Sunday, December 26, 2010

Arthur Hastings Breed, Sr. (1865-1953) – State Senator; Father of State Highway System

Niche of Senator Arthur Breed, Sr.

Arthur Breed, Sr. during his early days in Oakland and shortly before his death
Arthur Hastings Breed was born in San Francisco in 1865 and moved to Oakland in 1883. He ran the A.H. Breed and Sons real estate company in downtown Oakland.

He was elected City Auditor Oakland in 1899 and later to the State Legislature in 1912. He rose to become President pro tempore of the California State Senate, a role he maintained for 18 years, which remains the longest term in history.

Breed was author of the California Motor Vehicle Act and of the gas tax, which provided for the construction of highways in California. At his death, Governor Earl Warren called Breed “the father of our state highway system.” 

He was named an honorary member of the Sierra Club in recognition of his efforts to build the John Muir Trail, running from Mt. Whitney to the Yosemite Valley.

He served as acting Lietenant Governor when Frank Merriam became Governor after the death of Governor James Rolph, Jr. 

Breed served on the Board of Directors and the finance committee of the Mountain View Cemetery Association.