Henry Maloon was an early resident of Oakland, son of Benjamin and Mary Maloon, brother of Benjamin, Seth, Charles, George and Ida.

Final Rites Set For Henry Maloon, Oakland Pioneer1

Funeral services will be held tomorrow for one of Oakland's oldest pioneer citizens, Henry Maloon, 92, who died last night at a local hospital, where he had been taken following a heart attack.

Maloon came to Oakland when he was 4 years old, or as he used to phrase it, "when solid timber stretched all the way back from Gibbons Point."

In 1852 his mother brought him and his two older brothers, Frank and Seth, to California via the Isthmus - just three years after his father, Captain Benjamin Maloon, sailed around the Horn into the Golden Gate with his whaling bark, the Lenox.

Henry was the third son of four born to Captain and Mrs. Maloon in Roxbury, Mass.

He was a charter member of the Oakland Pioneer Society. In 1883 [I believe this is supposed to be 1863. - MF] he was a member of the fifth California infantry, from which he retired with the rank of lieutenant. He was Oakland's first deputy tax collector in 1867, and later held a position in the San Francisco Mint.

He was an uncle of Supervisor Clifford Wixson. He leaves two daughters, Mrs. Jessie Thomas, Mrs. California Whittaker, and two sons, Harry and Orin Maloon.

The funeral services will be held at the mortuary. of Julius S. Godeau, 2110 Webster Street, at 2 p.m. Interment will be in Mountain View Cemetery

Pioneer and Historian2

Henry Maloon, who died recently in Oakland at 92, was known for years as one of the most interested and accurate of Alameda County historians. He loved the old stories and was zealous in seeing that they were preserved with accuracy. That which follows comes from one who knew him intimately, John Wallace of Sunol. Maloon was for many years a writer-contributor to The Tribune under the caption "Do You Remember," and has chronicled events since 1861, with undisputed accuracy. He was a first attendant at the first school established in Oakland, and a member and organizer of the Lyceum Lincoln Bureau, which subsequently proved the foundation for the Oakland and Alameda County Library system. Maloon "fired" the first steam locomotive operated between San Leandro and the foot of Seventh Street to connect by ferry with San Francisco. He was the first person to buy a ticket for ferry transportation from Oakland to San Francisco, and he still has among his effects Ticket No. 1, which he had never used. Maloon was the outstanding hero in the first ferry disaster attending inauguration of the ferry service, when an apron on the newly constructed ferry slip in Oakland gave way under a Fourth of July excursion and a score of lives lost. Maloon is credited with saving eight lives, among these being a girl whom he later married. In the case of the Oakland waterfront controversy involving Carpentier as claimant of all estuary and bay frontage on the Alameda County side of the bay, for which Carpentier had exchanged a small lot and a small school building, Maloon proved a star witness, appearing in court constantly over a period of several years.

Last of Oakland Guard

From records produced by Maloon, he appears as the storm center in one of Oakland's major shake-ups when city officials resisted his actions as license collector of the metropolitan area as it was first established. As a prohibitionist, Maloon stood against the powers that be in the liquor control adventures of Oakland's early days. Incidental to the life history of Maloon and his contributions to Oakland progress, one of the treasures of his life was a flag woven out of pure silk, and with stars of golden thread, a flag made by the women of 1861, Maloon's mother being one of that group. The flag was made in the then newly constructed Courthouse of that day (not the present Courthouse), and it was carried through the Civil War by the Oakland Volunteers, who had been mustered in and trained by Maloon and associates, known as the Oakland Guard. Although frail, and yet active, Maloon took a great interest in the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge, and this writer was called upon to take him many times to the site of the structure, and to the finished work, where he seemed to find much delight in modern building along lines of transportation. Maloon had an almost uncanny way of recalling faces and family history, and many businessmen of Oakland found time to chat with him about their forefathers whom he knew. He would trace down a family legend with deep interest, and was particularly proud of his memory. In his writings he startled present-day readers with tales of early Oakland, almost unbelievable, and sensational, yet true, according to records on file in the Alameda County historical libraries. In the funeral held Tuesday, January 24, Maloon's casket was enfolded with the silk flag of 1861, referred to and since this is the final last surviving member of the Oakland Guard group, the flag will be again folded away in its old oaken container and held by John J. Nagel, who as custodian and secretary of the Oakland Historical and Pioneers Society has taken a great deal of interest and pride in relics handed down through years by members of the oldest organization in Alameda County.

  1. Oakland Tribune, 23 Jan 1939, Mon, Page 13

  2. Oakland Tribune, 29 Jan 1939, Sun, Page 13