NAME, Years Elected to City Council

Harrison (Harry) D Rowe (often referred to as H. D.)

Rowe served one full term on City Council after being elected in 1897. He was also elected in 1899, but was elected Supervisor. He resigned council on 12/31/1900 and was replaced by James A Johnson by the mayor on January 2, 1900.





Rowe was thought of by the press as a "clean" guy who believed in good governance.One citizen, however, instigated a claim against Rowe that he had been misappropriating county funds, to the tune of just over $38, by charging the county for mileage he hadn't driven. This citizen then demanded the $500 whistle-blower reward.Rowe did not lose his seat. Speculations were made that the charges were manufactured because Rowe was about to suggest to the Board of Supervisors that a contract go up for bid rather than accepting the bid on the table from a friend of one of the Supervisors.7

As Supervisor, Rowe was involved in a number of controversies.

In 1901, Rowe introduced a resolution aimed at diminishing use of the infirmary as a place where connected individuals could go and recuperate. This didn't go over well with other supervisors, who claimed that Rowe was overstepping his authority.4

In 1905, the Board of Supervisors debated getting voting machines. The county was taking bids for 100 machines, and Rowe felt that the machines should be tested by stakeholders before bids were considered. He won the day: the bids were postponed for a week so that members of the community, the Merchant's Exchange, the board, the Grand Jury and Board of Trade could test them first.2 (One point for transparency!) Eventually, in 1906, the Board decided on buying voting machines from the Dean company at $750 a piece. Rowe objected, saying that general elections were not for 2 years and that fixes could be made before then. He lost this argument to the other Supervisors.


Alameda County Board of Supervisors (district 4): 1900-



  1. "MEN FAVORED BY THE REPUBLICANS." San Francisco Chronicle: Jan 20, 1897. 

  2. "Chairman Mitchell and Rowe Have Hot Words While Considering Voting Machines." San Francisco Chronicle: June 13, 1905.

  3. "ROWE AGAIN SEEKS SUPERVISOR'S JOB." San Francisco Call: Jul 14, 1908.

  4. "USE INFIRMARY AS SANITARIUM." San Francisco Chronicle: Apr 9, 1901. 

  5. "ROWE QUARRELS WITH CONFRERES: Supervisors Differ on Subject of Buying the Voting Machines." San Francisco Chronicle: Dec 11, 1906.

  6. "MAKES CHARGE AGAINST ROWE: J. E. Guilbauh Would Oust a Supervisor for Alleged Overcharging in Mileage." San Francisco Chronicle: May 7, 1904.

  7. "ROWE MAY GO TO GRAND JURY." San Francisco Chronicle: May 9, 1904.