San Mateo County History
San Mateo County Gazette News
April 9, 1859, Vol. 1 No. 1.
(Transcribed by Chris Havnar, December 2004)

San Mateo County Gazette
Redwood City, San Mateo County, California
Saturday Morning, April 9, 1859, Vol. 1 No. 1.

In making our bow, as the pioneer paper of a county, to her
citizens, we are fully aware of the arduous and responsible position which
we have assumed. We know that the starting and maintaining of a paper in a
new county like this, is a Herculean task, from which one well might
shrink, but we have fully weighed the matter, and have determined to make
the effort, confident that if we prove worthy of it, the citizens of San
Mateo _________________ essential to any enterprise of the kind. And the
more readily will they do this, when they realize, as every one who gives
the matter a moment's reflection must, that a local paper of the kind we
propose to publish, is an institution calculated more than any other one
thing to advance the interests of the whole county.
A local newspaper, properly conducted, becomes the center of the
entire system of a county - the fulcrum around which revolves all other
interests - the medium through which her own citizens derive their
intelligence of what is transpiring in their own locality and in other
lands - from which non-residents who are looking thitherward with a view of
investment or of settlement, seek to learn the character of the soil and of
the people, the amount and the nature of the general business, and the
extent to which business, of the kind they seek, may be pressed. Every
local paper is peculiarly the emigrant agency, so to speak, of the county
wherein it is located. Again, it is the medium through which her business
men make known to each other and the world their business and their wants -
through which her local government publish to their constituents the
situation of her affairs, and keep them advised in reference to all those
minutiae in which every tax-payer and well-wisher of the county feel a
peculiar interest.

Such a paper it is our object, and shall ever be our aim to
furnish, and while we make it peculiarly local in its character, giving
especial attention to the publication of whatever of interest may transpire
in our own community, and to the advancement of our new, beautiful, and
growing county, we will furnish, in each number, a condensed summary of the
general news of the State, the nation and the world. We know that with
reference to the latter part of this undertaking we must necessarily be
hind-hand with a few of our readers, and were the furnishing the general
news of the day our only object, we would at once abandon the self-imposed
task; for we are so near the great commercial metropolis of the West, that
we cannot for a moment presume to compete with her vigilant dailies in
supplying the people with intelligence from other shores. But we can
compete with them and even do more than they attempt, in the publication of
home news; and when we add to this choice selections of narrative,
anecdote, poetry, articles on agriculture, mechanics, and science, in
short, a variety of all those things which go to make up a home and family
paper, we shall expect the support and encouragement of our fellow
citizens. We do not furnish our readers with a "blanket sheet," nor can it
be expected, in a small county like ours, that we would, but like the
little child, we hope, as we increase in years, to increase in strength,
and stature, and shall endeavor to increase in usefulness.
Many will doubtless inquire at once after out political faith.
While we confess that as an individual, like other men we are possessed of
political principles, partaking more or less of a party character, yet as a
public journalist, we shall hold ourself independent of all parties. Nor
do we intend to interfere in any manner with political affairs, farther
than to record such movements, without reference to party, as may be of
interest to out readers. While our columns will be ever open to the proper
discussion of any measure which may be before the people, they will
invariably be closed to all assaults upon individuals, or upon any party as
such. In no case will we be made the organ of any party, or the tool of
any clique.

In short, it shall be ever our aim to furnish a paper which shall
be the advocate of out county - the guardian of her interests - and which
shall give satisfaction to her people.

At Woodside, San Mateo county, by Rev. Joseph Emery, Capt. John LAWRENCE to

April 4, 1859
Members all present.
Report of Road Viewers for road from Crystal Springs to Buchanan House
presented, and the road ordered opened as viewed.
The road leading from point of Redwoods, on the mountains to Wilsey's to be
included in the Second Road District and subject to the control of the
Overseer of said District.
Petition for a private road by J.P. Ames and others, considered and
read. Granted as petitioned for, provided the necessary fences are made by
the parties petitioning.
In the matter of the forfeited bonds in the case of People vs Richard
Kelly, the District Attorney is authorized to compromise without suit with
S.M. Mezes, one of the sureties, provided it is not done for a less sum
than two hundred and fifty dollars.
Petition for a road from Belmont to Condon's presented, and notice
ordered that it would be considered on the first Monday in May next.
The bills of A.T. McClure, D. Lambert, George A. Van Bokkelen and Alta
California, amounting, in all, to $80.50 allowed.
Adjourned till next regular meeting.

TWELFTH DISTRICT COURT - This court convenes in Redwood City on Monday,
18th inst. There are ten cases on docket. The business of the term will
probably be disposed of in one day, as there will be but one jury trial.
The following is a list of the jurors drawn for the term:
Charles CLARK

Twelfth District Court - Third Mondays in April, August and December
County Court - First Mondays in March, July and November
Probate Court, Tuesdays following fist Mondays in March, July and November
Court of Sessions - Wednesdays following first Mondays in March, July and
Supervisor's Meetings - First Mondays in May, August, November and February.

District JudgeE. NORTONSan Francisco
County JudgeB.F. FOXSan Mateo
District AttorneyC.N. FOXRedwood City
County Clerk and RecorderB.G. LATHROPRedwood City
SheriffJohn W. ACKERSONRedwood City
TreasurerCurtis BAIRDRedwood City
CoronerA.T. McCLURERedwood City
Public AdministratorR.O. TRIPPWoodside
SurveyorA. GARBIBelmont
Supervisors - 3d Township, J.V. DILLER (Chairman of the Board); 1st
Township R.S. THORNTON; 2d Township M. WOLFE

County Court - An Adjourned term of this court was held on Monday last,
Judge Fox presiding. The only business before the court was as follows:
McCABE vs. BAXTER - motion for new trial - denied. WATERMAN vs HOLDER,
motion to dismiss appeal - denied. The Court then adjourned for the term.
Probate Court - This Court was also in session on Monday last, Judge Fox
presiding. In the matter of the estate of Henry C. CLEMENS, deceased, all
the claims heretofore presented to the Public Administrator were presented
to and passed upon by the Court, and an order entered that they be paid in
full or pro rata, to the extent of the assets. In the matter of the
petition of Mary Jane HILL, for the appointment of guardian, a somewhat
lengthy examination was had, when the petition was dismissed.

CEMETERY MEETING - Union Cemetery Association, held and adjourned meeting
on Monday evening last. Very little business was before the meeting, but
from the Secretary's report we learn that the ground chosen for a cemetery
has been paid for, _____ and filed for record, and that there is a balance
of cash on hand or subscribed of $105, ready to be appropriated for fencing
as soon as the amount shall have been sufficiently increased to justify it.
In a future number we will a brief history of the organization and object
of this association. The officers of the association are J.V. DILLER,
President; C. N. FOX, Secretary and Treasurer; J.W. TURNER, Superintendent.

SONS OF TEMPERANCE - We had the pleasure of attending the public
installation of the officers of Mountain Dell Division, No. 74, SD. Of T.,
at Woodside, on Saturday evening last. This Division is in a flourishing
condition, having upwards of fifty members. The officers installed were:
After the installation the meeting was addressed by C.N. FOX, esq., of
this place, upon "the evils of intemperance as entailed upon individuals."

SCHOOL MEETINGS - At the annual school meeting of Redwood City precinct,
District No. 3, held pursuant to law, on Saturday last, C.N. FOX was
elected Trustee for the ensuing year. We have not learned the result of
elections at the other precincts in the District.
The election in District No. 1, at San Mateo, resulted in the choice
of Messrs. Nathaniel ROSE, Joseph BUTLER and David McCLENNAN. District No.
2 we have not heard from.

RESTORED - The Governor has restored to citizenship Wm. BROWN, who was sent
to the State prison from this county, for one year, for attempt to commit
arson. He has completed his term, and has been out several months, and
this restoration is made on account of his good behavior, both in prison
and since his release.

APPOINTMENT - C.N. FOX, Esq., has been commissioned by the Governor as a
notary public for this county, for two years.

SUICIDE - Coroner McCLURE held an inquest Wednesday last, on the body of a
man found on a hill about half a mile west of Belmont, in this county.
Upon examination it was ascertained that deceased had killed himself by
blowing out his brains with a shot-gun, which was found lying by his side
and which he had discharged with his foot, a string having been carefully
attached to the triggers for the purpose. A receipt for rent from George
MOODY, San Francisco, and a memorandum of gold dust deposited with
Haraathy, Uznay & Co. for assay together with a number of other papers,
several articles of clothing, $40.85 in money, and a silver watch, were
found in a valise and upon the body. By the paper his name is suppose to
have been Jacob WOLFF, a native of Baden, Germany. There is no clue to the
cause of the rash act. The body was very much decayed, having lain, as
estimated by Coroner McCLURE, about three months. A verdict was rendered
in accordance with the facts as above stated.
The gun with which WOLFF killed himself is double-barreled, one barrel
only of which has been discharged. On drawing the load from the remaining
barrel, it was found to consist of a large charge of powder and seven heavy
six-penny nails.

TERRIBLE EXPLOSION - SIX LIVES LOST - The steamer Contra Costa, plying
between San Francisco and Oakland, was blown up on Sunday last, killing six
persons and wounding some eighteen others. From the reports in the San
Francisco papers we learn that the boat and the Oakland were racing, the
Oakland being in the rear - which accounts for so few lives having been
lost, as the passengers were, at the moment, all in the stern of the boat,
watching her competitor. The starboard boiler was blown completely out of
the boat, and was afterwards discovered half buried in sand in the shoal
water, on the Oakland Bar.
The following named persons were killed or so severely injured as to
die within a few minutes: David W. CADY, street contractor; Michael G.
SMITH, barkeeper of the boat; Henry L. OSTRANDER, one of the crew; Colbert
WEISISHIP, fireman; George McDOWELL, chief fireman, and one other, name
unknown. Eighteen others were severely injured, one of whom, Joseph
HOLSTERER, died of his wounds Monday morning.
The Oakland was immediately brought to and rendered every assistance
possible. The captain and engineer of the Contra Costa were arrested to
await the result of an inquest.

Most of our readers may think they know all about San Mateo
county, and that any thing we may say in reference to it, is superfluous;
but a record of a few things connected therewith may be found convenient
for future reference, and not a few may find therein something before them

San Mateo county is bounded on the east by the middle of the Bay
of San Francisco, on the west by the Pacific ocean, on the north by the
line of the United States survey separating townships Two and Three , South
(Mount Diablo meridian,) being a line running east and west from the bay to
the ocean, and crossing the San Francisco road a little north of the "Abbey
Hotel"; on the south by the middle of San Franciquito Creek, following the
south branch thereof to its source in the Santa Cruz mountains, and by a
line from thence due west to the Pacific ocean. These boundaries include
the following Mexican grants; a part of the Merced and Visitacion, or San
Bruno; the whole of the Buri Buri, San Pedro, Corral de Tierra, Feliz, San
Mateo, Pulgas, Ramundo or Coppinger, Purissima, and a part of the San
Gregoria and Corte de Madera. These grants are now claimed to cover the
entire county, but there is little doubt that when their titles are settled
and boundaries determined, there will be a number of good farms yet left in
the hands of the Government.

The county contains, according to the assessment of 1858, 155,981
acres. This of course, is exclusive of the swamp and overflowed along the
line of the Bay, very little, if any, which had then been entered. A very
great proportion of all this area is of the very best quality, either for
agricultural or grazing purposes. It is estimated that already there are
20,000 acres under cultivation, and this is but the beginning of what may
be done. Much more is occupied for pasturage, and yet there are thousands
of acres lying idle for the want of occupants. All kinds of grain, and
nearly every kind of vegetable once put into the ground, produce an
abundant harvest upon our soil, and all our valleys are well adapted to the
production of every kind of fruit known to this climate. Nor are we wholly
without minerals; coal of the best quality is found here; springs from
sulpher and iron, possessing superior medicinal properties are found on the
Purissima; gold has been found at different times and in divers places
throughout the entire length of our county, and many believe that it will
yet be discovered in sufficient quantities to warrant the working for it.
Throughout most of the county the landscape is relieved with beautiful
groves of white and live oaks, and on out southern border redwood timber is
abundant. Already millions of dollars have been reaped from the
manufacture of these giant forests into lumber, and still "the work goes
bravely on." Ten saw-mills, we believe are in active operation, but of
their aggregate annual production we are unable to give an estimate, and we
request of the manufacturers of lumber, posts and shingles, that they
furnish us with estimates, as nearly correct as possible, of the annual
production of each, together with such other information in regard to their
line of business as may be of interest. And here we may be permitted to
ask the same favor of the farmers, the fruit growers and the stock raisers.
These are all matters upon which we can as yet be but imperfectly
informed, and we desire to make a faithful record of all the resources of
the county.

From the tax-book of 1858 we learn that the assessed valuation of
the real estate in the county for that year was $619,332; of improvements,
$242,345; of personal property, $570,489.50; total $1,432,161.50. Upon
this assessment was levied a tax amounting in the aggregate to $21,462.43,
divided as follows; State tax $8,592.97; county $7,160.81 court house
$3,580.40; school $1,482.16; road $716.08; delinquent , $160.01
We have no reliable means of determining the aggregate amount of
agricultural products or the number of live stock in the county, and shall
have to wait the action of our farmers and stock-raisers in furnishing the
facts upon these points.

From the "State Register" of 1858, which probably nearly correct
upon these points, we find that there were growing in the county in 1857,
7200 apple trees, 24,200 peach, 232 pear, 318 plum, and 1980 cherry, a
small number each of other varieties of fruit trees, and 40,000 grape vines.
The county is divided into three townships, the first being all
that part lying north and east of a line running from the Embarcadero at
Belmont, west to a point where the road crosses the top of the mountain
just north of WILSEY's house; thence north along the top of the mountains
to a point a little north of east of the residence of James DENNISAN;
thence west to the ocean. The second township is all that part of the
county south of the last mentioned line and west of the top of the coast
range of mountains. The third township is composed of all that part east
of the top of the mountains and south of the first mentioned line.
The county forms a part of the Fifth Senatorial District, which
has four Senators, one of whom, Hon. T.G. PHELPS, is from this county. It
is at present represented in the Assembly by Hon. D.W. CONNELLY, of Half
Moon Bay. It also forms a part of the Twelfth Judicial District, Hon.
Edward NORTON, District Judge, the terms of whose court, as also those of
the other courts held in the county, together will a list of county
officers, will be found in another column.

The number of votes polled at the last election was five hundred
and thirteen, which will probably be increased to about six hundred at the
next election.

We did intend to notice, in this connection, some of the most
central points in the county, with the business, but on account of the
length of this article, they will have to be made the subject of a future


Charles N. FOX - Attorney at Law and Notary Public
Redwood City, Cal.

Redwood City, San Mateo County
(Residence, Belmont)

Surveyor and Civil Engineer
Belmont, San Mateo County

A.T. CASTOR's Store
Belmont, San Mateo County
The Proprietor would respectfully announce to the citizens of San Mateo
county that he is now prepared to supply them with any article in demand,
to be found in any country store in California. His goods are all fresh
and of the best description. Among his excellent stock may be found Dry
Goods, Clothing, Groceries, Provisions, Hardware, Cutlery, Glassware,
Crockery, Queensware, Wines and Liquors, Segars and Tobacco, Boots and
Shoes, Nails, Wooden Ware, Farming Implements, of a quality inferior to
none in this County. Hay and Grain also Lumber, Posts, Shingles, and
Charcoal, For sale at moderate prices. Purchasers can SAVE MONEY by
ascertaining the quality and prices of my goods before purchasing
elsewhere. A.T. CASTOR, Belmont, April 8, 1859

Woodside, San Mateo County
Tripp & Parkhurst, Proprietors
At the Woodside Store, Consumers can be sure of finding all the goods
usually to be obtained at a country store, suitable for Farmers and others.
Dry Good, Clothing, Groceries, Provision, Hardware, Cutlery, Staple and
Fancy Goods of all kinds, Wines, Liquors, Cigars, Tobacco, etc., etc, can
be purchased at the most reasonable prices. The Post Office is in this Store.

Searsville, San Mateo County
DAVIS & MAXFIELD, Proprietors
The Proprietors of the Searsville Hotel would call the attention of the
public and especially persons visiting the Redwoods, to their excellent
facilities for their accommodation.
Their larder is always supplied with the best to be found in the market and
their Bar continually furnish with good Liquors, Wins and Segars
Boarding, by the Day or Week
On very moderate terms
Good Stabling for Horses
Always to be obtained and attentive hostlers

Blacksmiths and Wagon Makers
Main Street
Redwood City
All descriptions of Blacksmithing done in the most substantial and
workmanlike manner at moderate prices, and at the shortest notice. All
work entrusted to them will be guaranteed to give entire satisfaction.
Horse-shoeing and Wagon-Ironing
Promptly Attended to
Wagons and Carriages
Made to order or repaired

Main Street
Redwood City
The proprietor has constantly for sale, and is continually manufacturing a
choice assortment of
Confections, Pies, Cakes, Tarts
All Kinds of Bread and Pastry
Private Boarding
By the Day or Week in Restaurant style. Meals served up at any hour
Wedding Cake
Got up to order in the most elegant and tasteful styles and in the most
prompt manner
Pastries for Private and Public Parties furnished to order at the lowest rate

R.HALL & Co.,
143 and 145 Clay Street
Six doors below Montgomery st., San Francisco
A Card

Redwood City
This store is always provided with a large and complete assortment of Goods
suitable for this market. Consumers are requested to call and examine the
stock of
Dry Goods, Groceries, Provisions, Hardware, Crockery, Glassware, Cutlery,
Stationery, Boots, Shoes, Tobacco, Cigars
Fresh supplies of which are being constantly received from San Francisco
and will be sold at the lowest market rates. Also
Agricultural Implements of all kinds

Farming and Grazing
Tracts will be sold in quantities to suit from sixty acres upwards; either
for cash, or if desired by the purchaser, two thirds of the money can
remain on mortgage for one and two years, at one per cent interest, payable
Leases will be given for a portion of the crop to experienced and
well-known farmers
Also for Sale, Building Lots in Redwood City
(Fifty by one Hundred Feet Each)
And VILLA LOTS near it, and also at Belmont, containing from one to five acres
Apply to S.M. MEZES, Near Belmont

Livery Stable
Next the American Hotel
Main Street, Redwood City
At this establishment may always be obtained, at the lowest rates, a number
of excellent
Which the proprietors guarantee to give satisfaction
Buggies and Carriages
To hire, with or without Horses
Horses Fed
By the meal, day, week or month at low prices
The proprietors will always give their prompt personal attention to the
wishes of their patrons.

The Old Bowling Saloon
Main Street, Redwood City
J.P. FESSENDEN, Proprietor
At this favorite place of resort may always be found, as heretofore, the
finest quality of
Wines, Liquors and Cigars
The Proprietor will always esteem it a pleasure to cater to the wants of a
discriminating public
In this Saloon is an excellent
For the amusement of the patrons of the establishment

Canada San Andres
E. Wehler, Proprietor
The proprietor takes pleasure in informing his friends and the public
generally that he is now prepared to receive visitors at his place for the
season. A large FLOWER GARDEN and an Extensive Park, together with all
kinds of amusement have been provided for the entertainment of visitors,
none of whom can leave dissatisfied.
The Hotel is provide with every convenience and luxury, in all its
departments, and a table is spread daily which is unsurpassed south of San
No one who can properly appreciate the beauties of Nature, should neglect
to visit this favored spot, for it is inferior to none in natural beauties.

The Thorough-Bred Stallion
Will Stand the ensuing season at Woodside Dairy, four miles south of
Redwood City, on the San Jose Road.
PEACOCK was foaled in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1847. He was sired by the
celebrated Kentucky by Gray Eagle; dam by Priam.
He is of a dark chestnut color, is fifteen hands high and weighs one
thousand and five pounds. In compactness and beauty of form, in courage
and docility, he is not surpassed by any Stallion in California. A large
number of his colts, from six weeks to three years old, are on exhibition
at the rancho, and all who are interested in horse-breeding are
respectfully invitied to call and examine them.
Mares left at the rancho are, in all cases, at the owner's risk.
Terms ?..$25 the Season (from April 1st to September 1st.

C. LIVINGSTON, Bridge Street, Redwood City
Is constantly supplied with an extensive assortment of all kinds of Goods
in demand among the community generally and which he offers for sale at the
lowest ruling prices. The Goods consist in part of Groceries, Provisions,
Hardware, Cutlery, Wines, Liquors, Clothing, Rope, Agricultural Implements,
etc., etc.
Hay and Grain for Sale.

American Hotel
Main Street, Redwood City
J.Q.A. Thurber, Proprietor
The public are informed that this well-known and popular hotel will
continue as formerly, to be kept in a manner calculated to render entire
satisfaction to its numerous friends and patrons.
The Table will be plentifully supplied with the best products to be
obtained in the county market.
The Bar will also at all times contain the choicest, Wines, Liquors and
A BILLIARD TABLE is at the disposal of those who are fond of the game of
The Post Office and the office of FREEMAN & Co.'s EXPRESS are at this Hotel.

Main street, Redwood City
BAIRD & CO, Proprietors
The Market is always abundantly supplied with the best quality of Meats of
all kinds consisting of
Fresh Beef, Port, Mutton and Veal, also
Salt and Corned Beef and Pork
Constantly on hand, and put up to order at
San Francisco Prices
Fat Cattle for Sale
At the lowest cash prices

New Store ! at Belmont
Attached to and connected with the Well Known
Belmont Hotel
I would beg leave to inform my friends, neighbors, and the citizens
generally, that I have opened a large and well assorted stock of Groceries,
Dry Goods, Clothing, Farming Implements, Hardware, Boots and Shoes,
Liquors, Wooden Ware, Saddlery, Havana Segars, Fancy Goods, Choice Wines,
Queen's Ware, Medicines, and indeed, almost every article in use, together
with many not usually kept in country stores.
To the Ladies, I would especially say, your wants in articles of Taste and
Beauty can be supplied at the New Belmont Store, as I have now on hand,
Shawls, Muslin de Laines, Shawls, Laces and Embroideries, Sheetings, Table
Linen, Hosiery, Merinos, Silks, Blankets, Towels, Gloves, Calicoes,
Shirtings, Flannels, etc., etc.
Together with every article used in a First Class Dry Goods Store.
An apartment of the Store is devoted exclusively to articles for Ladies'
use, which is superintended by Mrs. ELLET, whose please it will be to
please her lady patrons.
The Prices at the above Store will be found always quite as low as at
San Francisco retail stores, and generally much lower.
Produce will be taken in exchange for Goods, at fair prices

Main Street, Redwood City
The proprietor of this well-known Stable would inform his friends and the
public generally that he is always prepared to accommodate them with
Horses, Buggies, Wagons, Harness, Horse-Feed, etc., etc.
Of the best kind, whenever required, at prices to suit the times.
Horses kept by the day, week or month, or supplied with single meals.
HAY and GRAIN for sale

Of every description and of the best quality, manufactured and
Mattresses Repaired,
At San Francisco prices, on the shortest notice
Spring Mattresses Made To Order
A street north of the Courthouse

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last updated: 14 April 2005