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SLO Town Officials 1850-1876San Luis Obispo Officials 1850 - 1876 March 27, 1850: “An Act to provide for the incorporations of Towns” state legislation provided the first general law for the incorporation of towns. A majority of at least 200 residents were required to petition the County Court of Sessions (later Board of Supervisors) for township status. The Act required the election of Trustees and a Treasurer, Assessor, and Marshal (who was also the “Collector of all taxes”). The Trustees could appoint all other officers. To date, there has been no record found as to any election. February 19, 1856: “An Act to incorporate the Town of San Luis Obispo” specified the election of three members to a Board of Trustees elected annually on the first Monday in May. There are no other elected or appointed officials specified in this Act. However, any provision of the 1850 Act not in conflict with this legislation was to apply. There is no documentation of elections. August 10, 1858: With the 1856 Act repealed on April 26, 1858, the townspeople reverted to the provisions of the 1850 legislation. Basically, the Board of Supervisors (who had assumed the legislative functions of the Court of Sessions in 1852) granted incorporation once a majority of at least 200 residents signed a petition. This was done and San Luis Obispo was again incorporated as a Town. Given the small settlement was the County Seat, it is possible there was little differentiation between the county and community governance. April 14, 1863: The Legislature once again passed “An Act to incorporate the Town of San Luis Obispo” that required five Trustees elected annually on the first Monday in May. The Clerk, Marshal, Assessor, and Treasurer were now appointed positions. Trustees received $1 per year and decided the compensation for the other officers. Some form of governance was evident from a preserved letter in the City Archives dated 1864 responding to a local request for a survey. The earliest Town survey was done by William Rich Hutton in the early 1850s. 1867: A Tribune article (April 18, 1902) reports: “In 1867 the board of the town trustees of San Luis Obispo adjourned from May 9 to December 28. On the latter day the board met and organized by electing C. H. Johnson president. The other members of the board were Patrick Dunn, S. B. Call, Walter Murray and Abraham Blockman.” There are few records as to any elections or officials before the preserved minutes begin in 1870 but by then Charles H. Johnson was a key figure in the town’s governance. In January of 1868, he had received a letter from the U. S. Land Office in San Francisco confirming his official role in the governance of the Town. Besides those mentioned above, Peter A. Forrester also served as a trustee. Both Thomas Bouton and Charles W. Dana were Town Clerks. The only appointment noted was J. J. Schiefferly as Marshal in May of 1868. Another article (December 12, 1868) made reference to a Sanitation Committee composed of Patrick Dunne, John J. Simmler, and Juan Cappe. March 4, 1872: “An Act to reincorporate the Town of San Luis Obispo” simply reaffirms the Trustees, officers, election dates, etc. of the 1850 Act. However, Towns were now allowed to appoint a Town Surveyor and a Town Attorney. 1870 (May 2)1 Board of Trustees: William W. Hays (85)2 (chairman); Horatio Bradshaw Palmer (107), John Jacob Simmler (102), Henry Francis (82), Lazare Landeker (78) Marshal: George W. Barnes (12/1: William M. Farmer: night watchman) Treasurer: William J. Marcus Recorder: R. H. Coate Assessor: Samuel Adams Pollard Tax Collector: George W. Barnes Clerk: Charles William Dana 1871 (May 1) Board of Trustees: William W. Hays (chairman); Horatio Bradshaw Palmer, John Jacob Simmler, Henry Francis, Lazare Landeker Marshal: John P. Lewelling (David Dunbar declines 6/19) Treasurer: Nathan Goldtree Assessor: Charles W. Mauk Tax Collector: George W. Barnes Clerk: C. W. Dana (8/1/70+: John J. Simmler, deputy) 1872 (May 6) Board of Trustees: Lazarus M. Kaiser (chairman); George F. Sauer, Samuel Porter McDougall, Ernest Krebs, Antonio Stanusseich Marshal: John P. Lewelling (Night Watchman: F. F. Fine) Treasurer: Jose C. Ortega Assessor: Henry M. Little Recorder: John J. Simmler (resigns 3/3/73) Clerk: Victor C. Allen Attorney: Walter Murray: 9/2/72 (6/14/73: office vacant) 1873 (May 5) Board of Trustees: Chauncey H. Phillips (chairman); Henry Francis, Edwin Booker Morris(s), Horatio B. Palmer, Robert R. Harris Marshal: E. D. Major (9/27/73: John P. Lewelling, night watchman; 10/13/73: Jules Bau___? night watchman)) Treasurer: Jose C. Ortega Assessor: Victor C. Allen (d. 1773) Recorder: George W. Barnes Clerk: Julius Krebs 1 Date in parenthesis is election day 2 Number in parenthesis indicates total votes received by each trustee 1874 (May 4) Board of Trustees: Chauncey H. Phillips (chairman); Henry Francis, Edwin Booker Morris(s), Horatio B. Palmer, Robert R. Harris Marshal: John P. Lewelling (John Waugh: deputy; night watchman) Treasurer: Jose C. Ortega Assessor: Henry M. Osgood (resigns 2/23/75; J. J. Simmler) Recorder: George W. Barnes (5/5/74: election tie with John J. Simmler; selection by Board) Clerk: Julius Krebs Janitor: John Eldon Childs 1875 (May 3) Board of Trustees: William L. Beebe (chairman); Chauncey H. Phillips, Lazare Landeker, William W. Hays, Robert R. Harris Marshal: Eliot D. Major Treasurer: Jose C. Ortega Assessor: John Wrightman Recorder: George W. Barnes Clerk: Julius Krebs The Town of San Luis Obispo was legislatively abolished when the State Legislature declared the community a city in 1876. Compiled by Joseph Carotenuti