from Blake's Greater Oakland 1911Harris Cebert "H. C." Capwell (February 10, 1858–July 9, 1929) was the founder of H. C. Capwell department stores, and was the president and a founder of the Security Bank and Trust of Oakland.

Capwell was born in Grand Ledge, Michigan on February 10, 1858, to William and Esther Capwell.

H. C. married Josephine Edwards (Capwell) (April 14, 1864–April 21, 1951) in 1890, and they had three children: Dorothy Capwell (Cocroft) (October 22, 1891–October 17, 1976)Phyllis Capwell (Seydel) (August 4, 1894–), and Cebert Edwards Capwell (February 17, 1896–February 14, 1977).

From 1913, the Capwells lived in a lovely mansion designed by Julia Morgan. It stood at the corner of Kelton Court and Monte Cresta. Prior to that, they lived at 1132 Oakland Avenue in what is now Piedmont, with a chauffeur, a gardener, and two servants.

Business and Offices

Capwell worked in San Francisco for several years for retailers. In 1889, he started his own store in Oakland called "The Lace House". In 1891, he changed the name to H. C. Capwell's.

In 1903, Capwell, Allen D. Wilson, and others formed the Athenian Bank. Later that year they changed the name to the Security Bank and Trust of Oakland. Capwell served as bank president from the founding until at least 1912.

Governor Pardee appointed Capwell to the board of the Home for the Adult Blind in 1904. 1

H. C. Capwell
from SF Call, May 26, 1904

In 1905, H. C. Capwell was the president of the Oakland Board of Trade. 3 He stepped down when the Board of Trade merged with the Merchants' Exchange to form the Chamber of Commerce. 4 In 1911, he was president of the Chamber of Commerce.

During a reorganization of the People's Water Company in 1909, Capwell was elected a director. 2

Death and Burial

H. C. died July 9, 1929. His remains are in Chapel of the Chimes.

Pages tagged “H. C. Capwell”

Links and References

  1. Governor Appoints H. C. Capwell San Francisco Call October 14, 1904
  2. Water Company Organized Los Angeles Herald May 9, 1909
  3. May Form Single Commercial Body San Francisco Call October 3, 1905
  4. Forgets Self to Aid Cause San Francisco Call March 18, 1906