John Ryle MacGregor (1863-?) was elected in 1909. He was a Republican. 1


John Ryle MacGregor was born in Nova Scotia in 1863 and came to the United States with his family in 1879 at age 16. MacGregor traveled to Oakland in 1890 on his honeymoon: he and Henrietta Weaver liked it so much they stayed.

MacGregor ran for City Council in 1901 and was defeated. In 1911 the new Charter went into effect and he ran for city commissioner and was defeated. According to his daughter Helen, he couldn't afford to go back into politics. 5

MacGregor was a contractor and, of course, in the real estate business. He was involved in annexation.

He was involved in the Santa Fe Improvement Club. In a bit of vigilante justice that appears to be separate from his work on Council, but related to the Santa Fe Improvement Club, MacGregor and his neighbors chased a man named F.A. Boulin out of town. Boulin, who lived at 6311 Dover, had been accused of paying inappropriate attention to his 15 year old adopted daughter. The men nominated MacGregor as the spokesman and gathered in front of Boulin's door. They gave him 48 hours to leave, but after they warned him, he was never seen again. 8

On Council, MacGregor was considered very active. He was chairman of the License Committee. In 1909 he proposed an ordinance that would tax vehicles. The money that was earned would go to fixing the streets. 7

MacGregor was on the Harbor Committee and may have been a member of the Merchant's Exchange and the Harbor League. 4

MacGregor was a member of the Woodmen of the World, Odd Fellows and was a Mason. 2

His daughter, Helen MacGregor, has a plaza named after her. His younger brother, Charles M. MacGregor, was a well-known builder, sometimes called "the builder of Albany", where he constructed about 1,500 homes.


1896: appointed to the Adeline Sanitary Board 3 According to Helen, MacGregor was very active as a member before their area (Santa Fe-ish) was part of Oakland. 6


  1. Blake, Evarts. Greater Oakland. 1911.
  2. Blake.
  3. Blake.
  4. "SAN FRANCISCANS GET A BIG CONTRACT IN SOUTH." San Francisco Chronicle: Sep 23, 1909.
  5. Helen R. MacGregor, A Career in Public Service with Earl Warren, an interview conducted in 1971 and 1973 by Amelia Fry, June Hogan and Gabrielle Morris Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1973.
  6. Helen R. MacGregor.
  7. "Would tax vehicles to repair streets." San Francisco Call: July 8: 1909.
  8. "F. A. Boulin is Ordered to Leave and Not Return: ANGRY CITIZENS TAKE ACTION Form Vigilance Committee Led by Member of City Council." San Francisco Chronicle: Jun 25, 1909.