Sunday, June 21, 2009
Francis Kittredge Shattuck (1824-1898) - Berkeley Founder; Politician; Businessman; Died From Train Mishap
Francis Kittredge Shattuck (March 6, 1824 – September 9, 1898) was the most prominent civic leader in the early history of Berkeley, California, and played an important role in the creation and government of Alameda County as well. He also served as mayor of the city of Oakland in 1859, and represented the 4th District in the California State Assembly from 1860-61. He also served many years on the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County starting in 1860. He was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Town of Berkeley in 1884.
The principal avenue in the city of Berkeley, Shattuck Avenue, is named for him, as is a smaller street, Kittredge. The Hotel Shattuck occupies the site of his original home.
Shattuck was born in Crown Point, Essex County in northern New York state. His mother was Betsy Mather, a descendant of Increase Mather who was the president of Harvard from 1685 to 1701. His father Weston Shattuck, a native of Massachusetts, was a farmer who died when Francis was 12. Francis earned a teaching certificate by age 18 and was a schoolteacher for four years. He then moved to a small town in Vermont and worked as a store clerk, until he heard of the discovery of gold in California. He and a friend, George Blake, by then also his brother-in-law, took off for California.
In 1852, Shattuck, Blake and two partners they met in the gold fields, William Hillegass and James Leonard, laid claim to four adjoining 160-acre (0.65 km2) strips of land in the area which became the central part of Berkeley. (See Kellersberger's Map)
Shattuck was instrumental in getting the Central Pacific Railroad to construct a branch line into Berkeley in 1876 connecting the community and University of California with the main line and the railroad's ferry to San Francisco.
Ironically, Shattuck died as a result of complications stemming from injuries sustained from being knocked down by a man alighting from a train that Shattuck was attempting to board on Shattuck Avenue. He is buried with his wife, sisters, and George Blake.
Shattuck had two sisters, Millicent and Elizabeth. It was Millicent who married Shattuck's original partner, George Blake. Shattuck, although married (wife: Rosa Maria Morse, b. 6/12/1834, d. 9/12/1908), died childless, and his estate including several Berkeley properties went to his wife and to his nephew, John W. Havens, the son of his sister Elizabeth Helen Shattuck Havens.
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