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´╗┐Title: San Francisco in Ruins
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "San Francisco in Ruins" ***

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  _of_ the

  Copyright, 1906, by A. M. Allison and J. D. Givens



1. Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston, commanding Department of California.

2. Col. Wm. A. Simpson, military secretary.

3. Lieut. Col. George M. Dunn, judge advocate.

4. Col. John L. Clem, chief quartermaster.

5. Col. Edw. E. Dravo, chief commissary.

6. Col. Chas. L. Heizmann, chief surgeon.

7. Capt. Frederick R. Day, paymaster.

8. Capt. A. P. Buffington, paymaster.

9. Capt. Francis G. Irwin, paymaster.

10. Capt. Leonard D. Wildman, chief signal officer.

11. Capt. Wm. C. Wren, assistant to chief quartermaster.

12. Capt. Lawrence B. Simonds, assistant to chief commissary.

13. First Lieut. Burton J. Mitchell, 12th infantry, aid-de-camp.

14. First Lieut. Oliver P. M. Hazzard, 2d cavalry, aid-de-camp.

15. Second Lieut. Samuel E. Patterson, Philippine Scouts.

Headquarters, Presidio, San Francisco, Cal.]


_The Queen City of the Pacific Slope, Guardian of the Golden Gateway to
the Far East, the Islands of the Southern Seas, the Frozen Northland and
the Sunny Ports of our Sister Continent_


The historians of modern or ancient times have never recorded such a
maelstrom of terrified, horror and panic-stricken human beings as awoke to
the realization of the master seismic tremblor, in the City of San
Francisco at 5:13 on the morning of April 18th, 1906. The initial quake,
being followed by many of less severity, tumbled chimneys, large and small
buildings of poor or faulty construction, broke water mains and ruptured
electric light and power conductors, causing many conflagrations in a few
moments. Then followed a catastrophe unparalleled in modern times, a
disaster beside which, for property losses, the Chicago fire, the
Johnstown flood, the Galveston tidal wave, the Mont Pelee eruption,
Vesuvius' spoutings and the Baltimore fire, fade into infinitesimal
disturbances on the records of Father Time.

In three days, which seemed only as so many hours, there faded out of
existence noble business blocks, grand and imposing structures, beautiful
and superb residences the homes of the Argonauts, the sea kings, mining
barons and merchant princes, together with the marts and dwellings of
those who toil and delve and go down to the sea in ships, completely
desolating and razing by fire three-fourths of this once beautiful
metropolis of the whole Pacific Coast on either the northern or southern

Nor was the City of San Francisco alone in its extremity, for many smaller
and populous towns within a radius of seventy-five miles were subjected to
the peril of the mighty corkscrew quakings, Santa Rosa being entirely
shaken down; Salinas, San Jose, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Alameda
and Oakland all suffering great property losses and some human lives. The
beautiful structures of the Leland Stanford, Jr., University, at Palo
Alto, all erected and endowed to a sum in excess of $40,000,000 by the
late Senator Leland Stanford and his philanthrophic wife, were almost
completely wrecked, including the Memorial Cathedral, which contained the
largest and finest collection of mosaic pictures on the Western

At no point in the affected area were the earthquake shocks so severe and
destructive as in the down town district, south of Market and east of
Kearny streets, where were the large office buildings, newspaper offices,
banks, wholesale stores and warehouses, the occupants of which conducted
the business, commerce and financial engagements of not only the major
portion of the Pacific Slope, but a large and constantly-growing Oriental
trade as well. The opportune hour of the morning was all that saved the
lives of the untold thousands who labored there, but had not as yet left
their homes in the residence sections of the ill-fated city.

Hardly had the mighty tremblor ceased its gyrations when innumerable fires
broke out among the chaotic ruins, having caught from engine furnaces,
broken electric wire conduits and spontaneous combustion, fed by the most
inflammable of materials and fanned by a stiff breeze from the bay, grew
and spread into what shortly became the most stupendous and widespread, as
well as awe-inspiring conflagration, which any people of the eighteenth or
nineteenth century have ever as yet looked upon or flown from. Had the
water mains not have been ruptured, the splendid San Francisco fire
department might have been able to cope with these many outbursts of flame
at their inception, but deprived of water in the mains, they nobly fought
the appalling flames by pumping water from the bay at as many places as
length of hose and their engines' ability would permit; but their efforts
to stay the onrushing, wide-spreading flames proved as a match's flicker
before a whirlwind.

It being quickly seen that the panic-stricken people would soon become a
fleeing, dazed and terror-awed multitude, General Frederick Funston,
commanding the Department of California, United States Army, with
headquarters at the Presidio, immediately ordered out the cavalry,
infantry and artillery forces under his command, who aided and directed
the fleeing populace, gathered up and succored the wounded, established
emergency hospitals, and policed the city. At the same time
men-of-wars-men from the Mare Island Navy Yard, consisting of the
battleship Ohio, the cruiser Chicago, and the torpedo boat destroyer Paul
Jones, together with the ships of the United States Army Transport
Service, and all available steam craft, attacked the flames along the
water front and succeeded in saving much wharfage and the Ferry building,
which is the principal gateway from the mainland.

Aided, ordered and guarded by the United States Army and Marine forces,
assisted by the California National Guard, who were at once called out by
the Governor, George C. Pardee, the excited and frenzied San Franciscans
made their way to squares, parks and the open hills, over two hundred
thousand fleeing to these places of refuge and another hundred thousand
making their way by ferry-boats and other craft across the bay to the
cities of Berkeley, Oakland and Alameda, caring for naught except to get
away from the awful havoc and destruction of the place they once proudly
called their City.

In untiring efforts to stay the flames the army, navy, marine corps and
police used artillery fire, gun-cotton, dynamite and rhyolite in
back-firing, sacrificing whole blocks of splendid residences and other
structures to retard the unquenchable ever-advancing line of fire, which
at times extended unbroken for over three miles in length. At last, at the
dawn of Saturday, April 21st, after three days and nights of valiant
effort, the wind subsided and the flames died down to rise no more; but
not until after they had swept the once proud and majestic city from the
Ferry building to Van Ness avenue, ruining all the residences on the west
side of that broad, stately boulevard, to Twentieth and Guerrero streets
in the Mission, and from the waters of San Francisco bay to the Golden
Gate itself. Not in all this vast section, measuring over sixteen square
miles, did one single habitation escape the shock of the giant tremblor or
the all-devouring flames, with but a few exceptions, viz.: the United
States Mint, the United States Custom House, the United States Postoffice,
which was damaged one-half a million dollars' worth by made-land sinking
away from it, the new unfinished newspaper building of the Chronicle, and
the new building of the California Casket Company just erected, but not
wood-finished. Every other building, of whatsoever class, kind or
construction, was tumbled, crumbled, shaken down, or absolutely gutted by
the fierce flames in which granite dissolved to powder and steel beams
melted and buckled like a watch's freed mainspring; where cobble-stones
scaled and chipped off and marble slabs disintegrated and became as
bone-dust to the touch.

No computer or statistician lives who could accurately arrive at the
monetary loss, variously estimated at from three hundred and fifty to four
hundred millions of dollars. Nor will the loss of human life ever be
known, said to be from fifteen hundred to two thousand; many more are
known to have perished in the lodging houses and cheaper hotels located in
the district south of Market street, as well as in the poorer districts,
of which no returns will or can ever be made; many identities were lost
both in and out of unidentified graves.

On the cessation of the first quake and the breaking out of the flames all
means of surface transportation was rendered useless, except the
automobile, which did good and swift work in rescuing the wounded and
carrying the living to places of safety, as well as transporting dynamite
and other high explosives to the busy fire-fighters, also rendering
invaluable aid in getting food and water to the refugee camps in the
parks, when the relief trains, so generously and beneficiently forwarded
by all the cities of the land, began to arrive laden with provisions and
clothing for the hungry and the destitute. The sister city, Los Angeles,
which by her nearness was enabled to supply physicians, nurses and medical
supplies, as well as foodstuffs, getting the first relief train to the
stricken city on the night of the first day.

Congress appropriated money, private citizens throughout the broad land
gave of their wealth. Army and navy stores and the cargoes of many
merchantmen in the harbor were all made available, and thus famine and
disease were prevented and lives which would have flickered and then
passed out were saved, encouraged and strengthened for the monumental task
of raising a grander, greater, safer and more beautiful New San Francisco
phoenix-like from the ashes of the City of the Forty-Niners.

These are the words; the pictures tell the tale much better; pictures the
like of which, it is earnestly hoped, will never be presented by any
camera again while the earth rolls around.

[Illustration: Section of the Union Street Cable Line, Between Steiner and
Pierce Streets, Distorted by the Earthquake.]

[Illustration: Break in the Asphalt Paving on Van Ness Avenue, Near

[Illustration: Break and Two-foot Sink in East Street, Near Ferry

[Illustration: Break and Sink in Capp Street, Between Seventeenth and
Eighteenth Streets, in the Mission District.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on Hahnemann Homeopathic Medical College,
on California Street, Near Maple.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on Newly-Constructed Temple Beth-Israel,
1817 Geary Street, Western Addition.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on One-year-old Albert Pike Memorial
Temple, A. A. S. R., 1825 Geary Street, Western Addition.]

[Illustration: (Photograph Taken and Copyrighted by H. S. Hooper, Oakland,
Cal. Permission Secured.)

View of the City of San Francisco on Fire. The Only Photograph Obtained
Showing the Entire Scope and Extent of the Great Conflagration. Fire Line
Over Three Miles Long, Extending from North Beach, Golden Gate, to
Twenty-first Street, Mission.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on western side of Memorial Museum, Golden
Gate Park, a Structure of the Mid-Winter Exposition.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Total Wreck of the Children's Play-House,
in Golden Gate Park; a City Building.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on Dolores Mission, the Oldest Building in
the City; Tower of the New Church, Which Will Have to Be Rebuilt.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on Two Frame Residences on Howard Street,
Near Eighteenth, in the Mission.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on Frame Residence on Folsom, Near
Seventeenth Street, in the Mission.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on the Pierce-Rudolph Storage Warehouse,
Fillmore Street.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on the Cathedral of St. Dominic, Steiner
and Bush Streets.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on Two-story Frame Residence on Golden
Gate Avenue.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on the "Octagonal House," a Residence on
Gough Street, Near Union.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on New Golden Gate Commandery, K. T.,
Building, in Course of Construction, Steiner and Sutter Streets.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on the San Francisco Gas and Electric
Company's Power-House, Near Fort Mason.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Another View S. F. G. & E. Co.'s

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: S. F. G. & E. Co.'s Gas-House, Near Fort

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Another View S. F. G. & E. Co.'s

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Collapse of the Stockton Steamer Wharf,
Water Front, Near Ferry Building.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Wrecked Wharf No. 9; U. S. Cruiser
Chicago Alongside; the Ship's Pumps Protected Much Wharfage Near This

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Collapse of Wharf No. 7, Near Ferry

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Separation of the Sidewalk from the
Asphalt Paving on Capp Street, Between Seventeenth and Eighteenth

[Illustration: Effects of Shock on the State Asylum at Agnews, Cal.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Wreck of the Valencia Hotel, Twentieth
Street, in the Mission; Four-story Frame Structure, Sunk Two Stories Below
Street Surface; Sixty-four Lives Lost.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Wreck of Two-story Frame Homes on Brannan
Street, Rincon Hill District.]

[Illustration: (Photograph Taken and Copyrighted by Stewart & Rogers
Permission Secured.)

Fire Scene of the Entire District South of Market Street, from Stuart and
Mission Streets to Sixth and Mission Streets; Also, Showing the Great
Hotel, Newspaper and Retail Centers of the City North of Market Street at
Noon of the First Day; on the Second Day All the District Shown in This
View Was Entirely Flame Swept.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Wreck of Memorial Arch at Leland Stanford
Jr. University, Palo Alto.]

[Illustration: Effects of Shock: Wreck of New Gymnasium Building at Leland
Stanford Jr. University, Palo Alto.]

[Illustration: Burning of Financial and Wholesale District, Taken from
Portsmouth Square, Showing to the Ferry Building.]

[Illustration: Fire Line at City Hall, Raging South of Market Street and
on Golden Gate Avenue, First Day.]

[Illustration: Fire Line Raging in Mission District, from Twentieth and
Guerrero Streets to Potrero Heights, Second Day.]

[Illustration: Fire Enveloping Potrero Heights, Second Day. Entire
District Burned Over Later Same Day.]

[Illustration: Fire Advancing on Rincon Hill District, South of Market.]

[Illustration: Fire Reaching Van Ness Avenue, Near Green Street, on Second

[Illustration: From Pacific Heights at Vallejo Street, Fire Line Now at
Van Ness Avenue, Residents Prepared to Flee to the Presidio Reservation.]

[Illustration: Fire Line South of Market, Early on First Day, Left to
Right, Shows Palace Hotel, New Chronicle, Examiner and Call Newspaper
Buildings, Mutual Savings Bank and New Shreve Office Buildings.]

[Illustration: Flames Consuming the Rincon Hill District, First Day.]

[Illustration: Night Scene: Rincon Hill, from Mission and Howard Streets
to Pacific Mail Dock.]

[Illustration: Looking Up Kearny Street Towards Market, from Broadway; in
the Right Foreground Little Italy.]

[Illustration: From Telegraph Hill, Overlooking the Wholesale District; in
Right Center the Appraisers Building, U. S. Custom House. Unscathed by
Either Earthquake or Flames.]

[Illustration: Looking from Russian Hill Towards the Ferry Building and
Fairmount Hotel; Fire Raging in Chinatown.]

[Illustration: From Center of Market Street at Powell, Flood Building on
Left, the Emporium on the Right, Call Building in Distance, South Side.]

[Illustration: One of the First Outbreaks of Flame Immediately After the
Earthquake, Third and Mission Streets.]

[Illustration: Removing the Wounded and Dead from the Wreck of the
Brunswick Hotel, Mission Street.]

[Illustration: Looking Down Third Street from Market; Trolley Cars Were
Consumed Where They Had Been Deserted at the Moment of the Earthquake; a
Policeman Taking a Man Bereft of Reason Through Fright and Terror, to a
Place of Safety; Many Persons Went Insane.]

[Illustration: Citizens Rendezvousing on the Vacant Places When the Fire
Was Raging in the Mission District.]

[Illustration: Looking Towards the Ferry from Front and Market Streets on
the First Day.]

[Illustration: Looking West from the Corner of Kearny on Market Street,
First Day.]

[Illustration: On Market, Looking Towards the Ferry; Phelan Building on
Left, the Call Building and Palace Hotel in Distance; First Day.]

[Illustration: Murphy, Grant & Co.'s Building, Corner Bush and Sansome

[Illustration: Fire Scene in First Street, Looking from Market, First

[Illustration: A View of the Fire from LaFayette Square.]


  Ferry Building.
  Hall of Justice.
  Chamber of Commerce.
  Mills Building.
  Union Trust Bank.
  New Chronicle.
  Call Building.
  Fairmount Hotel.

  U. S. Custom House.
  Crocker-Woolworth Bank.
  Mutual Savings Bank.

Taken from Russian Hill: General View of the Ruins of the Wholesale,
Financial and Retail Districts; Also, Entire Scope of Chinatown; the
Streets from the Fairmount Hotel, at California and Mason, Are Sacramento,
Clay, Washington, Jackson and Pacific.]

[Illustration: Corner of Sansome and Market Streets; London, Paris &
American Bank on Left; Wells, Fargo & Co. Bank on Right.]

[Illustration: View from McAllister Street Looking East Along South Side
of Market Street.]

[Illustration: At the Junction of Stockton, O'Farrell and Market Streets;
Forenoon of First Day; Destroyed That Night.]

[Illustration: At Kearny and Market, Looking Into Third Street; Examiner
Building on Left and Call on Right Side.]

[Illustration: Receiving Messages in Portsmouth Square; Also Coroner's
Temporary Interment Ground of the Unidentified Dead.]

[Illustration: Dynamiting Crew of Regulars Destroying Buildings to Retard
the Progress of the Flames.]

[Illustration: Destruction of the Emma Spreckels Building, on the First
Floor of Which Was "Zinkands."]

[Illustration: On Powell Street at Market, South Side of Latter in

[Illustration: On Market, James Flood Building on Left, Academy of
Sciences at Right.]

[Illustration: Burning of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Night Scene.]

[Illustration: Ruins of the Palace Hotel, from in Front of the Chronicle
Office, Unfinished Monadnock Building at Right, Market Street.]

[Illustration: Another View of the Palace Hotel; Ruins of the Grand Hotel
in Foreground; Taken from the Corner of Montgomery Street.]

[Illustration: Ruins of the Tower and Market Street Front of the City
Hall; Statue of Liberty and the Argonauts Stands Undisturbed.]

[Illustration: View of the City Hall from the Larkin Street side, with the
site of the Mechanics' Institute in the immediate foreground.]

[Illustration: View of the St. Francis Hotel, corner of Geary and Powell
Streets, shows ruins of the John Bruner, and Cordes Furniture Co.'s
Buildings at left; part of Union Square and new addition to the Hotel on

[Illustration: Hall of Justice, Kearny Street and Portsmouth Square
showing shattered tower and gutted doors.]

[Illustration: Market Street, from Eighth, looking to the Call Building,
showing the Grant Building, in which were Headquarters Division of the
Pacific, ruins of Odd Fellows' Building on right.]

[Illustration: Market Street east towards the Ferry, showing the Donohue
Building and James Flood Building on north side; Call Building, The
Emporium and Hale Brothers' Department Store on south side.]

[Illustration: Hale Brothers' Department Store, Sixth and Market

[Illustration: From Geary and Stockton Streets to Market, showing the City
of Paris Department Store and Mutual Bank Buildings on right; Marchand's
Cafe, the Spaulding Building, the Graystone Hotel and the old Chronicle
Building on left.]


  Union Trust Co.
  Crocker-Woolworth Bank
  New Chronicle
  Call Building
  Newman & Levinson
    (In construction)
  St. Francis Hotel
  James Flood Building
  California Casket Co.'s Building

  Shreve Building
  Monadnock Bldg.
  Spaulding Building
  Golden Gate Hall
  Westgate Apartments

  Mutual Bank
  City of Paris

A view of the Retail and Hotel Districts, from Jones and Bush Streets to
the Bay and Potrero Heights, and from Market and Sansome to Market and
Sixth Streets.]

[Illustration: Pine Street, Financial District, looking west, Merchants'
Exchange on left.]

[Illustration: Sacramento Street, from Kearny towards the Ferry, Pacific
Mutual Building, corner Montgomery.]

[Illustration: Cable Power-House ruins, corner California and Hyde

[Illustration: Post Street and Powell to Market, showing on left ruins of
the Savoy Hotel, Union League Club, Pacific-Union Club, Shreve Building,
Bohemian Club and Union Trust Bank Buildings.]

[Illustration: Out Kearny Street from the corner of Union Square Avenue
towards Telegraph Hill, small portion of new Chronicle Building on

[Illustration: From the corner of Market and Post, looking north on
Montgomery Street, showing on right the Union Trust Co.'s Building, the
Central Bank, the ruins of the Occidental Hotel, the Mills Building and
the Stock Exchange; Site of the Masonic Temple and Bullock-Jones Building
on left.]

[Illustration: Looking north up Stockton Street from Geary, showing the
Dana Building and the ruins of the Pacific-Union Club, Union Square Park
at left.]

[Illustration: From Market, North on Mason Street to Knob Hill; Showing
the Tivoli Theatre Opposite the Poodle Dog, at the Corner of Eddy Street,
Also Native Sons' Hall and the Fairmount Hotel in Distance.]

[Illustration: Ruins of the Columbia Theatre, on Powell Street, the
Highest-class Play-house of the City.]

[Illustration: The New Tivoli Opera House, Corner of Mason and Eddy; on
the Site of the Old Tivoli Music Hall; the Home for Years of the Tivoli
Comic Opera Stock Company.]

[Illustration: The Majestic Theatre, on Market Near Eighth Street.]

[Illustration: The Central Theatre, on Market Street.]

[Illustration: The Claus Spreckels One Million Dollar Brownstone Residence
on Van Ness Avenue; the Residence to the Left Was Dynamited to Stop the

[Illustration: The Flood Mansion on Knob Hill, at California and Powell
Streets; the Brown Sandstone in This Residence Was Brought Around the Horn
in Sailing Vessels in the Early Fifties.]

[Illustration: The Crocker Residence on Knob Hill, Corner of Jones and
California Streets; Running-gear of an Auto-Car Caught by the Flames.]

[Illustration: The Ruins of the Mark Hopkins' Institute of Art, Corner
California and Mason Streets, Which Contained the Finest Collection of
Paintings by Renowned Masters, on the Coast; the Pictures Were Cut Out of
Their Frames by Blue-jackets and Saved.]

[Illustration: The Orpheum Theater, on O'Farrell Street, High-class
Vaudeville; the San Francisco House of the Orpheum Circuit.]

[Illustration: This View Shows the Top of Knob Hill, and the Ruins of the
Many Elegant Residences There on Mason, Taylor and Jones Streets One Way,
and on California, Sacramento, Clay, Washington and Jackson Streets,
Running the Other Way.]

[Illustration: Fischer's Theatre, the Alcazar Theatre, and Delmonico
Restaurant on O'Farrell Street.]

[Illustration: The Marie Antoinnette Apartment House, on Van Ness

[Illustration: The St. Dunstan Hotel, Corner of Sutter Street and Van Ness

[Illustration: The Princeton Hotel, on Jones Street, Between Post and
Sutter Streets.]

[Illustration: The St. Andre and El Monterey Apartment Houses on Pine
Street, Near Hyde.]

[Illustration: The San Francisco Y. M. C. A. Building and Gymnasium,
Corner of Mason and Ellis Streets.]

[Illustration: The St. Boniface German Catholic Cathedral and Nunnery, on
Golden Gate Avenue, Between Leavenworth and Jones Streets.]

[Illustration: Grace Methodist-Episcopal Church, on California and
Stockton Streets.]

[Illustration: St. Francis Roman Catholic Cathedral, on Vallejo Street,
Corner Montgomery Avenue.]

[Illustration: Ruins of the Chinese Baptist Church on Clay Street, Between
Stockton and Powell Streets.]

[Illustration: Center of Chinatown; Looking Up Dupont Street from Clay,
Towards California Street.]

[Illustration: Ruins of the Chinese Joss House on Waverley Place,

[Illustration: Looking Up Grant Avenue from Geary Street; the Three
Columns in Center are the Ruins of the Bohemian Club, Corner Post

[Illustration: View of Kearny Street from Jackson, Showing the New Western
Hotel, Commercial Hotel and Hall of Justice.]

[Illustration: Looking East on Commercial Street, from Kearny to
Montgomery, Showing the Pacific-Mutual Bank and Sub-Treasury.]

[Illustration: The Emporium Department Store, South Side of Market Street,
One Week After the Fire; Showing the Rent in Wall at Top Story Caused by
the Earthquake.]

[Illustration: Looking North on Front Street from Jackson, in the Heart of
the Wholesale District.]

[Illustration: Looking West on Jackson from Montgomery Street, Up Knob

[Illustration: Looking from Union Square at the Base of the Dewey
Monument, Down Post Street at Stockton, Showing the Ruins of the Union
League and the Pacific-Union Clubs, and the Shreve Office Building.]

[Illustration: South of Market; Taken from the Corner of Seventh and
Folsom Streets, Showing the U. S. Postoffice Left Center and Knob Hill
Right Distance.]

[Illustration: The Million-Dollar Cathedral and Convent of St. Ignacius,
at the Corner of Golden Gate and Van Ness Avenues.]

[Illustration: At the Corner of Dupont and Clay Streets, in Chinatown,
Showing the Crumpled Tower of the Hall of Justice in the Left Center.]

[Illustration: View Over Chinatown to Telegraph Hill and the Water Front,
from the Corner of California and Powell Streets.]

[Illustration: All That is Left of Telegraph Hill District, from Broadway
and Kearny.]

[Illustration: The Famous Pacific Street and Barbary Coast, the Bowery of
San Francisco, Well Known to the Seamen of All Nations.]

[Illustration: Ruins of the Large and Beautiful Temple Emanuel, on Sutter
Street, Near Powell Street, Effects of the Earthquake and Flames.]

[Illustration: Panorama View, Looking South from Knob Hill at the Corner
of Jones and California Streets; Showing to the Bay and Potrero Heights;
the Immediate Foreground was the Site of Many Hundreds of Good Family
Hotels for Which the City Was Noted.]

[Illustration: On California Street Near Van Ness Avenue; the
Running-gears of the California Street Cable Cars, Which Were Burned Where
They Stood.]

[Illustration: On Market Street at Ninth, One Week After the Fire;
Refugees En Route to the Ferry; Men of the Board of Public Works Repairing
the Water Mains.]

[Illustration: The Bread Line on Van Ness Avenue at Calvary Church Drawing
Their Daily Rations from the Army and Red Cross Relief Stations; as the
Wholesale Stores Were Destroyed, the Stocks of the Retail Stores Were
Seized by the Authorities for a General and Equitable Distribution to

[Illustration: Refugee Food and Coffee Station in Union Square, Dewey
Monument and Other Building corner of Powell and Geary Street.]

[Illustration: Temporary Refugee Camp near Fort Mason.]

[Illustration: Establishing Refugee Camp on Lombard Street, near Fort

[Illustration: Archbishop Montgomery Holding the Only Religious Services
in the City of San Francisco, on the Presidio Reservation, on Sunday,
April 22, 1906.]

[Illustration: Refugees Quartered in Army Dog-tents, on the Common, Near
Fort Mason.]

[Illustration: Refugees Quartered in Army Wall Tents on the Presidio

[Illustration: Refugee Camp on Gas-House Flats, at Lombard Street, Near
Fort Mason.]

[Illustration: Los Angeles' Relief Committee's Food Station in Golden Gate
Park; first hot meals in three days for rich and poor Refugees alike.]

[Illustration: Refugee Camp in Golden Gate Park, one week old; U. S. Army

[Illustration: Same Refugee Camp in Golden Gate Park, two weeks old; board
barracks taking the place of the tents.]

[Illustration: The largest Refugee Camp, on the Presidio Reservation;
United States Army General Hospital showing.]

[Illustration: Refugee bread line at the Relief Station at Calvary Church,
formed and controlled by U. S. Marines.]

[Illustration: Another view of the big Refugee Camp on the Presidio
Reservation; circus tent being used as the Emergency Medical Supply

[Illustration: Refugees occupying vacant lots at the corner of Lombard and
Van Ness Avenue; Fort Mason in the center distance.]

[Illustration: Two substantial Refugee Camps, one on the Fort Mason
Reservation, the other on Gas-House Flats, at Lombard Street.]

[Illustration: View showing the Cantonment on the Presidio Reservation,
Cavalry and Artillery Barracks, and the Corral for the pack-trains used by
the Army to transport the Relief Committee's supplies to the different

[Illustration: United States Torpedo Boat Destroyer Paul Jones, which
rendered excellent service protecting shipping and wharfage.]

[Illustration: Panorama View from Sutter and Jones Streets; the center of
the Family Hotel and Boarding-House District; showing the Wreck and Ruin
of many fine Apartment Houses and Hotel Buildings.]

[Illustration: Refugee Camp on Bush Street, near the St. Dominic

[Illustration: Refugee Camp No. 6, at Harbor View.]

[Illustration: The United States Battleship Ohio, which furnished many
marines for patrol duty, and whose engines pumped much water for the Fire
Department, saving wharfs and shipping.]

[Illustration: "Searching for the Missing," one of many sad scenes during
those awful days; the dead from the earthquake wrecks were hastily buried
in the parks, squares and vacant lots, some in known, but many more in
unidentified graves; those who perished in the flames were lost, never to
be found, and their number will never be known.]




After the Earth jumped back on its track at 5:13:47 on the morning of
Wednesday, April 18th, 1906, the citizens of San Francisco came down on
their feet in fighting mood, and the success of that fight has aroused the
wonder and admiration of the entire world. Being true sons of their
fathers they showed the thoroughbred strain in time of stress and peril
just as did those fathers before them. There was no denying the fact that
many thought it the end of time, listened for the trumpet of Gabriel to
echo through the crash of worlds, and looked toward the heavens to see the
angel with the flaming sword, but they stood to meet it like men, backed
as they were against the wall. When walls ceased falling and they had
rubbed the dust from their eyes, they found that they still lived; it was
then that they shut their jaws and began to fight. They have been fighting
ever since and will continue to fight until San Francisco shall have been
restored even beyond the dreams of those fathers.

The first effective work began with Mayor Eugene E. Schmitz and the
members of the Police Commission, who had quickly assembled at the Hall of
Justice. It was a time when no man could stop to think twice; immediate
action must be taken; action that must be absolutely correct on the first
thought. The first official action was to send out police to close each
and every saloon.

Everywhere the streets were filled with the debris of fallen walls and
cobwebbed with a tangle of dangling wires, among which half a million of
people stood numb and dazed or groped their way blindly, not knowing where
to go nor what to do. In a dozen widely scattered localities smoke devils
were dancing from roof to roof and people gave way mechanically for the
clanging apparatus rushing wildly to the fires.

In collapsed buildings there were many dead, but "let the dead care for
the dead;" there were those yet living pinned under fallen walls and
beams. There were hundreds and hundreds of injured to be succored. There
were hundreds of millions of dollars in shattered banks, the savings of
the people, to be guarded against the time when some men go mad and seize
on the possessions of a neighbor as one crazed brute snaps at another.
That was the situation, in brief, that confronted the Mayor, the Police
Commission and the six hundred policemen of San Francisco, a handful to
cope with disaster by earthquake, fire, and the elements of chaos that a
city of half a million breeds.

The Mayor and the Police Commission had barely entered into conference
when this message came to them from Brigadier General Frederick Funston:
"Do you need help?" Did they? "Yes, send all the troops you can," was the
reply dispatched with all the haste of a city's need. Then the conference
went on. It was brief. The situation demanded the co-operation of the
entire city.

A Citizens Committee of Safety was hurriedly decided upon, and the Mayor
compiled the following "Committee of One Hundred" of the prominent
citizens of the city in all walks of life: Mayor Eugene E Schmitz,
chairman; Rufus P. Jennings, secretary; Frank B. Anderson, Hugo K. Asher,
W. J. Bartnett, Maurice Block, Hugh M. Burke, Albert E. Castle, Arthur H.
Castle, Paul Cowles, H. T. Creswell, Henry J. Crocker, R. A. Crothers, P.
C. Currier, Jeremiah Deneen, E. J. De Pue, M. H. De Young, George L.
Dillman, A. B. C. Dohrmann, J. J. Dwyer, Charles S. Fee, John W. Ferris,
Tirey L. Ford, Thomas Garrett, Mark L. Gerstle, Wellington Gregg, Jr., R.
B. Hale, William Greer Harrison, J. Downey Harvey, I. W. Hellman, Jr.,
Francis J. Heney, William F. Herrin, Dr. Marcus Herzstein, Howard Holmes,
J. R. Howell, Judge John Hunt, D. V. Kelly, Homer S. King, George A.
Knight, Franklin K. Lane, Herbert E. Law, W. H. Leahy, J. J. Lerman, C. H.
Maddox, Frank Maestretti, Thomas Magee, W. A. Magee, John S. Mahoney, John
Martin, Garret McEnerney, John McLaren, John McNaught, S. B. McNear,
William M. Metson, Archbishop Montgomery, E. F. Moran, Irving F. Moulton,
Thornwall Mullally, S. G. Murphy, Bishop Nichols, Father O'Ryan, James D.
Phelan, Albert Pissis, Willis Polk, Allan Pollok, E. B. Pond, H. B.
Ramsdell, James Reid, J. B. Reinstein, David Rich, Dent H. Robert, J. B.
Rogers, John W. Rogers, Andrea Sbarboro, Henry T. Scott, W. P. Scott,
Frank Shea, S. M. Shortridge, Claus Spreckels, Rudolph Spreckels, I.
Steinhart, Gustav Sutro, W. W. Thurston, Clem Tobin, George Tourny, Fred
Ward, Charles S. Wheeler, Thomas P. Woodward, and John P. Young.

These names with addresses from the City Directory, were at once placed in
the hands of a detail of policemen, a few names to each member of the
squad, with instructions to have the Committee at the Hall of Justice by 3
o'clock in the afternoon.

This work had barely been commenced when the rhythmic tramp, tramp, tramp,
of many feet was heard on the street, as column alter column of the
blue-shirted lads swung by, each carrying a short Krag rifle with a belt
of ball cartridges. Their officers reported to the Chief of Police, who
assigned each a district to patrol and detailed a policeman to guide each
command to its post. No one not on Market Street or in the downtown
district at that time can appreciate the feeling of relief that came over
all as those silent, quiet, business-like boys swung by with the
steadiness and precision of a machine, passing under tottering walls and
entering the danger zone with dynamite and gun-cotton to raze buildings
from the path of the fire.

The deeds of heroism and the courage displayed by regulars, militiamen,
police, firemen, and civilian volunteers on the 18th and 19th will never
be told; they can not be. They were occurring constantly, a dozen in a
block, throughout the city, and there was no time for names or details.
Firemen, regulars, police, and civilian volunteers worked in the heat and
smoke and noxious gases until they were overcome and fell in their tracks.
They were dragged back and others stepped into the breach, to be dragged
back in turn when they fell. Firemen fought with the determination of
despair and cried like children when the failure of water deprived them of
their weapon.

Before the hour set for the meeting of the Citizens' Committee the entire
city was threatened with destruction. The sky was obscured with a pal of
smoke through which swung the sun like a blood-red ball; great sheets of
flame writhed and swirled through the smoke, and underneath all 300,000
men, women and children fled for their lives, tottering under their most
valuable possessions, while 100,000 more were preparing for flight. That
was the situation when the above named citizens met at the Hall of Justice
at the call of the Mayor at three o'clock on the afternoon of the 18th.

They assembled first in the office of the Chief of Police, but another
shock threatened to bring the tower down on their heads and drove them to
the office of the central station, in the basement, and it was not long
before they were driven from there to Portsmouth Square. There in the open
air surrounded by thousands of frightened Chinese and residents of the
district, was the seat of municipal government during the late afternoon
and early evening. Then a dynamited building cast its debris of bricks,
mortar and broken glass over the square, and government and advisory
committee hastily adjourned to the Fairmount Hotel on Knob Hill.
Headquarters had been established there but a short time when it was
driven back by the advancing wall of fire and an adjournment was taken
until Thursday morning at 9 o'clock, to meet at the north end police
station, 1712 Washington street.

When the Mayor, Police Commission and Citizens' Committee of One Hundred
met Thursday morning, the following sub-committees were appointed and
immediately commenced work:

_Resumption of Civil Government, not including Judiciary_--Garret
McEnerney, chairman.

_Resumption of the Judiciary_--Charles W. Slack, chairman.

_Resumption of Transportation_--Thornwall Mullally, chairman.

_Automobile Committee_--R. B. Hale, chairman; Gavin McNab, I. W. Raphael,
George Smith, Robert Park, Michael Casey, J. R. Howell and Mr. Harris.

_Transportation of Refugees_--Thomas Magee, chairman; George A. Hensley.

_Restoration of Water_--Frank B. Anderson, chairman; George L. Dillman,
secretary; A. S. Porter, A. H. Payson, H. Schussler, and Mr. Lane.

_Restoration of Light and Telephone_--Rudolph Spreckels, chairman; A. M.
Hunt, secretary; Charles S. Wheeler, T. C. Friedlander, J. Martin, C. O.
Lyman, Louis Glass, and F. M. Lamb.

_Relief of Hungry_--Rabbi Voorsanger, chairman; Oscar Cooper, secretary;
John S. Drum, S. B. McNear, Hugo K. Asher, W. P. Scott, Maurice Block, W.
W. Thurston, and A. B. C. Dohrmann.

_Housing the Homeless_--W. J. Bartnett, chairman; M. J. Cerf, secretary;
R. M. Countryman, John H. Speck, J. Dalzell Brown, and Charles S. Fee.

_Restoration of Fires in Dwellings_--Jeremiah Deneen, chairman; J. J.
Mahony and George F. Duffey.

_Finance Committee of the Relief and Red Cross Funds_--James D. Phelan,
chairman; J. Downey Harvey, secretary; William Babcock, Horace Davis, M.
H. De Young, Frank G. Drumm, James L. Flood, I. W. Hellman, Jr., William
F. Herrin, Rufus P. Jennings, Herbert E. Law, Thomas Magee, Garret
McEnerney, John P. Merrill, W. W. Morrow, Allan Pollok, Rudolph Spreckels,
Charles Sutro, Jr., and Joseph S. Tobin.

_Roofing the Homeless (Sub-committee of Housing the Homeless)_--Fairfax H.
Wheelan, chairman; Miss Katherine Felton, O. K. Cushing, and F. J. Symmes.

_Press Agent_--I. Choynski, chairman.

_Drugs and Medical Supplies_--Dr. Harris, chairman; Father O'Ryan, Judge
Hunt, J. J. Lermen, W. H. Metson, Dr. McGill, Dr. Garceau, and Max

_Relief of Sick and Wounded_--Miss Katherine Felton, chairman; Mrs. John
F. Merrill, Fairfax H. Wheelan, O. K. Cushing, and Dr. James W. Ward,

_Relief of Chinese_--Rev. Dr. Filben, chairman.

_Permanent Location of Chinatown_--Abraham Ruef, chairman; James D.
Phelan, Jeremiah Deneen, Dr. James W. Ward, and Dr. Filben.

_Restoration and Resumption of Retail Trade_--Geo. W. Wittman, chairman;
H. D. Loveland.

_Citizens' Police Committee_--H. U. Brandenstein, chairman.

_Auxiliary Fire Committee_--A. W. Wilson, chairman.

_Restoration of Abbattoirs_--Henry Miller, chairman.

_History and Statistics_--John S. Drum, chairman; E. F. Moran, secretary;
Richard C. Harrison, and Clement Bennett.

_Organization of the Wholesalers_--William Babcock, chairman.

Martial law having been declared, one of the first orders of the Citizens'
Committee was embodied in the first proclamation of the Mayor: "Troops
and police are authorized to kill on sight any person or persons caught
looting." After that there were occasional reports in the burned
districts; they may have been exploding automobile tires--no one stopped
to inquire. Anyway, there was no further looting.

The sub-committees had barely time to organize when the fire swept over
the hills and they were again driven out. The Mayor issued an order that
all records saved and the municipal government be removed to the Police
Station at Haight and Stanyan Streets, far out by Golden Gate Park, for a
last stand. At the same time he ordered an adjournment of all committees
to Franklin Hall, at the corner of Bush and Fillmore Streets, thus
establishing headquarters as near the fire line as practicable. If burned
out there his orders were for all to rally at the Park Police Station.

That was at noon on Thursday; within thirty hours the Committee had been
organized by men who left their property to destruction and within the
same length of time the committee had been burned out four times and
located the fifth headquarters. The city had been policed by regulars,
militiamen and volunteers, and the most disastrous fire in history was
under control.

The care of the injured, the feeding of the hungry and the housing of the
homeless were the first consideration of the Committees, and for the first
day or two all else was subordinated to these works of mercy.

It will require a large book to tell the details of the work of these
committees, each being aided by hundreds of volunteers. Each member of a
committee being vested with police powers, and automobiles, carriages and
wagons of all kinds were impressed wherever found; their loads were dumped
on the sidewalks and filled with the injured or medical and food supplies,
the vehicles hurried on to destinations named by the committeemen.

The rapidity with which the Committee effected an organization and
relieved the suffering and hunger of nearly 300,000 people is noteworthy.
Changing headquarters five times and organizing and planning as the
members fled along the streets was no easy task, but it was accomplished
and for nearly a week these committees arranged and cared for the homeless

The rapidity with which organization was effected and order enforced, is
what amazes the knowing world today. It was done by citizens of San
Francisco, backing up their executive with their lives and their fortunes,
and back of them stood their friends in the breadth and length of these
whole United States. As did the fathers of fifty years ago, so did the
sons of today.

(San Francisco Chronicle, May 9th 1906.)


1. Lieut. Col. George H. Torney, deputy surgeon general, commanding.

2. Capt. James M. Kennedy, assistant surgeon.

3. Capt. Henry H. Rutherford, assistant surgeon.

4. Lieut. John H. Allen, assistant surgeon.

5. Lieut. Roderic P. O'Connor, assistant surgeon.

6. Lieut. Herbert M. Smith, assistant surgeon.

7. Capt. Wilson T. Davidson, assistant surgeon.

8. Lieut. Robert E. Noble, assistant surgeon.

9. Lieut. James F. Hall, assistant surgeon.

10. Lieut. John L. Shepard, assistant surgeon.


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