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MOND 441 

History of Alameda County 


The discovery of the Bay of San Francisco was due to the determination of 
King Carlos III of Spain to occupy and colonize Alta California and was the 
joint work of both church and state. In this movement Jose de Galvez repre- 
sented the state — a man of great energy and ability, the visitador-general of New 
Spain. He arrived at La Paz in July, 1768, and at once began an inspection of 
the peninsular missions and after supplying their wants and putting them in 
prosperous condition, he turned his attention to his principal duty — the coloniza- 
tion of Alta California, now known merely as California. The first movement 
was an expedition both by land and sea to San Diego and Monterey, and three 
ships were dispatched to carry to those points all the heavier articles, such as 
agricultural implements, church ornaments and the bulky provisions of all sorts 
for the soldiers and the priests after their arrival. The expedition by land drove 
cattle and horses to the two objective points. The expedition was divided into 
two detachments, one going in advance under the command of Captain Rivera y 
Moncada, who had been in the country many years, and the other under the 
command of Gov. Caspar de Portola, who had recently arrived from Spain. 
Captain Rivera first collected from the peninsular missions all the live stock and 
supplies that could be spared and conveyed them to Santa Maria, which then was 
the most northerly of the established missions. Large quantities of provisions 
were collected at La Paz, and Father Serra visited all the missions and secured 
much church furniture, sacred ornaments and vestments. 

The first vessel sent northward on this expedition was the San Carlos, which 
sailed from La Paz, January 9, 1769, under the command of Vicente Vila. On 
board in addition to the crew were twenty-five Catalonian soldiers under the 
command of Lieutenant Pages, a surgeon Pedro Prat, a Franciscan friar, a 
baker, two blacksmiths, a cook and two tortilla makers. Galvez in a small vessel 
accompanied the San Carlos as far as Cape San Lucas, where he landed and fitted 
out the San Antonio for the same expedition. On February 15th, this vessel under 
the command of Juan Perez sailed from San Jose del Cabo and on it went two 
Franciscan friars — Juan Viscaino and Francisco Gomez. For this movement 
Captain Rivera y Moncada collected cattle and supplies at Velicata on the north- 
ern frontier. It was from this point on the frontier that Captain Rivera y 
Moncada with a squad of soldiers, a number of neophytes, three muleteers and 
Father Crespi, began the movement to San Diego on March 24, 1769. The 


second land expedition began its march from Loreto on March 9, 1769, and was 
commanded by Gov. Caspar de Portola, who was joined at Santa Maria on May 
5th by Father Serra. and in due time they reached the camp of the first expedition 
at Velicata, which had recently been vacated. Here Father Serra founded a 
mission and called it San Fernando and left Father Campa Cay in charge. One 
of the objects of the establishment of this mission was to provide a frontier post 
on the route between the peninsular missions and the proposed settlements and 
missions of xA.lta California. On May 15th, Portola marched northward along the 
trail marked out by Rivera. The San Antonio was the first vessel to arrive at 
San Diego, where it cast anchor April 11, 1769, after an unsuccessful voyage of 
twenty-four days. After a voyage of one hundred days the San Carlos reached 
San Diego bay, all her crew sick with the scurvy, with scarcely a person well 
enough to man a boat. All were taken ashore and kept under care in tents where 
fully half of the soldiers and nine of the sailors finally died. Previous to all this 
the Rivera detachment arrived, making the land journey from ^'elicata in fifty- 
one days. On July ist, the second detachment of the land expedition arrived. All 
the four divisions of the expedition — the two vessels and the two land detach- 
ments — were now at San Diego. Of the 219 persons who had set out only 126 
remained, all the others having died or deserted. 

Upon taking a summary of the conditions it was found that neither of the 
vessels was equal to the voyage to Monterey, the next objective point ; where- 
upon it was concluded to send the San Antonio back to San Bias for more sailors 
and supplies to man the San Carlos. She sailed on July 9th, reached her destina- 
tion in twenty days, but during the voyage one-half of the crew died of scurvy. 
With both vessels unable to proceed the entire responsibility of carrying out the 
mandates of the king rested upon the land expedition. Resolutely Governor 
Portola began to organize and prepare his forces for the overland march. He 
moved forward on July 14th with a total force of sixty-two persons, including 
himself, Fathers Crespi and Gomez, Captain Rivera y Moncada, Lieut. Pedro 
Fages, Engineer Aliguel Constanso and soldiers, muleteers and Indian servants. 
Two days after his departure Fathers Junipero, Viscaino and Parron founded the 
mission of San Diego. 

The two detachments were united and marched northward in one body. 
They carried one hundred packs of provisions which were deemed necessary to 
ration the expedition for six months and until the vessels could become refitted 
and could return with additional supplies. At the head marched the commander 
and the other officers accompanied by six Catalonian soldiers and a small band 
of friendly Indians provided with spades, axes, mattocks and crowbars to open 
the way when necessary. Then came the pack train divided into four detach- 
ments. In the rear were the other troops and friendly Indians and the horse 
herd and mule herd reserves, all under the command of Rivera. Necessarily 
the march was slow, because the trail had to be cleared and the country studied 
in reference to supplies of good water and available pastures. Multitudes of 
Indians appeared and accompanied them along stages of the march. .\s they 
advanced it was noted that the lands became more fertile and the landscape more 
pleasing and alluring. The Indians were aft'able and tractable. The Sierra y 
Santa Lucia was crossed with great difficulty. They reached the Point of Pines 
on October ist, and at first thought they had reached the Port of Monterey. An 


investigation revealed their mistake, whereupon they resumed their march north- 
ward. Many were now sick with the scurvy and to add to the gravity of the 
situation the rains began and an epidemic of diarrhea broke out and spread to 
all without exception. When the outlook seemed darkest all suddenly began to 
get well and in a short time were restored to health, no doubt by an improve- 
ment in the water and other health conditions. 

Bay of San Francisco was thus described by Constanso : "The last day of 
October the expedition by land came in sight of Port de los Reyes and the Faral- 
lones of the Port of San Francisco whose landmarks compared with those related 
by the log of the Pilot Cabrera Bueno were found exact. Thereupon it became 
of evident knowledge that the Port of Monterey^ had been left behind; there 
being few who stuck to the contrary opinion. Nevertheless the commandant 
resolved to send a detachment to reconnoiter the land as far as Port de los Reyes. 
The scouts, who were commissioned for this purpose, found themselves 
obstructed by immense estuaries which run extraordinarily far back into the land 
and were obliged to make great detours to get around the heads of these. 
* * * Having arrived at the end of the first estuary and reconnoitered the 
land that would have to be followed to arrive at the Point de los Reyes, inter- 
rupted with new estuaries, scant pasturage and firewood and having recognized, 
besides this, the uncertainty of the news and the misapprehension the scouts had 
labored under, the commandant with the advice of his officers, resolved upon a 
retreat to the Point of Pines in hopes of finding the Port of Monterey and 
encountering in it the packet San Jose or the San Antonio whose succor already 
was necessary, since of the provisions which had been taken in San Diego no 
more remained than some few sacks of flour of which a short ration was issued 
to each individual daily." 

It appears, then, that the Portola expedition reached Point Corral de Tierra 
on October 30, (1769) and formed a camp at Half Moon bay. Father Crespi 
named the headland to the westward Point Guardian Angel, but the sailors called 
it Punta de Almeja or Mussel Point. A preliminary exploration of that vicinity 
revealed to the advance observers of the expedition, from a high ridge. Point 
Reyes and part of the Bay of San Francisco and the Farralones out seaward. A 
counter-march having been decided upon, it was concluded that before doing so 
an exploration of the surrounding country should be made. Accordingly 
Sergeant Ortega, in command of a squad of soldiers, was sent out to the hills to 
the northeastward with instructions to return at the expiration of three days. In 
the meantime, while awaiting his return the hunters of the expedition were per- 
mitted to roam throughout the region in quest of game. On November 2nd, 
several of them returned with the report that they had discovered a vast and 
beautiful bay extending far inland, and on the 3rd, upon the return of the Ortega 
party, this important discovery was fully confirmed and was heralded with the 
discharge of musketry, the shouts of the expedition, the waving of flags and 
other evidences of satisfaction and joy. 

The whole expedition prepared on the following day to advance and learn 
more of this discovery. Upon reaching the summit of the hills they saw before 
them the splendid bay which in their enthusiasm they compared with the Medi- 
terranean sea. They endeavored to pass around the southern arm in order to 
reach Point Reyes and on the evening of November 6th struck camp on San Fran- 


cisquito creek near Menlo Park. Advance couriers sent out reported tliat the 
bay extended far to the southeastward, and it was then decided that, owing to 
their exhausted condition, the sickness that prevailed and the depleted state of 
their supplies and ammunition, they should return to Point of Pines, which was 
accordingly done, the return march commencing November nth. They reached 
that point on November 27th and remained there until December 9th searching 
for the harbor of Monterey and waiting for the return of the schooners with 
stores and reinforcements. Not meeting with success in either of these objects 
they finally, on December 9th, began their weary march for San Diego. 

The expedition of Captain Bautista, consisting of Lieutenant Pages, Father 
Crespi, twelve soldiers and two servants, left Monterey on March 20, 1772, and 
the same day reached the Salinas river, which at that time was the Santa Delfina. 
This is the first exploration of the region now comprised in the counties of Santa 
Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa. Father Crespi's description of it is full and 
interesting. According to it, the explorers reached the San Benito on the 21st, 
near the present city of Hollister. On the 22d, after crossing the San Pascual 
plain into the San Francisco valley, they encamped a little to the north of the 
site now occupied by Gilroy. The next day they traveled to the northwest 
entering the so-called "Robles del Puerto de San Francisco" in Santa Clara 
valley, which Governor Portola's expedition visited in 1769. The plan of the 
present exploration was to get to San Francisco under Punta de Reyes. 

Pursuing their march, they were on San Leandro bay on the 26th. On the 
27th they climbed the hills of the present East Oakland to round "an estuary 
which extends about four or five leagues inland" to San Antonio creek and 
Lake Peralta (Merritt) ; thence they got to the "mouth by which the two great 
estuaries communicate with the Ensenada de los Farallones." Tarrying on the 
site of the present Berkeley, and looking out through the entrance to the Bay 
of San Francisco, they saw three islands. The next day they "saw a round 
bay like a great lake" — San Pablo — and were prevented by the Strait of Car- 
quinez from rounding it. On the 30th they got to Arroyo de las Nueces, near 
Pacheco, and following their march finally camped at a short distance from the 
bank of a river "the largest that has been discovered in New Spain." They 
called it San Francisco, but its modern name is the San Joaquin. But on reach- 
ing the San Joaquin, as they were without means, either to cross the great rivers, 
having no boats, or to go round them for lack of men and supplies, they con- 
cluded to march back to Monterey by a shorter route. Passing through the 
valleys which now bear the names of San Ramon and Amador, they entered 
that of Sunol, calling the latter Santa Coleta ; thence approached the site where 
the mission San Jose was established later, and finally pitched their camp on 
the San Francisco de Paula stream, near the present Milpitas. After this they 
followed the same route they had come by the last march. 

Alameda county was thus first explored I)y the Spaniards in 1772. The first 
spot settled in it by white men was the mission San Jose, begun on the iilh, and 
completed and dedicated on the 27th of June, 1797. The place was called by the 
Indians, Oroysom. The founder of the mission was Father Fernin Francisco de 
Lasuen, president of the Franciscan missionaries, in the presence of Fathers 
Isidore Barcenilla and .-Xgustin Merino, and of Sergt. Pedro Amador, and a 
detachment of soldiers from the San Francisco presidial company, leathers 


Barcenilla and Merino were the first ministers, but the old records show that at 
the first baptism Father Magin Catala, of Santa Clara, officiated. 

There is no evidence to show that any member of the Portola expedition 
set foot in what is now Alameda county. They had no boats with them on the 
trip to the bay and did not pass around the southern arm, but of course could 
easily see the eastern or Alameda county shore. 

Previous to 1775 no further attempt to explore the Bay of San Francisco or 
found a mission on its shores was made, but in that year Lieutenant Agala was 
ordered to make explorations there with the view of forming settlements. Rivera 
had examined the present site of San Francisco in 1769, as before narrated. 
In 1775 the ^Mexican authorities sent from Sonora to California, via the Colorado 
river, an expedition of 200 settlers with the expectation of forming a settlement 
at San Francisco, but was defeated in this attempt by the envious Rivera, who on 
September 17, 1776, established the presidio at what is now Fort Point, San 
Francisco. In all about one hundred and fifty persons assembled there. A church 
was built and on October 9, 1776, the mission was duly dedicated on the Laguna 
de los Dolores. 

\\'hile dealing with the march of Capt. Juan Bautista, of the Portola party, 
from ^Monterey, when seeking for San Francisco, Father Palou, California's 
first historian, makes mention of the region in which Alameda county is now 
located, in these words : 'Tn the valley of San Jose, the party coming up by 
land, saw some animals which they took for cattle, though they could not 
imagine where they came from ; and, supposing they were wild and would 
scatter the tame ones they were driving, the soldiers made after them and suc- 
ceeded in killing three, which were so large that a mule could with difficulty 
carry one, being of the size of an ox, and with horns like those of a deer, but 
so long that their tips were eight feet apart. This was their first view of the 
elk. The soldiers made the observation that they could not run against the wind 
by reason of their monstrous antlers." It is but reasonable to suppose that the 
valley called San Jose by Father Palou is that portion of the country situated at 
its southern end, where was subsequently erected the mission bearing that 
name. It is not likely that the Santa Clara valley was meant, for that district 
was then called San Bernardino, and the pueblo of San Jose was not estab- 
lished until November 29, 1777, while the holy father speaks of the year 1773; 
besides it is known that a portion of Murray township was long called El Valle 
de San Jose, and the gentle slope in what is now the district of Washington 
Corners, the Mission and Harrisburg was not infrequently designated the San 
Jose valley. Palou goes on to remark that "after the presidio and before the 
mission was established (in San Francisco) an exploration of the interior was 
organized, as usual, by sea (the bay) and land. Point San Pablo was given as 
the rendezvous, but the Captain of the presidio (Moraga), who undertook in 
person to lead the land party, failed to appear there, having, with a desire to 
shorten the distance, entered a canon somewhere near the head of the bay, 
which took him over to the San Joaquin River. So he discovered that stream." 
Thus it is plain that one party proceeded down the San Mateo side of the bay, 
crossed over to its eastern shore, where, coming to the spot where now stands 
the hamlet of Niles, and, following the rocky banks of the Alameda creek, 
ultimately came into the Livermore valley, crossing which they emerged into 


the wide expanse of territory through which flows the San Joaquin, which 
Moraga named in honor of his brother. 

During the gubernatorial regime of Don FeHpe de Neve, which commenced 
in December, 1774, and closed September, 1782, reports on the topography, 
character, and condition of Upper California, and what situations were most 
suitable for establishments, were frequently made to His Most Catholic Majesty, 
the King of Spain, through the Viceroy in Mexico. The country from north 
to south, from San Diego to San Francisco, was carefully examined and per- 
mission sought to locate two pueblos or towns, viz.: That tract of land, now 
Los Angeles, which lies contiguous to the river La Portincula, 126 miles from 
San Diego, and six from the mission of San Gabriel, and also that tract on the 
margin of the River Guadalupe, seventy-eight miles from the presidio of 
Monterey, forty-eight from that of San Francisco, and 2^4 miles from the mis- 
sion of Santa Clara. The pueblo of San Jose became a subject to annual inunda- 
tion, and, after protracted delays (during the administration of Don Diego de 
Borica, between the years 1794 and 1800), the village was moved to higher 
ground in 1797. To effect this relief as well as to establish another pueblo, to 
be called Branciforte, Borica dispatched Don Pedro de Allerni, with instructions 
to examine the country and report to him those sites that he thought most con- 
venient for the purpose. This he duly transmitted, as follows: 

"Having examined the points set forth in the foregoing superior official com- 
munication, as well as those requiring me to set forth all that I might think neces- 
sary, I might reply as follows: The principal object and view of the whole 
matter may be reduced to the project formed by Don Jose Maria Beltram, and 
forwarded by the Royal Tribunal de Mentas to the Most Excellent Viceroy, in 
relation to the establishing of a villa, or poblacion; and its being necessary to 
remember that in order to attain the desired end an eye must be had to such 
favorable circumstances as are required to give the inhabitants of the same the 
necessary advantages, such as a plentiful supply of water, wood, irrigable and 
arable lands, forests, pastures, stone, lime or earth for adobes; and having 
been commissioned to this end for the examination which I made with the Seiior 
Governor, Don Diego Borica, of the country, from the [Mission of Santa Cruz, 
Arroyo del Pajaro, and the IMissjon of Santa Clara, to the place of the Alameda, 
and the country around the Presidio and the Fort of San Francisco, and the 
mission of the same name — after a careful and scrupulous examination of these 
places with the engineer extraordinary, Don Alberto de Candoba, I found that 
the place of the Alameda, although it contains a creek, still that it atlords but 
little water, and that the channel is so deep that it is difficult to obtain water 
therefrom for irrigating the extensive plains of what appears to be good lands; 
but as the place is without fuel, timber, and pasturage, which cannot be obtained 
save at the distance of many leagues, it is clear that it is unsuitable for the 
project under consideration." It is reasonable to claim "the place of the Alameda" 
as the Alameda creek of today, for its wooded banks when first seen by these 
explorers might easily have led them to suppose it an avenue or grove or grace- 
ful willows and silver-barked sycamores. But how it was that he found no water 
for irrigating purposes, no woods and no site for a village, is incomprehensible. 
The present sites of Alameda and Oakland were densely covered with fine old 
oaks and the giant redwoods reared their tall heads to the sky in the hills near 


where now East Oakland stands. While Diego de Borcia was yet governor of 
Upper California, on June ii, 1797, the Mission de San Jose aptly termed 
"The Cradle of Alameda County" was established. It was founded at the 
expense of the Catholic King of Spain, Charles IV, and by order of the Marquis 
of Branciforte, Viceroy and General Governor of New Spain. The San Jose 
mission commenced on Sunday, nth of June, 1797, the feast of the Most Holy 
Trinity. Father Lamen thus described the proceedings : "I, the undersigned, 
President of these Missions of New California, placed by His Majesty under 
the care of the apostolical college of the propaganda fide of St. Fernando de 
Mexico, blessed water, the place, and a big cross, and with great veneration we 
hoisted it. Immediately after we sang the litanies of the Saints and I celebrated 
the holy sacrifice of the mass and preached to the army and to the native Indians 
who were there, and we ended the ceremony singing solemnly the Te Deum. 
At the same time I appointed for the first missionaries Rev. Fr. Ysidoro 
Barcenilla and Rev. Augustine Merino, A. M." 

Thus was the Mission San Jose established, ten miles to the north of the 
pueblo of that name and forty to the east of San Francisco, on a plateau indent- 
ing the Contra Costa hills and facing the southern extremity of the Bay of San 
Francisco. Behind it were the beautiful Calaveras and Sunol valleys; Mission 
Peak rose immediately in its rear like a giant sentinel indexing its location ; 
while, in its vicinity. Nature had abundantly supplied every want. The first 
building erected was a chapel, a small adobe edifice which was enlarged by 
seven varas in the second year of its existence. A wall' forty-seven varas long, 
four high and six wide, thatched with tules, was constructed, water flumes laid, 
and, being in the presidial jurisdiction of San Francisco, soldiers were sent 
from there to keep guard over it, and bring the natives in for purposes of 

In the establishment of missions the three agencies brought to bear were 
the military, the civil, and the religious, being each represented by the presidio 
or garrison; the pueblo — the town or civic community, and the mission — the 
church, which played the most prominent part. Says one writer: "The 
Spaniards had then, what we are lacking today — a complete municipal system. 
Theirs was derived from the Romans — the Roman civil law, and the Gothic, Span- 
ish and Mexican laws. Municipal communities were never incorporated into arti- 
ficial powers, with 'a common seal and perpetual succession, as with us under 
English and American laws ; consequently, under the former, communities in 
towns held their lands in common ; when thirty families had located on a spot, 
the pueblo or town was a fact. They were not incorporated, because the law 
did not make it a necessity, a general law or custom having established the 
system. The right to organize a local government, by the election of an alcalde 
or mayor, and a town council, which was known as an aguntamiento, was patent. 
Tlie instant the poblacion was formed, it became thereby entitled to four leagues 
oi land and the pobladors, citizens, held it in pro indivisa. The title was a gov- 
ernmental right." 

The missions were designed for the civilization and conversion of the Indians. 
ITie latter were instructed in the mysteries of religion (so far as they could 
comprehend them) and the arts of peace. Instruction of the savage in agri- 
culture and manufactures, as well as in prayers and elementary education, was 


the padre's business. The soldiers protected them from the hostility of the 
intractable natives, hunted down the latter and brought them within the confines 
of the mission to labor and for their salvation. The missions were usually 
quadrilateral buildings, two stories high, inclosing a court yard ornamented with 
fountains and trees, the whole consisting of the church, fathers' apartments, 
store houses, barracks, etc. The quadrilateral sides were about six hundred 
feet in length, one of which was partly occupied by the church, \\ithin the 
quadrangle and corresponding with the second story was a gallery running around 
the entire structure and opening upon the work shops, store rooms and other 

The entire management of each establishment was under the care of two 
missionaries, the elder attended to the interior and the younger to the exterior 
administration. One portion of the building, which was called the monastery, 
was inhabited by the young Indian girls. There, under the care of approved 
matrons, they were carefully trained and instructed in those branches neces- 
sary for their condition in life. They were not permitted to leave till of an age 
to be married and this with the view of preserving their morality. In the 
schools those who exhibited more talent than their companions were taught 
vocal and instrumental music, the latter consisting of the flute, horn, and 
violin. In the mechanical departments, too, the most apt were promoted to the 
position of foremen. The lietter to preserve the morals of all, none of the 
whites, except those absolutely necessary, were employed at the mission. 




Name of Mission Baptized Married 

San Diego 545- 1 460 

San Luis Rey 4.024 922 

San Juan Capistrano 3.879 1,026 

Santa Catarina 6,906 1,638 

San Fernando 2,519 709 

3,608 973 

Santa Barbara 4.917 1,288 

1. 195 330 

Purissima Concepcion 3.100 919 

San Luis Obispo 2.562 715 

San Miguel 2.205 ^^3- 

San .\ntonio de Padua 4.119 1.037 

Our Lady of Soledad 1 ,932 584 

San Carlos 3.267 912 

San Juan Bautista 3.270 823 

Santa Cruz 2,136 718 

Santa Clara ".324 2,056 

San Jose 4,573 i .376 

San Francisco 6,804 2,050 

San Rafael 829 244 












































It will be observed by the foregoing, that out of the 74,621 converts 
received into the missions the large number of 47,925 had succumbed to disease. 
Of what nature was this plague it is hard to establish ; the missionaries them- 
selves could assign no cause. Syphilis, measles, and small-pox carried off 
numbers. But these diseases were generated, in all probability, by a sudden 
change in their lives from a free, wandering existence, to a state of settled 

Two years after Mexico was formed into a republic, the Government author- 
ities began to interfere with the rights of the fathers and the existing state of 
affairs. In 1826 instructions were forwarded by the Federal Government to the 
authorities of California for the liberation of the Indians. This was followed, 
a few years later (1833-34), by another act of the Legislature, ordering the 
whole of the missions to be secularized and the religious to withdraw. The 
object assigned by the authors of the measure was the execution of the original 
plan formed by the Government. The missions, it was alleged, were never 
intended to be permanent establishments; they were to give way, in the course 
of some years, to the regular ecclesiastical system, when the people would be 
formed into parishes, attended by a secular clergy. Between these pretexts may 
probably have been an understanding between the Government at Mexico and 
the leading men in California, that in the change the Supreme Government might 
absorb the pious fund, under the belief that it was no longer necessary for mis- 
sionary purposes, and thus had reverted to the State as an escheat, while the 
civil authorities in California could use the local wealth of the missions, by 
the rapid and sure process of administering the temporalities. These laws (the 
secularization laws), whose purpose was to convert the missionary establish- 
ments into Indian pueblos, their churches into parish churches, and to elevate 
the Christianized Indians to the rank of citizens, were, however, executed in such 
a manner that the so-called secularization of the missions resulted only in their 
plunder and complete ruin, and in the demoralization and dispersion of the 
Christianized Indians. 

Immediately upon receipt of the decree, the then acting Governor of Cali- 
fornia, Don Jose Figueroa, commenced carrying out its provisions, to which 
end he prepared certain provisional rules, and in accordance therewith the 
alteration in the missionary system was begun. Within a very few years the 
exertions of the fathers were entirely destroyed. The lands which hitherto had 
teemed with abundance, were handed over to the Indians, to be by them neglected 
and permitted to return to their primitive wildness, and the thousands of cattle 
were divided among the people and the administrators for the personal' benefit 
of either. 

In 1S29, when Amador was major domo at the Mission San Jose, about one 
thousand Indians resided there. Of these about seven hundred died of small- 
pox that year and the cholera four years later took the remainder. They were 
found dead by the dozen around the springs and rancherias. The Spanish 
soldiers at the missions were kept, among other reasons, for the purpose of 
capturing and bringing to the missions the Indians to be Christianized, baptized 
and saved, because it was believed that all who died out of Christ were lost. 
Many of them resisted and were killed in the efforts to Christianize and civilize 
the remainder. Amador participated in many of these expeditions and others 


for the recovery of stolen property. He claimed that he himself killed no less 
than two hundred of the natives in these various expeditions. He bore fourteen 
wounds from his conflicts with them. In 1875 there resided at the Mission San 
Jose an Indian who remembered well the building of the first mission structure 
there in 1797. 

In 1797 a party of thirty soldiers crossed the bay from San Francisco in 
rafts and had a fight with the Cuchillones, who were kindred or allies of the 
Sacalanes. The latter became exasperated and threatened San Jose. Sergt. 
Pedro Amador, who went some time after to ascertain the cause of this dis- 
turbance, found the Sacakabes disposed to annihilate the neophytes, and even the 
soldiers if they interfered. He was accordingly directed to take twenty-five men 
and fall upon their rancheria. The tribe refused to surrender deserters and 
dug pits so that the horses could not enter. The soldiers dismounted and 
attacked them with sword and lance. In this fight, which occurred on the 15th 
of July, two soldiers were wounded, and seven hostiles killed. The Cuchillones. 
being also attacked, fled. Amador returned to San Jose with a considerable 
number of deserters and several gentiles. Some of the captives were sentenced 
to receive from twenty-five to seventy-five lashes, and to hard labor with 
shackles on for a couple of months in the presidio. The runaway neophytes at 
the investigation made it appear that they had been forced by hunger, and harsh 
treatment at the hands of the missionaries, to desert. This allegation was 
declared to be positively untrue, by the then president. Father Lasuen, who 
claimed that the real cause of the natives' flight had been an epidemic which had 
broken out among them. 

The Sacalanes continued their hostile attitude for a long time, and the presidio 
had often to deal condign punishment. In 1880 the sergeant with some armed 
men attacked them, slaying a chief and destroying all their bows and arrows, 
besides capturing a number of runaway neophytes. — (Amador's report on the 
afifair of 1800 is in Provincial Records, MS., \ I, and also in Prov. State Pap., 
MS., XVI and XVII.) 

It is generally supposed that the Contra Costa region which included Alameda 
county was originally inhabited by four tribes of Indians, called Juchiyunes, 
Acalanes, Bolgones, and Carquinez, who were all in all a degraded race. Doctor 
Marsh described them as stoutly built and heavy limbed, as hairy as Esau, and 
with long heavy beards. They had short, broad faces, wide mouths, thick lips, 
broad noses and extremely low foreheads, the hair of the head in some cases 
nearly meeting the eyebrows, while a few had that peculiar conformation of the 
eye so remarkable in the Chinese and Tartar races, and entirely different from 
the common American Indian or the Polynesian. He states further: The 
general expression of these Indians has nothing of the proud and lofty bearing 
or the haughtiness and ferocity so often seen east of the mountains. It is more 
commonly indicative of timidity and stupidity. The men and children are abso- 
lutely and entirely naked, and the dress of the women is the least possible or 
conceivable remove from nudity. Their food varies with the season. In Febru- 
ary and March they live on grass, and herbage, clover and wild pea vine are 
among the best kind of their pasturage. I have often seen hundreds of them 
grazing together in a meadow like so many cattle. They are very poor hunters 
of the larger animals but very skillful in making nnd managmg nets for fish and 


food. They also collect in their season great quantities of the seed of various 
grasses, which are particularly abundant. Acorns are another principal article 
of food which are larger, more abundant and of better quality than I have seen 
elsewhere. The Californian is not more different from the tribes east of the 
mountains in his physical than in his moral and intellectual qualities. They are 
easily domesticated, not averse to labor, have a natural aptitude to learn mechan- 
ical trades, and I believe, universally a fondness for music and a facility in 
acquiring it. They are not nearly so much addicted to intoxication as is common 
to other Indians. I was for some years of the opinion that they were of an 
entirely different race from those east of the mountains, and they certainly have 
but little similarity. The only thing that caused me to think differently is that 
they have the same moccasin game that is so common on the Mississippi, and what 
is more remarkable, they accompany it by singing precisely the same tune. The 
diversity of language among them is very great. It is seldom an Indian can under- 
stand another who lives fifty miles distant; within the limits of California are 
at least a hundred dialects, apparently entirely dissimilar. Few or no white persons 
have taken any pains to learn them, as there are individuals in all the tribes 
which have communication with the settlements who speak Spanish. The 
children when taught young are most easily domesticated, and manifest a 
great aptitude to learn whatever is taught them ; when taken into Spanish 
families and treated with kindness, in a few months they learn the language 
and habits of their masters. When they come to maturity they show no disposi- 
tion to return to their savage state. The mind of the wild Indian of whatever 
age appears to be a tabula rasa, on which no impressions, except those of mere 
animal nature, have been made, and ready to receive any impress whatever. 
They submit to flagellation with more humility than the negroes. Nothing more 
is necessary for their complete subjugation but kindness in the beginning, and 
a little well-timed severity when manifestly deserved. It is common for the 
white man to ask the Indian, when the latter has committed any fault, how many 
lashes he thinks he deserves. The Indian, with a simplicity and humility almost 
inconceivable, replies ten or twenty, according to his opinion of the magnitude 
of the offense. The white man then orders another Indian to inflict the punish- 
ment, which is received without the least sign of resentment or discontent. This 
I have myself witnessed or I could hardly have believed it. Throughout all 
California the Indians are the principal laborers; without them the business of 
the country could hardly be carried on. 

For disease their great "cure-all' was the sweat-bath, which was taken in 
the "sweat-house," an institution that was to be found in every rancheria. A 
fire being lighted in the center of the temescal (the term applied to the native 
sweat-houses by the Franciscan Fathers) the patient is taken within and kept 
in a high state of perspiration for several hours ; he then rushes out and plunges 
into the convenient stream on the bank of which the structure is always raised — 
a remedy whether more potent to kill or cure is left to the decision of the reader. 
The following graphic description of the experiences of a gentleman in a temescal, 
is given to the reader as a truthful and racily told adventure : 

"A sweat-house is of the shape of an inverted bowl and is generally about 
forty feet in diameter at the bottom and is built of strong poles and branches 
of trees, covered with earth to prevent the escape of heat. There is a small 


hole near the ground, large enough for Diggers to creep in, one at a time, and 
another at the top to give out the smoke. When a dance is to be held, a large fire 
is kindled in the center of the edifice, and the crowd assembles, the white spec- 
tators crawling in and seating themselves anywhere out of the way. The aper- 
tures, both above and below, are then closed and the dancers take their posi- 
tions. Four and twenty squaws, en dishabille, on one side of the fire, and as 
many hombres, in puris naturalibus, on the other. Simultaneously with the 
commencement of the dancing, which is a kind of shuffling hobble-de-hoy, the 
'music' bursts forth. Such screaming, shrieking, yelling and roaring, was 
never before heard since the foundation of the world. A thousand cross- 
cut saws, filed by steam power — a multitude of tom-cats, lashed together and 
flung over a clothes-line — innumerable pigs under a gate — all combined would 
produce a heavenly melody compared with it. Yet this uproar, deafening 
as it is, might possibly be endured, but another sense soon comes to be 
saluted. Here are at least forty thousand combined in one grand overwhelm- 
ing stench, and yet every particular odor distinctly definable. Round about 
the roaring fire the Indians go capering, jumping and screaming with the 
perspiration streaming from every pore. The spectators look on until 
the air grows thick and heavy, and a sense of oppressing suffocation 
overcomes them, when they make a simultaneous rush at the door for self- 
protection. Judge their astonishment, terror, and dismay to find it fastened 
securely — bolted and barred on the outside. They rush frantically around the 
walls in hope to discover some weak point through which they may find egress, 
but the house seems to have been constructed purposely to frustrate such attempts. 
More furious than caged lions, they rush boldly against the sides, but the stout 
poles resist every onset. There is no alternative but to sit down, in hopes that 
the troop of naked fiends will soon cease from sheer exhaustion. The uproar 
but increases in fury, the fire waxes hotter, and they seem to be preparing for 
fresh exhibition of their powers. See that wild Indian, a newly-elected captain, 
as with gleaming eyes, blazing face and complexion like that of a boiled lobster, 
he tosses his arms wildly aloft as in pursuit of imaginary devils while rivers 
of perspiration roll down his naked frame. Was ever the human body thrown 
into such contortions before? Another effort of that kind and his whole 
vertebral column must certainly come down with a crash! Another such con- 
vulsion, and his limbs will surely be torn asunder, and the disjoined members 
fly to the four points of the compass ! Can the human frame endure this much 
longer? The heat is equal to that of a bake-oven. The reeking atmosphere has 
become almost palpable, and the victimized audience are absolutely gasping for 
life. The whole system is sinking into utter insensibility, and all hope of relief 
has departed, when suddenly with a grand triumphal crash the uproar ceases 
and the Indians vanish through an aperture opened for that purpose. The 
half-dead victims of their own curiosity dash through it like an arrow and in a 
moment more are drawing in whole bucketfuls of the cold, frosty air, every 
inhalation of which cuts the lungs like a knife, and thrills the system like an 
electric shock. They are in time to see the Indians plunge headlong into the 
ice-cold water of a neighboring stream, and crawl out and sink down on the 
banks, utterly exhausted. This is the last act of the drama, the grand climax, 
and the fandango is over." 


In its early day the whole military force in Upper California did not number 
more than from two hundred to three hundred men, divided between the four presi- 
dios of San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco, while there were 
but two towns or pueblos, Los Angeles and San Jose, the latter of which was estab- 
lished, November 29, 1777. Another was subsequently started in, the neighborhood 
of Santa Cruz, which was named Branciforte, after a Spanish viceroy. It may be 
conjectured that the garrisons were not maintained in a very efifective condition. 
Such a supposition would follow the disuse of arms and the long absence of an 
enemy. The cannon of the presidio at San Francisco were grey with mold, and 
women and children were to be seen snugly located within the military lines. 
The soldiers of the San Francisco district were divided into three cantonments 
— one at the presidio, one at Santa Clara mission and one at Mission San Jose. 
Following is a list of the soldiers connected with the presidio in the year 1790, 
which has been copied from the Spanish archives in San Francisco. Here will 
be found the names, position, nativity, color, race, age, etc., of the soldiers, as 
well as those of their wives, when married : 

Don Josef Arguello, Commandante, age 39; Don Ramon Laro de la Neda, 
Alferez de Campo, age 34; Pedro Amador, Sergeant. Spaniard from Guad- 
alaxara, age 51, wife, Ramona Noriega, Spanish, age 30, seven children; Nicolas 
Galindo, mestizo, Durango, 42; Majio Chavoya, City of Mexico, 34, wife, a 
Bernal; Miguel Pacheco, 30, wife, a Sanchez; Luis Maria Peralta, Spaniard, 
Sonora, 32, wife, Maria Loretta Alviso, 19; Justa Altamarino, mulatto, Sonor, 
45 ; Ygnacio Limaxes, Sonora, 49, wife, Maria Gertruda Rivas, Spaniard, 38 ; 
Ygnacio Soto, 41, wife, Barbara Espinoza ; Juan Bernal, mestizo, Sonora, 53, 
wife. Maxima I. de Soto; Jph. Maria Martinez, Sonora, 35, wife, Maria Garcia, 
mulatto, 18; Salvador Iguera, L. C, 38, wife, Alexa Marinda, Sonora, 38; 
Nicolas Berryessa, mestizo, 25, wife, Maria Gertrudis Peralta, 24; Pedro 
Peralta, Sonora, 26, wife, Maria Carmen Grisalva, 19; Ygnacio Pacheco, Sonora, 
30, wife, Maria Dolores Cantua, mestizo, age 16; Francisco Bernal, Sinaloa, 27, 
wife, Maria Petrona, Indian, 29; Bartolo Pacheco, Sonora, 25, wife, Maria 
Francisco Soto, 18; Apolinario Bernal, Sonora, 25; Joaquin Bernal, Sonora, 28, 
wife, Josefa Sanchez, 21; Josef Aceva, Durango, 26; Manuel Boranda, Guad- 
alaxara, 40, wife, Gertrudis Higuera, 13 ; Francisco Valencia, Sonora, 22, wife, 
Maria Victoria Higuera, 15; Josef Antonio Sanchez, Guadalaxara, 39, wife, 
Maria Dolora Moxales, 34; Josef Ortez, Guadalaxara, 23; Josef Aguil, Guad- 
alaxara, 22, wife, Concellaria Remixa, 14; Alexandre Avisto, Durango, 23; 
Juan Josef Higuera, Sonora, 20 ; Francisco Flores, Guadalaxara, 20 ; Josef Maria 
Castilla, Guadalaxara, 19; Ygnacio Higuera, Sonora, wife, Maria Micaelo Bor- 
jorques, 28; Ramon Linare, Sonora, 19; Josef Miguel, Saens, Sonora, 18; Carto 
Serviente, San Diego, Indian, 60; Augustin Xirviento, L. C, 20; Nicolas Presi- 
dairo, Indian, 40; Gabriel Peralta, invalid, Sonora; Manuel Vutron, invalid, 
Indian; Ramon Borjorques, invalid, 98; Francisco Romero, invalid, 52. 

A recapitulation shows that the inmates of the presidio consisted altogether 
of 144 persons, including men, women and children, soldiers and civilians. There 
were thirty-eight soldiers and three laborers ; of these one was a European other 
than Spanish, seventy-eight Spaniards, five Indians, two mulattoes, and forty-fouf 
of other castes. An inventory of the rich men of the presidio, bearing date 1793, 
was discovered some years since, showing that Pedro Amador was the proprietor 


of thirteen head of stock and fifty-two sheep; Nicolas GaHndo, ten head of 
stock ; Luis Peralta, two head of stock ; Manuel Boranda, three head of stock ; 
Juan Bernal. twenty-three head of stock and 246 sheep; Salvador Youere. three 
head of stock: Aleso Miranda, fifteen head of stock; Pedro Peralta. two head of 
stock; Francisco Bernal, sixteen head of stock; Bartol Pacheco, seven head 
of stock; Joaquin Bernal, eight head of stock; Francisco Valencia, two head of 
stock; Berancia Galindo, six head of stock; Hermenes Sal (who appears to 
have been a secretary, or something besides a soldier), five head of stock and 
three mares. The total amount of stock owned by these men was 115 cattle, 
29S sheep and seventeen mares — the parent stem apparently from which sprang 
the hundreds of thousands of head of stock which afterwards roamed over the 
Californian mountains and valleys. 

The native Californians were for the most part a half-caste race between 
the white Castilian and the native Indian, very few of the natives retaining the 
pure blood of the old Castile ; they were consequently of all shades of color and 
development — the women especially a handsome and comely people. Their 
wants were few and easily supplied ; they were contented and happy ; the women 
were virtuous and great devotees to their church and religion, while the men in 
their normal condition were kind and hospitable, but when excited they became 
rash, fearless and cruel, with no dread for either knife or pistol. Their gener- 
osity was great, everything they had being at the disposal of a friend or even a 
stranger, while socially they loved pleasure, spending most of their time in music 
and dancing; indeed such was their passion for the latter that their horses were 
trained to cavort in time to the tones of the guitar. When not sleeping, eating 
or dancing the men passed most of their time in the saddle and naturally were 
very expert equestrians. Horse-racing was with them a daily occurrence, not for 
the gain which it might bring, but for the amusement to be derived therefrom; 
and to throw a dollar upon the ground, ride at full gallop and pick it up, was 
a feat that almost any of them could perform. Horses and cattle gave them 
their chief occupation. They could use the riata or lasso with the utmost dex- 
terity ; whenever thrown at a bullock, horseman or bear it rarely missed its mark. 
The riata in the hand of a Californian was a more dangerous weapon than gun 
or pistol, while, to catch a wild cow with it, throw her and tie her without dis- 
mounting was most common and to go through the same performance with a 
bear was not considered extraordinary. Their only articles of export were hides 
and tallow, the value of the former being about one dollar and a half in cash, 
or two in goods, and the latter three cents per pound in barter. Young heifers of 
two years old, for breeding purposes were worth three dollars ; a fat steer, de- 
livered to the purchaser, brought fifty cents more, while it was considered neither 
trespass nor larceny to kill a beeve, use the flesh and hang the hide and tallow on 
a tree, secure from the coyotes where it could be found by the owner. 

Lands outside of the towns were only valuable for grazing purposes. For this 
use every citizen of good character having cattle could for the asking and by 
paying a fee to the officials and a tax upon the paper upon which it was written, 
get a grant for a grazing tract of from one to eleven square leagues of land. These 
domains were called ranchos, the only improvements on them being usually a 
house and a corral. They were never inclosed; they were never surveyed, but 
extended from one well defined land mark to another and whether they contained 


two or three leagues more or less was regarded as a matter of no consequence, 
for the land itself was of no value to the government. It was not necessary 
for a man to keep his cattle on his own land. They were ear-marked and branded 
when young and these established their ownership. The stock roamed whitherso- 
ever they wished, the ranchero sometimes findirtg his animals fifty or sixty miles 
away from his ground. About the middle of March commenced the rodeo season, 
which was fixed in advance by the ranchero who would send notice to his neighbors 
around when all with their vaqueros would attend and participate. The rodeo 
was the gathering in one locality of all the cattle on the rancho. When this was 
accomplished the next operation was for each ranchero present to part out from 
the general herd all animals bearing his brand and ear-mark and take them off 
to his own rancho. In doing this they were allowed to take all calves that fol- 
lowed their mothers ; what was left in the rodeo belonging to the owner of the 
rancho, who had them marked as his property. On some of the ranches the num- 
ber of calves branded and marked each year appears enormous. Joaquin Bernal, 
who owned the Santa Teresa Rancho, in the Santa Clara valley, branded not less 
than five thousand head yearly. In this work a great many horses were employed. 
Fifty head were a small number for a ranchero to own, while they frequently had 
from five to six hundred trained animals, principally geldings, for the mares were 
kept exclusively for breeding purposes. The latter were worth a dollar and half 
per head ; the price of saddle horses was from two dollars and fifty cents to twelve 

By the time the rodeo season was over, about the middle of May, the matanza, 
or killing season commenced. The number of cattle slaughtered each year was 
commensurate with the number of calves marked and the amount of herbage for 
the year, for no more could be kept alive than the pasture on the rancho could 
support. After the butchering the hides were taken off and dried ; the tallow fit 
for market was put into bags made from hides ; the fattest portions of the meat 
were made into soap, while some of the best was cut, pulled into thin shreds, 
dried in the sun and the remainder thrown to the buzzards and the dogs, a number 
of which were kept — young dogs were never destroyed — to clean up after a 
maianza. Three or four hundred of these curs were to be found on a rancho 
and it was no infrequent occurrence to see a ranchero come into town with a 
string of them at his horse's heels. 

The habitations of these people were fashioned of large, sun-dried bricks made 
of that black loam known to settlers in the golden state as adobe soil, mixed with 
straw, measuring about eighteen inches square and three in thickness, these being 
cemented with mud, plastered within with the same substance and whitewashed 
when finished. The rafters and joists were of rough timber with the bark simply 
peeled off and placed in the requisite position, the thatch being of rushes or chap- 
arral, fastened down with thongs of bullocks' hide. When completed these dwell- 
ings stood the brunt and wear of many decades of years. The furniture consisted 
of a few cooking utensils, a crude bench or two, sometimes a table and the never 
failing red camphor-wood trunk. This chest contained the extra clothes of the 
women — the men wore theirs on their backs — and when a visit of more than a 
day's duration was made the box was taken along. They were cleanly in their 
persons and clothing ; the general dress being for females a common calico gown 
of plain colors ; blue grounds with small figures being most fancied. The fash- 


ionable ball dress of the young ladies was a scarlet flannel petticoat covered with a 
white lawn skirt, a combination of tone in color which is not surpassed by the 
modern gala costume. Bonnets there were none, the head-dress consisting of a 
long, narrow shawl or scarf. So graceful was their dancing that it was the ad- 
miration of all strangers; but as much cannot be said for that of the men for the 
more noise they made the better it suited them. The dress of the men was a 
cotton shirt, cotton drawers, calzonaros, sash, serape and hat. The calzonaros 
took the place of pantaloons in the modern costume, and differed from these by 
being open down the sides or rather the seams on the sides were not sewed as in 
pantaloons but were laced together from the waistband to the hips by means of 
a ribbon run through eyelets ; thence they were fastened with large silver bell- 
buttons. In wearing them they were left open from the knee down. The best 
of these garments were made of broadcloth, the inside and outside seams being 
faced with cotton velvet. The serape was a blanket with a hole through the 
center through which the head was inserted, the remainder hanging to the knees 
before and behind. These cloaks were invariably of brilliant colors and varied in 
price from four to one hundred dollars. The calzonaros were held in their place 
by a pink sash worn around the waist while the serape served as a coat by day 
and a covering by night. 

The principal articles of food were beef and beans, in the cooking and pre- 
paring of which they were unsurpassed ; while they cultivated, to a certain extent, 
maize, melons and pumpkins. The bread used was the tortilla, a wafer in the 
shape of the Jewish unleavened bread, which was, when not made of wheaten 
flour, baked from corn. When prepared of the last named meal it was first laoiled 
in a weak lye made of wood ashes and then by hand ground into a paste between 
two stones; this process completed, a small portion of the dough was taken out 
and by dexterously throwing it up from the back of one hand to that of the other 
the shape was formed, when it was placed upon a flat iron and baked over the 
fire. The mill in which their grain was ground was made of two stones as nearly 
round as possible of about thirty inches in diameter and each being dressed on 
one side to a smooth surface. 

The government of the native Californian was as primitive as himself. There 
were neither law-books nor lawyers, while laws were mostly to be found in the 
traditions of the people. The head officer in each village was the alcalde, in whom 
was vested the judicial function, who received on the enactment of a new law 
a manuscript copy they called a bando, upon obtaining which a person was sent 
around beating a snare drum, which was a signal for the assemblage of the people 
at the alcalde's office where the act was read, promulgated and forthwith had the 
force of law. When a citizen had cause of action against another requiring the 
aid of court he went to the alcalde and verbally stated his complaint in his own 
way and asked that the defendant be sent for, who was at once summoned by 
an officer simply saying that he was wanted by the alcalde. The defendant made 
his appearance without loss of time, and, if in the same village, the plaintiff' was 
generally in waiting. The alcalde commenced by stating the complaint against 
him, and asked what he had to say about it. This brought about an altercation 
between the parties and nine times out of ten the justice could get at the facts in 
this wise and announce judgment immediately, the whole suit not occupying two 
hours from its beginning. In more important cases three "'good men" would be 


called in to act as co-justices, while the testimony of witnesses had seldom to 
be resorted to. 

They were all Roman Catholics and their priests of the Franciscan order. 
They were great church-goers, yet Sunday was not the only day set apart for 
their devotions. Nearly every day in the calendar was devoted to the memory of 
some saint, while those dedicated to the principal ones were observed as holidays ; 
so that Sunday did not constitute more than half the time which they consecrated 
to religious exercises, many of which were so much in contrast to those of the 
present day that they deserve a short description. The front door of their churches 
was always open and every person passing whether on foot or on horseback, did 
so hat in hand ; any f orgetf ulness on this score caused the unceremonious removal 
of the sombrero. During the holding of services within, it was customary to 
station a number of men without, who at appointed intervals interrupted the pro- 
ceedings with the ringing of bells, the firing of pistols and the shooting of muskets, 
sustaining a noise resembling the irregular fire of a company of infantry. In 
every church was kept a number of pictures of their saints and a triumphal arch 
profusely decorated with artificial flowers; while on a holiday devoted to any 
particular saint, after the performance of mass, a picture of the saint, deposited 
in the arch, would be carried out of the church on the shoulders of four men, 
followed by the whole congregation in double file with the priest at the head, 
book in hand. The procession would march all round the town (if in one), and 
at every few rods would kneel on the ground while the priest read a prayer or 
performed some religious ceremony. After the circuit of the town had been made 
the train returned to the church, entering it in the same order as that in which 
they had departed. With the termination of these exercises, horse-racing, cock- 
fighting, gambling, dancing and a general merrymaking completed the work of the 
day. A favorite amusement of these festivals was for thirty or forty men on 
horseback, generally two, but sometimes three on one horse, with their guitars 
to parade the towns, their horses capering and keeping time to the music, accom- 
panied with songs by the whole company, ,in this manner visiting, playing and 
singing at the places of business and principal residences ; and it was considered 
no breach of decorum for men on horses to enter stores and dwellings. 

There was one vice that was common to nearly all of these people and which 
eventually caused their ruin, namely, a love of gambling. Their favorite game was 
monte, probably the first of all banking games. So passionately were they addicted 
to this that on Sunday around the church while the women were inside and the 
priest at the altar, crowds of men would have their blankets spread upon the 
ground with their cards and money, playing their favorite game of monte. They 
entertained no idea that it was a sin, nor that it was anything derogatory to 
their characters as good Christians. Mention should be made of their bull and 
bear fights. Sunday, or some prominent holiday, was invariably the day chosen 
for holding these, to prepare for which a large corral was erected in front of the 
church, for they were witnessed by priest and laymen alike. In the afternoon, 
after divine service two or three good bulls (if a bull-fight only) would be caught 
and put in the ihclosure, when the combat commenced. If there is anything that 
will make a wild bull furious it is the sight of a red blanket. Surrounded by the 
entire population, the fighters entered the arena, each with one of these in one 
hand and a knife in the other, the first of which they would flaunt before the 


furious beast, but guardedly keeping it 1)etween the animal and himself. In- 
furiated beyond degree, with flashing eye and head held down the bull would 
dash at his enemy, who, with a dexterous side spring would evade the onslaught, 
leaving the animal to strike the blanket and as he passed would inflict a slash 
with his knife. Whenever by his quickness he could stick his knife into the 
bull's neck just back of the horns, thereby wounding the spinal cord, the bull fell 
a corpse and the victor received the plaudits of the admiring throng. The interest 
taken in these exhibitions was intense ; and what though a man was killed, had his 
ribs broken, was thrown over the fence or tossed on the roof of a house ; it only 
added zest to the sport ; it was of no moment ; the play went on. It was a national 
amusement. When a grizzly bear could be procured, then the fight, instead of 
being between man and bull, was between bull and bear. Both were taken into the 
. corral, each being made fast to either end of a rope of sufficient length to permit 
of free action and left alone until they chose to open the ball. The first motion 
was usually made by the bull endeavoring to part company with the bear, who 
thus received the first "knock-down." On finding that he could not get clear of 
bruin, he then charged him, but was met half-way. If the bear could catch the 
bull by the nose, he held him at a disadvantage, but he more frequently found that 
he had literally taken the bull by the horns, when the fight became intensely inter- 
esting and was kept up until one or the other was killed, or both refused to renew 
the combat. The bull, unless his horns were clipped, was generally victorious. 
The custom of bull and bear fighting was kept up by the native Californians, as 
a money-making institution from the Americans, until the year 1854, when the 
legislature interposed by "An Act to prevent Noisy and Barbarous Amusements 
on the Sabbath." 

Father Barcenilla served in San Jose until 1802, and left California in 1804. 
Father Merino continued there until obliged by ill health to retire in 1800, his 
successor being Father Luis Gily Tabada, who was succeeded by Pedro de la 
Cueva in 1804. Father Jose Antonio Uria had served in San Jose since 1799- 
Both he and Cueva left it in 1806. The latter served until 1825. Duran continued 
there alone — besides being from 1825 to 1827 president of all the missions — until 
1833 ; he then went off to Santa Barbara, where he remained until his death in 
1846. Duran's successor was Father Jose Maria de Jesus Gonzalez, from 1833 
to 1842. The next minister was Padre Miguel Muro, 1842-5, who probably left 
the country in 1845. Padre Lorenzo Quijas officiated in 1843-4, and Jose de 
J. M. Gutierrez in 1845. I" 1846-7 Jose M. Suarez del Rael had charge of the 
ex-mission as well as Santa Clara. 

In 1850 more than half of Alameda county's population consisted of Digger 
Indians. Several thousand lived within a radius of a few miles of Mission San 
Jose. The Livermore, Sunol, Moraga and other valleys were almost entirely 
peopled by them. Many of their children were Mexican half-breeds, from which 
mixture came the most villianous desperadoes the county ever knew. The brutish, 
sottish nature of the Digger, blent with the cruel, cunning, thievish Mexican, 
formed a race of criminals unredeemed by scarcely a commendable quality. The 
advent of the Americans soon put an end to their depredations, though a few 
remained as sly as a grizzly bear and as cowardly as a coyote. The few remaining 
Diggers in the end relapsed into the same state in which the Spaniards originally 
found them. A Digger rancheria in Alameda county in early days had few char- 


acteristics worth recalling. A few earth and brush tents were their homes. They 
were built near fresh water and near the oaks, the latter furnishing the acorns 
which constituted their steady diet. Their religion consisted in their efforts to 
escape annihilation by grizzly bears and mutilation by horned. cattle. Their only 
ceremony was the sweat dance — a wild, naked orgy of sweating and drinking by 
both men and women. As late as 1865 rancherias of the Diggers were to be seen 
in the San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Dry Creek, Alameda, Sunol and Calaveras 
canyons. The half-breeds made a pretense of planting beans and corn. The 
men were occasionally herdsmen, but generally proved inefficient and untrust- 
worthy. The squaws were the lowest type of human femininity. Their only 
virtues were that they bore few children to perpetuate the miserable race and 
died young. 


All the tract of country bordering on the bay of San Francisco and on San 
Pablo bay was divided in 1841 into five great ranches : San Antonio, San Pablo, 
El Pinole, La Boca de la Canada de Pinole and Acalanes bordering on the Straits 
of Carquinez. North of Rancho El Pinole was a strip of land known as the north- 
ern part of the Canada del Hambre las Polsas Rancho and directly south was 
the Rancho de los Palos Colorados, embracing all the land between what became 
known as San Leandro creek on the south and San Pablo bay on the north and 
the bay of San Francisco on the west and the Cuchilla de los Trampas or Coast 
Range on the east, being the greater part of what is now Alameda county and 
the northwestern portion of Contra Costa county. Encircled by the five ranchos 
named above was an unclaimed or surplus tract (sobrante) which the Castros 
wished as grazing ground for their vast herds of cattle. Governor Alvarado gave 
them only a provisional grant to this tract, because the forms of law had not been 
wholly complied with. In 1852 the Castros employed H. W. Carpentier and 
John Wilson to perfect their claim to this tract. The board of land commissioners 
decided that the grant was valid. This decree was issued in 1855 and stood until 
1863 when Mr. Carpentier inserted in the decree after the word "between" (the 
ranchos) the words "or within the exterior boundaries of" (the ranchos above 
named). This insertion vastly increased the lands of the grants from about 
20,000 acres in the sobrante proper to about 75,000 acres and involved the title 
to the Contra Costa Water Company's water sheds. Many suits and contentions 
grew out of this case. In August, 1S79, the surveyor general decided that the 
lands applied for by the Castros and provisionally granted by Alvarado and finally 
confirmed to them by the board of land commissioners was a piece of vacant land 
between the five ranchos above named. The del Hambre claimants appealed on 
the ground that the land granted was the surplus which should result from all the 
five ranchos on the final determination of their boundaries, whether lying between 
them or some of them, or entirely outside of their respective finally ascertained 
limits and within the exterior boundaries. In February, 1881, the commissioner 
of the general land ofiice decided in favor of the del Hambre claimants. 

This decision gave the confirmees land granted by Mexico and patented to 
other parties, absorbing about 69,000 acres of the public lands, besides lands listed 
to the state, portions of which were patented to third parties. There was great 
resistance to this decision of the commissioner. In February, 1882, Secretary 
Kirkwood decided the case so that the sobrante was confined to about 20,000 acres 
between the five ranchos. About this time Judge Crane in the case of Leroy, 
et al., vs. Hebard, et al., decided that the title of settlers to 2,200 acres in the 
marsh on the Alameda Encinal was not good, the land having been previously sold 
by Antoine M. Peralta to Chipman and Ougenbaugh. 


Most of the grantees were sons of soldiers and had served in the presidial 
companies themselves. Among the most noted ranches connected with the history 
of the county, besides the San Antonio, were Las Pocitas, San Lorenzo, San 
Pablo, San Leandro, and San Ramon, Valle de San Jose, Las Positas, Canada de 
los \''aqueros. Santa Rita, Arroyo de la Alameda, El Sobrante. The valleys in 
the southern portion of Alameda county, including \\'ashington and Murray 
townships, are now known under the general name of Valley of San Jose, after 
the mission to which they had belonged as grazing grounds. 

The first two ranches granted within Alameda county were the San Antonio, 
upon which Oakland and other towns stand, and Los Tularcitos, situated partly 
in Alameda county and partly in Santa Clara county, which was given to the Ex- 
Sergeant Jose Higuera on the 4th of October, 1821, by the first Mexican governor. 
Captain Luis Antonio Arguello. No more grants were made in the region known 
as La Contra Costa until 1833, from which year until the end of the Mexican 
domination, some twenty-seven ranches were founded. 

On October 18, 1820, Governor Don Pablo Vicente de Sola granted to Don 
Luis Maria Peralta, a native of Jubec, Sonora, as a reward for distinguished 
services, a tract of land extending five leagues along the eastern shore of the 
bay from San Leandro creek to the northwestern line of Alameda county includ- 
ing the present site of Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley and their suburbs and ex- 
tending back to the hills. The whole rancho was called San Antonio, but later 
the term Temescal was applied to what is now Oakland. Peralta married Maria 
Lolereto Alviso and by her had five sons (one of whom apparently died in infancy) 
and five daughters : Ygnacio, Jose Domingo, Antonio, Maria, Vicente, boys, and 
Teodora, Trinidad, Josefa, Guadalupe and Maria Luisa, girls. Teodora married 
Mariano Duarte, Trinidad married Mariano Castro and Maria Luisa married 
Guillermo Castro. The father did not reside in Alameda county, but spent his 
time on another rancho in Contra Costa county. At a later date a fine family 
mansion was built near the foothills of the Contra Costa range on San Leandro 
creek, which was occupied in common by his sons until 1842, when the estate was 
divided into four as nearly equal parts as practicable with imaginary but more 
or less defined lines running from the bay eastwardly to the hills. To Jose 
Domingo was given the northern tract embracing what is now Berkeley ; to Vicente 
was given the next division to the southward including the present city of Oakland, 
then called the Encinal de Temescal with its fine grove of oaks. To Antonio 
Maria was presented the third division further south embracing East Oakland 
and Alameda ; Ygnacio was given the most southerly division on which stood the 
old homestead that had been long occupied by all in common and there he con- 
tinued to reside for many years. All this large extent of wild country was occupied 
alone by the Peralta family for a long period of years. They possessed large herds 
of cattle and horses, raised grain and fruit, but had for neighbors only the few 
inhabitants of Yerba Buena (San Francisco) across the bay. 

In 185 1 Don Luis Peralta, the father, died at the great age of ninety-three 
years leaving a will which made the following provisions concerning his children 
and his estate: "I leave the house, my residence, in the town of San Jose Guada- 
lupe, with the orchard and fruit trees, all the land which appertains to and belongs 
to said orchard and all the rest of the land contiguous to the said house, together 
with the appurtenances of this property, in favor of my two daughters, Maria 


Josefa Peralta and Maria Guadalupo Peralta, in full ownership and dominion 
and I encharge these daughters to remain always together in peace and union, 
enjoying this estate mutually as absolute owners thereof, whereof I declare par- 
ticularly that everything that is in this house is my property, and as such I leave 
it to my above mentioned daughters. The picture of St. Joseph and Our Lady 
Guadalupe being for my said daughter Guadalupe, and the Crucifix and Our Lady 
of Dolores for my daughter Maria Josefa. I command these two daughters to 
remain in peace, enjoying the property that I leave herein; but if by marriage or 
other motive either one of them should wish to separate from the other, then the 
two may make such agreement as they shall deem fit for this and for any other 
arrangement of their domestic afi'airs, or of their property of which they remain 
the owners and mistresses and without being disturbed by any person and may 
they remain always together, the one saving the other as her Guardian Angel, that 
God our Lord may preserve them from the storms of this world and from all ill- 
inclined persons. 

"As regards the cattle belonging to me, that is to say, horned cattle, I declare 
that on the marriage of my children, Maria Teodora, Ygnacio, Domingo and 
Trinidad, to each one were given two cows and calves, by reason of having just 
commenced the rearing of my cattle, but afterwards they received in gift more 
cattle as they themselves can say, as they know to speak the truth ; also in the 
year 1831 there were delivered to William Castro two hundred and thirty head 
of horned cattle, which were the marriage portion of his wife Maria Luisa 
Peralta, my daughter. Also I repeat again that there have been given to my 
daughters Maria Teodora and Maria Trinidad, two hundred head of horned 
cattle and to my son Ygnacio three hundred head of cattle and over and above 
those which have already been given to my son Domingo, I command that there 
be given to him one hundred head of cattle ; I likewise command that out of the 
cattle in San Antonio and Temescal that shall be found to belong to me there 
shall be given two hundred head to each of my daughters Maria Josefa and 
Maria Guadalupe and the remainder in Temescal shall belong to my son Vicente 
and the remainder in San Antonio shall belong to my son Antonio Maria and 
these two brothers shall take charge of the cattle of these two sisters Maria 
Josefa and Maria Guadalupe. Inasmuch as I have already portioned out to my 
sons their respective lands, I declare that these lands comprehend all my property 
of the Rancho San Antonio the title of these concessions and possession are in 
the hands of my son Ygnacio and which lands I have already divided amongst my 
sons as a donation inter vivos to their entire satisfaction and which donations by 
these presents I hereby ratify. 

"I declare that I owe no man and that Nazared Berryeza owes me Fifteen 
Dollars. I name as first executor of this my will my son Ygnacio Peralta and 
my son Antonio Maria Peralta as second executor, that they, aided by the rest, 
may fulfill all that I have ordained. I command all my children that they may 
remain in peace, succoring each other in your necessities, eschewing all avaricious 
ambition, without entering into foolish differences for one or two calves, for 
the cows bring them forth every year; and inasmuch as the land is narrow, it is 
indispensable that the cattle should become mixed up, for which reason I command 
my sons to be friendly and united. I command all my children, sons and daughters, 
to educate and bring up their children in the holy fear of God, showing them good 


examples and keeping them from all bad company, in order that our Lord may 
shower upon them his blessings, the same which I leave to you, in the name of 
the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. I declare that this is my last will 
and testament dictated by me and written in my presence, read and signed by 
myself, and by these presents I revoke and annul all and every other will or wills, 
codicil or codicils, that I may have executed. I declare it or them null and of 
no value in law or otherwise. In testimony whereof I have hereunto placed my 
hand this 29th day of April, 1851, in the City of San Jose and in the presence of 
witnesses that I have called to serve as witnesses of this my last will. 
James Alex Forbes, 
Podre Juan Nobile, |- Witnesses. 
Demo Damco, Luis j\Ia. Peralta. (Seal)" 

The revolution of 1822 when Mexico threw off Spanish dominion produced not 
a ripple in California. Everybody yielded obedience to the new power. Manuel 
Victoria was governor of the territory in 1831-32. He caused a commotion by 
trying to restrain wrong doing. He was overcome and superceded by Portilla. 
Upon his defeat and return to Mexico the Californians denounced the authority 
of Mexico and appointed Pio Pico as governor, but he was not recognized in the 
northern part of the state and his control was of short duration. He was suc- 
ceded by Jose Figueroa. While Manuel Micheltorena was governor in 1842. 
Commodore Jones ran up the American flag and took possession of Monterey, but 
was forced to yield when he learned his mistake. Pio Pico succeeded Micheltorena 
and was the last Mexican governor. 

The first white settlement made within the boundaries of Brooklyn township 
was by the two brothers Ygnacio and Antonio Maria Peralta, who resided in an 
adobe house on the banks of the San Leandro creek, but when this residence was 
constructed is not certainly known, although it may be right to conjecture that it 
was about the years 1821 to 1825. The lands of this powerful family extended 
from the above-named stream on the south to San Pablo on the north, and at the 
foot of the hills the two sons dwelt until the year 1842, when the magnificent 
estate was parceled out between them, Antonio Maria taking up his residence in 
Fruit \'ale, and Ygnacio continuing in the old homestead. 

The Peraltas pastured about 5,000 head of cattle on Rancho San Antonio, 
worth about one dollar a head, but advancing to twenty-five dollars or thirty dol- 
lars per head when the beef-loving Americans arrived. \'icente occupied a large 
adobe dwelling about three and one-half miles north on Telegraph Road — the main 
road leading to Contra Costa county. Several small adobe houses were near cov- 
ered with untanned hides and there the vaqueros lived. About the only visitors 
were mounted caballeros who exchanged horses at the corrals. At the San An- 
tonio rancho in East Oakland was a bull ring where fights took place on Sundays, 
attended by the padres and laity after the church services. An enclosure with a 
high fence and with the circle for the raging bull and his tormentors, seats for 
spectators, pits for bulls and bears and numerous picadores, matadores, banderil- 
leros, etc., on horseback and afoot — marked these early and memorable pro- 
ceedings. These fights were practiced until 1854 when the Legislature made them 

Don Vicente Peralta married Eucaruacion Galindo who survived him and 
married Manuel M. Ayola. She was born in the old adobe presidio in San 


Francisco in 1841 and at the age of sixteen years married Peralta. She died in 
Oakland January 3, 1892. 

There were five original claims to the site of Oakland: (i) Peralta title; (2) 
Squatter's title; (3) Sobrante title; (4) Encinal or Oak Grove title; (5) the 
Water Front. The main contest was between the squatters and the Mexican 
grantees, the former having the advantage because they occupied the property 
and could put purchasers in immediate possession. Those whose claims included 
the city had it surveyed into streets, avenues, and blocks. They put their lots 
into market and reaped a splendid harvest from the sales. This gave them 
extraordinary advantages and incentive to fight. The Peralta claimants felt the 
power of the squatters most keenly. The town began to grow rapidly and every- 
where among the oaks, buildings went up as if by magic. Everybody was buying 
and building. What did the Peraltas do? They began to sell lots also — made 
the most of the situation, but could find few buyers. Their enemies had blocked 
their game by charges that good titles could not be given by the Peraltas, the 
real owners of the whole. This step for a time stopped building operations, 
but soon the real estate dealers managed to reconcile the rival claimants and in 
the end cleared up the situation. 

The five years after the confirmation of the patent of all the lands in Oak- 
land township to Vicente and Domingo Peralta expired on February 10, 1882. , 
For a few days before that date a flood of suits to quiet titles and to eject tenants 
were filed in the local courts. The regents of the university brought suit to quiet 
the title to the university site. In September, 1886, in the land suit of Thomas 
Rees vs. the Central Pacific Railroad Company, the Department of the Interior 
decided in favor of the defendant. The suit involved about twenty thousand 
acres in the El Sobrante claim. The litigation arose over the disputed boundary 
lines of what was designated as the Mexican private land grants of Lagima de los 
Palos. Colorados El Sobrante and San Lorenzo. In 1885 the suit of Blum vs. 
Sunol in San Francisco was decided in favor of the defendant. The case involved 
seventeen thousand acres, of which two thousand five hundred were in Alameda 
county in Murray township. Simon Blum in early days was a peddler doing 
business with the Mexicans in Livermore valley and surrounding country. They 
became indebted to him and sold him a certain interest in the lands all of which 
except one small valley was in the hills and mountains. Subsequently Simon 
Blum purchased the interests of the heirs, equal to two-fifths of the entire grant. 
After the confirmation in 1862 by the Government a suit was brought to par- 
tition the grant. On this suit Judge Dwinelle decided in favor of the plaintiff, 
but a new trial was granted and an appeal was taken to the supreme court which 
sustained the lower court. In 1884 the case was begun anew ; the chief ground 
of the defense being that the instruments executed in 1846 were forgeries. 

Eden township embraces within its boundaries the lands of five Mexican 
grants : The Sobrante, which was for so many years in dispute, in the northeast 
of the township; the Estudillo, or San Leandro, granted October 16, 1842, and 
patented July 15, 1863; the Castro, or San Lorenzo, on the east, granted Feb- 
ruary 23, 1841, and patented February 14, 1865; the Soto, or San Lorenzito, on 
the west, granted October 10, 1842, and patented April 14, 1877; and the Yal- 
lejo, or Alameda, on the south, granted August 30, 1842, and patented January 
I. i8s8. 


The first settlement in Eden township was made in the year 1836, by Don Jose 
Joaquin Estudillo, who was a CaHfornian by birth. On January 8, 1836, he 
petitioned the Constitutional Governor of the Department of California for a 
grant in the said department known as the Arroyo de San Leandro, but this 
document having either been lost or mislaid, a second petition was forwarded 
to that official on June 28, 1842, in which Senor Estudillo states that "in order 
to procure his subsistence and enable himself to support his large family, con- 
sisting of a wife and ten children, after having served in the army seventeen 
years, four months, and seven days, on January 8, 1837, he petitioned for the 
tract of land known by the name of Arroyo de San Leandro, containing four 
square leagues from east to west, and having obtained from Your Excellency, 
who extends a generous and protecting patronage towards the inhabitants of 
this land, permission to settle himself and continue his labors ; meanwhile the 
proper legal proceedings thereupon should be concluded, which he has accord- 
ingly done," etc. In view of the petition Don J. J. Estudillo was declared by 
Governor Alvarado to be the owner in property of the part of the tract of land 
known by the name of "San I-eandro," bounded "on the north by the Arroyo of 
San Leandro ; on the east by the places where the waters from the springs on 
the lands which the Indians who are now established there occupy, waste them- 
selves; thence on the south side, in a direct line to the Arroyo of San Lorenzo, 
without embracing the lands which the said Indians cultivate; and on the west 
by the bay." 

The Estudillo family thus had lived on the land which was afterwards granted 
to them for a considerable number of years. In 1837 Senor Estudillo built a house • 
about two miles from the town of San Leandro, on the creek of that name, towards 
the lower part of the land. He afterwards moved farther up the creek, where the 
town of San Leandro now stands, about three-quarters of a mile from the site 
of his original location. 

On January 14, 1840, the Governor of California made the following order: 
'Don Guillermo Castro can establish himself upon the place called San Leandro, 
on the parts towards the hills, without passing beyond the line from north to 
south, formed by the springs on said place, not being permitted to make his 
fields in whatever part of the land of "San Leandro;' this concession being under- 
stood provisionally until the governor may settle the boundaries which belong 
to Senor Jose Estudillo, who is actually established on the said site, and with- 
out prejudice to the Indians living thereon." This was the second settlement in 
Ederi township. He built his residence where now is the town of Haywards. 

The next Hispano-Mexican family to locate was that of the Sotos, who built 
their adobe residence on a part of the Meek estate, where the house stood for 
many years, but was eventually razed to the ground, its position being about half 
a mile southeast from Haywards. 

Prior to the settlement of these families the district was occupied by the 
cattle of the Mission of San Jose, and, from the year 1829, had in certain portions 
been in the possession of Christianized Indians of that establishment. In 1841 
or 1842 there was an Indian named Sylvester, on the San Leandro Rancho, who 
had residing with him, besides his own family, his brother Annisetti. They 
occupied an adobe house built by Don J. J. Vallejo, who was administrator 
of the Indians, and had some three or four acres under cultivation, chiefly water- 

Taken prior to 1850 


melons and corn, the ground for which they turned up with sticks. Besides these 
there were others on the different ranchos. A Californian named Bruno Valen- 
cia, dwelt under permission of Estudillo and Castro on the bank of the San 
Lorenzo, not far from the bay. There was a so-called road through this terri- 
tory to San Jose, which had three crossings over the San Lorenzo: the Paso 
Viego, the Paso del Ramedero, and the Pasa del Puente. At the first of these 
during the summer months the Indians were wont to camp in a grove of willows 
and sycamores. 

Don Jose Joaquin Estudillo died June 7, 1852. During his life he filled 
many high offices in the gift of the Mexican government. In his last will and 
testament, which bears date April 4, 1850, he declared that he was married in 
the year 1824 to Donna Juana Maria Del Carmon Martinez at the presidio of 
San Francisco, by whom he had six sons and five daughters. Of these nine were 
alive at the time of his death. Upon the establishment of the county seat at San 
Leandro, they made many concessions toward retaining it there; their residence 
was at one time occupied as the courthouse. Guillermo Castro, having lost his 
possessions, went to South America, and there died. His son, Luis Castro, after- 
ward gained prominence as county surveyor of Alameda. These were the only 
residents in Eden township before 1849. 

The Mexican grants, wholly or partly in Murray township, consist of the 
San Ramon, four square leagues and 1,800 varas, granted to J. M. 
Amador in 1835; conflnned by the commission, August i, 1854; and by the dis- 
trict court, January 14, 1857; extent in acres 16,516.96. The Santa Rita granted 
April 10, 1839, to J. D. Pacheco; rejected by the commission April 25, 1854; 
confirmed by the district court August 13, 1855 ; and decree affirmed by United 
States supreme court; 8,885.67 acres. El Valle de San Jose, granted to Antonio 
Maria Pico, April 10, 1839; confirmed to Antonio Sunol et al., by commission 
January 31, 1854; by the district court January 14, 1856; 51,572.26 acres. Las 
Pocitas, two square leagues, granted April 10, 1839, to Salvio Pacheco; con- 
firmed by commission to Jose Noriego and Robert Livermore, February 14, 
1854, and by the district court February 18, 1859. Canada de los Vaqueros 
(mostly in Contra Costa county) granted February 29, 1842, to Francisco Alviso, 
et al, confirmed to Robert Livermore by commission, September 4, 1855, and by 
the district court December 28, 1857. The Rancho Canada de los Vaqueros, 
the four league rancho, was partly in each of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. 
Their herds roamed over this rancho until some time in 1847 when the property 
was sold to Robert Livermore and Jose Noriego for the consideration of 300 
heifers. In December, 1857, this grant was confirmed to Livermore and 
Noriego by the United States Government. In September, 1852, Livermore 
and his wife — Josefa Higuera Livermore — deeded to their several children one- 
half of the rancho, known then as the Rancho de Positas Poza Vaqueros. At 
the same time they gave to their children, 3,000 head of horned cattle and 300 
head of tame cows, fifteen head of yoking cattle and forty tame horses. Later 
portions of the rancho passed to Etien Carat, Pedro Altuba, Luiz Perez, P. 
Dupre, William Akenhead, Juan Sunol and Noble Hamilton. Sunol was a 
physician and known as Senor Don Juan Sunol. 

The exact boundaries of Las Pocitas grant were not fully defined until a 
few years after the cession of California to the United States. It was pro- 


vided in the grant that if the land within certain limits should exceed two leagues, 
the surplus should be and remain public lands of Mexico and in this state the 
tract passed to the United States. In 1853 the grant was confirmed by the land 
commissioners and in 1859 by the district court, and in 1861 an appeal was 
taken to the supreme court. The tract was resurveyed in 1865 and was 
found to contain 43,01 1 acres or nearly ten leagues instead of two. 
This survey was approved by the surveyor general in 1867. Later a new 
survey was ordered and the two leagues were exactly measured and patented 
June 6, 1871. By this survey the contested lands of section 24 were excluded and 
became United States public lands. In 1870, Messrs. Doyle, Bales, Pratt and Carr 
preempted the lands and filed their claims June 28, 1871. The state also filed 
on these lands under the school lien land law. Carl Schurz, of the interior de- 
partment, listed the lands, about twelve thousand acres, to the state, but made 
the proviso that if there were adverse claims the land should not go to the state. 
The rights of the preemptors were recognized in the courts, whereupon the set- 
tlers paid $16,000 for the lands and received patents therefor. In 1877 there 
came an adverse order from Washington cancelling these claims and evicting the 
settlers and handing the lands to the state. From this action the settlers appealed 
in 1886. They claimed that the secretary of the interior had no power to make 
the cancellation. 

Rancho Los Ceritos was granted by the Mexican government to Thomas 
Pacheco and Augustin Alviso. In 1853 these lands were covered with Spanish 
or wild cattle attended by vaqueros, but soon the squatters took possession under 
what was called "possessory law" and commenced farming operations and raised 
large quantities of barley, wheat, potatoes and onions. It was at this time 
that the herds of cattle began to thin out and their hides and carcasses could 
be found in the markets of San Francisco without the consent of the owners. 
Mr. Vallejo estimated that his losses in six months by this agency amounted 
to $50,000. t^iles and Mount Eden were on the Vallejo rancho — Rancho Arroyo 
de la Alameda which contained upwards of seventeen thousand acres. So were 
Union City and Alvarado on Ceritos Rancho. John M. Horner's steamer plied 
regularly twice or thrice a week from Union City to San Francisco. 

In 1862 the Mexican government sent emissaries among the rich Castilian 
landowners in California to borrow money. Don Augustine Alviso, the old 
Castilian landowner of the Rancho Los Ceritos, and founder of the village of 
Alviso, loaned General Vallejo in this connection the alleged sum of $69,000 at^ 
the time Emperor Maximillian was striving to get control of the government 
there, upon condition that the Mexican government would pay him $200,000 in 
return for the money and its use. In the eighties a representative of the Alviso 
estate was sent to Mexico to arrange for a settlement of the account ; but those 
who sent him made no statement of what had been collected. As a result Guad- 
aloupe Alviso, in 1897, commenced at Oakland, proceedings for an accounting 
to learn particularly what had become of the Mexican claim. It was shown in 
court that nothing yet had been received from Mexico on the claim. There was 
a dispute at this time over the claim between George and Valentine Alviso. The 
old Don died poor in 18S0, but left several heirs. 

Livermore valley was one of the best grain and hay districts in the state and 
Livermore town sprang into existence, having l)een founded in 1808. Amador 


and Livermore became hostile and once had a fight from the effects of which 
Livermore, who was a small man, came near dying. It was believed that Amador's 
rapidly gained wealth came from the Mission San Jose spoils. The golden age 
of the native Californians was from 1833 to the American conquest about 1846. 
Gambling was a passion and dancing almost a daily pastime. Every house was 
a hostelry. Grain was thrashed with the feet of horses. Plows were made of 
crotched logs, carts were very rude, there being no spoked wheels. The hides 
and tallow of cattle in vast quantities were taken to the embarcaderos with thirty, 
forty or fifty yokes of oxen and sold to Yankee vessels at Alviso. Mission wine 
was the principal drink. Amador while majordomo made fifty barrels of wine a 
year at Mission San Jose. There was much milk and cheese consumed. Pota- 
toes were unknown. Pinole was plentiful, so was wild bee honey. 

Jose Maria Amador was born in San Francisco and had seven brothers and 
seven sisters. In 1827 he became major domo at Mission San Jose, which position 
he filled for ten years. In 1829 he applied to the government of Mexico for a 
grant of land in what became Amador valley — named for him. He did not receive 
this grant until 1832-3, and was then given four square leagues and 1,800 yards 
at the southeast to include a valuable spring. At one time, about 1837-40, 
he had 150 employes, 300 to 400 horses, 13,000 to 14,000 cattle 3,000 to 4,000 
sheep and some swine. In 1848 he caught the gold fever and went with four 
others to the mines. When on the American river fourteen days, they collected 
114 pounds of gold; Valentine, his son, was one of this party. They then 
went to Amador Camp, on Consumne river, where for a short time 
twenty-two ounces per day were taken out by each man. Later they were 
not so successful and returned to Amador valley. In 1852 he sold out to J. W. 
Dougherty, who for many years was the owner. All Amador ever received for 
this princely estate was about $22,000. He married three times and had twenty- 
eight children. ^ ^ f^M QQ^ 

Guillermo Castro obtained a confirmaticm TO^he mnds of the San Lorenzo 
Rancho, April 29, 1865, and a United States patent was issued therefor, while 
not long after, the settlers on the San Ramon Rancho paid the sum of $111,000 
to Horace W. Carpentier for his title thereto. This splendid estate had orig- 
inally cost Mr. Carpentier, it was said, one sack of flour ! 

Simon Zimmerman was a native of Germany and was in California before 
1849. After working in the mines he returned to Germany, but came again to 
California in 1853 and bought the Blue Tent place which later became known as 
the Mountain House. He was in the line of travel and became acquainted with 
many prominent men who stopped at his place. His principal characteristic was 
story telling at which he had no superior in the state. In time he became known 
as "The Old Man of the Mountain." 

In 1SS4 Jose Munos moved from Livermore to East Oakland; he had lived 
in the valley near there for thirty years. He was a native of Chili. He came 
from the mission when Robert Livermore had the only house in the valley and 
there was but one road. He was the manager of the last bull-fight ever held in 
the old pen near Laddsville and was a leading man among the Spanish speaking 

It was the custom of the old Spanish settlers, when riding over the country 
on horseback, to turn in their horse when they reached a corral and take a fresh 


one, the horses being so numerous and cheap that the owners nowhere objected. 
Continuing their rides they repeated this operation often many times before 
concluding their journey. Later under the new and stricter laws of the Ameri- 
cans, they were arrested in many instances for horse stealing when continuing 
this practice, though in the end the horses were to be returned to their proper 

The Santa Rita Ranch. of i,6oo acres near Pleasanton was sold to Samuel 
Hewlett for $120,000 in September, 1883. 

In 1835 thirty residents of the jurisdiction of San Franciso living in the 
Contra Costa region petitioned the Governor to be transferred to the jurisdiction 
of San Jose as follows : 

MAY 30, 1835. 

"The residents of the adjoining ranchos of the north, now belonging to the 
jurisdiction of the part of San Francisco with due respect to your Excellency. 
represent: That finding great detriment and feeling the evils under which they 
labor from belonging to this jurisdiction, whereby they are obliged to represent 
to your Excellency that it causes an entire abandoning of their families for a 
year by those who attend the judiciary functions and are obliged to cross the bay. 
Truthfully speaking, to be obliged to go to the port by land, we are under the 
necessity of traveling forty leagues going and coming back ; and to go by sea we 
are exposed to the danger of being wrecked. By abandoning our families, as 
above stated, it is evident that they must remain without protection against the 
influences of malevolent persons ; they are also exposed to detention and loss of 
labor and property and injury by animals. 

"There is no lodging to be had in that port when for a year an aguntamiento 
is likely to detain them, and should they take their families incurring heavy 
expenses for their transportation and necessary provisioning for the term of their 
•engagement there is no accommodation for them. Wherefore, in view of these 
facts they pray your Excellency to be pleased to allow them to belong to the juris- 
diction of the town of San Jose and recognize a commission of justice that will 
correspond with the said San Jose as capital for the people in the vicinity. Where- 
fore we humbly pray your Excellency to favor the parties interested by acceding 
to their wishes. 

"Antonio Maria Peralta, "Ygnacio Peralta, 

"Joaquin Ysidro Castro, "Bruno Valencia, 

"Blas Narbois, "Joaquin Moraga, 

"Z. Blas Angeliuo, "Ramon Fovero, 

"Saunago Mesa, "Jose Duarte, 

"Juan Jose Castro, "Francisco Pacheco, 

"Candelaro Valencia, "Bartole Pacheco, 

"Jose Peralta, "Mariano Castro, 

"Fernando Feles, "Filipe Bruones, 

"Antonio Amejai, "Julian Veles, 

"Juan Bernal, "Rafael Veles. 

"Marcano Castro, "Francisco Soto, 

"Antonio Ygorce, "Franco Amejo." 


This document was sent to the Governor at Monterey and was passed on 
favorably by the committee and government who expressed the judgment that 
the opinion of the aguntamientos of the towns of San Jose and San Francisco 
should be secured before definite action was taken in the matter and that the 
document should then be returned for final action by the exalted deputation. This 
action was ordered and a list of the residents at San Francisco was directed to 
be taken. The aguntamiento of the town of San Jose said, "With regard to the 
residents on the northern vicinity, now under the jurisdiction of San Francisco 
and who in their memorial prayed to be exempted from belonging to that juris- 
diction, having indispensably to cross the bay or to travel upwards of forty 
leagues; while on half their way they can come to this town, under the jurisdic- 
tion of which they formerly were, which was more suitable and was inconvenient 
to them, this aguntamiento thinks that their prayer should be granted if it is 
so found right." But as might have been expected the petition was treated as 
frivolous by the aguntamiento of the port of San Francisco. It was denied that 
any of them had ever been wrecked in attending to their business aflfairs in the 
Bay of Yerba Buena nor had they been denied the lack of accommodation at the 
presidio. This reply was signed by Francisco de Jaro and was dated December 
20, 1835. 


Domingo and Vicente Peralta, claimants for San Antonio granted August 
16, 1820, by Don Pablo Vicente de Sola to Luis Peralta claim filed January 21, 
1852, confirmed by the commission February 7, 1854, by the district court Janu- 
ary 26, 1855, and by the supreme court in 19 Howard, 343; containing 18,848.98 
acres. Patented, February 10, 1877. 

Jose Dolores Pacheco, claimant for Santa Rita, granted April 10, 1839, by 
Juan B. Alvarado to J. D. Pacheco; claim filed, February 21, 1852, rejected by 
the commission, April 25, 1854, confirmed by the district court August 13, 1855, 
and decree affirmed by the United States supreme court in 23 Howard, 495; 
containing 8,894.01 acres. Patented March 18, 1865. 

Jose Noriego and Robert Livermore, claimants for Las Pocitas, two square 
leagues, granted April 10, 1839, by Juan B. Alvarado to Salvio Pacheco; claim 
filed February 2J, 1852, confirmed by the commission, February 14, 1854, and 
by the district court February 18, 1859; containing 8,880 acres. Patented May 
25, 1872. 

Fulgencio Higera, claimant for Agua Caliente, two square leagues, granted 
October 13, 1836, by Nicolas Gutierrez, and April 4, 1839, by Juan B. Alvarado, 
to F. Higuera; claim filed February 27, 1852, confirmed by the commission 
February 14, 1854, and appeal dismissed November 24, 1856; containing 9,- 
563.87 acres. Patented April 17, 1858. 

Jose de Jesus Vallejo, claimant for Arroyo del Alameda, four square leagues, 
granted August 30, 1842, by Juan B. Alvarado to J. de Jesus Vallejo; claim 
filed March 2, 1852, confirmed by the commission October 18, 1853, by the dis- 
trict court March 2, 1857, and appeal dismissed July 28, 1857; containing 17,- 
705.38 acres. Patented January i, 1858. 


Juan Jose Castro, claimant for El Sobrante, eleven square leagues, granted 
April 21, 1841, by Juan B. Alvarado to J. J. Castro, claim filed March 9, 1S52, 
confirmed by the commission July 3, 1855, and appeal dismissed April 6. 1S57. 

Andres Pico et al., claimants for Mission San Jose 30.000 acres, 
granted May 5, 1846, by Pio Pico to Andres Pico and Juan B. Alvarado : claim 
filed March 22, 1852, confirmed by the commission December 18, 1855, and 
rejected by the district court, June 30, 1859. 

Jose Maria -\mador, claimant for San Ramon four square leagues and 
1.800 varas, granted August 17, 1835. by Jose Figueroa to J. M. -Amador, 
claim filed March 23, 1852, confirmed by the conmiission August i, 1854, by 
the district court Januarj- 14, 1856, and appeal dismissed January 10. 1857. 
Patented March 18, 1865. 

Antonio Sunol et al., claimants for El Valle de San Jose, described by 
boundaries, granted April 10, 1839, by Juan B. Alvarado to Antonio Maria Pico 
et al., claim filed May 18, 1852, confirmed \i\ the commission January 31. 1854, 
bj- the district court Januarv^ 14, 1856, and decision of the United States supreme 
court as to the right of appeal in 20 Howard, 261 ; containing 48435.92 acres. 
Patented March 15, 1865. 

Jose Joaquin Estudillo, claimant for San Leandro, one square league, granted 
October 16, 1842, by Juan B. Alvarado to Joaquin Estudillo; claim filed May 
31, 1852, confirmed by the commission Januarj' 9, 1855, by the district court 
May 7, 1857, and by the United States supreme court ; containing 6,829.58 acres. 
Patented July 15, 1863. 

Thomas Pacheco and Augustin Alviso, claimants for Potrero de los Ceritos, 
three square leagues, granted March 2t„ 1844, by Manuel Micheltorena to T. 
Pacheco and A. Alviso; claim filed May 31, 1852, confirmed by the commission 
Februarj- 14, 1854, by the district court October 29, 1855, and by the United 
States supreme court; containing 10.610.26 acres. Patented February 21, 1866. 

Antonio Maria Peralta, claimant for part of San Antonio, two square 
leagues, granted August 16, 1820, by Pablo \'. de Sola to Luis Peralta; claim 
filed June 18, 1852, confirmed by the commission February 7, 1854, by the dis- 
trict court December 4, 1855, and appeal dismissed October 20, 1857. Patented 
Februar\- 3, 1858. 

Ygnacio Peralta, claimant for part of San Antonio, two square leagues, 
granted August 16, 1820, by Pablo \'. de Sola to Luis Peralta ; claim filed June 
18, 1852, confirmed bj' the commission February 7, 1854, by the district court 
Januan- 13, 1857, and appeal dismissed April 20, 1857. Patented Februarv- 10, 
1877. ' 

Guillertno Castro, claimant for part of San Lorenzo, 600 varas 
square, granted Februan.- 23. 1841. by Juan B. Alvarado to G. Castro and for 
San Lorenzo, six square leagues, granted October 24, 1843, by Manuel Michel- 
torena to G. Castro; claim filed July 8, 1852, confirmed by the commission 
February 14, 1853, by the district court July 6, 1855, and appeal dismissed 
January 16, 1858. Patented April 14, 1877. 

Barbara Soto et al.. claimants for San Lorenzo, one and a half square leagues, 
granted October 10, 1842, by Manuel Micheltorena and Januan,- 20, 1844. by 
Juan B. Alvarado to Francisco Soto; claim filed January 22, 1853. confirmed 
by the commission April 24, 1855, by the district court April 2},, 1857. and 
appeal dismissed April 29, 1857. Patented February 14, 1865. 


Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany, claimant for Mission San Jose, in 
Alameda county, founded under Carlos IV, June ii, 1797; claim filed February 
19, 1853, confirmed by the commission December 18, 1855, appeal dismissed in 
Northern District, March 16, 1857, and in Southern District March 15, 1858; 
containing 28.33 acres. Patented March 3, 1858. 

Guillermo Castro, claimant for land granted January 14, 1840, by Juan B. 
Alvarado to G. Castro; claim filed i\Iarch 2, 1853, rejected by the commission, 
May 15, 1855, and appeal dismissed for failure of prosecution March 9, 1857. 

Charles B. Strode, claimant for part of San Antonio, 5,000 acres, 
granted by P. V. de Sola and Luis Antonio Arguello to Luis Peralta; claim 
filed ;March 2, 1853. Discontinued. 

Charles B. Strode, claimant for part of San Antonio, 10,000 acres, 
granted by P. V. de Sola and Luis Antonio Arguello to Luis Peralta; claim 
filed March 2, 1853. Discontinued. 



San Antonio 

San Antonio 

San Antonio 

San Leandro 

San Lorenzo 

San Lorenzo 

Agua Caliente 

Arroyo de la Alameda 

Canada de los \^aqueros 

Mission of San Jose 

Mission of San Jose 

El Pescadero 

Las Positas 

Potrero de los Ceritos 

San Ramon 

Santa Rita 

Valle de San Jose 

Ygo. Peralta 

Y. and D. Peralta 

L. M. Peralta 

J. J. Estudillo 

Barbara Soto, et al. 

Guillermo Castro 

Fulgencio Higuera 

T- de Jesus \'allejo 

R. Livermore, J. Noriego 

Bishop Alemany 

Andres Pico and Alvarado 

A. M. Pico and H. Nagle 

R. Livermore and Noriego 

A. Alviso and D. Pacheco 

J. AI. Amador 

Yountz Administrator 

Sunol and Bernales 

Area of private grants 196,036-95 

Area of public land 275,963.05 

Total area in acres 472,000.00 


In the spring of 1826 Jedediah S. Smith, of New York, and a party of Amer- 
ican hunters crossed the Rocky Mountain system to the Green River valley which 
they followed down to the Colorado river, thence took a westerly course, crossed 
the Sierra Nevada range and reached the Great Central valley of California 
near its lower extremity. During the winter of 1826-7 the party spent the 
time near Tulare lake and in the valleys of the San Joaquin and Sacramento 
rivers, continuing until the summer of 1827. In May, 1827, Smith pitched 
camp in what is now Alameda county near the Mission San Jose to the sur- 
prise of Father Narcise Duran, who not knowing who they were and wishing 
to find out, made verbal inquiries with that object in view. He received the 
following reply in writing from Captain Smith. 

Reverend Father: I understand, through the medium of one of your Chris- 
tian Indians, that you are anxious to know who we are, as some of the Indians 
have been at the mission and informed you that there were certain white peo- 
ple in the country. We are Americans on our journey to the River Columbia. 
We came in at the Mission San Gabriel in January last. I went to San Diego 
and saw the general, and got a passport from him to pass on to that place. I 
have made several efforts to cross the mountains, but the snows being so deep 
I could not succeed in getting over. I returned to this place (it being the only 
point to kill meat) to wait a few weeks till the snow melts so that I can go on. 
The Indians here also being friendly, I consider it the most safe point for me 
to remain until such time as I can cross the mountains with my horses, having 
lost a great many in attempting to cross ten or fifteen days since. I am a long 
ways from home, and am anxious to get there as soon as the nature of the case 
will admit. Our situation is quite unpleasant, being destitute of clothing and 
most of the necessaries of life, wild meat being our principal subsistence. I 
am. Reverend Father, your strange but real friend and Christian brother. 

J. S. Smith. 

No doubt this courteous letter satisfied the father. In all probability the 
Smith party while in this portion of the state in the spring of 1827 explored the 
entire eastern coast line of the bay of San Francisco; and if so passed over 
the present site of Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and their suburbs. 

In 1850 a small flour mill was built at Niles and was the property of J. J. 
Vallejo; three years later he built a much larger and better one on the same 
site — both run by water power. In 1852 a small flour mill was built at the 
Mission San Jose by E. L. Beard and H. G. Ellsworth; it was likewise operated 
by water power. In 1853 J. M. Homer built a steam flour mill at xA.lvarado. 
Mr. Homer raised large quantities of wheat, barley and potatoes which at 


certain times brought almost fabulous prices and at others nothing at all. Mr. 
Homer's mill at Alvarado was afterward bought by Calvin J. Stevens and moved 
to Livermore. John Boyle in 1853, built at San Lorenzo the first blacksmith 
shop in the county ; it was the start of the big agricultural works there. 

Later in the thirties and early in the forties the Americans further east 
began to arrive in California. Dr. John Marsh said that in 1S46 California had 
7,000 persons of Spanish descent, 10,000 civilized or domesticated Indians and 
about seven hundred Americans, 100 English, Irish and Scotch and about fifty 
French, Germans, Italians and others. In addition there were immense 
numbers of wild naked brute Indians. He further said that the far-famed mis- 
sions no longer existed — had nearly all been broken up and apportioned into 

In 1843 Julius Martin, Winston Bennett and Thomas J. Shodden — Amer- 
icans from the East — crossed the mountains and settled in the Contra Costa 
region — Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties. In 1844 the Mur- 
phys located in Santa Clara valley. William M. Mendenhall, John M. Horner, 
Elaim Brown and others came to this region. 

A number of the Mormons who came with Samuel Brannan in July, 1S46, 
to San Francisco on the bark, Brooklyn, crossed the bay and settled at Wash- 
ington, a few miles from San Jose Mission, where they afterward erected a 
Mormon church. According to the statement of one of them, parties coming 
over from San Francisco to explore the Contra Costa region landed at the 
mouth of the Temescal creek, and first visited the house of Vicente Peralta, 
two or three miles inland, at whose hands they invariably had hospitable enter- 
tainment; then following the foothills they called on Antonio Peralta near Fruit 
Vale ; thence on Ygnacio Peralta near San Leandro creek ; from there they went 
to Estudillo's rancho on the south side of the creek, and thence to Guillermo 
Castro's on the jiresent site of Haywards. The roads then lead to Amador's 
and Livermore's ranchos, eastward, and the Mission San Jose southward. San 
Antonio, now Brooklyn, and every other rancho had their embarcaderos on 
the bay shore, to which trading vessels used to send their boats for hides and 

With the discovery of the gold placers in 1848 Mission San Jose became an 
important trading center, where fortunes were rapidly made. Henry C. Smith, 
after a short visit to the mines opened a store at the mission, and made a great 
deal of money. A small town sprang up which was the nucleus of the first 
American settlement in Alameda county. There were no settlements beyond 
the ranchos. Oakland did not exist. 

Charles McLaughlin ran the stage from Oakland to San Jose in 1S53-4. 
Duncan Cameron ran opposition to him, both lines passing through AUarado 
and Centerville. Cameron used California bronchos for his stages and mud- 
wagons; he tamed and subdued them to a certain extent, but they were always 
wild and largely unmanageable. When they started, after being held until 
hitched, it was almost like a Roman chariot race to see them going at full 
speed through mud and water. Often for hours at a time the bronchos and the 
stage loaded with passengers would be mired down and incapable of mov- 
ing until pried out. There were such mud holes between Centerville and .\lva- 


rado and between San Leandro and San Antonio. In the end Cameron got the 
mail contract from McLanghhn. 

In all about one hundred squatters located on the Vallejo rancho and at one 
time, 1854-5, Mr. Vallejo had about seventy suits pending against them. He 
tried one case and was defeated on the ground that he could not maintain eject- 
ment on his Spanish title until he had secured a title from the United States. 
Vallejo's lawyers were W. H. Patterson of the firm Patterson, Wallace & Stowe, 
Gen. C. H. S. Williams and Noble Hamilton. The squatters employed Judge 
S. B. McKee, Judge Archer and Jeremiah Clark. As soon as Vallejo had secured 
his patent from the United States the squatters on 4,000 of his acres paid 
him $35 per acre and the others who were unable to pay secured leases. Craven 
P. Hester was judge when the county seat was removed from Alvarado to San 
Leandro. At the time of the removal the Estudillo house in which court was 
being held was burned to the ground. The judge wishing to be technically exact 
and to comply with the statute held court in the still burning ruins as near the 
exact spot of the courtroom as the heat and smoke would admit. From this spot 
came the lawful authority for the construction of a rough redwood board build- 
ing in which the court was afterward held until the brick courthouse was erected. 
The latter was destroyed by the earthquake of 1868; the walls fell out and the 
roof tumbled down upon the floor, the plastering raising a cloud of dust. In 
front of the courthouse were large, round, brick columns surmounted by iron 
girders carrying the brick front, all of which fell out with a crash, killing J. W. 
Josselyn, deputy county treasurer, who with Charles Palmer had rushed out 
from the back ofifices. 

Don Jose Vallejo contracted with William Garrison in 1853-4 to sell and 
deliver to him the following year, 1,000,000 pounds of potatoes at 13^ or two 
cents a pound, and was paid $5,000 to bind the bargain. To meet his contract 
Vallejo planted about three hundred acres in potatoes on the Buena Vista rancho. 
He duly harvested the crop and piled it up, covered it and waited for the call 
to deliver. But potatoes fell in price so rapidly and completely that Mr. Garrison 
evaded the delivery until the time for completing the contract was nearly gone. 
Vallejo awoke just in time and set 300 men at work to place them on 
the wharf at San Francisco. But in spite of all this he was defeated by trickery 
and in the end lost from $20,000 to $30,000. 

In December, 1863, trouble with squatters commenced on the ranch of H. G. 
Ellsworth near the mission, but that gentleman got rid of them and ultimately 
obtained full possession of the property. At the January term, 1865, of the 
county court this case H. G. Ellsworth versus Elias Simpson and twenty others, 
for trespass as squatters on a portion of the .Mission Ranch was tried, and, after 
several days in court, the plaintiff was awarded damages to the extent of 
$1,000. The legal talent on either side were: For plaintiff, Edward Tompkins; 
for defendants, W. H. Glascock, H. K. W. Clarke and Judge Collins. 

A large settlement around Alvarado came from Berrien county, Michigan, 
among whom were Henry C. Smith, A. M. Church, Socrates Huff", L. B. Huff, 
John S. Chipman, Ebenezer Farley, C. J. Stevens, Mario Liston, Ed Chancey and 
many others. Other early settlers there were William Patterson, Mr. Vesey, 
Joseph Coombs, Black Hook Coombs, Thomas Coombs, Judge A. M. Crane, W. C. 
Pease, lawyer, W. H. Chamberlain, Benjamin Williams, lawyer. Red Horner, 


Joseph Ralph, Doctor Frans, P. E. Edmondson, Parker and Searing, J. A. Trefry, 
WilHam Hayes, Capt. J. S. Sand, Benjamin Marston, R. S. Farrelly, Samuel 
Athey, George Simpson, Joseph Black, E. Munyan. Jeremiah Beedy, George 
Moore, Justin Moore, J. McCormick and James Dubois. John M. and William 
Y. Horner arrived in 185 1 or 1852 and their parents came in the fall of 1852 
directly to Washington Corners (afterward Irvington). The father, Tracy 
Horner, built the first house in Centerville. 

Murray township received its name in the month of June, 1853, when the 
county of Alameda was created from that of Contra Costa, its sponsor being 
Michael Murray, one of its pioneer settlers. In 1826 Don Jose Maria Amador 
settled in the valley which afterwards received his name, and soon after con- 
structed an adobe house on the site of the old residence of C. P. Dougherty. The 
earthquake of July 3, 1868, damaged it so that it was found necessary to 
abandon it. He lived to the great age of one hundred and six years. When 
he arrived he found the country wild in the extreme ; neither habitation nor culti- 
vation met the eye. The wild cattle of the Mission San Jose roamed at will over 
the mountains and valleys ; the Indian held undisputed sway over the soil of 
which he was the primeval monarch ; the mountains and gorges teemed with game, 
both feathered and four-footed. The next settlement within the borders of 
Murray township was by Robert Livermore. He was born in England, in 1799. 
In his youth he shipped as a cabin-boy on board a vessel and ultimately found 
himself in a Peruvian port. Here he joined the English fleet, but finding the 
discipline of the navy too taut, he deserted and made his way to Monterey in a 
hide-drogher. It was about the year 1820 that he came to California. In the 
course of time he arrived in the Pueblo de San Jose where he soon made friends, 
tarried for a space, worked on tlie ranch of Juan Alvarez and acquired the Span- 
ish tongue. He finally went to the Rancho Agua Caliente or Warm Springs, and 
became acquainted with the family of Fulgencio Higuera whose daughter he sub- 
sequently married. While resident in San Jose he formed acquaintanceship with 
Jose Noriego, a Spaniard, and with him went to the valley which has since taken 
its name from the Sunol family, where he located, built a small house, entered upon 
the cultivation of the soil, and embarked in stock-raising. It is presumable that 
in his wanderings after his cattle or game he became familiar with the locality, 
and from the summit of one of the adjacent "lomas" first cast his eyes upon the 
vale which bears his name today, and whither he moved in the year 1839. From 
that period can be dated the first step toward the permanent settlement and 
development of the valley. Livermore at once devoted his attention, almost 
exclusively, to the raising of horned cattle, horses and sheep. For the first few 
years he was greatly harassed by Indians, who stole and slaughtered his cattle 
and even rendered it unsafe at times for himself and family to remain in their 
wilderness home. On such occasions they sought protection under the hospitable 
roof of Don Jose Maria Amador, which was rarely molested. 

In the year 1839 the Rancho Las Pocitas was granted to Don Salvio Pacheco 
who also owned the Rancho Monte del Diablo. During the early part of 1839 
he transferred his interest to Livermore and Noriego who took possession thereof 
April 10, 1839. That same year they erected an abode house near the Pocitas 
creek, which stood until about the year 1875, when it was torn down. Here it 
was on this grant of two leagues of land that Livermore fixed his permanent 


abode and commenced a life that was truly patriarchial. In a few years his flocks 
and herds were counted by thousands, while they roamed about at will over a 
territory that vied in magnitude with many a principality. True, he was sur- 
rounded on every hand by frequent dangers, but these would appear to have added 
zest to his life. His eminent courage and infectious good-nature, however, soon 
made him friends among the families of the ranches. In 1844 he planted a vine- 
yard as well as a pear, apple and olive orchard on the flat near his house. He 
also raised wheat — the first produced in the valley — and by means of a ditch 
brought water from the Pocitas Springs for the purpose of irrigation. In addi- 
tion to the occupation given to these enterprises, he killed his cattle for their 
hides and tallow ; the meat not being saleable was left on the ground. When not 
engaged in this wise he turned his attention to the manufacture of bear's grease 
from grizzlies that fell victims to his unerring rifle. Thus he dwelt for nearly 
fifteen years in the splendid valley which bears his name, while his cattle roamed 
untamed from the Amador valley to the San Joaquin river. Here he brought up 
a family of sons and daughters and lived in peace with all men, unmolested and 
honored. On September 14, 1846, Livermore purchased the Canada de los 
^''aqueros grant, the greater portion of which lay within the boundaries of Contra 
Costa county. This rancho was originally granted in the year 1836 to Miranda 
Higuera and Francisco Alviso, and comprised three square leagues of land. 

Of the original grantees of land, J. D. Pacheco received in 1839 the Santa 
Rita Rancho, located between that of San Ramon and Las Pocitas, but he did not 
place any building of a permanent nature thereupon, although it was occupied 
in 18144 by Francisco Alviso as majordomo. About the same time, towards the 
east end of Livermore valley, grants of land were made to Antonio Maria Pico, 
Antonio Sunol, and Augustin Bernal. 

During the gold excitement he extended an unstinting hospitality to all. The 
immigrants found him ever ready to hold out the right hand of fellowship, to fill 
their exhausted larders, and otherwise aid them with practical knowledge of an 
unknown country. This discovery of gold was also the means of bringing to him 
communication with people speaking his native tongue, and brought him forcibly 
back to his youthful days. The first structure of these days was erected in the 
year 1849, on the site of the Mountain House, not far from the spot where the 
three counties of Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Alameda come to a point. It 
took the form of a "Blue Tent," and being on the direct road to the mines was 
opened and kept as a house of entertainment by Thomas Goodale (or Goodall). 
Here McLeod's stage from Stockton changed horses. For ten years it was a kind 
of special camp for stockmen, rancheros, and immigrants. Goodale subsequently 
constructed an adobe house, in the building of which he employed Indians, and 
this edifice Simon Zimmerman occupied for twenty-seven years. He added to 
it in 1868 by putting a frame building in front, finally, however, pulling it down 
and erecting a large residence on its site. 

In April, 1850, Augustin Bernal brought up his family from Santa Clara 
county, built an adobe house on the west side of Laguna creek, and there took up 
his residence. About the same time Michael Murray, after whom the township 
is named, located near where Dublin stands, built a house and planted an orchard. 
With him came one Jeremiah Fallon, who settled on a place in the Amador 
valley. Also in this year came four brothers named Patterson who located in 


what was known as Patterson Pass. One of them, Nathaniel Greene Patterson 
rented the Livermore adobe and started the first permanent house of entertain- 
ment in the district. In this year, too, Jose Sunol came up to reside on his father's 
possessions. There also dwelt here as majordomo an old Mexican nanied Diego 
Celaya. In this year also Joshua A. Neal was as a resident majordomo for Robert 
Livermore. In 1850 A. Bardellini, the subsequent proprietor of the Washington 
Hotel in Livermore, probably first cast his lot in the district. 

In 1 85 1 the first frame building was erected within the boundary of the 
township by Robert Livermore, the lumber having been brought from one of the 
Atlantic states around the horn to San Francisco and thence transported with 
much difficulty to its future resting place. Seven hundred dollars was paid for its 
construction, the carpenter work being done by John Strickland and John 
Tierney. In time it became known as the "Old Livermore House." John W. 
Kottinger came to the township in August, 185 1, and found located here an 
Englishman named Strickland who lived five miles from Pleasanton on the El 
Valle creek. Near him dwelt a trapper and hunter named Cook, and Francisco 
Alviso resided on the eastern bank of the Laguna creek. In this year also, Juan 
P. Bernal built a residence on the east side of Laguna creek and completed 
it in 1S52. On the bank of the stream known as the Old San Joaquin, Thomas 
McLaughlin located in 1851. About that time Edward Carroll and a man named 
Wright took up a claim in the section known as Corral Hollow, where also in 
the same season Captain Jack O'Brien, commenced sheep-raising. Alphonso Ladd 
and his family also settled in Sunol valley in 185 1. He built a two-story frame 
building, which he occupied until removing to and founding Laddsville, the eastern 
portion of the town of Livermore. Mr. Kottinger built a frame building on the 
east side of Main street, in the village of Pleasanton. In 1852 J. W. Dougherty 
came to the township and bought the lands of Don Jose Maria Amador. Mr. 
Dougherty was a native of Tennessee, and occupied the original Amador adobe 
until it was rendered uninhabitable by an earthquake. In this year also the 
Senors Lorenzo and Juan Sunol moved up into the Sunol valley. These men were 
nephews of the grantee and resided there for only about four years. 

During 1S53 Greene Patterson erected a frame house about two miles south- 
east from where the town of Livermore now stands, and about the same time 
R. W. Defrees built and opened a caravansary on the main road about one mile 
west from the residence of Mr. Livermore. In the same year Thomas Hart 
came to the district, was employed by Livermore for some time, and in 1854 
bought the hostelry mentioned above and called it the Half-way House, it being 
popularly supposed to have been equidistant from Oakland. Stockton and San 
Jose. Here Hart resided until i860, when he removed to the town of Liver- 
more and there died in 1871. Among the settlers who came to the township in 
1853 was John Whitman, who with his family took up his residence on the west 
side of Laguna creek on land near Pleasanton. 

In 1S54 Richard T. Pope came to the township, settled on part of the ranch 
now owned by J. P. Smith, and there engaged in stock-raising for eleven years. 
Messrs. Grover and Glascock occupied a portion of the same ranch. Ben Wil- 
liams was also living there ; John G. Griffith was a settler this year. In this year 
J. West Martin and others came to the section of country near Pleasanton and 
later were the first to embark in farming upon a considerable scale. In the 



spring of the year Simon Zimmerman located at the Mountain House on the 
Stockton road fourteen miles from Livermore. In 1855 Hiram Bailey, a car- 
penter, came to Livermore valley. Early in 1856, Frank Heare came to the 
place now known as Midway and settled in what was called the "Zinc House." 
F. W. Lucas it is said settled near Mr. Pope. 

At this period there were fully fifty thousand head of cattle and horses in the 
township, besides immense droves of sheep in the hills and mountains. Few 
attempts at agriculture were made, as it was generally believed that the soil 
would produce nothing but grass. At Livermore's place, Alisal (Pleasanton) 
and Amador's both grain and vegetables were raised, but in a very small way. 
Everybody in the valley was interested in stock-raising, and no other industry 
was in operation, nor hardly thought of. In the year 1856, however, the first 
blow toward the complete revolution of the industrial interests of the district 
was struck. Joseph Livermore had some time previously fenced a 160 acre 
field on the Pocitas grant, including a portion of another ranch, and that vear 
sowed .the field to wheat. This was the first field of small grain ever raised 
in the Livermore valley. In this year among the new-comers were Thomas Raf- 
ferty, J. L. Bangs and Michael McCollier. 

In 1857 Joseph Black and two brothers named Carrick began raising wheat 
in the west end of Livermore valley, the first-named putting in 400 acres 
on the ranch of Jeremiah Fallon and the brdthers a like amount on the 
Dougherty estate adjoining. In the summer of 1857 Robert Livermore sank an 
artesian well near his residence. A depth of about seven hundred feet was 
reached at the time of Mr. Livermore's death when work was abandoned. At 
that sounding the water came within ten feet of the surface. A cross-pipe 
was put in and a flowing stream of water brought out on the hillside below the 
house. The cost of this well was not less than $5,000. 

In the fall of 1858 John Green came to the township. Near where Dublin 
now stands, Edward Horan lived and four miles to the eastward was William 
Murray. About the same time John Martin and his family came up from San 
Mateo county and located among the hills about a mile and a half from Dublin. 
Not long after James F. Kapp and Robert Graham settled in the township. 
Among those who arrived in 1859 was Adam Fath, who located on land about 
six miles from Livermore. 

In this year Lysander Stone and William Meek came to the township. In 
1860 the first town in Murray township was started. This was Dublin. In 
i860 Hiram Bailey sowed eighty acres of wheat on the Pocitas grant, three 
miles north of Livermore; the same year Joseph Black rented 400 acres 
from Dougherty in addition to what he was already farming on the Fallon 
Ranch. In that year, also, S. B. Martin, who had in 1854 purchased the Santa 
Rita rancho, increased his sowing area by several hundred acres. 

During 1861 the acreage of sowed land was increased 1,000 acres by 
Alexander Esdon. Hiram Bailey added to his farming operations. In 1S62 
Charles Hadsell came to the Sunol valley. The Argenti Hotel was then kept 
by a Frenchman named Bertrand. George Buttner was here. Samuel Bonner 
resided near where Sunol now is. Farther down the Laguna creek was Isaac 
Trough, and not far from him was a man named Higgins. In this year wheat- 
raising was in full progress in the west end of Livermore valley ; fences sprung 


up everywhere, stock was crowded up towards the Livermore ranch (which 
was then thought unfit for agricultural purposes) and flour-producing grain 
became an established fact, the yield, in many instances, being enormous, while 
the general average was about a ton to the acre. The number of cattle was still 
on the increase, there being in that year no fewer than eight thousand head of 
calves branded on the rancho of the Bernals. In 1863 John Booken, Amos S. 
Bangs and Maas Lueders arrived. 

In 1863-64, that commonly known as the "dry year," two brothers named 
Bean farmed about four hundred acres of the Bernal grant, two miles south- 
east of the Livermore House, where the yield of grain was immense. Among 
those who arrived at this time and made their permanent homes within the lim- 
its of the township, were Dr. I. X. Mark, Frederick and Charles Rose, Martin 
Alendenhall, Hugh Dougherty and Peter McKeany. In 1864 W. M. Mendenhall 
settled near Livermore. Settlers now came in great numbers, and either by 
purchase or pre-emption located in the district in every direction. There was 
one drawback^the uncertainty of land titles. The chief cause of this was 
doubt regarding the boundaries of the Pocitas or Livermore grant. 

The United States patent, which was issued February 18, 1859, granted 
"two leagues, more or less," within certain boundaries. The limits described, 
however, contained upwards of eleven leagues, which amount was claimed by 
the heirs of Robert Livermore. On March i, 1871, this matter was definitely 
settled by the approval of the second Dyer survey (two leagues) by the com- 
missioner of the general land office at Washington, in accordance with a deci- 
sion by the secretary of the interior, a decision which threw open for peaceable 
pre-emption a large extent of country, and, coming as it did immediately after 
the completion of the railroad through the valley, resulted in bringing in a 
large population. Towns sprung up as if by magic; every year widened the 
extent of the grain fields, and witnessed the building of new homes. The stock 
interests had given way to the plow, and the hut of the Mexican vaquero was 
supplanted by the cozy cottage of the tiller of the soil. 

S. Zimmerman was one of the first settlers of the county. His Mountain 
House was on the early highway between the ^ilission San Jose. Oakland and 
Stockton. To the westward the nearest habitation was that of the Livermores in 
the pass and valley. To the eastward, ten miles away, lived the Chamberlains. 
Zimmerman was not far from some of the strongholds of the Mexican bandit, 
Joaquin Murietta, Brusha Peak and Corral Hollow. Murietta and his band 
were road agents and the terror of this new country then. More than once they 
visited the Mountain House and carried their measures with a high and reck- 
less hand. Zimmerman's family consisted of himself, wife and five children. 
This was in 1863. On one occasion the sheriff of Alameda county arrested at 
Zimmerman's two road agents — one named Gibbons who had stolen two horses 
from Mr. Sweet of San Leandro. Two stage robbers were captured on the 
same visit and the stage driver found that one of them was his own brother. 
The four men were convicted and served out their sentences. 

On January 25, 1846, John C. Fremont and party passed across Alameda 
county; they crossed the hillside near the laguna between Sunol and Pleasanton. 
During the war of 1846-7 other armed bands crossed Alamedo county to and 
from the active theatre of events. Fremont's party took nearly all of Ama- 


dor's best tame horses and paid nothing for them. Amador was allowed to 
keep one mustang. Amador to the day of his death denounced Fremont as a 
"great scoundrel." 

The sandy peninsula of Oakland was covered with a dense growth of oak 
trees, which subsequently gave to the place its name, and beneath the trees 
were numerous thickets of chaparral and tangled underbrush. Some four miles 
to the north was the residence of Vicente Peralta, and around it were settled 
a few other native Californians. The only use made of the peninsula of Oak- 
land was to obtain from it the necessary supplies of fuel. 

The first actual settler in what is the city of Oakland was Moses Chase, 
who pitched his tent at what became East Oakland in the winter of 1849-50, 
and commenced hunting. Here he was found by the Patten brothers on their 
arrival in February, 1850. Next came Col. Henry S. Fitch, and Colonel Whit- 
ney, who made an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the tract of land. In the 
summer of 1850 appeared Moon, Carpentier and Adams, who squatted upon the 
land, holding that it belonged to the Government and not to Peralta, and erected 
a shanty near the foot of Broadway. The Spanish owner now made an attempt 
to oust these men and secured a writ of ejectment from the county court at 
Martinez, and a posse of men, under Deputy Sheriff Kelly, was sent to eject 
them, but Moon, Carpentier and Adams obtained a lease of a number of acres 
of land on certain conditions and laid out a town. The Patten brothers (Rob- 
ert F., William and Edward) shortly after leased a tract of land from Peralta, 
and afterward went into partnership with Chase. They cleared 100 acres 
and planted it in barley and wheat. At the close of the litigation about the title 
to those lands, between the Peraltas and other, which the Peraltas won, 800 
acres which had been leased by Mr. Chase, were deeded to C. B. Strode, as 
a part of the 6,000 acres given by them for his legal services. Strode deeded to 
Chase and the Pattens, 400 acres on their agreeing to survey the tract, and 
place it on the market in town lots. This they did, and founded the town of 
Clinton. In 1851, Edson Adams, A. J. Moon and Horace W. Carpentier, with- 
out paying the slightest regard to the rights of Peralta, the owner of the land, 
squatted on the Rancho San Antonio near the foot of the present Broadway 
street. They made no attempt to buy or lease any of the land, but seemed to 
have adopted the resolution of possessing themselves of it by other means than 
those of right and justice. They boldly assumed that it was Government land, 
and proceeded to parcel it out among themselves. They were soon followed 
by other squatters, and the lawful owners found themselves hemmed in on 
everyside by the trespassers. The thousands of cattle belonging to Peralta, 
roaming among the oaks and feeding upon the plains, were stolen and killed. 
His timber was cut and carried away without being paid for. The courts at 
that time were unorganized and justice was tardy. 

Vicente Peralta got a writ of ejectment from the county court at Mar- 
tinez against Adams, Moon and Carpentier, and a party of well armed and 
mounted men under Deputy Sheriff Kelly was sent out to enforce it. Kelly's ten 
or twelve men were joined by about forty native Californians and on arriving 
at the shanty in the Encinal grove they found Moon alone in possession. He 
was calm and pretended to be much astonished at the proceeding. He pro- 
tested that himself and his associates held Peralta in the highest regard, and 


that nothing could be farther from tlieir intentions than to do him injury. Any 
thing that Peraha desired they would do. The smoothness of his tongue and 
the wiliness of his way were such that Peralta was disarmed, and he con- 
cluded to accept Moon's promises. A compromise was effected, and the land 
that the three squatters occupied was leased to them. While Moon was talking so 
smoothly there was a party of ruffians, headed by the notorious Billy Mulligan, 
ambushed close by, ready to dispute the possession if necessary. 

In 1850 men were sawing lumber in the redwoods of San Antonio, and 
between there and the Mission San Jose — a distance of over twenty miles — there 
were only two or three native Californian rancheros and their retainers. Jose 
Joaquin. Estudillo's was the only residence at San Leandro. San Leandro was 
an Indian rancheria. Guillermo Castro had the whole site of the present Hay- 
wards. Jose Maria Amador had many broad acres in his rancho of San Ramon. 
Mount Eden was a wilderness. New Haven was the landing place of Mission 
San lose, without a house in it. Centerville had in its vicinity a few settlers 
who had come there in 1850. John M. Horner almost alone occupied Washington 
Corners. The mission town had some white settlers, and a considerable number 
of natives. Henrj' C. Smith, the storekeeper, was alcalde under appointment 
of Governor Riley. The virtues of the Agua Caliente, or Warm Springs, were 
known to only a few native Californians and Indians. The son of Antonio Sunol 
occupied the whole valley of his name. Augustin Bernal had settled at Alisal, now 
Pleasanton, in 1850, and together with Joseph Livermore, Jose Noriego, Fran- 
cisco Alviso, and Jose Maria Amador possessed half of the county. Wild cattle 
roamed in thousands. The hills were covered with wild oats. Wild mustard was 
abundant and grew luxuriantly. Deer and all kinds of wild game were plenti- 
ful. Such was the condition of Alameda county in 1850-51. 

Mission San Jose and the settlers of the vicinity constantly were suft"erers from 
Indian raiders. Expeditions were often organized to aid the troops in punishing 
the plunderers. In 1838 the ranches as far as San Juan Bautista were assailed, 
and in 1839 thefts of horses and other stock became so frequent and alarming 
that several expeditions had to march against the depredators, many of whom 
were killed and others taken prisoners. In 1840 the Indians became still bolder, 
until Yoscolo, their leader, was slain, and his head stuck up on a pole in Santa 
Clara. His followers then made peace, promising good behavior. A regular 
patrol was finally established between .San Jose and San Juan to guard the 

In 1853 the squatters of the county formed an association for their mutual 
protection and interests under the name "The Pre-emptioner's League." One of 
the articles was as follows: "Every person, to become a member of this league, 
must be a settler within the county of Alameda, must pay five dollars into the 
treasury and subscribe to the following obligations, to-wit : We the undersigned 
do solemnly agree and by these presents bind ourselves each to the other and all 
to each one, that individually we will make us overtures to the land claimants 
for a settlement of our difficulties with them and will reject all such as may be 
made to us by them until such overtures shall have been submitted to and 
approved by this league; that we will contribute equally of money in support 
of this League and at all time hold ourselves in readiness to aid and assist each 
other to defend our homes and farms from the grasping service of land 


In what may be termed the pre-American days there was one belt of redwoods 
which was known by the name of San Antonio, where the production of lumber 
was carried on to a great extent. The redwoods were the only forest trees in 
the county, save the usual clusters of oaks that give a park-like appearance to 
the scenery. Brooklyn township was comprised entirely in the territory known 
as the Rancho San Antonio, granted to Don Luis Maria Peralta for meritorious 
services, the lands lying within its boundaries being those given to his two sons, 
Antonio Maria and Ygnacio Peralta. On the San Leandro creek, in what is 
Brooklyn township, the two brothers erected their adobe house, the first residence 
built within its borders. The San Antonio redwoods were early discovered, 
and in the summer of 1847 they were well known, and a trade with Yerba Buena 
(San Francisco) had sprung up. Here many of the earlier citizens gained their 
first Californian experience. Then came the discovery of gold in 1848, and with 
it the rush of people to the Pacific coast. For the first year or two all went to 
the mines, but as they wearied, sickened, or lost heart, they tried fortune in the 
lower country, and many came to the redwood region of San Antonio to find 
employment in the manufacture of lumber and shingles. Steam was soon 

About the year 1849 a Frenchman commenced the erection of a mill in the 
redwoods, which was never completed, but, passing into the hands of Harry 
Meiggs in 1851, was by him sold to Volney D. Moody, president of the First 
National Bank of Oakland. In 1852, D. A. Plummer entered the employ of Mr. 
Moody, and the following year purchased the concern. In 1852 two more mills 
were erected by William and Thomas Prince, and a man named Brown. Sub- 
sequently Tupper and Hamilton put up another, as did also a man named Spicer, 
which last stood at the head of the canyon, its neighbor being Prince's mill, and 
lower down the Tupper and Hamilton place ; Mr. Moody's stood about a mile on 
the Brooklyn side of the summit. In course of time, from its convenience to the 
rapidly increasing city of San Francisco, the timber was in a very few years com- 
pletely sawed out, and the hundreds of laborers who there found work were com- 
pelled to depart. 

In August, 1849, three brothers, Robert F., William and Edward C. Patten 
crossed the bay to visit the giant redwoods of San Antonio, of which they had 
heard much. Procuring a whaleboat they made for Contra Costa, and landing 
near Seventh street, Oakland, found the country a vast undulating field of lux- 
uriant grass, some ten inches in height. 

The native Californians at this time were bound by a solemn pledge not to sell, 
nor even give information in regard to lands. They said: "If we can't fight these 
heathens out, we can starve them ; for we can keep them from a permanent 
settlement here." Undeterred by this fact the Pattens sought the advice of a 
Frenchman, who had pitched his tent not far from the San Antonio creek, and, 
through him, entered into negotiations with Antonio Maria Peralta, at his house 
in Fruit Vale, which culminated in their leasing 160 acres, and, taking possession, 
became the first permanent American settlers in Brooklyn township. 

When they arrived, there was a shanty standing but by whom it was built 
is not known. Early in 1850 it was in charge of a man named Hoober, a Penn- 
sylvania printer, but when the Pattens came it had been abandoned. The brothers 
also found, when they crossed the bay, Moses Chase, in ill health, attended by a 


friend, living in a tent about the foot of Broadway. Chase had determined to 
return to the eastern states, and had come to the Contra Costa to pass his time 
in hunting and recuperating during the mild Californian winter, ere going back 
to his home in the spring. The brothers taking a liking to him induced him to 
join them, which he did, and was afterwards invested with the like proprietary 
rights as themselves. In 1851 the Pattens leased an additional 300 acres for a 
term of eight years. In 1850 they commenced farming, but on the extension 
of their territory they laid nearly the whole of their possessions under a crop 
consisting chiefly of barley and wheat. During the first year of their residence 
fifty tons of hay were cut on the site of Clinton, which netted S70 per ton, the 
market price being $80, but $10 of which were deducted for freight to San 

Early in the year 185 1 the superior advantages of this location became known 
to James B. Larue, who acquired some property from Antonio Maria Peralta, 
and determined to found the nucleus of a town. In 185 1 he took up his resi- 
dence in Brooklyn township, and there resided until the day of his death in 1872. 
His first establishment was a tent covered with hides and stood near what is 
now the junction of Twelfth street and Fifteenth avenue, and here he opened a 
store to supply the lumbermen in the redwoods with goods. He immediately com- 
menced the construction of the Louis Winegard house, whither he transferred 
his goods from the tent, and took up his residence with his wife and his son Luke. 
He was joined, early in 1852, by Antonio Fonte. At that time besides the tent 
of Mr. Larue, a Mexican named Manuel Paracio had a corral standing at Twelfth 
and Fourteenth streets and Fourteenth and Sixteenth avenues, and a man named 
Parker had a "rum-mill" at East Twelfth street, between Fifteenth and Six- 
teenth avenues. This place was built some time previously by a man named Dean. 
A slaughter-house was here and at Twentieth street stood a large farmhouse occu- 
pied by Manuel Baragan, a Chileno, who farmed a large tract as far as the 
boundary line of Alameda township. The land to the west of Fourteenth avenue 
was farmed by the Patten brothers and their associate, Moses Chase. In 185 1 
William C. Blackwood settled among the redwoods. 

But one foreigner anterior to 1849 attempted to locate permanently here. 
In the year 1845 James Alexander Forbes was authorized by Bezar Simons, at 
the time captain of the American ship Magnolia, to purchase a tract of land 
for him on the bay of San Francisco, and just before his departure from the port 
both men crossed the bay in a ship's boat to San Leandro to see if the purchase 
of the rancho could be effected from Estudillo, who, however, refused to sell. 
He declined the offer of $10,000 made by Simons, stating that he would not take 
double the sum, as he wanted it for his family. Subsequent to this, John B. 
Ward, who had married Melina Concepcion, eldest daughter of Don J. J. Estu- 
dillo, took up his abode in the township. 

Immense numbers of wild fowl then made the sloughs and marshes their 
home. They brought almost fal)ulous prices in the first and palmiest days of 
San Francisco markets. Many men who occupied their time during the sum- 
mer months in the mines, turned their attention in winter to killing game for 
the city commission merchants, and many made more money in this way than 
they did at gold digging. It was in the search for game that the first settlers 
came to Eden township. 


In the month of December, 1849, there crossed the bay in a whale-boat, 
with baggage and guns, Thomas W. Mulford and Moses Wicks, A. R. Biggs of 
San Francisco, E. Minor Smith and W. C. Smith. They landed on the shore 
in the vicinity of the Estudillo mansion, there pitched their tent and com- 
menced a war upon the feathered denizens of the marshes. At this date there 
were probably no permanent foreign settlers and no houses save those of the 
Spaniards mentioned above, an Indian hut where the graveyard at San Lorenzo 
stood and an Indian rancheria on the site later occupied by the county hospital. 
This party dwelt in a tent pitched on the shore, and in the spring of 1850 
erected a "ten by twelve" cabin which was used as a cook-house, subsequently 
adding a chimney thereto of brick taken from a pile which had been thrown 
into the bay — the refuse of those used in the construction of the new Estudillo 
house. The cabin stood on the margin of the bay, but its site was later washed 
away by the rolling surf. In the spring of 1851 the dwelling tent gave place to 
a cabin, and there it remained on the original location until 1876. That win- 
ter another party located temporarily at the mouth of the San Leandro creek; 
they were Robert Smith, Stephen Smith, a Mr. Solomon, and several others. 
They did nothing more than hunt in the locality. 

In the spring of 1850 a field of wheat, about ten acres in extent, was put 
in by the Senor Estudillo and some Sonorians, which gladdened the eyes of the few 
Americans then roaming about the district. This green oasis amid the appar- 
ently sterile region was at the lower end of Leweling's place near the Hayward 
road, where the Sonorians also had a dwelling. This was by no means the 
first cultivation of the cereals in Eden township, for the Spaniards sowed 
wheat, planted corn, and raised quantities to provide for their own house- 
holds. In his will Don J. J. Estudillo says: "I declare that I leave at dif- 
ferent places on the rancho three fields sown in barley, in company with Don 
Guillermo Davis — one with ^Mexicans, and another with Sonorians — of which 
contracts exist, written agreements, signed," etc. The industry of stock-rais- 
ing was still prosecuted with energy, there being on the Estudillo rancho alone in 
1850, 3,000 head of cattle, more than that number of sheep, and fifty horses 
of all classes. In the month of October, 1850, Capt. William Roberts came to 
the township and established himself at Roberts' Landing, then known as 
Thompson's, whence he commenced freighting with small craft to ditTerent 
points along the bay. His settlement was soon after followed by that of 
Captain Chisholm. 

In the fall of 185 1 William Hayward came to the township and first located 
on what he thought was land belonging to the Government in Polomares caiion, 
but which he was quickly informed was the property of Guillermo Castro, who, 
however, suggested his removal farther down the valley. This he did, and 
early in the following year, 1852, located on A street, Hayward, and there 
erected the first building in the flourishing town that bears his name. 

During 1S52 the squatters took possession, of the entire plain. What is 
now San Lorenzo was known as Squatterville. They found their chief attrac- 
tions apparently on the Estudillo rancho, for it was to that portion of the 
township that their attentions were principally turned. The rancho was believed 
to be Government land, and it was not until after years of litigation that the 
squatters were disabused of this belief. Among those who took possession of 


part under such an idea was Franklin Ray. He erected a dwelling house in 
the vicinity of San Leandro and on being warned off, refused, when, on March 
21, 1852, the owners of the rancho tore down the building, to recover the value 
of which, namely, $300, he brought suit. This was only one of manv cases of 
the same nature. With this great influx of people came many of those whose 
names are now among the most honored in the county. There were Robert 
S. Farrelly, William C. Blackwood, ^Messrs. Crane, Kennedy, McMurtry, Camp- 
bell, Harlan and Johnson. They were followed by Fritz Boehmer. Charles 
Duerr, William Field, George Meyer, Alexander Patterson, Juel Russell, and 
John Johnson, who all settled in the vicinity of Mount Eden, which up to 
that time had been entirely unoccupied. In 1852 also there are the names of 
Peter Olsen, John W. Jamison, Alexander Allen, and Liberty Perham. This 
year Eden township had its commencement. In 1856 Castro was compelled 
to mortgage his estate and then piece by piece the lands were brought to the 
hammer, and finally, in 1864, they passed entirely into the hands of Faxon D. 
Atherton who gave Castro $30,000 for them, with which amount he went into 
a self-inflicted exile in South America. Among the men who made their homes 
in Eden in 1853 are Henry Smyth, George S. Meyer, Tim. Hauschildt. David 
S. Smalley, Joseph De Mont, J. F. Elliott, John Huff, William Mahoney, E D. 
Alann, Thomas W. Alulford, Moses Wicks, William Smith, E. .IMinor Smith and 
Emerson T. Crane. 

From this year onward the growth and prosperity of Eden township was 
wonderful. In the next decade the population increased many fold. The names 
of those arriving in 1855 were Richard Barron, Joseph Graham, Josiah G. 
Bickell; in 1856 William Knox, Otis Hill, Frederick Wrede, John Wille. Con- 
rad Liese, Ferdinand Schultz ; in 1857 W. T. Lemon; in 1858 Maas Lueders, 
W. H. Miller; in 1859 Watkin W. Wynn; in i860 N. D. Dutcher, John W. Clark; 
in 1861 Frederick Brustgrun, A. P. Rose; in 1862 Duncan Sinclair, O. W. 
Owen, A. W. Schafer; in 1865 E. B. Renshaw and hundreds of others. 

A rusty old six-pound cannon lay for years within twenty or thirty feet of 
the sidewalk on Washington Square, Oakland. The gun was known by the 
older inhabitants as the "Squatter Gun." The country for miles around was 
in possession of squatters at the commencement and warm times were experi- 
enced by them in their fight to hold their ground. The gun was purchased by the 
squatters from the captain of a vessel which came around the Horn, and was 
brought over to Oakland in 1852, to be used for giving an alarm to the occu- 
pants of the entire valley in the event of an attempt to forcibly eject any of 
the possessors of the land. It was at first proposed to procure a bell for that 
purpose, but the bell advocates agreed to the argument that the sound of a 
bell could not be heard as far as the report of a cannon, and so the squatter 
gun was procured. 




There was introduced in the city council on May 17, 1852, an ordinance for 
the disposal of the water front belonging to the town of Oakland and for the 
construction of wharves, the essential part reading as follows : The exclusive 
right and privilege of constructing wharves, piers and docks at any points 
within the corporate limits of the town of Oakland, with the right of collecting 
wharfage and dockage at such rates as he may deem reasonable, is hereby 
granted and confirmed unto Horace \V. Carpentier and his legal representatives 
for the period of thirty-seven years; provided that the said grantee or his 
representatives shall within six months provide a wharf at the foot of Main 
street, at least twenty feet wide, and extending towards deep water fifteen 
feet beyond the present wharf at the foot of said street ; that he or they shall 
within one year construct a wharf at the foot of F street or G street, extend- 
ing out to boat channel, and also within twenty months another wharf at the 
foot of D street or E street; provided that two per cent of the receipts for 
wharfage shall be payable to the town of Oakland. With a view the more 
speedily to carry out the intentions and purposes of the Act of the Legislature, 
passed May 4, 1852, entitled An Act to incorporate the Town of Oakland, and 
to provide for the construction of wharves thereat, in which certain property 
is granted and released to the town of Oakland, to facilitate the making of 
certain improvements; now, therefore, in consideration of the premises herein 
contained, and of a certain obligation made by said Horace W. Carpentier with 
the town of Oakland, in which he undertakes to build for said town a public 
schoolhouse, the water front of said town, that is to say, the land lying within 
the limits of the town of Oakland between high tide and ship channel, as 
described in said act, together with all the right, title and interest of the town 
of Oakland therein is hereby sold, granted and released unto the said Horace 
W. Carpentier and to his assigns of legal representatives, with all the improve- 
ments, rights and interests thereunto belonging. 

■ Mr. Carpentier at once entered upon his newly acquired possessions, and, 
in accordance with the ordinance and its provisions made a report respecting 
wharfage, on the 30th of December, accompanied by an affidavit that the due 
percentage of wharfage and dockage had been paid to the town of Oakland, 
up to date. On July 12, 1853, he reported in further proof of what was 
required from him, that "I have built a substantial, elegant and commodious 
schoolhouse for said town, which is now completed and ready for delivery. 
In the plan and construction of the building I have intended to go beyond 
rather than to fall short of the obligation of my contract. I would also state 
for the official information of the board that a free school is at present main- 


tained at my expense in the building above referred to, which. I am happy to 
inform you, is well attended and promises to be the beginning of an important 
system of free schools. I herewith transmit to you a conveyance of the school- 
house together with a deed for the lots upon which it is erected; I trust that 
the building will meet your approval, and that the additional present of the 
lots will prove acceptable to your honorable body." This building stood near 
the corner of Fourth and Clay streets. On the 26th of August, .Mr. Carpentier 
addressed the following communication to the board of trustees : "In pursu- 
ance of my contract with the town of Oakland in accepting the conveyance of 
its water front, I have already expended about $20,000 in wharves, besides 
those referred to in said contract, at a very heavy expense. Believing that the 
wharfage might be pleasing to some who seem to regard the wharves as at 
present conducted as a monopoly to be complained of, I propose to abandon 
the collection of wharfage, provided, the board of trustees will undertake per- 
petually to keep all the wharves in good order and repair. As some of my 
plans may be altered by your decision and as those plans would suffer from 
delay unless this proposal be accepted at the next meeting of the board, I shall 
consider it as withdrawn and void." These propositions were declined, but 
an ordinance was passed concerning wharves and water front, whereby, on the 
completion of the wharf at the foot of Main street (Broadway), and satis- 
factory arrangements being made in respect to the schoolhouse, etc., — the water 
front of the town of Oakland would be granted to Carpentier "in fee simple 

About this time or a little later it l^egan to be felt by the citizens of Oak- 
land that the board of trustees had exceeded their legitimate authority, that 
it was not in their power to sell, grant or release public property unto any 
individual for any consideration. They demanded from the board of trustees 
that legal proceedings should be instituted forthwith to recover the water front 
which belonged to them. This petition is not among the city records, but was 
presented September 10, 1853, and on the 19th the committee to whom the 
matter was referred made a report in writing, recommending that the prayer 
be not granted. This recommendation was unanimously adopted on the motion 
of Trustee Edson Adams. 

Immediately after the signing of the deed which conveyed the water front 
to him, Carpentier placed himself in communication with his niece in New 
York. Harriet N. Carpentier, and from her received an absolute power of 
attorney "to purchase, rent, receive and hold property, real or personal" in 
the State of California, "and to sell, lease, grant, assign and convey any and 
all property, either which I now hold or which I may hereafter acquire in said 
state, using his entire discretion in the premises," under date June 14. 1S52. 
Then, on January 18, 1853, he sold a one-fourth undivided interest of the water 
front to Edward R. Carpentier, who was at the time commissioner of deeds for 
the State of California and residing in New York, for the sum of $2,800, 
together with an equal one-fourth of all rights, titles and claims either present or 
prospective; and, on August 2, 1854, while mayor of the city of Oakland (to 
which office he had been elected in the month of April of that year), he disposed 
of the remaining three-fourths to Harriet N. Carpentier, for the sum of $60,000. 
Under date April 4, 1855, Harriet X. Carpentier purchased from F.dward R. 


Carpentier all the "right, title, claim and interest in and to the water front of the 
city of Oakland, in the county of Alameda, state aforesaid, that is to say, all the 
lands or land and water lying within the limits of said city between high-tide mark 
and ships' channel, the same being the one undivided one-fourth part of the prem- 
ises herein before described" for the sum of $12,000; and on August 16, 1855, 
John B. Watson sold the entire water front property to Harriet N. Carpentier for 
the sum of $6,000. How the property ever passed into the hands of Mr. Watson 
was a matter of the profoundest mystery. 

On December 5, 1853, Horace W. and Edward R. Carpentier executed a lease 
to Edson Adams and Andrew Moon, "for the period of twenty years, an equal, 
undivided two-third interest in and to the following described premises in the 
town of Oakland, county of Alameda, California, the same being a beach and 
water lot, bounded as follows : Commencing at a point in the easterly line of 
Broadway, protracted 420 feet southerly from the southern line of First street ; 
thence running easterly on a line parallel with First street 105 feet; thence run- 
ning northerly on a line parallel with Broadway 50 feet ; thence running westerly 
on a line parallel with First street 105 feet to the easterly line of Broadway con- 
tinued ; thence southerly along said line 50 feet to the place of beginning, being 
the same lot on which the storehouse erected by the said parties is now stand- 
ing," for the sum of $2,000. It was in this transaction that either Edson Adams 
or Andrew Moon appeared in the role of lessees, although it was pretty generally 
admitted that the former claimed one-half of the entire property, and, indeed, 
did eventually obtain his share by forcible measures, subsequently selling it to 
the Central Pacific Railroad Company for a large sum. 

For these and other cogent reasons a riot of indignant citizens was threatened ; 
therefore, on October 22, 1853, it was ordered that "circumstances appearing to 
endanger the destruction by riot of the town records, the clerk is authorized to 
remove them to a place of safety." This was done. That the exasperated mob 
took their revenge upon the property of Carpentier is learned from the statement 
of the records, for on November 19th of the same year the president laid before 
the board of trustees a certified copy of a summons and complaint in the case of 
Horace W. Carpentier versus the town of Oakland, in a suit for $4,500, damages 
to the plaintiff's property from a riotous assemblage, to which-, on motion of "Sir. 
Moon, the president, an answer was directed to be filed. This was ordered to 
be transferred, by consent, from the district court of Alameda county to the 
superior court of the city of San Francisco on January 18, 1854, and on the nth 
of February H. P. Watkins was employed as counsel to defend the cause, but 
on February i8th an ordinance was passed compromising the suit. On August 

5, 1854, at the meeting of the city council. Alderman A. D. Eanies, presented 
ordinance No. 34, entitled, "An ordinance to provide for the construction and 
maintenance of a wharf in the city of Oakland." 

The ordinance was passed at the regular meeting of the council held August 

6, 1854, and on the 19th four separate petitions, signed in all by 170 citizens, were 
received in favor of building the wharf on the southwestern corner of the 
Encinal. At the same session, August 19th, the ordinance above mentioned hav- 
ing previously been sent to Mayor Carpentier for his signature and approval, 
was returned to the council without his approval. 


The council, however, refused to be influenced; they therefore referred the 
ordinance to a special committee, consisting of Messrs. Eames, Blake and Kelsey, 
who were empowered to take the advice of counsel in San Francisco on the sub- 
ject. Having consulted the law firm of Crittenden & Ingo. these gentlemen gave 
their opinion — presumably in favor of the city. On September 13th, it was 
moved by Alderman Marier that the ordinance providing for the maintenance 
and construction of a wharf be taken up, and carried. This was done by the fol- 
lowing vote: Ayes — Aldermen Eames, Gallagher, Marier and Kelsev. Xoes — 
Alderman Josselyn. 

On October 7, 1854, a communication from the Attorney-General, having 
reference to the water front, was presented by Alderman Josselyn, and ordered 
placed on file, but this important document has also vanished from the records, 
as has the resolution proposed by Mr. Marier, and passed on the 21st of the same 
month, whereby the marshal was instructed to erase from the assessment books 
the impost on the water front. What pressure or suasion was brought to bear 
upon the council to induce them to pass the ordinance to repeal "An Ordinance 
to provide for the construction and maintenance of a wharf in the City of Oak- 
land," which had been passed finally on the previous 15th of September, will 
probably never be known, but the fact is that the mayor won the day and gave 
his approval to it (it was passed December 9, 1854) on December 11, 1854. 

The special ferry committee made the following report: The ordinance 
which it is proposed to repeal was passed by the board of trustees of the town of 
Oakland, on March 5, 1853. It authorizes and directs the conveyance to E. R. 
Carpentier, his heirs, agents, or assigns of exclusive ferry privileges "between 
Oakland and San Francisco, or between the said town or any other place," for 
the term of twenty years, together with all the ferry rights, privileges and fran- 
chises which now are or may hereafter be held or owned by the town of Oakland. 

The ordinance directing this conveyance to Mr. Carpentier is but one of sim- 
ilar ordinances by which the town of Oakland has been unlawfully despoiled of 
her property, divested of her rights, and retarded in her prosperity. Prior to the 
passage of this ordinance, the trustees of the town granted to the brother of said 
Carpentier all the water front of the town extending to ship channel in the Bay 
of San Francisco, together with the exclusive right of constructing wharves 
and collecting wharfage (without limit or restriction), for thirty-seven years. A 
mere nominal percentage, without guarantee or security to the town, and amount- 
ing, in the course of two or three years to about $100, is the only consideration 
(with the exception of a small frame schoolhouse for which no deed can be found) 
profl:"ered to the town for the aforesaid grants. As trifling as this consideration 
is, the grantee in the latter case applied to the board of trustees, and obtained 
the passage of an ordinance by which the town assumes all taxes which might 
be levied upon any wharf or wharves which he had constructed or might here- 
after construct. This would render the city liable for the state and county taxes 
upon said wharves, which, at a moderate estimate, would amount in one year to 
more than the aforesaid has amounted to in two years ; thus compelling the city 
to pay a premium to the grantees for taking all the property, ferry rights, 
privileges and franchises which the town of Oakland had, present or prospective, 
to give away. Under this arrangement the people of tlife town are plundered of 
their property, and then taxed to pay the taxes of those who have jjlundered them. 


and to support a monopoly which adds its exactions to the measure of iniquity 
thus imposed upon the community. 

As matters now stand, two individuals claim exclusive and entire control 
over the only outlet through which the farmer can gain access to the market, or the 
merchant transport his goods. If the grants to these individuals be valid, 
they can charge whatever rates of freight and wharfage they may choose to 
exact, and if the article transported should be thus taxed to double its value, the 
owner thereof could have no redress, A monopoly which so completely subjects 
a whole community to the caprice of an individual, cannot stand the test of the 
law. In the case before us, your committee would suggest that the ordinance 
which it is proposed to repeal is of itself null and void. To suppose that the 
town of Oakland has any right to establish such a ferry across the Bay of San 
Francisco, is about equivalent to supposing that she has a right to grant exclusive 
ferry privileges to the Sandwich Islands. But, however absurd the ordinance in 
question may be, the impression prevails to some extent that so long as said 
ordinance stands unrepealed, so long does the city of Oakland indorse the 
nefarious contract of a board of trustees who administered the town govern- 
ment for the especial benefit of two or three individuals, and to the detriment 
of the community at large. That this impression may be removed, and that any 
mere shadow of right on which the present ferry monopoly pretends to exist 
may be dissipated, and that the public may know that the door is open for 
unlimited competition, your committee report back the ordinance and recommend 
its passage, with an amendment declaring any contract made under or by virtue 
of said ordinance null and void. 

Oakland, June 14, 1855. E. Gibbons, 

L. Johnson, 

Thus was war declared against monopolies and the Carpentiers' water front 
claim. To support their action in repealing the ordinance concerning wharves 
the committee on streets and buildings on August 8, 1855, was authorized to 
advertise for proposals to build a wharf at the foot of Bay street. The jetty 
was to be not less than 850 yards long, with a T at the end 100 feet in length 
and fifty feet broad. This wharf was never completed. The passage of the ferry 
ordinance was followed by the establishment of a ferry by James B. Larue, of 
Brooklyn, which act led to the famous suit of Minturn versus Larue. 

The following affidavit of A. Marier was taken in evidence on May 28, 
1858: "Amedee Marier, being duly sworn, deposes and says, that he is a resident 
of the city of Oakland, in the county of Alameda, and has resided in said city, 
formerly town of Oakland, since April, 185 1 ; that at the first election of trustees 
for said town, held on the loth day of May, 1852, he was elected a member of 
the board of trustees, and at the third meeting of said trustees he was chosen 
president of the board, that he was present at the meeting of the board at 
which was passed the 'Ordinance for the Disposal of the Water Front of 
of the Town of Oakland, and to Provide for the Construction of Wharves;' 
that said ordinance was introduced on the 17th of May, 1852, and was 
finally passed on the i8th of May; that the ordinance as presented was in 
the handwriting of Horace W. Carpentier ; that on the 17th of May, 1852, before 
the meeting of the board, said Carpentier exhibited the proposed ordinance to 


the deponent, and wished deponent to vote for it; that deponent refused to do 
so, whereupon said Carpentier stated to deponent that the object of having the 
ordinance passed was to secure the water front to the town of Oakland, and 
to enable the settlers to compromise with the claimants to the land on which 
the town of Oakland was situated; that there was some talk of a called session 
of the Legislature, and if there was a called session, the Act of Incorporation 
would be repealed; and upon this subject he made to deponent various repre- 
sentations to induce him to support said ordinance, all which tended to show that 
the ordinance would benefit and could not injure the people of the town; that 
deponent did not then read the ordinance, but said Carpentier stated its contents 
to be that it was a grant to himself of the water front, and the exclusive privilege 
of constructing wharves at Oakland; but he said that he did not care to have 
the grant to himself; that he would rather that some other person should take 
it, than himself; that he would hold it in trust for the town, and reconvey it to 
the town whenever requested; that deponent, relying upon these representations 
and promises, consented to support the ordinance, and at the meeting of the board 
did vote for it; that before its final passage there were some amendments made 
to it by striking out the word 'forever,' and inserting the words 'for the period of 
thirty-seven years,' which alterations, as deponent then supposed and still believes, 
applied to the grant of the water front as well as to the privilege of constructing 
wharves; that deponent afterwards signed the ordinance, now on file, under the 
same impression, believing that it was a true copy of the ordinance and amend- 
ments as passed, and did not know until some time afterwards that it was incor- 
rect in not limiting the grant of the water front to the period of thirty-seven years. 

"And deponent says that some time afterwards, as president of the board of 
trustees, he signed the grant or contract, dated May 31, 1852, made in pursuance 
of said ordinance; that said contract had been previously drawn up by said 
Carpentier, and was laid with other papers on the table in the room where the 
board met, where it remained for some days, but deponent was reluctant to sign 
it, and was determined not to do so until said Carpentier should give bonds ac- 
cording to his promise, to reconvey the property whenever requested; that at 
length the said contract was presented to deponent by said Carpentier in person, 
on board the ferry-steamer Erastus Corning, at the wharf in the city of San 
Francisco, and deponent was requested by said Carpentier then to sign it; that 
said Carpentier represented that he wanted it immediately for some important 
purposes, deponent thinks to submit it to the land commissioners, and that it 
was very important that it should be executed at once; that deponent asked said 
Carpentier where was the bond that he was to give to reconvey, to which said 
Carpentier replied that he had not time to give it then, but would give it as 
soon as he came over to Oakland, and thereupon, relying upon the representa- 
tions and promises of said Carpentier, deponent signed said contract. 

"And deponent says, that at that time he knew very little of the nature and 
effects of deeds and grants, or of the forms and modes of doing business in 
municipal bodies, and had unlimited confidence in said Carpentier, who used to 
act as clerk and draw up papers for the board of trustees and its members, and 
advise and counsel them in all matters connected with municipal matters, no 
member of the board being able, unassisted, to draw up an ordinance. 


"And deponent says that prior to the passage of the act of the Legislature 
incorporating the town of Oakland, the name of the place was Contra Costa, 
and it had never been called Oakland so far as deponent knew ; that no proposi- 
tion had ever been made amongst the residents of the place to change its name or 
to have it incorporated, nor had there ever been any discussion upon these matters 
nor any wish expressed for the incorporation of the town; that at the time of 
the passage of the act there were only about seventy-five persons residing at the 
place; that when it became known amongst them, through the newspapers, that 
a town called Oakland, in Contra Costa county, had been incorporated, the people 
did not know that it was the town where they lived, and it was a subject of dis- 
cussion amongst them where the town of Oakland was." 

About the time Mr. Carpentier purchased the water front, the Peraltas, who 
owned the ranch San Antonio, sold to John Clar, Colonel Hays, John Caperton 
and others, all the Encinal of San Antonio for $10,000, which embraced nearly 
the whole city of Oakland except the water front. This sale covered the salt 
marsh in front of the city as well as the upland. 

In regard to the water front Mayor Williams, on March 4, 1857, remarked : 
"The question of the city's title to its water front is of such paramount interest 
that I propose to make it the subject of a special communication to your honor- 
able body at an early day. The great extent of the water front, bounding the 
city on three sides and part of the fourth for a distance of eight or ten miles, and 
its future incalculable value, entitle it to your special and prompt attention. There 
have been put forth some claims of individuals to this large patrimony which 
we believe to be without foundation, and there is also a question as to its owner- 
ship by the proprietors of the Mexican grant of the adjacent shore. To obviate 
any pretense of the individual claims against the city I recommend the immediate 
commencement of a suit at law to quiet the title to this large and valuable prop- 
erty. It is believed an amicable arrangement can be made with the proprietors 
of the Spanish grant to save the city harmless from expense in case of the 
eventual contirmation of their title to this immense domain. The great importance 
of this subject is my apology for reiterating my earnest recommendation of this 
subject to you for your immediate action." 

In April, 1857, the following resolution was adopted : That the proposal of 
H. P. Irving and Joseph Baldwin be hereby accepted, and that they be instructed 
to commence suit immediately for the recovery of the water front. 

In his message of March 28, i860. Mayor J. P. M. Davis refers to the subject 
in these terms : "Prior to the organization of the city government, Oakland had 
fallen a prey to the passions of designing men, who, in an avaricious desire to 
accumulate wealth, regardless of the means by which it was to be obtained, 
seemed to set at defiance all rights of property, public and private. The results 
of this were oftentimes manifested in scenes of lawlessness and disorder on the 
one hand and a reckless regulation and control of municipal affairs on the other. 
The consequences were that when the city was organized under the charter of 
1854 she was found despoiled of all the marsh lands which had been donated to 
the town by the Legislature of the state, and burdened with an enormous debt, 
incurred by most reckless means. For the recovery of the land a suit has been 
instituted by the city which is now pending in the supreme court of the state." 


In i860 the council received a communication from Irving & Thompson, in- 
forming them that the remittitur in the case of the city of Oakland versus H. \\". 
Carpentier, et al., had been sent down and that the costs were due thereon. These 
were ordered paid on May 9th. In the meantime Mr. Carpentier attempted to 
steal a march upon his antagonists in the hope that he might be enabled to keep 
the water front property. To this end he obtained the passage of an act through the 
Legislature, entitled "An Act to amend an Act Entitled an Act to Incorporate the 
City of Oakland," confirming all the ordinances passed by the town of Oakland. 
Of this proceeding the council and the citizens of Oakland were wholly ignorant. 
The twelfth section of the act was as follows : "The corporation created by 
this act shall succeed to all the legal and equitable rights, clauses and privileges, 
and be subject to all the legal or equitable liabilities and obligations of the town 
of Oakland : and the ordinances of the board of trustees of said town are hereby 
ratified and confirmed, and the common council shall have power to maintain 
suits in the proper courts to recover any right or interest, or property which may 
have accrued to the town of Oakland." When the news of the passage of this 
reached the city officials a meeting was immediately convened, and on July 24, 
1861, the following resolutions denouncing the act were passed and published 
in the newspapers and steps were taken to resist any attempt to enforce the law 
and taken to secure its repeal. As soon as the Legislature became aware of the 
true intent of the act it was promptly repealed at the next session. 

In 1863 the water front question assumed a new phase, as will be learned 
from the following action: The city council of Oakland did, on the 14th day 
of January, A. D. 1861, pass an ordinance granting the right of way to the San 
Francisco and Oakland Railroad Company to construct their road through the 
city of Oakland, and, as a further inducement for the construction of their road, 
granted to said company the use of a portion of the overflowed lands situated at 
the western terminus of said road; and that said city council did, on the 21st day 
of January, 1863, prepare a bill and forward the same to the Alameda delega- 
tion in the Legislature, ratifying and confirming said ordinance and the deed exe- 
cuted in pursuance thereof, which bill is jiow pending in the Senate ; and that 
opposition to the passage of said bill has been made by parties claiming all the 
overflowed lands within the limits of the city, and whose aim is to defeat the 
construction of said road or of any other similiar enterprise, and thereby secur- 
ing a monopoly of the transportation of passengers and freight to and from the 
city, under an ordinance improperly obtained from, and, as we believe, illegally 
passed by, the board of trustees of the tovvn of Oakland, in the year 1852; there- 
fore, be it 

Resolved, That the city council of Oakland regard the construction of said 
road as of such vital importance to the interests of this community and of the 
people of Alameda county, that the city of Oakland can well afford to grant the 
use of said lands to said company as an inducement for its construction, and we 
respectfully represent to the honorable Legislature that the passage of said bill 
will destroy rather than establish a monopoly and give almost universal satis- 
faction to the people of this city and county. 

A copy of this resolution was sent to A. M. Crane, member of the House for 
Alameda county. On April 21, 1863, Eugene Casserly, attorney, afterward United 
States Senator, was retained to represent the city of Oakland, and arrangements 


were made with him to draw up a brief and conduct the case of the city versus Car- 
pentier at the time pending, on appeal, in the supreme court. The city was 
defeated, but Carpentier failed on all material points. On legal technicalities he 
prevented any final judgment of ejectment against him. The case was com- 
menced in the third district court in Oakland, and, on application for a change 
of venue was transferred to the fourth district court in San Francisco. A de- 
murrer was entered by Carpentier, and was heard by Judge Campbell. Judge 
Baldwin of the supreme court gave judgment against the city. The city set 
up an action for fraud when it should have been an equitable action, and on the 
first hearing of the demurrer, Judge Baldwin held that the grant of the exclusive 
right of the franchise by the town trustees was absolutely void. But he could 
not reach the power of the question of the water front, by reason of the defective 
pleadings. There was a rehearing granted in the supreme court, and the case 
was sent back to the court below, with the suggestion that the complaint be 
amended on the part of the city. But the city failed to amend. In the district 
court, a judgment was given for the city, but when it went again to the supreme 
court the judgment was reversed in favor of Carpentier. 

It remains a mystery to this day why the city never amended the complaint. 
It is evident that the court was at first on the side of the city because it held 
that so far as the right of the question was concerned, the city was correct. Had 
the pleadings of the city been perfected there is but little doubt that the finding 
of the lower court would have been sustained. In view of the trickery and no 
doubt bribery which attended all the acts of Carpentier and his associates, it 
must be concluded that fraud and the improper use of money determined the 
resuhs of the case in court. 

In August, 1867, the following ordinance was passed by the city council: 
Section i. A suit shall be prosecuted in the proper court to determine the rights 
of the city to the water front, against the persons claiming the same adversely, 
and John B. Felton is hereby retained to act for the city in said suit to be paid for 
his services by a conveyance of an interest equal to fifteen per cent of the prop- 
erty and franchises recovered by the city; but to receive no compensation for his 
services in case nothing shall be recovered. Witnesseth, That for the consider- 
ation hereinafter mentioned, the party of the first part undertakes and agrees, as 
the attorney-at-law of said city, to institute and prosecute to final judgment, a 
suit in the proper courts against the person or persons so claiming said lands 
and franchises, adversely to said city ; to render his personal services therein 
until the title and right to the cause shall be finally settled and determined by 
the supreme court; and the city of Oakland promises and agrees to pay said 
Felton for such services by conveying to him an interest equal to fifteen per 
cent of all the property recovered by the city in said litigation, after the same 
shall have been finally terminated, and a like interest in the franchises, which 
shall be adjusted, as against the persons so claiming them, to belong to the city; 
it being understood that, in case nothing is recovered, the city is to pay the nec- 
essary court costs and disbursements incurred in said litigation. 

On Alarch 27, 1868, the "Water Front Company," whose first board of trus- 
tees consisted of E. R. Carpentier, Horace W. Carpentier, Leland Stanford, 
John B. Felton, Samuel Merritt, and Lloyd Tevis was incorporated. The arti- 
cles of incorporation of this company we now append: This certifies that we, 



whose names are hereunto subscribed, do hereby associate ourselves together, 
and form a company, under the provisions of the act of the Legislature of the 
State of California, passed April 14, 1853, entitled "An act to provide for the 
formation of corporations for certain purposes," and the act amendatory thereto 
and supplemental thereto. The objects for which the said company is formed 
are, to acquire, build, construct, own, hold, manage, use, and control wharves, 
docks, basins, dry-docks, piers, and warehouses in the city of Oakland, and in 
the vicinity thereof, in the State of California, and to lease, sell, convey, grant, 
mortgage, hypothecate, alienate, or otherwise dispose of the same; to borrow 
and loan money; to engage in and carry on the business of commerce, foreign 
and domestic ; to purchase, acquire, manage, hold and control or to lease, sell, 
convey, grant, mortgage, hypothecate, alienate or otherwise dispose of the water 
front of said city, or any part thereof, and any submerged tide and other lands 
in and about the Bay of San Francisco, or elsewhere, together with the rights 
and franchises connected therewith or appurtenant thereto; and also all other 
property, real, personal, or mixed, choses in action, rights, privileges, or fran- 
chises. The corporate name of the said company shall be "The Oakland Water 
Front Company," the time of its existence fifty years, and its principal place of 
business shall be located in the city of Oakland, in the county of Alameda, and 
State of California. The amount of the capital stock of said company shall be 
$5,000,000, and shall consist of 50,000 shares, of $100. 

The claims, demands, controversies, disputes, litigations, and causes of action 
heretofore existing between the city of Oakland, on the one part, and Horace 
W. Carpentier, and his assigns, on the other part, relating to the force, validity, 
and effect of a certain ordinance passed by the board of trustees of the town of 
Oakland, on the iSth day of May, A. D. 1852, are hereby compromised, settled 
and adjusted, this 9th day of March, 1868, and the said above-mentioned ordi- 
nance and conveyance are made valid, binding, and ratified and confirmed, and 
all disputes, litigations, controversies, and claims in and to the franchises and 
property described in said ordinances and deed of conveyance, and every part 
thereof, are abandoned and released to the said city of Oakland, to the said 
Carpentier and his assigns, upon the following conditions, to wit : 

That the said Carpentier and his assigns shall convey, by proper and suffi- 
cient deeds of conveyance, all the property and franchises mentioned and de- 
scribed in said ordinances and deed of conveyance herein before referred to, to 
the Oakland Water Front Company, to be used and applied in accordance with 
the terms, conditions, stipulations and agreement contained in certain contracts 
between the said Oakland Water Front Company and the \\'estern Pacific Rail- 
road Company, and other parties, bearing even date herewith, with the excep- 
tions in the said agreement specified. But nothing herein contained shall be 
deemed to affect any rights of the San Francisco and Oakland Railroad Com- 
pany, derived under an ordinance of the city of Oakland, passed the 20th day 
of November, 1861. In pursuance of the foregoing ordinance Horace \\'. Car- 
pentier executed and delivered to the \\ater Front Company the following 

This indenture, made the 31st day of March, 1868, between Horace W. Car- 
pentier, party of the first part, and the Oakland Water Front Company, party 
of the second part, witnesseth: That the said party of the first part, in con- 


sideration of the sum of $500 to him paid by the said party of the second part, 
the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, hereby gives, grants, sells, and con- 
veys to the said party of the second part, its successors and assigns, the follow- 
ing described premises, to wit: All of the water front of the city of Oakland — 
that is to say, all the lands, and lands covered with water, lying within the limits 
of the said city between high tide and ship channel, being the water-front lands 
within the boundaries described and granted in and defined by the act entitled 
"An act to incorporate the town of Oakland and to provide for the construction 
of wharves thereat," approved May 4, 1852, and the act entitled "An act to 
incorporate the city of Oakland," passed March 25, 1854, and repealing certain 
other acts in relation to said city, approved April 24, 1862, together with all 
the privileges and appurtenances, rights, and franchises thereunto appertaining 
and belonging, together with all rights to collect tolls, wharfage, and dockage 
thereon and therefrom, and all lands, rights, privileges, and franchises of every 
kind and nature which have been heretofore acquired by the party of the first 
part, from the town of Oakland and the city of Oakland, or either of them, and 
all the rights to the above-mentioned lands, franchises, and privileges which he 
may hereafter acquire from the said city of Oakland, excepting therefrom, how- 
ever, so much of the said water front as lies between the middle of Washing- 
ton street and the middle of Franklin street and extending southerly to a line 
parallel to Front street and 200 feet southerly from the present wharf, accord- 
ing to the map of the city of Oakland, with the rights of wharfage, dockage, 
and tolls thereon, to have and to hold the aforesaid and aforegranted premises 
to the said party of the second part, its successors and assigns, to their use and 
behoof forever, in witness whereof the said party of the first part has hereunto 
set his hand and seal the day and year aforesaid. 

At this time (1868), the location of the Central Pacific Railroad terminus 
was about to be fixed in Oakland, through negotiations then pending and about 
to be closed satisfactorily. Everyone said, "Secure the terminus at all hazards, 
even if to do so the entire water front, so far as the city's interests are con- 
cerned has to be deeded to the company." In order to induce the Legislature 
to assist in settling the controversy, an invitation to visit this city and accept its 
hospitalities was tendered to that body, and on February 22, 1868, that mob came 
here, and after feasting and carousing at municipal expense, went back deter- 
mined to help Oakland to get the upper hand of San Francisco in securing what 
was regarded as the greatest prize ever offered to any city on the continent. The 
bills for this banquet were freely and ungrudgingly paid ; and well they might be, 
since as if by magic the moment the bill passed the Legislature, property doubled 
in value and men who had been for years impoverishing themselves in paying 
taxes on unproductive lands, suddenly found themselves transformed into mil- 
lionaires. And this transformation of values was mainly effected by the prospect 
of having the railroad terminus located here. One of the principal agents in 
these negotiations was John B. Felton. Employed by the council and instructed 
by the people, he bartered the city's doubtful interest in the water front to a 
corporation, getting in return therefor that which trebled in value every foot of 
property within the city limits. 

Succeeding the action of the council in taking possession of the water front 
lot formerly granted to the San Francisco and Oakland Railroad Company, that 


corporation brought suit in the third district court against the city of Oakland. 
Judge S. B. McKee decided for the city on the ground that the act was not done 
nor the sale or lease made in the manner prescribed by the city charter. The 
company appealed the case. 

In this year (1869) the Water Front Company entered suit against the city 
to quiet title, which on May lOth, was duly reported on by the city attorney. In 
regard to the matter, August 9th, E. R. Carpentier forwarded the following com- 
munication to Mayor Felton : "I have this day entered a dismissal of the suit 
brought in the twelfth district court by the Oakland Water Front Company 
against the city of Oakland. As you will remember, that suit was instituted 
soon after the water front compromise in pursuance of an understanding, 
then had, that a judgment should be obtained without opposition quieting the 
title of the Water Front Company to its lands and franchises in accordance with 
the terms of the compromise. The then mayor, on whom process was first 
served, was a trustee of the Water Front Company, and he was succeeded in office 
by yourself also a trustee of the company. Under such circumstances it was not 
thought proper to take a judgment by default against the city, and no judgment 
was entered. Recently the city attorney has entered an appearance. But as 
the understanding in pursuance of which the suit was instituted seems to have 
been forgotten by some, and the object of the suit misapprehended by others, and 
there not being at this time any real dispute by the city of the company's title, nor 
any doubt entertained of its validity, the company has thought it proper that the 
case be dismissed." 

In the summer of 1877 a clamor was raised in favor of taking legal steps 
to open up the case from the beginning, the particular occasion for which was the 
dedication by the Oakland Water Front Company to the city of "the channel of 
San Antonio creek from ship channel, in the Bay of San Francisco, to the town 
of San Antonio, said channel or navigable watercourse to be included between 
parallel lines, and to have an uniform width of 400 feet," a width that was deemed 
insufficient for the future commercial wants of Oakland. 

On November 10, 1879, the Central Pacific Railroad Company filed a com- 
plaint against the city of Oakland in an action to quiet the title to the water 
front. On December ist, same year, the council authorized the employment of 
counsel to defend the suits just instituted against the city to quiet the title to 
the water front. Albert A. Cohan was employed, his retainer being $5,000. 
A little later Col. J. P. Hoge was employed and a similar retainer was ordered 
paid to him. 

On January 12, 1882, there was passed "An ordinance to prevent further 
litigation concerning the Oakland water front." Judge Baldwin had previously 
said : "The grant of the exclusive franchise by the trustees is absolutely void. 
The power to lay out and regulate wharves being given to the council, cannot be 
exercised by Carpentier. We think that the general grant of this exclusive 
privilege is wholly void as exceeding the powers of the corporation." Judge 
Hoffman said that "the legality of the grant of an exclusive franchise cannot 
for a moment be supported." The supreme court of California decided : "^^■e 
think then that this general grant of this exclusive privilege is wholly void." 
Governor Haight gave it as his opinion that "The claim advanced by the Water 
Front Company is perfectly baseless." In 46 Cal. 18, appear these words: 



"Nothing short of a very expHcit provision in the law will justify the court in 
holding that the Legislature intended to permit the shore, between high and 
low water mark, to be converted into private ownership." 

Early in 1882 a petition signed by over one thousand residents of Oakland 
asked the council to pass the proposed ordinances providing for the dismissal of 
the suits pending between the city and the Central Pacific Railroad Company and 
the Water Front Company. The ordinance provided that the city should file a 
disclaimer of any interest or estate in certain water front lands in contention. 
The petitioners desired that all suits should be withdrawn and all contests ended, 
and hence the decisive action of the council in January, 1882, in filing in court a 
disclaimer to any portion of the water front not already settled. It was claimed 
that the unwise action of the city in suing over again cases that had already been 
settled several times drove the railroad company to Port Costa where they could 
build grain warehouses on land the title of which was not contested. That 
company had planned here wharves and warehouses on the city front, but 
just at the critical moment wiseacres raised a great furore concerning the title, 
suit was commenced and the result was enormous costs and the loss of the valu- 
able improvements. 

The water front trouble in 1892 was serious. The Water Front Company, it 
was presumed, owned the frontage, but when they began to sell the tracts and 
when the purchasers began to take possession at this time, they were forced ofif 
by rioting mobs which claimed that the water front belonged to the city. In 
August the Water Front Company announced its willingness to do anything fair 
and reasonable for the improvement of the water front. Mr. Crocker officially 
said, "If your city will act in harmony with this company there can be no reason- 
able doubt about the future of the water front." They were ready to lease or 
sell any portion of the frontage not already disposed of. The case which was 
considered to settle the title to the water front property came up in the superior 
court in August, 1892, and was entitled Oakland Water Front Company vs. J. P. 
Dameron, et al., and was brought to quiet title to a tract on the creek frontage 
between Webster and Alice streets. The plaintiff was represented by A. A. 
Moore, J. C. Martin, A. B. Hotchkiss, C. E. Wilson, Harvey S. Brown and Frank 
Shay. The defendants were represented by A. B. Coffin, Michael Mullaney, 
Ben Morgan and W. R. Favis. 

The three superior judges in October, 1892, Henshow, Greene and Ellsworth, 
decided that the Carpentier ordinance should go into the evidence ; that the ordi- 
nance was a valid instrument, that there were no reasons apparent that the grant 
was obtained by Carpentier improperly or illegally and that the town trustees had 
the right to authorize the transfer of the tide lands to Carpentier. By January 
18, 1893, sixty actual trial days had been consumed on the water front case. All 
of this time was occupied by the company in presenting its side of the case. The 
trial commenced on April 16, 1892, and there were numerous adjournments and 
suspensions to enable the lawyers to present their complex cases in the best 
and clearest light. The Chicago lake front decision had direct bearing upon 
many questions involved here. But the fact that the Chicago case in the supreme 
court was decided by four justices to three, furnished both sides in the Oakland 
case with an abundance of legal and colloquial material for new and advanced 
grounds in the great battle here. The first trial of the water front case was 


tedious in the extreme. The appeal transcript numbered 2,000 pages. The com- 
pany introduced 272 exhibits and the city 149. The case was finally concluded 
late in 1898. 

On January 24, 1893, the superior court of the county sitting in bank on the 
water front case granted the motion for a non-suit and thus threw the Water 
Front Company out of court. The court upheld the motion to strike out the evi- 
dence of the grant or grants from the town of Oakland to H. W. Carpentier and 
all the other evidences of title in the Water Front Company to the land in ques- 
tion. The decision of the court followed in a large measure the findings of the 
supreme court of the United States in the Chicago lake front case. It was 
a complete and crushing defeat for all the claims growing out of the presumed 
transfer of the Oakland water front to Mr. Carpentier — a cloud that hung like 
the sword of Damocles over all the water front title here. A stay of sixty days 
was granted to enable the company's attorneys to perfect an appeal. The jury 
fees were $2,147. Thus the state owned the water front. The city had shame- 
fully abused its trust. It had the right in the interest of commerce and naviga- 
tion to give short leases for the use of small portions to various individuals or 
corporations, but it did not have the right to give away or sell over nine thousand 
acres of land and about thirteen miles of water front to one corporation in per- 
petuity. The decision was that a state had rights to water front land which Leg- 
islatures and city councils could not alienate nor overturn. This should have been 
the decision and would have been, back in 1854, had not the influence and 
money of Carpentier prevented the correction of the papers in the case upon 
the suggestion of the state supreme court. But the trouble was not ended. 

The question of riparian rights was not settled by this decision. If the Water 
Front Company could establish their claim to riparian rights they would gain 
control of the tide to low water and thus virtually a title to deep water. Thus 
it was believed that the state should at once proceed to adjust all the riparian 

The water front decision directly afifected Berkeley, as the stretch of water 
on the west had ever been a vexing question. The extension of streets westward 
to the water was violently opposed by all persons claiming the tide lands and 
water front. Private owners claimed the shore of the bay out to deep water 
and thus public construction of piers and wharves was eiTectually stopped. The 
decision of the court caused great rejoicing among all persons who claimed the 
right of the town to the bay frontage. 

It was this decision of the supreme court in 1893 that really freed Oakland 
from the fetters of the iniquitous water front octopus. All the right of the Water 
Front Company to fully three-fourths of the frontage was totally denied on the 
estuary and rendered unprofitable the further holding of the remainder. The 
company, seeing the inevitable, offered its holdings for sale at the rate of about 
one hundred and fifty dollars a front foot ; this land lay along the north shore be- 
tween Broadway and the Peralta street slips. This freedom of the water front 
from contest was succeeded by the rapid completion of the ships channel, the con- 
struction of ample wharves and the establishment of large and valuable indus- 
tries. The Adams wharf was built east of the bridges with a frontage of 1,540 
feet where vessels drawing twenty-three feet of water at low tide could load 
and unload. Balfour Guthrie & Company, built similar improvements at the 


foot of Market street, which were controlled by the Howard Company. James 
de Fremery built large improvements on the Session's Basin property. By 1902 
Oakland harbor could boast of the following advantages: Ships and cars met 
on its water front ; it was land locked ; no storm disturbed its waters ; it was the 
only quiet harbor on the bay where no wind disturbed the vessels; it had the 
largest yard on the bay for the building of wooden ships; already the tonnage 
built annually exceeded that of all other ship yards on the shores of San Fran- 
cisco bay combined; here was the only marine railway dock for repairing and 
cleaning large ships in San Francisco bay; the largest wooden sailing vessels 
ever built on the shores of San Francisco bay were launched from Oakland 
shipyards; the largest coal bunkers in the state were here. 

In 1893 the so-called water front bill was introduced in the Legislature by 
Earl and Dodge. It appropriated $15,000 to defray the costs and expenses nec- 
essary to employ counsel to conduct suits to quiet the title to the Oakland water 
front, San Antonio creek and its bays and estuaries and the Alameda water 
front and for the recovery of the same by the authorities. The water front bill 
was drawn by W. R. Davis at the request of Assemblyman Dodge. The appro- 
priation of $15,000 was changed to $10,000. The bill repealed all the ordinances 
of the city council granting the Oakland water front to Carpentier and gave the 
property to the city to be held in trust for the public. The whole city of Oakland 
was dumfounded late in March, 1893, upon receipt of the message that Governor 
Markham had refused to approve the water front bill. He said that if the state 
had the power, as assumed by the bill, to pass the title to the water front which 
it held as a public trust, then it was a matter of history that it had already parted 
with the title by the act of 1852 by which it was granted to the city of Oakland; 
that if the state had the power to grant away the title, then the present act was 
idle and meaningless, and that as a matter of public policy why should the state 
make a special grant of this character to one municipality, when it had been 
declared the policy in all other instances to manage trusts of this character 
through the instrumentality of its own chosen officers who were directly respon- 
sible to it, as in the instance of the San Francisco harbor water front and those 
of San Diego and Humboldt bay. 

Judge McKenna of the United States circuit court decided in 1893 that 
neither the city nor the railway company should take any further action concerning 
the water front until the rights of both parties were settled in court. In 1893 the 
city of Oakland began suit against the Water Front Company to quiet title to 
a strip of land extending from Lake ]\Ierritt around the water front part of the 
Oakland mole. The examination of H. W. Carpentier was a striking feature 
of the trial in 1893. He was an old man and had heaps of papers before him, 
but answered satisfactorily all questions put by counsel, though slowly and 
deliberately. He produced many of the original documents of the very early 
history of the city and threw much light on disputed points. He said that in 
1852, when the place was incorporated as a town, it had but six or eight buildings 
and but sixty to seventy inhabitants. In March, 1894, the supreme court of the 
United States refused the motion made by City Attorney Johnson to make the 
city of Oakland plaintiff with the state in the water front case. This left the 
city in an independent position for any further action concerning the water 


front. In May Judge Ogden denied the application of the Water Front Company 
for a change of venue. 

The city sued the Water Front Company to recover the entire water front. 
The defendant answered and the city entered a demurrer which was sustained by 
Judge Ogden. The company then filed an amended answer in which appeared 
the following statement : That the entire water front of the former town and 
city of Oakland outside of the harbor between the line of high tide and ships 
channel and for a distance of more than 2J/2 miles between said points, 
in its natural state, was and still is entirely unfitted for commercial pur- 
poses and uses by reason of the shallowness of the water thereon; that in order 
to construct a wharf in aid of commerce it is necessary to fill in or drive piles 
for the distance of 2>4 miles before ships channel is reached and before 
a point is reached at which ocean steamers or vessels can land or receive 
their cargoes ; that when the deed was made and delivered to Carpentier the title 
to said land was valid by the laws of the State of California as then expounded 
by all the departments of its government and administered in its courts of justice. 
Wherefore defendant (the Water Front Company) says that the validity of said 
title cannot be impaired by any subsequent decision of the courts of said state 
altering the construction of the laws under which defendant acquired his prop- 
erty. The answer stated that the water front was sold for $150 under a judginent 
against the city in 1854. 

In July, 1895, Judge Ogden decided that the city of Oakland was the real 
owner of the water front and that the Carpentier grant in 1852 was not legal. 
The basis of the decision was that the grant was against public policy. The num- 
ber of acres recorded by this decision was about seven thousand eight hundred 
and seventy. All of the fourteen titles held by the Water Front Company were 
declared illegal. The decision left the railroad company in possession of eighty 
acres. The Water Front Company was left in possession of all the improve- 
ments it had made — moles, wharves, slips and ferry landings. This case was 
hotly contested on both sides and the decision was not only exhaustive but con- 
tained a complete history of every step in the controversy. The company 
promptly appealed from the decision. 

Alameda was directly affected by the water front decision. Being a peninsula 
it had more water frontage than had Oakland or Berkeley. 

On March 18, 1895, news was received that Chief Justice Fuller had deliv- 
ered an opinion dismissing the bill in equity brought by California against the 
Southern Pacific Railroad Company involving the ownership of the Oakland 
water front for want of original jurisdiction. Nothing concerning the merits 
of the case was settled by this ruling. 

In August, 1896, the Oakland water front case was submitted to the supreme 
court, the attorneys for the city being W. R. Davis, E. J. Pringle and W. L. 
Hill. In his argument before the supreme court of the United States W. R. 
Davis summed up the case for the city of Oakland with the following points: 
First, that under the act of May 4, 1852, viewing the statutory language as 
language and getting its true construction, the trust is so expressed that it 
appears affirmatively that the city could not part with its title to this water front 
or abdicate its trust to another ; second, that there is no fair or just construction 
of the ordinance of 1852 or of any of the subsequent ordinances or proceedings 



under which any estate greater than for a term of thirty-seven years can be 
found ever to have been created, and that the thirty-seven years have expired, 
ending May 17, 1889, long before this suit was begun; third, that under the gen- 
eral doctrine of the decisions, English and American, and of immemorial usage 
and the common law, as well as under the doctrine of the great Chicago decision 
and of the decision in Shively vs. Bowlby, Webber vs. The Harbor Commis- 
sioners, Pollards Lessees vs. Hagan and Martin vs. Waddell, no title in this 
water front could pass to any private owner, whether in the estuary surrounding 
and underlying this government harbor or extending from shore line into the 
ocean waters of the bay. The city was not a party to the suit, but was per- 
mitted to participate as amicus curiae by special leave of the court. As the case 
progressed the court saw from the evidence and facts that the state had granted 
the water front to the town and city of Oakland and that it seemed therefore 
that the city was a party if not the real party interested. Later in the case it 
seemed as if the court was concerned as to whether the suit brought by the state 
should not practically go out of court without disposing of the real merits and 
great questions involved and whether the court should conclude not to take up 
the matter piece meal, but await the coming up of one of the other water front 
suits on writ of error, at which time with all evidence before them the court 
could determine the rights of all parties. 

On September 13, 1897, the supreme court of California decided that pri- 
vate ownership of the water front lands of Oakland could not extend below ordi- 
nary low tide, thus securing for the exclusive control of the people the water 
where wharves and landings could be constructed. The next step on the part 
of the city was to establish its right to open all streets to the line of low tide. 
With this additional right no private corporation or individual, it was declared, 
could control or levy tolls on the water commerce of Oakland and would be 
forever barred from any interference with the brilliant prospects of the city. 

The supreme court in September, 1897, remanded the suits of the city of 
Oakland against the Water Front Company to the superior court of this county 
for a new trial. The city in 1898 was represented by W. R. Davis, W. L. Hill, 
E. J. Pringle and H. A. Powell, and the company by A. A. Moore, W. F. Herrin, 
J. C. Martin and H. S. Brown. 

Early in 1897 there were pending against the city several suits for pieces of 
land on the water front. S. G. Cook sued for a tract at the foot of Peralta 
street, the Southern Pacific Company sued for possession of the wharf at the 
foot of Broadway and the same company sued Ex-Mayor George C. Pardee 
and the members of the old city council for their act of removing the piles driven 
in the water front. In the case of Taylor against Dortin and others over water 
front lands at the foot of Castro street, the defendants won and therefore re- 
mained in possession of the property. The Oakland Water Front Company had 
a collateral interest in the suit as lessors of the property to C.> B. Taylor. At 
this time water frontage sold at from $40 to $200 per front foot. In 1891 the 
city paid the company $500 per acre for two acres for a pumping station site, 
but this did not carry frontage rights. Mr. Moore, attorney for Mr. Taylor, 
appealed the case. 

The purpose of the city's fight was to show by exhibits and testimony the 
use and dedication of the streets leading to the water front prior to and at the 


time of the compromise of 1868. This purpose was in conformity with the order 
contained in the supreme court decision holding the city to be entitled to all the 
streets across the water front to low tide line where such dedication and uses 
could be established. The company claimed that prior to 1868 the streets in 
question could not of necessity be public highways dedicated by user to public 

On February 7, 1901, Judge Ogden filed an opinion in the suit of the city 
against the Oakland Water Front Company to quiet title to tide lands, that the 
title to such land was still vested in the city providing it owned the water front 
prior to 1868 when the streets were dedicated to public use. This left the street 
question open for the supreme court. 

The suit of the city against the Oakland Water Front Company was finally 
disposed of in April, 1902, by Judge Ogden who signed the decree in accord- 
ance with his findings a week before. The supreme court decision took from 
the company nearly eight thousand acres of land, but left them the lands improved 
or in course of improvement by them. The city paid the costs of the first trial. 
and the company of the retrial. 

In February, 1906, Oakland granted to the Western Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany the right of way to the water front and to maintain and lay tracks, build 
terminal depots, warehouse slips and freight sheds at the end of a pier to be 
constructed at the end of the north training wall along the estuary and directly 
opposite the Alameda mole pier line of the Southern Pacific. As the latter 
claimed the strip of land over which the Western Pacific line would have to be 
built, it asked for and was granted an injunction to prevent work thereon. An 
appeal was taken and sustained by the circuit court of appeals. The latter held 
that it was plainly set forth in the transfer of the water front to Carpentier in 
1852 that the rights of the Southern Pacific terminated at the end of thirty- 
seven years. The court said, "The line of low tide that was in existence at the 
time of the act of May 4, 1852, was enacted as the boundary of the grant of the 
state to the city of Oakland. The state is the sole owner of the land beyond that 
boundary." The decision stated in effect that the Southern Pacific was practi- 
cally a trespasser upon property to which it had no right. 

It was a settled fact in 1906 that although the courts had decided that the 
water front lands belonged to the Southern Pacific, the right to construct 
wharves and regulate their use still belonged to Oakland. It was further settled 
that the proper course for the city was to secure competing lines of railway. 
However, at this time Oakland had been free for twelve years from the domi- 
nation of the Southern Pacific system. Therefore, when it was proposed in 
February, 1907, to transfer to the state officials the right to assume sovereignty 
over the water front, many citizens promptly opposed the measure. It was seen 
that such a step might again place the whole water front under the domination 
of the railroad company. The betrayals of 1852, 1868 and 1881 were not for- 
gotten nor forgiven — were a perpetual injunction against the surrender of munic- 
ipal rights. 

It appeared early in 1907 that the Southern Pacific and the Western Pacific 
had united to gain control of the water front for fifty years through the Leavitt 
bill. Their intentions were personally opposed at Sacramento by IMayor Alott and 


his immediate supporters. Through their efforts the bill was abandoned by the 
railway representatives. 

The final vote in the council in November, 1910, on the' proposition to lease 
a tract on the water front to the Southern Pacific Company was nine to two in 
favor of the franchise. This was regarded as the settlement of fifty years of 
struggle over the water front claims. About the same time the war department 
conceded to Oakland the right to reclaim the submerged lands in the Key Route 

The Seventh street franchise for fifty years was granted to the Southern 
Pacific Company in December 1910 upon the following terms: (i) That the 
railroad should receive 5 per cent interest on the capital invested — $723,500; 
(2) that the railroad should also receive 2 per cent on this sum for a parking 
fund; (3) that the railroad should receive 70 per cent of the gross amount col- 
lected for cost of operation, taxes, etc. This was a definite and fixed percentage 
which should not be increased and during the term of the franchise should in- 
clude the cost to the railroad of renewals, betterments, etc., ordinarily included 
in the term "cost of operations ;" (4) that the remainder should be divided 
between the company and the city in the proportion of 35 per cent to the city and 
65 per cent to the company. This was called "the Oakland Plan." 


There passed the Legislature on May 20, 1861, an act granting to certain 
persons "the right to construct and maintain a railroad through certain streets 
in the city of Oakland." The line ran from a point at or near the westerly end 
of the bridge leading from the city of Oakland to the town of Clinton to a 
point on the Bay of San Francisco, where the Alameda county shore approaches 
nearest to Yerba Buena Island, or at such a point as a railroad may be built 
from to said island. The right to so construct, maintain, and operate was granted 
to Redmond Gibbons, William Hillegass, R. E. Cole, Samuel Wood, Joseph 
Black and George Goss, their associates, successors or assigns, for a period of 
fifty years. On November 20, 1861, right of way along Seventh street from its 
easterly limits to or near its junction with Market street, and thence in a straight 
line to the western boundary of the city, was granted and released to the San 
Francisco and Oakland Railroad Company, for the purpose of laying a single 
or double railroad track and the necessary side-tracks. On September 2, 1863, the 
first train of cars passed over the line, the track being completed from the end of 
the wharf to Broadway. After that date the cars made regular trips, in con- 
nection with the Contra Costa ferry-boat. The first engine and first three cars 
used on the line were built at Oakland Point by Mr. Young. The San Francisco 
and Alameda railroad was being constructed and its junction with the Oakland 
line was seriously contemplated. On April i, 1865, the local line was extended 
to Larue's wharf, at San Antonio (Brooklyn) beyond which it did not go until 
purchased by the Central Pacific. 

The little locomotive "J- G. Kellogg" was the second built on the Pacific 
coast ; it was constructed in Alameda in 1865, by A. J. Stevens, who at that 
date was master mechanic of the little San Francisco and Alameda railroad of 
which A. A. Cohen was president. It was built on the open Encinal. This was 
before the Central Pacific absorbed the Cohen road. After various uses, it was 
finally disused, but in 1891 was resurrected, fixed up, painted and sold to the 
Shasta Lumber Company and again put into service. 

On August 24, 1867, the council granted permission to the San Francisco 
and Oakland Railroad Company to erect a station at the Point. In 1863, the 
Western Pacific Railroad Company was formed, its route being from Sacramento 
via Stockton and Livermore to Oakland, and in the same year the Central Pacific 
Railroad Company was established. On August 24, 1868, an ordinance granting 
to the Western Pacific the right of way through certain streets in the city of Oak- 
land, was passed; and on September 25, 1869, Leland Stanford, president of that 
company, petitioned the city council that it would be more convenient for the 
company, and beneficial to the public interests if the council would amend the 
ordinance granting the right of way through Fifth street so that the same should 


read Third and West Third streets. In October, 1869, the Western Pacific and 
San Francisco Bay railroad companies were consolidated into a new company, 
with Leland Stanford, C. P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker, E. B. 
Crocker, E. H. Miller, Jr., and A. P. Stanford as directors, the capital being 

Subsequently the Western Pacific Railroad Company took formal possession 
of the local line and ferry. Extensive additions were at once made to the Ala- 
meda wharf for the temporary accommodation of the overland and interior 
freight, which was discharged upon lighters, towed across the bay and delivered 
to consignees at the Second and King street wharf, at which point freight for 
shipment on the road was also received, thus making San Francisco practically 
the terminus of the overland road as soon as the rails were laid to the eastern 
shore of the bay. With the constantly increasing overland, as well as local freight, 
the necessity for some more expeditious method of handling it soon became 
apparent, and the steamer Oakland was accordingly fitted up as the first car 
ferry-boat, carrying five loaded cars. Suitable slips were provided at Alameda 
and Second street wharves and freight was thus landed in San Francisco with 
but little delay and without breaking bulk. Meantime, work had been commenced 
at Oakland wharf with the view of extending it to ships channel, and providing 
suitable slips for the reception of the largest sea-going vessels, as well as for the 
boats in the regular passenger and freight ferry service. The length of this 
wharf when it came into the possession of the Central Pacific Railroad Company 
was about six thousand nine hundred feet, with a width sufficient for a railroad 
track and a roadway for teams, having at the terminus a single slip for the ferry- 
boat El Capitan. 

Communication with San Francisco was at a very early day kept up by means 
of whale-boats, one of which, the Pirourette, plied regularly as a ferry-boat 
between the embarcadero at San Antonio and San Francisco. On August 4, 
1S51, the court of sessions of Contra Costa county granted a license to H. W. 
Carpentier and A. Moon to run a ferry "from Contra Costa (Oakland) in the 
township of San Antonio, to the city of San Francisco," and fixed the tariflf as 
follows : For one person, $1 ; one horse, $3 ; one wagon, $3 ; one two-horse wagon, 
$5; meat cattle, per head, $3; each hundred weight, 50 cents; each sheep, $1; 
each hog, $1. 

In 1850 the Kangaroo was put on the route, but made only two trips per 
week, her point of departure being San Antonio (afterward East Oakland). A 
small steamer ran from Oakland in 1851 and in 1852, the Boston, and the Caleb 
Cope. Thomas Gray, master, commenced to ply. Towards the end of the year 
the Kate Hayes, the Red Jacket, and other boats were put on the route, until 
finally the Contra Costa Steam Navigation Company was established, with two 
steamers, making regular daily trips, and charging $1 for each passage. In 1852 
San Antonio creek was declared navigable by the Legislature. 

As early as 1852 a steam-ferry was established between Brooklyn and San 
Francisco, the pioneer steamers being the Kangaroo, Hector and Red Jacket ; 
they were followed by the Contra Costa (which was afterwards blown up and 
several lives lost) and the Clinton of the Minturn line. In the year 1857 James 
B. Larue, believing that the rates of fare then charged were excessive and detri- 
mental to the interests of the residents of Alameda countv, liecame associated 


with several others and estabhshed an opposition ferry Hne between Brooklyn, 
Oakland and San Francisco, under the style of the "Oakland and San Antonio 
Steam Navigation Company," its originator becoming president. Having pur- 
chased the steamer Confidence, from her was built the San Antonio, which made 
her initial trip in April, 1858. A general reduction in the rates of fare and freight 
ensued, one-half in the case of the former, and two or three hundred per cent 
in the latter. In the fall of the same year the Oakland was launched and placed 
on the line, and during the summer of 1859 a lively opposition was kept up by 
the rival boats. The enterprise did not pay as well as its promoters anticipated 
and a great majority of them were anxious to sell out. The California Steam 
Navigation Company purchased a large amount of the stock, and tried very hard 
to get the supremacy, thus Mr. Larue was forced to buy a sufficient amount to 
control the entire business or allow the whole scheme to fail; and, in doing so, 
he became largely involved. In 1862 the Oakland and San Francisco Railroad 
and Ferry Line was established, and the steamers were sold to them. But fre- 
quent and rapid communication with San Francisco and low fares and freights 
were established, which naturally increased the value of property. 

In time several steamers were used on the creek route. One of these was the 
Express. She was run by Wingate, and made trips from San Francisco to Oak- 
land and Brooklyn. The Chi-du-Wan was another stern-wheeler of small ca- 
pacity, which was on the creek route in opposition to the regular ferry and to 
two small side-wheelers, the Louise and another, run by the Central Pacific 
railroad, all three making their landings at the old wharf at the foot of Broad- 
way. The Ghi-du-Wan carried passengers across for ten cents. The S. M. 
Whipple, also a stern-wheeler, did service on the creek route for a while. 

In the month of March, 1865, the Contra Costa, or Minturn, ferry line of 
steamers was sold to the San Francisco and Oakland Railroad Company, and 
on April ist that line was extended to Brooklyn. 

In 1869 there was formed the Oakland and Encinal Turnpike and Ferry 
Company, an association of residents of Alameda, who were desirous of some 
cheap and expeditious communication with Oakland, so that they could make 
their purchases there instead of in San Francisco, and in order that they could 
have the benefit of the Oakland day and night boats. They proposed a turnpike 
to the edge of the creek and a ferry across. E. B. Mastick, Charles Baum, 
Thomas Davenport, H. H. Haight, Charles Meinecke, Charles Minturn, B. H. 
Ramsdell, Henry Vrooman and C. H. King, were interested in this project. It 
finally became a law on June 21, 1869. 

In 1865 the contract for the construction of the Western Pacific railroad, 
from San Jose to Stockton, was let to Cox & Meyers, and work commenced in 
the Alameda canyon in the month of June; while the grading of the San Fran- 
cisco and Alameda railroad was completed to San Leandro in January, and the 
laying of the track finished in March, the first trip being made from San Fran- 
cisco, by boat and cars, to San Leandro in an hour and a quarter. In April the 
contract for the completion of the road to Haywards was let to C. D. Bates and 
an opening excursion, free, was had August 25, 1865. On the 22d of March 
the Contra Costa railroad, to connect the San Francisco and Alameda railroad 
with Oakland and San Pablo was incorporated, but no work was done on the 


proposed line. It was afterward carried out by* the Central Pacific Railroad 

In 1869 the great Overland railroad joined the Atlantic and Pacific oceans 
and all the country rejoiced in the accomplishment of this great feat. A most 
frightful railroad accident occurred on November 14, 1869 between the Alameda- 
bound train on the Alameda railroad and the eastern-bound train on the West- 
ern Pacific railroad, about three miles below San Leandro. The Alameda train 
consisted of a locomotive, one box car, three passenger cars, smoking car, and one 
express and baggage car. The Western Pacific train consisted of a locomotive, 
two express and baggage cars, smoking car, two passenger cars, and one sleep- 
ing car. Two cars were "telescoped" on each train. The telescoped cars of the 
Western Pacific train exhibited a more terrible sight. In one end of the car 
were about sixteen men, most of them dead, all injured, jammed and tangled 
with a mass of sticks, splinters, and iron. But two persons were killed on the 
Alameda train — the fireman and one passenger. On receipt of the news Oak- 
land was thrown into a state of the most intense excitement. On Tuesday, the 
i6th, several of the dead were buried in Oakland. The funeral of Judge Bald- 
win took place from the residence of his brother-in-law, the Hon. J. B. Felton, 
and was attended by the Masonic fraternity and members of the bar. 

A new freight ferry-boat, with a capacity for eighteen loaded cars, and addi- 
tional room for sixteen car-loads of loose stock was built and ready for use as 
soon as the new wharf was completed in January, 1871, when the freight and 
passenger business of the company's roads was concentrated at that point. On 
March 24, 1870, an ordinance to authorize the San Francisco and Oakland rail- 
road and the Western Pacific railroad companies to erect and maintain bridges 
across the estuary between the city of Oakland and Brooklyn was passed. In 
1873 an addition of 3.79 miles to the Oakland and Alameda branch, con- 
sisting of a second tract through Railroad avenue and Seventh street, Oak- 
land, from Bay street to Harrison street, and a branch thence to Mastick 
Station, Alameda, was built. Two new steamers designed for the ferry line 
— one for passenger and one for freight service — were built in this year, 
the Oakland being launched in 1874, and the Transit in July, 1875. In 
this year, too, the construction of new ferry-slips was undertaken by the 
harbor commissioners of San Francisco, on East street, between Market and 
Clay streets. In 1875 a new wharf and slip for the ferry-boat running between 
San Francisco and Oakland via San Antonio creek (the creek route) was com- 
menced, and completed in July of the following year, the steamer Capital being 
entirely refitted for service on the line. In 1878 a new wharf and slip for the 
car ferry-steamers were constructed near the mouth of the estuary of San An- 
tonio. In June, 1879, was commenced, and in 1881 was completed the Oak- 
land pier, or mole. 

On May 2, 1870, the right of way was granted to F. K. Shattuck and others 
for a street railway on Twelfth street; thence to Broadway; thence to Eighth 
street; thence to Wood street; thence to Railroad avenue. Another franchise 
was at the same time granted to them for a line on Adeline street and thence 
to the charter line. On August 29th an ordinance granting a franchise for con- 
structing a street railroad from San Antonio creek along the center of Market 
street to the northern charter line of the city, was passed. On May 22. 1871. 





an ordinance granting to Edward Tomkins, Thomas J. Murphy, and others the 
right to lay an iron railway in certain streets and, June 2d, another, giving a 
like privilege to J. S. Emery and others for a steam railroad through Peralta 
street, were passed. The latter was again granted a franchise in 1872. June 
24, 1872, an ordinance granting to the Oakland Central Railroad Company a 
fra,nchise for a line on Second and Franklin streets was passed, and, on Decem- 
ber gtli, a like privilege was granted to H. F. Shepardson, Theodore Meets, H. 
S. Slicer, and J. E. Whitcher. This last was the Alameda road. On March 
9, 1874, the Oakland Railroad Company was authorized to lay down an addi- 
tional track from Fourteenth to Durant streets. On September 21, 1874, an ordi- 
nance granting to the Alameda, Oakland & Piedmont Railroad Company the 
right to lay down an iron railroad on certain streets was passed. On April 12, 
1875, the right to lay a track in certain streets was granted to C. T. Hopkins 
and others. On February 7, 1876, the same privilege was granted to the North- 
ern Railroad Company on Cedar street. On March 13, 1876, the right to con- 
struct a street railroad for horse cars was granted to the East Oakland, Fruit 
Vale and Mills' Seminary Railroad Company. On March 20, 1876, the same right 
was given to Grant I. Taggart and others for a line extending from West Oak- 
land to the eastern limits of the city. On April 24, 1876, the right to construct 
a railroad on Market street was granted to the Oakland, Berkeley and Contra 
Costa Railroad Company, and, on June 26th, a franchise was given to the Broad- 
way and Piedmont Railroad Company. On November 12, 1877, E. C. Sessions 
and others were granted like privileges on East Eleventh street. On February 
17, 1879, an ordinance granting to A. C. Dietz and associates the right to lay a 
steam railroad in the city was passed. On April 3, 1882, an ordinance was passed 
granting to the California and Nevada Railroad Company the like privileges. 

In 1875 quick transit between Berkeley and San Francisco was dead-locked 
by the lack of two miles of street railroad to connect the University district with 
the wharf. There was an omnibus connection, but it was unsatisfactory — only 
a temporary makeshift. At this time the Central Pacific talked of building their 
Bantas extension or branch. The Central Pacific agreed to go to Berkeley for 
$50,000 and the right of way. Oakland desired that Berkeley should go to San 
Francisco via Oakland Point, but this was deemed a roundabout route and was 
rejected from serious consideration. 

In 1875 trains ran on double tracks every half hour to the ferry-landing and 
the steam ferry-boats carried in 1874 a daily average of 9,600 persons. The 
transportation was so excellent that San Francisco was as accessible from Oak- 
land as from any of its outer suburbs. New ferry-boats were being built and 
trains at fifteen-minute intervals were contemplated; single fare 15 cents; 
monthly tickets $3. A passenger boat on the estuary with a landing at the foot 
of Broadway was contemplated. Oakland was bound to continue to be the rail- 
way terminus of San Francisco, owing to the location of the latter on a penin- 
sula. Already large sums of money had been spent by the government for the 
improvement of the harbor which when finished was to be land-locked with a 
frontage of twelve miles and a sufficient depth of water to admit all sea-going 
vessels at any tide. 

It was not until about 1875 that the real industrial development of the country 
around San Francisco bay had its commencement. In that year the great rail- 


road syndicate which found it expensive to move all its trains over the heavy 
grades of the Coast range began building its water level line around the bay 
shores. The road was opened to Martinez in Janvtary, 1878, and remained in 
control until the Santa Fe system was constructed. The combination of trans-con- 
tinental railroad and deep water navigation had a wonderful effect on the whole 
bay region — an effect which neither alone could ever have exercised. The com- 
ing of the railroads made the water front valuable by bringing vessels here, and 
conversely the vessels made business for the railroads. These surroundings 
attracted manufactures which came here late in the seventies and early in the 
eighties. The first blow at Oakland was when the industries began to locate 
at Port Costa instead of in this city or vicinity. It was believed that this was 
caused by the contention over the water front and to the lack of a suitable har- 
bor at Oakland. As time passed other railroads and other industries sought 
Port Costa and vicinity, much to the surprise and disappointment of this city. 
When the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley railroad, the predecessor of 
the Santa Fe, was built and its terminus was established at Point Richmond 
the city was again disappointed. The managers of the valley road stated that 
Point Richmond was selected because it possessed good deep water facilities, 
was nearer to San Francisco and gave the railway immediate connection with 
the deep draught vessels of the ocean — in other words that the lack of deep 
water harbor at Oakland caused the terminus to be located at Point Richmond, 
where the depth though not sufficient was better than at Oakland. Also that 
the valleys of Contra Costa county afforded direct rail lines to deep water while 
such could not be secured at Oakland. Five different surveys through the hills 
and valleys were made before the route to Point Richmond was selected — one 
with a maximum grade of only one per cent. 

In January, 1877, Oakland had five street railroad companies occupying cer- 
tain streets. The capital invested was about $282,000 and the total length of 
the lines was 2114 miles. Several were profitable, though all were built for 
the purpose of bringing real estate tracts into market and making them acces- 
sible. The real estate dealers should be credited with this improvement. Many 
franchises were granted, which were not acted upon, and it was demanded at 
this time that they should be nullified or put into effect. The franchise holders, 
in more than one instance, wanted large bonuses for the franchises which had 
cost them nothing and were a free gift from the city. It was insisted that this 
state of affairs should be summarily terminated. 

Late in April, 1877, the trustees of Alameda granted to the Dumbarton Point 
Narrow Gauge Railroad Company the right of way for a steam railroad through 
any avenue south of Central avenue so as to reach the bay near the foot of 
Central avenue. That company's new ferry-boat was launched at this time. 

The Alameda, Oakland and Piedmont horse cars were running on regular 
time early in May, 1877, from Park street, Alameda, to Seventh street, Oakland. 
It was stated by the press in May, 1877, that 175 buildings were erected within the 
corporate limits of Alameda since the previous December. Others were com- 
menced or contemplated. 

C. F. Delger and associates in 1877 were granted a provisional franchise to 
build a street railroad on San Pablo avenue. A franchise on this street had 
been previously granted to the Oakland Street Railroad Company. 



The enormous increase in travel between San Francisco and points on the 
east side of the bay became so marked in 1877 that additional trips per day 
were called for from all. To meet this demand the local railway lines between 
Alameda, East Oakland. San Leandro, Haywards, Niles, Berkeley and Oakland 
proper on this side and San Francisco on the other put a new time table in oper- 
ation with six additional trains per day and several additional boats. Between 
San Francisco and Berkeley there were under the new schedule nine trips daily 
instead of five as before. This arrangement proved satisfactory for some time. 

In his message of February 2, 1880, the mayor used the following words; 
The last year has been characterized by an unusual activity in railroad enter- 
prises, and there is a prospect that at no distant day the Southern Road, pro- 
jected by Boston capitalists, will connect the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The 
great prosperity that has resulted from the location of the terminus of the Central 
Pacific in this city, is a proper guide for estimating the benefits that may follow 
the construction of other railroads. The city must have open gates for all railway 
companies that are willing and able to extend to us their lines. The interests 
of the city will be best promoted by the location of depots and stations in a central 
part, and it is a proper time now for the council to outline a railroad policy that 
will serve in future contingencies. The Central Pacific extends through the city 
from east to west. It is proposed that another road shall pass through the city 
from north to south. It will double our ferry facilities, and thus greatly increase 
the desirability of Oakland as a place of residence for persons whose business 
is in San Francisco. It will give to Oakland merchants the trade and traffic of an 
extensive territory not otherwise reached by rail. It is of prime importance to 
the people of Oakland that some strong corporation should have an apparent 
and powerful interest in the improvement of the Oakland harbor. A railway 
company whose road terminates at docks inside of the estuary could not fail 
to be a powerful ally of the city in securing from the Federal Government the 
aid that is needed for the improvement of navigation. 

From September i, 1870, to August, 1883, there were granted and approved 
thirty franchises for the construction of street railroads in Oakland and not one 
of these franchises became operative by construction and use. It was an excep- 
tion to find a street not covered by one of these grants, in fact recovered by 
them. A tracery of the lines contemplated showed "a wonderful co-mingling 
of rails." A special committee found in August, 1883, that, in view of the fact 
that these thirty franchises were sought and obtained and then allowed to become 
inoperative through lack of construction, it was a fair deduction that the grantees 
had, obtained the concessions for speculative purposes. Recognizing fully the 
value and importance of street railroads, the committee recommended that no 
franchise should be granted except under conditions that would warrant an early 
construction of the line. It was at this time that a cable road franchise was 
asked for over Webster and Broadway streets and another for a belt road along 
Alice, Jackson, Adeline and others. The council took action to secure bonds 
from all grantees who were given franchises for street railroads, and to require 
an early commencement of the work or the forfeiture of the franchises. 

At a meeting of the board of trade on October 29, 1886, it was decided to 
open negotiations with the Southern Pacific and the South Pacific Coast railroad 
companies for the purpose of securing the following improvements, changes, 


etc. : Water front and improvements thereon ; direct communication with Berke- 
ley; direct communication with Alameda; proper recognition of Oakland in all 
advertising schedules ; round trip tickets to Oakland from interior points and 
tickets at proportionate rates as those charged to San Francisco ; representatives 
in Congress to be required to advocate increased appropriations for Oakland 
harbor. Leland Stanford and James G. Fair were particularly addressed for 
assistance in securing the advancement of the foregoing measures. 

The proposition to construct a cable railroad to Piedmont was pushed early 
in 1888. Eighteen years before that date James Gamble made the first improve- 
ments in that suburb. Now in order to get the railroad he was assisted by F. M. 
Smith, A. S. Gamble, A. N, Towne, H. Watkinson, A. S. McDonald, I. S. Requa, 
F. C. Myers, Du Ray Smith and B. E. Handy. A meeting of the citizens was 
called to consider the question. In the spring of 1888 the people of Livermore 
valley asked the Southern Pacific Company to put on another daily train between 
Livermore and Oakland. There were at this date two trains daily each way 
between the two points — one the Sacramento passenger via Xiles and the other 
the Livermore local. 

In February, 1889, John P. Irish of Oakland was appointed by the President 
one of the commissioners to examine and report on about twenty and one-half 
miles of railroad constructed by the Southern Pacific. On April i, 1889, the 
trustees of Alameda granted a franchise to the Oakland, Alameda and Piedmont 
Railroad Company to construct and maintain a street car line on Park street 
from Santa Clara to Encinal avenue on which the Narrow-gauge then ran. 
The company already had a franchise on Park north of Santa Clara. Early in 
October, 1889, the council granted a franchise to F. K. Shattuck and others to 
construct an electric railroad along Second, Franklin, Thirteenth and Grove 
streets and on to Berkeley. This ordinance was vetoed by Mayor Glascock on 
the ground that it did not contain the five-cent-fare clause as specified in the city 
charter. The veto of Mayor Glascock to the electric street railway franchise 
ordinance in November, 1889, was nullified by its passage over the veto by the 
vote of 10 to I. 

On May 30, 1890, the Narrow-gauge train plunged into the creek while cross- 
ing the Webster street bridge and about thirteen people were drowned. The 
danger signal was not noticed or was not displayed. An immense crowd gathered 
to view the awful spectacle. Nearly all the dead were residents of San Francisco. 
The train engineer was blamed. The engineer fled and hid. In 1890 a shipyard 
was established on the Alameda side of Oakland harbor near the freight slips of 
the Narrow-gauge railroad and was placed under the supervision of Captain 

On September 10, 1890, the count}' board was petitioned to grant a franchise 
to H. W. Meek, C. E. Palmer, W. J. Landers and E. B. Stone for an electric 
road connecting Haywards and Oakland. The petition was signed by Edward 
O. Webb, William Roberts, A. Jones, Franklin Moss, J. P. Dieves and S. Huff. 
The line was projected along the main county road connecting the two points. 

The Piedmont cable road was at last completed in August, 1890; the cable 
was put in on the 20th. The suburban section — from Piedmont to the cable 
house — had been in operation already for about two weeks. \\'ork on this line 
was commenced in July, 1889. The length of the cable was 36,000 feet — both 


divisions. The road was built by the San Francisco Tool Company, the contract 
price being $600,000. When the Piedmont cable line was completed, over 20,000 
people went to the end to see the new transportation line and view the city from 
the hills. 

In May, 1891, the project of an electric road from Oakland to Haywards was 
taken up in earnest and slowly carried into effect. The cost was fixed at $250,- 
000 and landowners along the way were asked to donate the right of way 
or pay a bonus for the advantages gained. This was regarded at the time as 
the most important railroad project since the original railroad and ferry line was 
established. The Oakland and Berkeley Rapid Transit Company's electric road 
was put in operation in May, 1891 ; the cars were built at Stockton. The trial 
trips in the suburbs where the start was made were highly successful. It was 
regarded as an important historical episode. James Gamble of Piedmont was at 
the head of this enterprise. In June, 1891, Colonel Crocker of the Southern 
Pacific Railroad Company stated informally that the horse car and dummy service 
on Telegraph avenue would soon be replaced with an up-to-date electric equip- 
ment. In July, 1891, the board of trade decided formally to aid in raising means 
for the construction of the Oakland, San Leandro and Haywards electric road 
by raising a bonus of $10,000 to start with. 

In August, 1891, many residents of Alvarado, Irvington, Mission San Jose, 
Niles and Centerville asked the county board to grant a franchise to D. Chap- 
pellet and others to build an electric road from Haywards to the Alameda county 
boundary on the way to San Jose. Henry Miller addressed the board on behalf 
of the project. He declared they had the necessary means in hand and would 
make gauge and equipment correspond with those of the proposed Oakland and 
Haywards electric road. Half a dozen towns asked the board to grant the 
franchise. The road was designed to branch at Decoto, one branch taking in 
Niles, Mission San Jose and Irvington and the other taking in Alvarado, 
Newark and Centerville. There was much enthusiasm in favor of the project. 

In February, 1891, the county board passed a resolution requesting the mem- 
bers of the Legislature from this county to use every honorable effort to have 
the laws so amended as to permit the use of electricity as a motive power on 
street railways. This action was due to the growing demand for electric power 
and to the attitude of Mayor Glascock, who believed that such a franchise under 
existing laws was unconstitutional. There was great rejoicing in Oakland, and 
indeed in all parts of the county on February 12, 1891, when news was received 
that the electric street railroad bills had passed the Assembly. Not a vote was 
cast in the Assembly against either bill, although at one time there was sharp 
opposition to both. They went at once to the Senate where they likewise passed 
without difficulty. 

The county board granted a franchise for a street railroad on Alcatraz and 
San Pablo avenues to the Oakland Railroad Company, and another to Herman 
Krusi on Washington and Fruit Vale avenues and Park street in May, 1892. 
In 1 89 1 three horse-car lines yet remained in operation in Oakland — on Four- 
teenth street, on Telegraph Avenue road and on the Tubbs Hotel line. There 
were in operation a cable road on San Pablo avenue and another to Piedmont. 
The Berkeley electric road was in operation. The Sessions- Vandercook electric 
line and the Haywards electric line were to be built at once. 


For years before 1891 it was presumed by the citizens of Alameda that the 
Central Pacific Railroad Company owned a big strip through Railroad avenue 
and that therefore no improvement there could be taken into consideration by 
the municipality. Upon examination by a lawyer it was learned that the com- 
pany had no franchise, because there was no municipality when the tract was 
laid. Attorney Taylor informed the trustees that the avenue was an open street 
and that the railroad company need not be consulted concerning its improvement. 

Late in October, 1891, the Southern Pacific Company definitely concluded, to 
the great delight of the citizens, to build at once an electric road on Telegraph 
avenue to take the place of the horse car line there. 

The construction of the Oakland, San Leandro and Haywards electric rail- 
road in 1891-92 was followed by a marvelous change in the territory between the 
terminals. Several small towns sprang into existence. Whole farms were thrown 
into market by the real estate dealers who sold thousands of lots and acre tracts 
and reaped bountiful harvests. San Leandro grew rapidly and soon doubled in 
population. Haywards extended its limits, laid out new streets. Everywhere 
on that line growth appeared. 

The horse car service rapidly disappeared. The Consolidated Piedmont Cable 
Company had transformed its horse lines into cable lines. The Telegraph avenue 
horse car line was converted into an electric line. The Consolidated company 
adopted and developed an electric street railroad system which was followed by 
enormous growth in the northern part. The Fourteenth street branch was 
operated as an electric feeder of the main cable system. The Haywards electric 
line was succeeded by wonderful growth. The Oakland Consolidated Company 
was expanding and uniting with other lines. No city in the state showed such 
stupendous growth and improvement in street railroad construction as Oakland 
during this eventful year. All the "back country" was threatened by the car 

Cars on the new electric railroad of the East Oakland Company on Eighth 
street began to run regularly in November, 1892. The road was popularly called 
the Sessions and Vandercook line. The road ran from Broadway and Eighth 
streets eastward across the north arm of the estuary to near the Clinton station 
and thence northward past Peralta Heights, Lake Merritt Park and Lake View 
to East Oakland Heights and another branch ran out on Commerce street to 
Eighteenth where transfers were given to the Highland Park and Fruit Vale 

In 1893 F. M. Smith bought from other parties the franchise for an electric 
street railway on Twelfth street from Broadway to West Oakland and soon 
afterward bought a controlling interest in the Oakland Consolidated system which 
included the Grove street, Shattuck avenue, Lorin, West Eighth street and Six- 
teenth street lines. Soon afterward the whole system was conveyed to the Realty 
Syndicate. A little later the Highland Park and Fruitvale electric road was 
annexed, and then came the Piedmont and Mountain View line, the Alameda 
electric line, the California railway which extended to Mills College and finally all 
others in the county. The Oakland Street Railway Company, a branch of the 
Southern Pacific syndicate sold its San Pablo and Telegraph avenue lines to the 
Realty syndicate in February, 1901. It was not until the death of C. P. Hunt- 
ington that the last of the lines passed to the syndicate. The last act was the 


purchase in August, 1901, of the Oakland, San Leandro and Haywards electric 
line. Late in 1901 the Oakland and San Jose railway was incorporated by the 
syndicate, which at this time held seven-tenths of the capital stock of the Oakland 
Transit Company which operated 120 miles of street railroad in the three cities 
and elsewhere. It was necessary for the syndicate to change the road beds 
and the gauge from narrow to broad. The street lines and their extensions were 
built to aid the syndicate's realty sales in the cities and their suburbs, and Pied- 
mont, Berkeley and their adjacencies began to grow as never before, and many 
other sections equally desirable were in a measure neglected. However, the syndi- 
cate was not narrow in its methods, but bought large tracts in all the suburbs, sold 
many lots, built many homes and promptly supplied such sections with satisfactory 
street railway facilities. In a statement issued in October, 1901, the syndicate 
was shown to own a frontage of 285,474 feet which had cost $2,282,129, or 
$7.99 a front foot, and to have sold a frontage of 10,670 feet at an average price 
of $18.02 per front foot. In their purchases were the Laundry Farm quarries 
of paving rock, where large quantities of pyrites ore containing sulphur, copper, 
gold, silver and iron was obtained. In the hills bought were valuable water sup- 
plies which were utilized. The Piedmont Springs had been known for many 

As early as 1893 Oakland had the most complete electric street railway 
system in the United States and nearly every mile was built in two years. There 
were lines on Seventh, Eighth, Twelfth and Fourteenth, Grove, San Pablo, Tele- 
graph, Broadway in part, to Alameda, Piedmont, Fruit Vale and Haywards. 
Half a dozen others were projected or commenced. In May, 1893, the Alameda, 
Oakland and Piedmont line was changed from a horse road to an electric one 
and there was great rejoicing. It had been long called the "Bobtailed Car Line." 

The administration of Mayor Pardee took a pronounced and vigorous stand 
against the claims and pretentions of the Southern Pacific Company in June, 
1893. Finally, under orders from the mayor, a strong force of police took 
possession of the company's wharf at the foot of Broadway, tore up the rails, 
threw out all the Southern Pacific Company's property and kept possession for the 
city. The railway company promptly brought injunction proceedings, and later 
suit in the United States court to restrain the city from interfering with the Broad- 
way wharf. When this case came on for trial in San Francisco H. W. Carpentier 
was one of the witnesses for the company. At that time he was sixty-nine years 
old. In this case the array of lawyers was powerful. For the company were W. F. 
Herrin, H. S. Brown, A. A. Moore, J. C. Martin, J. E. Foulds and for the city 
J. A. Johnson, H. A. Powell, W. R. Davis, E. P. Pringle and Mr. Hill. The 
piles were finally sold at auction by the city authorities. 

In 1893 the Davie Ferry and Transportation Company established a rival 
line with the boats Rosalie and Alvira. It was called the People's Ferry and 
was designed to secure cheaper rates. Soon the Southern Pacific improved its 
service and reduced the fare between San Francisco and Oakland to ten cents. 
A big mass meeting of 2,000 citizens declared the company was trying to kill 
competition — wanted a monopoly of its own. The Davie line was instrumental 
in forcing the other company to reduce rates and afford better service, but was 
not well sustained by the people and in a short time was tied up by creditors. 


In October, 1893, a large force of men under the direction of Mayor Pardee 
pulled out many piles recently driven by the Southern Pacific railway on the new 
mole. This act was in response to the proceedings of the council which declared 
the existence of the piles a nuisance. The railway company promptly secured 
an injunction from Judge Henshaw, but the same night the council obtained an 
order vacating the injunction, whereupon the pulling of the piles was resumed. 
They were brought to the city and heaped up on the city hall lots. 

In November, 1893, the Piedmont Consolidated Cable Company passed into 
the hands of a receiver. The Oakland and San Francisco Terminal Company 
was incorporated in November, 1893. This was an outgrowth of progress and 
not of hostility to any existing system of transportation. In December, 1893 
Mayor Pardee vetoed the Dow Anti-Gate ordinance which prohibited the use of 
gates on railroad passenger cars. In 1894 the Oakland Terminal railway, of 
which F. M. Smith was president, embraced the following lines : The Grove 
Street road and its branches; Twelfth Street electric; Alameda and Piedmont 
electric; Laundry Farm (steam) railroad; control of the California and Nevada 
(narrow gauge and steam) railroad and others. On October 2, 1894, the smok- 
ing car on the rear of the Narrow-gauge train jumped the tracks on the south 
side of the Webster street bridge and plunged into the bay; two or three per- 
sons were killed and several injured. 

The San Joaquin Valley railroad received great stimulus early in 1895 by the 
large subscriptions of the Spreckels — ^$7(X>,00O. Berkeley from the start favored 
the construction of the valley railroad. Land for a terminus at West Berkeley 
was offered with the right of way along the water front and with piers and 
wharves. A meeting of the citizens pledged a donation of $50,000 in consider- 
ation that Berkeley should be chosen as the terminus. This progressive step set a 
spur in the side of Oakland. Mayor Pardee promptly appointed a citizens' com- 
mittee to work for the terminus in Oakland. The maj'or's committee called for 
subscriptions to be paid to secure the terminus. The subscriptions were not a 
bonus, but aid to a legitimate enterprise that would give Oakland a competing 
railway line. By February 20, 1895, $103,500 was subscribed by Oakland cap- 
italists to secure the terminus, the heaviest subscribers being F. R. Delger, 
$15,000; James Moffitt, $10,000; Oakland Bank of Savings, $10,000; Oakland 
Gas Company, $10,000 ; Adams estate, $10,000. The subscriptions for the val- 
ley road amounted to $187,350 by March 9, 1895. 

On March 19, 1895, the Piedmont Consolidated Cable Company's entire 
property was sold at auction for $82,000 to Charles R. Bishop, vice president 
of the Bank of California; his bid was the only one. 

In January, 1896, Egbert Stone and several men began to deposit rails near 
the Plaza in San Leandro with the avowed intention of building a double track 
for the Oakland, San Leandro and Haywards electric line. Marshal Geisen- 
hofer asked them to desist on the ground that they had no authority to lay a 
second track through the town. The marshal finally began to remove the rails. 
A large crowd gathered, the fire bell was rung; shots were fired to attract 
a crowd, blows were struck and several arrests were made. The company claimed 
the right to two tracks. 

In April, 1898, came the announcement of the consolidation of the Southern 
Pacific, Northern, California Pacific and the Northern California railways. In 






April, 1898, the Oakland council passed an ordinance granting the railroad com- 
pany a franchise to run its tracks from Second and Webster streets to the foot 
of Harrison street where it was proposed to build a bridge across the estuary. 

In the summer of 1901 there was little electric lighting in the county east 
of Oakland. Haywards had a small electric plant, but San Leandro was lighted 
from a private gas plant. By March, 1902, through the efforts of the Suburban 
Electric Company, dwellings and business houses from Oakland to Haywards 
and in the district around Centerville and Mission San Jose, were lighted by 
that medium. The Suburban Company secured its power from the Standard 
Electric Company's plant of the Bay Counties Company at Colgate on the Yuba 
river. Thus the Suburban Company acted as a distributing agent. Altogether 
there were about 1,500 lights in use by March i, 1902. The lines were being 
extended in all directions. 

In July, 1901, William G. Henshaw bought two-thirds of the stock of the 
Oakland, San Leandro and Haywards Electric Railway Company. At this time 
the whole road was valued at over nine hundred thousand dollars. He took the 
stock subject to a considerable floating debt. 

In 1900-1 the Oakland Transit Compaxiy"s lines were consolidated with those 
operated by the Oakland Railway Company. This consolidation thus had com- 
plete control of all the street car lines operating in Oakland, Berkeley and Ala- 
meda, the Oakland, San Leandro and Haywards road being the only one not in 
the combine. The consolidation took in the Telegraph and San Pablo avenue 
lines. The Transit Company's interest controlled the new corporation. As the 
majority of its stock was owned by the realty syndicate of which F. M. Smith 
the "Borax King" was president, the latter became practically the boss of the 
new system. The old Pacific improvement company owned a large block of the 
Oakland railway stock. The new corporation held 105J4 miles of track and of 
this 85^4 miles was owned by the Transit system. E. A. Heron as president, 
and W. F. Kelly, as manager, had charge of the consolidated company. 

In November, 1901, the county board granted a franchise to the Suburban 
Electric Company to erect poles and string wires along certain highways of the 

The close of 1906 brought with it a certainty of the settlement of the bitter 
contention over the right of shippers to demand access on equal terms to all 
lines of road having tracks in the city. The Southern Pacific, Santa Fe and Key 
Route were practically forced to this settlement by the Oakland council which 
passed a resolution refusing to grant a franchise for industry plants, spur 
tracks, or belt lines, unless provision for interchange switching was incorporated 
in the ordinance. 

Many new electric lines were planned by the Southern Pacific for Berkeley 
and vicinity late in 1908, all to cost about $3,000,000. Three roads were designed 
to converge at the north end of the Contra Costa county line and a fourth road 
was to extend from Adeline street to the University campus. The steam line 
to Berkeley was changed to an electric one. The Key Route, was also active in 
extending its lines and improving its service. West Berkeley was greatly bene- 
fitted by the changes. Ocean View was given better rail facilities. Previous 
to this date the Key Route and the Oakland Traction companies controlled the 


street electric lines, but now the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific systems 
planned to invade these fruitful fields. 

The entry of the first through passenger train of the Western road into 
Oakland occurred August 22, 19 10, and was celebrated on a grand scale by the 
whole city. It was the completion of the fourth great trans-continental line 
into the city — Southern, Central, Western and Santa Fe. All four companies, 
realizing the great advantages they would gain by such a course, prepared 
to concede many points in order to meet half way the magnificent plans for 
municipal improvement in progress under the city administration. They planned 
great docks, the reclamation of vast areas of tide land, warehouses, track exten- 
sions, etc. The leasing by the Southern Pacific Company for fifty years of a 
strip of the city's western water front was hailed as an admission that lawsuits 
between the city and the company over water front claims were forever past. 


Previous to 1853 what is now known as Alameda county was a part of Contra 
Costa county and its public affairs were managed by the authorities of the latter. 
As early as 1850 several public highways were laid out across this county — one 
extending along the west side of the San Pablo and the San Leandro hills and 
another extending from east to west through the Livermore valley. 

Before the first roads were laid out by the county authorities numerous trails 
ran from ranch to ranch along the valleys and over the hills or led to the Mission 
San Jose towards which at first, like Rome, all roads led. The trails were well 
marked. One ran from the corral of Vicente Peralta, near Temescal along past 
the ranchos of Domingo and Ygnacio Peralta, Castro and on down to that of 
Vallejo near the Mission. Another began near the rancho of Robert Livermore 
at Las Pocitas Spring, thence on past the haciendas of Bernal, Sunol and Alviso, 
following the canyon in summer and crossing the mountains through the Corral 
Pass in winter, down to the mission. Another led from the Tules of the upper 
bay over the mountains and down through the beautiful valley where Amador 
lived, past the ranchos of Castro and Soto on to the mission. On this trail John 
C. Fremont and party rode on their way to Monterey, taking as they went such 
horses of Amador as they wished and never returning them or paying for them. 

The latter was the first road considered by the Alameda county authorities on 
June 6, 1853, at Alvarado, then the county seat. Judge A. M. Crane then presided 
over the court of sessions. The trail was first called Stockton Road and at this 
time was declared a public highway. The second county road was formally located 
from Vicente Peralta's house to Oakland. F. K. Shattuck was one of the viewers 
of this road, which in time became Telegraph avenue. The third ran from Broad- 
way to San Pablo and was called San Pablo road and later avenue. Every one 
road on horseback in those days ; that was the only way to cross the streams, val- 
leys, hills and marshes. There were no buggies till later. 

The original boundary of Contra Costa county was as follows: "Beginning 
at the mouth of Alameda creek and running thence in a southwesterly direction 
to the middle of the Bay of San Francisco ; thence in a northerly or northwesterly 
direction, following as near as may be the middle of the bay to the Straits of San 
Pablo ; thence up the middle of the Bay of San Pablo to the Straits of Carquinez ; 
thence running up the middle of said straits to the Suisan bay and up the middle 
of said bay to the mouth of the San Joaquin river ; thence following up the mid- 
dle of said river to the place known as Pescadero or Lower Crossing ; thence in a 
direct line to the northeast corner of Santa Clara county, which is on the summit 
of the Coast Range near the source of Alameda creek ; thence down the middle of 
said creek to its mouth which was the place of beginning, including the islands 


of San Pablo, Coreacas and Tasoro. The seat of justice shall be at the town of 

The remainder of what is now Alameda county — that is, all south of Ala- 
meda creek — was a portion of Santa Clara county and was denominated Wash- 
ington township, which name was retained after the creation and organization 
of Alameda county in 1853. 

In 1852, while Alameda was still a portion of Contra Costa county, an act 
provided that the stream called San Antonio creek, in the county of Contra Costa, 
should be declared navigable from its mouth to the old embarcadero of San 
Antonio, and no obstruction to the navigation thereof should be permitted. In 
this year the town of Oakland was incorporated. 

On October 28th, the board of supervisors of Contra Costa county made a 
contract with T. C. Gilman to build a bridge across the San Antonio creek, in 
Oakland, the contract price being $7,503. It was stipulated in the contract that 
should the treasurer refuse to pay any warrant or order drawn in favor of Gil- 
man, out of any money belonging to said county, a penalty of five per cent 
per month, to be deemed an interest was to be paid Mr. Gilman. On March 8, 1853, 
the board of supervisors met and accepted the bridge and made an order directing 
the county auditor to draw a warrant upon- the county treasurer, in favor of Gil- 
man, for $7,662.50, that being the contract price of the bridge, together with inter- 
est thereon at five per cent per month from the time the bridge had been completed 
up to the period the order was made. A warrant was drawn by the auditor in 
favor of Gilman and delivered to him March 8, 1853. After long litigation the 
county actually paid for the bridge $31,611.21. 

On March i8th, the Governor approved the bill which created Alameda county 
from Contra Costa county and Washington township of Santa Clara county. 
Its original boundaries were as follows: "Beginning at a point at the head of a 
slough, which is an arm of the Bay of San Francisco, making into the mainland in 
front of the Gegara ranchos ; thence to a live sycamore tree that stands in a 
ravine between the dwellings of Fluhencia and Valentine Gegara; thence up 
said ravine to the top of the mountain; thence in a direct line easterly to the 
junction of the San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties; thence northwesterly on 
the west line of San Joaquin county to the slough known as the Pescadero : thence 
westwardly in a straight line until it strikes the dividing ridge in the direction 
of the house of Jose Harlan in Amador valley; thence westwardly along the 
middle of said ridge crossing the gulch one-half mile below Prince's mill ; thence 
to and running upon the dividing ridge between the redwoods known as the San 
Antonio and Prince Woods ; thence along the top of said ridge to the head of the 
gulch or creek that divides the ranchos of the Peraltas from those known as 
the San Pablo ranchos ; thence down the middle of said gulch to its mouth ; 
and theice westwardly to the eastern line of the county of San Francisco; thence 
along said last mentioned line to the place of beginning. The seat of justice shall 
be at Alvarado." Afterward several changes were made in the boundary. 

At the regular election in 1853 the following officers were chosen: Addison 
M. Crane, county judge; A. N. Broder, sheriff; William H. Coombs, district 
attorney; A. M. Church, county clerk; J. S. Marston, treasurer; Joseph S. Wat- 
kins, public administrator; William H. Chamberlain, coroner; H. A. Higley, 
surveyor; George W. Goucher, assessor; W. A\'. Pjrier, superintendent of schools. 


The senator was Jacob Grewell, who continued to act as joint senator for the 
three counties of Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa, while the first chosen 
member of assembly was Joseph S. Watkins. 

A committee was appointed to contract for the erection of a frame building 
30x60 feet and twelve feet high to the eaves, not to exceed in cost $1,200 at San 
Leandro. The building committee on May 15th reported the structure completed 
at a total cost of $1,265. 

At first the county seat was located at Alvarado, the then center of the county's 
population. As soon as it was determined (1854) to erect county buildings 
various towns, villages and hamlets came forward and urged their several claims 
for that distinction. Petitions were circulated and a sufficient number of signa- 
tures obtained to justify the calling of an election to determine where the future 
county seat should be. The election was held on December 5, 1854, and the 
canvas showed a total of 1,882 votes cast, which were divided among seven 
locations, as follows: Alameda, 232; Alvarado, 614; San Leandro, 782; Oak- 
land, iS; San Lorenzo, 220; Haywards Town, 4; Haywards, 11. No town having 
received a majority of all the votes cast, another election was ordered held on 
December 30th. This time public interest centered upon two places only — Alva- 
rado and San Leandro, the former receiving 1,067 and the latter 1,301 votes, the 
latter thus securing the prize. The aggregate vote of the last mentioned election, 
2,368, exceeded that of the first named by about five hundred ballots, a fact which 
should not be taken as an indication either of increased interest in the matter or of 
sudden growth in population. It was accomplished, it was alleged, by the most 
bare-faced fraud. An election in that day was free to all. Men were imported 
from San Francisco by the boat-load ; no conditions were imposed at the polls that 
were not readily complied with. The newly-acquired honors of San Leandro, 
however, were not destined to remain long uncontested. 

Legal steps to determine the legality of the election were taken and the case 
was temporarily at least settled against San Leandro, because in the following 
August the board of supervisors met at Alvarado. The San Leandro people 
resorted to the Legislature, and on February 8, 1856, a bill was approved which 
confirmed to them the prize. 

As soon as the county officials had betaken themselves to Alvarado in August, 
1855, the question arose touching the legality of all county business transacted at 
San Leandro during its occupancy as the county seat from April 2d to August 
15, 1855. The board of supervisors, therefore passed a resolution affirming and 
re-enacting all resolutions and enactments passed by them during that time. 

On r^Iarch 9, 1855, the act creating a board of supervisors for Alameda county 
was approved. It provided that the first board should be elected on the third Mon- 
day of March, and annually thereafter. This election was duly held March 19, 
and on April 2d the board convened at the courthouse in San Leandro for the 
transaction of business. There were then present : Henry C. Smith of Wash- 
ington township; A. C. Austin of Clinton township; James W. Dougherty of 
Murray township ; J. L. Sanf ord of Oakland township ; James Millington of 
Alameda township and S. D. Taylor of Eden township. Mr. Dougherty was 
elected chairman of the board. Their first duty was to appoint a committee 
to examine claims against the county and to fix the yearly tax levy. At this 
meeting the county treasurer was empowered to expend $200 for a safe. 


In the month of October, 1856, the county was divided into five supervisor 
districts in accordance with the general law ; they were described and designated 
as follows : Townships of Brooklyn and Alameda, district number two ; township 
of Eden, district number three; township of Washington, district number four; 
township of Murray, district number five. At this meeting the office of public 
administrator was declared vacant, the incumbent, Edwin Barnes, having failed 
to file the additional bond required of him. On the same date Mr. Tool received 
his first installment of $1,500 on his contract, and Mr. Fairfield was allowed $50 
for preparing the courthouse plans. At this session of the board, Noble Hamil- 
ton and Edward R. Carpentier were each allowed $125 for legal services in the 
case of The People, ex rel., vs. C. P. Hester which grew out of the assessment 
made during the month of August for a county building fund. 

The following were the large tax payers in 1859: J. J. \''allejo $190,050, 
William Castro $148,000, Estudillo Family $120,339, Hathaway, Brady & Crabb 
$60,800, Soto family $60,392, J. B. Larue $56,145, Ygnacio Peralta $54,100, 
A. Alviso $45,900, S. B. Martin $43,250, H. G. Ellsworth, $38,975, J. W. 
Dougherty $31,800, F. Higuerra $28,950, Livermore estate $28,300, Contra Costa 
Steam Navigation Company $28,000, Edward Minturn $27,200, Robert Simpson 
$26,750, E. L. Beard $26,285, A. M. Peralta $25,550, Clemente Colombet $25,- 
100, A. B. Fabes $23,000, Antonio Sunol $21,400, W. M. Lubbock $20,000, Earl 
Marshall 18,000, G. W. Patterson $17,320, Mrs. A. C. Colombet $17,000, Thomas 
G. Carey $15,400, H. N. Carpenter $15,000, Benjamin Holladay $15,000, C. J. 
Stevens, $14,725, A. Lewelling $13,700, California Steam Navigation Company 
$13,500, Z. Hughes $13,450, Richard Threlfall $12,450, William Glaskin $12,000, 
Coffee & Risdon $12,000, H. I. Irving $11,675, Wm. H. Souther $11,500, E. S. 
Eigenbrodt $11,450, Mulford & Co., $11,425, William H. .Maddox $11,250, Cull 
& Luce $11,040, R. B. Donovan $10,950, Jesse Beard $10,625, J- Lewelling 
$10,385, A. L. Pioche $10,300, Domingo Peralta $10,000. 

The board of supervisors being authorized by the Legislature, the direct 
result of a bill introduced by Senator Crane, approved April 21, 1863, to sub- 
scribe for Alameda county $220,000 worth of stock in the Alameda Valley rail- 
road, should the sanction of the people be obtained, a special election was held 
June 2, 1863, when the proposition was declared lost. The following was the 


Oakland 419 

Temescal 5° 

Ocean View 5^ 

Brooklyn 258 

Half-way House 65 

San Leandro 9° 

Hay wards 1 17 

San Lorenzo 66 

Mount Eden 45 

Alvarado ^3~ 























Mission San Jose 152 26 126 

Centerville 198 24 174 

Hart's (Murray) 57 56 i 

Dougherty's Station 62 4 58 

Alameda 49 28 21 

Totals 1,812 829 983 

In September of this year a mandamus was issued by Judge Reynolds of Contra 
Costa to compel the board of supervisors of Alameda county to levy a tax to 
pay the Contra Costa judgment, but on application to the supreme court a stay of 
proceedings was granted. 

On May 2, 1864, Dole & Brother were paid the sum of $2,000 on account 
for the building of the bridge at San Leandro; the time for finishing the same 
was extended to the 1st of June. It was, however, completed and accepted 
by the county on May 23d. Specifications for repairing and replanking the 
Oakland bridge were ordered and bids for doing the same called for. This con- 
tract was let to A. W. Hawkett & Co. for $1,995 to be paid in county warrants 
on completion, which was duly done on August 8, 1864. On August i8th the 
board of supervisors determined to lay a sidewalk on either side of the road 
between Alvarado and Centerville and make provision for shading the same. 
with trees; but although the first part of the proposition was carried out, the 
matter of planting trees was revoked .March 7, 1865. On this date the Contra 
Costa Water Company obtained permission to lay pipes in Oakland township. 
On May 27th, Dr. T. H. Pinkerton was elected resident physician of the County 

In compliance with the law the board of supervisors on December 3d made 
a semi-annual statement of the revenue and finances of the county and the debt 
existing at that date. The receipts from all sources were as follows : 

From state fund $56,711.26 

From county general fund 19,752.11 

From common school fund 15,469.67 

From road and bridge fund 23,176.70 

From indigent sick fund 4,379.02 

From Oakland bar fund 3,882.52 

From Contra Costa fund 2,453.01 

Total $125,824.29 

Cash on hand June 4, 1866 13,137.22 

Grand total of receipts $138,961.51 

The total value of assessed property in Alameda county for the year was 
$5,620,976.50. On February 4, 1867, the board of supervisors resolved to expend 
$300 in laying out a courthouse square and planting trees therein, but that sum 
being considered insufficient for the purpose $250 more were appropriated, and 
on April 13th a flag-staff, to cost $50, was ordered for the square. 


The board of supervisors elected on October 4th was composed of F. K. 
Shattuck, Oakland township ; Duncan Cameron, Brooklyn township ; E. M. 
Smith, Alameda township ; J. B. Alartin, Eden township ; John M. Horner, 
Washington township; Dan. Inman, Murray township; who elected Mr. Shat- 
tuck chairman, and Messrs. Shattuck, Cameron, Smith and Marlin, the hospital 
committee. December 12, 1867, it was ordered that no more armory claims 
would be allowed unless accompanied with evidence of approval by the state 
board of military auditors. Early in 1868 J. Ross Browne, was appointed 
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Pekin, but not being impressed either 
with the "Flowery Kingdom" or the officials thereof, he resigned the post. 
Enterprise and activity reigned supreme throughout the year 1867. During 
1867 there were established a County Teachers' Association ; the Oakland Bank 
of Savings ; the location of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute ; the reorganiza- 
tion of the County Agricultural Society ; and the founding of the xAgricultural 

In this year the removal of the state capital obtained prominence, and 
Alameda county made an offer for the prize. At a meeting of the board held 
February 3, 1868, on motion of Supervisor Horner, the following preamble and 
resolution were unanimously adopted : 

"Whereas, The question of the removal of the state capital is now pending 
in the Legislature; therefore, Resolved, That a committee of three members of 
this board be appointed to prepare a bill to be submitted to said Legislature, 
authorizing the board of supervisors of Alameda county to issue bonds to the 
amount of $150,000, to be appropriated to the erection of suitable buildings for 
use of the state, in the event of the Legislature locating the state capital in this 

Messrs. Shattuck, Cameron and Smith were appointed such committee. On 
the 2ist of February, the state Legislature visited r)akland, but declined to 
locate the capital there. 

The principal occurrence in 1868 was the earthquake of October 21st, which 
was first felt a few minutes before 8: o'clock in the morning. In Alameda 
county, which appears to have been its center, it was particularly destructive, 
and great damage was sustained in nearly all of the interior and valley towns. 
It was the most prodigious shaking that the county thus far ever had. The 
shocks occurred as follows: 7:54 A. M. very heavy; direction northeast, east 
and southwest, a rolling motion. Almost like a continuation of this came a 
whirling motion. At 8:26 came a slight shock. At 8:44 came a heavy shock 
with rolling motion and up and down movement. At 3:12 came a slight shock; 
at 3:17 a slight shock; at 4:08 double shock up and down. There were thirty- 
two shocks in all during that day, but these mentioned were especially noted. 
In comparison Oakland did not suffer much damage, crockery and glassware 
were broken and many chimneys were thrown down. ' Portions of wharves were 
swept away and walls were cracked in almost every house. 

On October 26, 1868, the county jail of San Francisco was designated as 
that for Alameda county. On November i6th the board of supervisors agreed 
upon plans for a new courthouse, jail and recorder's office, the latter to be a 
fire-proof brick building and the prison to be provided with iron cells. The board 
also appointed at this time a special committee to purchase a piece of ground on 


which to establish the county infirmary ; they were instructed to obtain fifty 
acres of land belonging to Mr. Pufi^, and located between San Leandro and 
Haywards above the county road. 

Under the provisions of the Gopher and Squirrel act, passed March 2, 1870, a 
special tax of lyi cents on each $100 worth of property, to be called the Bounty 
Fund, was ordered to be levied; while another special levy of one cent, with the 
same conditions, was ordered in accordance with the act approved March 8, 1870, 
to be known as Interest Bridge Fund. On June 7th the county recorder was 
authorized to re-record in the proper book the following maps : Kellersberger's 
map of the city of Oakland ; map of town of San Leandro by H. A. Higley ; and 
a map of Oakland showing the position of the property of Joseph Irving, 
deceased. At the same time the map of the ranchos of Vicente and Domingo 
Peralta was ordered framed. 

The following acts of the Legislature were passed in 1870: To provide for 
building bridge across the Estuary of San Antonio; tax for payment of bridge 
bonds ; to issue bonds for bridge purposes ; to prevent the destruction of fish and 
game in and around Lake Merritt; for a bridge across San Antonio creek; to 
appoint bridge committee ; to levy special bridge tax ; to lay out and improve 
streets of Oakland; for lighting Oakland with gas; for redemption of school 
bonds ; to improve streets in Oakland ; to authorize a tax for interest on bonds ; 
to appoint commissioners for a bridge across San Antonio creek ; authorizing 
a special tax for bridge across San Antonio creek; concerning wharves, not to 
apply to Oakland; establishing boundary between Brooklyn and Oakland. The 
population of Alameda county, according to the census of 1870 was 25,737. 

On March 6, 1871, the boundary line between Eden and Washington town- 
ships was changed as follows: "Commencing at the junction of North and 
Alameda creeks ; thence running up said North creek to the mouth of Mathewson 
ditch; thence up said ditch to its intersection with the Mountain Road; thence 
following the line of said ditch extended to its intersection with the old town- 
ship line at a point on the lands of Andrew Patterson; thence following the old 
township line between Eden and Washington townships easterly to the corner 
of Washington, Murray and Eden townships." 

In the early '70s the stage route from Haywards to Mt. Diablo was well 
patronized. The route through the Alamo valley and in the pass through the 
Contra Costa ridge was not so popular, because muddier and rougher. The 
road from Martinez southward to Walnut creek was good except in winter. At 
this time Alameda county prepared to gravel the Telegraph road to the Summit : 
buy the Aloraga Valley Toll Road, gravel it in the worst places, make it free; 
and also gravel the roads from Haywards to Dublin and Danville. By doing 
this a means could be afforded the farmers of the valley between Contra Costa 
and Diablo ridges to bring their products to Oakland. 

In early times large sums of money were spent on the following roads : Bay, 
Brooklyn, Alvarado, Centerville, Dublin, Eden Vale, Inman, Laurel, Lincoln, Mt. 
Eden, Mission, Murray, Newark, Niles, Ocean View, Peralta, Pleasanton, 
Palomares, Piedmont, Redwood, Rosedale, Summit, San Lorenzo, Stony Brook, 
Sunol, Temescal, Townsend, Vallecitos, Washington, Warm Springs and others. 

On February 12, 1872, the district attorney was ordered to prepare and for- 
ward to the Legislature a bill authorizing the county to issue $15,000 of ten-year 


bonds to be applied to the building of a bridge across Alameda creek near Niles. 
On the 19th of March, specifications and plans for the structure, to consist of 
three spans of 133% feet each, resting on stone or iron piers, all timber except 
the floor, to be preserved by the "Robins" process, were called for. On the nth 
of May the contract was awarded for a Smith truss to the Pacific Bridge Com- 
pany at $12,496 and the work at once proceeded. To meet this amount county 
bonds for $14,000 were ordered to be issued ; and on September 30, 1872, the 
bridge was reported completed and satisfactory and the contractors were paid. 

Owing to the great destruction of roads and bridges, consequent upon the 
floods of the winter of 1871-72, the road commissioner of Washington township 
issued certificates for labor and material expended in repairing to $1,006 in excess 
of the amount apportioned to that township, but the board of supervisors doubt- 
ing its authority to allow such an outlay, resolved on March 5th to prepare an 
empowering bill for presentation to the Legislature for the purpose of absolving 
him from any responsibility in the matter. The financial state of the county 
as made by the treasurer up to October 7, 1872, was as follows: 


Oakland bar bonds $34,000.00 

Oakland bridge bonds 20,000.00 

Niles bridge bonds 15,000.00 

Total $69,000.00 


Registered warrants $74,221.94 


Courthouse buildings and land $40,000.00 

Infirmary buildings 6,000.00 

Infirmary lands 6,000.00 

Total $52,000.00 

Cash in county treasury $20,329.12 


Real estate $24,738,246.00 

Improvements 5,498,020.00 

Personal property 6,748,655.00 

Amount of money 341,675.00 

Total $37,326,596.00 


Levied for 1872-73 $327,618.62 

Special tax in Alameda township 2,015.10 

Total $329,633-72 


In the early seventies the removal of the county seat interested every resi- 
dent of the county. Early in 1872, while the Legislature was still in session, a bill 
was introduced having that object in view. Outside of Oakland the county was 
almost a unit in favor of San Leandro. The preliminary contest in 1870 over the 
same object only fitted the contestants for a greater degree of efficiency for the 
coming battle. Mr. Crane who represented this county in the House espoused the 
cause of the country districts. The Oakland council promptly gave assurance that 
the necessary building sites and structures would be furnished. The people of 
San Leandro organized to resist the removal to the bitter end and were joined by 
prominent citizens of Murray, Washington and Eden townships. Washington 
and Franklin squares were offered as a site for the public buildings and tem- 
porary quarters were secured in the city hall and elsewhere. Finally, upon the 
request of many citizens, the Legislature postponed definite action at the request 
of a remonstrance signed by many taxpayers who opposed the removal. In the 
meantime a petition numerously signed asked for the passage of a law authorizing 
the removal. 

Finally a bill calling an election to determine the matter passed the Legislature, 
but was fought tenaciously by the opponents of removal. Senator Farley of 
Amador, fought the cause of the "Edenites" at every step of progress through 
the assembly. A majority of the county board opposed the change, but Mr. 
Tomkins answered every argument and objection, showing the strength of the 
claims of Oakland for the removal. When the bill came up for final passage there 
was a majority of one against it. This defeat of a proposed election was cele- 
brated with great glee by all the country district which hoped that any further 
attempts would never appear. However, Doctor Pardee introduced a new bill 
having the same object, but it was learned about this time that the county board 
had the power to order such an election upon petition. Such petition was pre- 
pared and contained 1,453 names. 

The question whether the county seat had been once removed by a popular 
vote was brought up. Back in 1854 or 1855 an election was held for the change 
of the county seat from Alvarado to San Leandro. There was no board of super- 
visors at that time, and the court of sessions called the election ; which resulted in 
the removal. Alameda became a county in 1853. The county seat remained at 
Alvarado until 1854. A popular vote was taken in that year, and was in favor 
of San Leandro. Subsequently it was removed back to Alvarado. In accordance 
with an act of the Legislature after that, the county seat was again removed to 
San Leandro. 

The case was taken into the courts and a new complication arose over the 
annexation of the town of Brooklyn to the city of Oakland. Finally an election 
was ordered for March 29, 1872, was held and resulted as follows: Oakland, 
2,254 votes; San Leandro, 1,180; eight other towns in the county, 88; scattering 
and rejected, 5. This assured the victory for Oakland, though the fight was 
still kept up, more perhaps to compel that city to fulfill its promises as to sites and 
buildings than for any other reasons. The city hall was used temporarily for 
county offices and the conveyance of Washington and Franklin plazas to the 
county was made. At this stage of proceedings Brooklyn offered a block of land 
on Adams avenue and $10,000 cash and the county seat was established in that 
town by the vote of six to one by the county board. Oakland was thus com- 


pletely ignored by the county board on the ground that it had no power to convey 
the two plazas to the county. This act roused the citizens here who prepared 
definite pledges that the sites and buildings proposed would be provided and that 
not less than $120,000 would be expended upon a hall of records. On the other 
hand a strong petition came from Washington township praying the board to 
establish the county seat in Brooklyn. At this time the Estudillo family of San 
Leandro claimed the old site at San Leandro, which had been donated by them 
when the seat of justice was located there in 1854. The fight between Brooklyn 
and Oakland went merrily on, the lawyers enjoying a profitable epoch in the 
diversion. The board prepared finally to erect the necessary buildings in Brook- 
lyn, but were opposed with all sorts of legal bombshells from the courts. 

The archives were at last transferred to Brooklyn and there the board first 
assembled on June 7, 1873. It was at this time that Brooklyn became generally 
known as East Oakland. Gradually, as time passed and the future importance 
"of Oakland became apparent, the people throughout the county came to favor 
the Oakland plazas as the site of the county buildings. Again the subject was 
taken before the Legislature and a bill calling for the issuance of $200,000 
for the county buildings to be erected on the Oakland plazas was passed. There 
were many side issues and complications in this long and harassing contention. 

The assessor's reports at the end of the year showed Alameda to have gained 
the distinction of being the chief rural county of California. Her assessment 
roll showed a value of $35,154,065; total county and state tax, $413,344 and 
indebtedness, $186,625. Chief among the events that transpired in 1874 were 
the steps taken by the board of supervisors towards the improvement of Oakland 
harbor, and the third fight over the county seat. 

On July 13, 1874, the boundaries of Alameda township were changed as fol- 
lows : "Beginning in the center of San Leandro bay, thence northwesterly to the 
mouth of Brick Yard slough; thence westerly along the center line of Washington 
avenue to the westerly line of Park avenue, at the bridge; thence northwesterly 
along the middle of Main slough, emptying into the Estuary of San Antonio, to 
said estuary ; thence westerly along the main channel of said estuary to its mouth 
in San Francisco bay; thence westerly in said bay, following the deepest water, 
to the western boundary line of Alameda county ; thence southeasterly along said 
boundary line 6)4 miles, more or less, to an angle in the same, and due east 1% 
miles, more or less, to an angle in the same ; thence -northerly to the most easterly 
extremity of Bay Farm; and thence northerly in a straight line to the place of 

On the 3d of August the board of supervisors was classified as follows : First — 
Two members to be elected at the next general election, in September, 1874. 
Second — Two members to be elected at the general election in 1875. Third- 
Three members to be elected at the general election in 1876. The supervisors for 
the First and Sixth districts were to be elected in 1874; those for the Second 
and Fifth, in 187,5 J and those for the Third, Fourth and Seventh districts in 1876. 
The election was held on the 7th of September. The new board was James 
Beazell, district No. i ; H. Overacker, district No. 2 ; J. B. Marlin, district No. 3 ; 
Isham Case (chairman), district No. 4; W. B. Hardy, district No. 5; O. H. 
Burnham, district No. 6; F. K. Shattuck, district No. 7. 


On November 2, 1874, the boundary line between Murray and Washington 
townships was changed as follows : "Commencing at a point where the line between 
Murray and Washington townships crosses the Alameda creek, running thence 
up the Alameda creek to the junction of the Alameda creek and the Arroyo 
Laguna ; thence up the Calaveras creek to the Arroyo Honda ; thence up the 
Arroyo Honda to a point where it intersects the boundary line between Alameda 
and Santa Clara counties ; thence following the said boundary line west to Monu- 
ment Peak; thence in a southwesterly direction following the line between the two 
counties to the Bay of San Francisco." 

During the year 1874 the courthouse, situated on Washington Square, on the 
west side of Broadway, between Fourth and Fifth streets, was constructed of 
wood, brick, stone and iron at a cost of upwards of $200,000. Connected with it, 
was a jail complete in all its details and a credit to the county. 

In 1874 there were cultivated in Alameda county 116,911 acres; 1,450,383 
bushels of wheat were raised; 875,612 bushels of barley; 16,000 bushels of onions; 
32,741 tons of hay; 624,756 pounds of wool. In the county were 627,611 grape 
vines; 62,720 apple trees; large numbers of almond, peach, cherry, pear and 
plum trees; 100,000 gallons of wine were made; sheep, 60,338; horses, 8,747; 
cows, 6,600; assessed valuation of all property, $25,070,867. 

On the 15th of March, permission was granted to the Livermore Spring Water 
Company to lay down water pipes in the public highways in and about that town. 
On the 29th of March the sheriff was granted permission to have the prisoners 
photographed. The county was divided into assessment districts corresponding 
to the townships; this act abolished the former county assessor. The assessors 
of each township were thereafter chosen at the general election. This remained 
the law until 1881 when they were elected every four years. In 1874 the county 
board agreed to pay over half the expenses of buying and installing a town clock 
in the new courthouse at Oakland provided the council would appropriate the 
other half ; but the latter, owing to its great indebtedness and close money matters, 
procrastinated and failed to take definite action. There also arose local jealousy. 
Many said the clock should be in the city hall instead of in the courthouse. By 
December the county had already paid on the new courthouse $93,000. The 
roof was put on at this time. 

It was attempted about this time to take a strip of land of about two miles' 
from off the southern portion of Alameda county and annex it to that of Santa' 
Clara, but the scheme failed. The Tide Land Commissioners had in prospect the 
sale of a part of the tide land at the head of Lake Merritt, but this also failed on' 
the passage of an act ceding the territory in question to the city of Oakland. 

The board of supervisors met in the new courthouse for the first time for the 
transaction of public business on Monday, June 14, 1875; the first session of the 
Third District court commenced there on the 21st of the same month, while the 
county court met here for the first time on the loth of July. In July, the Contra 
Costa Water Company offered to supply water for interior use in the county 
buildings for $18 per month in gold coin, or it agreed to set a meter and 
furnish water through the same at the following rates : 10,000 gallons at 75 cents 
per M and by a graduated scale falling to 50 cents for 35,000 gallons. The 
latter proposition was accepted by the county board. 


According to the assessor's returns in 1875 the following were among the 
rich men of Oakland township : Edson Adams, $355,680 ; Samuel Merritt, $293,- 
675; Fred Delger, $210,390; S. E. Alden, $190,750; Michael Reese, $141,350; 
P. S. Wilcox, $127,350; Peder Sather, $112,072; G. C. Potter, $108,314: H. W. 
Carpentier, $103,250. In Brooklyn township were the following: Hiram Tubbs, 
$133,725; Mrs. Sarah Larue, $154,200. In Eden township: William Meek, $261,- 
730; Theodore Leroy, $139,650; F. D. Atherton, $111,170; C. W. Hathaway, 
$106,390. In Washington township: J- G. Clark, $165,000; J. R. Reene, $439,- 
000; George W. Patterson, $125,075. In Murray township: Charles McLaughlin, 
$245,066; Joseph F. Black, $103,250. In 1875 the assessed valuation of property 
in the county was $37,310,557, and the rate of taxation $1.28. The funded debt 
of the county was $179,944 and the floating debt, $89,325 ; property owned by the 
county was worth $90,804, and the cash in the county treasury was $120,945. 

Early in 1875 the House of Congress passed the Page bill which prohibited 
the importation of Chinese coolies under contract and of Chinese women for 
immoral purposes. The latter provision was as stringent as the California statutes 
on the same subject. The county board in February removed the old cells to the 
new county jail. Upon petition Alameda school district was declared a squirrel 
inspection district with H. S. Barlow inspector. The contract to erect two 
bridges over San Lorenzo creek in Eden township was let to the California 
Bridge Company which submitted the lowest bids ($668) and ($768) out of seven 
competitors ; the bridges were called Lovin and Willow. A burying ground for 
county poor was ordered bought at Livermore. The grand jury preferred serious 
charges against the management of the county hospital, whereupon the county 
board ordered an investigation upon the special invitation of the steward, Fred- 
erick Gerstenberg. The investigation comittee were Case, Hardy and Overacker 
of the board. They reported that there were forty-six inmates in the county 
infirmary and that all were well cared for with one or two exceptions; that the 
attending physician had had only three skeletons prepared since he was connected 
with the institution ; that he should be censured for neglect of duty ; but that as a 
whole the infirmary was well conducted. 

In March, 1875, the contract to build a bridge across the Arroyo del Leon in 
Brooklyn township was awarded to J. H. McCracken for $475. W. J. Tucker 
was allowed to repair the windmill on Telegraph avenue in Oakland township at 
an expense of $85. The board of supervisors met for the last time at East 
Oakland in June. June 8th was proclaimed by the board as the date when the 
new courthouse, etc., should be occupied by the county officers. 

On September 6, 1875, Juana M. Estudillo presented a claim to the board of 
supervisors as follows : 

Iron vault taken from old courthouse $5,000 

Nine iron cells 8,000 

Rent from June 25 to January 25, 1875 2,850 

Rent from January 25 to August 25 700 

Damages to premises (courthouse) 1.500 

Total $18,050 


The vault here referred to was placed in the courthouse to be used for stor- 
ing the public funds, and figured also in the suit entered by F. Rhoda, the pro- 
prietor of the temporary county buildings in East Oakland. After being referred 
to the district attorney, the supervisors rejected the claim of Senora Estudillo. 
On December 6th, Judge Nye appointed \'alentine Alviso to the board of super- 
visors in place of James Beazell, who was elected to the Legislature. In this 
year the taxable property of the county had grown to about ten million dollars, thus 
putting it at the head of all the counties of the state, with the single exception 
of San Francisco. The year 1876 was one full of interest to Alameda county. 
This year the city of Oakland was first partitioned into wards, while it saw 
the incorporation of the two towns of Haywards and Livermore. The con- 
struction of the sea-walls for the protection of Oakland harbor entered upon 
its second year. 

On January 24th, the road fund tax paid in by townships amounting to 
$38,218.28 was ordered distributed among the several township districts. On 
the 2 1st of February, the city council of Oakland requested a conference with 
the board of supervisors in the matter of repairing the Twelfth Street bridge. 
The result was that the Alameda delegation in the Legislature requested to 
obtain the passage of a bill authorizing the building of a solid causeway in the 
place of the bridge, the cost not to exceed $20,000. On March 13th, the board 
of supervisors received a petition from the citizens of Ocean View Road dis- 
trict, asking for an issue of $44,000 in township bonds for the purpose of 
macadamizing their streets, which was denied on the 29th of May, on the 
ground that it would inflict too great a burden of taxation on the people. 

On the 22d of January, 1876, a franchise was granted to F. Chappellet for a 
horse railroad along Shattuck avenue from the terminus of the Central Pacific 
railroad at East Berkeley, to Cordoneces creek. In February, a bill in the 
Legislature provided for the consolidation of the offices of county treasurer, 
tax collector, clerk and auditor. Mr. Bogge introduced the bill. On the 27th of 
November, permission was granted to the Berkeley Water Works Company to 
lay their pipes in certain streets. In 1876-7 the county assessment roll was as 
follows : 

Alameda township $ 2,139,525 

Brooklyn township 5,003,210 

Eden township 3,136,670 

Murray township 2,860,019 

Oakland township 19.727,232 

On the 4th of December, the new board took their seats ; they were Valentine 
Alviso, district No. i ; Howard Overacker, district No. 2 ; Joseph B. Marlin, 
district No. 3; William C. Mason, district No. 4; Peter Pumyea, district No. 
5; O. H. Burnham (chairman), district No. 6; Jerry A. Chase, district No. 7. 
On the nth of December, certain additions to the county infirmary were com- 
pleted, and the bills of the contractor, J. W. Watson, and architect, J. J. New- 
som, amounting in the aggregate to $3,365 were accepted and allowed. 

On January 2, 1877, Supervisor Alviso presented a deed for certain lots 
in Oak Knoll cemetery near Livermore, to Alameda county, which were con- 
tracted for when Mr. Beazell was a member of the board of supervisors. On 


February 2d, the Secretary of State impressed upon the board of supervisors 
the necessity under the statutes of having a set of standard weights and meas- 
ures, at a cost of $300. 

On February 5th the Central Pacific Railroad Company offered to pay $3,- 
806.24 in full of all taxes unpaid by them to the County of Alameda for the 
year 1872-73, it being understood that all suits against them should be discon- 
tinued. This matter was referred to the district attorney, who, under date 
July i6th, consented to the plan pi'ovided it should receive the approval of the 
Attorney-General of the State, which it did, June 2, 1870, when all suits 
against the Central Pacific Railroad Company were ordered to be abandoned. 
On the 24th of April, the clerk was directed to communicate with the board of 
supervisors of Contra Costa county with a view to more definitely establish- 
ing the boundary line between the two counties to which a reply signifying their 
willingness was received May 25, 1876. About this period Alameda township 
petitioned that the Webster Street bridge being over a navigable stream, should 
properly become a charge upon the county and that the township of Alameda 
should be relieved from the payment of the balance due thereon, amounting to 
$13,000, incurred under the act approved April 4, 1872, but when referred to 
the judiciary committee they reported adversely to the proposition and there 
the matter rested for the time. 

On the 1st of October the reorganized board of supervisors, composed as 
follows: John Green, district No. i; H. Overacker, district No. 2; J. B. Mar- 
lin, district No. 3; William C. Mason, district No. 4; Peter Pumyea, district No. 
5; John F. Smith, district No. 6; J. B. Woolsey, district No. 7, had their first 
session. Mr. Overacker was chosen chairman. On the 22d of the same month 
a standing reward of $1,000 was offered for the arrest and conviction of any 
person or persons unlawfully setting fire to any property in Alameda county. 
A resolution that had been for some time before the board was adopted, Novem- 
ber 26th, authorizing the Oakland Railroad Company to operate their road on 
Telegraph avenue on the extension outside the city limits of Oakland with 
dummy engines in lieu of horses. On the 3d of December, the custom hereto- 
fore prevailing of drawing monthly warrants in favor of outside indigents was 
declared to be wrong; it was therefore directed to be discontinued, while it was 
commanded that thereafter all such matters should come before the board at the 
regular monthly meetings in the form of bills and take the usual course. On 
the 17th of December, the supervisors, by resolution, earnestly protested against 
the passage of a bill then pending in the Legislature, whereby the control of the 
Webster Street bridge, Oakland, would be transferred to the county. In 
spite of this opposition, however, the act was approved December 21, 1877. 
On December 12th the Oakland Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary Asso- 
ciation set forth in a petition to the board that it was a corporation formed by 
the ladies of Alameda county for the purpose of aflfording free medical and 
surgical advice and treatment to the poor; that they proposed to establish a 
hospital and dispensary in the city of Oakland that would largely benefit the 
county, and they asked the board to furnish them two rooms free. A motion 
to allow the society $40 per month was lost, and the petition referred to the 
hospital committee, who later reported favorably on the matter. On February 


II, 1878, that amount was granted for rent, the supervisors retaining the priv- 
ilege to send patients thither. 

In September, 1878, the board decided that the supervisors-elect from the 
third, fourth and seventh districts should not take their seats until the first 
Monday of March, 1880. The code declared the term of office of a supervisor to 
be three years, but was silent in regard to the commencement of the term. 
On December 8th the new board organized and consisted of: John Green, 
district No. i ; Henry Dusterberry, district No. 2 ; J. B. Marlin, district No. 3 ; 
W. B. Clement, district No. 4 ; Fred. F. Myers, district No. 5 ; John F. Smith, 
district No. 6; W. S. McClane, district No. 7. 

The city of Oakland conveyed to Alameda county, Washington and Franklin 
plazas with the proviso that buildings should be erected thereon on or before 
March, 1878. In the spring of 1877 the county board prepared to build a hall 
of records on Franklin plaza. 

In regard to the establishment of another hospital and poor-farm, the com- 
mittee appointed to report on the scheme, on January 28, 1878, set forth rea- 
sons adverse to it stating that they were furnishing aid to many parties outside 
of the infirmary at much less rates than could be done inside. On the same 
date the maps prepared by Thompson & West were declared to be the official 
maps of the county. In the month of March the board decided to adopt a new 
plan in the matter of the county infirmary, and advertised for proposals for the 
care of the inmates at a stated per diem rate per head, the contractor to fur- 
nish medical attendance, medicines, nurses, food, etc. On August 8th, a res- 
olution for building the new hall of records on Franklin plaza was taken under 
advisement for two months. On the 4th H. Dusterberry and F. F. Myers were 
elected supervisors for districts Nos. 2 and 5, respectively, thus making the new 
board, when they took their seats on October 7, 1878, to consist of John Green, 
district No. i; Henry Dusterberry, district No. 2; J. B. Marlin, district No. 3; 
William C. Mason, district No. 4; Fred F. Myers, district No. 5; John F. 
Smith, district No. 6; James B. Woolsey, district No. 7. 

On the 2d of December the board of supervisors passed the following resolu- 
tion: "That commencing January i, ,1879, this board will grant no further 
relief to those indigents now dependent upon the county and receiving aid, nor 
to any others who may apply at any time thereafter for the payment of rent, 
or for groceries, or fuel, as all the dependent poor of the county will then and 
thereafter be required to go to the county infirmary, and no outside relief will 
be granted, except in extraordinary cases, and then only by a vote of the entire 

On February 28, 1880, water rates were established for the following which 
were named as the water companies of the county: The Contra Costa Water 
Company, the Mission San Jose Water Works Company, the Livermore Spring 
Water Compay at Livermore, and the Washington and Murray Townships 
Water Company in Washington township. The board decided that the same 
rates be established as were charged by these companies during the past year, 
the scale to commence on July ist. Under the provisions of the act approved 
April 7, 1880, authorizing the appointment of a board of education, O. S. Ingham, 
Joseph McKown, A. L. Fuller and W. H. Galbraith were chosen on April 19th 
to fill the offices, their salaries being fixed at $5 per day for the time necessarily 


employed, and 20 cents allowed for mileage in going to their place of business. 
On June 14, 1880, the county treasurer made the following statement of the 
outstanding inde6tedness of the county: 

Outstanding warrants on general fund $52,457.13 

Outstanding warrants on infirmary fund 9,457.03 

Outstanding warrants on district road fund 8,875.89 

Interest on above warrants 882.50 

Total $71,672.55 

Claims allowed and not yet drawn by auditor about 3,000.00 


Thirty in number; $500 each, issued August 5, 1872; 10 per cent 
interest ; semi-annually ; ten years to run ; redeemable after five years 
at option of board of supervisors. Statutes 1871-72, p. 206 $15,000.00 


Four outstanding; annual interest, 10 per cent; statutes 1871-72, 
p. 83; also minutes of board of supervisors, Vol. 3, p. 589; also Stat- 
utes 1877-78, p. 942 $8,444.66 


Two hundred in number, $1,000 each; issued July 6, 1874; interest 
10 per cent ; semi-annually ; one-tenth of said bonds due in 1885 ; and 
one-tenth each year thereafter until all paid. Statutes 1873-74, p. 594. $200,000.00 


On June i, 1880, the board issued order to have prisoners confined in the 
county jail made to perform eight hours work daily in and about public build- 
ings, roads and highways. On June 14th, a resolution consolidating the offices 
of county clerk and recorder, tax collector and treasurer, on and after July 1st, 
was referred to the committee of the whole. The building committee having 
had under advisement the establishment of a receiving hospital in Oakland, 
reported favorably on the scheme on June 21st. The report was adopted and was 
handed over to the hospital committee, who, at the following meeting of the 
board recommended the fitting up of rooms in the basement of the new hall 
of records. On July 19th, a resolution to fund the debt and issue bonds there- 
for was referred to the committee of the whole, but the matter fell through on 
account of the county government bill being declared unconstitutional by the 
supreme court. On the same date the county was re-partitioned into supen'isor 
districts, the same districts being reestablished with the boundaries heretofore 
designated. On July 31st the board adopted a seal. A communication was 
received from Sidney Sanders, attorney, setting forth that James M. Goggins 


owned six-thirty-sixths undivided interest in Washington and Franklin squares 
in the city of Oakland, and wished to know what action the supervisors would 
take in the premises. The document was laid on the table. In October Mr. 
Smith introduced J. J. Hanifin as his successor and the board then reorganized 
as follows : John Green, district No. i ; Henry Dusterberry, district No. 2 ; 
J. B. Marlin, district No. 3 ; W. B. Clement, district No. 4; F. F. Myers, dis- 
trict No. 5; J. J. Hanifin, district No. 6; W. S. McClane, district No. 7. ' Mr. 
Dusterberry was unanimously chosen chairman. On the 26th of September, 
1881, the proper condolatory resolutions were passed on the death of President 

In 1883 the total assessment of the five townships Brooklyn, Washington, 
Eden. Alameda and Murray was $20,006,357. Brooklyn had 26,256.99 acres; 
Washington, 105,728.16 acres; Alameda, 6,608.38 acres; Murray, 215,993 acres. 
The total assessment of the county in 1883 was $4,382,821 more than in 1882. 
In Oakland township the increase was about $2,000,000. At this time there 
was organized in all three cities a league to resist the payment of the county 
license tax. Lawyers were employed and funds raised to make the fight. The 
county board offered for sale bonds to the amount of $120,000. 

Marko P. Kay, auditing clerk of the county clerk's office, was defaulter to 
a large amount in January, 1883. He raised warrants over $10,000. Alameda 
county brought suit against the Oakland Bank of Savings and the First National 
Bank to recover the money paid them from the county treasury on the forged 
warrants of Mr. Kay. The county agreed to relinquish its claims of a penalty 
if the banks would return the money. The total amount was about $5,572. 

In September, the county funded debt was $200,000 and the floating debt 
$101,180.95. The property of the county and the funds on hand were estimated 
to be worth about $340,000. A new bridge was ordered built at the Mountain 

Late in October, 1883, the committee of the whole of the board of super- 
visors voted on the question whether the charges against Doctor Burdick were 
sustained with this result: five voted not sustained; two voted sustained. The 
charge was that the food supplied to the inmates of the infirmary was bad and 
ill-cooked and that the sick and well were treated alike, no diflierence being 
made in their diet; he was also charged with neglect of duty and incompetency. 
Thirty-two witnesses appeared against him and fifty for him. The examina- 
tion consumed twelve days before the full board on full pay and the county paid 
the cost of investigation. 

In 1883-84 the county board performed their duties under the newly enacted 
and more or less revolutionary county government bill under which they were 
compelled to pass ordinances and cover matters formerly governed by statutes, 
such as the license and pound ordinances. The most perplexing problem was 
to manage the finances of the county under new conditions and on a gigantic 
scale. Formerly all warrants, to pay which no money was on hand in the sev- 
eral funds, were registered and thus a floating indebtedness was carried over 
from year to year. This was prevented by the supreme court, which caused 
a financial climax, but was met in a masterly manner by the board. The whole 
indebtedness was funded and bonds were issued, saving the county thousands 
of dollars. The bonds though drawing less interest than the warrants were sold 


at a premium. In a few months $10,000 of the bonds were redeemed, and as 
much more a Httle later. It was apparent that if the wise measures of the l:)oard 
of 1883-84 were continued, the time would soon arrive when the county would 
not owe a single dollar. The new board of January, 1885, were .^Messrs. Duster- 
berry, Hanihn, Morgan, Mollay and Pelonse; .Mr. Hanilin was chosen chair- 
man. The board decided to hold regular meetings on the first :\Iondays of Janu- 
ary, April, July and October. 

On January i, 1884, the county infirmary had 133 inmates, there were 
admitted during the year of 1884, 463, births 2, total 598; discharged 398, died 
58, present January i, 1885, 142. The total expenses of the institution were 
$24,007.74. The board allowed 25 cents a day per prisoner for feeding them 
during 1885. County finances were in excellent condition. There was a large 
surplus on hand and a great reduction in the tax levy was promised. There 
was paid off in 1883 $13,000 in county bonds. The county board in February 
ordered purchased a safe for the treasurer's office to cost $1,500 and a vault 
built to cost $750. 

In 1884 the roads of the San Lorenzo district were the best in the county. 
All the county roads were good enough in summer, but when the rains com- 
menced the upper crust was soon cut in pieces and the whole surface was con- 
verted into deep mud. In the San Lorenzo district the roads were treated to a 
top coat of creek gravel which withstood the rain and served to keep firm the 
clay beneath. 

In June, 1885, county bonds bearing 41^ and 5 per cent interest were 
selling at a premium. There were yet outstanding $180,000 of the county 
buildings bonds issued in 1874 and bearing 8 per cent interest, but they were 
being reduced at the rate of $20,000 per year. The law of March 14, 18S3, 
which established a uniform system of county and township governments, pro- 
vided that debts similar to the above could be refunded. It was therefore pro- 
posed in 1885 to refund the above bonds with those bearing a much smaller 
rate of interest. In June the supreme court decided that the township assessors 
were the proper officers to assess the county. 

Formerly the county owned the jail in Livermore -and then the town was 
charged $5 per month for its use. In the '80s when the town owned it the 
trustees asked the county board to pay the same rate for its use. It was used 
by the county constables for the detention of county prisoners. W. F. Mitchell, 
town clerk of Livermore, asked this appropriation of the county board. Intel- 
ligence was received by the board that the Contra Costa board refused to take 
any action toward a resurvey of the county line on the ground that the line 
had already been located in 1877. The district attorney rendered the opinion in 
August, that the board could issue new bonds at a lower rate of interest and 
use the proceeds to pay off the old 8 per cent bonds of 1874. 

On August 14, 1885, the salt makers of Alameda county met at i\It. Eden 
to consider the proposition of the Union Pacific Salt Company of San Fran- 
cisco to lease the various salt work properties along the bay; the lease was 
agreed to by a vote of eighteen to four. John Barton presided at this meeting. 
The whole county was obstructed by large landowners who would not sell nor 
would not die and make room for progress. In December the grand jury lashed 
the management of the county infirmary which was located near the foothills 2yi 


miles east of San Leandro. There were then 148 inmates and the cost it was 
claimed was far too great — about $48,000 per year. 

The total amount of salt manufactured yearly along the bay below Mt. 
Eden and Alvarado in 1885 was as follows : Union Pacific Company, 20,000 tons ; 
John Ouingley, Alvarado, 2,000 tons; B. F. Barton, Alvarado, 1,500; L. Whisley, 
Mt. Eden, 1,500; Mr. Oliver, 1,500; F. Lund, 200; S. Liquari, 400; Olson & Co., 
800; R. Barron, 600; Peter Mickelson, 5,000; John Mickelson, 300; P. Macannia, 
Mt. Eden, 5,000; C. & D. Pestdorf, Mt. Eden, 4,000; Mr. Tuckson, Mt. Eden, 
800; Peter Christensen, Mt. Eden, 800; Pluminer Bros., Newark, 4,000. 

The Anti-Chinese League of Alameda county met in Germania hall on Decem- 
ber 2~, 1885, and the room was filled to the doors. F. W. Hunt presided. 
Addresses were made by F. W. Hunt, T. D. Hanniford, Mrs. Anderson, D. S. 
Hirshberg, ex-Mayor Andrus, Judge Church and B. G. Haskill of San Fran- 
cisco. The following preambles and resolutions were adopted : 

Whereas, The policy of the National Government which induces Chinese 
immigration to this country has filled the State of California with Chinese greatly 
to the detriment of her citizens; and Whereas, If the policy of evading and 
nullifying the law passed by Congress for excluding the Chinese from this coun- 
try by the executive and judicial branches of the Government is continued, it 
will rapidly fill the Pacific Coast states and territories and eventully the whole 
United States with the class of laborers belonging to a race who are directly 
opposed and antagonistic to our race and nation, politically, morally and socially, 
and whose presence is a constant menace to its welfare and prosperity; and, 
Whereas, From our experience with the Chinese we know that unless they are 
excluded from our country they will ultimately bring upon it a greater calamity 
than was entailed upon us by the introduction and establishment of African 
slavery ; and. Whereas, The question of coolie servile labor and the evil resulting 
from the presence of that alien race among us has been so long and well dis- 
cussed; and. Whereas, The further discussion of the subject without action will 
not only be useless but a waste of time; therefore 

Resolved, That we have within our power the constitution and laws which are 
the means to rid our country of this curse ; Resolved, In mass meeting assembled, 
that we will not patronize any Chinese. Resolved, That we will not patronize 
anyone who does. Resolved, That the Chinese must go. 

The Anti-Chinese state convention met at San Jose early in February, 1886, 
and passed drastic resolutions to terminate the evil. The convention adopted 
the name — California Non-Partisan Anti-Chinese Association. Two of the reso- 
lutions were as follows : That we regard the Chinese among us as a mental, 
physical, moral and financial evil; That the Chinese must go. 

In the '80s San Francisco experienced a season of growth, unparalleled 
in its history since the gold rush and the improvement extended to Oakland, Ala- 
meda and Berkeley first and then to Haywards and San Leandro and finally to 
Niles, Sunol, Pleasanton and Livermore. It was a summer-resort fever, thou- 
sands in the city seeking rural homes and retreats among the sunny valleys of 
Alameda county. Before this time, Livermore was the only interior town for 
ten years to recive a considerable increase in population. Pleasanton, Sunol 
and Xiles were made charming by the foothills and Livermore by the vineyards 
and orchards, and all by the marvelous climate. 


In March, 1886, a society of California pioneers resident of Alameda and 
Contra Costa counties was formed in Oakland under the charge of a provisional 
committee with power to secure other members until a permanent organization 
should be effected. The Oakland members of the committee were John M. Buf- 
fington (chairman), Newton Sewell, William Winnie, William Atherton and 
Edwin A. Sherman (secretary). The members were limited to persons who 
arrived in California on or before September 9, 1850; also their children and 

Central avenue, Brooklyn township, was declared a county road in ^larch, 
1886. In order to settle the irrigation riparian question. Governor Stoneman 
in response to public demand and the request for such a session signed by two- 
thirds of the members, called a special session of the Legislature. The riparian 
decision of the supreme court denied the popular right to appropriate water for 
agricultural or general purposes. In September the county board appropriated 
$3,000 for the repair of roads in the Temescal district. On October ist, the 
county funded debt was $160,000 at 8 per cent and $86,000 at 6 per cent, floating 
debt $650 at 5 per cent. There was in the treasury at this time cash, $211,157. 
The whole county grew very rapidly in property and population in the '80s. 
In 1886 the total assessment was $55,926,632. In 1889 it was $69,866,381, an 
advance of $13,939,749 in three years without increase in rates or inflation of 

A dead whale seventy-two feet long was stranded in San Leandro bay in 
October, 1886. Lying on its side it was twelve feet high. From backbone to 
stomach it measured thirty-five feet. The carcass was scarred and torn by sharks 
and sea lions. Five or six young men tried out the oil and secured about six 
barrels for which they received $12 per barrel. The stench in that part of the 
county was almost overpowering and was said to have rivaled the famous thou- 
sand stinks of the city of Cologne. 

Previous to 1883 it was the practice of the county board to levy a tax sufficient 
to pay the claims against the county up to about the month of October of the fol- 
lowing year. The warrants were registered and drew 7 per cent interest until 
the next year's taxes came in. Under this plan the county went farther and 
farther in debt until in some years the taxes collected paid the claims no farther 
than March of the following year and the county paid interest on warrants which 
had been registered almost a year. By 1883 more than $100,000 in warrants on 
the county were registered, all drawing 7 per cent interest. At the same time 
no provision was made for the payment of either principal or interest. The war- 
rants usually passed among brokers at from 3 to 10 per cent discount and the 
loss mainly fell on the laborers. The plan was faulty, because it compelled this 
rich county to pay unnecessarily large sums for interest. This practice affected 
all branches of county finance. Contractors raised their bids to cover this dis- 
count. In 1883 the board issued in county bonds $119,000 and paid oft' all the 
floating indebtedness and at the same time levied enough tax to put the county 
on a cash basis. These acts solved the difficulty and the county from that time 
presented the most meritorious, creditable and enviable financial condition of any 
in the state. By 1889 there had been paid of the bonds $104,000 and the county 
had still been kept on a cash basis, as the current floating debt was inconsiderable. 
In 1880 the county building bonds outstanding amounted to $200,000 of which 


$80,000 was paid off by installments by 1889 without increasing the tax or run- 
ning in debt. During this period the tax was as follows : 

Year Outside Cities Inside Cities 

1880 $1.15 $1.40 

1881 1. 15 1.40 

1882 1.05 1.30 

1883 i.oo 1.25 

1884 90 1. 10 

1885 1.15 1.45 

1886 1.00 1.25 

1887 1.00 1.30 

1888 95 1.25 

On October i, 1888, the bonds outstanding were $155,000 and enough floating 
obligations to raise the total indebtedness to $159,507. The cash in the treasury 
was $63,875 and the county buildings were the courthouse, jail, hall of records, 
receiving hospital and county hospital. Among the old members of the county 
board who served with great credit were Henry Dusterberry, J. J. Hanifin, Thomas 
Malloy, McClane, Clement, Myers, Fallon and Bailey. 

In 1888 the salt industry of Alameda county was largely controlled by the 
Union Pacific and American Salt Company which shipped nearly 25,000 tons and 
had on hand half as much more. They controlled the products of Mickelson & 
Brother, Whisley, Oliver, Ligouri, Plummer & Bros., Marsicano, Jessen and Pest- 
dorff. In addition salt was manufactured by Olsen, Lured, Quigley, Barton, 
Johnson, Pestdorff, Tucson, Christensen, Baron, Mathiesen and others. The fol- 
lowing vessels were engaged in marketing this product: Jesse Fremont, Rock 
Island, Lizzie T. Adams, Anna Hawley, Marsicano, Josephine, By Squeeze and 
Narrow Gauge. 

At the close of 1888 Alameda county was in better financial condition than any 
county in the state. The debt ($155,000) was a trifle compared with the assess- 
ment — much less than i per cent and the county property was valued at $740,000. 

One of the largest items of expense and one of the most harrowing subjects 
to consider by the county board at all seasons of the year was that of care for the 
indigents. They came at all times and were of both sexes and all ages. It was 
stated early in February, 1889, that fully one-half of the indigents were 

In January, 1889. Mr. Hanifin retired with honor from the county board after 
eight years of continuous service. 

In 1889 W. A. M. Van Bokelen, an expert accountant, was employed to exam- 
ine the county finances ; he said, "I have not found any errors excepting such as 
were strictly clerical and by none of which has the county lost any money. There 
had passed through the hands of the auditor and treasurer in about two years 
ending January 7, 1889, 29,000 separate and distinct items covering a disburse- 
ment of $1,182,802 without the loss of a cent." 

Late in the eighties and early in the nineties the county infirmary at San 
Leandro was reported to be in deplorable condition, with ramshackle buildings, 
squalid surroundings and unsanitary equipment generally. Its conditions were 


greatly improved late in the '90s under the management of W. H. Church, 
chairman of the hospital committee of the county board, and Dr. \V. A. Clark, 
superintendent. But the good management did not improve the rude buildings 
nor remove the stigma from the county name. 

Late in February, 1889, Joaquin Miller, the "Poet of the Sierras," appeared 
before the county board and offered to give five acres of his olive land above 
Fruit Vale for the site of a pesthouse. He said that if here in the shadow of 
forty church spires respectable people can burn down a pest tent, drive out a 
stricken man and his nurse, what may be expected of ignorant, simple Portuguese 
kelp and driftwood thrown up on the Azores; "therefore I have thought over 
this matter without consuhing anybody and I make this offer just to help you out 
for I know you are banged and battered on every side." The board passed a 
resolution thanking him for his very liberal oft'er. The Tribune reporter spoke 
of Mr. Miller as an "eccentric recluse," and later said: "We hope the super- 
visors will not locate the pesthouse near the property of Joaquin Miller. Mr. 
Miller is too good a neighbor, too valuable a friend, to have this injury put upon 
him by the people of Oakland and Alameda county. His little garden spot in the 
hills should be treated with something of that reverence which is due to the poet. 
It will be a lasting disgrace on Oakland if we put this indignity on Joaquin Miller." 
"When I settled down here I let one man have my water for his garden ; then he 
wanted my grass for his cows and I gave him the use of my pasture also, but now 
he wants the land as well and will probably think himself greatly wronged if 
he doesn't get it. I bought land or rather water — precious-flowing mountain 
springs, with the land thrown in. at an average of $200 an acre. The land is 
within one mile of the nearest street car line in Oakland. This land (lOO acres) 
has more than doubled in value in the two years that I have owned it."— 
(Joaquin Miller, April, 1889.) The French and Portuguese residents near 
Joaquin Miller's home declared that if pesthouses were built in that vicinity 365 
times in a year they would tear them down 365 times in the year. 

The '90s were busy years for the county board. All county roads were 
vastly improved, extended and multiplied. Many new bridges took the place of 
old structures that seemed likely to fall ; concrete began to be used extensively for 
culverts, bulkheads, etc. Springs of water were bought to be used in connection 
with windmills for sprinkling the roads. About 1890 a carriage road was planned 
to extend from Berkeley along the base of the foothills to Haywards, but was 
abandoned for the time after a few weeks of agitation. 

In June the county board called a convention of 100 citizens from all parts of 
the county, the object of which was to take steps to secure proper representa- 
tives at the Chicago World's Fair. Thirty-three citizens met and formed a 
permanent organization and the management was entrusted to a board of eleven 
directors which appointed scores of committees and set the movement in action. 
The board granted the association $1,000 with which to commence preliminary 

The new county liquor license was similar to the old one in use in Oakland; 
it required a bond of $1,000, an affidavit of good moral character and the recom- 
mendation of ten prominent citizens. On August 24th, County Treasurer Huft' 
reported that the last of the bonds of 1883 had just been paid and that there was 
a surplus in the treasury; the bonds amounted to $119,000 originally. On Decem- 


ber 29th the office of county physician was aboHshed by the county board and the 
office of physician and surgeon of the county receiving hospital was created; 
also a similar office for the county jail. The salary of each was fixed at $75 per 
month. M. L. Johnson, M. D., and R. T. Stratton, M. D., were appointed to 
these positions respectively. Mr. Anderson was the supervisor of census in 1890; 
he divided the county into thirty-one districts, nineteen being in Oakland. 

Aluch fault was found during the winter of 1891-92 that, notwithstanding the 
promises of both leading political parties in 1888 to improve the county roads and 
notwithstanding the county had a wealth of $100,000,000, the highways through- 
out the whole county were never in worse condition since pioneer times. The 
board of trade asked the county board to remedy road conditions at the earliest 
possible moment. The road from Oakland to San Leandro was bottomless. The 
Ijoard pleaded lack of funds and lack of law. A big bridge was built in 1891 
over the Calaveras creek on the road leading from Mission San Jose to Stockton. 

The total increase in taxable property in the county in 1891-92 was a little over 
$6,000,000, of which Berkeley's increase was 82,116,550 and Alameda $609,925. 
The attractions at Berkeley were the university, the electric street railway, the 
public schools, the exclusion of liquor near the university, the free reading rooms, 
the numerous religious societies, and the excellent water system. Early in Decem- 
ber, 1892, the county board appropriated $2,000 more for the Alameda County 
World's Fair Association. For the quarter ending December 31, 1891, the county 
paid $305 for sixty-one coyote scalps. 


1888 $65,918,510 189I $83,390,297 

1889 71,896,182 1892 89,373,466 

1890 76,377,178 

In January, 1893, the count}- board increased the appropriation for the Ala- 
meda World's Fair Association to $5,000. The committee of 100 resolved itself 
into a permanent body to be known as Alameda County ^^'orld's Fair Association. 
Delegates were elected to the State World's Fair Association. E. M. Gibson was 
president of the association. An assessment of $5 was levied on each member 
of the committee. Several special committees were appointed. 

In 1893 the county board appropriated all told about $20,000 for the purpose 
of giving the county suitable display and prominence at the World's Fair, Chi- 
cago. The sum was paid in installments as needed by the committee. At the 
World's Fair in Chicago Alameda county was represented by two pagodas with a 
relief map between them in the California building. Its fruit and wine products 
on exhibition were excellent and attracted wide attention. June 19th was Cali- 
fornia day; the state building was formally opened with great ceremony 
and enthusiasm. In the fall Alameda county had a large building and a fine dis- 
play of products of all sorts at the Mid-Winter Fair in San Francisco. 

In May, 1893, thirty representative women and several ministers appeared 
before the county board and protested against the poolrooms which had been 
conceded to the sporting element. They showed several petitions with hundreds 
of names asking that the poolrooms might be suppressed. The bookmakers 


resisted this movement. In May, the county board bought of the Ladies Town 
Hall Association of Centerville the city hall or jail lots of that village with the 
design of continuing the jail or calaboose. 

In May, 1893, the county infirmary underwent a severe investigation, owing 
to charges of mismanagement and incompetency. Doctor Shirk, superintendent, 
sustained the management. The charges were not substantiated. 

In July the grand jury charged several members of the county board with 
illegally and wrongfully passing certain bills but after a thorough investigation 
in court the charges remained unproved. 

In November, 1893, the county board awarded the contract for building an 
annex to the hall of records to the Fortin Brick Company at $29,149. The Golden 
Gate Agricultural Fair was a splendid success. It lasted four days and had a 
large attendance. The racing was especially fast and attractive. 

In February, 1894, the county board appropriated $2,500 for the purpose of 
aiding and carrying on the work of inducing immigration to this county, the same 
to be paid in installments named. The county had a splendid exhibit at the Mid- 
\\'inter exposition in January, 1894. The wine exhibit was one of the best, the 
vineyards represented being those of Mclvers, Stanford, Beard, Ferndale, 
Crellin, Wetmore, Chauche & Bon, J. P. Smith, Concannon, Lilenthal, Waggoner 
and Beck. The public schools and the parochial schools made elaborate and excel- 
lent exhibits. Fruits, beet sugar, blind asylum products, flowers, hops of Liver- 
more valley, Niles nursery products — were all a credit to the county. 

Early in July the county board paid for the transportation of fifty men to the 
Suisan landing on their way to work in the Vacaville orchards. In 1894 many 
tough road-houses were refused licenses by the county board. In September the 
county board went en masse to Claremont to inspect the Kennedy grade with 
the view of opening up a public road to the summit of the range on the way to 
the heart of Contra Costa county. 

In 1894 Alameda county had $109,714,598 worth of taxable property — the 
third in the state. It was generally admitted that the county board had earned 
the gratitude of the people by their progressive policy of public betterments — 
better roads, improved public buildings, economy, wise management of public 
institutions, and close attention to county aflfairs generally. 

At 6 o'clock A. M. on March 2, 1896, snow fell heavily for a short time and 
the hills east of town were white. From Berkeley to Livermore the grass on the 
hills was completely covered. This was the first considerable snowfall in Oak- 
land since January, 1888. Hail as large as peas fell here on March 2, 1896. All 
disappeared in a few hours. On March 3d, it snowed again and was piled in lit- 
tle banks on the sidewalks, lawns and roof tops. Everybody snowballed. Many 
people took the street cars to the hills to enjoy fully the novelty. The hills were 
white. The storm ended with hail and sleet and all soon disappeared. It was 
nearly two inches deep on the level. On December 31, 1882, snow fell here to 
the depth of about three inches and the mercury fell to 18° above zero. A few 
sleds were seen on the streets, more for novelty and frolic than utility. 

During the legislative session of 1896-97 the county government committee 
planned to reduce the salaries of nearly all the officers in Alameda county by an 
aggregate of $15,000. The reductions proposed were as follows: 



Present New Another New 

Office System Schedule Schedule 

County clerk $16,000 $15,400 $17,000 

Sheriff 15,000 13,900 (est.) 15,100 

Recorder 16,000 14,000 9,ioo 

Auditor 6,000 5,45o 4.950 

Treasurer 6,000 4,200 4,200 

Tax collector 9.5oo 8,400 8,400 

Assessor 18,100 16,600 17,100 

District attorney 10,100 9,300 9,300 

Superintendent of schools 4,500 3,6oo 3,900 

Total reduction, $10,350. 

Early in 1895 the county board ordered a jail built at Centerville, the cost not 
to exceed $350. In August the county board granted $25 per month each to the 
Free Clinic of West Oakland and the Oakland Free Clinic. 

In 1897 the income of Alameda county was $1,989,538 and its outlay $14,000 
more than that sum. There remained in the treasury about half a million dol- 
lars. People of Alameda county were greatly interested in the prominence 
attained in the East by Henry George, the single tax champion. In February, 
the county board appropriated $1,500 with which to buy a work called "Facts 
and Figures of Alameda County" for distribution in the eastern states. 

In the spring of 1898 one of the county supervisors was tried for malfeasance 
in office, but after a trial that was drawn out three months, he was acquitted. 
The assessment roll of the county was cut down from $91,299,125 in 1897-8 to 
$81,403,400 in 1898-9. The following was the assessment in 1898-9, the figures 
showing the comparative size and importance of the places : 

Oakland $42,067,675 

Alameda 10,599,075 

Berkeley 7,042,850 

Brooklyn township 5,218,350 

Washington township 4,640,950 

Eden township 3,646,450 

Murray township 3,354,425 

Oakland township 1,613,275 

San Leandro 929,025 

Haywards 751,375 

Emeryville 667,400 

Livermore 550.525 

Pleasanton 322,025 

Total $81,403,400 

In October, 1898, the grand jury reprimanded the county board for its slip- 
shod methods of handling its accounts. A considerable sum of money had been 


lost through raised warrants. In the spring of 1899 Alameda county had no debt 
and its buildings were valued at $2,469,441. 

The movement to light the public highway between Haywards and Oakland like 
a city street received strong impulse at San Leandro in July, 1899. The Board of 
Trade and Merchants' Exchange of Oakland, the Board of Trade of San Leandro, 
the Fruit Vale and Elmhurst Improvement clubs and the board of trustees of Hay- 
wards favored the improvement. All sent representatives to a big meeting in San 
Leandro which was presided over by J. M. Frank of that town. While there the 
delegates visited the large new cannery where 420 persons were then employed. 
^^'ho should build the lamps and maintain them, was the all important question. 
All agreed that it would be a splendid and desirable improvement. It was a sug- 
gestion for improvement that encountered no opposition. 

In the fall of 1900 the salt plants near Alvarado numbered nearly thirty and 
produced all the salt used on the coast except about thirty thousand tons of refined 
product imported from Liverpool. New York business men tried to buy all the 
plants at this time, in the interests of a combine or monopoly. They tried to con- 
trol the output by securing an option on all the product for $2 per ton ; the output 
at this time was about one hundred thousand tons of the crude article annually. 
They succeeded in securing a five-year option on this product, and at once raised 
the price from 95 cents to .$2 per bag. The new concern took the name Fed- 
eral Salt Company. The Linion Pacific Salt Works controlled 1,100 acres of salt 
marsh near Alvarado and was organized in 1872 and produced about fourteen 
thousand tons annually. The oldest works were those of Plummer & Sons, at 
Newark, who began operations in 1864, and Turk Island \\'orks founded in 1S69. 
Salt works extended along the bay from Mount Eden to Newark. 

In 1900-01 Alameda county produced more coal than all the other coal pro- 
ducing counties of the state combined; the total output of the state in 1899 was 
160,941 tons. Previous to 1897 the coal output of this county did not amount to 
much, but in that year the Tesla mine operated by the San Francisco and San 
Joaquin Coal Company put on the market 21,900 tons; in 1898, 70,500 tons, and 
in 1899, 80,703 tons. Tesla was twelve miles by wagon road southwest of Liver- 
more and there the company owned 4,600 acres under which there were ten coal 
veins, limestones, gravel, and glass sand. In 1896 the company constructed a rail- 
road thirty-six miles long from Tesla to Stockton where its distributing bunkers 
were situated. It at once began briquetting its products and soon received large 
orders; all the screenings, slack, waste and oily products were thus utilized for 
domestic consumption. In 1900 Oakland was the distributing point for about six 
hundred thousand tons of coal, of which the Southern Pacific imported 378,000 
tons. About two hundred thousand tons were received and distributed by James P. 
Taylor, Charles R. Allen, Pacific Coal Company, the Howard Coal Company 
and others. .-Mready large quantities of California fuel oil were substituted for 
coal proper by manufacturers, railroads and steamships. 

On February 25. 1901, the county board voted an appropriation of S300 for an 
Alameda county exhibit at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo. At the same 
time they voted against a proposition to appropriate $10,000 for the Contra Costa 
Tunnel road. 



1894 $92,814,821 1897 94,057,417 

1895 93434,774 1898 83,549,470 

1896 94,267,840 1899 84.136,668 

The assessments were reduced by omitting railroad property. In September, 
1899, the county board fixed the inside tax rate for state and county at $1.34 
and added 35 cents for roads. The amounts to be raised by taxation were as 
follows for the years named, omitting cents : 

1890-1 S 829,721 1895-6 1,174.850 

1891-2 777,425 1896-7 1,023,633 

1892-3 737,252 1897-8 1,020,774 

1893-4 994,125 1898-9 1,064,015 

1894-5 996,390 1899-1900 1,201,895 

In September the county board passed a resolution calling for bids for light- 
ing the public highway from the eastern boundary of Oakland to the western 
boundary of San Leandro and from the eastern boundary of San Leandro to 
the western boundary of Haywards. 

On August 4, 1902, the whole county was redivided into townships, and at 
this time the new township of Pleasanton made its appearance on the map. 

The county was now composed of the following townships : Alameda, Brook- 
lyn, Eden, Murray, Oakland, Pleasanton and Washington. 

Alameda county is well supplied with building rock — macadam, dimension 
stone, rock for concrete, cement and ballast rubble and a red quartz suitable 
for fluxing iron. Perhaps the most famous quarries are situated in Shephard's 
canyon and in Niles canyon. Immense ledges of red quartz are situated three 
or four miles south of Oakland. 

In 1902 the Oakland Board of Trade asked the county board for a suitable 
appropriation for an exhibit of Alameda county products at the St. Louis 
Exposition of 1904. The following medals were awarded Alameda county at 
the World's Fair : Hunt Brothers, Haywards, canned fruit, gold medal ; Pacific 
Vinegar and Pickle Works, pickles, gold medal ; Alameda Sugar Company, beet 
sugar, gold medal; E. A. \\'right, vinegar, gold medal; Pleasanton Hop Com- 
pany, hops, gold medal; California Fruit Cannery Association, preserves, gold 
medal ; J. M. Doty, olive oil, gold medal; August Hagerman, barley, gold medal; 
F. J. Lea & Company, olive oil, gold medal ; University of California, seeds, gold 
medal; Cresta Blanca Vineyard, wine, gold medal; Mountain Range Vineyard, 
wine, gold medal. The county received the gold medal for the best general dis- 
play out of twenty-two counties that made exhibits at the World's Fair in 1904. 

In July, 1903 the county board bought fifty ballot machines of the Dean 
Machine Company, one-half to be delivered May i, 1906, and one-half in August 
of the same year. The price of each was $650. 

In 1905 the total products of the county were $21,881,330. The agricultural 
products were valued at $8,596,133, and the manufactured articles at $13,285,197. 
These figures were furnished to the county board by Mr. Wyckoff. Late in 


August, 1906, Alameda county was awarded first prize for the general excellence 
of its exhibit at the state fair at Sacramento. In September the county board fixed 
the rate of taxation at $1.45 for inside property and $1.85 for outside property. It 
was necessary to raise $190,000 more for building purposes than was raised the 
previous year. Of this sum $100,000 was needed on the new jail and about $20,000 
for repairs to county buildings made necessary by damage done by the earthquake 
of April 1 8th and the same amount for repairs to school buildings. In November 
the tunnel through the hills to Contra Costa county was finished at a total cost 
of about $46,000. Its completion was celebrated with a fine banquet tendered the 
Contra Costa county representatives by the Oakland Merchants Exchange. The 
total length of the tunnel was 1,100 feet. 


Emeryville $1,532,420 Livermore 658,830 

Fruitvale, etc 4.513,610 San Leandro 1,060,735 

Pleasanton 387,422 Haywards 995.2/5 

The earthquake of April 18, 1906, between 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning, 
was a real shake — not a wave. In all about twenty different quakes were expe- 
rienced after the first great shock, nearly all being slight and several scarcely 
noticeable. Four persons were killed in Oakland and several injured. The 
hall of records and the courthouse were considerably injured. Many churches, 
schoolhouses, business blocks and residences were more or less damaged. The 
damage to San Francisco was so much greater than in Alameda county that the 
people here forgot their own troubles and losses in view of the awful calamity 
which swept that city. It was estimated that from 18,000 to 50,000 refuges 
from San Francisco passed the night of April 19th, in this city. A relief com- 
mittee of 300 was busy providing care for all who came. Every church and 
relief society went actively to work; so did the Chamber of Commerce and the 
various lodges, clubs and societies. Practically every city and town in the county 
threw open its doors for the unfortunates. A large relief corps was formed in 
Berkeley and in Alameda and thousands were cared for. The people of San 
Leandro, San Lorenzo and Haywards and the surrounding country organized 
and tendered food, shelter and clothing. The schools throughout the county 
were generally closed. Thousands volunteered for service across the bay if 
needed, but were refused, as their presence would only add to the confusion. 
Many who had relatives in San Francisco were refused passes to visit them. 
By the 20th immense quantities of flour, meat and vegetables were rushed 
to Oakland for transportation across the bay. The Salvation Army provided 
tents for a large number of persons. All the cities on this side of the bay 
marvelously escaped the dreadful aftermath of fire which devastated San Fran- 
cisco. At the time of the shock the electric current was largely turned off. One 
of the water mains burst, but there being few fires it cut no figure. The 
loss here to business plants was large, but was scarcely noticed in the shadow of 
the greater calamity across the bay. Governor Pardee arrived in Oakland on the 
20th and at once instituted measures of relief. Every town in the county suf- 
fered more or less in damage to buildings. On the 21st the Oakland Relief 


Committee announced that there was plenty of food, beds and rooms here for 
all who needed help. Hundreds were provided for in Berkeley and Alameda. 
Every park was filled with the refugees who were supplied with blankets and 
food. In two days the relief committee at Berkeley raised over $3,000 cash for 
relief purposes. Churches and lodge rooms were opened every night to the 
refugees and relief funds were accumulated. From all over the country — the 
world — came encouraging and cheering messages and as fast as trains could bring 
it, help of the most substantial character. The various labor organizations were 
active m the good work. By April 21st the relief committee in Oakland had col- 
lected $10,000 cash. On the 20th five persons became so demented by their 
awful experiences that they were taken in charge by the police. The relief com- 
mittees secured from the railroads free transportation of the refugees to out- 
side points. Scores of cities to the eastward wired that money and supplies were 
on the way. 

The hospitals were full to overflowing. Many babies were born during the 
night of the 20th and every woman's society was busy furnishing care and 
encouragement. Everywhere throughout the county the Native Sons were active 
day and night to aid the sufferers. Eighteen physicians and an equal number 
of nurses arrived in Oakland from Oregon to aid the local medical men. The 
Governor declared April 23d and 24th legal holidays to enable business to get 
its bearings once more. Among those who escaped with their lives from San 
Francisco and came to Oakland was Goddaret E. D. Dimond, aged 109 years. 
He slept on the ground one night in San Francisco and had nothing to eat from 
Wednesday morning until Friday noon. Though rendered penniless by the 
fire he announced his intention to start anew by lecturing on his life and the 
earthquake catastrophe. 

The Oakland high school building was seriously damaged by the shock. 
The plaster in every room was partly thrown down. Much furniture was dam- 
aged, pictures particularly. The massive chimneys were thrown down and forced 
through the slate roof wrecking it completely and creating great havoc below. 
Several rooms were almost completely wrecked. 

An artesian well near San Lorenzo on the day after the earthquake, first 
spouted salt water, then water containing oil, ink-colored water, milk-white 
water and then settled down to good clear drinking water. 

Late on the 23d another earthquake shook the bay cities. It was severe 
enough to drive people into the street. Professor Bushhalter said it was the 
first shake for about thirty hours. It was severer in San Francisco and among 
the frightened people there caused a considerable panic. On Sunday, April 
22d, the churches devoted themselves almost wholly to relief work. Thousands 
were fed in the auditoriums. "Talk about booms !"' said the Enquirer, "The 
pepulation of Oakland has increased more rapidly within the last week than 
anything Los Angeles ever experienced." It was estimated on the 23d that the 
cities and towns of the county were caring for from 100,000 to 150,000 persons 
made temporarily helpless by the fire. The population of Oakland about doubled. 
One splendid act of the authorities was that which compelled all selling and 
dispensing agencies not to increase prices. The Catholic Central Relief Com- 
mittee organized and did excellent work. Oakland and the surrounding towns, 
in view of the presence of thousands of refugees, made strenuous efforts to 


keep down lawlessness and succeeded. Large numbers of persons were taken 
into custody on suspicion as an act of prevention. An unknown rancher at 
Fruitvale, with a wagon full of freshly cooked victuals — macaroni, boiled ham, 
buttered bread, baked beans, etc., seeing the hungry throng there, called all to 
come forward and eat heartily without a cent to pay. He did not have to ask a 
second time. With undisguised satisfaction he saw the wagon-load of eatables 
disappear, then mounted his wagon and drove home, enjoying the superb sensa- 
tion which always accompanies a noble act. This feeling, in short, embraced this 
whole community which ofifered food and shelter free to all the refugees. As a 
matter of precaution over lOO special building inspectors were appointed to 
examine all buildings to see that their chimneys were free from damage from 
the shock. Rapidly, under the direction of the board of health, the names of 
the refugees were taken and system was created out of confusion. Twenty- 
five stenographers were employed to handle the enormous emergency corres- 
pondence. Soon every park and open place became a relief camp. Thousands 
were cared for at Idora park. 

In 1907 the banks of the county were as follows : Savings banks : Oakland — 
Central, Farmers and ]\Ierchants, Oakland Savings, State Savings, Union Savings, 
First National, Italian, Bankers' Trust, California, Security, West Oakland and 
Union National; Alameda — Citizens Savings, Alameda; Berkeley — Berkeley Bank 
and Trust, University, South Berkeley, West Berkeley ; Fruitvale— Citizens Sav- 
ings, Citizens Commercial, Bank of Fruitvale ; Claremont — Citizens State ; 
Emeryville — Syndicate ; San Leandro — San Leandro ; Haywards — Haywards Sav- 
ings, Haywards Commercial, Farmers and Merchants ; Livermore — Bank of Liver- 
more, Livermore Savings, Livermore Valley ; Pleasanton — Bank of Pleasanton ; 
Niles — Niles State ; Centerville — Centerville. The combined deposits amounted to 
over $54,000,000. National banks, Oakland — First National, Central National — 
total capital, 81,500,000; deposits $9,018,898.35. In Berkelej' — First National, 
Berkeley National — total capital, $550,000 ; deposits $3,087,635.86. Other national 
banks — Alameda National, Citizens National, San Leandro, Pleasanton, Liver- 
more, Emeryville — total capital, $350,000; deposits $1,845,821.84. Total capital 
of all county banks, $6,939,490; total deposits and circulation $72,006,005.63. 
There were thus forty-three banks in the county. 

In 1908 the grand value of all property in the county was $186,892,225. The 
total county indebtedness was $119,104.28. Total state and county taxation 
$1.36 on inside property and $1.76 on outside property. The real estate was 
valued at $106,901,475. 

In 1908, the county board appropriated $1,500 to enable the Oakland free 
public library upon petition to extend its benefits to the people of the county re- 
siding outside of incorporated cities and towns. 

The construction of the Foothills boulevard connecting Oakland. Fruitvale, 
Elmhurst. Fitchburg, Ashland, San Leandro, Castro Valley and Haywards and 
covering a distance of twelve miles or more was brought to completion in 1908 
and at once became the pride of the people and a crowning act of impro\ement 
by the county board. 

The anti-alien or anti-Japanese sentiment claimed prominent attention in this 
community in 1908-09. The bills in the Legislature on the subject, the attitude 
of Governor Gillett and President Roosevelt, the formation of anti-Japanese 


organizations and the attack on a Japanese student at the university, were suffi- 
cient to rouse the people to the impending perils. 


Townships People Cities People Towns People 

Oakland I47.I99 Oakland 150,174 Haywards 2,746 

Alameda 23,183 Berkeley 40,434 Livermore 2,030 

Brooklyn 49.140 San Leandro .... 3,471 Emeryville 2,613 

Eden ii-5i5 Piedmont 1.719 

Murray 4,137 Albany 808 

Pleasanton 2,883 Pleasanton 1,254 

\\^ashington 7.874 

In February, igii the county board passed stringent resolutions against the 
\\'olfe bill which planned to dismember Alameda and other counties in order 
that portions might be annexed to San Francisco. Petitions remonstrating 
against the passage of the bill were signed by over three thousand residents of 
Alameda county in February, 191 1. The senate bill was finally killed by the 
vote of twenty-one to nineteen. At this time the county board also set aside 
the Scenic or Foothills boulevard for the purposed automobile road race. 

In 1912 the Metropolitan Municipal Water district was established, to com- 
prise seven cities and unincorporated territory in Oakland. This year the irri- 
gation bond amendment was adopted by the voters of the state. A movement 
for a children's hospital for the whole county was commenced. A consolida- 
tion of various county public offices in order to save expenses was considered 
by the tax association. The poultry show at Oakland this year was a success, 
Haywards leading in the poultry industry. The Alameda County Water dis- 
trict was established in 1913-14. The county board gave the Rotary Club $500 
with which to advertise the county for 191 5, and appropriated $9,000 for a 
county exhibit at the San Diego fair of 191 5. 

In October, 191 3, the banks of the county were as follows: State banks in 
Oakland — Oakland Bank of Savings, Central Savings, Union Savings, First 
Trust and Savings, Farmers and Merchants Savings, State Savings, Security 
Bank and Trust, Bank of Fruitvale, Citizens Bank of Fruitvale, Harbor Bank, 
Bank of Commerce, West Oakland Bank and Trust, Banco Popolace Italian, 
Twenty-third avenue, Elmhurst — total capital of all $3,124,440; deposits $43,- 
445,556.55. State banks in Berkeley — Berkeley Bank of Savings, University 
Savings, Homestead Savings, West Berkeley, South Berkeley— total capital of 
all $693,400; deposits $5,691,484.07. Elsewhere in the county — Alameda Sav- 
ings, Bank of San Leandro, Bank of Centerville, Bank of Alameda County, 
Alvarado, Farmers and Merchants of Haywards, Bank of Haywards, Haywards 
Bank of Savings, Niles State Bank, Livermore Valley Savings, Livermore Sav- 
ings, Bank of Pleasanton — total capital $721,650; deposits $6,801,823.96. 

At the election held December 30, 191 3, to determine whether the Alameda 
County Water district should be organized, the result was: for the district 884, 


against the district 19. The county is not without its commercial minerals. 
There are coal, pyrites, clay, petroleum, magnesite, building rock, gravel, sand, 
trap-rock, limestone, concrete rock, sandstone, etc. The annual product is worth 
about $5,000,000. The assessment rolls of the county for 1913-14 contained 
6,000 more names than those of the previous year. The total assessed valuation 
was $256,363,895. 



When the harbor improvements were planned in 1873 San Antonio estuary 
did not receive much drainage and was apparently filling up with surface waste. 
The upper part became a mud flat at low tide. Other portions were over twenty 
feet deep at low tide and to a considerable distance from the mouth the current 
kept a channel open to a depth of twelve feet. About a mile from the shore the 
current spread out and there a bar was formed within two feet of the surface at 
low tide. The engineers, G. H. Mendall, C. S. Stewart and B. S. Alexander, 
concluded that if the tidal flow were confined to jetties or training walls the 
current would scour out the bottom, the amount of scour being determined by the 
volume of water flowing out of the estuary. To secure the necessary amount of 
water it was further concluded that the waters of San Leandro bay should be 
turned through Oakland harbor. To accomplish this they proposed to dig a canal 
across a mile and a half of low land separating the head of San Antonio estuary 
from San Leandro bay and by putting gates at the mouth of the bay within Bay 
Farm Island and Alameda force the bay to discharge its water through Oakland 
harbor. It was estimated that the cubical contents of the tidal prism of the estuary 
were 157,000,000 feet and of the bay 165,000,000 feet. The following order of 
work was recommended : ( i ) Build two training walls of stone to control the 
flow of water out of and into the estuary; (2) dig the San Leandro canal; (3) 
build the dam on San Leandro bay; (4) excavate the basin at the head of the 
estuary to give a greater tidal prism. The total cost was first estimated at $1,335,- 
435, which included 10 per cent additional for contingencies. Appropriations 
were made and expended from 1874 to 1877 when the dispute over the titles to 
the submerged lands checked appropriations and work until 1881 when labor 
was again resumed under an adjustment of titles. On several years there were no 
appropriations, owing to the quibbles or crochets of Congress. By 1899 there was 
expended about one million eight hundred thousand dollars, with about seven 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars more to be used to complete the work. The 
current did not scour as expected, which made it necessary to dredge extensivel) 
between the training walls. It was only in 1899 that the originally proposec 
twenty feet depth of water between the training walls was secured — twenty-six 
years after the work commenced. Work upon the tidal canal was begun about 
1890. In 1896 Congress designated $666,000 as the amount to be allowed to com- 
plete the work as originally intended. At this time Colonel Suter succeeded Mr. 
Mendall as engineer in charge. He reported that the tidal canal was not a neces- 
sary feature of the improvement and that more money would be needed than 
designated by Congress to complete the work. This report opened a big contro- 
versy between Alameda and Oakland. The former demanded the speedy com- 


pletion of the tidal canal as a vital necessity to its sewerage system. For fifteen 
years a makeshift was used by discharging the sewage of Alameda into a small 
cove in the bay where thorough scourings could not be secured. Oakland had 
always contemplated a series of intercepting sewers to carry the discharges to 
the extreme end of West Oakland to be there deposited in deep water. The 
natural order required that the sewerage of Alameda should be poured westward 
from Alameda Point to deep waters, but instead the discharge was turned east- 
ward to the upper end of the harbor. This was done in 1885 to protect the baths 
along the Alameda shore and at the point. The return which the Alameda people 
asked for the concession of dredging between the training walls was Oakland's 
consent that after the twenty feet of water had been obtained from Webster street 
bridge westerly the improvement of the channels to the east of Webster street 
bridge should be the next portion of the improvement commenced and finished. 
But the aid of Congress was uncertain and accordingly, after much hard and 
patient effort. Senator Perkins and Congressman Hilborn succeeded in 1896 in 
securing a place on the continuing contract list to the amount of $666,000 to be 
paid in $20,000 installments. The next year an additional appropriation of 
$200,000 was made. All the improvements, it was provided, should be carried 
on along the original plans regardless of what subsequent engineers might think 
was best. 

The above is a general outline of this important improvement, but now will 
be given a more detailed account of the progress of the work, showing the steps 
that were taken. 

On the 24th of February, 1873, articles of incorporation of the Oakland Harbor 
Improvement Company were filed, its object being to dredge and open a ship 
channel across the bar at San Antonio creek and protect the same by suitable 
means; to improve and make navigable the waters of the creek and estuary; to 
connect by a canal the bay of San Leandro with the creek or estuary : to construct 
along their line and adjacent to them suitable wharves and warehouses for the 
accommodation of trade and commerce, and to construct across the mouth of 
San Leandro bay a suitable dam with flood-gates sufficient to turn the waters of 
the bay through San Antonio creek. The object also was to purchase and acquire 
all necessary property, franchises, rights and privileges for the carrying out of 
these objects. The principal place of business was declared to be at Oakland; 
the capital stock was 82,000,000, and the directors were G. W. Bowie, William 
Graham, F. Chappellet, G. M. Fisher, W. H. Gorill, Elijah Case, Z. Montgomery, 
E. W. Woodward, John Doherty, R. C. Gaskell and C. H. Twombly, all of 

The first appropriation for the Oakland harbor was made by Congress in 
1874. In that year the freight business amounted to 154,300 tons. By 1882 the 
freight amounted to 1,225,266 tons and the passengers carried to 858,352. In 
August, 1882, $263,389 was available for continuing the harbor improvement. At 
this time, with a harbor channel only two feet deep, Oakland's commerce was as 
follows: Traffic by ferry, 60.000 tons; traffic by vessels, 94,300 tons; total, 154,300 
tons. In 1888, with a channel twelve feet deep, the traffic by steam ferries was 
1.876,633 tons; traffic by vessels at railroad temporary wharf, 492,417 tons; traffic 
by vessels at city wharves, 221,370 tons; total, 2,590,422 tons. Recent dredging 
was a great disap])ointment, because it widened instead of deepened the channel 


to the city wharves. \\'hat Oakland wanted — had begged for from the start — 
was a channel of sufficient depth to permit large ocean-going steamers to reach its 

In 1875 prominent citizens undertook to arrange that the land required for 
the tidal canal, 86% acres, should be obtained without cost to the United States 
other than the cost of survey and of legal condemnation proceedings. In the 
autumn of 1875 these proceedings were instituted in the state court with the view 
to obtain thereafter a special legislative act authorizing the city to levy a tax 
sufficient to pay for the land condemned. In April, 1876, the Legislature author- 
ized the city to raise $25,000 by taxation for this purpose. It was not until Sep- 
tember, 1882, that the condemnation proceedings were completed, at which time 
the court made a decree assessing the land at $39,696, of which the city was to pay 
$25,000, and the United States $14,696. It was found that nearly twenty thousand 
tons of stone were required to complete the jetties. A contract was made for 
11,650 tons, leaving 8,950 tons to be supplied under a second contract. The chan- 
nel-way, which was completed June 21, 1882, resulted in a 300-foot cut, ten feet 
deep at low water and a central 100-foot cut deepened from 10 to 14 feet at low 
water, which depths were afterward maintained in spite of some shoaling by sandy 
washings from the banks. This lack of tidal prism was remedied by suitable 
operations in the inner harbor. The next operation was to increase the tidal prism 
and was accomplished by dredging a tidal basin and by cutting a tidal canal con- 
necting Oakland harbor with the San Leandro estuary. This was the situation in 
February, 1884. 

Work on the harbor improvement progressed rapidly during 1875. A large 
gang of Chinamen were constantly employed in unloading the scows which brought 
rock from the quarries; they remained on the works night and day and their 
home was in a rough board house built on a scow. They \\cre at work on the 
creek route to San Francisco. 

In 1876-77 Congress refused to include in the appropriation bill pny amount 
for continuing the improvement of Oakland harbor. Mr. Page asked for $t 00,000, 
but this allowance was opposed on the ground that a private concern — the \ 'ak- 
land Water Front Compan)- — claimed all the submerged land along the point ojt 
to a depth of twenty-four feet and also claimed the whole of the San Antonio 
estuary. The company had dedicated for purposes of navigation a channel 300 
feet wide, but claimed the submerged land up to the banks of this channel, the 
right to build wharves thereon, and the ownership of the tidal basin of Oakland 
harbor. As long as these claims existed, or were unsettled, it was out of the 
question to secure from Congress an appropriation for improving what might 
prove to be, when settled in the courts or otherv/ise, private property. The perma- 
nent channel contemplated required a tidal basin to receive the inflowing tide and 
to disburse it again in the bay. It had been proposed to connect the San Leandro 
and San Antonio estuary by a canal to cost in all $500,000, but this step was also 
opposed, because it was not yet settled who was the lawful owner of the San 
Antonio estuary. The Water Front Company began operations of proprietorship 
which were stopped by the Government on the ground that it was exceeding its 
rights. Soon the company agreed to yield all claim to any portion that would 
interfere with the contemplated improvements. Time passed and the House com- 
mittee reported the bill without the harbor appropriation. Mr. Page then under- 


took to defeat" the whole bill and succeeded. He then began again to remove all 
objections. He returned home, consulted all persons and companies concerned and 
finally in April, 1877, obtained the consent of the Water Front Company to deed 
to the United States all their right, title and interest in and to all the submerged 
lands of the estuary, or bordering thereon, which might be necessary for carrying 
out the plans of improvement of Oakland harbor. It was during the terms of 
office of Mayors Durant, Spaulding and Webber that the Oakland harbor improve- 
ment was inaugurated and pushed forward with vigor. These officials did every- 
thing in their power to keep the project everlastingly before Congress. 

The Oakland harbor plans in February, 1884, provided that all available 
money should be applied to the completion of the jetties and to the excavation 
of the tidal basin. The contract provided for dredging to the amount of 600,000 
cubic yards, of which 92,055 yards had been accomplished in 1883. The dredging 
was novel in being removed through a conduit of iron pipe at a distance. The 
capabilities of delivery were extended to a distance of 1,200 feet, with possi- 
bilities of much further delivery. This system was found to be much cheaper 
than any other. The next requirements of the situation asked for dredging at 
the basin, the extension of fourteen foot water from the head of the jetties to 
the bridge allowing ships to reach the Oakland wharves, excavation of the tidal 
canal connecting San Leandro estuary with Oakland harbor and the payment 
of a portion of the award made by the state court to the owners of land con- 
demned for the purposes of this canal. 

The failure of the government in 1884-5 to provide for a continuance of 
the work on the Oakland harbor was a grievous local disappointment and was 
followed by the almost certain and serious damage to the work already done. 
The original estimate of the improvement was $1,814,529.20, of which amount 
there had already been appropriated in June, 1885, $874,600. It was urged that 
the appropriation should be sufficient to meet the annual estimates and that 
meager appropriations prevented economical operations. At the (then) pres- 
ent rate of appropriations it would require ten years to complete the work, but 
only three or four years with liberal appropriations. The original depth before 
the improvements were begun was about three feet; now it was fourteen feet 
at the entrance. The money was applied to increase the tidal prism by continu- 
ing the dredging of the tidal basin and by the excavation of the San Leandro 

In "Slay, 1885, the Oakland council passed an ordinance allowing the Alameda 
County Terminal Wharf and Warehouse Company to erect and maintain a 
wharf and warehouses from the western end of Powell street in Oakland town- 
ship to deep water in San Francisco bay; they were required to expend $15,000 
the first year. 


1874 $100,000 1881 60,000 

1875 100,000 1882 200,000 

1876 75,000 1884 139-000 

1878 80,000 18S6 60,000 

1879 60,000 1888 350.000 

1880 60,000 1S9O 250,000 


The old city wharf extended out 150 yards from Franklin and Webster 
streets in 1888 and was joined at the end by another wharf forming a hollow 
square. The new wharf being constructed early in 1889 consisted of three piers 
extending out almost as far as the old pier and far enough apart to allow dock- 
age along the sides and at the end. The old wharf was removed section by sec- 
tion as the new one was built. 

In May, 1891, E. C. Sessions carried out his large project of dredging and 
docking in the harbor near Clinton station. A canal 1,200 feet long was dredged 
in the marsh where he owned a tract of about sixty acres. The canal alone 
cost about forty thousand dollars, and Mr. Sessions in all paid out about one hun- 
dred thousand dollars for the canal and wharf improvements. 

Late in December, 1892, the government awarded two important dredging 
contracts in Oakland harbor — one for a semi-circular channel between four 
thousand and five thousand feet long, beginning at the Larue reservation and 
thence extending eastward past the cotton mills to the new San Leandro canal, 
and one for a canal twenty feet deep and about four thousand feet long, extend- 
ing from Webster street bridge westward toward the bay. There was involved 
in the two contracts about one hundred and twenty-two thousand dollars. 

The important question of how Alameda and Oakland could unite on a plan 
for the improvement of the harbor and the construction of the tidal canal was 
duly considered by mass meetings, committee discussions and private confer- 
ences in November, 1896. 

The plans for harbor improvement in 1897 were those presented by Colonel 
Suter and included a channel twenty feet deep to be carried well up toward the 
head of the estuary and the completion of the training walls. One new bridge 
was planned to take the place of the two old ones across the estuary. 

The desideratum in 1900, it was realized, was the elaboration and comple- 
tion of the harbor so that ocean vessels of high draft and in large numbers could 
lie in safety at the wharves, or could ride at anchor in a land-locked and secure 
harbor. Until this improvement was an accomplished fact the city could not 
expect to take its share of the immense transport business which still went to 
San Francisco, nor be the real terminus of the trans-continental railways. In 
other words the great object of Oakland at this time was to bring together ship 
and car at the wharves and docks of the city. In the fall of 1900 work on the 
harbor progressed satisfactorily in the harbor proper, at the Alameda end, and 
at Sausul creek. The establishment at this time by Balfour, Guthrie & Co., of 
docks, coal bunkers, warehouses, etc., and by Boole & Co., of a shipyard at the 
foot of Union street, showed that the improvements to the harbor were appre- 
ciated and that the work was bound to bear abundant fruit. 

In January, 1901, the county board adopted resolutions, in accord with the 
report of Colonel Heuer, asking the government for a harbor channel twenty- 
five feet deep at low tide. This was the unanimous action of the supervisors. 
Congressman Metcalf at once prepared a bill to that effect. 

The harbor improvement needed was a channel 500 feet wide and not less 
than twenty feet deep at low tide extending from deep water in San Francisco 
bay to Fallon street; thence a channel 300 feet wide and seventeen feet deep to 
the tidal basin, and thence a channel entirely around the basin 300 feet wide 
and twelve feet deep, the estimated cost of which was $646,293. At this time 


it became the consensus of opinion that a twenty-foot depth of channel would 
be insufficient for the requirements of commerce. When the harbor was 
planned in 1874 a twenty-foot depth was probably sufficient, but with the pas- 
sage of time came much larger vessels and accordingly a deeper channel was 
needed. Of the tonnage passing through Oakland harbor, eighty-nine per cent 
was trans-continental railway freight. No vessel drawing more than twenty 
feet could enter the harbor at low tide and had to be lightened outside in order 
to reach the wharves. This was an unnecessary and costly item. Or they 
could unload at Long wharf upon paying wharfage and tolls for hauling. The 
excavation of a channel twenty-five feet deep and 500 feet wide from the bay to 
Fallon street, and thence 300 feet wide and the same depth to and around the 
basin was estimated to cost $1,687,818. The excavation of the tidal canal by 
the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company was rapid and satisfactory. Their con- 
tract with the government called for the removal of 1,000,000 cubic yards of 
earth per month. Late in 1901 the Southern Pacific handled over one hundred 
car loads of earth daily from the excavations. 

In January, 1902, the board of public works adopted the following at the 
request of the board of trade : Whereas, the business of Oakland harbor has 
very materially increased during the last few years; and Whereas, the draught of 
vessels has also been increased necessitating deeper water in the waterways : 
and Whereas, the Oakland harbor, owing to its shallow depth, is unable to accom- 
modate the shipping interests at this port, therefore be it Resolved, That this 
board request the mayor of the city of Oakland to wire Congressman Metcalf 
to use his best eft'orts for the furtherance of the Rivers and Harbors bill now 
before the congressional committees to obtain an appropriation for the deepen- 
ing of the Oakland harbor to a depth of twenty-five feet at low tide. 

The Leavitt bill in the Legislature early in 1907 provided for the creation of 
a board of harbor commissioners for the Oakland water front. 

During 1907 the Southern Pacific Company reclaimed a large area of land 
south of the broad-gauge mole with a new ferry slip and expansive dock. The 
Western Pacific Company reclaimed an immense area and prepared generally 
for the terminal ferry which was to be ready as soon as the western end of its 
trans-continental road was put in operation. It also reclaimed from the marshes 
of the inner harbor about one hundred and thirty acres. 

At the close of 1907 the enormous progress in harbor improvement was 
manifest. Lumber yards and mills lined the water front for miles; several 
new wharves and docks had been built; the lumber fleet had nearly doubled in 
one year; one wharf was long enough to accommodate nine vessels lying end 
to end, with nineteen feet depth of water at low tide. The government was 
well advanced on the work of dredging the channel to a depth of twenty-five 
feet at low tide. Thus in line was a harbor with a channel 500 feet wide and 
deep enough for any merchant vessel entering San Francisco bay. 

It was apparent in 1908-9 that, owing to increased cost in various impro\-e- 
ment lines, the old continuing contract for harbor funds from the government 
was inadequate to complete the project as had been contemplated. It was esti- 
mated that from $400,000 to $500,000 more than had been expected would be 
needed. The sum available on December 31, 1908, of funds appropriated was 
$141,545. and the amount remaining to be appropriated which had been auth- 




orized under the acts of 1905 and 1907 was $255,000. Outstanding obliga- 
tions amounted to $244,108. leaving available for future operations $153,436. 

Early in 1909 Congressman Knowland secured an appropriation of $256,000 
for the continued improvement of the Oakland harbor; he managed to have this 
measure attached to the Sundry Civil Appropriation bill. 

In February, 1909, the county board authorized the city of Oakland to proceed 
with the annexation of about six square miles of the water front and tide lands in 
the western part of the city between the long wharf and Berkeley as a part of the 
general scheme for the improvement of Oakland harbor. 

By November, 1910, the Government had spent in round numbers $3,500,000 
on the Oakland channel and harbor and was virtually under pledge to dredge the 
channel to a depth of thirty feet at low tide and a width of 500 feet from ship 
channel in the bay to the line of Fallon street. 

In 191 1 the new project under which Oakland harbor improvements were 
carried on provided for a channel thirty feet deep and 500 feet wide from the 
bay to the tidal basin, for a channel twenty-five feet deep and 300 feet wide around 
the tidal basin, and for a channel eighteen feet deep along the tidal basin. The 
plan was to build the thirty-foot channel at once, and to add the other improve- 
ments when needed. In 1910 $250,000 was appropriated to commence operations. 

^\'hat determined the board of engineers at Washington to approve the thirty- 
foot channel project was the fact that such a channel had been granted to Los 
Angeles and San Diego, neither of which had as large an annual harbor tonnage as 
Oakland. This fact, when presented to the board, caused it to reverse its former 
action and to approve the recommendations of Colonel Biddle. The amount of 
commerce was the paramount item of importance when seen by Congress. In 
addition Congress looked with greatest favor on those localities which were willing 
to assist in any water or harbor improvement project, and thus regarded Oakland 
which had authorized a bond issue of $2,500,000 for harbor improvements. 
Previous to 191 1 Alameda had done nothing for its harbor, but late in the year 
the mayor of that city appointed a board of harbor commissioners which began 

Succeeding the authorization of the bond indebtedness late in 1909, the Liv- 
ingstone strett concrete pier wharf was soon completed, but other projected 
improvements with that fund were held up. But work on the western water 
front was commenced — the Key Route basin. Still by January, 1914, the city 
was but little nearer deep water navigation and commerce than if the voters 
back in 1909 had not authorized prompt work to secure that result. 

In 1870 the project of a bridge across San Antonio creek between Oakland 
and Alameda was considered by the Legislature, but was bitterly opposed by 
residents of Brooklyn who thought it would obstruct navigation and thus interfere 
with the prospects of their town. However, the bill became law and the Webster 
street bridge was constructed. In this matter, at the meeting of the council, Mr. 
Spaulding offered the following resolution: 

"Whereas, It has come to the knowledge of this council that there is dissatis- 
faction among the residents and property owners of Brooklyn and San Antonio 
respecting the action taken by this council in the matter of giving their sanction 
for the passage of a law for the construction of a bridge at the foot of \\'ebster 
street to connect with Alameda; and 


"Whereas, It is not the wish nor desire of Oakland or its representatives 
to obstruct or in any way to impede the progress of our neighboring towns; 
therefore be it 

"Resolved, That the citizens of Brooklyn, San Antonio and Alameda, by their 
representatives, be requested to meet this council at their rooms to show wherein 
or how they will be injured or benefited by the construction of a bridge at the 
point above named." 

This special meeting was called, but in the meantime a protest was received 
from Brooklyn township. A meeting of the citizens and property owners of 
Brooklyn township, held at Swett's hall, unanimously adopted the following 
resolution : 

"That it is the opinion of this meeting that the construction of a bridge over 
the San Antonio creek will be detrimental to the inhabitants of Brooklyn township 
in an eminent degree; also injurious to the interests of the county in general, by 
the creation of a very costly structure to be foisted upon the county at great 
expense for the care and keeping the same in repair." A printed protest was also 
received from thirty-three citizens of Oakland to the following effect : "The under- 
signed hereby protest against the erection of a bridge across San Antonio creek, 
as is now proposed by parties in Alameda. In our estimation a bridge would 
seriously obstruct navigation and impose unnecessary expense upon Oakland. We 
would suggest that the proposed connection, if necessary, be made solely at the 
expense of residents of Alameda, and by road and ferry only in accordance with 
the original proposition." On February 28th citizens of Alameda and Brooklyn 
being present were invited to express their views on the bridge question. The 
following resolution was then passed, "That the city clerk be authorized to 
communicate with Calvin Brown, George E. Gray and A. F. Rogers and ask them 
to give this council, on or before Monday, March 7, 1870, their opinion of the 
effect of the erection of a bridge across San Antonio creek, especially as eft'ecting 
the depth of water therein ; and that the opinion of any other scientific gentlemen 
on the subject who may favor us with the same will be cheerfully received." The 
bridge as then planned was 1,000 feet in length with a draw of 200 feet, and the 
cost was $25,000. Early in March, 1871, it was completed. On April loth. an 
ordinance levying a special tax was passed, and a special levy of twenty-five cents 
on each $100 of property was ordered to be levied for the purpose of defraying 
the expense of the bridge. 

On April 24, 1876, an ordinance was passed authorizing the construction of 
a bridge across the estuary of San Antonio between Eighth street and East Ninth 
street, and fixing the dimensions thereof. On the same date the name of Middle 
street was changed to Ninth street ; and on November 27th the contract for 
building the Eighth street bridge was awarded to the Pacific Bridge Company, 
at $30,000. 

The big new bridge across the tidal canal was dedicated January 23, 1892. 
There were long processions and various noisy demonstrations by both Alameda 
and Oakland. The speakers were Edward K. Taylor, city attorney of Alameda, 
and Hon. W. R. Davis of Oakland. 

It was in August, 1910, that the grant by the harbor commission of 2,000 
feet of the quay wall to be erected on the south side for the docking of deep 
water ships was made. 


A military company was organized at San Francisco in 1849, which in July 
had forty-one men, and in September numbered 100. It was named the First 
California Guard, and though intended for the artillery arm the men were drilled 
with muskets. The officers of this company were Captain H. W. Naglee; First 
Lieutenants William O. O. Harvard and M. Norton; Second Lieutenants Hall 
McAllister and David F. Bagley; Surgeon Samuel Gerry and Sergeant R. H. 
Sinton. The company retained its organization later under the laws of California, 
and is at present known as Company A, Light Battery, N. G. C. In 1850 it went to 
Sacramento to assist in quelling the squatters' riots and in its absence two other 
companies were organized which still belong to the N. G. C. About twenty more 
companies existed at the time that the war of the rebellion broke out in 1861. 

There were in 1854 six companies at San Francisco formed into a battalion. 
The militia of the metropolis has been called into active service on only three 
occasions, to wit : In 1856, during the existence of the vigilance committee, when 
they received orders to report to the Governor; in 187 1, when several companies 
were despatched to Amador county to prevent a collision between miners and mill 
owners; and in 1877, during the three days' riots of the Kearney mob, when they 
were ordered to guard the armories and other property. The alacrity with which 
the officers, rank and fiile responded to the call of the legally constituted author- 
ities proved the usefulness of their organization. 

The state was in 1850, pursuant to an act of the Legislature, partitioned into 
four military divisions with a major-general at the head of each, two brigades 
commanded by the respective brigadier-generals constitute one division. The com- 
mand-in-chief of the national guard was vested in the Governor, and the chief 
officers of the staff were the adjutant -general and quartermaster-general. San 
Francisco had a regularly organized brigade, and the first commander of the 
Second division was Major-General Bimond, afterward superintendent of the 
mint, now dead. There existed also a number of independent companies. 

The territory on the Pacific was constituted by order of the President of the 
United States in 1849-50, the Third division of department No. 11; but in 1851 
the commands of departments No. 10 and 11 were merged in that of the Pacific 
division, and Brevet Brigadier-General Ethan A. Hitchcock became its chief, with 
headquarters at Sonoma ; he was afterward Secretary of the Interior under Presi- 
dent McKinley. In February, 1854, Major-General John E. Wool took the 

At the time the Civil war began the only fortifications on the coast of Cali- 
fornia and Oregon were Alcatraz and Fort Point. At Alcatraz were 130 men 
under Captain Stewart. Fort Point was not occupied till February, 1861, when 
160 artillerymen were stationed there, whose officers were Lieutenants Kellogg, 


Kip and Shinn and Quartermaster Gibson. Ten thousand stands of arms and 
150,000 cartridges were transferred from Benicia to Alcatraz. In the vicinity of 
San Francisco were about five hundred men. The whole force stationed in the 
department consisted of 3,650, of whom 1,725 were in Cahfornia, and 1,925 in 
Oregon and Washington. On the 19th of April, 1861, Brigadier-General Edwin 
V. Sumner relieved Albert Sidney Johnston. His first general order had the true 
ring of loyalty to the national government, awakening confidence in the hearts of 
loyal citizens. 

Upon the arrival of the news that Fort Sumter had fallen into the possession 
of the Secessionists, the first regiment of California infantry spontaneously sprang 
into life. The men were thoroughly drilled, and the officers were selected from the 
regular army. Captain Henry W. Halleck, being appointed major-general of 
the Second division, called upon all citizens residing within the counties of his 
division to organize themselves into companies, battalions and regiments, prom- 
ising to arm them should their services be required in the field. General Halleck 
was later commander-in-chief of the Union army. The volunteers of the division 
wanted to go to the front, but their services were not accepted. The First Infantry 
lost its place in the roster because of the professional jealousy of its officers, who 
would not submit to be placed under an officer of the regular army. Major 
Carleton had been ordered to take command of the regiment and march with it 
into Arizona and New Mexico; but finding the men disposed to obey orders, 
he organized another force with volunteers who flocked to his standard, rallying 
round the original First regiment. Carleton was promoted to be brigadier-general 
of volunteers, and with an army consisting of the First, Lieutenant-Colonel E. A. 
Rigg; Fifth, Colonel George \\'. Bowie; First Battalion of Cavalry, Lieutenant- 
Colonel E. E. Eyre; one company of the Second California Cavalry, Captain 
John C. Cremony, and one battery of the Third United States Artillery, Lieutenant 
John B. Shinn — 2,500 men all told — he marched from San Pedro to the Rio 
Grande, where they not only fought against the hostile Indians but drove the 
rebels from the frontiers of Arizona and New Mexico. The First and Fifth 
served three years in the field, and then with the remaining men was organized the 
First Veteran Infantry regiment, which under Colonel Rigg continued doing very 
efficient service. Other regiments formed in different parts of the state also 
made themselves useful during the war. 

On May 11, 1861, San Francisco gave a splendid exhibition of its loyalty to 
the Government, at a time when David S.'Terr)' and Governor Foote were doing 
all they could to take the state out of the Union. It was a critical time, because 
California hung in the balance, almost evenly -divided between Northern and 
Southern sentiments. Henry F. Teschmaker was president of the day and among 
the vice-presidents were W. C. Ralston, General Halleck, James Donahue and 
P. B. Cornwall. Speeches were made by Senator Lapham, General McDougall, 
General Shields, General Sumner and others. The sentiment of that occasion was 
"The Union must and shall be preserved." The entire city was wrapped in the 
stars and stripes. Riders and horses were blanketed with flags. All the consular 
flags were flying except that of the English. Oakland took part in this significant 

Upon the outbreak of the rebellion the loyal citizens of the county gathered 
together and formed military companies to preserve the Union. It was early 


shown to be a fact that a secret scheme existed whereby California was to be given 
over to the control of the Confederacy. To prevent such a calamity and to aid 
the Union cause the citizens of Oakland met and on June lo, 1861, formed the 
Oakland Guard. The city then numbered only about 2,000 population. Among 
those who signed the original muster roll were William Hoskins, Jeremiah Tyrell, 
J. Barnett, A. W. Burrell, Harry N. Morse, J. A. Whitcher, John H. Hobart, 
A. D. Eames, J. A. Webster, George M. Blake, H. Hillebrand, W. W. Crane, C. S. 
Haile, William C. Little and John .McCann. The first officers were James Brown, 
captain ; John Potter, first lieutenant ; W. H. Puffer, second lieutenant ; J. H. 
Newcomb, second sergeant ; W. Woolsey, third sergeant ; Charles McKay, fourth 
sergeant ; H. A. Morse, first corporal ; Henry Sommers, second corporal ; C. 
Stewart, third corporal ; James Travis, fourth corporal. Brown was succeeded as 
captain by H. N. Morse, W. C. Little, A. W. Burrall and H. D. Raulett who thus 
officiated in 1877, assisted by Henry Maloon, first lieutenant; J. B. O. Sarpy, 
second lieutenant. The company was independent or unattached and owned $3,000 
worth of property, including a full arm and uniform equipment, a fine armory 
and mustered seventy men, called the Oakland Guard. 

A drilling camp was on San Pablo road and was called Camp Downey; here 
a thousand men assembled and drilled and otherwise prepared for service in the 
Union army. On the Kennedy farm in Brooklyn, Camp Merchant was formed 
and there also many men were drilled, including a cavalry company. As a whole 
Oakland was loyal, but like all other cities of the country contained men who 
espoused the cause of the South, or at least were lukewarm in the cause of the 
struggle to maintain the Union. In 1861 the Home Guard was organized and for 
a long time was a great power in elections. A little later the Union League took 
its place. Several members of the famous California Hundred were recruited 
in Oakland. 

Though the scene of actual warfare in 1861 lay thousands of miles away from 
California the cause did not lack sympathizers. Military companies sprang up on 
every side determined to maintain the integrity of the central government, and 
Alameda county was not behind in asserting her loyalty. On August 31, 1861, 
the Oakland Home Guard was organized and properly officered. On November 
4th they were allowed a monthly apportionment of $20 which January i, 1862, 
was raised to $50 wherewith to provide an armory. On February 18, 1862, the 
board of supervisors passed the following preamble and resolutions : "Whereas, 
The news of the success of our arms at Fort Donelson (captured February 16, 
1862) and elsewhere inspires us with feelings of joy and gratitude and lively 
hopes of a speedy restoration of the Federal Union and the supremacy of the 
Constitution; therefore, Resolved, That this board do now adjourn for ten minutes 
for the purpose of raising the glorious old flag of the Union and saluting it with 
three cheers and a tiger." The record then follows with these words : "All of 
which being done with a will ; and with the proud emblem of our country's liberty 
floating at the mast-head the board resumes the tame business of consideration 
of accounts." 

In 1862 a great mass meeting was held at San Leandro to raise funds and stores 
for sick and wounded soldiers. Starr King addressed the crowd and secured 
cash and pledges to the amount of $5,000. The total amount raised in the county 
for the Christian Commission was $12,000. 


Shortly after its organization the Oakland Guard was attached to the Second 
Regiment of Artillery but later became unattached. It finally was Company C, 
of the First Infantry Battalion, Second brigade, of the National Guard. Its name 
at this time was the Oakland Home Guard. On November 3, 1863, the 
Alvarado Guards asked for an apportionment for rent of armory and were 
allowed $50 per month from that date. Early in 1864 Sheriff Morse announced 
that there were in the county 3,008 men fit for military duty. On September 2, 1864, 
there was killed in action in the Shenandoah valley, Captain C. S. Eigenbrodt, 
who had formerly held the office of supervisor for Washington township, in this 
county, and had gone east with a company of California cavalry, which was 
attached to a Massachusetts regiment. On February 11, 1865, $50 a month was 
awarded to the Haywards Guard for the purpose of providing an armory, and 
on August 2 1st a like sum for the same object was granted to the Brooklyn 
Guard, another military organization. 

In the beginning of 1865 the San Lorenzo Guards were organized largely 
through the exertions of J. L. Shiman and others of that village. A. L. Fuller, 
then teacher of the San Lorenzo schools, was chosen captain ; Henry Smith, first 
lieutenant; J. L. Shiman, second lieutenant; and Leonard Stone, third lieutenant. 
The Guards purchased a cannon and were ready for any emergency. At that 
time the whole county was boiling with war fever. The commissions of the 
officers were signed by Governor Low and Adjutant-General Evans. The Guards 
belonged to the Second brigade, California militia.- H. W. Meek assisted much 
in the organization of the Guards. During the Civil war California furnished 
for the Union army about fifteen thousand volunteers and raised about three 
hundred and sixty thousand dollars for the Sanitary Commission. 

A profound sensation was caused by the intelligence of President Lincoln's 
assassination. On April 17. 1865, the board of supervisors held a meeting, there 
being present Messrs. Fassking, Farrolly, Meek, Overacker and Green. Mr. Far- 
roily offered the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted : 

"Whereas, The sad intelligence has recently come to us of the death of our 
beloved President, Abraham Lincoln, who has been inhumanly murdered in 
cold blood by a brutal assassin, the like of which cowardly assault does not find 
its parallel in the history of the world, therefore be it 

"Resolved, That as we have always loved and respected Honest Old Abe, Our 
Good President, while he lived, and in common unison with our fellow-citizens 
throughout the Union, we are sad and sorrowing today at the great loss our nation 
has sustained, trusting in the God of our fathers, who has always sustained our 
nation, and who ever keeps her destiny in his hands to still uphold our country 
during this terrible affliction. It is hereby further Resolved, That we do now, 
as a board of supervisors, adjourn without transacting any business until the first 
Monday of May, and that all matters coming before us at this time be continued 
until the said first Monday of May, and that the sheriff" of the county be directed 
to drape the court house with appropriate badges of mourning, the same to 
remain thirty days." 

The Oakland council on April 18, 1865, unanimously adopted the following 
resolution : "That the untimely death of the Chief Magistrate of the Nation at 
this particular crisis, is a calamity that must be deplored by every good citizen, 
coming as it does at the very commencement of the fruition of the great and 


f I^u^^ t' 





IS t 



patriotic measures which he virtuously maintained and vigorously upheld during 
the long and trying period of his public career. We confess that our grief is 
mingled with the fear that no living man can accomplish all that his patriotic 
devotion could have achieved. In view of the great loss which the people of the 
American Continent, and of the whole civilized world, have sustained in the catas- 
trophe, we recommend that all places of business be closed on the 19th day of 
April, 1865, and that our citizens generally participate with the people of the 
United States on that day in rendering homage to the history and memory of the 
Great Departed." In Oakland the signs of mourning were general, the newspapers 
turning their column rules, and the public and many private buildings being draped 
in black. 

On March 26, 1866, the Jackson Guards, another military organization, was 
allowed by the board the sum of $50 per month for rent of an armory. On 
April 4th further payments to military companies were ordered suspended to await 
legislative action on the militia law, which subsequently allowed them warrants 
up till April I, 1866, and no farther. 

In 1872, when the number of companies in the National Guard was reduced, 
each regiment in the Second brigade losing two, the Oakland Guard was mus- 
tered out, but the same evening was again mustered in as an unattached organi- 
zation. The early captains were James Brown, Harry N. Morse, W. C. Little, 
A. W. Burrell, H. D. Ranlett, Henry Levy, A. L. Smith, and Thomas H. Thomp- 
son. The company's first captain was elected marshal of the city in 1863. The 
third captain of this company was Colonel Little, who later took so prominent 
a part in bringing the Oakland Light Cavalry into existence. In all its military 
duties the Oakland Guard ever held the foremost position. The armory of the 
company was located at the corner of Central avenue and Washington street. 

Oakland Light Cavalry, Second brigade, N. G. C, was organized in 1877, 
thirty-three members signing the roll at a meeting held on the 31st of July. On 
the 7th of August the following officers were elected: W. C. Little, captain; 
E. S. Woodward, first sergeant; J. E. McElrath, senior second sergeant; T. H. 
Allen, junior second sergeant; C. M. Burleson, secretary; Thomas Prather, 
financial secretary; W. H. H. Graves, treasurer. The corps originally had their 
meetings in the old armory hall on Thirteenth street. The Oakland Light Cav- 
alry were mustered into the service of the state, September 23, 1878, with forty- 
nine rank and file. 

Hancock Rifles, Company C, was organized principally from the Hancock 
fire brigade, a political body of about 200 members, which had done service dur- 
ing election times in the interest of the democracy. After the election the fire 
brigade found its occupation gone, and a committee from its ranks was appointed 
to select suitable young men for a proposed independent military organization. 
The outgrowth was the Hancock Rifles. Temporary organization was effected 
with Henry Levy as captain and Martin Ryan as lieutenant. In a remarkably 
short time the Hancock Rifles had the reputation of being the best independent 
military organization in the state. The company was mustered into the state 
militia as a part of the Third Infantry regiment, and given the official title of 
Company C. Thfe permanent officers were as follows: Captain, Henry Levy; 
first lieutenant, Martin Ryan; second lieutenant. Will S. O'Brien. 


Lyon Post, No. 8, G. A. R., was organized December lO, 1878, and was the 
first in the county. It had twenty-two charter members, as follows: G. W. 
Hagnet, George W. Barter, C. P. H. Buck, Thomas E. Park, H. C. Wells, D. C. 
Lawrence, Dr. W. C. F. Hemstead, George W. Boxley, Samuel Watson, F. L. 
Parker, James Hill, Moses H. Beal, P. G. Potter, A. W. Cutter, P. Fitzpatrick, 
L. G. Culver, William McKay, Henry Buck, P. E. Cooney, James Mete, A. \\'. 
Collins and J. C. Darneal. G. W. Hagnet was the first post commander. 

Joe Hooker Post, No. 11, G. A. R., was organized in Alameda on December 
29, 1879, largely through the influence of James Cook. The charter members 
were James Cook, William Seymour, A. J. Bancroft, Charles Boehse, H. F. 
Poindexter, D. B. Taylor, Harvey McCoun, Dr. R. H. Cummings, H. Gritt, H. 
F. Prindle and A. F. Wolff. James Cook was the first commander. 

Lou Morris Post, No. 47, G. A. R., was organized at Liverniore, September 
2^, 1882, with the following charter members: F. F. Caruduff, G. W. Langan, 
B. F. Land, D. M. Connor, L. H. Cutter, J. N. Brown, W. S. Low, B. F. Bram- 
ian, E. B. French. J. T. Jacker, G. B. Shearer, C. J. Pullen, James O'Brien, W. 
W. Colestock, Alpha Clark and I. N. Cone. F. F. Carudutt was the first com- 

Appomattox Post, No. 50, G. A. R., was organized on March 22, 1883, at 
Oakland. The founders were J. Fredericks, Thomas Todd, T. H. Allen and W. 
R. Thomas, who withdrew from Lyons Post. At the date of organization the 
membership numbered nineteen. W. R. Thomas was the first commander. 

Lookout Mountain Post, No. 88, G. A. R., was chartered November 14, 18S5, 
and held its first meeting on the 20th. The charter members were O. B. Cul- 
ver, H. B. Cole, W. F. Bickford, M. J. Acton, Henry Hyer, Dr. W. M. Hilton, 
T. M. Crud, W. R. Botton, B. D. Boswell, C. Fricks, John Boyd, Gilbert Smith, 
W. D. Norwood, A. L. Palmer, William McCleave, C. R. Lord, T. Grubestein, 
F. Cast, James Heuggins and A. Kschieschang. O. B. Culver was the first com- 

On June 21, 1884, Appomattox Post, held an open meeting at which the 
ladies were present upon invitation. The question of a relief corps was dis- 
cussed and the same evening the ladies met and organized the Appomattox 
Woman's Relief Corps, No. 5, with thirty names signed to the original roll. 
Mrs. May E. Parritt was the first president. 

In July, 1884, Lyon Woman's Relief Corps, No. 6, was organized with forty 
ladies as charter members. Kate McGrew was the first president. The Loyal 
Ladies league here was organized in 1886 under the name Mother Bickerdyke 
Post, No. 5; Mrs. D. F. Winchester being the first president. Its objects were 
about the same as those of- the woman's relief corps. 

The Oakland Guards and the young students of the California Military Acad- 
emy, all under the command of ;\Iaj. S. N. McClure, participated in the celebra- 
tion of Washington's birthday in San Francisco in 1875. The splendid marching 
of the cadets was greatly admired and warmly commented upon by the news- 
papers then. Oakland Guard, Second brigade, N. G. C, Capt. H. D. Ranlett, 
was reviewed at 2\Iusic hall by Colonel Amedburg in April, 1875 ; he was assisted 
by Major Savage and General Thompson. 

E. B. Jerome was president of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Club in 1S77. As 
its name indicated the club was composed of sijldiers and sailors who serxed in 


the Union army of the Civil war. All the old soldiers of the county were by 
special circular invited to join the club. It was a social and political movement 
independent of the Grand Army. At this time Mr. Hubbard gave an inter- 
esting account of the march of the last detachment of the California volun- 
teers en route from Xew Mexico in 1866 to San Francisco to be mustered out 
and President Jerome gave an account of the battle of Ball's Bluff where Colonel 
Baker met his tragic death. In May, 1877, a committee of the Soldiers' and 
Sailors' Club of Oakland, consisting of Judge Daniels and Messrs. Dunning, 
Gibson, Gushing and Winkler visited Mountain View cemetery and decorated 
the graves of the deceased heroes. The Oakland Light Cavalry elected the fol- 
lowing officers in 1877: W. C. Little, captain; E. W. Woodward, first lieu- 
tenant ; J. W. ;\IcAlvath, second lieutenant ; H. T. Allen, brevet second lieuten- 
ant ; E. H. Woolsey, surgeon. The iMexican War Veterans Association was 
organized about 1878 and at one time had thirty-five members. Maj. John L. 
Bromley was president. General Hancock and wife and a party of friends 
passed through Oakland in December, 1883. For a short time they were the 
guests of General Kirkham. He was visited lay a large number of old soldiers 
while here. Detachments from Appomattox and Lyon Posts called upon him. 

The camp fire of the G. A. R., on January 20, 1884, was a notable occasion. 
Thomas, Garfield, Lincoln and Meade posts of San Francisco and Joe Hooker 
post of Alameda were entertained by Lyon and Appomattox posts of Oakland. 
The entertainment consisted in music, tableaux, toasts, speeches and stories and 
took place before a packed house in Germania hall. On the main floor were 
the old soldiers who ate from tin plates, tin cups and other articles used in camp 
life. Portraits of Washington, Lincoln and famous Union generals adorned 
the walls. Promptly at 8 o'clock the veterans of the Mexican war, grizzled and 
old but noble looking, filed into the hall escorted by the band and greeted by 
a tempest of cheers. During the performance the stirring notes of fife and 
drum re-echoed through the hall. W. R. Thomas was master of ceremonies 
Among the special pieces were the following: "The Soldier's Farewell," a 
tableau; "The Soldier's Dream," a recitation by ]\Iaud Stover; a tableau repre- 
senting the same subject; "Life in Andersonville Prison," a tableau; Music — 
"Tramp, Tramp, Tramp the Boys are Marching," "Star Spangled Banner." 
"Yankee Doodle," "Marching through Georgia;" "The Soldier's Return," a 
tableau ; "Peace," a tableau with Mrs. Inwall as Goddess of Liberty and thirty- 
eight little girls, the daughters of veterans representing the states. John L. 
Bromley, a Mexican war veteran, responded to the toast "The Veterans of the 
Mexican War;" C. .M. Renne responded to "The Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic;" Doctor Wythe to "The Widows and Orphans of the Late War;" J. E. 
Benton to "Army Ration and Army Beans." All sang "The Old Fashioned 
White Army Bean" ending with the words, "Beans for breakfast, beans for 
dinner, beans for supper, beans, beans, beans." R. Staples spoke on the "Depart- 
ment of California, G. A. R. ;" George C. Perkins on the "Stars and Stripes." 
He made the striking point which electrified the vast audience, that there would 
be no California, no Oakland and no one present that night if it were not for 
the Mexican war soldiers. Mr. Dibble of Arizona responded to "Our Flag;" 
Col. J. C. Tucker of the Joe Hooker post read an original poem entitled 
"Appomattox — Put by the Knapsack;" Nelhe Holbrook, a veteran's daughter^ 


read "Sheridan's Ride" and "Barbara Fritchie." ]\Ir. Thomas then gave a 
humorus parody on Barbara Fritchie, which greatly amused the audience. John 
Ellsworth responded to "Our Departed Comrades." Great applause marked all 
stages of this splendid performance. 

The Pacific Military Academy was founded by Rev. David McClure, Ph. 
D., in January, 1865, as a private school. The superiority of his course of 
instruction, which combined military discipline with a full literary course, soon 
became known and so numerous were the applications for admission that Doc- 
tor McClure was forced to enlarge his establishment and employ assistants. The 
school at this time was located on Ninth street, near Franklin. A roomy addition 
was built the first year after the founding of the school. The number of cadets 
constantly increased, and in 1867 a new site was purchased by Doctor Mc- 
Clure, and the following year the main building, was erected, but in 1870, 
it was found to be insufficient for the accommodation of its increasing patrons, 
and another large building, three stories high, was built and connected with the 
armory by a covered passage. The first floor was used for recitation rooms, 
and the two upper floors as dormitories for the cadets. A destructive fire 
occurred on the 20th of September, 1873, which completely destroyed this new 
building, the armory, barns, and other outhouses. The main building, upon 
which there was a heavy insurance, was saved intact. Doctor McClure imme- 
diately set to work to have the destroyed buildings rebuilt, the school in the 
meantime occupying the building then recently vacated by the state univer- 
sity. Very soon the new buildings, much larger and finer than the first, took 
the place of those destroyed, and in the space of two months' time were finished, 
furnished and ready for occupancy. In January, 1884, Doctor McClure re- 
signed from the management of the California Military Academy at North Oak- 
land and was succeeded by Col. W. H. O'Brien who for ten years had been 
the principal teacher there. 

Monday, August 9, 1886, was a day long to be remembered in Oakland. 
The entire city was decorated in honor of the annual meeting of the G. A. R., 
the stores were all closed and the parade was gay and brilliant in the extreme. 
There were six divisions in the parade and scores of appropriate mottos were 
carried. The parade of the thousands of school children bearing mottos and 
banners was perhaps the most notable feature. Among the mottos were the 
following: "Heroes, the children of Oakland greet you;" "We give you prom- 
ise for the future, as you gave us safety in the past;" "We are training in the 
school room for the Grand Army of the future ;" "Cheers for the visible — tears 
for the invisible Grand Army;" "Your deeds shall ever be our inspiration— we 
will learn well and never forget the lessons of this day;" "We like you mighty 
well — come and see us again." Mrs. General Logan reviewed the children's 
parade. John A. Logan, R. A. Alger, General Fairchild, Governor Stoneman, Gen- 
eral Turnbull and many other noted military men were present. All leaders were 
given separate and special receptions and shown every honor and consideration. pos- 
sible. The reception to the veterans was called "Oakland's Day," of the 
Twentieth National Encampment. The executive committee of arrangements 
invited the county board to participate in the services. The invitation was accepted 
and the county buildings were ordered duly decorated. On July 31, a formal re- 
ception was given Gen. W. T. Sherman at ^lasonic hall for the lienefit of the 


Appomattox drum corps. There was a very interesting program. He was intro- 
duced by Captain Thomas and was received with a storm of applause. He 
spoke briefly amid much enthusiasm and hand clapping. On the same even- 
ing he was received by Lyon post at Grand Army hall. The posts of Alameda 
and Berkeley were present ; also the Mexican war veterans. He was welcomed 
by Commander Admy in these words: "General Sherman, by the memories 
of olden days, on behalf of the old soldiers present, I welcome you here." The 
general answered in a short and characteristic address in which he alluded to 
the time when he lived on the bay before Oakland had an existence. 

The death of General Grant was appropriately observed in this county in 
1885. The county board passed resolutions of grief and condolence and draped 
the county buildings for thirty days. In the churches memorial services were 
held and the unselfish loyalty of the dead hero was painted in linguistic flowers. 
The courts adjourned, the schools closed and the towns were draped in the trap- 
pings of death. Orators at mass meetings depicted in eloquent periods the 
splendid and historic scenes through which the deceased general had passed 
with so much credit and glory. Through the streets of Oakland solemnly 
passed the long civil and military parade. In packed halls, J. W. Martin, Rev- 
erend Doctor Horton, Mayor Playter, Col. E. A. Sherman, Col. J. P. Irish, R. 
G. McClellan and others told what a debt the nation owed to General Grant. 
The G. A. R. posts were present and conspicuous in all the said memorial serv- 
ices. The large stand seating 3,500 people at Harrison square did not accom- 
modate half of the people who wanted to hear the orators and fine, sad dirges 
and beautiful national airs. All the school children of the city attended the 
services. The following resolution was adopted: Resolved, that we, citizens of 
California, offer to civilized mankind this formal evidence of our appreciation 
of the life, labors and example of General Grant, and that without distinction 
of creed or party we declare him worthy the place he holds among the great- 
est men contributed by our country to the embellishment of the world's history. 

At first, when the news was received that the Maine had been blown up, 
there was little excitement here, because it was thought that perhaps it was the 
result of an unfortunate accident; but as time passed and it began to be believed 
that the disaster had been caused by the Spaniards, indignation was violently 
expressed and a desire for revenge took possession of the community. 

On April 23, 1898, the President called for 125,000 volunteers to be appor- 
tioned among the various states and to serve two years unless sooner discharged. 
At this time the members of Companies A and F of Oakland and G of Alameda 
were drilling every night. Promptly came the notification that California would 
be called upon for two regiments of infantry, two battalions of infantry and 
four heavy batteries. The newspapers of Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda 
posted hourly bulletins while the early excitement lasted, and later at critical 
periods of the struggle. D. M. Connor of Pleasanton announced that he was 
prepared to enlist a company of 100 men for the war. He stated that he wanted 
all his recruits to come from the three "cow townships" of the county — Eden, 
Murray and Washington. A. W. Feidler, president of the board of trustees, 
Livermore, called a meeting of the citizens of Murray township to consider what 
action should be taken if any. It was announced humorously at San Leandro 
that the first men to be drafted for the war would be the bachelors, but this 


was declared by others to be a maneuver to force them into matrimony. A 
number of students at the state university were members of the National Guard. 
This and the stirring news were sufficient to rouse che patriotism of the school, 
because many there announced their readiness to leave when needed. Prof. A. 
P. Hayne offered his services to Governor Budd. Lieut. S. A. Cloman in 
charge of the cadet battalion was ready to go at a moment's call. A branch 
organization of the Red Cross Society was promptly organized at a big meeting 
in Berkeley. Col. Charles H. Greenleaf, who had been ordered to the front, 
made the principal address, after which 141 persons signed the roll. The fol- 
lowing officers were elected: President, Mrs. Charles R. Greenleaf; vice-presi- 
dents, Martin Kellogg, George E. Swan, Harry Hillard; secretary, Mrs. George 
M. Stratton; treasurer, Whitney Palache. The objects of the organization were 
to assist the soldiers in the field. At the Grand Parlor in Nevada City, patriotic 
resolutions regarding the war with Spain were passed. From the membership 
of the Ebell Society at Oakland a branch of the Red Cross was organized on 
May 1st. There was a large attendance at the First Congregational church, Mrs. 
G. D. Abbott presiding. T. O. Crawford of the Lincoln school announced that 
a junior society of the Red Cross had been formed by his pupils, two of whom 
addressed the audience. About a dozen persons spoke briefly on this occa- 
sion. Reverend Doctor McLean said he had no heart nor enthusiasm in the 
war. Col. John P. Irish thought the war might go on for years and other coun- 
tries become involved. At this time the Berkeley branch of the society was 
fully organized. There were six Alameda county boys in the fight at Manilla 
bay. A Red Cross league was formed at Alameda on May 3d at the house of 
^Irs. George Mastick. On ]\Iay nth, the Red Cross league of Oakland moved 
into the Central Bank building and held daily meetings. They became affiliated 
with the national society. Steps to raise $2,000 for Red Cross work were taken. 

In 'March, 1898, Company A contained about sixty men, with Charles T. 
Poulter captain ; Company F had seventy-five men with L. C. \\' enk captain ; 
and Company G had sixty men with M. \V. Simpson captain. All had antici- 
pated war with Spain and were ready to march at the time the thrilling news 
was received that the JNIaine had been blown up in Havana harbor. In April, 
1898, the people of this county generally admitted that unless Spain should con- 
cede the demands of the United States war should follow. Ministers who dwelt 
upon the horrors of war admitted that sometimes it was necessary in order to 
secure permanent and satisfactory peace. Reverend Hobart said, "Shall we 
fight Spain? There are certain conditions under which we must fight. As 
a nation we fought for our independence and before God were justified. As 
a nation we fought to preserve the Union and by Deity and history we have 
been justified. There are two conditions under which we will be justified: (i) 
Unless Spain makes just amends for the destruction of the Maine; (2) Unless 
she ceases her barbarities in Cuba." Other ministers, the newspapers and public 
speakers took about the same position. 

At the first rumor of war a paper was circulated among the students of the 
university binding those who signed it to enlist in case of war. Many appli- 
cations to enlist in Company A of Oakland were made. 

The first organized body of Oaklanders outside of the National Guard to 
formally offer its services to the Government was Gage's Artillery Drill Corps. 


The officers were Francis J. Gage, captain, Louis Bermont, lieutenant and 
twelve privates. They passed the examination at Angel Island on May lo. 
Gates' artillery in May was refused admission into the service as such. They 
declined to join the regular army, and at once began to recruit a full company 
for the volunteer service, not knowing then that the National Guard organiza- 
tions would be given the preference. 

Immediately after the message of President McKinley had been read to 
Congress on April nth, Capt. C. K. King called a meeting of Company A, Old 
Guard of Oakland, First Regiment California Veteran Reserves, for Wednes- 
day, April 13th at 474 Eighth street. This step was taken in response to a let- 
ter received from the National \'olunteer Reserve of New York, with which 
were associated W. H. D. Washington, president and Generals Schofield and 
McCook. The letter said in part: "Your very patriotic letter just received and 
in reply we take pleasure in forwarding you a few enlistment blanks. We will 
appreciate whatever aid you may render the movement. The national reserve 
is to be called out by the constituted authorities only in time of foreign war 
against the United States, or in case of invasion of our territory." 

Previous to this date (April 11, 1898) Robert W. Patton had written to the 
President ofi'ering his services in case of conflict with Spain, and was answered 
that the matter had been referred to the Secretary' of War. On April 13th, Wil- 
liam J. Dingee donated the use of a large storeroom at 474 Eighth street to the 
veterans of Oakland for a drill room in their preparations for the war with 
Spain. To be in readiness Company A elected the following officers : C. K. 
King, captain ; H. H. Woodruff, first lieutenant ; S. P. Knight, second lieutenant. 
The company at this time voted to turn out at funerals of veteran soldiers in 
Alameda county, carrying the flag, having the drum corps and taking rifles to 
fire salutes over the dead. On the first evening the company drilled for half 
an hour on the new ritual. "Oakland leads the way. Our organization of Com- 
pany A, First Regiment, California Reserves, sets the pace for the rest of the 
state." — (Tribune April 15, 1898.) 

At the Young Men's Republican league meeting of April 15, resolutions 
endorsing the course of President McKinley toward Spain were passed. They 
were introduced by James Oliver of Berkeley. At this time the league num- 
bered 360 members. With the opening of war on April 21st, the board of pub- 
lic works passed resolutions directing city officials to raise the national flag above 
the municipal buildings. At the same time the police and fire commissioners 
passed resolutions that in case any policeman or fireman should enter the army 
he should be entitled to his position again at the conclusion of his term of 

On April 19th, a force of soldiers passed through this county bound for 
Chickamauga; they comprised Batteries C and F from the light artillery at the 
Presidio, San Francisco — 147 men with eight guns under Captain Pettit. A 
large crowd gathered at the Broad Gauge Mole to see them. On April 20th, 
the First regiment of the regular army passed through this county bound for 
the East. They were bombarded with flowers by the enthusiastic crowd that 
assembled at the mole. Among the troops was Sergeant-IMajor JMcCleave of 
Berkeley. On April 28th, Col. F. B. Fairbanks notified Company A to sign the 


roll and otherwise be in readiness for service. Company F and Company G 
received similar notice. 

The completed rolls of Companies A and F were sent to Adjutant-General Bar- 
rett on May i, 1898. Each company had considerable of an emergency roll. 
In all parts of the state the Sons of Veterans organized for the war. Captain 
King organized the company in Oakland. A volunteer list was opened at Niles, 
W. B. Kirk, Fred Hamptman, F. B. McKay and V. L. Philipot being the iirst 
to sign the enlistment roll. The young men of Oakland organized a cavalry troop 
on May i6th, with E. C. Leffingwell as captain. On May 17th the colored citizens 
of Oakland met at Bethel Church and secured 300 signatures for service in the 
war against Spain. The First Regiment of California Volunteers left San Fran- 
cisco for Manilla on May 25th under the command of Col. James F. Smith 
and numbered 1,086 men. The farewell demonstration was grand and inspiring. 

Late at night on May 23d the Tenth regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers, 
640 strong, arrived on two special trains and spent the remainder of the night at 
Peralta. Oakland had prepared to give them a fitting reception, but they arrived 
too late. On the 24th, as they passed through the city on their way to San 
Francisco, several thousand people gathered and cheered them and treated them 
to fruit and flowers. Decoration Day in 1898 was celebrated at Oakland with 
more than ordinary sentiment and grandeur owing to the existence of the war 
with Spain. There was a splendid parade and the graves in the cemetery were 
decorated with due honor and publicity. Rev. A. T. Needham was the orator. 
The parade contained the depleted ranks of the old veterans. 

On July 1st there were three battalions of four companies each at Camp 
Barrett. Company G of Alameda was in the Second Battalion and Company F 
of Oakland was in the Third Battalion. All were given the new name of the 
Eighth regiment, California volunteers, and were commanded by Col. Park 
Henshaw. Camp Barrett was located on the Bruguiere place beyond Fruitvale. 
On June 27th Lieut. C. C. Covalt with about twenty men of Company F went 
there, took possession and hoisted the flag. The next day many tents were erected 
and four companies from San Rafael, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Colusa arrived 
and encamped. The remainder of Company F reached Camp Barrett by the 28th. 

Soon after the war commenced the Red Cross Society of Alameda County 
was organized at Oakland. At the first meeting $2,000 was raised or pledged. 
On May 26th, $1,000 was sent to the Kansas soldiers. On July 2d the Oakland 
council appropriated $100 for the Red Cross service. By the middle of August 
the Red Cross Society had raised a total of $15,000 for the soldiers, of which 
$6,991 was cash and the balance mostly supplies. In July the Red Cross tent at 
the camp was in charge of Mrs. C. J. Martin. At all times the volunteers were 
well treated by the society and generally by the ladies of this whole community 
who brought or sent them flowers, fruit and delicacies and otherwise tried to 
soften the rigors of camp life. No sooner had Camp Barrett been occupied than 
the Christian Commission erected there a large tent where religious services could 
be attended by the volunteers. Later the Red Cross Society secured the old Howe 
house in Piedmont and converted it into a convalescent hospital for the soldiers. 
Several score of sick men were cared for at this necessary institution. In a 
short time Camp Barrett became unsanitary as it did not have suitable drainage, 


and the soldiers were obliged to leave that vicinity and pitch their tents elsewhere ; 
all moved to a position across the track of the Laundry Farm road. 

In September three eastern and three California regiments were encamped 
in this state. As the weather grew colder they asked for barracks. In August 
the Eighth regiment drilled in San Francisco at a celebration; Colonel Henshaw 
was commander. About August loth it became known that the Eighth regiment 
would be sent to Manilla within a short time. The third fleet for Manilla left 
San Francisco on June 26th. Almost at the outset of the war boys at the university 
began to leave and enlist in companies at San Francisco and elsewhere with the 
hope of thus getting into the service more easily and quickly. At the battle of 
Manilla with the fleet of Admiral Dewey were several boys from Alameda county, 
among them being F. M. Cushing on the Olympia and L. A. Eberlin on the Petrel. 

In the spring of 1898 General Wariield commanded the Second brigade, 
N. G. C. No sooner had the war commenced than he organized the First Cali- 
fornia regiment of which James F. Smith was appointed colonel. Through their 
promptness the regiment was accepted for service in the Philippines and Colonel 
Smith became ranking officer of the volunteer troops sent to the islands. In this 
regiment were twenty to thirty men from Alameda county. The entire regiment 
of twelve full companies sailed from San Francisco on May 25th on the City of 
Peking and was accompanied by all the craft in the bay as far as the Golden 
Gate. The last farewell parade in San Francisco was an elaborate and impressive 
affair. Members of the Red Cross societies were conspicuous both in the parade 
and in the farewell at the harbor mouth. The regiment took away many carrier 
pigeons which brought back messages from the boys when they were far out at 
sea. The regiment went first to Honolulu and then to the Philippines where it 
participated in the battle of Manilla, the fighting around Luneta, and the engage- 
ments at Paco, Santa Mesa and other points. It lost a total of thirty-eight killed 
and one missing. All of the Alameda county boys returned. 

As soon as it was announced that the First regiment would return in August, 
1899, elaborate preparations to give it a grand reception at San Francisco were 
made. As soon as it was announced that the returning boys were off the Golden 
Gate an imposing naval parade met them and escorted them amid waving flags 
and booming cannon' to the wharf. Market street, San Francisco, was a scene of 
color and beauty rarely witnessed even on that famous avenue. In the glittering 
parade were Companies A, F and G of Alameda county. 

The soldier boys of Oakland, first to return from the war, were not given a 
public reception by the citizens generally, which fact aroused much unfavorable 
and uncomplimentary comment. The matter was finally taken up by Company A, 
of the Veteran Reserves, and a reception was arranged in honor of all who retired 
to private life when the Eighth regiment was mustered out. They were given a 
magnificent reception and banquet at Loring Hall, Eleventh and Clay streets, on 
August 29, 1899. The reception was really given by the veterans of the Civil war, 
the Grand Army posts, the Daughters of Liberty and the Women's Corps assisting. 
The welcome in Oakland took the form of a parade, banquet and dance to all 
Alameda county boys who had served in the Spanish-American war. They were 
received at the railway station and escorted with due pomp through the streets 
to Loring hall, where they were addressed by Captain King, Mayor Snow, Mr. 
Crawford, Mrs. Abbott, G. W. Arbuckle and A. C. Henry. The boys thus so 


fittingly received and entertained were as follows : W. A. \'arney, George C. 
Eldridge, W. H. Hosmer, John Milledge, P. H. Raine, C. P. Hirst, John Bickford, 
Henry Luhrs, A. M. Jones, M. Loftus, S. A. Newman. Albert Bethin, W. E. 
Spofford, L. M. Thomas, G. W. Dell, A. M. Smith. J. E. Luttrell, Albert Berlin. 
C. R. Griffith, O. A. Poubson, Albert Egger, J. M. Hubbard, E. Harvey, M. K. 
York, Walter Carman, E. J. Leary, J. H. Robinson, W. A. Thompson, J. H. 
Kleupper, S. W. Piatt, O. C. Haly, Alexander Less, S. Kelleher. J. J. Silcox, 
E. J. McKeon, G. H. Sheppard, Robert Mudge, Fred Field and F. \\'. Fi;ld. 
Alameda also gave the boys a formal reception. 

hi the summer of 1S99 the people of the state prepared to give everv volunteer 
in the war with Spain a suitable medal as a permanent badge and memento of 
his services. There was organized in this county several volunteer medal fund 
committees authorized to collect money with this object in view. The Native Sons 
of the Golden West were active in this movement. In August Alameda county 
contributed $600 to the volunteer medal fund and sent that amount to the central 
committee in San Francisco. 

Decoration day in 1899 was duly and beautifully observed under the auspices 
of the Grand Army posts. The streets were paraded and at the cemetery the 
graves of the old soldiers were decorated. Rev. Alexander Blackburn, of Oregon, 
was orator of the day. In 1899 the Fifth regiment was reorganized with A. K. 
\\'hitton as colonel. He had formerly been lieutenant colonel of the old Fifth, 
but when the Eighth was organized he became major therein and served in the 
volunteer service until the Eighth was mustered out. In September, 1S99, the 
alumni of Berkeley high school gave an informal reception to its members who 
had gone as volunteers to the Philippines and returned with honor — Russ, Berger, 
Hughes, Wilson, Riggs, Mix, Webster and others. The model for the memorial 
statue for the California volunteers who lost their lives in the Philippines was 
prepared in 1903-04 by Douglas Tilden, the distinguished sculptor of Oakland, 
and was accepted by the committee of prominent citizens in charge of the matter. 

Mr. Tilden also designed a statue of Father Junipero Serra, a monument to 
the dead soldiers of Oregon, and Senator White's memorial for Los Angeles. 

The first annual state encampment of the Service Men of the Spanish- American 
War was held at Foresters hall. Thirteenth and Clay streets. Oakland, in Decem- 
ber, 1913. under the auspices of the Oakland camp. 



In 1S56 there were only four medical practitioners in Oakland — Doctors New- 
comb, Edward Gibbs, J. C. Van Wyck and a Frenchman, De la Tavel. Doctor 
Newcomb was an enthusiastic conchologist as well as a doctor. He presented his 
shells to Johns Hopkins University about 1876 and about the same time accepted 
a professional chair in that institution. 

In i860 the Alameda County Medical Association was organized. The orig- 
inal records are missing, but a reference to the association in a San Francisco 
newspaper states that six or eight physicians were present, among them being two 
from that city. Previous to this date health measures were taken by the city 
authorities and it is presumed that a health officer or a board of health was 
appointed. The county board, almost from the commencement, were required 
to appoint a county physician whose duty was principally to care for the sick 

The statutes of 1850 established a Marine hospital at San Francisco, to 
which the sick of that city could be admitted upon proper application. Further 
legislation in 1851 located state hospitals at Sacramento and Stockton, and in April 
following, $2,000 per annum was allowed to the city of San Diego for the care 
of indigent sick arriving at that port. In May, 1853, a general law was passed 
establishing a state "Indigent Sick Fund," providing means for its maintenance 
and prescribing the manner of its distribution to the organized counties of the 
state. This law was amended and its scope enlarged by the act approved April 
II, 1855, which among other matters delegated the care of indigent sick to the 
boards of supervisors of the respective counties, giving them power to appoint 
physicians, to erect hospital buildings, to levy a tax and to draw from the state 
hospital fund the amount apportioned to their county quarterly. Under this act 
on May i, 1855, the board of supervisors appointed Doctors D. C. Porter of 
Oakland, A. W. Powers of Eden, H. C. Sill of Washington, and William Wilworth 
of Clinton, county physicians, who were allowed $2 per visit and $1 per mile trav- 
eling expenses, and in July following the first requisition was made for the amount 
of hospital fund due. The first bill allowed on this fund was to W. J. Wentworth 
for medical attendance, etc., on Frederick Campbell, $183. 

The board of physicians was continued, with various changes and one removal, 
until January i, 1856, at which time they were all discharged, the supervisors 
probably feeling that the bills resulting from their former order might prove a 
serious matter. The care of indigent sick was delegated to citizens. The matter 
continued in this condition until the following August, when it was decided to 
procure a suitable place and care for the indigent sick; accordingly a contract 
was made with Orrin Hamlin to that end, at the per capita allowance of $12 a 
week. This arrangement continued but a short time, and on April 4, 1857, an 

Vol. I— 10 



order abolished the county hospital from date and again committed to the care 
of the supervisors the sick of their respective districts. In February, i860, a 
proposition was received from St. Mary's hospital, San Francisco, offering to 
take charge of the indigent sick of the county at a per diem charge of $1.25 per 
capita. Without hesitation the offer was accepted, and presumably all who could 
be safely moved were at once transferred thither, and yet among the allowances 
shortly afterward made was one of $146.25 to the hospital, and an aggregate 
to others for the same purpose of $488.30, from which it may be inferred that 
either the hospital was unable to attend to all the indigent sick in Alameda county 
or that the private citizens found county nursing far too profitable a source of 
revenue to be tamely surrendered. 

From the establishment of the hospital in Oakland, August 16, 1864, to 
December 31, 1882, there were 3,778 admissions, of whom 466 died and 3,197 were 
discharged, cured, improved or left voluntarily. The new county infirmary was 
occupied about August 15, 1870, this being the date from which Dr. Coleman, 
the first attending physician, was paid. In 1874 the number admitted was 191 and 
the total 22". Number discharged, 162 ; total amount of warrants drawn, 
$16,117.01. On April 12, 1875, the board of supervisors ordered the erection of 
four new wards at a cost not to exceed $1,000. On December 27, 1877, a corpo- 
ration named the Oakland Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary Association, 
founded by the ladies of the county, petitioned the board of supervisors for the 
use of two rooms in the city of Oakland wherein to establish their institution and 
afford free medical aid to the poor. The petition was denied at the time, but 
afterwards, on February 11, 1878, an allowance of $40 per month was voted 
with the understanding that the supervisors should have the privilege of sending 
patients to their establishment. 

The following report of the infirmary for the year ending December 31, 1882, 
was presented to the board of supervisors : "The Alameda County Hospital was 
located in Oakland August 16, 1864. From that date to 1869, a period of five 
years, there were 356 patients admitted for treatment : 200 were discharged 
cured, 91 improved or left voluntarily, and 54 died. In 1868 the board of super- 
visors purchased 123J-4 acres of land near the foothills, 2^/4 miles from San 
Leandro and loYi miles (not 14 or 16 miles as often stated) from Oakland, for 
an infirmary, paying therefor $5,535. In 1869 a building was erected and the 
hospital closed in Oakland and the Infirmary established at its present location. 
Other buildings were erected in the years 1875. 1877, 1879 and 1882. At present 
there is room for nearly two hundred patients." 

In July, 1868, smallpox became epidemic in Oakland. The council at once 
passed an ordinance creating a board of health and vested the same with full 
powers to do everything possible to prevent its spread. Under an arrangement 
with the county the cost of procuring a pesthouse was equally divided between 
the city and the county, and the expense of maintaining the same was paid in 
proportion to the number of patients, the pesthouse being purchased and main- 
tained for city and county purposes. 

In 1869 the Alameda County Medical Association was reorganized and a year 
later the State Medical Society was founded. In 1871 the American Medical 
Association assembled in Oakland, which fact drew wide attention to this locality. 
Dr. J. S. Adams began the practice here about this time. 


In 1870 the first board of health was established in Oakland and Dr. T. H. 
Pinkerton was appointed first health officer, occupied the position for four years 
and was succeeded by Dr. Sherman. Dr. J. B. Tremley died here early in Decem- 
ber, 1890. He came here about 1870, was a member of the Alameda County 
Medical Society and at one time was its president and secretary. Orran P. Warren 
and Charles J. Draper, doctors of Oakland, were elected trustees of the Eclectic 
Medical Society of California in November, 1874. In January, 1875, the Alameda 
County Medical Society elected the following officers : E. Trevor, president ; E. L. 
Jones, vice president; C. S. Kittridge, secretary; H. P. Babcock, treasurer and 
librarian; W. Allen, H. P. Babcock and T. H. Pinkerton, board of censors. At 
this date the society numbered twenty-six members and held monthly meetings 
at the health office. In February and March there were scores of cases of typhoid 
fever or typhoid pneumonia in Oakland and it seemed almost epidemic. There 
were three cases in one house. The physicians were puzzled and reticent. Many 
persons contended that the city water was the cause — was impure. This view 
was no doubt correct, though the cause of that disease at this time was so little 
known that even yet many presumed it was due to. the miasma arising from the 
flats in the southern part of the city. The disease was probably due to the 
excessive dry spell in the winter of 1874-75 when little or no rain fell for many 
weeks. There were six weeks of dry weather which included the whole month of 
December and during that period there was far more sickness than ordinary in 
that month. Then came a big rain and complaints ceased, but again dry weather 
came and with it a deadly return of various diseases. The board of health warned 
people to avoid the water of wells throughout the city. Doctor Sherman was 
health officer, he laid the source of the epidemic to the wells. 

The California Eclectic Medical College was organized in 1878, under the 
auspices of the board of trustees and faculty of the California Medical College, 
with the following officers : J. P. Webb, president ; Doctor McRae, secretary ; C. C. 
Mason, first vice president; M. F. Clayton, second vice president; J. H. Bundy, 
treasurer. The College building was located on Clay street, between Tenth and 
Eleventh streets. 

Of the 76 zymotic cases in 1880, 20 were from typhoid and typho-malarial 
fevers; 13 from diphtheria and croup and 14 from cholera infantum. The total 
number of deaths from zymotic diseases was only 2.16 per cent of the whole. 
The mortality per cent from all causes was as follows: 1875, 13! 1S76, 14-19; 
1877, 14.17; 1878, 13.32; 1879, 10.64; 1880, 12.91. The highest mortality from 
zymotic diseases from 1875 to 1880 inclusive was 4.14 per thousand in 1877. At 
this time health reports of children in the public schools were made. During 1880 
the greatest fight was made against privy vaults and cesspools. It was formally 
announced that filth was the cause of the increase in the death rate. Smallpox 
was epidemic this year — an importation from China; a total of 21 cases resulted, 
of which 4 died. Quarantine prevented its spread. E. H. Woolsey, M. D., was 
health officer and city physician at this time. This year the total number of 
deaths in the city of Oakland was 452, less than 13 in each 1,000 of population. 
The number of deaths from zymotic diseases was 76. The health department 
called attention to the importance of constructing intercepting sewers at the 
earliest practicable moment in order to check the ravages of zymotic diseases, also 
to the importance of connecting home closets with street sewers and the danger of 


using ordinary water from city wells. This death rate was a marked decrease from 
the two previous years. At this time a sanitary survey of the city was made. 

The July report of the health department showed a marked increase in the 
number of deaths from zymotic diseases. Five died of diphtheria, 5 of typhoid 
fever, 4 of cholera infantum — in all 23 died of zymotic diseases. • The annual 
death rate at this time was 17.05. In August, with the population of Oakland 
estimated at 38,000, the death rate was 15.78 per 1,000; in September it was only 
13.26. The city was one of the healthiest in the country. 

The steamer Newbern, Captain Rogers, arrived here late in September, 1883, 
with five cases of yellow fever on board. The vessel came from Guaymas and 
Mazatlan. Health Officer McAllister immediately placed the vessel in quarantine. 
The Pacific mail steamer San Bias arrived in port late in October with three cases 
of yellow fever on board and failed to notify the health officers of that fact. 
About half a dozen officers boarded the vessel without knowing that such was 
the case. There were 65 persons in the cabin, 2,-] in the steerage, 69 in the crew 
and 2 customs officers. The sick were placed in a barge and the well passengers 
were boarded on the old hulk China until danger was past. 

In November, 1883, Mr. Hayes of the city council offered a resolution to the 
effect that as the city water was muddy, dirty and otherwise unfit for domestic 
use, the city should not be required to pay for it, in accordance with the terms 
of the contract with the Contra Costa Water Company. It was referred to the 
committee of the whole. 

The medical and dental department of the State University graduated seven 
dentists and eleven physicians in November. Among the former was Miss Maria 
A. Burch, the first lady dentist on the coast. The Homeopathic Hospital Associa- 
tion in November passed a resolution asking the superior court for permission to 
mortgage its property for $3,500 with which to pay the debts of the concern. 

In 1887 smallpox spread over the city and thousands were vaccinated. Eight 
persons died of the epidemic. Late in February, 1888, there were here a few 
cases of diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles, smallpox. At this time Oakland barely 
escaped an epidemic of the latter disease, which came later. From December i, 
1887, to April I, 1 888, the smallpox scare cost Oakland $4,759. The 50 cent vac- 
cination ordinance of 1880 was still in force and this item was the largest on the 
cost list. Dr. D. D. Crowley and his assistants vaccinated about 4,000 patients 
during this scare period. Dr. Crowley refused to make his claim or the cost 
would have been much greater. During the smallpox epidemic of 1888 vaccina- 
tion was made compulsory and physicians were paid a fee of 50 cents for each 
person vaccinated. The smallpox hospital was called the Pesthouse. When this 
was full the surplus unfortunates were housed in the annex called The Farm. 
Mrs. La Ford was the nurse in charge; she slept in her chair ready for any 
sudden call. 

During one month in July and August, 1888, the board of health reported 34 
cases of diphtheria, 17 cases of typhoid fever and i case of scarlet fever. Twenty- 
nine of the cases of diphtheria were traced directly to improper sewerage. Many 
spots in the city were declared nuisances, including Lake Merritt, which for many 
years had been used more or less as a cesspool and had a coating of filth around 
its border. Health Officer Crowley said : "A nuisance which is now manifesting 
itself to a considerable degree and will hereafter be followed by zymotic diseases. 


is that of Lake Merritt." At this time the board of health was doing heroic 
work to improve sanitary conditions. 

Oakland thus had a timely warning. The death rate had been for some time 
steadily increasing with exceptions. No longer could the city point to its low 
mortuary list and claim to be the most healthful city of the country — not until 
it was such in fact, made so by an efficient sewer system. Neither diphtheria nor 
typhoid fever was raging here, but both were alarmingly prevalent. 

There were twenty-two cases of diphtheria in Oakland in July, 1888, and the 
health department gave warning that the disease might soon become epidemic 
unless checked at once. They stated that the disease was more deadly than 
smallpox, but less understood. The board recommended a marginal sewer along 
the edge of Lake Merritt and several main sewers to be connected with it so 
that sewage could be carried to deep water and the pipes could be flushed. The 
doctors agreed that filth was the cause and bad sewerage a correlative one — that 
unsanitary conditions prevailed in many portions of the city. At this time zymotic 
diseases were better classified here than ever before and the health department 
was better fitted to wage a successful war against disease. On July 11-12 there 
were reported twenty new cases of diphtheria in forty-eight hours. No doubt 
there were many other cases not reported. Doctors Woolsey, Crowley, Agnew, 
Todd, Adams, Pinkerton, Liliencrantz, Bradley, Agard, Burchard and others were 
busy during this crisis. Doctor Woolsey remarked at this time, in view of the care- 
lessness of the people generally in regard to health measures, that "some day the 
city would wake up rotten and do something." The sanitary inspector reported 
that "Complaints have come into the office from all quarters, and especially from 
East Oakland, the water front and Watt's tract. It is a common thing to find 
sewage running into the street. The Watt's tract district is in a bad condition. 
Hundreds of houses are not supplied with city water and as a consequence there is 
not proper flushing. Llarlan street is still without a sewer and the people continue 
to sewer into the street. Abatements of such nuisances in East Oakland are only 
temporary owing to the lack of satisfactory pubhc sewers. The Twelfth street 
sewer empties into the estuary and the sewage is washed into Lake Merritt on every 
flood tide and forms a deposit there. The dumps are disease breeders. The 
plumbing law is unsatisfactory." Doctor Crowley said: "These localities (named 
in his report) owing to their unsanitary conditions are breeding sickness and death. 
We have for over a year shown the necessity of completing the Main Lake sewer 
and preventing the oozing of sewage into the marsh. We have asked for a Com- 
merce Street sewer, but the property owners object and they are dying off one by 
one." Dozens of locations in the city made serious complaints to the same dreadful 
effect. The board of health finally recommended to the council a survey for a 
marginal sewer along the east boundary of Lake Merritt. 

In January, 1889, the board of health found fault with their treatment by the 
city council; their recommendations were neglected. Dr. Crowley asked, "Why 
does not the council show its disposition to do what the board of health, which 
has given the subject a thorough study, considers essential. The cause is in Lake 
Merritt. For years people were allowed to drain their sewers into the lake until 
it was gradually filled up with a mass of sewage that has covered the bottom of 
the lake. Instead of a lake of pure water intended to flush the Main Lake sewer, 
it has become a big cesspool 180 acres in extent. Many other places are equally 


bad. The city is completely surrounded by those death traps. There is nothing to 
prevent an epidemic." (Dr. Crowley. June 17, 1889.) "We are surrounded by 
disease breeders on three sides and on part of the fourth. On the east there 
are Lake Merritt (polluted with sewage) and the bare mud flats of the north 
arm of the estuary ; on the south there are the water front marshes on which the 
sewers discharge ; on the west there are more marshes with sewers and dumps, 
and the same thing is true of the northwest. Therefore there is diphtheria all 
over the city. We do not desire to be classed as alarmists, but must make plain 
our sanitary condition. Last year there were a great many cases of diphtheria in 
Oakland. There will be a great many more this summer and fall. It is only 
a question of time when the disease will reach the proportions of an epidemic. 
An epidemic of diphtheria would give Oakland a black eye from which it would 
not recover for a quarter of a century. An issue of bonds is necessary to carry 
on the proper sanitary improvements." (Local paper, June 18, 1889.) The council 
took immediate action at this critical time, under the threatening prospect. There 
came appeals for proper sanitation from all parts of the city. Never before had 
the city been so thoroughly frightened and aroused as at this time. An ordinance 
ordering the construction of a "complete and effective system of sewerage for 
Oakland" was promptly and unanimously passed on June 17, 1889. At this time 
Dr. Crowley recommended the adoption of the crematory system for city garbage. 
The board of health asked for $30,000 for immediate use. 

In December, 1889, Dr. George C. Pardee made an elaborate report on the 
quality of the water furnished by the Contra Costa Company. Doctor Wool- 
sey did not agree with the report and said that it was exaggerated and injuri- 
ous. Doctor Pardee said that the water was vile, that it was swarming with the 
rotting remains of animal and vegetable life, that when it was made less vile 
the zymotic death rate decreased, that when it was viler the death rate from 
zymotic diseases increased, that zymotic deaths were more frequent where there 
was the least precaution to free the water from impurities, that perfecting the 
sewerage did not reduce the zymotic death rate, that a poorly-sewered, well- 
filtered ward was not as unhealthy as a well-sewered, poorly-filtered ward, that 
the water was worse where the zymotic deaths were most frequent, and that 
over one-third of all the zymotic deaths in this city occurred around the dead 
ends in about one-twentieth of the territory of the city. The board of heal'th 
passed a resolution requesting the council and the board of public works to take 
such steps as they deemed best to compel the water company to properly purify 
the water it delivered to consumers in Oakland. 

A special committee of the board of trade, early in December, 1889, made 
formal report of its investigations of the sanitary conditions of Oakland. It 
made the following findings: (i) It may be safely declared that few cities are 
better situated for effective natural dramage than Oakland; (2) it may there- 
fore be safely asserted that the sewer system of Oakland is an exceptionally 
good one and requires no sweeping modifications; (3) the city has an exceed- 
ingly low death rate from zymotic diseases; (4) the chief source of zymotic 
diseases wherever it exists will be found to be imperfect house sewerage. The 
committee therefore recommended a bond issue to be limited to actual public 
needs as set forth in the report; also the deepening of Lake Alerritt, the recla- 
mation of West Oakland marsh, the omission of the north arm of the estuary 


Death rate 




















pending the Government's decision thereon, the correction of existing sewer 
defects and the use of the new ship channel to convey city sewage to deep water. 
The report further said, "The city having thus disposed of this vexed prob- 
lem, adjusting the burden of sewer construction equitably upon the districts 
benefitted and bonding the city for general improvements only, in which all 
territory now or to be incorporated has an interest, the board of trade could 
properly suggest a hearty invitation to the adjacent territory to come into the 
city." This report was so different in plans from that of the board of health, 
that elaborate public discussion of the whole subject was renewed and continued 
for some time. 

Oakland population 

Year estimated 

1881 25,000 

1882 36,000 

1883 38,000 

1884 39,000 

1885 43,000 

1886 46,000 

1887 50,000 

1888 55.000 

i88q 60,000 

In July, 1890, all the physicians of Oakland petitioned the city council to 
drain Lake Merritt immediately as a sanitary measure and said "The increasing 
deposit of mud in the lake is already a source of danger to the health of the 
surrounding inhabitants and by limiting its flushing capacity is a menace of dan- 
ger to the residents of the large district drained by the main lake sewer." This 
petition was signed by the following doctors: F. L. Adams, W. H. Blood, M. 
M. Fish, George C. Pardee, E. W. Bradley, N. K. Foster, Mary Whitney, G. H. 
Aiken, John P. Rei'ley, J. B. Trembley, E. H. Woolsey, A. H. Pratt, O. B. Adams, 
S. I. Shields, William M. Brown, John Fearn, O. B. Metcalf, Gray Smith, N. 
W. Knox, S. J. Kellogg, J. R. Bradway, B. A. Rabe, G. H. Stockholm, E. J. 
Sharp, A. J. Russell, R. S. Clason, A. M. Taylor, J. H. Wythe, W. J. Wilcox, 
T. H. Pinkerton, I. E. Nicholson, A. Fine, L. S. Burchard, W. F. Southard, 
George A. Lathrop, F. Kirckein, R. L. Hill, E. J. Overland, L. P. Hess, H. P. 
Van Kirk, J. H. Todd, Richard Cannon, E. M. Patterson, G. E. Brinkerhoff, 
George J. Augur, J. C. S. Akerly, J. P. H. Dunn, A. H. Agard, W. E. Hook, 
L. Webster, J. .M. Young, A. Liliencrantz, A. G. Anthony, R. Harmon. It was 
estimated that 300,000 cubic yards of mud would have to be removed, probably 
at a cost of not less than 14 cents a cubic yard, or perhaps as low as 10 cents. 

At the meeting of the State Medical Society at Los Angeles in April, 1890, 
Dr. J. H. Wythe, of Oakland, read a paper on "The Structure of the Blood 
Corpuscles and its Relation to the Practice of Medicine," and Dr. E. H. Wool- 
sey read three papers on "Treatment of Synovitis of the Knee Joint," "Treat- 
ment of Fraction and Dislocation of the Wrist," and "Re-section of the Elbow 


The Oakland General Hospital was established early in 1890 and was prac- 
tically under the management of the Alameda County Medical Association. It 
was intended for the care of persons afflicted with all ills except those of a 
contagious character. 

About the year 1890 Dr. F. E. Price began the practice of veterinary science 
in Oakland. In 1893 he was appointed by the board of health to inspect the 
dairies, meats, markets, milk and animal products generally in an effort to dis- 
cover the cause of the typhoid from epidemics. Soon he established the Oak- 
land Veterinary Hospital and secured Dr. R. A. Archibald as assistant. The 
latter had been connected with the United States Bureau of Animal Industry 
and with several veterinary institutions. In 1890 about seventy-five thousand 
dollars was spent on the sewers of Oakland. In 1889-90 the number of sewers 
built was forty-two, and in 1890-91 the number was fifty-six. 

Late in May, 1891, the mayor appointed Dr. H. L. Bradley, a homeop- 
athist, on the board of health. This act was opposed by the allopathic mem- 
bers of the board, who declared the step was a dangerous innovation that would 
disorganize the department when eclectics, hydropaths, scientists and all other 
so-called medical schools should likewise be represented on that body. The 
mayor favored the appointment of a homeopath on the board, but encoun- 
tered such opposition that he relinquished the attempt. Previous to this time 
Doctor Selfridge, a homeopath, had been appointed on the board, whereupon 
all the allopathic members resigned, but were reinstated when Doctor Selfridge 
withdrew. In May, there were reported to the board of health twenty-one cases 
of diphtheria, four of measles, six of scarlet fever, four of typhoid and typhoid 
malarial fevers, four of whooping cough. Doctor Bradley, the newly appointed 
health officer was completely ignored by the allopathic members of the board. 
In June an election was ordered by the county board to determine the question 
of a sanitary district for the town of Lorin. Oakland Free Clinic Association 
met in Doctor Woolsey's hospital in August, at this time, after an existence of 
about two months. In June fifty-seven patients were treated and in July loi 
were treated. Ladies were managers of this association. Mrs. M. W. Kales 
was treasurer and .Mrs. J. M. Driscoll, president. The staff of physicians was 
as follows: Surgery — E. H. Woolsey, J. P. Dunn and E. R. Sill; medicine — H. 
E. Muller, C. ]\I. Fisher and W. P. Mauzy; diseases of women— J. H. Wythe, 
J. J. McCullom and M. L. Johnson; eye, ear, nose and throat — G. C. Pardee and 
H. G. Thomas; dental surgery— T. W. Hall, W. E. Brooks and J. M. Dunn. 

In August, 1891, the board of health stated that action was needed at once to 
improve the sanitary condition of the city. Doctor Woolsey said the water was 
good, but the air was bad, especially near the sewer outlets. Doctor \\'ythe 
said the odor arising from the sewers had been a standing menace of corrup- 
tion and disease for many months and that if the city were broadly awakened 
to the evil wrought it would not hesitate at the expense of a remedy. A motion 
was carried requesting the board of pubHc works to take immediate action for 
the improvement of the sewer system and for the disposal of garbage. The 
annual death rate for July was 14.4. The public schools were declared to be in 
sound sanitary condition, though ventilation was not what it should be. The 
board resolved that the passage of garbage through the streets between 6 o'clock 
a. m. and 6 o'clock p. m. was a public nuisance. In response to a petition to that 


effect the county board late in August, ordered an election to be held in the dis- 
trict between Oakland and Berkeley on September 12th, to determine the question 
of the formation of a sanitary district within the county of Alameda to be 
known as "sanitary district No. i." At the election it was ordered that a sani- 
tary assessor and a sanitary board of five members should also be voted for. 

"The greatest menace to the public health is the sewage draining into and 
the garbage dumped upon the West Oakland marsh. The next greatest fault 
of our sanitary condition is the sewage deposited along the marshes and shores 
of our southern water- front. Another evil which threatens the welfare of the 
vast population within our borders is the filling up of Lake Merritt which ere 
long will be incapable of flushing the main lake sewer without which this con- 
duit would become in its entire length a festing cesspool." — (Health report 
[Dunn], February, 1892.) Doctor Pardee denied the conclusions of Doctor Dunn 
and said the marsh was covered twice daily with salt water and the filth there if 
there was any from the dumpings could be prevented. He declared that the board 
of health had repeatedly requested the council to prevent the dumping and to 
improve the sewers, which they had not done of the several years of urgent 
entreaty. "We are making a fight for health and against the hearse," said 
Colonel Irish in 1892. It is probably true that Colonel Irish did more for the 
improvement of the sewers and the health conditions in the 8o"s and 90's than 
any other man. He took the position at all times, as did the board of health, 
that the sewers were the cause of the epidemics of zymotic diseases and thun- 
dered his opinions through the newspapers and from the rostrum on all occasions. 

A case of leprosy was discovered here in May, 1892, by Health Officer Dunn. 
The victim was sent to the San Francisco hospital. A little later another case 
was found. 

At a meeting of the board of health on November loth, there were present 
Doctors Woolsey, Anthony, Muller, Bradley, Wythe, President Anthony and 
Health Officer Dunn. The latter reported cases of smallpox and Doctor Wythe 
declared that the only opposition in regard to the cases came from the physi- 
cians who were attending the patients, and that he did not care to be a mem- 
ber of the board and be hampered in his work by the medical fraternity. He 
then read the following statement addressed to the citizens of Oakland, which 
was adopted and ordered printed for circulation: "The Oakland board of health 
sees with regret a disposition manifest by newspaper articles and in other ways, 
to criticize unfavorably the eft'orts of the health officer of the board to protect 
the community against infectious disease. Whether from professional antagon- 
ism and jealousy or other motives, it especially deprecates the interference of 
physicians who ought to be guardians of public health. The duties of the health 
officer are onerous and delicate enough without being rendered more difficult 
by the opposition of physicians themselves. A majority of the members of this 
board have satisfied themselves by personal inspection of the existence of a 
mild case of smallpox in Oakland, and of the occurrence of an eruption resem- 
bling varioloid in certain persons exposed to the disease. The health officer 
with the concurrence of a majority of members of the board, and in perfor- 
mance of his duty, proclaimed a quarantine, which certain medical men of 
Oakland invoked the legal authorities to remove. Under these circumstances 
we submit to an intelligent public the question : What need is there for a 


board of health officers r Why not let contagion have full play with the doctors ? 
Clearly, if there be a doubtful case the public should have the benefit of the 
doubt." The doctor then noticed the differences between chickenpox, varioloid 
and smallpox. The board finally resolved that the city attorney be directed to 
prepare an ordinance that would enable the board of health to eflfectually guard 
the premises and people where contagious diseases existed, to vaccinate where 
necessary, etc. 

In June and July, 1893, Oakland suflfered from a serious epidemic of typhoid 
fever. The Times and Tribune declared it was due to the defective sewers from 
which the city had so long suffered, but this was denied by Mayor Pardee who 
traced at least a portion of the cases to the milk of a dairy where the condi- 
tions were filthy in the extreme. From June ist to July 4th there were 
reported 341 cases of typhoid. This condition roused the city like an earth- 
quake. Both milk and sewers were thoroughly inspected and improved. One 
of the worst features of the case was the studied attempt to conceal the truth 
and to misrepresent and deceive so that outsiders would not be prevented 
from coming here by reason of the dangerous sanitary conditions. 

In September there was an epidemic of diphtheria at San Leandro and in 
spite of physicians it extended out into Eden township and finally reached 
Hay wards. About this time San Leandro voted $15,000 in bonds to build 
a sewer system. By November the Oakland Clinic had been in existence three 
years, during which time it had treated free 2,943 patients at a claimed cost of 
about $100 per month for medicines. Doctor Woolsey asked for an appropria- 
tion to cover this amount. The county board granted $50. The Oakland Free 
Clinic in 1894, treated monthly 600 persons free of charge; they asked for a 
monthly appropriation from the county board of $100 to pay for medicines, etc. 
The following physicians made this request : Doctors Woolsey, Muller, Thomas, 
Sill, Kuckein, Lynch, Fisher, Dunn and Legault. The board granted only $25. 
At the same time the Oakland Homeopathic Free Clinic, for the same reasons, 
asked for $50 per month ; the board had previously assisted this clinic with $40 
per month, and were now asked to renew the appropriation. This clinic claimed 
that the so-called Oakland Free Clinic was a new concern, but that theirs had 
been in existence several years and its good services were known to everybody. 
They were likewise given $25 per month. 

At the meeting of the Oakland Dental Club in January, the following offi- 
cers were elected: Russell H. Cool, president; H. W. Meek, vice president; H. 
D. Boyes, secretary ; Cecil Corwin, treasurer ; Lewis Merriman, Sr., and Hackett, 
executive committee. 

In the spring the board of health of Alameda was the first to begin a sys- 
tematic and persistent attack on tuberculosis in cattle — particularly in cows, apply- 
ing the Koch tubercular test. Dr. Thomas Carpenter was employed and examined 
in nine months over 1,100 head of cattle, of which 330 were within the corporate 
limits of Alameda. Every cow found infected was condemned. Twelve cases 
of tuberculosis and four of actinomycosis were found within the city; all ani- 
mals were killed and a post mortem examination showed the unmistakable evi- 
dence of the disease. In close touch with this important movement was D. R 
Caldwell, member of the Alameda Board of Health. 

In July, 1895. the board of health recommended a crematory but met no 


encouragement to their requests. They investigated the milk supply and reported 
present too large a number of harmful bacteria. They condemned a considerable 
quantity of tuberculous meat and warned all to be careful. They flushed the 
sewers, and directed the sprinkling of the streets and cleaned up the city gen- 

The Alameda County Medical Association held a banquet at Hotel Metropole 
on March lO, 1896. Over forty physicians were present and a merry time was 
enjoyed with music, toasts, speeches, etc. Doctors Eastman and Buteau were 
toastmasters. Speeches were made by Doctors Overend, Adams, Melvin, Fitz- 
gerald, Bradway, Rosborough and others. Among those present in addition to 
the above were J. S. Adams, D. D. Crowley, L. S. Adams, J. C. Akerly, E. J. 
Boyes, A. M. Taylor, J. H. Todd, H. J. Thomas, Myra Knox, N. K. Foster, 
F. R. Musser, T. L. Wheeler, H. N. Rucker, J. J. Medrios, N. L. Johnson, J. P. 
Kitchings, J. 3Ioher, F. W. Morris, J. L. Mayon, E. N. Patterson, F. H. Panic, 
A. H. Pratt, S. J. Russell, S. J. Shuey and W. F. Southerland. Oakland was sup- 
plied with milk from the following dairies : Morrell's Sunset Dairy in the Pied- 
mont hills; Scandinavian Dairy; Oakland Jersey Farm at the head of Lake 
Merritt; Barker's Dairy at the head of Claremont avenue; Mountain View 
Dairy; Cordico's Ranch in Hays canyon; Carr's Dairy in Fruitvale at Twenty- 
third avenue; Swiss Dairy on the Redwoods road; Oakland Cream Depot; and 
Sweet Briar Ranch. 

The attempt of the board of health to have the council pass an ordinance 
requiring that consumption should be one of the diseases to be officially reported 
by attending physicians, was defeated by that body after a sharp contest. In 
July the county board refused to appropriate $25 per month for the Double 
Cross Free Clinic because the county was then contributing to the support of 
three other clinics, besides the Receiving hospital and the county infirmary. 
The application for help was denied by a unanimous vote. This act was 
criticised as penurious and small-souled. It was not because the county lacked 
money, nor because the clinic did not merit help, but because the county board had 
grown tired of doing well. Late in January, 1897, the county board passed 
unanimously a resolution discontinuing the allowance of $25 made monthly 
to each of three clinics. 

In the fall a resident of Alameda was arrested twice on the charge of selling 
impure milk in that town. His permit was revoked by the board of health, but 
he continued to sell. His cows were examined by experts and several of the 
animals, it was publicly announced, had tuberculosis and their milk contained 
the germs of that disease. One or more of the experts had given the dairy a clean 
bill of health, which fact caused the owner to disregard the revocation of the 
permit and to continue the sale. The case was taken into court and although 
there was some difference in the opinions of the experts he was required to get 
rid of the suspected animals. The Alameda County Medical Association noti- 
fied local lodges that the practice of serving all the members for a fixed annual 
sum should cease after January i, 1898. They also opposed free clinics as against 
the best services of the profession. This was an emphatic and distinct move- 
ment against the so-called "contract system." At this time the president of the 
association was Dr. H. G. Thomas. Early in December the board of health 
adopted recommendations condemning Contra Costa water and advising the dis- 


continuance of its use in the public schools and elsewhere. The board ascribed 
the prevailing typhoid fever and kindred ills to its use. This action followed the 
reading of the report of the Pure Food and Water Committee and the report of 
Dr. Douglas Montgomery, bacteria specialist. The reports showed conclusively 
the unsanitary condition of the water of that company. 

In June, 1S99, Health Oiificer H. W. Emerson quarantined thirty-two new cases 
of scarlet fever in Mission San Jose and reported that measles was prevalent 
in that vicinity. Scarlet fever broke out in the Mission first, and then spread to 
outer districts. 

In the spring of 1898 the greatly increased death rate was ascribed to the 
newly annexed territory which had not had the sanitary advantages which had 
wrought such an improvement in health conditions in Oakland. In December, 
1899, when it was proposed to quarantine California against consumptives, Dr. 
D. D. Crowley favored the measure and said it was certain to come soon. 

In 1900 the death rate in Oakland was less than it had been in any year since 
1884; there were 896 deaths in a population of 66,560. Yet there were cesspool 
districts. The annexed territory needed better drainage and demanded it as their 
right under the conditions of amalgamation. More zymotic diseases were reported 
from that district than from any other. The health officer gave due warning. 
The board of health of Alameda prepared to renew its war on tuberculosis on a 
more extensive and more effective scale. It passed resolutions calling upon all 
medical boards and institutions in the state to request the passage of a law to 
establish tuberculosis sanitariums for the care of patients and control of the dis- 
ease which was declared to be contagious. Members of the Legislature from this 
county promised to help the movement. 

In the fall of 1900 the incorporators of Oakland College of Physicians and 
Surgeons met at the office of Dr. Frank L. Adams and among other doings sub- 
scribed to the by-laws. The signers were Doctors I* rank L. Adams, S. H. Buteau, 
D. D. Crowley, J. S. Eastman, E. N. Ewer, C. R. Krone, J. L. Milton, W. S. 
Porter, R. T. Stratton, H. G. Thomas, C. D. Hamlin and W. F. B. Wakefield. 
At this meeting the faculty was selected and included the above physicians and 
a few others. It was provided that a surgical and gynecological college clinic 
would be carried on by Doctors Hamlin, Milton and Porter. Nearly $8,000 was 
subscribed by the incorporators for the running expenses of the college. It was 
planned to be in active operation by September, 1901, and to buy a site for the 
college buildings as soon as practicable. The institution was of the regular or 
allopathic school. A four years' course was decided upon. The trustees of the 
medical college secured an option on the land at the corner of Thirty-fourth 
and Grove streets and made preparations at once to erect a suitable structure. 

In November, R. A. Archibald, city bacteriologist, made serious disclosures 
concerning the milk supplies of this city. In specimens examined the bacterial 
contents were far beyond what healthful milk should show. He said the revela- 
tions were not only sufficient to condemn the milk for food, but for all other 
useful purposes as well. The health department prepared to inspect and improve 
the product of all the dairies. 

In January, 1902, Health Officer Von Adelung called the attention of the 
board of health to the importance of considering such diseases as tuberculosis, 
typhoid fever, diphtheria and scarlet fever in their relation to the home. The 


communication was in the form of circulars addressed to the public and point- 
ing out the dangers and warning all people how to assist in preventing the spread 
particularly of tuberculosis. 

Apoplexy caused 50 deaths in 1902-3, diphtheria, 53, valvular diseases of the 
heart, 93, tuberculosis, 132 and pneumonia, 118. It was recognized at this 
time that tuberculosis was the most formidable enemy the health department had 
to encounter. Every possible measure of prevention was adopted ; all cases were 
reported and free examinations of sputum made after October 10, 1902. The 
physicians generally aided in this movement for extermination. Premises were 
not placarded, but were fumigated upon the death or removal of the patient. 
The physicians of the city were almost a unit in the opinion that sputum aided 
greatly to spread the disease. Hence there were circulated 10,000 circulars 
throughout the city calling attention to the danger from this medium. An anti- 
expectoration ordinance was procured and its enforcement was turned over to the 
police department. Steps to destroy all street and alley waste were taken with 
greater rigidity than ever before. Signs were put up in public places and on local 
trains. Pneumonia was likewise attacked through the sputum. In all 374 cases of 
diphtheria were reported. The source of this spread was not wholly learned, but 
was believed to be largely due to the use of a common drinking cup at schools, etc. 
With $150 from the city council the health board introduced diphtheria antitoxin 
with good results. Scarlet fever, typhoid fever and smallpo.x were kept down. 
Lectures on sanitation in the schools were commenced. The erection of a 
garbage crematory aided the department. Monthly bulletins began to be issued. 
Improvements in plumbing and sewerage were introduced. In 1900-01 there 
were 24 cases of smallpox; in 1901-2, 52; and in 1902-3, 70. Dr. Edward von 
Adelung was health officer in 1902-3. Pauline S. Nusbaumer, M. D., was city 
bacteriologist. She made hundreds of examinations, with both positive and 
negative results. The city chemist, Charles H. Rowe, M. D., conducted many 
examinations of water, milk, etc. R. A. Archibald, D. V. S., was meat, market 
and milk inspector. Health measures were far better than ever before. 

In 1903-4 154 persons died of heart diseases; tubercular dfseases, 124; pneu- 
monia, 106; apoplexy, 61; consumption alone caused loi deaths. Diphtheria, 
scarlet fever, measles and whooping cough were kept under subjection. Ninety 
cases of smallpox were reported, but there were no cases from recently vaccinated 
persons. At this time, while the city expended $5,000 annually to control small- 
pox, it spent comparatively nothing to control diphtheria and scarlet fever though 
during the past three years smallpox caused but one death while the other two 
caused loi deaths. This year there were ninety-three cases of typhoid fever 
and twenty-nine deaths — an unusually high percentage. Sanitary lectures, medi- 
cal inspection of schools, vaccination, antitoxin, pure milk crematory, better 
plumbing — all aided in conserving health. 


1893-4 12.65 1899-0 11.94 

1894-5 12.01 I9OO-I 13.60 

1895-6 12.03 I9OI-2 12.80 

1896-7 12.22 1902-3 13.72 

1897-8 11.32 1903-4 12.81 

1898-9 ■. I2.O4 


In 1905-6 heart diseases caused 169 deaths; pneumonia, 149, and tuberculosis, 
125. Typhoid caused only 10 deaths. There were 29 cases of smallpox. The 
care of refugees from San Francisco was a feature of this year's work. Every 
department was active, efficient and resourceful. Sanitary conditions were better 
than ever before. It should be noted that the death rate was higher than reported 
owing to an over estimate in city population. After 1906 the reports were made 
monthly, and hence afford no basis for comparison. 

In January, 1909, the new Merritt hospital was opened to the public. It was 
the first endowed institution of the kind in the county. It was strictly modern 
in every particular. For many years the county maintained on Franklin street 
a medical and surgical station for emergency cases. By 1909 it had become wholly 
inadequate to meet the demands, whereupon the county board decided to recon- 
struct the Receiving hospital. It was made large enough to meet the enormous 
growth of this community. In the fall of 1910 the county board took steps to 
give modern and systematic care to consumptive patients in the county infirmary 
by providing them with a separate pavilion and other conveniences. An inspec- 
tion of the county infirmary early in 191 1 disclosed a state of affairs not at all 
creditable to the county. The congestion there was appalling. Long ago the 
buildings had become too small, but still others were added until all consti- 
tuted a small village of ramshackle structures inconvenient, unsanitary and dis- 
creditable to a county so wealthy and so prosperous. Adequate buildings were 
imperatively demanded. In March, 191 1, over 3,000 persons — members of the 
various women's clubs — addressed a communication to the county board reciting 
the deplorable condition of the county infirmary and asking that body "to take 
steps toward the erection of a permanent building to accommodate the unfortu- 
nate sick who are dependent on the county." Neither the board nor the hospital 
management was blamed. This communication was signed by over twenty-five 
presidents of women's organizations in this county. The board at once took steps 
to secure a site for such a new building. Previous to this date $60,000 had been 
set aside for the purchase of a hospital site and a surplus of $200,000 in the treas- 
ury could at once be drawn upon for the proposed structure. 

Berkeley has had a board of health for many years, but it is only during the 
last four years that sanitation and inspection has been almost perfect. The emer- 
gency hospital, the bacteriological laboratory and the food examinations are 
excellent and up-to-date. For the year 19 12- 13 there were in that city 428 cases 
of infectious diseases reported, among which were : Chicken-pox, 69 ; diphtheria, 
32; measles, 40; mumps, 80; scarlet fever, 38 (also 35 at the Deaf and Dumb 
Institute) ; smallpox, 13; typhoid fever, 17; pulmonary tuberculosis, 36; whoop- 
ing cough, 16. The death rate was 9.28. Causes of deaths were as follows : 
Apoplexy, 42; cancer and tumor, 40; heart disease, 65; pneumonia, 21 ; broncho- 
pneumonia. 24; smallpox, 5; suicides, 13; typhoid fever, 5; tuberculosis of the 
lungs, 32. 

From July ist to November 30, 191 3, 8,468 different food establishments in 
Oakland were inspected. The bottled milk ordinance was rigidly enforced. 
The prevalence of rabies among dogs was studied and controlled. In January, 
19 14, the county board passed a resolution authorizing Charles P. Weeks, archi- 
tect, to prepare plans for the following structures: (i) For a complete county 
infirmary hospital on the present site; (2) plans for a. county infirmary and Ciii 
infirmary hospital. 


Under the act of March 29, 1850, the state was divided into judicial dis- 
tricts and John H. Watson became the first judge of district No. 3, composed 
of the counties of Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey. Upon 
the creation of Alameda county in 1854, it became a part of the same district 
and so continued until the creation of the superior courts in 1880. The act 
creating Alameda county provided for a court of sessions to be presided over 
by the county judge and two justices of the peace. The first term of the court 
of sessions was held at Alvarado on June 6, 1853, with Adison M. Crane pre- 
siding assisted by justices L S. Long and D. S. Lacy. C. P. Hester was first 
district judge and A. M. Crane county judge, both of whom were elected in 
1853. The former served until 1865 and the latter until 1857. S. B. McKee 
became county judge in 1857 and W. H. Glascock in 1859. Then John A. Lent 
served until 1863 when he was succeeded by Noble Hamilton. In 1864 S. B. 
McKee succeeded Judge Hester on the district bench and served until 1880 
when the superior courts were formed. Stephen G. Nye became county judge in 
1867 and served until 1880. The new constitution of 1880 gave the county two 
superior judges — A. M. Crane and W. E. Greene. In 1882 one more judge was 
allowed and Noble Hamilton was chosen. In 1884 E. M. Gibson succeeded 
Judge Crane, but was himself defeated by Judge Ellsworth in 1890. .Mr. Hen- 
shaw became judge in 1892 and F. B. Ogden in 1891 by appointment of Gov- 
ernor Markham. In 1892 Judge Henshaw was elected to the supreme bench 
and Judge A. L. Frick succeeded him in this district. In 1896 Judge S. P. 
Hall succeeded Judge Frick. 

The bench and bar of Alameda county is and has ever been preeminent 
not only for its profound legal accomplishments, but for its forensic and 
oratorical ability and its rare acumen in court practice and procedure. Many 
important decisions that have stood the test of time and study were rendered 
in this county. In 1853 Hamilton & Coombs had their law office in one corner 
of the room used for a district court room and for a justice's court room. W. C. 
Pease was another lawyer there. 

Horace W. Carpentier was one of the first, if not the first, lawyer to locate 
in Alameda county. Howevei", he did little general law practice, but used his 
legal lore and craftiness to get on the upper side of all the title to desirable land 
in the vicinity of Oakland. He seemed adept in the law of ejectment, unlawful 
detainer and squatter title. Though a young man he unquestionably possessed 
great ability and thorough knowledge of the law of real estate. In several 
contests Judge Crane decided adversely to Carpentier and associates, because- 

Note : Much concerning court decisions will be found in half a dozen other 
chapters, notably in those on Oakland, Water Front Conveyance, the Harbor, etc. 


they transcended their rights. They erected a cabin in the middle of Broadway, 
but were compelled by the squatters and other settlers to remove it. . 

The early history of Alameda county and its leading cities is characterized 
by numerous extended, interesting yet vexatious claims and lawsuits which 
required the legal lore of the best lawyers of the state and all the wisdom of 
the courts. There were the receders in East Oakland, the water front ques- 
tions, the Webster street bridge troubles, numerous assessment difficulties and 
the annoying incidents attending the removal of the county seat from San 
Leandro to Oakland. 

The cells in the old jail at San Leandro were brought to Oakland and placed 
in the new jail in 1875. The removal of the county seat caused the Estudillo 
family of San Leandro to file a claim against the county and immediately after 
the removal it was found necessary to place a guard in possession of the old 
county buildings there. They had cost about $70,000. The family threatened 
to sue for the cells already removed for about $10,000. At this time the 
county owned an excellent vault in the county building at East Oakland, which 
in 1875 was removed to the new courthouse. The Case-Larue claimants con- 
tested the right of this removal. 

Other early county judges were W. H. Glascock, John A. Lent. Noble 
Hamilton, Stephen G. Nye and R. A. Redman. The early district attorneys 
were W. H. Coombs, Will \'an \'oories, S. G. Nye, W. W. Crane, George M. 
Blake, O. H. La Grange, Stephen P. Wright, A. A. Moore, John R. Glascock, 
Henry Vrooman, E. M. Gibson, Samuel P. Hall and George W. Reed. 

The first criminal act in Alameda county took place shortly after its crea- 
tion and was the shooting of Albert Scott by Franklin Uray on September 9, 
1853. The justice of the peace did not think the case of sufficient gravity to 
commit Uray for trial. On October 20, 1853, Henry Colvin was shot by Frank 
Hale, near San Leandro creek. Hale was discharged by the justice on the 
ground of self-defense. The shooting of Henry Blake by Charles Martinez 
occurred on August 7, 1853. At the preliminary examination bail was fixed 
at $500. In 1854, the shooting at Constable Carpenter by J. B. Heap took 
place at the Gate House in Clinton township, where the constable was called 
to quell a disturbance. The inmates were having a dance, and all were more or 
less drunk and disorderly. Carpenter was hurt. On June 15, 1854, Garcia, 
Domingo, Marshall and McCoy were wanted for the murder of William Wettig. 
These men had gone to the foothills to hunt cattle thieves, and from the state- 
ments made in evidence by them, came upon Wettig, with freshly-killed beef 
upon his horse. They made accusation, which resulted in a quarrel, when one 
of the Spaniards, Domingo, killed him, and then made for the hills. Garcia, 
McCoy and Marshall were apprehended, and the- latter was held to answer as 
an accessory. About this date George Zimmerman, Charles Wilson and Israel 
C. Townley had a preliminary examination for an assault with intent to kill 
John C. Pelton at San Leandro, the dispute being in regard to the ownership 
of some hogs. Wilson and Zimmerman were held to answer. On July 7, 
1855, John Doe was indicted for killing John Fanning. At the same term, a 
man called "Mack" and H. Hastings were indicted for killing Peter Rochblam, 
and Amada Canute. Antonio was indicted by the grand jury on August 17, 
1855, for killing Joqquen by stabbing him in the back. The indictment was set 


aside on motion of defendant's counsel, Benjamin Williams, on the ground that 
the county judge had no authority to call a special term of said court. 

On January 30, 1855, between the hours of one and three in the morning, 
George W. Sheldon was taken from the hands of the civil authorities in the 
city of Oakland conveyed across the bridge into Clinton and there lynched by 
an excited multitude. He was guilty of horse stealing. The mob numbered 
from fifty to seventy-five men, all armed with revolvers. They overpowered 
the guard, beat in the door, seized the prisoner, and, almost as quick as thought, 
moved in order towards the bridge connecting Oakland with Clinton. On May 
10, 1858, a man named Cruz was indicted for the murder of Frederico. He was 
tried at the July term of the court of sessions and found not guilty. A reward 
was ofl:ered by Governor Weller, for the arrest of the murderer of Ciriaco 
Sacre. a Chileno, who was cruelly slain on a little island near Alvarado about 
eighteen months previous. 

In April, 1859, a trial for murder against Thomas Scale before the third 
district court, at San Leandro, Judge McKee presiding, took place. He was 
indicted for the murder of Paul C. Shore. While the case was pending sev- 
eral other shooting affrays took place — all in Santa Clara county. The case was 
tried in Alameda county. The jury failed to agree on a verdict. After another 
trial the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. 

In 1859, Miguel Marquis was tried for murder and a verdict of guilty was 
rendered. He was sentenced to be hanged on the 25th of November, but a 
new trial being granted, he was convicted of murder in the second degree and 
sent to prison for life. On December 2, 1859, Ventura Aipen stabbed to death 
Marcus Castillo, and was indicted at the January term • following. He was 
tried, found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to two years in prison. At 
the September term i860 Ah Path was indicted for stabbing and cutting to 
death, in Oakland, How Sam. The slayer was tried, found guilty of murder, 
and sentenced to be hanged January 11, 1861. Meanwhile a motion for a new 
trial was made and denied. The case was then appealed to the supreme court 
which affirmed the judgment of the court below. 

On November 19. i860, Ramon Romero was indicted for murder, was tried; 
found guilty and sentenced to be executed on January i, 1861. A new trial was 
granted and he was acquitted, November 22, 1861. At the January term, 1861, 
Edward W. Bonney was indicted for stabbing to death Augusto G. Hirsch. 
The case came to trial in July following, and a verdict of gtiilty of murder in 
the first degree was rendered. He was ultimately executed May 9, 1862. 

In 1861 crime was rife throughout the county, especially in Murray town- 
ship where it frequently occurred that the worst miscreants escaped the clutches 
of the law. The sherifif being too great a distance to effectively interfere, he 
therefore appointed James S. Kapp his deputy for that district — the initial step 
towards suppressing \lawlessness in that out-of-the-way section of Alameda 
county. Owing to the amount of individual lawlessness, the grand jury were 
three days in getting through the business of the January term. They returned 
eleven indictments, embracing all the range of crime from manslaughter to 
petit larceny. 

In November, 1S63, a gang of Mexican desperadoes appeared at Aharado, 
fired upon several citizens and then took to flight, but were promptly pursued 


by the citizens and one of them was captured and hanged at the bridge over 
Alameda creek. In January, 1863, Judge Lent of the Alameda county court 
died in San Francisco after a long and painful illness. Noble Hamilton suc- 
ceeded him, Asa Walker and George Fleming being chosen associate justices 
by Mr. Hamilton. 

Edward Tomkins came to Oakland to reside in 1863, and after a short time 
erected a cozy homestead on the banks of Lake Merritt. He was an able lawyer. 
His efforts to secure the removal of the county seat; his exertions in getting 
the splendid appropriations for the university; his advocacy of material inter- 
ests, which might benefit the county and the city were highly praiseworthy. 
His last crowning act was a munificent donation to the University of the 
State of California. 

In January, 1864, the Mountain House conducted by Mr. Zimmerman was 
attacked and robbed by a gang of bandits. The only men present at the time 
were a Frenchman who was sick and a German. Through threats they obtained 
$ICX) of Mr. Zimmerman's money and a few dollars from the others. They 
were pursued and arrested in San Jose and brought to Alameda county, where 
they were tried, convicted and sentenced to fifteen years each in the penitentiary ; 
later the sentence of one of them was reduced to ten years. 

In March, 1864, A. A. Moore was admitted to practice in the district court. 
Mr. Moore was the first law student from Alameda county to make such an 

Harry N. Morse was county sheriff' from 1864 to 1878. He assumed the 
duties at the age of twenty-eight years and at that time the entire eastern and 
southern portions of the county were overrun by Mexican horse thieves, high- 
waymen and cutthroats, among whom it was almost certain death for an Amer- 
ican to go. He went quietly among them learning their ways and haunts, form- 
ing their acquaintance, studying the ravines, canyons, passes and hills and was 
regarded with contempt by the lawbreakers. He was pale-faced and gentle, 
but had in reality splendid courage and a heart of oak. After he had become 
familiar with their habits his demeanor changed. He began to swoop down 
upon them like a hawk on a chicken at the most unexpected times and places. 
He appeared often in the very midst of their camps and fandangos, usually 
alone and single handed and snatched his man with unerring certainty from 
under the very noses of his companions. His success in killing the murderer 
Narrato Ponce in 1868 showed his nerve, determination and resources. Ponce 
had shot to death at Haywards a man named Joy with whom he had a quarrel 
at cards. The murder of Otto Lundonico in Sunol valley was followed by 
Morse in the same relentless fashion. He became convinced that Juan Soto and 
Bartalo Sepulveda were concerned in the murder, but for nearly four months 
he could get no trace of them. At last they were found in a cabin in Sausalito 
valley where Morse alone and single-handed, after his assistant had deserted 
him in the presence of several of the desperadoes, finally killed Soto after many 
shots had been fired by each by sending a rifle bullet through his skull after he 
had refused to surrender. 

In 1864 Jose Piazarro was tried for the murder of Juan Andrada, found 
guilty of murder in the second degree, and was sentenced to imprisonment in the 
state prison for ten years. A Mexican was lynched at Alvarado on November 


23, 1863. A Frenchman named Cora was tried in 1866 for the murder of Sam- 
uel S. Kennedy at San Antonio (Brooklyn), was convicted and sentenced to 
three years imprisonment. On September 24, 1865, Jose Ruparda stabbed one 
Rosindo. The murderer was indicted, tried, found guilty of murder in the second 
degree, and sentenced to thirteen years imprisonment. 

In 1865-66 Murray and Washington townships were infested by bands of 
horse and cattle thieves, stock poisoners, and incendiaries, and so incessant and 
daring were their depredations that a firm determination to put a stop to their 
maraudings was reached. To this end a meeting was held at Centerville, April 
I, 1865, and a vigilance committee was formed. Thomas Scott was chosen 
president; Dr. J. M. Self ridge, secretary; and William Tyson, treasurer. An 
executive committee of twelve members was also appointed. A reward of $500 
for the conviction of the person who a short time previously poisoned a wheat 
field belonging to Mr. Ellsworth was oiTered by the committee. Edward Simpson, 
the owner of a store on the Stockton road, near Amador valley, was foully 
murdered by two men in 1866. Two men, one a black-whiskered man and the 
other without beard had stopped at Simpson's store and requested something to 
eat and a night's lodging, which was granted them. They were at once suspected. 
Every effort made to capture the assassins failed. 

The grand jury which met in January, 1864, declared the county jail a public 
nuisance. The board of supervisors appealed to the Representatives of the 
Legislature to have a bill passed as soon as possible, authorizing the levy of a 
special tax for the erection of a county jail and making needed repairs to the 
courthouse. A contract was entered into with Messrs. Kittredge & Leavitt for 
the construction of an iron cell to cost $1,600 a work that was at once pro- 
ceeded with, reported complete, and paid for September 5, 1864. On I\Iay 
23d a proposition to make the jail of the city of Oakland a branch of that of the 
county for the confinement of persons where the city was liable for the expenses 
of keeping, was received and referred to the district attorney. 

On August 8, 1866, the police judge complained of the smallness of the 
emoluments of his office. The yield for the first three months was but $203, 
or about $68 dollars per month. The judge in his report says: "No one can 
complain of the amount of labor the duties require, but the office, in contempla- 
tion of law, having always to be open, necessarily confines the judge so closely 
that to do any other business is out of the question, unless he employ a clerk to 
take care of the office in his absence. You will at once perceive that the emolu- 
ments of this office are wholly insufficient to cover one's actual expenses." 
This subject having been referred to a committee of the council consisting of 
Barstow, Wilcox and Shattuck, they reported August 22d, that the act estab- 
lishing the police court contemplated the allowance of a sufficient additional 
sum out of the city treasury to make a reasonable salary. On August 29th 
his salary was fixed at $100 per month. 

The Legislature in 1866 passed the following bills: An Act to establish a 
police court in the city of Oakland and define its jurisdiction; duties and fees 
of court and its officers ; to have a judge, clerk and seal ; to have jurisdiction 
in petit larceny, assault and battery, breaches of the peace, violation of city ordi- 
nances, city taxes, sums of money less than $300, bonds, recovery of city prop- 
erty, license, etc., also an act in relation to the city courts of Oakland ; the mayor 


no longer to exercise the power of a justice; the police judge should have 
power to hear cases for examination and could commit and hold offenders to 
bail also. 

On October 3, 1867, a Chileno, named Narrate Ponce shot Lewis Joy in 
the left side, the ball passing through the lung and body and killing him. 
Sheriff Harry Morse kept a sharp lookout for the Chileno and finally learned 
that he was in the mountainous regions of Murray township at the back of 
Livermore valley. Officer Conway, of Oakland joined Sheriff Morse, and both 
proceeded to Dublin where, leaving their buggy, thence started on horseback for 
the place where the murderer was supposed to be concealed. The sheriff and 
Officer Conway took positions at a gate leading into a by-path, in the shadow of 
a hay-stack, to await the coming of their man. About half-past nine o'clock the 
murderer and a companion arrived. The officers had the gate tied so as to 
prevent his escape. The Chileno opened the gate, tied it, and came towards the 
officers. When he got within ten feet of Sheriff Morse the latter drew a shot- 
gun and order him to stop, which he refused to do, but turned his horse round 
quickly and started back, only to be met by Officer Conway, who leveled a six- 
shooter and commenced firing at him. Sheriff' Morse discharged a load of buck- 
shot at the murderer, striking him in the back, but the Chileno drew his revolver 
and shot twice at Conway without effect. With the last shot fired by Conway, 
Ponce fell from his horse; but he was not so badly wounded as to prevent his 
running on foot along the fence. Conway had to go back to the hay-stack after 
his Henry rifle, which took him a little time, thus enabling the murderer to 
hide himself in the darkness. The officers hunted about for their quarry in the 
darkness until 2 o'clock in the morning, but could find no traces of him. When 
daylight came they made a further search, and employed eight or ten ^Mexicans 
to aid them, and finally discovered the Chileno's coat completely riddled with 
buck-shot and balls. Half a mile from where this garment was found his boots 
were picked up. The murderer's horse was wounded in the thigh, and was not 
worth bringing away. On the 7th of November Sheriff' Morse received a letter 
from Sheriff Classen, of Contra Costa county, informing him that Ponce was in 
that vicinity. Morse promptly reached the rendezvous, and accompanied by 
Deputy Sheriff Swain started for Cisco. They learned that instead of being at 
Cisco, Ponce was concealed in Rigg's canon near ]Monte Diablo. Officer Conway, 
of Oakland, again accompanied Sheriff' Morse from San Leandro, and at 1 1 o'clock 
at night the party arrived at Rigg's canyon. They at once surrounded the house 
where the murderer was supposed to be concealed and waited for break of day. 
When dawn came a thorough search failed to reveal Ponce and scouting parties 
sent to the hills brought no tidings save the discovery of his hiding-place. An old 
native informed them that Narrato's hiding-place at that particular time was near 
the bay, at Pinole. They went to San Francisco, where they took passage for 
Martinez and on the following morning started for Pinole. They searched all the 
houses through the valley as they went. Arriving at the house of Jose Rojos they 
saw a man on the mountain side with a Ijundle on one arm and a shotgim on the 
other. Conway and Swain went into the house with instructions to let no one out 
until Morse had ascertained who it was that was on the hill-side. When Sheriff" 
Morse reached the hill he heard Swain cry out. "He's here," and directly there- 
after heard the report of a pistol shot. Morse inimcdiately directed his horse 


to the house on a run, when he discovered Narrate Ponce running away, trying 
to escape from the officers, who were shooting at him as rapidly as possible. 
A ravine intervening, Morse had to dismount. He immediately called upon the 
fugitive to stop and lay down his pistol, but the latter paid no attention and 
kept on running, endeavoring to make his escape. A shot from Conway struck 
him in the right hand, causing him to change his weapon to the other, with 
which he kept his pursuers covered. Finding that the villain was determined 
not to be taken alive, the sherii¥ concluded to finish the attair and therefore sent 
four shots from his Henry rifle after him, and all failing fired a fifth which 
ended his career. This case is given in full to show the desperate character of the 
villains of that time and the heroic determination of Morse and other officials. 

The reward of $500 offered by Governor Low for the arrest and conviction 
of Narrato was hardly sufficient to compensate the officers for the expense, 
trouble and danger to which they were put in ridding the state of a desperado 
said to be the superior in criminality and cunning of the famous Joaquin Muri- 
etta. While scouting among the hills in search of Ponce, Sheriff Morse discov- 
ered an old offender named Antonio Martinez alias Jesus Torres, an ex-convict, 
who had been evading the officers for six months. When he was taken into 
custody he denied his identity to the sheriff, but when brought into the presence 
of Conway and Swain, whom he knew, he lost courage and confessed. On 
October 22, 1867, complaint was made in the police court that John Thomas, 
colored, as principal, and his wife Margaret, as accessory, had shot and killed 
officer R. B. Richardson, at the corner of Ninth and Castro streets. Thomas was 
arrested and hurried to the jail at San Leandro, as rumors of lynching were 
rife. The shooting was done with an old fashioned double barreled pistol. 
Officer Richardson had been a member of the police force of the city of Oakland 
for about three years. 

In 1871 three men, among whom was a notorious Mexican named Juan 
Soto, with bandages over the lower part of their faces to disguise themselves, 
entered the store of Thomas Scott at Sunol and, paying no attention to the 
other inmates, attacked the clerk Otto Ludovisci and shot him, inflicting a wound 
from which he died shortly afterwards. The murderers being all well mounted 
escaped, but were pursued by Sheriff" jNIorse. After a long chase and a desperate 
encounter he shot dead Soto. The entire party of desperadoes was afterwards 
captured, at their headquarters, close by, and among them was found the 
notorious cattle thief, Gonzales, who had escaped from the Santa Cruz prison 
only a short time previously. Soto was a large and powerful man, a complete 
type of the traditional Mexican bandit, with long, black hair, heavy, bushy eye- 
brows, large eyes of an undefined color, with altogether a tigerish aspect. He 
had served two terms in the state prison, and was generally regarded as the 
most formidable and desperate character living on this coast. He made one of 
the most desperate and daring fights on record. The sheriff' secured his splendid 
black horse and his three formidable revolvers. Sheriff Morse distinguished him- 
self by one of the most daring and gallant acts that was ever performed in the 
history of detective work on the Pacific coast, and his own life was preserved 
only by the manifestation of astonishing self-possession and presence of mind. 
In March, 1873, Bartolo Sepulveda, against whom there had been a warrant out 
for two years, accusing him of being concerned in the murder of Ludovisci, came 


to San Leandro and delivered himself up to Sheriff Morse, demanding a trial to 
exonerate himself from the charge. He was duly indicted, twice tried, convicted 
and sentenced by Judge AIcKee to imprisonment for life. 

Tomaso Rodendo, alias Procopio, a nephew of the celebrated Joaquin Muri- 
etta, was suspected of being connected with the murder of John Rains, in Los 
Angeles, in 1859. He escaped and came to Alameda county. In 1863 he was 
arrested for the murder of the Golden family in Alameda ; his accomplices were 
supposed to be Narcisco Borjorques and Celano Ortego. In attempting to arrest 
Borjorques, Sheriff Morse shot him off his horse, but he escaped to the bushes. 
Tomaso Rodendo was arrested in Alameda county for cattle stealing. When 
apprehended he shot the constable and got away, swimming the stream with his 
pistol in his mouth, persons shooting at him the while. He was subsequently 
captured and sent to the state prison for seven years, his time expiring in 1870. 
In 1873 Sebastian Flores killed Francisco Garcia near the house of Senor 
Higuerra, at the Warm Springs, Washington township. He was tried, convicted 
and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. In 1874, Thomas Thornton and 
Edward Edwards were sentenced to thirteen years' imprisonment in San Quentin 
for the robbery of W. J. Keating in Oakland. When being taken over the bay, 
Edwards made his escape. 

Previous to 1870 the grand jury usually finished its labors in two days. 
District Attorney Nye traversed the whole county ; in 1867 he was elected county 
judge. In those days a lawyer's library consisted of Wood's Digest, Statutes, the 
Supreme Court Reports and a few text books. 

In 1867 Henry Vrooman came to Oakland and at first worked at blacksmith- 
ing. He began the study of law in this city in 1872 and was admitted to the bar 
in 1874 and soon afterward became deputy district attorney for A. A. Moore. 
One of his first important cases was the Hurll liquor license suit and opposed to 
him was J. C. Martin, one of the best read lawyers of the state. In 1876 he 
became city attorney. While in this office he rendered his opinion that San 
Antonio creek was a public water highway and as such could not legally be 
obstructed by any private person or company. The property affected by this 
opinion was over 4,000 acres valued at $12,120,000. In 1877 ^^ was elected 
district attorney. In this capacity he maintained his authority before the board 
of supervisors when they were on the point of allowing certain claims which he 
claimed they had no power to do; he said: "I am the law officer of this county 
and you are bound to take my advice upon a legal question. If you refuse to 
adopt my report and do allow those claims, I will lay the matter before the 
grand jury." 

In 1868 the city employed John B. Felton, then very prominent in legal mat- 
ters, to look after the water front case. Instead of commencing suit against Mr. 
Carpentier he entered into negotiations with him and the railroad people to have 
the railroad to San Francisco extended by Oakland instead of Ravenswood and 
to transfer the water front to a new company. An act of the Legislature author- 
ized the city authorities to compromise and settle all claims and causes of action 

The suit of Merritt vs. Wilcox in 1874 was a notable case. It was over the 
land upon which the Grand Central Hotel stood and the cost of constructing the 


hotel. Hoge and Nourse appeared for plaintiff and McAllister and Bergen of 
San Francisco and James C. Martin for the defendant. After a long trial the jury 
returned a verdict largely in favor of Merritt — for nearly all he claimed — 

The new jail building fronted on Washington street, between Third and 
Fourth streets, (1874-75). It was a two-story and basement structure, built of 
brick with stone facings. The outside was cemented. Its cost was about eighty 
thousand dollars. Thirty-two cells were finished at the start. 

In December, 1874, Philip and Alfred Wesser were tried in the police court 
on the charge of cruelty to animals preferred by Doctor Dinsmore. Z. Mont- 
gomery defended and Vrooman and Moore prosecuted. After an amusing trial 
the jury returned the following verdict: "The jury after mature deliberation 
find the defendants not wilfully guilty, but do find that butchers should be more 
careful in handling their animals and be sure they are not feeding the community 
on distressed meat." 

A. A. Moore studied law under Noble Hamilton at San Leandro and began 
the practice late in the fifties. In 1870 he was elected district attorney and there 
received his first severe court training and made his mark. He was employed 
in the celebrated Toomes will case, defended Prindle charged with murder. John 
B. Moon was admitted to practice in this state in 1872. He married a daughter 
of Judge S. B. McKee. His practice was mainly in San Francisco. For many 
years he was counsel for the State University. F. E. Whitney graduated from 
the law school of Washington University, St. Louis, in 1882. He was in partner- 
ship with his brother here for a time and then served as court commissioner of 
the county for several years. William H. Jordan was admitted to the practice in 
1885. W. R. Davis was admitted to the practice in 1877 and was first a mem- 
ber of the firm of Moore, Vrooman & Davis and then Vrooman & Davis. Mr. 
Davis became district attorney in 1878 and mayor of Oakland in 1887. He was 
retained by several large business concerns as their regular counsel. Among the 
important cases in which he was involved were Moore vs. Kerr, First National 
Bank vs. Wolff, Hawes vs. City of Oakland. Melvin C. Chapman studied law 
with Henry Vrooman and was admitted to the bar in 1884. He was employed 
in the celebrated Ah Yon case which involved the supremacy of the general law 
over city charters framed under the constitutional amendment, Wilson vs. the 
Street Railway Company ; defended Silva charged with murder. Charles N. 
Fox was admitted to the bar in Michigan in 1856, and soon afterward became 
district attorney of San Mateo county. He served many years as attorney for 
the Spring Valley Water Company ; was a member of the Assembly in 1879. 
In 1889 he was appointed justice of the supreme court by Governor Waterman. 
Alfred H. Cohen was admitted to the practice in 18S2 and soon had a large 
clientele. John R. Glascock was graduated in law in 1867, and began the prac- 
tice here the following year. He served as district attorney in 1876, was sent to 
Congress in 1878, and was chosen mayor of Oakland by an immense majority. 
J. E. McElrath was admitted to the bar in 1866 and practiced here for many 
years. W. H. Chickering graduated in law from Harvard in 1875. He was for 
many years a member of the law firm of Olney, Chickering & Thomas. J. C. 
Plunkett studied law under Nathan Porter, San Francisco and was admitted to 


the bar in 1873. He had a large general practice, but mainly in real estate and 
probate matters. 

The calendar had become so large by 1877, that the advisability of consti- 
tuting Alameda county a separate judicial district was considered by the bar here. 
Judge S. B. McKee was compelled to adjourn court before all the cases were 
heard in order to open the regular session in San Francisco. The members of 
the San Francisco bar heartily agreed to cooperate with the people of Alameda 
county in the movement for a separate judicial district; they declared that San 
Francisco alone needed two additional district courts. Pursuant to call many 
members of the Alameda County Bar assembled in the courtroom on April 10, 
1877, to take steps to have this county constituted an independent judicial dis- 
trict. Among the attorneys present were the following: Stephen G. Nye, R. A. 
Redmond, Robert L. McKee, A. A. Moore, William \'an Voorhies, Noble Ham- 
ilton, S. F. Daniels, Zach. Montgomery, J. C. Martin, Marcus P. Wiggin, A. E. 
Costello, John Yule, Robert J. Christie, J. H. Shankland and E. J. Webster. Mr. 
Montgomery served as chairman and Mr. Wiggin as secretary. Messrs. Hamil- 
ton, Redmond and Nye were appointed a committee to draft resolutions that 
would convince the members of the next Assembly of the urgent necessity of 
making the county a separate judicial district. A letter from Judge McKee was 
read, in which the necessity of the proposed action was set forth and urged. He 
declared that the accumulated and constantly increasing business of the court 
in Alameda county was sufficient for one judge and that the trial calendar in San 
Francisco contained 600 cases. The resolutions adopted recited the clogged con- 
dition of the court and stated that it was the sense of the bar here that Alameda 
county should be constituted the third judicial district. Messrs. Redmond, 
Martin and Moore were appointed a committee to gather and present to the next 
Legislature such facts as would show the necessity of the action desired. Messrs. 
Wiggin. Van \'oorhies and Hamilton were appointed a committee to confer with 
the San Francisco bar for cooperation in this movement. Amid much amuse- 
ment a collection was taken to pay the cost of calling this meeting. 

At this time (1877) Oakland was the second city and Alameda the second 
county in the state in point of population. For several years the cases docketed 
were far too numerous to be properly disposed of in the time allotted by the court 
term. Sixty cases went over to the next term in April, 1877, for lack of time of 
the judge to hear them. Many of the parties were ready for trial. In addition 
there were about thirty cases under advisement awaiting the decision of the court. 
The whole community suffered from this state of affairs. There was thus a gen- 
eral demand that Alameda county should be made a separate and independent 
judicial district. In July the case of the State vs. the San Francisco Chronicle 
was tried here and attracted much attention. That newspaper was charged with 
having libeled Senator A. A. Sargent and Congressman H. T. Page. Among the 
distinguished citizens present were George F. Gorham, secretary of the United 
States Senate, Gen. O. H. La Grange, of the Mint, Charles de Young, of the 
Chronicle, and several of the ablest attorneys of San Francisco. 

The large and increasing number of juvenile criminals early in 1877, was 
cause of serious reflection on the part of the county and the citizens. The grand 
jury in April found one or two true bills against each of six boys all under eighteen 
years of age and five of them but a few months over sixteen years. Burglary and 


grand larceny were the principal charges. In the previous January the police 
made 244 arrests, of which twenty-eight were of boys under eighteen years of 
age; five were arrested on charges amounting to felony. In February 261 arrests 
were made, of which twenty-five were of boys under eighteen years. In March 
264 persons were arrested, thirty-six being boys under eighteen years ; many were 
cases of felony. There was a general demand that the county should have an 
industrial school for such delinquents. 

In 1880 under the new state constitution the county probate and district courts 
were merged into the superior courts under three judges. The judges of the old 
district court had been for several years overworked; it was declared that Judge 
Crance became blind from overwork on the bench. Litigation had enormously 
increased. In 1863 there were commenced in the district court loi actions and in 
the probate court nineteen new cases. In 1890 there were commenced in the 
superior court 75S actions and in the probate department 310 new cases. 

In 1883 Judge Crane, of the superior court, decided the case of San Leandro 
vs. E. J. Le Breton, deceased, in favor of the plaintiff, holding that Court square 
there was the property of the municipality to be used for common or public pur- 
poses. In 1854 San Leandro was made the county seat. Later in the same year 
the town proprietors agreed to convey to the county four acres to be used for 
public buildings and the county authorities selected a tract 1.500 feet distant from 
Court square. In 1872 when the county seat was removed to Oakland the land 
donated reverted to the original proprietors. The block known as Court square 
remained open from 1854 to 1864, when one of the original proprietors built a 
stable thereon and occupied the land until 1883. In 1872 the town of San 
Leandro was incorporated. About the year 1871 Theodore Leroy bought of the 
town proprietors all the unsold lots and lands in the town and paid all taxes 
thereon ; until his death Judge Crane held that the intent of the town proprietors 
to dedicate Court square for purposes of public buildings was governed by their 
subsequent acts, and if the dedication was so intended they should have resumed 
possession in 1856 when they conveyed block 19 to the county, but it remained 
common, used by all the people thereafter. The fact that the square was left 
blank and was not divided into lots indicated an intent to devote it to public uses. 
The imposition of taxes on Court square was a void act. The trustees by such 
an act could not void the people's right to the square. 

In the Oakland city prison in September, 1883, there was a cell full of Chinese 
criminals and all were confirmed opium subjects. They were deprived of the drug 
and became desperate and almost insane through the deprivation. Their friends 
from the outside made desperate efforts to supply them with the drug, throwing 
opium cake through the bars, carrying it in on platters of rice, etc. Not infre- 
quently in spite of all efforts, the entire prison would reek with fumes of the drug; 
on one occasion the officers raided the Chinese cell and caught the inmates smok- 
ing. They had constructed a pipe out of a soda-water bottle. They had even 
bored a hole through the bottle, covered the bottle with cloth, collected tallow 
from their meat, made a wick and lit it. Their "Yen hock" or wire on which 
the opium was burned was made of a hair pin. The neck of the bottle was the 
stem of the pipe. The tallow was the lamp. The prison vanished. Dreams of a 
Chinese Elysium filled the sodden brains of the prisoners. Happiness reigned 


supreme. When the outfit was destroyed they repeated the same act of improvisa- 
tion within forty-eight hours. 

In 1885 there were 26 suicides in Alameda county, 48 accidental deaths, 9 
sudden deaths and 6 murders. Received at the county jail 1,359 prisoners, of 
whom 730 were vagrants. 

On November 26, 1886, the suit of the City of Oakland vs. James Dods 
and his bondsmen for $47,374.06, the amount of his defalcation while acting as 
city treasurer, came before Judge Hamilton ; J. C. Martin, A. A. Moore, W. H. 
Glascock, J. R. Glascock and Welles Whitmore appeared for the defendants and 
Judge Yule et al. for plaintiff. The case was dismissed in February, 1889, the 
city failing wholly and miserably to win. The case had been continued from time 
to time. A. A. Moore and John G. Glascock represented several of the bonds- 
men. City Attorney Johnson, assisted by John Yule and Henry Vrooman, 

For many years prior to 1886 the attorneys of the county had often dis- 
cussed the question of forming a local lawyers' association, but no definite steps 
were taken with that object in view until late in February when it was decided 
that such an organization was a necessity. Finally a list of lawyers whom it was 
deemed proper should be members, was prepared and a public meeting was called 
to complete the organization. The meeting was held at the office of A. A. Moore. 
A preliminary organization was effected with Mr. Moore as chairman and George 
E. De Golia, secretary. The following committee was appointed to draft a con- 
stitution and by-laws: George D. Metcalf, R. M. Fitzgerald, A. M. Rosborough, 
A. A. Moore and George E. De Golia. It was agreed that each gentleman on the 
list already prepared, with a few additional names suggested at the meeting, 
should be declared a charter member of the association as soon as he should sub- 
scribe to the constitution. The meeting then adjourned for two weeks. The 
lawyers assembled on the 13th day of March (1886), adopted the constitution 
and by-laws prepared by the committee and elected the following permanent 
officers: A. A. Moore, president; J. C. Martin, vice-president; George De Golia, 
secretary; George D. Metcalf, treasurer; A. M. Rosborough, Welles Whitmore 
and J. B. Richardson, executive committee and V. H. Metcalf, S. F. Daniels, J. R. 
Glascock, George W. Reed and F. B. Ogden, committee on admissions. At this 
time the association had thirty members. 

In May, 1886, the Anti-Riparian Irrigation Organization of California was 
organized in view of the attitude of the supreme court. The organization declared 
that the right of the people to appropriate water for beneficial purposes was 
paramount to any alleged rights of riparian owners ; that the common law of 
England did not nor should not rule the property of this state; that the common 
law rule as to riparian rights did not obtain here; that if necessary an amendment 
to the constitution would be secured to subordinate riparian rights to irrigation 
rights ; and that only such officials would be voted for as would support these 
measures. The Alvarado Club, Oakland Club and West Oakland Club of this 
organization and scores of individuals of Alameda county joined this movement. 
It received an immense membership from nearly every county in the state. The 
point was to have riparian rights not as vested rights. 

Early in September, 1888, Judge David S. Terry and his wife, Sarah Althea 
Terry, were brought here and confined in the Alameda county jail by virtue of 


an order made by Justice Field adjudging them guilty of contempt of court in 
their outbreaks in the courtroom in San Francisco the day before. Clinton Terry, 
son of Judge Terry, resided in this city. While in jail they received many favors 
and visits from friends. After a few days R. Porter Ashe, Judge Terry's law 
partner, brought suit in the superior court of San Francisco, against J. A. 
Franks, United States marshal, to recover $10,000 damages, for false imprison- 
ment, the object being to secure Judge Field's deposition as to his statement made 
in the commitment for contempt that Judge Terry attempted to use a deadly 
weapon on the marshal. It was twenty-nine years before that on the present site 
of Oakland Terry killed Broderick in a duel. The letters written by Terry at 
that time were sent from the house of W. W. Blow on Olive street. Late in 
September the circuit court denied the petition of David S. Terry to revoke the 
order committing him to jail for contempt of court. 

At a meeting of the Oakland Bar Association in April, 1888, the following 
ticket was chosen : J .J. Glascock, president ; S. P. Hall, vice president ; George E. 
De Golia, secretary; George D. Metcalf, treasurer; W. Whitmore, F. W. Hen- 
shaw and E. Nusbaumer, executive committee; V. H. Metcalf, A. A. Moore, R. M. 
Fitzgerald, F. B. Ogden and Charles Tuttle, committee on membership. In April, 
1888, Judges Hamilton and Gibson decided that city justices of the peace had the 
same jurisdiction as police judges. 

In the trial of Benjamin Lichtenstein for murder in July, 1888, the defense 
was conducted by M. C. Chapman and W. W. Foote. Mr. Chapman's address to 
the jury was considered one of the ablest and most brilliant ever delivered in the 
county. His review of the evidence and conclusions therefrom were masterly in 
the extreme and was listened to by many of his fellow members of the local 
bar. He was warmly congratulated on his splendid success. The jury found Mr. 
Lichtenstein not guilty. 

J. M. Estudillo was trustee of the Eckfeldt estate. T. H. Rearden, a superior 
court judge of San Francisco, was former trustee, was removed by Judge 
Greene, but reinstated, but then refused to qualify. J. M. Estudillo was appointed 
in his place. Judge Rearden refused to turn over to Mr. Estudillo all the 
property of the estate including $32,000 of United States bonds and was cited 
to appear in court. He could not produce the bonds; he did not have them. 
His friends agreed to raise $10,000 and give their notes for the balance. 

The lawyers in 1884 were: A. A. Moore, Judge E. Nusbaumer, M. C. Chap- 
man, H. F. Crane, George W. Reed, T. D. Carmeal, J. A. Johnson, city attorney, 
E. C. Robison, S. B. McKee, C. G. Dodge, R. M. Fitzgerald, J. E. McElrath, 
Judge F. B. Ogden, L. A. Church, A. M. Rosborough, G. M. Shaw, J. H. Smith, 
J. K. Piersol, H. A. Luttrell, Victor H. Metcalf, Judge F. W. Henshaw, Welles 
Whitmore, J. B. Richardson, E. B. Pomroy, A. W. Bishop, C. L. Colvin, Max 
Marcuse, Hiram P. Brown, Guy C. Earl, William L. Hill, John Ellsworth of 
Alameda. F. W. Fry, Fred L. Button, Thomas H. Smith, Rhodes Borden, Gary 
Howard, T. A. Huxley, of Irvington, Fred E. Whitney, J. Burris, Edward K. 
Taylor, Frederick S. Stratton, E. O. Crosby, of Alameda, George W. Tyler, L. S. 
Church, Thomas Scott, Judge E. M. Hibson, Samuel P. Hall, district attorney. 

An important case in 1888 was the suit of the Spring Valley Water Works 
against Edward Clark and the Union Savings Bank to condemn land on Alameda 
creek for water rights. The defendant claimed that while it was true that the old 


Vallejo mill had thus diverted a portion of the water, it was only temporarily to 
run the mill and was then returned to the stream. 

In March, 1888, the Judges of the superior court adopted new rules of court 
procedure and tney were put into effect at once. In October, 1888, the county 
board accepted the advice of District Attorney Hall to compromise the case of 
Rhoda vs. Alameda county, which had been pending since 1875, for $3,000 and 
costs. The suit was for $5,000 damages for removing the iron vault from the old 
brick building at San Leandro when the county seat was removed to Brooklyn. 

An important suit over several alternate sections of land in the southwest 
corner of Murray township was decided in favor of the preemptor late in 1888. 
William J. Field brought suit against the Central Pacific Railroad Company. 
It was shown that though Field sold the tract in 1861, yet as it was at that time 
uncertain whether it was public land or a part of a private Mexican grant, the 
sale was coupled with the understanding that if the tract ever became public 
land of the United States, Field should have the right to return to it and claim 
it under the preemption laws. Having done so as soon as the land was freed 
from the claim of El Sobrante in 1883 the sale did not deprive Field of his right 
of preemption to it. The case was decided by Assistant Secretary of the Interior 

In January, 1889, J. C. Martin and A. A. Moore formed a partnership under 
the name of Martin & Moore. George W. Reed became district attorney and 
withdrew from his partnership with Mr. Moore and united with Mr. Nusbaumer 
under the name of Reed & Nusbaumer. Noble Hamilton was appointed judge of 
the superior court by Gov. G. C. Perkins and served with distinction until he was 
superseded by John Ellsworth in January, 1889. As judge he was industrious, 
faithful and his decisions were rarely reversed. He possessed the confidence, 
good will and respect of the local bar. He resumed active practice. 

The case of the United States vs. Henry Curtner et al., was decided in the 
circuit court in February, 18S9, in favor of the Central Pacific Railroad. The suit 
was brought by the United States at the request of the Secretary of the Interior 
to obtain a decree annulling the protests on 2,867 acres which land was 
originally granted to the Central Pacific Railroad Company from 1871 to 1873, 
but which was transferred by the land commissioner to California which in 
time had sold it to the defendants. The land was in Livermore valley and the 
following persons were affected: Henry Curtner, Samuel Davis, Samuel B. 
Martin, J. West Martin, W. D. English, John R. Deardorff, Anna T. Taylor, 
E. S. Wensinger, John O'Harra, Rasmus Bjoen, H. F. Crane, Thomas Newell, 
Le Grand Morehouse, A. S. Barron, James Barron, Bank of California, Franz 
Leberer, Patrick Armstrong, Garrison Gerst, C. G. Johnson, Sr., Anthony Thomp- 
son, R. S. Carstenson, Francis Schwier, John Hinkle, T. W. Moore and others. 
The point decided was that the listing of this land to the state was a mistake 
and without legal authority. 

In April the judges of the superior court sitting in bank listened to the 
memorial upon the late Henry Vrooman presented by J. C. ]\Iartin, William 
R. Davis and George E. De Golia, the committee representing the county bar 
association. Eulogiums were delivered by Messrs. Martin, Davis, De Golia, Gib- 
son, Ellsworth and Green. The proceedings were spread on the court records. 
J. E. McElrath endeavored to establish a law library in this city. He proposed 


that all lawyers in the city should donate their law books except codes and 
reports to be used as a nucleus for such a library. 

The California Bar Association was organized in July at San Francisco with 
Judge T. P. Stoney as president ; in less than a year it had a membership of 
340. As stated it was organized for the purpose of securing judicial reform. 
Much dissatisfaction had been expressed regarding the inconsistencies both in 
the enactments and in the procedure. The decisions of the supreme court 
lacked harmony and the uncertainty connected with any legal step became 
unbearable. Many lawyers of Alameda county joined this association. This 
year suit was brought on the relation of Edson Adams to test the validity of the 
proceedings by which the recent annexation of territory was made to Oakland. 
City attorney, Johnson, W. R. Davis and Olney, Chickering and Thomas defended 
on the part of the city. 

In May, a special committee of the Oakland Bar Association consisting of 
J. C. Martin, A. A. ]\Ioore, G. D. Metcalf, F. E. Whitney and J. R. Glascock pre- 
pared an address to Governor Waterman urging the appointment of Judge W. E. 
Greene of Oakland as successor to Jackson Temple on the supreme bench. The 
address was long and highly complimentary and said among other strong state- 
ments : "With a mind at once virile and judicial he unites a comprehensive knowl- 
edge of law and a sound judgment of human nature and its springs of action which 
eminently fit him for a judicial office. We have found him quick to comprehend, 
acute and logical in analysis, tireless in investigation and accurate and just in 
judgment. He is not a case lawyer, but a student of principles and is absolutely 
fearless and impartial in the discharge of his official duties." 

Late in June, Governor Waterman appointed Charles N. Fox of Oakland an 
associate justice of the supreme court to fill the Temple vacancy. He had become 
prominent and powerful in the practice here. He defended Prindle charged with 
the murder of Doctor Buck and secured his acquittal. Doctor Bowers was 
defended by him here and before the supreme court. He came to Oakland in 
1875, served on the board of education, was sent to the Legislature. 

The suit of Henry Pierce against the Spring Valley Water Works was 
settled in the fall of 1889, the company compromising by paying the plaintiff a 
considerable sum of money to drop the case. The company had diverted the 
water of Alameda creek. Many suits hinged on this settlement. The grand 
jury in December made a long report which was sharply criticised by Judge 
Ellsworth in open court. He stated that they had exceeded their authority in 
casting innuendoes of wrong doing upon many office holders and others. 

The case of Edson F. Adams vs. the City of Oakland concerning the valid- 
ity of the annexation of the territory north of Lake Merritt came up for trial 
in December, 1890. Judges Ellsworth and Greene rendered a decision against 
the defendant. They held that the annexed territory comprising the greater 
parts of Adams Point, Vernon Heights and other tracts north of the lake were not 
a part of the city, because the act of 1883 under which the annexation proceed- 
ings were held was unconstitutional so far as it attempted to provide for annexa- 
tion of territory to a city because it did not provide for the exercise of the 
elective franchise by residents of the annexed territory. This decision upset 
all the calculations of the city council and the friends of annexation. Taxes 
had already been collected from many in the annexed territory and generally 


the city's sovereignty had been extended over the residents there. But the city 
took immediate measures to remedy the trouble. 

By 1890 the legal and judicial business of the county had grown into a vast 
system. As the social and commercial system became larger, more varied and 
more complex, it became necessary for clients to employ the best talent both on 
the bench and at the bar. 

In 1891 William Walkerley died in East Oakland leaving an estate valued 
at $650,000. He left a young widow to whom was born a son shortly after her 
husband's death. A considerable portion of the property was in this county. 
In court the claims against the estate were numerous. The following lawyers 
were present representing the various claimants: Martin, Williams, Hamilton, 
Sullivan, Ach, Plunkett, Bartlett, Olney, Bacon, Huxley, Coogan; Uhoon, Belcher, 
Nusbaumer and Firebaugh. The widow asked for an increased monthly allow- 
ance from $420 to $833. An important case in i8gi was that of J. B. Marvin 
against F. D. Black to dissolve their partnership in the Piedmont Hotel and 
receive an accounting. It was tried before Judge Ellsworth and was bitterly 
contested on both sides. Mr. Galpin was attorney for Alarvin and Mr. Fitzgerald 
for Black. The case was settled by the withdrawal of Black upon the payment 
to him of a sum of money. 

In May, 1891, the county board appointed Robert M. Fitzgerald trustee of 
the county public law library required to be formed under a recent law. Man- 
damus proceedings against the county board in the matter of creating sanitary 
district No. i were withdrawn in September, 1891, and all the proceedings were 
accordingly set aside. Lorin had objected to the provisions in the petition. 
The boundary of the proposed district was very irregular but included the ter- 
ritory between the southern line of Berkeley and a line twenty feet south of 
Temescal creek and the bay on the west and Claremont avenue on the east. 

In October the county board appropriated $1,250 for new books for the law 
library. Late in December, 1891, the supreme court affirmed the decision of the 
superior court of Alameda county in declaring the first annexation election 
raid. This was the suit of the people on the relation of Edson Adams vs. the 
City of Oakland. The plaintifif claimed that the city was illegally exercising 
municipal power and jurisdiction over territory not within its corporate limits. 
It was claimed that this suit was brought, not because the Adams estate had 
any grievance to remedy, but to test the validity of the annexation proceedings. 

Late in 1892 two additional judges for the superior court were demanded 
by the attorneys of the county. A petition for such a change was prepared to 
be presented to the Legislature and was signed by nearly every lawyer in the 
county, as follows: J. E. McElrath, E. C. Chapman, Langan & Langan, E. C. 
Robinson, E. H. Shaw, F. E. Whitney, E. M. Gibson, S. B. McKee, Melvin 
Chapman, T. M. Bradley, J. H. Smith, S. F. Daniels, J. K. Piersol. John M. 
Poston, F. L. Button, H. A. Luttrell, W. J. Donovan, Metcalf & Metcalf, Dodge 
& Fry, E. A. Holman, G. M. Shaw, C. E. Snook, G. W. Reed, A. L. Frick. Rob- 
ert Edgar, T. C. Huxby, E. K. Taylor, D. M. Conner, C. L. Colvin, J. C. Plun- 
kett, R. M. Fitzgerald, C. H. Abbott, Frank J. Keauth, B. M. McFadden, J. B. 
Richardson, J. J. Allen, C. F. Craddock, F. B. Ogden. W. J. Robinson, Hall & 
Earl, C. J. Johns, R. B. Myers, Henry Miller, Max Marcuse, Fred V. Wood, 
F. W. Sawyer, E. J. Rodgers, S. G. Nye, E. Nusbaumer, T. F. Graber, A. M. 


Rosborough, A. A. Moore, W. D. Foote, John Yule, F. L. Krause, John R. 
Glascock, R. L. McKee, Gary Howard, J. W. Ward, E. H. Steams, J. H. Brewer, 
Welles Whitmore, R. E. Hewlett, P. F. Benson, J. G. Martin, G. E. De Golia, 
H. B. M. Miller, J. A. Johnson, L. S. Church, H. A. Melvin, F. J. Brearty, R. B. 
Tappan, W. F. Aram. E. O. Crosby, F. C. Clift, H. F. Crane, A. W. Bishop and 
G. J. H. Palmer. 

In February, 1893, Governor Markham appointed Frank B. Ogden a judge 
of the superior court of Alameda county to preside over the new court created 
at this time. The county law library was closed to the public and to many of 
the lawyers who were taxed one dollar for each case filed by them. There were 
so many rules and regulations that the lawyers expostulated and declared that 
the library was of little or no use to them. It was managed by a board of trus- 
tees and was opened every week day from 9 o'clock to 5 o'clock." 

Late in May, 1895, the four superior judges sitting in bank decided that the 
legislative authority of the city had the power to call an election for the pur- 
pose of submitting proposed charter amendments to the qualified voters. The 
new board of public works was thus sustained in its proceedings. This decision 
legalized the amendments to the city charter. 

The banquet at the Athenian Club in November, 1905, given in honor of 
Judge T. W. Harris was attended by about forty members of the county bar, 
among whom were F. B. Ogden, James G. Quinn, J. E. McElroy, G. Nusbaumer, 
E. S. Page, G. W. Reed, E. C. Robinson, H. S. Robinson, G. E. Snook, J. W. 
Stetson, George Samuels, Mortimer Smith, E. E. Trefethen, W. H. Waste, 
L. S. Church, J. J. Allen, F. L. Button, E. J. Brown, Percy Black, J. J. Burke, 
T. D. Cornell, M. C. Chapman, Clarence Crowell, George E. De Golia, John De 
Lancey. R. M. Fitzgerald, J. R. Glascock, B. H. Griffins, S. P. Hall, W. H. L. 
Hynes, T. W. Harris, J. R. Jones, H. Johnson, G. C. Earl, E. M. Gibson, Ben- 
jamin Woolner, G. Russ Lukens, E. W. Fugs, Hermon Bell, R. C. Staats, P. M. 
Walsh, G. W. Langan, H. A. Melvin, D. F. McWade, Stanley Moore, P. J. 
Crosby, W. H. Donahue and E. G. Ryker. Speeches were made by Messrs. 
Chapman, Harris, Ogden, Melvin, Hall, Glascock, Fitzgerald, Moore, Lukens, 
Snook, Earl and Nusbaumer. George Reed, president of the county bar asso- 
ciation, was chairman of this meeting. 

The Alameda County Law Association gave a banquet on March 4, 1896, 
and covers were laid for forty persons. The banquet was sumptuous and the 
speeches , short, witty, clever and apropos. Ben F. Woolner was toastmaster. 
There were present, J. J. Allen, C. E. Crowell, Frank B. Ogden, A. L. Frick, 
W. R. Davis and others. Several of the most prominent attorneys could not 

In January Judge Frick formed a partnership with ex-Judge Henry Good- 
cell formerly of San Bernardino county, under the firm name of Frick & Good- 
cell. The young men of the Alameda County Law Association held their first 
meeting under the new constitution on January 13, 1897. Much of the evening 
was spent in considering the life and works of Lord Erskine. The young law- 
yers' meetings were distinctly beneficial to the whole Alameda county bar. .A.t 
their gatherings they discussed and analyzed many knotty and perplexing cases. 
Particularly did they discuss to what extent it was best to disregard legal prec- 
edent and adopt innovations in procedure that had stood like a wall for cen- 


turies. At one meeting they considered the subject of vested rights as in the 
celebrated Dartmouth College case. 

Judge Hall in March, 1898, held that the proceedings which annexed Temescal, 
Golden Gate and portions of Piedmont to Oakland were valid. Thomas CutT 
brought the suit and was represented by Fitzgerald & Abbott. The city was 
represented by W. A. Dow and S. W. Condon. In May the Oakland bar 
assembled and passed suitable resolutions over the death of J. C. ]\Iartin. 
Speeches were made describing his personal and professional characteristics and 
qualities. As a lawyer he was witty, keen and brilliant.- He was employed by 
large corporations. He came to Alameda county in 1870 and always sustained 
a good reputation. 

Early in March, 1S99, the supreme court rendered the decision confirming 
the validity of the annexation proceedings. It was the case of Thomas Cuff 
vs. the City of Oakland. The annexation election of 1897 gave 1,909 for the 
measure and 667 against it. In May the supreme court affirmed the judgment 
and order of the superior court of this county in the case of Emilie G. Cohen 
and three others against the city of Alameda. It was a contest of the Cohen 
estate over the extension of Lincoln avenue. In 1899 Mrs. Jane J. Sather 
brought suit against William J. Dingee for $113,068, charging that he had with- 
held that sum while acting as manager of the estate. Her attorneys were 
J. A. Sanborn and A. A. Moore. 

In 1900 the county board employed \\'. R. Davis as special counsel to assist 
in the cases against Henry P. Dalton. Early in 1901, a recommendation signed 
by about sixty members of the bar, asking that another superior court judge 
might be appointed for this county was forwarded to the Alameda county mem- 
bers of the Legislature. Judges Greene, Ogden, Hall and Ellsworth concurred 
in this recommendation. 

In December Judge Ellsworth handed down a decision holding the Contra 
Costa Water Com.pany responsible for the loss of property by the fire which 
destroyed the planing mill and furniture factory of Niehaus Brothers of \\"est 
Berkeley in August, 1901, amounting to about $164,000. It was shown that 
although that company was paying for the use of seven special hydrants, the 
water pressure at the time of the fire was so light that the eft'orts of the fire 
department were futile. Early in 1902 an effort to revive the bar association 
was made. George E. De Golia and George W. Reed were the leaders in the 
movement. At a meeting early in February it was provided that all attorneys 
of good standing in the county could become members by signing the constitu- 
tion, paying a fee of $2.50 and receiving a recommendation from the special 
bar committee. The meeting adjourned to convene at a subsequent date for 
fuller organization. 

The first juvenile court liill was introduced into the Legislature in i8i)i, 
but failed to become a law. In Feljruary, 1903. another was presented and 
became a law. The superior judges and the women's clubs of this county had 
much to do with the success of the bill. Mrs. Anna M. Gushing was notably 
active in securing the passage of this measure with its accompanying probation 
regulations. The first judge to open and preside over this court was Frank B. 
Ogden. He was succeeded l)y Judges Ellsworth, Melvin, Harris, Brown and 
Wells. During the balance of 1903 fifteen children were presented for admin- 


istration by the court, twenty-five in 1904, twenty-three in 1905, and thirteen in 
1906. The scope of the court was not broad enough whereupon in 1907 a proba- 
tion officer working full time was put on with the result that ninety-four delin- 
quents were taken care of in 1907 and 153 in 1908. The next year the county 
assumed the control of the court, employed more deputies, when the number of 
petitions for probation increased to 175 and the following year to 2S3. In 1910 
was established also the Child's Welfare League which aimed at preventive meas- 
ures. The leaders in this organization were Miss Bessie J. Wood, Dr. Susan 
J. Fenton and Mrs. Eleanor Carlisle. The petitions for probation since 1910 
have numbered annually about the last figures and the majority of cases do not 
appear in court at all — are settled in the probation office. Miss Anita Whitney 
was appointed the first probation officer and was assisted by Miss Helen Swett, 
Charles E. Merwin, Ezra Decoto and others. It was an experiment largely and 
nearly all the details of court procedure were required yet to be unfolded. Miss 
Whitney was secretary of the Associated Charities, well qualified for the duties, 
and was a niece of Stephen J. Field of the United States supreme court. The 
juvenile court law took effect April 27, 1903, and until the appointment of Judge 
Ellsworth, all the superior judges planned the initial steps. The fundamental 
principle upon which the court was based was reformation instead of punish- 
ment. In 1905 the first probation committee was appointed by all the superior 
judges in bank ; they were Dr. Sarah I. Shuey, Mrs. Anna N. Chamberlain, J. B. 
Richardson, George C. Pardee, Mrs. Frances H. Gray, Mrs. Anna M. Gushing 
and R. H. E. Espey. To this committee was assigned the duty of making all 
nominations to the probation staff and detention home employes. Under this 
committee Mr. Decoto was appointed first probation officer and was paid with 
money raised by the Oakland Club. He was succeeded in 1907 by Christopher 
Ruess who continues to serve down to the present time. Dr. Sarah I. Shuey was 
instrumental in raising the money to pay expenses. In 1909 the county began 
to pay the probation officer's salary and during that year a staff of five members 
was appointed to assist him. No sooner were the benefits and wisdom of the 
measure assured than the workers widened its fields of operations. At once 
all cases possible went no further than the probation office. About two-thirds of 
all felony or penitentiary cases are referred to the probation office and about 
two-thirds of these are reported unfavorable and thus go no farther. Soon 
the probation office became departmental in its scope of operations. Miss 
Beatrice A. McCall, Miss Theresa W. Rich, Olie F. Snediger, Charles A. Wood, 
Robert Tyson and others were workers under the new delinquent system. 
Leonard D. Compton is at the head of the adult probation department. At 
first the detention home occupied a small room in the emergency hospital, but 
in 1909 moved into its present building. A large juvenile court building is one 
of the necessities of the near future. 

Judge William E. Greene died early in August, 1905. He was born in Maine, 
graduated in 1863 from Bowdoin College and arrived in San Francisco on 
August 17th of that year. In the fall of 1864 he stumped San Joaquin county 
for Abraham Lincoln and the following year was elected to the Legislature. 
In the meantime he had studied law and been admitted to the bar and in 1867 
was elected county judge and thereafter until his death occupied the bench, 


except for a short period in 1874-75. The courts of this county paid appropriate 
tribute to his memory. 

In October, 1905, Governor Pardee appointed T. W. Harris judge of the 
Alameda county superior court to succeed Judge \\\ E. Greene, deceased. The 
judges of the superior court and many members of the bar joined in a petition 
recommending the appointment of Mr. Harris. He had Uved and practiced many 
years in Pleasanton, but was then residing in Oakland. 

In March, 1907, the bill providing for an extra judge — the sixth — for the 
Alameda county superior court passed the Assembly. Everett J. Brown became 
superior judge in September, 1908. Judge Henry A. Melvin, of the superior 
court, was a candidate for supreme judge in the fall of 1908. He was nominated 
at the republican state convention. In 1908, the two public courts of Oakland 
earned $70,000 at a total expense of $12,000. These courts were presided over by 
Judges Samuels and Smith. The principal items of revenue were the lottery 
cases. In all about nine thousand cases were tried. 

In a condemnation suit over a tract of land at Twelfth and Fallon streets, in 
the fall of 1908, the owners were awarded $53,862; they had demanded $168,322. 
The Oakland Moot court consisted of two divisions in 1910: (i) The supreme 
governing body consisting of practicing attorneys and (2) a division including 
young men who were just commencing the practice of law and those who intended 
to do so or were studying law. The membership was about one hundred and 
meetings were held Monday evenings. B. B. Jones was president in 1910. 

In February, 191 1, the Alameda Bar Association, in mass meeting assem- 
bled, protested against the bill before the Legislature providing for the recall 
of the judiciary. The resolutions were presented by Mr. Fitzgerald. In October, 
Governor Johnson spoke to a large audience at the Macdonough theatre on the 
initiative, referendum and recall, dwelling particularly on the latter. He favored 
the recall of the judiciary because "Judges are but men who are sometimes good 
and often quite bad." 

In December, 1912, the Alameda County Bar Association, at the annual ban- 
quet, paid formal tribute to retiung Superior Judge Ellsworth and Superior 
Judge-elect W .H. Donahue. After twenty-four years of faithful and creditable 
service Judge Ellsworth left the bench, to the great regret of the lawyers. Among 
the speakers were Henry A. Melvin, R. M. Fitzgerald, B. F. Woolner, Samuel 
P. Hall, W. H. L. Hynes, George S. De Golia and others. About seventy-five 
lawyers and judges were present. 

On November 23, 1913, Rev. R. S. Eastman said, "The legal profession is 
a dignified profession and one that needs the best of men. It needs Christian 
men. I know of no profession wherein Christian men are more needed than in 
the legal. I rank it, in this regard, next to the ministry itself." Late -in Novem- 
ber, 1913, the county board appealed to the supreme court the judgment rendered 
against them in the superior court in favor of the Spring \'alley Water Company 
for the refund of $89,000 paid in taxes on riparian assessments in \\'ashington 
township for the year 1911-12. Similar taxes for 1912-13 were paid under 



Alameda county has passed through four stages of soil and animal production: 
(i) The cattle period ending about 1862; (2) the grain period extending to 
about 1882 and later; (3) the fruit period reaching up to the present; (4) the 
intensive or scientific period since about 1892. These periods, of course, are not 
exact, but overlap more or less during the whole period since the first settlement. 
At first the live stock of the old Spanish and Mexican residents, mostly cattle 
and horses, roamed at large over this part of the state and were gathered and 
divided at annual rodeos. The early American settlers, not believing that the 
soil generally was fit for the cultivation of field and garden products, imitated the 
live-stock practices of their predecessors, but at the same time sowed wheat, 
barley and oats and planted potatoes and onions. Enormous crops of potatoes 
were grown as early as 1851, and wheat and barley showed wonderful returns 
soon afterward. Generally speaking the farmers and fruit growers of the '50s 
were successful. About 1857 the orchards of Messrs. Rhoda, Hopkins, Webster 
and Schumaker of Brooklyn township were among the finest in the state. As 
early as 1852 John M. Horner and E. L. Beard received about one hundred thou- 
sand dollars for their potato crop — raised on the old Alvarado Ranch. Colonel 
Vallejo's experience in raising potatoes in 1852 is narrated elsewhere in this vol- 
ume. Others had similar successes and failures, all depending on the markets. 

In 1854 there were 61,000 acres of land under cultivation in the county, to wit: 
Barley, 24,000; wheat, 20,000; oats, 6,000; potatoes, 5,000; nursery trees, 1,000; 
vegetables, 2,000 ; beans, 3,000. The yield of wheat per acre was 36 bushels. 
There were in the county 110,000 head of cattle; 60,000 horses; 20,000 sheep; 
13,000 hogs; 350 goats. 

On July 24, 1858, the Alameda County Agricultural Society was formed, the 
gentlemen signing the constitution being H. C. Smith, Dr. H. Gibbons, A. H. 
Myers, Harry Linden, W. W. Moore, J. M. Moore, R. Blacow, Alfred Lewelling, 
P. J. Campbell, Frank F. Fargo, H. Lewelling, G. W. Fountain, Mark T. Ashley, 
F. K. Shattuck, S. Shurtleff, Isaac B. Rumford, E. Wilson, Hiram Keeney, J. 
Blacow, W. H. Davis, John B. Ward, J. L. Wilson, D. E. Hough, E. S. Chip- 
man, C. C. Breyfogle, J. A. Lent. It was decided to hold semi-annual fairs, one 
in the spring for the display of flowers, early grains and products of the horti- 
culturist, and the other in the autumn for the exhibition of stock, general farming 
produce, late fruits, and vegetables, and such other articles as could be shown 
to greater advantage at this season of the year. The first officers were A. H. 
Myers, president; H. C. Smith, F. K. Shattuck, vice presidents; E. S. Chip- 
man, secretary ; Frank F. Fargo, treasurer. 

On October 7, 1862, the Bay District Fair was commenced in Oakland, and 
was well attended, the exhibit of animals of all kinds, as well as of produce, 


being highly creditable. Among the articles on exhibition were a squash weigh- 
ing ninety pounds, a cabbage, fifty-one pounds, and a sweet potato, nine pounds. 
The celebrated horses Comet, Hunter, Kentuck, and Owen Dale were shown at 
the stock parade in the evening as were also certain Clydesdale horses recently 
imported by J. W. Dougherty and J. W. Martin, of the Amador valley. J. D. 
Patterson also produced five specimens of celebrated Alderney cows. At the 
election of officers the following gentlemen were chosen to serve for the ensuing 
year: J. J. McEwen, president; S. J. Tennent, J. Bowles, vice presidents; 
William Reynolds, Santa Clara, S. W. Johnson, Contra Costa, R. Blacow, Ala- 
meda, D. S. Cook, San Mateo, J. A. McClelland, San Francisco, vice presidents 
for counties at large ; G. P. Loucks, Piatt Gregory, R. G. Davis, directors ; K. W. 
Taylor, treasurer; O. Falley, secretary. The annual address was delivered by 
Rev. Starr King to a large audience. 

In 1 868 J. Lusk, who owned a ranch about four miles from Oakland, culti- 
vated fifty acres of raspberries. He sent to market ninety tons of fresh berries 
and received therefor lO cents per pound or a total of $18,000. He manu- 
factured twenty tons into jams, jellies, and pie-fruit and realized therefrom about 
ten thousand dollars. He made 15,000 gallons of wine worth 25 cents per gallon 
and 10.000 gallons of vinegar worth 20 cents per gallon. The total crop returned 
him $36,250. The cost of cultivating, picking, canning, barrelling and putting 
the crop in market was estimated by him at $20,000. 

Late in the '60s and early in the '70s grain growing was conducted 
on an enormous scale throughout the county, particularly in the Livermore and 
Sunol valleys. Livermore did a large grain business in 1874. On one day in 
December thirty carloads were shipped to Reno and over 100 tons of barley were 
sent to Nevada. A carload of flour was sent to Oakland. In ten days near the 
close of the year over 1,600 tons of grain were shipped from that town, mostly 
to San Francisco, yet Edmundson's warehouse was still full and the others also. 
Farmers stored their grain in the town and shipped when the prices were satis- 
factory or when they needed the money. In one week in February, 1875, '50 
carloads of grain were sent from Livermore to market. On another day forty- 
two carloads of wood left for Oakland Point. This year the people of Livermore 
and vicinity prepared a carload of grain and vegetables for the Kansas sufferers, 
but the railroad company refused to bear the cost of transportation. The Grangers 
were active in all the farming regions of the county at this date. 

In 1874 there were shipped from Pleasanton 140 tons of hay, 35 tons of 
straw, 60,200 pounds of oats and 51,118 pounds of wool. The total tonnage 
shipped from the town and received there was 12,212. The wheat shipments alone 
amounted to 9,488 tons, of which 7,257 tons went to Oakland wharf, 478 tons 
to Oakland and 270 tons to Brooklyn. There were shipped 1,325 tons of barley — 
754 tons to Oakland wharf. Henry Gartner, who lived near Warm Springs, had 
forty acres in raisin grapes and was already putting up considerable home-dried 
raisins for market. He had begun to home-dry almonds also. His ranch was on 
the San Jose road near the mission. At Sunol in December herds of cattle were 
sold at an average of $21.50 per head; they were fattened on the grass of the 
foothills. Madam Argenti was growing orange and lemon trees there at this 
date. The Tropical Fruit and Cocoanut Manufacturing Company was organized 


at Oakland in 1875; the leading spirit was Alexander Ashbourne. They began 
converting into eatables products from mangoes, pineapples, bananas, yams, gin- 
ger, plums, chushon, tamarinds, paw-paws, custard apples, sweet saps, sour saps, 
neyberries, etc. 

On October 31, 1881, the county board of horticultural commissioners were 
appointed as follows : A. D. Pryal, A. P. Crane and Martin Mendenhall, who were 
to receive $4 per day while actually on duty, but no member would be permitted 
to charge for more than thirty days during the year. 

In order to encourage the cultivation of sugar beets the Standard Sugar 
Refinery at Alvarado in December, 1881, agreed to pay the following prices for 
the best beets raised for the company in 1882: For the best 100 acres, $200; 
best 75 acres, $150; best 50 acres, $100; best 25 acres, $50; best 10 acres, $20; 
best 5 acres, $10. 

In the spring of 1882 there were planted in the Livermore district 880 acres 
in grape vines, all being of the wine variety, except thirty acres of table grapes. 
It was a dry season and about 35 per cent were lost. The next year 
about 15 per cent of the replant was lost ; but in 1884, an excellent season, 
about five hundred and fifty acres of plants were in good condition. With the 
exception of the Zinfandel few of the varieties grew much fruit after the third 
year. The grape crop of the 1883 planting amounted to about one hundred and 
fifty-five tons of first and twenty-eight tons of second crop. All was sold to C. F. 
Aguillon's winery in Livermore at $30 per ton for the first and $15 per ton 
for the second crop. According to agreement the grapes had to have 22 per 
cent of sugar for the first and not less than 15 per cent for the second crop. 
Of the 183 tons three-fourths were Zinfandel and one-fourth was composed of 
Mataro, Folle, Blanche Burger, Grenache, Charboro, Carigane, the different 
Rieslings and perhaps a dozen other varieties. The profit in the Zinfandel was 
fully demonstrated. The first load of grapes was delivered to the winery Septem- 
ber 22d and the last of the second crop November 22d, the vintage lasting 
just two months. The rains did not injure the first crop nor the frost the second. 
At the third annual viticultural convention, which opened November 29th 
and closed December 6, 1884, Livermore valley was represented by thirty-one 
samples of different blends of wine of the 1884 vintage. All the samples showed 
a perfect fermentation, fine color and an excellent fruity and mellow taste. 
By the last of December, 1884, the valley had 1,975 acres in vines, owned by 
fifty-eight different persons, thirty-six of whom were newcomers in the valley 
and twenty-eight of whom built houses and barns and otherwise improved their 
plantations. Eight lived in San Francisco and hired residents to attend their 

Gooseberry growing became very popular and profitable about 1883 ; many 
of the bushes were planted near Haywards. C. D. Everett, E. D. Warren, A. L. 
Warren, A. W. Schafer, D. S. Amalley and others abandoned their currant 
bushes for the gooseberry plants. Grape vine planting was all the rage at 
Livermore at this date. On February 13th the thermometer stood at 25 above 
zero at Livermore. The Centerville Drying and Packing Company employed 
eighteen persons in July, and ran day and night during the active season. Their 
cans were procured in San Francisco. J. A. Johnson near Sunol had a nursery 
of 20,000 trees for orchards and soon bought 30,000 more. He had control of 


1,400 acres there. In 1883 the price of fruit became so low that hundreds of 
growers in all parts of the county sun dried their surplus. 

In August Edward F. Dyer, of the Standard Sugar Refinery of Alvarado 
received $1,200 from the agricultural department of the United States for a 
statement showing the process and expenses of manufacturing beet sugar for the 
third year of its existence. The statement showed that the products in sugar 
and molasses were $150,617.50 and the cost $105,681.65. leaving the profits 

The Livermore vineyards were famous in 1883. Any gravelly land in that 
vicinity, that would grow grain, if dry and warm, was suitable. New vineyards 
were being opened in all parts of Murray township. J. H. Wheeler owned a 
large orchard and vineyard. H. M. Ames, Almon Weymouth, Albert Weymouth 
and many others owned vineyards there. Land in the Brookside vineyard tract 
sold for $65 an acre. Staking the yards began to be common, as the vines grew 
better and permitted cultivation between the rows. The Fruit Growers' Asso- 
ciation of Eden township was organized in 1883, but languished though it 
remained alive for a year or more. 

The California Nursery Company was organized in 1884 by John Rock, 
R. D. Fox, James Hutchison, Thomas Mehsiro, W. J. Landers and J. Henri and 
a tract of about five hundred acres near Niles was purchased and divided into 
lOO-acre sections. The first act was to set out on one of the sections 700,000 
stock plants for budding purposes. Over $30,000 was expended before there 
were any financial returns. Hundreds of orchards in this part of the state were 
supplied from this nursery. At this time blackleg appeared among several herds 
of cattle near Livermore and elsewhere in the county ; it was found in John 
Clark's herd on Arroyo Mocho. Grape growers hauled their crops to the 
Aguillon's winery. It was noted that wild bees injured the grape crop. Mrs. 
Belle Jordan had an orchard of 1,200 trees in the Arroyo valley near Liver- 
more; it was planted by R. K. Jordan. In the orchard were peach, pear, plum, 
apple, almond and apricot trees. This was one of the finest orchards in the 
county. Near were the famous Olivina and Ojo del Monte vineyards. The 
canyon of the Arroyo valley at this time was often called "The Mountain Fruit 
Belt of Alameda County." Among those who planted vineyards near Liver- 
more in 1884 were D. Inman, 50 acres; John Crellin, 20 acres; Louis Mel, 
20 acres; D. F. Fowler, 20 acres and 7 acres orchard; W. C. Wright, 10 acres; 
E. Squires, 15 acres and 5 acres orchard; T. E. Knox, 20 acres; Eugene Paris, 
15 acres; E. Edwards, 20 acres; Almon Weymouth, 15 acres; W. P. Bartlett, 
10 acres; H. A. Arnold, 12 acres, and James Concannon, 20 acres. The Olivina 
vineyard near Livermore bore looyi tons of grapes. 

The grain crop of Livermore valley in 1884 was the largest in its history — 
that of Murray township alone was about fifty-five thousand tons ; the largest 
crop there before was 50,000 tons in 1880. 

The Livermore Valley Agricultural Association was organized early in April, 
1885, in two large meetings held at the town hall of Livermore, thirty citizens 
being present and taking an interested part. Land suitable for the race track 
and buildings was examined on the John Green and George May farms. The 
capital of the association was fixed at $10,000. A soliciting committee was as 
follows: W. W. Mendenhall, C. J. Stevens, George Beck, ^^'endell Jordan and 


S. B. Bowen. Within four years ending in 1885 about four thousand two hun- 
dred acres of cereal and hay land in the valley had been turned into orchards 
and vineyards. Considerable grafting on native phylloxera proof stock was done 
in 18S5. This year Prof. E. W. Hilgard was elected president of the Viticul- 
tural Society at Mission San Jose. It was decided to confine the attention of the 
society to the grape and the olive. 

On May 20, 1885, the San Lorenzo orchardists shipped a carload of cherries 
and other small fruit to New York where California cherries were selling at 
$1 per pound. The car went by fast freight and was due in New York in a 
week and a half. Among the shippers were E. Lewelling, E. T. Crane, J. L. 
Shiman, Henry Smith, H. W. Meek, John and H. Madin, C. S. King, J. B. 
Madin, E. Hathaway, E. O. IWebb, William Roberts, William Knox. There 
were cherries of the Great Bigarreau, Pontiac and Black Tartarian varieties ; 
several crates of gooseberries and currants were included. The total weight was 
20,250 pounds ; the cost of shipment was $500 per car. The next day a similar 
carload was shipped from Haywards to the same destination by Blockwood Owens, 
C. Winton, C. Everett, Will Knox, C. Kerwin, W. H. Jessup, Joel Russell, 
Chris. Nicholson, W. Lawrence, Seth Warner, C. S. King, and Manuel Leal. 
Hixon Justi & Company, and Porter Brothers, fruit commission merchants of San 
Francisco, were largely instrumental in inducing the Alameda county growers to 
try the experiment of thus shipping perishable fruit to the eastern markets. It 
was at this time that the important question arose with emphasis where the 
labor was to come from to harvest the fruit crop. Within a few years fully 
one hundred thousand acres in the state had been planted in fruit. This required 
50,000 extra laborers. At this time there were employed about twenty-five thou- 
sand Chinamen on the fruit and vineyard ranches of the state. It was proposed 
to put the boys and girls at this work. 

Mr. Mclver of Livermore had in 1885 a vineyard of 25,000 vines of the 
Zinfandel, Muscat and Rose of Peru varieties. He added to this yard an 
orchard of 1,800 plum trees, 2,500 peach, 1,800 pears. 500 olives and 60,000 
resistant vines of the California variety ; he grafted the latter with the choicest 
varieties obtainable. 

In November, at a convention of fruit growers in San Francisco, an organiza- 
tion of the Fruit Grow'ers' Union was effected. It was a cooperative society to 
regulate and operate the fruit shipping business. H. B. Livermore of Alameda 
county was one of the directors and one of the committee appointed to sell 
stock. Mr. Livermore was elected the first president of the society, and A. T. 
Hatch of Solano, secretary. Another object of the association was to reduce 
the cost of middleman, so that California fruit could be sold in the East at prices 
which the average citizen there could afford to pay. 

It is literally true that many white farmers were taught valuable lessons in 
intensive farming by the Chinese who leased land in this county and raised 
large quantities of vegetables. They were among the first to show the prac- 
ticability of irrigation, and the first to make asparagus-growing successful. While 
the white man plowed and sowed and then sat down to wait for rain, the Chinese 
dug and planted and supplied his vegetation from artificial sources of water. 

In 1885 fully 2,685 carloads of products were shipped from Pleasanton, and in 
addition there were 500 partly filled cars. The following were the cars and con- 


tents: Brick, 852; hay, 1,436; wheat, 340; barley, 157; wood, 115; spuds, 61; 
sheep, 19; cattle, 38; mustard, 3; mixed, 22. Juan Gallegos of Mission San 
Jose sold his entire wine crop of 130,000 gallons for 30 cents per gallon in the 
tank — total $39,000. Poster Brothers of Chicago had full control of the California 
fruit business and shipments, but in 1886 the Fruit Growers' Association assumed 
charge, with the result that better prices prevailed and quicker and better ship- 
ments were made. 

J. S. Shiman of San Lorenzo shipped a carload of cherries to Chicago this 
year. The shipment embraced twenty-five crates. The gross proceeds were 
$9,711 and the expenses of shipment and sale were $3,125, leaving net pro- 
ceeds of $6,586 to the credit of the shipper, or 8 cents net per pound. On July 
7, 1885, he shipped a carload of plums and apricots to the same market. 

The report came from Chicago that a carload of cherries shipped from Cali- 
fornia arrived in bad condition owing to heat and poor ventilation. Only about 
one-third was in good condition. It was announced that if the fruit was prop- 
erly packed and shipped, the movement would be a success. It was a few fail- 
ures like this that in the end taught the Alameda county shippers how to prepare 
and transport their perishable crops. 

In the 8o's California waked to her opportunity and importance as a raiser 
of fruit for the whole country. It took the people a long time to learn this 
fact. The agricultural possibilities were for years undreamed of. Hundreds 
of thousands of acres believed to be worthless made the finest kind of fruit 
farms. All of a sudden oranges, almonds, walnuts, figs, raisins and berries made 
the state famous and Alameda county was its garden spot. Thirty years before 
all thought the county a desert and fit for nothing but mining and grazing. By 
1885 its fruit went to all parts of the country. . 

In its sixth year of operation the sugar refinery at Alvarado worked 217 days, 
bought 20,500 tons of beets, of which 16,354 tons were used and out of which 
2,167,273 pounds of refined sugar were manufactured. They had 5,000 tons 
left over which they gave to farmers to feed to their stock. This was not good 
business, said E. H. Dyer, manager, but was a fact. It was learned that there 
were in Alameda county 144,000 acres adapted to the production of sugar beets; 
on this could be grown five times the sugar product of the Hawaiian islands. 
In 1885 there were lodges of the Grangers in nearly all the towns and villages 
of the county — Alvarado, Hayvvards, Oakland, Temescal, Livermore, Pleasanton, 
San Leandro, etc. 

In 1885 there were shipped from Haywards fruit in the following quantities: 
In May, 1,818,360 pounds; June, 1,495,605 pounds; July, 833,800 pounds; also 
899,910 pounds of hay and grain. 

The law required that fruit trees infested with injurious insects or germs 
should be cleaned or disinfected before April i, 1885. and on or before that month 
every year thereafter. It was a misdemeanor to fail in this duty. It was com- 
mon to find in the vineyards many tarantulas and much care was necessary to 
prevent being poisoned by them. A large one was found under the book-case 
in the Presbyterian church at Pleasanton. Formerly they were numerous at the 
schoolhouse on the hill, but the boys soon killed the last one there. 

The raisin crop of 1885 was the largest thus far raised in Alameda county; 
the almond yield was also heavy, while crops of pears, peaches, plums, apricots 


and walnuts were fair. By the last of September there were six wineries in oper- 
ation in the Livennore district — Olivina, Pioneer, Bocquerez & Paris, Mortimer, 
Bowles and Crellin. In 1884 there was but one. They paid about twenty dol- 
lars a ton for grapes. 

In June the Commissioner of Agriculture, Washington, D. C, requested the 
officers of the Ladies' Silk Culture Society of California to nominate persons 
for the office of director of the United States experiment station at Piedmont. 
At this time the experiment building there was nearly completed. The ladies 
named the following for the position of director: Prof. George Davidson, Mrs. 
Henry B. Williams, Mrs. L. E. Pratt, Mrs. J. E. Flint and Mrs. T. H. Hittell. 

In 1886 the members of the Farmers' Union of Livermore Valley were Daniel 
Juman, president; J. F. Black, vice president; J. L. ]\Iitchell, cashier; Daniel 
Juman, J. F. Black, J. L. Alitchell, G. C. Stanley, John Callighan, G. E. Ken- 
nedy and John Beck, directors. Their building and other property originally 
cost about twenty-eight thousand dollars and had a mortgage thereon of $12,500. 
The building itself cost $13,000 in October, and $6,000 additional was spent on 
the structure for internal improvements. 

In 1886 the wine dealers of San Francisco formed a combination that boy- 
cotted every wine maker who would not sell to them at their terms. The Liver- 
more district was the first in this county to take up the fight against this monopoly. 
In April the Livermore Valley Wine and Vineyard Company was organized at 
Livermore with a capitalization of $2,000,000. They secured the Black vine- 
yard of 200 acres as a nucleus. The directors were J. F. Black, Pierre Bocquerez, 
Edwin Goodall, Isaac Upham, S. Osterhout, Howard Black and August Water- 
man. It was suggested that when the fruit picking season should arrive, the 
public schools should be closed in order to give the children an opportunity to 
assist in the work. If this were done the children, it was stated, would in a 
large measure settle the Chinese question. 

By 1886 farming operations in many parts of the county had assumed gigan- 
tic proportions. In February H. W. Meek of San Lorenzo had from sixty to 
seventy-five horses in a single field at one time. Henry Martin had fifteen teams 
in his seventy-five acre field which he plowed, sowed and harrowed in three 
days. H. Smyth kept eight or ten teams busy on sixty-five acres for several 
days. Scores of others in all parts of the county farmed on a scale equally as 
large or larger. 

Over four hundred mulberry trees were planted in the experiment station 
at Piedmont in 1885-86. Nearly twenty thousand cuttings were set out. The 
university had donated 200 of the trees and P. J. Burner, fifty. The Ladies' 
Silk Culture Society of this county was interested in these proceedings. It 
became well known that nine-tenths of orchard failures in California were due to 
the planting of the wrong varieties of fruit. Nurseries carried all varieties and 
it was the duty of orchardists, it was claimed, to know the possibilities of their 

In 1888 the Daniel Best Agricultural Works at San Leandro were in a flour- 
ishing condition. In February they had just completed sixteen of the Best and 
Driver improved combined harvesters. 

At a meeting of the grape growers of Livermore valley late in July, 1888, 
a resolution was passed that growers should thereafter demand $20 per ton 


for grapes sold to wine makers, should not take a less sum, and that in the event 
of refusal, they should dispose of their grapes elsewhere or convert them into 
raisins. The latter step was not practical, it was shown, because the best wine 
grapes made the poorest raisins. This meeting appointed a committee to investigate 
the methods of drying grapes. This year the sixth annual state viticultural 
convention gave more than one-third of all the awards to Alameda county wine 
makers. Of the 143 awards on red and white wines Alameda county received 
fifty-five. C. C. ^Iclver of -Mission San Jose headed the list, but was closely 
followed by C. A. Wetniore, J- P. Smith, Wallace Everson, estate of Joseph 
Black, Josiah Stanford, Beard & Putnam, A. G. Chanche, J. H. \\'heeler and 
H. R. Waggoner of the Livermore and IMission San Jose districts. Alameda 
county did not make more wine than several other counties, but the quality aver- 
aged higher. Before 1880 better wine was made in this county, and with the 
exception of the Warm Springs vineyard, all vines were planted after that 
year. Starting after many of the others this county's growers had the advan- 
tage of their experiences, failures and successes. 

In March, 1889, the farmers' union of Livermore failed and made an assign- 
ment for the benefit of creditors. It had been one of the largest mercantile 
establishments in the state and had handled nearly all the grain and produce of 
Livermore valley, did a banking business and operated in real estate and rail- 
road investments. The business was worth several million dollars and the stock 
was held mainly by residents of Livermore valley. Haywards and San Leandro 
fruit growers, established a home organization to assume charge of fruit ship- 
ments and all marketing questions. Up to this time the shipments had been 
handled by two Sacramento concerns at too great a cost. The cherry market in 
particular was improved by this action. Immense quantities of peas were raised 
near Irvington, Haywards, San Leandro and elsewhere west of the hills. 

The Pacific Coast Sugar Company took possession of Alvarado creek for 
the use of the Spring Valley Water Company of San Francisco. For the past 
nineteen years the sugar company had been engaged there, with several lapses, in 
manufacturing sugar from beets, and had its plant, valued at 8250,000, on the 
banks of that creek. W^ithout the use of the creek water the factory could not 
continue unless other water could be secured at no greater expense. The only 
other way for' the factory to get the necessary water was from artesian wells, 
with the chances, it was thought, much against success. The water company 
brought condemnation suits. If successful it meant the ruin of the sugar com- 
pany. Years before this time the farmers in the vicinity of Niles had depended 
upon their wells for water, but after the Spring Valley Water Company tapped 
Alameda creek, their wells dried up and in some cases they were compelled to 
haul their water for many miles. Twelve farmers under the leadership of J. E. 
Thane combined in a demand that the company should dig artesian wells for 
them. This demand was at first refused, but finally was acceded to by Charles 
W. Howard of the company and about a dozen wells were sunk for them near 

In the eastern car trip of "California on \\'heels," one car devoted exclusively 
to native wines was partly filled with samples from the Livermore valley wineries. 
In the fall of this year Livermore valley received the gold medal prize at the 
Paris exposition for the Ijest grape wines. This victory was duly celebrated at 


Livermore on October 5th. Charles A. Wetmore, secretary of the viticultural 
association, received the grand prize for his wine and A. G. Chauche received 
the gold medal; both lived in the valley. It was admitted that J. W. Kottinger 
was the pioneer grape grower of the valley. As early as 1874 he made over 
one thousand gallons of wine from his four acres of vines. At the celebration 
Mr. Wetmore, Julius P. Smith and Mr. Kottinger delivered addresses. A series 
of congratulatory resolutions was adopted. A large meeting of fruit growers from 
Haywards, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Niles, Sunol and Danville was held at 
Haywards in December, 1889, for the purpose of perfecting drying and shipping 
methods. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Haywards Fruit Grow- 
ers' Association. The meeting agreed that cooperation was the only means to 
properly dispose of the fruit of this section. At this time the extra charge on 
refrigerator cars to New York was $250. 

Early in December the county board ordained that ground squirrels "infesting 
the lands in the County of Alameda" were a public nuisance and required all 
owners and occupants of lands within this county to e.xterminate and destroy 
them within ninety days after the ordinance should take effect and thereafter keep 
the lands free from the pests. 

The annual rodeos of the cattle of the Livermore mountains occurred in 
May. Work was usually begun on L. B. Clark's ranch on Cedar mountain and 
every stock owner was visited from that point west to Alameda and south to San 
Antonio valley and Mount Hamilton. As many as fifty stockmen and vaqueros 
were engaged at times in riding the ranges and bunching, holding and branding 
the cattle. Rodeos were held daily, an average of about eight hundred head of 
cattle being gathered in each. The principal owners to participate were John 
Hayes, L. B. Clark, Frank Hubbard, R. T. Pope, Ed. Wilson, De Forest Brothers. 
Doughty Brothers, Parks, Maxey, John Rogie, and John Green, Charles Beverson, 
D. F. Bernal, Wade, R. F. Morrow and E. F. Rea. All stock owners of the 
Livermore cattle district agreed among themselves to prosecute every hunter 
they found killing bucks out of season and does and spotted fawns at any time. 
This action was caused by the destruction of those animals in the mountain 
regions near Livermore. Messrs. Hayes, Clark, Rogge, Mansir, Green and Ladd 
headed this movement. 

Alameda county florists and amateur gardeners made many interesting 
exhibits at the State Floral Society's display in San Francisco in May. Among 
the residents of this county who took prizes were E. Gill with hybrid perpetual 
roses ; California Nursery Company, tea roses ; Fruit Vale Nursery Company, 
climbing roses ; Mrs. T. L. Walker, climbing roses ; Peter Thiesen, cut roses ; 
G. W. Dunn, wild flowers; Mrs. D. E. Harris, pelargoniums; Mrs. R. D. Sage, 
pansy blooms ; F. A. Miller, roses in pots ; Charles Abraham, flowering plants ; 
Mrs. L. O. Hodgkins, ferns and others. In 1890 the horticultural committee 
for the county board made persistent efforts to rid the county of the apricot 
scale that had done and was doing so much damage. William Barry was in 
charge of this movement. In March Horticultural Commissioner Barry reported 
that out of nearly thirty orchards, which he had recently visited, only a few 
were free from scale. Spraying was general at Niles, Haywards, Centerville, 
San Leandro, Livermore, Pleasanton, etc. 


In February, 1890, 2,675 tons of hay were shipped from Livermore. Much 
of it went in a hurry to the starving Nevada cattle. There was a large demand 
on this county for oat and wheat hay under wire, the former worth about six 
dollars per ton and the latter about nine dollars. Mr. Seller of Livermore, by 
July 6th, bought 2,000 tons at these figures. 

The Silk Culture Society by 1890 had made such extensive and important 
experiments and advances that they sent a memorial to the Pacific coast delega- 
tion in Congress of what they had accomplished and what they desired. It was 
the opinion that the McKinley tariff bill, if made a law, would interfere with 
their operations and usefulness. 

The Alameda county branch of the farmers institute was organized at Hay- 
wards on August 7, 1891, by Prof. E. J. Wickson, of the University of California. 
An interesting session was held. The farmers discussed grain, hay, stock, horses 
and viticulture. 

The Olivina vineyard in Livermore valley was the largest in the county in 
1890-91. It comprised 660 acres of vines, of which 475 acres were bearing. 
The crop of 1890 was 1,300 tons. In 1885 this vineyard comprised 400 acres 
and produced iooj4 tons. In 1891 there were eighty acres in high type varieties 
— Medocs and Sauternes. Sanvignon Vert comprised eighty acres. Zinfandel 
occupied fifty-five acres. On the tract were thirty-two varieties, all wine grapes 
of European origin, eighteen of black, and fourteen of white grapes. IMuch 
grafting had been done with Charbono, seedless Sultana, Muscatel, Feher, Zagos 
and Large Bloom in order to obtain resistants and to introduce better varieties. 
Colored and high type varieties were substituted. 

Livermore hay was famous for its good qualities and sold readily not only 
in San Francisco, but in San Jose and all other coast points where fine horses 
were bred, raised and trained. Steady orders of from 10 to 300 tons were 
received by the Liverpool dealers weekly. In October the California State Grange 
was entertained at Haywards in Native Sons hall. The town was beautifully 
decorated for the occasion. A castle made of gigantic pumpkins was one of the 
"sights." The Paso Robles agricultural experiment station had a splendid exhibit 
E. W. David, ex-worthy master, occupied the chair. This was the nineteenth 
annual session of the state organization. While in the town the members were 
tendered a formal and brilliant reception by the citizens. Over five hundred 
leading grangers of the state were present. The Pomona feast was the leading 
feature of the session. 

In 1892 William Barry was horticultural commissioner from this county to 
the fruit growers' convention at San Jose. One of the principal topics was how 
to destroy or prevent insect pests. A permanent organization of the wine grow- 
ers and wine makers was effected at Livermore the year before, with \A'. P. Bart- 
lett as president. Charles .\. Wetmore was present and assisted with practical 
suggestions. The greatest pests in the Livermore valley in 1892-9S were the 
ground squirrels which cost more to poison on 160 acres than to clothe the farm- 
er's family. A demand was made in the fall of 1897 that the county board pay 
a duty of 2 cents for each squirrel tail, as was done in Monterey county. 

In April the famous Gallegos winery at Mission San Jose passed from its 
founder, Juan Gallegos, to Montealegre & Company — acres for a nomi- 
nal sum. Montealegre & Company immediately sold to the Palmdalc Com]\-iny. 


the consideration being 4,000 shares of their capital stock valued at $200,000. 
Gallegos was compelled to sell owing to his enormous debts. At this date fruit 
lands near Centerville were worth from $200 to $400 per acre. In this vicinity 
it was estimated that there were ten Portuguese residents to one American. 
Near Haywards ten acre tracts sold at from $250 to $400 per acre. Near 
Irvington the Roberts tract was cut up in 1889 and sold in subdivisions at from 
$150 to $400 per acre. The fruit crop of 1892 was medium in quantity, but 
commanded high prices. Cherries, figs, apricots, peaches, pears, almonds, plums 
and apples brought unusually satisfactory prices. Blackberries, raspberries, 
strawberries, currants, sweet peas, early potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, 
onions and carrots were not raised in large quantities, but brought good prices. 
As a whole the fruit and berry crop was satisfactory. The Alameda county 
exhibit at the World's Fair, Chicago, filled five cars. The members of the asso- 
ciation in iNIarch were as follows: M. J. Laymance (president), W. H. Loomis, 
F. Soule, J. A. Colquhoun, H. T. Smith, E. W. Woodward, C. A. Wetmore, R. 
S. Farrelly, J. C. Whipple, George Schmidt, J. L- Lyon and A. P. Crance. There 
was a board of lady managers. 

In 1893 the most important grape growing districts in Alameda' county were 
those at Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol, Vallecitos, Mission San Jose, Warm 
Springs, Niles and Haywards. At this time the dreaded phylloxera had not 
made its appearance generally in this county, although many of the vineyards 
were started in 1881, but great precautions had been taken with cuttings and 
roots from other districts. At Mission San Jose the pest had appeared, but 
was being held in check by the county horticultural commission and the agri- 
cultural experts at the university and experiment station. During 1891-93 the 
number of vines planted was comparatively small. There were in the whole 
county at this date 214 vineyards with a total acreage of 7,083, of which 6,879 
were bearing. There were 5,690 acres of wine grapes, 295 acres of table grapes 
and 98 acres of raisin grapes. The acreage of resistants was 688. The crop 
of 1892 amounted to 12,060 tons. The stock of wine on hand was 2,034,550 
gallons and the total cooperage, 4,147,150 gallons. 

Ruby Hill vineyard near Pleasanton, owned by John Crellin & Sons, con- 
sisted in 1894 of 250 acres of vines mostly of wine varieties. The vineyard 
was divided into sections by rows of olive trees, numbering in all about one 
thousand. On the place, also, were almonds, pecans, chestnuts, English walnuts, 
oranges, figs, pomegranates, apricots, cherries, prunes, plums, apples, etc. The 
wine cellar was built in 1877 and its capacity was later increased to 300,000 
gallons of sauternes and clarets. The big distillery was a feature in 
1894. This year the agricultural department issued a special bulletin setting 
forth the dangerous and damaging nature of the San Jose scale. 

The state meeting of the farmers' alliance assembled in Odd Fellows hall, 
Oakland, December 4th. There were present about fifty delegates, many of whom 
were ladies. J. L. Gilbert, of Fresno, presided. They were formally welcomed 
to the city by Mayor Pardee in a program at Germania hall. 

In 1896 the county horticultural commissioners reported that, owing to the 
efforts that had been made, the pests which had threatened the destruction of 
the orchards and fields were under control and near extinction. Beneficial or 
parasitic insects had been introduced and had notably thinned out the pests. All 


the farmers and fruit growers had cooperated in the movement. The fruit 
growers of the county were generally prosperous and contented. In ten years 
fruit bearing trees had increased ten fold. It was recognized that all fruit grow- 
ers who stuck to business and owned their lands were sure to become inde- 
pendent. Early in September the farmers of Pleasanton and vicinity assembled 
and decided to establish a large creamery at once. It was thought best to erect 
the creamery building proper at Sunol, but to operate separators at Pleasanton, 
Irvington and Haywards. The cost was estimated at $9,000. 

The Alameda county stockyards were early established and maintained by 
the wholesale butchers midway between West Berkeley and Emeryville along 
the shore line. By 1896 they employed 100 men and annually transacted busi- 
ness valued at $2,000,000. Grayson, Herald, Lyons and Phillips began in 1876; 
T. W. Corder, John Stewart and ]M. M. Samson about the same time. Boyle, 
Lacaste & Company, in 1880; James Hall about 1886; Millen & Lux about the 
same time. Other prominent concerns were the California and Nevada jMeat Com- 
pany, the Oakland Meat Company and P. Loustalat. 

In 1897 the hop crop at Pleasanton was the largest ever harvested. The 
total weight of green hops picked was 1,711,800 pounds. It cost $20,000 to 
harvest this crop. The bales averaged 200 pounds each. The crop was picked 
mostly by women and children in three or four weeks' time. The State Farm- 
ers' Institute was held at Livermore in January with a large attendance. Many 
interesting and instructive papers were read and addresses delivered. Early 
this year the beet sugar factory at Alvarado erected additional buildings, 
employed more men and doubled its capacity. Growers were asked to increase 
their productions. A floral society was organized in Berkeley with the object 
of beautifying the city with beds of flowers, desirable shade trees and ornamental 
shrubs. A committee consisting of C. R. Greenleaf, Warring Wilkinson, John 
Hinkie, William C. Jones, J. B. Hume, W. T. Barrett and A. S. Blake was 
placed in charge of the movement. The announced aim was to make the uni- 
versity town the most attractive place for residence in the state. 

In March, 1898, Horticultural Commissioner Barry reported as follows: "I 
am sorry to say that after going over the whole ground I find that the destruc- 
tion of the apricot and almond crops is nearly complete. On the south of Ala- 
meda creek from Irvington to Alvarado, with the exception of the orchards of 
Shinn, Ellsworth Ford and my own, every apricot and almond is killed. On 
the north bank of the Alameda creek from Niles to Decoto, with the exception 
of Snyder's orchard, they are in the same condition." 

In April the Livermore creamery closed down owing to lack of grass for 
cows. During that month in 1897 the average daily receipts of milk were 3,500 
pounds, but in 1898 the average was only about one thousand seven hundred 
pounds. At this time 230,000 gallons of wine were shipped from Livermore 
valley in a few days. The Ruby Hill vineyard alone sent south four carloads 
in a short time. C. H. Wente sold 100.000 gallons in San Francisco and James 
Concannon and H. B. Waggoner sold each about thirty thousand gallons. 

In the 8o's and 90's Professor Koebele of Alameda distinguished himself 
in devising ways and means to exterminate insects injurious to vegetation. He 
brought to the state parasites which saved the orange trees and deciduous fruit 
orchards from destruction. He had formerly been connected with the depart- 


ment of agriculture. He made a special study of the products of the Islands 
of Hawaii. At this time the bulletins of the state experiment station were 
doing a vast amount of good to the farmers of Alameda county. In April 
Pleasanton shipped 5,880,300 pounds of brick, hay, barley, wheat, wine and mer- 
chandise. Blooded horses were shipped by Crellin & Keating, Andrew Mc- 
Dowell, and Mr. Robinson. 

The farmers' institute met at Niles on April 15, 1899, with W. H. Tyson in 
the chair. There was a large attendance. Many topics were considered, among 
them being irrigation, grape culture, canners and dryers, orchard fertilization, 
fruits and flowers, and experiment stations. The agricultural department of the 
university was represented at this session. 

In the fall of 1899, as never before, Alameda county felt the thrill of good 
times. From one end of the county to the other old industries revived and new 
ones sprang into life and rapid prosperity. The fruit and fruit products were 
never more satisfactory. All cereals were produced in such liberal quantities 
per acre that large returns were realized. The same was true of vegetables. 
Prices advanced so that higher profits than ever were the result. The grape 
crop was enormous and much of it was turned into the famous brands of 
wine so well known in all the cities of the world. Daily the coal mines of the 
county, notably at Tesla, put on the market hundreds of tons. Secretary Wil- 
son visited California and warned the farmers that they should begin the prac- 
tice of rotation instead of growing the same crop continuously year after year, 
as wheat for instance. He also warned them against the evils of over-irrigation. 
The newspapers thought the farmers would laugh at the suggestions. 

By 1900 it was well recognized that the county was divided by soil, water 
and other surroundings into three natural districts — cherry, apricot and grape. 
The stretch of country from Oakland to Hay wards is the home of the cherry; 
the tract from Haywards south and east to the county line with Niles as a cen- 
ter is the region devoted to apricot growing, and the Livermore valley is the 
natural habitat of the grape. At this date the annual county cherry crop was 
worth about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The apricots of the- Niles 
region are famous for their size, color and flavor, and good apricot land is worth 
from $500 to $1,000 per acre. As a matter of fact cherries and apricots are the king 
and the queen of Alameda county fruits. Other fruits that do well are the pear, 
plum, peach and prune. Perhaps the great grape and wine region is around 
Livermore and Pleasanton, though large quantities are also produced in Wash- 
ington township. 

The amount of nursery stock, fruit and ornamental, handled annually in 
Washington township in 1901-02 was over eight hundred thousand. Thanks to 
the Alameda county board of horticultural commissioners the orchards were 
clean and thrifty. Commissioner Barry had distributed large numbers of benefi- 
cial insects which had checked and nearly obliterated the scale. He had just 
begun to distribute the parasite of the black scale of the orange and olive. There 
had been no spraying done since 1893, yet the orchards were in good condition 
and the fruit was sound. Mr. Barry estimated the saving for nine years at 
$172,368 on the 1,996 acres of commercial orchards in the district. This sav- 
ing was credited to the parasitic insects which had rendered spraying unneces- 
sary. Before their introduction it had cost, for instance, Mr. Mclver of Mission 


San Jose, $800 a year to keep in subjection his orange, lemon, olive and orna- 
mental tree insects. The fruit crop of Washington township in 1902 was worth 
$135,850. The floral industry was increasing rapidly, many new gardens and 
greenhouses having been started. All shipments were inspected, cars, barrels and 
packing boxes were fumigated, and all disused product was destroyed. There' 
were in Berkeley ten floral establishments, in Oakland eight, in Alameda six, and 
in Fruitvale eight. Many lady bugs were set free in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda 
and Fruitvale. A. D. Pryal was the commissioner in the city district. 

The report of the state dairy bureau in 1900-01 was highly complimentary to 
the dairy products of Alameda county. There were produced in 1900, 148,400 
pounds of butter by the creamery method' and 170,050 pounds by the dairy 
method. The county furnished San Francisco with 243,080 gallons of milk that 
year. In the county were the following creameries: Livermore, Jersey of 
Alameda city, and Central and Oakland Cream Depot of Oakland. 

In 1901 there were shipped from Haywards about forty carloads of dried 
fruit — mostly apricots, prunes and pears. The valuation was $79,500. Belgian 
hares were bred in large numbers at the Palace Rabbitry on East Twelfth street 
near Twenty-third avenue, Oakland. 

The nursery business was important in Alameda county at a very early date — 
in fact long before the producers realized the value of fruit farming. The Cali- 
fornia Nursery Company, the leader in the industry and the largest in the state, 
was established at Niles by John Rock. It sent out millions of trees and vines, 
and its importation of varieties and experiments were invaluable to the whole 
central part of the state. It devoted nearly four hundred acres to trees, vines 
and other plants. Another large nursery was conducted in West Berkeley by 
Edward Gill, who planted 200 acres to nursery stock. A dozen others con- 
ducted nurseries on a smaller scale and every variety of plant life suitable to 
the soil and climate received attention, culture and dissemination. The culture 
of rhubarb expanded rapidly as soon as it was learned, about 1893, how best to 
ship it to eastern markets. Tomatoes, potatoes, peas, beans, asparagus, etc., 
were also grown in large quantities. The canned and dried fruit products 
reached enormous proportions. In 1902 there were five large canneries in opera- 
tion : Hunt Brothers at Haywards ; Oakland Preserving Company of Oakland ; 
Hickmot cannery ; San Leandro cannery, and Hood cannery of Emeryville. At 
this time the five packed nearly five hundred thousand cases per annum. At 
the same time there was a vegetable pack of about one hundred thousand cases 
per year. During the busy season one or more of the canneries employed nearly 
a thousand persons — men, women, boys and girls, and where whites could not 
be secured Chinese and Japanese were set at woi'k. The pack consisted largely 
of cherries, peaches, apricots, pears, plums, tomatoes, peas and many small fruits, 
berries, etc. 

In 1908 the county agricultural and horticultural products were worth about 
two million dollars more than those of any previous year, aggregating about four- 
teen million dollars. 

At Pleasanton were the famous hop fields of the Pleasanton Hop Yards Com- 
pany, owned by the Lilienthals of San Francisco, in all about five hundred acres 
of hops in a single field. Grapes and wines are also produced in large quantities. 

Livermore valley hay is the best in the world and is sent in immense quan- 


titles by rail and vessel to distant points. This hay was the reason that the val- 
ley has become famous for its blooded horses. Up to 1910 over ninety horses 
foaled and raised at Pleasanton had trotted 2:10 or better. The famous Direct 
stock originated here. Flying Jib, Anaconda, Searchlight and Lou Dillon were 
raised here. About four hundred horses are brought to Pleasanton to be win- 
tered each year. 

Within the last ten years Livermore valley has come to be known as the 
gold medal section of the state, owing to the many medals it has taken for its 
numerous products. Up to 1889 the valley had been content to produce good 
wine grapes, hay, grain, some fruit, fast horses, barley, olives, almonds, walnuts, 
but after that date the gold medals began to advertise the valley and the county. 
First came into prominence the wines, then the superior wheat, olive oil, bar- 
ley, hops and hay. Five gold medals were taken at the St. Louis fair and three 
at the Portland fair. 

In order to prevent the spread of insect pests and plant diseases the laws of 
California require an annual inspection of all nurseries by an expert. In 1913 
Fred Seulberger, horticultural commissioner of the county, thus inspected fifty- 
five nurseries and all owners with infested stock were directed to spray and 
otherwise clean up. During the year nearly half of his time was spent by the 
inspector in examining nurseries, because through them any plant disease or pest 
could be spread over the whole Pacific slope. Growers were instructed and told 
how to combat the irregularities. Undoubtedly these inspections saved the 
agriculturists and horticulturists of the county many thousands of dollars annually 
by prevention which is always better than cure. Much more spraying was done 
than ever before, under the eye of the commissioner. Every tree or plant imported 
was rigidly inspected before being permitted to enter the county. Under definite 
restrictions some infested stock was allowed to enter, while others were wholly 
and positively prohibited. Careful watch was maintained against peach borer, 
mealy bug, crown gall and white fly. Alfalfa hay from the weavil areas of 
Utah was prohibited entrance ; the same was true of Nevada potatoes infested 
with the eel worm and all peach and apricot trees with yellows and rosette. No 
plants or seeds were taken by the postoffice department unless accompanied with 
a certificate of inspection. A national quarantine act stopped importations until 
inspected. In this county the commissioner enforced these regulations. In 
all the county commission inspected over 476,000 ornamental and over 857,000 
fruit trees in 1913. The excellent work of the county commission was shown 
by the fact that 60,000 ornamental and over 3,300 fruit trees imported bore 
clean certificates, but were found to be infested. About two per cent of the 
nursery trees inspected were eaten by borers and were ordered destroyed. 

About four per cent of the nursery stock was infested with crown gall and 
root knot and was destroyed. Twenty carloads of potatoes from Nevada con- 
taining the eel worm were refused admission into the county. The leading fruit 
crops of the county in 1913 were apricots, cherries, plums and the principal 
farm or garden crops, hay, peas, tomatoes, rhubarb, green corn and celery. In 
the county were 4,048 acres of apricots — Moorpark, Royal and Blenheim being 
the commercial varieties. The green apricot crop was 6,970 tons, worth from 
$52.50 to $60 per ton. The leading cherry sections are San Leandro and Hay- 
wards ; the best varieties are Royal Ann, Black Tartarian and Black Republican. 


In the county were 1,936 acres planted to cherries, with a crop of 2,778 tons. 
The Bartlett pear is the leading variety and the acreage about five hundred and 
sixty-five, with a crop of about three thousand two hundred tons. Prunes occupy 
116 acres. All varieties of small fruit and berries do well in this county — 
strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, Loganberries. About three hundred acres 
were planted to celery — San Leandro being the center of this crop. In 1913 
there were planted in sugar beets 1,556 acres, which yielded about ten tons per 
acre The Alvarado factory has a daily capacity of 900 tons. In the county 
are from 300 to 500 sugar beet growers. About one thousand acres were planted 
to peas and the product was about three thousand tons, worth $35 per ton at 
the canneries. The tomato crop occupied 1,400 acres; product 16,800 tons, 
worth from $7 to $8.50 per ton. In the Livermore district wine grapes occupied 
4,232 acres. In the county are sixty-five nurseries growing cut flowers for market 
—roses, violets, carnations, orchids, chrysanthemums, lilium harrisii and lilium 
longiflora and ferns. The Bride, Bridesmaid and American Beauty are the leading 
rare varieties. All successful growers know how to rid their plants of pests — 
particularly by spraying methods. All have a full knowledge of insecticides and 

The flower show of the Alameda County Floral Society was held in the Oak- 
land Chamber of Commerce building in October, 1913, and was the most success- 
ful and beautiful exhibition of the kind ever shown here. Many exhibits from all 
parts of the county were displayed. There were shown roses, begonias, pelar- 
goniums, lilies, coleus, amaryllis, chrysanthemums, salpiglosses, scabrosia, cycla- 
men, ricinus, celosia, plumosa. native oaks, dahlias, gladioli, home grown cotton 
and tobacco plants, orchids, salvia, ferns and scores of others. 


When the vote for the old constitution was taken on November 13, 1849, 
there were but three precincts within what was then known as Contra Costa 
county, namely, at the Moraga Redwoods, Martinez and San Antonio (Brook- 
lyn, Alameda county). For the election of April i, 1850, the precinct of New 
York was added to those already created. On October 7th of the same year 
the precincts were Martinez, San Antonio, San Ramon (Dublin) and New 
York. The first record, however, of a distribution of voting precincts is for 
the election called for September 3, 1851, when the following .polling places 
were established: At the courthouse in the town of Martinez, and the house 
of Jose Maria Amador, for the township of Martinez ; the houses of ^"ictor 
Castro and Vicente Peralta in and for the township of San Antonio ; and the 
house of William W. Smith in Antioch, and the lower ferry on the San Joaquin 
river, in and for the township of New York. The polls in Washington township 
were at the store of H. C. Smith, an election being there held on May 4, 1850, 
when Lone Kemble was inspector. These, with a few additions, continued until 
the creation of Alameda county, when, August i, 1853, the following were 
declared the first election precincts : In Washington township — at the mission of 
San Jose at the room next easterly of Howard & Chamberlain's store, and at 
the town of Alvarado at the room there used for a courthouse. In Eden town- 
ship — at the house of William Hayward and at the house of T. H. Cowles. In 
Clinton township — at the house of James B. Larue, at the house of Charles Ray 
and at the sawmill of Tapper & Hamilton. In Oakland township — at the office 
of A. Marier. In Contra Costa township — at the house of Seth R. Bailey and 
at the house of A. E. Hutchinson. In Murray township — at the house of 
Michael Murray. 

At the first constitutional convention called by Governor Riley in 1849 to 
form the state, the present county of Alameda, then belonging to the jurisdiction 
of San Jose, was represented by Elam Brown of Lafayette. Brown had come 
to California in 1846; bought the Acalanes Rancho ; was juez of the Contra 
Costa in 1848. He served not only in the constitutional convention, but in the 
first two Legislatures of the state, and lived to a ripe old age, rich and highly 
respected. Two other persons, since connected with the county, namely. Charles 
T. Botts, of Oakland, and J. Ross Browne, took a prominent part in the labors 
of that body. In the first Legislature W. R. Bassham was the senator from the 
San Jose district, to which the present Alameda county still belonged, and 
Joseph Arm, Benjamin Corey and Elam Brown represented the district in the 

Before Alameda county was formed an election for the position of member 
of the Assembly was held on March 26, 1853, when three candidates, viz.: 


Horace W. Carpentier of Oakland, Robert S. Farrelly of " Squatter ville" or 
San Lorenzo, and B. R. Holliday of Martinez, entered the field. The election 
was subsequently contested in the House. The highest number of votes were 
polled by Mr. Carpentier, against which Mr. Farrelly protested on the ground 
of fraud. A certificate of election was refused to Mr. Carpentier by the county 
clerk, and the matter was unraveled by the committee on elections jof the Legis- 
lature. Mr. Carpentier claimed 519 votes; Mr. Farrelly 254, and Mr. Holliday 
192, thus showing a majority of seventy-three votes in favor of Carpentier. 
S. J. Clark, attorney for Mr. Farrelly, presented various grounds of objection 
and alleged fraud on the part of Mr. Carpentier, as well as collusion on the part 
of the board of judges, inspectors and clerks of Contra Costa or Oakland 
township. In the examination it was ascertained that the whole number of votes 
cast in the township was 377, while, according to the testimony of the agent who 
took the census of the township but ten weeks before, there were only 130 votes 
within its limits. It was also declared that it took almost two hours to count the 
Carpentier tickets which lay in a compact yellow mass at the top of the box, 
ere any white ones, representing Farrelly, were reached, and yet three of the last 
voters who cast their ballots at sundown swore positively that they had voted 
white tickets for Farrelly. The board of supervisors of Contra Costa county, 
however, took the view that Mr. Carpentier was duly elected and made affidavits 
to that end, and a majority of four to six of the committee on elections were of the 
like opinion, and reported in favor of his taking his seat, in which he was duly 
confirmed and sworn in, April 11, 1853. 

The first election for officers under law of April 6, 1853, was afl:'ected in 
May. Politics did not enter into it. There were several candidates for each office, 
some of whom had never been known before but by their nicknames. A. H. 
Broder, chosen sheriff, had been known as "Tom Snook." The other officials 
elected were: A. M. Crane, county judge and judge of the court of sessions; 
W. H. Combs, district attorney; A. M. Church, county clerk; J. S. Marston, 
treasurer; J. S. Watkins, public administrator; W. H. Chamberlain, coroner; 
H. A. Higley, county surveyor; G. W. Goucker, county assessor; W. W. Brier, 
superintendent. Jacob Grewell, chosen in 1853, for two years, joint senator for 
Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara, continued acting until 1855. Joseph S. 
Watkins was Alameda's first Assemblyman. The district judge was Craven P. 
Hester. The Third judicial district then comprised the counties of Alameda, 
Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey. This election was long known as the 
"steeple chase," for there were from five to six candidates for each office, while 
many of the would-be county officers appeared in the poll lists under nicknames. 
On September 9, 1853, the following officers were elected: Asa Walker, S. P. 
Hopkins, H. M. Randall, B. F. Ferris, A. Marshall, William Fleming, Calvin 
Rogers, and S. H. Robinson, justices of the peace; A. B. Atwell, D. N. Van Dyke, 
William H. Walker, constables. The court of sessions makes no record of this 
election. In October following these justices convened and elected A. Marshall 
and S. H. Robinson from among their number as associate justices. 

When first created Contra Costa county was attached to Santa Clara county 
for senatorial purposes, and when Alameda county was created it was united with 
Santa Clara to form the Fourth senatorial district. Later it was in the Ninth 
senatorial district and in March, 1S74, in the Fourteenth and was given two 


senators. When first created Alameda county was part of the Second con- 
gressional district, but in 1883 became part of the Third. 

At the election of March 5, 1855, Charles Campbell succeeded Mr. Carpentier 
as mayor of Oakland, and a new council was chosen, all of whom held their offices 
intact until the 28th of April, when Messrs. Gallagher and Williams were suc- 
ceeded on the 29th of May by Messrs. E. Gibbons and Robert Worthington. 

The general election of 1857 took place on September 21st, but there is no 
record of the returns ever having been canvassed. The supervisors elected were 
F. K. Shattuck, for Oakland; Jonathan Mayhew, for Washington; J. A. Griffin, 
for Eden ; S. M. Davis, for Alameda and Brooklyn ; and Charles Duerr, for 
Murray. Mr. Shattuck was chosen chairman; he was the only member of the 
outgoing board returned. 

In the year 1861 there were no less than three political parties in the field, 
namely, the republican, democrats and union democrats, the first being success- 
ful in all parts of the state. For the office of State Senator, A. M. Crane, repub- 
lican, received 1,274 votes, H. Linden, democrat, 288, and N. Hamilton, union 
democrat, 616. There were no less than six candidates in the field for the office 
of members of Assembly, the successful competitors being the two republicans, 
S. B. Bell and J. M. Moore. 

On June 14, 1862, a union county convention was held at San Leandro when 
delegates to the state convention to be held in Sacramento on the 17th were 
selected as follows : A. M. Church, A. M. Crane, W. W. Crane, Jr., A. J. Kelly, 
William Kennedy, S. W. Levy, William Meek, J. M. Moore, F. K. Shattuck. 
The presiding officer at the state convention was Walter Van Dyke, of Hum- 
boldt, but subsequently, for many years, resident of Alameda. For the purpose 
of nominating candidates for the Assembly, a second union convention was held 
at San Leandro on August 13th, when there were present over fifty delegates, 
who were about equally divided between democrats and republicans. At this 
convention resolutions of unswerving loyalty were passed, and some opposition 
to the candidature of Milton S. Latham for United States Senator was expressed. 
Henry Robinson of Alameda, republican, and Thomas Scott of Washington, 
democrat, were nominated for the Assembly. The election in the month of 
September resulted as follows: For Assembly, Robinson (union), 914 votes; 
Scott, 834; Johnson (union democrat), "JJ"] ; Fallon, 640. The creation of the 
union democratic party was due largely to Alfred A. Cohen, a lawyer of San 
Francisco, and a wealthy resident of Alameda. Notwithstanding the republi- 
can ticket carried all before it at the general election in 1862 the democracy 
held sway at the charter election for the officers of the city of Oakland. 

On June 13, 1863, a union party convention assembled at San Leandro; Asa 
Walker was president, F. M. Campbell, secretary. The following delegates to 
the union state convention at Sacramento were appointed: Alameda township, 
Henry Robinson; Brooklyn township, A. W. Swett ; Eden township, William 
Meek; Murray township (no delegate); Oakland township, John McMann; 
Washington township, H. Overacker. The democratic county convention was 
held at the same place on the 27th of June, and among those who took a part 
in its afifairs was Ex-Governor Weller, who in 1863 was a resident of Fruitvale. 
On August 1st the union county convention met for the purpose of nominating 
the county ticket, which at the election was triumphant. At this election the 


vote in Alameda county for governor was Low (union), 1,392 and Downey 
(democrat), 805. At the judicial election October 21st, Judge McKee defeated 
Judge Brown of Contra Costa, who had received the union nomination by ^^t, 

Under the chairmanship of Dr. W. Newcomb, of Oakland, and S. S. Saul, 
secretary, a union county convention was held at San Leandro on March 19th, 
at which time delegates were appointed to the state convention to be held in 
Sacramento. This convention selected delegates to the national union conven- 
tion. The democratic county convention met at the same place on the "th of 
May with William A. Moss presiding, and Harry Linden, secretary. William 
S. Moss, P. E. Edmondson, W. H. Glascock and Harry Linden were appointed 
delegates to the state convention. These political meetings culminated on the 
29th of October, when a very numerously attended and enthusiastic gathering 
of union followers at San Leandro — the largest then that had been had in the 
county — met to do honor to their popular nominees. L A. Amerman, presi- 
dent of the Lincoln and Johnson Club of San Leandro, officiated as grand mar- 
shal of the day, with E. M. Smith, Lysander Stone and E. C. Jacobs as aides- 
de-camp. The procession, it was positively stated at the time, was eight miles in 
length. This vast concourse passed in review before General McDowell, who 
stood in his carriage, with uncovered head as they filed past, making the welkin 
ring with their loyal cheers. Hon. Edward Tompkins was president of the day ; 
he made a most eloquent and soul-stirring speech, and was followed by Hons. 
Delos Lake, Nathan Porter, F. M. Pixley, J. G. Galium, Attorney-General Mc- 
Cullough, W. H. L. Barnes and Judge Tyler. This demonstration was in every 
sense a most enthusiastic one. 

About this time Hon. J. B. Felton was a prominent candidate for the posi- 
tion of L^nited States Senator. His cause was warmly espoused by the Oak- 
land News, and as strenuously opposed by the San Leandro Gazette. On the 
5th of August the union county convention was held in San Leandro. The 
democratic convention was held at the same place on the 24th. The platform 
adopted by the latter favored a hard money currency, with an extension of the 
specific contract act, to include verbal contract for workingmen's wages ; opposed 
negro or Chinese suffrage ; and favored the reconstruction of the southern states 
on the principles of President Johnson's policy. At the general election which fol- 
lowed the union Candidates were successful in every instance. At the judicial elec- 
tion held in the following month S. \\'. Sanderson, the republican nominee for 
judge of the supreme court, received, in Alameda county, 390 more votes than did 
Hartley, the democratic candidate. 

On November 8, 1864, the presidential election showed a majority in this 
county for Lincoln of 658 votes, while his plurality throughout the state was 
16,634 votes. For Congress, Higby received 1,458 votes, as against 797 for 

On June 8, 1867, the union county convention convened at San Leandro, but 
discord had crept into the ranks of the party, and there was an undoubted 
diversity of opinion as to party policies and measures. Judge A. I\L Crane was 
chosen chairman, and A. i\L Church and William Gagan, secretaries, while there 
were some fifty delegates in attendance. The following delegates were appointed 
to the state convention at Sacramento: John W. Dwindle and B. F. Ferris, 


Oakland township ; A. M. Church and B. F. Marston, Washington township ; 
William Meek, Eden township ; S. Milbury, Brooklyn township ; A. M. Crane, 
Alameda and Murray townships jointly. 

On the 15th of June the democratic county convention was held at the same 
place. J. West iMartin, C. H. Cushing, J. W. Dougherty, William Moss and 
John Threlfall were appointed delegates to the state convention. When the 
republican convention met at Sacramento George C. Gorham was nominated for 
governor. It was afterwards charged that his nomination was secured by smart 
tactics and trading. The union men who were expected to make the republican 
ticket successful became disaffected, and at the election held in the month of 
October, the ticket was ingloriously defeated. The democrats seeing this weak- 
ening of the opposing host, published a platform denouncing the Mongolian 
influx, declaring labor to be the true foundation of all prosperity, and placing 
at the head of their ticket Henry H. Haight of Alameda as democratic candi- 
date for governor, who, amid much enthusiasm, obtained a signal majority over 
Gorham of 8,527. 

The union county convention assembled at San Leandro on March 18, 1868, 
and elected delegates to the state convention at Sacramento. The democrats 
convened there on the 25th of April and passed resolutions highly complimen- 
tary to Governor Haight, and strongly urged him as the next democratic candi- 
date for the Presidency of the United States. 

On July 22d, the union county convention met at San Leandro for the pur- 
pose of nominating county and judicial officers, the democrats meeting for the 
purpose on the loth of August. In the ticket presented by the last-mentioned 
party for the office of district attorney was George M. Blake, a convert from the 
union ranks, while in Captain Mayhew, who had been a prominent member of 
the other party, the democracy also found a new follower, yet notwithstanding 
these recruits the union ticket won. 

On Saturday, July 18, 1868, a democratic ratification meeting at San Lean- 
dro, in honor of the nomination of Seymour and Blair as candidates for the 
Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States, was held, among the 
speakers being Governor Haight and Lieutenant-Governor Holden. The chair 
was occupied by William S. Moss ; the secretary was W. J. Collier, editor of the 

There was much enthusiasm among politicians during the Presidential elec- 
tion of this year, mass meetings of both republicans and democrats being held 
throughout the county, while the ablest speakers were arrayed on both sides. 
Grant and Colfax received a majority in Alameda county of 536 in a total vote 
of 3,123. In this year there were enrolled on the great register, after the can- 
celled names were struck off, 4,623 names, while there were recorded on the 
poll list only 3,596 names. 

In 1870 the union county convention was held in San Leandro. The demo- 
crats made no nominations, but an independent party was formed and a ticket put 
in the field, headed by Edward Tompkins for State Senator. On the 1st of 
September the election was held and portions of both tickets were successful. 
For the office of county recorder there was a tie vote between P. S. Marston 
and M. W. Levy, which at a special election held on October 25th resulted in 
favor of the former. 


On May 4, 1870, an election of trustees in Brooklyn was held and resulted 
as follows: H. A. .Mayhew, Hiram Tubbs, Adam Cannon, Charles Newton, 
Henry Turn Suden, board of trustees; A. W. Swett, F. Buel, C. C. Knowles, 
school directors ; J. F. Steen, clerk and treasurer ; C. E. Webster, assessor. Mr. 
Mayhew was elected president of the board of trustees on May 7th. 

The Young Men's Republican Club was organized for the Grant and Wilson 
campaign and continued an influential political power for many years. The large 
republican majorities were ascribed to the efforts and influence of this club. 
The membership was about two hundred i,n 1875. It was united and harmon- 
ious, and could not be distorted nor purchased by private politicians. In their 
announcement was this plank: "We firmly believe in the integrity of the rank 
and file of the republican party to choose such state officers as will be free from 
corrupt influences and are fully capable of righting any wrongs that may exist 
within the party, independents to the contrary notwithstanding." 

There was a time when the Federal faction ruled atTairs in Alameda county. 
This was immediately succeeding the Civil war when others than republicans 
were presumed to be in disfavor. George M. Pinney was the head and front 
of this faction. The arbitrary methods of this faction became at last unsufifer- 
able and an independent movement was organized, succeeded, and changed the 
order of aft'airs. 

On July 28, 1873, the republican party held a convention at San Leandro to 
elect delegates to the congressional convention at Sacramento. After a keen 
contest Hon. Nathan Porter of Alameda was put forward as the choice of the 
republicans of the county. Although Mr. Porter appeared to be the favorite at 
Sacramento, there was present an unseen influence that gave the nomination to 
Horace F. Page of Placerville. 

On August II, 1873, the republican county convention met at San Leandro 
under the presidency of George M. Pinney, when C. W. Howard, W. J. Gurnett 
and I. A. Amerman were nominated as state senator and members of the 
Assembly. On the 23d a meeting of the independent reform convention was 
held at the call of the democratic county committee at the same place, Dr. Beverly 
Cole being chairman and J. M. Estudillo, secretary of the convention. Edward 
Gibbons, independent, received the nomination for state senator and J. W. 
Dwindle, republican, and Daniel Inman, democrat, both former representatives 
of, the county, were nominated for the Assembly. For treasurer, Robert D. Far- 
relly was nominated by acclamation. Ellis. E. Haynes, a republican, was nomi- 
nated for sheriff; J. M. Estudillo, democrat, for county clerk; Eben C. Farley, 
democrat, for recorder; Henry Evers, republican, for auditor; W. \\'. Foote, 
democrat, for district attorney ; Newton Ingram, democrat, for tax collector ; 
Thomas W. Millard, democrat, for assessor; V. S. Northey, independent, com- 
missioner of highways; John Doherty, democrat, surveyor; Eugene Thurston, 
democrat, for superintendent of schools; S. W. Mather, republican, for coroner; 
and Dr. W. P. Gibbons, republican, for public administrator. At the election, 
which took place on the 3d of September, the entire republican ticket was elected 
save for the offices of state senator and county treasurer. 

In 1874 two city conventions were held in Oakland. The republicans met 
April 24th and nominated a full ticket headed by Henry Durant for mayor, and 
succeeded in electing their entire ticket. The democrats or liberals assembled 


April 25th and also nominated a full ticket. Each convention named a central 
committee. Durant, republican, in 1874 received for mayor a majority of 572 
in a total vote of 1,593. In 1875 Webber, republican, received a majority of 164 
over Gurnett, democrat, out of a total vote of 1,760. As a whole the election of 
1874 was a republican success. The temperance alliance attempted to make a 
showing at this election but failed. 

Henry Durant, who had served as mayor of Oakland with conspicuous credit, 
died in January, 1875, and was given memorable obsequies by his sorrowing 
fellow citizens. At the time of his funeral the university, all the schools and 
many business houses were closed. The democrats nominated what they called 
a citizens' ticket in February for municipal offices. W. J. Gurnett was nominated 
for mayor. Among the resolutions adopted was one favoring the administration 
of municipal affairs along non-partisan lines. The republicans selected a com- 
mittee of five to whom was submitted the task of naming a party ticket for the 
municipal election in the spring of 1875. That E. C. Sessions was the choice of 
three-fourths of the voters irrespective of party none disputed ; but Mr. Sessions 
did not want the place, or rather his business activities were so important and 
vital to him as to prevent his acceptance. The Young Men's Republican Club 
was an important factor at this election; also in 1874. 

The new Republican Club organized at Oakland in May, 1875, elected the 
following officers : J. V. B. Goodrich, president ; William Bartling, J. E. Farnum, 
vice-presidents; W. M. Gilcrest, recording secretary; F. D. Hinds, corresponding 
secretary ; W. B. Hardy, treasurer ; Perry Johnson, marshal. At a public meeting 
the club endorsed the principles and purposes of the national union republican 
party ; encouraged the efforts to improve the harbor ; pledged itself to support 
no candidates that were not honest and capable ; expressed the belief that all qual- 
ified voters should exercise the privilege, and said: "We look with unmingled 
pride and satisfaction upon the rapid growth of our pleasant and beauteous 

Early in 1875 a large faction of the people openly demanded the nomination 
and election of E. C. Sessions to the office of mayor. Fie was familiar witli 
the real wants of the city, was young, strong, cultured, honest and public-spirited, 
had no political aspirations to warp either his rectitude or his judgment, was in 
business here — the construction of houses — was always at home and was almost 
an ideal man for the office, because he was interested in the rapid, legitimate 
and harmonious growth of the city; but he positively declined the honor. 

The republican committee convention met February 18, 1875, and named a 
full city ticket. It was claimed, though denied, that this ticket was a cut and 
dried affair, but the nominees were all good reliable men and citizens who could 
be expected to give the city a wise administration. At this convention a com- 
munication was received from Emma Temple, Jennie Walbridge and Mary W. 
Phelps, who presented a petition signed by 565 women and 350 voters of the city, 
requesting the nomination of two ladies for members of the board of education. 
The list of the voters who signed the petition was published in full in the news- 
papers ; also the list of ladies. The democrats failed to nominate a woman for 
member of the board of education ; the republicans were lukewarm or indifferent 
on the subject and the woman movement thus well started died ingloriously at the 
outset. Mrs. J. C. Carr withdrew her name from the candidacy and the movement 


then totally collapsed. At the county convention Mrs. L. P. Fisher was nominated 
on the independent ticket for county superintendent. 

The charter election in San Leandro in May, 1875, resulted in a victory for 
the high license advocates; it meant the advance of licenses from $15 to S50 per 
quarter, the same as in Oakland. The high license faction elected their assessor, 
clerk and justice of the peace, while the low license wing captured the marshal 
and treasurer. Three high license trustees were chosen: A. T. Covel, (high) 98 
votes; J. A. Estudillo, (low) 96 votes; George Smith, (high) 93 votes: A. Bald- 
win, (high) 93 votes. 

In the first partition of the state. Contra Costa was attached to Santa Clara 
county for senatorial purposes. On the creation of Alameda county it was joined 
to Santa Clara, and formed into the Fourth senatorial district, and thus it con- 
tinued until created into the Ninth senatorial district. By the act approved March 
16, 1874, Alameda county was designated as the Fourteenth senatorial district, 
to have two Senators, and as such it remained until the session of the Legis- 
lature in 1875 when the state was redistricted, and Alameda county formed into 
the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth senatorial districts, with one Senator 
for each. The First, Fourth and Sixth wards of the city of Oakland, together 
with the election precincts of West Berkeley, Bay and Ocean View, constituted 
the Sixteenth senatorial district; the Second, Third, Fifth and Seventh wards of 
the city of Oakland, together with the election precincts of East Berkeley, 
Temescal and Piedmont, constituted the Seventeenth senatorial district; and 
that portion of Brooklyn township outside of the city of Oakland, together with 
the townships of Alameda, Eden, Washington and Murray constituted the 
Eighteenth senatorial district. When originally created, Alameda county with 
those of Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Mono, Calaveras, Amador, El 
Dorado, Sacramento, Placer, Nevada and Alpine were defined as the Second 
congressional district, but by the act approved March 30. 1872, Mono was segre- 
gated therefrom, and embodied in the Fourth district. The Legislature in 1883 
constituted the counties of Yolo, Sacramento, Solano, Contra Costa, Marin and 
Alameda into the Third congressional district. 

The political campaign of 1875 was one of the most remarkable in the history 
of the state. The issues were vital, the candidates able, the people intensely 
interested and. the newspapers caustic and personal. Such speakers as Booth, 
Gorham, Sargent, Phelps, Bidwell, Lovett, Raymond delivered brilliant addresses 
to the populace. They were strong enough to tear the issues to tatters and elo- 
quent enough to draw immense and enthusiastic audiences. At one of the 
republican meetings bonfires were lighted at Broadway and Fourteenth streets. 
The Young Men's Republican Club marched through the streets with band and 
banners, halted in front of the Grand Central hotel, and escorted Mr. Phelps 
to the tent at Thirteenth and Washington streets. The meeting was called to 
order by J. J. Porter, chairman of the county central committee. F. K. Shattuck 
served as chairman. Mr. Phelps then spoke for about an hour and a quarter on 
the issues of the day. In early years the republicans in Alameda county were so 
largely in the majority that the democrats had no show on straight tickets, but 
there were usually enough soreheaded members of the former to elect a few 
of the latter every year. The independents of Alameda county were fully 
organized in the spring of 1873. Their county central committee were as fol- 


lows: Henry Robinson, A. W. Sinett, Walter Blair, William Meek, D. Inman, 
Eben C. Farley, General Bowie, William Linfoot, Captain Wilcox, C. A. Tuttle 
and \\. W. Winn. 

The republican county convention met early in June, 1875. Thomas Eager 
of Brooklyn township served as chairman and John Ames as secretary. The 
committee on resolutions were A. \W. Bishop, N. W. Spaulding and W. W'hidden. 
The resolutions adopted affirmed allegiance to party principles and the delegates 
elected were instructed to vote for the renomination of H. E. Page for Congress 
from this district, and his acts were warmly endorsed. 

The county democratic convention met in the Academy of Music July 23, 1875, 
and was called to order by Judge Blake ; Joseph Dement served as chairman. The 
convention put out a straight ticket — resolved to stand or fall on principle. It 
endorsed the state platform, favored the Oakland harbor improvement, advocated 
the strictest economy in the management of the city affairs and declined to appoint 
a committee to meet a committee from the independent convention with a view 
of possible amalgamation. 

The people's independent convention assembled in the city hall in July, 1875, 
and was called to order by William Meek of the county committee. Col. G. W. 
Bowie served as chairman. Upon motion a committee of ten was appointed 
to present to the convention nominees for the different offices ; this committee 
consisted of William Meek, W. Blair, D. Inman, H. G. McLean, J. T. Walker, 
Socrates Hufif, C. T. Hopkins, E. M. Smith and A. J. Snyder. Steps to confer 
with the democratic convention then in session were taken. A committee was 
appointed to meet General Bidwell at the station and escort him to the Grand 
Central hotel. 

The convention of the temperance reform party was held here on August 20, 
1875, and consisted of the central committees of state and county. J. H. Red- 
stone served as chairman and A. Crawford, as secretary. Any person present 
in sympathy with the objects of the party was, upon motion, regarded as a mem- 
ber of the convention. The following committee selected the candidates to be 
placed before the convention: Joel Russell, Rev. Mr. Wills, J. M. Horner, Mr. 
Ricks, Mrs. Dr. Carr and Mrs. G. M. Blake. A full ticket was nominated. The 
platform of the state temperance reform party was adopted. 

At the republican county convention on August 2, 1875, a full county ticket 
was nominated and the utmost harmony prevailed. The platform adopted pledged 
economy in local administration, favored the reduction of the salaries of county 
officers, opposed monopolies, especially the land monopoly, endorsed the state 
and national platforms, instructed state representatives to exert their influence 
to reduce expense, and endorsed the official career of Congressman Page and 
recommended his reelection. Upon the appearance here of Mr. Page on August 
12, 1875, he was greeted with an ovation that few men ever receive on this 
earth and fewer still sincerely merit. Not alone the republicans but the democrats 
and independents and ladies assembled at the station, along the line of march 
and at the tent to do him honor. The entire line of march was a bewildering 
display of banners, fireworks, bonfires and shouting people. Nothing surpassing 
it was ever before witnessed on the streets of Oakland. The enthusiasm culmi- 
nated at the campaign tent which was densely packed long before the distin- 
guished speaker arrived — a much larger assemblage than had thus far greeted 


any other orator of the campaign. A splendid glee club kindled the fires of 
enthusiasm by singing a political adaptation to the tune "That's What's the 
Matter" — the singers being Pratt, Reed, Booth and Farrington. The applause 
was deafening and continued and the singers were forced to repeat. District 
Attorney Moore served as chairman of the meeting. When Mr. Page took the 
stage he was unable to proceed for some time because of the tumultuous and con- 
tinuous applause which greeted him. It was a speech of great power and interest 
touching local affairs and revealing the details of his fight in Congress for the 
improvement of the harbor and the welfare of this community. 

The Ward bill of 1876 was a democratic measure and was followed generally 
by democratic success in Oakland. The Oakland Democratic Club reorganized in 
February, 1876, and elected "Uncle Billy" Hoskins, who had been its secretary 
for twenty-six years, to a life membership and also elected the following officers : 
William Van Voorhies, president ; F. J. Brearty, L. Wintringer, S. D. Crowin, 
Col. John Scott, vice-presidents ; H. E. Wilcox, William .Moore and A. E. Castello, 
finance committee; W. M. Graham, secretary; Patrick Scully, treasurer. 

At this time there was considerable dissatisfaction in the democratic ranks 
against the usurpations and dictatory policies of the Democratic Club. It was 
proposed in the club, much to the indignation of outside democrats, that the city 
nominations of the democracy be made by the club and not by the regular demo- 
cratic committee. So much indignation was expressed that the club at its next 
meeting rescinded the action it had already taken, but passed another equally 
objectionable to the outside democrats, that the members of the club in ward 
delegations select seven democrats from their respective wards, the whole to 
constitute a nominating convention. This act made the club still the nominating 

The Oakland democratic convention nominated John A. Stanly for mayor in 
March, 1876. The republicans nominated Doctor Pardee. The defeat of Mr. 
Stanly was not an expression of sentiment in regard to the Market street railroad 
franchise then under consideration. The people had found Pardee honest, able 
and reliable and knew. nothing of Stanly. 

The republican county convention assembled in Oakland on April 22, 1S76, 
and appointed delegates to the state convention at Sacramento. On the 21st of 
May the democratic party held their convention for the like purpose, and also 
elected a county central committee. On the 12th of that month a great anti- 
Chinese mass meeting was held in Oakland, on which occasion, a resolution 
addressed to Congress praying for relief from the Mongolian incubus was 
adopted. The first campaign meetings of the republicans and democrats were 
held respectively on June 19th and July 15th. 

In 1876 the republicans of Alameda organized for the state and Presidential 
campaign and elected Dr. W. P. Gibbons president of the movement; meetings 
were held once a week. On June nth the republican county convention was held 
in Oakland, and was called to order by George M. Pinney, chairman of the 
county central committee. Thomas Eager was chosen temporary chairman and 
A. W. Bishop, secretary. Confidence in the national administration was declared, 
and appreciation of the services of Congressman Page was expressed. Dele- 
gates to the state convention were appointed. On the 19th of the same month, 
the democrats held a primary election in Oakland, when two tickets were placed 


in the field and the largest vote ever polled at a democratic primary was cast. 
The democratic county convention was held on the 26th, when the best harmony 
did not exist, a result which brought about the defeat of the Oakland delegation, 
who lost control of the convention. In this month the independent county con- 
vention held their session in Oakland and declared their principles to be reform 
in the administration of public affairs, the correction of local abuses, opposition 
to monopolies and the reconciliation of the North and South. The meetings of 
the convention for the nominations of legislative and county officers, were held 
as follows : That of the democrats on July 24th, at the Academy of Music on 
Fifth street. Oakland, with James Beazell at its head as State Senator ; the 
independents met on the same day in the city hall, and named Henry Robinson, 
of Alameda, for State Senator, endorsed M. W. Dixon (democrat), of Washing- 
ton township, for the Assembly, and added the name of Walter Blair of Oak- 
land and Joseph Tayor of Murray; on the 2d of August the republican con- 
vention held their meeting in the Academy of Music, with 115 delegates. Their 
ticket had at its head, E. B. Mastick, of Alameda, for State Senator, but this 
gentleman subsequently declined the nomination. James W. Shanklin was nomi- 
nated instead, and John L. Beard of Centerville, A. T. Coville of San Leandro 
and J. V. B. Goodrich of Oakland were named for members of Assembly. 

W. F. B. Lynch was renominated by the republicans for county superin- 
tendent. In response to a call he said, "When I came into the office of super- 
intendent of schools six years ago, there were but 3,764 children in the county ; 
now there are 9,330." A voice called out "You have done well !" This brought 
down the convention in a tempest of laughter. He retorted pleasantly, "If any 
man can do better, I say let him try it." 

]\Ir. Goodrich who was nominated for Governor withdrew his name from the 
temperance reform party ticket on July 2^, 1876. In July the republican soldiers 
and sailors of Oakland organized with Capt. E. B. Jerome as chairman. Judge 
Daniels and Mr. Jerome addressed the assemblage. At a large mass meeting of 
the republicans of Brooklyn, July 21st, with J. J. Pensam in the chair, a permanent 
organization for the campaign was effected. Addresses were made by A. A. 
Moore, A. C. Henry and Henry Vrooman. 

An immense mass meeting of the democrats ratified the nomination of Til- 
den and Hendricks in the open air at Broadway and Ninth streets, on July 16, 
1876, Judge Ferral, R. M. Clarken, Judge Lamar and others addressed the 
crowd. Bonfires and rockets brilliantly lighted the principal streets. The repub- 
lican county convention of 1876 met August 6th and J. G. McCallom served as 
chairman. Delegates to the state convention were chosen. In their resolutions 
the convention promised 1,500 majority for Hayes and Wheeler and recom- 
mended the renomination of H. F. Page for Congressman. 

A large anti-coolie mass meeting was held in the city hall on Septemljer 12th. 
The principal addresses were by C. C. O'Donnell, E. J. Kelly, Philip Roach and 
Mr. Mather. About this time a conspiracy was formed at Oakland to burn the 
Chinese quarters and kill a number of Mongolian inmates. It was checked by 
Captain Rand of the police department, who put on enough extra patrolmen to 
prevent such a calamity. At this time the Chinese quarters were Ijetween Grove 
and Jefferson streets near the railroad and comprised seventeen buildings. They 
had stores of various kinds and a joss house. Four of the houses were devoted 


almost wholly to gambling and called "Chinatown." Farther up from the creek 
at what was known as the Tuttle tract near San Pablo avenue and Twenty-sec- 
ond street was North or Upper Chinatown. 

Oakland, in the fall of 1876, was the scene of the largest popular political 
demonstration ever witnessed in the county since the memorable campaign which 
elected Abraham Lincoln President of the United States. It was a complimen- 
tary reception tended to Hon. H. F. Page and a meeting called to listen to the 
matchless oratory of Thomas Fitch. The meeting was held at the big republi- 
can tent on Fourteenth street. j\Iany ladies were present. Bonfires, rockets and a 
torch-light procession enlivened the occasion. Mr. Page, as usual, was received 
with stirring enthusiasm and Mr. Fitch's electrical oratory surpassed anything 
of the kind ever before heard here. Nearly all listeners were astonished and 
held breathless by the linguistic beauty and rhetorical fascination of his speech. 

The democrats held a big mass meeting at Dietz hall late in October, and 
listened to an able speech from S. J. Carpenter, democratic candidate for Con- 
gress. As the news was received of the election returns in Ohio, Indiana and 
West \'irginia, eager crowds gathered around the bulletin boards to learn the 
results. United States Senator Oliver P. Morton of Indiana, one of the famous 
"War Governors," spoke to a vast audience at the skating rink, Oakland, late 
in October. The speech was spoken of as one of the most masterly ever deliv- 
ered in this city. 

On March 3, 1877, the committee of lOi met for the purpose of nominating 
candidates for the approaching municipal election. R. C. Gaskill served as chair- 
man. For mayor Dr. E. H. Pardee was nominated. A full ticket was placed 
in the field. Nearly one hundred republicans later addressed a public letter 
to Gen. George S. Dodge, requesting him to become a candidate for the office 
of mayor. The paper stated that the request was made because the signers 
believed a grave injustice had been done the people of Oakland by the republi- 
can convention which had convened here on iMarch 3d. General Dodge gra- 
ciously accepted the call and consented to become a candidate. Livermore was 
divided on local issues in the election of May, 1877; there being a citizens' ticket 
and a peoples' ticket, each of which named candidates for town trustees. 

It was realized in July, that for about ten years a small clique of politicians 
who had become chronic office seekers, were endeavoring to perpetuate their fran- 
chise on the city offices and had formed a ring to that effect. The greenback 
party of the county held its convention July 20th, in Armory hall; Col. A. E. 
Redstone presided. The state platform was adopted and a full county ticket 
was nominated. Among those who participated were John M. Horner, B. V. 
Lowe, Joel Russell, A. E. Redstone, E. C. Farley, A. S. Hubbard. C. E. Pal- 
mer, Alonzo Crawford, John Doherty, William Halley, William Helmer and 
Henry Vrooman. 

In 1877 the democrats of the county in convention opposed Chinese immi- 
gration, favored the prevention of imported Chinese laborers ; demanded justice 
for the working man ; asked for a land tax ; demanded punishment for malfea- 
sance in office; requested Congressmen to secure help from Congress to improve 
Oakland harbor; approved the removal of Federal troops from the South; 
opposed monopolies and sumptuary laws ; and supported a tariff for revenue 
and the common school system. 


In view of the strikes all over the country and the labor and Chinese riots 
in San Francisco in particular, the Oakland council held a special meeting late 
in July, 1877, to adopt measures to insure the prompt suppression of any law- 
lessness that might break out in this city. Every member of the council and a 
large number of prominent citizens were present. An address calling for law 
and order was prepared and circulated. At this meeting there was expressed 
much diversity of sentiment and judgment. J. H. Redstone maintained that 
there existed a general movement in favor of labor throughout the whole country 
that could not be laughed down and advised that steps should be taken to abate 
the Chinese nuisance or settle the coolie question, because the white workingmen 
of the country were opposed to the Chinese. The police prepared for trouble 
and were reinforced by the Oakland Guard and many private citizens. In a street 
speech J. H. Redstone demanded that the Central Pacific Company should at 
once discharge their Chinese employes. Violent resolutions were adopted. The 
citizens formed a committee of safety to meet any unlawful emergency. Five 
hundred special policemen were called for by Mayor Pardee and $5,000 was 
quickly subscribed to meet expenses. Oakland was divided into seven safety 
districts which were patrolled and guarded. The Redstones were leaders of 
the strike movement here and strong speakers at the street meetings. 

The local political campaign in August, 1877, was a mean one — full of trickery 
and lying abuse. An attempt to change two candidates on the republican ticket 
was indignantly opposed by the ring republicans who resorted to every measure 
to defeat the attempt. The insolence, defamation and chicanery of the news- 
papers were manifest to all readers. The result was the election of the entire 
republican county ticket with one exception by reduced majorities. The repub- 
licans now had three representatives and the democrats two. 

On the 22d of January, 1878, a special election was held to choose a state 
senator in the place of Nathan Porter, deceased, which resulted in the election of 
the workingmen's candidate, John W. Bones. George M. Pinney was political 
boss of this congressional district. He controlled the Mare Island navy yard 
from Oakland and was the real author of the famous Tapeworm ticket of the 
yard. He was clever and crafty, and finally became involved in serious difficulties. 

In 1879 Col. E. M. Gibson was appointed to the position of district attorney, 
upon the resignation of Henry Vrooman, who, on retiring, received the highest 
encomiums from the board of supervisors. 

For several years previous to the creation of the workingmen's party as a 
political organization, there had been more or less agitation of the Chinese ques- 
tion, and the competition of Mongolian with white labor. The steady influx of 
coolies from China, the employment of this cheap labor by manufacturing firms, 
and the consequent driving out of white laborers from many of the branches 
of mechanical employment, aroused the working classes to the highest pitch of 
resentment. Early in 1877 Dennis Kearney, an Irish drayman of San Francisco, 
commenced holding public meetings on the vacant lots near the new city hall in 
San Francisco— since known throughout the length and breadth of the land as 
the Sand Lot — and in his declamatory harangues, worked upon the passions of 
the multitude, denouncing all men of wealth, and preaching the extreme doctrines 
of communism. Others who saw a chance for political preferment by catering 
to the evil passions of the mob, followed in the wake of Kearney, holding out- 


door meetings all over the state. Clubs were formed, and out of these in better 
form sprang the workingmen's party. Alameda county in 1878 gave a majority 
of 2,000 against the new organic act, and a majority of 9,336 against Chinese 
immigration. The first election under the new constitution occurred in Septem- 
ber, 1879. Three candidates for Governor took the field. The republicans 
nominated Hon. C. Perkins; the democrats and new constitution party put up 
Dr. Hugh Glenn, and the workingmen's party nominated William White, a farmer 
of Santa Cruz county. 

The republicans, gaining control of the state government, the years 1879 
and 1880 being prosperous, and there being plenty of work for all who wanted 
it, the sand-lot party gradually died out, and the large majority finally went back 
to the democratic party in the presidential election of 1880, from which it had 
cut loose during the exciting period of over two years. Oakland succumbed to 
sand-lot rule for two years — the workingmen electing their mayor in 1878 and 
1879 — in 1878 electing not only their candidate for mayor, but police judge and 
city attorney, and in 1879, the mayor, two members of the city council, and two 
members of the board of education. 

The vote for mayor in March, 1879, was closely contested, W. R. Andrus, 
workingmen's, receiving 2,563 votes, and D. W. Standiford, citizens', 2,353. The 
voters divided into the parties: citizens' and workingmen's, the latter being domi- 
nated, it was alleged, by Dennis Kearney of San Francisco. 

On Saturday, March 4, 1882, in response to the proclamation of Governor 
Perkins, the citizens of California closed their business houses and assembled 
to consider again the anti-Chinese movement. This act was caused by the wish 
to inform Congress what the people of the Pacific coast thought of the bill 
pending in Congress to curtail coolie immigration to this country. In Oakland 
there was a total cessation of business and a determination to express the deep- 
seated antipathy of the people to the great Chinese peril. Masonic hall was 
crowded to its utmost capacity. Mayor J. E. Blethen presided. Colonel Gibson 
made the principal speech — depicting all the evils of the existing system. A full 
series of resolutions was adopted, one being as follows ; "That the evil complained 
of is present and pressing, and that the people of the Pacific coast will be content 
with nothing less than the immediate passage of the bill now before Congress 
restricting furtlier Chinese immigration." There was a general feeling that 
unless Congress gave relief the people would take the law into their own hands 
and speedily abate the nuisance, but this sentiment was promptly checked and 
rebuked by the speakers at this meeting and by the press. 

On March 23d the anti-Chinese bill passed the House by the vote of 177 to 65. 
Congressman Page was given the chief credit for this success. It provided that 
after ninety days from the passage of the bill and until the expiration of twenty 
years after its passage the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States should 
be suspended. President Arthur vetoed the bill and sadness fell upon all the 
Pacific coast. Through the eflforts of Congressman Page and under a suspension 
of the rules the House passed the bill over the veto. A ten-year suspension 
bill was later signed by President Arthur. 

At the state election in 1882 John R. Glascock of this county ran for Congress- 
man at large; his vote in this county was 4,562 against 4,603 for Morrow, his 
opponent. In 1882 E. M. Gibson, republican, was elected railroad commissioner 


over Foote, democrat, by the vote of 4,599 to 4,445. Vrooman, republican, and 
Whitney, repubhcan, were elected to the state Senate over Lawton, democrat, 
and Dixon, democrat. 

The republican municipal convention, in Alarch, 1882, assembled in Ger- 
mania hall. The call was for the nomination of good men and tlie restriction of 
coolie immig-ration and for the encouragement of manufacturing enterprises. 
The convention nominated for mayor, C. K. Robinson ; city attorney, John Yule ; 
city marshal, M. E. Clough : superintendent of schools, J. C. Gilson ; police 
judge, S. F. Daniels. The democrats nominated for mayor, Israel Lawton; 
city attorney, Thomas Carneal ; police judge, Asa Howard; city marshal, T. F. 
Jenkins ; school superintendent, D. S. Hirshberg. The republicans elected their 
entire ticket by a large majority. For mayor, Robinson (republican), received 
2,444 votes and Lawton (democrat), 2,061 votes. The average republican 
majority was 1,278. 

At the election for town trustees of Alameda in the spring of 1882 the fol- 
low was the result: William Simpson 504, J. ]\I. Gray 528; E. B. Dunning 
188, Louis Meyer 416, C. A. Edson 515, William Midden 549. 

At the election called for November 7, 1882, the number of precincts in the 
county were forty as follows: Alameda township — Alameda Nos. i, 2 and 
3; Brooklyn township — Brooklyn, No. i (two precincts), Brooklyn No. 2; Oak- 
land township — Berkeley, West Berkeley Bay precinct, Temescal, Ocean View, 
Piedmont; Oakland City — First ward (three precincts). Second ward (two pre- 
cincts). Third ward (two precincts). Fourth ward (two precincts). Fifth ward. 
Sixth ward (two precincts) ; Eden township — San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hay- 
wards, ]\It. Eden, Castro Valley; Washington township — Alvarado, Centerville, 
Mission San Jose, Niles, Newark; Murray township — Sunol, Pleasanton, Dub- 
lin, Livermore No. i, Livermore No. 2, Altamont. 

In January. 1883, the state passed from the republicans to the democrats, 
yet all admitted that the administration of Governor Perkins had been excel- 
lent. The bill for the regulation of municipal corporations applied directly to 
Oakland ; it provided that municipal elections should be held every two years 
for seven councilmen, a mayor, a treasurer, a city attorney, a school superin- 
tendent and a street superintendent. The republican municipal convention was 
held March 5th in Germania hall. E. M. Gibson was nominated for mayor; James 
Dods for city clerk and treasurer; Joseph M. Dillon, city assessor. As a whole 
the ticket was pronounced satisfactory and good, but subsequent events proved 
it otherwise in part. The democrats nominated J. W. Martin for mayor,; 
James A. Booth for city clerk and treasurer and O. R. Johnson for assessor. 
Both parties nominated full council tickets. There was a general demand for 
honest men, but party lines governed the voters. The election was quiet and 
uneventful. The result was the election of eleven candidates on the republi- 
can ticket and four on the democratic- ticket, including the mayor. Mr. Martin 
proved to be more popular than Mr. Gibson and drew many republican votes. 
This election surprised the quidnuncs who had predicted an overwhelming vic- 
tory for Mr. Gibson. Even the most sanguine democrats were surprised. Mar- 
tin (democrat) received 2,514 votes, and Gibson (republican) received 2,206. 
Gibson carried wards 2, 3 and 7. For city clerk and treasurer Dods (repub- 
lican), received 2,697 ^"d Booth (democrat), 2,036. The total vote was 4,733. 


At the November election, 1882, the democrats fought to secure the offices 
of sheriff and county clerk. The republican machine and boss rule forced inde- 
pendents to vote the democratic ticket. The result in the county was as follows : 
For Governor — Stoneman (democrat), 4,617; Estee (republican), 4,239; Mc- 
Donald (people's), 369; McQuiddy (greenback), 20. But the county cast a 
majority for the republican candidates. The democrats elected their county 
clerk and sheriff' as they had planned. Thus the republicans met a political 

The republicans nominated for mayor, A. C. Henry ; clerk and treasurer, 

F. M. Fisher; attorney, C. T. Johns; police judge, S. F. Daniels; school super- 
intendent, J. C. Gilson ; city marshal, George Atkinson. The platform pledged 
the party to an economical administration, to no favoritism, and to the furnishing 
of all supplies in the public schools. The democrats renominated J. W. Mar- 
tin for mayor; Bernard McFadden for city attorney; Judge Roseborough for 
police judge; E. H. Hamilton for marshal; T. O. Crawford for school superin- 
tendent ; John Madens for clerk and treasurer. 

The municipal election of March, 1884, demonstrated that Oakland was a 
republican city when that party was united and put up good men. The result 
was due to the energy and good judgment shown by the city central committee — 
W. W. Camron, J. W. Ballard, E. G. Cram, R. M. Apgar, H. Griffin, H. Fiege 
and W. T. Gibbs. The vote stood: For mayor — Henry (republican), 2,531 ; Mar- 
tin (democrat), 2,216. The remainder of the republican ticket was elected by 
larger majorities, Gilson (republican) for school superintendent receiving 755 
majority over Crawford (democrat) and Fisher (republican) for clerk and treas- 
urer 788 over Madens (democrat). 

The republican county convention met in Germania hall on April 27, 1884. 
O. C. Miller of Alameda served as chairman. The resolutions adopted instructed 
the delegates to the state convention to vote for no one to the national conven- 
tion who would not support James G. Blaine for the Presidency, and warmly 
commended the administration of President Arthur. Delegates to the state 
convention were chosen. The republican state convention assembled in the same 
hall two days later. This was a distinction of which the whole county was 
proud. The hall was appropriately decorated for the occasion and the hotels 
were crowded with the delegates and their attendants. A. E. Davis served as 
temporary chairman. The resolutions asked for such amendments to the Chinese 
exclusion act as would prevent any evasion in letter or spirit, supported James 

G. Blaine for president, and recommended that the office of commissioner of 
agriculture should be made a cabinet office. 

The democratic county convention met June 7th, in Germania hall, with 
H. Dusterberry in the chair. The resolutions favored the nomination of Samuel 
J. Tilden for the presidency; denounced monopoly; demanded the payment 
of taxes from the Central Pacific Railroad Company, and condemned Carpenter, 
Humphreys and Marshall of the railroad commission for alleged non-compli- 
ance with election pledges. 

The assembly districts in Alameda county in 1884 were as follows: Fifty- 
first — iMurray and Washington townships, the towns of Haywards and Castro 
Valley; fifty-second — Remainder of Eden township outside of Oakland and all 
of Alameda township; fifty-third— Fourth and Sixth wards, Oakland; fifty- 


fourth — First ward, Oakland and a portion of Oakland township; fifty-fifth — 
Second and Third wards, Oakland: fifty-seventh — Fifth and Seventh wards, 
Oakland and part of Oakland township. 

In July the Army and Navy League held an immense campfire in Germania 
hall. The cry was "Blaine, Logan and Victory." Among the speakers were 
Henry Edgerton, Joseph McKenna, Mayor Henry C. Cook, L. W. Allum, L. B. 
Edwards, George W. Tyler, Captain Huley and Col. E. M. Gibson. 

There was much excitement here in July over the proceedings of the national 
republican convention at Chicago. Large crowds surrounded the bulletin boards. 
When the nomination of Blaine was a certainty the republican hords of the 
county went wild for a few days and held rousing ratification meetings at 
which the best local orators in eloquent terms voiced the approbation of the 

A convention of the regular republicans of Alameda met in 1884 and 
nominated a cut-and-dried ticket and assumed that they had done all that was 
necessary to gain the approval of the voters. But this convention was not per- 
mitted to have its own way without a fight. A ticket in opposition by persons 
who were dissatisfied with the former nominees or with the course of the 
former meeting was put up, the candidates for trustees being as follows : E. B. 
Mastick, T. A. Smith, G- C. Hall, F. H. McCormisk, C. C. Volberg; school 
trustees — D. J. Sullivan, A. .Mayrisch, O. Lubbock, C. A. Brown, T. A. Thomson ; 
marshal^F. K. Krauth, Jr.; recorder — J. W. Clark; treasurer — P. L. Shoafif; 
assessor — James Millington ; clerk — J. M. Reynolds. It was charged that this 
ticket was instigated by certain real estate interests. The committee of thirty- 
three that had nominated the other ticket met on December i6th and by resolu- 
tions advocated the following measures : The streets should be sewered, paved 
and lighted ; there should be an adequate police force ; the public schools should 
be kept up to the highest standard ; the candidates nominated, if elected, pledged 
themselves to see the foregoing measures carried into efifect. The total vote cast 
at the Alameda city election was 751 — a light one. The result of the election was 
as follows: Town trustees — E. B. Mastick, T. A. Smith, G. C. Hall, E. F. Rea 
and R. S. Falconer ; school directors — D. J. Sullivan, Isaac Manheim, A. May- 
risch, C. A. Brown, T. A. Thomson; marshal — James Cook; recorder — C. 
M. Radcliff; treasurer — N. W. Palmer; assessor — E. M. Smith; clerk — ^James 

When the news began to arrive from all parts of the country in November, 
and it seemed as if first one and then the other party had won, the crowds here 
around the bulletin boards went wild and for several days apparently did not 
leave the streets. This county of course was not in doubt, but the excitement 
was over the general result. Alameda county gave Blaine 7,558, Cleveland 
4,735, St. John 105, Butler 89. The whole republican county ticket was elected 
by large majorities — 1,000 to 3,000 except, in the case of one — Supervisor Duster- 
berry, democrat, defeated Musser, republican. The total vote of the county was 
12,365, of which 7,331 were polled in Oakland. In 1880 the total vote was 
9,837, of which 5,762 were cast in Oakland. In 1884 Haywards distinguished 
itself by polling nineteen votes for St. John, the prohibition candidate. 

The republicans in March, 1885, nominated E. W. Playter for mayor and a 
full municipal ticket. The election was strictly a party contest. The democrats 


hoped to capture some of the offices through the apathy or folly of the repub- 
licans. The democrats nominated John S. Drum for mayor. This campaign 
was remarkably free from personalities. The result was the election of the fol- 
lowing republicans : mayor, four councilmen out of seven, six school directors out 
of seven, and all the free library trustees; also treasurer and assessor. The total 
vote was 5,549. Pla\-ter, republican, received 2,901 votes and J- S. Drum, 
democrat, 2,645 votes. 

At the municipal election in Berkeley in May, 1885, the following officers were 
elected: For trustees — J- M. Creed, H. L. Whitney and W. C. \^'right ; school 
directors^R. W. Andrews, C. H. Burr and Chris. Johnson; marshal — Philip 
Monroe; clerk — T. F. Graber; treasurer — Thomas Hann; justices of the peace — 
C. N. Terry and C. R. Lord; constable — T. F. Henderkin and W. H. Menefee; 
assessor — R. A. Morse. Two tickets were in the field. The total vote cast was 
537 — East Berkeley 313, and West Berkeley 224. The two tickets were called 
people's and citizens'. 

In the spring of 1886 the republicans renominated Mayor Playter and put up 
a full ticket. In the convention there was sharp rivalry, but the best of feeling. 
The contest was a preference of persons rather than a question of character or 
ability. Both parties named good men and while party lines were generally fol- 
lowed, there were many cases of scratching through personal prejudices. News- 
papers urged voters to stick to their party in order to secure prestige for the 
approaching state contest. The democrats nominated Capt. John Hackett for 
mayor and also placed a full ticket in the field. John H. Church ran as an inde- 
pendent candidate for mayor. He declared that both parties, republican and 
democrat, had lowered their colors to a railroad company, in other words had 
ceased to serve the people. There was a conflict between two railroads, narrow- 
gauge and broad gauge and the parties, he declared, had espoused the cause of 
the one or the other. He also opposed the merchant's license and favored a 
reduction of official salaries — that of the mayor included to be cut down to $1,000. 

At the San Leandro town election in 1S86 a war of races resulted in the elec- 
tion of a mixed ticket. The Irish and Portuguese were unfriendly. The repub- 
licans cut and slashed their own ticket or it would have won in spite of the fact 
that the town was really democratic by about thirty-five majority. At the town 
election in Haywards two tickets were put up — people's and citizens'. The anti- 
boycotting sentiment was represented by the people's, which was elected by about 
3 to I. The voters evidently did not believe business men should be boycotted 
because they employed Chinese laborers. At the Berkeley town election in May 
there were two tickets in the field — citizens' and people's ; the greater portion of 
the former was elected. 

An assemblage of republicans and others called the taxpayers' convention 
met on March 8, 1887. Several inflammatory speeches were delivered and imme- 
diately thereafter the following action was taken : "That it is not for the best 
interests of the city to return Pardee, the incumbent, to the office of mayor, 
and that should General Dodge consent to become the candidate of the taxpayers 
this convention will give him their hearty support." In a spirited speech W. M, 
Graham thereupon formally nominated General Dodge. The acceptance by that 
gentleman was received with great applause by the convention. This opposition 
movement of the alleged taxpayers was against the so-called "ring" in the 


municipal government^ — against a packed convention and a cut-and-dried ticket. 
It was claimed that when Henry Durant ran on the regular republican ticket 
for mayor, Doctor Pardee bolted the ticket and ran in opposition, doing his best 
to defeat Durant, and that now that same Doctor Pardee had so grown in influence 
in certain political quarters that he could pack the convention and laugh at any 
one shrewd enough to understand his game. It was claimed that it took the 
"ring committee of seven" three nights to prepare a list of favorable delegates 
who would be sure to renominate Doctor Pardee. 

The issues were: (i) a clearly defined system of public improvements; (2) 
a park; (3) a boulevard around Lake Merritt; (4) a broad avenue skirting the 
base of the foothills; (5) a thorough sewerage system; (6) and a definite settle- 
ment of the water front problem. As a matter of fact the republican party as 
such did not renominate Doctor Pardee. All of this was denied by the committee 
of lOi and the republican press. The old administration supported Doctor 
Pardee with great unanimity and vigor. Not a single serious charge was made 
against him or his supporters. The Democrat supported Pardee and the Tribune 
supported Dodge. Parties were split. It was local faction against local faction 
and no doubt personal reasons and private gain cut something of a figure in 
this spirited contest. But people were tired of professional and omnipresent 
office seekers. The result was the reelection of Doctor E. H. Pardee, by a 
majority of 145 votes. In 1876 his majority over Ex-Judge Stanly was 615. At 
the presidential election in 1876 the republican majority in the city was over 
1,300. The result showed that the administration under Doctor Pardee was not 
seriously condemned. He received 1,830 votes and General Dodge 1,685. The 
former carried the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh wards and the latter 
the Second and Sixth. A majority of the republican ticket was elected. As a 
whole the contest was one of the closest and warmest ever held in the city. 

In 1887 the vote of the American party before the election was a doubtful 
and serious problem in local municipal politics. It was seen that the party was 
sure to poll a large vote and the republicans, at least, were scared. At the elec- 
tion, although they won, the republicans realized that they had a new and formid- 
able enemy to encounter in future elections in all probability. W. R. Davis, 
the republican candidate, won but did not have a majority of all the votes polled. 
This was food for serious thought. The result was — for mayor, W. R. Davis, 
republican, 2,761 ;. Henry Hayes, democrat, 2,009; J- W. Martin, American, 
1,357; scattering 35. 

The republican city convention in 1888 nominated Dr. S. H. Melvin for mayor; 
he was chosen on the second ballot against Mr. Shattuck and Mr. Brown. The 
convention reaffirmed the resolutions adopted by the republican city convention 
in 1887 that "the republican party has and now declares a local policy which is 
in favor of every legitimate enterprise calculated to develop the resources of the 
community and the interests of the city." The democrats nominated Charles D. 
Pierce for mayor and a full party ticket. The convention of the American party 
nominated for mayor, J. West Martin, who, though a member of the American 
party, at first declined, but finally accepted when he was nominated again by 
acclamation and with intense enthusiasm. The convention named a full city 
ticket and otherwise prepared for a stirring campaign. The city nomination 
convention of the American party assembled March ist, in Camron hall. The 


convention consisted of all the club members of that party in this city. There 
were in all ninetj-seven delegates. The result of the election was as follows: 
MeKnn. republican, 2.309; Pierce, democrat. 2.376; Martin. .American, 858; 
Gregg, independent, 67. The remainder of the republican ticket was elected. 

The democratic county convention in 18S8, approved the democratic national 
platform, endorsed President Cleveland's course on the reciprocity- problem, 
demanded ward and township registration in this count}'; promised to contribute 
in ever>- way to ever>- movement that would assist in the construction of good 
roads and generally the prosperity- of the county, and favored the total exclusion 
of the Chinese from this countr}-. The convention was harmonious and placed 
a full ticket in the field. The republican counts- convention in September adopted 
resolutions favoring free common schools, the construction of better roads and 
highways throughout the count}-, the proposed public improvements in Oakland, 
and encouragement to any railroad company that would build a road across any 
portion of the count}-. The convention named a full ticket. The republicans con- 
structed a large campaign wigwam at Fourteenth and Broadway. It was built 
by subscription. While the democrats were slow to organize for campaign pur- 
poses, they were not slow to secure the registration of all members of their party. 
By July 20th they had but one club in Oakland, while the republicans had about a 
dozen. The prohibitionists were also active in effecting complete registration and 
the necessar}- naturalization. .Alfred -\. Moore was a candidate for the republi- 
can nomination for chief justice of the supreme court. .\t this time he was the 
recognized leader of the .\lameda count}- bar. He was peculiarly fitted for this 
high place, but in July retired from the contest. There was for the first time a 
law for ward and township registration which closed thirty days before election. 

The formation of political clubs became fashionable — transcended the impure 
bounds of political mud slinging and mounted the stage of society, comedy and 
tragedy as the participants should elect. It was popular for the young men to 
join the clubs and popular for the young ladies to join the young men. It then 
seemed necessan,- for the mothers to put in a dignified appearance occasionally 
and join both, and soon martial music and the nursery luUabys were blended in 
the sweetest nuptial harmony. 

In 1888 W. D. EngHsh, of Oakland, chairman of the democratic state central 
committee, a shrewd and able politician, directed all his efforts to the election 
of one or two democrats in this republican stronghold for the effect such an 
accomplishment would have on the approaching state and presidential elections. 
He directed his utmost efforts to the election of Mr. Pierce, democrat, for mayor ; 
and Mr. Crawford for cit}- school superintendent. He had the assistance of the 
best and brainiest democrats in this cit}- and count}-, .\gain the contest was tri- 
angular as it had been in 1887. The republicans were so certain of victor}- that 
they went to sleep and the result was a democratic victor}- in the essentials. The 
republicans were defeated by their own apathy and by the massed forces of the 
democrats. During the campaign the republicans of Haywards made an e.xcellent 
showing with a uniformed club, a crack drill corps and unabated enthusiasm. 
Elmer Welch was their drill master. 

In the political campaign of 1888 Berkeley. Haywards and San Leandro were 
ver}- active from the start. .\ large wigwam was built at Ha}-wards by the repub- 
Hcans and was the only one in the state outside of San Francisco. It seated. 2,000 


people. J. L. Scotchler was at the head of the republican activities in Berkeley — 
was president of the Harrison and Morton Club. A large mass meeting there 
ratified the republican ticket. At San Leandro the republicans made desperate 
efforts to carry that town. W. C. Wright was president of the republican club of 
West Berkeley. Every ward in Oakland had its republican and democratic clubs. 
Up to July loth, the democrats had done little or nothing in campaign matters. 
The Iroquois Club was busy and two or three bandana clubs were organized. 
Their efforts were thus far spent in selecting a ticket that would win. The 
republican banner was borne to Los Angeles by a committee of Oakland repub- 
licans in December, 1888, E. L. Denison, W. E. Hale and W. E. Dargie originated 
the idea and custom. The voters in November, 1888' were called upon to vote 
twice at dift'erent booths on the same day — once for the national party ticket and 
once for the new Oakland charter. 

The contest at the municipal election in 1889 centered on the selection of 
mayor and the four councilmen at large, because upon them would rest much of 
the responsibility of organizing and putting at work the board of public works 
provided for under the new constitution. All realized that the success of the 
charter would depend largely upon the manner in which it was set in operation. 
Upon the new mayor rested the responsibility of appointing the board of public 
works which would control absolutely all public improvements and thus be wholly 
a new power and consideration in all municipal elections and affairs. The election 
contest in the spring was probably the most exciting ever held in Oakland up to 
that date. The new charter completely revolutionized municipal conduct and 
control and private interests fought hard for supremacy. The war of ideas and 
candidates began at the primaries and ended only after the successful factions 
and party had duly and grandiloquently celebrated their victory and perhaps had 
counted the spoils. There was a hot fight in the republican ranks at the primaries 
— to such an extent that it was said that "Peace spread her wings and flew 
weeping away." The mayor and the board of public works were bull's eyes at 
which all the official aspirants aimed their lances and their partisan hopes. The 
following republicans were candidates for mayor: J. P. Ames, H. A. Powell, 
F. K. Shattuck, A. C. Henry and M. J. Keller. Each candidate had his sup- 
porters and the pledges and betrayals were numerous and glaring. Charges of 
fraud flew fast like rain drops on a wintry day. Thus the primaries were any- 
thing but conclusive and clearly not harmonious. The trouble was in the Fourth 
ward. At the convention, a faction of the republicans bolted the regular con- 
vention — the first time in history. The delegates of the Third and Seventh wards 
went out, and the others nominated Judge A. P. Ames for mayor. The two 
wards bolted on the ground, as they claimed, that political chicanery ruled the 
convention. The platform adopted favored industrial education, promised enforce- 
ment of the new charter, sustained the public schools, favored a free and untram- 
meled ballot, encouraged manufacturers, thanked congressmen for the harbor 
appropriation, hailed with delight the passage of the Scott Chinese exclusion bill 
and recognized the demands of the laboring community. Concerning the bolt 
Doctor Pardee said that the act sounded the bugle against corruption. N. W. 
Spaulding said that he had seen trouble coming from the Fourth ward for a 
long time and knew that the corrupt practices exhibited there would cause trouble 
in the party. The two ward delegations met later, Mr. Spaulding presiding. 


They were joined by the delegates of the American party. On the platform were 
five ex-mayors: N. W. Spauding, E. H. Pardee, J. E. Blethen, J. West Martin 
and E. W. Playter. In resolutions they endorsed the bolt on the ground "of a 
packed convention with delegates from the Fourth ward fraudulently elected in 
violation of law by ballot-box stuffers," and further resolved that citizens of the 
Fourth ward had been practically disfranchised at the primary by dummies in line 
who kept out legal voters until too late to vote — and who had obstructed the polls. 

The result was that the bolting delegation fused with the democratic party, 
each naming half of the fusion ticket, with John R. Glascock as candidate for 
the mayoralty. Separate conventions were held and each named candidates for 
the offices agreed upon. The independent republicans, as the bolters called them- 
selves, favored a liberal construction of the new charter and the nomination of 
men who would give it a fair trial, pledged an election to vote upon the question 
of raising money for public improvements, advocated such an extension of the 
city limits as would embrace all outlying and contiguous territory and farms, and 
asked the cooperation of all citizens in an effort to prevent filibustering at the 
polls. As a matter of fact, the course taken by the Fourth ward was due to the 
failure of that portion of the city to defeat the new charter when it was first 
voted for and afterwards in the Legislature. Having suffered total and inglorious 
failure in the opposition, they now sought by hook or crook to place in the mayor's 
chair and on the board of public works officials who would practically kill or dis- 
grace and make odious the new charter and everything and everybody connected 
with it. The democratic wing of the fusion alliance passed resolutions discoun- 
tenancing every' act of fraud at elections, favoring public improvements, sus- 
taining the public school system, promising a fair trial for the new charter, 
favoring competitive lines of railways, encouraging manufacturers, pledging the 
party to honest administration, and promised the laboring people of Oakland the 
support of the democratic party in all honest and lawful efforts to advance their 
interests and promote their material welfare. The American party reinforced 
the citizens' ticket as the fusion nominees were called. They nominated Mr. 
Glascock for mayor by acclamation and chose other fusion candidates for sub- 
ordinate places. 

The fusion of the independent republicans and the democrats ( in 1889) caused 
the prohibitionists and Americans to name separate tickets. The nominees for 
mayor were as follows: Republican, J. P. Ames; citizens', John R. Glascock; 
American, John R. Glascock; prohibition, Galen M. Fisher. The result was the 
complete success of the citizens ticket. For treasurer Mr. Gilpin was the nominee 
of the republican, citizens' and American tickets. John R. Glascock carried every 
ward. The vote was as follows: For mayor — Ames (R), 2,131; Glascock (Git. 
& Am.), 5,148; Fisher (Pro.), 119; Glascock plurality, 2, 987. The result was 
a blow at boss or ring rule which the citizens of this city did not forget for many 
years. At the Alameda municipal election on April i, 1889, there were polled 
a total of 1,196 votes. There was no contest nor excitement. 

The Alameda County American Citizens Equal Rights Association, an organ- 
ization of the African race, made strong efforts to secure a place on the republi- 
can ticket. There were in the county at this time nearly nine hundred colored 
voters. In view of this fact and their faithfulness to the party they asked that 
a colored man might be named on the ticket as a candidate for the state legisla- 


ture. They asked that J. B. Wilson, managing editor of the San Francisco 
Elevator, might be so nominated. At this time the association above named 
numbered 325 members. 

In the campaign of 1890 the democrats concentrated on Charles McCleverty 
for sheriff, John Hackett for assessor, and C. Lionel Dam for clerk. In 1882 
McCleverty was elected sheriff by a plurality of 580 votes. The democrats 
thought his popularity would again enable him to win and so again nominated 
him in 1890. It was believed also that Mr. Hackett's popularity would enable him 
to win. They nominated T. O. Crawford for county superintendent for the same 
reason. They had nominated him for that office in 1882, but he had declined on 
the ground that the democratic party in this county was against the so-called 
Sunday law and he refused to follow them. The speech of the campaign of 
1890 at Oakland was deliverd by Colonel Markham, republican nominee for 
Governor, at Germania hall, which could not hold the audience that assembled. 
There were bon-fires, Roman candles, parades and much partisan enthusiasm. 
Judge Gibson was ^severely criticised by the republican journals for deserting the 
republican party merely because they decided to nominate an equally good and 
deserving member of the legal profession for superior judge. The republicans 
had made him district attorney for five years, superior judge for nearly six years, 
named him mayor of Oakland, railroad commissioner and Indian commissioner, 
etc. For nearly twenty years he had occupied office through votes or appoint- 
ments of republicans. Now it was said of him that he was nothing if not a 
politician. The republican ticket was elected throughout. This result was certain 
in view of the enormous republican majority in the county and the harmonious 
and united nature of the campaign. The bitter and scurrilous fight against 
Judge Greene utterly failed to accomplish his defeat. There was considerable 
scratching of tickets, but as a whole voters clung to their party nominees. The 
personal popularity of certain democratic candidates enabled them to make 
deep inroads on the majorities of their opponents, but not deep enough to win 
success. For Congress McKenna (R) received in the county 9,190 votes; Irish 
(D. & A.), 6,979; and Felkner (Pro.), 388. For Governor, Markham (R) 
received 9,333 votes; Pont (D.), 6,274; Bidwell (A. & P.), 1,080. For superior 
court judges (2) Henshaw (R), 9,266; Greene (R. & A.), 8,996; Gibson (D), 
7,955; Roseborough (D), 5,809. The democrats elected a justice of the peace at 
Haywards, and a constable at Pleasanton. 

From the start the political situation in Oakland in the spring of 1891 pre- 
sented many complex and baffling features which no politician however astute 
could solve in advance or in any effective way untangle. The Americans wooed 
the board of trade, the improvement associations and the citizens committee ; the 
democrats proclaimed the right of the combination to the favor and franchises 
of the voters, and the republicans sought to rally their scattered flock into the 
party fold once more. Unquestionably the latter had the advantage, because the 
necessity of the combination had already disappeared and republicans were sure 
to come back wiser and holier to the fold. The prohibitionists prepared to con- 
test the field with any and all parties that did not pronounce against the liquor 
interest. It was generally agreed that the combination had not during the past 
two years done such striking and pronounced good, that it should without ques- 


tion be returned to power and glory. The local option alliance figured well at this 

In March, 1891, amid great ceremony, the banner won by Los Angeles county 
in 1886 was brought to Oakland and presented to the banner republican county 
of the state in 1890. Eloquent speeches rendered the occasion memorable. Attor- 
ney Kelley, of Los Angeles, read an interesting history of the flag from October 
20, 1775, ddwn to date. 

The republicans nominated Melvin C. Chapman for mayor and named a full 
ticket. W. R. Davis was chairman of the convention. The platform declared for a 
local policy that encouraged and aided every legitimate enterprise calculated to 
develop the city; sustained the public schools, favored for teachers graduates of 
the Oakland schools and actual residents of the city ; favored street, sewer, plaza, 
drive and park improvements ; demanded the reclamation of the West Oakland 
marsh, a boulevard around Lake Merritt and the proper dredging of that sheet 
of water ; expressed the opinion that the mercantile and manufacturing license tax 
was an unwise and unnecessary system of taxation ; opposed any reduction of 
the liquor license ; pledged the party to the encouragement of all legitimate indus- 
tries and promised strongest restrictions on all occupations or practices that inter- 
fered with the peace, harmony and order of the community. The party was 
united, was out in full panoply and force and at once prepared for active work 
to secure the election of the whole ticket. A ticket of well known and substan- 
tial men was named. The party was determined to regain the power and con- 
fidence which in a large measure it had lost two years before. 

The democrats nominated Charles G. Yale for mayor and likewise named 
nearly a full ticket. The convention was harmonious, though there were some 
diflferences on local option matters. Cary Howard acted as chairman of the con- 
vention. The platform favored the reclamation of the West Oakland marsh, the 
construction of the lake boulevard, a complete system of sewerage, the dredging 
of Lake Merritt, and the issuance of bonds to secure these improvements ; sus- 
tained the public schools and favored home teachers ; expressed the opinion that 
the streets should be opened to tide water; supported the present license sys- 
tem; promised support of an election to determine the continuance or discon- 
tinuance of the drinking saloon ; expressed the belief that the water supply could 
be improved by filtering, etc. ; promised that the estuary touching the Sixth ward 
should be improved ; and deplored the death of George Hearst. Admittedly, the 
democratic ticket and platform were strong and popular, so much so that the 
republicans were spurred to united and heroic methods during the rest of the 

The American party invited the East and the West Oakland Improvement 
Clubs, the citizens committee of one hundred, the board of trade, the local option 
alliance and a large number of representative citizens to meet them in a non- 
partisan convention to name a municipal ticket. But as there appeared to be no 
hurry to accept this invitation, the American party resolved to hold a strictly 
party convention and name a straight party ticket. With the Americans, the 
prohibitionists, the local option alliance, the combination, the straight democrats 
and the straight republicans, Oakland experienced lurid times just preceding the 
municipal election in 1891. 


Under the reform ballot law popularly known as the Australian system, an 
entirely new and different order of procedure was necessary. All the parties 
preferred statements of what should be done by their organizations and follow- 
ers. In 1891 many citizens and business houses requested L. W. Kennedy to 
become a candidate for mayor. He granted the request. The campaign was 
spirited, quiet and free from personal abuse. The local option faction threw 
much doubt on the result. Pledges had been signed by 5,000 citizens ; the ques- 
tion thus arose, how far such obligations would be binding upon the signers. 
The result of the contest was as follows: For Mayor Chapman (R) 4,240; 
Yale (D) 2141 ; Reed (A) 207; Gregg (Pro.) 59. Concerning this election 
(1891) Rev. J. K. McLean said to the temperance women: "Your wish may 
not prevail, but hope on. It is only a question of time when the silent influence 
you possess will conquer." Rev. C. W. Wendte said that the paramout issue 
was not city improvements, but was the overthrow of the saloon power. Rev. 
C. H. Hobart told the voters to elect men who represented purity and right — 
local optionists. Rev. E. R. Dille recommended voters to scratch for the best 
men and against the saloons. Rev. Dr. Coyle aided the battle at the polls for 
men who favored a local option election. Rev. Frank Dixon said those who 
favored local option would find themselves about to sit down without a chair, 
that the politicians obscured the real issue which was temperance, that many 
men prominent in the campaign favored high water and low whisky. Rev. Dr. 
Chapman declared that the real question was temperance — whether the liquor 
traffic should be continued in the city or not. Of the thirty officers elected 
only three were democrats — councilmen. 

In the spring of 1891 two tickets were in the field at Berkeley, viz : non- 
partisan and independent taxpayers. It was the most exciting election ever 
held in that town. Desperate efforts were adopted to defeat the non-partisan 
ticket; one objection was that eight of the candidates were of foreign birth. 
However the ticket, with one exception, was successful. The platform of the 
winners espoused public economy and improvement with individual liberty and 
social order, ample school facilities, moderate taxation, electric lights, enforce- 
ment of the university liquor law, public franchises not to be granted without 
due restrictions, protection against fires, establishment of a general system of 
improvement, and streets and drives to be beautified. The North Berkeley Club 
took an active part in the election, but failed to win a point. The independent 
taxpayers attributed their defeat largely to the fact that the temperance people 
did not vote. It was really a partial victory for the saloons. The independent 
taxpayers ticket was called "Burst the Ring ticket." The highest number of 
votes polled for any one candidate was 763 for McVey for constable. At Hay- 
wards there were two tickets in the field, the taxpayers and an unnamed ticket. 
The former being public improvement advocates, they elected their entire ticket, 
there being polled 283 votes. 

In June, 1892, the republicans in all parts of the county assembled and rati- 
fied the renomination of General Harrison for president. The political cam- 
paign of 1892 in Alameda county was unexampled for its quietness and lack 
of subterfuges and surprises. Although the county was stumped by the parties, 
there were small crowds and little enthusiasm. The Dark Lantern Municipal 
League was the term applied to all persons who opposed the issuance of bonds 


for the public improvements demanded generally in 1891-92. It was declared 
the organization proper comprised only thirty members. The league declared 
their object was solely political and had nothing to do with the bond question. 
The league was active and powerful. Its president was Giles H. Gray. Its 
standing committee of twenty prepared lists of desirable delegates to the munic- 
ipal convention in December, 1892. Fifty-six delegates were elected to the con- 

The republican delegate convention of July, 1892, was one of the liveliest 
ever held. It was the first for twenty years in which a straight fight was made 
for an Alameda county man for Congress. The Congressmen supported for 
many years in Alameda county were Joseph McKenna and H. F. Page, both of 
whom were excellent and satisfactory, but now this county at last demanded 
its own Representative in Congress. The county convention of the people's 
party assembled in San Leandro in August, 1892. They declared in favor of 
having the water front returned to the Government, denounced the state board 
of equalization for allowing the Water Front Company's property claims in 
Oakland valued at $12,000,000 to be assessed at a little over $100,000 and the 
improvements of the Southern Pacific Company valued at several millions to be 
assessed for $8,000. The convention named nearly a full county ticket. The 
republican county convention met in the Tabernacle at Eleventh and Harrison 
streets on September 19th: George E. Whitney served as chairman. The plat- 
form declared in favor of education, temperance, morality, the administration 
of public office for the benefit of the whole people and made the following pro- 
nouncement: "Partisanship in the republican party means patriotism and it 
includes all the elements of wise, conservative and sound citizenship." There was 
good feeling, but there were sharp contests for several of the offices, including 
that of sheriff. The convention demanded that county business should be con- 
ducted upon business principles and George C. Perkins was recommended for 
the United States Senate. At the November election nine constitutional amend- 
ments were submitted to the people. Six were carried in this county and were 
to limit debts of counties, cities, etc. ; to tell how cities could adopt charters ; to 
elect Senators by direct vote of the people, to sustain the San Francisco depot 
act, to require an, educational qualification for voters, and to provide for refund- 
ing the state debt. 

The election of November, 1892, was the first in the state to put the Austra- 
lian system of voting into practice. There was some confusion resulting from 
a misunderstanding of how to mark and otherwise prepare the ballot. The 
result of the election in Alameda county astonished and dismayed the republi- 
cans, surprised and delighted the democrats and caused no unusual nor alarm- 
ing emotions in the breasts or brains of the prohibitionists or peoples' party 
advocates. The vote for presidential electors was as follows : republican 8.772 ; 
democrat 7,109; people's party 2,110; prohibitionist 442. Robert McKillican 
(D.) was elected sheriff. The Australian ballot was successful and liked. In 
1892 Judge Samuel G. Hilborn .(R.) ran for Congress from the third district 
for both short and long terms, his opponent being Warren English (D.). Judge 
Hilborn carried this county, and at first it seemed that he had carried the dis- 
trict. .\s the reports came in it seemed first as if one and then the other led 


in the race. The final count showed Hilborn in the lead by three votes. Mr. 
English contested and in the democratic house of Congress was victorious. 

The local election in Alameda surprised the wise men of that town. Demo- 
crats were successful and old, reliable and entrenched office holders were shaken 
up or turned down. At the county election P. L. Bassett, C. D. Bennett, A. C. 
Fray, J. W. Riley and A. Schrayer were elected members of the sanitary board 
of the Fruit Vale Sanitary District. 

In May, 1892, there were three tickets in the field in Berkeley: non-partisan, 
independent taxpayers and prohibition. The latter accomplished little, though 
polling eighty votes. Generally the non-partisan candidates were elected. The 
Australian system was used and about sixty ballots were thrown out for irregu- 
larity. Although East Berkeley was a temperance district drunken men were 
seen there on election day. Nearly a thousand votes were cast. x-\t Livermore 
there were two tickets ; citizens' and independent. Generally the former won. 
The number of votes polled was 255. The Australian system was used and 
worked well. The town election of San Leandro was lively and resulted in the 
selection of a mixed ticket. Only two tickets were in the field — republican and 
democratic. Personal popularity determined the victors. The total number of 
votes cast was 382. Sturtevant, Eber, Goodman, Hansen and Ouinn were the 
trustees chosen. 

In January, 1893, the Citizens' Municipal League, a non-partisan 'organiza- 
tion expressed dissatisfaction with the city government ; declared that official 
position and influence were unblushingly used for personal profit rather than 
for the public good ; stated that $20,000 of the people's money had been dumped 
into the mud of Lake Merritt without any real benefit to the city ; denounced the 
subserviency of the city officials to the dictation of a venal press ; denounced the 
establishment of poolrooms and the awarding of illegal printing contracts ; con- 
gratulated the citizens of Oakland upon the decision of the United States 
supreme court in the Chicago lake front case whereby it was recognized that 
a public harbor could not be monopolized by a private corporation; favored the 
speedy recovery of the Oakland water front by the city, the entry of competing 
railroad lines, the dredging of Lake Merritt, the construction of an efficient sewer 
system, larger returns to the city for railroad franchises, cheaper and better 
water and light, strict enforcement of liquor laws, suppression of gambling and 
exclusion of saloons from residence districts ; declared that the boulevard as 
then projected and commenced should never be completed — that it should be 
built upon the shores of the lake without diminishing the area of the water 
park, the abutting lands to sustain the cost ; and insisted that public printing 
should be done by the lowest bidder. 

The republicans of Oakland nominated a straight party ticket and refused 
to accept any compromises or plan alterations. Great pressure was brought to 
bear to induce them to accept candidates from other factions, but to no avail. 
As a matter of history it was admitted that the municipal league pleaded with 
the republican managers to endorse their ticket. This they did after villifying 
the party for months, first abusing and threatening and then palavering and 
pleading. Their pleadings were coldly and indignantly turned down. 

The prohibitionists in their platform called for reform in municipal afl'airs. 
asserted that the city should ])0ssess its own water front and monopolies. 


arraigned the non-partisan ticket supporters for discriminating in favor of the 
liquor traffic and gambling and for their "cowardly silence on all moral issues," 
and denounced the members of the council who had betrayed their trust. 

The democratic convention of 1893 was harmonious and determined. There 
was no contest in the convention. Mr. McFadden served as chairman and said 
they had met to complete the work so well begun. T. C. Coogan nominated for 
mayor R. M. Fitzgerald and the nomination was made unanimous. The plat- 
form adopted promised a reduction in taxation, favored the eight-hour labor 
law and endorsed improvements in schools, streets, sewers, administration, 
street franchises, letting of contracts, water front, etc. The platform said, 
"We are opposed to all sumptuary legislation and believe that no license should 
be required for any business which would render the same onerous and burden- 
some." At the republican convention Timothy L. Barker was nominated for 
mayor. George E. Whitney was chairman. George C. Pardee was candidate 
for mayor but was defeated in the convention. Strong speeches of Moore and 
Chickering were called out by the threat of a bolt from a faction of the party. 
The platform was long and contained the usual pledges on schools, streets, sew- 
ers, bonds, water front, saloons, franchises, etc. The populists nominated for 
mayor J. L. Davie ; the prohibitionists, F. W. Sawyer and the municipal league 
George C. Pardee. Thus there were five tickets in the field. The republicans 
and the democrats nominated party tickets. The municipal league and the 
populists announced that they were out for reform. Late in March, 1893, Dr. 
E. H. Woolsey was announced as an independent candidate for mayor. At 
his meetings he exposed the political defects and characters with lantern slides. 
His speeches were the sensation of the campaign. His meetings were attended 
by the largest audiences of the campaign, were wholly original and unique, and 
went to the bottom of the political sins of this community. More than a hun- 
dred lantern slides were exhibited — some serious, many comic and humorous 
and all interesting and thought producing. His was the most lurid, original, 
spectacular and sensational candidacy ever presented here, but he got few votes. 

The convention of the people's party was held in Liberty hall in January, 
with Frank Dixon presiding. Its platform promised that the government of 
Oakland should be removed from the hands of men and parties who made 
traffic of the sacred interests of the people and had done what they could to 
make citizenship itself infamous ; that the Contra Costa Water Company should 
be arrested in its robbery of the public; that the city should proceed at once to 
take possession of the water front through its proper officers, treating present 
occupants as trespassers on the ground that said water front never had been 
and never could be alienated from the people : that the act of the present city 
council in appropriating the money of the people to the improvement of private 
property bordering upon Lake Merritt should be denounced as shameless treach- 
ery ; that a suitable sewer system should be built ; that the granting of further 
franchises or special privileges to individuals or corporations should be resisted, 
and that the public school system should be expanded and perfected. The 
result was the success of the municipal league ticket with a few exceptions ; 
George C. Pardee was elected mayor on the non-partisan ticket. The vote for 
mayor was as follows: Barker (R.), 946; Davie (Pop.), 2,328; Fitzgerald 
(D.), 2,191; Pardee (Non-P.), 2.776; Sawyer (Pro.), 42: Woolsey (Indp.), 


47. In July, 1893, George C. Perkins was appointed to the United States Senate 
vice Mr. Stanford deceased. 

The citizens of Berkeley interested in prohibition ^rmed the citizens" league 
and nominated a town ticket in 1893. The aim of the league was to make the 
municipal laws conform to the statutes, to reinforce the university mile liquor 
act by an ordinance making it easier to secure evidence, to provide more fully 
for sanitary and street improvements and for the needs of the public schools. 
The law and order league and the prohibition club merged into the citizens' 

In Alameda two municipal conventions, in 1893, each claiming to be non- 
partisan, put tickets in the field and the platforms favored the same objects 
with striking similarity. However, there was an inside fight on the question of 
control of the saloon traffic. 

The republicans in 1894 nominated for mayor J. W. Nelson and named a 
full city ticket. The platform opposed boss rule, pledged an economical admin- 
istration, promised a generous policy of public improvements, favored an early 
settlement of the water front question, congratulated the citizens that the water 
rate question had been finally and permanently settled by competition, advocated 
a rigid enforcement of the liquor laws, favored the dredging of Lake Merritt 
and the conveyance of the material to the West Oakland marsh and recom- 
mended the establishment of a public crematory for the disposal of garbage, etc. 
The populists declined to fuse and nominated a full ticket with John L. Davie 
as candidate for mayor. An attempt of the American Protective Association 
to inject matters concerning religion into the platform was defeated by the con- 
vention. The municipal league or non-partisan convention nominated for mayor 
J. W. Nelson, thus endorsing so much of the republican ticket. They announced 
no particular policy or platform except wise administration and advancement. 
The democrats named a full ticket with T. C. Coogan for mayor. The plat- 
form favored public improvements, endorsed the project of constructing the 
valley railroad, favored the appointment of a non-partisan commission to invest- 
igate official corruption, denounced official favoritism ; insisted that the water 
front question should be speedily settled in the courts of last resort and favored 
a crematory and a city sanitary system, etc. The non-partisan convention named 
a full ticket with J. W. Nelson for mayor at the head. The prohibitionists 
named for mayor Dr. P. McCargar. At a later stage the democrats endorsed the 
nomination of J. W. Nelson for mayor. Davie was elected. 

The county populist convention was held in Oakland on July 20th ; C. N. 
Hitchcock served as chairman. The platform urged that the issue between 
capital and labor be squarely met ; advocated government ownership of railroads 
and county or municipal ownership of water, gas and electric plants, and 
declared that public franchises should be for public benefit. A strong county 
ticket was nominated. The convention after declaring its principles and policies 
upheld "the right of every American citizen to proceed to Washington to enter 
the grounds and the capitol and to present their grievances and demands," thus 
endorsing the movements of Coxey's army. The prohibition state convention 
met in Hamilton Hall on May i6th; George B. Kellogg of Placer county, served 
as chairman. There was a large attendance of prominent temperance advocates 
from all parts of the state. The usual resolutions were passed — among them 


being one demanding suffrage for women, one favoring the election of Presi- 
dent and United States Senators by direct vote of the people, and one advocating 
a graduated land tax. The convention nominated Henry French, of San Jose, 
for Governor. The democratic state convention nominated James H. Budd for 
Governor. W. R. English of Oakland was nominated for Congress. 

The democratic county primaries were held September i8, 1894; there was 
little contest or enthusiasm. The county convention assembled at San Leandro 
September 22d, in St. Joseph's Hall, which was beautifully decorated. J. J. 
Scrivner presided over the convention. The platform favored low taxation and 
pledged the candidates if elected to a reduction of salaries 25 per cent from those 
then paid. On September 15th the republican primary election was held at 
Haywards. The main fights were over delegates who would favor certain candi- 
dates for superior judge, county assessor, county clerk, county treasurer and 
sheriff. There were sharp contests in the wards and smaller towns. Haywards 
felt greatly honored by the presence of this convention and was decorated in 
gala attire, particularly Native Son's hall where the proceedings were held. 
The surprises were the new candidates nominated. The convention opposed the 
railroad refunding bill then before Congress, favored a rigid retrenchment in 
county expenditures, and pledged the ticket to improve and keep in repair the 
principal county roads — particularly the Contra Costa county road. 

The republican campaign of 1894 opened in this county on August 18th, with 
the appearance of M. M. Estee, republican candidate for governor, who delivered 
a comprehensive and telling speech to a large audience. He thoroughly reviewed 
the labor troubles and declared he had been warned as to what he should say in 
Oakland, because of the strike and the academic air that prevailed here. He 
did not mince words nor restrict thought, but attacked every disturbing and 
unfair element before the public. The Alameda county non-partisan convention 
assembled in Hamilton hall on September nth; C. R. Lewis presided. The 
convention demanded that every department of the county government should 
be kept free from partisan politics. Nearly a full ticket was chosen. The elec- 
tion was a surprise to the members of all parties. With a few exceptions the 
republican ticket was elected, several candidates by a very narrow margin. 
Sanford, populist, was elected treasurer and Garlick, populist and non-partisan, 
was chosen superintendent of schools. Collins, republican, was defeated by Mc- 
Donald, democrat, for the Assembly. C. B. White, populist, had a large plural- 
ity over Schaft'er, republican, for sheriff. Several other surprises occurred. The 
irregularities of the pluralities of the successful candidates betrayed the work- 
ing of agencies wholly foreign to partisanship. The popularity of Judge Hen- 
shaw was revealed by the result. The existence of personal considerations and 
factional leanings was shown in every precinct. For Governor: Budd (D.), 
received 6,786; Estee (R.), 8,150; French (Pro.), 616; Webster (P.P.), 4,531. 
Fred M. Campbell, who ran independently for county school superintendent, 
received 3,380 votes and D. M. Pugh (Pro.), received 336. It was seen that 
old methods of candidacy, convention and tickets were seriously invaded. While 
party nominations were still of supreme importance, they no longer possessed 
the sanctity of former years. No sooner was this election over than politicians 
and parties began to decipher and weigh the influences and issues of the approach- 
ing munici]5al campaign in the spring of 1895. All the nine amendments except one 


were carried. A public improvement campaign was next on the program, it was 

The vote for judge of the supreme court in the state convention was as follows : 
Henshaw, 659 ; Torrence, 516 ; De Haven, 422. Judge Henshaw was a graduate of 
Oakland high school and of the University of California in 1879. 

In 1892 the great register contained 22,873 names; in 1894 it contained 29,362. 
This great increase was a surprise to many who did not know how fast the county 
was growing. This registry was as follows : 

Oakland 15.481 

Alameda 3442 

Berkeley 2,638 

Oakland township 1,842 

Brooklyn township 1,222 

Eden township i ,934 

Washington township 1,232 

Murray township 1.571 

Total 29,362 

The elections in Haywards and San Leandro in April, 1894, followed party 
'ines very closely, with enough personality to add zest to the occasions. San 
Leandro was really a democratic town. In both towns the sharpest contest was 
over the town marshal who was assumed to be an important factor in the 
liquor question. 

In a close contest George C. Perkins was elected to the United States Senate 
in January, 1895; his strongest competitor was M. H. De Young of San Fran- 

Early in 1895 the populists were particularly active in their preparations for 
the municipal fight approaching. The republicans were active early, but the 
democrats were slow. The municipal league prepared to put a full ticket in 
the field. Late in January there was held the special election to determine 
the will of the voters of Oakland regarding the proposed amendments to the 
city charter; they decided in favor of the measures, which fact was recognized 
as an open endorsement of the course of Mayor Pardee whose renomination 
was strongly recommended by a large faction. The municipal league had grown 
in favor and the old parties found it necessary to defer to its dictum. 

The municipal election of 1895 was a surprise to almost everybody. No one 
properly estimated the strength of the people's party platform or the popularity 
of its candidate for mayor, The result of the election proved that the people did 
not believe that the non-partisan administration had fulfilled its pledges made at 
the time of election and carried forward the reforms demanded. It thus came 
to pass' that J. L. Davie was easily elected mayor, though the non-partisans 
secured a good worl<ing majority in the council. The other successful candi- 
dates were scattered among the four or five parties which had tickets in the field. 
For Mayor Davie (P.P.), received 4,543 votes; Nelson (M. L., D. and R.), 3.861 ; 
McCargar (Pro.), 93. No doubt the attitude of Mr. Davie against the Water 
Front Company and in fa\or of cheap trans-bay transportation had much to do 

Vol. I— IB ' 


with his popularity and his triumph at this time. Ahhough after a while the 
Davie ferry service was forced to withdraw, the benefits of reduced fares which 
it established still remained and were appreciated and not forgotten. 

The fight over the tax levy in September, 1895, was bitter and protracted. 
Mayor Davie who had been elected to office largely by the low tax people, 
declared he would veto any levy above $1. Although it w-as shown that the 
funds of many departments would have to be seriously cut, the mayor stood 
fi,rm and in the end the $1 ordinance was passed. During the inflammatory meet- 
ings of the council the lie was passed more than once. Many called the council 
the "Bear Garden." The facts were that the faction which demanded a generous 
taxation for the schools, library, and street and park improvements were out- 
voted and outmaneuvered by the low-tax and no-improvement masses who still 
stood with their feet on the neck of progress and betterment. Akin to this low 
tax policy was the act of the masses in voting against the refunding of the 
$140,000 in city bonds about to become due. 

In January, 1896, the populists became so disappointed with the course of 
Mr. Davie that they concluded he had fallen from grace and accordingly expunged 
his name from their rolls. The campaign of 1896 was characterized by great 
confusion over the kinds of money and the rights of labor and as a consequence 
there was a general demand for a campaign of education in order that voters 
might be enlightened on the obscure and perplexing problems. Partisanship in 
this county was cut to pieces by the side issues of gold, silver, socialism, popu- 
lism, woman suffrage, rights of labor, etc. The politicians were in their ele- 
ments — could advocate anything and at every meeting had listeners and sym- 
pathizers. A demand arose from the interior of the county for the selection of 
G. W. Langan as candidate for superior judge on the republican ticket. He was 
supported by the newspapers of Livermore, Haywards, Irvington, Alameda, Pleas- 
anton and Berkeley. The latter demanded a superior judge outside of Oakland. 

The congressional contest was eventful and full of fusions and other surprises 
and apparent incongruities. The gold democrats had a large following in this 
county. The nomination of John M. Palmer for president met their approval and 
they prepared to put up a ticket and make a fight for place and power. Much 
complaint was made that although public improvement had been discussed for 
many years and had been pledged time and again by the various successful city 
tickets, nothing of consequence had been yet done — a great deal of money had 
been spent, but in such a meager and stinted fashion that the results were scarcely 
visible. Many wanted a large sum raised through bonding measures to make a 
notable advance in a vast and creditable system of improvements that would 
beautify the city and attract permanent residents. Many declared that the era 
of public improvement had arrived and that effective action on a large scale was 
the duty of the people to future generations. But the great mass of the people 
were still blind to the golden and glorious possibilities of coming decades — saw 
only the mercenary present. In fact there arose a decided movement for curtail- 
ment and retrenchment. Teachers' salaries were cut and other unwise steps 
taken. In September, 1896, the state board of equalization raised the assessment 
of Alameda county 5 per cent ; other counties were raised or lowered as seemed 
required by the board. 


In the campaign of 1896 woman suffrage was brought to the front and made 
conspicuous. A thorough organization carried on a spirited campaign in this 
county- Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Anna H. Shaw came from the East to assist 
the movement'. The Legislature had previously been asked to pass a law grant- 
ing suffrage to woman, but that body finally decided to permit the state to vote 
on striking the word "male" from the constitution which would effect the asked 
for change if carried. This was the issue in the campaign — to strike the word 
"male" from the organic law. The Political Equality Club was very active. It 
consisted of both men and women and carried on operations through numerous 
committees: lecture committee — Mrs. Lloyd Baldwin, Mrs. Haight and Mrs. 
Stocker; press committee — .Miss Conners, Mrs. Curtis, Charles H. Shinn and 
Mrs. Keith ; advisory committee — J. D. Dickinson, Green Majors, Clinton S. 
Dodge, Judge Haight and Colonel Babcock ; committee on lecturers — J. D. Dickin- 
son, Green Majors, Dr. Kellogg Lane, Millie Comers, Mrs. S. C. Sanford, A. A. 
Denison, Charles H. Shinn, Burdette Cornell, Judge Haight, Mrs. Ada Van Pelt, 
Mrs. Alice M. Stocker and Mrs. Eleanor Carlisle. Subscriptions were called for 
and were forthcoming in sufficient amounts to make a creditable showing and 
fight. Miss Shaw, Mrs. Chapman-Catt, .Miss Mills and other famous suffrage 
speakers addressed large audiences at several points in the county. Ten-cent 
badges were sold to raise money for expenses. The county suff'rage headquarters 
were in Central Bank building in Sandford's humanitarian offices. 

Alameda county was given the honor of opening the republican presidential 
campaign in this state. The celebration was held on August 8th and consisted of 
a street parade and a mass meeting under the auspices of the Alliance Club. At 
the Macdonough theatre addresses were delivered by General Barnes, Judge R. R. 
Carpentier and S. M. Shortridge. On the same evening the populists held a big 
meeting in Germania hall and ratified their national ticket. Speeches were made 
by J. P. Garlick, Green Majors, Susan B. Anthony, J. C. Butler, C. B. White, 
Taylor Rodgers, Judge Gibson and others. In this county the campaign was char- 
acterized by bitter contest for positions on the county board, with numerous can- 
didates for the three places that were to become vacant. Fred S. Stratton was a 
candidate for the State Senate. The democrats and populists held several mass 
meetings together with the idea of fusing as a measure to defeat the republicans. 
They finally fused and declared in their platform that posterity should not be 
weighted down with obligations that should be liquidated in this day and genera- 
tion : that county highways should be improved to meet the needs of advancing 
civilization; that assessments should be suitably equalized; and that the conduct 
of Congressman S. G. Hilborn in, having passed a bill by which the people of 
Oakland were permitted at their own expense to purchase a lot and build a post- 
office for the use of the United States should be condemned. This convention 
and platform bore the marks of fusion and amalgamation. The fusion of the 
democrats and populists was sufficient warning for the republicans to avoid 
wrangling and bickering and fight as a solid body for all the local offices. The 
entire county was fully organized for the contest and the best speakers practicable 
were secured to educate or influence the voters. Interest centered on the races 
for Senator, superior judge and county supervisors. 

The silverites held an immense meeting at the Tabernacle on October 31st, on 
which occasion speeches were delivered by Burdette Cornell, W. W. Foote, W. B. 


English, E. M. Gibson, M. F. Tarpey and others. The republican county conven- 
tion assembled September 21st and named a full ticket. During this memorable 
campaign Colonel Irish gained wide prominence by his advocacy of sound money 
before the gold democratic convention at IndianapoHs and later on the stump in 
many cities. At a political meeting of the socialists held in Hamilton hall early 
in October, on the occasion of an address by Walter T. Mills, a 10 cent admission 
fee was charged and over eight hundred persons paid to hear the speech. He 
argued that there were really only two political parties: (i) socialists, and (2) 
all others. 

It was declared by the newspapers that 50,000 people gathered in Oakland to 
witness the closing scenes of the republican campaign on Monday, Xovemljer 2d. 
There were 300 vehicles in line — all with floats, flags and mottoes. It required 
an hour and a quarter for the parade to pass a given point. There were eleven 
divisions — all portions of the county being represented. The republicans closed 
their campaign with a speech from Thomas B. Reed, of Maine. As no hall in 
this county was likely to hold one-half of the voters who wished to hear him, 
the race track grounds and buildings were secured. It was estimated that 15,000 
people gathered there to hear Mr. Reed. All due preparations were made and 
the parade was elaborate, large, gay and enthusiastic in the extreme. His speech 
was short, but direct and comprehensive. It was a fitting finality to one of the 
most brilliant campaigns ever witnessed in the statq. As a whole there was 
never in this county a more closely contested nor silently determined election than 
in 1896. The registration and the number of votes polled were the largest in 
history. Election day was quiet and uneventful, the voters silently going home. 

An enthusiastic meeting of free silver advocates was held at Livermore on 
October 2j, 1896. The meeting was held under the auspices of the California 
silver campaign committee. All the leading citizens in that portion of the county 
gathered to hear the able speakers and to hear what the silver advocates had to 
oflfer. The addresses were delivered in Farmers' Union hall. The leading 
speakers were Charles D. Lane, G. W. Baker, Dr. E. H. Woolsey, Reel B. Terry 
and others. Every speaker favored woman sufl:'rage. In that connection Doctor 
Woolsey said: "I am now in favor of female suftVage and it is for the first time in 
my life. I became a convert at St. Louis. \Miat changed my mind was a speech' 
by Miss Helen Gougar who spoke at the same time for free silver and Bryan." 

The republican electors received 13,429 votes; the fusion electors, 8,394; the 
prohibition electors, 135; the national or gold democratic electors, 127; the 
socialist electors, loi ; and the national electors, 56. The republican candidates 
for superior judges, Greene and Hill, were elected. 

At one of their meetings in January, 1897, the republicans passed a resolu- 
tion asking the Legislature to appropriate $15,000 for a monument in Golden Gate 
park to Col. E. D. Baker, who fell at Balls Blufl? at the commencement of the 
Civil war. 

The populist city convention was held on January 18th, and S. Goodenough 
was named for mayor. The platform favored municipal ownership of public 
utilities; demanded that all streets be opened to the water front; opposed the 
granting of special privileges; opposed the restriction of free speech on the streets; 
earnestly asked that employes be paid in coin so that they should not suffer by 
shaved warrants; favored the elimination of public patronage from politics; 


insisted that there should be no censorship over Hterature of any kind in the free 
libraries and reading rooms with exceptions ; favored improvement of the streets ; 
urged the prosecution of the water front suits; supported direct legislation in 
national, state, county and municipal matters; and favored the referendum in 
order that the wishes of majorities expressed at elections could be carried out. 

On January 19th the republicans met in convention and nominated a full 
partisan city ticket with W. R. Thomas candidate for mayor at the head. The 
convention favored good roads ; opposed any compromise of the water front suits ; 
expressed satisfaction over the defeat of the Powers funding bill (a railroad meas- 
ure) ; insisted on a strict regulation of the liquor traffic ; declared that corporations 
should conform to law and keep out of politics ; opposed dividing the fire hydrants 
between the two water companies, but to alternate between the two; favored the 
retention of honest public servants, and pledged the ticket to a generous policy of 
public improvement. 

In January the Citizens' Municipal League took a stand against the proposed 
legislative bill that was designed to restore to the state the water front given to 
the town of Oakland in 1852 and resolved to prosecute the pending water front 
suits to find judgment in the courts, and demanded that all candidates for mayor, 
city attorney and city councilmen should be pledged to this policy. 

The democrats held their municipal convention on January 28, 1897, and 
nominated a full ticket. Seth Mann was named for mayor. The convention was 
brief and harmonious. T. C. Coogan was chairman. The platform enjoined a 
vigorous prosecution of the water front suits; pledged the nominees to an eco- 
nomical administration ; favored the improvement of the streets as planned ; com- 
mended the reclamation of West Oakland marsh ; favored the construction of a 
comprehensive and efficient system of sewerage ; advocated the development of a 
system of parks and boulevards which should be an ornament to the city so far 
as was consistent with an economical administration; favored the alternation of 
fire hydrants between the two water companies ; reiterated party devotion to free 
speech, free press and free conscience; declared that no partisan nor sectarian 
influence should be permitted to impair the usefulness of the public schools; and 
pledged a free and liberal support and management of the public library and 
free reading rooms. 

At a convention of the Citizens' .Municipal League on February ist, W. R. 
Thomas was supported for the office of mayor. The platform congratulated the 
city on the success of the movement inaugurated by the league to secure a clean 
and business-like administration; denounced the abuse of confidence reposed in 
public officials; invited competing railroad lines; favored the remission of taxes 
for a period of years to all desirable new and large manufacturing enterprises; 
advocated at the earliest possible day the dredging of Lake Merritt and the 
construction of a comprehensive sewer system; favored good roads and streets 
and proper drainage ; opposed any compromise of the water front suits ; insisted 
on the restriction of liquor selling; favored alternating the fire hydrants between 
the two water companies ; pledged the party to a generous policy of public 
improvements under business rules and sustained the public schools. Their ticket 
was taken almost wholly from the other party candidates. 

Among the smaller taxpayers there was a strong movement to secure the 
renomination of Mayor J. L. Davie as an independent candidate to succeed him- 


self as a reward for keeping down the tax levy. A petition to that effect was cir- 
culated and signed in a few hours by 500 voters. Mayor Davie himself took part 
in circulating the petition and declared he could without trouble secure 2,500 
signatures to it. The Davie movement resulted in an independent ticket named 
by the so-called taxpayers' party with Mr. Davie renominated for mayor. 

The American Protective Association being displeased with all the other 
tickets, prepared to nominate candidates of its own for municipal offices in 1897. 
They declared that recent developments affecting their interests made a separate 
ticket desirable and necessary. During this political campaign Prof. E. E. Brown, 
of the university, in a lecture to the institute of the county, made the statement 
that the teachers here, in many instances, secured their places by the political 
pulls they could control. This remark caused much comment as it reflected in a 
great degree upon the efficiency of the schools by showing that political views 
and not scholastic methods influenced the education of the youth. 

Early in February, reports having been circulated that the Army and Navy 
League would split on the municipal tickets, the members met and organized as 
a camp of the army and navy republican league of California and pledged them- 
selves to support and vote for the national, state and municipal candidates of the 
republican party. The statement that the league was united as one man for the 
republican ticket was circulated. At this time the county had at Sacramento a 
strong lobby to influence the shaping of the county government bill so that it 
would suit the officials of this community. The Alameda County Labor League, 
a new organization, supported J. L. Davie for mayor. The Rev. Mr. Goodenough 
was also candidate for mayor. 

The mayoralty petition of A. C. Henry was filed about the middle of February, 
and was signed by over 1,500 voters. There was so much confusion in the minds 
of the voters — so many circumstances to distract their attention and bias their 
judgment, that many supported the man and not the schedule issued with so much 
eclat and gusto by political factions that apparently desired to sacrifice themselves 
for the vast good of the dear people. The result was that the republicans car- 
ried a majority of their ticket, electing mayor, auditor, treasurer, city attorney, 
a majority of the board of public works and others. The proposition to close the 
saloons was lost by 1,371 votes. This was a bitter disappointment to many 
of the best people of Oakland, but was fought to a finish by the saloon men to 
whom it was a matter of life or death. When the polls closed the saloon men 
believed they were defeated, so strenuous was the fight against them. All later 
believed that if the issue had been Sunday closing alone it would have carried. 
For mayor, Thomas (R.) received 3,071 votes; Mann (D.), 2,260; Davie (Ind.), 
2,962; Goodenough (P. P.), 802; Henry (Ind.), 419; Lorenz (A. L.), 58; 
McCargar (Pro.). 39. On the question "shall the saloons be closed all the time?" 
the vote was — for closing, 3,732; against closing, 5,103. 

The Good Government Club of Alameda was a powerful factor in the local 
campaigns from 1894 to 1897. Its object was to rescue local politics from the 
domination of professional politicians. It did good work for a time, but finally 
failed to satisfy the populace because there was no provision to keep politicians 
from controlling the organization. Soon the ones they were fighting controlled 
the club. The result was the formation of the municipal league in 1898, with 
the provision in its by-laws excluding any person who was a member of, or who 


should participate in the business of, any other organization nominating candi- 
dates for municipal offices. It grew rapidly and soon numbered its members by 
the hundreds. The league favored an increase of public school accommodations, 
the adoption of a freeholder's charter, the retention by the city of the ownership 
of the electric light plant, municipal ownership of waterworks, the referendum 
ordinance, and opposed the consolidation of Alameda with any other munici- 
pality. Perhaps the leading issue was the prevention of the domination of the 
school department by professional politicians. 

In the fall of 1897 W. R. Davis announced that if the republicans of Ala- 
meda county would unite on him as their candidate for Governor he would accept. 
At the same time Dr. George C. Pardee issued a statement that he also was a 
candidate for the same office. The candidacy of two men of such prominence 
from one county meant lively times in the convention unless some compromise 
could be effected. It was at this time that the newspapers of this county began 
to demand that Alameda county should be honored with such an official. Grad- 
ually it became clear that back of this special movement was the wish that this 
county should have the Governor while the water front cases were on trial and 
while the board of harbor commissioners was being appointed and established. 
It was stated that personal interests in the governorship were trivial compared 
with these great problems. All agreed that this county should, of course, have but 
one candidate and that all contests should be concluded before the primaries. 

In the congressional primary contest in 1898 Victor H. Metcalf won over S. G. 
Hilborn by the vote of 7,873 to 4,870. At the same election the vote for Governor 
was as follows by Assembly districts : 

Pardee Davis Pardee Davis 

District 46 798 491 District 50 938 579 

District 47 1,319 485 District 51 1,453 769 

District 48 976 314 

District 49 1,523 505 Totals 6,907 3,143 

The proceedings of the republican state convention in August were exceed- 
ingly interesting to Alameda county voters. Mr. Pardee was a candidate for 
Governor and a strong lobby from this county attended the convention at Sac- 
ramento to aid him all in their power. The cry was "On to Sacramento." The 
Young's Men's Republican League sent a strong delegation. He was not quite 
strong enough to secure the nomination which went to Henry T. Gage of Los 
Angeles, who was nominated by acclamation. Doctor Pardee captured the good 
will of the convention by withdrawing at an opportune time and in a speech 
pledging his support to the candidate. In fact he received an ovation for the act 
amidst which there were cries for him to be Governor in 1902. Alameda county 
stood well in the convention because in the past it had often saved the party 
from defeat. The convention passed a resolution to hold every foot of territory 
obtained in the war with Spain. On August 27th the republicans formally 
received H. T. Gage, who had just been nominated for Governor. There was a 
large audience at Macdonough theatre where he spoke. He was followed by 
Pardee and Davis both of whom pledged him the vote of this county. 

The populist county convention was also held on September 24, 1898. Bur- 
dette Cornell served as chairman. The platfonn favored direct legislation in 


county and municipal matters, supported the past Dalton assessments on fran- 
chises, censured the county board for cutting down the assessment, demanded 
the repeal of the poll tax, promised good roads, and demanded the improvement 
of Oakland harbor. The populists finally agreed to unite with the democrats and 
silver republicans, and a fusion ticket was nominated with the hope of defeating 
the republicans. An independent ticket was nominated by disappointed repub- 
licans who opposed the proceedings of the republican primaries. The republican 
county convention met in San Leandro with J. W. Evans in the chair. A full 
ticket was nominated. The platform favored a primary law, opposed the surren- 
der of territory acquired from Spain, advocated exemption from taxation for a 
period of years of desirable manufacturing enterprises. The democratic county 
convention met on September 24th with M. F. Tarpey presiding. The platform 
demanded the enactment of a primary law that would make bossism impossible, 
favored city charters acceptable to the people, supported competing railway lines, 
pledged an economical administration, demanded an investigation of the treat- 
ment of the soldiers, urged aid to manufacturing concerns, favored the abolition 
of one of the justice courts of Oakland and opposed any diversion of the school 
•fund. In September, the prohibitionists named a ticket and adopted the usual 
platform. In addition it denounced the army canteen and favored the pending 
ordinance which prevented the sale of cigarettes to minors. In October Berkeley 
defeated at the polls the proposed charter amendment providing for a justice 
court; the vote stood — for, 404; against, 437. The vote for governor in Ala- 
meda county in 1898 was as follows: Gage (R), 12,080; Maguire (D), 8,208; 
Harriman (S), 496; McComas (P), 220; Ellert (Tnd.), i. Generally the repub- 
lican county ticket was successful. 

In its declaration of principles in January, 1899, the municipal league stated 
that the object of its existence was to exercise a beneficial influence in the admin- 
istration of the municipal government by holding its officers to a strict account- 
ability in the discharge of their duties. It claimed to be absolutely non-partisan. 
All citizens were invited to meet in the league upon a common ground and to 
redeem the city government from the destruction threatened by the apparent 
elTort of party leaders to parcel out. city affaifs to incompetent and inexperienced 
men as a reward for political service. They were not asked to abandon party 
fealty in elections for county, state or national offices. It maintained that local 
matters should be avoided by state and national political parties and similar local 
organizations where party lines should not be allowed to interfere with progress. 
The league favored the municipal ownership of public works — especially of the' 
water supply ; declared that the water front litigation was to secure for Oakland 
a free port — to take away from private individuals and private corporations the 
right to levy or collect tolls on the commerce to be conducted on its water front; 
pledged itself in favor of the consolidation of the city and county government; 
promised to assist the city all in its power to gain its rights in the water front 
suits from a private corporation which claimed the power for all time to collect 
tithing on the commerce of the city and which had owned such right for more 
than forty years; and invited the leading citizens named to meet in convention 
to nominate a ticket composed of men who would devote themselves to a clean, 
progressive and business-like management of the city's affairs. 


On January nth, the socialist labor party, nominated J. H. Eustice for mayor 
and selected a full partisan ticket. The platform demanded the initiative and 
referendum ; asked for the repeal of all ordinances interfering with or abrogating 
the rights of free speech and peaceable assemblage; demanded that the city should 
obtain possession of the water, gas and electric light plants, street car lines and 
industries not requiring municipal franchises ; asked for free dispensaries ; 
requested that so far as possible the city should employ unemployed persons ; 
demanded that political economy be taught in the public schools ; insisted that the 
contract system in public works should be abolished; condemned the vagrancy 
laws, and requested free public baths. The democrats supported Mr. Davie and 
the populist ticket in the main. 

The municipal league nominated R. W. Snow for mayor in 1899. The 
republicans also nominated R. W. Snow for mayor and presented other candidates 
on the ticket of the municipal league. The platform favored the expenditure 
of a reasonable sum for permanent public improvements; pledged an economical 
administration; requested the enactment of a better and more suitable primary 
election law ; advocated the consolidation of city and county governments, and 
called for municipal ownership and control of the city's water supply. To a large 
degree the republicans deferred to the ticket and platform of the municipal 
league. But there was, and had been for some time, a defection in the republi- 
can party ranks known as the independents and composed of men who opposed 
high taxation and cared little or nothing for civic progress. They met and nomi- 
nated John L. Davie for mayor. While favoring municipal ownership of the 
city's water supply, its purchase was then opposed in view of the existing bond 
indebtedness of the city and the high rate of taxation. They called attention to the 
fact that the valuation of the two city water plants was about twelve million 
dollars, that the municipal league and republican platforms called for the pur- 
chase of these properties and the companies were willing to sell, and that the 
intention was to saddle this enormous debt on Oakland. The prohibitionists 
nominated for mayor Dr. W. O. Buckland and declared for the suppression of the 
saloon, advancement of improvements, and woman suffrage. The result of the 
election in Oakland was almost a clean sweep for the combined municipal league 
and republican tickets. For mayor the vote was — Snow (R and C M L), 5,716; 
Davie (D and Ind.), 3,913; Eustice (Soc. L), 243; Hoensch (P P), 249; Buck- 
land (Pro.), 86. 

In Berkeley the non-partisan and independent taxpayers conventions fought 
for supremacy. Both named supposedly strong tickets taken largely from the 
straight republican ticket. The anti-saloon movement was strong and aggressive. 
The republicans demanded a more vigorous enforcement of the one-mile limit 
liquor law, the abolition of the office of city superintendent of schools, and asked 
for a justice court. At this time the town had a population of over 10,000, but 
had no court of any kind. The republican convention named its ticket largely 
from the candidates of the Good Government Club. 

There was much excitement over the municipal election in Alameda. A non- 
partisan convention met at Harmonie hall in February and named a full ticket. 
The excitement was confined to personal ambitions and contests. In a large 
measure they were opposed by the Alameda Municipal League which suddenly 
grew very popular just before election. The Young Men's Republican Club was 


prominent in this contest. The municipal league made almost a clean sweep at 
the election. The total vote was 2,517. The result was the downfall of a num- 
ber of men who assumed they owned the town. 

In 1900 local politicians took intense interest in the redistricting of Oakland 
into new wards as provided in the constitution of 1880. Weeks before the divi- 
sion was necessary they studied the situation with the view of so sizing and 
shaping the ward boundaries as to secure the greatest possible partisan advan- 
tage. The formal action of the council to redistrict was taken on January 15th. 
The most radical change was to give four wards a western water frontage and 
to place all that part of the city south of Seventh street from the lake to the 
bay in one ward instead of distributing it among three as before. The Fifth 
ward was made to include the Linda Vista section. 

In July an ovation was tendered Victor H. Aletcalf by the republicans of 
Oakland, on which occasion a Young Men's Metcalf Republican Club of over 
700 members was organized. His record was approved. At the republican 
primaries Mr. Metcalf received in this county a large majority over H. P. 
Dalton for Congress from this district. At the convention he was nominated by 

On September i, 1900, the republican county convention met and filled out 
the ticket. Judge Barrows was chosen chairman. On the same day the demo- 
crats likewise named a full ticket. On October 8th, at a large republican mass 
meeting in Exposition hall, United States Senator Perkins explained the issues 
of the campaign. W. R. Davis of Alameda county was one of the presidential 
electors this year. 

The absence of populism from the campaign of 1900 was a notable event. 
At the November election every candidate on the republican ticket was elected. 
Metcalf (R.) for Congress received a plurality of 7,142 votes. John Ellsworth 
and Frank B. Ogden, republicans, were elected to the superior bench. The 
social democrats and the prohibitionists had tickets in the field. The vote for 
President and Congressman in this county was as follows : 

President Congressman 

Republican 14,324 Metcalf (R.) 13.756 

Democrat 6,677 Freeman (D.) 6,614 

Social democrat 828 Dague (S. D.) 725 

Prohibition 341 Holt ( Pro. ) 236 

Late in December, 1900, the republican city central committee met and 
named twenty-eight republicans to plan the city convention for the coming 
municipal ticket. This early and definite action was taken in view of the change 
in the ward boundaries. Much power was delegated to this committee. This 
step encountered considerable opposition in party ranks. The prohibitionists 
assembled on January 23, 1901, and nominated Allen Shorkley for mayor. The 
usual platform was adopted. Reference was made to the recent humiliating 
experience of Berkeley in trying to execute anti-saloon laws with pro-saloon men 
to enforce them. 

The republican municipal convention met in Elite hall on January 26, 1901, 
and nominated a full ticket with Anson Barstow for mayor at the head. The 


platform expressed the opinion that the republican party could name a city 
ticket that would if elected give abundant satisfaction ; declared that every munic- 
ipal reform movement should end when its mission was accomplished and not 
be permitted to gain unwarranted control of public affairs with no worthy object 
in view; favored such amendments to the city charter as would remove the 
mayor, city attorney and city engineer from the board of public works and 
would give to the council the power to control the assessment for city taxes 
upon city property without the consent of the county assessor; pledged an eight- 
hour day for employes on public works; favored the consolidation of city and 
county governments for Oakland and vicinity; pledged reduced water rates if 
practicable; promised to prosecute to final conclusion the city's interest in the 
water rate case then pending; pledged support to competing railroad lines; 
favored the early improvement of the park donated to the city by private sub- 
scription lying south of the Twelfth street dam ; and promised to submit to 
the electors the proposition for municipal ownership of the water works and 
other public utilities. Several prominent men left the municipal league at this 
time and returned to the ranks of the republicans, among whom was R. H. 
Chamberlain who said in that connection, "The reason for my withdrawal was 
because last night I became convinced of what I had for some time feared, 
viz : That a spirit of narrowness, bigotry and extreme partisanship had gained 
the ascendency in the councils of the league, that it no longer stood for the high 
principles avowed in its constitution and in its platform, but had been prostituted 
to save the purposes of a mere faction of the republican party whose grievance 
dates back to the congressional campaign of last summer. There was a strong 
effort made last night to pledge the convention in advance not to nominate for 
any office any man who would also accept a nomination at the hands of the 
republican convention today. I wanted the league to be free to indorse good 
men wherever they could be found." 

The republican committee of twenty-eight encountered so much criticism that 
it called a primary election, though at the same time recommending the delegates 
which it believed should be supported. This was a reversion to the former custom 
and met all charges of bossism. About 1,500 votes were polled. 

In an address to the public the republican committee called attention to the 
imperative need of a harmonious, progressive and politically responsible govern- 
ment, to the fact that the city had obtained an unenviable reputation abroad as 
a Silurian city and to the further fact that the internecine squabbles and demoral- 
ized condition as a community had made the place a reproach in the state. It 
was declared that for many years every plan of public improvement had been 
rendered abortive by being made secondary and subsidiary to grievances against 
some one or to more special interest ; that such a report spread abroad carried the 
impression that the city was not a desirable place in which to settle, and led 
capitalists to believe that there existed here a spirit or public opinion hostile to 
capital and inimical to the safety of investment. On the other hand the opinion 
had gone out that the city was in the grip of corporations which virtually and 
habitually confiscated the substance of the inhabitants. For a full decade such 
things had gone on and scarcely a substantial step had been made in either munic- 
ipal betterment or public improvements. Every measure to better the city had 
been cast aside to make room for the empty quibbles and personal quarrels of 


partisan or monopolists. It was declared that the proper thing to do was to 
place public affairs in the hands of a responsible political party. As two-thirds 
of the voters were republicans and as they had named an excellent ticket, it 
merited support. It was declared that the republican ticket stood for progress, 
justice, party honor, economy, public improvements and encouragement to indus- 
try and enterprise. It was believed that this movement was instigated by the 
wish of the party to evade the yoke of the municipal league and to present a 
party ticket under the plausible guise of a citizens' reform. 

The municipal league selected as its candidate for mayor, Walter G. Man- 
uel and named a full ticket. The platform renewed the devotion of the league 
to the high principles upon which it was organized at a time when waste, ineffi- 
ciency and corruption were the dominant characteristics of the city government; 
stated that its non-partisan ticket was placed in the field in order to prevent the 
election in March of any man who was not known to be entirely unfettered by 
any corrupting political or corporate influence; favored an economical govern- 
ment; advocated a comprehensive policy of public improvement and the issu- 
ance of bonds ; pledged that the library building should be furnished in a suit- 
able manner; favored assistance to worthy manufacturing establishments; asked 
for a consolidated city and county government; favored municipal control of 
certain public utilities ; pledged a continuance of the water rate suits ; and 
expressed the belief that the action of the majority of the republican city central 
committee in delegating their duties to a committee of twenty-eight was in the 
interest of certain corporate powers and not for the welfare of the people, and 
that the selection of such committee was given into the hands of the agents of 
such corporate powers and deserved the unqualified condemnation of every good 
citizen of every political faith. On the following day sixteen prominent men 
who bolted the municipal league convention declared in an open statement to 
the public that the proceedings were the prearranged program of a faction and 
not the untrammeled action of the convention. 

The republican newspapers and speakers declared that this was an underhand 
movement of the municipal league to secure control of the election machinery. 
When the matter was brought to a test in the council six votes were rounded up in 
favor of the charges thus made. 

The' democrats met in convention and nominated for mayor Warren English. 
The latter objected to the slight put upon the democracy of not giving the party 
suitable representation on the election boards. He said that practically all such 
officers were selected by the municipal league which claimed to be a non-partisan 

At the polls the republicans were in the main victorious, electing the mayor, 
city attorney and city engineer, but losing the auditor and treasurer. The 
republicans won also the school board. The new council consisted of four repub- 
licans, one independent republican and six municipal leaguers. The municipal 
league secured a majority of the library trustees. 


Barstow f R.) 2,944 London (S. D.) 247 

Manuel ( M. L.) 2,808 Davie (Indp.) 2,471 

English (D.) 982 Shorklev (Pro.) 6o- 


In September, 1901, meetings were held in all the leading towns and cities 
of the county to express the grief of the people over the death of President 
McKinley and the indignation and horror at his assassination. Many eloquent 
orators addressed sorrowing audiences in halls and churches and everywhere 
the flag hung at half-mast and buildings and streets were draped with the 
emblems of death. 

At the April election, 1902, Pleasanton polled 107 votes out of 256 registered 
and elected the old officers. Emeryville did the same. The old trustees were 
reelected because they had kept the tax levy down to 50 cents and had over 
$6,000 in the treasury. There were cast 228 votes. At Livermore the regu- 
lar republican ticket won. There were cast 356 out of 420 registered votes. At 
San Leandro there was a sharp contest over the town trustees, clerk, attorney 
and treasurer. Over 400 votes were polled. At Haywards there were charges 
and countercharges, which fact caused a spirited contest with much personality- 
Previous to 1 90 1 partisan lines were not drawn in Alameda at municipal elec- 
tions, but in that year the republicans and the non-partisans squared off in savage 
contest. In February, 1901, the republicans of Berkeley met and nominated a 
ticket for the municipality; opposed to them were the non-partisan taxpayers. 
In January, 1902, the socialists prepared a new plan of organization and opera- 
tion in this county. M. W. Wilkins became local organizer and proceeded to 
form clubs in every Assembly district. The district clubs were directed to hold 
weekly meetings and all to hold a general rally once per month in a centrally 
located hall. 

What was called the "postage stamp" primary system was tried f6r the 
first time in Alameda county in August, 1902, and gave satisfaction. Republi- 
cans, democrats, socialists and prohibitionists voted for their delegates at the 
same time. Nominees of the united labor party were placed on the ticket by 
petition. The general scheme of the Australian ballot was followed. At this 
election the republican party were a unit for the nomination of Dr. G. C. Pardee 
for Governor. There was no suggestion of another candidate. At the republi- 
can county convention held August i6th, in Germania hall. Dr. P. C. L. Tisdale 
presided. The platform favored encouragement of home products and the eight- 
hour law ; endorsed the course of President Roosevelt, Senator Perkins and 
Congressman Metcalf ; opposed the reciprocity principle, and endorsed the can- 
didacy of Doctor Pardee for Governor. A full county ticket was nominated. 
At the congressional convention the next day Mr. Metcalf was unanimously 
renominated for Congress. The socialists selected a full ticket at a county con- 
vention held in Grand Army hall on August 20th. The democratic county con- 
vention convened on August 23d, with George Beck of Livermore as chairman. 
The platform condemned the trusts ; favored public ownership of public utilities ; 
the abolition of the poll tax ; the enforcement of the eight-hour law on all public 
contracts; free text books in the public schools; condemned several illegal 
practices ; approved the policy of forest preservation ; favored the enlargement 
of commercial schools; advocated state control of water supplies for irrigation 
purposes, and condemned the extravagant administration of county officers. 

At the republican state convention held in Sacramento on August 26 and 
27, 1902, John A. Britton nominated Doctor Pardee for Governor "in the name 
of the impregnable fortress of republicanism of the State of California, — Alameda 


county." He recalled Doctor Pardee's withdrawaL four years before, per- 
mitting the nomination of Mr. Gage to be unanimous, that Alameda republicans 
did not sulk in their tents, but gave Gage the largest majority of any county in 
the state and promised a majority of 10,000 from Alameda county in case Par- 
dee was nominated. Endorsements of Pardee's nomination came from Solano, 
Calaveras and Napa counties. Judge McKinley renominated Henry T. Gage, 
C. F. Lacy nominated Thomas Flint, Judge Lewis nominated J. O. Hayes and 
S. R. Taylor nominated Mr. Edson, for Governor. On the sixth ballot Doctor 
Pardee received the nomination of the state convention, the following being the 
last ballot: Pardee 5i7>4, Flint 2383^, Hayes 47, Gage 13, Edson 12. 

The democratic state convention nominated Franklin K. Lane for Governor. 
On September 5th the republicans held a demonstration in honor of Doctor 
Pardee and the whole republican county and state tickets. Later at an immense 
republican meeting in Mechanics' pavilion, San Francisco, Doctor Pardee, Sen- 
ator Perkins and Senator Beveridge delivered addresses. 

The largest union labor demonstration that ever took place in Oakland was 
the occasion of the visit of Samuel Gompers and the executive council in July, 
1902. Mr. Gompers delivered an address at the Tabernacle. The labor party 
convention met in Germania hall on August 4th and selected a full ticket for 
county officers. The platform disapproved of extravagance in county affairs ; 
considered that public officials should be largely selected from the ranks of 
labor; favored public ownership of public utilities; demanded an eight -hour 
day; advocated arbitration to settle disputes between employer and employe; 
asked *f or the abolition of the poll tax; urged all voters to support the union 
labor ticket; pledged to work for the initiative and referendum, and demanded 
manual training in the public schools. 

During the campaign complaint over the course of Mayor Pardee in 1894 
at the time of the strike of the American railway union was made. It was 
declared that he played the fire hose on the industrial army, that he had said that 
a glass of water and a piece of bread was a good meal for a working man, and 
that he pickhandled the railway strikers. Thomas Roberts who was leader of 
the strike in West Oakland in 1894 stated publicly that there was no truth in 
these charges. He said, "if any one tells you Pardee is an enemy of organ- 
ized labor, tell that party he is mistaken, or you can use stronger language if you 
see fit." 

Early in August, 1902, the executive committee of the Berkeley Republican 
Club congratulated the republicans of the county on the fact that the various 
party factions had disappeared and that harmony at last again prevailed. They 
ended with this resolution : "That this committee commends the efforts of Dr. 
George C. Pardee and Victor H. Metcalf in accomplishing these ends and that 
this committee heartily endorses the candidacy of George C. Pardee and \'ictor 
H. Metcalf for Governor and Representative in Congress respectively." This com- 
mittee consisted of Messrs. Elston, Kelly, Mills, Weir, Easton, Finney, Spear, 
Wiggin, Foy, Shaw and Greene. \'arious ward and other clubs passed similar 
resolutions in favor of Pardee and Metcalf. 

In 1902 Alameda county was well represented by eminent republicans. George 
C. Perkins was United States Senator. Dr. George C. Pardee, republican candi- 
date for Governor. \'ictor H. Metcalf was Congressman and Frank C. Jordan 


was candidate for clerk of the supreme court. The union labor party opposed 
George C. Pardee for Governor. In response to an inquiry he stated that should 
he be elected Governor the union labor party would receive its share of appoint- 
ments at his hands. The vote in Alameda county for Governor in 1902 was as 
follows: Pardee (R.), 13,924; Lane (D.), 9,022; Brower (S.), 1,009; Kanouse 
(P.), 238. Pardee was elected. 

In December, 1902, the municipal league began the city contest by appointing 
a campaign committee, endorsing the action of a minority of the council and 
condemning that of the majority, declaring that the great issue before the people 
was water — the city waterworks. It was a serious question at the time — how to 
buy out the Contra Costa Water Company for approximately $10,000,000 when 
the constitution permitted a bond issue of only $6,000,000. 

The primary election for all parties was held January 27, 1903, and great 
interest was taken that the men wanted should be chosen delegates. The primary 
election, it was considered, determined the views and actions of the coming 
municipal administration upon which depended the advancement of public 
improvements. The right delegates would select the right candidates, it was 
argued. So the newspapers and orators began anew the campaign of education 
that was considered necessary in order to awaken the great mass of citizens to 
the imperative needs of the city. The situation was considered critical — there 
would result either a boom or a reverse. At this time it cost more for city water 
than for all the municipal expenses. The water bills were heavier than the taxes. 
It was therefore of supreme moment for the voters to secure an administration 
that would improve the water situation. The water company prepared to fight 
for its life at the polls. The taxes levied and collected by the city during the last 
fiscal year were $544,327.58, and the amount paid the Contra Costa Water Com- 
pany during 1902 was $597,798.63. It was further shown that the citizens of 
Oakland paid more for water than, any city in the country in proportion to popu- 
lation. The newspapers were strong in their showing of the true state of water 
affairs. The republicans were divided into two factions — one which called their 
organization the anti-ring republicans and one which was in office. The demo- 
crats, socialists, union labor party and prohibitionists came out with more or less 
complete tickets representing all phases of municipal hesitation or improvement. 
The two great questions were (i) municipal control of the water supply and (2) 
bonding the city for public improvements. The municipal league entered the race 
for improvement, bonds and all. 

It was claimed in 1903 that the last city administration was controlled by the 
Contra Costa Water Company — that a ring in the interests of that company domi- 
nated the actions of the council. In the primaries the following parties or factions 
were represented : municipal league, regular republicans, anti-ring republicans, 
democrats, labor party, independent republicans, socialists and prohibitionists. 
The anti-ring republicans elected the largest number of delegates and were thus 
placed in a position to dictate the nominees of the convention. 

Late in January, 1903, the republican city convention met, but adjourned after 
appointing a committee to confer with the municipal league convention, presum- 
ably regarding the water question. The republicans finally united on Warren 
Olney as candidate for mayor and the democrats and municipal league accepted 
him as their standard bearer. The socialists nominated Robert Vincent for 


mayor. The union labor party named a full city ticket late in January, 1903, 
with E. L. Bair for mayor. It favored the issuance of bonds, the municipal own- 
ership of the water system, a new city charter, consideration for working people. 
The republicans and municipal league agreed on four of the regular councilmen, 
two of whom were likewise nominated by the democrats. They also united on 
the candidates for auditor, treasurer and engineer. The democrats accepted their 
candidate for auditor. It looked as if there was a massing of forces to secure 
control of the water system and insure the issuance of bonds for municipal better- 
ment. The platforms of the republicans, municipal league and democrats were 
much alike on all the vital local issues and only differed on the usual party prin- 
ciple. One plank of the republican platform was as follows : "We pledge our 
nominees to use every effort to secure for the city all the water front property 
and facilities that rightfully belong to the city, and to bring to a successful termi- 
nation all pending litigation that may accomplish such result." It condemned 
the action of the "solid seven" of the council in fixing the water rates. The 
municipal league took about the same action. The democrats favored the bond 
issue and control of the water supply. Never before in Oakland were there so 
many parties and so few candidates. There were si.x tickets, but the candidates 
interlocked as never before here. In addition all neglected their usual issues in 
order to unite on candidates who were pledged to carry out the local changes 
demanded. The socialists and prohibitionists were the only parties that regarded 
old principles more important than pending local problems. The independent 
republicans also failed to notice local problems. The county political equality 
league accepted the situation and took no active part. 

It was noticeable how kindly, almost affectionately, the democrats, republicans 
and municipal leaguers spoke of each other. Each noted persistently and elo- 
quently the good that had been accomplished by the others in the happy past and 
painted this community as a joyous family where political differences were 
undreamed of and corporate temptations were treated with blissful disdain. The 
united tickets swept the city. The vote for mayor was as follows : Warren Olney 
(R., M. L., D.), 5,609; E. L. Bair (U. L.), 4,947; Robert Vincent (Soc), 309; 
Z. T. Gilpin (Ind. R.), 248; S. B. Littlepage (Pro.), 50. The voters thus decided 
for an administration that would stand for the policy of public improvement 
and municipal ownership of public utilities. 

In the contest of 1903 Berkeley was divided between the republicans and the 
non-partisans, who exhibited few if any divergence in opinions, because they 
named identically the same ticket and ostensibly espoused the same policy — the 
mile limit law and sufficient taxation to insure desired public improvements. A 
citizens' club was organized in Berkeley to promote public affairs, discuss topics 
and shape local public opinion, secure efficient and honest officials and federate 
the moral forces so as to advance education, order and morals. The club con- 
sidered the advisability of uniting with Oakland for a general supply of pure 
water. At the city election the republicans elected ten out of thirteen officials. 
At the municipal election in Alameda the republican ticket was the only one in 
the field, but four independent candidates went on the ticket by petition. .\t the 
election " every office was filled with a republican. There was no issue, no 


At the primaries in August, 1904, the republican delegates received 4,593 votes, 
democratic 449, union labor 154, socialist 103, prohibitionist 14. Everybody 
was glad when the election was over. There was no campaign and the few 
speakers usually apologized for their appearance. About the only interest was 
in the county board candidates. At the November election the republican candi- 
dates without exception were victorious by large majorities. Generally the result 
here was an endorsement of President Roosevelt's administration. The large 
socialist vote attracted much attention and comment. The result in Alameda 
county was as follows: republicans, 19,073; democrats, 4,429; socialists,- 3,293; 
prohibitionists, 353. 

Why, it was asked, did Oakland elect the existing city administration on a 
platform of civic improvement and then defeat the means that would enable 
them to accomplish that resuU. The two years for which they were elected would 
expire in March, 1905, and so far they had accomplished nothing of moment 
in the line or their preelection pledges. As a matter of fact the education of 
the masses had not progressed far enough to enable them to see the importance 
of the reforms so earnestly presented for their consideration and for their 

The water question dominated the Oakland municipal election in the spring 
of 1905. As a whole the former mayor and council had given a satisfactory 
administration, but Mayor Olney refused a renomination. Second to the water 
question was that of public improvements, among which was the problem of 
beautifying the city which had advanced materially in 1904, largely under the 
influence of the women. In order that all factors of city growth should advance 
proportionately a progressive and broad minded mayor and council were needed. 

The republican municipal convention met at Dewey theater was spirited and 
enthusiastic and named a full ticket. Dr. Frank L. Adams served as chairman. 
The platform endorsed the appointment of Victor H. Metcalf for Secretary of 
Commerce and Labor; commended the course of George C. Perkins in the 
United States Senate; endorsed the administration of Governor Pardee; 
expressed appreciation of the efforts of Joseph Knowland to secure an appro- 
priation of $250,000 for the Oakland harbor; pledged the nominees to do all 
in their power to bring the water issue to a successful conclusion, to prevent an 
excessive charge for water rates and to secure the issuance of bonds for the 
equipment of a municipal water supply; and further pledged an economical 
administration, the right of way for a sewer along Cemetery creek, the estab- 
lishment of the boundaries of Lake Merritt, and favored the completion of the 
boulevard around Lake Merritt and the improvement of the parks between 
Eight and Twelfth streets at West Oakland and Bushrod park and Independence 
square. Frank K. Mott was nominated for mayor by Ben. F. Woolner. Then 
the nomination was closed and the clerk was instructed to cast the ballot of the 
convention for Mr. Mott, which was done. In a short speech he said, "If I am 
elected I shall stand for an administration of honesty, of decency and of prog- 
ress, and an administration in harmony with the principles of the republican 
party." Later a sensation was caused by the withdrawal of the nominee for 
city treasurer. On the same day the prohibitionists nominated for mayor, T. H. 
Montgomery. A striking plank in their platform stated the yearly water rate in 
Oakland was $578,351, while the cost of liquor consumed here exceeded $1,000,- 


ooo. The socialists nominated Jack London the novelist, for mayor. The plat- 
form stated that the party favored the interests of the working class in 
antagonism to the interest of the exploiting class; "tliat the present municipal 
ticket is administered solely in the interests of the exploiting class in direct 
antagonism to the interest of the working class and is therefore administered 
so as to subserve the interests of the capitalists and the large holders of property." 
The guiding rule of conduct of the party candidates was — Will the municipal 
measures under consideration advance the interests of the working class and aid 
the workers in the class struggle against capitalism ? 

The political campaign of 1906 was spirited, befogging and confusedly edu- 
cational. Tickets were placed in the field by the republicans, democrats, union 
labor party, independent league, socialists and the army and navy league. In the 
campaign County Assessor H. P. Dalton filed his petition as an independent 
candidate for the ofiice of assessor, the document containing 11,321 names when 
only 827 were required under the law; 1,493 were from Berkeley, where his 
opponent resided. 

The vote of Alameda county for Governor in 1906, was as follows: Gillett 
(R.), 11,029; Bell (D.), 6,561; Lewis (Soc), 1.922; Blanchard (Pro.), 561; 
Langdon (Ind. L.), 7,725; scattering, 10. Joseph R. Knowland, republican can- 
didate for member of Congress, received 15,503, the next highest being 4,415. 

After his defeat at the primary election for the republican nomination for 
mayor, George E. Randolph accepted a nomination for the same place from the 
union labor party. The platform of this party favored a new city hall, improve- 
ments of streets and the sewer system, public ownership of public utilities, par- 
ticularly the water proposition, inducements for home industries, appointment 
of a building inspector, employment of home labor to be given the preference 
with an eight-hour day, arbitration between employers and employes, preference 
of United States soldiers for public employment, reduction of present tax rate, 
and approved the acts of the officials nominated by the union labor party at the 
last municipal election and pledged support to the Polytechnic high school. 

The municipal league favored accepting the water proposition ofl^'ered by 
the Bay Cities Water Company for $3,750,000; approved the action of the 
council in submitting to the voters the question of the issuance of such bonds ; 
advocated the formation of a consolidated city and county government includ- 
ing the adjacent cities if they were willing; invited the entry of new and com- 
peting railroads and of new industries and commercial enterprises; favored the 
exclusion of saloons from the residence districts ; pledged the nominees to fight 
to the court of last resort if necessary the Contra Costa Company water suits; 
approved the action of the council in fixing water rates and in opposing the 
litigation begun by the water company and ended with the following plank: 
We still insist on the prosecution to final judgment of the suit begun by the 
officials nominated by us in which the city had recovered a judgment restoring 
to it the water front from a corporation which so long controlled it under claim 
of ownership to the great detriment of the city's commercial growth, and we 
pledge our nominees for mayor, city attorney and city council to continue the 
prosecution until the final establishment of the city's rights thereto. The ticket 
nominated by the league was largely identical with that of the republicans and 
of the democrats, both naming Mr. Mott for mayor. The campaign was full of 


life and variety. Early in March, 1905, John L. Davie announced himself an 
independent candidate for mayor and favored particularly a tax that should not 
exceed $1, the great improvement of the streets and parks and strict economy. 
At the city election two days later the following was the result. For mayor — 
Mott (R., D., and M. L.), 5,562; Davie (Indp.), 3,217; Randolph (U. L.) 
1,803; London (Soc), 915; Montgomery (Pro.) 129. A large majority of the 
successful candidates were republicans. The new administration was pledged 
to non-partisanship. The large vote for Mr. Davie proved his popularity with 
the low tax people. 

At the republican primaries in August, 1906, the entire delegation — seventy- 
six — were solid for the renomination of Governor Pardee. The republican county 
convention in 1906 approved the passage of the rate bill by Congress, commended 
the action of the Government against trusts, thanked the world for assistance "to 
our beloved city of San Francisco in her hour of dismay and distress," pledged 
remedial legislation to help that stricken city, expressed the opinion that the great 
influx of Japanese and other Asiatic laborers was a greater evil than that 
which induced the people to demand and secure the passage of the Chinese exclu- 
sion law and urged a similar law for the exclusion of Japanese and other kinds of 
Asiatic labor, favored a tenement house law, recognized the rights of both labor 
and capital, asked for an additional federal judge for this district, favored a 
direct primary law, insisted upon a law to protect fruit growers and shippers 
from the exactions of railroads, favored the eight-hour law, and advocated a 
continuance of the work to improve all dairy products. The labor party in 
1906 named a full ticket, favored the eight-hour law and anti-injunction law, 
favored raising the age limit for working children, endorsed the candidates of 
the independence league — particularly endorsed W. H. Langdon for Governor 
and endorsed, also, many nominees of the republican county convention. The 
democrats in igo6 nominated a full ticket, endorsed the high aims and purposes of 
organized labor, favored economy in county atifairs and endorsed many of the 
nominees on other tickets. At the primaries January 29, 1907, four municipal 
league and democratic factions were developed. The primary election showed 
that the public improvements undertaken were endorsed by the voters and was 
an assurance of the adequate expansion of all phases of city development. The 
large issue of bonds sanctioned at the polls proved that at last Oakland could do 
a little more than pay its officers and keep the wolf from the door. At the 
primaries the administration of Mayor .Mott was emphatically endorsed by the 
voters who chose delegates favorable to his renomination. 

In February, 1907, the voters' league was organized to promote the election 
to office of honest and able men by means chiefly of the publication of the can- 
didate's qualiiications, with recommendations to voters, and was not designed 
to make any nomination for office. R. H. Chamberlain was president. In Feb- 
ruary, the socialists nominated for mayor, Owen H. Philljrick. In tliis municipal 
campaign the republicans, democrats, municipal league and labor union parties 
united in the renomination of Mayor Mott. The era of expansion, enterprise and 
progress had dawned, it was joyously admitted by all observers. The campaign 
was without excitement because destitute of contests. The fact was that the 
Mott administration was approved and the republicans were wise enough to 
renominate the leading city officials. The other parties could do no better 


than to endorse the republican ticket, because by so doing they favored a satis- 
factory administration. The vote was as follows: For mayor — Mott (R.) 7,239; 
Philbrick- (Soc.) 1,234; Daly (Pro.) 211. 

Early in July, 1908, Taft and Sherman republican clubs were organized in 
all parts of the county and the national candidates were endorsed. An enthusias- 
tic rally in Alameda was addressed by Governor Gillett, Congressman Knowland, 
Senator Bates and Representative Otis. As a result of the primaries, the repub- 
licans placed two Senatorial and seven Assembly candidates in the field, all 
presumably pledged to aid in returning George C. Perkins to the United States 
Senate. The Lincoln-Roosevelt League was signally successful in this county, 
electing 135 out of 225 delegates to the republican county convention, but the 
regulars captured a majority of the delegates to the state and congressional con- 
ventions. The league endorsed Perkins, Knowland and the three superior judge 
candidates. In September, Eugene \'. Debs, socialist candidate for President, 
addressed 3,000 people at the Greek theatre, Berkeley, on the principles of 
socialism. He divided the people into two classes: (i) capitalists; (2) thirty 
million workers. "We stand first for the overthrow of wage slavery ; all other 
issues are minor," he declared. The university authorities permitted a free dis- 
cussion of socialism at this time. The Dean ballot machine was used throughout 
Alameda county in 1908 — in all 143 machines were used. The county owned 
150 of the machines, having a number on hand for emergencies. As a whole 
they were satisfactory. The republican county convention of August, 1908, was 
presided over by A. P. Leach. Judges IMelvin, Waste and Harris were renomi- 
nated by acclamation. Harmony and enthusiasm prevailed. The official conduct 
of Senator Perkins and Congressman Knowland was endorsed amid prolonged 
cheering. The platform favored liberal appropriations for the state university, 
asked for a modern reformatory institution, advocated the prohibition of race- 
track and other gambling, favored the continued development and control of the 
water front by Oakland, pledged that the nominees for superior judges should 
refrain from active political work while in ofiice ; favored the election of United 
States Senators by direct vote, denounced the control of the political parties of 
the state by corporate interests, pledged that party candidates should refrain 
from seeking or accepting corporate favor or influence, and favored striking out 
the five-mile limit of the constitution and other legislation so that the people of 
any section might vote on the question of city and county consolidation. The con- 
vention named a full county ticket. 

The democratic county convention of 1908 met in Germania hall and Clyde 
Abbott served as chairman. The platform adopted as the party slogan, "The 
People shall Rule!"; pledged the overthrow of boss rule and corporate domi- 
nation ; favored legislation by direct vote of the people through the instrumen- 
tality of the initiative, referendum and recall ; pledged action against a United 
States Senator from this state who was dominated by corporate interests ; favored 
the election of such official by direct vote ; demanded that the judicial ermine 
should be uncontaminated liy partisan politics; insisted that school management 
should be non-partisan ; favored a modern reformatory ; called upon the voters 
to overturn the existing administration of county aflfairs, which for several years 
had been wasteful, extravagant, and inefficient, the prey of spoilsmen, political 
manipulators and petty bosses, wholly discreditable to an enlightened and pro- 


gressive community; opposed race-track and other gambling devices; favored a 
law permitting county and city consolidation and deprecated the entrance of the 
state university into petty politics. A full ticket was nominated. Four or five 
subordinate conventions were held on the same day — for supervisors. Congress- 
men, etc. 

The republican 'state convention assembled here on August 27, 190S, and 
nominated ten electors for the national ticket. At the same time hundreds of 
women from all portions of the state also met here to ask the convention for the 
insertion of a suffrage plank in the republican platform. In 1908 the vote of 
Alameda county for president was as follows: republican 21,392; democrat 
7,110; independence league 723; socialist 3,462; prohibition 608; total county 
vote 37,915. It was a sweeping success for the republican national ticket; and 
the success was equally pronounced for Knowland, Representative in Congress, 
and for the three superior judges, Brown, Harris and Waste. Of the seventeen 
constitutional amendments voted on all except two were carried in this county. 

In 1909 the citizens party put a full ticket in the field headed by Dr. F. F. 
Jackson for mayor. This was an independent movement which aimed to secure 
the support of the union labor party and of certain leading political leaders 
who desired a change in city administration for personal reasons. An event 
of the campaign was the public debate of city issues by Mayor Mott and F. F. 
Jackson. Much personality was injected into the campaign. The result of the 
election was the success of all the regular republican nominees — the continuance 
of the old administration in power. Mott (R.) received 8,352 votes; Jackson 
(Ind. C.) 6,045; Barney (Soc.) 542. The Citizens' Municipal League which had 
been in existence for eighteen years heartily approved the platform of the repub- 
lican party in 1909 and favored the reelection of Mayor ]\Iott. 

Never before had the voters and the city administration been in such perfect 
accord as in the years from 1905 to 1909. All problems were solved without 
friction or discord and municipal progress was steady and unexampled. In view 
of this state of affairs the republicans warmly renominated Mayor Mott for reelec- 
tion at the convention held on February 2d. The platform approved the efforts of 
the administration to compel the Southern Pacific Company and all other claimants 
to acknowledge the paramount rights of the city to control and regulate the water 
front and the building of wharves, docks and warehouses thereon; pledged the 
nominees to grant no franchise to the Southern Pacific without binding that com- 
pany to comply with the terms of the "Memorandum of proposed agreement with 
the Southern Pacific Company and the Western Pacific Railway Company ;" 
promised certain improvements on the water front and an election to determine 
as to the issuance of bonds for water front improvement ; pledged to reserve at 
least J, 000 feet of water front adjoining the grant to the Western Pacific for the 
use of the city ; favored other transcontinental lines : pledged to do everything 
possible to effect a consolidation of city and county governments ; favored the 
initiative, referendum and recall ; promised a new charter under certain condi- 
tions ; endorsed the course of the administration to prevent the outbreak of bubonic 
plague and other epidemics ; asked for a line of steamships between Pacific coast 
ports and the Isthmus of Panama to overcome the extortion of transportation 
companies ; pledged a new city hall, garbage incinerators, a manual training 
school building, the improvement of parks, the dredging of Lake Merritt, a salt 


water pumping plant, and the establishment as soon as convenient of a municipal 
water supply; called attention to the fact that notwithstanding the large extra 
expense for improvements, the tax rate for 1908-09 was the lowest for over ten 
years, and approved the improvement of the leading streets. 

In its platform the republican county convention in August, 1910, pledged 
support to Hiram Johnson for Governor, congratulated the party upon the enact- 
ment of the direct primary law, advised a state-wide advisory vote on United 
States Senator, pledged better court procedures, favored the segregation of first 
offenders and young prisoners from the old and hardened criminals and declared 
for a reduced county tax rate. The democratic county convention met in Ger- 
mania hall late in August, and named a full ticket. The platform denounced 
the so-called revision of the tariff, called attention to the statements of Hiram 
Johnson that the republican party had been the corrupt and willing instrument 
of predatory corporations; declared that county taxes were unnecessarily high 
and that extravagance marked every department of the county government; 
demanded therefore a change of administration and recommended Theodore A. 
Bell for Governor. At the November election the entire republican senatorial and 
assembly ticket was reelected; all of the county officials were reelected by hand- 
some majorities. Johnson was chosen Governor by a large majority, the vote 
on gubernatorial candidates in this county being as follows: Johnson (R.), 
15,826; Bell (D.), 9,821; Wilson (Soc), 5,743; Meads (Pro.), 610. Joseph 
R. Knowland was reelected to Congress by a majority of over 20,000 votes. The 
total vote in the county was 35,692. The total vote at the previous August pri- 
maries was 33,352. The vote in November, 1908, was 37,915. 

In March, 191 1, the various republican leagues throughout the city endorsed 
the candidacy of Mayor Mott for reelection. The business men organized a 
Mott Club, passed favorable resolutions and entered upon the campaign with 
great enthusiasm. The socialists met in convention and nominated Thomas Booth 
for mayor. Miss Anna F. Brown was endorsed for school director in District 
No. 5. F. F. Jackson was again a candidate for the mayoralty chair. In a 
strong speech he declared that the present administration had vigorously opposed 
the adoption of the new charter and that therefore they were not the ones to be 
given the power to determine its success or failure. But there was a prevailing 
sentiment that the charter was in reality secondary in importance to the campaign 
of municipal improvement which had been inaugurated and made thus far so splen- 
didly successful by the administration of Mayor Mott. Many saw that the election 
of either Mr. Jackson or Mr. Booth would mean retrogression from the progressive 
influences and stimuli that the people had endorsed and already had learned to 
admire and love. The real issue of the election was, should the progressive policy 
be abandoned? Herbert C. Chivers was an independent candidate for mayor. 
His platform was "for all the people all the time." He did not believe that the 
existing administration should be given another four-year hold on the city. There 
was intense interest in the election in May. All felt there was a chance that 
Mayor Mott would not be reelected. The heavy vote for Booth and Jackson at 
the primaries proved that his return to pow'er was by no means certain. The 
heavy vote polled early in the day showed the great interest that prevailed. For 
mayor, Mott received 11,722 votes and Booth, 9,837. A total of 22,023 votes was 
polled — the heaviest ever cast at a municijial election. The great strength of 


the socialists was shown by the returns. However, man)- votes for Mr. Booth 
were cast by persons disaffected with the Mott administration and not by social- 
ists altogether. The Seventh ward gave Booth a majority. The first nominating 
election under the new charter was held on April i8, 191 1, with the following 
result: For mayor: Mott, 8,944; Booth, 5,937; Jackson, 5,497; Chivers, 153; 
Miller, 57; Leidecker, 52. Miss Brown was chosen director by a large majority. 
At this time Mrs. Elinor Carlisle was reelected a member of the Berkeley board of 

At the Alameda election in 191 1, Mayor W. H. Noy was reelected over G. H. 
Fox and S. Miller by a substantial plurality. At the primaries in April, 1911, 
J. Stitt Wilson was chosen the socialist mayor of Berkeley against B. L. Hodg- 
head by the vote of 2,749 to 2,468. Mr. Hodghead was th'fe first mayor under the 
new charter and was thus signally defeated by one who stood on the platform of 
constructive municipal socialism. During the campaign he advocated the public 
ownership of public utilities, and in addition other socialistic measures. The 
charter of Berkeley, as well as that of Oakland, was largely socialistic, or at least, 
revolutionary and unique in municipal procedure. Mr. Wilson had the support 
of the university which was broad enough and progressive enough to accept the 
changes in civic affairs demanded by culture and advancement. Colonel Roose- 
vent in his recent speech at the Greek theater had emitted his views on modern 
progressive problems and contentions and added much to the already strong spirit 
of iconoclasm in municipal and other public affairs that prevailed in that city 
and that university. This course did not mean anarchy nor even disorder, but 
meant new views and broader principles in the promotion of public welfare. 
Many persons could see little short of ruin and anarchy in the Berkeley program. 

The primary election of September, 1912, gave the Roosevelt- Johnson combi- 
nation control of the republican state convention and assured the progressive 
electors a place on the Xovember ticket and forced the Taft electors to petition 
for that privilege. At the primaries the vote for congressman was : Knowland 
(R.), 23,621; Stetson (Prog.), ii,68'5; Luttrell (D), 1,951; Wilson (Soc), 
2,528. Judges Donahue and Ogden were selected l^y large majorities for reelec- 
tion to the bench. Crosby and Strobridge were returned to the Senate. Super- 
visors Mullins, Foss and Murphy were also successful. 

At the republican county convention in September, the progressives had a 
majority of the delegates and hence controlled the proceedings. Dr. H. B. Mehr- 
mann was elected chairman. The committee on resolutions were C. E. Snook, 
\\'. C. Clark and Mrs. J. N. Porter, chairman of the Woman's Good Government 
League. Upon motion of Mr. Snook the following resolution was adopted by 
acclamation : "That this convention recognizes Theodore Roosevelt and Hiram 
W^ Johnson as the rightful republican nominees for President and Vice President 
respectively and urges the republican nominees for the Assembly, the State Senate 
and the hold over State Senators from this county as members of the republican 
state convention to support republican electors who will if elected, vote for 
Theodore Roosevelt for President and Hiram W. Johnson for Vice President." 
The convention ratified all of the nominees of the primaries. Many citizens of 
the county went to San Francisco to hear Theodore Roosevelt speak September 
14th. The democratic county convention was held in Berkeley with J. J. McDon- 
ald in the chair. By decision of the state supreme court in October, the Taft elect- 


ors were denied a place on the November ballot. Stephen J. Sill of Berkeley was 
one of the democratic electors ; he polled the highest vote, 24,426. The republican 
state convention, on September 25th, by a vote of 14 to 88, nominated thirteen 
presidential electors pledged to vote for Roosevelt and Johnson for President and 
Vice-President respectively. The convention divided and named two tickets. 
William Jennings Bryan addressed a large meeting at Freeman's park on Sep- 
tember 25th. The Alameda county vote on the consolidation amendment was : for 
it, 16,908; against it, 41,339. The Roosevelt electors received 31,542 votes; 
Wilson electors, 24,426; Debs electors, 9,332; Chapin electors, 1,163. Knowland 
defeated Watson, the socialist candidate, by the vote of 35,219 to 26,234, with 
4,035 to Luttrell, democrat. 



The Oakland Ladies Relief Society had its origin in the great Chicago fire. 
It was organized November 9, 1871, to assist the sufiferers of that catasti-ophe 
and was incorporated June 12, 1872, as a society to render help to the needy and 
destitute at home. During the first year of its existence it was presented by 
Elijah Bigelow with a lot at Franklin and Fourteenth streets valued at $7,000, 
which splendid gift established the society on a permanent basis. Later this lot 
was exchanged for three acres at Temescal. At the end of two years the society 
owned 3^/2 acres at Temescal ; had a building fund of over $4,000, occupied a 
rented house in Oakland and had the usual officers and a board of twenty-four 
managers. All of its property was exchanged for the Beckwith Place containing ten 
acres and a good house nearer Oakland, leaving the society in debt $6,000. The real 
struggle now began to pay the debt and carry on operations. Friends came to the 
rescue, ladies entertainments realized goodly sums, and in 1875 the debt was but 
$2,000 and in 1876 was wholly extinguished. The twenty-four lady managers 
made themselves responsible for certain sums monthly either contributed or col- 
lected. But it was believed that now (1877) the citizens generally of the city 
should at least assist in the support of the institution. The city was thoroughly 
canvassed with the result that from $150 to $200 per month was pledged with 
which to carry on operations. In April, 1877, the tent festival netted over $2,100. 
The society operated through a system of committees. There were forty inmates 
in July, 1877. 

One of the keenest contests ever had in Alameda county was that over local 
option. It was a plan to permit townships to determine by a popular vote 
whether the vending of liquor should be licensed within them or not. It called 
forth the energies of all enemies to strong drink. Men and women, clergymen 
and laymen, public officers and unofficial persons all took part, and excitement ran 
at fever heat. On April 22. 1874, 276 citizens of Washington township peti- 
tioned the board of supervisors for a special election to vote upon the question of 
license or no license, under the provisions of the act approved March 18, 1874. 
The prayer was granted, and May 23d fixed as the date. Meanwhile the question 
assumed a prominent shape in other townships, and in due course of time elections 
were there held, with the following results : 

Township of Election 

Alameda July 2, 1874 

Brooklyn June 6, 1874 

Eden July 11, 1874 













Date For Against 

Township of Election License License 

Murray June 27, 1874 384 170 

Oakland May 30, 1874 1038 1291 

Washington May 23, 1874 184 167 

Total 2,379 2,330 

Oakland voted in favor of local option on May 30, 1874, amid great rejoicing 
on the part of the temperance people. To commemorate this event and victory 
the citizens erected in City Hall park a small statue representing the Goddess of 
Liberty holding a sheathed sword and leaning on a shield blazoned with the 
national arms. Connected with the statue were water drinking facilities. At 
the base of the pedestal were the words '"Erected in commemoration of the tem- 
perance victory achieved at the ballot box, Oakland, May 30, 1874." The local 
option movement was formulated by Mrs. M. K. Blake, Mrs. Harriet Bishop and 
a few other ladies who demanded that the licensed saloons must go and the 
traffic in strong drink must stop. Strange as it may seem the churches at that 
time did but little to help the movement, but individuals helped amazingly, 
especially Rev. J- K. McLean. Many drinking men sided with and helped the 
movement. They wanted to rid the city of the saloons. On election day bands of 
praying women came from San Francisco to help cement opinion in favor of 
local option. Party was wholly lost sight of and two factions determinedly 
faced each other on the liquor question. Local option won, and the victory was 
heralded round the world. In England they applauded the victory. It was a 
bitter contest, the liquor element doing its utmost to encompass the defeat of 
their enemies. The matter was taken to the supreme court which declared the 
results unconstitutional. 

"The local option election held in Oakland township last Saturday was a 
novelty to every Californian who witnessed it. There were more people on the 
streets of Oakland than ever before seen on any one day, and yet there was no 
undue commotion. The election was terrifically exciting and yet there was none 
of the usual boisterousness, ranting, roaring and tearing hitherto the invariable 
accompaniment of popular elections in this state. The people were at fever heat 
and yet there was a power — not acknowledged but felt nevertheless — that kept 
them in check. That power was the presence of women at the polls." — (Alameda 
Encinal June 6, 1874.) This election was followed by a similar one in Brooklyn 
township about a week later. Of this the Encinal said, "The election in Brooklyn 
township last Saturday was far more exciting and brought out a greater number 
of lookers-on than that of Oakland township, and there was more enthusiasm 
apparent on both sides. The ladies were out in full force. * * * With their 
presence the election passed off without disturbance, unless the singing of the 
'Battle Cry of Freedom' which so much exercised some of the license party's 
cohorts, might be classed as such. To an outsider it was an interesting spectacle, 
a moving novel panorama and one that will never be forgotten." On July 2, 
1874, a local option election was held in Alameda. A woman's temperance 
association was formed in June with Mrs. William Hulburt as president : Mrs. 
Clinton and Mrs. Dye. vice-presidents: Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. P. Barton, secretaries; 


and Mrs. A. S. Barber, treasurer. Mrs. Bishop from Oakland addressed the 
meeting, which was held at the Methodist church. Working committees were 
appointed and numerous mass meetings were held. Succeeding this election the 
Alameda Temperance Club was organized with F. K. Krauth, president. 

"Daughters of Israel" Relief Society was organized in 1876 with twenty 
charter members; its first officers being: Mrs. J. J. Bettmann, president: Mrs. S. 
S. Cohen, secretary; Mrs. R. Beel, treasurer; the last of whom was the actual 
originator of the association. The objects for which it was instituted were 
charity and benevolence to all, irrespective of nationality or creed. Hebrew 
Benevolent Society was organized in July, 1861, with the following officers: S. 
Hirshberg, president ; S. Adler, vice-president ; S. Schultz, secretary ; R. Heyman, 

In March, 1877, the humane society which had for some time been neglected 
was reorganized in the parlors of Dr. Dio Lewis. Nearly all of the old members 
were present and nine new members joined. The following members were elected 
as board of directors: Dr. Dio Lewis, W. B. Hardy, A. W. Bishop, J. H. Red- 
stone, A. T. Dewey, Rev. L. Hamilton, G. C. Potter, M. W. Allen, Capt. D. H. 
Rand. J. W. Knox, Christian Schreiber, W. S. Lyon, A. J. Gladding, Thomas 
Ylland and W. H. Jordan. The directors elected the following officers : Dr. Dio 
Lewis, president; A. J. Gladding, vice-president: W. B. Hardy, treasurer; W. A. 
Jordan, recording secretary ; A. W. Bishop, corresponding secretary. The follow- 
ing addition of policemen were chosen : Dr. Dio Lewis, W. B. Hardy, W. S. 
Lyon and Christian Schreiber. 

Kindergarten schools made their appearance here in 1875 ; Mrs. E. C. Head 
opened one of the first at Adeline and Twelfth streets. 

In 1876 Dr. Adrian F. El:)ell, a graduate of Yale college, and a noted lecturer 
on art, literature and woman's advancement, visited Oakland and succeeded in 
inducing a band of ladies here to organize a branch society of the International 
Academy. At first it was known as such branch, but after his death it took his 
name and was the progenitor of the present organization, the first woman's club 
in the state — the Ebell Society. It was incorporated in 1884, federated in 1893, 
and became a member of the state federation in 1900 at which time it had 447 
members and was the most elevating social and literary organization in Oakland. 
Besides its advisory board it had eleven committees to attend to the various 
interests. The study class was divided into twenty-six sections ranging from 
economics to languages and music. By 1892 it had an ordinary membership of 
227 and a life and honorary membership of thirty-six. 

The Good Templars of West Oakland gave entertainments in 1877 for the 
benefit of their home for orphans. The building was erected in 1869 by the Good 
Templars of California and Nevada and was opened for the reception of orphans 
October i, 1870. In 1877 there were 90 inmates. About $50,000 was spent for 
the Ijuilding and about $30,000 for the support of the orphans. It was a public 
charity for homeless orphans. Mrs. Partridge was one of the board of managers. 
In 1877, a new home for orphan children was planned. The old home at Temes- 
cal was already much too small ; it occupied a tract of ten acres ; two new buildings 
were commenced. At this date Mrs. N. P. Perrine was president of the society. 
The new effort was a charity movement of the greatest merit. The board of 
managers were Mesdames Amies, Atchinson, Cole, Chamberlain, Campbell, Dam, 


Day, Howard, Holcomb, Little, McAllister, Raymond, Spear, Shanklin. Van 
Vleet, Barney, Wood, Wall, Wetherbee, De Fremery and Beay. At this date 
the ladies relief society did a splendid work in providing homes, shelter and 
assistance for the poor and friendless. In order to provide the necessary means 
they gave a series of public entertainments in a large tent at Twelfth and Wash- 
ington streets, lasting four evenings in April. Concerts, dramatic entertainments, 
musical programs and a calico ball were given. A four day's festival and enter- 
tainment at the pavilion was one of the largest, grandest, most largely attended 
and patronized and most successful ever held in the county up to this period. 
The total receipts were over $3,000. The expenses were high, but a goodly sum 
was netted toward the proposed orphan's home. The Oakland Benevolent Society 
received hundreds of applications for assistance and responded to the utmost 
extent through the exertions of all, particularly of Secretary Sears. The society 
depended for funds upon voluntary subscriptions : it was announced that it 
should have an income of $250 per month for cases of destitution. 

The Women's Christian Association of Oakland was organized October 5, 
1877, its objects being "to carry Christian sympathy, love and help to all families 
in our midst who may need such ministrations." For the conduct of its benefits 
there were four departments, viz: fruit and flower mission, sheltering home, 
industrial committee and the helping hand school at the corner of Twenty- 
second and Market streets. 

This year, about seventy ladies of Oakland met at the Congregational church 
and organized the Ladies Evangelical and Philanthropical Alliance with Mrs. 
Cabel Sadler, president. The object was the advancement of Christian and 
charitable work by organized cooperation. It 1892 they built a fine structure which 
became at once the home of the Y. W. C. A. The rooms were on Franklin street 
near Durant. The ^Mistletoe Literary and Social Club was a prominent organiza- 
tion in 1877. They held quarterly socials that were immensely popular and 
largely attended. Fine music was a feature. The Linden Reading Club gave in- 
teresting entertainments in Nicholl hall in 1877. 

On December 2, 1878, the council ordered the sum of $50 per month to be 
paid to each of the following : The Oakland Ladies Relief Society and Orphans' 
Home, and the Oakland Benevolent Society, such amounts to be paid out of the 
fines collected in the police court, but the mayor vetoed the ordinance. It was 
afterwards passed with certain modifications. It was again vetoed by the mayor, 
but on the 3d of February was passed over his veto. 

The Oakland Cooking School Association in 1883 was presided over by Mrs. 
Edward Hunt. Her associate officers and sponsers were Mrs. Albert Miller, 
Mrs. A. J. Ralston, Mrs. Jesse Wall. Mrs. Louis Janin, Mrs. A. Liliencrantz, Mrs. 
F. B. Ginn, Mrs. R. E. Cole, Mrs. William Sherman, Mrs. H. J. Glenn, Mrs. 
F. M. Smith, Mrs. R. S. Prentiss, Mrs. G. W. McNear, Mrs. C. H. Chamberlain, 
Mrs. E. G. Mathews, Mrs. E. C. Williams and Mrs. S. E. Henshaw. On Sep- 
tember 20, 1883, the association was organized and within one week a guarantee 
fund of $600 was advanced by six ladies. Mrs. H. J. Glenn offered her beautiful 
home as a place for the cooking school, but her offer was declined out of regard 
for the appearance of the premises. Already two or three classes of about ten 
each had been formed, and it was decided that as soon as $1,000 could be raised 
Miss Juliet Corson of New York would be sent for to start all the classes in the 


right pathway. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union joined this move- 
ment to improve cooking methods; they -were addressed by Miss C. A. Buckel, 
M. D., on the subject of "Food." Miss Corson conducted two classes: (i) prac- 
tice classes ; (2) demonstration course of lecture classes. On Mondays the lessons 
were on economical cooking; on Tuesdays, cooking for sick and invalids; on 
Wednesdays, fine dishes for which lessons an extra charge was made; on Thurs- 
days, cold food dishes and breakfast dishes; on Fridays, special lunch and sup- 
pers; on Saturdays, no lessons. The lessons were $1.50 each, and $2 on Wednes- 
days. A course ticket was $5. The demonstration classes were taught in the 
mornings and the practice classes in the afternoons. Instruction was asked on 
salads, entrees, fish balls, fine sauces, cold meat dishes, very fine dishes, canvass 
back ducks, etc. The lessons were given at the First Congregational church. 
Hundreds of vehicles blockaded the streets there during the first lessons. In 
reality fashionable Oakland came forth to learn scientific cookery or to make a 
display. The average housewife learned the lesson second-hand, but knew much 
of it already. 

In August, 1880, the young ladies of the Sunday school of the First Presby- 
terian church established the second kindergarten in Oakland. Dr. Henshaw 
Ward donated the use of a building on Broadway between Third and Fourth 
streets. It had at first a precarious existence, received little assistance and was 
maintained by the sacrifices and determination of the ladies alone. Its income 
came from members' dues, monthly payments of regular subscribers, special 
subscription sums, entertainments, etc. The school needed only about $600 per 
annum, but obtained this sum only by hard work. The officers in 1884 were 
Maud \\'yman, president ; Mary Wodsworth, secretary ; Cora Davitt, corre- 
sponding secretary; Marietta Leeman, treasurer. Many little children were fed, 
clothed, taught and cared for. It was called Oakland free kindergarten. 

The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle of Alameda in 1882-83 held 
its meetings at the houses of the members. The first year's course of study was 
completed in October, 1883, and that of the second year was commenced. 

In 1883 the Oakland council granted one-fourth of the fines of the police 
court to the Oakland Benevolent Society and the Ladies Relief Society for char- 
itable purposes. As the city had no almshouse, it was deemed proper to make 
these societies the public almoners of the city. The city's taxable property was 
$28,018,078 in 1883 ; it was less than that of 1882 by '$272,573. This did not include 
railroad assessments. The total tax was $285,754. 

In 1883 Frances E. Willard visited Oakland under the auspices of the Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union. While here she addressed large audiences, was 
royally entertained and did much to stimulate the activity of the union whose 
motto was "God and Home and Native Land." They were in a desperate fight 
against the two hundred saloons of the city. Mrs. M. C. Leavitt came here from 
Boston in November, to continue the temperance crusade commenced by Frances 
E. Willard; she also came under the auspices of the Woman's Christian Tem- 
perance Union. She organized a branch at San Leandro Union church with the 
following officers: Mrs. E. W. Peet of Haywards, president; vice presidents, 
Mrs. William Meek, San Lorenzo, Mrs. A. A. Dubois, San Leandro; secretary, 
Mrs. S. G. Nye, San Leandro; assistant secretaries. Miss Louise Hayward of 
Haywards, and Miss Elva King of San Lorenzo; treasurer, Mrs. William Rob- 


erts, San Lorenzo; financial secretaries, Miss Susie Meek, San Lorenzo, Mrs. A. 
J. Secor, Haywards, Miss Thurston, San Leandro. The organization included 
fort3--five members and was duly named "The Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union of Eden," that being the name of the township. 

During the winter of 1883-84 the Ladies Relief Society of Oakland fed and 
sheltered daily about 100 persons — two-thirds of whom were children and one- 
third old women. At this time Mrs. Dam was president of- the society. In 1883 
the society received a legacy of three blocks, one half block and six single lots 
from the late Mrs. Louise Haile of Alameda. This property was appraised at 
$6,680, but against it was a claim of $2,100 which was reduced to $700 through 
the gift of iMr. Cuthbert. The annual festival of the society held in September, 
1S83, netted over $1,500. A free kindergarten was established in East Oakland 
in January, 1884, largely through the efforts of Mrs. E. E. Cole. The Kinder- 
garten Association was formed with Miss Hettie Tubbs as president and Miss 
Emma Farrier, secretary. 

In September, 1884, a festival of the Ladies Relief Society took in about 
Si,6oo gross receipts. The ladies of the Episcopal, Congregational, Presbyterian 
and other churches contributed special lunches. The ladies of Alameda and East 
Oakland also gave special lunches. The Kittledrum and Mother Goose perform- 
ances were attended by large crowds. 

In March, 1885, the Little Workers' Foundling Home was founded at 
West Oakland. By 1888 its property was valued at $10,000 and it was doing a 
large and noble work. About fifty little children were cared for and supported. 

On June 3, 1885, a county institute of the Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union was organized in the First Presbyterian church at Oakland. Many ladies 
eminent in the union were present. After discussion Mrs. F. K. Bentley of Ala- 
meda, moved that from date a county institute should be organized whose object 
should be educational. The motion was unanimously carried. There were pres- 
ent, Mrs. P. D. Browne, state president; Mrs. H. H. Havens, state secretary; 
Mrs. E. L. Keeler of Livermore, Mrs. A. H. Ward of Alameda, Mrs. Ainger of 
Berkeley, Mrs. S. B. Peet of Haywards and many others. The first officers 
elected for the institute were as follows : Mrs. S. W. Peet, president ; Mrs. A. P. 
Ward, vice president ; Mrs. L. W. Parish, secretary ; Mrs. A. C. Henry, treasurer. 
Many branches in all parts of the state were planned at the memorable, enthusi- 
astic and important meeting. A boys' home was talked of. Plans to solicit sub- 
scriptions to carry on the work were laid at this time. 

In June the Ladies Silk Culture Association of California bought fourteen 
acres of land on what was known as the Piedmont tract for the purpose of 
embarking in the culture of silk. Mulberry trees were planted, and steps to have 
the Government erect a building thereon to be used as a cocoonery were taken. 
Professor Davidson selected the site which was covered with eucalyptus trees. 
Bids for the erection of the cocoonery were called for early in June. One of 
the clauses in the deed stipulated that never thereafter should liquor be sold on 
the tract. 

The Associated Charities was incorporated late in February, 1888. Its 
stated objects were to promote and supervise charitable work ; to relieve the desti- 
tute ; to reduce vagrancy and pauperism ; to aid in outdoor relief ; to improve the 
condition of the poor; and to receive gifts and bequests with these objects in 


view. The incorporators were Rev. J. K. McLean, Rev. C. W. Wendte, Rev. 
H. D. Lathrop, A. J- Ralston, Col. W. H. O'Brien, Rev. M. S. Levy, S. P. Meads, 
J. A. Johnson, William R. Davis, A. W. Bishop and others. The council of 
associated charities consisted of representatives or delegates from the various 
city charities. Within a short time there were twelve affiliated societies in the 
county and within eight years they numbered thirty-nine. Steadily imposters 
were weeded out and all meritorious cases investigated and assisted. During 
January, 1896, 241. men were recommended to working positions, of whom 221 
secured places and "made good." By this time it was a gratifying power for 
good throughout the whole county. 

A branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized in 
East Oakland in March, there being present over thirty ladies of that city. The 
first ofiicers were as follows: Mrs. W. H. H. Hamilton, president; Miss Mary 
Bailey, recording secretary; Mrs. M. L. Williams corresponding secretary; Miss 
Ellis, treasurer. The name adopted was East Oakland and Fruit Vale Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union. Mrs. Dorcas J. Spencer, state superintendent of 
scientific temperance instruction, delivered a memorable address. Other speakers 
were Mrs. R. R. Johnson, Mrs. S. G. Chamberlain, Mrs. Dr. Southard and others. 

In April a charitable convention of many of the churches of Oakland was 
convened. Among the religious organizations which participated were the Bap- 
tists, Unitarians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Congregationalists, 
Universalists, Adventists and the Salvation Army, Woman's Christian Associa- 
tion, Woman's Relief Corps, the Sheltering Home and several charitable societies. 
At several of the meetings the Episcopalians and the Hebrews were represented. 
This was the first time in the history of Oakland when so many churches united 
for the purposes of charity. 

At a large meeting of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in July, a 
general campaign against saloons was planned and inaugurated. Mrs. P. D. 
Browne was president of the union at this time. It was planned to interest boys 
at the Broadway Beacon Light Home which the temperance ladies designed to 
reopen at once. The ladies took turns in conducting the home. At this time the 
union had special committees as follows : Juvenile work — Mrs. Borland ; 
Hygiene — Mrs. Van Kirk, Mrs. Johnson; Leaflets — Mrs. Hardy. Mrs. Law- 
rence of East Oakland stated that a movement was on foot to suppress Badger's 
park which "was ruining the characters of many young women of East Oak- 
land." The union was determined to compel saloonkeepers to comply with the 
legal requirements. The temperance work in this county was always hampered 
by the humiliating fact that this was one of the largest wine making counties in 
the state. 

The first grand council of the Catholic Ladies Aid Society convened at Young 
Men's Institute hall at Eighth and Grove streets on August 20th, and was in ses- 
sion three days. This society was recently organized and already was a power 
for great good in this community. 

In July, under the patronage of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 
Mrs. S. M. M. Woodman of Chico, state superintendent of viticulture, delivered 
a caustic address against the use of fermented wine for sacramental purposes in 
the churches. Rev. Dr. Grey spoke first and said that unfermented wine was 
used by Christ at the Lord's Supper, because Jews were forbidden the use of 


any other kind at the sacred feasts. Mrs. Woodman asserted that wine drinking 
produced drunkenness, that ancient nations who knew nothing of distilled liquors 
and used only pure, unadulterated wine became so debauched that their national 
existence was blotted out; that in the wine regions of California were drunkards 
from the age of seven years ; that wine drinking led to the stronger drinks ; that 
it was a significant fact that in many vineyards was a distillery; that churches 
should use only unfermented wine at the communion table, and that all white 
ribboners at least should refuse to partake of such wine which course would do 
much to abolish alcohol from the Lord's cup. She showed that other pursuits 
in the vine districts were much more profitable. The ladies warmly thanked her 
for her lecture. The Young Men's Christian Association attended this lecture 
in a body. At a large meeting of clergy and members of the W. C. T. U. early in 
August, the question was considered whether to have an active anti-saloon cam- 
paign, or a prohibition campaign, or a non-partisan campaign, or no special cam- 
paign at all. The clergy thought that the time for special subjects was inopportune 
owing to the absorbing interest of all the people in the presidential contest. 
Colonel Woodford, the prohibition orator was present. He opposed local option 
unless a board of supervisors who would give local option could be elected. It 
was finally concluded that until a county board favorable to local option could 
be chosen, it would be useless to attempt much in this county. There might be no 
end of petitions presented to the county board for elections to determine the 
question of local option, but all would be useless unless the board were unpre- 
judiced on the subject of temperance. It was finally determined to hold a series 
of meetings to see what good could be accomplished. 

The temperance revival created in this city by Colonel Woodford at this time 
swept all before it, and did more than any other cause to control and restrict the 
liquor traftic. At one of his lectures on the subject of "Our Boys" he said, "My 
friends, what would we not do for our boys? There's not a father in this city 
who would not work against the saloon if he knew his boy was to be a drunkard, 
but its never our boy ; its always the rude boy that lives down in the worst part 
of town. But that boy is just as much to the heart of his mother, though 
she be a washerwoman, as is your boy to you and your home. Somebody's 
boys must be drunkards if the saloon still exists and why not your boys? 
The temperance tide is rising in Oakland. Let us not only pray and work for 
the home, but let us vote for it as well." Colonel Woodford ascribed the great 
success of the temperance movement to the W. C. T. U. To that organization was 
due the introduction of scientific temperance instruction in the public schools of 
twenty-two states. He said "We talk of women as non-legislators. No legislation 
since the war will produce more wonderful effects upon our national life than this 
law inspired by woman's brain and carried and enforced by woman's work and 
influence. By it they are drilling into the very heart of this hellgate of the liquor 
traflic and filling the crevices with the dynamite of temperance truth. By and by 
the explosion will come and the rocks of intemperance upon which so many have 
been wrecked will be blown to atoms and every child shall find a safe passage 
from the deep water of mother love out into the ocean of life." His pleadings to 
the young men to sign the total abstinence pledge were moving and eft'ective, and 
as he depicted the sorrow and shame which had cursed his own life through drink 


many eyes beside his own were dimmed with tears. Scores came forward and 
took the pledge. 

The West Oakland Athenaeum was inaugurated January 14, 1889, in Hansen's 
hall. The object was to provide a place of recreation and reading for boys and 
young men, too many of who roamed the streets till late at night. It had a read- 
ing room, a gymnasium, debating society and educational branches in business 
pursuits. At the opening, speeches were made by S. P. Meads, Rev. C. W. 
Wendte, Mrs. Johnson and John P. Irish the latter of whom said that whenever 
he was wanted he would gladly come down and help the boys and if necessary 
would mount the horizontal bars and skin the cat. 

The W. C. T. U., in April 1889, sent a strong committee to the Oakland 
council to secure if possible a rule or law prohibiting sa4oons. This committee 
consisted of Mrs. R. R. Johnston, Mrs. A. C. Sanford, Mrs. Robert Bentley, 
Mrs. H. H. Havens, Mrs. M. K. Blake, Mrs. Dr. Van Kirk, Mrs. Julia Wilson, 
Mrs. E. S. Cameron, Mrs. E. B. Cutting, Mrs. Chamberlain, Mrs. G. C. Edholm 
and others. Mrs. Johnston voiced the sentiments and purposes of the union when 
she said, "We represent a band of 500 white ribboners who are here to ask you 
to give us a law prohibitory of saloons. We look upon Oakland as the great 
educational center and a coming railroad and manufacturing center. We come 
to speak for the wives and mothers of Oakland. No man has the right to injure 
his neighbor, each must respect the rights of the other. All arguments from the 
saloon people represent only the side of the liquor interests — do not tell the trage- 
dies of the homes. We plead with you and pray with you to give us local saloon 
prohibition. There are many women in Oakland who go to bed drunk every night 
and we ask you for their sakes to give us local prohibition. They are leading 
women down as well as men; then close them. We ask you to close the ladies' 
entrances that are dragging our women and men down. They say there are 250 
drunken men in Oakland. It is easy to count 250 drunken men on the streets any 
evening. Wherever grapes are grown and wine is made, schools go down, 
churches go down and the whole city goes down. Out of the thirty-five most 
prominent wine growers in the state, nineteen have gone into drunkards' graves 
and the sons and daughters of every one of them have gone to drink and oblivion. 
The secretary of the viticultural society said that the wine men are blue and must 
teach the youth to drink wine. That is why I am sorry that there is a viticultural 
chair at the university. It has been said that in one yard twenty-five young 
women were ruined. If it is not twenty-five a month I miss my guess." Mrs. 
CameroiLof the Y. W. C. A. also addressed the council. Rev. H. H. Rice, repre- 
senting the local option committee, requested the council to pass the pending 
ordinance without delay. He said they did not like license at all, but in any event 
wanted the restrictions of the proposed ordinance. T. L. Barker was present and 
represented the high license contingent. Action was deferred until the liquor 
men could be heard from. 

Ebell Society closed its first thirteen years of existence in April, 1889. It then 
had 250 members. Fifteen sections were engaged in literary work and nine new 
sections were just organized. The sections were as follows: 2 art, i music, 5 
literature, i tourist, 3 French, 2 German and i Egyptian. Mrs. D. B. Condron 
was president. 


The first county convention of loyal temperance legions was held by the 
Alameda County Woman's Christian Temperance Union on October 5, 1889, at 
Highland park. The various legions, juvenile societies and temperance cadets 
from all parts of the county were well represented. It was the first county con- 
vention of the little temperance folks. Mrs. B. Sturtevant-Peet, president of the 
union in Alameda county, presided and delivered an interesting address. Other 
speakers were Mrs. S. C. Borland, Miss Edna Olney, Mrs. Farrish, Mrs. R. R. 
Johnston and Mrs. Emily Pitt Stevens. The latter was state secretary and gave a 
stirring speech for prohibition and woman suffrage. Her remarks roused the 
children to great enthusiasm. 

In December 1889, a petition signed by 625 men and women of Berkeley was 
presented to the trustees protesting against granting a license to any saloon within 
one mile of the university. The matter was determined later at a secret session 
of the trustees. 

In 1890 all the temperance organizations of Oakland were formed into a 
union in order to secure more effective temperance work and the more certainly 
to crush or cripple the saloons. The committee of conference to bring this about 
were Mrs. S. C. Borland, Mrs. M. K. Blake, Mrs. H. L. Chamberlain, Mrs. E. 
S. Snow, Mrs. Dr. Childs, Mrs. J. H. Mathews, Mrs. H. L. Bradley and others. 
About twenty different temperance organizations joined the new union. 

During the temperance lectures of Mr. Murphy in 1892, it was shown that 
Oakland spent about $2,880 per day or over $1,000,000 a year for intoxicating 
liquor. Mr. Murphy's pictures of the ruin caused by liquor brought tears to 
hundreds of eyes. 

At theEbell Society in November, 1892, Doctor Knox after noting the progress 
women had made in the last fifty years said, "Although it has been claimed that 
as woman's sphere widened she would grow less domestic, she is still the home 
maker and can discover perfections in the average man of which his mother 
is ignorant and his sister never dreamed, but she does draw the line at being 
called a relict at his death." Mrs. Buckingham of Vacaville told what she had 
done at fruit raising — from the purchase of the raw ground to the marketing of 
the fruit — an orchard of 225 acres at the Rancho de la Honda. 

The Fred Finch Orphanage in Fruitvale was dedicated by Bishop Fowler on 
February 22, 1892. It stood a mile northeast of the Herritage on an eminence 
at the base of the foothills. The donor was Capt. D. B. Finch and the institution 
was named in honor of his son Fred. The first matron was Miss Smith. 

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children did excellent service 
in 1896. Mrs. Prescott, for the society, righted many wrongs in all parts of the 
city; the cases were settled before Judge Greene. 

In January and February, 1895, the Woman's Suffrage bill in the Legislature 
received unexpected support and endorsement and speedily passed to engrossment 
in the Assembly. It seemed certain of passage in view of the facts that the republi- 
cans controlled the Legislature and that the republican state convention had placed 
a plank to that effect in the party platform. The suffragists held an innnense 
mass meeting at Mills tabernacle on September 17, 1896, the hall being filled 
to overflowing. A majority of the audience was women, but many men were 
present. Rev. Dr. Wendte and Reverend Hudson occupied seats on the platform. 
Airs. Chapman-Catt implored the men to give the women the ballot in the light 


of reason and expediency, but Miss Shaw demanded it in the name of justice. 
Mrs. Lloyd Baldwin presided. The speech of Mrs. Chapman-Catt created a 
sensation; it was witty, convincing and logical. In addition she possessed an 
attractive personality that added much to the effects of her eloquent and elevat- 
ing remarks. Miss Shaws' address was likewise witty, logical and in addition 
anecdotal, sarcastic and sweeping. 

Early in November the county board passed the following preamble and 
resolutions : Whereas, A great many residents and citizens of this county are 
interested in seeing that the count of the votes cast for and against the amend- 
ments is properly canvassed and returned and desire to have at least two repre- 
sentatives in each polling place in the county of Alameda, now, therefore, be 
it Resolved, That two representatives designated by the president of the Alameda 
County Political Equality Society be allowed to be in attendance at each polling 
place throughout the county after the polls are closed and until the canvass is 
finished; and be it further Resolved, That this board requests the boards of 
election throughout the county to extend to the said representatives all possible 
attention and courtesy. Supervisor Talcott voted against the resolution. 

Immediately after the election a powerful sermon on woman suffrage was 
delivered by Rev. Dr. E. S. Chapman. In this eloquent and critical address he 
lashed the men of the state with intense severity for refusing to permit women 
to vote. Among other pertinent things he said, "The most ignorant men have 
voted to disfranchise the most learned and intelligent women ; indolent and 
worthless men have voted to disfranchise women who are among our largest tax 
payers ; low, vicious men have voted to deny suffrage to our most exalted and 
noble women. It is a shame that such things are possible; it is a greater shame 
that they are realities. * * * Let us continue this struggle with increased 
earnestness and vigor. We have made great progress — fully as much as could 
be reasonably expected. The solid ranks of vice and crime are massed against 
us and their manifest hostility will cause the friends of good and pure govern- 
ment to see the righteousness of our cause and to aid us to achieve the glorious 
victory, which under God, will surely and speedily come." 

Early in 1897 the Society of Associated Charities of Oakland comprised about 
forty subordinate societies in this and neighboring counties and worked under a 
perfected system that accomplished the greatest good. Numerous committees 
with definite duties fully set forth accomplished astonishing results in helping 
the fallen and disconsolate. A concerted and powerful effort to close the Oakland 
saloons was made by all the churches and many of the clubs and societies of the 
city. The Christian Endeavor, Woman's Christian Temperance Union and pro- 
hibition organizations all united in a desperate effort to control politics to such 
an extent as to secure an anti-saloon municipal administration. An anti-saloon 
ticket, with W. R. Thomas at the head for mayor, was placed in the field, and 
strenuous exertions were made to win. As never before, the women took part 
in this cause, speaking publicly and otherwise working actively and persistently 
for success. They declared that women of this city once before had won a 
similar success and that it could and should be done again. It was in 1874 that 
they won against saloon license after a desperate fight by a majority of eighty-four. 

In March, Mrs. Clara Hoffman delivered a powerful lecture on "Why Suf- 
frage is Denied" at the First Methodist church to a crowded hall. The lecture 


was delivered under the auspices of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 
of which she was a renowned and brilliant speaker and thinker. She showed 
in trenchant periods the insincerity, unfairness, hypocrisy and shallowness of the 
position taken by the majority of men through force of habit and through per- 
sonal and brutish desires. Among other things she said, "If women are enfran- 
chised all the bad women will have a vote, they say. But every bad man has a 
voice in the Government. There are thousands more good women than good 
men and thousands more bad men than bad women. I don't think the millennium 
will come the next morning after women are given the right to vote — we've 
associated with men too long. But add the good men — and there are plenty of 
them — to the good women, and you can sweep out every saloon and gambling 
place in Oakland." 

The progressive women organized in 1897 to help bring about the reforms 
demanded in public improvements. It was admitted that Oakland owed the 
existence and success of its annual exposition to the Ebell Society. They were 
welcomed warmly as members in the army of civic reform and advancement. 
The action of the Oakland ladies in turning their attention to city improvements 
was soon emulated all over the state. It was one of the most momentous acts 
in the general movement for the advancement of woman, though not recognized 
as such for a long time afterward and never given credit for its actual import- 
ance. It brought them out to fight for improvement in the ranks of the men ; 
made them conspicuous advocates for betterment in civic affairs ; proved that 
they were interested in the upward trend of municipal virtue ; conquered a place 
in the judgment of men for their public spirit and unselfish devotion to all aspects 
of human improvement; and gave them a prestige that won a place at the polls 
as a golden finality. 

In October, Mrs. E. S. Chapman of Oakland was elected first vice-president 
of the Woman's State Suffrage Association, and Rev. J. O. Bushnell, Mrs. S. C. 
Sanford and Albert Elliott, also of Oakland, were thanked by resolution for their 
speeches. In October, Mrs. John F. Swift, president of the State Suffrage 
Association, called the annual meeting on the fiftieth anniversary of the first 
woman's suffrage convention ever held in the United States. There was a large 
attendance from Alameda county, notably from Oakland, Alameda and Livermore. 

As a matter of fact the Ebell Society in 1897-8 did more for the improve- 
ment and advancement of Oakland than nine-tenths of the improvement societies 
of which there was one in nearly every subdivision of the city. It was not neces- 
sary for the progressive and eminent women here to have suffrage in order to 
do vast public and civic good. Both socially and publicly they were foremost 
in all betterment movements. 

The ladies of the Ebell Society, in the fall of 1899, undertook the task of raising 
enough money to purchase a site for the free library. They solicited donations 
from all sources. By November 28th the cash and checks received amounted to 
$8,889.25. The site that had been selected was at Grove and Fourteenth streets 
and the total sum required was $20,000. They devised the novel plan of dividing 
the tract on paper into 150 plots and as fast as money enough was secured to 
purchase each plot to mark the same on the map, which showing was published 
daily in the newspapers and created great interest. In fact the plan itself created 
a determination on the i)art of the citizens to pay for every I'lot and thus secure 


the site. Even the children took great interest and were assigned a plot to be paid 
for by their own exertions. The efforts ended on December 14th with an enter- 
tainment at the First Presbyterian church. This was the crowning event which 
was to insure the sum, but the check of C. P. Huntington for $3,000 relieved the 
situation and on December 15th it was announced that a total of $21,572.76 had 
been raised or pledged. The success was due almost wholly to the Ebell Society. 
While the fund was being raised the Ebell Society proclaimed the intimate rela- 
tionship between the library and the public schools. The old fogies smiled at this 
claim, looked wise, and gave little. But the best citizens knew that modern 
schools went beyond mere textbook exercises and invaded the wider and grander 
domain of every subject connected with human life and endeavor — that the 
libraries were the real amplified textbooks for widening the cramped horizon 
of old education. 

The annual meeting of the Alameda County Political Equality Society was 
held in East Oakland, September 14, 1901. The presiding officer was Mrs. 
Frances W. Williamson. Encouraging reports were received from all the local 
societies. Tax protest blanks were distributed among which were "Taxation 
without representation is tyranny." The Berkeley Auxiliary Club had 150 mem- 
bers. A branch of the Alameda society was the Boys' Society. 

Early in 1902 the anti-saloon forces organized for a determined and active 
campaign throughout the county. Rev. L. M. Hartley was superintendent of the 
state anti-saloon league at this time and had charge of the general direction of 
events. A campaign of education was commenced as early as April. 

Among the philanthropic organizations were the New Century and Oakland 
Clubs and the West Oakland Home. Others of a similar nature were the 
Ladies' Relief, Woman's Exchange, Oakland Social Settlement, Fabiola Hos- 
pital and Training School for Nurses and the Catholic sisterhoods. In the fall 
of 1904 the Home Club was congratulated for having risen above the "tea and 
tattle" level of so many similar organizations and of having given Oakland a 
high class of lectures, entertainments and university extension courses. The 
Woman's Civic Club was a prominent factor in all public movements in 1903-04. 
Mrs. Sarah C. Borland was its president. Vacant lots were looked after, streets 
and alleys cleaned, sanitation was demanded and children's playgrounds and 
gardens were provided. At the fifth annual convention of Women's Clubs of 
the Alameda District, California Federation of Women's Clubs, held at the 
County Club, Niles, in November, 1905, important business was transacted. 

The report of the Ebell Society in 1906-07, showed that it had a membership 
of 500 and a waiting list of about fifty, was prosperous and expected soon to 
erect their new building at Fourteenth and Harrison streets. The Adelphian 
Club of Alameda had a membership of 300, was doing much active civic work 
and was planning a new club house. It maintained a free bed at the Alameda 
sanitarium. The Antioch Women's Club had recently done much for local 
improvements and had secured a lot for a club house. The Town and Gown 
Club of Berkeley had completed the payments for its building. The Oakland 
Club reported a membership of 225, and that its cooking school had been taken 
over by the city ; it had undertaken to raise $600 per year for the salary of the 
probation officer. The New Centruy Club had done great good in a section of 
the city where twenty-one nationalities were represented, no churches, no play 


grounds, no parks and thirty-five saloons. The Country Club of Washington 
township had pubHshed a history of Washington township and had taken pre- 
Hminary steps to restore the old Indian cemetery near Mission San Jose. The 
Book Club of Oakland reported a course of lectures on the books of the Bible 
by Rev. C. R. Brown. Mrs. J. E. Thane was reelected president. Upon the 
completion of the organization Mayor Mott was made president and Bernard 
Miller secretary. The stated objects were the development of the city and its 

Fabiola hospital has been in existence many years, having been founded 
in the infancy of Oakland by a group of generous women. It is not surpassed 
in appliances and facilities by any similar institution west of the Rockies. 
Merritt hospital, founded by the sister of Dr. Samuel Alerritt and named in 
his honor, is a well-known and useful adjunct of the expansive and extensive 
system or problem of human health recover}-. It has an endowment fund of 
$600,000, a free clinic, and treats one-half of its patients free of cost. The 
Hospital of the Incurables, a charity institution under the management of the 
King's Daughters, is doing an excellent work. The Finch Orphanage in East 
Oakland, has a small endowment and is reaching young persons who might 
otherwise be neglected. The Social Settlement of East Oakland was founded 
primarily for the benefit of working girls and was endowed by Mrs. F. M. Smith ; 
it is the owner of much valuable property. Mrs. Smith was also one of the 
founders of the Home Club and was prominent in the Ebell Club. 

The annual meeting of. the County Equal Suffrage Association was held 
in Maple hall in September, 1905, Mrs. Frances Williamson presiding. Reports 
from the various clubs of the association were received. Many important ques- 
tions were considered. 

In November the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reported 
that during the six months ending November i, 1905. 4,666 horses had been 
examined and that 151 had been found unfit for work and ordered out of 
service, and many old and sick ones had been humanely killed. Out of nineteen 
arrests for cruelty to animals fourteen convictions were secured. 

A mass meeting of 300 representative women of Oakland was held in 
February, 1907, to discuss ways and means for bettering the conditions surround- 
ing the young working women of the city. Mrs. J. B. Hume served as chairman. 
Miss Florence Simms from abroad addressed the meeting; so did Miss Eliza- 
beth Evans, Mrs. J. B. Richardson and others. 

On Ina Coolbrith day of the San Jose Women's Club in February, a letter 
from Joaquin Miller was read in which he said: "If ever this nation is half 
way civilized each state will pay some solid tribute to those who, like Miss 
Coolbrith, have celebrated its glory with pay and pension equal at least to that 
of an honored soldier." 

The women's clubs took much interest in the new charter in 1910 and 
influenced many of its provisions. Club women were called into council by 
the charter commission. The New Century Club completed its new gymnasium 
— all for settlement work. The Oakland Club took up the work of the child's 
welfare league. Mother's clubs were organized in connection with the various 
public schools — a splendid movement to bring together mothers, teachers and 
children for unity of purjiose and harmony of action. The Home Club did 


excellent work along educational and cultural lines. The Ebell Society grew 
wonderfully in numbers and effective work; during 1910 it added the civic 
section and thus widened women's sphere of interest and action. 

In philanthropy was seen splendid work by the West Oakland Home, 
Y. W. C. A., Ladies Relief Society. The Alameda District Federation of 
Women's Clubs was established to coordinate the work of the women's clubs 
of Alameda and adjoining counties. Three women were members of the Play- 
ground Commission of Oakland. Miss Ethel Moore was president. Mrs. 
Cora Jiones and Mrs. J. B. Hume represented Oakland at the Cincinnati biennial 
and at other eastern playground conferences. 

Early in 191 1 the Oakland Equal Suffrage Amendment League held regular 
meetings and in January duly celebrated the anniversary of the birth of Susan 
B. Anthony. They prepared to assist in the fight in the Legislature to secure 
the submission of the suft'rage question to the voters of the state. A strong 
delegation was sent to Sacramento to work for the cause. One of the speakers 
before the senate committee was Miss Ethel Moore, of Oakland. The Stanford 
bill was defeated in the Senate by the vote of 21 to 15. The fight continued 
until on February 2, Senate constitutional amendment No. 8 providing for the 
granting of suft'rage to women by the removal of the word "male" from the 
constitution passed the House by the vote of 65 to 12. The Senate had passed 
the amendment a week earlier. It now remained for the voters at the polls to 
finally settle the question. 

The equal suffrage constitutional amendment was submitted to the voters of 
the state on October 10, 1911. The election was preceded by a stirring cam- 
paign in all the cities by numerous organizations of suffrage. Many prominent 
advocates of the measure from the East addressed large audiences in this county. 
The suffrage organizations of Berkeley and Oakland were notably active and 
prominent and held rallies in all the halls of the cities and their suburbs. An 
organization of women in San Francisco opposed the amendment. Numerous 
street meetings were held just before election. The suffragists ended the cam- 
paign on the bay with an immense rally in San Francisco and with an open letter 
of appeal and advice to the voters. The vote in Alameda county on the suffrage 
amendment was 10,627 for and 12,802 against. San Francisco cast 21,912 in its 
favor and 25,644 against it. The vote in Berkeley was 2,407 for and 1,899 
against. The county gave 15,664 for the initiative and referendum and 5,331 
against it, and 16,529 for the recall and 5,627 against it. In the state the suffrage 
amendment was victorious. 

The women of the county were enlisted in 1912 to aid in defeating the cities 
consolidation project. They established a league with branches and auxiliaries 
and conducted one of the most elaborate and determined campaigns in the history 
of the county. Particularly were the women of Berkeley, Oakland, Livermore, 
Piedmont and Elmhurst well organized and extremely active. The movement 
closed with a mass meeting at Macdonough theatre on October 24th on which 
occasion Mrs. Frank K. Mott presided and Miss Mollie Conners delivered the 
leading speech. Mayor Mott and the Chamber ;of Commerce made extra eft'orts 
to defeat the proposed amendment. The whole state was asked to assist Oak- 
land to defeat this attempt to incorporate the east bay cities as a part of San 
Francisco. This amendment was defeated. 


The Women's Political League of Alameda was organized November 24, 1913, 
at a large and enthusiastic meeting held at the residence of Mrs. H. J. Platts. 
The object of the organization was to enable its members to study politics and 
enter knowingly local campaigns. Airs. Platts was chosen first president of the 
league. Thirty captains and ten lieutenants were elected to raise the remaining 
purchase money for the Playter home. Airs. Frank Havens gave $1,000 toward 
this object. 

In January, 1914, the Women's Protective Bureau of Oakland was duly 
installed under Misses Beatrice McCall and Alice Richardson and designed to 
furnish advice to girls and women and generally to effect city probation work for 
females — the general protection of the moral and physical welfare of the sex. 


Throughout Alameda county, as elsewhere in the United States, music from 
the start was one of the sweetest and most agreeable pastimes. The mission of 
San Jose had its musical instruments and its congregational songs and chants 
by Indian voices. The first Spanish settlers and their vaqueros enjoyed the violin 
and the guitar. During the pioneer period of the Americans religious songs and 
national or sentimental airs softened the hardships of settlement and improve- 
ment. As the towns became cities and the cities became large, musical instructors 
appeared, glee clubs and choruses were formed and the art began to grow. This 
was demanded by the first settlers who came from the East and had there received 
the advantages of musical and other art instruction. The first notable musical 
development was in the churches, in the university and in the singing schools of 
nearly all the towns of the county. 

The picturesque scenery, delightful climate, choice flower gardens and fine 
trees were the sources of inspiration that early called into action and promi- 
nence the artists of the county. In the eighties paintings began to attract 
attention and ere long could be seen in Hopkins Art Institute, San Francisco. 
Raymond D. Yelland was one of the most distinguished of the early county artists. 
His work attracted attention in New York, London and Paris. His landscapes 
were particularly expressive and symbolic of the glories of the West. He was 
long an instructor in Hopkins Art Institute. C. C. Judson, one of his pupils, 
distinguished himself along the Yelland line of expression and color. Marius 
Dahlgreen painted many beautiful scenes. Other artistic work was by Miss Lou 
Wall, Miss Mollie Hutchinson and Wallace Von Helm. Douglas Tilden's sculp- 
tures attracted much attention. Joseph Cleany excelled in painting and model- 
ing. The artistic work of Miss Alice McChesney found a home in New York 
and Paris. Miss Pearl Fine and Miss Sadie Whitney were promising students 
of Hopkins Institute. Miss A. F. Briggs was the author of excellent water 
color sketches of local natural attractions. Other artists of Alameda county in 
the nineties were Mr. Redmond, Arthur Lewis, I\Iiss M. Parmenter, Miss McClel- 
land and H. R. Gremke. Among the china painters, I\Iiss Emma Roberts, Miss 
E. M. Porter, Miss Eunice Holmes and Miss Herrick. 

Westward the course of empire takes its way 

The first four acts already past, 
A fifth shall close the drama with the day 
Time's noblest offspring is the last. 

— Bishop Berkeley. 


Thou Oakland, sittest like a queen 
Enrobed in brightest living green ; 
The noblest bay beneath the skies 
Reflects its grandeur from your eyes, 
And commerce, fleet-winged, daily pours 
Her golden treasures at your doors. 

Yet why your streets should run so far 
Beyond the reach of boat or car 
I cannot tell, except it be 
Your people wish to disagree 
And live apart as rival foes 
Exposed to every gale that blows. 

Three millions of our free-born race 
Might snugly live within a space 
No larger than what Oakland dots 
With just about twelve hundred cots ; 
So that it may be said with grace 
She lacks in brains, but not in space. 

Come, Oakland, lift your banners high ! 

Let progress be your battle cry ; 

Win fresher laurels on the field; 

Add brighter luster to your shield 

With hearts united — flags unfurled — 

Advance ! and you will beat the world. 
San Francisco, — Ovi^EN McArdle. 

July 15, 1873. 

A large number of oil paintings were exhibited at the Grand Central hotel 
in 1875, and were subsequently sold at auction to the highest bidders. The 
wealthiest residents of the city visited this exhibition and made purchases for 
their homes, offices and stores. The Oakland Musical Aid Society was organized 
in January, 1875, with the following officers: John G. Bruguiere. president; 
J. M. Bonham, vice-president; J. R. Cahill, secretary; John C. Roos, treasurer; 
K. Roos, musical director. The object was mutual improvement in music. The 
society asked that the council aid them to purchase a full set of brass instru- 
ments. The matter was referred to a committee. In June, 1875, the Alameda 
Harmonic Society was inaugurated, and the following officers were elected and 
empowered to make arrangements for the selection and purchase of suitable 
grounds on which to erect a music hall : Adolph Mayrisch, president ; Dr. Eichler, 
vice-president; C. \'olberg, secretary; Fritz Boehmer. treasurer; Mr. Kustel. Jr., 
librarian; Messrs. \\'. H. Wenck, Conrad Liese and William Holtz, building 

In September, 1876, Virgil Williams lectured at the University on "Artists, 
Pictures and Critics." The Centennial Jubilee Concert presented at Dietz Opera 
House in July under the direction of John P. Morgan was a great success. Every 


seat in the house was occupied. The audience was critical, Jaut was enthusiastic 
in its approval. Among the renditions were selections from \'on Weber, Morley, 
Max Bruch, Haydn, Blumenthal, Meyerbeer, Bellini and others. Among the 
performers were Louis Schmidt, Charles Pflueger, Mrs. John Trehane, Miss 
Clara Beutler, Fred Borneman, Walter Campbell and Mr. and Mrs. Morgan. 
There was a general demand for a repetition of this delightful entertainment in 
the near future. Charles Frees of Washington Corners wrote good verse in 1876. 
A verse from his "Sea Watch" is as follows ; 

He walks beside the moaning sea and gazes on the deep, 

And ever and anon he bows his hoary head to weep ; 

The brow that once was young and fair and glowed with health and youth, 

Xow tells the sorrow of his heart on burning words of truth, 

For here beside the spreading sea where now you see him stray, 

Amid the breakers heaving wild his child was swept away. 

The studio of L. O. Lussier at Ninth street contained excellent oils, water 
colors and etchings. He painted fine portraits of Prof. Joseph LeConte and Mr. 
Anthony Chabot. Andrew P. Hill was a student under his instruction at this 
time. A local newspaper said that there could be mentioned the names of at 
least fifty persons of this city whose scenic productions in painting would, if they 
were placed on the market, bring a handsome price. The natural beauties and 
fine climate developed the artistic taste and power of expression. 

Antone Miller was a Portuguese painter of San Leandro in 1883 and before; 
his specialty was landscapes and marine scenes. T. L. Bromley painted portraits 
in 1883. 

The song recital by Mrs. Henry Norton assisted by Mrs. C. Carr, given at 
Masonic hall in September, was attended by a large and critical audience. The 
Oakland Harmonic Society was prominent in musical circles. They gave a con- 
cert at the Independent church for the benefit of the Good Templars' home. 
Among the performers were Miss Brown, Miss Tippett, Mrs. Tippett, Messrs. 
Hughes, Beel, Reynolds, Lloyd, Waite, Button and Close. F. Seregui was a 
prominent art dealer here in the early '80s. He went to Italy and while there 
bought many interesting objects of art for wealthy Oaklanders, one of which, 
for Charles Main, was a magnificent mausoleum to be erected in .Mountain View 
cemetery ; it was after Seregui's designs, with a base of Carrara marble. He 
also brought back marble statuary for D. D. Colton's lot at the cemetery. A 
railroad magnate authorized him to spend $50,000 for art works. 

In 1884 an art loan exhibition under the auspices of the Lyon and Appomat- 
tox Posts, G. A. R., was held for the benefit of the Veterans' home. J. L. Brom- 
ley, a Mexican war veteran and a director of the Veterans' home, was on the 
local committee. A sub-committee was W. H. H. Hussey, W. R. Thomas and 
T. H. Thomas. Donations of all kinds were asked; all to be sold at auction at 
the close of the exhibition. The university art gallery contained rare and valu- 
able paintings. Reubens and Murillo were represented. Leize's "Washington 
at the Battle of Monmouth" occupied a place on the walls; it was a gift from 
Mrs. Mark Hopkins and was valued at $30,000. In 1884 Sigmund S. Beel left 
Oakland for Germany to perfect himself in the study of the violin. He studied 


and practiced for six years at Berlin and Munich and returned to Oakland in 
April, 1890, master of his instrument and his profession. Abroad at the same 
time was Miss Lulu Wall studying painting in Berlin and in New York were 
Miss Clara McChesney, Miss Lizzie Boyer and many others studying the various 
branches of art. ^liss ]\IcChesney scored a great success at water color paint- 
ing. Miss Ina D. Coolbrith, librarian of the Oakland Free Library was a 
poetical writer of considerable prominence tin the '70s and '80s. A small volume 
of her poems was published about 1882; they were characterized by great delicacy 
and refinement of feeling and had the true inspiration. Upon the death of a 
dear friend she wrote: 

How shall we speak most fittingly of her 
Who walked the quiet ways 
Through all her busy days, 
Unmindful of the world's applause and stir? 
Content to be what many do but seem, 
Happy to do, while many only dream. 
A worker in God's harvesting; she leaves 
Clean fields and garnered sheaves. 

And when she passed away 

Into that Larger Day 

Which seemed as night to us, we could not say — 

We who so loved her, on the quiet breast 

Folding her hands to rest — 

If joy or grief, if tears or smiles, were best! 

— Ina D. Coolbrith. 

J. H. Backhaus, a young artist of Alameda, died in 1886, in Munich, Ger- 
many, where he had gone to study. He was a remarkable cartoonist and died 
at the age of twenty-one years. He contributed to the illustrations of the Wasp. 

William Keith spoke on art before the Longfellow Association of Berkeley 
in March, 1888; his subject was "Landscape Painting." He said, "When I began 
to paint, I could not get mountains high enough, nor sunsets gorgeous enough, 
for my brush and colors. After a considerable number of years' experience I 
am contented with very slight material— a clump of trees, a hillside, a bit of 
sky. I find these hard enough and varied enough to express any feelings I may 
have about them." He said he saw two paintings side by side in a New York 
gallery. One seemed dauby and the other attractive. He stepped across the 
room and again looked. The dauby one seemed to expand and soar and you 
could almost feel its cool night air. The other was simply a mass of colors. 
The dauby one was by Corot and the other by a good artist of the East. He 
said that an artist should not adhere too closely to nature, but select from nature 
and combine what would best express what he desired ; that an artist's experience 
consisted of three states : Childhood, youth and manhood. In the first he did 
not know how to express himself ; in the second he received abundant experi- 
ence — vast accumulation of facts which crowded out his feelings and impulses ; 
in the third he returned to the first state with the facts of the second state, and 
then become the real artist. 


Emma Nevada, the world famous singer, was educated at Mills College in 
the class of 1876. In her time she sang to all the crowned heads of Europe and 
to thousands of assemblages in all portions of the civilized world. She came 
back to California in 1900 and was welcomed everywhere as a native product — 
the highest representative of the singing art. 

Miss Carrie Northey, a young singer of East Oakland attracted much atten- 
tion in 1888-89 by the sweetness and compass of her voice. Upon her return 
from the East where she received favorable notice she was given a musical 
reception at Oakland theatre on which occasion she sang with excellent effect 
before a large audience soprano solos from the Italian song poems of Rotoli, and 
the works of Strelizki and Helmund and a selection from the opera of Ernani by 
Verdi. In the East she was prima donna of the New England Conservatory Con- 
cert Company. Her singing of Marguerite from Faust was the perfection of 
musical expression. The eastern newspapers were filled with praise of her art and 
voice. In a short time she left for Paris to continue her studies. H. P. Pass- 
more's class in music gave an interesting and highly cultured entertainment in 
Hamilton hall in January, 1889, to a large and select audience of music lovers. 
Selections from Bach, Schubert, Reinecke, Jensen, Rossini, Mendelssohn and 
other masters were rendered in splendid style. Mr. Passmore was the composer 
of two of the numbers rendered. 

The annual conference of the American Library Association was held in 
San Francisco and Oakland in October, 1891. They really met in the former, 
but all came over to the latter for a formal reception and for sight seeing on the 
east side. They first visited Berkeley then Oakland, then Piedmont and then 
were received formally at the Starr King Fraternity rooms. 

Joaquin Miller resided in the foothills just outside of Oakland. He owned 
there nearly one hundred acres. His home consisted of several separate cot- 
tages. His mother occupied one of the cottages ; he lived all alone in another. 
Two Japanese servants took care of the houses. The view from his home was 
beautiful and a daily source of inspiration to this remarkable man. A portion 
of the poet's house occupied the exact spot where John C. Fremont camped 
when he first came to the coast. He had cattle and horses, but no dogs. He 
loved roses and had a rare collection of the latest and richest varieties. A por- 
tion of his place was wild, woody and very picturesque and here he mused by the 
hour and built his sublime creations. He shunned visitors, but was courteous, 
though eccentric when met. At an entertainment given by the Native Daughters 
of the Golden West in April, 1888, at Medical College hall, he recited his famous 
poem "The Fortunate Isles." He said : "Not long ago a worthy friend, a rich San 
Francisco preacher, came to see me where I was at work among my olive trees. 
'Will olives pay here?' This was his first and last question. The clink of the 
golden chain that bound that man's neck to the golden calf with the cloven feet 
was heard to rattle on my stony steps as he spoke. 'Will olives pay here?' Pay? 
Pay? In every breath of the salt sea wind that lifts their silvery leaves in the 
sun I am paid — paid in imperishable silver every day. I see in every olive leaf 
the silver branch of the peace dove of old. If there is a poem, written or 
unwritten, a song sung or unsung, sweeter or more plaintive than that of the 
dove singing in the silver gray olive tree on the mountain steeps, singing in that 
sad far-off way, as if the waste of waters still encompassed her and she found 


no rest for the sole of her foot, if there is anything at all in my humble path of 
life that is higher or holier with messages to man, I have not found it." 

Be this my home till some fair star 
Stoop earthward and shall beckon me ; 
For surely Godland lies not far 
From these Greek heights and this great sea. 
My friend, my lover, trend this way; 
Not far along lies Arcady. 

The gold that at sunlight lies 
In ancient banks at burst of dawn ; 
The silver spilling from the skies 
At night, for him to walk upon ; 
The diamonds gleaming with the dew — 
He never saw, he never knew. 
He got some gold, dug from the mud. 
Some silver, crushed and ground from stones ; 
The gold was red with dead men's blood; 
The silver black with oaths and groans ; 
And when he died he moaned aloud, 
"They'll make no pockets in my shroud." 

On May 20, 1890, the musical ladies of Oakland tendered a formal reception 
to Mr. Beel, the violin virtuoso, at the First Congregational church ; he was 
assisted by Miss Alice Bacon, solo pianist, and Miss Mary Fox, contralto, both 
of whom were themselves artists in music. People here who knew him before 
he went abroad were surprised and delighted with his wonderful rendition of 
the difficult works of the masters of the violin. He was a pupil of the great 
Joachim. His performance was greeted with great applause and enthusiasm. 
Over 1,200 people listened to the performance. He rendered E minor concerto 
adagio from Spohn's Ninth Concerto, a brilliant selection from Sauret, Sara- 
sate's Gypsy Measure, Ernst's Elegie and others. Late in September. 1894, 
the new Conservatory of Music gave its first faculty recital. 

In January, 1893, authors' night was celebrated in the Unitarian church. 
Oakland, under the auspices of the Starr King Fraternity. The special object 
was to honor the memory of Richard Realf. Rev. C. \\'. Wendte delivered an 
eloquent introductory address. Joaquin Miller read poems ; so did Ina D. Cool- 
brith, John Vance Cheney, Charles Edwin ]\Iarkham and David Lesser Lezinsky. 
Alexander G. Hawes gave personal reminiscences and Rev. J. R. McLean 
recalled early poetic attempts in the West. Ella Sterling Cummings read an 
interesting account of the poetic struggles and the life of Mr. Realf. and Edmond 
Russell read several of his poems. The high inspiration underneath all of the 
poetic writings of Realf was noted, described, admired and enjoyed. His great 
work and that of other poets, it was said, was thus pictured by Joaquin Miller: 


The givers of glory to Nations are we — 

The builders of shafts and of monuments 

To soldiers and daring great men of the sea; 

But we are the homeless strange dwellers in tents, 

With never a tablet or high-built stone ; 

Yet what care we who go down in the fight, 

Though we lived unnamed, though we die unknown, 

If only we live and we die for the Right? 

It appeared that R. J. Hinton of Washington, D. C, was the collector of the 
fugitive poems of Mr. Realf. It was decided at this meeting that the best 
monument to the dead poet would be an edition of his poems — a monument that 
all the world through the coming years could see, enjoy and humbly imitate. 

In January, 1894, the following address was sent to the artists of Alameda 
county by the standing committee of the Mid-winter Exposition, consisting of 
Partington, Keith and Yelland: "In view of the fact that Alameda county has a 
greater number of able painters than any other city in the State it has been decided 
by the commissioners to secure representation of the artistic capabilities of the 
county. They have promises already of many pictures of great excellence and in 
considerable number and it is now evident that they have material for an art exhibit 
of a high class. The commissioners wish to give notice that pictures and other 
works of fine art for exhibition may be sent to their rooms, in Macdonough build- 
ing, up to February lOth, subject to the following conditions: (i) Contributing 
artists must be residents of Alameda county; (2) all work sent in must be original 
— copies are not admissible; (3) an art committee will have sole charge of the 
selection of work contributed." 

In April, 1894, Oakland reveled in a concert craze. The Boston Mendelssohn 
Quintet Club at the Unitarian church started the furor. Here is one of its pro- 
grams that drew such immense and enthusiastic assemblies of the music wor- 
shippers : Quintet in B Flat, op. 87 — Mendelssohn ; recitative and air by Miss Lila 
Juel — Haydn; solo for flute, J. Roodenburg — Tereback ; quartet in G, op. 18 
(a) allegro, (b) adagio — Beethoven; Spanish dances, solo for violoncello by 
Louis Hoffman — Popper ; Fantasie for clarinet by Thomas Ryan — Ryan ; Mur- 
mure de Bal by quintet — Gregh ; Romance for violin, Andre Verdier — Meux 
temps ; waltz from Romeo and Juliet, by Miss Julia Juel — Gounod ; Gypsy Rondo 
by quintet — Haydn. At the same time the Sousa band held forth at Macdonough; 
also the Vienna band elsewhere. 

Nothwithstanding that catchy, popular music was relished and enjoyed in 
Oakland in 1894, congregational and choir music had their worshippers just the 
same. Thousands went to church on Sundays as much perhaps to hear the music 
as to catch inspiration and hope from the eloquent words of the preachers. The 
recitals were invariably well attended. Concerts drew out large and delighted 
assemblages. Not unusually catchy music was introduced into the more solemn 
and sedate notes of the sacred exercises. It was noted in this city that when a 
brass band played "How Can I Leave Thee," the audience went almost mad in 
their transports of delight, but when the Prater orchestra rendered the ninth sym- 
phony they listened in silence, but with cold respect. Also Howard's Navy March 
was regarded with much keener favor than Haydn's divine fifth sonata. It was 


necessary for the church organists to yield in a measure to this so-called depraved 
taste. At all social functions in the city young ladies played Sousa's marches and 
"Daisy" instead of nocturnes or polonaises, because the gay throngs asked for 
them — wanted them. But the best musicians stated that true devotion to art 
prevented them from yielding to the taste for light and catchy airs and melodies. 

The Oakland Orpheus, under the masterly training of D. P. Hughes, occupied 
a preeminent position among the male choruses of the coast in 1894. To all its 
performances large audiences were attracted. In November, Oakland Oratorio 
Society was organized with Rev. Charles W. Wendte as president. It was 
planned to give three grand concerts annually. 

At the Oakland Industrial Exposition in December, 1895, there was a splendid 
display of Alameda county paintings. Nearly all were quiet, subdued scenes of 
country and town — nothing heroic. There were eighty-six oil paintings and fifty- 
six water colors. An Oakland artist said, "This work is the representative art 
work of Alameda county and is also representative of the art work of San 
Francisco, because while many of the artists have studios over there, they reside 
here." There were shown the paintings of Alicia Mooney, Mrs. A. M. Farnham, 
George H. Burgess, R. D. Yelland, E. R. Hill, C. C. Judson, Thomas Hill, Thomas 
L. Bromley and Mrs. Cooley. The art committee were Mrs. L. C. Kelly, Mrs. 
D. W. Gelwicks, R. D. Yelland, C. C. Judson and E. R. Hill. Specimens of deco- 
rative art were shown by Miss G. M. Hunt. 

In April, 1898, the collection of art treasures of Doctor Merritt was sold at 
public auction for the insignificant sum of $500. Although the collection had cost 
him approximately $10,000 they were not regarded as works of special merit. 

Among the Oaklanders who had distinguished themselves in music by 1899 
were Miss Eva C. Shorey as a singer, Miss Hilda Newman as a pianiste. and 
Miss Catherine Potter as a pianiste. Miss Newman surpassed in tone coloring and 
subjective rhythmical treatment. Miss Anna E. Briggs became expert as a water 
colorist, had spent a year in Europe and had studied under Narjot and Mrs. 
Gelwicks. She had 200 sketches which were exhibited in San Francisco in 1898. 

The Oakland Conservatory of Music was established in 1S99 and was a 
branch of the Adolph Gregory system. Students were graduated and at once 
began to take positions in the leading cities of the country as teachers, directors 
or performers. The methods of this institution are the best from the famous 
conservatories of Europe. 

In 1899 the Starr King Fraternity held an exhibition of amateur photography 
under the direction of Miss Carrie A. Whelan. At subsequent exhibitions water 
colors, oils, pastels, etchings, miniatures and keramics were added. The chapel 
of the church was illuminated with electric bulbs and reflectors and the second 
exhibit under Mrs. C. D. Gilman was the best ever held in the city up to that 
time. Its success was the occasion for the establishment of the Oakland Art 
Fund backed by the Starr King Fraternity. Subscribers were asked to pay an 
annual fee of $1. The third exhibit was held in December, 1902, and far sur- 
passed previous efforts in points of merit, magnitude and variety. It was managed 
by Dr. and Mrs. Gilman, Mrs. Reugel and Doctor Von Adelung. There were 
accepted and hung 175 pictures — all from artists' studios, there being no loans. 
At this time the membership was over two hundred. The art judges were C. P. 
Neilson, L. P. Latimer, G. Cadenasaso, Bertha S. Lee and Mrs. D. \\'. Gelwicks. 


On July 27, 1900, Raymond D. Yelland passed away. At his funeral his 
casket was covered with flowers contributed by friends and relatives. Oakland's 
claim to the title of "Athens of the Pacific," has been worthily upheld on the 
stage and in the fields of literature and art. Dozens have gone out from this 
county to high positions in the world of artistic endeavor. Carroll Carrington, an 
Oakland boy wrote the story "Through Forbidden Gates," which was pub- 
lished in the Black Cat in the fall of 1900. He received $200 for the tale. In 
1901 the Starr King Fraternity founded the Oakland Art Fund to increase which 
annual exhibitions and other events were scheduled. By April, 1902, the member- 
ship of the movement attained nearly one hundred persons — lovers of art. In 
1901 Lillian H. Shuey issued a small volume of poems entitled, "Among the 
Red Woods." They showed intense love of nature and a felicitous manner of 
expression. She lived at Haywards. One of her verses ran thus — 

I came to Haywards once. 
When the sweet summer wore her yellow gown ; 
And in the mottled shade of orchards dim, 
The weary trees, their luscious loads laid down. 
How like a dream, I saw thee, pleasant town. 
Wrapped in thy warm, enfolding summer air, 
Lifting gray walls above thy fruited groves, 
As in a garden fair. 

Among the many artists of all branches of expression were the following: 
Joaquin Miller, who lived in the hills back of Oakland; Bret Harte and Richard 
Realf , poets ; Edward R. Sill, poet, who was once a teacher in the Oakland high 
school and later a professor of literature in the university. Ina Coolbrith, poet 
who was librarian of the Oakland free library; John Vance Cheney, poet; Char- 
lotte Perkins-Stetson, writer ; J. C. Pelton, poet ; Edwin Markhara, poet ; George 
Sterling, poet; A. J. Waterhouse. prose and poetry; Luella P. Churchill, prose; 
Robert Louis Stevenson, poet; Ambrose Bierce, literary critic and writer on the 
Examiner; Eleanor Gates, story writer; Juliet Wilbor Tompkins, writer; Rev. 
C. W. Wendte, hymns ; Robert Whitaker, verse and stories ; Rev. Jabez Suther- 
land, book writer ; Reverend Hosmer, of Berkeley, hymns, etc. ; Jack London, story 
writer; Herman Whitaker, story writer; Mrs. Mabel C. Deering, writer; Mrs. 
Margaret Camron Smith, writer ; Mrs. Oscar Gowing, short stories ; Frederick 
I. Bamford, magazine writer; Austin Lewis, poetry and prose; Charles E. Greene, 
writer; Charles J. Woodbury, author and reviewer; Mary Lambert, poet and 
publisher; Florence Hardeman Miller, writer; Emma S. Marshall, writer; W. D. 
Armes, essays and poetry ; Mrs. Mathies, poetry ; also Kate D. Wiggin, Joseph 
LeConte, Harold Bolce, Nora A. Smith, Charles Keeler, C. P. Neilson, D. C. 
Gilman, Josiah Rayce, Joseph H. Wythe, Ida H. Harper, J. Ross Browne and 
many others who have distinguished themselves in the various branches of cur- 
rent literature. 

In 1902 the Starr King Fraternity gave an art exhibit at Wendte hall of the 
First Unitarian church, at which many of the best pictures in Oakland were 
shown. It was admitted at this time that while there were numerous private 
collections in Oakland in which there were paintings of merit, the city as a whole 


did not possess a collection worthy of a community of such taste and culture. 
At this time a general call for a meritorious art collection by a local association 
appeared in the newspapers. At this salon were shown many specimens of 
meritorious art work. Miss Anna Briggs displayed six pictures, among which 
were "Berkeley," "Monterey Sands," and "An Avenue in Alameda." Blendon R. 
Campbell exhibited a "Lowland near Alameda," "Webster Street Bridge," "An 
Evening View of the Foothills Near Oakland." Mrs. S. M. Farnam displayed a 
choice series of small pictures. J. M. Gamble, H. D. Gremke and J. M. Griffin 
showed several fine oils. Mrs. D. W. Gelwicks showed three flower pieces, one 
called "California Poppies" being very beautiful. G. W. Piazzoni exhibited six 
pictures, of which one, a harvest field, possessed unusual merit. Four paintings 
by the late R. D. Yelland were shown; one was very large and entitled, "When 
Sluggish Tides Creep In" — a view of Alameda marshes. Two pictures by Miss 
Louise Schwamm were greatly admired. Keith's "Summer Time in Moraga 
Valley" was one of the finest on exhibition. Miss M. de Neal Morgan exhibited 
a rich picture entitled, "Evening at Berkeley." Lucia K. Matthews' "Going Home" 
attracted many admirers. 

An art loan exhibition for the benefit of the Ladies' Relief Society was opened 
at the Campbell residence in February, 1902, under the supervision of W. K. 
\'ickery. Three of the finest paintings were the work of Miss Clara McChesney 
who had recently done excellent work in the East and in Europe. One took 
the gold medal at the Philadelphia Art Club exhibition two years before. One 
Whistler oil was shown. Many rare etchings were displayed. Professor Armes 
lectured on Japanese prints. Choice music was rendered. F. M. Greene lectured 
on "The History of Art." He used Zola's words and said, "Art is Nature viewed 
through a temperament." 

The great American musical composer Edgar S. Kelley resided in Oakland at 
one time ; much of his earliest and best work was done here. N. C. Page, who was 
reared in Alameda, composed his early pieces in that city. P. C. Allen was another 
meritorious composer. Putnam Griswold was for a time basso in the First Con- 
gregational church. Carrie N. Roma was once a singer here. Mrs. Beatrice Fine 
and Mrs. Olive R. Cushman, well known singers, became famous later among the 
choirs and solo stars of the East. W. E. Bachiller, the fine tenor of the Congrega- 
tional churches, did his best work here. Maud L. Berri distinguished her- 
self as a soprano soloist in the First Presbyterian church. Sigmund Bell, the 
famous violinist, passed his boyhood and early professional years in this com- 
munity. Llewellyn Hughes distinguished himself here and abroad in the train- 
ing of theatre orchestras. 

In 1907 the California School of Arts and Crafts was established in Berkeley. 
Four years later it was the largest and best equipped art school west of the Rocky 
mountains. It worked principally to train teachers, designers and illustrators. It 
gave instruction in freehand, antique, mechanical and wash drawing, painting in 
oils and water colors, figure sketching and drawing and modeling, special classes 
in copper work and jewelry, costume designing and primary manual training. 
Saturday and evening classes were soon established. D. H. Meyer was director. 

At Berkeley all modern art advantages are available. There are numerous 
instructors on pianos, organs, violins and every other tuneful instrument. The 
Berkeley School of Music and Dramatic Art and the Mabel Moffitt Art and Dra- 


matic School cover the whole range of vocal and instrumental music. The Sym- 
phony concerts at the Greek theatre are excellent to show the possibilities of art 
expansion and expression and the amateur musical and dramatic organizations lay 
the foundation for higher work. 

The leading musical clubs are the Orpheus composed of men and the Hughes 
composed of women. It would be difficult to state the good that has been accom- 
plished by these two well-known organizations. Xearly all the great singers who 
have gone from this vicinity, men and women, have received their professional 
impulse, instruction and inspiration under the programs of these excellent clubs. 


Amusements are sought by everybody to soften and assuage the cares, respon- 
sibilities and hardships of life. Recreation is as necessary as food or sleep. The 
earliest settlers had their hours of diversion and relaxation. The earliest sports 
of this country were the bullfights, horse races and fandangoes of the old Spanish 
and Mexican residents. There were at least three buUpens in Alameda county — 
in Brooklyn, near Livermore and near Mission San Jose. The law of 1854 pro- 
hibited bullfights but did not wholly stop the sport until several years later. Hunt- 
ing in early times was, of course, excellent, all kinds of animals of this habitat 
being found along the bay, on the level open grazing tracts, in the canyons, hollows 
and valleys and on the beetling hills and mountains. The rapid settlement by the 
Americans and their sporting proclivities soon stripped the county of the larger 
specimens of wild game. The organization of lodges and clubs for recreation and 
amusement was so common and rapid that soon every town and city had its 
organizations of all the secret and social clubs, lodges and societies. 

Beginning about the time of the Civil war numerous secret and benevolent 
societies were established in the cities and towns of Alameda county. Previous to 
i860 few existed, among them being Masons, Odd Fellows, Sons of Temperance, 
American Mechanics, Druids, Lameth Heth Tau and a few others. By 1883 Oak- 
land had lodges of the following: Chosen Friends, United Workmen, Odd Fel- 
lows, American Legion of Honor, Knights of Honor, Masons, Good Templars, 
B'Nai B'Rith, Grand Army of the Republic, Sons of America, Knights of Pythias, 
Good Samaritans, Pacific Turn Bezirk, Workman's Guarantee Fund Association, 
and Order of Foresters. Alameda had the Masons, Odd Fellows, Good Templars 
and others at an early date. The Masons and Odd Fellows were also at San 
Leandro, Haywards, Alvarado, and other places in the county back in the sixties. 

On August II, 1870, a meeting of those who settled in this county prior to 
1859 was held in the council room of the city hall for the purpose of organizing a 
society of Alameda County Pioneers. William Van Voorhies served as president 
of the meeting. The society was duly organized with the following officers : 
Col. Jack Hayes, president; T. W. Miller and William Van Voorhies, vice-presi- 
dents; J. E. Whitcher, secretary; A. D. Pryal, marshal. Other business was 
deferred until a subsequent meeting. 

In 1873 baseball was played in Oakland by the Wide Awake, Grand Central 
and Oakland nines. The Grand Central proved the best club ; its players were : 
E. J. Simmons, pitcher; C. P. Eells, catcher; John M. Poston, first; W. B. Hamil- 
ton, second ; Charles D. Havens, third ; E. B. Pomroy, short ; George Reed, center ; 
J. J. Lynch, right ; Peter Bellingall, left. At one time John R. Glascock and James 
H. Budd were members of the Wide Awakes. George E. De Golia was an early 
member of one of the clubs. In 1874 the Oakland Baseball Qub won the pennant, 


defeating the Grand Centrals three times and the Mutuals and Athletics respectively 
twice each. Two local baseball clubs in 1875 were* the Elaines and the Silver 
Stars. In a match game in August the latter won by a score of 61 to 17. The 
Silver Stars were Givens, Morton, Morse, Davis, Howell, Harrington, Stewart, 
Melone and Butler; the Elaines were Harris, Havens, Tuttle, G. Simmons, F. 
Simmons, Wilson, ^lickerson, Wickersham and Harding. The Oakland Baseball 
Club was represented at the Pacific baseball convention which met in room 18, 
city hall, San Francisco, on February 9, 1875; five clubs, a majority, were repre- 
sented. A series of championship games was agreed upon. 

The Dublin races were a feature in the southeastern section of the county ; Rat- 
tle weed, a well known local horse, won a big running race in November, 1874. At 
this time a mile race track was opened at Pleasanton on the land of A. Bernal ; it 
was about a half mile from the town. The old race track was in the suburbs of 
Oakland ; near it was the famous Shell Mound. It was on the farm of Mr. Wiard 
about two miles northwest of the city hall. At the races in January, 1875, the 
horse Chinaman won the three-quarter mile dash in 1:15^4; said to be the fastest 
time on record up to that date. Katy Pease was second, very close and coming 
fast. At the races in April Dan Rice won the trotting match in 2 1303/2 . 

Leland Stanford's particular pride was the well known and famous trotting 
horse Occident, which in 1875 was trained by the famous Budd Doble ; it was 
finally concluded to take him East and pit him against Goldsmith Maid and other 
fast equines. At the Oakland race course in March in a running race between 
Blanche Hull, Billy Baker, Blue Cloud, and Sorrel Ned, Blanche Hull was the 
favorite and won the first heat, Blue Cloud the second, and Blanche Hull the third ; 
the half mile was made in 52^^ seconds best time ; the purse was $icx>. In the 
trotting race were Henry, Marysville Queen, and Uncle Sam, the first being 
favorite. He won the first and second heats, best time being a mile in 2:39. The 
race track was then called Athens ; the San Pablo cars ran to the track. 

The Thespian Dramatic Society gave several interesting entertainments early 
in 1875 that were well attended by enthusiastic audiences. Among the actors 
were F. E. Brooks, T. G. Hogan, A. M. Campbell, W. Chamberlain, H. J. H. Dam, 
H. H. Goff, W. H. Richards, Barrett Hall, Roscoe Havens; actresses — Miss Rosa 
Ickart, Mrs. T. G. Hogan and Miss Charlington. 

Captain Badger's park in East Oakland had a dancing pavilion and amphithe- 
atre for games, races, etc., also a windmill to raise water. The first regatta of the 
Oakland Regatta Club occurred early in May, 1875. Three boats contested over 
a distance of two miles and return. The boat J. W. Coleman won the race ; it 
was manned by Hallihan and Lambert. The other contestants were the William 
Burling and the E. C. Keene. In 1875 John Jordan of Pleasanton became 
the champion shot of the state by defeating Mr. Taylor of San Francisco, killing 
49 out of 50 birds to 43 by Mr. Taylor, for $250 a side; distance 21 yards on the 
fly and 80 yards boundary. 

The race in 1875 given under the auspices of the Jockey Club was profitable 
but put the club in hot water. The receipts from the sale of tickets were about 
$18,000; entrance fee of eight horses, $19,000; bar and other privileges, $3,000; 
admittance to grand stand, $5,000. Total about $45,000. The amount of money 
on the pools was about $100,000. The club's profit was estimated at over $20,000 
in this one scrub race. It was asserted that the club should gather its assets 


together, declare a dividend and retire, as it was bankrupt in reputation and would 
disappear amid the groans and hisses of a bilked community. Nearly all who 
attended the race were disgusted and many were indignant. In January, 1875, at 
Sunol, occurred the long expected foot race between Burbridge and Lively; the 
latter won by two feet ; time and distance not given and probably not kept. 

Previous to 1875 Oakland citizens were forced to go to San Francisco to enjoy 
high-class dramatic entertainments, but in that year a large theatre was con- 
templated by Gen. T. H. Williams on his newly purchased property on Fourteenth 
street nearly opposite the city hall. The city had a population of nearly 20,000 and 
a floating population of between 3,000 and 4,000 ; nearly all of the latter consisting 
of wealthy people who came here to enjoy the salubrious clifnate, brought usually 
plenty of money to spend and wanted amusement. Nearly every other town of 
10,000 people in the state had fine theaters and why not Oakland?, it was asked. 
Brayton Hall could not be called a first-class theatrical room and had become nearly 
obsolete. \'isitors who came here to spend the winters and their money were 
forced to cross to San Francisco to enjoy renditions of the highest forms of 
dramatic art. A fine theatre was previously projected here, but the projector lost 
courage and abandoned the enterprise. 

A grand masked ball was given by Alameda Harmonic in March, 1876, at 
their hall on Peru street. In February Alice Kingsbury appeared in Wode's Opera 
House in Fanchon the Cricket and in Little Barefoot. Wode's Opera House was 
on Mission street between Third and Fourth. 

In August the race for $10,000 one mile in harness, best three in five, was 
trotted at Oakland park in the presence of a large crowd. O. A. Hickock drove 
St. Julian and C. DuBois drove Dan Voorhies. The latter won the first heat but 
the former took the next three; best time was 2:25^. In a pacing race at the 
Trotting park in October Dan Rice won three straight heats from Hiram Tracy, 
John Schonchin and Lady St. Clair. The best time was 2 :22. 

W. H. Eyre and Mr. Robinson had a pigeon shooting contest in Alameda in 
February, the former winning the prize. Robinson and Kennedy also held 
a similar contest and the former was again defeated. In the first match Eyre 
killed all of his single birds — 16, and 12 out of 16 in pairs. Robinson made the 
same score on the pairs, but missed three more of the single birds. In December 
the famous wing shots. Doctor Carver, Craig, Whitney, Mackey and Melone con- 
tested for supremacy and prizes at the Trotting park. Captain Bogardus was pres- 
ent and gave an exhibition of his skill. He shot a match with Robinson ; the latter 
won by six birds. 

The Union Club of Oakland was organized in February, 1877, and first met in 
the old Masonic lodge rooms. A. C. Henry was president. It was composed 
entirely of business men. 

At Oakland Trotting park, in March, before a large gathering of people, the 
trotting race between Rarus and Bodine came oiT. Rarus won the first heat in 
2 :23 ; the second was a dead heat in 2 ■.2oy2 ; Rarus won the third in 2 :22 54 and the 
race and purse of $1,000. John Splann owned Rarus and Budd Doble owned 
Bodine. In the second race Lady St. Clair won from John Schonchin in 2 :26 — 

Mr. Randlett, owner of the racing park, offered a purse of $1,500 for a trotting 
race between Rarus, Bodine and Oakland Maid in March, 1877. 


In a fifty-mile mustang race at the track in April, Mr. Smith of San Jose won 
in two hours and six minutes. In a trotting race at the track on April 5, Lady 
Emma, Frank and Controller contended for a purse of $100; Frank won in three 
straight heats ; best time 2 :40. In the pacing race for $200 Lady St. Clair won 
from Gray Dick, Schonchin and Simcoe, the best time being 2:28^2. In April, 
1877, the University Baseball Club played the Golden Gate Club of the academy 
of that name and defeated them by the score of 24 to 8. 

The cornerstone of Germania hall at Webster near Sixth was laid with due 
ceremony early in Alay. There was a large procession through the streets by the 
members of about half a dozen societies. William Sohst delivered an address, as 
did Mr. Schuenemann-Pott, speaker of the society of Free Thinkers, of San 
Francisco. Other speakers were Messrs. Denicke, Herzer, Mau, Boone and 

It was asserted by the newspapers in June, that inasmuch as Oakland had at 
the least calculation a population of 35,000, and probably nearer 45,000, it should 
cease going to San Francisco to celebrate the holidays; that the city should stop 
clinging to its old village and suburban practice of falling back upon San Francisco 
for almost everything and branch out along independent lines for itself. It was 
declared that this city should outvie even San Francisco in the exuberance of 
holiday celebrations. When 10.000 people left here, it was noted, to observe the 
holidays in San Francisco, they took over there $10,000 in cash and left it when 
it should have gone into the pockets of the Oakland business men and houses. 

W. G. Dinsmore, the Broadway druggist, and Mrs. Soderer, originated the 
idea of the Tuolumne annual reunions and organization. The scattered pio- 
neers of that old county were the first to inaugurate the practice of meeting annu- 
ally in Oakland to talk over old times. Oakland was selected by common con- 
sent as the most desirable place for the reunions. The first picnic was held 
here on June 17, 1868, and about one hundred persons were present. The second 
was held at Postwick's garden, Alameda, with 400 persons present; the third at 
Humboldt park, Temescal, w-ith nearly 2,000 present ; the fourth, at Alartinez with 
fully 3,000 present; the fifth, at Badger's park, East Oakland, attendance 3,500; 
sixth, same place, attendance, 4,000; seventh, same place, attendance, 5,000; 
eighth, same place, attendance about 8,500; ninth, same place, attendance fully 
10,000; tenth, same place, attendance estimated at about 20,000. The steamer 
from Stockton brought down about 1,200 of the "old boys." Rev. Mr. Hamil- 
ton's address was almost wholly extemporaneous and was one of the most 
eloquent and fiery ever delivered in the city; he reviewed with great power the 
old times and kindled the flame in his hearer's hearts by his tender and touch- 
ing references to the olden and golden days. The poem by Miss Pittsinger was 
one of unusual merit and of superior beauty. Col. R. G. Ingersoll delivered an 
oration at Badger's park before an audience so large that those on the outskirts 
could barely hear his voice. 

A fine pack of greyhounds was kept at Livermore; one, Connaught Rouger, 
was the best dog in the state; it was poisoned at Merced. In July, 1883, there 
was instituted here the first division of the Uniform Rank of the Knights of 
Pythias, being the fourth in the state. The ceremonies were conducted by Her- 
man Schaffner, representative of the supreme chancellor. 


The Olympic and Emerson Baseball Clubs played a match game in July; 
the former won by the score of 14 to 3. They played at Twelfth and Center 
streets. Numerous shooting contests took place at Shell Mound and Schuetzen 
parks. A pigeon shooting contest took place at the Oakland race track. The 
Alameda Sportsman's Club took part in these contests; also the Pacific Gun 
Club. One contest was between Burbank, Harrison and Williams, the two for- 
mer tying with twenty-one birds each. The Oakland Athletic Club was organ- 
ized in August; their first gymnasium was under Germania hall. Their offi- 
cers were L. A. Mitchell, president; C. R. Yates, secretary-treasurer and E. E. 
Potter, W. G. Henshaw and H. B. Houghton, directors. The Oakland Bicycle 
Club under Captain Strong made long runs through the suburbs in the fall ; 
often over fifty wheelmen were in line. They held speed trials and tests at 
Trotting park. A Mosquito Boat Club was organized in September by W. W. 
Blow, Charles Yale, Captain Moody and G. Evans. The fleet consisted of 
canvas and other small boats rigged with very small sails. 

By October i the Oakland Athletic Club had fifty members ; they met three 
nights per week at Germania hall; Louis Gerichton taught fencing and boxing 
and Mr. Lawton of the Olympic Club was instructor in gymnastics. Over one 
hundred hunters left Oakland on October 6th to hunt quail in the fields of 
Alameda county; the season had opened. The fall meeting of the California 
Rifle Association was held at Shell Mound park October 28th. The prizes were 
as follows: (i) Perkins medal with ten cash prizes ranging from $1 to $10; 
(2) the 200-yard ring target with cash prizes; (3) California Powder Works 
medal — 200 and 500 yards; (4) Foreman team match — 200 and 500 yards, cash 
prizes; (5) National Guard team match — 200 and 500 yards, cash prizes; (6) 
the Ludwig Siebe trophy — 200 yards; (7) Collier trophy — 200 yards; (8) Cen- 
tennial trophy — 200 and 500 yards; (9) Pistol match — 30 yards, cash prizes. 

In November "Taken from Life" was rendered at Dietz theatre; Black 
Crook at the People's (formerly the Colosseum) ; Emerson's minstrels at the 
Standard; McGowan the Millionaire at Bush Street theatre. Dion Boucicault's 
Company had recently been here in various Irish dramas. 

An aquatic bicycle was launched on Lake .Merritt on November 18th. A 
glove fight between James Slattery and the negro Bill Williams at the stock- 
yards in February, 1884, resulted in a victory for Slattery on a foul; the negro 
was the better man but was taunted into making the foul after he had whipped 
Slattery. In 1884 a joint stock company was organized to purchase the Oak- 
land Trotting park from E. Wiard, the owner, the consideration being $80,000, 
but it failed to raise the money. A six days' racing program was given at the 
Oakland Trotting park in March; the prizes and stakes aggregating $3,050, 
exclusive of the large entrance money. 

In 1884 the Colosseum seated 1,500 people; Dietz Opera House, 700; Ger- 
mania hall (main) 1,800, lower hall 900, upper hall 350; Armory hall (cavalry) 
1,000; Oakland Guard hall, 1,000; Hancock Rifles hall, 900; Masonic hall, 
500. The opera "L'Elisir d' Amore" was rendered in the Grand Opera House 
here in March. Madame Etelka Gerster represented Adina; Signor Vicini, 
Memorino; Signor Caracciolo, Dulcamasa; Signor Lombardelli, Belcore. The 
next night Madame Adelina Patti appeared in "La Traviata." The house was 
crowded to the doors and tickets sold for high premiums. 


The first cross country run after the Enghsh sport called "hare and hounds" 
took place in May, 1884, under the auspices of the Merion Cricket Club. The 
start was from Berkeley. Stud poker was such a ruling game and so pernicious 
that public steps to stop it were taken in 1884. Hundreds of young men spent 
all their money at this game. 

In 1885 a baseball club called the Nightingales was the champion club of 
Oakland. On April 28th they played the Yosemite Club on the San Paljlo 
avenue grounds and were defeated by the score of 42 to 7. The Yosemite bat- 
tery, Broderick and Traynor, did excellent and efiective work. The game was 
played for $12 a side. In the third inning the Yosemites made thirteen runs and 
in the seventh, fifteen. The Greenhood and Moran nines combined on May 3d, 
but were defeated by the Knickerbockers of Sacramento by a score of 6 to 5. 
Van Haltren, afterward prominent member of the Chicago and other clubs, 
caught for the Oakland team. In 1885 Oakland had no regular and profes- 
sional ball club, but had many local clubs which fought desperately in the sum- 
mer and fall for city supremacy. Grounds much used were at Fourteenth and 
Center streets. A game was played there in June between the Oaklands and the 
Haverlys of San Francisco. The Oakland Club was composed of the best play- 
ers of the various local clubs. 

In November Moses Hopkins was granted a decree of foreclosure against 
E. Wiard for $79,394.91 and $2,500 counsel fees on the property known as the 
Oakland Trotting park. The great actress Janauk-hek appeared at Oakland 
theatre with a large company in repertoire in September. They rendered "Zil- 
lah the Fortune Teller," "My Life," "Mary Stuart," "Countess of Mansfield" 
and others. The theatre was packed every night. The opera "The Mikado" was 
presented here in November, by the Carliton Opera Company and met a warm 

At the game between the Greenhood and Morans and the Pioneers at Alameda 
on August I, 1886, there were present 7,000 people ; the score was 3 to o in favor of 
the ■ former. Other clubs here were the Troubadours, Clevelands, Oaklands, 
Maroons and Franklins. 

Early in 1886 Alameda prepared a fine baseball park in the West End. It was 
494 X 337 feet and seated 1,500 people. The grandstand was 170 feet long. The 
grounds were prepared under the supervision of Charles S. Neal of the Narrow 
Gauge Railroad Company. The fourteen inning game of ball played August 9th, 
between the Haverlys and Altas on the Alameda grounds was the most exciting 
ever played on the east side up to that date. Every seat was taken and 2,000 
people stood up during the game. The Altas belonged to Sacramento and the 
Haverlys to San Francisco. The Haverlys finally won by the score of 7 to 3. 
The Haverly players were as follows : Donahue, third ; Hardie, catcher ; Hanley, 
right ; Sweeney, first ; Incell. pitcher ; Levy, center ; Stein, second ; Bernutt, short ; 
Lawton, center. A spectator who shouted, "Go it, you've got Incell rattled," 
was put out of the grounds ; nearly eight thousand people were present. James 
Madison umpired the game. In 1885 the receipts of the baseball games were 
sufficient to pay the players only $2 or $3 a game. In one game played by the 
Greenhood and Moran Club in San Francisco, each received $3.50. In 1886 the 
California League agreed to play at Alameda and Eugene Van Court was engaged 
to umpire for $2 a game. The MuUane-Star game was so rank that the latter 


was expelled from the league and the Greenhood and Morans were accepted to 
fill the gap. The Haverlys and Pioneers were the veteran clubs and they expected 
that the Greenhood and Morans would be easy victories. The latter were credited 
with one game won and two lost by the Stars. They began by beating the Hav- 
erlys of San Francisco and astonished the baseball wise men. Then they defeated 
the Altas of Sacramento. Again July 25, 1886, on the Alameda grounds they 
defeated the Haverlys before 8,000 people. The Greenhood and Morans 
were called the "Oakland Kids." Thus far the receipts per game averaged over 
one thousand dollars in 1886, while in 1883 the average was about one hundred 
dollars. Instead of receiving $2 or $3 a game the players each in 1886 received 
from $20 to $50. The Greenhood and Moran players were as follows : Fisher, 
third ; Brown, catcher ; Cahalan, left ; Long, right ; Van Haltren, pitcher ; Dolan, 
first ; Cussick, short : Gurnett, second ; Donovan, center. The percentage on July 
27, 1886, was as follows: Haverlys, 769; Greenhood and Morans, 538; Atlas, 437; 
Pioneers, 285. But a little later the Greenhood and Morans began to lose and in 
the end finished near the foot. 

At Germania hall, in March, James C. Daly and Thomas D. Carrol gave an 
mteresting exhibition of Greco-Roman wrestling that was witnessed by a large 
audience. The Costello-Cleary prize fight came off in the Colosseum on Twelfth 
street in July, and resulted in the defeat of the latter in the eecond round. The 
police immediately arrested all concerned in the ''mill." The price of admission 
was $10. All movements had been kept secret from the police. The winner took 
all — about five hundred and twenty dollars. Dan Haley acted as referee. Albert 
Keicheff, known as the "Strong Al of Oakland," was challenged to wrestle a mixed 
match, best two out of three: ist, Greco-Roman; 2nd, catch as catch can; 3rd, to 
be decided by toss of a coin, for $250 a side, by James Slattery, champion heavy- 
weight of the Pacific coast. John Dugan of Newark prepared his coursing park in 
Washington township for 2,500 hares which he had ordered trapped up the country. 
The coursing season opened about June 15th. 

During the summer of 1887 over one hundred and fifty thousand persons 
attended the baseball games at the Alameda grounds. All the crowds were orderly. 
It was different with the hoodlum gangs which visited Schuetzen park. Often their 
conduct was disgraceful and sometimes criminal. O. M. Sanford said he had 
lived in Alameda when the much detested coyote roamed at will up and down 
the peninsula, but its cries were music to the demoniacal yells of the hoodlums. 
This park was owned by Captain Cantus who died from heart disease after 
hearing his park denounced and learning that steps to close it might be taken. 

The year 1888 was very lively in all branches of athletics. There were many 
wheeling clubs. Baseball was very popular, particularly at the university, and 
was attended by vast crowds. Every gymnasium had a membership that over- 
taxed its rooms. The field sports were likewise patronized by many enthusiasts — 
coursing, racing, shooting, rowing, sailing. 

Previous to July, 1888, the Pioneer Society had been in existence for two 
years and three months. In that time eighteen meetings were held. There were 
15 honorary members, 46 first class members, 32 adjunct members, 58 second 
class members, and 15 third class members; total membership, 166; William T. 
Gibbs was president. 


In April, the Choral Society of Alameda rendered the "Pirates of Penzance" 
in the Park Opera House to a large audience. On March 22d, George Van Halt- 
ren and Fred Lange, two Oakland baseball players, left for the East under con- 
tracts to play with other clubs — the former with the Chicagos and the latter with 
the Chicago Westerns. Early in November Spalding's baseball combination arrived 
from the East and were met by a party of twenty Oakland and San Francisco 
baseball men at Port Costa and escorted to the latter city. This was the greatest 
excursion of baseball players ever undertaken in America up to date. On Novem- 
ber 4th a match game was played at Haight Street park between the All Americans 
and the Chicagos. Jerry Dennry, who lived in Oakland, but who belonged to the 
national league, arrived home at this time; he was famous as a third baseman. 
While in the West the All Americans were defeated by the Pioneers — score 
9 to 4; and the Chicagos and Stocktons tied at Stockton with two each. 
Van Haltren, the old Oakland player, was short stop of All Americans. The 
latter were defeated by the Greenhood and Morans also. The All Americans 
defeated the Stocktons, score 16 to i, Van Haltren playing center field. The 
result at the end of the season of 1888, was as follows : 


Stocktons . , 615 40 25 

Haverlys 542 36 30 

Pioneers 455 31 S7 

Greenhood and Morans 38S 26 41 

The Acme Athletic Club gave an interesting entertainment at their rooms in 
July. Harry F. Gordon was club president at this date. The exhibition consisted 
in exercises on the horizontal bar, boxing, tumbling, club swinging, high jumping, 
tugging, etc. 

The Oakland players in 1889 were as follows: Long, center; Dailey, left: 
Hardie, catcher; Smalley, third; O'Neil, short; \'each, first; McDonald, second; 
Stallings, right; Coughlin, pitcher. This was the usual order of batting. The 
last game between the Oaklands and San Franciscans was witnessed by 20,000 
people and resulted in the score of 5 to 4 in favor of the former. The standing 
on November 11, 1889, was as follows: 


San Francisco 577 51 37 

Oakland 602 53 35 

Stockton 443 39 49 

Sacramento ^-2 ^2 54 

William Smalley of Haywards became a baseball player of the great leagues in 
1890. The German Turn \'erein celebration of four days in June was the most 
important local event in the history of that organization. The Oakland Turn 
Verein was organized January 20, 1867, with a charter roll of twelve members. 
An excellent race track of half a mile was built on J. H. Strobridge's place near 
Haywards in 1891. Mr. Strobridge himself owned a fine herd of young colts 
which he trained for speed in all its phases. 


The labor organizations of Oakland and vicinity held a big reunion or cele- 
bration early in September, 1891. It was one of the first observances here of 
Labor Day. Trades unionism began in Alameda county about 1888 at which 
time four organizations were already in existence, viz. : Carpenters' Protective 
Union, Cigarmakers' Union, Typographical Union and Clerks' Association. On 
May I, 1888, the first meeting of the Alameda county federation was held and 
O. A. Smith became first president. Later organizations of the bakers, plumbers, 
painters, mill machine men, tailors, plasterers, carpenters, horseshoers, musicians, 
bricklayers, lumber and longshoremen, farmers' alliance, citizens' alliance, and 
others joined the movement. The parade of September 6, 1891, was one of the 
largest ever seen in this city. All business was temporarily suspended while 
the cheering and bedecorated clubs and lodges marched through the packed streets. 
The mayor and city officials reviewed the parade from a stand at the city hall. 
The day closed with a ball at Germania hall. 

The members of the Oakland Baseball Club in 1892 were as follows in batting 
order : Smith, left ; O'Brien, second ; Hardie, center ; Carrall, first ; Wilson, 
catcher ; Bushman, third ; Hutchinson, short ; Lohman, right ; German, pitcher. 
Enthusiasm for baseball was never more tense and preponderating than in 1892. 
Col. T. P. Robinson owned the franchise of the Oakland Baseball Club. The new 
grounds were at Piedmont. The Cook stock farm became the Oakland park stock 
farm. It sold twenty-four high bred colts — all registered. Many were by 
Steinway, the famous thoroughbred. The Alameda Bicycle and Athletic Club 
gave a series of races on their grounds in July. 

The Charity Club consisted of young men who distinguished themselves in 
legitimate drama, modern society drama and minstrelsy and young ladies who 
supplemented their literary attainments by post graduate courses in Delsarte, 
oratory and the art of physical expression. Both men and women were among 
the most talented, charming and beautiful in the city. They had no desire to 
embrace the drama or the stage as a profession, but mastered "Lady Macbeth," 
"Hamlet," and other plays and historic stage characters. In 1891-92 they pre- 
sented "Damon and Pythias," "Darkest Oakland," "Held by the Enemy," "A 
Russian Honeymoon," "Rosedale" and other difficult plays to large houses with 
great success. Louis Imhaus was director. Among the actors were the follow- 
ing: J. C. Wilson, Jr., H. A. Melvin, Lester Herrick, J. F. J. Archibald, A. J. 
Rosborough, P. H. Remillard, Marion Albright, Minnie G. Campbell, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Beck, Maud Morrill, Lucy D. Novan and Mary Hanlon. Wilson 
was leading man and began his career many years before in San Francisco. In 
their earlier presentations they styled themselves the Jackson Street Minstrels, 
were assisted by the Alice Street Quartette Club and held forth at the Oakland 
theatre. Late in 1892 they appeared in the fine new Macdonough theatre. 

Among the assets left by Court Ginlio Valensin on his famous Pleasanton 
stock ranch was the stallion Sidney. This horse was sold at auction in Cleve- 
land, Ohio, for $27,000. His value had been placed by experienced horsemen 
at $75,000. The animal had been under lease for $20,000 a year. His colts sold 
for several years at over $25,000 annually. Late in October, 1896, the new Oak- 
land race track was opened and -the winter racing meeting was inaugurated. 
The new track was located on the old site, but many additions and improvements 


appeared. In all there were ninety-three acres under lease. Thomas H. Wil- 
liams, Jr., was president of the California Jockey Club at this time. 

In April, 1898, Joe Lavique and Alike McCormick fought eight rounds before 
the Oakland Athletic Club. De Witt Van Court refereed the fight; McCormick 
won the battle. 

The racing at Pleasanton in the spring of 1898 was unusually good and 
attracted a large crowd. Pacing, trotting and running were the leading events, 
but the harness road races attracted great interest. At this time high grade 
roadsters were in great demand. The principal stakes at this meeting were 
called Hop, Merrira and Mercantile. The Pleasanton race track was well 
known to horsemen all over the United States and Canada. The stables of high 
grade and thoroughbred animals there were famous almost from the start. 
Many of the fastest horses and most skillful drivers of the country hailed from 
that unpretentious place. Among the fast and famous horses reared there were 
Coney 2:oi>^, Anaconda 2:0214, Alix 2:o3}4, Directly 2:03^, Azate 2:04, 
Searchlight 2:04, Klatasch 2:04%, Directum 2:o5>4. Dally Dillon 2:07^^, Diablo 
2:0934, and Jamie 2:09^4. Among the distinguished drivers who received their 
first valuable experiences at this track were Budd Doble, Andrew McDowell, 
Thomas Keating, George Staars, William Geers, J. Kelly and Messrs. McHenry, 
Durfee, Murry and Sanders. 

In the '90s as never before all kinds of athletics came into existence and into 
great popularity and favor, cycling, baseball, football, hunting, rowing, boxing, 
racing and mountain climbing seemed all at once to take possession of every 
class and sex here. Never before had women come into such dazzling light in 
the field of outdoor sports as at this eventful and changeful era. In fact the 
tendency to put women forward at this time, was one of the chief factors which 
contributed a little later to her success at the polls. 

Athletics in the most modern form is imparted by the Reliance and Acme 
Clubs. The equipment of both supplies every facility needed for the complete 
development of the human system, and the instruction is not surpassed in any 
city on the coast. Exercises and exhibitions showing what they can do and have 
accomplished are given at stated periods. Already the athletes of this club have 
distinguished themselves in many fields. 

The Athenian Club was modeled on the same plan as a similar one in San 
Francisco. It is Bohemian in the broadest sense, devoted to sociability, and its 
members are among the best men of the community. The Nile Club is also 
social in its objects and operations. Both the Nile and the Athenian Clubs, 
while in the main brotherly and fraternal, nevertheless informally consider many 
subjects which outside eventuate into public movements for the betterment of 
the community. 

The old Shell Mound park where racing took place as early as the '60s and 
where the shooting clubs usually practiced and gave exhibitions, was later called 
the Oakland race track, which was in reality an extension of the old grounds. 
Judge Alee finally purchased the property, leased it, and it passed to a syndicate 
which carried matters farther than the people desired and an act of the Legis- 
lature checked its operations. 

In September, 1907, the Orpheum theatre was first opened to the public. 
During the first year over 800,000 persons were patrons. Oakland had become 



the second leading theatrical center of the Pacific coast. In September, 1908, 
Leonard Lane of Berkeley, in an air ship of his own invention and construc- 
tion, secretly sailed in a successful flight over that city. S. S. Baley, the mil- 
lionaire horseman of Pleasanton, leased the pacing mare Leata J, to W. Jones 
of Sacramento for the season of 1913; her record in 1913 was 2:03 ^"d she 
earned for the lessee about $25,000. 

On February 22, 191 1, occurred the automobile races over the scenic boule- 
vard; it was estimated that 100,000 persons witnessed the races. An Amplex 
car ran down and seriously injured several persons. An Apperson car, skidded, 
turned turtle and was destroyed by fire, both occupants escaping. The throng 
was not properly policed and crowded the tracks in many places. The Mercer 
won the light car race, the National, the heavy car race and the Pope-Hartford 
the free-for-all race. In recent years baseball, rugby and soccer football, yacht- 
ing, rowing, shooting, hunting, coursing, racing, boxing, golfing, tennis, swim- 
ming, athletics, track meetings, motoring, bowling, cricket, etc., are the leading 

The scientific development of athletics at the university in the '80s and '90s 
was one of the most important recreation and health forward movements in the 
state and in the country. The games of baseball there have ever been interest- 
ing; but football soon led all other outdoor manly sports. The great games 
between the two universities — Stanford and California — are invariably attended 
by immense and enthusiastic audiences. The following is the result of their 
contests year by year. 


Year Stanford California 

1891 14 10 

1892 10 10 

1893 66 6 

1894 6 o 

1895 6 6 

1896 20 o 

1897 28 o 

1898 o 22 

1899 o 30 

1900 5 o 

1901 o 



1903 6 6 

1904 18 o 

1905 12 5 


Year Stanford California 

1906 6 3 

1907 21 II 


Year Stanford California 

1908 12 3 

1909 13 19 

1910 6 25 

19" 3 21 

1912 — — 

1913 — — 



The first schoolhouse in Oakland was built in July, 1853, on a lot deeded to 
the town by H. W. Carpentier at Fourth and Clay streets. It was subsequently 
moved to the corner of West and Seventh streets and was still later used by the 
colored people as a church. It was the only schoolhouse the town had for nine 
years. When erected it was referred to as "a substantial, elegant and com- 
modious schoolhouse." In 1862 a large one-story schoolhouse was erected at 
the corner of Eleventh and Grove streets. Two years later a third building was 
erected at Fifth and Alice streets. Miss Hannah Jayne opened the first school 
in 1853 ^nd continued to teach — was the only teacher — until January, 1855, 
when, two teachers being required, Franklin Warner became principal and Miss 
Jayne assistant. At first there was but one room and one teacher,, but there were 
ninety pupils enrolled. They continued until February 21, 1856, in a building 
with two rooms at Fifth and Broadway. They received no pay until later, 
because Mr. Hogan, the city marshal, decamped with the school funds. In 
February, 1856, Mr. Warner secured a position in the Oakland College school 
and there remained until i860. In 1856 R. A. Morse was employed as a teacher 
and held forth in the Carpentier schoolhouse. Mr. Goble taught both in 1856 
and 1857. In i860 the pupils became so numerous that a new and larger build- 
ing was necessary, whereupon the high school block was bought for $900 and a 
two-room building was erected thereon and was called the Lafayette school. 
Afterward when the first high school building was erected the old building was 
called "Little Lafayette." Soon afterward came the Lincoln, Prescott, Cole, 
Durant, Tompkins and other schools. By 1867 Oakland schools had six teach- 
ers who were paid $510 a month. In 1868 school bonds to the amount of $62,- 
000 were issued and much of the money was invested in school sites, a very wise 
measure. In 1868 there were 547 pupils and in 1873 there were 2,011. In 1878, 
4,695 pupils attended the public schools; in 1883, 6,040; in 1888, 6,329; in 1891, 

On November 8, 1858, the Oakland Seminary was commenced by Mrs. G. M. 
Blake in a private parlor on Broadway and Sixth streets, with a class of four 
young ladies. April i, 1859, the school required a larger room and was removed 
to the corner of Broadway and Eighth streets. It remained there until 
March i, i860, when it changed its locality to the corner of Fifth and Jackson 
streets, where it remained four years. .\ new building known as the Blake House 
was commenced on Washington street between Eleventh and Twelfth streets, in 
June, 1863, and completed on the 24th of October, where the school was perma- 
nently established. 

As early as the year 1855 the attention of Alameda was called to the necessity 
of providing means of education for the children. In 1864 the school district, 

Vol. 1—19 



which then comprised the whole peninsula, was divided, and the main structure of 
the Alameda schoolhouse was built by contract for the sum of $2,626, which was 
raised by a special tax. The furniture was purchased with the proceeds of a 
festival, given by the ladies of the town, among them being Mrs. Hastings, Mrs. J. 
N. Webster, Mrs. A. S. Barber, Mrs. Millington, Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. W. B. Clement 
and others. The old schoolhouse was sold at auction to H. S. Barlow and by him 
moved to Park street, where it constituted the original Loyal Oak hotel. Later it 
was occupied as a dwelling. 

In July, 1855, C. C. Breyfogle, the first county superintendent of public instruc- 
tion, appointed James Millington, E. M. Taft and James T. Stratton, commission- 
ers of Alameda school district. The board organized July i6th and made arrange- 
ments for the purchase of a building and lot from A. Schermerhorn. for the sum 
of $150. On the 27th of the same month Mrs. A. S. Page was engaged to teach 
the school at a monthly salary of $75 and board. This engagement continued until 
October 31, when the pay was fixed at $100, without board. On July 21, 1859, 
W. W. Brier, county superintendent, appointed as trustees C. L. Fitch, Jas. Milling- 
ton and Dr. Henry Gibbons, who engaged as teacher \\'. W. Holder, who occu- 
pied the position until January 9, i860, when he was removed and M. A. Lynde 
substituted. Funds being low, it was found necessary, in order to pay the teach- 
er's salary, to establish rates of tuition, as follows: Children under ten years of 
age, $1 per month; under fourteen years, $1.50; over fourteen. $2. 

From the organization of the first public school in Oakland in July, 1853. to 
July, 1865, the census enumeration included children between the ages of four 
and eighteen. From July, 1865. to July, 1873, from five to fifteen, and from 
that date to the present, from five to seventeen. In 1883 the schools were as 
follows : 

High, corner Twelfth and Market streets: Prescott, Campbell street, Seward 
and Taylor; Cole, Tenth street, Union and Poplar; Tompkins, Fifth street, 
Chestnut and Linden ; Lincoln, Alice street. Tenth and Eleventh ; Durant, Twenty- 
eighth street, Grove and West ; Franklin, Tenth avenue. East Fifteenth and East 
Sixteenth streets; Lafayette, Jefferson street, Eleventh and Twelfth ; Grove Street, 
Grove street, Fourth and Fifth ; Harrison Street, corner Harrison and Sixth 
streets; Swett, East Twentieth street, Twelfth and Thirteenth avenues; Court 
House, corner East Fourteenth street and Twentieth avenue ; Lynn, Lynn ; Broad- 
way and Twenty-fifth Street, comer Broadway and Twenty-fifth streets; Ply- 
mouth Avenue, corner Elm street and Plymouth avenue ; Watts' Tract, corner 
Magnolia and Thirty-second streets ; Evening, Ninth street, between Washington 
and Clay Corner; Carpenter Shop, East Fourteenth street, between Tenth and 
Eleventh avenues. 

They were erected as follows: High, 1870; Prescott, 1869: Cole. 1877; 
Tompkins, 1877; Lincoln, 1872; Durant, 1874: Franklin, 1875; Lafayette. 1862; 
Grove Street, 1869; Harrison Street, 1865. 

The Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was located in a picturesque 
position at the head of Lake Merritt, commanding a fine view of the city of 
Oakland and its environments, including the bay and Golden Gate. This con- 
vent was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, in 1868, 
under the patronage of Rev. Father M. King, pastor of St. Mary's Catholic 
church in Oakland. 



Mills College was founded early in the history of the county and has ever 
maintained a high rank among the institutions of the United States devoted to 
the education and culture of women, standing in the same class as Vassar Col- 
lege. There is no higher institution of the kind on the Pacific coast. 

The Oakland high school was organized July 12, 1869, with twenty-nine 
pupils. The curriculum provided a course in natural science, mathematics, 
literature and language, requiring three years for its completion. For the first 
two years the classes were accommodated in the grammar schools, but at the 
commencement of the third year they were moved to the building at the corner 
of Central avenue and Market street. At first but one teacher was employed. 



Number Attending 
Boys Girls Totals 
: 40 



1870-71 14 21 35 

1871-72 28 47 75 

1872-73 40 59 99 

1873-74 39 73 112 

1874-75 56 80 136 

1875-76 67 79 146 

1876-77 66 117 183 

1877-78 81 167 248 

1878-79 Ill 177 288 

1879-80 126 202 328 

1880-81 139 213 352 

Number Graduating 
Boys Girls Totals 































An evening school was opened in a rented building on Ninth street, between 
Washington and Clay, on November 8, 1880. with a class of twenty. It increased 
in numbers during the winter until the average number belonging reached sixty- 
five, when another class was formed. The attendance in the spring fell off, 
and the two classes were consolidated. During the school year ending June, 
1880, the total number enrolled was 154. The subjects taught were arithmetic, 
spelling, writing, reading, bookkeeping and grammar. The classes were removed 
to the high school building May i, 1881. 

The following is an abstract of the annual report made by Rev. J. D. Strong, 
on November 23, 1861, to the state superintendent of instruction: 

Children from four to eighteen years of age. 

'More boys than girls 

Increase during the year 

Children under four years 

Under twenty-one years 

Born in California 

Deaf and dumb 


Scholars enrolled in the public schools 











Average daily attendance 437 

Number of schools 22 

Teachers employed during the year 32 

Average number of months the schools were open 7% 

Average salary per month $ 61.00 

School fund received from state 2,130.00 

Received from county 5,417.00 

Raised in the districts 2,324.00 

Total expenditure during the year 9.986.00 

Average for each pupil enrolled i3-00 

The amount raised in the various districts by voluntary subscription was as 
follows: Alvarado, $182; Union, $287; Eureka, $228; Lockwood, $200; Cen- 
terville, $194; Ocean View, $144; Alviso, $107; Alameda, $106; Mission San 
Jose, San Lorenzo, Redwood and Temescal, raised less than $100 each, while 
Murray, Peralta, Edenvale, Oakland and Brooklyn, depended entirely upon the 
public fund. The amount thus raised by the districts this year was only one- 
half as large as that raised during the previous year, and the average expenditure 
per scholar was also less. The Union. Brooklyn, Oakland, Murray and Ocean 
View schools were maintained ten months or more ; the ^Mission, nine months ; 
the Alvarado, San Lorenzo, Alameda and Murray's Landing, eight months : the 
Lockwood and Eureka seven months; the Alviso five months, and the Red- 
wood, Temescal and Peralta four months. There were three times as many 
male teachers as female in the county : the average length of schools was 
greater in 1861 than the year before, but the average salary paid for teaching 
was less, and the average attendance of the schools less. All except three or 
four of the teachers had had from three to twenty-one years' experience in 
teaching, and nine intended to devote themselves to the profession for life. 

The schoolhouses in the county generally were unfit for use. With three 
or four exceptions, a humane man would feel that they were scarcely fit to 
shelter his animals. Too small, badly constructed, worse furnished, and unpleas- 
ant in every way, they could not but have a depressing influence over the tastes, 
feelings and character of the children. Those in Oakland. Brooklyn and Alameda 
were especially inadequate to meet the wants of the scholars. Oakland and Brook- 
lyn each needed a school building adapted to a graded school. Oakland espe- 
cially with its 464 children drawing the public money, had not adequate school 
accommodations for more than thirty scholars. The remaining pupils were prac- 
tically unprovided for. At the same time that district had more than $1,600 
lying idle in the county treasury. The Peralta and bay districts also needed 
schoolhouses. In addition to the public schools there were nine private schools 
and colleges in the county with about one hundred and ninety pupils. 

On June 15, 1863, the corner stone of Blake House was laid by Live Oak 
Lodge of Masons, of which at that time Rev. Dr. Akeny was W. M. It was 
then the largest and best building in Oakland. It became the Oakland Seminary 
for Young Ladies. The school from which the seminary took its rise was com- 
menced in Oakland on November 8, 1858, by Mrs. G. M. Blake. She began with 
a class of four young ladies in a building on the east side of Broadway between 
Sixth and Seventh streets. The scholars were Hannah Schander. Ida Schander, 





Susie Staples and Emma Reed. On April i, 1859, the school was removed to 
Broadway and Seventh and on March i, i860, it was again removed to Fifth and 
Jackson streets. It there remained until removed to Blake House in 1863. In 
1863 the school had sixty-nine pupils. In i860 Miss Mary A. Shattuck became 
assistant teacher and in 1862 Airs. D. G. Huggins also became assistant teacher. 
Other early instructors in the institution were Mademoiselle Beauchamp, 
Professor Klingermann, Mrs. S. Watkins and Miss Carrie Stevens. 

The Hopkins Academy was located on a commanding position between 
Broadway and Telegraph avenue, and was formerly known as the Golden Gate 
Academy. By a donation from Moses Hopkins, of San Francisco, the institu- 
tion was placed on a firm financial basis, enabling it to enlarge its sphere of use- 
fulness. The teaching, although unsectarian, was under the supervision of the 
Congregational denomination. The Rev. H. E. Jewett, of Amherst College was 
the principal and was aided by an efficient force of assistants. 

The Female College of the Pacific, owed its existence to the efforts of Rev. 
E. B. \\'alsworth. During the first years of the institution. Rev. S. S. Harmon 
and wife had immediate control, and its success and subsequent reputation was 
in no small degree due to their skill as teachers, and to the efficiency with which 
they performed the varied duties which devolved upon them. In April, 1864, 
the Pacific Female College was incorporated. An educational department was 
opened June 15, 1863, and the existence of the college properly dates from that 

The California Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind was founded 
in San Francisco in i860 and was then under the auspices of a board of lady 
managers, presided over by Mrs. P. B. Clark. It was moved to the Kearney 
farm in Berkeley four miles north of Oakland. The tract consisted of 130 
acres. Clear, pure water was found in the foothills. The ground for the 
buildings was broken July 29, 1867. The foundation-stone was laid on the 
26th of September, with appropriate ceremony. The building was ready for 
occupation in the fall of 1869. The cost of the structure was $149,000, includ- 
ing the incidental expenses; the land cost $12,100. The San Francisco property 
put in the market realized $34,000. The school then opened with ninety-six 
pupils, and under most favorable auspices. The beautiful building was de- 
stroyed by fire on the evening of the 17th of January, 1875. Plans for new 
buildings were prepared and presented to the Legislature which voted $110,000 
for the new structures. The following spring foundations were laid and in the 
fall of 1878 the buildings were occupied. In 1879 a central refectory was 
erected as part of the plan that looked to devoting separate buildings to sep- 
arate purposes; cost $35,000. 


Year Ending No. Attending 

June 30 Public Schools 

1863 109 

1864 138 

1865 227 

1866 307 

No. Attending 

No. Attending 

Private Schools 

No Schools 










Year Ending No. Attending No. Attending No. Attending 

June 30 Public Schools Private Schools No School 

1867 455 313 155 

1868 569 317 196 

1869 684 355 293 

1870 911 417 319 

1871 1,132 333 312 

1872 1,566 271 • 579 

1873 2,118 343 ^41 

In 1874-75, at a time when there were many children in the city who did not 
have educational privileges, it was suggested and supported by more than one 
newspaper that the condition could be remedied by teaching part of the chil- 
dren in the forenoon and the other part in the afternoon, the teachers being 
required to work all day instead of from 9 to 4 o'clock. It was not realized at 
this time that even the hours from 9 to 4 were sufficient to break down the nervous 
systems of the hardiest women teachers in ten years. F. M. Campbell, city 
superintendent of schools, in a long document which was submitted to the board 
of education proposed (i) that each class in the city be divided into two equal 
divisions; (2) that one division should be taught from 9 to 12 o'clock, and the 
other from i to 4 o'clock, or from 2 to 5 o'clock; (3) that the divisions change 
about time of attendance so that all would receive the same treatment; (4) that 
the wages of the teachers be increased to correspond with the enlarged service. 
The advantages of this system were alleged to be as follows : ( i ) There would 
be twice as many grades and more frequent advancement without increasing 
the number of school-rooms or the number of teachers; (2) a portion of the 
time of the children could be devoted to work at home; (3) twice the number 
of children as at present could be accommodated. 

The system of dividing crowded classes and allowing one-half to attend in 
the forenoon and the other half in the afternoon, introduced by Superintendent 
Campbell, met with general favor and was put in successful operation early in 
1875. Teachers and parents appeared to be pleased with the change. How- 
ever, the school board decided not to introduce the change in any class unless 
it should be needed. 

Alameda planned a new high school building in 1874. Oakland's debt was 
mostly due to the construction of many new school buildings called for by the 
rapid growth of the city. In 1873-74 the number of school children in the county 
between five and fifteen years was 6,751; enrolled, 4-715: not in any school, 
1,505; state apportionment, $19,860; county apportionment, $37,352; city taxes, 
$35,087; paid teachers' salaries, $80,356: valuation of school property, $261,970; 
number of schools, 103; average monthly wages paid male teachers, $101 ; same 
paid female teachers, $60; average number of months of school, 9.6. 

In the spring of 1875 the Livermore public schools were graded with J. C. 
Gilson in charge of the upper department and Miss Ada Fulton in charge of the 
lower. In June, 1875. the county and city school examining boards examined 
applicants for teachers' certificates in the following studies: Written gram- 
mar, orthography, written arithmetic, history of the United States, theory and 
practice of teaching, mental arithmetic, geography, physiology, algebra, natural 


philosophy, penmanship, natural history, reading, vocal music, defining, composi- 
tion, drawing, Constitution of the United States and of California, school law 
of California, and oral grammar. A first grade certificate was granted for 85 
per cent of these requirements. 

In 1875 W. F. B. Lynch was county superintendent of schools. The state 
school fund this year amounted to $57,046. There were in the county 7,820 
children of school age. Alameda had 498 ; Oakland, .3,952 ; Laurel, 328 ; Liver- 
more, 220; Alvarado, 132; Centerville, 120; Eureka, 141; Fruit Valley, 103; 
Mission San Jose, 123; Ocean View, 116; Peralta, 168; Pleasanton, 150; San 
Lorenzo, 391 ; Temescal, 157; Union, 432; Washington, 132. None of the others 
had over 100. In all there were 37 districts. Berkeley was yet unknown. 

In 1876 the university. Golden Gate Academy, McClure's Military Academy, 
Mills Seminary, St. Mary's Academy, Home School for Young Ladies, Mrs. 
Poston's Seminary, St. Mary's Free School ; two kindergartens, Pacific Theolog- 
ical Seminary, Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart were the principal 
private educational institutions of Oakland. 

The Altamont school was conducted by A. W. McArthur in March, 1877. 
The schools at Niles and Washington Corners were closed owing to the prev- 
alence of diphtheria. Alvuzo Crawford taught in the Lockwood district. Mrs. 
L. Hinckly opened the Mowry Landing school in March. At the examination 
of teachers in March the following secured certificates : Mabel Brett, Mary B. 
Vose, Gertrude Campbell, Maggie Conners, Mrs. N. B. Kerr, Ninole Strong, 
E. Griffin, Bertha F. Vollmar, Emma Gracier, Mrs. J. N. Brower, Rhoda L. 
Tucker, Josephine Ring, Fannie Cullen, Nellie A. Dugan, Clara Thomas, Sarah 
B. Jenkins. Q. K. Taney, Percilla L. DeForest, Abbie L. Hyde, Blanche L. 
Lalande, Harriet A. Buel, Adelaide J. Gracier, Minnie J. Wood, Bertha Kraus, 
Mrs. Hattie Gould, Lizzie Morris, Clara A. Blinn, M. M. McLean, Fred W. 
Stowell, Annie R. Wood, W. F. Lynch and Irene E. Anderson. Only three of 
them secured first grade certificates. 

The great growth of the eastern part of the county was shown by the fact 
that in 1883 six school districts there were obliged to levy additional taxes with 
which to enlarge school accommodations. Midway had just completed a new 
school edifice ; Wilson built a little later ; Livermore added two more rooms ; 
Pleasanton built a large addition ; two other districts in the valley made addi- 
tions. This year the county board of education passed the following resolution : 
"That no permanent or temporary certificate be hereafter granted by this board 
upon a city or county certificate issued either in whole or in part upon a diploma 
of any normal school or class other than that of the California State Normal 
schools." The object was to shut out graduates of the alleged "normal class" 
of San Francisco which was not in reality a normal school and was flooding the 
country with inferior teachers. At this time Alameda had five institutions of 
learning with a capacity to accommodate 1,300 pupils, under twenty-six teachers. 
On the 30th of March, 1872, the board of supervisors ordered that the town 
election be held May 6, 1872, at which time the first corporate officers were 
elected, viz. : H. H. Haight, E. B. Mastick, Fritz Boehmer, Jabish Clement, 
Henry Robinson, board of trustees; Dr. W. P. Gibbons, William Holtz (for 
three years), Cyrus Wilson, Nathan Porter (for two years), Fred Hess, F. K. 
Krauth (one year), school directors; Thomas A. Smith, treasurer; E. Minor 


Smith, assessor. The board of trustees met for organization May 13, 1872. 
H. H. Haight was elected president. 

The county teachers' institute of October, 1S83, was attended by 235 
teachers the first day, the total number in the county being 253. County Super- 
intendent Fisher presided. This was an important session. The practical nature 
of the exercises, their up-to-date character and their breadth and efficiency were 
immensely valuable. Superintendent Fisher showed by figures that this county 
was only holding its own in the ratio of census list to school enrollment; that 
the ratio of daily attendance was increasing; that the attendance at private schools 
was comparatively on the increase; that a large percentage of children did not 
attend school at all ; that the public schools were being supplied with multiplied 
conveniences ; that teachers were fitting themselves for higher grade work 
and were better paid ; that the length of the terms in the rural districts was 

The committee appointed by the school board to investigate the subject of 
industrial education in the public schools, reported late in January, 1884, that 
while such courses were comparatively new in this country they were old and 
well known in Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Russia and other 
European countries; that such manual training schools as had been estab- 
lished in the United States were giving satisfaction; that in their opinion the 
city should start with a workshop at a cost of $800 or $900 for boys and a 
cooking school for girls at a cost of $850, and that industrial education of the 
character they had described should be taught in the public schools of Oak- 
land. They recommended that the board employ !Miss Ward, lately the assist- 
ant of Miss Corson, to give instruction in cooking in at least five of the public 

.\ meeting of delegates from the boards of education of Oakland. Berkeley. 
-Alameda and Alameda county was held March 15. 1884, in the city hall to 
consider the subject of text books. It was an executive meeting. All text 
books were considered seratim and a uniform list was adopted. In May, 18S4. 
the county board of education adopted Bancroft's readers, White's arithmetics 
and the Eclectic geographies. The school census of June, 1885, gave the fol- 
lowing number of children between the ages of seven and seventeen years. 

Alameda 1,841 Livermore 59" 

Berkley 879 Oakland 10,115 

Bay 272 Pleasanton 246 

Centerville 194 San Lorenzo 285 

Fruitvale 234 Temescal 401 

Laurel 535 Union 679 

The mechanical school was taught as a branch of the Lincoln school under 
the principalship of T. O. Crawford late in 1884. Already this school was 
popular and attracted great attention. The work of the boys was not sur- 
passed by that of any shop in the city. The boys themselves took great inter- 
est in the innovation. A lesson at hand was in the big Pacific nail factory where 
skilled labor had to be imported and then made its own terms, among others 
that apprentices should not be taken. It was concluded that if the trades 


unions would not let the boys learn and if the industrial owners would not 
teach them, the government must and should do so. If the government taught 
the professions, why not the trades, it was asked and not answered. The 
school was in a long low building with many large windows in the rear of the 
Lincoln school. It was in charge of J. W. McClymonds and J. Spear and was 
started in 1885. It gave a two-year term to boys who had passed the high 
third class. There were two classes each week which were instructed in prac- 
tical carpenter work. The school was self sustaining from the sale of its prod- 
ucts — shelves, step ladders, bookcases, cabinet tables, tool chests, cupboards, etc. 
Specimens of dovetailing, veneering, squaring, panelling, polishing, lettering, etc.,. 
were shown to visitors. 

A meeting of the prominent teachers of the state was held in the north hall 
of the university in April, 1885, to consider the subject of teaching English and 
of raising the standard of English scholarship in the future graduates of high 
schools and the university. Professor Cook presided. There was a large 
attendance of the best educators of the state, including J. B. McChesney of 
Oakland; Henry Vight of Berkeley; J. H. Eickhoff of Alameda; D. J. Sullivan 
of Alameda ; J. H. Summer of Oakland ; and many of the teachers of the county. 
The exercises were very thorough and interesting. The amendment to the county 
government law in 1885 increased the salary of the county superintendent from 
$2,400 to $3,000 a year. Before the passage of that law the salary was $i,8oo- 
but was increased by the law to $2,400 out of which he was required to pay 
the salary of his assistant. 

The annual county teachers' institute was held at Oakland in August, 1886,. 
Superintendent Fisher presiding. There was a large attendance from all parts 
of the county. It was announced that during the school year of 1885-86 there 
had been great educational progress in every township and town. Numerous 
new school districts had been created and fine school buildings erected. Col. 
Francis W. Parker delivered a memorable address on "Reading" in which he 
declared that teaching was the greatest science in the world — one that planted 
and nurtured all science and knowledge. He said that reading was thinking by 
means of written or printed words. Mrs. Parker also addressed the institute 
on the subject of "Articulation." She was a graduate of the Boston School of 
Oratory. Colonel Parker was the originator of the Quincy method and was a 
distinguished educator. The institute adopted the following resolution: "That 
our schools would be more thoroughly and economically taught with less labor 
to both pupils and teachers, if in all grades above the seventh, subjects were 
assigned to teachers instead of teachers to subjects." 

The new California Baptist College at Highland Park was dedicated Octo- 
ber 6th. It was located on a twelve-acre plot at Fourteenth and East Twenty- 
seventh streets and the Vallecitos place. The building was called Mary Stuart 
Hall. The exercises were conducted by Dr. E. H. Gray of Oakland. Addresses 
were delivered by Dr. Gray, Rev. S. B. Morse, Rev. J. H. Garrett, B. C. Wright, 
Dr. A. B. Stuart, Rev. A. W. Runyan, Rev. F. S. Lawrence, Rev. B. Spencer,. 
Judge Reynolds, Professor Jewett, Mrs. Dr. Kellogg, Miss Perry, principal of 
the school. 

In August, 1888, Oakland employed 159 teachers, Alameda 31, Berkeley 15, 
Union ji, Laurel g, Livermore 9, Temescal 7, Bay 5, Pleasanton 4, San Lorenzo- 


4, Centerville 4, Fruitvale 4, Alvarado 3, ^lission San Jose 3, Peralta 3, Wash- 
ington Corners 3. 

The Alameda county teachers' institute met at Hamihon hall on March 
27th and was called to order by County Superintendent P. M. Fisher. There 
was a very large attendance, nearly every teacher in the county (275) answering* 
to the roll call. This was the first session for eighteen months. The resolutions 
adopted by the institute favored a reduction in the time allotted to arithmetic 
in the primary and grammar grades and an increase in the time given to mental 
arithmetic ; advocated a broad and liberal education for all ; declared the teach- 
ers who patronized saloons should be discharged; advised the teachers of the 
county to do all in their power to further the success of the National Educa- 
tional Association which was to meet in San Francisco in July, 1888. 

The National Educational Association held its annual meeting in Mechan- 
ic's Pavilion, San Francisco, in July. Many teachers from all parts of the coun- 
try were entertained in Oakland homes and were given a public reception at 
the board of trade rooms which were beautifully decorated for the purpose. 
Nearly 200 of the best singers of Oakland participated in the grand concert at 
Mechanic's Pavilion. The county teachers' institute met in convention for the 
express purpose of entertaining the visitors. They gave a formal reception 
at Pioneer building on July 17th. The board of education and Superintendent 
Campbell had decided to make an exhibit of the work of the Oakland schools at 
the meeting of the National Educational Association in July. An exhibition of 
peimianship, drawing, written arithmetic, language, grammar, composition, col- 
lections of insects, plants, etc., was made. 

By school census the number of children of school age in Oakland in 1880 
was 8,108 and in 1890 was 11,854. The enrollment was 5,692 in 1880 and 7,820 
in 1890. In 1891 the same rooms were used twice each day in the Lafayette, 
Cole and Clawson schools — four rooms in each aggregating 810 pupils. Classes 
were held from 9 a. m. and then others from i p. m. to 5 p. m. There was 
serious objection to this arrangement, but it was only temporary and was aban- 
doned when other houses were erected. 

The corner-stone of the fine new schoolhouse in Pleasanton was laid in April, 
1889. Five hundred people of the southern portion of the county witnessed the 
ceremonies. The house was two stories high and had eight rooms. The stone was 
donated by County Superintendent Fisher and came from the sandstone quarry of 
William Farwell in the Niles canyon. Mr. Fisher presented the stone to Masonic 
Lodge No. 218, A. F. & A. M., which conducted the ceremonies. The Murray 
township school union was designed to improve the conditions surrounding the 
country schools and render them more efficient. Visiting committees suggested 
improvements in teaching and management. They held annual picnics in May. 
In 1889 over 800 school children enjoyed this picnic at Tretzel's grove in Arroyo 
Valle a short distance south of Livermore. There were running races for boys 
and girls, putting weights, bars and sledges, jumping and ball playing. On the 
grounds were 2,500 people. 

At the election of city superintendent of schools of Oakland in April, 1889, 
there were three candidates — the incumbent, Fred M. Campbell, T. O. Crawford 
and Mrs. R. R. Johnston. At the first vote Campbell received five votes, Crawford 
five and Mrs. Johnston one. J. W. McClymonds was then placed in nomination. 



The next vote stood Campbell five, McClymonds six. The latter who was prin- 
cipal of the Lincoln school was thus elected. For twenty-five years Mr. Campbell 
had been connected with the Oakland schools and had done more than any other 
person to make them the pride of the whole state. He was known over the whole 
country as a brilliant and advanced instructor and originator of better teaching 
methods and programs. Recently he had served as chairman of the session of the 
department of superintendence at Washington, D. C. He was president of the 
National Educational Association in 1888. As such he received glowing praise 
from eastern educational critics. It was politics that caused his dismissal. The 
county board of education in 1889 decided to have no examinations in entomology, 
geography, history and music in any grade during the year. 

Early in 1890 Superintendent Fisher notified the teachers throughout the 
county that they must give a short course on entomology in their schools. He told 
them to study "Cooke's Insects, Injurious and Beneficial" and to seek practical 
hints in the neighboring orchards. In town the dififerent pests were to be taken 
up and studied — codling moth, tent caterpillar, San Jose scale, canker worm, 
aphides, weevil, phylloxera, bees, etc. 

In 1890 the trustees of Rosedale, San Lorenzo and Alviso school districts 
voted special school taxes in their respective school districts — Rosedale, $300; 
San Lorenzo, $1,000; Alviso, $900. The county board ordered these levies, 
together with sufficient amounts additional to pay the interest. Emery, Hays, 
Lorin, Peralta, Pleasanton, Sunol, Glen, Temescal and Warm Springs also 
called for special school tax at this date. Improved schoolhouses and facilities 
were being provided for in all districts of the county. The Oakland school board 
at this time found grievous fault with the city council for appropriating $11,- 
500 for wharf improvements, $18,000 for the Fifteenth street engine house and 
$3,000 for the improvement of Independence square instead of appropriating a 
sufficient amount for increased high school rooms and facilities. 

In 1890 Alameda county had a total of 22,978 children of school age, of 
whom 5,114 did not attend any school, public or private. The average daily 
attendance was 11,964, not including private and parochial schools. The county 
had three high schools teaching 742 pupils — more than any other county except 
San Francisco. This county was woefully behind in the matter of school build- 
ings. It did not have a single brick or stone school structure. Other counties 
had many. The average number of months per year that school was taught was 
9.4. The average salary paid to male teachers was $104 per month and to female 
teachers, $72. 

In 1890-91 the Legislature passed an act for the establishment of union high 
schools in the state. No sooner had this act become operative then County 
Superintendent George Frick was besieged with applications from all parts of 
the county from both taxpayers and teachers who desired to establish high 
schools under the new law. The residents of East Murray township met and 
petitioned for such a school and an election to determine the matter was ordered. 
The law provided that any city or incorporated town having 1,500 or more popu- 
lation could secure such an institution. 

In January, 1891, about 130 resident pupils of Oakland applied for admission 
to the high school and could not be received owing to lack of room. It was 
proposed to obviate the difficulty by having their junior classes each to skip a day 


so that each would lose one day in three. The day thus gained was to be given 
to the new pupils. There was imperative demand late in 1891 that the school 
facilities of Oakland should be vastly improved without delay. Mayor Chapman 
stated publicly that the following needs should be at once supplied by the issu- 
ance of bonds : 

Prescott school $ 20,000 

Grant school 25,000 

West Street school 75,ooo 

Cole school 1 5,000 

Lincoln school 10,000 

Harrison school 35,ooo 

Swett school 50,000 

Franklin school and high school 165,000 

Total $395,000 

By the last of February, 1892, the crowded condition of the Oakland schools 
had become a veritable blockade. Children were turned away from every school. 
Superintendent McClymonds said that in Januar>', 1892, the attendance at the 
schools was much reduced on account of measles, diphtheria and scarlet fever and 
that in February when they had in a measure recovered the overflow of the schools 
was as follows : 

Lafayette 446 Cole 533 

Grove 30 Tompkins 50 

Harrison 118 Prescott 220 

Garfield no Lincoln 172 

Franklin 128 Clawson 140 

Durant 150 

Total 2,097 

The total meant that there were that many pupils who were unable to get 
proper school accommodations, many in fact being prevented from attendance at 
all. At the Swett, High and Grant schools there was no overcrowding. This 
overflow was true, in spite of the fact that in 1891 additions had been built to the 
Garfield, Durant and Franklin schools. Five years before 1891 the Harrison 
schoolhouse was put in condition for one year's service, but was used for five 

A large mass meeting of the citizens of Alameda met on March 31, 1891. to 
listen to the discussion concerning the discipline in the public schools, which had 
been publicly and severely attacked by A. J. Leonard. He charged crowded 
rooms, and disobedience, violent acts of pupils when at school and such a lack 
of discipline as to destroy in a large measure the efficiency of the schools. 
He was supported by C. W. Bronson, D. Tietemann and ^Mr. Cunningham. Super- 
intendent Sullivan defended the teachers and schools. He declared that teachers 
should not be held responsible for the lack of home training; that if the children 
were bad the cause would be found in the homes, that the schools were not refor- 


matory institutions, that he could say unpleasant things about certain children and 
that the crowded condition of the rooms partly caused the disorder complained of. 

The trustees of the Livermore high school (a township institution) in July, 
1891, were F. R. Fassett, Fred Hartman, J. C. Martin, Al. Clark, J. L. Banggs, 
A. Fuchs and J. G. Young; the latter was chairman. They concluded to open 
the high school in the public school building at Livermore. The salary of the 
principal was fixed at $150 per month. E. H. Walker was elected principal of 
the high and grammar schools. Mr. Frick the new county superintendent in 1891, 
received a salary of $4,500, out of which he was required to pay his deputy. 
Principal Markham of Haywards schools was elected to the principalship of the 
Tompkins school in Oakland. 

The county teachers' institute assembled in Hamilton hall on September 16, 
1891, and was called to order by County Superintendent George W. Frick. There 
was a large attendance of teachers from all parts of the county. David Starr 
Jordan lectured before the institute on the "Passion Play," which he had witnessed 
a short time before at Oberammergau. This was one of the most interesting and 
instructive sessions ever held. Mr. Frick reported to the courity board on Septem- 
ber 27, 1891, that the union high school proposal in the southern part of the county 
would need $1,800 for the balance of the school year. The proposed district 
embraced Alviso, Centerville, Decoto, Lincoln, Mission San Jose, Mowrys, New- 
ark, Niles, Rosedale, Sheridan, Warm Springs and Washington. 

Li 1895 the children of Oakland public schools were taught for the first time 
to make public recognition of the patriotism embodied in the name and memory 
of George Washington by parading through the streets under the flag which he 
established. In all the schools the significance of the February 22d anniversary 
was fully explained in a degree of prominence never before attempted here. 
Thousands of children were in the parade and listened to patriotic addresses 
and teachings. 

The high school alumni was organized in 1895 at Oakland. A committee of 
forty persons was appointed by Principal McChesney to carry the organization 
into efifect. Fred L. Button was elected president of the Alumni Association. In 
September, 1896, the Union high school at Livermore opened with a total of forty- 
four students, which number was later increased to nearly sixty. Principal Connel 
was in charge of the school. 

In October the teachers' institr^te held an important session in the high school 
building, Oakland. There was a large attendance of teachers from all parts of 
the county. Professors Greggs of Stanford University and Bailey of the Univer- 
sity of California delivered strong and instructive addresses. 

In January the California Teachers' Association met in the High School 
building, Oakland. Many women were present. The attendance was large and 
enthusiastic. Spirited discussions of instruction methods and important papers 
enlivened the order of exercise. 

In 1897 there was started a movement to pension J. C. Pelton, who was one 
of the fathers of the public school system in California. After many years of 
self-sacrificing devotion to the cause of education he had become poor and largely 
helpless, and depended upon the sale of his poetic production by his two little 
girls for a livelihood. They sold his books on the ferry boats that plied across 
the bay. 


In 1900 citizens of Berkeley provided for the construction of a new high 
school building, but the board of education did not feel able to provide the school 
with books. This fact caused the alumni of the school to give it the nucleus of 
a library. The sum of $500 was needed with which to accomplish this object. 
In order to raise this amount the Alumni Association presented two plays, "The 
First Time" and "The Spy." 

The county institute met at Oakland in October, 1900, with Mr. McClymonds 
presiding. The principal speaker on the first day was President D. S. Jordan 
of Stanford university, who addressed the teachers on the subject of "China." 
The session was devoted to the consideration of broad educational subjects. 

In 1901 the report of T. O. Crawford, county school superintendent, showed 
that the total receipts for the fiscal year were $681,475, and th'e total expenses 
$569,723. The state census showed 31,940 children of school age in the county, 
of which number 22,586 were enrolled. There were 302 teachers in the primary 
and grammar grades. There was a deficit of $17,104 in the Oakland high school. 
There were 1,731 pupils in private schools. 

The Associated Kindergartens of Oakland, during the holidays of 1902, gave 
a large benefit in Woodman hall and cleared several hundred dollars. The work 
of this organization was very important at this time. The Oakland Central 
kindergarten was the second here and was established in the Bible class of Mrs. 
P. D. Browne of the First Presbyterian church in 1880. Miss Houseman had 
charge of the school near the foot of Broadway. Miss Anita de Laguna was 
her assistant. F. M. Smith and wife gave free the use of their beautiful grounds 
for the annual fete. In 1902 Mrs. F. M. Smith was president of the Associated 
Kindergartens of Oakland. 

In 1906 it became manifest that the board of education, sooner or later would 
be compelled to furnish separate schools for the Orientals — Chinese, Japanese, 
Coreans, etc. In October the Harrison Street school in particular was filled with 
Oriental children, who were in a majority there. The Manual Training and Com- 
mercial high school was formerly known as the Polytechnic high. 

In August, 1906, the school bond proposition carried — but by a remarkably 
small vote — 792 in the whole city. The amount of bonds was $280,000. The 
report of the Teachers' Annuity and Retirement Fund Association of this county 
made the following showing in July, 1905: Amount paid in by subscribers, 
$12,849.50; interest on deposits, $845.75; amount paid out, $5,505.11. Original 
number of subscribers was 228 ; present number 80. 

At the close of 1907 every hamlet and settled section in the county was pro- 
vided with a good school, with capable teachers and all necessary apparatus and 
equipment. Over $1,500,000 was spent upon the county schools this year and 
the great increase in population was sufficient proof that still greater expense 
would be required in coming years. George W. Frick was county superintendent. 
Hay wards had a splendid modern school building; so did San Leandro, Liver- 
more, Centerville and others. There were eight high schools in the county 
at this time — one in Berkeley, one in Alameda, two in Oakland, one each 
at Livermore, Centerville, Haywards and Melrose. The attendance was 2.565. 
The average daily attendance in the grammar schools in 1906 was 20,386, and 
in 1907, 22,900; total number of teachers in 1906. 740; in 1907, 814. Total 
amount received from all sources for the support of public schools — 1906. $1,697,- 


195; 1907, $1,798,009. The Alameda county teachers' institute and retirement 
fund was sustained by voluntary assessment of its members and was intended 
for the support of retired teachers. 

There were few school systems in the country in 1907 that possessed play- 
grounds for children. Within three years thereafter the playground movement 
had swept the country and over four hundred cities owned such additions to 
educational advancement. Oakland and Alameda possessed them in 1910, but 
not yet Berkeley. Play supervision had accomplished wonders by excluding 
undesirables and systematizing exercises. The first playground movements in 
Oakland were experiments at the Prescott and Tompkins schools in 1909. There 
was an enormous attendance and in October the city council appropriated $10,000 
for the use of the playground commission. Soon another playground was estab- 
lished at Bushrod park and covered 300 square feet. In 1910 the DeFremery 
grounds at Sixteenth and Poplar streets were opened, and soon afterward another 
at the Garfield school. Outdoor games and dances were popular. At this time, 
1910, the playground tracts were Bay View, Peralta, Bushrod, DeFremery and 
San Antonio. 

Among the most prominent private schools of the county in 1908 were the 
Horton School, Anderson's Academy at Irvington, Miss Head's School, Not