Friday, December 26, 2008

Norma Ng Lau (1923-2004): Oakland City Auditor, Pioneering Woman

[Photo of Norma Ng Lau and obituary from the SF Chronicle; Photo of Lau gravesite by Michael Colbruno]

Norma Ng Lau was born Jan. 2, 1923, at the home of her parents, Ng Shun Kay and Alice Jung Ng of Oakland, under the sign of the goat according to the Chinese calendar. She was the oldest of four children.

Norma Ng Lau was elected five times as Oakland's city auditor.

As a baby, she could not drink cow's milk, so her father found a neighbor with goats, and her parents fed her goat's milk every day.

She attended Oakland's Lincoln School and later University High School, which was a feeder school for UC Berkeley. In 1944, she graduated from Cal as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. At Berkeley, she met her future husband, Chris Lau. They were married in 1944.

In addition to raising her two children in the 1950s and '60s, Ms. Lau helped her parents run a small grocery store on Oakland Avenue. While she worked behind the counter, she studied for the state's certified public accountant examination. She later also became a certified internal auditor and a certified fraud examiner.

Her political career did not start until she was 54 -- and at first it was just a whim. She was urged to run for city auditor by friends, family and co-workers. She won after a runoff.

Ms. Lau prided herself on being able to get along with everyone in Oakland's diverse political spectrum. Although she received endorsements from all factions in Oakland politics, she never publicly supported candidates.s

Her audit results of city programs sometimes made headlines.

In the 1980s, she exposed a series of bogus names on the city's payroll in the Office of Economic Development. In the early 1990s, she uncovered overpayments to health care providers and excessive, fraudulent cell phone use by city employees.

In 1998, an audit of funds to upgrade Oakland's emergency-response system revealed that $1.3 million worth of computer equipment was missing without explanation or documentation.

After her retirement, she wrote a mystery novel set in the Chinatown of Parkland, an imaginary East Bay city much like Oakland. She was editing the manuscript at the time of her death, her daughter said.

Ms. Lau was active in her profession and in her community. She was president of the local Institute of Internal Auditors and international secretary of its parent organization. In 1999, the national Association of Government Accountants recognized her for distinguished local government leadership.

A member of Business and Professional Women and board president of Citizens for Better Nursing Home Care (now known as Ombudsman Inc.), she was named a woman of achievement by the Soroptimists in 1980 and woman of the year in 1982 by the National Women's Political Caucus.

Most recently, she was a board member of Purple Silk, a program that teaches children to play Chinese music using traditional instruments in Oakland.

She died in Oakland of cancer.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Joseph Stickney Emery (1820 – 1909): Stonecutter, Businessman, Emeryville founder, Original Trustee

[Photo from Oakland Tribune; Picture of Emery burial plot by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 1, Lot 352

Joseph Stickney Emery was born in Pembroke, New Hampshire in 1820, whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War.

Emery came around the Horn to California aboard the John Marshall arriving on September 18, 1850. Unable to resist the call of the gold fields, he went to the mines in Butte County, but in 1851 returned to San Francisco hoping to find work when he heard that a fire had destroyed the city.

He was a farm boy who had learned the stonecutter’s trade during ten years he spent in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Shortly after his arrival he spent six months supervising the building of the San Francisco County Jail. That spring he developed the stone quarry on Yerba Buena Island, the first quarry from which stone was taken to San Francisco, and he later developed quarries on Angel Island. For the next several years he engaged in contracting, working on some of the major buildings of the area. He furnished most of the stone for the building of the Mare Island dry dock as well as the U. S. Mint in San Francisco.

While he lived in San Francisco he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Vigilance Committee of 1856.

In 1858, he moved across the Bay to Oakland. In 1859 he settled on 185 acres he had bought in Alameda County, now the site of Emeryville, and he served as a trustee of that town for a number of years. Emeryville is probably the oldest inhabited land in the East Bay, as it was home to the Costanoan Indians who left behind skeletons, artifacts and camp-refuse. He played a key role in the formation of the town as a member of the Town Board of Trustees.

His other interests included the Blue Lakes Water Company of Amador County, the Telegraph Avenue horse-car line that ran from Oakland to Berkeley, a rail line that ran from 14th & Broadway to his home and then to the Bay, the California and Nevada Narrow Gauge (Rail) Line and the Oakland Home Insurance Company (which later became Fireman’s Fund Insurance).

Perhaps his greatest achievement was supervising the dredging of the channel at the Oakland Estuary. This allowed the ferries to run regularly from Oakland to San Francisco. This accomplishment allowed for the transcontinental railroad terminus to be built in Oakland, causing the city’s rapid growth into a major California port and industrial center.

He was an original director and later president of the Mountain View Cemetery Association. Historian Dennis Evanosky points out an interesting irony about Emery's resting place, it contains no gravestone and Emery was a stone cutter.

[This bio written by Mountain View Cemetery docent Barbara Smith with additional information added by Michael Colbruno]

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hiram Tubbs (1824-1897): Hotelier, Rope Maker, Land Owner, Founding Trustee

[Photos of Tubbs Family Vault by Michael Colbruno; Tubbs House rendering courtesy of the Oakland Public Library]

Plot 4, Family Vault

Hiram Tubbs was born in Concord, New Hampshire in 1824. He married Abby Ann Stanyan in 1844 while living in Boston and running a hotel. She died in 1851, and he then married Susan Ann Staniels.

Hiram Tubbs arrived in San Franciscio aboard the steamer Tennessee in 1853, joining his brother Alfred Tubbs who arrived three years earlier. The Tennessee wrecked in shoals outside of the Golden Gate and Hiram and his wife Susan had to wade ashore at low tide.

Tubbs joined his brother in business opening what eventually became known s Tubbs Cordage Company, a rope-making and marine cordage company that sold to ship riggers and mining companies throughout the Western United States, Mexico, Peru, China and Japan. The plant was located east of Potrero Hill in San Francisco in an area known as Dogpatch. The company was a major San Francisco employer and operated until 1962.

In 1857, the brothers sent for their father Michael Tubbs, a hotel owner and stage coach operator. Upon his arrival he opened the Tubbs Hotel on East 12th Street, which burned to the ground in 1893. While it was in operation, the Tubbs family entertained many members of high society at the hotel.

The Tubbs brothers were staunchly pro-Union and donated $1,000-per-month to the Sanitary Commission, an early version of the Red Cross.

Hiram Tubbs became a major property owner and one of the first to buy large tracts of land east of the lake. His major purchased was a 400-acre farm near Captain Jack Hays behind Piedmont. He also became one of the first major purchasers of land in Napa Valley.

He also became interested in establishing rail lines in the East Bay. His major creation was the Oakland, Brooklyn and Fruitvale Railroad, a street car system that ran up 12th Street to 13th Avenue and for twenty years it was the only connection to East Oakland other than 7th Street. It operated with four cars, 22 horses and numerous workers. The tracks eventually became the property of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Tubbs was at the meeting at Dr. Samuel Merritt’s home on December 26, 1863 where the concept of Mountain View Cemetery was first imagined. A year later, he was elected the first Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. Merritt was elected as President and Jeremiah Whitcher was elected Secretary.

Records show that of all the original trustees, he remained the most engaged and enthusiastic about the cemetery. In 1865, he and Dr. O.P Warren built the first family vaults hoping that it would encourage others to do the same. These vaults can be seen on Plot 4 leading to the maintenance yard.

On January 9, 1888, Mountain View denizen Anthony Chabot died and Tubbs allowed his body to be placed in his family vault for ten days while Chabot’s plot was being prepared.

Tubbs died in 1897. Accounts of his memorial service at his home describe a house filled to the rafters with flowers and a portrait ringed with sweet peas.

His wife, Susan Tubbs, died in1905. The couple had nine children, five of whom lived to adulthood. The four daughters were Susan Grace Henshaw, Mrs. W.G. Henshaw, Lillie Hall, Jr. and May Greenwood. Their only adult son, Herman Tubbs, was killed in an accident in Sausalito shortly before her death. Music was prohibited at his memorial service for fear that his mother would be too overcome with emotion.

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Addison Crane (1814-1887): Judge, Politician, Founding Trustee of Mountain View Cemetery

[Photo of Addison Crane grave by Michael Colbruno - click to enlarge]

Plot 1, Lot 312

Addison Crane was born in New York in 1814. At age 17, he began teaching school during the winters and also studying. He had become interested in law while listening to legal cases being argued in his father’s home.

In 1835, he moved to Alleghany County, New York and was hired by the law firm Benedict Lagley. By July 1841, he was licensed to practice in the Supreme Court and the Court of Chancery of the State of New York.

In October 1839, Crane married the former Gertrude Ashley and started a large family. In 1843, the family packed up and moved to Lafayette, Indiana. Crane became a law partner of Daniel Mace, and later of Edward H. Brackett.

In January 1847, he was elected as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, which heard civil cases. It was abolished by the new constitution of Indiana in 1851. Crane decided to take a trip down the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and ended up in New Orleans. The following year he decided to travel to California and he eventually ended up in San Lorenzo — then known as Squatterville.

He tried his hand at farming but was drawn back to the law and politics. In 1853, Alameda County was formed out of portions of Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties. In April of that year, elections were held and Crane was elected the first County Judge of Alameda County, serving from 1853 to 1857. In October 1853, his wife and six children joined him after sailing around the Horn. They settled in Hayward and had three more children.

As a judge he often ruled against Horace Carpentier, a notorious figure in Oakland history, who used his legal training to deviously obtain titles to desirable land. Crane believed that Carpentier had transcended his rights. In protest, Carpentier and his associates then set up cabin in the middle of Broadway Street, but squatters and other settlers compelled him to remove it.

1861 was a good year for him politically, but disaster struck when his house burned to the ground when his children attempted to smoke a mouse out of a hole in the attic. He still managed to get elected as a Republican to the California State Senate. Two years later, he was elected as a member of the Union Party and was elected as President pro tempore of the California State Senate.

Crane was a vocal opponent of discrimination and supported the women’s suffrage movement. In 1867, at the Union County Convention, he offered a resolution that called for an end to discrimination against the “…better educated of the colored people in this State.” He also promoted a concealed weapon law driven by fear over escalating tensions between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces.

On the floor of the Senate he railed against slavery, “An institution, sir, wicked in its inception, cruel, relentless and unpitying in all its forms, degrading alike to all classes, making honest labor a dishonor, merchandise of the bodies and souls of men, shutting out the light of the advancing civilization of the age, and reducing to mere chattels the laborers who till the soil. This institution of human slavery is the great black ulcer which has eaten the vitals of our national existence, through the ignorance and darkness which it carries in its train. Without this, and its attendant consequences, we should have had no rebellion, no war, no such attempt as now exists to overwhelm in blood and slaughter this great and free Government.”

Crane attended the meeting at Dr. Samuel Merritt’s home on December 26, 1863 where the concept of Mountain View Cemetery was first dreamed up by Oakland’s leading citizens.

Addison Crane died in Oakland of pneumonia on October 21, 1887.

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George E. Grant (1818-1888): Wealthy Businessman; Founding Trustee of Mountain View Cemetery

Plot 2 Lot 24

George E. Grant was born on October 23, 1823 and was a native of Lyme, New Hampshire. He was educated at Hannover, where he also got his first job as a clerk in the local store.

He married the former Ellen Louisa Daggett of Maine. He arrived in San Francisco via the Isthmus of Panama around 1850 and eventually settled in Oakland.

The son of a farmer, Grant became a wealthy man on the West Coast. He was an investor in the Key Route Railway, owned cattle in Cambria, ran a dairy business, and was an investor in the Union Savings Bank of Oakland along with Mountain View denizens Robert Farrelly and Thomas Prather.

In 1895, Grant prevailed in a lawsuit against the city of Oakland which had tried to declare his tract of land as public property.

He died of pneumonia at his home on 1253 Third Avenue on December 3, 1904, survived by his wife and his two children, Abbie Wendt (Mrs. Charles William Wendt) and George E. Grant , Jr. Among his pallbearers, were Mountain View denizens George Pardee, Joseph Emery and Isaac Requa. Grant was the Vice President of the Mountain View Cemetery Trustees at the time of his death. Grant specifically requested that there be no music at his memorial service.

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Solomon E. Alden (1812-1881): Farmer, Founding Trustee of Mountain View Cemetery

[Picture of Alden property from 1878 edition of Thompson and West; Photo of Alden grave marker by Michael Colbruno - click images to enlarge]

Plot 1, Lot 347

Solomon E. Alden was a descendant of the Pilgrims who settled in Massachusetts. He came to California in 1850, settling in Alameda County in 1852. Census tracts list his occupation as “farmer.” His only daughter married John McElrath a colonel in the Confederate Army.

According to the August 31, 1889 issue of the Oakland Daily Evening Trinity, at one time almost all of the Temescal area was owned by Solomon Alden. Alameda County records list his property at 300 acres. Friends used to come to his house to eat cherries and chat.

Note the ad above, which simply lists his address as Temescal. From 1899 to 1908 the post office in North Temescal was known as the Alden Post Office. When he died the property was turned over to his daughter, Mrs. J.E. McElrath.

That same year, the Assessor’s office listed him as the fourth wealthiest property owner in Alameda County after Edson Adams, Samuel Merritt and Frederick Delger, all of whom are buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

He also served as a Director of the Oakland Bank of Savings along with Mountain View Cemetery denizens Walter Blair and Frederick Delger.

He died of diabetes in 1881.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jeremiah Whitcher (1817-1888): Surveyor, Original Mountain View Trustee

[Photo of Whitcher family plot by Michael Colbruno; 1860 Oakland map courtesy of the Oakland Public Library - click to enlarge]

Plot 21, Lot 15

Jeremiah Elkins “J.E.” Whitcher was born on June 23, 1817 in Andover, New Hampshire. On April 20. 1843, he married Henrietta Martin in Dubuque, Iowa.

In 1842, Whitcher created one of the first official surveys of the Iowa territory along the Mississippi River. His work followed these instructions, “[F]or the survey of the valuable islands in the Mississippi River, not heretofore surveyed, having regard to the timber or quality & location of soil, and those only which are embraced in this surveying district.”

Census records next find Whitcher living in Oakland in 1860, with his occupation described as “surveyor.” The 1870 census lists his occupation as a civil engineer and then in the 1880 census, he is again listed as a surveyor. A famous map of Oakland [see above] was created by Whitcher and bears his name. He can also be found as a surveyor for the railroads and projects in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Many of the early tract maps in Oakland bear his name.

The day after Christmas in 1863, Whitcher and a group of prominent Oakland leaders met to organize Mountain View Cemetery. Thirteen months later they met again and elected Dr. Samuel Merritt as President of the Board of Trustees, Hiram Tubbs as Treasurer and J.E. Whitcher as Secretary. They also appointed Rev. Samuel T. Wells as the first Superintendent. In 1870, the Trustees elected a whole new leadership team and Whitcher was replaced as Secretary by Edmund P. Sanford.

He apparently had other interests, as well, as records show him being granted the rights to a rail line on Second and Franklin streets in 1872 along with H. F. Shepardson, Theodore Meets and Hugh Slicer. Slicer is also buried at Mountain View.

On February 26, 1876, as chair of the local Republican Party, Whitcher led the convention that nominated Enoch Homer Pardee to be Mayor of Oakland. Pardee was elected and succeeded Mack Weber. Pardee only served one term, but 16 years later his son George would be elected Mayor and later Governor of California. The Pardees are also buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Plot 1.

On August 11, 1870, along with Colonel Jack Hays and other Oaklanders, Whitcher played a prominent role in organizing a society of Alameda County Pioneers.

He died in Oakland in January 1888 of kidney failure and is buried in a family plot near the Cogswell monument.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

William Faulkner: Publisher, Original Cemetery Trustee, Coined "dinky"

[Photo of Faulkner burial site by Michael Colbruno; gravestone is missing; click image to enlarge]

Plot 4, Lot 22

William Faulkner was born December 2, 1808 in Guilford, Connecticut of Scottish and English descent. Following in his father’s footsteps he became a printer and publisher. He began publishing the Norwich Republican in 1828 and published the Norwich News from 1843 to 1848.

Faulkner came to San Francisco from Norwich, Connecticut around the Horn on the ship Trescott. After he boarded in Norwich, the ship left Mystic, Connecticut on January 30, 1849 and the journey took 184 days. According to passenger journals, on July 4th, a play was performed about the ship. The play lasted from seven to ten in the evening and was performed on deck under a tent set up especially for the event. Some of the female passengers provided shawls and dresses for the men who performed female roles.

Upon his arrival in San Francisco, Faulkner founded the Pacific News at the corner of Jackson and Kearney. He had brought his printing equipment with him on the Trescott and printed his first edition nineteen days after his arrival. The paper had four pages and published every morning, except for Sunday.

By 1850, there were seven newspapers publishing in San Francisco, including the Journal of Commerce, published by Washington Bartlett. The Pacific News was successful despite the competition, bringing in $500 a day in ad revenue and making a profit of $10,000 a month. Nonetheless, it ceased publication in 1851 and Faulkner sold his equipment.

According to the Dictionary of American Regional English, the first use of the word “dinky,” originally meaning a small boat, was in the Pacific News on November 27, 1849.

Faulkner died in Oakland on March 26, 1878

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Richard "RW" Heath: Mexican War Hero, Vintner, Politician, Original Cemetery Trustee

[Photo of Mtn View docent Stafford Buckley and Heath family plot by Michael Colbruno; click to enlarge]

Plot 2, Lot 55

Richard W. Heath (Jan. 30, 1823-Feb. 6, 1875) was a native of Bladensburg, Maryland. He married the former Mary Elizabeth Allen (1829-1901) in Richmond, Virginia and together they had twelve children.

Heath was hailed as a hero in the Mexican War having served almost the entire duration of the conflict. After the war he was ordered with the U.S. forces to California where he became the quartermaster for the Pacific Division. On his voyage to California, the captain of the Cruces steamship died and Heath took the helm and completed the trip around the Horn. He arrived on February 28, 1849.

That same year, he became a member of the first California State Assembly. He also served as a pilot commissioner of the San Francisco harbor and took part in the founding of San Joaquin County.

In 1856 he was promoted to Brigadier-General of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, of the California Militia.. In his civilian life, he was known as the “Tobacco King” and owned a shop with a Mr. Horne.

Records also show that he was invited to attend the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856, but he refused to serve.

In 1872, Heath bought a 1,500-acre property at what is now Edge Hill Vineryard in Oakville. He died here on February 6, 1875 and his body was transported to Mountain View Cemetery for burial. Tragically, his 16-year-old daughter Marbury Ewell Heath died a month after him of heart disease .

His winery was passed on to his son Richard Shelden Heath, who sold it to William Scheffler in 1879 after quickly going bankrupt.

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Rev. Samuel Taggart Wells: Preacher & Original Mountain View Trustee

[Photo of Wells family plot by Michael Colbruno; click to enlarge]

Plot 31, Lot 15

Reverend Samuel Taggart Wells was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts on August 6, 1809. At the age of six his family moved to the Genesee Valley in New York.

In 1834 he began studies at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. He went on to study theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and received his clerical license in 1843.

In 1842, he married the former Catherine McPherson of Schenectady, New York and the couple had four children. She died in 1853 and he remarried in 1857.

In 1843, he began a 12-year stint working for the American Tract Society giving away religious books. During this time he lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The American Tract Society was founded on May 11, 1825 for the following purpose: “To make Jesus Christ known in His redeeming grace and to promote the interests of vital godliness and sound morality, by the circulation of Religious Tracts, calculated to receive the approbation of all Evangelical Christians.”

In 1855, he moved to Dubuque, Iowa where he organized sixteen churches for the Synodical Missionary. Wells arrived in California from Iowa in 1860 and was involved in religious work. Upon his arrival, he became the interim minister at the Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. He replaced the famous and controversial Dr. William Anderson Scott, who opposed the vigilante committees. Scott’s refusal to take sides in the Civil War led to his resignation and Wells’ appointment.

During the early 1860s he preached regularly in Hayward, San Lorenzo and other parts of Alameda County.

His obituary states that he became the first superintendent of Mountain View Cemetery, serving from 1864-1870. On April 7, 1870, Wells offered to buy Mountain View’s marble quarry in Amador County. The trustees approved the sale contingent upon Wells resigning as both a trustee and superintendent. Other biographical information lists him as one of the founders of the cemetery. It is believed that Wells played a crucial role in selecting and hiring Frederick Law Olmsted to design the cemetery.

In the early 1870s, he moved to Ventura County where he purchased a 300-acre ranch near Saticoy and set up a church. His property became quite valuable when the coastal roads were built.

When he died in 1896 his body was shipped back to Oakland for burial.

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Joseph Addison "JA" Mayhew: Sherriff, Businessman, Original Cemetery Trustee

[Photo of Mayhew plot by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 13, Lot 72

Joseph Addison “JA” Mayhew was born in Massachusetts in 1825. He served as the third sheriff of Alameda County in the 1860s. He came to California in search of gold, but after having limited success he moved to Oakland.

While in Oakland he became interested in politics and became one of the founders of the Republican Party and was chairman of the Alameda County Republican Party in 1861. He was elected county sheriff in 1861 and served until September 2, 1863. He created a furor after the Civil War when he became a Democrat.

As sheriff, Mayhew oversaw the first legal hanging in Alameda County on May 9, 1862. The criminal was Edward Bonney, who had been indicted for stabbing a man. He received a 14-day respite from Governor Leland Stanford and almost escaped from jail. The hanging took place at the San Leandro Court House Hall and was attended by 40 invited guests.

In 1862, along with the famed Rev. Thomas Starr King he raised money for the relief of sick and fallen soldiers from the Civil War.

He should not be confused with his uncle, Jonathan Mayhew (1819-1886), who was elected from the Washington District to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in 1858. Jonathan and JA Mayhew did work together, however, operating Mayhew’s Landing in Newark, California. [Property records show the land was titled to Jonathan Mayhew]. The two men operated a fleet of bay sloops and schooners between Mayhew’s Landing and San Francisco before the advent of the railroad in the area. They also owned a lumber yard and warehouses, where they built vessels. Both men were known as “Captain Mayhew.”

JA Mayhew owned 1,500 acres of land near Newark where he raised cattle. According to his family, he built the Senator Fair House in Newark in 1858 as a home for his wife, the former Ann Frances Fisher. He was a trustee of the Alameda Presbyterian Church in Centerville, served on the Board of the Alameda Valley Railroad, was a staunch defender of the Union cause during the Civil War, served on many cattlemen and agricultural boards, as well as being a founding trustee of Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.

Mayhew became a wealthy man but ended up losing all of his money. He died on October 24, 1901 at the Alameda County Infirmary from cirrhosis.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

John Swett (1830-1913) - Education Reformer

[Photo of John Swett gravestone by Michael Colbruno]

Historians have called John Swett the founder of public education in California. As schooljohnswettstate superintendent of public instruction (1863-1867), he laid the groundwork for a statewide system of public schools in California and influenced educators in other states.

He came from New Hampshire to California in 1853, bringing with him ideals of public education that were developing in New England in the first half of the nineteenth century. After working for a few unhappy months in the gold fields, he began teaching at Rincon School in San Francisco. His ideals about teaching led him to run for the state superintendency. In that office he persuaded the legislature to increase state, school district, and local tax provisions for schools. He expanded the authority of the state board of education and required school administrators to collect and report information that would lead to the improvement of the schools. He got state funding for teachers’ institutes and school libraries.

After he returned to teaching in San Francisco he and his wife Mary Louise (Tracy) purchased a house into which they welcomed such visitors as John Muir. Later, at Muir’s suggestion, they purchased property in Alhambra Valley next to the Strentzel ranch. John Swett and his son Frank developed “Hill Girt Ranch” as a fruit ranch with specialization in grapes and grape juice, and John and Mary retired there in 1895.

While living there, Mary Swett served as a trustee for the Alhmbra School District and was also active in the local chapter of the California State Woman Suffrage Educational Association. In 1901 John Swett helped organize the Alhambra Union High School District, combining five districts with Martinez at the center, and served as president of the Board of Trustees of the high school. In 1910 he was appointed honorary lecturer in education at the University of California.

He received honorary degrees from Dartmouth College and the College of California, and in 1913 he and John Muir were together given honorary degrees by the University of California.

[Biography taken from the Martinez Historical Society]

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Benjamin Parke Avery (1828-1875) - Newspaper Editor, Author, Diplomat

[Photo of Avery gravesite by Michael Colbruno; Click on photo for larger view]

Benjamin Parke Avery was born in New York, received no formal education and was trained as a bank-note engraver.

In 1849, he relocated to California in the 1849 Gold Rush. He was a gold miner and owner of a general store until 1856, when he established a weekly newspaper in North San Juan, the Hydraulic Press. The Hyraulic Press was notable for its staunch opposition to slavery.

In 1860 he became Assistant Editor of another paper, the Marysville Appeal, and in 1861 was appointed California's State Printer by Governor Leland Stanford. In the late 1860s Avery joined the San Francisco Bulletin, and in 1872 became Editor of the Overland Monthly.

Avery was one of the founders of the San Francisco Art Association and School of Design. He was also an author and graphic artist, and his works include "Californian Pictures in Prose and Verse" and "California as I Saw It." Californian pictures in prose and verse (1878) contains his "word-sketches," which are largely confined to California scenery, although some picture Native Americans and miners whom he knew when he prospected on the Trinity River in 1850 as well as the city of San Francisco. Most of the book is devoted to poems and essays dealing with mountains of the Coast Range, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Santa Cruz range and their passes and lakes; Yosemite, upper Sacramento Valley, Mount Shasta, and the geysers.

In 1874 he was appointed US Minister to China, and he was still serving at the time of his death. He played an important role in calming China and Japan, which were then on the verge of war. He died in Beijing.

Avery was married, but had no children.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Henry Durant (1802 - 1875): First UC President; Oakland Mayor

[Gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 9, Lot 30

Henry Durant had been a Congregational clergyman in Massachusetts for several years, and had taught at Yale before his arrival in California at the age of 50 on May 1, 1853 with the dream of establishing a college in the rough, new state. Shortly after his arrival he met Rev. Samuel Willey, another New Englander who had been sent by the American Missionary Society in 1849 to bring Christianity to the miners. Willey had hoped to promote public and private schools, and eventually found a college, but his audience had not been receptive. The two joined forces and, with the support of a committee of ministers, the Contra Costa Academy was opened in Oakland as a college preparatory school.

In the beginning, Henry Durant and three pupils met upstairs in a house at Fifth and Broadway. The rent of $150 a month, plus the $150 a month Durant had to pay the couple who acted as caretaker and cook proved to be more than the school could afford. When the couple did not receive their pay as promised, they took matters into their own hands and opened a bar on the lower floor. Durant was horrified and got the court to order the bar closed. Clearly, something had to be done. He found some property between 12th and 14th Streets and Franklin and Harrison. After they purchased the property, somehow Durant and the committee scraped up $3,000 toward construction of the first building, an amount insufficient to finish it. Worried that the contractor might try to repossess it, the mild-mannered Durant slept in the unfinished building with an axe under his bed. When the building was finished, Durant changed the name to the College School.

According to Beth Bagwell in Oakland, the Story of a City, “Durant’s dream came closer to reality in 1855 when the state granted a charter for the College of California. The college existed on paper for five more years, but beginning in 1857, the College School was preparing students to enter it. By 1859 there were seventy students at the academy from all over the state. They paid $365 a year for tuition and board.”

In 1860, the College of California finally opened in a small building on the campus of the College School, and Durant, who had been principal of the school, became a professor of Greek and Moral Philosophy in the new college. Taking his place as principal of the preparatory school was the Rev. Isaac H. Brayton who, just a few years later, would sell his own hillside property to his fellow trustees of the new Mountain View Cemetery Association. And Dr. Willey who had helped bring the whole idea to life, was made Vice President and Financial Agent. Money problems continued to plague the young institution. Rev. Brayton himself advanced money to build needed buildings, and finally bought the College School which continued to provide students for the new College of California.

While finances were still a problem, help was on the horizon. In response to the full flowering of the Industrial Revolution, in 1862 Congress passed the Morrill Act which granted each state public lands to finance the establishment of agricultural, mining and mechanical arts colleges, later known as “A & M’s”. Such a philosophy was in sharp contrast to the tradition of liberal arts colleges in the east where practical courses were not considered scholarly.

In 1863, the California legislature did a study on the feasibility of establishing a State University, and the next year formally accepted 150,000 acres as California’s portion of public lands under the Morrill Act. In 1866 the legislature agreed to establish an agricultural, mining and mechanical arts college, and the following year decided to locate it in Alameda County.

Here was the ideal answer to the financial dilemma faced by Rev. Durant and the College of California’s Trustees. The state college would have money from the sale of public lands, and the College of California had several buildings, a 10,000 volume library, a faculty and a student body. In addition, the College of California had acquired 160 acres of vacant farm and hill land near Strawberry Creek north of Oakland in an area the trustees subsequently named “Berkeley,” in honor of philosopher George Berkeley, the Bishop of Cloyne. (Berkeley’s famous words, “Westward the course of empire takes its way...” had inspired the trustees as they looked out through the Golden Gate from their property).

In August of 1867, Durant and the trustees offered all the assets of the College of California to the state with the request that the state would forever maintain a college of letters in addition to the schools of agriculture, mining and mechanical arts. On March 23, 1868, (the date still celebrated as Charter Day) the legislature passed an act “to create and organize the University of California.” Professor John LeConte was named acting president, but in 1870, Henry Durant officially became the University’s first president, a post he held until 1872.

Durant was elected mayor of Oakland in 1873-74, in gratitude for the difficult task he had accomplished in bringing a major educational institution into existence in Oakland’s “sphere of influence.” Henry Durant died in 1875, memorialized in a street name, a hotel, and even a bar ---“Henry’s” in Berkeley’s Durant Hotel.

[Biography courtesy of Mountain View docent Barbara Smith]

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Charles Franklin Doe (1833-1904): Bequethed Doe Memorial Library

Plot 27, Lot 22

Charles Franklin Doe was the twelfth and final child of Bartlett and Elizabeth Doe. His grandfather, John Doe and his grandmother Elizabeth Doe, emigrated from England in 1776 and settled in Parsonsfield, Maine.

Charles was born August 13, 1833 and was in poor health most of his life. He took his first job as a schoolteacher in Parsonsfield but soon found himself ill-prepared and ill-suited for the profession and moved to Boston, working as a carpenter.

In 1850, his brother Bartlett traveled to California, and was joined two years later by his brother John. Together the two brothers formed the firm “B. and J. S. Doe,” a sash, door and blind business.

In 1857, Charles followed them west to San Francisco, and formed a partnership with James Knowland to sell retail lumber. Even though this business partnership dissolved, the company Doe helped found prospered as “Charles F. Doe & Co.”

Unlike many who made their fortunes during this era, there was no wild speculation in western bonanzas. Doe managed his business conservatively with the goal of sure returns on his investment. It is said that Doe lived the simple, placid and staid life of a New Englander. His daily routine seldom varied, including stated hours for his meals, walks and hours of business.

He lived at California and Laguna in San Francisco, was never known to have female companionship other than relatives, and had his house maintained by his niece Martha Swan. He rarely interacted with others, had few friends and seldom traveled.

It was reported that he believed that no one should need more than $500,000. He gave generously to the local orphanages and other organizations benefiting children. He began to discuss philanthropy with his close friend and advisor, H.B. Phillips—especially concerning what would be done with his estate, valued at many times that sum. Doe was impressed with the impact that the Alexandria Library in Egypt had on civilization at that time and began to ponder the founding of a library with his wealth. In 1902, he created a will that left nearly a quarter of his property (then totaling more than $595,000) to the Regents of the University of California, for the construction “…of a library building for its Academic Department….” (It is said that he would have left much more, but California State law at that time limited bequests to benevolent institutions.)

For a man so identified with Cal’s Library, there are strangely no photographs of him—only one daguerreotype seems to exist in Maine, taken just before he left for California. It was said that he felt uncomfortable with the idea of sitting for a portrait. He was described as thin, 5 foot 10 inches in height, weighing 150 lbs., with a long face, full beard; prominent forehead; firmly modeled nose, bushy eyebrows, with the brows and lids well apart.

At the laying of the cornerstone of Doe Library on Thanksgiving Day in 1908 (still in evidence at the northeast corner of the building), his nephew, Loring B. Doe, remembered Charles F. Doe and stated that “…His life was an inspiration to all who came in contact with him. He was the embodiment of honor and integrity, and every dollar invested in this building was honestly acquired. His character was without blemish, and he carried to the grave the love and esteem of all who knew him….” This is the wonderful legacy that continues to benefit scholars today on the Berkeley campus.

[Biography taken from the UC Berkeley Library biography of Doe and a biographical piece written by Benjamin Kurtz for the University of California Chronicle]

[See the post about his sister Nancy Kezar HERE]

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Remillard Family: Brickmakers

[Top two photos by Michael Colbruno - Remillard Family Mausoleum and the Remillard house in Preservation Park; Bottom two photos from Wikipedia - The Countess Dandini and The Carolands]

Remillard Family Mausoleum- Plot 35, Lot 10

The Remillards were the leading brickmakers of the Bay Area in the period following the Gold Rush.

Eleven of twelve Remillard siblings finally emigrated from Canada, led by the eldest, Helaire (1834 - 1902), who went to Boston at age 19 and the learned brickmaking craft.

According to the Oakland Tribune, Helaire arrived in California via the Nicaraguan route in 1854. He immediately headed to the placer mines in Auburn and made enough money to send for his brothers Peter and Edward.

In 1864, Helaire, by then an ex-miner in the Gold Country, and some of his brothers established the Remillard Brick Company in East Oakland (some references list it as Remillard and Brothers). The family later expanded their business to manufacture bricks in Pleasanton, San Jose, and Greenbrae. The Greenbrae kiln remains a landmark along the road between San Quentin and the Larkspur ferry landing, and has served in recent years as an upscale restaurant.

Edward Remillard held many patents related to the improved process of making bricks. In 1867, he briefly returned to Canada and married his cousin Virginia Remillard. They returned to Oakland and lived at 1355 Webster Street.

Peter, (died 1904) the inventor of a new brick process, had an Oakland home that is now part of Preservation Park and pictured above. Peter Remillard’s house may have served as the model for the Morse mansion in Jack London’s Martin Eden. Jack London knew the Remillard family well while he was growing up in Oakland. Peter Remillard’s young daughter, Lillian once acted as a tutor for London who, although older than she, had academic problems. (After dropping out of school at fourteen, he eventually crammed four years of high school into one and was admitted to the University of California -- which proved too tame for his tastes -- and he dropped out again).

By 1879, the Remillards were producing 45,000,000 bricks a year and employed 400 people.

Lillian Remillard was born in Oakland in 1880 to Peter and Laurin Remillard (died 1934) and grew up with many other Mountain View Cemetery denizens including the De Fremerys, Requas, Pardees, Blairs and the Edson Adams family, most of whom relocated to Piedmont after the 1906 earthquake.

After Peter’s death, Lillian and her daughter took over the family business. In 1932 she married a man of meager means who was 20 years her junior, but one who carried a title, the Conte Alesandro Olioli Dandini di Cesena. This made Lillian the Countess Dandini and she became a fixture of high society, founding the da Vinci Society of San Francisco, the Pacific Musical Society and the Opera League of Oakland. She was also a generous patron to the De Young Museum and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. The Count and Countess Dandini divorced after seven years of marriage.

In her later years, the Countess Dandini owned The Carolands, the famous Pullman mansion in Hillsborough. The Carolands was built with Remillard bricks and at the time it was the second largest private home in the United States and the largest west of the Mississippi River. The Countess Dandini died in 1973 at the age of 93. Her ex-husband, now remarried, sued to inherit her estate, but lost.

The Remillards also provided the bricks for most of the early permanent buildings in Oakland and San Francisco, including the Bank of California, Shreve Building, Flood Building and the rebuilt Palace Hotel. According to the Oakland Tribune, at one time, every building made of brick in Oakland was made at least partially from Remillard bricks.

Ironically, neither the family mausoleum or the Peter Remillard house is made of brick.

[Information in this biography is the courtesy of Mountain View Cemetery docent Barbara Smith, with additional research by Michael Colbruno taken from the Hayward Daily Review and the Oakland Tribune]

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Isaac H. Brayton (1822-1869); Pastor, buried on his former property

Plot 2, Lot 105

Isaac Brayton was a minister who came to California from New York in 1850, and shortly became the second pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of San Jose, a post he held until 1852. In true ecumenical spirit, he served in 1855 as the second minister at San Francisco’s First Congregational Church.

Rev. Brayton became an enthusiastic supporter of Rev. Henry Durant’s new Contra Costa Academy opened in 1853. The Academy soon became the College School, and Rev. Brayton attempted to raise funds for the school on a trip east in 1853-54. Brayton was disappointed by the virtual lack of response from would-be eastern donors. Their usual response was, “Everyone in California has so much money from the gold mines, why would they need our contributions?”

The school struggled on at its four-block Oakland campus, always short of money, but finally they decided to open a college on the same campus, the College of California. Durant left his job as principal of the school to teach Greek and Literature at the college, and Brayton succeeded him as school principal, also serving as a part-time college teacher of English, Rhetoric, and Letters.

In 1863-64 Rev. Brayton came into some money when he sold 200 acres to the trustees of Oakland’s newly formed Mountain View Cemetery. This windfall enabled him to buy half of the College of California’s Oakland campus – the portion that held the College School, and to purchase the school’s buildings. He and his wife continued to operate the school which by this time had some 250 students from all over the state.
In the late 1860’s the state finally decided to establish a university, and the College of California was folded in to the new institution.

Isaac Brayton died of tuberculosis in 1869, and is buried on his former property, now Mountain View. Shortly after his death, the new University of California worked out a deal with Mrs. Brayton to trade some of the University’s land above their new Berkeley campus for her land on the Oakland campus. The land Mrs. Brayton received was some 82 acres uphill from Prospect Avenue in Berkeley and is today occupied by hillside homes in the area of Panoramic Way.

[Biography courtesy of Mountain View Cemetery docent Barbara Smith]

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wiggington E. Creed - President of PG&E (1877-1927)

Wiggington Ellis Creed was born February 8, 1877 in Fresno, California. Creed graduated from Oakland High School and attended the University of California in Berkeley, where he later served as president of the Alumni association and as a Regent. He later graduated from the New York Law School.

In 1904, Creed married Isabel Hooper, the daughter of John A. Hooper, the owner of C.A. Hooper Lumber Company.

After finishing law school he returned to the Bay Area and joined the law firm of Titus, Wright & Creed. He served as president of the Columbia Steel Company in Pittsburg, California, C.A. Hooper Lumber Company, East Bay Water Company, Contra Costa County Bank and was a director of the Wells Fargo Nevada National Bank.

His legal work on water issues made him one of the foremost experts on the topic in the state and led to him becoming President of the East Bay (Eastbay) Water Company.

In July 1920, Creed was named president of PG&E, replacing Frank Drum. Creed was an early advocate of the public ownership of stock in utilities. In 1921, he became an outspoken proponent for building a new UC campus at Davis focused on agriculture.

Creed was a generous philanthropist and was involved with the California School of Deaf and Blind, Mills College and the Hooper Foundation.

Creed was a close associate of noted attorney W.I. Brobeck and was scheduled to be a pallbearer at his funeral after Brobeck died on a trip to Alaska. On the day of the funeral he complained that he wasn’t feeling well and canceled. Two days later Creed died of a stroke at age 50 while leaving his home for work.

[Information from the Oakland Tribune archives]

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Vincent Milatovich - Provided Delicacies and Liquor to Gold Rush Miners

[Milatovich gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Vincent Milatovich emigrated from Dubrovnik, Dalmatia and operated a grocery store and saloon in and around Virginia City. His store became one of the largest foreign delicacy business in Nevada. In 1870, Milatovich opened a grocery and liquor store in Reno. His stores specialized in French and Italian wines, truffles, Italian mushrooms, roasted chestnuts, imported cheeses, sardines, herrings, Russian caviar and Pagoliano syrup.

Many Croatians arrived during the Gold Rush to work as miners, settling primarily in Virginia City, Carson City, Reno, Gold Hill and Eureka City. Many Croatians, like Milatovich, chose to make their living in businesses that supported the miners.

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Louis Buddemer - Died at Stanford-Cal Football Game

[Buddemer gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Louis Buddemer (1847-1904) owned one of the largest plumbing companies in Portland, Oregon. A large man with an enormous appetite for sports, Buddemer died when he became excited at the annual “Big Game” between Cal and Stanford and fell from the bleachers.

Although it was initially believed that he had a heart attack, an autopsy revealed that he fractured his upper backbone.

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Gideon Aughinbaugh - Founder of Alameda

[Aughinbaugh gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

For a great biography on Gideon Aughinbaugh, read the article by local historian and Mountain View Cemetery docent Dennis Evanosky at:

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Guido Kustel - Famous Mining Engineer of the Comstock Lode

[Kustel gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Guido Kustel (1817-1882), was a mining engineer and metallurgist who was active in the Comstock Lode and other regions of the west. At one time, no mining engineer on the West Coast was better known than Kustel. He was one of the few engineers who was willing to publish about his experience for the benefit of others.

Mr. Kustel was born in Galacia, Austria (once a part of Poland), and was educated at Freiberg, Saxony. He came to California in 1851, and became a pioneer in the mining regions. When the Washoe excitement broke out he went to Nevada and was among the first to work the silver ores. He started amalgamation works there on the Tyrolean tub-amalgamation principle, and later the pan amalgamation principle. He introduced the roasting and barrel-amalgamation process at the Ophir works, and was for a long time connected with the metallurgical progress of that region.

In 1863 Mr. Kustel published his work on "Processes of Gold and Silver Extraction," which created a sensation. His next works were "Concentration and Chlorination" and "Roasting of Gold and Silver Ores."

With his nephew Ottokar Hoffman, he experimented with the lixiviation of ores. Kustel obtained several patents and he discovered a new mineral, a combination of lead and gold, found on the Comstock Lode. It was subsequently named 'Kustelite'.

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DeWitt Clinton Thompson - Civil War Leader, Businessman, Politician

[DeWitt Thompson gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Dewitt’s insurance certificate reads in part: “...assured is to take his own risk of death from hostile Indians.”

DeWitt Clinton Thompson (1826-1919) arrived in San Francisco on the steamer California in 1849 where he became one of the founders of the California guard. He distinguished himself by recruiting members for the California Hundred and the California Cavalry Battalion, whose men served in the Civil War. Thompson accompanied the latter group as commanding officer when it went east to join the Massachusetts Cavalry.

After the war Thompson became prominent in San Francisco real estate, brokerage, banking and became a city official in San Francisco. In 1854, he became one of the founders of the State Agricultural Society. In 1865 he organized the National Insurance Company and three years later he founded the California Trust Company. In 1876, he went on to found the Bank of Commerce.

He was appointed Major General of California in 1874.

He died at his home in Santa Rosa on May 13, 1919.

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View Through the Trees

[Photo by Michael Colbruno; click on photo for larger view]

The light at Mountain View Cemetery was particularly intense on July 1, 2008 after days of being covered in a smoky haze from the forest fires in the areas. This view through one of the many old oak trees was particularly intense.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Henderson Luelling - Father of the Pacific Fruit Industry; Founder of Fruitvale

[Luelling gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 10

Henderson Luelling (1810-1879) was a pioneering nurseryman who introduced varietal fruit to the Willamette Valley in Oregon and later to California. In 1847, Luelling, his wife, and eight children came west on the Oregon Trail, bringing a wagon loaded with an assortment of 50 or 60 varieties of apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, quince, black walnuts, hickory nuts, gooseberries, currants, and grapes. All told, the wagon had about 700 young plants, which he loaded into two long, narrow boxes in his wagon that were filled with charcoal, manure, and soil. He assiduously cared for them every day during the long journey, prompting his daughter to exclaim that he cared more about the trees than his family.

In spite of everyone’s advice that he would never get them across the Plains, Luelling got the plants and trees to Oregon, where he took them out of their boxes, wrapped them carefully, and took them to the Columbia River to start a nursery. Ultimately Luelling’s fruit trees became the parent stock of most of the orchards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Settling in Milwaukie, Oregon, Luelling started a nursery with his son-in-law, William Meek. He planted his "traveling orchard," and began grafting trees. By 1853, he had 100,000 trees for sale, selling them for $1 to $1.50 each. By bringing the finest varieties of fruit to Oregon, Luelling greatly advanced horticulture on the west coast.

In 1853, taking advantage of the Gold Rush, Lewelling sold his share of the business to Meek, moved to California, established a nursery and founded the community of Fruitvale in Oakland. Today, Lewelling is known as the Father of the Pacific Fruit Industry. The fruit industry ended up bringing greater wealth to the State of California than all of the gold ever produced there.

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Frederick Gardner Cottrell - Inventor of Electrostatic Precipitators for Pollution Control

[Cottrell gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Frederick Gardner Cottrell (1877-1948) was born in Oakland, California, and his childhood hobbies included photography, electricity, telegraphy, and publishing a weekly newspaper. Cottrell received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1896 and did one year of graduate work there; next he taught high school in Oakland for three years, then journeyed to Europe to study first with Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff in Berlin and later with Wilhelm Ostwald in Leipzig, where he received his doctorate in 1902. He was a professor of chemistry at the University of California, at Berkeley from 1903 to 1911.

However, his primary source of fame is as the inventor of electrostatic precipitators for removal of suspended particles from gases. These devices are widely used for abatement of pollution by smoke from power plants and dust from cement kilns and other industrial sources. He conducted his earliest ventures into electrostatic precipitation at the University of California, at Berkeley. As industrial smokestacks became a common sight at the turn of the century, Frederick Cottrell realized that pollution might be controlled and that valuable raw materials were vanishing into the atmosphere with the unwanted gases.

Cottrell entered the pollution cleanup business because DuPont wanted to eliminate a problem in a process designed to manufacture sulfuric acid. DuPont hired Cottrell in 1906 as a consultant at its facility at Pinole.

In 1907 he applied for a patent that passed high-voltage direct current to a discharge electrode which leaked the charge onto particles passing by in the fumes. These charged particles were then electrically attracted to an electrode with an opposite charge, where they could be collected and retrieved as valuable minerals or chemical compounds. Cottrell's electrostatic precipitator, which became known simply as a 'Cottrell,' used high voltage electricity to remove from 90-98% of the ash, dust, and acid which industrial smokestacks spewed into the air. Today electrostatic precipitators are found mainly on large power plants, cement plants, incinerators, and various boiler application. The term 'cottrell' can still be found in the unabridged dictionary.

In 1911 he resigned from the university to join the United States Bureau of Mines, of which he eventually became director in 1919. There he worked in the World War I programs to develop processes to fix nitrogen for explosives and to distill helium from air for lighter-than-air craft. From 1922 to 1930 he served as the director of the Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory in the Department of Agriculture.

Next to the electrostatic removal of particles from smokestack gases, Cottrell is probably best remembered for his creation of the Research Corporation in 1912 with the help of Charles Walcott, then secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. This foundation was set up to receive income from his patents and the patents of other public-spirited inventors and to distribute these funds to university researchers in the physical sciences as seed money. The Research Corporation provided funds for Ernest Lawrence's development of the cyclotron, R.H. Goddard's experiments with rockets, the processes for volume production of vitamins A and B1, and some of Robert Burns Woodward's early organic syntheses of complex organic molecules like the drug reserpine.

The foundation continues to underwrite scientific research that might not otherwise gain support and has helped to secure and develop over 750 patents.

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Flora Haines Loughead - Mother of Lockheed Corporation

[Loughead gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Flora Haines Loughead (1855-1943) was born in Wisconsin to John Penly and Mary Haines. Loughead was a woman ahead of her time. She was a journalist, married three times, had five children by two husbands, worked her own mining claims, farmed thirty-five acres, wrote many articles, short stories and more than a dozen books. Today, she is probably best remembered as the “Mother of Lockheed Corporation.”

Her first marriage to architect Charles E. Aponnyi ended in divorce after years of physical abuse. The marriage yielded three children, May Hope, Victor Rudolph and John Haines, who died as an infant. In 1886 she married John Loughead (pronounced Lockheed), who adopted the children. Loughead was of Scots-Irish descent, the name indicating that his family lived at the head of a lake. John and Flora had two sons, Malcolm and Allan. Her third husband was David A. Gutierrez, of whom little is known.

In 1902, Flora moved the children, without her husband, to a thirty-five-acre ranch near Alma, California where she raised grapes, prunes and other fruits.

At the turn of the century, making a living on a ranch of this size was difficult, so she began writing feature articles for the San Francisco Chronicle and Sunset magazine. She also embarked on a successful book-writing career, writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her novels included The Man Who Was Guilty, The Black Curtain, and The Abandoned Claim--the last one a children's book featuring a girl heroine named "Hope" after her daughter. She also wrote two standard library reference works, The Libraries of California and The Dictionary of Given Names. She had a scientific as well as a domestic bent, writing The Natural Sciences and Quick Cooking, the latter dedicated to "busy housewives."

In 1912, her sons Allan and Malcolm Loughead founded the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company. This company was renamed the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company and located in Santa Barbara, California. In 1926, following the failure of Loughead, Allan Loughead formed the Lockheed Aircraft Company (the spelling was changed to match its phonetic pronunciation) in Hollywood, California. In 1929 Lockheed sold out to Detroit Aircraft Corporation.

In her eighties, Flora returned to mining and she prospected for opals in mines near the Nevada-California border. Living alone, , she supplemented her income by sealing as many as three dozen opals in small, half-round glass paperweights that sold in department stores for up to five dollars each.

This indomitable mother of an aviation family died on January 27, 1943, the apparent victim of heart failure.

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