NAME, Years Elected to City Council

Walter Manuel served on City Council in 1893 and 1895.





Walter Manuel was the son of important Oakland citizen George W. Manuel.9

Manuel had several run-ins with men of the cloth. In 1895, one Reverend William Rader of the First Congregational Church and president of the Society for the Suppression of the Saloon, attacked Manuel and then-Councilman Frank Mott, saying that Manuel supported an anti-saloon ordinance in talk only, while voting another way.10 In 1897, Manuel had a similar problem, this time with Rev C.H. Hobart of the First Baptist Church. Apparently a "Sunday closing" law was at issue and Manuel did not vote for it because he feared it would lead to all-out prohibition.11 Hobart accused him of caving to the saloon people; Manuel offered a $1000 to charity to anyone who could prove that he had indeed caved.12

In 1895, Robert Hughes, a former Commissioner of Public works, sued Manuel in court for libel, alleging Manuel had told someone that he was involved with bribery involving Lafayette Square. The complaint was thrown out in court, after having been a sensation for "a day," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.6

Manuel was got a speeding ticket that became relevant in later years. The Oakland ordinance prohibited driving faster than 8 MPH, and Manuel didn't obey the law. One Judge Samuels found this law unconstitutional as the state law permitted 10 MPH (not clear how fast Manuel was driving) and that city laws must be "in harmony" with state laws.3

Manuel served as the president of the Municipal League, although it's unclear when he left the Republicans.7

Walter Manuel was one of the Councilmembers arrested in 1895.

While Park Commissioner, Manuel was responsible for the 1910 replacement of the oak trees with redwoods in Pine Knoll Park. Apparently the oaks weren't doing well in the increasingly dirty city and Manuel argued that while oaks could grow anywhere, redwoods could only grow in California.13 He voted against an increase in park employees' salaries.14


Park Commissioner-1910 ($0 salary)

Ran for Mayor- 19015

Ran for Mayor, Municipal League Candidate- 19064


  1. "MEN FAVORED BY THE REPUBLICANS." San Francisco Chronicle: Jan 20, 1897.
  2. "BUNKER ADDRESSES COMMERCE CHAMBER." San Francisco Call: Jan 17, 1911.
  3. The Horseless Age. Vol 17. The Horseless Age Co: 1906.
  4. The Motor Way.  Vol 14. L. L. Bligh: 1906.
  5. "List of mayors of Oakland, California." Wikipedia.
  6. "OAKLAND NEWS.San Francisco Chronicle: May 14, 1895.

  8. Grosser, Hugo. The book of American municipalities." The League of American Municipalities: 1910.

  9. "SUDDEN DEATH OF GEORGE W. MANUEL." San Francisco Chronicle: Apr 20, 1900.

  10. "REV. RADER'S RETORT." San Francisco Chronicle: Jun 8, 1895.

  11. "MANUEL DISPLEASED WITH HOBART'S REPLY." San Francisco Chronicle: Mar 12, 1897.

  12. "HOBART CHALLENGED TO PRODUCE PROOFS." San Francisco Chronicle: Mar 11, 1897.

  13. "FAMOUS OAKS ARE NO LONGER FAVORED." San Francisco Chronicle: Feb 25, 1910.

  14. "MORE MONEY FOR PART EMPLOYEES." San Francisco Chronicle: Apr 1, 1910.