J. P Munro-Fraser.

History of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. online

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mencing July next :

C. B. Towle, Principal of the High School ; W. F. Roe, Teacher of Lan-
guages ; Miss Kate Hall, First Assistant in the High School ; Miss Julia
Benjamin, Second Assistant, High School; Miss Mary Tourtelott, Third
Assistant, High School; A. W. Doziei, Principal of the Grammar Depart-
ment ; Miss F. A. Frisbie, Miss Delia Sweatland, Mrs. C. A. Kidder and Miss
J. Belle Murphy, Assistants ; Wm. Crowhurst, Principal of the Primary
Department ; Miss C. F. Barney, Miss Etta Thompson and Fannie Watson,
Assistants ; J. A. McFadden, Principal of the South Vallejo School ; Miss
Mary Tobin, Assistant.



On July 13, 1872, a petition having been received from a number of
citizens residing near the Orphans' Home asking the Board of Education to
open a public school in the Home building, and the consent of the officers
of that institution having been obtained, it was agreed to by the Board, and
Prof. N. Smith was elected to teach the school, all to be under the same
rules and regulations governing the Vallejo Public School.

It may here be interesting to give the amount of money disbursed the past
school year as appears from the Secretary's report dated June, 1872. Sal-
aries, $13,745.45 ; interest on Mackay's note, $750 ; interest on money bor-
rowed to pay teachers, $510.40 ; repairs and improvements, $1,020.39;
school supplies, $691.99 ; school furniture, $354.25 ; rents, $337 ; insurance,
$264.35 ; grading and constructing sidewalks, $175.40 ; fuel, $148.33 ; water,
$114.80; printing, $121.25; incidentals, $129.55; library, $50; expressage,
$20— total $18,433.16.

The receipts for the same year were from the following sources : Balance
in Treasury at beginning of the year $69.36 ; received from the State Fund,
$4,741.35 ; received from the County Fund, $7,842.65 ; received from the
District Special Tax, $4,234.29 ; received from the City Special Tax,
$2,415.21— total $19,302.86.

On July 13, 1872, the death of E. H. M. Baily one of the School Directors
was announced and suitable resolutions of respect and condolence passed
by the Board.

On November 4th following, Mr. F. Carlton having been duly appointed
School Director by the Superintendent to fill the vacancy in the Board
occasioned by the death of Mr. Baily, he qualified, and took his seat.

January 20, 1873, the Board of Education elected the following named
teachers to act as City Board of Examination : N. B. Klink, President ; C.
B. Towle, W. F. Roe, Melville Dozier, Wm. Crowhurst, A. W. Dozier and W.
H. Fry, County Superintendent.

The following teachers were elected for the term beginning in January,
1873 : C. B. Towle, Principal of High School ; W. F. Roe, Professor of
Languages ; Miss Kate Hall, Assistant in High School ; A. W. Dozier, Prin-
cipal of Grammar Department ; G. W. Simonton, Second Grade ; Miss Delia
Sweatland, First Division, Third Grade ; Miss Julia Benjamin, Second Divi-
sion, Third Grade ; Miss P. A. Frisbie, First Division, Fourth Grade ; Miss
Isabelle A. Murphy, Second Division, Fourth Grade ; Wm. Crowhurst,
Principal of Primary Department ; Miss Etta L. Thompson, Second Grade ;
Miss Mary Tourtelott, Third Grade ; Miss Jennie S. Klink, Assistant in
Third Grade ; Mrs. C. A. Kidder, Fourth Grade ; Melville Dozier, Principal,
South Vallejo ; N. Smith, Principal Orphans' Home ; Miss Jane Anderson,
Colored School.

The year 1873 was made memorable in the history of the Vallejo schools
by the erection of the new and and beautiful school house now standing on


the corner of Carolina and Sonoma streets. This improvement was made
for additional accommodation for the Grammar and Primary Departments.
This work was done under a contract with Mr. Charles Murphy, a citizen of
Vallejo, for. the sum of $6,500.

It was also during this year that the Board adopted a Diploma to be pre-
sented to the graduates from the Vallejo High School. The first graduates
receiving this mark of distinction were Misses Maggie Tobin, Mary Mc-
Knight, Hattie Dempsey and Mary Long.

On Monday, March 16, 1874, the first election was held under the provis-
ions of the amended School Law, resulting in the choice of the following
named gentlemen : J. G. Lawton, Superintendent ; I. S. Halsey, Secretary ;
L. Doe, J. Q. Adams and A. J. McPike, Directors ; G. T. Plaisted, Assessoi
and Collector; and on the 6th day of April they qualified took their scats,
and immediately entered upon the duty assigned them.

Through the kindness and courtesy of the City Trustees, early in the
year 1874 the Board of Education was furnished with a very pleasant room
in the City Hall to hold their meetings and transact their business.

June 5, 1874, Mr. G. W. Simonton having previously obtained permission
of the Board to give an entertainment for the purpose of raising money
with which to purchase a piano for the Grammar Department, of which he
was Principal, reported $190 as the proceeds of the undertaking. A short
time afterward the instrument now in use was secured.

Graduating Class of 1874 — Misses : Mary S. Halsey, Mary Wynn, Etta
Foye, Mary Hobbs, Margaret Wakely, Josephine Sundquest, and Margaret

Teachers elected in June, 1874 — C. B. Towle, W. F. Roe, Jennie Dickin-
son, Dora Harris, Mary Congdon, G. W. Simonton, J. T. Royal, Win. Crow-
hurst, J. S. Congdon, N. Smith, Mrs. C. A. Kidder, Julia Benjamin, Miss C.
H. Pinkhani, Belle Murphy, Etta Thompson, Mary Tobin, Miss P. A. Frisbie,
Mary Foye, Jennie Klink, and D. P. Whitney, janitor.

The Census Marshal for 1874. J. H. Green. Esq., reports : Whole number
white children in the township, between 5 and 17 — boys, 800 ; Girls, 762.
Total, 1,562. Colored children— boys, 13; girls, 3. Total, 16. Mongolian
under 17—20. Blind— 1. Total, between 5 and 17—1,599. Number of
children between 5 and 17, who have attended Public school during the
year: White — 998; Negro, 14. Total — 1,012. Number who have attended
private schools — 263. Number who have not attended any school : White
-305 ; Negro, 2 ; Indian, 1. Total— 308.

Number of children native born, and having native parents — 865. Num-
ber native born children, having one native born parent — 301. Number of
children native born, having both parents foreign — 1,292. Number of
children foreign born — 15.

At a meeting of the Board, held July 3, 1874, a resolution was intro-



duced to abolish the colored school, and admit the pupils thereof to the
graded schools. The question was fully discussed by members of the Board,
the citizens present, with one exception, favoring the proposed change. The
resolution was adopted ; and Vallejo took the lead in the important question
by being the first city to admit colored children to the graded schools, and
thus conferring upon them equal privileges with the white children. The
whole number of children enrolled July, 1874, were 1,011.

On December 30, 1874, Prof. G. W. Simonton, and Miss Belle Murphy,
resigned. April 2, 1875, School Director, L. Doe, having removed to Oak-
land, tendered his resignation, which was accepted, and David Rutherford
was appointed to fill the vacancy. It should here be stated, to the credit
of Mr. Doe, that, while acting as a Director, he ever evinced a strong desire
to advance the best interests of the Vallejo School Department; always
punctual in his attendance at the meetings of the Board, and taking a lively
interest in all questions presented. On the 2d of June, 1875. the Board,
being in session, much interest was manifested on a proposition to abolish
the department of languages. Mr. Halsey moved the adoption of the fol-
lowing : Whereas, " It having come to the knowledge of this Board that an
effort will be made to induce its members to abolish the department of lan-
guages, now in the High School course ; and, Whereas, Under the present
arrangement, the children of the poorest of our citizens stand on an equality
with those more fortunate, securing to them the same opportunity to secure
a High School diploma, entitling them to the privilege of entering the
State University ; and Whereas, The proposed change would result in a
serious drawback to the educational interest of Vallejo, and be looked upon
as a step backward in the hitherto onward progress of our city. Therefore,

Resolved, That we deem it expedient, and for the best interests of Vallejo
and her citizens, to continue the Department of Languages in the High
School course."

The question was discussed by members of the Board, and a number of
citizens, including Messrs. J. E. Abbott, G. W. Simonton, Hon. M. J. Wright,
C. B. Towle, J. P. Garlick, and County Superintendent C. W. Childs. Many
interesting and instructive ideas were presented, all tending to show the
deep interest the people of Vallejo feel in educational matters. The resolu-
tion was finally adopted, and the department of languages thus continued.

On the 28th of May, 1875, Masters Lewis G. Harrier and Samuel Irving,
received their diplomas as graduates of the Vallejo High School. It is
worthy of note to state in this connection, that both of these young men
were at once admitted to the State University.

The teachers for 1875 and '76, were : C. B. Towle, Principal of the High
School ; W. F. Roe, Professor of Languages in the High Schoo] ; J. P. Gar-
lick, Principal of the Grammar Department ; Viola R. Kimball, Second
Grammar Department ; Sophia A. P. Kidder, Second Grammar Department ;


Anna R. Congdon, Third Grade Department ; Dora B. Harris, Third Grade
Department ; Beverley Cox, Fourth Grade Grammar Department ; Jennie
B. Chase, Fourth Grade Grammar Department ; Wm. Crowhurst, Principal of
the Primary Department ; Mary Wynne, First Grade Primary Department ;
Jennie Klink, Second Grade Primary Department ; Etta L. Thompson, Third
Grade Primary Department ; Lucy Gilman, Third Grade Primary Depart-
ment ; Charlotte M. Barry, Fourth Grade Primary Department ; Mary G.
To bin, Fourth Grade Primary Department ; J. S. Congdon, Principal of the
South Vallejo School ; Mary A. Foye, Assistant of the South Vallejo School ;
Nehemiah Smith, Principal of the Orphans' Home School ; Fannie E. Smith,
Assistant of the Orphans' Home School. ,

School Census Marshal's Report — 1875. Number of children from 5 to
17 : boys, white, 826 ; girls, white, 790 ; total, 1,625. Number of colored
children from 5 to 17: boys, 4 ; girls, 7 ; total, 11. Number of children
under 5, 788. Colored, 79. Children in Public Schools, 963. Colored, 8.
Children in Private Schools, 331. Children not attending school, 351.

This Board of Education was elected in March, 1876: J. E. Abbott, Super-
intendent, ex-officio President. School Directors — John Farnham, C. H.
Hubbs, D. Rutherford, A. J. McPike ; I. S. Halsey, Secretary.

Committees — On Grounds, Buildings, Repairs, Fuel and Warming School
Houses — McPike, Rutherford, Abbott. On Janitors, School Furniture, School
Library and Apparatus — Hubbs, Farnham, Abbott. On Teachers, Rules
and Regulations, and School Discipline — Rutherford, Hubbs, Abbott. On
Finance and Accounts — Farnham, McPike, Abbott.

Board of Examination — J. E. Abbott, City Superintendent, ex-officio
President ; C. W. 'Childs, County Superintendent ex-officio ; C. B. Towle,
Secretary ; J. P. Garlick, W. Crowhurst, J. S. Congdon.

Teachers— C. B. Towle, Principal of the High School ; W. F. Roe, Pro-
fessor of Languages in the High School ; J. P. Garlick, Principal of the
Grammar Department ; Sophia A. P. Kidder, Second Grammar Department ;
Viola R. Kimball, Third Grade Department ; Dora B. Harris, Third Grade
Department ; Hettie Dempsey, Fourth Grade Grammar Department ; Mag-
gie Dunn, Fourth Grade Grammar Department ; William Crowhurst, Prin-
cipal of the Primary Department ; Mary Wynne, First Grade Primary De-
partment ; Jennie Klink, Second Grade Primary Department ; Ettie L.
Thompson, Third Grade Primary Department ; Lucy Gilman, Third Grade
Primary Department ; Charlotte M. Barry, Fourth Grade Primary Depart-
ment; E. P. Fouche, Fourth Grade Primary Department; J. S. Congdon,
Principal of the South Vallejo School ; Mary Tobin, Assistant of the South
Vallejo School ; Nehemiah Smith, Principal of the Orphans' Home School.

In 1876, the Graduates were Misses: Ida Hobbs, Susan Cheesman, Carrie


Frasier, Gemi Martin, Carrie Barbour, Annie Crocker, Hat tie Klink, with
Masters Edward Lawton, Louis Long and Charles Batchellor.

On September 29, 1-876, Mr. Abbott resigned the position of Superin-
tendent, owing to pressing business in connection with the Vallejo Bank,
and the Rev. N. B. Klink was elected to fill the vacancy.

Graduating Class, 1877 — Edward Frisbie, Jr., Thomas Robinson, Thomas
Dempsey, John Frisbie, Mary Rowe.

Teachers' Election, May, 1877— High School— C. B. Towle, W. F. Roe.
Grammar School — J. P. Garlick, Sarah Farrington, Florence Goodspeed,
Jennie S. Klink, Mary L. McKennan, Hettie Dempsey, Maggie Dunn.
Primary — Mrs. Sophia Kidder, Mary Wynne, Mary Hobbs, Etta Thompson,
Lucy Gilman, C. M. Barry, E. C. Fouche, J. S. Congdon, Alice Blank, A. T.
Stiles. Janitors — D. T. Whitney and H. D. Lazell

School Census Report of J. S. Congdon, Marshal, for 1877, was : Boys,
from 5 to 17, 745 ; girls, 733 ; colored, boys, 1, girls, 4 ; Indians, boys, 0,
girls, 1. Total, 1,484. Number under 5 years of age — Boys and girls,
white, 795 ; negro, 2. Native born and parents native, 706 ; native born
and one parent foreign, 384; native born and both parents foreign, 1,149;
foreign born, 53. Early in 1878 the Board purchased three additional lots,
adjoining the school property, and had the same planted in evergreen trees,
and vines. The grounds are intended as play-grounds for the girls and will
afford recreation very much needed.

On the 25th day of March, 1878, the indebtedness on the Vallejo school
property amounting to $5,000 was paid, leaving the property entirely un-

On March 18, 1878, an election for School officers was had, resulting in
the choice of J. E. Abbott, Superintendent ; John Farnham, D. Rutherford,
D. W. Harrier C. H. Hubbs, Directors ; T. W. Chamberlain, Assessor and

On April 1st the Board was organized, having duly qualified, and I. S.
Halsey was elected Secretary.

Graduating Class — 1878 — Maggie Kavanaugh, Lottie Kitto, John Perry-
man, Katie Brew, Maggie Murphy, Emma Frey, George Greenwood, Minnie
Engelbright, John M. Williamson, Abbie Dyar, Julia Stotter, Wells Whit-
ney, Eunice Hobbs, Lutie Dixon, Charles H. Dexter, Lizzie Cox, Florence
Devlin, George Klink, Mary Sundquiest.

The teachers for 1878 were : High School, C. B. Towle, W. F. Roe ; Gram-
mar, H. W. Philbrook, Sarah J. Farrington, Annie Klink, Josephine Sund-
quiest, Hettie Dempsey, Maggie Tobin ; Primary, Mrs. M. P. Morris, Mary E.
Brown, Mary Hobbs, Mary Wynn, Lucy Gilman, C. M. Barry, Mrs. E. P.
Veeder ; South Vallejo, J. S. Congdon, Jennie S. Klink.

The Census Marshal's Report for 1878, was : White children from five to
seventeen years, 1,481; negro, 7 ; mongolians, 24, showing a total of 1,512.


Add to these 753 children under five years — makes a grand total of 2,265.

The amount of money required to meet the expenses of the Vallejo School
department may be gathered from the following exhibit, taken from the
Annual Report of the Secretary, for the year 1878 : Receipts — Balance on
hand at beginning of year $5,122 84. Total received from State and
county, $18,681 20. Total, $23,804 04. Expenditure— Current expenses,
$17,132 80. Lots purchased, $522 50. Paid off mortgage, $5,000 00.
Sundries, $313 08. Balance in treasury, $835 QG. Total,$23,804 04.

At this term, 1878-79, there are employed twenty teachers, receiving
salaries ranging from $50 to $150 per month. The monthly pay-roll of
teachers and school officers aggregates $1,625 83. The session lasts ten
months of the year, while the revenue is derived from the State and County,
and Special District Taxes, the amount required annually being about
$20,000. The value of the school property, including a library of several
hundred volumes, many of them standard works of reference, is $50,000,
while there is yearly expended, for library books, under the provisions of
the State law, a sum of $150. The graduates of the High School in Class
1879 were : James McCauley, Edward E. Kavanagh, A. Lulu Frisbie, Netta
Meek, Kate S. Klink, Annie L. Wynne, Helen May Towle, and Louise J.


Much curiosity has been excited by the peculiarity of name given to this
island; the origin of its appellation is related as follows: In former days
there was only one ferry-boat on the waters near Vallejo and Benicia, a
crude one at that, being made principally of oil-barrels obtained from whal-
ing ships, which were secured together by beams and planking ; the craft
was divided into compartments for horses and cattle, the transportation of .
which was its principal use. On one occasion, while the boat was making
its way from Martinez, on the opposite shore of the Carquinez Straits, to
Benicia, a sudden squall overtook her, causing her to pitch dreadfully. The
animals, then on board, being for the most part horses, became alarmed and
commenced to kick, causing the weak partitions to give way. The vessel
was capsized and the living cargo thrown into the bay. Some reached the
shore, while others were drowned. Of the former was an old white mare
owned and much prized, by General Vallejo ; its capture was effected on the
island a few days after the disaster, when the General dubbed the place
" Isla de la Yegua," or Mare Island.

The island forms a portion of the eastern side of San Pablo bay, its south-
erly end making the intersection of the Straits of Carquinez and Mare
Island Straits, the former, which is the outlet of the two largest rivers of


California, the Sacramento and San Joaquin, and the latter, constitutes the
improved front of the Navy Yard, as well as that of the city of Vallejo, on
the opposite shore, and also the outlet of the Napa creek, which drains the
fertile valley above. The distance from San Francisco is twenty-six miles.
The island is 2* miles in length by O^ in width, and is of an oblong form,
having a direction from northwest to southeast, while its area is 876 acres.
The upland is diversified into hills and level sloping plains, the shore of the
bay presenting vertical bluffs lined with a rocky back until nearing the
southern extremity, where it terminates in high, rolling hills, with steep,
inaccessible slopes to the water. The highest point on the island is at its
southern end, where it is 280 feet in altitude. The soil is, away from the
marsh or tule lands, of which there are 135 acres, adobe loam and clay over-
lying stratified sandstone and shale ; some good building stone has been
found in small quantities, while brick clay of a good quality is to be pro-
cured. Small quantities of hydraulic limestone have also been discovered,
as has also a few springs of inferior water.

At the northern end of the island there are three large Indian mounds or
graves covered over with burnt mussel-shells, upon which nothing will
grow. Sometime ago one of these was opened and a large number of skulls,
bones, bows, arrow-heads, etc., were found. Each of these mounds has a
legend attached to it. They were probably made during the small-pox epi-
demic which committed such havoc among the native Indians in the year

The position of Mare Island is admirably adapted for a Naval station.
The straits separating it from the mainland is a quarter of a mile wide, and
has a depth of five fathoms. The mean rise and fall of the tide is 4 X q feet ;
while, when the rivers are swollen, the water loses all brackishness. The
channel is remarkably direct and easy of navigation, the only defect being
a limited shoal called " Commission Rock," which lies at a point nearly
opposite the island and about mid-way in the stream. There is deep water,
however, on either side of the rock, the deepest being on the side next to
the island ; and good anchorage is to be found anywhere, the bottom being
of a soft and sticky nature.

The first historical fact in connection with Mare Island, with which it
has been possible to become cognizant, is that in the year 1850 it was
granted to one Castro by Governor Alvarado, and purchased from him by
John B. Frisbie and Bezer Simmons, for the sum of $7,000, who, in turn in
1851, sold it to W. H. Aspinwall and G. W. P. Bissell, in consideration of
the sum of $17,500.

By an Act of Congress, dated 30 June, 1851, appropriations were made,
and subsequently a contract entered into between Messrs. Dakin and
Moody, and Messrs. Gilbert and Secor, on the one part, and the United
States Government on the other, for the construction of a floating sectional


dock on some point on the Pacific coast ; and after inspecting positions of
likelihood at Benicia and Racoon Straits, Mare Island was selected as the
spot offering the greatest facilities for the purpose desired. The dock, of
which the. measurements will be hereafter given, was first constructed in
New York, and then taken to pieces and shipped in four vessels named the
" Empire," " California Packet," " Queen of the East," and " Defiance," and
despatched round Cape Horn, all of which arrived at Mare Island in the
fall of 1852. At this time the entire sphere of the island was overgrown
with wild oats and overrun with wild cattle, horses, mules, and one ass, who
stood in loco parentis to the latter ; a solitary squatter occupied a dingy hut
among the rank verdure, his principal occupation being the tending of
stock ; while on the opposite shore, where now the city of Vallejo rears its
head, there were but two or three occupied houses. The shores were not as
they are to-day. . Silting had not then commenced ; the mud from the mines
had not yet been despatched into the bay by way of the Sacramento river,
and it -was easy for ships to make fast to the shore. Discharging cargo for
the dock was first attempted by means of rafts from mid-stream ; a storm
coming on, however, caused the vessels to drag their anchors, and thus dis-
covered the depth of water in shore, and helped to solve the riddle of land-
ing dock stores.

The first party to arrive in charge of stores and machinery for the sec-
tional dock was that under D. Peckham, who came in the month of Septem-
ber, 1852 ; twenty days later the second detachment consisting of six
mechanics arrived with Theodore Dean, Manager and Superintendent in
charge. Many of the passengers on the vessels who were mechanics sought
and obtained employment at the docks, among whom are a number of Vallejo's
most worthy citizens, while laborers being few and hard to get, their places
were principally filled by sailors who proved to be invaluable workmen in
unloading ships, rigging derricks and performing dock-work generally.
Labor was proceeded with in such earnestness thatthe in fall of the following-
year the dock was completed. Wages were high, the rate at the time being
for first class mechanics $5 and $6 per day, but when vessels were under-
going repairs, ship carpenters and caulkers got as much as $9 a day with a
glass of grog as an extra inducement to toil. Before the work was handed
over to the government the contractors had the privilege of using the dock
for a certain number of years which they would appear to have done.

Affairs had arrived at this stage when on August 31, 1852, an Act of
Congress was passed authorizing " the Secretary of the Navy to select a
site for a Naval Yard and Naval Depot in the bay of San Francisco, the
same to be surveyed and a plat thereof to be recorded in proper form, the
said Secretary to establish a Navy Yard and Naval Depot on the site and
erect a foundry, machine shop, blacksmith's shop, boiler shop, engine house,
pattern house, carpenters shop and store houses." The amount of appro-
priation being $100,000.


A Board consisting of Commodore John D. Sloat, Commander W. S.
Ogden, Lieutenant S. F. Blunt and W. P. S. Sanger, Civil Engineer, were
deputed to make the necessary surveys, eventuating in the selection of Mare
Island ; and it was purchased by the United States from.W. H. Aspinwall,
G. W. P. Bissell and Mrs. Mary S. MacArthur for the sum of $83,000, on