have then been named Eden and Suisun. At this epoch of the county's
history, the list of votes was : For Benicia Township, 174 ; for Vallejo,
29 ; and for Suisun, 72. The result of this election, which was held on
March 24th, was :
For County Sheriff Paul Shirley 83
For County Attorney Thomas M. Swan . . 128
For Justice of the Peace, Vallejo Township. >- j ! ^ ai ,^ e " ' '
For Justice of the Peace, Suisun Township. \ TT ^ ^ ' rr ^' " no
r ( U. P. Degman 63
For Constable for Vallejo Township. . ..William E. Brown, D. C. . 28
For Constable for Suisun Township . . . .William Munn 69
On the 9th September, 1850, California was admitted into the Union,
and the pleasing, though foreordained intelligence, was hailed with much
enthusiasm when brought to San Francisco, on the 18th October, 1850. On
September 3, 1851, the first gubernatorial election was held under the new
order of things. The event being so important a one, we reproduce the
entire vote throughout Solano County, as gleaned from the official records
of the county.
THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.
Reading, Pierson B.
No. of Votes.
Benicia. . 182
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
Suisun . .„-„-.;-. .... 41
Baldwin, Drury P.
Benicia. . 166
justice supreme court.
Hastings, S. C.
No. of Votes.
Fair, W. D.
Pierce, Winslow T.
Abell, A. G.
Houston, John S.
Eddy, Wm. M.
THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.
No. of Votes.
Burt, J. M.
Gift, Col. W.
McCORKLE, JOS. W.
Marshall, E. C.
Kewen, E. J. C.
Moore, B. F.
Bryan, D. C.
Va aville 7
No. of Votes.
STATE senator to represent the
COUNTIES OF SOLANO AND NAPA.
Bradford, John S.
Estell, James M.
Long, James H.
memrers of assembly to represent
Graham, James S.
HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.
No. of Votes.
Jones, J. W.
Swan, Thos. M.
Blair, J. D.
Peabody, Wm. F.
Hamm, Samuel F.
No. of Votes.
Evans. O. H.
Hayden, C. W.
Loring, F. R.
Bradley, A. F.
THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.
Howell, E. P.
No. of Votes. Total Votes.
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR OF SOL. CO.
Luce, S. W.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE FOR BENICIA.
Wetmore, C. E. .
Gillis, Calvin . . .
Hyam, B. D . . . .
Lowry, Dick. . .
Bennett, Bill . . .
CONSTABLES FOR BENICIA.
Brown, A. W . .
Brown, Jno. S.
Siddons, Wm. .
Mitchell, I . . . .
Jones, John W
Brown, W. C. .
Andrews, J. H .
DISTRICT JUDGE 7TH JUDICIAL DIST.
Hopkins, Robert 1
Boggs,T. J 1
Whitman, B. C : 1
Lee, Harvey 1
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE FOR VALLEJO.
Hook, Henry 101
Tierney, E. P 36
Leslie, Lyman 77
Shipley, David 31
Veeder, Charles 13
Loveland, J. E 3
CONSTABLES FOR VALLEJO.
Brown, W. A .....116
Bryant, W. T 87
Dupaix, Henry 13
JUSTICES OF PEACE, SUISUN.
Berry, D. K.
Degman, U. P.
Beveridge, David F.
CONSTABLES FOR SUISUN.
Stevenson, G. B.
. . 62
114 THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.
On September 11th, notice was given in accordance with the Fourth
Article of the Constitution of California, by Robert Semple, of his intention
to contest the election of James S. Graham to the seat in the Assembly ;
there is no reason to believe, however, that the case ever came to a recount.
The division of votes showed a democratic preponderance for the State
offices ; while for those of the county, the Whig party had the majority of
In this contest, Bigler, who received twenty-three thousand seven hun-
dred and seventy-four votes in the State ; while Pierson B. Reading, his
Whig opponent, got twenty-two thousand seven hundred and thirty-three,
had the assistance of that new power which had commenced to creep into
the State, in the shape of the squatting element. He was Democratic in
his manners, being " hale fellow " with all. Not so his opponent, who was
a gentleman of more genteel bearing than the kind-hearted, unambitious,
landless Governor, who was always mindful of his friends. Bigler, in all
his messages, urged economy, but found it difficult to prevent an office being
made for a friend. Tuthill remarks: "It was his pet project to unite the
Southern and Western men of his party, and let the free-soilers shift for
themselves ; but it is not in that direction that party cleavage runs. The
Southeners scorned the alliance. They were ' high-toned,' and looked down
upon a Missourian as little better than a man from Massachusetts. The
Governor's project would not work. He carried water on both shoulders,
and spilt very little on either side."
In regard to the election of officers to fill the positions required in those
years, it was very hard to find those willing to, or capable of, undertaking
the arduous duties : besides, everyone was on the qui vive for news of gold
on the first receipt of which, judges and constables alike, would leave their
more dignified duties, and make for the mines, caring not who their succes-
sors might be, or how they were appointed.
But few changes of any political moment occurred in 1852, save the
establishment of a polling precinct at the Suscol rancho, at the residence of
L. Curtis ; and the Presidential election of November 2nd, when we find
the three well-known names among the successful candidates for county
honors, of Judge E. W. McKinstry, now of the Supreme Bench of Califor-
nia, then elected for his first term as Judge of the Seventh Judicial District;
Andrew J. Bryant, the present Mayor of San Francisco, then a Constable
of Benicia township ; and Dr. Sylvester Woodbridge, Junior, the eloquent
pastor of a Presbyterian Chuich, in San Fiancisco, at the time of which
we write, a resident of Benicia, and the first Commissioner of Common
Schools in the county.
On February 19th, of the following year, Sarshel Bynum, resigned his
office, when Joseph P. Vaughn was appointed interim County Clerk, in
which charge he was confirmed, at the general election of 7th September.
THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY. 115
On May 18th, an Act, apportioning the State into certain Senatorial and
Assembly districts, was passed ; the " Tenth Senatorial District," being com-
prised in the counties of Solano, Napa, and Yolo, with power to elect one
Senator, while one member of Assembly was to be returned from each.
It would appear that at this juncture the number of residents in the
county had so increased, that greater facilities had to be given to the public
for recording their votes. The distances from the principal locations of the
townships being so great, new precincts were made ; the city of Benicia
being divided into two wards ; the headquarters of one being at the Pacific
Works, and the other at the Court House. The Vallejo township comprised
Vallejo and Suscol. Wolf skill's and Montezuma belonged to Vacaville ;
while Suisun and Green Valley each had their polling places. At their De-
cember term, the Court of ^Sessions ordered that the salary of the District
Attorney should be fixed at one hundred and twenty-five dollars per month,
or fifteen hundred dollars per annum,, commencing from the first Monday
In the year 1855, a vacancy occurring in the office of County Treasurer,
by the death of John C. Gulick, Jabez Hatch was appointed in his stead.
In this year, too, the Court of Sessions was abolished, and a Board of Su-
pervisors created in lieu thereof. The first Board consisting of Lloyd A.
Rider, A. W. Rodgers, and John C. Fisk, met at Benicia on May 7th, under
the Presidentship of the first-named gentleman, when they appointed
George Leviston to be a Justice of the Peace, vice Alexander Rid dell
On May 4, 1855, an Act of the Legislature was approved, "to take the
sense of the People of the State, at the General Election in A. D. 1855, on
the Passage of a Prohibitory Liquor Law ;" the provisions of which were,
that the manufacture and sale of all spirituous and intoxicating liquors,
except for mechanical, chemical, medicinal and sacramental purposes, should
be prohibited. On being put to the vote in Solano county, the result was :
Yes 143 votes.
No 378 "
The precincts for polling purposes were divided by the Supervisors in
this year, to be as under :
Green Valley 1
On November 13, J. W. Jones was appointed to the position of County
116 THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.
Coroner, vice Larkin Richardson, who had failed to file his certificate of
election. On August 21, 1855, it was directed by the Board that the Su-
pervisoral districts be changed, as under :
District No. 1 <
C Green Valley.
District No. 2 <
District No. 3 < Montezuma.
In the years 1856 and '57, nothing of any moment occurred in the county,
in regard to its political aspect. In 1858 the removal of the county seat
occurred, a full account of which will be found in the chapter on County
Organizations, in this work. On January 22, 1859, the Board of Supervis-
ors accepted the Bond of Captain Waterman, in respect to the handing
over certain lands in Fairfield, for county purposes. On March 14th, they
opened the bids for the erection of the Court House and Jail there, viz :
Larkin Richardson, for Court House and Jail $24,440
J. D. Perkins, for temporary Court House, etc 1,373
And on September 1st, the buildings were handed over by the contractors.
By an Act of the Legislature, approved April 28, 1857, the Supervisors
of the county of Yuba were authorized to subscribe a sum of $200,000 to a
railroad company which should connect the city of Marysville, and either
the city of Benicia or any point on the Sacramento River, at or near
Knight's Ferry or Sacramento City. In May, of the same year, the Super-
visors of Solano county proposed that $250,000 worth of stock should be
taken in the Sacramento and San Francisco Railroad, another company
which had been started with warm advocates in Benicia. The newspapers
of the time ardently urged the adoption of this scheme, and its submission
to the vote of the people, which was afterwards done, and carried by a large
majority. In a little while the Marysville company awoke to a sense of their
danger in the opposition of the contemplated Sacramento road, when the
former association filed their articles of incorporation forthwith, and
commenced operations. The road is set forth as commencing at Marysville,
and extending through Yuba, Sutter, Yolo, and Solano counties, to a point
on the San Pablo Bay, near Vallejo, eighty -five miles in length, which was
expected to cost $3,000,000. The bill was duly introduced into the Senate,
and approved. On April 16, 1859, an Act authorizing the county of Solano
to subscribe $200,000 to the capital stock of this railroad, was approved,
THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY. 117
subject to the accepting thereof by the people, which was submitted to their
vote at the general election of 1859, with the following result :
The Supervisors were empowered to issue bonds bearing interest at the
rate of seven per cent per annum from date of issue, payable half-yearly.
Only $100,000 of these bonds were paid, however, to the company, who, not
having fulfilled the contract under which the amount was subscribed,
an amended Act was submitted to the Legislature, during the regime of
Messrs. Mizner and J. B. Frisbie, as Senator and Assemblyman respectively,
and approved March 26, 1868, by which the California Pacific Railroad
Company, a new corporation which had been started and duly incorporated
under the general laws of the State, were to have assigned and transferred
to them all stock subscribed for the San Francisco and Marysville Railroad
Company. This was not to be limited to the first named corporation, how-
ever, for section 14 of the Act directs : " The said Supervisors are hereby
authorized and empowered to issue and deliver to the proper officers of any
railroad company which may, within two years from the passage of this
Act, complete and have in running order a railroad from the Straits of
Carquinez, or Vallejo Bay, to the northern boundary line of said Solano
county, the same amount of bonds as the said San Francisco and Marysville
Railroad Company would have been entitled to, had its said road have been
fully completed in the year 1861, less the amount already issued." Of the
original stock there is still $112,000 outstanding, which is being reduced at
the rate of $9,000 a year.
An Act, approved May 13, 1861, to separate from the office of County
Clerk, the office of County Recorder took effect on the first Monday of Octo-
ber, and an election for the latter office was also ordered to be held at every
succeeding general election. To the duties of Recorder were added those of
Auditor. An Act was also approved on the 14th of May, in which it was
provided that Road Masters be elected, so soon as the County shall have
been divided into Road Districts, at the general election of Sept. 4th, whose
duties were " to have the care and general supervision of the public roads
within the district, to maintain them in as good repair and to erect such
necessary bridges and culverts as the means at his command will permit ;
and he shall also, by direction of the Supervisors, cause suitable guide-
boards to be erected at the intersection of inrportant roads. He shall
oversee and direct the labor expended upon the roads, and see that teams,
ploughs, scrapers and other implements, are furnished for the road service.
He shall, between the first day of October and the first day of June, in
each year, give to each person in his road district, who is liable to pay road
tax, at least three days notice of the time and place at which such person
shall appear for the purpose of working on the public roads," etc.
118 THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.
In February, 1867, the county was divided into assessment districts con-
forming to those which elected Supervisors, offices which were afterwards
discontinued as being unwieldy.
Nothing of any particular importance to affect the county occurred in the
few following years until 1871 — the year of the Tapeworm ticket; the
following history of which has been kindly supplied by Mr. George A.
FAC-SIMILE OF THE TICKET.
Republican State Ticket. — For Governor, Newton Booth. For Lieutenant Governor, Roraualdo Pacheco. For Secretary of State, Prury Melone.
For Controller, James J. Green. For State Treasurer, Ferdinand Baehr. For Surveyor-General, Robert Gardner. For Attorney-General, John L.
Love. P'or Clerk of the Supreme Court, Grant I. Taggart. For State Printer, Thomas A. Springer. For Harbor Commissioner, John A. McGlynn.
For Amend, to Art. 1 of the Const.— Yes. Refund Debt.— No. For Congressman— Third District, John M. Coghlan. For Assemblyman, M. J. Wright.
For Sheriff, Joseph Jacobs. For Treasurer, E. D. Perkins. For Recorder, Geo. C. McKinley. For Clerk, Chas. A. Kidder; For District Attorney, J. F.
Wendell. For Assessor, Joseph Hoyt. For Surveyor, Win. W. Fitch. For Supt. of Schools, Wm. H. Fry. For Pub. Administrator, Hazen Hoyt.
For Coroner, C. E. Holbrook, For Supervisor, 1st Dist., A. D. Starr. For Constables, Ed. Longan and W. Markey. For Roadmaster, A. E. Thurber.
The so called " Tape-worm Ticket," the use of which at Vallejo, at the
election of 1871, caused so much comment and adverse criticism, both in
and without the State, and even in the United States Congress, had its
origin in this wise : The Navy Yard, at Mare Island, after the election of
Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency, passed into the control of the Republi-
can party, and, especially during the war, a very large number of mechanics
and laborers were given employment there. These men, or a large majority
of them, prior to each general election, became enrolled members of Repub-
lican clubs, and were to all ajjpearances, supporters of the Republican ad-
ministrations, but it was found at the counting of ballots at each election
there were an uncomfortably large number of Democratic votes in the
ballot boxes. To remedy this, various kinds of " non-imitative " and " non-
scratchable " ballots were devised, both printed and engraved, but in every
case the Democrats, by the use of tissue-paper " pasters," and other devices
circumvented the vigilance and craft of the administration politicians and
managed to have a large number of Democratic votes put into the ballot
boxes by these professed Republicans. At a meeting of the Republican
County Central Committee of Solano in August, 1871, after it had made
arrangements to supply all the precincts of the county with a sufficient
quantity of Republican ballots — save Vallejo, the members from that
section announced to the committee that it would be necessary to have a
new and different style of ballot for that precinct in order to prevent
imitation, pasting and scratching. After some deliberation the matter was
left to a sub-committee of two persons, with orders to have printed three
thousand ballots of a design which it should adopt. This sub-committee
subsequently went to San Francisco, and applied to the printing stationers,
William B. Cooke & Co., to have the proposed ballots printed. They were
not decided as to the plan or style of the ballots needed, so Mr. Cooke
suggested to them that he would have several different designs prepared by
his foreman-printer during the day, and if they would call on the following
THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY. 119
morning they could make their selection as to which they would order.
Four or five designs were prepared, and among the lot was this " tape-worm
ticket," which in the judgment of the committee seemed specially designed
" to fill the bill," and it was selected by them and an order given to print
the required three thousand. These ballots were sent to Vallejo, and on the
night previous to the day of election they were parcelled out to the Navy
Yard foremen, who in turn reparcelled them out to their workmen, and they
were very extensively voted during the day, carrying the precinct largely
for the Republican party. But even with all the intricacy of its design
and make up, one hundred and twenty-eight of these ballots were scratched
and pasted by Democratic voters. Hundreds of these ballots were preserved
by the curious as mementoes of political intimidation, and one of them in
the hands of Senator Casserly, found its way to the United States Senate
where it was exhibited to the gaze of astonished Senators as the acme
of " bull-dozing " acumen. This episode in Solano's political history, dis-
graceful as such proceedings were claimed to be, was not without a benefi-
cial result, for beyond 'a doubt, to this tape-worm ticket and its use are we
indebted for our present wise, and satisfactory uniform ballot law.
On May 7, 1873, the offices of Recorder and Auditor were consolidated,
by direction of the Board of Supervisors, whose numbers were in this year
increased from three to five, while the new office of Commissioner of High-
ways was created ; but after one term it was abrogated, the duties of the
office lapsing into the hands of road-masters, as before. At the Judicial
Election, held on October loth, the votes for County Judge resulted in a tie,
as under :
O. B. Powers receiving 1,241 votes ; John M. Gregory, Jr., receiving a
like number. A new election was therefore called for December 16th, when
Judge Gregory received 1,286 votes, as against 1,212, obtained by Mr.
An Act to permit the voters of every township or incorporated city in
the State to vote on the question of granting licences to sell intoxicating
liquors was approved by the Legislature, March 18, 1874. It was famil-
iarly known as the " Local Option Law," and was put to the voters of
Solano County on May 30th of that year, showing :
For liquor license 1,022
For no liquor license 904
Majority of 118 for license.
The office of Auditor was established and made separate from that of
Recorder by Act of the Legislature, approved March 30th, T. P. Hooper
being the first incumbent of the former office. The same Act also pro-
vided that the County Treasurer should be ex ojficio Tax Collector, thus
120 THE HISTORY OP SOLANO COUNTY.
abolishing that office, while the offices of Public Administrator and County
Coroner were united and consolidated on May 11th, 1875.
We now come to the last great event in the political history of Solano
county, namely, the order for a new Constitution of the State, and its ulti-
mate passage by an immense majority, that in Solano being two hundred
and ninety -three.
It was found that the provisions in regard to taxation and property were
of too vague a nature to be allowed to hold at this period of progress. At
the time when the old Constitution was framed in Monterey, it was never
contemplated that the State would be ever anything but a purely mining
country ; and as each mining section had its own local laws, more distinct
terms in regard to what was legally meant by property and taxable pro-
perty, were not thought to be necessary. At last the day came when a de-