NAME, Years Elected to City Council
F R Girard (1842-1901) was elected to Council in 1897 and 1899.
Well, it depends who you ask!
Maybe a Democrat,1 maybe a Populist2 or maybe a Republican!3
Frank Girard was born in Switzerland and came to California sometime in the 1880s or 90s. He started out as a traveling salesman for a piano company and eventually went into business for himself. Girard lived at 694 34th Street.4
F.R. Girard was a busy man. On top of owning the piano company, he worked as school director and was on the Board of Education. In his spare time, he found time to go hunting in Mendocino (almost shooting one of his hunting partners).6 He also investigated spirits. In 1893 he went ghost hunting after one Henry Allen came to Oakland offering seances. Girard started attending Allen's seances to figure out how Allen was connected to the spirits and found that whatever was going on, it was mysterious. He even went to a seance and pretended to be the spirit. Mystery remained unsolved.7
Girard's will was a big deal at the time. Apparently his spiritual nature came back right before he died: he is said to have had a premonition that he was going to die and told his family and friends this.9 His daughter contested his will and the fight went on for a long time- every detail was in the paper. She argued that her evil stepmother had turned her dad against her right before his death and that's why she was cut out of the will.8
While on Council, Girard proposed that Oakland have its own lighting plant: he was a proponent of the city owning its own utilities.10 He also argued against expanding spending on police and fire after annexations that occurred during his terms.11
OTHER POSITIONS IN CITY GOVERNMENT
- “End of the Oakland Municipal Campaign.” San Francisco Chronicle: Mar 8, 1897.
"MEN FAVORED BY THE REPUBLICANS." San Francisco Chronicle: Jan 20, 1897.
"OAKLAND NEWS: An Appeal for a State Convention." San Francisco Chronicle: Mar 2, 1894.
"FRANK R. GIRARD IS CALLED BY DEATH." San Francisco Chronicle: Sep 19, 1901.
Fisher, PM. Pacific Education Journal. Educational Publishing Company: 1895.
"THREE ON A MOUNTAIN: Successful Hunters From Oakland." San Francisco Chronicle: Oct 7, 1894.
"OAKLAND NEWS: A School Director Hunting Spooks." San Francisco Chronicle: Nov 17, 1893.
"CLAIMS FATHER WAS EMBITTERED." San Francisco Chronicle: Feb 2, 1902.
"In Life He Deeded His Property." San Francisco Chronicle: Sep 22, 1901.
"OAKLAND MAY HAVE ITS OWN LIGHTING PLANT: COUNCILMAN GIRARD'S PLAN." San Francisco Chronicle: Apr 27, 1897.
"HE WILL OPPOSE AN INCREASED OUTLAY." San Francisco Chronicle: Jul 4, 1897.
"SAFE SHATTERED BY AN EXPLOSION." San Francisco Chronicle: Feb 5, 1896.