George Addison Posey (September 28, 1883 – August 3, 1932) was an engineer who designed a number of notable structures around Oakland including the Leimert Bridge to Oakmore Highlands and the Posey Tube to Alameda. He was also Alameda County Surveyor.
George was married to Ethel Kesselring (Posey) and they had three children, Dorothy Posey, Barbara Posey, and George Addison Posey, Jr.
Posey took his own life by breathing exhaust fumes in the garage of the Mandana Blvd. home. A superior court jury had recently recommended a grand jury investigation into Posey's part in a "free lot racket" where developer Sol Koff and two of his aides, Herman Yaffe and Herman Weiss, were convicted on charges of grand theft and conspiracy. But a judge in the case expressed that Posey's suicide was "prompted by his pride and extremely sensitive nature rather than any fear." However, Posey had accepted $20,000 from them developers for his work. 1
"Free lot rackets" were apparently common in the 1920s and 1930s. Someone was told they'd 'won' a lot (for only the cost of some transfer fees) but they had to inspect the property in person. When actually inspecting it, they'd be subjected to high-pressure salesman to convince them to buy an 'upgraded' lot instead.
After George's death, Ethel and the children moved to Chico to live with Ethel's parents. George Addison Posey, Jr. served in the Army Air Force in WWII, and near the end of the war, the staff of the P.O.W. hospital he was in surrendered to him. 2
Other Oakland connections
- the family lived at 685 Walavista Avenue off of Lakeshore in 1918 and 1920
- in 1920 they also employed Mildred Hayes as a "nurse girl", presumably a nanny to help with caring for 1 year old Barbara and 4 year old Dorothy.
- the family lived at 843 Mandana Blvd. in 1928 and 1930