William Henry "W. H." Bovee (1824–May 14, 1894) was the 8th mayor of Oakland in 1863 and 1864.
Born in New York City, Bovee moved after graduation to Sandusky, Ohio to work as a clerk in his uncle's boot and shoe shop. There he married Elizabeth Marshall when he was 19 years old.
Leaving Ohio he returned to New York and worked at Hope Mills, one of the leading coffee and spice companies. William Bovee left New York on January 12, 1849 to join the gold rush. 1
After traveling as a young man to California during the gold rush, Bovee opened the first coffee roasting plant in San Francisco, the Pioneer Steam Coffee & Spice Mill company. This was the first roast coffee available anywhere in Northern California. One of his employees was Jim Folger, who later founded Folger's Coffee. In 1859 William Bovee sold the company to Jim Folger. 1
W.H. Bovee lost his fortune investing $250,000 in Calaveras County gold mines.
After returning to Oakland Bovee was elected to the Board of Alderman, the Oakland City Council and Board of Education. Bovee served on the original Board of Directors for Mountain View Cemetery in June 1863 when the cemetery first purchased approximately 200 acres in the foothills outside of Oakland. 1
In 1885, William Bovee founded a real estate firm, Bovee, Toy & Company Real Estate with his son-in-law George Toy.
W.H. Bovee died of marasmus (chronic undernourishment) and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Plot 4, Lot 251.