Thursday, March 6, 2008

Edward B. Pond - Mayor of San Francisco

[Photos of Edward Pond gravesite by Michael Colbruno; Photos of Edward Pond and Pond residence from San Francisco Public Library photo archives]

Plot 33

Edward Pond (1833-1910) was the Mayor of San Francisco from 1887-1891 and the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of California in 1890, a race he lost to Henry Markham. Pond succeeded Washington Bartlett as Mayor, who is also buried at Mountain View Cemetery and whose bio can be found on this blog.

Pond was a descendant of some of this country's earliest settlers. His family settled in America just fifteen years after the landing of the Mayflower and his grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War.

Pond was raised and educated in New York, but was lured to California by tales of gold in the hills. In 1854, he settled in Chico where he lived until he moved to San Francisco in 1857. In San Francisco he ran the wholesale house of Pond & Reynolds and became a prominent grain merchant.

He served for two term on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (1882-1886) before easily being elected Mayor in 1886. As Mayor, Pond became known for regularly vetoing legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors. They regularly overturned the Mayor and became known as the "Solid Nine." Upon taking office he inherited a debt of $520,000, which was substantial for the time. Pond discovered that the gas and water companies had not been paying their share of taxes. He negotiated a settlement and turned the deficit into a surplus.

No comments: