San Francisco History

Events of 1860

July 1, 1860. A single track of the San Francisco and Mission Railroad completed—a distance of three miles from the foot of Market street to the Mission.

July 2. J.A. Post, a well known citizen and a pioneer merchant of this city, committed suicide at the City and County Hospital, by cutting his throat in a fit of insanity. . . .The trial of David S. Terry for killing David C. Broderick in a duel commenced at San Rafael, Marin county.

July 4. Independence Day celebrated by a grand military and civic procession, in which appeared all the principal organizations in the city. S.M. Wilson delivered the oration at the American Theatre, which was followed by a poem by J.F. Bowman. There was also an assemblage of the Sunday scholars of the city at the Pavilion built for the Mechanic's Institute exhibition, which was addressed by Rev. T. Starr King and J.V. Wattson, Esq. In the evening a grand display of fire-works took place at Washington Square. The general festivity was only marred by the accidental death of a lad of sixteen years, Willie Gauley, who was killed by the discharge of a pistol by James Seymour. . . .The cars commenced running on the Market Street Mission Railroad.

July 7. Desperate encounter between Police officer Rand and one Jacob Keimer, known as Steamboat Jack, whom the officer was attempting to arrest. Rand was severely wounded and Keimer shot and mortally hurt. . . .Geo. Wyekoff, formerly a merchant of tis city, committed suicide by shooting himself with a pistol. . . .Phillip A. Roach elected President of the Society of California Pioneers.

July 10. Collections for the Ladies' Mount Vernon Association reported by Mrs. Blanding, Vice-Regent, at $11,973 81.

July 11. Treasure shipped by steamer Sonora $1,071,732 03.

July 15. News received of the final split in the Democratic National Convention at Baltimore and of the rival nominations of Stephen A. Douglas and John C. Breckinridge.

July 21. Steamer Golden Age sailed with treasure amounting to $1,078,883 02.

July 25. Hebrew Cemetery at the Mission dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. . . .U.S. Steamer Saranae arrived in port from a cruise.

July 26. Fifteen Bactrian camels arrived on the schooner Caroline E. Foote from the Amoor river.

July 27. Fire on Battery street near Bush; loss $2,000.

July 30. Democratic State Central Committee met and issued a call for Breckinridge Convention.

August 1. Gen. James Shields arrived in this city by the Overland Mail coach. . . .Treasure shipment by steamer J.L. Stephens $876,256 61. . . .Celebration by the colored people of the anniversary of negro emancipation in the British West Indies.

Aug. 2. Anniversary meeting of the Ladies' Protection and Relief Association.

Aug. 4. In the Fourth District Court sentence of death pronounced upon James Whitford for the murder of Edward Sheridan. Execution fixed for September 21st.

Aug. 6. Annual meeting of the Young Men's Christian Association. . . .Platt's New Music Hall opened with a grand concert.

Aug. 11. The State prison formally surrendered by the lessees to the State authorities. . . .Treasure shipped per steamer Uncle Sam $1,030,553 18.

Aug. 15. Fire on Clay street opposite the Plaza—loss $2,000.

Aug. 17. The schooner Caroline E. Foote sailed, carrying the convalescent Japanese to their native land.

Aug. 19. Yacht race between the Maria, Falcon, Heenan and Pomeroy—won by the former.

Aug. 21. Treasure shipment per steamer Sonora $871, 260 68.

Aug. 27. Democratic primary election of the Douglas wing.

Aug. 31. Vacation commenced in the public schools. . . .Breckinridge primary election.

September 1. The Golden Age sailed with treasure, amounting to $1,287,657 89.

Sept. 2. Corner Stone laid of the Saint Mary's Hospital, corner First and Bryant streets, under the direction of the Archbishop. . . .The steam fire engine imported for Monumental Fire Company, No. 6., arrived per steamer John L. Stephens—the first apparatus of that kind brought to California. . . .J.W. Cherry delivered opening address of the Third Industrial Exhibition of the Mechanic's Institute, at Platt's Hall.

Sept. 4. The Industrial Exhibition, or Mechanic's Fair, opened at the Pavilion, corner of Sutter and Montgomery streets.

Sept. 6. The Aurora Borealis visible in splendor, and the cause of a general alarm of fire.

Sept. 8. Republican primary election.

Sept. 9. Destruction by fire, at the Potrero, of the residence of Bryan Donnelly. Mrs. Donnelly and one child were burned to death, and Mr. Donnelly and another child sadly burnt, the latter so severely as to cause its death on the 21st inst.

Sept. 10. Fire destroyed a number of shanties occupied by Chinese, on Jackson Street, east of Dupont. . . .Fire in Sperry's store, at Jackson's building on Montgomery street; heavy loss of clocks and sewing machines. . . .Celebration (9th being Sunday) of the admission of California into the Union. Oration by Edmund Randolph, and poem by Edward Campbell.

Sept. 11. Treasure shipment per Steamer J.L. Stephens, $1,009,158 36.

Sept. 12. Anniversary of Monumental Fire Company, No. 6—procession and band.

Sept. 13. Anniversary of the death of Senator Broderick, killed in a duel with W.S. Terry.

Sept. 15. Grocery at the corner of Filbert and Powell destroyed by fire.

Sept. 16. Mexican residents celebrated the anniversary of their National Independence.

Sept. 17. Public schools re-opened.

Sept. 19. The new High School building dedicated. Address by Rev. T. Starr King. . . .State Agricultural Exhibition opened at Sacramento.

Sept. 21. James Whitford, hanged at the County Jail for the murder of Richard Sheridan. . . .Steamer Uncle Sam sailed with $1,148,187 34 in treasure.

Sept. 22. The body of a young man found near Lone Mountain; name ascertained to be Lahsott; a verdict of suicide. . . .John Reuter, an aged German, drowned in the dock at the foot of Market street.

Sept. 26. Anniversary of the arrival of the California Regiment New York Volunteers.

Sept. 27. The old Musical Hall, the second time on fire—totally destroyed by fire. The conflagration was extensive, destroying nearly all the buildings from the Hall on Bush to Sutter street, on Montgomery. . . .George Brigham, native of Liverpool, belonging to ship Geo. Lee, found drowned at Broadway Wharf.

Sept. 29. Douglas primary election for county nominations.

October 1. Steamer Sonora sailed with treasure amounting to $995,495 10.

Oct. 3. Wm. H. Brown tried for the murder of Samuel H. Johnson, a colored and employed by him; jury unable to agree.

Oct. 4. Prince Lot Kamehaman arrived in his private yacht from the Sandwich Islands. . . .Congregational General Association met in First Congregational Church.

Oct. 5. Two large fires at the same hour in the evening. One a broom factory on Drumm street near Sacramento, and the other on Broadway and Front streets—about all of the square burnt over.

Oct. 6. Steamer Golden Age arrived, having in tow the steamer John L. Stephens, disabled below Acapulco. . . .Bay District Agricultural Society opened with an address by Rev. Mr. Myers. Cattle Grounds at the Pioneer Race Course.

Oct. 8. Intelligence received that the Oregon Legislature had elected Col. E.F. Baker, U.S. Senator. . . .Will of the late D.C. Broderick admitted to probate, after a severe protest—John A. McGlynn and A.J. Butler, executors. . . .An Agricultural convention was held of delegates from the country members of the State Agricultural Society; J.W. Osborn presided.

Oct. 10. The building on the corner of Bush and Taylor streets, owned and occupied by Dr. Ver Mehr as a Seminary, totally destroyed by fire.

Oct. 11. Steamer Golden Age, sailed with treasure amounting to $1,353,939.

Oct. 12. Great Republican mass meeting.

Oct. 13. Fire in Washington Place—3 houses destroyed. . . .Steamer Grenada stranded on a beach about 600 yards South of Fort Point. The vessel was a total loss, machinery and furnace saved.

Oct. 17. Brigadier General Newman Clark, died in this city.

Oct. 18. Obsequies of Gen. Clark, commenced with great pomp. . . .People's municipal market presented. . .Wreck of the Grenada for $9,400. . . .200 guns fired in honor at the arrival of Col. Baker, from Oregon.

Oct. 20. Steamer Cortes sailed with $1,08-,--0 05.

Oct. 22. A public ovation bestowed upon Col. Baker, who received his admirers at —ker's Hall.

Oct. 23. Horrible murder near Lone Mountain Cemetery of the wife of Henry Johnson, Margaret Anne, his daughter, 13 years old, and William Cook, a hired man. All killed with the same instrument, an ax, and apparently without motive. No clue to the perpetrator.

Oct. 24. News received of the death of — Tracy, an eminent lawyer of this city.

Oct. 26. Col. Baker made his great speech at the American Theatre.

Oct. 30. Son of Antonio Lead killed, on the temporary railroad track at the corner of Bush and Taylor streets.

Oct. 31. Michael Hargain killed his wife at a saloon at the corner of Drumm and Pine streets, in a fit of jealousy.

November 1. Steamer Uncle Sam sailed with a treasure amounting to $1,188, 071 48.

Nov. 5. Fire south side Washington near Drumm, destroying Miners' Exchange Bulding, a vinegar factory.  Grant Murphy burnt to death in the former. . . .Argument in the great Almaden mine case concluded in the Federal Court.

Nov. 6. (Tuesday). Presidential and General State Election; vote in this city and county 14,419; in the state, 119,807.

Nov 10. Steamer Sonora sailed to-day with $923,419 67.

Nov 12. Fire at Bachman Brothers, corner of Battery and Halleck streets—loss, $25,000.

Nov 14. Pony Express, with dates to the seventh, arrived at Fort Churchill, with news making the election of Lincoln certain.

Nov. 17. Fire in the millinery shop on Clay, above Kearny street. . . .Two men drowned off Schooner Eliza P. Adains.

Nov. 18. Fire on corner of Sacramento and Webb streets, destroying contents of several retail shops and millinery establishments.

Nov. 19. George W. Brown committed suicide, by severing the arm and bleeding to death at the Jefferson House.

Nov. 21. Steamer Golden Age sailed, with $1,216,213 68. . . .The present system of house-numbering put into operation.

Nov. 22. Major J.B. Scott, U.S.A., died at Oriental House. . . .Fire in Clay street, near Kearny.

Nov. 23. Pony arrival announcing secession of South Carolina and Alabama.

Nov. 24. Sudden death of Major General Joshua P. Haven—much beloved and esteemed by his fellow citizens—Guillaume LaCosta, an aged Frenchman, committed suicide by shooting himself.

Nov. 25. Yacht race between the Mermaid and Restless for $500, closely contested and won by the latter. . . .John Campbell Johnson, a native of Glasgow, found drowned.

Nov. 27. Lyceum building, corner Washington and Montgomery streets, destroyed by fire, and Mr. A.F. Barbier fatally injured.

Nov. 28. Eleventh Anniversary of the San Francisco Bible Society. . . .Explosion of gas in an upper room of Platt's Building.

Nov. 29. General observance of Thanksgiving Day.

Nov. 30. Pony brings confirmation of secession news.

December 1. Steamer Cortes sailed with $1,228,209 32. . . .Shocking murder of Caroline A. Park, mulatto girl, by John Clarkson, a negro. . . .Election for Chief and Third Assistant Engineers of the Fire Department. Total vote cast, 873; of which David Seannell, of No. 1, received 487; Robert Cushing, of No. 11, 380; Joseph Capprise, of No. 6, 6. Majority for Scannell, 101. For Third Assistant vote cast, 871; of which John G. Corson, of No. 12, received 467; John Swift, of No. 2, 366; Wm. Bloomer, of No. 6, 38. Corson's majority, 63.

Dec. 7. Minute guns from the U.S. Forts, in memory of Gen. Clarke.

Dec. 11. Steamer Uncle Sam sailed with $1,466,915 58. . . .James Grannan killed on Pine Street, between Stockton and Powell, by the caving in of a bank of sand.

Dec. 13. Fire on Bush Street, between Kearny and Dupont.

Dec. 15. Martin Votz, a German, shot dead by a countryman, Malachi Kramer, at a brewery on Stockton Street. Kramer was afterward found to be insane. . . .Public school vacation for three weeks commenced. . . .Judge Edward Norton descended from the Bench of the Twelfth District Court. . . .H.W. Halleck appointed Major General, in place of Gen. Haven, deceased.

Dec. 17. Resolutions complimentary to Judge Norton adopted by the bar.

Dec. 20. President's Message received.

Dec. 21. Steamer Sonora departed with $1,467,119 42.

Dec. 22. New Rincon School House dedicated.

Dec. 25. Christmas—numerous festivals.

Dec. 27. Declared coinage at the U.S. Branch Mint in this city for the year: $11,442,000. . . .Explosion on steamer Diana, off Vallejo Street Wharf. William Shaw, engineer, and Thomas Johnson, a hand, so severely injured that they soon afterward died.

Dec. 30. Death of Hon. Gilbert A. Grant, a well known and popular resident.

Source: Langley, Henry G. The San Francisco Directory; Chronological History of Principal Events. 1861.

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