Mathew de la Montanya (1835 (or 1829) -1917) was on the City Council in 1883 and 1884, and was the Oakland Fire Department Chief from 1874-1877.

De la Montanya was born in New York in 1829 and was the son of Rep. James de la Montanya of Haverstraw, NY. He ran a hardware store in Oakland at 465 11th Street.  De la Montanya came to California in 1849 or 1850. On his arrival in the Bay Area, he became involved in business, particularly the "upbuilding forces." 4,6

De la Montanya was an early chief of the Oakland Fire Department. He ordered the installation of Oakland's first fire alarm boxes. 3

In 1854  Montanya married Ellen Marion McMillan and they had 6 children , Matthew Jr, Ida, twins James & Charles, Archibald and Helen.

Links and References

  1. Bronson, J Rush and Clarence Hunt. The Grizzly Bear. Grizzly Bear Publishing: 1915.
  2. Boessenecker, John. Lawman: The Life and Times of Harry Morse, 1835-1912. University of Oklahoma Press: 1988 (Information from this source is not always accurate).
  3. "Membership Certificate." Oakland Museum of California.
  4. Guinn, JM. History of the State of California and Biographical Record of Oakland and Environs (V2) Los Angeles: Historic Record Co: 1907.
  5. Oakland Fire Department by Captain Geoffrey Hunter, Arcadia Series

  6. "upbuilding forces" - This referred to citizens taking an active interest in the municipal welfare of the city, and their surrounding community, and as an enthusiast of the future of California sought always to promote the general development of the state, for as a rule, the first settlers were single men who preferred to spend their time in the mines rather than assist in the "upbuilding" of a town in which they would probably not care to reside permanently. Several descriptions found on biographies of the early pioneers had this phrase, as evidenced in this excerpt from another bio: "He has proven an "upbuilding force" in public affairs, and is accounted one of the most practical and helpful citizens of the community. In religion he is a member of the Catholic Church of San Leandro, and is a generous contributor to all worthy projects advanced for the general good of the community."