Contributed by Oakland Pioneers)
OAKLAND IN EARLY DAYS (No. 5) BY CHAS. G. REED.
In 1853 the county of Alameda was organized from parts of Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties, "New Haven," now Alvarado being named as the county seat in the organic act.
H. W. Carpentier introduced an amendment to make Oakland the county seat, but it was defeated in the assembly by vote of 19 to 17. Thus was born at the city of Benicia, named for the wife of Gen. Vallejo, and then the state capital, one of the strongest and most populous of all the counties of California.
Those who had the largest share in shaping affairs in the new county were: Henry C. Smith, Judge A. M. Crane, [August] A. M. Church and H. W. Carpentier. The southeasterly part of the county possessed the controlling influence naming the county seat; and also nearly all the first officers, who were: County Judge A. M. Crane, Sheriff A. N. Broder, District Attorney Wm. H. Combs, County Clerk A. M. Church, Treasurer J. S. Marston, Public Administrator Jos. S. Watkins, Coroner Wm. H. Chamberlain, County Surveyor H. A. Higley, Assessor Geo. W. Goucher, School Supt. W. W. Brier.
During this year, the Oakland College school was established by Henry Durant and others in anticipation of the founding of a university. The school grounds consisted of the four blocks between Twelfth and Fourteenth streets, Franklin and Harrison streets. The first building, a three-story structure, was at the northwest corner of Twelfth and Harrison streets and served as a schoolroom, kitchen and dining room, parlor and dormitory. This school soon became famous throughout the state and there was hardly town of any note that was not represented by one or more pupils in its classes. Some pupils came from as far as Mexico. A separate schoolroom and large dormitory soon became necessary and were added to keep pace with the rapid growth of the school. Rev. Isaac H. Brayton became its head, when Durant with others organized the College of California, which occupied a small building on the campus of the Oakland College school. Many attended this school who afterwards were among California's most noted men.
(To be continued.)