Stephen Clark Foster
Stephen Clark Foster was a politician, the first American mayor of Los Angeles under United States military rule. Foster served in the state constitutional convention, was elected to the State Senate, he was elected as mayor of Los Angeles in 1856, elected for four terms to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Foster was born in Machias, Maine, in 1820, he graduated from Yale College in 1840. He taught at a private academy in the South. In 1845 at age 25, he headed for California, like many other young single men, via El Paso and Santa Fe. While in Santa Fe, Foster joined the Mormon Battalion of Volunteers on its way to California to fight in the Mexican–American War, he served as an interpreter on the Battalion's march across the Southwest. In the stormy period when California was under US military rule after the defeat of the Mexicans, Governor Richard Barnes Mason appointed the 26-year-old Foster alcalde of Los Angeles to replace the dissolved ayuntamiento of the Mexicans. For this reason, Foster has been referred to as the first American mayor of the city.
He served as alcalde from January 1, 1848 to May 21, 1849. For the remainder of that year, or until the city came under United States jurisdiction in 1850, Foster served as prefect. Mason appointed a prominent and mature Californio, as mayor following Foster. During his early years in Los Angeles, Foster made a marriage important to his standing in the community, he married María Merced Lugo, one of the sisters of José del Carmen Lugo above. Their father was a prominent Californio landowner; the Fosters had five children together. Foster was elected a member of the 1849 California Constitutional Convention; the group framed the state Constitution and petitioned Congress for admission of California into the United States. Foster achieved his first political office after statehood in 1850, when he was elected to the Los Angeles Common Council for a one-year term. In 1851 he was elected California state senator from Southern California, served two years. In 1854, Foster was elected mayor of Los Angeles.
He is credited with authorizing construction of the first public school in Los Angeles. Los Angeles was said to be the toughest frontier town in the United States, it had a diverse population with simmering tensions after the war, as well as a "disorderly element". The surrounding territory was overrun by bandits driven from the gold mines of northern California southward into the cattle ranching counties. Numerous gamblers and criminals drifted into the city to escape the vigilantes of San Francisco. Mayor Foster, like most of the city's prominent citizens, was a member of the local vigilance committee and of the Los Angeles Rangers, the mounted body of volunteer police. In early 1854, Foster resigned his official position to lead a lynching mob. After the lynching, the people held a special election and returned Foster to office for the remainder of his regular term. Foster was re-elected mayor in 1856, he resigned Sept. 22, 1856, to act as executor for the large estate of his brother-in-law, Colonel Isaac Williams.
Foster next served as a supervisor on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for four terms. He was elected in 1856, 1858 and 1859. In 1857 he replaced Jonathan R. Scott. Foster documented the history of California under the rule of Mexico in articles published by the Southern California Historical Society. In 1888 he wrote A Sketch of Some of the Earliest Pioneers of Los Angeles and Reminiscences: My First Procession in Los Angeles March 16, 1847. At Forefather's Day celebrations on December 21, 1886, Foster read a paper about yankee pioneers, titled First New Englanders Who Came to Los Angeles, which The Los Angeles Times stated was a "historically valuable paper." He died in 1898 and his funeral was held in Downey, California. Former Los Angeles mayor J. R. Toberman was a pall-bearer
James Kenneth Hahn is an American lawyer and politician. A Democrat, Hahn was elected the 40th mayor of Los Angeles in 2001, he served until 2005. Prior to his term as mayor, Hahn served in several other capacities for the city of Los Angeles, including deputy city attorney, city controller and city attorney. Hahn is the only individual in the city's history to have been elected to all three citywide offices, he is a sitting judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court. As mayor, Hahn appointed Bill Bratton, the former NYPD commissioner, as police chief of Los Angeles and chose not to renew Bernard Parks' second term as chief. Bratton's appointment is seen as leading to the sharp declines in Los Angeles' crime rate and improved morale in the department. Hahn led the successful campaign to defeat secession in the San Fernando Valley and San Pedro, thereby keeping Los Angeles intact. While he is noted for these two accomplishments, they helped lead to his unsuccessful re-election bid. Hahn is the brother of Los Angeles county supervisor and former congresswoman, Janice Hahn, the nephew of former California State assemblyman and Los Angeles city councilman Gordon Hahn.
Hahn was born on July 3, 1950 in Los Angeles, the son of Ramona and Kenneth Hahn, was raised in the Morningside Park district of Inglewood near South Los Angeles. Hahn attended Manchester Avenue Elementary School, Daniel Freeman Elementary School, Horace Mann Junior High School, Los Angeles Lutheran Middle & Senior High School, he graduated from the Los Angeles campus of Pepperdine University in California magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in journalism, in 1972. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law, in 1975. In 1994, he was selected as the School of Law's distinguished alumnus. While at Seaver College, he assisted in the development of a paralegal program for the Family Law Center of the Legal Aid Society and during law school, he clerked for the Los Angeles district attorney's Office. Upon graduation in 1975 until 1979, Hahn worked as a prosecutor and deputy city attorney in the office of the City Attorney. From 1979–1981, he was in private practice with Robert Horner.
In 1981 he was elected the fifth city controller of Los Angeles and served until 1985. He was at the time the youngest person elected to that position. Hahn served from 1985 to 2001 as Los Angeles city attorney, an office of 358 attorneys, support staff of 346, with branch offices in 21 locations citywide; as city attorney, Hahn worked to rid LA's neighborhoods of gang activity through the use of gang injunctions. He was involved in crafting state legislation regarding gang enforcement by writing the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act. During Hahn's tenure as city attorney, he led the litigation to stop the Joe Camel ad campaign and reached a settlement of 312 million dollars for the city, he created the Tobacco Enforcement Project to prevent the sale of tobacco to minors. He re-established a domestic violence unit and sponsored over 30 pieces of relevant legislation, ensuring that California had tough domestic violence laws. Special units in the office included AIDS/HIV discrimination, environmental protection, housing enforcement, consumer protection, special enforcement, governmental law and enforcement.
He managed a dispute resolution program. Aside from the special units, the office was divided into a civil branch. Hahn required all of his attorneys to receive ethnic and religious tolerance training from the Museum of Tolerance. Hahn was elected in 2001. Hahn rejected Bernard Parks for a second term as Los Angeles police chief, he appointed former NYPD commissioner William Bratton to the position. Together with Bratton, he reinstated the community policing program, implemented a flexible work week schedule and the COMPSTAT system, initiated a comprehensive recruitment and retention campaign. Morale rose in the department and there was the first increase in the ranks in ten years. In addition, all areas of crime dropped making it the second safest large city in the United States, he ensured for the first time in the city's history that there be at least one ambulance at every fire station. He convened a homeland security cabinet in his office, hosted an annual homeland security summit, coordinated Los Angeles' "Operation Archangel" to protect its infrastructure, lobbied for state and federal public safety grants.
After September 11, the United States Conference of Mayors appointed him to serve as chair of its aviation security task force. For these combined efforts, Hahn was endorsed in his re-election campaign by the police protective league and United Firefighters of Los Angeles. Hahn created a $100 million affordable housing trust fund, at the time the nation's largest, expanded the adaptive reuse ordinance to convert dilapidated buildings into mixed-use residential properties, he identified the funding to keep the city's homeless shelters open year-round and met with civic leaders across the county to establish a blue ribbon commission called "Bring LA Home" to end homelessness in Los Angeles county within a decade. He worked with councilmembers Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti to initiate and sign into law seven busi
John G. Nichols
John G. Nichols was a businessman and politician. John Greg Nichols was born on December 1812 in Canandaigua, New York, his father, William Nicholas, was a Scottish immigrant. He served as the Sheriff of Iowa for two terms in the 1840s, he made the trip to California in 1849, arriving in San Bernardino on December 31, 1849. He served as the third Mayor of Los Angeles from 1852 to 1853 and again from 1856 to 1859, he married Florida Cox. They lived in the first brick house to be built in California, their son was the first American to be born in the city, he was the first mayor to expand the city. He died on January 1898 in Los Angeles, he was buried at the Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in California. Nichols Canyon was named in his honor
William H. Workman
William Henry Workman was an American politician and businessman. He served two terms as the 18th Mayor of California. Workman was born in New Franklin, the son of David Workman and Nancy Hook, he had two older brothers, Thomas H. and Elijah H.. William, named for his uncle William Workman, a well-known rancher and banker in Los Angeles County, was raised in Howard County, Missouri until the age of 15. David Workman ran a saddlery in Missouri for many years. David opened a store in Gold Rush-era Sacramento. In April 1854, the David Workman family, including 15-year-old William, crossed the plains to California. While resting and restocking supplies at Salt Lake City, the family was approached by Brigham Young, leader of the Mormons, about staying there; the family moved on, arriving at William Workman's Rancho La Puente in October. David ran sheep and cattle to the gold mines for his brother, the elder William, but was killed in an accident in late June 1855, falling off a cliff while searching for a stray animal.
After his death, David's widow Nancy and her sons moved to Los Angeles. Thomas went to work as secretary for noted transportation magnate Phineas Banning, married Alice Woodworth, died in the explosion of the steamer "Ada Hancock" in April 1863, leaving no children. Elijah, following the family profession, opened a saddlery in Los Angeles by 1857 and was joined by William shortly afterward; the two continued in partnership for most of the next twenty years, building up, as the Workman Brothers, a substantial business at their Main Street location. William married Maria Elizabeth Boyle on October 1867, in Los Angeles. Maria was born in New Orleans, but after her mother died when she was young, was raised for a time by relatives while her father, Andrew A. Boyle relocated to San Francisco. Not long after sending for his daughter, Boyle moved to Los Angeles, buying a tract of land east of the Los Angeles River called "Paredon Blanco" Boyle ran a shoe store and the existing vineyard at Paredon Blanco, as well as served on the City Council during the 1860s.
William H. Workman and Maria Boyle had seven children, including Boyle Workman. Workman served several terms on the Los Angeles Common Council, between 1872 and 1880, was a proxy delegate at the 1872 Democratic National Convention in Baltimore. During his council tenure, he was on the committee that planned the city's first high school, which opened in 1873, he served two terms as Mayor of Los Angeles from December 14, 1886 to December 10, 1888 He was a conservative Democrat at a time of Republican dominance of politics in the growing city. His mayoral term, lasting the two years of 1887 and 1888, occurred during the years known as the "Boom of the Eighties," during which several parks, including today's MacArthur Park, were established and a new city hall was built, he was instrumental in overseeing the revision of the city charter and the transfer of the mayor's duties as city judge to a separate judicial figure. He served on the city parks commission in the 1890s, when several major parks, including Westlake and Hollenbeck, donated by him and Elizabeth Hollenbeck in memory or Mrs. Hollenbeck's husband and Workman's real estate partner, John, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood, others were created.
He was the treasurer of the city for three terms from 1901 to 1907. During his three terms as treasurer, he assisted in the transfer of municipal water control from private to public ownership and initiated the financial dealings for the early stages of the monumental Los Angeles Aqueduct project. Workman inherited valuable and productive vineyards and orchards from his father-in-law, Andrew A. Boyle. After Andrew Boyle's death, Workman decided, during the first development boom of the city, which took place from 1868 to 1875, to subdivide much of Paredon Blanco and create the community of Boyle Heights. In spring 1875, the announcement was made publicly, but the collapse of the local economy the following year stunted the growth of Boyle Heights until a new development boom in the late 1880s. By the end of the Nineteenth Century, Boyle Heights was a premier residential area of town, it developed into one of the city's most diverse communities and was home to a unique mix of Latinos, Molokan Russians, Italians and other ethnic and religious groups.
After the 1950s, the neighborhood became Latino and attracted new migrants from Mexico and Central America. The recent opening of the extension of the Metro Gold Line has been welcomed by both optimism for a renewal of the aging community and concern about the loss of its Latino identity through gentrification. In between and after political office-holding, Workman maintained a successful real estate office for many years, was president of the American Savings Bank, continued to work until his death. William H. Workman died at age 79 of heart failure at his home in Boyle Heights, he is interred in Evergreen Cemetery. His son, his father's assistant during the mayoral and treasurer terms, was a multi-term city councilman from 1919 and 1927 and served as president of that body. Boyle's memoir, "The City That Grew," was published in 1935 and is still read for its tales of family and reg
John Bryson (mayor)
John Bryson served as the 19th Mayor of Los Angeles from December 10, 1888 to February 25, 1889. In that time, he appointed all 6 of his sons to the 80-man Los Angeles Police Department, he would serve as President of the San Gabriel Valley Rapid Transit Railroad
William Dennison Stephens was an American federal and state politician. A three-term member of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1911 to 1916, Stephens was the 24th governor of California from 1917 to 1923. William Stephens was born in Eaton, Ohio on December 26, 1859, he was the third child out of a total of nine children born to Alvira Stephens. With ambitions to become a lawyer, Stephens studied earnestly in law to become a lawyer, yet family fortunes required all of his earnings to go to his family instead. Following his graduation from Eaton High School in 1876, Stephens had worked for three years as a school teacher before joining the railroad business to become an engineer. Between 1880 and 1887, Stephens helped survey the construction of railroads in Ohio, Indiana and Louisiana, his days in the railroads came to an end in 1887 when his mother, now falling ill, sought a hot and drier climate to improve her health. The Stephens family, including William, relocated to Los Angeles, California that year, though Alvira would be dead within a year.
After relocating to Los Angeles, Stephens began to work as a traveling salesman and as a grocery manager. In 1891, Stephens married Flora E. Rawson. In 1902, he became a partner in Carr and Stephens Groceries, giving Stephens wide name recognition throughout Los Angeles. Stephens became involved in business and municipal politics, serving on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce from 1902 to 1911, as well as being elected to the Los Angeles Board of Education from 1906 to 1907. Stephens further served on the Los Angeles Board of Water Commissioners, working alongside William Mulholland in an advisory committee for the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. In 1906, Stephens served as a major in the California Army National Guard during the San Francisco earthquake as part of the First Brigade. In 1909, he became vice president of the American National Bank. Following Los Angeles Mayor Arthur C. Harper's resignation from office shortly before a crucial recall election, Stephens was appointed Acting Mayor of the city on March 15, 1909, becoming the city's 27th mayor.
Stephens' mayoralty lasted for less than two weeks before George Alexander, the winner of the election, assumed the office. After his brief stint as Mayor of Los Angeles, Stephens entered the realm of federal politics. In the 1910 elections, Stephens was elected as a Republican for the 7th congressional district to the U. S. House of Representatives. Due to redistricting, Stephens changed constituencies to the newly created 10th congressional district for the 1912 elections, which he won. During this time period, Stephens identified himself as a member of the Progressive movement, becoming a member of the Progressive Party, led by former U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt and California Governor Hiram Johnson. Stephens was one of the 13 Progressives to be elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in the 1910s, four of which came from California, he defended his seat again in the 1914 elections, winning a consecutive third term to the House. Stephens would continue to identify himself as a member of the Progressive Party until the party’s dissolution in 1916, when he rejoined the Republican Party.
Following Lieutenant Governor John Morton Eshleman's death from tuberculosis on February 28, 1916, Governor Hiram Johnson sought a replacement for his subordinate. By mid-year, Johnson had selected Stephens as Eshleman's successor, forcing him to resign his seat from the federal House and assume the position of lieutenant governor on July 22. Stephens' position as lieutenant governor was short lived. Governor Johnson himself was elected to the U. S. Senate in the 1916 elections, leaving the governorship open to the installed lieutenant governor. Johnson submitted his resignation to take his Senate seat on March 15, 1917, with Stephens, fulfilling his duties as lieutenant governor, to assume the governorship, making him the state's 24th governor. Nearly Stephens faced controversy regarding the Preparedness Day Bombing, a terrorist attack on the San Francisco Preparedness Day parade on July 22, 1916; the attack was blamed on left wing radicals, in particular union leader and former Industrial Workers of the World member Thomas Mooney, his alleged accomplice, Warren Billings.
Both Mooney and Billings were convicted, though critics said that the trial was conducted in a lynch mob atmosphere. Governor Stephens supported both convictions. However, international sympathy for Mooney spread, making him one of the United States's most famous political prisoners. There was international pressure on Stephens to intervene for Mooney. President Woodrow Wilson telegraphed Stephens to ask him to review the case against Mooney. Stephens yielded, but only commuting Mooney's death sentence to life imprisonment. Despite this slight clemency, militant labor radicals continued to pressure Stephens, resulting in threats, actions of violence. On the evening of December 17, 1917, a dynamite bomb exploded at the foot of the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento. Although Stephens was not injured, the explosion caused considerable damage to the kitchen. Radicals from the IWW were blamed for the attack. In an unrelated threat, labor radicals threatened to destroy both the California State Capitol and the Governor's Mansion if a $50,000 ransom was not met.
Stephens responded to threats from labor radicals, to subversion worries during World War I, with the California Criminal Syndicalism Act, targeting radical labor unionists and their advocacy of violent confrontation with state authorities. Despite numerous threats on his life and state p
Edward Falles Spence
Edward Fallis Spence, known as E. F. Spence, was a banker and property developer, a member of the California legislature, a Nevada County official and the mayor of Los Angeles, California, in 1884–86. Spence was born on December 22, 1832, in Enniskillen, the son of Gabriel Spence, he was educated there by private tutors, at the age of 20 he emigrated to America and worked on a farm near Philadelphia, for several months shipped to California via the Nicaragua route, arriving in San Francisco in December 1852. He spent some twenty years in Northern Nevada, settling in San Jose, California. After some years spent in San Jose and San Diego, he returned to Ireland in 1872, where he married his second wife, Anna Maria Spence, from Five Mile Town, County Tyrone, Ireland, he returned with his bride to the newly established Monrovia. Together they had William Glenn, George Edward, Albert Harry and Kathleen, he had Nellie J. and J. Porter, from his first wife. Spence died of heart failure September 19, 1892, in the home of a friend, John A. Fairchild, on Burlington Avenue near Ninth Street, in today's Westlake district, Los Angeles.
He was 59 years old. The September 22 obsequies, which began in the family home on Burlington Avenue, were said to be "in point of attendance one of the largest held in this city" and the funeral procession to Evergreen Cemetery "one of the largest witnessed." Spence gained his knowledge of business affairs through assisting his father in the management of the family's large farming tracts and herds of cattle in Ireland. He engaged in mining In Northern California and Nevada, but in San Jose he "controlled an extensive drug business" and switched to banking; as well, he was one of the organizers of the Commercial Bank of San Diego. In 1875 Spence was named cashier of the Commercial Bank of Los Angeles, organized by John Edward Hollenbeck and reorganized in 1880 as the Commercial State Bank, the forerunner of the First National Bank of Los Angeles, of which Spence became president in 1881, he held interest in other banks as well, owned property in Whittier and Monrovia, California. Spence was responsible for building the first horse car line across the Los Angeles River and, in 1886, financing the first electric car line in Los Angeles.
A Republican, Spence was elected to the California State Assembly from Nevada County in 1860 and was the treasurer of that county. On December 5, 1979, Spence was elected to represent the 3rd Ward on the Los Angeles Common Council, the legislative branch of the city government, he served until December 10, 1881, he was mayor of the city from December 9, 1884, to December 14, 1886, under his mayoralty the city reorganized the Police Department and the Fire Department and placed all the personnel on salary. In his final year as mayor, the city open fresh-water ditch. Spence was one of the founders of the University of Southern California, called Methodist College, he was on its board of directors, he promised to donate some of his property, "including the lot at the corner of Pearl and Sixth streets" to USC so that it might be sold and the proceeds used to place a telescope on the summit of Mount Wilson. University President Marion M. Bovard ordered a lens from the Cambridge manufactory Alvan Clark & Sons, but Spence died before the deal could be completed, so Bovard had to sell the glass to the University of Chicago.
Another source said that Spence had agreed to give the cash sum of $50,000 to fund the telescope project, but it was reported that the gift was indeed in the form of land that lost its value and the USC contract with "a French firm for a forty-inch telescope, the largest in the world," had to be canceled. Access to the Los Angeles Times links may require the use of a library card