Thursday, February 21, 2019

Frank Day (1853-1899): Councilmember in Los Angeles and Monterey

Frank Day obituary in the San Francisco Call
Plot 14B

Day was born in South Bend, Indiana, on April 9, 1853 and moved with his family to Sacramento, California in 1866. He moved by himself to Los Angeles in the early 1880s.

In 1882, he was elected to represent the 2nd Ward on the Los Angeles Common Council. The Los Angeles Common Council was the predecessor of the Los Angeles, California, City Council. It was formed in 1850 under state law, when the city had only 1,610 residents, and it existed until 1889, when the city had about 50,400 residents and a city charter was put into effect. Day represented one of the wealthiest Wards.

In November 1885 Day argued against a motion made by Councilman Hiram Sinsabaugh that a picture of a nude woman hanging "at the lower end of the council chamber" be removed. He said the canvas was a "work of art. belong to Conference [Fire] Engine Company, and had been on exhibition in Preuss A. Piroul's window for four months." The council nevertheless ordered it taken down.

On March 7, 1885, "the fire delegates" elected Day as chief of the volunteer fire department. It was said that Day was the first chief of the fire department when it became a paid department instead of a volunteer force. He resigned in January 1886, with a message to the Common Council that he could no longer serve because he would be "out of the city a good deal of the time."

After selling his business, Day moved to Monterey where he was an organizer and manager of the Monterey Electric Light & Development Company and operator of a saloon. In 1893, he became a member of the Monterey Town Council.

Around 1898, he ended up in San Francisco, where he worked as a clerk at Wells Fargo. But his stay in the city was short, as he committed suicide in 1899, leaving the following note:

"If my body is found, tell my friends at Wells, Fargo & Co. to bury me at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland. My father, Loth [sic] Day, and mother, Celine Day, are buried there." His father owned property in Oakland, which he bequeathed to his son.

According to his obituary in the San Francisco Call, "The stopcock of the gas jet was fully turned on and the room was full of the suffocating odor. All the crevices, including the keyhole, were stopped with bits of cloth tightly wedged in to prevent the escape of the death-dealing fluid."

The obituary also stated that he had a problem with alcohol.

Sources: San Francisco Call,, Wikipedia

No comments: