mailliard: That's right. He wasn't the only one. That was their
entertainment, was to listen in on the party line, when we
eventually got a phone at the cabin.
Morris: What was your ring?
Mailliard: At the cabin it was two long and four short.
Morris: I remember there were different rings for each household, and
you could tell when people up the road had a phone call.
Mailliard: That's right. There were thirteen people on that party line.
Morris: You could listen in, or if you knew it was your good friend,
and you knew she was expecting a call, you could pick up the
phone and have three- or four-way conversations.
Mailliard: One time Helen Peterson was up there, and she- -I don't know if
she was having a miscarriage- -but anyway, she got ill. So we
called for an ambulance, and the ambulance got lost. So we
tried to check with some guy way down Fish Rock Road. He said,
"Hey, I see the ambulance coming!
I'll run down and head him
And who was the guy who worked on or near the ranch who would
hitch a ride into Boonville. And on the way to Boonville, he
said, "I'll just get off here and walk the rest of the way."
Then when you all came back, you found him by the side of the
road. This guy is drunker than a skunk. It was on a Sunday
morning after a Saturday night, or a Saturday morning after a
Friday night; people had thrown their pints out of their cars
into the bushes, and he'd drink the rest of whatever was left
in the bottle.
[ Laughs ;
That's Jack's story. I've never heard that one
Horses. Mules, and County Fairs
Morris: Why were you raising Arabians? For your own entertainment, or
were you selling them?
Mailliard: No. I don't know the whole story about that because I was
C.M. Swig: Is this Carrolstone?
Mailliard: That was one of them. That was one of the earliest ones.
C.M. Swig: The horse was named Carrolstone, but she never had a colt.
Mailliard: Oh, yes, she did, but she was not easy to breed. She was mean.
She didn't like other horses. I think we got the Arabian
horses from the Kellogg Farm down in Southern California, which
is where they bred the really good ones. They were a little
too hot-blooded, mostly, for ranch horses, so we began to
cross-breed. The best saddle horses were about three-quarters
Arab. They were beautiful, but with a little cold blood in
them, they were a little steadier. The others tended to get
excited if they got into the brush.
C.M. Swig: Are those the ones you rode in the parades at Boonville?
C.M. Swig: Didn't you have a little wagon that Jim rode in?
Mail Hard: I don't remember that.
Morris: When was this?
Mailliard: In the thirties.
Morris: Is that what you learned to ride on, these Arabians?
Mailliard: I learned to ride on mules. There was a breed of mules that,
as far as 1 know, was local to the Anderson Valley area that
was a cross between a burro and a Shetland pony. And they were
about this high [hand gestures denote size] and tough as nails.
Alvie used to ride one of them, and he was a tall man. Long
legs --legs practically scraped on the ground. But those little
mules, they'd carry a two-hundred pound man all day long. They
were tougher than nails. And I was given one on my tenth
Later on, when none of us was around that much, we'd put
them up as prizes at the Boonville Fair. The Boonville people
complained that we gave the prize, but we always won it. We
always ended up with the mule that we were trying to get rid
Morris: Was the Boonville Fair a big event in the summer?
Mailliard: Yes. It wasn't the county fair then. The county fair was in
Ukiah on the Fourth of July weekend, and we used to go to Ukiah
for that. The Boonville Fair was on a different date.
C.M. Swig: I think it was September. The Apple Show.
Mailliard: I think so. The Apple Show, yes.
Morris: It's still called the Apple Show.
Mailliard: But eventually they gave up the county fair in Ukiah, and
Boonville Fair became the county fair.
C.M. Swig: Since I've been around, you always had Jack's birthday on the
Fourth of July. Did you celebrate Jack's birthday on the
Mailliard: Yes, we did, but I may be wrong about it being the Fourth of
July. It may have been the next weekend. But I know we used
to go into Ukiah to the county fair. I don't think Dad usually
went. I think it was just us kids that went. I'm sure that my
parents never did.
Morris: They'd send you off by yourselves?
Mail Hard: I suppose so.
Morris: On your ponies?
Mailliard: No, no. That's too far a ride.
Morris: Ukiah would be but Boonville wouldn't.
Mailliard: Yes. But in those days, you could get a driver's license at
Morris: Particularly if you lived on a ranch.
Mailliard: No, anyone.
C.M. Swig: Jack probably went to every county fair or rodeo because he
wanted to be a cowboy.
Mailliard: Well, at another stage of the game, he went to- -well, I won't
say every one, but he certainly went to Sonoma County Fair, and
he went to Mendocino County Fair, and I guess the Lake County,
and so forth. I did a bit of that but not to the extent that
he did, because he rode the bucking horses. I only went into
the trail class. I wasn't about to get on a bucking horse.
Morris: You rode the horses in the county fair horse shows?
C.M. Swig: And he lived to tell the tale.
Morris: And you rode horses that you raised yourselves?
Morris: That's pretty exciting. Did you have some particular favorite
horse that did everything just the way you wanted it to?
Mailliard: Yes. I rode Carrolstone in the fairs quite a bit, and then
eventually there was another horse that I used to ride in the
C.M. Swig: What color was Carrolstone?
Mailliard: Dark brown.
C.M. Swig: I always thought it would be a white horse like the pictures I
saw in The Arabian Nights.
Mail Hard: No. The stallion we had was a pale chestnut with a golden mane
and tail. He was a handsome brute.
C.M. Swig: What was his name? I bet there are some pictures. I told you
I found all these scrapbooks at the ranch.
Mail Hard: There probably are. Anyway, the horse thing came to an end
because when the war came along, there was nobody to ride them
and really nobody to take care of them. So Dad decided he'd
better sell the whole kit and caboodle. But he didn't really
want to. So he put a price on each one that was about twice
what he thought it was worth. Some guy from Guatemala came
along, pulled a roll of bills out of his pocket this big
[motions size], paid for them in cash--all of them! He took
them all to Guatemala. There were seven or eight, I guess.
C.M. Swig: How the heck did he know about them way up there?
Mailliard: I guess he came up here to buy some Arabian horses, and
somebody told him ours were for sale.
So that was the end of our horse breeding. He took the
stallion and the mares. We always had horses after that, but
we didn't raise horses any more.
Ranch Camps Expand
C.M. Swig: When did Somers and the Petersons have their camp? What did
they call that camp?
Mailliard: The Hut.
C.M. Swig: Did they build that?
Mailliard: I don't know.
C.M. Swig: Now at the ranch we have several different camps that people
use. This would be Somers and Helen, right?
Mailliard: Well, Helen. She could get Somers to go about once out of
every four times that she went. Somers never really liked the
ranch. He just came along to be sociable occasionally.
C.M. Swig: Did she take some friends up there with her? It's way back in,
and it's this hut.
Mai 11 lard: He was a sailor. He really didn't give a hoot about the ranch.
Morris: That must be a real problem In the Bay Area when you've got so
many different things. Sailors usually don't like the back
C.M. Swig: Although they do have the Garcia Navy- -the Garcia Gun Club,
then you had the Garcia Navy.
Mailliard: I think Tom bought a boat, and that sort of started it, I
think. No, Somers was never a Garcia Gun Club member.
Morris: That's down here, based in Sausalito?
C.M. Swig: It was. It's kind of defunct now. Jack Watson had a boat, and
Tom had a boat.
Mailliard: He used to go on these weekends up the Delta some place.
C.M Swig: When did Tom Mailliard get a camp on the ranch?
Mailliard: I don't think I could give you a date.
C.M. Swig: There is Tom's camp and the Casey s' camp. Casey was above the
Mailliard: The first person to have a camp there was Henry Hawes, before
they bought the ranch at wherever the heck it is in Sonoma.
Henry was the fellow that 1 told you about that was one of the
SOS people. He was the head of McCann-Erickson.
It wasn't where Tom's camp is now. They had a cabin that
was, oh, maybe a hundred yards before you got to where Tom's
camp is now.
C.M. Swig: A nice little place. Now there's a gate there. I think it's
where Sandy got married. Big, big redwoods. So your dad used
to let them use that?
Mailliard: Yes. He was a member of the Garcia Gun Club. Dad always let
any gun club members camp there that wanted to. He wouldn't
let anybody else go there. You had to be a part of the Garcia.
Earl Miller, John Miller's father, had a camp. If you come out
of the Moffat camp and go towards the lower ranch, it was on
the left in that grove of redwood trees.
Morris: It sounds very populated.
Mailliard: Oh, it really wasn't very populated. There weren't a lot of
camps. Most of them, particularly if their wives weren't
interested, didn't much care about camps. They'd just come up
for the hunting season.
C.M. Swig: I heard that at Tom's camp, his wife, Jean, and then their good
friends, the Caseys- -because Jean and Mrs. Casey, Genevieve
Mailliard: What's her name now?
C.M. Swig: Princess DeFaustino. Anyway, they came up and played bridge,
and they brought a Chinese cook with them.
Mailliard: Yes. And my mother did not approve of all this very much. But
since it was her husband's brother, she couldn't do too much
about it. Mother did not like "citifying" the ranch.
C.M. Swig: Now Tom's son, Howard, uses the camp, and they use it quite a
Morris: Anderson Valley now is noted for some fine wines. Was anybody
squeezing the grape in the thirties up there?
Mailliard: Yes, but it was strictly what we called Dago red.
Morris: For home consumption?
Mailliard: Yes. Of course, it was Prohibition in those days. You could
make it for yourself, but you couldn't sell it.
Morris: Right, but some of those rolled over into commercial wineries
after Prohibition was repealed.
Mailliard: Yes, but I don't remember any vineyards in the Anderson Valley
in those days .
Morris: Would your mother have been upset at the "yuppifying, " I guess
you could say, all along Highway 108 where there are now half-
a-dozen bed-and-breakfasts and wineries?
Mailliard: I don't know, but she didn't like the amount of cocktail
circuiting that went on. She didn't like that at all.
C.M. Swig: People going from camp to camp or down to the lower ranch;
there got to be quite a lot of socializing amongst the group
there within the compound.
Mailliard: Mother, who never drank anything, was very tolerant of it.
Although she didn't drink, her husband did, and her brothers
did, her sons did. But she didn't like them driving around
those roads after going down to the Bacon Box or someplace like
that. She didn't say much about it, but she did not like it.
C.M. Swig: It was always the same: she would call wherever we might be
because it was time for lunch. And the phone would ring, and
you'd hear somebody, "They Just left!" [laughs]
Mailliard: She really didn't approve of it, but I must say, I don't think
she ever said much.
C.M. Swig: It seemed like Kate was always working, and it used to be much
more of a working ranch than it is now. When you got there,
you had a project --go out and chop thistles or--
Morris: Was there a list posted somewhere?
C.M. Swig: No, they got together and decided. Big decisions about which
jobs to do.
Mailliard: Who got to do this or got to split wood or--
C.M. Swig: But always you went out, and everybody worked together. You'd
chop wood, and then you'd load it and stack it.
Mailliard: That's another thing we're going to have to decide for the co
op house --
C.M. Swig: Who's going to chop the wood?
Mailliard: Yes. Does Larry do it?
C.M. Swig: It works pretty well now. If a tree falls or something, then
it's cut up, and everyone gets some of the wood if they need
Covbov Jack: World's Fair Visits
Morris: How did Jack begin his cowboy career?
C.M. Swig: The story I hear is that he was very serious about wanting to
do it, and I think that your father made the decision for him
that he wasn't going to be a cowboy.
Mallliard: I really don't know. But he used to go to the big rodeos in
Salinas in those days, which were world championship, and he
used to compete.
Morris: Break a leg or two in the process?
Mallliard: I don't think so. Oh, he was always breaking things, but 1
don't think it was usually from horses. Usually from wrestling
C.M. Swig: Yes, right. A lot of broken ribs.
Mallliard: I'll never forget, he had just gone to the doctor to have a
cast taken off of a broken arm (this is when we lived on
Broadway), and I was riding my scooter down the hill. And he
said, "Let me have a turn." Fell off and broke the arm again.
[ laughs ]
C.M. Swig: And another time, he was back East at Yale riding in a rodeo
and had some accident. Anyway, he broke an arm. And so you
all came back across the country, and you stopped in Chicago;
the train stopped there. There was a world's fair going on so
Jack got off and went to the world's fair. Anyway, he got
himself a cane as a souvenir from the world's fair, and he was
carrying it when he got home. And Kate said, "I heard about
your arm, but I didn't hear about your leg!" [laughs] She
thought he'd broken that, too.
Mailliard: First time I ever went East to go to Taft, Dad went with me.
Mother wouldn't go East. She could not stand the humidity.
She'd go in the dead of winter, but she wouldn't go as soon as
it began to get warm. 1 went back there in September, and she
wouldn't go. She couldn't perspire. The heat would absolutely
destroy her. Anyway, Dad and 1 stayed at the Blackstone Hotel
and went out to the SOS plant. I went to the fair. The fair
had just opened, and I saw Sally Rand.
C.M. Swig: The fan dancer! You did? And you were so young!
Mailliard: I was sixteen.
Morris: Do you know how your father managed to get the Canadian Royal
Mounted Police to come to the Treasure Island World's Fair?
Mailliard: I think I heard that story, but I don't remember it.
C.M. Swig: Was he chairman of that?
He was ex officio on the committee, according to the letters
that I read. He then must have been president of the chamber
No. Long past that. That was in '39; I think maybe he was on
the police commission. Before that he had been on the park
commission. There was a rumpus about [Mayor] Angelo Rossi. It
was right around that time. But I don't know. 1 assume he was
one of the directors of the fair.
I never saw the fair because I never was here, but I went
over with him before it opened and looked around before I went
back to college. I guess it was in the spring. But I did not
come back because then I went to Europe , and then I was on
active duty in London. They kept the fair open a second year,
and it finally, again, closed just as I got back here in 1940.
This letter was from somebody who was absolutely ecstatic that
your father had been able to get the Canadian Mounties to come
all the way out to California to perform.
I don't know that story because I just was not around during
that period. That was my senior year of college.
Would organizing the fair be an example of the kind of thing
you mentioned yesterday about how it used to be easier for a
small group of men to make a decision and have something happen
in San Francisco?
Mailliard: I suppose so, but I really don't remember because 1 just wasn't
here very much. Sometimes I came home for Christmas, but
mostly I didn't.
C.M. Swig: You just didn't want to go to those parties.
Mailliard: Well, it was expensive, for one thing. When I first went
there, I don't think you could fly across the country. We
didn't; we went by train. Maybe it was too expensive to fly.
1 don't know. But to come home on the train for a short
vacation- -it was four and a half days each way; you had to
change trains . Not only had to change trains , you had to
change stations. And you had to spend the day in Chicago
because the New York train left in the afternoon or early
evening, and the California train got in in the morning. So
you wasted that whole day.
What I finally did when the airplanes got a little more
numerous, I'd take the train to Chicago and then catch a plane.
But the first time I crossed all the way by plane was in 1935,
I think. And, you know, you flew from New York to Pittsburgh,
and Pittsburgh to Kansas City. It was a long haul even by
plane . I came on TWA and I came to Los Angeles , and then I had
to fly up here on United. It was a full day, I think. You'd
make about three stops between New York and Los Angeles. But I
didn't fly regularly. I did fly that one time. I think
probably the price was too high. Now with transcontinental
flights, it's cheaper than the train. But, boy, it isn't on
the short flights.
You know, if I want to fly up to where Milly's mother
lives in Pennsylvania, it costs more than it costs to fly to
San Francisco. And even the shuttle now to New York is like
$90 each way from Washington.
Jack Mailliard Meets Charlotte Smith: Jack Shelley Runs for
Morris: Since we have a couple minutes more on the tape, Mrs. Swig, I
wanted to ask how you and Jack got to be a team in staging
fund-raising events. Did you learn from him, or did he learn
C.M. Swig: He was very supportive of what I did. I remember the first
time that someone asked me Caroline Charles, when we were very
newly married, and she asked me to go on the board of San
Francisco General Hospital, on their auxiliary. In those days
I was much smarter than I am now, in that I waited and said,
"Well, I'll have to ask my husband." So I asked Jack. I said,
"Should I do this?" I told him that Caroline Charles asked me.
And he said, "There is no way to say no to Caroline Charles."
The answer was yes .
Obviously, Jack was very involved in all community
affairs. He served on every commission that's been in this
town- -redevelopment , planning, the police commission, et
cetera. He had been president of the chamber of commerce, too.
So he really knew the community, and the Mailliards had always
been so involved in so many causes, so I did check with him on
what organizations I should get involved with. And then I
eventually got involved in the ones that I was interested in,
Mailliard: One of your things on the list I think we haven't discussed at
all is Jack Shelley's campaign for mayor..
C.M. Swig: That was a very good campaign.
Morris: You and your brothers and your father didn't like Shelley's
opponent, Harold Dobbs?
Mailliard: No, no, that wasn't- -well, I won't say I didn't like Harold
Dobbs, but I didn't think he was a very good public servant.
Very intelligent fellow but- -No, no, that really had nothing to
do with it.
Jack Shelley called me up one day [while he was still a
congressman] and said, "Do you think your brother, Jack, would
be willing to help me run for mayor?" I said, "I don't know
because we don't attempt to control each other, and if he wants
to do it--" He said, "Well, he wouldn't do it without
consulting you?" I said, "He might, but if he asks me, I
certainly would impose no objection."
Of course, Shelley readily admitted that it was the
Mailliard name that made him respectable. He was so identified
with organized labor that he wasn't going to get any Republican
support unless he had a good name.
Morris: Why did he decide that he wanted to try for mayor of San
Francisco rather than continuing to be a congressman?
Mailliard: I tried to talk him out of it. [laughs]
C.M. Swig: I think it had something to do with him being Irish and having
gotten that far. And to be mayor of San Francisco was the big
Mailliard: I finally said, "Jack, you're nuts. It will drive you crazy."
I said, "Here, in Congress, you've got influence, and you don't
have constituents snapping at your heels." And Jack hated to
make decisions- -
Morris: His wife didn't like being in Washington?
Mailliard: She's a complainer. A bright gal and very nice and all that,
but she's going to complain about something no matter where she
is. [laughs] Finally, Jack one night said, "Bill, you
wouldn't understand this. You know, I was born South of the
Slot" --his brothers were all policemen- -"and to be mayor of the
town," he said, "This is just very important."
Morris: Was there any truth to the report that [then Assemblyman] Phil
Burton said. "If you don't run for mayor, I will run for
Congress against you, and I will beat you"?
Mailliard: I can't verify that. There's no question that Phil was gearing
up to do just that. But knowing Jack Shelley, I think if Phil
ever said anything to him like that, I think he'd just be
stubborn enough to say, "Well, screw you. Go ahead and run
against me!" But I could be wrong. I mean, you don't know
C.M. Swig: I think Jack Mailliard supported Shelley for mayor because of
Mailliard: No. A little bit in spite of me, because I was shaky enough
with the Republicans without having my brother supporting a
Democrat. No, I think he liked Jack, and Jack asked him, and
he felt like doing it.
Morris: Had he usually backed mayoral candidates?
Mailliard: I don't remember Jack ever having the top place in the mayor's
campaign. Jack wasn't all that interested in politics in those
days. See, Dad was still alive then, so he would have been the
one who would have done it.
C.M. Swig: Jack was close to [George] Christopher. 1 He worked for him;
maybe that was when Jack was president of the chamber of
Mailliard: I think that's right. I think that got him more into civic
things, as well. As long as Dad was alive, Dad did all those
Morris: So one Mailliard would work in the election, and the other one
would mind the company; or they'd take turns?
Mailliard: Pretty much, I think. Mother got more into politics.
C.M. Swig: She got into the Shelley campaign.
Mailliard: Oh, she sure did. [laughs]
Morris: Did she? Was that unusual for her?
Christopher was mayor of San Francisco 1955-1964, directly preceding
Shelley. In 1964, Christopher ran for the Republican nomination for
lieutenant governor instead of for re-election as mayor.
Mailliard: No, it wasn't unusual for her. It was very unusual for her to
support a Democrat. But again, she knew the She 1 leys because
after Dad died, she'd come back and stay with me, and he was
there in Congress with me , and so she got to know them very
well. So she was quite enthusiastic.
C.M. Swig: Of course, I loved the Shelley campaign, because that's where I
met Jack. [chuckles]
Morris: Yes. What do you remember about how that campaign developed?
C.M. Swig: I remember a lot about it because I volunteered for it. I'd
come from Texas, and I hadn't been here for very long. I was
working for SPUR [San Francisco Planning Urban and Renewal
Association.] So I just volunteered. I started a group called
the Shelley Girls and decided to work in the campaign and so
forth. Herb Caen put an item in his column in the paper that I
was doing this. He didn't know me from Adam, and I didn't now
But my boss at SPUR was for Dobbs , and Dobbs had promised
him some kind of an urban development director job if he won.
I don't remember what Jack's relationship was with Harold
Dobbs, but he did support Shelley.
Mailliard: Well, Harold and I had clashed. I don't know what Jack's
relationship was. But it started when Harold Dobbs and I were
on the board of the junior chamber of commerce in the fifties,
and he was running for president. I voted against him, and he
didn't make it. Gallagher, I think, was the guy we elected. I
was in Sacramento most of the time. I wasn't here very much.
Harold came to me and said, "Of all the people that I
figured would support me, I was absolutely sure I'd have your
vote. Why did you vote for Gallagher?" And he went on, "You
know damn well that I'm twice as smart as Gallagher." I said,
"Yes. You asked me a question and I'm going to give you the
answer: Gallagher is for doing something for the town, and you
are for doing something for Harold Dobbs."
C.M. Swig: [laughs] That says it all!
Mailliard: And it was absolutely true. He never did anything that didn't
C.M. Swig: Anyway, the Shelley Girls item was in the paper, and my boss at
SPUR had a fit. He came in and threw the paper on my desk, and
he said, "Quit Shelley or quit SPUR!" I said, "I won't do
either. That's on my own time. I'm a volunteer."
Anyway, to make a very long story short, I ended up in
Shelley's congressional office. They'd have these meetings on
Thursdays in San Francisco at his congressional office, which
they would call strategy meetings. Jack called them, and I did
too, "tragedy meetings" because the campaign was going down the
tube. It was not going well at all.
Jack would get to the meeting before anybody else got
there. He had a white Stetson hat and he rolled his own
cigarettes. He'd get there early, and I'd say, "Can I get you
some coffee?" "No, nothing." All the other guys would come in
and say, "Call my office! Do this! Do that!" And then they'd
get in these meetings, and they would yell and scream across
the table and stomp and so forth, and they'd ask a question,
and they'd all answer.
Finally, I remember this time Jack Shelley said- -I was in
these meetings, too, supposedly taking notes or whatever I was
doing so he looked at Jack Mailliard, who had not said
anything at this point, and said, "Jack, what would you do in a
case like this?" So Jack rolled his cigarette and put it in
his mouth and lit it.
Mailliard: Rolled his Bull Durham!
C.M. Swig: And then he said, "Well, I think what you've been trying to say
is such-and-such, and I'd do so-and-so." That was the end of
his answer, not all this long-winded pronouncement. And then
all the others went, [in a loud voice] "Yes! That's it!
That's it!" That would happen again and again that he would
get right to the point in just a few words.
And I thought, I could use a man like that in my life,
[laughter] So I went on my campaign. It took me two and a
half years to catch him. It was not easy. It was not easy. I
had to go up and chop thistles and clean up little baby sheep.
Mailliard: Well, he wasn't about to get married again.
C.M. Swig: No, he wasn't. And he'd say to me , "I want to tell you, I'm
never getting married again." I'd say, "I couldn't agree with
you more. Sure, really, don't ever get married again" --all the
time plotting, plotting. [chuckles]
Mailliard: That's a characteristic that, I guess, we got from Dad. Dad
had a reputation for few words, summing things up, finding the
middle ground that was acceptable .
Morris: It's a great skill.
C.M. Swig: Yes. Jack could answer things like "yes" and "no," and that
would be the answer. And "You bet..."
Morris: Was the white Stetson a trademark? Did he wear that a lot?
C.M. Swig: Every day.
Morris: Here in town?
C.M. Swig: To work.
Mailliard: Not a big Stetson; relatively narrow.
C.M. Swig: Not a big one, the business one.
Mailliard: My father wore one of those always. Dad never parted from his
hat because, he said, his bald head got cold.
C.M. Swig: But didn't more men wear hats then, too?
Mailliard: Yes. 1 almost never wore hats. My father used to say that's
why he got bald: taking his hat off to the ladies. [laughs]
Morris: Do we have time for you to tell me about George Christopher
changing from Democrat to Republican?
Mailliard: There's really nothing more to tell than that. He was on the
board of supervisors, and I always got along very well with
him. All I know is he apparently decided to switch. He kept
voting on the more conservative side and thought maybe he ought
to be a Republican. I said, "I think that's a good idea." He
probably would still be mayor if he hadn't changed.
C.M. Swig: We saw him recently. He looks good, doesn't he?
Mailliard: He certainly looked very well. And I've got to go meet him
Marion-Leieh fAunt BavTs Scrapbook. 1962
[Interview 5: March 28, 1991 ]#//
Mailliard: [looking through album] This is the scrapbook that I told you
about, that my aunt [Marion-Leigh Mailliard Baldwin Moore]
prepared back in 1964. Yes. And Millie later copied it, and
that's what Antoinette has.
Morris: I see. Oh, here you are, surrounded by marvelous children.
They've multiplied somewhat from one picture to another.
Mailliard: Oh, yes. This has all the ancestry in it. There isn't any
evidence to support the Bonaparte connection, except pure
Morris: You think there's more to substantiate the thought that there
were other Mailliards who lived in the same part of France?
Mailliard: There were, and now it turns out--and I'm sure they never spoke
to each other --that there were three brothers. Nobody has ever
mentioned them. I only discovered it because I got a letter
from a woman who was descended from one of them. According to
her, one brother died rather young. The other brother was a
barber that worked for King Joseph. Of course, our guy was his
secretary and the executor of his estate and so forth. I
suspect there was a class difference between the barber brother
and the secretary brother, because nowhere in any
correspondence is there any reference to a brother.
Now, of course, it is possible that the Bonaparte story is
true. It's possible that the illegitimate son was farmed out
to this family- -
Morris: To the trusted friends?
Mailliard: --and they were not really brothers. I don't know, and we will
Morris: Either way, they are both interesting stories and set a tone of
drama and marvelous adventures.
Coming out here to the family's ranch today, I was
wondering if this was the same road that you used to travel as
a small child when your parents brought you up to Mendocino.
Mailliard: For all practical purposes, yes. We didn't own this property
then. We owned property way down the road.
Morris: Further toward the coast?
Mailliard: Yes. The place where we originally built the cabins is three
miles off the county road. It's really way back in the hills.
Morris: Did this road go all the way over to the coast?
Mailliard: Yes. Fish Rock Road. Well, you know about most of the people
in these photographs. [turning pages of scrapbook] That's a
photograph of the painting I had done of Mother, which I have
Morris: That's really lovely. Which cabin is this?
Mailliard: That's the original cabin.
Morris: This is the one back in the woods?
Mailliard: Yes. It's all torn down now.
Morris: Now was that the one that your mother and father built?
Mailliard: Yes. But some of the things in this scrapbook do go back
further than I was able to go. That's Aunt Lou, my
grandfather's sister. This is all the Pages and the Wards.
Morris: Since we're here at the ranch in Mendocino, I'd like to talk a
little bit about the lay of the land. This is where you spent
a great deal of your childhood vacations?
Mailliard: Well, it all depends on what you call childhood. The first
time I ever spent a summer up here, I was ten years old.
Before that we were at Tahoe every summer.
Morris: Does that mean your earliest and fondest recollections are of
Mailliard: No, no. It's just that my real childhood, I never was up here.
Mother and Dad used to come here hunting, in August. But I had
only come up here once or something. But the summer that I was
ten , the cabins were built, and I was up here. I was up
here every summer from ten till, I suppose, twenty. Maybe for
ten years. But I wasn't the great rancher that my brothers
were. I'd go down and stay with friends and do the country-
club circuit and whatnot. And I also stayed with the Kendricks
at Tahoe. So I wasn't prepared to devote myself totally to the
Morris: Did that cause controversy in the household?
Morris: Your mother sounds as if she had some pretty strong ideas about
how her family should behave.
Mailliard: No. She wouldn't have any objections. 1 think it was mostly
my brothers that thought I didn't quite work as hard as 1
should. My idea of great fun was not necessarily going out and
Morris: 1 see. That was Jack and Jim who liked building fences.
Mailliard: Well, Jim was so much younger. Of course, he was up here from
the time he was probably three years old. There were almost
eleven years between Jack and Jim, so Jim was really almost an
only child. Jack and I were close together in age but not very
close in temperament. Ve got along well, but, well, we fought
like all get out.
Morris: Sometimes you get along better if you do something different.
Mailliard: Veil, I think that was one of the reasons. 1 never attempted
to compete in the things that he did. He loved the rodeo
circuits; he was pretty much of a country, ranching type, which
I wasn't. I did my share of it, and 1 tried to obey the rules,
so to speak, but I did take off occasionally.
My mother and father, once they got this place
established, they came here every weekend unless the road was
so bad that you couldn't get in. My father used to tell the
family that if anybody wanted to get married on a Saturday,
forget it; he wouldn't be here. They were here literally every
Morris: That's really interesting because they were both very involved
in things in the city. Did they ever talk about how they
viewed their city life in relation to their mountain life?
Mailliard: It was quite separate. And our way of life was totally
different. As Dad started to prosper, we had a household in
San Francisco where nobody ever went into the kitchen; the
Chinese cook was king. Ve never had any servants up here. Ve
did it all ourselves. A tremendous contrast.
When we bought this place, which was sometime in the
middle thirties--! can't remember the date --this had been the
Ornbaum Springs Hotel, which was a spa. There was one of these
terrible-smelling, healthy water wells down here. It smells
like sulfur. Very, very healthy. And people used to take the
train up, I guess, to Cloverdale, and then stagecoached in
here. They'd stay at the hotel, and there was a regimen. I
aean, they all had to go down at six o'clock in the morning and
get their first bucket of water out of the well. It was a
Morris: You wonder what kind of health ideas people had that they liked
the sulphur springs .
Mail Hard: I don't know. And Mr. Ornbaum, who, as far as 1 know, was the
original owner, built a house right on this spot in 1857 or
'67. This was really a remote place. He built the hotel.
When we bought the place, we fixed up his original house right
on this spot, and it burned down. And this house was built in
1946 right on the same spot.
Morris: On the same foundation?
Mail Hard: I doubt it.
Morris: Do you recall how big the original house had been?
Mail Hard: It was a bit smaller than this, but it was also two houses
separated by a breezeway. Pretty much the same layout as this.
Morris: Not very large for a hotel?
Mailliard: This wasn't the hotel. The hotel was over where the main barns
are now. This was his residence. The hotel was across the
way, which we tore down.
Morris: When you say across the way, you mean down on the flat there?
Mailliard: No, up a little bit on the hill.
Morris: You go past this house on the road, and then the next turn-off
has a sign that says Mailliard Ranch. In that area was where
the hotel was?
Mailliard: Yes. And the well with the healthy water is right in that
clump of trees. You can just barely see a little white
building; that's the house that's over the well.
Morris: And it was Just water to drink. You didn't bathe in it?
Mailliard: I don't know. There's the remains of a tiny little swimming
pool about half the size of this room. And I don't know
whether they pumped the water in. I doubt it. I think it was
for drinking. For years after we bought the place, members of
the Ornbaum family and their friends would come up here and
take bottles of the stuff away. I don't think it happens very
often any more. But it was quite famous: Ombaum Springs.
That's the healthy spring. What is there for water supply?
There are springs without sulfur in them.
When you were a boy, was this land cleared, or was it woods all
the way across the flat?
No, it was just about the way it is now. Not much different.
A few things were different. There was an orchard here. There
were orchards all over the place in those days. Then during
the Depression, it didn't pay you to pick.
Apples, peaches, plums, pears, all kinds of things. On the
various properties that we bought eventually, we had at least
five orchards. Everybody had their own orchard.
So they were family orchards rather than orchards for market?
Well, they did both. Mostly family orchards, but they'd always
produce more than they could can, 1 guess. So they used to
sell them. But then [in the 1930s] there was no market.
When did the first grapevines go in?
when you were a kid?
Were they already here
No. There were almost no vineyards around here. They were in
Sonoma County and Napa County, and then there were white wine
vineyards in the Livermore Valley. That was about it. And
there were some in Santa Clara County, too. There weren't any
grapes anywhere else in the state. Now they have them
everywhere. Even down to Southern California, where everybody
said they wouldn't grow. But they did. They're finding out
now that there are varieties of grapes that will grow almost
everywhere. I mean, you've got wine production now in Virginia
and Ohio, Maryland, where they never grew grapes before. They
grew eating grapes up in New England, but not wine grapes. Now
Did you get involved in that in Congress- -in the licensing or
importing and exporting of wine?
Mailliard: Not particularly, no.
Morris: I was wondering if the family ever thought of going into the
Mailliard: I don't think so. Well, I think we've thought about it
recently, but this was not considered grape country in those
Morris : Were the orchards taken out by your mom as the sheep herds
Mailliard: Some of them were taken out. There's a tree here and there,
and there are a couple of orchards over in the back country.
They're still there, but they've never been properly pruned or
sprayed or whatever you have to do to keep orchards going, so
they don't produce much now.
Morris: This house was built after the fire. How about the other
buildings where the hotel used to be? Were they built to
accommodate sheep or part of the growing family?
Mailliard: These big buildings that you can see are sheds for lambing- -the
big one in back of the house here; a couple over there. The
house that my brother, Jim, and his wife had was a house that
was here, but they completely repaired it and added on to it.
One of their daughters lives there now.
Morris: Did that survive the fire in 1945?
Mailliard: Oh, yes. Just the house burned. Nothing else burned.
Morris: Oh, I thought it was a forest fire that went through here.
Mailliard: No. Probably a defect in the fireplace flue or something. We
never knew. Dad was coming back from the barns in the pickup,
and he saw the smoke. Came here, but it was too far gone. It
was an old wooden house .
Morris: And nobody else was here at the time?
Mailliard: Nobody was here. My nephew Larry was asking me the other
night- -my memory is not all that great--! can't remember, but
I'm pretty sure that the house burned down about Thanksgiving
time in '45, because the war was just over. So this house was
built out of materials that you could find. Right after the
war, you couldn't buy anything. Everything had gone to war
production. So it's made with whatever was available,
Weren't there any lumber mills in the area?
Oh, yes. We could get the wood, but you can see, Instead of
being fancy, it's Just built of plywood. That's what you could
la that kind of your mother and father's style up here?
Oh, yes, they wouldn't have built a fancy house. But I suspect
that had they been able to get some things that they couldn't
get, it might have been a little different.
And are there other houses that were added as the family grew?
Not really for family. Mostly, the houses that were built were
for employees, but now they're all occupied by family except
one. We have one Mexican employee. You don't need a lot of
employees. Larry runs cattle.
Jim's son. He just built a beautiful house way up on the hill.
If you want, we'll go up there and take a look at it. Then
this house, after my mother was gone, my son, Bill, occupied
for a while. Then another one of Larry's children occupied it.
I'm the meanie--I've Just thrown them out and taken it over.
But we're giving them another house over at the barn.
So there are a few spare houses around if anybody needs them?
Well, Jack's youngest daughter did live in a tiny, little shack
over here, and then some people that were living in a house in
what we call the lower ranch, which is five or six miles away,
moved down there .
Jack's other two daughters have never shown any interest
in the ranch. So we've got one of Jack's children here
frequently and three of Jim's.
And one of yours who likes to come up here occasionally? What
about the rest of your tribe?
Bill used to be up, but he lives now and raises horses outside
of Petaluma. He doesn't come up here any more except maybe in
deer season. He has his own place. And Ward lives down in
Santa Cruz and is very busy. And since they didn't have a
place to stay up here, they didn't come except as guests.
Morris: As little children, when your mother was still alive, did she
gather up all the grandchildren and expect them all to be here
o she could help raise them?
Mailliard: No, she just invited them. They could come or not come.
Morris: That's what I was wonder ing- -if it was open house or whether
your mother was expected to ask people?
Mailliard: Well, when the cabins were still there, my parents were here in
the wintertime, but they were over there in the summertime.
Morris: The cabins are more over in the redwoods?
Mailliard: Yes, but you couldn't get in and out in the wintertime. The
roads are all torn up from the rains. Then they found more and
more during the war that running the ranch- -all the men
disappeared, and Mother then was up here all the time. So it
was just too much going on here managing the livestock and all,
so they abandoned the cabins and eventually tore them down.
Morris: And as the grandchildren grew up, none of them were inspired to
build themselves a little cabin in the woods again?
Mailliard: My son, Bill, uses it as a camp only, not a cabin. They've got
a little structure there to get things out of the rain. But
they just use it as a camp.
XIV SAN FRANCISCO CAMPAIGNS AND ISSUES
Ward Mallliard's Love for the City
Morris: After World War II, did your father become ill? There was a
reference in the Robin article to your mother having looked
after him for seven or eight years. I wasn't clear about that.
I was surprised because from his correspondence, he seemed as
if he was busily involved in many, many things.
Mailliard: He was. He had had Hodgkin's disease, which is quite
controllable by x-ray sort of stuff. But then he got cancer
somewhere else. I really don't know what it was, but he didn't
last but a few months after that took off. Apparently
unrelated to the Hodgkin's. I think he began to feel terrible
like March and died in July . It was very quick.
Morris: But he was functioning full speed ahead when you were getting
elected to Congress?
Morris: There's a nice letter that you wrote him saying you never could
have gotten elected without him. 1
Mailliard: Quite true.
Morris: The impression that I have is that he had been very active in
Republican party politics for years and knew the way things
Mailliard: He was. They had a Northern California Republican Finance
Committee of about ten or twelve men, and he was one of them.
Then he also got involved in city elections.
HJilliam Mailliard to J. Ward Mailliard, Jr., January 8, 1953,
Mailliard Papers, The Bancroft Library. See Appendix.
Morris: What particularly interested him about the city political
Mai 11 lard: You know, in those days we had a lot of important men in the
community who loved the city, and this was part of their
obligation. You don't find them anymore.
They don't take an interest in local government?
Mailliard: I think it got so out of hand that they just gave up. They
couldn't elect any of the kind of people they wanted to elect.
Mailliard: As I told you earlier [see chapter V], he helped settle a
Police Commission problem. And then I think he was very active
in Roger Lapham's campaign for mayor . He was involved,
but he didn't care too much for Elmer Robinson. 1 I think he
was minimally involved in that. He was a good supporter of
George Christopher. 2 Then I think he supported a couple of
losers like Chester McPhee. I forget now.
Running for Congress in the Fifties: Governor Warren's Health
Morris: Did he suggest to you that you had a good chance to be elected
to Congress, or did you go to him?
Mailliard: Neither one. Jesse Steinhart was the one who did it.
Morris: 1 was hoping that you had some more recollections about the
kinds of advice your father had and what your father thought
was important in running a campaign.
Mailliard: He kept pretty much hands off. I don't think he ever ran
anybody's campaign. He raised money and used his influence
wherever he could, but I don't think he was an active
campaigner. They always hired a campaign manager. 1 don't
think he fussed with it too much, except maybe as a "how you're
going to spend your money" kind of thing.
1 Robinson was mayor from 1948-1956.
2 Christopher was mayor from 1957-1965.
Morris: Did you hire somebody that you found helpful all the way
through your years in Congress?
Mail Hard: No. The guy that was the paid nan, who was a public relations
man named Don Nicholson, ran my first three or four campaigns.
Then I sort of eased him out. He was getting old and tended
not to have any new ideas . 1 kept him so as not to break with
him because he was a good friend and a good supporter. So
instead of being campaign manager, he became consultant to the
campaign. We got other people to do the active management.
Morris: Did you ever do any business with Clem Whi taker, Senior or
Mailliard: No. I knew Clem, Sr. , well. Earl Warren's influence was too
strong on me to ever have anything to do with Whitaker and
Baxter [ , Inc. ] .
Mailliard: Oh, he fired him right in the middle of the campaign, you know.
Morris: What about?
Mailliard: My recollection, and I may be quite wrong about this, is that
Earl Warren was running with the attorney general- -what was his
Morris: Fred Howser was AG and ran for lieutenant governor in 1942.
Mailliard: Warren wasn't too happy being on a slate with anyone, and they
put out something that Earl considered to be a violation of
that. He didn't want to stir up the animals any more than was
necessary. Of course, Clem was a stirrer-upper , so he fired
Then the next time, Warren ran against the attorney
Morris: That was Robert Kenny in 1946. He didn't run very strong.
Mailliard: No. Earl took both nominations in the primary. I think Earl
felt pretty comfortable about that race, and he told his people
not to pick on Kenny.
Morris: By 1946, Warren was also having a falling-out with the
California Medical Association over his proposal to introduce
health insurance legislation.
Mailliard: How right he was. It would have been so much better than what
we've got now. If he and the California Medical Association
had come to terms, I think they would have set a pattern that
would have spread from state to state. One of those things
that was inevitable. I mean, I had a rumpus with them, too, in
the sixties, because I went before the San Francisco Medical
Morris: For an endorsement?
Mailliard: I don't remember. I don't know whether they endorsed or not.
I don't think they did in those days.
But I told them, "Some kind of nationwide health insurance
is inevitable. If you guys will support a reasonable
proposition--" Frank Bow of Ohio- -it was called the Bow bill.
I don't remember all the details now, but the gist of it was
that it would be run under government regulation by the private
insurance companies and the doctors. The government would pick
up the tab for the very poor, and other people would pay their
Morris: Sort of a continuum of public and private coverage.
Mailliard: Yes. I was one of the original co- sponsors of the Bow bill.
So I cane to the medical societies and said, "Look, we're
offering you something that makes sense and that can be run
efficiently. And the other people are offering you Medicare,
which is going to be run by the Social Security organization
that already has more than they can handle. It's going to put
it right smack in the middle of politics, because the Congress
is going to want to increase the benefits all the time. The
cost is going to go up and up and up. If the doctors would get
behind this Bow bill, we can carry it." But they opposed it
right to the bitter end.
Morris: In California?
Mailliard: No, no. AMA. Fought it right to the bitter end, killed it,
and then they got this.
Morris: It's always seemed curious to me, that when the Medicare bill
and Medicaid passed, the physicians seemed to have been quite
supportive of that and quite eager to make sure that their
payments were adequate under that legislation.
Mailliard: Well, yes. They never were for it, but they wanted to make
sure they got their share. Doctors are notoriously dumb
politicians. They just don't see it. They see it only the way
they see it, and they don't understand why everybody else
doesn't see it their way.
Is that just doctors, or is that true of others?
Mai 11 lard: Particularly doctors, I think, because they keep talking to
each other; don't listen to anybody else. And they have this
righteousness about their position: "It's going to ruin the
medical profession!" And yet they're quite ready to pick up
the pay. [chuckles]
Morris: Going back to Clem Whi taker, did you know him well enough to
have any idea whether he would have held a grudge against
Mailliard: I would suppose so, but I didn't know him that well. That's
going further than my knowledge permits.
Republican Finance Committee Then and Now
Going back to the Republican Finance Committee, by 1950 there
are people like Ually Haas and Ben Swig making large
contributions to Warren. Did your father help bring them in?
Ben Swig a Republican? Never! One hundred percent Democrat.
But he and Warren were big chums.
They were very good friends .
How did that come about?
I can't answer that, but they were very good friends. Ben
would occasionally support a Republican. He supported me, and
he supported Warren, but he was an organization Democrat from
I thought I had come across him on a list of the Republican
I'm sure he's not. You might have found that he was a
contributor to some Republican campaign as an individual,
no, he was Democrat all the way, as his son Mel is now.
Going back to Kenny--
Mailliard: Bob Kenny, yes. Earl liked him and didn't see any point in
trying to-- You know, Kenny had a reputation as being kind of
leftist, and Earl Just wanted no part of that in his campaign.
I think it was a matter of tactics and personal inclination
that Earl didn't want any attacks on Kenny.
Morris: Subsequently, Warren and Pat Brown got along pretty well when
Pat was attorney general, even though Pat by then was a
Mailliard: Yes. Well, Earl would never have run for governor, except he
couldn't get along with Culbert Olson.
Morris: Do you think he would have been happy being attorney general
throughout his political career?
Mailliard: I think he would have. Under the California constitution, the
attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer of the
state. He has quite a lot of supposed independent powers.
Olson interfered all the time. So Earl just said, "Well, hell,
I can't stand another four years with Olson, so I'll run
against him. "
Morris: I would imagine that people like your father and his colleagues
on the Finance Committee would have also not wanted Olson
around any longer .
Mailliard: That's true. And I think they thought that Earl was probably
the only guy that could beat him, because he was the only
prominent statewide political figure.
Morris: Yes, with all his contacts with the district attorneys
throughout the state. How had they managed to let Olson slip
through and get elected in the first place if he created such a
Mailliard: Didn't he beat Frank Merriam, and there wasn't much they could
do to bolster Merriam by that time. [chuckles]
Morris: I'm interested in the extent to which the people who care about
the party are looking for and developing candidate prospects.
It never seems to be anything that gets much attention.
Mailliard: They try, but it's very hard to do, especially in a state like
California because it's not a very partisan state. It really
was very difficult to develop candidates. They tried- -both
parties --but they never were very successful in either party.
That's surprising when there always seems to be quite a
sizeable group at the top raising money and--
Well, I think maybe in Southern California now they're pretty
well-organized. But the Republican party in Northern
California is pretty defunct.
Was Jack [Jaquelin] Hume coming into the Republican Finance
Committee while your father was active?
I think he was after Dad's time. His brother was a great
friend of Dad's, and Dad undoubtedly knew Jack, but I don't
think Jack Hume was in it till after my father was out of the
picture. His brother was Bill Hume. He's dead. Married a
McCondray. That's an old San Francisco family.
Right. Jack Hume has been so prominent since the mid- sixties.
Yes, but Dad was long gone by then.
So they wouldn't have overlapped.
They wouldn't have gotten along very well, anyway. Jack Hume
was a stuffed- shirt if ever there was one. [chuckles]
Was it kind of self -perpetuating, or they looked for new people
to bring aboard?
I think for a while, they were pretty much self -perpetuating.
They had to bring somebody in, but it was Dean Witter and
Charlie Blyth and Jim Lockhead and Ted Peterson. I don't think
Walter Haas was involved in those days.
I've come across a reference to him in 1950. The next
generationRichard Goldman and his brothers-in-law- -several of
them seem to be Republican.
1 think they are all Republican. I won't give you my opinion
of Dick Goldman, but I can tell you it's not very high. But
the Haas brothers are good friends. And I like Dick Goldman's
wife, Rhoda, who is a Haas.
energetic. His politics and yours don't agree?
Well, I picked up a trick or two out of Earl Warren's book, and
that guy lied to me once. That was the end as far as I was
concerned. He'll tell you they're on one side, and in fact,
they're on the other. I don't mean that I carried on any
feuds. I never did. It wasn't worth the energy. But I just
didn't want anything to do with people like that once they lied
to me. I was still polite to them at parties. There wasn't
any reason not to be. And not only that, but in politics, you
don't deliberately go out looking for enemies. People you
don't trust, you just leave them alone.
Election Nuts and Bolts: Mother's Interest
Morris: Did the party itself play a part in your campaigns?
Mailliard: They were no help to me.
Morris: Really? It was more the people that you and your father and
brother already knew and called upon? How far afield did you
go in your campaigns?
Mailliard: Originally, the district was solely in San Francisco. They
gradually moved me north, but I was in the city. And I never
paid any attention to the money; I never paid any attention- -or
very little attention in the beginning- -to the media campaign
or any of the rest of it. I just went out and made calls in
Morris: Did Jack and Jim help doing the precinct work?
Morris: Were they interested, or did they think you were out of your
mind to run for office?
Mailliard: Oh, no. I don't think they thought that. And they did a lot
behind the scenes, but I don't think they did any real
campaigning. Mother did, but I don't think they did. If they
did, I didn't know about it.
Morris: Your mother did?
Mailliard: Oh, yes. She was a great door-to-door campaigner.
Morris: Did they do coffee klatsches and tea parties and things like
that? Did your mother have a group of ladies that she could
call on to do that?
Once you were elected, did she continue to be interested in
what was going on in Congress?
Very much so, and of course, she spent a lot of time with me
because my father died in my first term. So she came back and
stayed with me in Washington a lot.
It must have been a blessing for her in a way.
Yes, and she travelled a lot with me. I went either on navy
duty, which I did every year, or on committee business of one
kind or another, and very often she would go with me. I wasn't
married at that time.
You had a lot going on in your personal life while you were
trying to get squared away in Congress. What kinds of
political issues particularly interested your mom?
I don't think I know the answer to that,
I think she had very
Morris: Women's issues? Was that a cause- -
Mailliard: I don't think so. They haven't really surfaced in a big way
until more recently.
Morris: What were Jack and Jim doing in their careers while you were
off in Washington? They were running the company, and Jack
Mailliard: He was doing the usual thingsbeing on the boards of things
like the March of Dimes. But I don't think he got really
active in the political field until the Shelley campaign.
More on the 1964 Mavoral Race: Leading Democrats
Morris: Why did Jack Shelley appeal so much? Was there a problem with
his opponent, Harold Dobbs , who was more a Republican?
Mailliard: I was never very enthusiastic about Harold. I think he's
changed a lot in more recent years, but he was a climber in
those days. Not my style.
And Shelley was?
Mailliard: Shelley was a very good friend of nine and had been a friend of
Dad's. Back before he was in Congress, he was the one labor
leader who, while he was a strong labor man, was reasonable and
tried to work problems out instead of having confrontations .
Morris: Was it tough for him when the waterfront strikes were going on
back in the early years?
Mailliard: That's long before my time, but my father was involved because
he was president of the chamber of commerce at the time of the
general strike in '34.
Morris: Harry Bridges continued to be a very visible- -
Mailliard: That's true, but he became less and less militant as time vent
Morris: Because there were people like Shelley around to--
Mailliard: I don't think so. I think Harry had his period when he
dominated the labor movement. But the general strike took an
awful lot of his influence away because that just hurt too many
people. He maintained his strong control of the ILWU, but I
don't think he ever had the influence in the labor council
after that. He paid a big price for that.
Morris: But then you had a new generation of Democrats coming up with
people like Phil and John Burton, who had close ties with the
labor movement and seemed to be much more politically activist.
Mailliard: The labor movement is basically Democratic. Phil- -not John--
developed pretty well a group of grassroots organizations that
began to kind of dominate the party itself until finally, he
was able to fire- -what was his name? The nice guy that was
head of the Democratic party for so long in San Francisco.
Anyway, Phil finally got rid of him and put his own man in.
Morris: Oh, Neil Hagerty?
Mailliard: No, Neil Hagerty was state; he wasn't local. Neil was a great
friend of Earl Warren's. And a good friend of mine, but he
didn't have any influence in San Francisco. And then Phil
put--what's his name?--Agar Jaicks in as chairman of the county
central committee- -
Morris: Bill Malone, the attorney, was head of the Democratic party for
a number of years.
Mail Hard: And got rid of Malone . Malone was central committee chairman
for a long time. As a matter of fact, he said to me one day,
"Why don't you change parties? You'd be elected for life."
Morris: Really? That's quite a tribute.
Mail Hard: He said, "Hell, we can't beat you even with a Democratic
majority. If you were a Democrat, why, nobody would ever touch
Jack Mailliard in Politics: Bill Knovland's Ambitions
Morris: How did Jack like political campaigning once he got into the
Shelley campaign? Did he enjoy it?
Mailliard: Again, I think it was more management. You're talking in terms
that aren't quite accurate when you talk about campaigning. I
mean, the people who go out and ring doorbells and organize
meetings and so forth are not the people who are chairmen of a
Morris: That's true, but the chairman of a campaigr I always
understood, did have some interest and participation in the
overall strategy and what needs doing and who--
Mailliard: Yes, but those are really two separate things. Management of a
campaign and doing the campaigning are usually different
people. Some people do both, but most do not.
Morris: Was the Shelley campaign the first time your brother had gotten
that close in to a political campaign? Had he been that
involved in yours?
Mailliard: Well, he was certainly involved in mine, but again, not out
campaigning. Getting support from people, yes. People that
seemed to have some influence in some circle. And a lot of
times I had the same people that he might have known in
business. I mean, some Italian grocer might be a big wheel in
the Italian society.
Morris: I would think so. I would think maybe all the people that he
knew through things like the Cow Palace and the Stockmen's
Association would also have business dealings in the city.
Some. There's no question about it.
All those things
Working backwards, did he continue to stay interested in Cow
Palace activities after he had been on the board for about ten
I think you'd have to ask Charlotte a question like that
because I wasn't here. I'm sure he did remain interested, but
I guess he had a bit of a falling out with Goodwin Knight. 1
think Goody reappointed him once, but not the second time. Or
maybe he didn't want to be reappointed. I don't know. The Cow
Palace board is appointed by the governor. That meant doing
business with Goodwin Knight.
What would they have had a falling out about?
I simply don't remember. My recollection, which is very weak,
is that Goody almost made his reappointment conditional on Jack
doing certain things in the campaign. Jack said the hell with
it. He didn't think much of Knight, and he wasn't going to do
Was that Goody Knight's style?
Yes. If he had any style. [chuckles]
That brings to mind the election of 1958.
Bill Knowland's stupidity [in running for governor].
Did you intercede?
I attempted, but Bill was a very stubborn man. Even his father
[Joseph R. Knowland] attempted to talk him out of it. And Earl
Warren tried to talk him out of it. But once he got something
stuck in his mind--
What was your view as to the reason he wanted to run for
governor? Was what he really wanted some visibility in terms
of eventually getting--?
In his best judgment, he decided that the only way he could get
nominated for the presidency was to be governor of a well-known
Instead of being a senator from a well-known state?
Mail Hard: Yes. Of course, It turned out how wrong he was. But up until
that time, practically all the nominees were governors. And he
didn't see that things were changing, that foreign policy was
becoming a significant item. And since then--
Mailliard: You know, he and Jack were on the board of Wells Fargo. "I'll
never forget Jack saying to me one time, "Well, your senior
senator may be a great senator, but my view of his behavior at
board meetings is he is the only man I ever knew that could
strut sitting down." [laughter] And Bill did have a tendency
to strut sitting down. So unlike his father. His father was a
genial, delightful man, and a very close friend of mine and of
my father. They were on the California Centennial Commission
Morris: That must have been a wonderful experience.
Mailliard: Joe Knowland was chairman, and- -what was his name who was
president of the College of the Pacific? [Robert E. Burns] --and
Dad. It was a three-man commission. They had a ball.
Morris: I remember Earl Warren saying that he really enjoyed that.
Whenever he could get out of Sacramento, he went off to the
ribbon- cuttings and the old-timers' days and things like that.
Mailliard: Yes. He appointed that commission.
Conservation Concerns: Selective Logging
Did Joe Knowland and your father see eye to eye on
conservation? Joe Knowland was an early park and tree
They certainly did. I can take you down and show you the
redwood grove that Dad gave to the state.
That was his selection?
piece of redwoods?
Why did they pick that particular
Because the county road goes right through it. He said, "At
least my grandchildren will be able to look at a redwood tree."
Of course, after that a lot of it was bought up. But that was
very early on that he decided to preserve that grove.
Morris: Was he part of the Save -the -Redwoods Association?
Mailliard: I don't know that he was on the board. I think Mother was.
They were always very interested. We were conservationists
before it became fashionable. [laughs]
Morris: There's a long strain of it. Because the family saw the
population growing or people mismanaging resources?
Mailliard: I think that was it. The lumber companies were pretty
ruthless. My father hated the clear-cuts. All this that you
see has been logged, and you could never tell it.
Morris: Your father had some logging going on?
Mailliard: A little bit; not too much. But then later on we had to do a
lot. Unless you really knew, there's no way you can tell that
that's been logged.
Morris: How did he go about it?
Mailliard: He hired a forestry expert and told him what he wanted. He
wanted selective logging. He did not want to destroy the
beauty of the place, but he needed some revenue. So that's the
way they did it.
Morris: What do you do then? Deal with one of the big lumber companies
or hire your own crew of people who fell the trees?
Mailliard: Ve hire our own people because we don't trust anybody else,
[chuckles] Then we simply put it out to bid.
Morris: The timber, once it was down?
Mailliard: No, before it's cut. Matter of fact, we're having a meeting
Saturday with our timber experts. Ve finally got away from
this company down in Oakland. Now we have a local man who's
able to spend more time.
Morris: Figuring out which trees to cut?
Mailliard: Well, it's very complicated. You have to file these plans with
various agencies of the state and federal government to get
them approved- -what you're going to cut and how much you're
going to cut. We used to just cut what we wanted to. And now
we still do, because what they want is pretty much what we
That's quite an advance, isn't it?
and the timber people --
Are the regulatory people
We got an award here not very long ago. I forgot exactly from
whom, but it's for the best timber managers in the state.
Really? I thought Pacific Lumber had the--
Well, by this time, Pacific Lumber has gone down the tubes.
They are just destroying the place. And that's one of the
reasons we're getting all of these restrictive things. They
don't look at what people like us do. They look at what this
outfit from New York or somewhere- -
Mailliard: Texas. Bought up the whole damn thing, and they're just
chopping it to pieces. See, they come in, and it's a leveraged
buy-out, and they need a cash -flow to service their debt. They
don't give a damn about the trees, what the country looks like.
Morris: Did Jack also support the sustained-yield approach to the
Mailliard: Oh, absolutely.
Morris: Is it logged every year?
Mailliard: It has been because of the tremendous value. This place is
killing us in a way, and it's going to kill the next
generation. When Mother died, they put a valuation on this
ranch, and we had to pay the taxes on it. We sold everything
she owned, and we still could only pay half the taxes.
Fortunately, there is a provision in the federal law that if
the property or a business is more than 35 percent of the value
of the estate, you get ten years to pay it.
So what we in effect did was we borrowed the money from
ourselves and got paid back by cutting timber. So we've cut an
awful lot more timber than we ever would have wanted to. But
otherwise we would have had to sell the ranch. We decided that
we'd do it that way, and we're almost paid off now, not quite.
But the next generation won't be able to do that because in the
first place, it won't be 35 percent, and therefore, they will
have to pay within the year. That's why I am recommending that
we sell off bit by bit some of the peripheral parts of the
ranch. But we still have to continue cutting timber, more than
we would like to.
Morris : Is there a point when you can preserve the look of the woods
and take out enough timber to pay the taxes?
Mail Hard: That's what we're trying to do.
Morris: A neat trick.
Mailliard: It's not easy. If you want, I'll take you out and show you
some of the stuff. I don't know whether that's of any use to
you as far as this is concerned.
Morris: I would like to. I think the story you're telling describes
how it is. But it's really valuable to sit here and see how it
looks and see the roll of the hills.
Mailliard: I can take you over, if you're interested, to what we call the
Cathedral Grove, which we have not touched.
Morris: Is that in the park area?
Mailliard: No. Ve may have to touch it sooner or later. Both my brothers
are buried there, and Jim's wife is also buried there.
Morris: And your parents?
Mailliard: No. They're in San Rafael, and that's where I'll go
Jim Mailliard on the Board of Supervisors
Morris: Am I right that your younger brother, Jim, also did a turn in
politics? He did run for the [San Francisco] Board of
Mailliard: He had one term on the board of supervisors.
Morris: How did that come about?
Mailliard: I'm not sure I can really answer that. There was a lot of
pressure put on him because the name was familiar to the
public. I was in Congress, and at that point, I guess, Jack
was chairman of the police commission. So they thought that
Jim could be elected, and he was.
Was he a reluctant candidate?
Mallliard: I think he had misgivings about It. He didn't run for
reelection, I think partly because he was such a damn
conscientious supervisor that he was totally neglecting the
business. I think Jack finally said to him, "Look, we need you
to spend more time minding the store."
Morris: Yes, with one partner on the police commission, one on the
board of supervisors- -both of those jobs require a lot of time
away from the office, I would think.
Mailliard: The police commission, not so much. And for a lot of people,
the board of supervisors Isn't, but Jim was a detail man, and
he'd dig into every budget Item.
Morris: Somebody told me that he also set up a computer system for the
company in the early days of computers .
Mallliard: That I wouldn't know about.
Morris: That struck me as quite an innovation with all the things you
have to keep track of In the wholesale foods business.
Mailliard: That would be perfectly logical, but I wouldn't have known
XV CHANGING TIMES
The Mailliard Foundation
Morris: At some point, according to the material that I was looking at
in The Bancroft Library, there was also a Mail Hard Foundation?
Morris: Whose idea was that?
Mailliard: When Dad died, we decided we wanted to continue to support a
lot of the things that he did. So we e.-^ch put a certain
percentage of our income into the foundation. Then the
Congress i its wisdom set up a lot of complicated rules
because there were so many phony foundations being founded by
families. Then you'd find some member of the family was being
paid $150,000 a year to manage a million-dollar foundation and
Jim was the secretary of the foundation. It finally
became so unbearable just to meet all these rules that we just
gave the whole chunk to the San Francisco Foundation.
Morris: Oh, as one of their trusts within the foundation.
Mailliard: It just got to be more trouble than it was worth.
Morris : Would that be when the Congress set up some new rules in the
1969 Tax Reform Act?
Mailliard: My guess is that it was earlier than that. They set up special
rules for foundations that were so onerous. They were all
right for big foundations that had a big staff, but for a
little family foundation- -I don't know how much money we had in
it when we gave it away- -$200,000 or $300,000 at the most.
Morris: That's a generous donation to the community, but if it requires
a lot of bookkeeping- -
Mailliard: Oh, and they set up all kinds of rules that you had to give
away a certain percentage of the income. 1 think you even had
to give away some of the capital. I don't know. Anyway, it
was just too much, too onerous, to deal with.
Morris: If the income isn't enough to meet the rules, then you have to
dip into capital. Yes, it is that sort of formula.
Mailliard: It was very complicated. Jim finally said, "It's just too damn
much work. It isn't worth it." He thought, Well, how do we
get rid of it? So we talked to the San Francisco Foundation,
and they were happy to have it. And they have continued to
support certain things at our request.
Morris: Did you stay in touch with them in case there is anything you
wish to donate to?
Mailliard: No. Some of our beneficiaries do. We used to contribute to
the Boys' Club, which John Lilienthal was very much interested
in. He's very careful, so he "reminds" the San Francisco
Foundation that this was one of the Mailliard requests, that
they continue to support it. And so far, they've honored it.
They're not required to. We didn't make it a condition. We
Just made it a request.
Morris: But you did, when you made the gift, give them some
suggestions. Does it still exist in the San Francisco
Foundation as a Mailliard trust?
Mailliard: That's a technicality that I don't know. 1 I don't know if we
are separate or not, and don't care much. I don't think that
we asked that it be. [chuckles] I mean, we gave it to them,
and it's up to them to do what they want.
Repub 1 ican Leadership in the 1960s
Morris: There are a couple of other Republicans that I had wondered if
you had any dealings with, like Caspar Weinberger.
1973, the assets of the Mailliard Foundation became a part of the
J.W. Mailliard, Jr. Trust administered by the San Francisco Foundation.
Mail Hard: Oh, yes. He was my assemblyman when I was his congressman.
We've been friends over the years. Don't see much of him any
Morris: He, too, spends a lot of time on the East Coast.
Mailliard: Almost all the time. Jane (Weinberger] lives most of the time
in Maine, and he has a pied-a-terre in Washington. So 1 don't
think they're out here except occasionally.
Morris: As assemblyman, would he have had need of advice and counsel
from his congressman?
Mailliard: Not much, but sometimes things overlapped, and we consulted.
But no. His assembly district was about a third of my
Morris: According to your vitae, you did a couple terms on the state
central committee, and so did Cap.
Mailliard: You're automatically on the state central committee if you're
an incumbent. You not only are on it, but you have several
appointments to it. I only attended a meeting once.
Morris: Why is that?
Mailliard: After the Goldwater nomination [in 1964], Bill Knowland decided
he was going to take over the state central committee, and some
of us decided he wasn't. I came out and was temporary chairman
when we organized the thing.
Morris: Good for you! How did you manage to get that position?
Mailliard: It wasn't my idea. They said, "You congressmen never come out
here." I said, "Okay. If you need me, I'll come out." They
said, "We'll make you temporary chairman," which gives you the
power to appoint certain committees- -credential committee and I
don't know. I don't remember exactly. I banged a gavel and
appointed several committees that I had no authority to
appoint, but nobody challenged it. [chuckles] We got control
of the key committees and prevented Mr. Knowland from taking
Morris: Why did you object to his taking over?
Mailliard: The old battle between the moderate Republicans and the right
Morris: Did you feel that Bill Knovland had become more conservative
over time? Was he involved with the United Republicans of
Mail Hard: I don't remember. Probably.
Morris: Because that was the point at which there was a concern about
the John Birch Society and whether it was--
Mailliard: 1 don't remember these details very well because 1 wasn't that
much interested, except to try to preserve some reasonably
moderate leadership. One of the comic things in this was that
when I was nominated to be temporary chairman, Bill got up and
nominated somebody else in oppositionand couldn't remember
the name of the guy that he had nominated. [laughs]
Morris: Oh, dear! Poor man.
Mailliard: Needless to say, I won without much difficulty. Then, once I'd
established a little bit of the machinery, I left. I wasn't
interested. We'd done it, and the good people were in control.
Morris: I thought you and Weinberger might have worked together on some
of that. He'd been chair of the party at that point.
Mailliard: Weinberger was out of it at that point, I think.
Morris: He was state chair from 1962-64.
Mailliard: Yes, but 1 think he was pretty much out of it. Later he was
Reagan's director of finance or something.
Morris: He was Reagan's director of finance in Sacramento in 1968-1969
and then he went to Washington to HEW.
Mailliard: First, he went back on the Federal Trade Commission , and
I think that's when he no longer- -
Morris: --So he left party politics as such?
Mailliard: Yes. Let me see. I don't remember Cap being there, although
he would have certainly supported what we tried to do had he
been there. But then, of course, he became far more
conservative. He was a very liberal Republican when he was in
the assembly and up until he joined forces with Reagan. He
tended to get a little over on the right.
Why do you think that happened?
Mail Hard: Reagan's influence, probably.
Morris: Other people have commented on that. Weinberger is also
generally spoken of as very strong-minded and very intelligent
and knows what he thinks .
Mailliard: Maybe he just changed his mind. I mean, maybe he began to see
the conservative point of view a little bit more. I don't
know. Even politicians are entitled to change their mind
Somebody accused me once of becoming conservative. 1
said, "No, my position is exactly the same as it was twenty
years ago. The rest of the world has changed." [laughs]
Morris: That, I think, is a function of years in service.
Mailliard: I said, "The Congress has become more liberal. I've stayed the
sane . "
Morris: What do you see as the future of the kinds of things that your
family has been interested in and given so much time and energy
Mailliard: Well, you don't want to stand still. Circumstances call for
different approaches. What might have been appropriate twenty-
five years ago might not be very appropriate today. Again, I
have a little bit of the Earl Warren concept that you lean
against extremism on either side.
Morris: You lean against the extremist: you don't force them; you just
lean back against them.
Mailliard: You can't force them. People ask me- -and I know this is in the
Earl Warren thing that I did 1 - -because so many people were so
surprised when he became chief justice. They thought he'd
become a flaming liberal. I used to point out that, don't
forget, he became chief justice when [Senator] Joe McCarthy was
at his worst. And Earl's natural instinct is to lean against
that kind of extremism.
Mailliard oral history for Former Members of Congress, previously
I think the Miranda decision and several other of the
controversial decisions were Earl's reaction to what was
happening to people. People were being accused without any
evidence; their reputations were being destroyed without due
process. His every instinct would lean against that kind of
Morris: It sounds as if he really impressed you as a young man, and
that you continued to be in touch with each other over the
Mall Hard: Oh, yes.
Morris: Was there sort of an expatriate California group of friends in
Mailliard: No, we had the California State Society that the various
Californians belonged to, but it's Just a social thing. It
doesn't amount to anything.
Warren 'i Eightieth Birthday
Morris: But you and Warren did find time to see each other?
Mailliard: Yes. Mother always came back for her birthday, and the Warrens
always came to her birthday dinner. So that was once a year,
and then maybe twice a year I'd go and have lunch with him at
the court. And we'd run into each other at social occasions.
Morris: Did he continue to pay attention, to have a concern about
things in California?
Mailliard: I don't think so. You can't do everything. And he wasn't ever
much of a party man, anyway.
Morris: But he does seem to have enjoyed staying in touch with old
Mailliard: Very much so. He became very close to Pat Brown. They used to
go duck hunting together all the time. He had a lot of old
cronies that he still saw, and Ben Swig was one of them. I
think I told you this: we gave him an eightieth birthday party
[in 1971] at my house; it was given jointly by [Senator] Tom
Kuchel and myself. One of his duck-hunting buddies, who was a
big wheel in- -what's the duck society?
Mailliard: Ducks Unlimited. Vally Lynn. 1 I invited him because 1 knew
they were old duck-hunting pals. Vally Lynn came back to
Washington for this party; Ben Swig came back; my mother came;
Millie's mother came; Arthur Goldberg; the Ruche Is.
Tom and I decided there would be n> speeches, and Arthur
Goldberg got up. Of course, Arthur never could open his mouth
for less than forty- five minutes, [laughs]
And I remember Bud [Elmo] Zumwalt, who was then the Chief
of Naval Operations, was there. Earl liked the brass, so I
decided to invite Bud. It turned out that Earl, as the
district attorney of Alameda County, had presented a prize to
the San Joaquin championship football team, of which Bud
Zumwalt was the head, [chuckles] And Bud's uncle was the
Republican chairman in Kern County or something like this. 1
didn't know that they had ever heard of each other.
Morris: You don't think of the Chief of Naval Operations as being a
California high school football player.
Mailliard: Well, he was. Anyway, it was quite a party. But, oh, [it did
go long] . I remember Dorothy Goldberg had the flu, and so
Arthur called and said Dorothy couldn't come. And this was
just the day before. It was carefully seated. So 1 called Lu
[Lucretia] Engle, Senator Engle's widow, and said, "Lu, you
want to be Dorothy Goldberg tonight?" She said, "Certainly!
Where and when?" [chuckles]
Pierre Salinger. George Murphy, and the 1964 Senate Election
Morris: That must have been something. Did you have an interest in who
did the maneuvering about that senatorial appointment in 1964
when Clair Engle died? All the Democrats in town seemed to
have been leaning on Pat Brown, and I wondered who the
Mailliard: You're not going to get a Democratic governor to appoint a
Republican Senator, especially to replace a Democrat, no way.
1 See Wallace Lynn, in Hunting and Fishing with Earl Warren. Interviews
conducted in 1972, Regional Oral History Office, University of California,
You might as well keep your mouth shut, because that's how much
influence you're going to have. [laughs] Of course, Pierre
Salinger was a terrible, bad choice.
Morris : There were some who thought that Pat wanted to be senator and
Stanley Mosk thought maybe he should run. Jesse Unruh was also
angling to run for governor and wanted to get Pat out of the
Mailliard: That's Democratic politics. 1 stayed out of that. But I'll
tell you, 1 saw what was happening to Pierre. I sat next to
him when Lyndon Johnson came out for the Columbus Day
celebration. I think 1 told you that story, too. This
Columbus Day celebration was in my district, and they didn't
invite me. So I called the White House, and I said, "I think I
should have had an invitation." I said, "If I don't, I'm going
to make sure that Air Force One is paid for by the Democratic
party, and not by the Treasury." So they invited me.
Mailliard: Instead of stressing the fact that he was born in San
Francisco- -you know, they called him a carpetbagger- -Salinger
kept talking about his intimate relationships with the
Kennedys, so that many people believed he was a carpetbagger.
He wasn't. And of course, always smoking that big cigar, he
just turned people off. And we elected poor old George Murphy,
who never really found out where the senate was, I don't think.
Morris: People forget that he had been paying his dues to a certain
extent in the state Republican party.
Mailliard: Oh, for a long time, but he's not very bright. Then we got one
that was even less bright, and that was John Tunney.
Morris: It sounds like you were keeping yourself apart from the state
nominating process. Did you have some candidates that you
would have liked to have seen?
Mailliard: These were Democrats. Well, not Murphy. Murphy had the
support of the machinery, and he had kind of earned it. I
wouldn't have tried to interfere with that. But I don't know
how Tunney ever got in the picture. Nice guy, obtuse. Just
before he went to the senate, he was on the Foreign Affairs
Committee with me. Everything was done by memorandum. He
never had an independent or original idea that anybody could
discover. And this wasn't Just me. His own side of the aisle
came to just ignore him because he was such a dumbbell.
Morris: Really? He didn't have much in the way of aides that could
bolster him up?
Mailliard: Oh, that was it. But he didn't produce an amendment to a bill.
If you asked him a question that wasn't on his card, he didn't
have the slightest idea.
Morris: How about [Congressman Paul, Jr.] Pete McCloskey?
Mailliard: You know, Pete has always been a maverick, but he's a pretty
good maverick, I think. A good guy.
Origins of the Guardsmen
Morris: Going back to the San Francisco side, are there other things
that we haver. 't touched on that have been important to various
members of yc.r family? We've talked about good government and
the environment. Your brother Jim was involved in the
Guardsmen at one point- -
Mailliard: Very much so.
Morris: Was he a founder of it?
Mailliard: No. I would have been a founder of it, except that that was
when Earl sent me to Sacramento, and I just didn't have any
time. I was in that original group that created it, but I
never Joined because I was out of town.
Morris: How could you be in the group that created it and not join?
Mailliard: Because 1 wasn't going to be there.
Morris: I see. Who all were in that group, and what did you have in
Mailliard: I can't remember, but it was just to get an organization of
mostly young executives around town to support "camperships"
Morris: For minority kids?
Morris: You were beginning to be concerned about race relations in the
Mail Hard: I think it was more general than that. We made this
arrangement with the marine corps to take them down to, in
effect, camp on the marine base.
Morris: Is that where the camp still is held?
Mailliard: I haven't any idea. No, I don't think so.
Morris: Who all was in this group?
Mailliard: I can't remember. After all, this was back in the forties--
maybe '49, '50, somewhere in there.
Morris: Is it inappropriate to call it a sort of a male version of the
Junior League, you know, to involve younger people in civic
Mailliard: To some extent. I wouldn't push that too far because it really
had only one purpose, whereas the Junior League has lots of
different purposes. It would be more like the Boys' Club.
Morris: What did the Guardsmen do that the Boys' Club didn't do?
Mailliard: The Boys' Club, as I understood it- -I was never involved in
it --had Boys' Clubs in the city, and they own a piece of camp
property out here by Boonville somewhere. We were trying to
reach into other groups that were not joining Boys' Clubs.
New Voices in Politics
Morris: To what extent do you think San Francisco has changed over the
years since you were representing it in Washington?
Mailliard: It's changed a tremendous amount. For one thing, the
minorities are much, much greater than they were, particularly
the Asians. What was old San Francisco- -moderate families in
the Richmond District- -is almost all Oriental now. It's
changed enough that the problems are different than they were
Morris: The number of people is about the same, isn't it?
Mailliard: Actually, fewer.
Morris: Do you see a change in how the city makes its decisions?
Mailliard: I certainly do. The influence of the gays is so enormous, and
the quality on the board of supervisors is pretty, pretty thin.
There just isn't any leadership there. Politically, it has
changed enormously. It's always been awell, not always;
you've got to go way back before my time when it was a
Republican town. But it was a labor Republican town even
then- -the Tom Maloneys and so on, and Dick Welsh, who were very
liberal Republicans and very closely tied to the labor group.
That all, of course, has changed completely, so that
whereas I got elected by registered Democrats --they were mostly
carpenters and electricians and city employees and state
employees and bank clerks and whatnot- -
Morris: Skilled workers?
Mailliard: Well, not necessarily so skilled, but mostly homeowners who
were essentially conservatives. Registered Democrats because
Franklin Roosevelt took them all in, but perfectly happy to
accept a Republican that they thought was moderate in view.
They voted for Eisenhower, they voted for Tom Kuchel always,
and they voted for me. There weren't many registered
Republicans, but they voted for the Republican candidates.
Mailliard: Warren, yes.
Morris: In the 1970s and 1980s, did they vote for [Ronald] Reagan and
[George] Deukme j ian and [Pete] Wilson?
Mailliard: I don't think any of them ever carried San Francisco.
Eisenhower carried it only once. Now I don't think any
Republican could carry San Francisco. I don't think even Earl
Warren could carry it today.
Mailliards in the 1990s
Morris: How about a couple of anecdotes about your brothers. Jim
really doesn't come into focus except as the younger brother.
What kinds of things particularly appealed to him and that you
and he enjoyed together?
Mailliard: Not a lot because our paths just didn't cross very often.
Morris: Are your kids and his in touch with each other at all?
spend enough time up here at the ranch that there's a
Mail Hard: Yes. I think some are closer than others. Bill, my oldest
on, I think doesn't have much to do with family. The others
Morris: Have your kids and your brothers' children by and large stayed
in California, or are they dispersed around?
Mailliard: My four children by my first marriage all live between Santa
Cruz and Santa Rosa. Millie's and my three girls are East.
Morris: They're more eastern than western?
Mailliard: They come out here. They talk on the telephone incessantly.
Morris: [laughs] A new form of social behavior that takes the place of
letter writing, I believe. And Jack's and Jim's kids are also
in Northern California?
Mailliard: All. Well, one exception. Kate lives in Nevada.
Morris: That's unusual for the nineties, isn't it? They must really
have a feel for their roots and their countryside.
Are you planning to come back here, or are you going to
continue to be bi -coastal?
Mailliard: Ask my wife.
Morris: [chuckles] Do you feel like you're more East Coast or West
Coast at this point?
Mailliard: Both. I'm Just as much at home in both places, but Millie's
from the East, and she's made a real place for herself in the
community in Washington, which most congressmen's wives don't.
But she never belonged out here. She used to come out here,
but she's president of a nursing home, and she's involved in
all kinds of charitable things. I laughingly say that I don't
dare come back because I don't think one town can hold both
Charlotte and Millie.
Morris: [laughs] Charlotte did it the other way: she translated her
Texas energy into the California scene. She and Jack seem to
have enjoyed the same things. She encouraged him or added the
big civic party aspect to what he did?
Maill lard: He went along with It, but he never was terribly a part of It.
1 aean, sometimes he wouldn't even go to these things, and
sometimes If he did go, he'd leave early. She couldn't because
he was always running everything. But that was no problem.
He did as much of it as he wanted to do.
Morris: And there were things that the two of them had been interested
in together- -his causes as well as hers?
Mallllard: Yes. And the ranch. Their house is right across the way here.
Morris: Over in those evergreens. So you could be up here and not
really see any of the other members of the family even though
they were a quarter of a mile away?
Mallliard: You could, but Charlotte always invites everybody.
Morris: Did your mother do that, too?
Mallliard: Well, it was a little different then. There weren't so many,
and they were older people. Mother didn't really approve
terribly much of the cocktail parties that would go on among
Morris: Is there a story that goes with this wonderful collection of
clothespins here on the wall? Red clothespins with names upon
Mailliard: Napkin rings. That's what they are.
Morris: I see Bill and Bill, Jr. Is it men on one side and women on
Mailliard: Oh, I don't think so. I think it's alphabetical.
Morris: Does that go back to your mother's innovation?
Mailliard: Oh, yes, way back.
Morris: There must be thirty or forty clothespins there.
Mailliard: And more. A lot of the names on those hooks are long gone.
Some of them I couldn't even tell you who they are. Did you
notice the old timers', like mine and Jim and Jack and so on,
are very faded compared to the more recent ones.
Morris: They've been used more. They're just red at the tips.
Mailliard: I could probably identify two-thirds of them.
Morris: [reading off names--] I think we've covered most of my
questions. There are undoubtedly lots more stories --
Mailliard: I suppose, but I think you've wiped my memory clean.
Morris: I hope not. We now have it all on tape, so you can edit it as
Jack Ward Mailliard III, circa 1980
XVI AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE MAILLIARD
Jack Mailliard Continues Family Civic Responsibilities.
[Date of Interview: May 17, 1991 ]##
C.M. Swig: How is the family history going?
Morris: It's going fine. Congressman Mailliard and I have been going
through the family scrapbook his aunt made. It has some
interesting pieces of family history written by various
relatives, some of which will be in the appendix to the oral
history. It is also very valuable to have your additions, as
somebody who- -
C.M. Swig: --who came into all this.
Morris: Came into all this from elsewhere and has become very much a
part of the Mailliard family and San Francisco story. Sometimes
you see things that people growing up in it don't see. Bill
has said that since he's been out of town so much, there are a
lot of things that his brothers were involved in that he
doesn't know so much about. For instance, we'd like a few. more
anecdotes about Jack and Jim Mailliard.
I thought maybe we could start with how you and Jack got
acquainted. That was right in the middle of his political
activities, wasn't it? The official version is that you and
Jack were both working on Jack Shelley's campaign for mayor of
C.M. Swig: That is it. I was very new here. I didn't know who the
Mailliards were. I first called, I think, some of the
Mailliards to be part of the Shelley Girls. It was a little
group of people I had organized to campaign for Shelley, so I
was trying to get people to volunteer. There must have been a
list of supporters I called.
I probably called up and said, "Is Miss May-lee-ard
there?" I didn't know who they were. [chuckles] I had
worked for SPUR. 1 doubt that you want this whole long story,
so I'll Just tell you that I ended up with the campaign. Jack
was a co-chairman of that campaign. He would come to the
office, and the campaign wasn't going that well. These other
men would get in and say, Get me New York; get my office;
sharpen my pencil! And Jack would come in with his white
stetson hat on. He did wear a stetson hat. He would come
early, not late, and he didn't need coffee, didn't need
He would go into these meetings. They were every
Thursday, and they called them strategy meetings. I called
them "tragedy meetings" because the campaign was not going
well. So all these men would talk, and somebody would say,
"Burn the Examiner, buy the Chronicle." Finally, Jack Shelley
would look at Jack Mail Hard and say, "What do you think,
Jack?" Jack rolled his own cigarettes, Bull Durham, so he'd
roll his cigarettes, and in very few words would wrap it up:
"Well, I think what you've been trying to say is such and such,
and what we should do is--" I thought, gosh, I could use a man
like that in my life. [chuckles]
It did take me two and a half years to catch him. He said
he was never getting married again. I said, "I don't blame
you. I wouldn't do that if I were you, either"- -all the time
working and hoping, finally giving my fish-or-cut-bait speech.
Finally got him.
At any rate, Jack had been very involved in the community
in many different ways. He was probably one of the youngest
presidents of the chamber of the commerce. He served on many
city commissions, and- -by this time, I was part of his life--
Jack Shelley appointed him to the police commission. So he was
on the police commission and did an outstanding job.
Did that take as much time as running the Shelley campaign had?
C.M. Swig: For him?
C.M. Swig: Yes, he became president of it. Continually working- -he never
let his business responsibilities down. When he was president
of the chamber of commerce, I think his dad was alive; I think
Mr. Mail Hard gave Jack some more time, because that is a big
Jack was involved in many causes, on many boards- -
hospitals and all the things through the years the family had
Morris: Because it was kind of a family responsibility?
C.M. Swig: Yes. I think the Mailliards have always been involved in civic
causes. I remember one time in Herb Caen's column, he said,
"Why is it that when there are three Burtons in public office,
they call it the Burton Machine; and when there are three
Mailliards in public office, they call it Public Service or
Civic Spirit." [chuckles]
Morris: And what did the Mailliards respond to that idea?
C.M. Swig: They never wanted anything from anything that they did. I
understand that when Jack's father was involved in the
community, there were about five men- -as I've been told not by
the Mailliard family, but by other people- -that really ran the
city. But they didn't want anything from it. They didn't want
to be out front, they Just wanted to see that things were done
well. And they were very active.
I guess that's instilled in 1 -allies. It certainly was in
mine. My family were very involved in things.
Morris: It was a family tradition.
C.M. Swig: Yes. I thought it was a way of life. I didn't know there was
a choice. I think if you grow up with a sense that you've got
to give back or you've got to participate, it comes along
without thinking about it. You just do it.
Morris: What's interesting about the Mailliards is that there is not
only a busy business life and a huge civic life, but then
there's all the time for the ranch, too, which is kind of an
C.M. Swig: I think the ranch, as Jack said, was his golf. His father was
quoted once, and Jack certainly went along with this, as saying
to his children and relatives, "If you want me at your wedding,
have it on a Wednesday."
We never did anything on weekends other than go to the
ranch. Jim and Sally [VanSicklen] Mailliard' s family went to
the ranch, and their kids had very little activities in the
city on weekends because they went to the ranch on Friday. We
all got together and stopped by Sally's and got on the road
after the traffic died downsix o'clock, six-thirty. So we
were always at the ranch.
Morris: The four of you would drive up together?
C.M. Swig: No, there were too many of us. Jim and Sally had five
children. It was a very close family. Ve'd meet each other to
go up to the ranch. Ve'd Just stop by Jim and Sally's on
Jackson Street- -sort of on the way- -and have a drink or
whatever and take off. Then on the weekends we'd get everybody
together and say," Okay, what's the project for today?" This
was Saturday morning. It was going out and chopping thistles
or chopping wood. It was always known as a working ranch. Of
course, Jack said it was a "working ranch B.C. "--Before
Changes at the Ranch
Morris: I see. What additions did you make?
C.M. Swig: Veil, I liked to have, and the Mailliards always had, a lot of
friends around. I guess I always had a lot of people up there
and planned picnics and probably more extracurricular
activities than just work parties.
Then Jack and I built a house there. Before, he'd always
stayed with his mother. I don't think his first wife, Peggy,
really cared that much about the ranch. So we built our own
house immediately. Ve got married in 1965, and we moved into
our house in 1966.
It is a Cliff May house. He was a friend of Jack's- -the
architect Cliff May. I know we were looking for an architect,
and Jack was on one of his many horseback rides- -a Sonoma
County Trailblazer ride --and he was riding along with a friend,
Bob Bacon, who used to use a house on the ranch- -Dr. Bob Bacon.
Jack said, "How do you choose an architect?" Bob Bacon said,
"You know one of the finest architects in the world- -Cliff
Jack said, "I'll be darned. I didn't know he was an
architect. I knew he was a darned good piano player and a
lousy horseback rider, but I didn't know he was an architect!"
[ laughs ]
Jack always liked these horseback rides; evidently no one
would talk about being a banker or whatever. Jack was quoted
in some newspaper, saying he'd rather be with a horseshoer than
the president of a bank.
Morris: He was more interested in what his friends did outside of
business than their businesses?
C.M. Swig: Yes. I remember at some events, like the opening of the opera
and other parties, where they used to have plain-clothes
policemen there. They'd be in black tie. Jack would always be
off with them instead of with the "social" people.
Jack just liked people. He wasn't impressed with material
things. He was a very secure person, and he Just liked people
for whatever they were . He had a lot of friends in many
businesses, but they were not always presidents of banks.
Maybe it was because of so many years in the country.
Police Commission Issues
Morris: He was president of the Cow Palace board too?
C.M. Swig: Right. He really liked that. The two jobs that I think he
liked best were the Cow Palace and the police commission. He
really enjoyed those two volunteer jobs.
Morris: What was it about the police commission?
C.M. Swig: Probably accomplishing something and working with men who
really were performing duties for the city. It was a very hard
job because he was president of the police commission in the
sixties, during the flower children era. There was the
Morris: The Summer of Love in the Haight-Ashbury?
C.M. Swig: Yes. There was also the big sit-in at San Francisco State, and
there were also the riots on Fillmore Street. Do you remember
that --the trouble in the black community? And I think they
were going to fire the police chief or do something. So a lot
was going on.
Jack was a man of very few words. I remember the grand
jury was investigating the police chief. It didn't come to
firing him, but anyway, they were investigating. The other
commissioners cane out of the meeting, and the media people
would ask them questions and then get this long, long answer.
And whatever question they asked Jack- -I was watching it on
TV- -they asked this question and he said, "You bet," then
walked on. [laughs]
Morris: That must have been kind of tough. Did he feel that San
Francisco was changing and not the city that he thought it
ought to be?
C.M. Swig: I don't remember him verbalizing that. I guess all cities are
not the way "it used to be." But no, I think he was just
taking it one day at a time. Jack was a man of very few words,
and he just got right to it.
We are fighting some bills in Sacramento now about our
logging, and if they go through, it will be very devastating to
our ranch. We were here meeting the other day- -Larry Mailliard
and our logging management person- -and so he asked, "How would
Jack do this?"- -because we're lobbying legislators. I said,
"Oh, I wish he were here, because he would get right to it."
I mean, he'd just get right to the heart of things and
make a decision about it and just do it. He was a very good
decision maker. He could have taken care of those legislators
in a moment .
Getting Along with the Burtons
Morris: You mentioned Herb Caen's comparing the three Burtons to the
three Mailliards. Did the Mailliards and the Burtons get
together on any issues?
C.M. Swig: Bill Mailliard and Phil Burton were in Congress together, and
that was also when Phil Burton took over Jack Shelley's seat;
he ran for Jack Shelley's seat. So they did work together,
like on the Golden Gate recreational park [National Recreation
Area] thing. Phil Burton got credit for it, I guess, because
it was called the Burton bill. But- -I remember Bill was
talking about it on the tape there was a lot of politics going
on, and, in my opinion, Bill Mailliard was the one who made the
right connection and did the lobbying to save the bill; because
it was about to be lost right at the end.
and was respected.
He had good judgment
So as far as the Burtons and the Mai 11 lards, they got
along. I think their politics were different, but Bill had a
great way of working with people , because he knew that you had
to do that in order to get it done. Jack probably wasn't as
comfortable with that kind of politics.
I was thinking about back here, in terms of San Francisco
politics or the state legislature, because Phil was also in the
C.M. Swig: Jack would have been a little more to the right than the
Bur tons --well, maybe that's an understatement! Bill, as he
said, was more middle-of-the-road, and it helped him to get
elected to bend a little. But I don't think he compromised his
Some of the more conservative people probably--! think he
said- -didn't care for him, but that's all they had. In San
Francisco, he was almost the only Republican that's been
elected in years, right? But Jack didn't have to be elected,
so he did not have to be as compromising. Jack was really a
black-and-white person. There were no grays in his life.
Trail Rides and Practical Jokes
Morris: How did he and his brother, Jim, divide the responsibilities
with the family business and the ranch?
C.M. Swig: Jack was the chairman of the board of the company. Jim really
took care of the financialhe was the treasurer, and he was
good at that sort of thing. So he took care of that side of
Morris: Did he go to Yale, too?
C.M. Swig: Yes. He went to Yale, and then the war came along. So he left
Yale, and he didn't go back, as far as I know. He didn't
finish at Yale. But he really did have a mind to deal with
.figures. So he took care of that part, plus he took care of
the ranch books, also. Jim and Jack really ran the ranch, and
Bill kind of let them have all of that. We're the ones that
enjoyed it, and he was in Washington not being able to enjoy
the ranch as much as Jim and Jack did and their families. But
he none-the-less loves the ranch and its tradition.
Morris: Did Jim share Jack's fondness for horses?
C.M. Swig: Not as much. Jack was really the- -I think if his father hadn't
intervened, he would have been a cowboy. That's what he wanted
to be. So he was definitely the cowboy of the family.
Morris: His father wouldn't let him just be a rancher?
C.M. Swig: No. In those days they had some sheep and, much later, a
logging business, but it wasn't a place where you could really
make a living. But Jack, more than to work on the ranch, he
wanted to really be on the rodeo circuit.
Morris: Vas he still doing that when you came along?
C.M. Swig: When I came along, he was still on the Cow Palace board. He
still went on the rides to--
Morris: What is the one in Southern California?
C.M. Swig: The Rancheros Vistadores. So he went on the Rancheros and the
Sonoma County Trailblazer ride and the Frontier Boys' ride, and
probably any other ride that one can think of he would have
Morris: Are those men only?
C.M. Swig: Men only, yes. And when Jack would come back without a broken
bone, I'd say, "Didn't you have a good time?" [chuckles] He
liked to play tricks on people. He pulled a 'coonskin through
the camp, unbeknownst to anybody else, and then during the
night, probably two or three o'clock in the morning, he let all
of these 'coon dogs loose. And then, following the scent, they
went through the kitchen- -the kitchen being in a tent- -and over
the bar and through people ' s beds .
Morris: At the ranch?
C.M. Swig: Wherever the ride was. This year, the Sonoma County
Trailblazer s' ride is on the ranch. We've had it about three
times that I know of. They bring their wagons. We have
pictures of the wagons being turned over and the horses jumping
over. They really do become kids out there.
Do the women do something else?
C.M. Swig: They're not even invited, so they're not there.
Getting to Know Kate Ma 11 Hard
Morris: How did you go about getting to know your new mother-in-law,
C.M. Swig: Jack took me to the ranch, and Kate was a very strong person.
She was very fond of all of her children. Jack had lived with
her at the ranch. As I said, Peggy, his wife, didn't care as
much for the ranch as Jack did, so they didn't have a house.
So he spent a lot of time with Kate, and of course, Kate loved
I was sort of this new girl on the block. I did come to
the ranch, and I sort of tried to go by the rules. Then Kate
invited us to go on a camping trip to Montana, up in the Bob
Marshall Wilderness, where she went every year for two or three
weeks, and we went in for a week. I got to know her somewhat
better that way. Then, of course, we spent every weekend at
the ranch, so I would see her there.
She was really a woman to be admired for all the things
that she did. You could see her in the city at the Century
Club or the Franciscan Club with her white gloves and hat and
suit, and then you could see her at the ranch up all night
feeding the lambs whose mothers had died- -heating milk, and so
forth, out chopping thistles, working in her vegetable garden,
horseback riding, and staying up all night working on her
records for her sheep. She had really prize sheep. She won
many, many awards. She was a many-faceted person. One could
learn a great deal from her.
Morris: Was she still involved in things in San Francisco in the
sixties and seventies?
C.M. Swig: Not as much as she had been. I think the Girl Scouts had been
something that she had been very much involved with, and
probably many other causes. I remember she went out and
campaigned for Jack Shelley, knocking on doors and so forth.
She wrote poetry.
Morris: Was that something that she came to later in life?
C.M. Swig: She was really devastated, as I understand it, when Mr.
Mailliard died. She really took to her bed. I think after
that time is when she wrote some poetry.
C.M. Swig: She was a very strong person. I can see where Jack, in
particular, and the others were strong, too. And his father
was a strong person too, by reputation as I did not know him;
but his mother I knew to be a very strong person. She really
was very domineering, but you had to admire her.
Morris: She had strong ideas about how the family should behave?
C.M. Swig: About everything. Yes. There wasn't that thing about --you
know, some families, they say, We've got to stay together, and
family ties are strong. The strong family ties just evolved
because it was the way it was. They were close in that they
did things together and they were supportive of one another.
You felt very secure in the family. I felt very fortunate to
marry into an institution, if you will.
Morris: Did she have a lot of contact with grandchildren?
C.M. Swig: Yes, she did. She took them on pack trips, she spent time with
them. She had this little Land Rover, and she taught them to
drive at the ranch out in the fields.
Morris: That's above and beyond the call of duty!
C.M. Swig: Yes, right. But they really toed the line. There were no
threats. There were only promises. I think that the children
were probably scared of her. Most people were kind of afraid
of her. They respected her, but it was not easy to become
close to her.
Morris: In photographs I've seen, she looks very delicate and quite
C.M. Swig: She was small. Might have been five foot four. She was a
small person. She probably wore a size ten dress.
Morris: Did she ever talk to you about her feelings about women's role
in politics and the business world?
C.M. Swig: I think she was more by example. She didn't kowtow to anybody.
She Just had strength. She probably is- -I wouldn't want to
compare myself with her because I can't possibly be in her
shoes; but I've never been a feminist because I figure that I
can do whatever I want to do. I find being a woman an asset
rather than a liability. She was before the feminist movement,
but I think she, maybe, In this day and time might have been a
leader In it. But I think she would have been a leader by
example that she could do what she wanted to do. She
accomplished many things.
Morris: In talking with women in their eighties, who have been women of
great accomplishment from my point of view, I've been surprised
at how many of them speak about having felt as young women that
they were pushed aside and they wish that they had been more
forceful. I wondered If Kate ever said anything like that?
C.M. Swig: She probably came into her own more when her husband, Mr.
Mailliard, died, as I understand. See, I wasn't around before
that. But just from hearing, I think that she came Into her
own then. Mr. Mailliard was very strong. There was a great
love there and a great respect.
So he was such a force and such a strength, that her
strength didn't come out in the way it did afterwards because
he probably made many of the decisions. But the sheep, though,
she did that all by herself; and during the war, she went to
the ranch and ran that because that's when people had to work
and there weren't any men to do it. She did that. That took
strength. Her husband was here, and she said, "Okay, I'm going
to go up to the ranch to do my part." Some women wouldn't- -
they'd say, Oh, I have to cook my husband's dinner, or
I would say she was strong all along in her own way. It
would be interesting to ask her that question. Unfortunately,
we can't do that.
Morris: Yes, we have to sort of put the pieces together. Did she
encourage the girl grandchildren to do things as she had-- to
do their own thing as much as the boys? Was she interested in
what they thought and did?
C.M. Swig: You know, I think she had long talks with them. As I said, I
think the grandchildren were afraid of her, but still they
respected her. So I think they owe a great deal to her, either
by her example or conversation. You knew exactly where you
stood, and she would tell you right on.
Morris: There were quite a lot of them.
C.M. Swig: Fifteen grandchildren. She, as I said, took some of them on
pack trips, and I think there was one time she took a couple of
them to Europe. At the ranch she took them out with her
working and so forth.
The Next Generations Future of the Ranch
Morris: I understand that Sally, Jim's wife, was also a Califomian.
Had she grown up with a ranch kind of life?
C.M. Swig: Her family had a place up in the country. Where was it? I
think on the Klamath River. Anyway, Sally was definitely an
outdoor girl. She and Jim were made for one another. She
could hunt and come out with a deer on her shoulder. She was
very strong, and she could bale hay better than most men. She
loved the ranch.
It would be terrible to marry into the Mailliard family
and not love the ranch. It's a prerequisite.
Morris: Did you get taken up there before you and Jack married?
C.M. Swig: Yes, probably as a test! [laughs] Yes, it would just be
unfortunate if you didn't, because they love it so much. So
Sally actually was perfect because she could do any of the
things that any man could do up there, and she liked all that
sort of thing.
I couldn't possibly shoot a deer and I can't do all the
things in that regard. I love the beauty of the ranch and I
appreciate it and I want to preserve it and I like that it is a
vehicle or a hub for the family to stick together and stay
When Kate died, there was a big estate tax to pay. There
were moments when there was thought of selling the ranch. Ve
were all devastated by that. Jack was ill at least part of the
time when that was a possibility. But we all hung on until he
was better because he was the one who was really running the
ranch. By that time, Jim had died and Bill was in Washington.
I'm sure he has a great love for the ranch, but Jack was the
one here. They made decisions together and they worked very
If Jack had said, "We want to sell the ranch or part of
it," I think that Bill would have gone along with it. But it
would have just been awful.
Anyway, the family really worked at saving the ranch, but
there was that moment when It looked really bleak. It's a place
where the family can get together. There are some family who
aren't Involved with the ranch. Jack has three daughters.
Margot, the youngest, loves the ranch and she uses a place
there. She has horses so she was the one who took most after
her father as far as loving the country and participating in
it. She was kind of the cowgirl and she went out with her dad
to the Cow Palace and went with him gathering cattle and so
Morris: Did she do 4-H?
C.M. Swig: I don't think so because she lived in the city. Some people
have a knack, whether they grow up there or not.
Morris: They know what to do with a horse.
C.M. Swig: So she really loved It. One of Jack's daughters, Kathy, the
middle one, really didn't take to the ranch that much. She had
other things. She loved the ballet and that sort of thing.
The oldest daughter, Caroline--! believe she was close to Kate
and she had an appreciation for the ranch. I understand she
was a good horsewoman. But her life went In a different way so
she didn't spend very much time at the ranch. But Margot
really loves the place. And fortunately, her husband likes the
ranch too, and they have two kids so they really do enjoy it.
It's nice that they can be there.
Jim and Sally's children- -their five children all love the
ranch. And Larry Mallllard, their only son, Is now the manager
of the ranch; he has built a beautiful home at the ranch and
lives there with his family.
C.M. Swig: He keeps a close eye on the logging operation which is now our
primary source of income from the ranch, that helps us sustain
and keep it. So he is there.
Sherrie, Jim's oldest, now lives in Colorado but they have
a house at the ranch. This is Sherrie Kammerer and her
husband, Greg. They have four children who all seem to love
the ranch. Before they moved to Colorado, they spent a lot of
time there. They still have a house at the ranch that they use
in the summer and some holidays.
Terry and her husband, Bob Keyes , who have two daughters,
use the house that Jim and Sally lived in. The house that Jim
and Sally used was a house that the help used when there was a
hotel on the ranch. When they bought that part of the ranch,
there was a hotel, Ornbaum Springs Hotel. So this particular
house is very old and Terry and Bob have added some rooms and
Then Sandy Mailliard, another one of the daughters, does
not have a house there, but she has a camp there. It is an
outdoor camp near Howard and Tanya Mailliard.
Morris: Where you can pitch a tent?
C.M. Swig: Well, it has some little houses there, but mostly you sleep
outside. There are cots where you can roll your bedroll out
and sleep under the stars and the redwood trees.
Morris: Like down at Yosemite?
C.M. Swig: Yes. And there is a place to cook outside. She has that.
Plus she loves the ranch. She comes up and helps Larry plant
things. She has helped us. They put in some redwood trees
along the entryway. And she's good at building. If we need to
put on a roof, Sandy is there helping us put on the roof or any
All those kids grew up having to work on the ranch. You
just didn't go up there and play. You went out and had work
things to do: to fix the fences or cut the firewood or chop the
Morris: I didn't see a tennis court or a swimming pool.
C.M. Swig: No. There's no tennis court or swimming pool. There is a
reservoir at Grandmother's house that they use as a pool. It's
there to hold water to irrigate the fields. But they use that
as a swimming pool .
Morris: How about Bill's kids?
C.M. Swig: Bill has seven children. Four from his first marriage; and he
and Millie have three daughters who have never been out here
very much. Of the first four, the oldest, Bill, Jr., did use
Grandmother's house, but now he has a place in Petaluma. He is
an attorney but he raises horses in Petaluma. He has an arena
so he is really into that.
So he is the horse member of the next generation.
C.N. Swig: Yes, he is. Then the second daughter, Antoinette, lives in San
Francisco, but she likes the ranch and she has a camp at the
ranch that used to belong to Mr. Peterson. Somers Peterson and
his wife, Helen, used that camp.
uses that camp.
It's called the "Hut.
We just made a new decision and Grandmother's house now is
going to be used by all of the cousins. It's Bill's house
because when Grandmother died, it was always sort of known that
it would be Bill's house. So Bill has taken over the house,
and the kids --mainly Bill's kids --will use it. But any other
of the cousins can use it too. They just have to sort of sign
up for it.
Bill's daughter Christine and her husband, Peter Kingston,
live in Santa Rosa. They have two young children, Jamie and
Genevieve. They now are using the house quite often. Then
Vard Mail Hard, who is the youngest of that family, lives in
Santa Cruz . He has a school there .
There has never been a place for Bill's kids to really
come to, even though they could always stay with us or at other
camps. Now that they have their own house, maybe Ward will
spend more time there too. He really has a love for the land.
He's more of an artistic one of the family. I think they'll
probably spend some more time there now that they have a place
of their own.
Mendocino Neighbors: Family Gatherings
Morris: Were there friends in the community around there, people who
were involved in the things the Mailliards were interested in?
C.M. Swig: Like people who lived around the ranch?
C.M. Swig: Jack probably knew some people, and the Mailliards used to ride
in the Boonville parade and so forth. So they knew their
neighbors. But really, when we went to the ranch, we went to
the ranch and it was not to "socialize;" it was to really go to
the ranch. Kate had many, many guests. So we sort of took our
friends with us.
As far as knowing people around the countryside, I really
didn't know any of them. Jack knew some of them because they
would deal with fence lines or with cattle getting on
somebody's property or through the years of being in the
Boonville parade. Also the Mai 11 lards were very supportive.
They helped--! guess it was Grandmother really- -buy a plane for
the Boonville high school so that they could teach a course in
flying. Then the Mailliards helped buy an ambulance.
Morris : A rescue kind of- -
C.M.Swig: Yes, it's a volunteer thing. They learn to be paramedics so
that if there's an emergency in the area they can do something.
And then a fire truck. So I think in causes there, the
Mailliards have been supportive without wanting any credit for
it, just participating.
Morris: Being neighborly?
Morris: How about anybody on the ranch to keep things going when the
family wasn't there?
C.M.Swig: Yes, there have been people who have worked on the ranch
through the years. The one who was there when I came along,
who stayed there for over forty years, was Guido Pronsolino.
He was hired by Grandmother and Grandfather when he was, I
guess, nineteen or twenty, and he stayed until he was sixty or
He took care of the sheep. He was really quite good and
lived on the property with his wife, Betty, and their three
children, who were born there.
Morris: He was a local fellow?
C.M. Swig: Yes. I don't know from exactly where, somewhere up there. And
his wife was from some place around there. So anyway, they
worked for Grandmother, mainly looking after the sheep.
Morris: Did Kate and her husband, Ward, have any special times of the
year or gatherings that were particular?
C.M. Swig: I think Grandmother used to go up and spend most of the summer.
So when they had the camp, they would go there in the summer
and Mr. Mail Hard would work until noon, as I understand it,
and then drive up on Saturday afternoon for five hours, stay
Saturday night and Sunday and drive back Sunday night. Or
maybe it was Monday morning. I've forgotten which. In time to
go to work at least.
Kate spent the summer up there with the boys or with
whatever cousins were invited up. Then other people went up on
weekends. But the Fourth of July was Jack's birthday, so that
was a celebration. Although every weekend was a celebration
because they were all there together and everybody did a lot of
Bill is three years younger than Jack, so I've been told
that he would say to his mother when they went to Tahoe in
their early years and watched the fireworks, "How cone
everybody knows it's Jack's birthday?" [laughter] Of course,
we never could have fireworks at the ranch on Jack's birthday
because California is too dry.
Definitely up in Mendocino.
Yes. Anyway, we had a picnic lunch or some kind of special
thing, but even when it was a holiday, we would work in the
morning and work in the afternoon.
Creating Gala Civic Benefits: Guarantors and Media Support
Morris: I wanted to ask you about working on the Black and White Ball,
the San Francisco Symphony benefit. Was that something that
Jack was interested in too?
C.M. Swig: No, I don't think so. I think the Black and White Ball--. Oh,
I know what you are talking about. I did one of the last ones
that they did at the hotels. Remember when it was at several
hotels, and people went from one hotel to another and different
orchestras played at each hotel?
C.M. Swig: My job was to take care of the one that was at the Hilton. So
I stayed down and I did my job, but I think Jack went on to the
ranch. Then I went up afterwards and I said, "We'll have our
own Black and White Ball here." So we had it at our house.
Jack liked Herb Alpert, so I got Herb Alpert records. We
played those and had everybody come over in black and white.
In the daytime at the ranch you wore Levi's, at night you
wore those light-colored jeans. So Grandmother wore her light-
colored jeans, a white shirt, and a black scarf. I took up for
Jack his tails, but he just wore his light-colored Levi's,
which everybody did, and a white shirt and wore the tailcoat
with that. So there is a picture in our scrapbook with this
white Stetson hat on and black tails. Everybody, Jim and Sally
and their kids, and cousins, or whoever was staying with
whomever, came over and we had our own black and white ball at
the ranch .
Then one time, we decided we would get Leonard Bernstein
to cone up to play. Ve thought how much fun that would be. 1
think we even asked him, but he must have had a conflict. So 1
had everybody come over to the house and bring their own
instruments, like pots and pans or combs or whatever. Ve had
our own symphony orchestra. So you can see that we sort of
Morris: How did that grow into your own talent for producing a great
C.M. Swig: Like the Black and White Ball?
C.M. Swig: I did the opening of Louise Davies Symphony Hall. After that,
they came to me and said, "Ve really need a fundraiser." 1
said, "Veil, the Black and Vhite Ball was absolutely marvelous.
Vhy don't you do that." They said, "Okay, we'll do that
again." I said, "Veil, you can never do things the same way
twice. You bring them back and people say, "Oh, it's just not
the same way as it was last time." So 1 suggested that we have
the ball at the Performing Arts Center, because I loved those
buildings. Also people could park once. So it has grown into
a big civic event, sort of our own Mardi Gras, if you will.
Morris: Yes. Now Herb Caen is reporting that it is the biggest non-
sports party in the country, which is kind of neat.
C.M. Swig: Yes, it is.
Morris: Vho was your mentor in planning that kind of event and coming
up with new--?
C.M. Swig: As I said, I grew up in a family that was active, even though
it was a very small town. My father was the president of the
Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary and the Lions. My mother
was equally active. 1 grew up decorating the high school gym.
I always think, "God, I grew up decorating the high school gym.
Now I'm decorating the civic--."
The civic auditorium! [chuckles]
C.M. Swig: Or the rotunda of city hall, which is beautiful.
Morris: It is a beautiful place.
C.M. Swig: Oh, it's my favorite. That's where I sort of started thinking
about this whole thing of a big civic event, because I love all
those buildings, and I had helped open Davies and I love the
opera house. I think it is just that I was always putting on
events back when I lived in Borger, Texas, or at the University
of Texas, so I guess it was a natural. It's in my genes; I
couldn't help it.
Morris: Did Jack enjoy that kind of big splash?
C.M. Swig: Let's put it this way. I think he put up with me in all of
this; because he wanted to go to the ranch and he wasn't really
one for big parties. He was great with people and enjoyed
people. Once he got there, he enjoyed it but it wasn't
something that he thought about doing, going to parties. But
as 1 said, he did put up with me.
Also, the things that I have always done have been civic
things that were for causes.
Morris: They had a philanthropic aspect?
C.M. Swig: Right. So Jack was very supportive of me. Very supportive.
And, as I said, mainly put up with me.
Morris: Was he a donor or sponsor of the symphony and some of these
organizations you were putting on benefits for?
C.M. Swig: Well, he would go to the opera. I would catch him- -he would go
in for the first act and then he was downstairs with somebody,
playing gin rummy or dominoes. In the opera house! [Laughter]
Morris: That's an honored tradition too. The people who put in an
appearance at an event to support the arts , and then go off and
play cards .
C.M. Swig: Right. Jack's mother always had the same seats for the
symphony and the opera , so we have those same seats .
Morris: Really! They're family seats.
C.M. Swig: Yes. I've kept them. We pay for them now.
In the early years after the opera house opened, Kate had
sat all over the opera house to see where the best sound was.
And visibility. She was a person who had an ear for music. So
I thought such a tradition should be kept up. So I have them
for the opera. We don't go all the time. In fact, we don't go
very often. But I give them to family members who want to go.
Morris: That's great. Did she have an interest in some of these same
charitable fundraising activities?
C.M. Swig: I think she supported the symphony and the opera and probably
Morris: But was she part of the group that would put on the benefits?
C.M. Swig: I don't think as far as events. I think she was supportive by
going and being a guarantor, but I don't think events were
things that she really did. Not at least when I was around.
Morris: Had you gotten into your event phase while she still with us?
C.M. Swig: Yes.
Morris: What did she think?
C.M. Swig: Well, I don't know. As you said, in the olden days you weren't
supposed to be in the paper except when you got married and
when you died.
Morris: Born, married and died. [Laughter]
C.M. Swig: When you put on events, you need the media to help you promote
them. I have a feeling that I was maybe more visible than they
had been in the past. But she never complained about it.
What happens is that when you put on events , you are in
the paper for the events. But you have to be supportive of the
press, so when they ask you other questions about things that
aren't as pertinent as things you might want to talk about, you
have to answer their questions.
Morris: That's true in politics too.
C.M. Swig: Yes, it is. So Bill was a visible person too. Well, all the
Mailliards have been visible. There were articles about Jack
because he was a leader; he was in many publications. So was
Kate. There were many articles about her.
Mallliard & Schmeidell Co. Becomes Bromar
Morris: Then you have gone into the faaily company too. An I right?
C.M. Swig: Yes. The ranch is a limited partnership and there are three
general partners. I am a general partner as are Larry and
Bill. The other family members would be limited partners.
Morris: Is that the successor to the family grocery--?
C.M. Swig: No. I am also on the board of Bromar which is the successor to
Mail Hard & Schmeidell, which was the food brokerage company
that was started by Jack's grandfather. His father was in it
and then Jack was head of that company as well as Jim working
for it. They merged with a company named Brown-Massey in Los
Angeles and Jack was instrumental in making that happen. Since
then we have merged with many other companies and we are in
sixteen states. We are probably one of the oldest and largest
food brokerage companies in the country. We don't know how old
we are because all the records burned in the fire--.
Morris: In 1906?
C.M. Swig: Yes. The only way we know sort of how old we are is that there
was a letter from the Mcllhennys- -the Tabasco company--.
C.M. Swig: --to Jack's grandfather that was a letter of credit or some
kind of business communication. They found one that was, I
think it was 1896. Now, they have found one that was 1892.
We've had them as customers that long. We still represent
Morris: There aren't any corporate records in Sacramento?
C.M. Swig: No. Evidently not. I suggested that to the company but I don't
know whether they have done anything or not. At any rate, so
far this is the only record of knowing how old they are. So it
could be older than that . But at any rate , I am on the board
of that and now the headquarters is in Newport Beach. So I go
down to board meetings. It's quite a large company. It's in
sixteen western states, as I mentioned, including Hawaii and
Morris: None of the grandchildren generation are a part of that?
C.M. Swig: No. Nobody went into the business.
C.M. Swig: So I guess I am the only one left.
Morris: Strike a blow for women's leadership abilities.
C.M. Swig: Yes. I'm sorry some of them didn't because it was such a
family tradition. That's the reason I am very happy that they
asked me to serve on the board. I have been serving on the
board ever since Jack died in 1986.
The Blvth-Zellerbach Committee,
the Svl.es Later San Francisco
Morris: Were Jack and Mel Swig involved in some of the same activities?
C.M. Swig: I think. San Francisco is so small and when you're in the
business world, paths cross. You see, Mel didn't come here
until 1946; he and his father [Ben Swig] and brother [Richard
Swig]. Of course, at that time, Jack was already much involved
in the chamber of commerce and things related to that. He was
president of the chamber. Jack and Mel weren't in the chamber
at the same time; although Mel was on the board later on. But
they certainly knew each other in all kinds of civic ways.
Morris: Would Ward Mailliard and Ben Swig have been acquainted and
worked on any of the same things?
C.M. Swig: Could have been. Let's see. Mr. Mailliard died in 1954,
wasn't it? And Ben Swig came in 1946. So there might have
been some overlap .
Morris: Right. Because Ben Swig also very quickly became --
C.M. Swig: Very active.
Morris: And very visible in both political and civic things.
C.M. Swig: They might have been. I know that Jack knew Ben Swig quite
well. Jack was a leader, a young leader, so he had a lot of
older friends because he was involved in things so young that
people who were leaders then were that much older. So he knew
Ben Swig. They worked on things together.
Was Ben Swig kind of a mentor to Jack, do you think?
C.H. Swig: No. Just, I think, involved in the sane things. I know that
Jack said that Ben Swig called him Boy; he was that young: Boy!
I've heard stories of things that they were involved in.
Different causes. I can't remember the details.
Morris: Were there other people Jack ever talked about as being a post
war generation or addition to this group of people who really
cared about what happened in San Francisco?
C.M. Swig: I don't think so. As far as I know, there has never been
another group of that kind. I forget the names of all of them;
Bill would know their namesbut these five men really- -I
remember this one story they were telling that they needed
another person on the board of Bank of America. So these five
men decided that it should be Bob DiGiorgio (who just passed
away not too long ago.) He was a young man then. That was Bob
DiGiorgio, I think, who probably told me this story, so they
put him on and he became a very big business leader and he was
on that board for a number of years .
Morris: So they looked out for people who--.
C.M. Swig: Were far-sighted. Yes. Well, they sought a leader. I don't
know what they had to do with the Bank of America. Maybe one
of those five men was on the board of Bank of America, I don't
know. But they really cared about the city. I guess it was
small enough that they could do that. I don't think there was
ever that kind of leadership again, exactly like that.
Morris: Well, there is something that appears and disappears in the
annals of San Francisco called the Blyth-Zellerbach Committee.
C.M. Swig: Yes.
Morris: I've heard that it was first active in the forties and then
that, later on, it would kind of convene itself when there was
a need. That was Charlie Blyth and Harold Zellerbach. But
those are different names than the ones that I've heard in
C.M. Swig: Well, they are probably Just that much earlier. So [the group
Jack's father was part of] probably phased into that, because
when I first came here, I worked for San Francisco Planning and
Urban Renewal Association and the Blyth-Zellerbach Committee
very much backed that. And some of the leaders in this Blyth-
Zellerbach Committee were the leaders of SPUR, like Jerd
Sullivan. I can't think of all the names.
At any rate, they were alive and veil and working then.
That was in the early 1960s.
Morris: Is this group that makes decisions now on what happens in the
city bigger and more fluid, different connections for doing
different kinds of things?
C.M. Swig: Now, I think it is more spread out. There are many factions.
Recently, there has been a group of business leaders who have
gotten together to form a committee to try to figure out how
they can be more involved with the politics in the
neighborhoods, what's going on and also be kind of a PR group
to help the city look and be a little better. And those are
people who are corporate leaders.
Morris: Rather than people with longtime local family connections who
C.M. Swig: Maybe they have longtime family connections too. These are
people like the president of Bank of America, president of
Chevron, president of Transamerica, Pacific Telesis, PG&E, et
cetera. So it's more that they're corporate leaders. Maybe
before, the corporate leaders' families were more visible.
The Richard Rosenbergs, for example, 1 don't know where
they came from. He's president of the Bank of America. And
his wife, Barbara, is involved in a lot of things, some Jewish
charities and other things. Jim Harvey is head of
Transamerica. His wife, Charlene, is involved in lots of
things --KQED, for example..
But 1 guess when we talk about the old families, the
Zellerbachs and the Mailliards and whoever, they have gotten
broader and bigger and gone on different ways. Like in the
Mail Hard family, some of them are still visible and others
are doing other things.
Morris: So that it is a more fluid kind of a thing.
C.M. Swig: Yes.
Volunteer Potential: San Francisco General Hospital Board and
Chief of Protocol
Morris: Sometimes it is said that it is tough for a newcomer to become
part of that kind of a circle of decisionmakers.
C.M. Swig: It probably is not as hard as it used to be. I think nowadays
people are more willing to accept people who are involved,
people who are doing things, things that are interesting. They
are more accepting, I think. 1 heard that it was hard before.
Maybe it was easier for me because I married Jack. [laughter]
1 don't know. When I came here, 1 didn't know a soul, so I do
know a few more people now.
Morris: Yes. I would say. Were you looking for new fields to conquer?
C.M. Swig: No. I've never--. Like people who come to me, they say, "How
can I get into things? I want to meet people. I want to be in
the social whirl." Or whatever. I say, "That's the wrong
attitude. You don't go at it that way." I never did things in
order to get somewhere else.
I do things because I care about the cause. When I came
here, I wanted to work for something that did something for the
city, but I had to have a paying; so went to work for SPUR.
As you know, that's the organization that cares about the many
physical aspects of the city and protecting and promoting them.
Then I volunteered for a campaign because I had always
been involved with politics through my family. I volunteered
for the Shelley campaign. I went to the campaign headquarters
at night after work and they gave me some kind of job of filing
three -by- five cards. I found out their system was terrible. I
stayed there all night. The next morning they came and I was
still there. They thought I was crazy- -well, maybe --then I
went on to my job.
As a matter of fact, just to digress for a moment, then I
started the Shelley Girls, because in Texas I had been involved
with the Ladies for Lyndon and the Kennedy Girls and so forth,
Bo I started this group of girls. My mother made the uniforms
and we went around on the cable cars and passed out brochures
and so forth.
Herb Caen wrote an item about my doing that. I didn't
know who Herb Caen was but he said something about the Shelley
Girls. My boss at SPUR had been offered a job by Harold Dobbs,
who was running against Shelley for mayor. So my boss threw
this paper on my desk and said, "Either quit Shelley or quit
SPUR." I said, "Well, I won't do either. You can fire me, but
my time after work is my own."
So it sort of evolved that things got sticky after that.
Then Shelley offered me a job in his congressional office.
Morris: In San Francisco.
C.M. Swig: In San Francisco, but I was working on the campaign in between
doing things for him there. That's where I met Jack Mailliard,
so it was meant to be. So I can thank Herb Caen.
The other night, when Mel and I had the big party for
Herb, I said, "You know, when I came here and didn't know a
soul, you ran an item for me, I found the men in life--."
Because really, after the Shelley campaign, I volunteered for
the film festival, working at night while I worked for Jack
Mailliard, who was the chairman of Proposition A. That was a
bond issue to improve street lighting and sewers. That was a
paying job. Then at night I volunteered for the film festival
and Mel Swig was chairman of that. So I met him.
Morris: That's wonderful.
C.M. Swig: So while I was trying to catch Jack Mailliard, I met Mel Swig
also. After that, he became a good friend and his wife, Dee,
was a good friend too.
But you just have to go and do what you think is right to
do, and then see what happens from that. As I said, I didn't
know one soul when I came here. Mainly the people I know,
including my husbands, I have gotten to know because I have
gotten involved in things that I cared about.
Morris: Outside yourself, or whatever.
C.M. Swig: Yes.
Morris: That sounds like the kind of thing that Caroline Charles used
C.M. Swig: Caroline Charles was one of the first people I met. I met her
because I went on the board of San Francisco General Hospital.
Remember, I told you how I went on that board when I met
Caroline Charles. So in those days, I had the good judgment of
asking my husband what things I should go on. I should have
continued that and then I wouldn't have served on so many
things. But at any rate, when Jack cane home from work, I
said, "A woman named Caroline Charles has asked me to go on the
San Francisco General Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary Board. What
do you think?"
He said, "If Caroline Charles asked you to go on, there is
no way to say no, so say yes." Caroline Charles is the one who
told me about these men running the city, how they would
decide. She said she would go over to Mr. Ward Mailliard and
go into the little library there with a problem or something
and he would solve the problem or bring his men in and
whatever. I think they started United Way, only it was called
the Community Chest in the beginning.
C.M. Swig: I served on the San Francisco General Hospital Auxiliary for
ten years; I was president for a while. I loved that board.
Morris: What especially appealed to you?
C.M. Swig: Well, I liked it because it was really a group of people doing
some good things for people that needed help. They were not
huge things. We would get tissues and toiletries for the
people out at San Francisco General Hospital who wouldn't have
had them otherwise. We visited them and we took them
magazines. We took them books.
The auxiliary used to do an event called Turning on the
Lights at Ghirardelli Square at Christmas time. They used to
make $900. I started making it bigger and using all of
Ghirardelli Square, and we ended up making something like
$25,000. The money was spent carefully and went directly to
the people who were in need. It was not diluted into staff or
PR and newspaper ads or things like that. It was used to buy a
lot of toothbrushes.
Morris: Do you think that some of the benefit activities have gone too
much in the direction of overhead and PR?
C.M. Swig: Not necessarily. There are other organizations that do things
in a different way. They do cost money to run them and to
staff them. I know you need staff because I work with no
staff. My job with the city, chief of protocol and the special
events and so forth- -in some cities they have like twenty or
thirty people doing it. I have myself and one person in
protocol. That's it.
One thing I started this week- -it has been a big week- -is
an anti- litter campaign. Ve had a big rally and press
conference. Young & Rubicam- - the big advertising agency- -
created our campaign pro bono. We looked for a theme, like I
Love New York or Don't Mess with Texas, and we came up with
this "One Neat City." Double entendre. We'll hope it works!
I'm going to have to go. I fear we started talking about
me. I shouldn't have been talking about me. I should have
been talking about Jack.
Morris: Well, your experiences have become a very well-known part of
the San Francisco story too. I would really like to hear more.
C.M. Swig: We can meet again if you want. I'm going to New York next
Wednesday and Mel's son Kent's wife is going to have a baby.
You know, you can't tell about those things for sure. So I'm
coming back next week or whenever I can come back. So if you
could call me the end of the month. And then we'll find a
Shortly after this interview was recorded, Charlotte and
Mel Swig became co-chairpersons of the campaign to raise
several million dollars in private funds to equip the public
library main building under construction in San Francisco's
Civic Center. When Mr. Swig died in March 1993, the library
fund was included among memorial gifts suggested by the family.
Although a new mayor appointed a new chief of protocol in
1991, Charlotte Swig was promptly named the city's director of
special events so that her unique gala touch would continue to
brighten the city's festivities.
Transcriber: Caroline Nagel
Final Typists: Christopher DeRosa and Marta Sykes
TAPE GUIDE- -William Somers Mailllard
Interview 1: February 13, 1991
Tape 1, Side A 1
Tape 1, Side B 12
Tape 2, Side A 25
Tape 2, Side B not rec orded
Interview 2: February 14, 1991
Tape 3, Side A 33
Tape 3, Side B 45
Tape 4, Side A 56
Tape 4, Side B 68
Interview 3: February 18, 1991
Tape 5, Side A 74
Tape 5, Side B 84
Tape 6, Side A 95
Tape 6, Side B 107
Tape 7, Side A 10 ?
Tape 7, Side B 134
Interview 4: February 19, 1991
Tape 8, Side A 140
Tape 8, Side B 150
Tape 9, Side A 2.63
Tape 9, Side B 174
Interview 5: March 28, 1991
Tape 10, Side A 178
Tape 10, Side B lgg
Tape 11, Side A ^99
Tape 11, Side B 211
Interview with Charlotte Mailliard Swig: May 17, 1991
Tape 12, Side A 218
Tape 12, Side B 230
Tape 13, Side A 244
Tape 13, Side B not recorded
APPENDICES --William Somers Mailliard
A. "Adolph Mailliard," dictation made for Hubert Howe Bancroft, n.d. 248
B. "Mailliard," by Louise Marguerite Mailliard, n.d. 250
C. "Letter from Meta McAllister to Lizzie Page Mailliard, December
5, 1937. 251
D. "Family History: the Page Family," Manuela Page Hellman to
Elizabeth Skewes-Cox, January 1940. 252
E. Genealogy of John Ward Mailliard, n.d. 256
F. John Ward Mailliard-Lizzie Page family tree, prepared by
Marion-Leigh Mailliard Baldwin Moore, ca. 1946. 257
G. "U.S. Women Sheep -Breeder Here to Meet Merino Men," New Zealand
Express, circa 1960. 258
H. "Kate Mailliard of Ornbaum Valley," Mendocino Robin, April 1966. 259
I. "How Tex Rounds up the Bucks," Blake Green, San Francisco
Chronicle, May 15, 1987. 264
J. Excerpt from Fairhills, 125 Years of Marin Life, Michel G.
Rousselin, F.P.O.A., San Rafael, California, 1990. 266
K. "Swig Cleaning Up this Dirty Old Town," Jerry Carroll, San
Francisco Chronicle, February 17, 1992. 271
*< fi/< , ml
/ . , /
^j M s<t/*fi*s( t^a^Zi*- Aetf-***^ _^
XL^i/ <~7U, (*-*-*^ y^*M^5w^ x^>^
/c^/wuu >u.^ ^ ^i. itte K-/r a / /?
^ /-./' Ax ^.*r/K*^ ~~^
\. jt ./</ <<
S?-* t <-C "ii
..***" ,.v. t. - - -jr
VA tk* >\rcr\A^vo-oL <H
O^vtvO-wA ^* \VvLjHXi iH
You) Wo* . VUo 1
%^- w - w r ^/ ^v
Vu l CuJtu,.^NW^
^TUL -r.^ ^^
. i *3 /) ^-x-i a A OLSLSli
yw^<^Au 1 w
210 2ast 66th Street Appendix c
The eg-: coldler is not silver - I had it
replated v.hir. I save it to Jack. It v^s on our break-
fjst table ..r.-3n we \v-=re children anci that is all I
really kno-.v. It probably belonged to Grandfather
!.:c.-O.lister so 1 enclose a few words about him which i/i&y
add interest to ths .?J3 ^ocClci:-.
..':: l.'r. Kailliard decided to bring his
family to California in order to keep Cousin Lcallie
a-.vay frcn. her ainirers, Father askeci the::, to cor.e to
us until they v.ere settled, so tr.ey cane - Uncle Do,
Cousin .-r.i.ie, 4 children, c governess an:: 2 :..iids, also
innumerable -.r.in.als, sheep *nr co'.vs ar.3 hordes, one
valuable ra:= horse. Father felt the anir..als v;ere in
ir.jcsitior. -:._ he tcld Uncle ~o there '.vere no :.'.en ir.
the roverm.ent stables '-vho understood the care of race
horses an: ha ccul.- not be responsible. I'ncle "Jo left
in a huff vith his t.nir.a] s ^r.-\ ienicia never saw hirr
a .-ain .
The f&nily sttyed v.lth us a r.onth and it
aust have been Lt that tir..e the eg^ ccdiler attracted
Jack, he wa? I think about S years old. Cousin rUir.ie
was Father's favorite Cousin - he vvas devoted to her -
this is the reason we have always been closer to the
rds than the other Cousins.
./hen the beaux continued to come in San
Rafael, Uncle Do moved his family to the ranch but
roads and dust lid not stop ther. ana Uncle Do decided
to take the- to Honolulu. It v,-as the only tirce dear
Cousin .iJinie ever put her foot -^own, she refused to
go -*carce to Benicia and asked Father's advice and he
Jack was so young I doubt if he knew what
I am writing you.
It was lovely to see you anc J.lanuella.
T)ec. 5th, 19.57
2U1SEZ' H* ? "gt flalT Appendix D
The following letter written by Vamwle Page fellaana to her
nlaee, Vith Page SVewea-Cor, IB January 19/.0. "*! Kanuel* aneeVa of
the early *eya ant! the family of her father, Thonaa Stofeaa T) g, both la
Chile FT** later In California.
Th "orle" herein rteacriNrf Til 1 nncesaarlly fpn rlth r few notea
anrt ^utea coneerr.ing your forbeara on ywr Bother's s^e, more
particularly the lamedlate family of the Pages. Tt oeeie strange
that lnter-arrlage with the people of the country (CMle^ ''W not
occur until the fourth gner*tion efter orrlvel of the American
relanoa t in our line.
Tept. Pa"l Telano of Hew Pad f on 1 , "aBaechtieetta, aalle^ for
Chile in 1P18 (anH enter*^ th* sendee o^ the Nvy, wta Port A^mlrsl,
ar* remained in the aerrlee of Chile \mtil he ^let*)! his wife ^Anne
Frguaorj7, *nA daughter followed a yeer later. Vary Ann Pelano nerrled
^lof Idljewalch in IPrl, which broupht the fTetUsh connnctira into the
family, of which we are ao Juatly ^revf .
Thia ccoirle, the Liljewalcha, ha^ only on" chili* , Ana Maria
for Mary Ann), y aether, who arrie* Thomas Stokes Tagc, V. T. t
they nore then swrarerf UD in nrogeny, heving hb<^ thirteen
An so we reech your mother'n generation. They fthe 'repv?
in 18^0. Thcnaa r. ^e^e we born In "ourftorn, '>r Jersey,
od lamaJiataly following eomplation of audiaal training, aailad
arooad tha Rom sod diaambarVad at v'alparaiao (I praaua).
hundred yaara ago aridantly Chlla waa a eivlllzad country
whila California an outpost. I bar* ban told that ha aoon
aeoutrad a fina praetiea and was mob balorad la tba many yaaf a ha
ada Mo hoaa in Valparaiso, hot arldantly thar* waa a 1 way a a nail,
atill vole* calling him baok to his own country. Ha aant his aona
to Pbiladalpbia to school j riof, Ranry, Charlia, wilfr* 4 , ra all
ahippad at a tandr aga and thalr mothar <*ifl not aa then again until
thy wra man nrtf had raturnad from oo31ae end had Joinad tba
family in Tan Fr>'ncl8eo, with tha arerrtion of Olof ibo rattomad to
Valparaiao r>ara ha naturally took up ay fathar'a rrac*lce whan tht
lattar laft fr California.
ID spite of tba Bunaroua progany ha aridantly naa abla to pot
up soaa paonlaa end naVa plana for hia child ran, fron my mothar I
her* haard that notwithstanding tha wan frriendshipa and bis happy
hoaia llf, ba bad fait a strangar in tba land end wiahad to aaa hia
ahildran aatabliahad in this country (tha TTnitad Stataa) aa aitiaana.
TTa had at !lr, Faxon T 1 , Atharton in Chil^ whan tha lettar wea
on hia way from Boaten to San Trenciaeo, ('r, Atharton marriad a Ooni
in Valparaiao), and I baliara ha latar sant a ra^iast that Vr. Athar
ton and r. (irogen ahould saeure land hare In praparrtion for rwnoral
of >ia family to California,
Thia mat ha-ra baan in tha lata '50*8. Thay bought tba Cotati
in Sonoma County. Willie talla m thara wara 1*7,000 aeraa
in tha grant , but thara wara many wo^iattara on tha land,
and araatually aattlaant of righta brought down tha aeraaga to
10,000. Tha pria waa soBathing undar a dollar an a or*.
My fathar aada a trip to California in I860. Vr. Atharton had
bought tha Fair Oaka property, and Mra. Atharton haa told aa of ay
fatbar'a driving down with tha* to aa it, bafera tha daya of train
aarvioa. Aa you knov, tha frftandahip atill oontinuaa with tha third
and fourth, awn fifth ganarationa, aftar aighty yaari.
To raturn to my atorjr whan tha nlan 197 fathar had in Bind
laarnad in PMladalphia, our Aunt Liatia wrota to brothar Ton bagging
hi* to oonaidar vail bafora talcing hla family to aattla in auoh a
vild flaoa as California. Hovarar, I raaianbar my aothar aaying that
ha kootr ha he<? an illnaaa which voult! aoon and hit lift, and ha wiahad
not 'n dafar tha nova which wag finally isda in 1869. Thoaa of ua who
or* 4 ara Fathar, Uothar, your aothar, Liaiia, Willla, and ylf
(anr* our baloww/ Varoadaa). Tour Bothar vaa 78 yaara of agaj Ilaiio
and I, 8 and 6 raapaetlvaly, and Willia two yaara old.
'a arrlTad at tha tlaa of th oalabrrtion of tha eroaa-<eountry
train onanlng by tha "ig Four" - (as I look bacV or rathar atudy tha
paat, I ra*llaa had atartar* a naw lifa in a town that was only tvanty
yaara of aga.) Vr. and Vra. Athrton took all of ua (aavan ir/lri^uala)
to thair lowvly hoata in Fair Oaka for an artandv 1 rlalt , err 4 frca thara
a aorad into a h*iaa in South Park, at that tiaa t> rvsidantlal
district. Whila xhara tha aldar brothara fillarad baak Ranry, Charlia,
and Vilfrad frca tha Eaat or Europa, and than Arthur and Oaorga who
had ba*n aona Honx^g an routa fro* Chila by sailing raanali aveh
yoongvtara to OCBM alan t tvalw end fotirtaen yaara old.
Yovr Better vaa aaat OB rlalt to Philadelphia toon aftar tha
inauguration of tha Orarland trainaj it mat her* bue in '70, and
aaithar llBiia nor I em raaaabar undar vhoaa vine aha vaa -ld f
tt in thoaa daya ao girl of IB yaara of aga eeuU trvral !. For
unknown rwaiooa I think it Mr. Vn. Otis.
I do not know how long sh rtiAd with Aunt Lisil* who wee
than Barriafl to Joaaph Biaphaa, but it oovld not hrr b**n a long
holiday aa aha vaa at hoaa whan ay fathar ^iad in *71,
Tha Cotati Ranch prore^ to ba a goV nina aa it earriaA tha
axpanaaa of a larga fenily group of alawvn int^ividuala. Tn thoaa daya
tha Xanah waa aanagari by an Iriahaan ami tha rawanua oaaM froa
thouaanda of ahaap and aeraa of whaat,
aftar ay fathar 1 a daath tha ao^a vaa aa^a to tha oornvr
of 0'7arrall and Tan Naaa, oppoalta an ancmoua aandhlll, and tha
vaatarly vinda ^apoaitad moh of it into our hooaa} but it vaa our
The "playground," was the knoll where St. Mary's Cathedral stood
until it was burned in 1962.
The move to San Rafael was made in 1882. The home "LaQuinta" where
John Ward Mailliard and Lizzie Page were married later became the
home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. Anderson and at present, 1.96k, is
owned by Mary Anderson Lakusta and her husband Boris. It is still
known as "LaQuinta, " the name given it by the Pages eighty-six
(descendant of Joseph Bonaparte)
ANOELIQUE MARGUERITE REDET
(her Father was Hitter of Horse
to Queen Julia, wife of Joseph
(Father of John Ward Hal 11 lard)
born in Bordentown. New Jersey, 1619
died in Calif oral a, 1690
was Secretary to Joseph Bonaparte
ANN ELIZA WARD
(daughter of Samuel Ward-Julia Rush
Cutler. See Ward and Cutler Genealogy
Bother of John Ward Mallllard)
born in New York City, 182^
died in California, 1895
1. LOUISE HAROUERITE
born in New York Clty.lSU?
died In San Francisco, 1929
born in Bordentown
died in arly childhood
1 3. CORA
born in Bordentown, 1855
died In San Francl sco,1902
born In Borientown, 1857
died In San Francisco,
two ch! Idren
1. RENA HORT l8P.it-1903
2. ERNEST CHASE b.1887
5. JOHN WARD
born in Bordentown, 1862
died in San Francisco, 1936
born in Valparaiso, Chile, 1861
died In San Francisco, 1950
ell born In San Francisco
1. ANITA b. Jan 3,1889-d. Dec U.1955
2. JOHN WARD JK b.
GENEALOGY OF JOHN WARD MAIII-IARD
WARD Appendix E
JOHN WARD 1619-1698
(WHS officer In one of Cromwell's Cavalry
Regiments: came to America from Gloucester,
England, after the ascension of Charles 1
THOMAS WARD l6tl-l6R9
AMY SMITH (Grand-daughter of Refer Williams)
RICHARD WARD l6S9-l?6?(Colonl al Governor of
M. Rhode Island. l?ltO-17lO)
MARY TIltlKCHAST 16*O-176lt
SAMUEL. WARD 1725-1776 (also Governor of Rhode
M. Island. 1762-1832)
IT. COLONEL SAMUEL WARD 1756-1832
PHOEBE GREEN (daughtar of Gov. William Greene
of Rhode Island. and Catherine Ray)
SAMUEL WARD 1??6-1*39 (John Ward , 1797-1866,
brother of Samuel, was
President of the New York
M. StocV Exchange 1832-183'*
John Ward Mel 11 lard was
named after this Uncle)
Jin J A RUSH CUTLER
3. MARION-LEIGH b
l. ADOLPH PACE b
5. THOMAS PAGE
July 11.195 1 *
b. Aug 26,1900
Samuel and Julia Hush Cutler Ward
Grandparents of John Ward Mai 11 lard
had seven children
] SAKUEL lPlU-lfiP.it M. EMILY ASTOR
daughter of Wllll
their daughter * B. Astor
KA-CAnrT ASTOR WARD K. JOHN W1NTHROP
K.2 MEDORA GRYHES
two onp died In Infancy
?. JULIA died In Infancy, b. 1"16
ji. HENRY 1P1P.-18UO
It JU1IA 1 B 19-1910 M. DR. SAMUEL CRIDLEY HOWE
(wrote the Battle Hyirn of The Republic, IE
they had six children
1. JULIA ROMANA M. KICHAEI ANAGNOS .
2. FLORENCE MARION K. DAVID r. HAI.I
>. HENPY MAHION M. FANNIE GAi
it. LAURA K. K. HENHY RICHARDS
5. MAUD N. JOHN ELI IOTT (an artist)
5. FRANCES. MA
See Family Tree for next
Read "Julia Ward Howe" by Laura E. Richards #
Maud Howe Elliott (daughters of Ju:ia Ward Howe)
"Three Saints and B Sinner" by Louise Tharp
(,. LOUISE CUTLfR 18?3-lP.97
M. THOMAS CRAWFORD
(a celebrated sculptor)
M.? after Mr. Crawford's
(artist In ^ome)
7. ANN ELJ;;A IP?JJ-IO', M. ADOITH MAILIIASD
(Pnrents of John ward Mnllllard)
Aurviit 2}, 1900
. B. - 1926
Octolr 1.1861 -
/!. IU CUTt
New Zealand Express, ca. 1960
l'.S. Woman Sheep-Breeder
HERE TO MEET
To meet merino sheep breeders in Marlborough
and Canterbury Mrs J. W. Mailliard. Jun.. of San
Fraiifisco. has come on a 10-day visit to New Zealand.
In an interview with The Express in Blenheim on
Saturday Mrs Mailliard said that she has had a pre
vious happy association with this Province. She has
now come in person to meet the breeders of the sheep
she has imported, for experimental purposes, for her
ranch in California.
Mr- Maill:.ird i* the guest
of Mr and Mrs J C Irving,
of Weid Street hei visit to
them arisu'ic from a friendship
formed when Mr Irving and
the late Mr A O Hammond
vi.-i:ec! the Mailhard Ranch.
Mrs Mailhard is a rancher in
her OWT. righl and i- typical of the
many women in America who. to-
reiher with their husband? and
families, make a valuable contri
bution to American industry by
treir active par: in business
Oa her rmnch IB Mendicino
( oontT. Northern California.
Mr* Mmilli.rd has worked for
man" years towards the foal
of breeding a dual-purpose
nerioo During the proreas she
has prodnrrd a bigfer sheep,
bred eat the wrinkles, opened
the fmrr and developed the
hindquarters, ao essential in
the requirement of a merino
ewe for fat lamb breeding.
Mrs Mailliard has tremendous
energy which ha sustained her in
what ha* been a most arduous task
as she ha* actively managed the
running of her 14000-acre ranch,
often dome manual work with the
sheep She also keeps extensive
rf< i ird'- of the >-uid5. including the
body and f.eecc weights of ewe
ar.c her progeny This experi-
n-.er.'n'. flo( k c-on-is-.-of 350 breed-
i: . fi'i ai.d mri;v:d'irtl records
are kept of every shfep
"I am really a city woman,"
Mrs Mailliard told Thi Express
and ibe certainly looked it in her
well-cut tan and brown jacket
frock, her silver grey hair set in
* moat becoming style.
"It was when my three sons
were quite small." Mrs Mailliard
went on. "that my husband and I
bought some land miles out from
anywhere There were snow-y
mountains. deep canyon? and the
most beautiful redwood tree.- The
deer came down, and thers were
mountain and valley quail even-
where We liveti in the city, but
loved outdoor life so tor the ad
venture of it, we bou;ht the place.
"I remember hr> we erected our
fir.>t cabin. Mrs Mailliard recalled.
"We invited some fr:pnci.- out and
we all pot busy chopping trees and
peeling lops etc We then rolled
the logs one on top of the other
and cut out the window? and doors,
making an oblonp structure 30 by
30 feet. The place wae built by
trial and error with much fun
SHEEP AS WAR EFFORT
"From that pioneer start we
went on to build three more, log
cabins and a swimming pool fed
continuously by a mountain spring.
My small *-ons helped me lay the
mile of pipe to bring the spnng
water to the pool
"At first we had nothing to do
with ranching as we just liked to
hunt and fish, then gradually we
acquired more land and 1 became
tottereated in breeding Arab
"When the war came we de
cided, as r would be more useful
to our cour/.ry. <o breed sh^ep."
Mrs Mailliard continued. "My three
sons went overseas, my husband
was president of the Harbour
Commission in San Francisco our
! men all went into war services and
! there was no-one to run the ranch
but me I just had no taea how to
go about it. but I knew there was
nothing I could do but learn I
experimented and learned every
thing I could, though I made all
the mistakes there were to make
but I may say I never made the
same one twice 1 never back
tracked as I had neither the time
nor the enerey to do thai "
BfSY PfBLIC LIFF.
The late Mr J W Mailliard.
Jun.. was a promiiiei.; business
man. He was president of the
Police Commission in San Fran-
cisco. |>ir>idml of the Ai.idfniy
of Si-i-nii.i- and ihr Cli.uni.'f: of
Cou.ineivr .ind held \. .:,".!- u'.lirr
pu-i::un> Two of lu> t-o:;^ h.ive
followed him in nis bu-ine.-- and
civic activities and the third is
ont of the two Coneie^smen repre-
en:mc Par. Fr.<nc:-<'.i :r. WaMi-
It wae as the wife of aucri a
public- spirited man that Mr.--
Mailhard wa* called upon to enter
tain many prominent people, in
cluding, as personel fiiends M:
Herbert Hoover, the former Presi
dent of the USA. and Mr Earl
Warren who wa.- then Governor
of the State of California and is
now Chief Justice of the United
States. "Sometimes 1 had to pro
duce a dinner for from 12 to 20
people with only an hour or so
notice " she remarked.
THEY LEARNED TO BUILD FUIL FENCES
OF ORNBAUN VALLEY
OR AS SHE CALLS IT
This is the story of a woman whose life has en
compassed nearly three quarters of a century. It is a
stors of only one phase of that life, for Kate Mailliard
is one of those gifted women who live many lives in
one. In one of her lives she was engaged in a fasci
nating experiment in the breeding of sheep and that
is the one we are presenting.
K:ie Mailliard was born in San Francisco at
1034 Mission Street then one of the more fashion
able residential areas out of sturdy pioneer stock,
tier paternal grandparents were Danish. They mar
ried in New \ ork City and sailed around the Horn in
1853 to settle in San Francisco and to bring into the
world one of San Francisco's first babies, Ferd
Peterson, Kate's father. Her maternal grandfather
was James Somers who was a 49'er. He liked the
prospects so well that he went back for his wife in
1853. His interest lay not in gold but in land and
buildings and he prospered exceedingly. Young Kate
grew up in two homes, one the family residence in
Belvedere, the other, during the winter months, an
apartment in San Francisco. She was not "reared
in the lap of luxury" by any means, but by the time
she came along the real hardships of pioneer living
were long past.
The Peterson family was in San Francisco at
5:12 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, 1906. She remembers
going with her brothers to look at the devastation
left b\ the earthquake, soon followed by fire spread
ing rapidlv from the business district to the resi
dential, fanned furiously by a north wind. James
Somers had retired Tuesday evening one of the city's,
wealthy men. By Friday he possessed nothing but
burned out rubble and land seemingly worthless. The
following Monday morning he made arrangements to
borrow on his name alone enough money to begin
building again and at 73 years of age the tough old
pioneer started over again.
James Somers is gone but his and his wife's
indomitable spirits are manifest uirdimihished in their
granddaughter, Kate Mailliard.
During her pleasant, sheltered girlhood one of
her brothers playmates was John Ward Mailliard, Jr.
whose home was near her Belvedere residence.
Friendship and companionship deepened into a rare
and enduring love. They were married in Septem
ber 1913 and spent the first winter in the Belvedere
summer home of his parents. Later they built their
own home in that locality. Her first son was supposed
to be born in San Francisco but he chose to arrive
when there was no scheduled ferry, so Kate met her
first basic, down-to-earth emergency and found out she
She discovered that she and her husband shared a
strong bond the love of tackling an impossible task
and carrying it to satisfactory completion. When they
began going into Mendocino County for their hunting
-"' w>^** > ' J *^i-L'l r ^^' 'ft^rt* - "J< -
trips they didn't have to build a log cabin but they
did. The two of them, helped by city friends, all of
them city reared, city bred, entirely unskilled and un
read in manual arts, felled the trees, made them into
logs, peeled them, hauled them behind their car to the
site selected, and constructed a log cabin with their
untrained hands. Later they built other cabins in the
area around the first one so that they could entertain
26 guests at a time, and often there were that many.
Most of these were friends of their sons. They en
joyed construction so much that in several other
favorite haunts for fishing or hunting they built
functional cabins but Kate admits they weren't all
At that time fences were few and far between; there
was little thought or care where boundaries lay.
B. R. Ogle owned their cabin land and was quite
willing they should use the space as they wished.
Alvy Ogle was renting the adjoining ranch from Mr. Me'
Gimpsey, one of the first pioneers. They learned to
respect Alvy's abilities and to value him as an honor
able and capable man, a real friend. When it appeared
that the ranch would be sold from under him Ward and
Kate took their first big step in Mendocino County by
purchasing a half interest in the McGimpsey place,
with Alvy as a partner. From then on they kept add
ing acrea adjoining their first purchase, buying the
land and then the trees from Lumber Companies which
had purchased almost all the timber in that area. The
next step was to buy from B. R. Ogle the land on
which they had established their cabin complex; then
came what is now the Middle Ranch and finally, from
irs of the original owners, the Ornbauns, they pur
ased what now bears the sign "J. W. Mailliard, Jr.",
MENDOCINO ROBIN APRIL lte
which they made their headquarters. On this property
there was a large hotel, used at one time as a Spa
(and therein lies another trail in the Ornbaum Valley
story which will be followed one day). The Mailliards
took the hotel down: found there was enough lumber
salvaged to aid materially in the construction of houses
for several of their neighbors.
On the Ornbaum Ranch was the original old home
which had not been used for many years and next to it
a relatively new home which had been occupied by one
of the Ornbauns. The Mailliards rehabilitated both
homes and connected them by a roofed breezeway
which proved such a satisfactory arrangement for the
climate and working conditions that when fire de
stroyed both houses in 1946 they constructed the
present home in the same general fashion.
At first, in spite of becoming ranch owners in a big
way, they took no part in the actual ranch operation,
leaving that mostly to A Ivy Ogle. Hard \lailliard,
intensely interested in civic and charitable work as
well as the food broker business of the old estab
lished firm of Mailliard and Schmiedell, spent week
ends, holidays and vacations on the ranches and
hunting grounds. Kate Mailliard was also busy in
civic enterprises and organizations involved with
improvements and provision of aid to those in need.
Their personal involvement with the ranches was in
helping to repair with their own hands the miles of
delapidated fences, the sheds, houses, and other
physical elements pertaining to general upkeep. They
learned to build a picket fence, a rail fence , and a
wire fence. But they had no particular interest in the
raising or handling of the livestock, nor did they
dream that sheep, of all things, would come to domi
nate their lives for a quarter of a century.
Now let's go back a little way because the rzisor.
r'efre of this story is to present the development of a
loved and sheltered city darling into a wise, tough,
experienced and respected country sheepman.
The University of California at Davis felt that
Merinos were the only domestic sheep that could sur
vive with any degree of satisfaction in Ornbaun \ alley
and similar Mendocino County pasturelands, but that
perhaps there might be developed a strain of Merinos
able to adapt themselves much better and provide the
ranchers with a more stable income. Professor Wilson,
in charge of the program, had been seeking vainly for
a rancher willing to coope:_.e in such experimentation.
Although he knew tr. Maillir ds were becoming in
terested in sheep raising he felt they were basically
citv folk and not a good risk for a long term project;
so it was only as a last resort he approached Ward,
asking him to buy stock of various Merino strains,
giving them the same range treatment, keep them sepa
rate only at breeding time, and maintain careful records
of their performance. Kate still had no special inter
est in sheep but after Ward had consented the start was
made. Professor Wilson went to Ohio and bought
Delaine Merinos and to the I. S. Sheep Experimental
Station at Dubois, Idaho, for Tasmanian and Tasman-
ian-Rambouillet cross. Finalh the I niversit) of
California at Davis added their Michigan Biacktops to
the experiment. To compare with these he was able
to obtain from New Zealand three rams and ten ewes
of the New Zealand Merino. The University set up the
records and Kate was drawn further into the plan by
being assigned the job of keeping them.
Bv 1940 thev had drifted into the management of
the "Home Ranch" (Ornbaun Vallev sheep had been
bought with the ranch). Billy Prather was depended on
for their care. In 1941 came Pearl Harbor and by the
fall of 1942 there were few men available for ranch-
work. Ward and Kate talked things over. Finally he
said, "Well, Kate, with a war on and my duties as
head of the Harbor Commission in San Francisco, I
must stay here. All our sons are out in the Pacific.
Either we give up the stock on the ranch or you will
have to run it." After a moment of thought Kate re
plied, "Of course, I'll try to run it." But neither of
them realized just what that would entail.
In January 1943 Kate Mailliard cancelled her ur
ban activities and moved to the ranch where for four
\ears, with her sheepdogs, she handled the care and
feeding of their large and important flock of experi
Her real baptism came the first Christmas after the
experimental sheep were placed on the ranch.
In December a group of Merino range ewes had
been brought in from the hills to close fields. These
had been bred to Southdown rams. That year was one
of the rare Falls when no rain fell and there was no
pass. The ewes were in terrible condition skin and
bones. The fences and buildings had not yet been de
veloped for proper handling of livestock in these close
fields so there was only a great open shed for their
feeding. Even hungrv as thev were the shed itself
presented a problerr., for these sheep were wild and
had never before been under a roof. To round up these
wild ewes twice a day for feeding proved most diffi
cult, but that seemed nothing compared to what began
to happen almost immediately. The ewes started to
Kate had never assisted at such events before.
And it was not an ordinary lambing. The ewes were
in such poor condition that almost everything went
wrong that could have gone wrong. There was no way
to separate the lambing ewes from those who already
had their lanbs. When a ewe was cleaning her new
born bab\, other lambs, half-starved because their
mothers didn't have enough milk for them, surrounded
the new mother and sucked her dry before her own
offspring could get at the supply. Many of the ewes
walked off and left their newborn lambs so Kate
found lambs without mothers and mothers who wouldn't
claim any lambs. She tried to save the orphans by
hand feeding. She sought advice from neighbors and
ranch hands. None of it worked. Many of the hand
raised lambs died and many of those owned and cared
for by the mothers also died since the ewes were too
poor to supply enough milk. Then to complicate matters
there was the loss of life among the ewes themselves.
One of the factors was the press of sheep at feeding
time. They would rush to the stanchions and in the
shoving that resulted the first ones to put their heads
between the poles would be strangled by the mass be
hind them. So there was the job of pulling and pushing
to save lives at the feed racks. Later she made it a
practice to have hay constantly before the ewes about
to lamb. But this was her first time and problems
came too fast to be solved all at once. Neighboring
ranchers simply accepted these conditions as part of
the inescapable hazards of sheep raising. This dis
turbed Kate's Scottish blood. She couldn't accept the
tremendous loss of life any more than she could stand
and watch the death of ewe and lamb in abnormal de
livery without trying to cope with it. These ewes, in
their weakened condition, were high in percentage of
abnormal births. By this time Kate was immersed in
the problem. If she did nothing the ewes and lambs
would die, so she could do no worse than kill them.
She started reaching into the wombs and straightening
out twisted heads and pulling little feet forward, sav
ing what she could of this nightmare of birth and
When the worst was over she sat down and took
stock of the situation. The expensive new ewes were
about ready for lambing. There was little man power.
She had learned in a few weeks more than she had
learned in all her previous ranch life about the handl
ing of livestock. How could things be made more
First, there was the shed to partition so she
could keep lambed and unlambed ewes apart. Then a
sensible feed rack was devised. From there on it was
a continual application of Mailliard ingenuity, good
sense and thrift to the problem of saving stock and
producing good animals. She had this advantage
whatever mistakes she made, the results couldn't be
worse than the conditions she faced that first Christ
mas week, with no one but herself to try to make
Along with all this demanding physical work Kate
maintained accurate records in line with the plan set
up. Proof came in about a year that the Merinos from
New Zealand were much the best breed for the Ornbaun
Valley conditions. Two more shipments were brought
from New Zealand and the experiment continued but
now its breeding goals were her own. By the time she
had decided what the buyers wanted (these buyers
came from all over the United States) and what she
herself wanted she found herself at variance with what
the University wanted.
In 1950 a new factor entered the experimental scene.
The 40-year ban on the exportation of the Merino from
Australia was lifted to the University of California
for experimental purposes. Kate and Professor Wilson
(wool specialist) spent three weeks in Australia going
from one tud station to another, selecting the nine
ewes and three rams which the Australian government
had been willing to allow. When these iheep arrived
at the international dock (where they had to be quaran
tined for two weeks) they caused a great commotion.
So many were there to see them one man observed,
(continued on page 20 )
'There is a greater crowd to see these sheep than
came to see President Truman's arrival!**
The experiment continued under the supervision of
Russell Foote, Mendocino County Farm Adviser, with
kate keeping her meticulous records, with the results
sent each year to Professor Wilson for his annual re
port to the Australian government. Results from this
importation were not all beneficial but crossing the
strains increased length of staple and wool quality and
produced good size.
In the years of record keeping, considered breed
ing, and careful management, -the following develop
ments came about, each statement backed by years of
accurate recordings, a proud record for a "city girl":
1. The Mailliard New Zealand Merinos are
prolific (almost 50^ having twins) and
continue to produce well, both in wool
and lambs, until they reach what is us
ually considered old age.
2. Their fleeces are superlative, a four and
a half-inch staple in 12 months being
the average, showing only 30c shrink
age. They are beautiful in color, light
cream to white, and are soft handling.
3. They have been bred to remove heavy-
wrinkles and now the bodies of the young
sheep are plain. The faces, too, are
free from wool and open.
4. The wool averages a 64's count, which
is fine wool according to U. S. Depart
ment of Agriculture standards.
3. Bv breeding the poorer wool producing
ewes with a mutton-type ram these
Merino ewes produce a very satisfactory-
6. Rams reached body weights more than
100 Ibs. greater than those imported
ewes weighed as much as the imported
rams, 155 Ibs.
For most Merino breeders the wool is still too
coarse. However, the great curtains, covering one
wall of Kate Mailliard's living room, are composed
entireK of prize ribbons won by her fleeces at the woo
About 12 years ago Ward Mailliard became gravely
ill and Kate left the sheep mostly to other hands
while she spent all her time with her beloved husband.
After his death she resumed only part of her former
duties. At the present time she makes her home in
San Francisco and takes an active part in the life
there, but spends nearly every weekend on the ranch,
in the familiar, comfortable work clothes, tending
personally to many of the chores. She still takes
personal care of the lambing and keeps the records
herself at the Mailliard Ranch.
Her prediction is that sheep raising for the Maill
iard Ranch is no longer advisable. The land should
be used for growing crops with greater monetary re
turn, such as timber for which it is ideally suited.
However, here, too, there is a drawback in the county
tax on standing timber which is a serious factor in
discouraging landowners from following approved
conservation methods in cutting ripe timber and grow
ing new stands. It is to be hoped that the wise heads
among the government planners and the timbermen will
effect a plan to prevent taxing out of existence the
small timber owner.
Kate is cutting down on her sheep, intending to
keep a very small group of top quality and raise lambs
for home consumption. Although her brochure advises
crossing with a mutton type for market lambs, she and
her family would never think of eating any but a straigl
Merino yearling. They find the mutton sheep has too
much fat for their own tables and consider the Maillian
Merinos the best eating animal in the world.
Relieved of the demanding routine of the ranch
Kate Mailliard has turned her attention to other ave
nues of challenge and adventure.
The pictures here are from the hundreds she has
taken; her albums are a treasure house of photo
graphy, a recently acquired hobby, learned in her
customary fashion, without a teacher.
She has written many poems sensitive and per
ceptive. Some of her "On the Ranch" verses will
appear in later issues. She has also written a tribute
to her husband who was always and still is the most
important person in her life. This tribute has been
published in booklet form and is gaining deep appreci
ation from her friends who
Kate's grandfather started his life over again at
.3 and it is never surprising to her children and
friends to learn that Kate Mailliard has embarked on
a brand new trail. But it is likely none can prove so
demanding and so rewarding as her long-range experi
ment with New Zealand Merinos.
like to hive meetings up
here because there it is."
Charlotte Mailliard says,
, her finger pointing north
> to the familiar orange span con
suming so much energy these days.
. The scenic postcard outside
the picture windows in Mailliard 's
top-floor living room, and her use
; of it, say a lot about this blond,
chocolate-eyed woman so well-
known from fund-raising and char
ity parly-giving that there's talk of
her running for mayor.
'. "Other people's talk," she cau
, .- Her vista is ope, of the city's
million-dollar views, and, indeed,
' Mailliard, 52, widow of food broker
'and rancher John Mailliard, is a
woman of means. Diamonds aren't
"her best friend plenty of hu-
mans to vie for that but a con
stant one: She wears them on her
ears, finger and, at her throat.
There, a lavaliere suspended on a
gold chain sparkles "Tex," her hus
band's official sanctioning of a
nickname given her by Chronicle
columnist Herb Caen.
She is also a woman of convic
tions, one of her strongest being
that attention must be paid to de
tails. "The gnat's-eyebrow" stuff,
she calls this.
This includes the setting.
When planning meetings are held
for the 50th birthday of the Golden
Gate Bridge, the bridge should be
there for inspiration Commission
ers, agency representatives, mov
ers, shakers, anyone offering the
slimmest possibility of helping out
are invited into her decorator-per
fect living room for the cause.
Her friendship with producer
Steve Silver recently added an in
door detail: Atop a glass-topped
coffee table sius a Stetson hat
crowned with a replica of the
bridge, complete with liny cars
and. triumphantly poised atop one
of the towers, a blond female fig
Silver is the the major-domo of
Beach Blanket Babylon" to whom
Mailliard has turned for some of
her more extravagant details
such as the 8-foot-high, British-
themed mechanized and electri
fied hat that so delighted Great
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and
Prince Philip during their visit
here several years ago.
Fresh from Mailliard's tri
umph with the Black and While
Ball the most monetarily suc
cessful event she has mastermind
ed she talked about her career
as the cily's primo volunteer fund
"If you think it's hot here," she
said as the warm breeze blowing
through the Golden Gate tossed
her cigar crashes in all directions.
"you should have grown up in the
Born Charlotte Smith in Bor-
ger, Texas, a two-horse refinery
town where her father owned the
five-and-dime-store, Mailliard says
both of her parents were civic-
minded souls who passed along
their sense of duty to their daugh
"I never knew there was a dif
ferent way. I was on the student
council, the one who always
helped decorate the gym, figured
out how to move 500 watermelons
to the YWCA. A group of us put on
the dances after the football
games. We charged 50 cents a tick
et. . .
"Fifty cenis lo $500," she says
wilh a chuckle. "You can see I've
come a long way."
Arriving in San Francisco in
the early '60s, she wentio work for'
the San Francisco Planning and
Urban Research Association and.
volunteered to work in the cam
paign of Democratic Representa
tive Jack Shelley, who was running
for mayor. Back in Texas she had
worked with the "Ladies for Lyn
don," so it was perhaps natural
that she should organize the "Shel
ley Girls," who received some
newspaper notoriety "probably
the first time I was ever in Herb
Caen." ' ..'.*:.,;
Her boss at the urban plan
ning group, however, was an ar
dent Harold Dobbssuppbrter and
said, "Either quit SPUR 'or Shel
ley." ' S '*-*$' ^.i- :
She chose Shelley.' He won the
election, but, more impbriarit', dnr-'
ing the campaign she met Jack
Mailliard. Persuading tifinthat tie'
wanted to marry her, she has often
said, "was the hardest campaign of
"How Tex Rounds Up the
Bucks," San Francisco
Chronicle, May 15, 1987
my life. And the best."
Her first party for the city, for his majesty OUv
V, Mng of Norway, was during Shelley's adminis
tration "We had a luncheon in city hall, the first time
it bad ever been used this way."
Since then, Mailliard has dreamed up events for
mayors Joseph Alioto, George Moscone and Dunne
Feinstein. who named her deputy chief of protocol,
relying upon her not only to deal with visiting digni
taries but to choreograph such celebrations as city
ball's tribute to the '49ers after their 1964 Super Bowl
victory and the mayor's own marriage to Richard
"Dianne is a friend of mine. I know how hard she
works and I like to help her out," Mailliard says.
-> & This help has found her accompanying Feinstein
on her official globe-trotting adventures. As soon as
the Golden Gate Bridge celebration is over, they leave
for Japan, where they were, coincidental^', several
months ago when Mailliard was asked to take over the
floundering, much-maligned bridge celebration
plans ....... ___ -
--* | had"'to think long and hard about that one,"
Mailliard admits. "I'd read the papers. I knew what
had been going on."
Ironically, she says, the pared-down celebration
one of the few times Mailliard frowns is when she
hears it described this way now being mounted is
much like some premature planning in which she was
involved a year and a half ago before more extrava
gant minds got hold of the reins and press releases.
'' "We're getting the celebration we should have
"Be Realistic" would be fund-raising's Rule No. 2
(after No. 1: Attend to Detail), except that Mailliard is
the first to say, "I like to think big."
She, however, is able to pull off her ideas. When
Charlotte Mailliard calls the Produce Market to cajole
them out of "100 lugs of avocados, 100 pounds of
tomatoes and carrots," they agree. "You're not going
to get another call like this all day," she gaily prom
"I have no qualms about calling people," Mail
liard says. "1 don't call them for everything, just when
1 think it's right for them. I think they realize I put
some thought into it."
Nor does she mind coming back for more. When
she asked one chairman of the board, "Why did you
come on the phone' You knew I wanted money," he
laughed and replied, "Just curious to see what it was
', Rale No. 3: Always Call the Top Dog. "Why
explain it to someone else?" she says. "The amazing
thing is, the higher up they are, the easier to reach.
It's the middle men who have six secretaries between
Role No. 4: Them That Has, Gets. Mailliard. who
pays her own way on trips with the mayor, and
always buys her own tickets to events, says if she
needed to be paid for what she does, "it would be
hard to ask others for money. They know I give what I
am give best, so they give what they can give best."
Her best she calls, alternately, "creativity" and
It's the kind of thing that teamed her up with
Marie Mandoli, the Balloon Lady, a combo that has
seen a shower of hundreds of balloons become a
Mailliard signature and Mandoli go into the Guinness
Book of World Records (for creating the world's
largest balloon flag for a Fleet Week celebration).
Rule No. 5: You Scratch My Bark, I'll Scratch
Yours. "I'll tell a printer, 'I don't have any money to
pay you this time, but next time I'll see you get a job
that pays.' "
Donors get plugged shamelessly. "They have to
have a reason to do this; they have to answer to their
stockholders." Donald Fisher, head of The Gap, gave
$50,000 to the Black and White Ball, and Mailliard
plastered his logo all over the Civic Auditorium.
Rule No. 6: Stay on the High Road. "I don't have
time to dislike anyone. I hate the use of negative
Being incredibly busy leads to Rule No. 7: Be
Born With Extra Energy Genes. Mailliard gets up at
6 a.m., does aerobics three days a week and often
spends 12-hour days in pursuit of her projects.
"This isn't just working," she explains. "It's hav
ing it on my mind, making ront arts when I'm going to
parties or events. No one is safe from me anywhere."
Even at the Mailliard ranch in Mendocino County
on weekends, she says, she 's thinking, making calls.
Most people can stand such stress every so often,
but for Mailliard, one event follows another, includ
ing occasional private soirees for friends. Every year
for his birthday, she treats Silver to a lunch in an
unusual place. One year it was in the cupola outside
the rotunda at city hall, another the top of the Golden
Gate Bridge. For a memorial to a friend who loved
roses, she worked to have a rose named in her honor,
then threw a dedication party in the rose garden in
Golden Gate Park.
"I haven't had a vacation in years," Mailliard says
quite happily. People call years in advance to reserve
her for parties. She's also been asked to take her act
on the road. "The Hong Kong Symphony just asked
me to put on a ball there." (She won't) "I'm not
leaving San Francisco until I'm run out of town."
Rule No. 8: Have a Theme. "Themes are very
important in tying everything together." Take, for
example, the Western theme for one of the San
Francisco Symphony Association's Fol de Rot dances.
It started with invitations that read, "Hay, There,"
and out fell bits of hay. Decor, food, music, requested
dress followed suit. ...-'
Rule No. fc There's Only One General. "For
better or worse, one person has to be in charge," she
says. This avoids repetition, but also assures Maflllard
has the last word. . ; -: V
"I get a gut reaction about things and every time
I'm talked out of them, I'm sorry," she says. . -~ r*-c
One of the things she wanted was the birthday
closing of the Golden Gate Bridge to motor traffic. '
"The people want it closed only a very few
After all the hassling, it will be closed.
Rule No. 10; Be Patient. Perhaps that's the most
important rule of all. Someone noticed that there are
no balloons planned for the bridge celebration.
"Yet," says Charlotte Mailliard. . . v ',.;.
Charlotte Swig, Peter Mintun, and Mel Swig at
the Black and White Ball, May 10, 1991.
Excerpt from Fairhills, 125 Years of Marin Life
b "S ^
K S S .15
U P j
c rs >%
'5. u o c 3
u> AC 5
S tf I J
i " 8 J I
tl C ** "O **
* g S I s 1 1
5-| |-S c 2
'= C S
W 3 U w
r- CB e. B
'| &.2 .=
= * > 5
> C o
= ra 3! t;
or of his estate
f-^'i 5 ^
'i 1 1 i >
.9 LI iii
J= 3 < -S J Z
.c . o
T3 "O ft.
^ o ^ E
o S J t) o >
S _r- O
1 -B s 5-5
o. " jg c Q c
^s * ^r - t
f S -
- * i
-c ii t ~ -=
TJ E P -5 .2 S K
-^ cS . 1 s e
= - i -^ 5 ra
S ^5*1) W 3^-F
.^ PS ^ Q t/;
'< ^"^ ^-^^2 ^
g^ S SiS g
f J ^
' fli * C C W
. e o -- "~
i 1 1 5 * 1 g .2
> C .2
- J .2 c
U- r- t
c -5 -
E- - o
| -3 J .a
* TJ ^ j-
1/5 S S
a o C
- .2 P e
** . ^
-_- ^' \^ r^ **
5 3 E->5
r 1 "^ ^"^_
S: o <->
- g PS OC
" U Q. ""
U o JK .=
= ':3 1
L. T- <*- .=
- r z: c
I u W>
p B i>
c -r w
* -= ^ 2 5,1 ^ 2
1 = _
*s x 25
y O j^ :
O > T3
U B I
60 U B
Some ye lat
__ re i
J 5 -g
C C 0-5 g
p - x-2
c J XI =
o !g sc_. c
B. -S . ' =
^ 2 E ^ 'i S
g o J o S 2
js O c -o u 5b
- 3 ^
^ -S H
E U 2
U V U
n i -o
E 7- 3 b =
= 2 T3 -O &
~ ^** C"
X O B "r*
o = /< x pi-
c "o M < "<3
I 2 E -2
^ o j= 5 ,5
E * M vt:
- o o g
& . E i*^ ,
5 S u b -S
S S I = =
f p -5
'B "Q B
^T 5 =
O = =
T ^^ ^
5 B 6
t/5 B U
o -= ^
c S fc i= c 5
- S JG u c =
O c -
i -o 2 .E =
., u t , n
j i u _e
U S p o C w
U f* "* M 1 ^
c o 3
f i 1 J > C
C ~ '-
y; 13 -
O 'S U
.E - A
>^ u_ c
I i I r 5 '!
"S^ g -a-g
C rs ^ 3 =
1 f .11
c .o ~.
C <U .
'= "^ "5
5 1 1
.E H I
1 u I
u 2 c
*" o "'I
5 3 5
e _2 o
" <u J
| a |
c. i u
U ^3 15
1 o -
ca o c
5 >- :*
t> o -^" ?
= Z - ^
o o - o
o = u O
I I S c
1 i ^
c <S> <U ^
^ - M -d
r 3 o
o -o o =
o ^ 5
= 2 ?
c ^ ^*
i c *; o
^ ^ ^ C-
E c c
C U * c
Z -C u
i ^ o
-E ? "S =
j* ; K til S
% 5 ^ b .
_e a "- F
u . c
' U u.
5 o o
" B g
^ , on
I Z I
'F r- z
c ^ y.
y. c u
. "5 ^
- sl" 5 -? S
4^ fl> ^^ f- CJ
w H ^ u" !
U! c^ '" 3 J
> ^- > C J
= C " ' 1> ** M
ic '5 -^ ^ u
1 45 2 2 f. a
, -t o w t,
8 12 i &|
fll tC II =
C ^ O = D. =
t B re c
? ta uj c
r~ ^ W J
E- H o. r T3 c
s T: c
c ft. .u
> ^ w.
c -c c
E "S 2
y; u. E
P '5 SJD
I = i
< i! i
^3 **i ^^ -^ ^^
g = > ei) =
O c ,
c g ce
'u & id
^ c n
v; w ~
j: | e
= e- E
9 S *
' fc g <L> 15
S . c S c o. u t. y.
Me ' s|.i J si
^ O ' 43 fi ^ --.-- gj .>
&f !?=* - uyy
' - r b4J ^ - - ~* ' -
i 1$ B 5 || g.i= i fg
"w >> <^ c .S -rf .- " .
B (/; "o s/3 2 o O * ^ re ';?
Sfl ;_. K iB " M " ^b
"C B "r?
O B C_
= .5 e
O O O
c .e o B
O fc = ^
c C. rs : : 3 r-
E = E E ^ |
> 2 * . *
t i f ^ >>
> E c ~
I I I I
J= S- or: c:
b _ c^
Swig Cleaning Up
This Dirty Old Town
San Francisco Chronicle
February 17, 1992
Her group organizes
BY JERRY CARROLL
CHItONICLf STAff W*nt* \
Charlotte Mallliard Swig was nev
so inventive as San Francisco
chief of protocol as when getting disti
guished visitors into the city wttho
driving them down a filthy street t
It's likely, for exanlple, that Ften<5
president Francois Mitterrand thinks
the most logical route from the airport
meanders via swanky Seacliff father
than down some south of Mar k<
featuring drifts! of trash and
abandoned mattress or sofa,
But if the visitor was a hea
or royalty, the Secret Service
route, sometime* choosing
over aesthetic considerations
meant now and then Sixth Street came
as the nasty introduction to San Fran
"People were always very polite,
but when I'd get back home I'd be furi
ous about how ugly it looked."
Having backed the wrong horse in
the mayor's race, Swig lost her role as
the official welcomer of big shots, a job
she had in one capacity or another for
90 years with six mayors. Yet it leaves
her more time for a more recent pas
sion cleaning up San Francisco.
With Pacific Telesis Group CEO
Sam Ginn, Swig heads the San Francis
co Clean City Coalition. At a time when
City Hall coffers are running on empty,
it aims to form neighborhood groups,
merchants and residents into volunteer
The coalition was formed last year
land began organizing neighbor
hoods and put together an educa
tion program for the schools but
: only now is taking the cleanup
campaign high profile. Muni buses
carry banners proclaiming "One
Neat City," and an advertising
campaign drawn up for free by
: Young & Rublcam Is unfolding.
Mayor Frank Jordan, who beat
up on Art Agnos about dirty
streets during the campaign, was
quick to climb aboard. The first
legislation he signed after taking
office was to declare April 19
through 25 "One Neat City Week."
Then he went down and pushed a
broom around the Powell Street
j cable car turnaround for the cam-
1 The coalition has hopes of dou
bling the number of trash cans in
San Francisco to 5,000. A prototype
that also has a recycling compart
ment has been designed. It's hoped
that companies will spend the
$1,000 they're expected to cost and
put them outside their places of
The more than 150 firms and
organizations already signed up
will embark on a city wide cleanup
the week of April 19 that will re
move tons of trash and debris from
the streets. Tons more will remain,
but it will be a start
Among those signed up are the
Gap boss Dan Fisher, PG&E chief
executive officer Dick Clark, Gi
ants owner Bob Lurie, Bank of
America head Dick Rosenberg,
Chamber of Commerce president
Don Doyle and San Francisco
Beautiful chairman Alan Hile.
"People once cared about how
the city looked, and we nave to get
back to that," said Swig. She favors
stiffening laws against littering.
"In Singapore they just about
cut off an arm If you throw trash
on the ground. We wouldn't want
to go that far. Maybe a fingertip
would be enough."
But this reminds her of a story.
"One time on 19th Avenue I saw a
man in a car throw an empty ciga-
ret pack out of his car. It was a red
light and I got out of my car,
picked it up and said, 'I think you
dropped something.' "
Mistaking intent, he expressed
interest in a closer relationship
and asked about price. Swig decid
ed that this form of anti-litter
evangelism might not be the best
way to go.
So far, almost 1,500 people have
taken part In neighborhood clean
ups, collecting almost 1,400 bags of
trash. Service clubs and businesses
are being asked to adopt trash "hot
spots" such as Union Square and
clean them up regularly.
Groups wanting to do a cleanup
get the loan of brooms, dustpans
and bags from the Department of
Public Works. A DPW truck will
then haul away the trash. Further
Information can be had by tele
phoning (415) 553-2913.
"It's a funny thing," Swig says.
'People from New York come
here and say the city looks pretty
clean to them. They should've seen
what it used to look like "
INDEX- -William Somers Mailliard
Abbott, Sam, 62
Alaska, fish canneries, 76-77,
American President Lines, 52
anticommunism , 54-56
Army, U.S. Sixth, 56
Atherton, Gertrude, 9
Bacon, Bob, 221
Bank of America, 239-241
Bank of California, 17
Barbey, Admiral, 117, 121-122,
Belvedere, California, 35, 42,
59-60, 82, 94, 95
Blyth, Charles, 134, 193
Blyth-Zellerbach Committee, 240
Bonaparte, Joseph, 179
Bordentown Military Academy
Boys Club, 205, 213
Bromar Inc. , 47, 237-238
Brown, Edmund G. , Sr. , 134, 209,
Brown-Massey Co., 237
Brown- Page, Doris, 16
Bridges, Harry, 54-56, 77, 196
Bridgman, Anita, 28, 96, 155-156
Bridgman, George Templeton, 96
Bridgman, Jack Mailliard, 3, 28,
67, 69, 155-156
Buckingham, Page, 17
Burbank, Luther, 80
bureaucracy, 148-149, 200-201
Burton, Phillip, 3, 174, 196,
business, and the community, 38-
40, 52-54, 72, 238-240
Caen, Herb, 176, 220, 235, 242
California Academy of Sciences,
22, 37, 49-50. 58
California Centennial Commission,
California Medical Association,
California State Society, 209
Caseys, 168, 169
Century Club, 226
Chamber of Commerce , San
Francisco, 35, 52-54, 175, 196.
Charles, Caroline, 173, 243
Chile, California connections,
10, 12, 14-16, 44
Christopher, George, 135, 175,
177, 178, 188
civic unrest, 222
Commager, Henry Steele, 6-7
Congress, 121, 141, 147, 190,
constituents, 14, 51, 55
district offices, 3-4, 176
House Foreign Affairs Committee,
147, 151, 153, 211
House Marine & Fisheries
Committee. 132-133, 151
House Public Works Committee,
Senate Foreign Relations
conservation, 65-66, 199, 223
corruption, 55, 57-58
Cow Palace, see San Francisco.
Craig, Malin, 56
Crawford, Thomas, 84
DeFaustino, Genevieve Casey, 169
Democratic party, Democrats, 55,
135-137, 142, 153, 175, 178,
191, 193, 196-197, 210
Dobbs, Harold, 174, 176, 195, 242
Dullea, Charles, 58
election campaigns, 3
congressional, 29, 55, 116,
131, 145, 189, 194
gubernatorial, 130, 189, 192, 198
San Francisco, 57-58, 174-177,
188, 195-196, 202, 214, 218-
220, 240, 242
Engle, Lu, 210
Eyre, Ted, 45, 62
Fair Hills (San Rafael), 30
flower children, 222
Ford, Gerald, 147, 149
Friis, Marie, 78
Friis, Soren Baltzer, 75, 78
Frontier Boys, 225
Fulbright, William, 141
Garcia Gun Club, 62, 65, 158, 168
General Foods Corp., 73
Golden Gate National Recreation
Goldman, Rhoda Haas, 193
Goldman, Richard, 193
Grace Cathedral, 13, 157
Guardsmen, the, 212-213
Haggerty, Neil, 196
Hall, Mildred, 94
Hall, James Low, Jr., 94
Hall, Clark, 94
Harney, Jim & Charlene, 241
Havenner, Frank, 131
Hawes, Henry, 72, 168
health care, 189-191
Hellman family, 36
Hellman, Horace (Marco), 83
Hellman, Manuela, 83
Hinman, Frank, 113
Hooper family (Voodside), 81
Hooper, John, 82
Hooper, May, 82
horsebreeding, 155-156, 164, 167,
170-172, 185, 221-222, 224-225,
horses, raising and riding, 9
Howe, Julia Ward, 19, 84, 86-88
Howe, Maud, Elliott, 87-88
Hufstedler, Shirley, 138
Hume, Bill, 193
Hume, Jacquelin, 193
hunting, 59-62, 158, 169, 180,
Jaicks, Agar, 196
Johnson, Hiram, 57, 145
judges, appointment of, 134-138
Kai-shek, Chiang, 120-122
Kammerer, Greg, 230
Kendrick, Charles, 72, 73, 199
Kenny, Robert, 189, 192
Keyes, Bob, 230
Kingston, Peter, 231
Kissinger, Henry, 140-141, 144,
Knight, Goodwin, 198
Knowland, Joseph, Sr., 199
Knowland, William, 198-199, 206-
Kuchel, Thomas, 138, 209-210, 214
and politics, 132-133, 150,
174, 195-196, 214
and strikes, 53-57, 77
Lapham, Roger, 58-59, 188
Latin America, 144, 145-148
Lilienthal, John, 205
Lockhead, Jim, 193
logging industry, 199-201, 223,
Lynn, Wally, 210
Mailliard & Schmeidell Corp., 18,
29, 38, 39-40, 42, 45-49, 52,
63, 93, 203, 224, 237-238
Mailliard family, 42, 140, 146,
155-156, 179. See also
individuals by name.
Mailliard Foundation, 204-205
Mailliard Kammerer, Sherrie, 230
Mailliard Keyes. Terry, 230
Mailliard Kingston, Christine,
Mailliard Redwoods State Reserve,
Mailliard, Adolph (great
grandfather), 7-9, 18, 20, 23-
27, 30-31, 33, 84, 88, 159
Mailliard, Annie Vard (great-
grandmother), 21, 25, 84
Mailliard, Antoinette, 32, 231
Mailliard, Aunt Bay, see Marion
Mailliard, Caroline, 229
Mailliard, Charlotte Smith
(interviewee), 47, 49, 215-216,
Mailliard, Cora, 21-22
Mailliard, Elizabeth Whinney
(first Mrs. William S.
Mailliard), 36, 89
Mailliard, Eloi, 7-8
Mailliard, Emily Tompkins , 22
Mailliard, Ernest Chase, 22
Mailliard, Henry Ward (son), 231
Mailliard, Howard, 169, 230
Mailliard, James (brother), 6,
51, 53, 70, 90, 97, 116-117,
119, 121, 141. 181, 184, 193,
195, 202, 228, 229
and ranch, 204, 205, 212, 214,
business, 224, 237
Mailliard, Jean (Mrs. Thomas),
Mailliard, John Ward
(grandfather), 11, 18, 21-22,
28, 35, 37, 45, 46 49, 60, 71,
Mailliard, John Ward, Jr. (Ward),
(father), 6, 12, 22, 25, 27,
29-30, 32, 45-46, 51, 202, 228
business, 71-73, 77, 79, 105.
civic activities, 35, 43-44,
49-50, 98, 120, 171, 199, 239,
1934 general strike, 52-55
family life, 59-61, 69-70. 79,
90, 95, 99, 102, 112, 115,
165, 171, 187, 224
Police Commission, 56-58
politics, 130, 131, 134. 175,
177, 189, 195
Port Commission, 129
recreation, 62-63, 65-66, 68,
103, 109, 158-160, 184, 220,
Mailliard, John Ward III (Jack),
(brother), 8, 11, 13, 29, 39,
46, 52, 72, 89, 97-98, 202
business, 93, 171, 200, 237-238
civic activities, 49, 53, 66,
157, 173, 175-177, 193. 215-
216, 219-220, 222, 235-237,
family life, 113-116, 122, 127.
185, 229, 233
marriage to Charlotte Smith,
218-219, 221, 224-225. 234
military service, 117-119, 127
politics, 195, 197-198, 223-224
recreation, 99-101. 160, 163-
164, 166, 168, 170, 180, 181,
220, 224, 232
Mailliard, Joseph, 21-23, 27-29,
37-38, 45, 49, 60
Mailliard, Julia Ward, 32
Mailliard, Kate Peterson (Mrs.
John Ward, Jr.), (mother), 27,
30, 37, 59-61, 70, 201, 227-228,
and politics, 193, 194-195,
civic interests, 199, 226, 236-
in Mendocino, 62-68, 69, 105-
108, 111, 157-158, 161, 162,
165, 169, 216, 225-226, 232-
see also Mendocino County ranch
youth and family, 77, 80, 90,
91, 92. 94-97, 104, 112-114,
Mailliard, Kathy, 229
Mailliard, Lawrence, 161, 170,
185, 223, 230, 237
Mailliard, Lizzie Page (Nana) ,
(grandmother), 8-12, 29, 42,
81, 89, 91-92
Mailliard, Louis, 7-8, 26
Mailliard, Louisa Marguerite
(Louille), 21-23, 28, 30, 37-38
Mailliard, Mae Page, 81
Mailliard, Marguerite Angelique
Mailliard, Margot, 229
Mailliard, Millicent Fox (second
Mrs. William S. Mailliard), 3,
31, 178, 215, 231
Mailliard, Page, 17, 67, 81
Mailliard, Patricia, 17
Mailliard, Peggy, 221
Mailliard, Rena Hort, 22-23
Mailliard, Richard, 17
Mailliard, Sally VanSicklen, 220-
221, 228, 234
Mailliard, Sandy, 230
Mailliard, Tanya, 230
Mailliard, Thomas Page, 46, 168,
Mailliard, Victoria Leigh, 32
Mailliard, William Somers, Jr.
(son), 12, 26, 32, 89, 99, 160,
185, 186, 215, 231
Malone, Bill, 197
Maloney, Tommy, 3, 132, 214
Mansfield, Mike, 141-143
Marin County, 11, 22, 30, 35, 37,
41-42, 79, 83, 93. See also San
Geronimo and Belvedere.
San Rafael, 35, 98
Marin Yacht Club, 79
May, Cliff, 221
McAllister, Hall, 20, 28
McAllister, Meta, 19-20
McAllister, Ward, 101
McBean, Peter, 13
McClaren, Lloyd, 45
McCloskey, Pete, (Paul, Jr.), 212
Mcllhenney's Tabasco Co., 39,
McKee, Gale, 148
McPhee, Chester, 188
media, 146, 168, 176, 192
Mendocino County, 232
fairs, 110-111, 165-166
Mailliard ranch, 11, 13, 61,
105-109, 157-170, 179-182,
199-202, 216, 220-221, 223-
224, 225, 228-231, 234, 237
Robin, 82, 91, 108
Merriam, Frank, 192
Miller, Earl, 78, 168
Miller, Harriet Peterson, 76
Miller, John, 78, 168
minorities, 214, 222
Moffat family, 168
Monteagle, Kenneth, 45
Moore, Marion Leigh Mailliard
Baldwin, 157, 178
Murphy, George, 211
My San Francisco, 9
Nash, Ted, 101
Nicholson, Don, 189
Nimitz, Chester, 103, 130
Nixon, Richard, 134, 137, 138,
140, 142, 144, 149
Ogle, Bide, 62, 65, 66
Ogle, Alvie, 62, 159, 165
Olson, Culbert, 192
Organization of American States,
140-141, 144, 145-147
and Panama Canal, 150-152
Ornbaum family, 65, 66, 118, 159,
162, 163, 181-182
Orrick, William, 135
Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 241
Pacific Lumber Co., 201
Pacific Telesis, 241
Pacific Union Club, 13
Page family, 8-12, 17-30, 42, 44,
Page, Anna [Persson] Liljevalch,
Page, Arthur, 17, 35
Page, Emelita Ralston, 17
Page, Jack, 103
Page, Mary Ann Delano, 11
Page, Meta, 20
Page, Olof, 11, 14
Page, Ralston, 18
Page, Thomas Stokes, 10-12
Page, Thomas Stokes [Jr.], 11, 17
Palace Hotel, 17
Pan-American Union, 146
Peace Corps, 153-154
Peterson family, 14, 35-36, 60,
79, 82, 156
Peterson, Baltzer, 77-78, 79,
Peterson, Carrie, 76, 82-83
Peterson, Ferd (grandfather), 75,
Peterson, Frank, 76-77
Peterson, Harriet Miller, 76, 82-
Peterson, Helen Holton (Mrs.
Somers), (grandmother), 79, 96,
155. 163, 167
Peterson, Jeanne, 78, 155
Peterson, Kate, see Kate Peterson
Peterson, Louise, 156
Peterson, Mae (Mrs. Ferd), 81,
Peterson, Mae Jeanne Somers
(daughter), 78, 81
Peterson, Marie, 75
Peterson, Meta Simmons, 19, 76
Peterson, Seabury, 77
Peterson, Somers, 59, 72, 78, 79-
80, 93, 155, 156, 167, 168, 231
Peterson, Soren (Friis), 75
Peterson, Ted, 193
philanthropy, 50-51, 199, 204-
205, 212-213, 215-216, 220, 232,
benefit parties, 234-237, 242-
Pike, James, 13-14
Pronsolino, Betty, 233
Pronsolino, Guido, 232-233
Quinn, Bill. 86
Ralston family, 17
Rancheros Vistadores, 225
Reagan, Ronald, 207-208
Red Salmon Canning Co., 76-77,
religion, 12-13, 157
Republic Party, Republicans, 3,
55, 130-132, 134, 135-137, 174-
175, 178, 209, 210, 214
and Congress, 143, 144, 147,
campaigns , 194
Finance Committee, 187, 191,
State Central Committee, 206-
Robinson, Elmer, 188
Roche, Theodore, 59
Rolph, Henry, 134
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 55
Roosevelt, James, 132
Roseberry, Lord, 85
Rosenberg, Richard & Barbara, 241
Rossi, Angelo, 56-57
Roth, William Matson, 101
Rush, Ted, 140
Salinger, Pierre, 211
1934 general strike, 53-56, 69
Academy of Sciences, 49-50
Board of Supervisors, 202, 213
Chief of Protocol, 241, 245
Cow Palace, 43-44. 197-198,
222, 224, 229
early neighborhoods, growth of,
35, 82, 91, 92
fire (1906), 237
French community in, 29
General Hospital, 243
Lowell High School, 99
Police Commission, 56-58, 219,
Port of, 52, 54, 56, 120, 129
public ceremonies, 86, 235, 237
Public Library, 244
San Francisco (cont.)
benefit parties, 234-235
see also elections
San Francisco Foundation, 204-205
San Geronimo (Mailliard ranch in
Marin County), 11, 23, 25, 29-
31, 42, 60, 88
Schilling, Rudy, 101
Schmeidell, Alice, 38
Schmeidell, Ed, 38
Shaw, Edward B. , 115
sheep ranching, 104-108, 226,
Sheldon, Irene, 155
Shelley, Jack, 54, 174-177, 195,
Shriver, Sargent, 153
Simon, William, 148
Skewes-Cox family, 11, 155
Skewes-Cox, Edith Page, 15
Skewes-Cox, Vernon, 15
Smith, Anita Page, 15
Somers, Burbank, 81
Somers, George, "Uncle Doctor,"
Somers, Kate Burbank, 80
Somers, Mae Peterson, 81
Somers, May Hooper (Mrs. George),
Somers, William James, 80, 82, 92
Sonoma County, 11-12, 30
Sonoma County Trailblazers , 221,
SOS Company, 71-74, 168
Spellman, Cardinal, 117-118
Spong, William, 142-143
SPUR [San Francisco Planning and
Urban Renewal Association] ,
176, 219, 240, 242
State Department, U.S., 149
Steinhart, Jesse, 188
Sullivan, Jerd, 240
Swig, Ben, 133, 134, 209-210, 238
Swig, Charlotte (Mrs. Melvin) , see
Swig, Dee, 242
Swig, Melvin, 117, 133, 238-239,
Swig, Richard, 238
Swinerton, Bill, 101
Taft, Horace, 45, 98, 99
Taft School, 44-45, 171
Tahoe , 180
Tamalpais School, 98-99
Thacher School, 98
Tharp, Louise, 85
This Was My Newport, 89
Three Saints & a Sinner, 6, 18,
Traina, John, 161
Transamerica Corp., 241
transportation, 34-35, 42, 54,
Tunney, John, 211
United Nations, 145-146, 147, 150
United Way, 243
University of California
Berkeley, 45, 102, 104, 134
Ward family, 8, 18, 20, 25
Ward, Henry, 87-88
Ward, Louisa Crawford Terry, 84
Ward, Sam, 18-19, 85, 87 '
Warren, Earl, 129-130, 132, 134,
136-138, 189, 192, 196, 208-210
Watson, Jack, 168
Webb, U.S. , 62
Weill, Eli, 72
Weinberger, Caspar, 205-207
Welch, Dick, 132
Wells Fargo Bank, 52
Welsh, Dick, 214
Western Pacific Railroad, 52
Whitaker, Clem, Sr., 189, 191
Wilcox, Francis Orlando, 143
Wilson, James, 105-106
Wilson, Peggy, 105
Witter, Dean, 193
Wollenberg, Al , 141-142
women, 86-87, 89, 95, 137-138,
195, 225, 227-228
World Health Organization, 145
World War II, 51, 73, 167, 172,
in the Pacific, 117-128
military training, 103-104
Yale University, 25, 31, 32, 44,
51, 100-103, 104, 171, 172, 224
Young & Rubican Co. , 244
Zellerbach family, 241
Zumvalt, Elmo, 210
Interviewer-editor, Regional Oral History Office, 1970-present.
Specialist in state government history, Bay Area community concerns;
focus on key participants' perceptions of selected administrative,
social, economic, and political issues in California 1938-present.
Project director, Bay Area Foundation History Projects (1974-1977,
1986- ), UC Black Alumni Project (1984- " ), Ronald Reagan
Gubernatorial Era Project (1979-1990), Volunteer Leaders Series,
(1978- ), Cutter Laboratories Project (1972-1974).
Coordinator, California State Archives Government History Project,
University of California, Berkeley, component, 1986-1990.
Panelist and consultant, Joint Center for Political Studies, Oral
History Association, Northwest Oral History Association, National
Council on Public History, UC Santa Barbara public history program,
Society of American Archivists, local historical societies and museums;
advisor, UC Office of Relations with Schools, UC Graduate School of
Education, California Heritage Quilt Project, California Heritage Task
Historian, U.S. Air Force, documentation of Berlin Air Force, other
post-World War II issues. Research, writing, policy development on
community issues for University of California, Bay Area Council of
Social Planning, Berkeley Unified School District, others.
Graduate of Connecticut College, New London, in economics;
independent study in journalism, creative writing; additional study at
Trinity College and Stanford University.