Saturday, May 29, 2010

William Edward Dargie (1854-1911) - Oakland Tribune Publisher

[Picture from Oakland Tribune]

[Dargie gravesite photo by Michael Colbruno]

William Edward Dargie was an American newspaper publisher and politician. He was publisher of the Oakland Tribune and served in the California State Senate.

Dargie was born in San Francisco, California, to John and Eliza G. Dargie. He graduated from Union Grammar School and for one year he attended San Francisco High School. In 1867, Dargie, secured the position of bill clerk with the wholesale wood firm of Armes & Dallam. Dargie became an apprentice in the printer's trade at the San Francisco Bulletin, becoming a member of the International Typographical Union's, San Francisco Local # 21. As a journeyman printer, Dargie learned all the operations and jobs in the composing room. He was transferred to the editorial department as a reporter for the Bulletin.

In 1875, Dargie decided to better his education and entered the new University of California at Berkeley. He continued to work as a reporter for the San Francisco Bulletin. Dargie's salary from the Bulletin paid his university expenses. After his freshman year at the university, Dargie purchased controlling interest in the Oakland Tribune with a loan from A. K. P. Harmon. On July 24, 1876, Dargie became the manager of the newspaper.

He envisioned that Oakland and Alameda County would grow in the future and that the Oakland Tribune would be the major newspaper to serve the new populace. Using his knowledge from the composing room and editorial department, Dargie made the Tribune a newspaper of credibility. He hired an excellent staff and purchased the latest presses and linotype machines.

On February 27, 1883, President Chester A. Arthur appointed Dargie, a Republican, to the post of Postmaster of Oakland. When his term as postmaster ended in 1888, Dargie ran for the California Legislature. He represented Alameda County in the California State Senate from 1889 to 1891. During his political career, Dargie continued as publisher of the Oakland Tribune.

On December 15, 1881, Dargie married Hermina Peralta at San Leandro, California in the home of the bride's father Miguel Peralta. The couple's daughter died at birth, their son, William Edward Dargie, Jr. died at age 20. Dargie died in Oakland, California from the effects of a nervous breakdown and stroke. The California State Senate adjourned in honor of William E. Dargie. State Senator John W. Stetson of Alameda County praised the work of William E. Dargie. His widow, Hermina would be involved in a long legal battle over the purchase of the Oakland Tribune stock with former U.S. Congressman Joseph R. Knowland.

The Peralta-Dargie Family have two large burial plots one located at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Oakland, California and another at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.


[Biography from Wikipedia]

1 comment:

Chris Pattillo, FASLA said...


As I was reading this I was thinking, hum, isn't this the guy who married into the Peralta family and darn if the next paragraph didn't say just that. Amazing. Good piece.