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Title: San Francisco Relief Survey; the organization and methods of relief used after the earthquake and fire of April 18, 1906
Author: O'Connor, Charles James
Language: English
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[Illustration: _See illustration facing p. 361_




  FIRE OF APRIL 18, 1906




  Copyright, 1913, by



This Relief Survey is a compilation of studies made for the Russell Sage
Foundation by a group of persons each specially qualified to conduct the
inquiry and to analyze the issue. The contributors are:

Part I. Charles J. O’Connor, Ph.D., secretary of the Board of Trustees
of Relief and Red Cross Funds, who was appointed on the relief force
soon after the disaster.

Part II. Francis H. McLean, now secretary of the American Association of
Societies for Organizing Charity; at the time of the study, field
secretary of the Charity Organization Department of the Russell Sage
Foundation. He was superintendent for the Rehabilitation Committee in
July and August, 1906.

Part III. Helen Swett (now Mrs. Gregorio Artieda), who was secretary of
Sub-Committee VI, the business committee of the Rehabilitation
Committee, from its organization November 1, 1906; before that date
connected with the Associated Charities of Oakland, California. Now
resident of the People’s Place settlement, San Francisco.

Part IV. James Marvin Motley, Ph.D., now associate professor of
economics at Brown University; at the time of the investigation,
assistant professor of economics at Leland Stanford Junior University.

Part V. Jessica Peixotto, Ph.D., assistant professor of social
economics, University of California, and a member of the Central Council
of the Associated Charities of San Francisco.

Part VI. Mary Roberts Coolidge, formerly associate professor of
sociology, Leland Stanford Junior University; reviser of Warner’s
American Charities; author of Almshouse Women, and other works.

       *       *       *       *       *

When the six separate studies were completed, a perplexing situation was
disclosed. The purpose in preparing the survey was to offer a book of
ready reference for use on occasions of special emergency. The six
studies would have formed a set of volumes valuable as a contribution to
the literature of relief work but not adapted to the particular purpose
in view. It therefore became necessary to condense the studies at the
cost of cutting out material. In order to preserve certain facts in
proper sequence, subject matter in a few instances has been transposed
from one part to another.

The authors of the various parts have wished to express their
appreciation of the help rendered by university colleagues and students.
A study made by Lilian Brandt of the first registration after she had
worked at relief headquarters in the late spring and early summer of
1906, has been used in part. An article by Colonel C. A. Devol, extracts
from which appear in Appendix I, furnished valuable data concerning the
part taken by the army, especially in receiving and distributing the
relief supplies. _Charities and the Commons_ has been drawn upon for
data from articles which have not been noted in the text because their
authors were so a part of the relief work itself that specific mention
seemed uncalled for.

The statistics of this volume require, perhaps, a word of explanation.
The quantitative material upon which the study is so largely based is
derived from records, many of which were compiled in haste and under
great pressure of work. The record forms themselves were properly
devised primarily to aid the relief workers in abating distress, rather
than as possible sources of social statistics to be compiled at some
future time; and it was necessary to entrust the filling out of the
records to persons most of whom were wholly without experience in work
of this character. The data for the several parts of the study were,
moreover, compiled by a number of persons working quite independently of
one another.

Under these circumstances it is but natural that there should have been
embodied in the report various minor inaccuracies and some real or
apparent inconsistencies. Every possible effort has been made, in
preparing the material for publication, to correct errors, to remove
inconsistencies, and to harmonize the plan of statistical presentation
as far as this could be accomplished by means of the information

No attempt has been made to present a comprehensive statement covering
the complete disposition of the Relief Funds. It is understood that such
a statement will be prepared under the direction of the Board of
Trustees of Relief and Red Cross Funds. The figures showing receipts and
disbursements, which appear in this volume, have been presented solely
because of their bearing on the relief problems dealt with, and not by
way of an accounting.


The San Francisco earthquake and resultant fire ranks with the great
catastrophes of the world’s history. Comparatively insignificant as was
the list of the killed and injured, the annihilation of the business
section of the city and of the most thickly populated residence
districts brought to the bread line virtually the city’s whole
population. The response of the nation and of other nations was in
proportion to the magnitude of the disaster.

By a series of favoring circumstances the administration of the large
fund donated fell into the hands of a committee, afterwards transformed
into a corporation, on which were some of San Francisco’s ablest and
broadest-minded men of affairs, as well as representatives of the
rejuvenated and re-organized American National Red Cross. How at first
the distinguished services of Dr. Edward T. Devine as the representative
of the American National Red Cross were utilized by the local committee,
and later, the no less valuable services of Ernest P. Bicknell, is told
in the following pages along with the account of the splendid part
played by the United States Army.

If for no other reason than that the disaster was of tremendous
proportions, with relief funds correspondingly large, the value of an
intensive study of the problems, methods, and results of the relief work
must be very great. No such intensive study of any other American
disaster of like proportions has been made. The report of the Chicago
Relief and Aid Society on the relief work of the Chicago fire is the
nearest approach. If one, however, reads that report he will find it to
be largely a description of general methods with a thorough accounting
of expenditures. The value of such an investigation as this Relief
Survey inheres not only in the fact that no previous intensive study has
been made of any large disaster but also in the fact that the time and
the persons engaged combined to give the San Francisco relief work
exceptional significance.

Since the Chicago fire, in this, as in other civilized countries, there
has been a rapid evolution of social thought and action. We have become
impatient of philanthropic endeavors that do not promise permanently to
better conditions. In the field of relief we are discounting mere
almsgiving and are fighting for constructive treatment and permanent
betterment, which often involve larger relief expenditures. In serious
disasters, from the Chicago fire to the San Francisco earthquake and
conflagration, this spirit has more and more characterized the relief
work. The idea that all moneys should be spent merely to keep the
victims of a disaster from the starvation and exposure which confront
them in the weeks immediately following the catastrophe is directly
opposed to the spirit of modern relief measures. In other words, the
idea of rehabilitation, of giving to those who have been left with the
least a reasonable lift on the road to a recovery of the standard of
living maintained before the disaster, constantly has grown clearer and
more definite, a natural fructifying of the modern philosophy of

Attention was given to rehabilitation after the Chicago fire by a
special committee on housing and by one on “giving aid to persons in the
purchase of tools, machinery, furniture, fixtures, or professional
books.” A large part of this special work of relief consisted in aiding
destitute sewing women who had lost their machines to obtain others. But
in San Francisco we find the first large attempt to emphasize and
develop rehabilitation.[1]

  [1] For relative expenditures for rehabilitation compare the figures
  in the Relief Survey with those given in the Report of the Chicago
  Relief and Aid Society of Disbursements of Contributions for the
  Sufferers by the Chicago Fire, 1874, Chapter XII.

The circumstances that so happily combined to magnify the principle of
rehabilitation have already been alluded to. Funds of generous
proportions, capable army officers, the reorganized Red Cross, and an
exceptional group of keen and broad-minded San Francisco business
men,--the last a group which knew its own mind but was willing to take
the advice and accept the assistance of experienced social
workers,--constituted a force permeated by the spirit of modern
philanthropy which wrought out the first large undertaking in
rehabilitation in the United States.

Having made clear the reasons for this Relief Survey, let us consider
its several parts.

Part I presents a general picture of the emergency period following the
fire, together with a description of the structure of the relief
organization and the different phases through which it passed. This part
serves as a background for the rehabilitation studies that follow.

Part II is a presentation of the methods of rehabilitation, followed by
some facts obtained from a tabulation of the case records of the
Rehabilitation Committee.

Two of the most important forms of rehabilitation, business and housing,
are analyzed in detail in Parts III and IV. These parts illustrate
methods, and they also show actual results of rehabilitation, which were
learned by following into their homes at a later period a certain number
of the families helped.

A study of the families under care of the Associated Charities since the
work of the Rehabilitation Committee ceased gives the data for Part V.
This was made to determine the character of the dependency, how much was
due to the disaster itself, how much to faulty rehabilitation work, how
much was inevitable. The work of the Associated Charities is indeed only
a prolongation of the rehabilitation effort.

The last inquiry, Part VI, was into that saddest and least hopeful of
all forms of rehabilitation, the permanent care of the aged and infirm.
To call it rehabilitation seems a misnomer. The methods, the number of
persons involved, their character, and other items are considered. Also
the attempt is made to determine how far present dependence was
inevitable, or accelerated, or actually caused by the change of
circumstances due to the fire and to the additional burdens put upon
relatives and friends who in the ordinary course of events would
themselves have assumed the duty.

This summary reveals not alone what these studies contain but also what
they omit. They do not comprise a complete history of the San Francisco
relief work. A bird’s-eye view of that work is given in the Sixth Annual
Report of the American National Red Cross. They present, rather, certain
important and significant phases of rehabilitation with a sketch of the
organization structure. And they present these not primarily for any
reason of historical interest but in the hope that they may help
concretely and suggestively in solving problems of family rehabilitation
in connection with disasters, small and large, which in the future may
confront the American National Red Cross, citizens’ committees, and
relief agencies of every kind.

The full measure of results cannot be given in this Relief Survey. The
acumen of no group of investigators, no matter how broad in their
sympathies, or how trained to their work, can probe to the heart of a
community to find the main arteries through which it has drawn its full
life. The people were sound at the core. They had an instinct for
adventure. Their own sanity, their self-reliance and faith in the future
made them ready to rebound from fortune’s sudden blow. But in the
wearying days that followed in the wake of the first efforts at
recuperation, the adventurous spirit flagged under the strain and the
ugliness of life. It was then that the city called on men whom it had
bred, to uphold the courage and maintain the spirit of independence of
its weaker citizens. The men who responded because they treasured San
Francisco, their city, have shown, as this study proves, what sustained
and co-operative effort can achieve.


(A detailed Table of Contents precedes each part)


  PREFACE                                                            iii
  INTRODUCTION                                                       vii
  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS                                               xv
  LIST OF TABLES                                                    xvii
  DIAGRAM OF ORGANIZATION                                            xxv
  MAP                                                       _Opposite_ 3



  I. Organizing a Relief Force                                         3

  (1) The Disaster, 3. (2) Tentative Organization, 8. (3) Uniting of
  Relief Forces, 11. (4) Beginnings of Rehabilitation Work, 13. (5)
  An Interlude, 19. (6) Incorporation of the Funds, 25.

  II. Methods of Distribution                                         30

  (1) Sources of Contributions, 30. (2) Distribution of Food, 36.
  (3) Distribution of Clothing, 55. (4) Furnishing Transportation,
  58. (5) Providing Shelter, 69. (6) Safeguarding Health, 89. (7)
  Relieving the Japanese and Chinese, 94.

  III. Questions of Finance                                           96

  (1) Claims, 96. (2) System of Accounting--A Note, 98. (3) The
  Control of Donations, 99.



  I. Beginnings of Rehabilitation                                    107

  (1) General Policy, 107. (2) Periods of Rehabilitation Work, 111.

  II. Methods of Work                                                113

  (1) The District System, 113. (2) The Centralized System, 124. (3)
  Withdrawal, 133. (4) Concluding Remarks, 135.

  III. Calls for Special Forms of Service                            137

  (1) Relations with Auxiliary Societies, 137. (2) Rehabilitation of
  Institutions, 141. (3) Bureau of Special Relief, 145.

  IV. What the Rehabilitation Records Show                           151

  (1) Introductory, 151. (2) Social Data and Total Grants and
  Refusals, 152. (3) Principal and Subsidiary Grants, 157. (4) The
  Re-opening of Cases to make Further Grants, 160. (5) Variations in
  Amounts of Grants, and Refusals, 165.



  I. The People Aided and the Results Obtained                       171

  (1) The Plan Itself, 171. (2) The Study of Results, 173. (3) The
  Families and Individuals Aided, 174. (4) Changes in Family and
  Business Life, 176. (5) Occupations, 183. (6) Homogeneity of
  Grantees, 185. (7) Results of Business Rehabilitation, 186. (8)
  Reasons for Success and Failure, 187.

  II. Analysis by Occupations, Study of Refusals, and Summary        196

  (1) Success or Failure in Relation to Occupations, 196. (2) Study
  of Refusals, 208. (3) Summary of the Results of Business
  Rehabilitation, 210.



  I. General Plan of Housing Work                                    215

  (1) Introductory, 215. (2) Retrospective, 216. (3) The General
  Plan, 218.

  II. The Camp Cottages                                              221

  (1) General Cost, 221. (2) Families Occupying the Cottages, 223.
  (3) Wages and Occupations, 226. (4) Housing Before and After the
  Fire, 229. (5) Two Cottage Settlements, 234. (6) Brief Comments,

  III. The Bonus Plan                                                239

  (1) The Plan Itself, 239. (2) Bonus Recipients, 240. (3)
  Occupations and Resources, 244. (4) The Houses--Character and
  Cost, 248. (5) Brief Comments, 251.

  IV. The Grant and Loan Plan                                        253

  (1) The Plan Itself, 253. (2) Relation Between the Department of
  Lands and Buildings and the Housing Committee, 256. (3) The Number
  Aided and the Cost, 257. (4) Families Making Use of the Grants and
  Loans, 259. (5) Occupations and Resources, 262. (6) Housing Before
  and After the Fire, 266. (7) Status of Loans in 1909 and 1911 and
  Additional Aid, 271. (8) Cases of Expensive Building, 273. (9)
  Brief Comments, 276.

  General Conclusions on Housing Plans                               277



  From June, 1907, to June, 1909

  I. The Nature of the Cases                                         281

  (1) Introductory, 281. (2) Nature of the Dependency, 282. (3)
  Social Character of the Cases, 286. (4) Occupations of Applicants,

  II. The Methods of Relief Employed                                 298

  (1) Reapplications, 298. (2) Emergent Relief, 299. (3) Permanent
  Relief, 305. (4) Relief Refused, 310. (5) Conclusions, 314. (6)
  The Associated Charities Since the Fire, 317.




  I. Ingleside Model Camp                                            321

  (1) History of its Establishment, 321. (2) Administration, 324.
  (3) General Statistics, 327.

  II. Relief and Non-Relief Cases                                    335

  (1) General Analysis, 335. (2) Applicants and Non-Applicants for
  Relief and Rehabilitation, 336.

  III. RESULTS                                                       356


  Part I.   Organization and the Emergency Period                    369
  Part II.  Rehabilitation                                           370
  Part III. Business Rehabilitation                                  371
  Part IV.  Housing Rehabilitation                                   371
  Part V.   After-Care                                               372
  Part VI.  The Aged and Infirm                                      372


  I. DOCUMENTS AND ORDERS                                            375

  (1) List of Members Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross
  Funds and its Permanent Committees, 377. (2) General Orders No.
  18, 379. (3) Extracts from the Army in the San Francisco Disaster,
  383. (4) Letter from General Greely to James D. Phelan, 387. (5)
  Plan of the Executive Commission, 391. (6) Original Housing Plan,
  394. (7) The Incorporation of the Funds, 398. (8) Appointment of
  Board of Trustees Relief and Red Cross Funds, February, 1909, 401.
  (9) List of Official Camps, 404. (10) Grants to Charitable
  Organizations: A. By Denominations and Nature of Work, B. By
  Denominations, 405. (11) Rehabilitation Committee: Details of
  Administration, 406. (12) General Plan of Housing Committee, 417.
  (13) Statistics from Associated Charities, 419.

  II. FORMS AND CIRCULARS                                            423

  First registration card (Face), p. 425. First registration card
  (Reverse), p. 426. Food card (Face and Reverse), p. 427. Second
  registration card (Face), p. 428. Second registration card
  (Reverse), p. 429. Tent record sheet, p. 430. Camp commander’s
  report sheet, p. 431. Rehabilitation Committee: Report form, p.
  432; Paster, p. 433; Circular, p. 434; Application blank, p. 435;
  Circular letter of inquiry, p. 436; Bureau of Special Relief:
  Recommendation form, p. 437; Report form, p. 438; Medical service
  form, p. 439; Order form A, p. 440; Order form B, p. 441; Bureau
  of Hospitals: Hospital report sheet, p. 442. Application forms for
  business rehabilitation, p. 443. Application for bonus, p. 447.
  Land and Building Department, Notice, 448. Application for housing
  grant, p. 449.



  The Ruins framed in Marble                         _Frontispiece_

  The Morning of the Disaster                                          4
  Striving to reach the ferry
  In Union Square, soon to be swept by flames

  The Hall of Justice                                                  9

  Refugees in Jefferson Square                                        14
  Watching the fire
  The fire draws near

  Supplying Food under Difficulties                                   20
  The first bakery rebuilt
  A cheerful kitchen

  Camp No. 10, Potrero District                                       28
  Tent camp, opened May 9, 1906

  Relieving the Hungry                                                36
  All classes joined the bread line
  Soldiers gave aid and protection

  Fires in Houses were Prohibited                                     40
  Preparing meals in the street
  A row of street kitchens

  Distribution of Relief Supplies                                     46
  The bread line, Mission District
  Relief station, Mission District

  Hot Meal Kitchens                                                   50
  An open air dining room
  In Golden Gate Park

  Warehouse for Second Hand Clothing                                  57

  Camps in Golden Gate Park                                           70
  An administration headquarters
  Camp No. 6, The Speedway, showing barracks

  Early Shelters in Jefferson Square                                  74
  Shelters of sheets and quilts
  Tents and shacks

  Camp No. 9, Lobos Square                                            78
  Tent camp, opened May 9, 1906

  Camp No. 20, Hamilton Square                                        81

  Camp No. 28, South Park                                             85

  Tanks for Sterilizing Water, Lobos Square Camp                      94

  Two Cottage Camps                                                  110
  Camp No. 25, Richmond District, opened November 20, 1906
  Camp No. 29, Mission Park, opened November 19, 1906

  Headquarters, Department of Relief and Rehabilitation              119

  Early Business Ventures                                            128
  Barber shop, and shack constructed of boxes
  A drinking place

  Camp Cottages used for Business                                    178
  A plumber’s new start
  Laundry and residence

  Business Rehabilitation                                            188
  Cigar store of an Italian cripple
  Store owned by a German-Swiss couple

  Business Rehabilitation                                            198
  Owner aided by a Rehabilitation Grant and money privately loaned
  Hat maker aided by a Rehabilitation Grant

  View from Nob Hill looking toward Harbor and Ferry Building.
  Taken one year after the fire, April 18, 1907                      207

  Cottage Homes a year after removal                                 215
  In the land of flowers
  A simple but cozy home

  Homes from Camp Cottages                                           218
  Substantial and weatherproof
  Commodious and attractive

  Camp No. 13, Franklin Square                                       221

  Camp Cottages after Removal                                        226
  A janitor’s comfortable home
  Improved at small expense

  Camp Cottages at Hill Crest                                        230
  Where the trade winds blow
  In full view of the Pacific

  Beginnings of a Cottage Settlement                                 234
  First cottages in Villa Maria
  The proprietor and his family

  Camp Cottages on a Suburban Tract                                  237

  Bonus Houses                                                       240
  Home built by a letter carrier
  Home of an elderly U. S. Government employe. Bonus, $250

  Bonus Houses                                                       245
  Built by Italians. Bonuses $500 each
  Home of two Italian families
  A widow’s venture. Bonus $500

  Bonus Houses                                                       250
  Two ambitious dwellings built with aid of bonuses
  Built with bonus of $500 and money privately loaned

  Headquarters Department of Lands and Buildings                     257

  Grant and Loan Houses                                              262
  Built by the owner with insurance money and a grant of $250
  Built by a teamster with grant of $250 and money privately loaned

  Grant and Loan Houses                                              268
  Built by the Housing Committee
  Built by the owner, who had some resources

  Methods of Housing Rehabilitation                                  275

  Telegraph Hill and Washington Square                               286
  Completely devastated. First tents in Washington Square
  Partly rebuilt. Cottages in Washington Square

  Telegraph Hill Largely Rebuilt                                     291

  Washington Square Camp                                             294

  Removal from the Camp                                              300
  1. The start
  2. Well under way
  3. Joining two cottages
  4. The completed dwelling

  Home for the Aged and Infirm (The “Relief Home”)                   307

  Ingleside Model Camp                                               323

  Ingleside Model Camp                                               330
  The reading room
  The sewing room

  Ingleside Model Camp                                               340
  The kitchen
  The dining room

  “Portals of the Past”                                              361



  TABLE                                                             PAGE

    1. Cash receipts of the Finance Committee of Relief and Red
       Cross Funds, and its successor, The Corporation, to June 1,
       1909                                                           33

    2. Cash contributions for the relief of San Francisco, to June
       1, 1909, received by the Finance Committee of Relief and Red
       Cross Funds, and its successor, The Corporation, and by
       American National Red Cross, by country of origin              34

    3. Disposition of cash contributed for the relief of San
       Francisco through the American National Red Cross, to June 1,
       1909                                                           35

    4. Character of location, origin, and dates of opening and
       closing of relief stations of Civil Section VI                 41

    5. Relief stations in the seven civil sections on May 3 and on
       June 3, 1906                                                   42

    6. Daily issues of rations from April 19 to May 12, 1906          43

    7. Families and individuals registered in the seven civil
       sections, May, 1906                                            45

    8. Meals served by hot meal kitchens, from May to October, 1906,
       inclusive                                                      51

    9. Free and paid meals served by hot meal kitchens on specified
       dates in 1906                                                  52

   10. Expenditures of San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds for
       purchase and distribution of food, to May 29, 1909             53

   11. Persons to whom rations were issued in May and June, 1906      53

   12. Persons carried from San Francisco as free passengers by the
       Southern Pacific Railroad, from April 18 to April 26, 1906     58

   13. Destination of persons sent from San Francisco by the
       transportation committee, from April 26 to May 10, 1906,
       inclusive                                                      66

   14. Persons sent from San Francisco, by period and by general
       destination, April 26, 1906, to June, 1908                     67

   15. Terms of transportation of persons sent from San Francisco in
       second and third periods                                       68

   16. Destination of persons sent from San Francisco in second and
       third periods                                                  68

   17. Value at reduced rates of transportation furnished through
       the committee                                                  69

   18. Housing of registered families, by civil sections, May, 1906.
       Numbers                                                        72

   19. Housing of registered families, by civil sections.
       Percentages, based on the total number of families whose
       addresses in May, 1906, were given                             72

   20. Nationality of population of San Francisco in 1900, compared
       with nationality of heads of families among refugees in 1906   75

   21. Nationality of heads of families among refugees, by civil
       sections, May, 1906. Numbers                                  76

   22. Nationality of heads of families among refugees, by civil
       sections, May, 1906. Percentages based on the total number of
       cases in which information as to nativity was available        76

   23. Ejectments from camps during the entire period of the relief
       work, by months                                                80

   24. Reasons for ejectments from camps during the entire period of
       relief work                                                    80

   25. Population of official camps, exclusive of Ingleside Model
       Camp, from May, 1906, to June, 1908, inclusive                 81

   26. Cost of camps during the entire period of the relief work      87

   27. Disposal of claims acted upon by the department of bills and
       demands, to March 16, 1907                                     97

   28. Payments upon claims acted upon by the department of bills
       and demands, to March 16, 1907                                 98


   29. Estimate of amount required for carrying on work of relief,
       presented August 16, 1906                                     121

   30. Reasons for the refusal of grants to certain societies, to
       May 11, 1907                                                  145

   31. A. Amount expended monthly by Bureau of Special Relief for
          all purposes from August 15, 1906, to June 30, 1907        148

       B. Amount expended by Bureau of Special Relief for
          administration and for supplies from August 15, 1906, to
          June 30, 1907                                              148

   32. Disposal of applications for rehabilitation following
       investigation                                                 152

   33. Disposal of applications for rehabilitation, by nature of
       application                                                   153

   34. Applicants for rehabilitation, by age, and by nature and
       disposal of application                                       153

   35. Applicants for rehabilitation, by domestic status and by
       nature of application                                         154

   36. Applicants handicapped by personal misfortunes or defects     155

   37. Applicants affected by handicaps of each specified kind       155

   38. Number of persons in families of applicants for
       rehabilitation                                                156

   39. Families among the applicants for rehabilitation with
       children, by number of children under fourteen years of age
       in each family                                                156

   40. Number of principal and subsidiary grants, by nature of
       grants                                                        157

   41. Amount of principal and subsidiary grants, by nature of
       grants                                                        158

   42. Amounts given to applicants receiving $500 or more, by nature
       of principal grant                                            159

   43. Applications for relief passed upon by sub-committees and by
       the Rehabilitation Committee, without action by a sub-
       committee, in the period from November 1, 1906, to April 1,
       1907, by nature of the application                            160

   44. Number of re-opened cases by nature of first grant            161

   45. Grants for rehabilitation by amount and by nature of relief
       given                                                         165

   46. Grants and refusals to applicants who possessed resources, by
       amount of resources                                           167

   47. Reasons for refusal of rehabilitation, by nature of
       application                                                   168


   48. Nativity of heads of families receiving business
       rehabilitation                                                175

   49. Conjugal condition of family groups receiving business
       rehabilitation                                                175

   50. Changes in family composition between period before fire and
       the re-visit in 120 families receiving business
       rehabilitation                                                177

   51. Nature of premises occupied and of rentals paid before and
       after the fire, by families receiving business rehabilitation 178

   52. Residence rentals paid, before and after the fire, by 94
       families receiving business rehabilitation, who paid rentals
       for separate residential quarters in both periods             179

   53. Number of rooms in residences occupied before and after the
       fire, by 94 families receiving business rehabilitation, who
       paid rentals for separate residential quarters in both
       periods                                                       180

   54. Business rentals paid, before and after the fire, by 74
       families receiving business rehabilitation, who paid rentals
       for separate business quarters in both periods                181

   55. Combined business and residential rentals paid, before and
       after the fire, by 285 families receiving business
       rehabilitation, who paid combined rentals in both periods     182

   56. Proposed occupation of applicants receiving business
       rehabilitation                                                184

   57. Business and employment status at the time of the re-visit,
       of applicants receiving business rehabilitation               186

   58. Business status at the time of the re-visit of applicants
       receiving business rehabilitation, by health of families      193

   59. Amount of grants to and of capital available for applicants
       receiving business rehabilitation                             194

   60. Business status at the time of the re-visit of applicants
       receiving business rehabilitation, by occupations             196

   61. Business status at the time of the re-visit of applicants
       receiving business rehabilitation for personal and domestic
       service, by size of grants and amount of capital              201

   62. Business status at the time of the re-visit of applicants
       receiving business rehabilitation for trade, by size of
       grants and amount of capital                                  207


   63. Houses erected by or with the aid of the San Francisco Relief
       and Red Cross Funds, by style of houses or plan under which
       relief was given                                              219

   64. Expenditures for housing made by the Finance Committee of
       Relief and Red Cross Funds, by the San Francisco Relief and
       Red Cross Funds, a Corporation, and by the United States Army
       from congressional appropriation, from April, 1906, to June,
       1909                                                          220

   65. Nationality of applicants receiving aid under the cottage
       plan                                                          223

   66. Conjugal condition of families receiving aid under the
       cottage plan                                                  224

   67. Ages of applicants receiving aid under the cottage plan       225

   68. Occupation before the fire, of 415 of the men in families
       receiving aid under the cottage plan                          226

   69. Estimated monthly wages received before the fire by the 380
       men who worked for wages, in the families receiving aid under
       the cottage plan                                              227

   70. Estimated yearly incomes before and after the fire of
       families receiving aid under the cottage plan                 228

   71. Types of houses occupied before the fire by families
       receiving aid under the cottage plan                          230

   72. Number of rooms per family occupied before the fire by
       families receiving aid under the cottage plan                 230

   73. Costs incurred, by or in behalf of applicants, for cottages
       occupied by families receiving aid under the cottage plan     232

   74. Nationality of applicants receiving aid under the bonus plan  241

   75. Conjugal condition of families receiving aid under the bonus
       plan                                                          242

   76. Ages of applicants receiving aid under the bonus plan         243

   77. Occupations before the fire of 433 men in families receiving
       aid under the bonus plan                                      244

   78. Value of lots owned before the fire by applicants receiving
       aid under the bonus plan                                      246

   79. Indebtedness carried before and after the fire by families
       receiving aid under the bonus plan                            247

   80. Cost of houses rebuilt after the fire by applicants receiving
       aid under the bonus plan                                      249

   81. Number of rooms in houses owned before the fire and in houses
       rebuilt after the fire by applicants receiving aid under the
       bonus plan                                                    249

   82. Number of rooms per family occupied before and after the fire
       by families receiving aid under the bonus plan                250

   83. Style of 543 houses built by the housing committee for
       applicants receiving aid under the grant and loan plan        258

   84. Nationality of applicants receiving aid under the grant and
       loan plan                                                     259

   85. Conjugal condition of families receiving aid under the grant
       and loan plan                                                 260

   86. Ages of applicants receiving aid under the grant and loan
       plan                                                          261

   87. Monthly income before and after the fire of men receiving aid
       under the grant and loan plan who were in business before the
       fire                                                          262

   88. Monthly income before and after the fire of women in families
       receiving aid under the grant and loan plan                   264

   89. Value of lots purchased after the fire by 670 applicants
       receiving aid under the grant and loan plan                   266

   90. Number of rooms per family occupied before and after the fire
       by families receiving aid under the grant and loan plan       267

   91. Value of houses owned before and after the fire by applicants
       receiving aid under the grant and loan plan                   269

   92. Monthly rentals paid before the fire by families receiving
       aid under the grant and loan plan                             270

   93. Status on January 1, 1911, of loans to families receiving aid
       under the grant and loan plan                                 272

   94. Additional aid from the relief funds given to families
       receiving aid under the grant and loan plan                   273

   95. Amount of additional grants from the Relief Funds made to
       families receiving aid under the grant and loan plan          273


   96. Number of applications to the Associated Charities for
       assistance, by months. 1908 and 1909                          284

   97. Associated Charities cases classified as having lived or not
       having lived in the burned area, and by number aided, and
       number refused aid. June 1, 1907, to June 1, 1909             285

   98. Nativity of applicants for relief from Associated Charities,
       before fire and after fire                                    287

   99. Family types among applicants for relief from Associated
       Charities, before fire and after fire                         288

  100. Age of principal breadwinner in families applying for relief
       from Associated Charities. June 1, 1907, to June 1, 1909      290

  101. Age of principal breadwinner in families applying for relief
       from Associated Charities, before fire and after fire, by
       family type                                                   290

  102. Age of principal breadwinner in families that had been burned
       out applying for relief from Associated Charities, by
       nativity and rehabilitation record. June 1, 1907-June 1,
       1909                                                          291

  103. Number of children in families having children applying for
       relief from Associated Charities, before fire and after fire  292

  104. Causes of disability among applicants for relief from
       Associated Charities, before fire and after fire              293

  105. Applicants for relief from Associated Charities classified by
       general occupations, as refugees with and without
       rehabilitation record, and as non-refugees, June 1, 1907, to
       June 1, 1909                                                  294

  106. General occupations of applicants for relief from Associated
       Charities, before fire and after fire                         295

  107. Size of grants made by the Rehabilitation Committee, before
       June 1, 1907, to applicants for relief who afterwards applied
       for relief from the Associated Charities                      299

  108. Emergency and temporary relief given in money or in orders by
       Associated Charities June 1, 1907, to June 1, 1909            300

  109. Expenditure by Associated Charities for care of sick, in
       addition to aid from Red Cross Funds. June 1, 1907, to June
       1, 1909                                                       301

  110. Grants and pensions of $50 and over given by the Associated
       Charities                                                     306

  111. Applicants for aid from the Associated Charities to whom aid
       was refused, classified as having lived or not having lived
       in the burned area. June 1, 1907-June 1, 1909                 310

  112. Reasons for not giving aid from Associated Charities to
       applicants                                                    313


  113. Inmates of Ingleside Model Camp by conjugal condition and sex 328

  114. Conjugal condition of inmates of Ingleside Model Camp,
       compared with conjugal condition of inmates of all almshouses
       of the United States in 1903-4 and of the general population
       of California 15 years of age and over, in 1900               329

  115. Age distribution of inmates of Ingleside Model Camp, compared
       with age distribution of inmates of San Francisco almshouse
       during a ten-year period, and of inmates of all almshouses of
       the United States, in 1903-4                                  330

  116. Nativity of inmates of Ingleside Model Camp, compared with
       nativity of inmates of San Francisco almshouse during a
       ten-year period, and of the general population of the city
       and county of San Francisco in 1900                           331

  117. Occupations of inmates of Ingleside Model Camp                332

  118. Family relations of inmates of Ingleside Model Camp           335

  119. Inmates of Ingleside Model Camp classified as families and
       single and widowed men and women and as applicants to San
       Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds, applicants to
       Associated Charities, and non-applicants                      336

  120. Single and widowed inmates of Ingleside Model Camp applying
       to the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds for
       Rehabilitation, by nature of rehabilitation applied for       344

  121. Disabled single and widowed inmates of Ingleside Model Camp
       who did not apply for rehabilitation, by sex and nature of
       disability                                                    353

  122. Subsequent history of single and widowed inmates of Ingleside
       Model Camp, who did not apply for rehabilitation, by sex      354

  123. Proportion of almshouse inmates and of almshouse admissions
       to total population, San Francisco, 1890, 1900, 1905, and
       1909                                                          356


Showing committees, departments, and bureaus created from April 18,
1906, to February 4, 1909[2]

    April 18, 1906         April 18, 1906       CROSS, April 23, 1906
  Under the Division   |          |            Special Representative
    Commander          |          |            Seven Civil Chairmen
  Inspector General    |  FINANCE COMMITTEE,     of the Civil Sections
  Depot Quartermaster  |   April 18, 1906      Staff at Headquarters
    (transportation of |                       Registration Bureau
    supplies)          |Committee of Super-    Employment Bureau
  Depot Commissary (Is-|  vising               Special Relief and Re-
    suance of food)    |Purchasing Committee     habilitation Bureau
  Subordinate Officers |Auditing Committee     Transportation Bureau
    in Change of Ware- |Committee on Hospitals            |
    houses             |          |                       |
  Chief Sanitary       |          |                       |
    Officer            |          +-----------+-----------+
  Military Chairmen of |                      |
    the Seven Civil    |                      |
    Sections           |     FINANCE COMMITTEE OF RELIEF & RED CROSS
  Bureau of Consoli-   |             FUNDS, April 24, 1906
    dated Relief       |       EXECUTIVE COMMISSION, June 22, 1906
    Stations           |         Seven Civil Chairmen
      Hot Food Stations|         Committee on Relief Warehouses
  Superintendents of   |         Committee on Camps
    Relief Stations    |         Committee on Complaints
    (also called food  |         Committee on Municipal Departments
    stations)          |         Committee on Sewing Circles
  Commander of Official|      REHABILITATION COMMITTEE, June 29, 1906
    Camps              |         Seven Civil Section Committees
  Commanders of Several|                      |
    Camps              |                      |
                       |    SAN FRANCISCO RELIEF AND RED CROSS FUNDS,
            +----------+         A CORPORATION, July 20, 1906
            |                 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
   CITIZENS’ COMMITTEE,         Auditing Department
     April 18, 1906             Subscription Department
  Transportation of             Ledger Department
    Refugees                    Claim Voucher Department
  Relief of Hungry              Cashier’s Department
  Housing the Homeless          History Committee
  Roofing the Homeless
  Drugs and Medical           DEPARTMENT B--BILLS AND DEMANDS
    Supplies                    Supervising Committee (superseded by
  Relief of Sick and              the Judicial Committee, Sept. 9,
    Wounded                       1906)
  Care in Hospitals
  Relief of Chinese           DEPARTMENT C--CAMPS AND WAREHOUSES (Aug.
                                  1, 1906, Relieved Army of Camps)
                                Seven Civil Chairmen

                              DEPARTMENT D--RELIEF AND REHABILITATION
                                Rehabilitation Committee
                                  Seven Civil Section Committees,
                                    superseded October 26, 1906, by
                                    I. Temporary Aid and Transporta-
                                   II. Aged and Infirm. Unsupported
                                         Children and Friendless Girls
                                  III. Unsupported or Partially Sup-
                                         ported Families
                                   IV. Occupation for Women and Confi-
                                         dential Cases
                                    V. Housing and Shelter
                                   VI. Business Rehabilitation
                                  VII. Heads of Families Employed but
                                         Unable to Refurnish their
                                         Homes, Jan. 16, 1907
                                 VIII. Committee on Deferred and Ne-
                                         glected Applications, Nov.
                                         17, 1907
                                Bureau of Hospitals
                                Industrial Bureau
                                Bureau of Special Relief

                              DEPARTMENT E--LANDS AND BUILDINGS
                            BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF RELIEF AND RED CROSS
                                     FUNDS, Feb. 4, 1909

  [2] The committees appointed independently by the Finance Committee
  and by the American National Red Cross became practically merged into
  the so-called new committees under the Finance Committee of Relief and
  Red Cross Funds. The committees under the Finance Committee of Relief
  and Red Cross Funds continued their work under the more elaborate
  organisation of the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds, a
  Corporation. The most significant dates of organisation are given.





  I. ORGANIZING A RELIEF FORCE               3

  1. The Disaster                            3
  2. Tentative Organization                  8
  3. Uniting of Relief Forces               11
  4. Beginnings of Rehabilitation Work      13
  5. An Interlude                           19
  6. Incorporation of the Funds             25

  II. METHODS OF DISTRIBUTION               30

  1. Sources of Contributions               30
  2. Distribution of Food                   36
  3. Distribution of Clothing               55
  4. Furnishing Transportation              58
  5. Providing Shelter                      69
  6. Safeguarding Health                    89
  7. Relieving the Japanese and Chinese     94

  III. QUESTIONS OF FINANCE                 96

  1. Claims                                 96
  2. System of Accounting--A Note           98
  3. The Control of Donations               99

[Illustration: MAP OF





San Francisco is at the head of one of two narrow peninsulas which, held
apart by the Golden Gate, landlock a fifty-mile length of harbor. To the
west of the city is the Pacific Ocean itself and to the east, beyond the
six to eight-mile reach of San Francisco Bay, such residence towns as
Alameda, Oakland, and Berkeley, which merge almost into one another.
Many thousands of people who use San Francisco as the center for their
business, travel daily along the city’s principal thoroughfare, Market
Street, to take at its foot one of the ferries which make frequent runs
to the east shore and to Sausalito and Tiburon on the north beyond the
Golden Gate. A smaller number go by rail to San José and other residence
towns on the peninsula, and each stream is met morning and evening by
one of less volume of those who reverse the process to find residence in
the large city and employment beyond its boundaries.

On Wednesday morning, April 18, 1906, at twelve minutes past five
o’clock, San Francisco, this city of wonderful setting, suffered an
earthquake whose sensible duration was about one minute. The shock left
her powerless to supply light, heat, water, drainage, to convey her
people or to carry their messages; but it would not have paralyzed her
activities had it not been that because of the breaking of the main
water conduits, the fires, thirty of which were said to have started
immediately, could not be controlled.

The fires started on both sides of Market Street, and within three hours
after the earthquake, made a continuous line of flame from north of
Market Street, along the water front, past the Ferry Building, south of
Market Street, and along Mission Street to beyond Third Street, where
was the main station of the only railroad that ran out of the city. As
the fire spread to the southwest and the north, the whole population
seemed cut off from escape except by going west and south within the
city. Comparatively few knew during the first two days that there was a
narrow but safe way around the fire to the Ferry Building from which
the boats were running. Many of those who did learn of this opportunity,
or who wished to hazard a chance, reached the ferry and crossed the bay,
but many more failed to use this means of reaching their friends and
acquaintances without the city. On the second and third days small
supplies of water were brought to play upon the fire, but not until the
morning of Saturday the twenty-first, by the use of dynamite, was the
advance of the flames stopped.

Along the general line of the city’s own growth in wealth and breadth
the fire moved, destroying the larger part of the wholesale district,
practically all of the retail and the shopping section, the chief
financial centers, the leading hotels, and some of the public buildings.
Large portions of the most expensive residence sections and multitudes
of small hotels and lodging houses, together with great numbers of less
expensive residences and quarters for working people, were devastated.
Thickly populated districts, such as the “Latin Quarter,” Chinatown, and
the section largely inhabited by the Irish, were entirely burned out.

The burned area, the very heart and vitals of the city, covered 4.7[3]
square miles, on which were located 521 blocks, 13 of which were saved,
508 burned. The number of buildings destroyed was 28,188,[4] the number
of persons made homeless about 200,000[5] of San Francisco’s estimated
population of 450,000.

  [3] Report of the sub-committee on statistics to the chairman and
  Committee on the Reconstruction of San Francisco (see page 10), April
  24, 1907.

  [4] The classification and count were made from the block books of the
  Norwich Union Insurance Company. Each separate building with an
  independent entrance was estimated as a building. The number and
  character of buildings destroyed were:

      Character of buildings    |Buildings destroyed
  Wooden framed buildings       |      24,671
  Brick--Classes B and C        |       3,168
  Brick and wood (unclassified) |         259
  Fireproof--Class A            |          42
  Stone                         |          15
  Corrugated iron (wooden frame)|          33
      Total                     |      28,188

  [5] General Greely quoted the chief of the Census Bureau as giving
  185,000 as the population of the burned area in 1900.

[Illustration: Striving to reach the Ferry Building

In Union Square, soon to be swept by flames


The burned area[6] had a land front of 49,305 feet, or 9.34 miles, and a
water front of 9,510 feet, or 1.80 miles, the total being 58,815 feet,
or 11.14 miles. Facing this line on the unburned side were 527
buildings, of which 506 were wood, 18 brick, one stone, one adobe, and
one corrugated iron. Thus the fire was stopped against a wall of
buildings, 96 per cent of which were wood. About 20 per cent of the
frontage was on wide streets, and the remainder, 80 per cent, on streets
of ordinary width.

  [6] See map opposite p. 3.

Apart from the larger business houses, the public buildings, and some of
the residences of the wealthier citizens, the burned buildings,
including the smaller hotels and lodging houses, were built of wood.
Their destruction was complete. There was practically no salvage of
value from the small wooden dwellings, destroyed as they were by the
fire and not by the earthquake.

The loss of real and personal property has been estimated at
$500,000,000,--about $1,100 per capita of the city’s population. As only
$200,000,000 of insurance money is estimated to have been collected,
there was a net loss of over $650 per capita. The great loss of income
from non-employment, from unrentable property, and from the general
cessation of business, cannot be estimated. There was quick compensation
for the day laborers and other workmen connected with the building
trades, but the recovery for most of the business men was to be slow and
is not yet complete.

The loss of life as a result of both earthquake and fire was reported by
General Greely, after careful inquiry, to be: known dead, 304; unknown
dead, 194; total, 498; number seriously injured, 415. All persons within
the fire zone who were lying sick either in hospitals or in their own
homes were carried to places of safety. There were, of course, many
unwarranted reports of tragic deaths, such as for instance that numerous
men had been shot for looting and that physicians had put their patients
to death rather than let them die in the flames. The federal troops
arrived so promptly, and with the aid of the militia and the police
patrolled the city so thoroughly, that there were few opportunities to
loot. To the end of June there were but nine deaths by violence in the
whole city, three of which appear to have been brought upon unoffending
men by over-zealous patrols.

It can never be reckoned what it meant to the devastated city that its
own people as a welded body should have manifested under the shock of
the great disaster that quality of the hero which lifts him, the psychic
man, above the physical and leaves him freed from himself to be
spiritually at one with his community. A witness who lives in Berkeley
came to the city early on the morning of the earthquake and spent that
and the following day in the thick of the refugees. Nowhere along the
fire lines was to be seen the least sign of panic. Women and children
without a tear and with scarcely a murmur trudged weary miles, carrying
handfuls of possessions, or stood silent to watch their homes destroyed.
The chief signs of excitement were shown by those who were fighting the
fire or who were hurrying from one place to another on official
business. At the end of the second day he saw tears for the first time,
the tears of a woman who may have been worn out by long tramping and by
loss of sleep.

How the great deep of the common human heart was broken up when that
sudden disaster came unawares on the people is borne witness to by many
who had their portion of loss and by many others who came from the
outside to help carry the load. One of the latter wrote to _Charities
and the Commons_[7] a month afterwards:

  “All the fountains of good fellowship, of generosity, of sympathy, of
  good cheer, pluck, and determination have been opened wide by the
  common downfall. The spirit of all is a marvelous revelation of the
  good and fine in humanity, intermittent or dormant under ordinary
  conditions, perhaps, but dominant and all-pervading in the shadow of

  “Recently I formed the acquaintance of a man who now drives an
  automobile. He had a large machine shop and was a rich man before the
  fire. The other day he was working about the automobile while his
  passengers were attending a committee meeting at army headquarters.
  Presently there approached a man who had purchased $20,000 worth of
  machinery at his shops just before the fire.

  “The customer said to my friend, ‘Hello R----, what are you doing

  “‘Driving this automobile,’ said R----. ‘What are you doing?’

  “‘I’m driving that automobile over there,’ said the customer, and the
  two shook hands and laughed heartily at the grim humor of the

  “The prevailing sentiment could hardly be better shown than by a motto
  chalked on one of the little temporary street kitchens. It is: ‘Make
  the best of it, forget the rest of it.’”

  [7] Bicknell, Ernest P.: In the Thick of the Relief Work of San
  Francisco. _Charities and the Commons_, XVI: 299 (June, 1906).

The even temperature of the San Francisco region which assures mild
winters and cool summers and the cessation of rains from March to
October, made climatic conditions that were peculiarly favorable. There
was on April 22 and again in June some inconvenience from unseasonable
rain, but there was no complaint of serious discomfort by those living
in the temporary shelters. The health of the refugees in general, it was
frequently stated, was improved by the outdoor life. Probably thousands
lived during the summer of 1906 under improved physical conditions; and
even during the rains of the following winter thousands were better off
in the refugee shacks than they had previously been in the poorer grade
of tenements. A winter that brings but little frost and ice and that
accustoms people to live with open doors and to do without artificial
heat is one that simplifies the task of providing shelter for the
homeless, lessens the cost, and causes but few serious delays to
building work. The even temperature is also favorable for the handling
of perishable food supplies, which do not need to be kept on ice.

San Francisco had an additional advantage in being an important military
and naval center. As the headquarters of the department of California
and of the Pacific Division of the army, it has within its boundaries
three garrison posts with their reservations,--the Presidio, Fort Mason,
and Fort Miley; and without, Fort Baker opposite the Presidio on the
north side of the Golden Gate, Alcatraz Island facing the Golden Gate,
Fort McDowell within the bay on Angel Island, and Benicia Barracks at
the head of the bay. The United States Navy Department has Mare Island
Navy Yard at the north end of the bay and the Naval Training Station on
Yerba Buena Island. At the time of the disaster the war ships in the
harbor as well as the naval stations were able to render prompt and
valuable service. The army’s immediate part in fighting the fire and in
guarding property, and its later part in providing food, clothing, and
shelter was, as is shown in the following pages, of outstanding

As the people in brave and solemn silence moved out of the shattered and
fire-swept centers of the city, relief societies were being formed
within the city itself and in suburban towns, and citizens of places as
distant as Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, hurried from the south and
the north to distribute money and supplies. Many agencies, with fervor
but with no concerted plan, helped to carry the relief work for the
first week, converting churches into hospitals, and preparing and
distributing food in unlikely but convenient places. But while sporadic
groups of people worked to provide immediate aid in ignorance of one
another’s efforts, the organization of the Citizens’ Committee grew.


At a quarter before seven o’clock on that morning of April 18, the
mayor, Eugene E. Schmitz, with a small group of citizens met in the Hall
of Justice, a building shattered by the earthquake and nearly surrounded
by fire. As he hurried to the center of the city he overtook the federal
troops which had been summoned from Fort Mason and the Presidio by
General Funston, who was in command of the Pacific Division of the army
during the temporary absence of General Greely.[8] The troops had been
told to take orders from the mayor. Under authority from him they served
as police to guard property, not to enforce a military rule. The mayor
assumed almost absolute control of the city government for a time,
superseding all departments and commissions. His first order was to
shoot, not arrest, the looters; his second, to close the places that
sold liquor. The latter wise measure was for two months strictly

  [8] For a condensed account of the part taken by the army in the
  emergency relief work, see Appendix I, p. 381; extracts from article
  on The Army in the San Francisco Disaster, by Major (now Brigadier
  General) C. A. Devol. Journal United States Infantry Association,
  July, 1907, pp. 59-87.

[Illustration: The fire is approaching at the right


The mayor named a Citizens’ Committee[9] of more than 50 persons, 25 of
whom came together at three o’clock in the Hall of Justice, close to
the edge of the roaring tempest of flame. It was difficult to conduct
business, with dynamite explosions shaking the meeting place, so in an
hour’s time the mayor moved across the street to Portsmouth Square where
amid boxes of dynamite and in the shadow of the monument to Robert Louis
Stevenson, the transaction of business continued. The memorial, a
drinking fountain in a granite base with a Spanish galleon at full sail
on its summit, stood untouched. The gilt of the hardy vessel still
glittered and, untarnished beneath, Stevenson’s lines: “To be honest, to
be kind ... to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be
embittered, to keep a few friends but these without capitulation--above
all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with himself--here is a
task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.”

  [9] For list of members of the Citizens’ Committee, popularly called
  the Committee of Fifty, and its sub-committees, see Sixth Annual
  Report of the American National Red Cross, 1910, pp. 153-155.

Two hours later the mayor and his assistants moved five blocks up the
steep side of Nob Hill to the Fairmont Hotel only to be dislodged the
next morning from what must at first have seemed an impregnable
position. Their retreat carried them eight blocks farther west to the
North End Police Station, and by noon still westward to Franklin Hall on
the corner of Fillmore and Bush Streets, where they could finally halt.
While the citizens were holding their first meetings and the army was
helping to fight the fire, the American National Red Cross was sending
across the continent its representative, Dr. Edward T. Devine, who
reached San Francisco April 23 with Ernest P. Bicknell. Mr. Bicknell was
sent by the committee formed in Chicago for the relief of San

At its first meeting in the Hall of Justice the Citizens’ Committee,
which was recognized immediately as a representative body, authorized
the mayor to issue orders for food and other supplies. The mayor did
not, however, make much use of this authority but left the conduct of
the relief work to the Finance Committee, which was appointed at the
first meeting, and to the other sub-committees which were formed at the
following meetings. The chairman of each of these was given power to
complete the membership of his committee. From the first the Finance
Committee of the Citizens’ Committee, with James D. Phelan elected to be
its chairman, stands out as a directing agent of relief.

Interesting items in the minutes of the second meeting of the Citizens’
Committee are the announcements that there would be water in the Western
Addition by one o’clock of that day, April 19, and in the Mission the
following day, and that there was press boat service at the foot of Van
Ness Avenue.[10]

  [10] See map opposite p. 3. Fort Mason, at the foot of the avenue,
  overlooks the Golden Gate.

The Citizens’ Committee continued for over two weeks to hold daily
meetings, to which were submitted the Finance Committee’s reports of
contributions, as well as its methods of relief expenditures. Its only
function in relation to the relief work came to be to confer in order to
exchange information. It was but natural, therefore, for the mayor to
determine to dissolve the larger committee and leave the control of the
relief work, as far as he had power to determine it, in the hands of the
Finance Committee, which as is shown below had on April 25 come into
effective co-operation with the army and the American National Red
Cross. At the meeting on May 5, the mayor notified Mr. Phelan that the
work of all the relief sub-committees but his was done, and that he
should make his financial statement to the Committee on the
Reconstruction of San Francisco.[11]

  [11] Superseded on May 5 the Committee of Fifty. This new committee of
  40 members, composed largely of the men who served on the Committee of
  Fifty, had no part in the subsequent relief work.

The Citizens’ Committee with its list of sub-committees, hurriedly
created, quickly to die, gives an excellent illustration of the futility
of trying to effect an elaborate organization before the measure of a
disaster has been taken or the extent of the means for recovery learned.

The Finance Committee represented the citizens’ choice to which had been
entrusted the local subscription of over $400,000 and the contribution
from the state at large of $250,000. Its authority had been recognized
by the California branch of the Red Cross, by the Massachusetts
Association for Relief of California, by the New York Chamber of
Commerce, and by many other relief organizations and individuals
throughout the country, as well as by the President of the United States
who made public his recognition of the Finance Committee as official
agent of relief. The relation of the American National Red Cross to the
Finance Committee was not defined during the week following the


On April 24, before the dissolution of the Citizens’ Committee, a
momentous conference was held at Fort Mason which was attended by
General Greely and General Funston representing the army; by the mayor,
Mr. Phelan, Mr. de Young, and Mr. E. H. Harriman representing the
citizens; and by Dr. Devine, representing the American National Red
Cross and Judge W. W. Morrow representing the California Branch of the
Red Cross. That a meeting was to be held to determine the jurisdiction
of the Finance Committee and the best method of employing the funds, had
been reported earlier in the same day to the Citizens’ Committee. At
this conference, after a heated argument it was decided that the
military authorities should have entire charge[12] of the relief
stations and the shelters for the homeless, two divisions of work that
previously had been partially carried by sub-committees of the Citizens’
Committee. It was further decided to unite the Red Cross with the
Finance Committee of the Citizens’ Committee under a new title: Finance
Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds. This consolidation was
immediately approved by the American National Red Cross which soon
afterwards remitted $400,000 to the new committee.[13]

  [12] For a copy of General Orders No. 18, see Appendix I, p. 379.

  [13] For list of members of the Finance Committee of Relief and Red
  Cross Funds and its permanent Committees, see Appendix I, p. 377.

There were nice questions of policy involved in the determining of the
relation between the army, the civil and state authorities, and the
voluntary relief agencies. Tact was required and a faithful compliance
with the law. April 21, at a conference of the mayor, the chief of
police, General Koster, then in command of the National Guard, and
General Funston, the question of the effective policing of the city had
been considered.

It was agreed that the northern part of the city should be assigned to
the federal troops, the central part to the National Guard, and the
southern to the municipal police. The northern part was divided into six
military districts. On May 2 military control was extended to the whole
city, which was now divided into eight military districts, with only
slight changes in their boundaries; and on May 8 there was a general
re-districting that resulted in six districts. These military districts
have special significance for this Relief Survey because they later
served as the basis for the seven geographical divisions known as civil
or relief sections, which played a very important part in the relief
work. These were formed on April 29 and coincided practically with the
six military districts of May 8, except that military district six
included civil sections VII and VIII. The civil sections were later used
by the American National Red Cross, by the Executive Commission, and by
the departments of Camps and Warehouses and of Relief and

The boundaries of the sections, the number of refugees registered in
each, the extent of the burned district, and the location of the more
important camps, are given in the map.[14] The burned district was
included almost entirely in Sections IV and V. Sections I, II,[15] and
III contained the largest camps. Section VI had only one official camp,
and Section VII none, but there were many unsupervised tents and shacks,
isolated and in groups, scattered through these two sections. In extent
of territory they more than equalled the other five sections. They
contained before the fire a large wage-earning population, living in
small homes. This population was much increased after the fire by an
influx from the burned-out part of the city.

  [14] See map opposite p. 3. For number of refugees registered in the
  seven Sections in May, 1906, see also Part I, p. 45.

  [15] The number of refugees registered for Section II is very
  inadequate. It included Golden Gate Park, with its three large camps,
  where a different registration system was instituted before the
  general registration was begun. These camps, with a population in the
  middle of May of nearly 5,000, were therefore excluded from the
  general registration, which consequently represented only the
  scattered refugees throughout the section outside the Park.

An irresistible force had pushed relief through four broad channels.
Food had first to be supplied; then clothing along with bedding and
common household necessities; then shelter; and last, the means to make
one’s own provision for the future. The order of relief could not be
altered by any committee planning. The great primary needs had first to
be met. The amounts that could be held in reserve for the purpose of
essential importance, rehabilitation, depended on the sum of donations
being enough to leave a surplus after the cost of food, clothing, and
temporary shelter had been met. In the early days the number of persons
that were in the bread line and that lacked shelter was so great that it
looked as if the demands for food, clothing, and other primary
necessities would exhaust any possible relief fund.

The method of distribution of emergency relief is described in the
following chapter, but in order to understand the animus that underlay
the efforts to form an organization that should meet with public
recognition, it must be borne in mind that two strong currents,
representing distinct conceptions of principles of relief, flowed
beneath the surface of the relief administration, sometimes the one and
sometimes the other directing the general course or impeding an even
progress. Such conflict between the conceptions of the relief task was
as inevitable as was the demand for relief itself, and furnished
probably the amount of friction necessary to wear a deep bed along which
later moved a great stream of rehabilitation. The story of the first
efforts to form a compact, working relief body falls almost into
dramatic form. The voice of authority one day is the civic servant’s,
another day the people’s, a third the military commander’s, a fourth the
expert charity worker’s. The stage in turn seems held by each. But the
significant fact is that underlying the methods of each is the need,
recognized at different periods of time in varying degree, of meeting
the demands of the situation by a grasp of rehabilitation as the
definitive aim.


There was no monopoly of the conception of rehabilitation as an
essential part of the relief work. Before the end of April the Finance
Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds had been asked to supply tools
to bricklayers and to make loans to individuals. Individual members had
discussed the outstanding importance of rehousing the people. Agencies
and individuals acting independently of one another had likewise been
making tentative efforts to restore people to self-support.

But there was one group of workers that had been free from the first to
base its initial efforts on the need to measure the disaster in terms of
future rehabilitation. This group, representing the American National
Red Cross, reinforced by the Associated Charities, had been free to do
so because the responsibility of meeting the emergency was being carried
by the army and by the Citizens’ Committee. Before any distinctive
rehabilitation committee was appointed the office of the Red Cross was
besieged by applicants who in person and by letter begged for aid to
remove their families from the camp life. To some tools were supplied;
to others, transportation. Until May 9, when the Finance Committee made
its first appropriation of $10,000 for special relief, Dr. Devine drew
on a private fund at his disposal to meet rehabilitation expenditures.
For these early expenditures he was reimbursed from the first

May 5 is a noteworthy date. The representative of the American National
Red Cross then began to form a staff of rehabilitation workers, who put
the date May 5 at the head of the first case record. The secretary of
the Boston Associated Charities, Alice L. Higgins, was appointed
secretary to Dr. Devine. Lee K. Frankel of New York became chairman of a
tentative bureau of special relief.

On May 18, when the Red Cross had formulated its plans for a
registration bureau and for co-operating with the army at the seven
civil sections, the Special Relief and Rehabilitation Committee, or
Bureau, as it was ordinarily called, got well under way, with Oscar K.
Cushing as chairman. In a separate section in the next chapter the
relation of this Bureau to the transportation work is told.

The Bureau started with a force of seven field agents. The Associated
Charities provided the investigators, reinforced at once by local
volunteer and paid relief workers and, after July 2, by a number of
workers sent from east of the Sierras by the charity organization and
kindred societies that had trained them. The force as a whole
represented, without discrimination, various races and creeds. The
Finance Committee after July 2 made an appropriation to the Associated
Charities to cover the cost of administration.

[Illustration: Watching the fire

The fire draws near


During the early period of the alliance between the Associated Charities
and the Rehabilitation Bureau there was difficulty in the adjustment
of work, but the friction was soon overcome and until July, 1907, under
the various régimes, the Associated Charities continued to be an
effective part of the general rehabilitation machinery. The work of the
Bureau grew fast, but it grew naturally as an outcome of the demands of
the situation itself, and when on June 29, as is stated on page 21, the
Finance Committee appointed its own Rehabilitation Committee,[16] the
new committee was able to take over the work of the Bureau without any
waste of effort.

  [16] Two weeks later, when the funds were incorporated, July 16, 1906,
  five departments were formed (see p. 26) of which one, the Department
  of Relief and Rehabilitation, included the Rehabilitation Committee,
  the Bureau of Hospitals, the Industrial Bureau, and the Bureau of
  Special Relief. (See Diagram of Organization, p. xxv.)

Early in May, when the Red Cross Rehabilitation Bureau was being
organized, the Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds,
stimulated by insistent requests that it should state its plans, called
on Dr. Devine, one of its members, to make recommendations for future
work. The New York Chamber of Commerce, through its representative,
James D. Hague, and the Massachusetts Association for the Relief of
California through its representative Jacob Furth, were urging that
their funds be used as far as possible to provide permanent relief.

Dr. Devine, who already had carefully considered with his staff of Red
Cross workers the general question of rehabilitation, in a report
submitted on May 4 made seven recommendations, which were considered by
a special committee consisting of the governor, Archbishop Riordan,
Rabbi Voorsanger, E. H. Harriman, and Dr. Devine. The first six
recommendations were accepted by the Finance Committee; the last was
rejected. They read:

  1. That the opening of cheap restaurants be encouraged and facilitated
  by the sale to responsible persons at army contract prices of any
  surplus stores now in hand or en route, the proceeds to be turned into
  the relief fund to be expended in the purchase of the same or other
  supplies as the Finance Committee or its purchasing agents may direct.

  2. That definite provision be made for the maintenance of the
  permanent private hospitals which are in position to care for free
  patients, by the payment at the rate of $10 per week for the care of
  patients who are unable to pay, and that after an accurate estimate
  has been made of the number of beds in each hospital, a sufficient sum
  be appropriated for this purpose.

  3. That provision be made on some carefully devised plan for the care
  during the coming year of convalescent patients, and for the care of
  aged and infirm persons for whom there is not already sufficient

  4. That on the basis of the registration now in progress and
  subsequent inquiry into the facts in such cases, special relief in the
  form of tools, implements, household furniture, and sewing machines,
  or in any other form which may be approved by the committee, be
  supplied to individuals and families found to be in need of such

  5. That the administration of this special relief fund be entrusted to
  a committee of seven with such paid service at its disposal as the
  special relief committee may find necessary.

  6. That as soon as practicable a definite date be fixed after which
  applications for aid from the Relief and Red Cross Funds cannot be

  7. That a sum not to exceed $100,000 be set aside to be expended by
  the said committee for the immediate employment of both men and women
  in some necessary work which is in the public interest but which
  cannot be undertaken by the municipality and is not properly a charge
  on any private corporation or individual.

In making its own report this special committee said it assumed “that
the supply of food and clothing will be continued until the absolute
need in these directions is met.” It was not prepared to take action on
the seventh recommendation.

At the end of May, no action as a result of the recommendations having
been taken, Dr. Devine urged the Finance Committee to appoint the
committee of seven suggested in the fifth recommendation, which had been
authorized the first of the month, so that the work of providing shelter
more adequate than that provided by the tents should be begun. For
consideration of more permanent forms of rehabilitation, he thought it
might be necessary to have still another committee.

His advice to the Finance Committee was supplemented on June 4 by a
letter to the chairman, in which he drew a general outline of the relief
course that should be taken. It reiterates in more specific form the
advice given in May. The points emphasized were:

  1. The general distribution of uncooked food and of clothing should be
  discontinued by June 30, the date the army proposed to withdraw. The
  bread line, the clothing line, and the relief stations, should then be

  2. The established charities of the city should, as far as possible,
  on that date resume the discharge of their normal functions.

  3. The clothing and provisions, tools, sewing machines, and household
  furniture remaining on June 30 in the relief stores should be placed
  at the disposal of a special relief committee and a central warehouse
  should be designated to hold them. Appropriations should be made to
  the suggested committee for its administrative expenses, and as its
  plans developed, for additional relief.

  4. Housing, loans, and other plans for rehabilitation should be taken
  up by a legally incorporated body to be formed to administer the
  relief funds; one which should be ready to deal in the broadest
  possible way with all problems relating to the rehabilitation of
  families and of individuals. The hot meal kitchens, it was
  conjectured, would by the end of June be on a business basis.

  5. The most important task remaining would be to supervise permanent
  camps and barracks.[17]

  [17] See Providing Shelter, Part I, p. 69 ff.

  6. The Police Department should give general protection, and the
  Health Commission should guard the public health.[18]

  [18] See Safeguarding Health, Part I, p. 89 ff.

To quote the letter:

  “What will be needed in each permanent camp after June 30 will be (1)
  a business agent authorized by the Finance Committee, and in the case
  of public parks by the municipal authorities, to assign tents or rooms
  in barracks to particular persons, to collect rents, if rental is
  charged, to evict tenants when necessary, and to call upon the police
  authorities in the name of this committee, when necessary for the
  maintenance of order; (2) a sanitary officer responsible to the health
  commission; and (3) a police guard responsible to the police
  department. The general business agents should all be responsible to
  one general superintendent of permanent camps. The general
  superintendent of business agents, in the case of the larger camps,
  will require a certain number of clerical and administrative
  assistants corresponding to the military officers who are now serving
  in similar capacities under the military supervision of camps and the
  commanding officers of the several camps. Neither the business agent
  nor the sanitary superintendent need have anything to do with relief,
  except to report cases of destitution which come to their attention to
  the Special Relief Committee.”

The mayor, who was futilely trying to determine relief policies, in a
conference with Mr. Phelan a few days later suggested the importance of
appointing the committee urged by Dr. Devine. He said that he might ask
the municipal board of supervisors to appoint a committee on relief and
rehabilitation. This action, however, he did not take.

General Greely at this time also expressed his appreciation of the need
of a change of relief policy.[19] He and Dr. Devine agreed as to the
next steps to be taken, his point of view concurring with that expressed
in the letter just quoted. He counseled specifically a separation of
questions of administration, sanitation, and relief, and a thorough
co-operation with the municipality in all matters affecting the
administrative policy and sanitation of the camps. He said further that
as an army officer was familiar with but two aspects of the relief
problem,--the distribution of supplies and the care of camps,--the
Finance Committee of the Relief and Red Cross Funds should appoint an
executive committee, which should be prepared after July 1 to relieve
the army of responsibility.

  [19] For letter written on June 15 by General Greely to the chairman
  of the Finance Committee, see Appendix I, p. 387.

He asked three of his officers who had been carrying on the relief work
to submit a plan for its further conduct. The resultant plan, submitted
by General Greely to the Finance Committee, was necessarily a reflex of
the military experience of its framers. Though it was incited by an
appreciation of the fact that the emergency relief period must be
superseded by the period for permanent adjustment, the plan provided for
yet further distribution of necessities rather than in any comprehensive
way for housing and rehabilitation. It called for the organizing of a
bureau with a paid personnel. The chief of the bureau was to be
accountable to the mayor, and was to have under him four sub-chiefs,
three of whom should be army officers, each in charge of a
department,--the departments of distribution and supply, administration,
general superintendence, and finance.

General Greely, realizing the difficulty of having a suitable man
appointed as chief, made later the substitute suggestion of a commission
of three. The mayor and General Greely were present by invitation at a
meeting of the Finance Committee when the substitute plan was
considered. The attitude of the mayor during this month of June was one
of serious interference. The Finance Committee naturally did not wish to
have any public disagreement with him, and with the knowledge that the
army was shortly to be withdrawn from control of relief work it seemed
wise as a compromise to accept General Greely’s suggestion of a
commission rather than a chief who should be responsible solely to the
mayor. The decision was reached, therefore, for the Finance Committee to
appoint an Executive Commission of three members, one member to
represent the mayor, a second, the American National Red Cross, and a
third, the Finance Committee itself.


On June 22, at a meeting of the Finance Committee at which 11 of the 21
members were present, announcement was made that the mayor had appointed
a political friend as his representative on the Executive Commission,
and the American National Red Cross, Dr. Devine. Dr. Devine at the time
of the meeting was absent in the East. The Committee had therefore to
make its appointment. After a discussion, which later became public,
several men were nominated for appointment, two of whom possessed the
confidence of the community on account of their honorable standing,
native ability, readiness freely to serve the public, and knowledge
gained of the relief situation through arduous volunteer work. The man
elected, by a vote of six to four, was a politician with no previous
experience in the relief work. A scrutiny of the records shows on the
part of these local members of the Executive Commission no indication of
effort to use their positions to further political ends, and one of the
two returned to the Finance Committee the salary of $500 to which he was
entitled as a member of the Commission. There is no record of lack of
harmony, merely the indication of an ineptitude on their part to meet
the needs of the distressed community.

The attitude of the Finance Committee was one of detachment from, or
one might say, suspicion of the Executive Commission. It refused to
define the scope of the Commission’s work, but directed it to organize
and submit a plan of work for approval, and, for confirmation, the names
of the employes it wished to appoint. The members who had forced the
election of a feeble representative, realizing the mistake of their
policy, agreed to restrict the powers of the Commission, and were ready
to vote to abolish it at the end of the month.

The irony of the situation lay in the fact that the chairman of the
Commission, Dr. Devine (who accepted no salary), and its secretary,
Ernest P. Bicknell (who likewise received no salary), presented for
consideration a plan of work which in substance was the same as that
submitted by the chairman early in June to the Finance Committee and to
General Greely.

The plan[20] called again for a regulation of camps, warehouses, the hot
meal kitchens, the care of the sick in hospitals, and for making
provision for housing, loans, and special relief. Unlike a rolling
stone, however, to reiterate plans meant to gather moss, so a new
suggestion may be noted. It was, that the civilian chairmen of the seven
sections should be men on salary, giving their entire time, and
responsible to the Commission until relieved. Their duties should
include distribution of clothing, meal tickets, and other relief, and
the carrying out of the second registration[21] then in progress.

  [20] For plan of the Executive Commission, see Appendix I, p. 391.

  [21] See Part I, p. 49, and Part II, p. 115. The first registration
  was begun during the week following the disaster.

Recommendation was made by the Commission that all executive work should
devolve on it, and that it should be held responsible for initiating
relief measures.

The Finance Committee approved the plan in general, with the exception
that the question of special relief be left for future decision and that
no action be taken on housing until further information had been
collected. It did decide, specifically, that the rehabilitation work
should continue in charge of Dr. Devine as representative of the Red
Cross, and should not be transferred to the Executive Commission while
final decision was pending.

[Illustration: The first bakery rebuilt

A cheerful kitchen


The Executive Commission got rather beaten round the bush. It was
permitted to expend certain appropriations for sanitation, the care of
camps, and the distribution of food, clothing, and other supplies, under
direction of its chairman and a group of army officers. The relation of
the army to the new Commission was practically what it had before been
to the Red Cross representative. Under the military régime Major A. J.
Gaston was commanding officer of permanent camps; under the new régime
he was general superintendent of camps with authority to appoint all
camp employes.

In the latter part of June Mr. Phelan, acting on Dr. Devine’s suggestion
that the Finance Committee should appoint a Rehabilitation Committee of
its own to supersede the work of the special Rehabilitation Bureau, did
appoint such a committee with Dr. Devine as chairman and Archbishop
Riordan,[22] Bishop Nichols,[23] Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger, O. K. Cushing,
F. W. Dohrmann, and Dr. John Gallwey as members. Its scope was defined
as including “all aid” to be given to individuals or families other than
food or ordinary clothing. It superseded, as has been already
stated,[24] the Red Cross Rehabilitation Bureau and took over the
latter’s unexpended balance. The Bureau had expended $18,599.70 for 840

  [22] Delegated his position to Rev. D. O. Crowley.

  [23] Delegated his position to Archdeacon J. A. Emery.

  [24] See Part I, p. 15.

The Rehabilitation Committee met in Hamilton School July 2, two and a
half months after the beginning of the relief work in San Francisco. Mr.
Bicknell was elected secretary, Mr. Cushing, treasurer, the latter, with
the chairman, having authority to sign checks in the name of the
Committee. When Dr. Devine returned to New York, August 1, Mr. Bicknell
was appointed a member of the Committee and Mr. Dohrmann then became
chairman, a position he was to hold from the first of August, 1906,
until the close of the rehabilitation work.

During June and July, to repeat, the pressure to give food and temporary
shelter was yielding to the pressure to furnish permanent shelter and
other means of rehabilitation. The problem of housing was very
complicated. No one knew how far shelter would be provided by private
enterprise; no one knew whether manufacturing plants and wholesale and
retail business would seek old locations; no one knew where the shifting
population would settle. There was delay in collecting insurance,
uncertainty as to the land, labor, and materials available and as to the
future street car service and water and sewer connections. There was
difference of opinion as to whether the subsidized building should be of
a permanent or temporary character, of scattered individual dwellings or
large blocks, as to whether financial aid should be in the form of
bonuses or of loans.

One of the minor notes of irony in this mid-summer situation lies in the
fact that the Finance Committee referred to its own Rehabilitation
Committee for consideration and report the housing suggestion of one of
its members, M. H. de Young, and that the report that followed, July 10,
was signed by Dr. Devine as chairman both of the Rehabilitation
Committee and of the Executive Commission.[25]

  [25] See Original Housing Plan, Appendix I, p. 393. See also Part IV,
  Housing Rehabilitation, p. 212 ff.

Mr. de Young’s suggestion was that a donation, or as it was commonly
called, a bonus, of not more than $500[26] in any case, be made in
behalf of any resident whose house had been destroyed, provided that the
$500 represented not more than one-third of the value of the house to be
built, and that it be paid to the contractor after the house was
completed and was clear of liens.

  [26] For class of people who benefited by the bonus plan, see Part IV,
  pp. 218, 239.

The resultant report as submitted stated that the Executive Commission
had, with the approval of the Finance Committee, appointed a board of
consulting architects and builders who offered their services as expert
counsel on general plans and on designs for suitable dwellings. It also
stated that the matter had been carefully considered by the
Rehabilitation Committee and the Executive Commission, and that the
bonus plan was recommended for such workingmen as could not secure
sufficient funds from banks, building and loan associations, or from
other business or private sources.

Attention was called to the fact that the Rehabilitation Committee was
already studying the general situation so as to estimate how many
loans[27] were likely to be called for. It was further stated that
there was no anticipation that the bonus plan would carry far in
providing shelter for the families living in tents, and that no
inclusive plan could be framed to provide housing for all the homeless.

  [27] For method of carrying out the loan plan, see Part IV, p. 253 ff.

It was recognized, moreover, that first in order of importance came
provision of shelter for the aged, the infirm, the invalided, and the
other adult dependents who had become permanent city charges. For these
the recommendation was to erect permanent buildings on the cottage
pavilion plan to house 1,000 persons; the cost of building to be met
from the fund, the maintenance to be left to the city. It was recognized
that there were two possible alternate plans; namely, to care for the
dependent group in existing private institutions, or to board its
members in private families. A marked advantage of the first plan was
that it provided a permanent addition to the city’s charitable
institutions. The suggestion was intended to supplement what was already
being done in the way of giving care to the sick in hospitals.

It was further recognized that there should be quick effort made to
supply dwellings for the 5,000 persons who before the disaster had paid
moderate rentals, but who were housed in tents or other temporary
shelters. It was also necessary to make provision for a possible 5,000
persons who were out of the city. No accurate estimate had been or could
be made of those who, independent of aid, had readjusted themselves.

The proposal made in behalf of the possible 10,000, a proposal that
touched the kernel of the big relief problem, was to use money lying
idle to build houses which should be sold on the instalment plan, or
rented to families that had been living in San Francisco on April 17.
Shelter had to be provided against the rainy season in order that there
might be held in San Francisco a population of working people. The
proposal was intended also to carry to a workingman the opportunity to
own a house of such character as should serve to set a standard for
sanitary and attractive dwellings. Through the carrying out of this
scheme there were to be brought into happy co-operation the architects,
the builders, the municipality, and the Finance Committee itself. The
first would supply skill and taste; the second, quick and moderate
priced building; the third, suitable conditions of light, sanitation,
ventilation, and fire protection; the fourth, capital and business
security. To assure the last provision there was a suggestion of the
creation of a new corporation to consist of the mayor, the chairman of
the Finance Committee, the representative of the American National Red
Cross, and representatives from the Executive Commission and the
Rehabilitation Committee, all of whom were to be named by the Finance

The need to incorporate became more imperative when the plans to furnish
shelter took, by July 15, the following definite shape:

  1. To build a pavilion on the almshouse tract[28] for 1,000 homeless

  [28] For account of Ingleside Camp and the establishment of the
  permanent Relief Home for the aged and infirm, see Part VI, p. 319 ff.

  2. To appropriate $150,000 to construct and to repair temporary
  shelters in the public parks for the use of the homeless during the
  winter of 1906-07.

  3. To appropriate not more than $500,000 to carry out the bonus

  [29] For discussion of the Bonus Plan, see Part IV, p. 239 ff.

  4. To appropriate a second $500,000, to be used for loans to persons
  who had owned or rented houses within the burned district.[30]

  [30] For discussion of the Grant and Loan Plan, see Part IV, p. 253

  5. To set aside $2,500,000 for the acquiring of suitable and
  convenient land on which to build dwellings that might be sold for
  cash or on the instalment plan to residents who were in business or
  had other employment.

Before passing on to the matter of the incorporation of the funds, one
must record the final act of the Executive Commission. On July 31, after
six weeks of precarious, and one might almost say uneventful life, the
Commission voted to turn its records over to the corporation just
created, and to make an inventory of its supplies and equipment for
transfer to the same body.

June and July mark a clearly defined transition period. In spite of the
politically directed episode of the abortive Commission, rehabilitation
plans were being successfully shaped, even though the ordeals of the
withdrawing of the army as a factor in relief administration and the
introducing of the political appointees were being faced. In spite of
temporary set-backs, the work was getting on a strictly business basis.
Delays meant suffering, yet ultimate community gain, because the
Rehabilitation Committee, in keeping outside the province of the
Executive Commission, drew to itself the best experienced service that
was available, and escaped the danger of being directed or diverted by
any force other than that controlled by right motives.


Now to return to the suggestion of incorporation. From as early a date
as May 4 the question of the incorporation of the relief funds had been
discussed within and without the Finance Committee. The New York Chamber
of Commerce as a large custodian of relief funds had the matter brought
personally to the attention of members of the Finance Committee through
its representative, James D. Hague, and in writing by its president, the
late Morris K. Jessup. The latter stated, however, that the determining
of the question of incorporation lay with the Finance Committee.
Correspondence in early July with Mr. Hague, the returned envoy, showed
that there was in contemplation the incorporating of an independent body
of men, the majority of whom should be appointed by the chairman of the
Finance Committee. To this proposed corporation it was suggested should
be transferred the $500,000 then held by the Chamber of Commerce, with
such other moneys as might be entrusted to it.

If such a plan had been carried out there would have been two authorized
bodies administering relief with an encouragement to other foreign
custodians of funds to create similar independent agencies. The pressure
to incorporate came therefore from without because of the jealous
guardianship of funds by the non-local contributors; from within because
of the exigency of the situation itself.

In the month of July, as has been said, the imminent need was known to
be to provide suitable shelter against the fall and winter rains. The
members of the Finance Committee considered the question of
incorporation from the standpoint of the provision of a body legally
empowered to acquire land and to loan money for building purposes. As a
committee, therefore, it decided on July 13 to carry out the
recommendations made in the letter written by Dr. Devine to its
chairman, three days earlier, which recommendation, it should be
recalled, embodied the earlier bonus plan suggestion made by one of its
own members.

The certificate of incorporation[31] was issued July 20 to hold for a
period of five years. The president of the corporation, the “San
Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds, a Corporation,” was James D.
Phelan; the first and second vice-presidents, F. W. Dohrmann and W. F.
Herrin; the secretary, J. Downey Harvey. The president and first
vice-president, with M. H. de Young, Rudolph Spreckels, and Thomas
Magee, formed the Executive Committee. The personnel of the Corporation,
with the exception of the governor of the state and the mayor, who were
ex officio members and directors of the Corporation, was identical with
that of the Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds which it
superseded, and whose funds it immediately took over.

  [31] See Appendix I, p. 398.

The newly incorporated body held its meetings at the St. Francis
Technical School on Geary and Gough Streets, which took the place of the
Hamilton School as headquarters for all departments of the relief work.
Later a warehouse was added to the building to hold the remaining
supplies. The meetings were open to the press, and to officers and
employes; and others with whom the corporation had business were invited
as was deemed expedient to meet with the Executive Committee. At the
third meeting, held late in July, five departments were created:[32]

  A. Finance and Publicity
  B. Bills and Demands
  C. Camps and Warehouses
  D. Relief and Rehabilitation
  E. Lands and Buildings

  [32] See Appendix I, pp. 399-400. See also Diagram of Organization, p.

Each chairman was required to make an investigation of and report on any
undertaking of his department that called for an appropriation. Each
chairman was also a member of the Executive Committee and was
responsible for the appointment of his employes. He was further
responsible for preparing monthly budgets and for the printing and
distribution of all printed matter.

From the plan of organization it is to be seen, of course, that housing
as a reason for incorporation had yielded to the pressure to make
inclusive the treatment by one incorporated body of all divisions of the
many-sided work.

The experiments of the preliminary and transition periods had tried out
many men and methods, so that on the newly incorporated body were found
men of affairs who in the relief work itself were ready to act in
harmony and with method and to come together in small groups for
frequent meetings. If one looks at the diagram of organization
presented,[33] one sees how gradually through the trying three months
there had been a shaping through experiment that made the San Francisco
Relief and Red Cross Funds itself a fruition that in germ lay in the
union of official effort and private initiative.

  [33] See p. xxv.

Step by step the confidence of the public at home and abroad had had to
be won. Only through the selection and trying out of generous-minded and
capable men could the suspicions of those who controlled the
contributions in the east have been dispelled.[34] Only after the
abortive effort to make political capital out of positions of relief
administration had fallen flat could the work itself get into its steady
swing. The lessons are clearly written, however, that there must of
necessity be in any great sudden emergency the creation of public
confidence in the administration of the relief, and that along with a
force of persons trained from within and without to act quickly and with
definiteness must be the voluntary services of men and women on whom the
community itself has learned to rely.

  [34] See Part I, p. 99 ff.

       *       *       *       *       *

A few notes of later date are added here to round out the account of

On August 1, 1906, Mr. Bicknell succeeded Dr. Devine as the
representative of the American National Red Cross, and he in turn was
succeeded on October 1 by Mr. Dohrmann.[35]

  [35] For positions held by Mr. Dohrmann and Mr. Bicknell on the
  Rehabilitation Committee, see Part I, p. 21.

Early in the year 1907 the County Medical Society urged that the balance
of the relief fund should be used for the erection and endowment of a
free hospital. Impelled by this and similar requests the Corporation did
in February consider seriously the possibility of closing the work.

       *       *       *       *       *

One year after the fire (April, 1907):

The Department of Bills and Demands had completed its work.

The Department of Finance and Publicity was working with a greatly
reduced force as it was relieved of the accounting connected with claims
and subscriptions.

The Department of Camps and Warehouses had under care a camp population
of about 17,614, but no longer distributed food or other supplies.

The Department of Relief and Rehabilitation had finished the bulk of its
work. The general taking of applications had ceased for some time. Those
on file were being passed upon and closed as rapidly as possible. The
final estimates and appropriations for this work had been made. From
this time on only exceptional cases, and those few in number, were
received. The Housing Committee still had some work to do in connection
with the completion and inspection of houses granted by it, and with the
payment of the bonuses which it had guaranteed to pay to certain
applicants on the completion of houses which they were building for
themselves. The work of the Bureau of Special Relief was almost
finished. The work of the Hospital Bureau had to continue.

The Department of Lands and Buildings had completed its building work,
with the exception of the Relief Home. The Home was expected to be
finished in May.[36] A few hundred applications were on file for
allotment of bonuses from the second appropriation. The first
appropriation was exhausted.

  [36] For reasons for delay, see Part VI, p. 321.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two years after the disaster (April 18, 1908):

The Department of Lands and Buildings had completed its work.

[Illustration: Tent camp, opened May 9, 1906



The Department of Finance and Publicity, with a small force, was
making the settlements incidental to the closing of the camps and the
refunding of instalments to tenants. It was also preparing its financial

The Department of Camps and Warehouses had removed cottages from all the
public squares but Lobos, where but 479 cottages and 1,287[37] persons
remained. This camp sheltered the poorest refugees.[38] Stricter
sanitary measures could be enforced here and care be given more cheaply
than if the inmates had been removed to cottages on private land.
Bubonic plague in this camp as well as elsewhere in the city had made
precaution necessary.

  [37] The number being the same as that given in Part VI, p. 324, as
  the total number of persons at Ingleside Camp, is a mere coincidence.

  [38] See Part I, p. 85.

The Department of Relief and Rehabilitation had become a supervising
agency. It supervised the collection of housing loans, assisted the
Executive Committee in making grants to charitable institutions, and
advised the Associated Charities which was administering the greater
part of the relief needed in moving people from the camps.[39]

  [39] See Part I, pp. 85-86.

The closing chapter of the complicated story of organization was reached
when, acting on the suggestion of its special representative, Mr.
Dohrmann, the American National Red Cross sent Mr. Bicknell in January,
1909, to San Francisco to confer about final plans. Mr. Bicknell had
then accepted the recently created position of national director of the
American National Red Cross. The creation of this position may be said
to be one of the results of the San Francisco relief experience. As a
result of conferences[40] between these two men who had played such a
determining part in San Francisco’s struggle to help its people wisely
to regain their old standing, the Board of Trustees of Relief and Red
Cross Funds was formed in February, 1909.

  [40] For statement of action taken, see Appendix I, p. 401 ff.




The complicated story of organization seems comparatively unimportant
when one’s mind is full of questions as to what was to be distributed,
and how many human beings were in need of immediate relief. That there
was general, quick recognition of the need is shown by the quantities of
supplies hurried to San Francisco. Five thousand cars were reported
April 28 to be on the road. General C. A. Devol, who had charge of
receiving and unloading all supplies, states, however:[41] “The stores
that arrived for the relief of San Francisco up to July 20 amounted to
1,702 carloads and five steamship loads, a total of approximately 50,000
tons. At the height of the operations about 150 carloads were delivered
into the city daily, in addition to stores arriving by steamers.” The
chairman of the Finance Committee reported to Mr. Taft, president of the
American National Red Cross, on November 28, 1906, that the estimate of
total receipts in kind was 1,850 carloads of food supplies, and 150
carloads of bedding, tenting, clothing, and so forth.

  [41] Devol, Major (now General) C. A.: The Army in the San Francisco
  Disaster. Journal United States Infantry Association, Vol. VI, No. 1.
  pp. 59-87 (July, 1907). Further quotation from this article will be
  found in Appendix I, p. 381, of this volume.

During the first two weeks after the disaster the Southern Pacific
Railroad brought 1,099 carloads of relief supplies into the city. Under
orders of its president, right of way was given to trains carrying these
cargoes, and express time schedules were used for the sake of speed.
These receipts were not all direct donations, as the contents of a
number of carloads had been purchased by the Finance Committee and by
the army from an appropriation of $2,500,000 made by Congress[42] to be
distributed under the direction of the officers of the Pacific Division.
There were also many donations that were sent to agencies other than the
Citizens’ Committee, the Red Cross, and the army. These cannot be
included in any estimate as there was no complete record of the amounts.

  [42] See Sixth Annual Report American National Red Cross, 1910.


It was found to be difficult to protect the mass of the rations in the
railroad yards and in transit to the warehouse against seizure by
ordinary thieves and by those who felt justified in disregarding the
usual rights of property. Goods were stolen, in quantities that could
not be reckoned, by those who expected to realize a profit as well as by
those who considered that they had the right to seize what they felt was
destined to meet their need. Some of these confiscated boxes were
addressed not to the relief authorities but to specified persons and
groups of persons in San Francisco or at other points about the bay. A
further incentive to confiscate lay in the action of the police who, as
was generally known, acting on the orders of the chief of police, had
broken open about 100 grocery and provision stores that were doomed to
be destroyed by fire. The police, after making a rough estimate of the
value of the stock, distributed freely to the destitute.

When the cars reached San Francisco, along with the bulk of the
shipments which were addressed either to the quartermaster of the army,
who was designated to have charge of all supplies sent to the American
National Red Cross, or to the Citizens’ Committee, were boxes addressed
to the mayor, to the churches, to other organizations of all kinds, and
to individuals. It would have interfered seriously with the work of
relief if an effort had been made to find the persons to whom special
boxes were directed. The American National Red Cross through its
representative, in whose care many boxes with specific directions were
sent, did all that was possible to carry out the intent of the donors,
but it could not in every instance find the intended recipient. Many
inquiries were received as to barrels and boxes which had not reached
their destination, but the cost of tracing these and the cost of making
special deliveries under the then existing conditions were often greater
than the value of the packages themselves.

An illustration of the difficulty of delivering special packages is the
story of eight cases of bread pans which were addressed to the “Relief
Committee” and were quickly distributed among the refugees. When the
manufacturing company that shipped the cases learned on inquiry of the
bakers for whose use they were intended that they had not received
them, it threatened to file a claim for loss. The trouble, however, lay
in the fact that a letter of instruction addressed to the mayor got
effectually separated from the boxes.

No complete record of cash contributions can be made. Some of the
committees throughout the country expended part of their funds to
purchase supplies to be forwarded to San Francisco or to relieve
refugees at home, or failed to collect all the money reported to have
been contributed. The money reported as subscribed in the state of
California is far from representing the actual value of relief
contributed. Being so near the scene of disaster the California
communities wisely contributed supplies in large quantities for
immediate use and also cared for large numbers of refugees who came to
them. The official reports of contributions cannot therefore give credit
to all communities for all the relief furnished by each, nor can they
show the amounts contributed by the smaller cities when these forwarded
their contributions through the larger city committees. Nor can a record
of contributions sent to the American Red Cross be found in the
published list of contributors to the committee in San Francisco.


  Cash donations, including San Francisco subscriptions
      and Red Cross remittances                            $8,921,452.86
  Interest on deposits (in part at 3 per cent and in part
      at 2 per cent)                                           97,254.80
  Exchange                                                      1,140.65
  Receipts from sales of commodities donated in whole or in part:
    Sales of surplus flour                      $216,717.15
    Sales of foodstuffs                           41,498.07
    Sales of tents                                14,826.55
      Total                                                   273,041.77
  Total receipts from donations                            $9,292,890.08
  Receipts from sales of commodities purchased, loans repaid,
    instalments, etc.                                         380,167.86
      Total cash receipts                                  $9,673,057.94

  [43] The San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds, a Corporation. See
  Part I, p. 25 ff.

The total cash donations, $8,921,452.86, given in Table 1, do not
include the $2,500,000 appropriated by Congress, which was disbursed in
the first two months for food, clothing, bedding, shelter, etc., nor an
estimate of the numerous independent funds which were probably expended
within the first month, nor of the enormous quantity of supplies donated
by the people of the country. These supplied the first needs of the
destitute and enabled the Committee to save its cash for later and more
permanent forms of relief.


       Country of origin     | Received by | Received by |    Total
                             |   Finance   | the American|
                             |  Committee  | National Red|
                             |  of Relief  |    Cross    |
                             |   and Red   |             |
                             | Cross Funds |             |
                             |   and the   |             |
                             | Corporation |             |
  San Francisco              |  $413,090.83|      ..     |  $413,090.83
  About 2500 cities and towns|             |             |
  of the United States       | 5,261,898.35|$2,967,079.90| 8,228,978.25
  Austria (Sec’t’y Amer.     |             |             |
  Embassy at Vienna)         |         ..  |        50.00|        50.00
  Australia                  |       385.96|         ..  |       385.96
  Belgium                    |        50.00|         ..  |        50.00
  Canada                     |   145,097.15|       315.50|   145,412.65
  Cape Colony (Americans)    |        ..   |       464.00|       464.00
  Ceylon                     |        ..   |        32.33|        32.33
  China                      |    40,000.00|         ..  |    40,000.00
  Cuba                       |         5.00|       729.30|       734.30
  England                    |     6,522.58|        48.30|     6,570.88
  France (Amer. Chamber of   |             |             |
  Commerce, Paris, $20,850)  |    20,850.00|       385.08|    21,235.08
  Germany                    |        50.00|         ..  |        50.00
  Japan                      |    98,960.10|   146,000.00|   244,960.10
  Mexico                     |    14,286.44|       193.87|    14,480.31
  Russia                     |        51.45|       147.57|       199.02
  Scotland                   |         ..  |        50.40|        50.40
  United States of Colombia  |             |             |
  (Americans)                |       200.00|         ..  |       200.00
      Total                  |$6,001,447.86|$3,115,496.25|$9,116,944.11

The donations mentioned in Table 2 do not include $100,000 given to the
University of California Hospital by the Massachusetts Association for
the Relief of California.

It appears from the figures of the two preceding tables that while on
June 1, 1909, money to the amount of $9,116,944.11 had been contributed
for the relief of San Francisco, $8,921,452.86 had been received by the
Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds and by the Corporation.
This difference between the amount donated and the amount received by
the local organizations to which the work of relief had been entrusted
is explained by the fact that not all the money contributed through the
American National Red Cross had been paid over to the Finance Committee
or to the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds by June 1, 1909. The
disposition made of the money contributed through the American National
Red Cross is shown in Table 3.


  Total donations made through the American
  National Red Cross                                       $3,115,496.25
    Remitted to San Francisco to June 1,
    1909                                     $2,920,005.00
    Administration expenses, purchase of
    relief supplies, and transportation
    of refugees                                  47,073.35
    Sent to Italy (for Messina earthquake
    sufferers, 1909)                             50,000.00
  Total disbursements to June 1, 1909                       3,017,078.35
  Balance available from donations, June 1, 1909              $98,417.90

  [44] For detailed account of receipts and disbursements see Sixth
  Annual Report, American National Red Cross, 1910, pp. 60-152.

The statement shows that of the $3,115,496.25 donated through the
American National Red Cross up to June 1, 1909, $2,920,005.00 had been
remitted to San Francisco. The balance received but not remitted was
therefore $195,491.25,[45] of which $97,073.35 was disbursed directly by
the Red Cross. It will be seen that this balance equals the difference
between the total amount donated for the relief of San Francisco and the
amount of the cash donations received to June 1, 1909.

  [45] Subsequent to June 1, 1909, the sum of $100,545.65 was forwarded
  to San Francisco, this sum comprising the $98,417.90 above mentioned,
  together with a portion of the accrued interest and a delayed


Food was of course the first necessity, and out of the need to supply it
grew the whole machinery of relief. Before the noon of Thursday, April
19, the Citizens’ Committee had appointed a sub-committee on relief of
the hungry, with Rabbi Voorsanger as chairman, to furnish food for the
entire population, which for a time fell into a series of long bread
lines. In these lines rich and poor, Italian, German, Swedish, Chinese,
and native fared alike. The only question was one of need. From the
mayor and the military officers down to the humblest families in the
Potrero, there was a good-humored acquiescence in the hardships of the
situation, and an optimism that was inspiring. Supplies in sufficient
quantities were rushed to the city, and the danger of suffering from
lack of food was averted.

The sub-committee began the distribution of food April 20. It at once
called on the army to furnish an officer, two companies of infantry, and
a troop of cavalry to guard rather than to distribute what supplies had
become available. It took steps to get flour from points around the bay
and studied the situation as to the bakeries, some of the largest of
which had been burned or damaged. Repairs were being made to some of
those damaged, and a daily output of 50,000 loaves of bread was shortly
to be expected.

The ruling was made that after the committee on relief of the hungry had
received the quantity of bread it needed, the bakers might sell the
remainder at not more than 10 cents a loaf, in quantities of not more
than five loaves to one person. The committee was furthermore authorized
by the Citizens’ Committee to levy on all supplies wherever found. The
following notes show the general trend of the work during the first

[Illustration: All classes joined the bread line

Soldiers gave aid and protection


On Friday, April 20, while the fire was still spreading, the general
distribution was begun. About 25 wagons were impressed which were used
in the distribution of the provisions seized by order of the committee.
Refugees were standing in line at the Golden Gate Park Lodge; the Young
Men’s Hebrew Association, Page and Stanyan Streets; St. Mary’s
Cathedral, Van Ness Avenue and O’Farrell Street; at Jefferson and
Columbia Squares, and at the corners of Fifth and Mission Streets and
24th and Douglas Streets, where food stations had already been
established by the citizens. The committee made use of these for its own
distribution, choosing the Young Men’s Hebrew Association as its base
for general distribution.

The bakeries that day furnished 35,000 loaves of bread. The chief
difficulty lay in transporting to the city the supplies that were
available--5,000 tons of flour at Vallejo and many carloads of donated
goods at Oakland.

On Saturday, April 21, the day the fire was brought under control, the
city was reported to be divided into districts. Five bakeries were in
operation and a committee from Fresno appeared before the Citizens’
Committee to announce that it had brought six carloads of supplies.
Committees from some nearby communities put themselves under the
direction of the Citizens’ Committee, but the general efficiency of the
distribution was lowered by the fact that still other out of town
committees undertook to make independent distributions.

On Sunday, April 22, arrangements had been made to have bread baked in
the towns of the Santa Clara Valley. It was found necessary to carry
into effect the committee ruling to prevent alleged exorbitant retail
charges for bread.

On Monday, April 23, there was an abundance of supplies for present use
and an over-supply of milk.

On Tuesday, April 24, there was a shortage of sugar and coffee. Sixty
food stations had been established. No stores were found on
investigation to be charging exorbitant prices for food, but some of the
refugees were trying to get more than their share of food. Confusion was
still being caused by the work of the independent relief committees.

When two days later the committee on relief of the hungry made its final
report to the Finance Committee there had been established 128 stations
and sub-stations, a warehouse in the Moulder School, Page and Gough
Streets, and a branch warehouse at Spear and Howard Streets. It had had
printed a card for the use of the applicant at the food station and had
determined that rations, except in cases of emergency, should be issued
to each person at intervals of three days. Every card carried a
statement of the amount of food required by a person for a day, as

  Fresh beef, 1¹⁄₄ lbs. or bacon or ham, ³⁄₄ lb.

  Salt fish, ³⁄₄ lb. [Probably as a substitute for meat and not in
  addition to it.]

  Fresh or canned vegetables, 1 lb.

  Flour, 18 oz., or bread, 22 oz.

  Rice, ¹⁄₈ lb. or beans, ¹⁄₄ lb.

  Sugar, ¹⁄₁₀ lb.

  Coffee, ¹⁄₁₀ lb.

Special diet,--eggs, butter, milk, fruit,--was also issued.

This ration was more liberal than that adopted by the army.[46]

  [46] See Appendix I, p. 379 ff. This General Orders No. 18, is an
  important document to be read in connection with any facts given about
  the army methods.

During the trial week the distribution of food was made to the refugees
either from the stations or at the various camps or shelters. Though a
fixed ration was agreed on there could be no certainty of delivery, as
the quantity and variety of the food supply was indeterminate. The
committee in making its report could give only an approximate estimate
of the goods it had seized. It anticipated that claims would be made
against it as well as against the United States army, the state militia,
the police department, and the various volunteer organizations which had
without authorization seized goods.

It arranged to pay the bakeries at a rate of 5 cents a loaf for the
255,630 loaves of bread which had been supplied by them to the
committee, part of the payment to be made in flour, and to pay the Milk
Dealers’ Association at a rate of not more than 20 cents a gallon for
milk supplied by it. The committee had employed between three and four
hundred men and as many trucks to transport supplies, but it did not
know the extent of its obligation for the use of the latter.

During the first week after the disaster there was a growing inclination
to turn to the army for the direction of the relief work. Though the
army in common with every other body of persons had suffered serious
losses, its efficiency as an organization could not be impaired even
though the extent of the aid it could immediately give were lessened.

To the military reservations which lay outside the burned district
refugees immediately fled in numbers, and on April 19, the day the
committee on relief of the hungry began its work, Major Krauthoff issued
from a depot established by him in the Presidio such food as could be
spared from the Presidio itself and from Forts Mason and Miley. The
great army warehouses, which had stored $2,000,000 worth of supplies,
were burned, but along with the committee on relief of the hungry the
army began to confiscate supplies for use on the reservations. It also
purchased from the posts in the Departments of California and the
Columbia 900,000 rations, the first shipment of which arrived on April
21. On that same day a steamer from Stockton put in at Fort Mason with
donations of provisions and blankets. These were immediately distributed
among 20,000 refugees.

The committee on relief of the hungry had not been given full authority
nor had its powers been defined. It had no machinery adequate for the
handling of a great bulk of supplies, and it was hindered by the
crossing of efforts on the part of unauthorized agencies.

The Finance Committee, as has been said in Chapter I, was the committee
of power, and might have assumed responsibility for perfecting an
adequate relief organization, but as it realized that its efforts could
not be as quickly effective as those of the army, it, as well as the
mayor, called on the army to assume control of the relief work. General
Greely consented and on April 29 took charge of the food issues and
gradually put the work under the direction of 64 officers and 500
enlisted men.

Major C. A. Devol, depot quartermaster, who took over the tremendous
task of unloading cars and boats and transporting supplies to and from
warehouses,[47] quickly introduced order and economy into the work.
Major C. R. Krauthoff, in charge of the commissary department, was also
able soon to reduce to an efficient routine his work of receiving
donated supplies, of purchasing, selling, and storing supplies, and of
issuing properly balanced rations.

  [47] See Appendix I, p. 383 ff. See also Part I, pp. 8 and 30.

In the report made in July, 1906, to the War Department, Colonel
Febiger, who from April 29 had charge of the organization of relief
stations, and later became chief of the Bureau of Consolidated Relief
Stations, which had been established by the army to facilitate the
relief work, said that on taking charge he had found, after a most
thorough investigation, no instance of extreme suffering from lack of
food or shelter, but many instances of repeating, so that the number of
rations issued was in excess of the needs of the population. With no
accepted general organization bringing about the co-ordinating of
relief, there was of necessity an exaggerated estimate of the needy.

General Greely, who during his Arctic explorations had learned what
extreme suffering from hunger and cold meant, had the city canvassed on
May 13 in order to find any case of destitution which might have been
overlooked. All of his inspectors, with 30 officers in addition to the
officers directly connected with the relief work, were ordered to make a
special effort to learn of persons in absolute need of food and decent
clothing or of bed and shelter. The result was that but two such cases
were reported.

During the early days orders were issued forbidding all householders to
light fires in their houses. Cooking, in consequence, was done in the
street over open fires or on rusty stoves which belched smoke out of
short sections of pipe. In those days only candles were permitted for
light and they had to be extinguished at 8 p.m.


As stated in Chapter I,[48] the northern part of the city was, for
purposes of policing, put under military control the third day after the
disaster. Later, for purposes of relief, the city was divided into seven
sections, whose boundaries were made coterminous with those of the army
districts. On May 8, each section was supplied by the army with an
officer who made regular reports to the headquarters of the Bureau of
Consolidated Relief Stations, and with a physician who was responsible
for sanitation and for diet prescriptions. Nine depots and sub-depots
were open for storage of food supplies.

  [48] See Part I, pp. 11-12.

[Illustration: Preparing meals in the street

A row of street kitchens


To give some idea of the character and origin of the relief stations a
table of the relief stations of Civil Section VI is given:


  Station| Character of  |      Opened by      |Date opened |Date closed
  number |   location    |                     |            |
    600  |Planing Mill   |Citizens of          |April 19    |June 12[49]
         |               |neighborhood         |            |
    601  |Saloon         |Committee, Citizens  |      24    |May 21
         |               |of neighborhood      |            |
    602  |Church         |Pastor of same       |      26[49]|July 1
    606  |Butcher shop   |Citizens of          |      24    |June 1[49]
         |               |neighborhood         |            |
    609  |Police station |Committee, Citizens  |      25[49]|(Unknown)
         |               |of neighborhood      |            |
    610  |Shack          |Mission Relief       |      20    |(Unknown)
         |               |Committee            |            |
    611  |City Park      |Committee of citizens|      22[49]|June 2
    613  |(Unknown)      |Committee, Citizens  |      22[49]|May 15
         |               |of neighborhood      |            |
    616  |Bakery         |Citizens of          |      23    |June 23
         |               |neighborhood         |            |
    618  |Schoolhouse    |Citizens of          |      22[49]|June 16
         |               |neighborhood         |            |
    619  |Barn           |Volunteers           |      21[49]|June 23
    620  |Hot Meal       |Los Angeles Relief   |(Unknown)   |(Unknown)
         |Kitchen        |Committee            |            |
    622  |Tent           |U. S. Army           |April 25[49]|June 23
    623  |Maennerbund    |Local Order of Eagles|      20[49]|May 14
         |Hall           |                     |            |
    624  |Public square  |Citizens of          |      20[49]|June 14
         |               |neighborhood         |            |
    626  |Shack          |Citizens of          |      27[49]|May 21[49]
         |               |neighborhood         |            |
    627  |(Unknown)      |Committee, Citizens  |      22    |June 9
         |               |of neighborhood      |            |
    628  |Hall           |Committee, Citizens  |      20    |June 9
         |               |of neighborhood      |            |
    629  |Residence      |Citizens             |      25[49]|May 13
    630  |Schoolhouse    |Physician and other  |      22[49]|May 31[49]
         |               |citizens             |            |
    631  |(Unknown)      |(Unknown)            |(Unknown)   |May 1
    632  |(Unknown)      |(Unknown)            |(Unknown)   |June 16
    634  |(Unknown)      |Citizens             |April 23    |May 12
    635  |(Unknown)      |(Unknown)            |(Unknown)   |(Unknown)
    636  |Residence      |Society of Native    |April 26[49]|May 26[49]
         |               |Daughters            |            |
    637  |(Unknown)      |(Unknown)            |(Unknown)   |May 13
    641  |Cellar         |Ancient Order of     |April 24[49]|June 23[49]
         |               |Hibernians           |            |
    642  |Residence      |Two physicians       |      22[49]|(Unknown)
    643  |City and County|U. S. Army           |      25[49]|(Unknown)
         |Hospital       |                     |            |
         |Grounds        |                     |            |
    645  |Saloon         |Ancient Order of     |      25    |June 20[49]
         |               |Hibernians           |            |
    646  |Schoolhouse    |Citizens of          |      23    |June 15
         |               |neighborhood         |            |
    647  |School         |A physician          |      20    |May 1[49]

  [49] Approximate.

There is no information to show that any one of these sub-stations had
been established by the committee on relief of the hungry. As may be
borne in mind, the number of stations in use on April 26 was reported by
the committee on relief of the hungry to be 128; three days later, on
taking charge, the army reported 177; early in May the number dropped,
as is shown by Table 5, to 112.

JUNE 3, 1906

               CIVIL SECTION              |  Food  |  Food   |Hot meal
  ------+---------------------------------+stations|stations |kitchens
  Number|          Headquarters           |on May 3|on June 3|on June 3
      I |Presidio entrance                |   19   |    ..   |     4
     II |Oak St. near Stanyan             |    8   |     3   |     3
    III |3055 Van Ness Ave.               |    5   |     4   |     3
     IV |Hamilton School, Geary and Scott |        |         |
        |  Sts.                           |   35   |    10   |     4
      V |Buena Vista School, 18th and York|        |         |
        |  Sts.                           |    9   |     3   |     4
     VI |24th St. and Potrero Ave.        |   21   |     5   |     2
    VII |25th and Guerrero Sts.           |   15   |     8   |    ..
      Total                               |  112   |    33   |    20

Dr. Devine as representative of the American National Red Cross had
appointed a civil chairman to be responsible for the receiving and
investigation of applications. After May 1, the responsibility for the
distribution of supplies was divided at each section between the
military officer and the civil chairman. The civil chairman determined
who should receive relief and the military officer made the necessary
requisition on the Bureau of Consolidated Relief Stations.

The records of relief distribution are incomplete and there is no means
of determining accurately from week to week the number of persons who
received food, clothing, and other supplies, medical care and shelter.
The most complete records[50] are furnished by the official camps.
Colonel Febiger in his July report, already quoted, says that “313,145
persons were on May 2 estimated to be receiving rations, though this
number should probably be reduced to 300,000 to make allowance for
repeaters.” General Greely made estimate that the number of cases of
fraudulent repeating was not more than 3 per cent of the whole.

  [50] For report sheet forms see Appendix II, pp. 430 and 431.


        Date    |Number of persons|     Date     |Number of persons
                |   (estimated)   |              |    (actual)
       1906     |                 |   1906       |
  April 19      |     100,000     |May  1        |     313,117
        20      |     150,000     |     2        |     313,117
        21      |     200,000     |     3        |     279,631
        22      |     225,000     |     4        |     230,207
        23      |     250,000     |     5        |     264,570
        24      |     270,000     |     6        |     262,027
        25      |     290,000     |     7        |     233,989
        26      |     306,000     |     8        |     223,915
        27      |     310,000     |     9        |     222,313
        28      |     315,000     |    10        |     204,637
        29      |     315,000     |    11        |     186,960
        30      |     315,000     |    12        |     147,232
  Daily average |     253,833     |Daily average |     240,143

Care has been taken to verify the estimate of the issues, which has
called for some reduction of the totals as given in earlier reports.
This accounts for the slight discrepancy between Colonel Febiger’s
figure for May 2 and that given in the table.

The reason for the large increase in numbers in the bread line in the
days immediately after the disaster is that householders had by then
exhausted their private stock and could not make purchases, as most of
the goods in retail stores had been confiscated; nor could food be
prepared in private houses until chimneys had on inspection been found
safe. From a week to two or three months, according to the location and
the activity of the inspection, the fire prohibition held. In towns
across the bay people with money in bank had difficulty in securing food
because the banks were temporarily closed and the retail stores could
not determine when they would be able to replenish their stock.

As the number in the bread line in the early part of May represented
two-thirds of the population of a city that had been raised to a high
degree of prosperity by the industry and thrift of its citizens, there
would have been rapid decrease in the number of applicants for rations
even had there been no concerted plan to reduce numbers. Pressure was
brought from without, however, which, as is shown in the following
paragraph, did accelerate the citizens’ return as a body to the normal
means of making provision for creature needs.

In order that the smaller traders might be encouraged to resume business
and the funds be reserved in a great measure to give permanent relief,
the representatives of the army and the American National Red Cross
co-operated during late April and early May in a strenuous effort to
lessen the number supplied with rations. The attractiveness of the free
food issues was diminished by reducing the ration items to meat, bread,
and vegetables for all applicants in sound health except such as were
living in the camps under military control. The number of the stations
was rapidly reduced, as shown by Table 5. After the middle of May,
except in cases of invalidism, rations were issued but three times a
week, and an offer was made of a final issue of a month’s rations to any
one who would accept that in place of the regular allowances. These
measures served to concentrate in the permanent camps those refugees who
were to continue as charges on the relief administration. The work of
concentration was hindered, however, by the numerous private relief
stations throughout the city which could be persuaded only gradually to
send their patrons to the public relief stations. An Associated
Charities worker who knew well the people in one large section of the
city went through the tents with a soldier and demanded the return of
extra bacon, canned goods, and potatoes, which had been laid in by
thrifty refugees who had made use of both public and private food

The Red Cross began within the first week of the disaster a general
registration of the refugees. As substantially every one in the city was
at that time dependent on the relief stations for food, the natural way
of getting access to the refugees was through the distribution of
rations. Carl C. Plehn, professor of finance in the University of
California, whose experience as director of the census of the Philippine
Islands suggested special fitness for the work, undertook to prepare a
plan, organize the force, and superintend the work of a registration
bureau. The force consisted of some 200 volunteers from among the public
school teachers, an intelligent and capable, even though inexperienced,
group of enumerators. Their regular employment stopped on April 18, but
their salaries were paid to the end of the school year. Though the
service given was very unequal and largely unsatisfactory, if judged by
the standard of a census bureau or a charity organization society, it is
doubtful whether at the time so high an average of efficiency could have
been obtained in any other way.

On April 27 Professor Plehn submitted a tentative plan for the
registration. By May 7 the cards[51] and instructions had been printed,
a force of 175 persons was in the field, and the work was well under
way. Ten days later 20,000 cards had been filled out and the canvass was
practically completed as far as it could then be carried.

  [51] See Appendix II, pp. 425 and 426.

After excluding duplicates as far as they could be detected, the 19,438
cards, which represented the same number of families or household
parties, distributed the 84,703 persons included among the seven
sections as follows:


         |    REGISTERED     |     REGISTERED
         | Number | Per cent | Number | Per cent
    I    |  2,590 |    13.3  | 10,206 |  12.1
   II    |    813 |     4.2  |  3,076 |   3.6
  III    |  3,097 |    15.9  | 12,473 |  14.7
   IV    |  2,577 |    13.3  | 10,737 |  12.7
    V    |  2,220 |    11.4  |  8,384 |   9.9
   VI    |  2,876 |    14.8  | 14,896 |  17.6
  VII    |  5,265 |    27.1  | 24,931 |  29.4
  Total  | 19,438 |   100.0  | 84,703 | 100.0

The 84,703 individuals were 28,319 men, 32,650 women, 22,795 children,
and 939 persons who were entered under the heading, “Aged, etc.”[52]

  [52] This classification was adopted for the purpose of determining
  the number of rations required by the family, and for that reason the
  dividing line between children and adults was placed at twelve years,
  the allowance for a child under twelve being placed at half the
  standard ration. “Men” and “Women” meant respectively the number of
  males and females twelve years of age and over, who were not aged and
  infirm. The heading, “Aged, etc.” (see card, Appendix II, p. 425), was
  an unfortunate one for statistical purposes, especially as on some of
  the cards it was printed “Ages, etc.” It was intended to be used, as
  the instructions to the enumerator clearly stated, for recording the
  “number of persons so old, sick, or crippled, as to be presumably
  unable to support themselves by labor.” This information would have
  had much practical value, but the cards show plainly that the
  ambiguity of the heading on the card was not corrected in the
  enumerators’ minds (as such ambiguity can rarely be corrected) by the
  careful explanation in the instructions. In many cases, when an entry
  was made under it, it was the ages of the children; in other cases it
  was apparently the number of adults in the party who were not
  immediate members of the family. The figures which have been tabulated
  are only of significance as recording so many additional adults. They
  do not indicate the proportion of aged and infirm, or the amount of
  physical disability among the refugees.

The information recorded on the registration cards varies in
completeness and value on account of the great diversity in carefulness
and capability among the persons who collected it. Many of the cards
were filled out intelligently and conscientiously; many are wholly
unsatisfactory. Taken together, however, they give a rough picture of
that quarter or third, whichever it may have been, of the city’s
population which was still, in the middle of May, dependent on the
general distribution of food for its daily supplies; and they reflect to
some extent the dislocations that were brought about by the disaster, in
residence, occupation, and circumstances.

It was not the primary object of the registration to furnish material
for a description of the refugees, but to establish a uniform system of
food distribution which should prevent waste by cutting out repeaters,
apportioning the number of rations to the size of the family, and
cutting off persons as they reached a position where they no longer
needed to be dependent. Other purposes were also in mind. At the
beginning, in fact, the efforts seem to have been made to provide a
record of the persons who received relief, for historical purposes and
for aid in determining their future needs. It was also hoped that the
registration could be made of practical value to the state labor
commissioner, in the free employment bureau[53] which had been opened.
In part for this last reason, information was asked about former
occupation and former employer, union membership, and present

  [53] A free employment bureau at Hearst School in charge of State
  Labor Commissioner Stafford closed its office May 29, 1906, after four
  weeks’ work, during which time employment was found for over 1,100 men
  and 93 women. See 12th Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor
  Statistics of the State of California, 1905-06. For brief mention of
  the work of the employment bureau see _Charities and the Commons_,
  June 2, 1906, p. 304.

[Illustration: The bread line, Mission District

Relief station, Mission District


The registration was made at the relief stations, the cards being filled
out when applicants came for rations. If the applicant did not live
within the boundaries of the section served by the station to which he
had come he was referred to the proper station. When the applicant had
been registered he was given a food card[54] bearing a serial number,
good for ten days, which stated conspicuously, so that the attendants
could see, even before he reached the counter, the number of rations to
which his family was entitled, and showed uncanceled the dates on which
the card would be honored. The food card number was entered on the
registration card, which was kept at the relief station. Each time
rations were drawn the date for which they were drawn was canceled on
the card. After the registration had been completed at any station no
rations were issued except on presentation of a food card.

  [54] A reproduction of the card is shown in Appendix II, p. 427.

By this system abuses were controlled: no one could draw supplies from
two or more stations, nor two or three times on the same day from the
same station, nor for more persons than he represented; able-bodied men,
for whom by this time there was abundant opportunity of employment,
could be cut off; and at the expiration of the ten-day period the merits
of the case could be reviewed before granting a renewal of the food

It was through its success in establishing a uniform and workable system
of food distribution that the first registration was most valuable. It
did not prove to be of much service in aiding applicants to find
employment, in giving a record of the entire work of relief, or in
furnishing a basis for the rehabilitation work. That it failed in
realizing all that was hoped from it in these directions was due partly
to changes in the labor situation, which soon made efforts to supply
employment superfluous; partly to some ambiguity and lack of
definiteness in the headings on the card, and the omission of some
essential items; but chiefly to the many omissions on the part of the
enumerators, the lack of uniformity in their interpretation of the
headings on the card, and the large amount of carelessness they
exhibited in recording the information that was secured. The
inexperience of the enumerators in investigation, the immense difficulty
of supervising them adequately when the automobile and the wagon were
the only means of transportation between the far-scattered stations, and
the necessity for getting the whole work done as speedily as possible,
so that there was no time for correcting mistakes or training
investigators, are the simple explanations of these defects.

If all the circumstances are taken into consideration--the number of
persons affected by the disaster, the extent of the territory to be
covered, the difficulty of getting about, the confusion which still
existed among the many elements of the relief organization, and the
inexperience in relief work of those who made the registration, both
university professors and public school teachers--the results obtained
were surprisingly satisfactory. The registration would have justified
itself if it had done nothing more than systematize the food
distribution and contribute toward the reduction of the bread lines.
This it undoubtedly did.

An indication of the effectiveness of the first registration, as may be
seen in Table 11,[55] is the sudden drop in the number of persons who
received rations after May 12, a decrease of 21 per cent on that day
against an average daily decrease for the five preceding days of
slightly over 7 per cent. The marked drop of May 16 is, however, in part
due to the stimulation to self-help caused by putting into effect the
order that rations should be issued only three times a week. The general
use of the food card was an important factor in bringing about the
reduction; another, the rapid increase in the number of persons gaining
self-support. One special use to which the so-called first registration
was put was to determine who should receive special diet. The diet
included meat, fresh milk, butter and eggs, vegetables, and fruit, and
was prepared for the sick, the aged, and for mothers with infants. The
method of its distribution varied in the different sections and from
time to time, but the policy was to subject its distribution to more
direct control from the central office than the ordinary rations. Issues
of special diet were not finally discontinued until October 1, a few
days before the closing of the last kitchen.

  [55] See Part I, p. 53.

A second general registration[56] was made in June by the American
National Red Cross staff of workers with the aid of the camp commanders.
General Greely appreciated the need of having a more complete case
record of the individuals who were making use of the camps, in order
that a restriction of numbers might be judiciously and expeditiously
made. The relief workers outside the camps, also, realized clearly the
need of a more adequate registration as a basis for intelligent
rehabilitation work.

  [56] See Part II, p. 115. For registration card, see Appendix II, pp.
  428 and 429.


The Bureau of Consolidated Relief Stations, acting on the advice of the
Finance Committee, opened its first kitchen in Lobos Square about the
middle of May to serve hot meals both to refugees and to persons able to
pay for their food. From immediately after the disaster kitchens had
been established by voluntary relief committees as the best means of
feeding the people living in or near the camps. One such committee, that
of Los Angeles, sent equipment to furnish five kitchens, with a
representative, Mr. Desmond, of the Desmond Construction Company, to put
them in operation. They were intended freely to furnish food and they
gave timely aid in the early days.

When the Bureau opened its own community kitchens,[57] the experiment
was made as a distinctive part of the effort to reduce the long bread
lines. The kitchens were intended to test the needs of those applying
for free food, because the number of those willing to accept relief in
food was expected to suffer diminution when a common eating room was
offered. They were also to give a convenient eating place to persons
able to pay but not able to provide their own food, with the privilege
of sitting at separate tables and of ordering a better quality of food
than that furnished at the free tables. They were also to serve to the
aged and infirm better food than had been supplied to them before. The
kitchen system was intended to be economical and sanitary. Sanitary
inspection could be made more thorough when in each encampment there
should be one general kitchen rather than scattered individual kitchens
for the preparing of free rations. Insistence on the first article of
the new experiment--the common eating room--made Section VII, in the
part of the city known as the Mission, unwilling to open a kitchen. It
successfully opposed the step because it was one that the Mission
workers felt would degrade the people and tend to destroy the privacy of
family life.

  [57] For partial list of kitchens and dates of closing, see Sixth
  Annual Report of the American National Red Cross, 1910, p. 43.

It must be borne in mind that the kitchen system was introduced after
the bread line had been reduced to less than one-half its greatest
length, and that it threw into conspicuous relief those who were without
power to re-establish themselves or unwilling to try to do so.

The hot meal kitchens caused no sudden drop in the amount of food
distributed. On May 12 when, as has been already commented upon, there
was a marked decrease in the number of persons receiving rations, there
were but five kitchens in operation; but the new method did effectively
help to weed out those who no longer needed free rations. Colonel
Febiger wrote late in June that “by the operation of these hot food
camps thousands of dollars were saved for future relief; probably 95 per
cent of the 15,000 persons now being supported by food relief were
absolutely in need of it, those not in need either having withdrawn or
having been forced out.”

The kitchens were at first run exclusively by the Desmond Construction
Company under contract with the Bureau of Consolidated Relief Stations;
that company, which had already made its experiment, having been the
only one willing to undertake what was considered by the contractors to
be an undesirable job. When by June 21 the number of kitchens had been
gradually increased to 27, two other contractors were operating under
the Bureau.

The Bureau and the Red Cross provided police protection, furnished sites
for the kitchens, and supplied fuel and water. Each contractor provided
his own buildings or tents, equipment, and service. The contractor
agreed to furnish a wholesome meal, and to submit his daily menu to the
relief officials for approval.

[Illustration: An open air dining room

In Golden Gate Park


The following is a typical daily menu:

             BREAKFAST                         DINNER
  Hot Hash, or Hot Mush and Milk   Hot Soup, or Roast Beef or Hash
       Bread or Hot Biscuit               One Vegetable, Bread
        Coffee, and Sugar                  Coffee, and Sugar

                        Soup, or Irish Stew
                       Bread or Hot Biscuits
                          Tea, and Sugar

Meals were supplied to any person who was ready to pay cash or who
possessed a meal ticket. The meal tickets were issued daily by the Red
Cross and were redeemed by it by payment made to the contractor in cash
or in kind from the relief supplies. The original plan was to serve
ten-cent free meals with provision for granting an extra five-cent
purchase to such persons as might be considered in need of extra food.

Certain kitchens within the Presidio reservation are not reported on
later than July 11, when they were furnishing about 1,200 meals a day.
One thousand meals a day would probably be a liberal estimate for the
remainder of the time, thirty days, that these Presidio kitchens were to
remain open, but such an estimate is not included in Table 8.


  Month    |          MEALS SERVED          | Amounts disbursed
           +---------+----------------------+from Relief and Red
           |  Free   |         Paid         |   Cross Funds in
           |         |                      |  payment for meals
  May      |   87,160|(Unknown)             |     (Unknown)
  June     |  402,522|1,027 (all in 3 days) |     $46,610.55
  July     |  486,182|3,786 (all in 11 days)|      75,756.30
  August   |  377,776|4,608                 |      61,379.75
  September|  109,448|  684                 |      17,746.80
  October  |   11,875|   ..                 |       2,953.14
      Total|1,474,963|(Unknown)             |     (Unknown)

From the data on hand we can estimate the proportion of ten-cent meals
at 12.1 per cent and fifteen-cent meals at 87.9 per cent.

The first report of meals paid for is for June 28. Those who patronized
these restaurants paid from 10 to 20 cents for their meals, the average
price being 15 cents. The extent to which this opportunity was utilized
is shown in Table 9.


     Date    |Free meals| PAID MEALS SERVED
             |  served  +------+-----------
             |          |Number|Per cent of
             |          |      | free meals
  June 28    |  16,666  |  617 |   3.7
  July 1     |  14,087  |  423 |   3.0
  August 1   |  15,202  |  191 |   1.3
  September 1|   7,484  |   82 |   1.1

The last paid meal was served on September 19, 1906. The last kitchen
closed was that at Speedway Camp, where the final meal was served
October 10, 1906.

Frequent complaints were made that the kitchens supplied food which
lacked in quality and variety, was poorly cooked, and served on
fly-infested tables in unsanitary rooms. In some instances the
complaints were justified, but the army inspections were thorough, and
the contractors on the whole lived up to the contracts. Some of the
complaints were made not by those who were using the kitchens but by
those who were critical of the kitchen system itself.

It is not possible to estimate the total value of the food distributed.
For food and its distribution the Relief and Red Cross Funds expended
$1,226,567.16. The army report gives $259,811.20 as expended for
subsistence stores, but this is not a complete statement of the
disbursements made by it from the appropriation from Congress. These
sums do not include an estimate of the value of donations in kind that
were used as such and not sold. General Greely in his report stated that
in the food donations distributed by the army there were about 2,000,000
complete rations, which had to be increased by substitutions and by
purchase to supply the 3,873,745 rations distributed by the army during
May and June. Two commodities that had been donated in excess of need
were flour and potatoes.


  Purchases of food
    Groceries                                  $560,205.77
    Meat                                        182,798.74
    Bread                                        84,436.10
    Milk, fresh                                  33,032.64
    Fruits and Vegetables                        25,029.01
    Flour                                        21,848.14
    Miscellaneous                                 8,029.43
        Total                                                $915,379.83

  Distribution of food
    Stoves, hardware, kitchen utensils, dishes,
    fuel, etc.                                  $30,540.72
    Labor of all kinds                           39,968.72
    Drayage, etc.                                14,787.10
        Total                                                  85,296.54

  Hot Meal Kitchens                                           204,446.54
  Bureau of Special Relief                                     21,444.25
      Grand total                                          $1,226,567.16


   Date |Number of|  Date |Number of
        | persons |       | persons
    1906|         |   1906|
  May  1| 313,117 | May 24| 62,239
       2| 313,117 |     26| 39,432
       3| 279,631 |     29| 54,883
       4| 230,207 |     31| 44,289
       5| 264,570 |June  2| 42,374
       6| 262,027 |      5| 39,084
       7| 233,989 |      7| 35,237
       8| 223,915 |      9| 34,268
       9| 222,313 |     12| 29,621
      10| 204,637 |     14| 22,753
      11| 186,960 |     16| 22,295
      12| 147,232 |     19| 16,608
      13| 139,405 |     21| 16,246
      14| 126,970 |     23| 15,451
      16|  97,886 |     26| 15,340
      18|  91,812 |     28| 15,339
      22|  73,163 |     30| 15,353

JUNE, 1906]

Among the persons who received rations, as indicated in the table and
chart, are included both those to whom raw rations were issued and those
who were served with free meals at the hot meal kitchens.


Of secondary urgency was the demand for clothing. The requests for
clothing were fewer than those for food, though many refugees fled from
the burned areas with no clothing except nightgowns or calico slips, a
poor protection from the cold nights and chilly April mornings and

The records of distribution are incomplete. General Greely estimated the
number of persons who received clothing at 200,000. Much of the clothing
donated bore the wellknown mark of the charity gift in kind. The second
hand clothing in many cases was, to repeat General Greely’s comment,
“more or less of a burden on the Red Cross.” Some was useless; some
required to be cleaned and disinfected. The new clothing was, in the
words of Captain Bradley, who had charge of its distribution, “of old
and dead stock of mediocre and poor quality.” Part of the shoes and
articles of clothing supplied from the army stores and charged against
the appropriation from Congress were of obsolete pattern. The same
criticism was made of some of the household goods donated. A large
number of the cots, for instance, were worthless or of poor quality.
There was the further handicap to the distributor, of not knowing what
donations were to be expected or when they were to be received. This
uncertainty meant serious delays in supplying the need and severe
criticism of the administrators, but the latter did not feel themselves
justified in making purchases of clothing in large quantities when
clothing similar to that ordered might, later, be received as a gift.

The memory is vivid to some of those who worked in the refugee camps
during the midsummer of 1906, of the children in striped sweaters and
gay Tam-o’-Shanters. The caps were not suitable for summer wear, but
they had been sent in large quantity with the sweaters to be
distributed. The mental picture of Golden Gate Park with its scattered
barracks and tents pitched close to ornamental lakes and neglected
flower beds is accentuated by the note of high color given by the
sweaters and caps.

Distribution of clothing, like the distribution of food, was quickly
undertaken by independent groups of volunteers, who collected and gave
out what could be got in the city itself. While the fire was spreading
the army from its stores in the Presidio gave blankets and quantities of
shoes, shirts, ponchos, and other clothing for men. As the donations
from abroad began to arrive in large quantities they were quickly handed
out without careful discrimination in sorting or adapting to individual

On May 4 the army, in consultation with Dr. Devine, took charge of the
organization of the clothing and household distribution. The Crocker
School on Page Street was taken for use as a warehouse. A warehouse for
second hand clothing exclusively was established ten days later in the
Everett Grammar School, on Sanchez Street. Neither was adapted for use
as a department store, but nine departments were organized, each in
charge of an experienced clerk:

  1. Men’s clothing and hats.
  2. Men’s furnishings and underwear.
  3. Women’s furnishings and underwear.
  4. Boots and shoes.
  5. Children’s clothing and hats.
  6. Children’s underwear.
  7. Bedding and furniture.
  8. Household goods.
  9. Tentage.

From the departments went during May a daily average of twenty
truckloads; during June, eighteen. Among the household goods that had to
be handled were towels, sheets, pillows, pillow cases, blankets,
comforters, mattresses, stoves, cooking utensils, cutlery, dishes,
brooms, wash tubs, washboards, boilers, irons, clotheslines, axes,
chairs, tables, and sewing machines.

The method of distribution was similar to that for food. Each civilian
chairman made requisition for the articles that were found by the
superintendents of the stations to be needed within his section, and
each requisition was filled so far as the warehouse stock would admit.
The articles were sent to the separate stations for distribution. The
army had charge of reception and distribution of goods; the Red Cross,
of determining who should be entitled to aid. The first registration was
used as a basis for determining need, but there was no uniform system
of record and various forms are found to have been in use,--an instance
of the necessity for a general, accepted form of registration and

[Illustration: Soldiers guarding the supply wagons


It was planned to complete by the middle of July the general
distribution of clothing and household goods by determining whether each
refugee at that time had a decent supply which would prevent present
suffering. After that date the Rehabilitation Committee was to consider
further need of clothing and household goods in relation to general need
of rehabilitation. The distribution did end practically on August 1,
when those who had requisitions for articles that had not been furnished
were given by the Rehabilitation Committee the cash value of the
articles called for on their requisitions as far as approved by the
civilian chairmen of their sections.

       *       *       *       *       *

The later development of the methods of distributing clothing shows
increased efficiency as greater experience was gained.

After August 15 the Bureau of Special Relief[58] had charge of filling
orders for clothing for those living outside the camps whose needs were
urgent but not great; the more important cases of need of clothing and
household goods were cared for by the Rehabilitation Committee. From
August 6 the residents of the camps were supplied with all necessary
clothing through the Department of Camps and Warehouses, an arrangement
which continued until the middle of October, after which issues of
clothing were made by requisition through the department headquarters on
the supply of clothing kept in Golden Gate Park. From December, 1906,
the Department of Camps and Warehouses sent individual requisitions for
clothing to the Bureau of Special Relief. Possibly these were such as it
could not itself fill.

  [58] See Bureau of Special Relief, Part II, p. 145 ff.

All issues of clothing were stopped on May 16, 1907, and the supply on
hand was turned over to the Rehabilitation Committee, which distributed
it among a number of institutions. It is probable, however, that for a
long time only a very small quantity of clothing had been issued to meet
the needs of the aged, infirm, and sick at Ingleside.[59] It is to be
noted further that as early as August, 1906, issues were limited, and
were made only to destitute persons whose circumstances could easily be

  [59] See Part VI, The Residuum of Relief, p. 319 ff.


The rapid exodus of refugees from the city during the first week after
the disaster meant a desirable lessening of the task of providing food,
clothing, and shelter. The transportation work, which divides itself
into four administrative periods, began the first day of the fire, when
refugees were given free passage across the bay, down the peninsula, and
to points far inland. No special arrangement was made. The
transportation companies merely threw open their gates and let the
people crowd into the boats and trains. The committee on transportation
of refugees, a sub-committee of the Citizens’ Committee, had
comparatively little work to do. It told the public that the railroads
were ready to carry the people and it made inquiry as to the ability and
willingness of other communities to care for refugees. From many
communities, some distant, came quick, generous offers to care for
definite numbers of people.

When the first period, the period of indiscriminate free transportation,
ended on April 26, the Southern Pacific Railroad, the only railroad
running out of the city and the one that in normal times carried the
greater part of the suburban traffic by ferry and train to towns across
the bay, had transported, according to an official report, the following
number of free passengers:


          Destination           |Persons
  Suburban points around the bay|226,000
  Other points in California    | 67,000
  Other states                  |  7,684
      Total                     |300,684

The value of this service, according to the official report, was
$456,000. The report states that on April 19 the refugees, most of whom
went to Oakland and adjoining communities, left San Francisco at the
average rate of 70 per minute. There is no report from any other
transportation company. The 226,000 passengers carried to points around
the bay included some thousands of persons that crossed more than once,
many to go back and forth daily on public or private business, others, a
considerable number, to view the fire and ruins.

On April 25, a committee on transportation was organized informally by
the officials of the various railroads and the men in charge of relief
work, in order to prevent an abuse of free transportation. The new
committee, which was recognized as authoritative by the Citizens’
Committee, had for chairman William Sproule of the Southern Pacific
Railroad, for secretary and executive, Oscar K. Cushing. On April 26, a
transportation bureau was opened in a small office on Fillmore Street
near Franklin Hall. The secretary was given power to issue orders for
passes and part-rate tickets, which because of his experience in
railroad business and in social work he could be relied upon to do with
discretion. Each applicant in the long file which day by day stretched
down Fillmore Street and around the corner to Sutter, a perplexed,
restless file of men, women, and children, eager to be out of the city,
was interviewed personally by him to determine whether the applicant
were able to pay any part of his fare, whether the best way to restore
him to self-support was to grant him transportation, and whether he
would be a charge upon the community to which he wished to go. When
letters of recommendation or personal interviews failed to give the
information desired, a quick investigation was made. If the applicant
were able he paid something toward his ticket but never more than at the
rate of half fare.

On May 10 the railroads stopped the issue of free and reduced rate
tickets as a relief measure. This marked the end of the second short
period of regulated free transportation work. A week later, on May 18,
the transportation work was merged with that of the Bureau of Special
Relief and Rehabilitation,[60] and when Mr. Cushing became executive
head of the joint work no material change was made in the method of
caring for transportation cases.

  [60] See Part I, p. 14.

During the third period, beginning May 10, the period of united effort,
the committee guaranteed to pay in certain cases reduced railroad rates,
at first a half-fare rate, later a one-cent-a-mile rate. The railroads
in their discretion gave in other cases free passage provided the
committee made a brief statement of the circumstances of the applicant
with a recommendation for free passage.

When the permanent Rehabilitation Committee was organized, July 2, 1906,
the transportation bureau was again merged, which marked the beginning
of the fourth period of its work, the period of completed organization.
During the fourth and last period, which ended June 2, 1908, when the
last transportation grant was paid, the transportation methods held
unchanged with but occasional variation of rates and with a rapidly
decreasing number of cases to be considered.

The relative importance of the transportation work to the other
rehabilitation work, on the basis of the number of individuals
concerned, steadily decreased from one-half in the first two weeks to
about one-eighth in the middle of July.

Many a case was brought to the attention of the Committee by a distant
relative or friend. For instance, a man wrote from a little town in
Illinois as follows:

  “Dear Kind Friend,--I have an aunt by the name of ---- ----. You will
  do me a favor if you will send Mrs. ---- to Chicago, Ill. I would send
  the money to pay fare but as I have not got it to spare I cannot do
  it. I hope you will be kind-hearted enough to send her to Chicago.
  Also arrange to get her meals on the train for her. You can call on
  her, Mayor Schmitz, at ---- and have a talk with her. Please get my
  Aunt Clara to come back if you can do so.----If there is anything I
  can do for your City please let me know and I will try and help you
  folks at once. There are tears in My eyes as I think of the beautiful
  City you once had that is now in ashes. Reply at once.”

“Aunt Clara” could not be found.

An inquiry addressed to a man in whose behalf the Committee had been
asked for help by a Chicago clergyman brought this terse and
satisfactory reply:

  “Dear Sir,--We are no longer in need of relief and we do not desire
  transportation to Chicago. I have so informed Rev. ----.”

Vague plans, or plans that did not commend themselves, led to refusal.
There were, for instance, a man who thought he would like to try his
fortune in Nome; a Syrian who had an idea he might get on better in
Portland, Oregon, though he had no relatives there and no prospect of
work; a Scotch Australian with a large family, known to the Associated
Charities for years, who looked hopefully to Australia, though he had
left it because he was a failure there; two girls, domestic servants,
who wanted to go back to Ireland because they “were afraid of the
shakes”; an old man whose only reason for returning to Europe was his
desire to see his son ordained a priest; a widow, “saleslady” by
occupation, who asked to be sent to Los Angeles on the strength of a
letter from a friend, apparently a traveling man living in a hotel,
whose mildly expressed concern for her welfare she took as a promise to
provide a home. A stonemason wanted to leave his family without
resources and try his fortune in Canada. A man whose family had been
sent to Massachusetts in the early days to leave him free to get a start
got tired of trying and wanted to join them. Another man merely wanted
to go away on a visit, leaving his family behind. After the middle of
June, requests that wife and children be sent away for a visit while the
man stayed behind at work, were refused, though in the abnormal
conditions of the earlier days they were frequently allowed. In a
considerable number of cases, as of carpenters, shoemakers, domestic
servants, and laundresses, transportation was refused because it was
known that nowhere else in the country was the opportunity so good for
work and good pay in those occupations.

In looking over the records one finds many reasons given for leaving San
Francisco. Jewelers, inventors, masseurs, hair dressers, producers of
“art work,” said they could find little demand for their services in the
first few weeks after the fire. Acrobats, mental science lecturers,
teachers of elocution, music, Hebrew, religion, and higher mathematics,
could find no one to demand their teaching. Saloonkeepers and barmen had
lost their shops through the closing of the saloons, and when they
opened July 5, conditions would be hard because a higher license was to
be asked. It seems like a jest of fate that at a time when thousands of
people were living in tents a tent-sewer could find no occupation. It
also seems curious that physicians and nurses should have wished to
leave the city, but it is a fact that the demand for their services was
decreased rather than increased by the disaster. Physicians suffered
perhaps as much as any other class of persons, for they lost not only
their offices, libraries, and instruments, but also a large proportion
of their patients,--the profitable, well-to-do ones left town, and the
poorer ones were stimulated by the out-of-door life, plain food, or by
necessity, into unusual good health.[61] Bakers, grocers, and
lodging-house keepers asked for transportation because, though there was
a demand for their services, they had no capital with which to make a
new start. Tailors, dressmakers, milliners, printers, and a number of
others could not, or would not, wait for the demand which came for them
a few weeks later. In the middle of May, for example, it was thought
that ladies’ tailors could not expect to make a living for six months;
early in June employers could not begin to get the number they wanted.
In but few cases could lack of occupation be accepted as the sole
justification for leaving the city. Carpenters and laborers who could
not get work in San Francisco in June could hardly be expected to get it

  [61] In Part IV the chapters which discuss condition and status of
  families in camp cottages, and of those who took advantage of the
  bonus and loan plans, show that the handicap of ill health was heavy
  after the first few months.

Sickness was a reason for transporting some of the refugees. A man who
had been hurt in the earthquake was sent to relatives as soon as he was
able to leave the hospital. Another man, whose little store had been
wrecked by the earthquake, he himself injured, and his wife and one
child killed, was sent to his sister in Chicago, his other children
having been provided for by a charitable organization. A woman suffering
from cancer was taken to her sister in Brooklyn by a nurse who was also
being assisted to reach her destination. It was not uncommon in the
earlier days to find a woman so nervous that her physical condition was
a menace to the prospects of her family. One such woman would not allow
her husband to do any regular work; another was so irritable that
desertion seemed imminent. In such a case as the last the only hope of
saving the family seemed, paradoxically, to lie in temporary
separation. More than one woman who begged to be sent away for a visit
was told, “We are doing this, you understand, because we are sorry for
your husband and want to give him a chance to get on his feet here; but
please encourage him by writing every week.” The policy, in spite of
these instances, was definitely laid down that families should be kept

There were numerous examples of that re-distributing of responsibility
for dependents which takes place when losses come to families
individually. An aunt or grandmother in Nevada or Missouri or New York
would offer to take care of a little boy or a young girl, in order to
relieve the family in San Francisco. An epileptic woman whose daughters
had lost their work on account of the fire was given a home by a cousin
in Massachusetts. This cousin, with unnecessary caution, wrote to the
woman: “I will not let him (Dr. Devine) know you have any
daughters--only that you are without a home and in poor health.” A woman
had been visiting her married daughter in San Francisco, and the
daughter, after the fire, could neither entertain her longer nor pay her
fare home. Still another instance was that of a Roumanian, seventy-seven
years old. He had had a home with his granddaughters for the previous
two years, but they were burned out and his only refuge was the old home
in Roumania. Unfavorable surroundings as a reason for granting
transportation may be illustrated by the case of a young girl who had
been living in a basement with twenty refugees, men and women. She was
sent to her father in Ohio.

The willingness of relatives and friends to receive refugees determined
the transporting of a large number of persons. The letters that found
their way to the files of the Rehabilitation Committee as evidence that
the would-be travelers would not be unprovided for at the end of their
journeys form a unique body of testimony. They give a glimpse of those
obscure wells of charity in which we all believe, on account of frequent
individual instances, but into whose depths we are seldom allowed to
look. The open-hearted offers of hospitality that went out from humble
homes all over the country were, in fact, a contribution to the relief
fund, though they found no place in the list of donations, the quality
of their mercy being too subtle. They may be given recognition by a few
quotations from many letters:

From Delancey Street, New York, to a Jewish tailor with a wife and six

  My dear brother,--I have received your letter, also dispatch, and in
  spite of all my efforts I send you only ten dollars. I cannot send you
  more for the present. I advise you to come over as soon as you can
  with your family, on my responsibility, as there are plenty of work
  for you. Don’t spend the time with nothing but come as soon as you
  possible can.

From a woman in Council Bluffs, to her sister:

  You must and had better come here. J---- can work at his trade here
  and you can stop with us until you can do better.

From a little California town:

  My dear cousin,--I am awfully sorry to hear you and all the family
  lost everything. But let you and Jennie and all the family come right
  up and stop with us. You will want for nothing as we have plenty for
  all and as many more. Hoping you will come right away, ------.

From a Russian woman in Chicago:

  Beloved sister,--You shall not think about anything but come to
  Chicago------. You shall not worry about anything. Everything will be
  provided for you when you arrive here. You shall also get work.

A mother in Michigan wrote to her daughters, who had been in domestic

  Girls, for my part I wouldn’t have any desire of living side of the
  Pacific ocean any longer and you know we would feel better to have you
  back here with us.

Another Michigan letter, from the brother of a refugee:

  I want you to come with all your family and share our home until you
  get all rested up and see what is best to be done. Old frozen Michigan
  ain’t the worst place after all.

A woman in Spokane who offered a home to a friend and her little girl
wrote, with a naïve appreciation of her own generosity and of the happy
combination of disposition and circumstances to which she was able to

  I write to extend my sympathy to you and you know I have a big heart
  and a large house and would be only too glad to have you come and stay
  with me as long as you want to and it would not cost you one cent.

A man in Nevada who had secured work for a former business associate,
wrote to him:

  Through the kindness of friends (and I may say myself), we have
  furnished you and wife with a home furnished complete, so if you can
  get means to come up you will be O. K., as your rent is paid for a
  couple of months.

There could be no doubt that the boy whose mother in Los Angeles had
found work for him, and who wrote him as follows, would be looked after:

  A Mrs. T---- to whom I appealed for you gave me as a loan on the sly
  five dollars for your fare down, which must be returned as soon as
  possible so please do not use it unless you fail to get a pass.

Some friends in southern California offered a home to three sisters,
working girls:

  If you can get passes, which no doubt you can by applying to Mayor
  Schmitz, as I have written to him, asking for you, come down and stay
  with us for as long as you wish. We have a house in our yard which we
  can fix up for you without any inconvenience to us. You can live there
  as long as we stay here.

The great majority of these people who were assisted to leave the city
seem to have been those that could easily be spared from San Francisco
during its period of reconstruction. They were, on the whole, lacking in
physical vigor or in mental qualities of courage and initiative, or in
attachment to their city. They did, however, give the impression that,
under less exacting circumstances, they would have been able to get
along creditably. It seemed fair to expect that in nearly all the cases
the substitution of a more favorable environment would have results so
satisfactory as to justify transportation as a rehabilitation measure,
while the burden of dependence, whatever it might be, would be so
distributed as not to bear heavily in any one place. The policy of those
responsible for decisions was not to send to other cities persons that
were likely to become dependent on charity. The transportation agreement
of the charity organization societies of the largest cities was
respected. The prompt answers to telegraphic inquiries given by all the
eastern cities was a very important help. It was reassuring to find that
the plan that was satisfactory in ordinary times proved indispensable in
the emergency.

For the second period of the work of transportation, which seems to
represent about the average, Table 13 is given.


                         |  Men  |  Women  | Children |  Total
  California             |  122  |    541  |    379   |  1,042
  Oregon                 |   28  |    103  |     40   |    171
  Washington             |   20  |     85  |     57   |    162
  Colorado               |   11  |     46  |     35   |     92
  Nevada                 |    2  |     40  |     11   |     53
  Utah                   |    9  |     26  |     11   |     46
  Montana                |    5  |     13  |     13   |     31
  Arizona                |    4  |      8  |     ..   |     12
  Idaho                  |    2  |      3  |      3   |      8
  Wyoming                |   ..  |      3  |     ..   |      3
  New Mexico             |   ..  |      1  |     ..   |      1
  East (including Europe)|  188  |    553  |    322   |  1,063
      Total              |  391  |  1,422  |    871   |  2,684

  [62] Compare date with date given in heading of Table 12. “April 26”
  appears in official reports as included in each of the first two
  periods, and probably was actually so included.

These figures are based, not on a study of individual cases, but on
lists and registers kept by the various committees in charge of
transportation. Although they probably are not absolutely correct, they
are sufficiently exact for the present purpose. The term Pacific States
in the following table includes the tier of states from Montana to New
Mexico; all east of them is called East. Alaska and British Columbia
destinations are included in Pacific States, and eastern Canadian and
European points are included in East. The number of persons sent to such
points was very small.

The following table shows the number carried for all periods, exclusive
of those carried to suburban points.

DESTINATION, APRIL 26, 1906, TO JUNE, 1908[63]

        Period     | Total |        PERSONS SENT TO          |Average
                   | number+------+-------+----------+-------+ number
                   |   of  | Cali-| Other |   East   | Other |   of
                   |  sent |points| States|  Europe) | points|  sent
                   |       |      |       |          |       |per day
          1906     |       |      |       |          |       |
  2d Apr. 26-May 10|  2,684| 1,042|  579  |  1,063   | ..    |  179.0
  3d May 11-Jun. 30|  1,015|   212|  193  |    609   |  1    |   20.0
  4th July         |    365|    97|   70  |    193   |  5    |   11.8
      August       |    350|   221|   23  |    106   | ..    |   11.3
      September    |     90|    32|    3  |     55   | ..    |    3.0
      October      |    128|    13|   45  |     57   | 13[64]|    4.1
      November     |     77|    10|    2  |     13   | 52[64]|    2.6
      December     |     37|    11|    3  |     17   |  6    |    1.2
          1907     |       |      |       |          |       |
      January      |     37|     7|    6  |     19   |  5    |    1.2
      February     |     31|     6|    7  |     18   | ..    |    1.0
      March        |     21|     3|    3  |     10   |  5    |   [65]
      April        |     22|     9|    3  |     10   | ..    |   [65]
      May          |      8|     1|    4  |      3   | ..    |   [65]
      June         |      3|    ..|    1  |      2   | ..    |   [65]
      July         |      4|    ..|   ..  |      4   | ..    |   [65]
      December     |      2|    ..|   ..  |      2   | ..    |   [65]
          1908     |       |      |       |          |       |
      June         |      2|    ..|   ..  |      2   | ..    |   [65]
      Total        |  4,876| 1,664|  942  |  2,183   | 87    |

  [63] Exact information relative to the number of persons sent from San
  Francisco during the first period, from April 18 to April 26, and
  their destination, is not available. The figures showing the number of
  and destination of persons given free transportation by the Southern
  Pacific Railroad are given in Table 12, p. 58.

  [64] Sent to Porto Rico in October, 9; in November, 50.

  [65] Fewer than 1 per day.


       Terms of transportation     |      PERSONS TRANSPORTED
                                   |April 26 to May| May 11 to June
                                   | 10, inclusive | 30, inclusive
                                   |Number|Per cent|Number|Per cent
  Carried free by railroads        | 2,096|    78  |   136|   13
  Low rate paid by Applicant       |   588|    22  |   188|   19
    Committee                      |    ..|    ..  |   597|   59
    Applicant and Committee jointly|    ..|    ..  |    94|    9
      Total                        | 2,684|   100  | 1,015|  100


         Destination        | PERSONS SENT TO DESTINATIONS
                            |           SPECIFIED
                            |April 26 to May|May 11 to June
                            | 10, inclusive | 30, inclusive
                            |Number|Per cent|Number|Per cent
  California points         | 1,042|  38.8  |  212 |  20.9
  Other Pacific Coast states|   579|  21.6  |  193 |  19.0
  East                      | 1,063|  39.6  |  609 |  60.0
  Various foreign points    |    ..|    ..  |    1 |    .1
      Total                 | 2,684|   100  |1,015 |   100


   Terms of transportation | VALUE OF TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED
                           |May 11 to |July 1, 1906,|  Total
                           | June 30, |  to June 2, |
                           |   1906   |    1908     |
  Paid by applicant        | $4,987.27|     $585.47 | $5,572.74
  Paid by Committee        | 10,878.32|   30,921.70 | 41,800.02
  Estimate of contribution |          |             |
  by railroads             | 42,369.40|    5,015.70 | 47,385.10
      Total                |$58,234.99|  $36,522.87 |$94,757.86


In April in San Francisco, the weather being temperate and dry, shelter
for the homeless may properly be considered an easy third in order of
importance in the supplying of relief. The first night after the
earthquake the people who had been driven from their homes by fire or by
fear of another shock, sought rest in the public squares and parks, in
vacant lots and in military reservations. Bedding was the necessity
carried from their homes by many refugees who expected to return to them
after the danger was past. Each family took possession of the first spot
available. The more fortunate separated themselves from other families
by means of trunks or boxes, or by a sheet or blanket thrown over a pole
that rested on two stakes driven into the ground. As the hours passed a
few real tents were secured, and shacks were made out of loose boards,
tin cans, and sheet iron. Soon, tents from the army stores and from
private sources were provided in increasing numbers and were set up with
varying degrees of order.

Two hundred thousand persons came out from the burned district homeless,
of whom possibly 75,000 left the city. These latter are included in the
number of refugees that sought transportation, as shown in the preceding
section. Shelter was found in some parts of the city for a large number
through the hospitality of friends or strangers, through payment for
lodging in cash or credit, or through the use of unoccupied houses. Two
thousand persons found shelter in vacant houses through the efforts of
the police. The capacity to house the needy was swelled by the use of
basements, attics, and barns. The number of the homeless was increased
to some extent by the general rise in rentals, which was great in
certain parts of the city and which forced a small number of people into
the ranks of applicants for shelter. During the first two weeks perhaps
a thousand persons had no shelter but what they could find in the burned
district amid the ruins or on wharves.

Tents were provided in the first days by voluntary agencies, by the
sub-committee on housing the homeless, by the army, and by the American
National Red Cross. The first named committee, which was one of those
hastily appointed by the Citizens’ Committee immediately after the
disaster, also built barracks. It set to work with great energy, but
with complete independence of any other committee, especially of the
Finance Committee and of the committees on relief of the hungry and on
transportation, whose work it therefore overlapped. It appointed another
sub-committee, on roofing the homeless, which canvassed the city for
vacant houses and rooms and then induced but few persons to make use of
its finds. It formulated plans for the construction of two permanent
camps and made recommendations to the army to place all the homeless in
Golden Gate Park, to which park it had as early as April 20, assisted by
an army officer, hauled lumber for the building of barracks, for the
flooring of tents, and for latrines.

[Illustration: An administration headquarters

Camp No. 6, The Speedway, showing barracks


This committee was discharged from duty, on request of its chairman, two
weeks after its appointment, but its members continued to incur
unauthorized expense for at least four weeks longer. The committee made
such a fine showing for speed that its work got ready recognition, speed
in those first days being at a premium; but its lack of deliberation led
to the embarrassment of the relief authorities. The barracks could not
be connected with street sewers because they were situated on low
ground, so later there was difficulty in disposing of waste and surface
water. One of the camps, Camp 6, could not be given fire protection, and
both camps had to have heavy additions made to the initial expenditures
to secure greater privacy and protection against drafts. In them the
refugees were brought into an association so close as to be either
demoralizing or humiliating. Both camps would probably soon have been
closed if the authorities had felt justified in abandoning them after
the large expenditure made. The initial mistake was to erect barracks
during the emergency period. Tents, which the army and the American
National Red Cross stood ready to provide, were much more practical.
They could be moved at small expense from place to place, and until the
rainy season set in they furnished sufficient shelter. Tents, not
barracks, were the need of the emergency period.

The two barracks built in Golden Gate Park by the committee on housing
the homeless were No. 1, known later as Camp 5, near the Children’s
Playground, and No. 2, known later as Camp 6, or the Speedway Camp. Camp
5 consisted of 18 buildings with 16 two-room apartments in each,
separated by a partition only 8 feet high. The rooms were 10 feet
square--a front room with a window and a door and a rear room with no
window or outside door. Camp 6 was of the same type of construction and
consisted of 10 barracks and separate buildings for hospital, laundry,
and other general purposes. The barracks of Camp 5 were occupied from
the first of May to the middle of December; those of Camp 6 from June 1
to the latter part of August of the following year.

As late as the end of May General Greely reported that he could not get
sufficient data on which to base housing recommendations. The first
registration had shown that a little over a fourth of the applicants to
the food stations were living at the same address when they were
registered as on April 17, the day before the earthquake. In a few cases
these people were no doubt housed in tents or shacks on the site of
their burned homes. But most of them had not lost their homes or
personal effects, though they had been affected by the disaster in other
ways. They had lost their work, or had suffered some injury in health
from the shock, or, merely demoralized by the general confusion and the
abundance of free provisions, had assumed a mental attitude of
dependence not really justified. Most of this last class, to be sure,
did not survive the registration, but there were no doubt some who were
not weeded out until after the canvass had been made. Sixteen per cent
more are known to have been living in houses at the time of the
registration, but as their addresses on April 17 were not given, it is
impossible to know whether or not they had been driven out of their
homes by the disaster.


      registration     |             CIVIL SECTIONS              |
                       |  I  |  II | III |  IV |  V  |  VI | VII |
  Same as on April 17  |  856|  225|  572|1,105|  197|  424|1,955| 5,334
  Tent or shack        |  741|   79|1,407|  272|1,082|  467|  317| 4,365
  A house different    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  from that of April 17|  640|  294|  669|  924|  681|  945|2,168| 6,321
  A house; uncertain   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  whether the same as  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  or different from    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  that of April 17     |  336|  191|  329|  257|  215|  999|  804| 3,131
  Total whose addresses|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  in May were given    |2,573|  789|2,977|2,558|2,175|2,835|5,244|19,151
  Addresses in May not |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  given                |   17|   24|  120|   19|   45|   41|   21|   287
     Total registration|2,590|  813|3,097|2,577|2,220|2,876|5,265|19,438


   Residence at time of |PER CENT OF FAMILIES HOUSED AS SPECIFIED |Total
      registration      |            IN CIVIL SECTIONS            |
                        |  I  |  II | III |  IV |  V  |  VI | VII |
  Same as on April 17   | 33.3| 28.5| 19.2| 43.2|  9.1| 15.0| 37.3| 27.9
  Tent or shack         | 28.8| 10.0| 47.3| 10.6| 49.7| 16.5|  6.1| 22.8
  A house different from|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  that of April 17      | 24.9| 37.3| 22.5| 36.1| 31.3| 33.3| 41.3| 33.0
  A house; uncertain    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  whether the same      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  as or different from  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  that of April 17      | 13.0| 24.2| 11.0| 10.1|  9.9| 35.2| 15.3| 16.3
  Total whose addresses |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    in May were given   |100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0

Less than a fourth of the 19,438 registered[66] were living in tents or
shacks. These 4,365 families or parties included some 19,000
individuals. As the population of the “official camps”[67] outside of
Golden Gate Park (which was not included in the registration) was less
than 8,500 at the time, and as it was wellknown that some of the people
in the permanent camps were already providing their own food, it is
evident that in the early days of May about one-half of the registered
tent and shack dwellers were in the unofficial, unsupervised camps and
isolated makeshifts for shelter which were one of the most difficult
problems of the situation. The registration card did not ask what the
character of the dwelling was, and for this reason, as has already been
said, the proportion of persons in tents and shacks was no doubt
understated, since the description given by the enumerator of the
“permanent location” of the family may not always have suggested, when
it should, a tent or a shack to the tabulator.

  [66] See Table 7, p. 45.

  [67] See Part I, p. 78 ff.

In May about a third of all were living in houses which were not their
homes on April 17. These families, together with those who were living
in tents and shacks, made up 55.8 per cent of the total. Considerably
over half, therefore, of those who were receiving rations in the middle
of May had presumably been burned out of their homes, or “shocked out,”
as one of them put it. Many of those who had found house shelter were
living under very unfavorable conditions. Overcrowding does not show on
the registration card, and bad sanitary conditions can only be guessed
at. In 206 cases it was stated that the “house” was a basement or rear
building; occasionally it was a barn.

The seven civil sections[68] naturally present contrasts in the matter
of housing conditions. In Section VII only 6 per cent of the refugees
were living in tents or shacks, while in Sections III and V almost half
of them were. Section VII shows the highest percentage of families in
houses to which they had moved after the fire, and Section IV is not far
behind. The facts which come out about Section IV at first seem curious.
Although it included about half of the burned area, it had the highest
percentage of families living in the same place as on April 17. The
unburned part of Section IV at the time of the fire probably was more
thickly populated than any equal area in the city, for in other sections
there were great areas either not built upon or occupied by factories,
etc. This was practically one solid residence section filled mostly with
flats and populated by persons employed chiefly in adjacent parts of the
burned district, who thus lost employment, if not property. Although it
contained several permanent camps, only 10.6 per cent of those who were
receiving rations were living in tents or shacks. It is probable that
43.2 per cent who were living “at the same address” included a number of
Italians on Telegraph Hill who were already back on the same house lot,
though in shelters improvised from tarpaulins, boards, sheets of tin,
corrugated iron, and other possible, though unusual, building materials.
Most of the Italians and others who lived about Telegraph Hill had taken
refuge, however, in Section III, in which a part of the Italian quarter

  [68] For section boundaries, see map opposite p. 3.

Section V shows the condition that would be expected in both IV and
V,--half the refugees in tents or shacks, only a small percentage at
their former addresses, and the rest crowded into the housing
accommodations nearest to their old homes. It would have been
interesting to tabulate the distance between the two addresses, but this
would have involved so much labor that it could not be undertaken.

The nationality of the head of the family was given in 14,963 cases,
over three-fourths of all. Over two-fifths of these were native
Americans; nearly one-half were Germans and Austrians, Irish, Italians,
English and Scotch, and Scandinavians, of numerical importance in the
order indicated; and the rest represented many different countries. The
facts are shown in Table 20.

[Illustration: Shelters of sheets and quilts

Tents and shacks


It is not possible to compare these figures closely with the nationality
of the population of San Francisco as given in the United States Census
of 1900, because the census figures are for individuals, while these are
for families, the nationality of the family being inferred from the
nationality of its head. In the census figures the native born children
of a German or Irish father appear as born in the United States, while
in the refugee figures such a family group appears as a unit among the
foreign born. In this way it is evident that if the refugee figures
could have been made up on the same basis of individuals instead of
families, they would have shown a considerably higher proportion than
they do of native born, and a correspondingly lower proportion of nearly
all the foreign nationalities. Possibly the native born children of
foreigners would raise the percentage of native born among the refugees
to an even higher percentage than they had in the total population of
the city. A few comparisons, however, it is safe to make. The Irish and
Italians are represented much more strongly among the refugees than
their proportions in the population would require; while on the other
hand, a population of over 10,000 Chinese[69] was represented by only 20
families drawing rations. In Table 20 the nationalities are arranged in
the order of their importance in the population of the city in 1900.
Only the first three groups maintained the same relative position among
the refugees.

  [69] See Part I, p. 95.


     Country of birth    | POPULATION OF SAN |  REFUGEES, 1906--
                         | FRANCISCO, 1900-- |HEADS OF FAMILIES OF
                         |INDIVIDUALS OF EACH|   EACH SPECIFIED
                         | SPECIFIED NATIVITY|      NATIVITY
                         | Number  | Per cent|  Number  |Per cent
  United States          | 225,897 |    66.0 |  6,229   |    41.7
  Germany and Austria    |  37,035 |    10.8 |  2,264   |    15.1
  Ireland                |  15,963 |     4.7 |  2,140   |    14.3
  England and Scotland   |  11,956 |     3.5 |    972   |     6.5
  China                  |  10,762 |     3.1 |     20   |     0.1
  Sweden, Norway, Denmark|   9,591 |     2.8 |    709   |     4.7
  Italy                  |   7,508 |     2.2 |  1,208   |     8.1
  Canada                 |   5,199 |     1.5 |    167   |     1.1
  France                 |   4,870 |     1.4 |    400   |     2.7
  Switzerland            |   2,085 |     0.6 |    104   |     0.7
  Japan                  |   1,852 |     0.5 |     31   |     0.2
  Russia                 |   1,511 |     0.4 |    125   |     0.8
  Mexico                 |   1,459 |     0.4 |     75   |     0.5
  Australia              |   1,096 |     0.3 |     24   |     0.2
  Other countries        |   5,998 |     1.8 |    495   |     3.3
      Total              | 342,782 |   100.0 |14,963[70]|   100.0

  [70] Total number of families for whom the nationality of the head of
  the family was given; in 4,475 cases this information was omitted.


    Country of birth  |   NUMBER OF HEADS OF FAMILIES OF EACH   | Total
                      |  I  |  II | III |  IV |  V  |  VI | VII |
  United States       |1,015|  354|  790|1,106|  736|  177|2,051| 6,229
  Germany, Austria    |  331|   85|  264|  413|  289|  158|  724| 2,264
  Ireland             |  234|   80|  228|  249|  432|  169|  748| 2,140
  Italy               |   66|   14|  698|   59|   90|  114|  167| 1,208
  England and Scotland|  169|   48|  103|  133|  125|   61|  333|   972
  Sweden, Norway,     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  and Denmark         |   78|   39|   88|   51|  108|  113|  232|   709
  France              |   95|   11|   79|   46|   27|   31|  111|   400
  Canada              |   24|    9|   12|   31|   10|    6|   75|   167
  Russia              |   11|   10|    7|   28|   29|    6|   34|   125
  Switzerland         |   18|    2|   28|    9|   11|    8|   28|   104
  Mexico              |   24|   ..|   42|    3|    3|    1|    2|    75
  Japan               |    6|   ..|   11|   11|   ..|   ..|    3|    31
  Australia           |    3|    2|    3|    2|    6|    1|    7|    24
  China               |    3|    2|    9|    6|   ..|   ..|   ..|    20
  Other countries     |   57|   15|  142|  105|   46|   56|   74|   495
      Total           |2,134|  671|2,504|2,252|1,912|  901|4,589|14,963
  Unknown             |  456|  142|  593|  325|  308|1,975|  676| 4,475
      Grand total     |2,590|  813|3,097|2,577|2,220|2,876|5,265|19,438


  Country of birth |  PER CENT OF HEADS OF FAMILIES OF EACH  |Total
                   |  I  |  II | III |  IV |  V  |  VI | VII |
  United States    | 47.5| 52.7| 31.6| 49.1| 38.6| 19.6| 44.6| 41.6
  Germany, Austria | 15.5| 12.7| 10.5| 18.3| 15.1| 17.5| 15.8| 15.1
  Ireland          | 11.0| 11.9|  9.1| 11.1| 22.6| 18.8| 16.3| 14.3
  Italy            |  3.1|  2.1| 27.9|  2.6|  4.7| 12.7|  3.6|  8.1
  England, Scotland|  7.9|  7.2|  4.1|  5.9|  6.5|  6.8|  7.3|  6.5
  Sweden, Norway,  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    and Denmark    |  3.7|  5.8|  3.5|  2.3|  5.6| 12.5|  5.1|  4.7
  France           |  4.5|  1.6|  3.2|  2.0|  1.4|  3.4|  2.4|  2.7
  Other countries  |  6.8|  6.0| 10.1|  8.7|  5.5|  8.7|  4.9|  7.0
      Total        |100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0|100.0

The distribution of nationalities varies somewhat in the different
sections. Sections III and VI have a considerably smaller proportion of
native born than the others. Italians are conspicuously prominent in
Section III and Irish in Section V. Germans and Austrians are relatively
most numerous in Sections IV and VI, and least numerous in Section III;
the proportion of Italian families is less than 5 per cent in all
sections except III and VI; the proportion of Irish varies from 9 per
cent in Section III to 23 per cent in Section V. In Section VI the
nationality of over two-thirds of the families was not given, and in
Section II, as has been explained, the registration was not
representative of the total body of refugees within its boundaries.

The number of persons registered as having been provided with shelter
was but a part of the whole. The estimated number of persons who were
living in shacks and barracks on June 1 was 40,000[71] according to the
census taken by General Greely; 42,000 according to the Southern Pacific
Railroad; 39,000 according to a computation made for this Relief
Survey.[72] Of this last number, 34,000 were in tents, 5,000 in barracks
and rough shacks. There was a slight increase in the camp population in
late May and in June, due to the return of refugees from Oakland and
other points, but apart from this accretion the camp population was
subject to slight variation.

  [71] It must be borne in mind that the figures taken from the first
  registration covered but a part of the camp and shack population.

  [72] Computation made on the basis of the number of tents issued by
  the army, the proportion of tents obtained from other sources and in
  use at the end of June, and the average number of persons to the tent.

The first of June a San Franciscan wrote to _Charities and the
Commons_[73] an account of conditions, which gives a picture of what
life in the camps meant to some of the refugees:

  “The courage and energy of the population of San Francisco in the face
  not only of disaster but of extreme terror and sudden homelessness has
  not been exaggerated, but to a great many the full effect of the
  strain is not even yet apparent. The discomforts of living, in spite
  of adequate relief, are very great. Wind and fog--for the weather has
  been unusually cold for a month, dust unspeakable, cooking out of
  doors in camps and streets, lack of water for toilet appliances, the
  incessant boiling of water and milk for fear of fever, absence of
  light and means of transportation for some time--in short, the total
  uprooting of all the ordinary habits of life, is bearing more and more
  heavily on the women and children. Schools are closed, thus turning
  thousands of children literally into the ruined streets. It is now
  proposed to have a vacation school in Golden Gate Park for the
  children in camps there, but this is only a very small part of the
  whole number.

  “And for those who stay by the city much of this discomfort will go on
  for several months to come. That under such circumstances men and
  women become apathetic and lose pride and self-respect when they can
  no longer endure the strain of petty hardships, is not surprising.
  Archbishop Riordan, on his way to the scene of the disaster, is said
  to have predicted, as the worst effect of it, the deterioration of
  health and character which would be its inevitable result upon those
  who are not of the exceptional stuff of which heroes and pioneers are

  [73] Smith (Coolidge), Mary Roberts: Relief Work in its Social
  Bearings. _Charities and the Commons_, XVI: 311 (June 2, 1906).


The army had control of some camps from the beginning and gradually
assumed charge of others until 21[74] camps were under military
discipline. These camps became known by the rather misleading title of
“permanent camps.” The first to be brought under army control were four
situated in the Presidio, three in Golden Gate Park, one in Harbor View,
and one in Lobos Square.

  [74] For complete list of official camps, dates of opening and
  closing, and maximum population, see Appendix I, p. 404.

During May the Franklin Square camp, those at Fort Mason, and at 19th
and Minnesota Streets were taken over by the army. Early in June the
camps in Jefferson Square, Lafayette Square, Mission Park, Duboce Park,
Hamilton and Washington Squares were added, and in July, Alamo Square,
Precita Park, and Columbia Park. Each camp was in charge of a camp
commander, who according to the size of the camp, had on his staff
clerks, foremen, laborers, and a nurse for the hospital department.[75]
One or two of the larger camps had a camp carpenter. Plumbing and
carpentry for the smaller camps were done by mechanics from

  [75] See Part I, pp. 90-91.

[Illustration: Tent camp, opened May 9, 1906



During July and August the tents in the permanent camps were floored.
Buildings were put up in each camp containing latrines and wash and
bath-houses with hot and cold running water.

The unofficial camps, whose moral and sanitary condition was very
unsatisfactory, harbored a large number of refugees. As late as
September 1, 1906, their estimated population was from 10,000 to 15,000.
The Finance Committee had tried to have the campers move into the
official camps, but had failed because the police department, which was
the only authority that could eject, was unwilling to remove any large
number of persons. The police, of course, reflected the attitude of the
general public, which seems to have classed as official, though it was
not recognized as such by the Finance Committee, a large independent
camp, which was a private business venture, renting land to refugees on
which they might erect their own tents. General Greely, as has been
described,[76] had tried to induce removal to the official camps. The
importance of having all camp life under military discipline can be
readily appreciated when one considers how difficult under any auspices
it would be to give sanitary and moral protection to a large body of
persons living under abnormal conditions.

  [76] See Part I, p. 44.

The three essentials for camp tenants laid down as rules by General
Greely were decency, order, and cleanliness. The camp commanders tried
to get rid of the disorderly element as far as they could without
causing hardship to others. When a person was ejected from one camp all
other camps were notified and he was not allowed to enter any of them.

The following statement of the number of ejectments from May, 1906, to
January, 1908, shows that there was constant attention to this problem.
The dashes which appear in the columns representing ejectments, opposite
June, 1906, and February and March, 1907, indicate that no ejectments
were reported for these months, though it is probable that ejectments
which were not reported occurred in the months mentioned and in the
months between January, 1908, and the close of the relief work.


  Month and year|Ejectments
  1906 May      |    18
       June     |    ..
       July     |     5
       August   |   108
       September|    75
       October  |    43
       November |    60
       December |    35
  1907 January  |    15
       February |    ..
       March    |    ..
       April    |     1
       May      |    26
       June     |    11
       July     |    27
       August   |    23
       September|    10
       October  |    10
       November |     5
       December |     4
  1908 January  |    12
      Total ejectments
    for period       488

Reasons for ejectments, as stated by the camp commanders, and the number
of ejectments for each reason or group of reasons, are shown in Table


              Reason for ejectment               |Ejectments
  Drunkenness                                    |   148
  Drunken and disorderly conduct                 |   133
  Disturbance of the peace and disorderly conduct|    74
  Immorality                                     |    14
  Refusal to pay rent                            |    12
  Refusal to work in camp                        |    10
  Vagrancy                                       |     9
  Assault                                        |     5
  Stealing and burglary                          |     4
  Miscellaneous reasons                          |    48
  Reason not stated                              |    31
      Total                                      |   488

[Illustration: Where the first cottages were built, September, 1906


Table 25 shows the total population of the official camps for each month
from May, 1906, to June, 1908, inclusive.


(The figure given for each month is the maximum daily total)

  Month and year| Persons
  1906 May      |  13,170
       June     |  17,274
       July     |  17,959
       August   |  18,356
       September|  18,305
       October  |  15,558
       November |  13,969
       December |  14,245
  1907 January  |  14,616
       February |  15,149
       March    |  16,447
       April    |  17,223
       May      |  17,524
       June     |  17,592
       July     |  17,300
       August   |  15,785
       September|  11,424
       October  |   8,916
       November |   5,331
       December |   3,367
  1908 January  |   1,760
       February |   1,700
       March    |   1,392
       April    |   1,321
       May      |   1,230
       June     |     948

Although the data available for determining the character of the camp
population are incomplete, from the weekly reports of the camp
commanders we can derive figures which probably represent a fair average
of the conditions. It appears that from September to December, 1906,
about 39 per cent of the persons sheltered were men, about 31 per cent
women, and about 30 per cent children. Approximately 55 per cent of the
members of the camp population were at work. The proportion of persons
who were at work was about 89 per cent among the men, about 39 per cent
among the women, and about 25 per cent among the children.

The large percentage of men who were working is worthy of notice. There
were numerous complaints during the existence of the camps that these
were harboring a large number of idle, shiftless men. Those who offered
such criticisms failed to take into account that there is even in normal
times a considerable percentage of unemployed men who spend much of
their time in public places. A part of the apparently well and
able-bodied were in reality incapable of much work, and others though
apparently unemployed were night workers. When the haunts of the idle
were covered with ashes, it is hardly strange that they should have
been found in numbers in the public parks and squares.

In Chapter 1 the story has been told of the need felt for making some
permanent provision for the refugees before the oncoming of the rainy
season. The Corporation, after making a careful study of the situation
in the camps, decided to adopt a separate cottage plan for temporary as
well as for permanent housing, except in one locality, South Park, whose
limited area gave no space for separate cottages.

On August 1, 1906, the care of the camps passed from the army to the
Department of Camps and Warehouses.[77] From then until June 30, 1908,
when the last camp was closed, that department had entire charge of
maintenance. The Department of Lands and Buildings was responsible for
the construction of the cottages built to replace the tents. The first
of August, 1906, the Corporation made public its plan to build
cottages[78] and let the contracts for the erection of buildings.
Building began September 10, and on the sixteenth 20 cottages in
Hamilton Square were completed. At least two or three months, however,
intervened before any considerable number of houses could be made ready
for the refugees. Before completing its work the Department of Lands and
Buildings had installed in the public squares for use in connection with
the 5,610 cottages which it had built, 667 patent flush closets, 247
hoppers, over six miles of gas and water pipe and over five miles of
sewer pipe; also the necessary fittings, which included 325 galvanized
sinks, with faucets and traps, and 624 gas brackets.[79]

  [77] See Part I, p. 26.

  [78] See Part IV, p. 217.

  [79] See Part IV, p. 221.

Thus for the period of approximately six months those who had no
resources to build found house room as best they might. Many
difficulties were met by those who controlled the funds. Building had
had to be delayed because of the extraordinary amount of work involved
in supplying food, clothing, water, sanitary protection, and temporary
shelter. The pressure on the relief machinery seemed to tax its utmost
capacity. When it was necessary to push rebuilding plans, additional
machinery and more workers had to be provided.

In the official camps the refugees had in large measure been supplied
with tents free of charge. As the time came for the removal of tents and
temporary shacks and the substitution of wooden buildings, the question
was raised, who would be entitled to their use, and on what terms?
Cottages were assigned by the camp commanders, first, to those in the
official camps; second, to those in shacks and tents outside; third, to
those still in the city who were living in cellars and similar places,
including those who were receiving shelter from friends, and those who
were citizens but were living outside the city. Some who had not been
burned out, but needed to be better housed, received cottages and moved
them for permanent use to lots which they owned or leased.

For seven months the people had been furnished with tents free of
charge, but when the change was made to the wooden cottages, it was
thought best to charge a nominal rental.[80] The argument was that to
give everything and ask nothing in return, on the one hand killed the
self-respect of the efficient class and on the other gave opportunity to
the idle to shirk all civic and social responsibility; that the no-rent
policy had brought about serious economic disturbances, and its
continuance would prepare the way for yet more serious trouble.

  [80] See Part IV, p. 222, for explanation of miscarriage of plan.

Finally, it was foreseen that the abnormal real estate conditions which
had made it possible for the homeless to secure shelter, would not be
relieved until those living in camp cottages should seek and be able to
secure quarters elsewhere. Accordingly, it was definitely decided that
as fast as buildings were made available in the camps, they should be
leased to refugees by camp commanders at nominal rates. A special form
of lease was provided which, theoretically, each applicant was compelled
to sign before occupying a cottage.

The San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds, a corporation, was the
lessor; and the refugee, the lessee. The lease was in effect a contract
of purchase, for it provided that the tenant should become the owner of
the cottage if he paid his rent to August 1, 1907. In general the
applicant agreed to pay a specified rent and gas rate per month, to
comply with all rules and regulations of the camp department and the
camp commanders. He agreed not to assign his lease to another nor sublet
without written consent. He agreed furthermore to vacate the house at
the expiration of his lease unless through full payment of all rents and
charges he had acquired ownership. In that event he agreed to remove the
house from the camp at his own expense before August, 1907. Failure to
remove meant to forfeit ownership. When on account of ill-health or
other disability a person was not able to pay rent, the camp commander
notified the Rehabilitation Committee.

The shelter furnished by the army and the Finance Committee was with few
exceptions on public land. When the Corporation was ready to build
cottages it asked the park commission for permission to use certain
parks and squares. The commission having no power to give the authority
agreed, on August 17, 1906, to ignore the occupation of parks and
squares, on the understanding that such use was for a period of not more
than one year; the cottages were then to be removed as rapidly as

The parks and squares were the most suitable places in which to give
temporary shelter. The damage and loss to the city from their use were
insignificant, and in the camps policing and sanitation were supplied.
There would have been rivalry among owners of land to secure the camps,
and consequent charges of favoritism, graft, etc. The parks and squares
were well situated with reference to the centers of industry and the
building operations. Throughout the work the park commissioners
co-operated with the Relief Corporation and rendered valuable
assistance. To have followed the suggestion of the committee on housing
the homeless to establish but one encampment, would have been very
unwise. In the summer following the disaster many persons were hindered
from becoming self-supporting because of their remoteness in Golden Gate
Park from centers of work.

The camp in South Park, already spoken of as unique in character,
consisted of nineteen two-story tenement buildings and a one-story
bath-house and laundry building. Some of the buildings were divided into
16 suites of two rooms each and the others into 12 tenements of two
rooms each. The total number of rooms was 656. The maximum population
was 648. They had adequate fire protection and the occupants were
required to take part regularly in a fire drill. There was steady demand
for the rooms, by reason of the nearness of the camp to the shipping and
manufacturing districts. The tenements were full almost all the time.

[Illustration: Where two-story tenements were built



The terms of the contract signed by applicants fixed, in large measure,
the conditions under which cottages could be removed from the camps and
become the permanent property of their owners.[81] Whenever a person
proved to the Department that he had purchased or leased a lot in the
city and county of San Francisco, he was permitted at his own expense to
move his house.

  [81] See Part IV, pp. 222 and 232.

In June, 1907, the park commissioners requested the Relief Corporation
to clear the public squares of cottages by August 17. Clearing the
squares and parks of these cottages proved to be a difficult task, for
many occupants sought delay on the ground of being unable to secure
other quarters. In a few cases the persons had either to be evicted or
to have the houses pulled down over their heads. On account of the
poverty of many occupants, and in order to secure better sanitary
supervision while the fear of bubonic plague lasted, the camp at Lobos
Square was retained after the others had been abandoned. It was used by
the poorest of the refugees from other camps, as well as by its own
unusual number of dependents. This camp was not entirely abandoned till
June 30, 1908.[82]

  [82] For population of the camp April, 1908, see Part I, p. 29.

Cottages to the number of 5,343 were removed from the camps, all but a
few to be used as dwellings. Real estate firms which applied to purchase
cottages to establish them in groups on their own lots were refused by
the Department on the ground that any such arrangement would tend to
perpetuate camp life; lacking superintendence and control, such camp
life would be worse than that which then existed. Despite the action of
the Department, however, large vacant lots were sub-divided and rented
to individual owners of cottages.[83] Seventy-four of the cottages were
given to philanthropic agencies and were installed by them in various
parts of the city for use as club rooms or for similar purposes.

  [83] See Two Cottage Settlements, Part IV, p. 234 ff.

The work of the Associated Charities in moving and repairing cottages
deserves special mention. The Corporation arranged with the Associated
Charities to move from the camps the cottages belonging to widows with
children and to families having incapacitated breadwinners. The moving
of cottages, which began in July, 1907, was not ended until the latter
part of June, 1908.[84] The amount of work accomplished at a cost
comparatively small shows excellent business management. The greater
part of the work of moving, installing, and repairing the cottages was
done by unemployed carpenters, plumbers, and laborers. “Considering the
number of cottages moved and made habitable, we have had very few
complaints as to the workmanship,” is noted in a report of the
Associated Charities,--a comment that could not be made in connection
with many houses erected by the regular contractors.

  [84] The total number of cottages moved or repaired by the Associated
  Charities was 703, at an expenditure of $55,963.50 or an average of
  $79.61 per cottage. The appropriation for this work allowed for a
  maximum expenditure of $150 per cottage.

The efforts being made by families permanently to own homes are shown by
the following figures: The number of cottagers buying lots was 208;
paying ground rent, 447; owning own property, 30; given one month’s rent
to move from camp but present condition unknown, 18. Total, 703.

Under the supervision of the Associated Charities the 208 families
buying lots bid fair, according to reports given in 1908, to own them in
the immediate future. It is doubtless true that but for the direction of
the society these families never would have seriously considered owning
a house and lot.

From August 1, 1906, to June 30, 1908, there is accurate information
from which to determine the cost of the camps. During this period
7,171,522 days’ shelter was furnished at a cost of $884,558.81 for
construction of cottages and of $453,000.04 for maintenance, a total of
$1,337,558.85, a daily per capita cost of 18.7 cents. The daily per
capita cost of maintenance was 6 cents. No allowance is here made for
the value of the tents in use from August 1 till they were replaced by
the cottages, but their value is more than offset by that of the
cottages when they were vacated.[85]

  [85] For total expenditures of all departments for housing, see Table
  64, p. 220.

For the whole period of the relief work, the cost of the camps was as


  Value of shelter furnished by the army as reported by
  General Greely                                             $421,195.08
  Paid by Finance Committee for shelter up to August 1,
  1906                                                        187,056.56
  Paid for sanitation of camps and city up to August 1,
  1906                                                        155,473.60
  Cost of building camp cottages and tenements after
  August 1, 1906                                              884,558.81
  Paid by Department of Camps and Warehouses, for
  maintenance after August 1, 1906                            453,000.04
      Total                                                $2,101,284.09

In addition to the shelter furnished at Ingleside and the Relief Home,
an estimate of 11,000,000[86] days of shelter for the entire relief
period may be given, a figure that is probably too small. From it we get
an average daily per capita cost of 19.1 cents.

  [86] Estimated number of days of shelter from April 18, 1906, to
  August 1, 1906, 3,828,478.

The apparently greater cost of shelter for the early period is due
possibly to too low an estimate of the number of days’ shelter furnished
outside of official camps. It must be kept in mind that the
disbursements given above include all disbursements for sanitation and
for medical care in the camps, and also that the residents of the camps
included a large proportion of aged, infirm, and dependent persons. The
actual cost would be reduced if it were possible to deduct the value of
the tents and cottages at the time they ceased to be used.

What is astounding in this story of giving shelter to a great displaced
city population of 250,000[87] souls is not the number of days that
shelter had to be provided or the sum total of cost. The astounding fact
is that when Camp Lobos, the last stamping ground of the residuum,[88]
was closed to refugees on June 30, 1908, the number of persons that had
to be cared for by the Associated Charities and the Relief Home was so
small. In June, 1906, 40,000 persons were living at the expense of the
relief funds in camps and shacks; two years later, leaving out of
consideration those who had been given shelter at Ingleside, only 703
had to be aided by charitable agency to obtain permanent shelter.

  [87] 200,000 is the number given for persons burned out of house and
  home. The difference is accounted for by the number made homeless
  because of loss of income and because of the homes made temporarily
  uninhabitable by the earthquake.

  [88] See Part VI, p. 357, and Part V, p. 305 ff., for number that had
  to be taken care of permanently. The small number who left the
  almshouse to seek shelter in the camps is also noted in Part VI.

This section may well be closed by a brief and necessarily inadequate
statement of the social work undertaken in connection with the camp
life. Four important settlements were swept to ashes by the fire,--the
South Park Settlement, a pioneer work in San Francisco, the Telegraph
Hill Neighborhood Association, the Nurses’ Settlement, and the Columbia
Park Boys’ Club. The residents of each showed, as did the Associated
Charities, their power of readjusting their work to meet the new demands
for service. They transferred their activity to the camps where they, as
well as groups of other volunteers, tried to improve social conditions.

Various organizations of women co-operated also to help carry on the
work of the sewing center at the Hearst Grammar School, which was
established the middle of May by the representative of the American
National Red Cross, in connection with its employment bureau. Here
volunteers met and distributed garments and taught women and girls to
sew, giving materials to some in exchange for their work on garments,
which were distributed to other refugees. The work grew so that sewing
circles were opened in various camps and other suitable places, which
furnished proper clothing and gave employment and instruction to women
and girls. By July, 1907, over 75,000 garments had been made in the 75
centers that had been established in camps, churches, public schools,
and settlements. The work itself had been brought under the Corporation
as a part of its Department of Relief and Rehabilitation, and had been
given the name of Industrial Bureau, with Lucile Eaves as director, Rev.
D. O. Crowley as adviser, and six seamstresses on salary. Miss Eaves,
formerly head worker of the South Park Settlement, had been in charge of
the sewing circles before the incorporation of the San Francisco Relief
and Red Cross Funds. There is no account of expenditures made for this
work to August 1, 1906. After that date the Corporation expended
$37,895.70. The two largest items of expenditure were $28,521.09 for dry
goods and other supplies and $4,464 for service.

Temporary social halls were built at the expense of the Corporation to
be used by residents of the camps as meeting places and by social
workers for kindergartens, day nurseries, reading rooms, sewing classes,
and improvement clubs, for religious meetings, for lectures, and for

The story of the quick recovery of the settlements themselves and of
how, awaiting the building of new quarters, they by makeshifts got the
people together, cannot be told here. To show in a measure what it meant
to the social worker to find himself suddenly bereft of all the means to
serve his end, the following paragraphs written by a probation officer
are given:

  “On the morning of April 20, practically every vestige of the three
  years’ work of the juvenile court had vanished.

  “Our office was cleaned out; little piles of delicate white ash
  represented our records, compiled with such care and toil. Where the
  detention home stood was a heap of tangled scrap iron. Three out of
  five of our officers were homeless. Our probationers were scattered to
  the four winds of heaven. Fortunately, none of the children in
  detention was injured; during the first day of the fire they were
  safely conveyed to a sand-dump camp at the western edge of the city.”


Sanitation was at once recognized to be a pressing problem. As has been
told, latrines were quickly built in the camps and in other parts of the
city, and a large force of plumbers was kept at work to repair leaks in
sewers so as to prevent the seepage of sewage into the water supply.
Citizens were ordered to boil all drinking water and the authorities
took charge of all milk as soon as it was delivered to the city.
Sanitary orders were cheerfully obeyed. “Obey the Sanitary Law or be
shot” tacked on a partially wrecked house showed that some of the
refugees held to a pioneer code. That they did so, and that the
authorities were alert, the excellent health record of the months that
followed bears testimony. The sanitary problem was to a small degree
lessened by the fact that with the terror of the earthquake and fire in
their eyes, the vicious and parasitic classes fled from the city; to a
large degree by the fact that nature was kind in giving conditions that
were peculiarly favorable to life in the open.

To put emphasis on sanitation was an essential. Colonel G. H.
Torney,[89] of the army medical department, was placed in charge of all
sanitary work, both of the camps and of the city. By April 28 a medical
officer had been assigned to each of the six military districts.[90]
This officer assigned inspectors to make daily inspections of the camps
in his district, to keep a close watch for infectious diseases, and to
see that there was a large force of scavengers. The expense of the work
was borne by the army and was drawn from the Congressional

  [89] Later appointed Surgeon General of the United States Army.

  [90] See Part I, p. 11.

Because of the army’s efficiency during the first few weeks there was no
serious outbreak of disease, though there was for a short time a fear
that smallpox might become epidemic. As long, however, as the city
authorities permitted groups of people to live in isolated camps proper
sanitary supervision was impossible. The greatest danger was from the
flies and from the use of water drawn in the early days from wells and
other unusual sources of supply. As soon as possible sterilizers were
installed in the camps and weekly tests made of the water used in each.

Early in May a physician named by the city authorities was stationed at
each district headquarters to have charge of all health regulations and
to be subject to the orders of Colonel Torney.

The services of the army officers were retained to make reports on
conditions until the middle of May, when the division into sanitary
districts was abandoned and Colonel Torney’s duties were changed so that
he might become chief sanitary officer of permanent camps under General
Greely, the division commander. An army medical officer was then
assigned to each official camp. He was responsible for the sanitation of
his camp, but not for territories beyond its boundaries. He could be
called upon to advise the civil authorities who were responsible for the
final removal of all camp garbage and refuse after it had been taken
from the camps designated to places outside camp limits.

The board of health, acting under orders of the Executive Commission,
appointed a health corps which was paid by the Finance Committee of
Relief and Red Cross Funds and subject to the direction of the camp
commander. The personnel of the corps under the board of health in each
camp consisted, varying according to the camp population, of one to two
surgeons, one to four nurses, a pharmacist, and from two to ten
laborers. There were for service at large one surgeon, two dentists, two
sanitary inspectors, one pharmacist, six laborers, and two chauffeurs.
The total number in the corps was: surgeons, 24; nurses, 26; dentists,
2; laborers, 89; inspectors, 2; pharmacists, 15; chauffeurs, 2.

Taking into account the character of the camp population, a considerable
part of which was of the class that does not understand the need of
sanitary precautions, the freedom from epidemic during the first few
months is remarkable. A report of the medical department of the army
shows that 30 cases of typhoid fever occurred in April, 55 in May, and
10 up to June 23, 1906. As the average number of cases per month
reported by the city to the state board of health for the two years
previous to the fire was only 12, there is apparently an increase of
this disease during April and May. The 30 cases which developed in April
must have been due to infection previous to April 18, so that unless the
statistics of either the army or the city board of health are incorrect,
an increase of this disease must have threatened before the fire. Of the
95 cases which developed between April 18 and June 23 only five
developed in official camps. Of smallpox there were 123 cases between
April 18 and June 23. Five of these were reported by the board of health
as camp cases, but none of them originated in official camps under army

In October and November, 1906, there was a decided increase in the
number of cases of typhoid fever, the bureau of hospitals alone having
charge at one time of 155 cases. The patients came from camps, official
and unofficial, and from houses. The epidemic, if it can be called such,
was found to be carried not by contaminated milk or water but by flies.
The sanitation methods of the board of health had not been good enough
to protect the refugees in the various camps. The board of health,
therefore, not the Department of Camps and Warehouses, was responsible
for the number of typhoid fever cases.

The care of the sick was a minor problem of the relief work. The number
of persons seriously injured by the fire and earthquake was but 415.
Most of the hospitals stood outside the burned section, and though some
of them suffered heavy damage by the earthquake, no demand had to be
made for hospital facilities that could not be met fairly adequately.
Some of the sick were immediately cared for in neighboring communities,
and by the army in its hospitals at the Presidio and at Fort Mason, and
in a field hospital established in Golden Gate Park.[91] At one time
during the summer following the disaster many of the city hospital beds
were vacant, even though numerous chronic cases became hospital charges
when relatives and friends were no longer financially able to provide
for them.

  [91] The establishment of a field hospital in Golden Gate Park is a
  good instance of the great care that was taken to be prepared for
  whatever emergency might arise.

The physicians and nurses who came immediately after the disaster to San
Francisco to offer their services could not be utilized, as the demand
for medical and nursing service was not greater than could be supplied
by local physicians and nurses. A party of fourteen nurses that came
from Seattle soon after the disaster reported for duty at five o’clock
one afternoon. “Have you return transportation?” asked the chairman of
the committee that received them. “Yes,” was the answer. “Well, there is
a train which starts for Seattle tomorrow morning at nine o’clock,” was
the laconic order.

In this incident we see the need of a clearing house of information to
be established as one of the very first agencies in a large work of
relief. It would in this case have prevented the sending of unnecessary
nurses and physicians and would have saved expense. More important,
however, would have been its service in standardizing the methods of
record keeping and in preventing overlapping of work of the various

  [92] See Some Lessons of the Relief Survey, p. 369 ff.

There was immediate need of medical supplies to replace the stock
destroyed by fire. But the sub-committees on drugs and medical supplies
and on care of the sick and wounded, appointed by the Citizens’
Committee, could find little to do in those early days after the
disaster, as the army practically took charge of the distribution of the
medical supplies and was using the California Red Cross as its agent.
This branch of the Red Cross not only cared for some of the sick
directly, but did much more important work in collecting information as
to the needs of the sick and as to the condition of the hospitals
throughout the city.

The Finance Committee, acting early in May on the advice of Colonel
Torney, established 26 free dispensaries which were supplied by the army
with drugs and other medical supplies. It was careful not to compete
with retail trade, so closed any dispensary near which a retail drug
store was later opened. The Finance Committee also appointed early in
May a committee on hospitals and authorized it to make payments to
designated hospitals for the care of destitute patients. The hospitals
which were to receive payments from the relief funds were at first named
by the board of health, later by the Finance Committee itself, which
made selection of six hospitals. An executive officer, a physician, was
appointed to pass on the eligibility of the patients who applied for
free care and to determine the time of discharge of each from the

In July this executive officer, whose title was that of supervisor of
accredited hospitals, served under direction of the Executive
Commission; but after August 1 he was subject to the Corporation, an
arrangement which held until July 1, 1908, when the Bureau of Hospitals
of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation was closed. The
Associated Charities was then given authority by the Corporation to send
destitute patients directly to the hospitals. The Corporation reimbursed
the hospitals for care given. The hospitals selected to receive patients
whose care was paid for from the funds were changed from time to time.

The value of the compensation to hospitals was at first equivalent to
$13 or $14 a week for each patient. On July 18 the Executive Commission
had fixed the maximum rate of $2.00 per day without supplies. This was
to cover cost of operations and attendance. It had remained in force
until the Bureau of Hospitals was closed.

The Bureau’s records, which are inadequate in some respects, show that
the highest number of hospital cases for one week, 276, was reached
during the period of the typhoid epidemic. Later reports show an average
of about 212 patients per week from August, 1906, to September, 1907. Of
the patients sent to hospitals through the Bureau 10 per cent were
children, 35 per cent men, and 55 per cent women.

The financial report of the Corporation shows that the total cost for
the care of the sick to May 29, 1909, was $344,165.07. In addition,
food, medical supplies, and furnishings were given to hospitals to the
value of $97,670.16. Of the $344,165.07, there was expended previous to
August 1, 1906, $107,396.43. The sum of $278,070.76 was paid directly to
hospitals for the care of patients, on presentation of vouchers, while
the balance of $66,094.31, though not paid directly to the hospitals,
was expended in various ways for the benefit of the hospital patients.
Between August 1, 1906, and June 1, 1909, $231,110.46 was paid directly
to hospitals for the care of patients. This latter sum, less $1,960.25
which cannot be distributed, represents 134,373 days of hospital care at
an average cost of $1.71 per patient per day. The average rates of the
different hospitals varied from $1.07 to $2.00.

Although the rates paid by the relief funds were often less than the
actual cost to the hospitals of caring for patients in normal times, it
was to the advantage of the hospitals to care for the sick, many of whom
they would have had to take in any case. The volume of business helped
to lower the per capita cost of maintenance. It was also an incentive to
the directors to increase their facilities and to private benefactors to
give money toward their support.


The Japanese asked for very little relief, in part because many had
difficulty in speaking English, but more generally because all were
aware of the anti-Japanese feeling of a small but aggressive part of the
community; this in spite of the fact that Japan contributed directly to
the local committee and through the American National Red Cross nearly a
quarter of a million dollars.

On April 20, independent relief associations were formed by Japanese
residents in San Francisco and Oakland, but on the same day they wisely
united under the name Japanese Relief Association to care for
practically all their fellow countrymen.


The Japanese Relief Association estimated the number of their countrymen
made destitute by the fire to be over 10,000, which is about 3 per cent
of the total number of persons made dependent for short or long periods
of time. On July 6, 1906, not over 100 Japanese were receiving
assistance from the Relief and Red Cross Funds. Of these about 50
were receiving shelter only, in Lafayette Square, and 50 were receiving
help at relief stations. That is, the Japanese constituted not more than
one-half of 1 per cent of the bread line and about a quarter of 1 per
cent of the population of the official camps. Even at the beginning the
number receiving help from the Relief and Red Cross Funds was probably
not much greater. The Relief Survey estimates that the total value of
relief of all kinds furnished by the army and the Finance Committee to
Japanese did not exceed $3,000. Among the 30,000 or more persons who
applied for rehabilitation, there was not one Japanese. Their own relief
association, assisted by Japanese throughout the state, within ten days
after the disaster sent between 7,000 and 8,000 of them to places
outside of San Francisco. On July 6 some of these had returned and the
number of Japanese refugees then in the city was estimated by the
association to be 4,000, two hundred of whom it was supplying with

China contributed $40,000 to the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross
Funds for the general work of relief.

There is not much information available about the Chinese. They probably
received altogether more food than the Japanese and they certainly
received more in the way of shelter, yet the total value of all aid
given them was relatively insignificant. Like the Japanese, and for the
same reasons, they did not ask for much. At the beginning a separate
camp was established for them,--Number 3, in the Presidio reservation.
The population of this camp on May 8, 1906, was 186. Later, when
cottages were built in Portsmouth Square, on the border of Chinatown, 37
out of the 153 cottages were assigned to Chinese. Not over 140
applications for rehabilitation were made by Chinese. About half of the
number were assisted at an average expenditure of about $70. Nearly all
these cases were brought to the notice of the Committee by social
workers, as only a few Chinese applied voluntarily for relief. Ten
thousand dollars is a liberal estimate of the value of relief given to
the Chinese.




The word “claim” as used in the relief accounting was applied to
anything from a time check for a day’s work to a ten thousand dollar
demand for goods seized, a usage that arose from the fact that for the
first few days, when there was no available cash, many obligations were
incurred that were a proper charge on the relief funds though not
authorized by the Finance Committee.

Some claims were made by those who suffered a change of sentiment toward
contributing relief. During the hours of urgent need men donated their
goods, workmen gave their labor, and professional men, their services,
who when later they saw the size of the relief funds could not resist
the insidious craving to have a share of the big whole. There is the
instance of men belonging to one of the building trades who did work for
which they expected no pay but later were not satisfied to take the
$4.00 a day offered as payment by the Finance Committee. They demanded
$6.00 because other men were receiving that amount for a day’s work.
Business houses within and without the city evinced the same spirit.

Day by day the flood of claims swelled. Claimants and their attorneys
laid siege to the Finance Committee and tried by bribes and threats of
lawsuits to collect their claims. A large force of clerks and a special
committee were kept hard at work trying to learn the merits of the
claims. The Finance Committee itself day after day was compelled,
instead of discussing necessary relief measures, to give the greater
part of its sessions to the hearing or to the discussion of these

  [93] See Sixth Annual Report American National Red Cross, 1910, p.

The circumstances of seizure had varied. Often when the fire was almost
upon a store somebody would assume authority and break it open to give
the stock to the people. In such a case the stock would have been
destroyed by fire and there was no justice in the claim for seizure
except where the owner as a consequence lost insurance. Irresponsible
individuals who had no connection with relief committees had seized
goods and impressed vehicles. Those who suffered loss through such
lawless acts were unfortunate, but they had no real claim to
reimbursement from the relief funds.

The same may be said of the individuals, the business houses, and the
transportation companies whose goods were stolen, not seized, from
freight cars and warehouses. Many claims for regrettable losses which
might have been legitimate if brought against state, city, or person,
were unjust when brought against the relief funds. Fraudulent attempts
were also made to collect from the relief funds for losses that had no
connection with the relief work and for losses that had never occurred.
It was a perplexing problem to deal with these thousands of claims, the
difficulties of which were increased by the insistence of those with the
least valid claims.

The last report of the Department of Bills and Demands dated March 16,
1907, gives the following figures:


           Disposal of claims        |   CLAIMS PRESENTED
                                     | Number|Amount claimed
  Claims rejected as a whole         | 1,164 |   $451,369.59
  Claims cancelled, withdrawn, etc.  |   101 |     13,269.54
  Claims donated                     |    18 |     10,528.20
  Claims approved in whole or in part| 9,669 |  2,242,003.00
      Total                          |10,952 | $2,717,170.33


  Disposal of claims|  CLAIMS PRESENTED  |    PAYMENTS MADE
                    |Number|    Amount   |   Amount    |Per cent
                    |      |   claimed   |             |of amount
                    |      |             |             | claimed
  Claims approved in|      |             |             |
  whole or in part  | 9,669|$2,242,003.00|$1,501,781.52|   67.0
  All claims        |10,952| 2,717,170.33| 1,501,781.52|   55.3

After March 16, 1907, a few long pending and new claims were paid. Some
law suits had been settled, and a few were still pending against the
Corporation when this report was prepared.

It thus appears that the trustees of the relief funds paid over a
million and a half dollars for expenditures, many of which they had not
authorized and were unable to control. They tried to pay only such part
of the claims as represented supplies and service used in relief work.
Just claims were cut down as a rule, so that a comparatively small
number of claims were paid in full.

In deciding the merits of claims the supervising and judicial committees
appointed sub-committees of experienced men to supplement their own
technical knowledge. Many claims for liquor destroyed by soldiers and
citizens were presented, but the Finance Committee decided to pay no
liquor claims. The enormous disbursements for automobile service and for
transportation of supplies were made chiefly in payment of emergency
claims. Claims of various sorts were paid by the War Department out of
the Congressional appropriation of $2,500,000. Other claims were paid by
the state. As the Relief Corporation could get no information about such
claims it is possible that there were duplicate payments.


The accounting system of the Relief and Red Cross Funds has been
criticized because it did not readily yield information as to the
amounts expended for various purposes, and because it was complicated.
The first seems a fair criticism, for contributors to funds and the
public in general are more interested in the cost of various forms of
relief than in the state of the appropriations. The system of
appropriations to the departments for different purposes was based on
carefully prepared budgets. It was good for controlling expenditures and
for keeping a check on departments and bureaus. For those not directly
connected with the work, additional information in simple form might
easily have been given. The intricacy of the accounting, however, seems
justified by the results. It was devised to make the handling of the
money as secure as possible. So far as the local auditors and the
auditor of the War Department have been able to discover there was only
one transaction that looked like misappropriation of money. About $1,000
received by a camp employe from certain authorized sales was for a short
time kept back. The apparent shortage, easily detected by the accounting
department, was made good.

Considering the extraordinary conditions under which the work was
organized, such a showing is remarkable. When men undertake the
thankless task of handling a large relief fund, if they have a keen
sense of responsibility and a realization of the difficulties ahead they
will wish to disburse the fund through a system which is as safe as
possible. It is worth while for them not only to prevent
misappropriation but even the appearance of it. The employes of such a
committee will find satisfaction, when accused of graft and
stealing,--an accusation suffered many times by the San Francisco
workers,--in showing their accusers just how the money is guarded and
that it is impossible for them to steal. A system that insures such
security is worth the extra cost.


As a result, primarily, of the publication of sensational stories in the
press of the country, the plans of the Corporation were at times
seriously embarrassed by the withholding of funds by eastern committees
and by the possible danger of those funds being dispensed by independent

The studies in rehabilitation show that the suspension of grants on
August 20, 1906, the period of arrested progress, had a serious effect
upon the rehabilitation work. It caused a change of relief policy so
that families given grants in one period were treated differently from
those in another. It meant for many families a long wait from August 20
to the middle of October when the embargo was lifted. The Corporation
had worked out a wise, comprehensive program on the basis of estimated
income and then suddenly had to question whether the income might not be
$3,000,000 less. Inevitably every department suffered from uncertainty
and hesitation. The results of such an intolerable condition were more
clearly perceived in rehabilitation than in the other work, but what the
withholding of funds meant in reduced efficiency would be hard to

The two most important funds, those of Massachusetts and the New York
Chamber of Commerce,[94] were eventually transferred, the latter with
the restriction that it be used for business rehabilitation. Only a
number of small funds were permanently held, but the harm was done. The
warning should be heeded in future disasters. It is possible for a
relief committee, when its work is hardest, to be tied up because of a
few newspaper stories which may or may not have foundation in fact.

  [94] Action of the New York Chamber of Commerce taken October 2, 1906,
  and transmitted in the form of a resolution to the San Francisco
  Relief and Red Cross Funds.--The resolution provided for the transfer
  of $500,000 to the Corporation “to be devoted by said Corporation for
  the purposes and uses of making grants of money or its equivalent, to
  individual sufferers from the disaster for purposes of rehabilitation,
  in such sums and by such methods as its Rehabilitation Committee may
  approve; and that no part of it should be used for the payment of any
  pending claims or obligations incurred prior to such transfer of
  funds, or for the maintenance of camps, or for ordinary emergent
  relief, or for the erection of barracks or cottages, or for the
  maintenance of persons therein, it being assumed that the contribution
  already made from this fund ($267,500) and the sum subscribed in other
  ways will enable the Corporation to accomplish these necessary and
  worthy objects.”

The investigator sent by the Massachusetts committee because of the
newspaper stories, after investigation cordially endorsed the work of
the Relief Corporation and made but few criticisms.

What is the remedy? It cannot be too plainly stated that there must be
only one relief committee or corporation.[95] There must be no division
of responsibility for distribution. If there must be reform it must be
within the relief corporation itself. If one of the eastern committees
in command of large funds had set up its own agency in San Francisco,
it would have been guilty of improper trusteeship. That much is evident.
The suggestion has been made that the committees in charge of the larger
funds should each have had a representative on the Finance Committee.
Mr. Bicknell, for instance, came first to San Francisco as the
representative of the Chicago Commercial Association and the Mayor’s
committee funds. But such representation would not include the smaller
fund committees. A more inclusive plan is desirable. The gradual
strengthening of the American National Red Cross seems to point the way.
The Red Cross should become so fully recognized as the national agency
for all disaster funds that it should eventually, in any given case,
receive all funds not sent directly to a local committee. Its relation
to local committees will be strengthened and it can be relied upon to
suggest and whenever necessary push changes in relief measures. In San
Francisco and each subsequent disaster of any proportions, the American
National Red Cross has been represented by its expert agents. Its
strength has been materially increased by the appointment of a permanent
director. The withholding of funds once subscribed for a particular
disaster should become an impossibility as the status of the national
agent is recognized.

  [95] See Sixth Annual Report American National Red Cross, 1910, p.
  156. See also section on The Incorporation of the Funds, Part I, p. 25
  ff. of this volume.

We have alluded to one form of restriction, that of requiring that a
specified fund be used for a specified form of rehabilitation. Such
restriction must of course be accepted after an effort has been made,
and has failed, to persuade the forwarding committee to lift the
restriction. But restrictions upon relief in kind are doubly dangerous
and ill-advised. In the San Francisco disaster the “flour” episode gives
an apt illustration. Certain forms of food were donated in quantities in
excess of the needs. These were flour, potatoes, and condensed milk, all
three of them valuable forms of food in an emergency. The potatoes, as
it was the end of the season, did not keep well in large masses and the
refugees, living in tents or in basements or attics, had little room for
storage. Besides, the universal practice in San Francisco and the
vicinity where fresh vegetables can be bought the year round, is to buy
in small quantities from day to day or week to week and not store in the
fall for winter use. The Finance Committee, unable to dispose of the
potatoes to refugees, decided to sell the surplus stock. The sale does
not appear to have been made, perhaps because they were unsaleable. At
any rate large quantities spoiled and had to be thrown away.

It was natural to think that condensed and evaporated milk would be
necessities of prime importance. They were valuable, but on account of
local conditions were not needed in great quantities. The supply of milk
from the ranches outside the city was not much diminished by the
earthquake. By confiscation and by arrangement with dealers an abundant
supply of fresh milk was secured for distribution to the refugees.

Many committees throughout the country sent flour as the most useful
form of food. It came so fast that for lack of warehouses in which to
store it (practically all city warehouses having been burned) part of it
was put aboard three transports and in the army warehouses, and finally
a vast quantity was stacked up in the open air. The transports were not
adapted to preserving flour in good condition so they could not long be
used as storehouses. The Finance Committee, confronted by the problem of
finding storage for the vast supply received, and knowing that it was
several times as much as could be reasonably distributed, decided on May
17 to sell 4,000,000 pounds. This was vigorously objected to by the
Minneapolis committee which had sent 15 per cent of the 16,000,000
pounds received. It insisted that its flour should be distributed,--the
very flour sent, not flour purchased later with cash from the sale of
Minneapolis flour. This episode led to newspaper publicity and protests.
The lesson is, that restrictions upon relief in kind are unsatisfactory
and embarrassing and should always be placed upon a discretionary basis.
The Minneapolis committee claimed that title to its flour had been
transferred to the destitute of San Francisco, not to the Red Cross or
to the Finance Committee, who were apparently to be considered solely as
the servants of distribution. The position is an impossible one in which
to place a self-respecting committee.

Many donors of money gave specific directions as to the use to which
they wished it put. There was the man who sent $1.00 with a request to
hand it to some worthy sufferer and let him report to the donor; and
there was the refugee who, after he had found employment elsewhere,
sent a small sum, more than enough to pay for the three days’ rations he
had received in the bread line, with the request that the balance be
given to a soldier who had been kind to him. Jewelers sent money for
jewelers, artists for artists, teachers for teachers, physicians for
physicians, the people of one town for their fellow townsmen in San

Money was also sent to individuals connected with the relief funds to be
applied to specific purposes. Fortunately, there were enough
unrestricted funds available to assist all classes and carry out the
intent of all donors. It was not necessary to open a special account for
each of these trusts.

No actual restriction as to the purpose of expenditure, imposed either
by donors directly or by the custodians of large funds, was in itself
onerous to the relief authorities, but the circumstances attendant upon
the remittance of restricted funds caused more or less embarrassment
during nearly the whole period of the relief work.





  I. BEGINNINGS OF REHABILITATION                    107

  1. General Policy                                  107
  2. Periods of Rehabilitation Work                  111

  II. METHODS OF WORK                                113

  1. The District System                             113
  2. The Centralized System                          124
  3. Withdrawal                                      133
  4. Concluding Remarks                              135


  1. Relations with Auxiliary Societies              137
  2. Rehabilitation of Institutions                  141
  3. Bureau of Special Relief                        145


  1. Introductory                                    151
  2. Social Data and Total Grants and Refusals       152
  3. Principal and Subsidiary Grants                 157
  4. The Re-opening of Cases to Make Further Grants  160
  5. Variations in Amounts of Grants, and Refusals   165




In the beginning of the Relief Survey it has been shown how, with what
seemed to be an instinctive insistence, the trend of the work was toward
the formulation of a definite rehabilitation policy. The principle, one
might say axiom, which determined the character of this policy was that
help should be extended with reference to needs and not with reference
to losses. It was not easy to hold to the relief principle in the face
of a sentiment by no means weak nor voiceless that each sufferer was
entitled to an equal share of the funds. That the Rehabilitation
Committee did consistently act on this principle during the periods of
its activity was a marked achievement--an achievement that may be
counted to the good, not only for the relief of San Francisco sufferers
but for sufferers from subsequent disasters.

When the Rehabilitation Committee began its work at the beginning of
July, 1906,[96] it could not know what amount of money would be
available for the purposes of its work. It knew that $1,500,000 had been
suggested as the amount and 15,000 as the number of families to be
rehabilitated. It held many conferences to consider the possibility of
obtaining even the roughest sort of census of the families who would
require assistance.

  [96] See Part I, p. 21.

No solution was furnished by the population of the various camps because
even if their total population had been known, it would not have given a
clue to the number of families who were living with relatives or friends
or as tenants in the overcrowded quarters. Unlike the ordinary relief
society, the Committee could not estimate the total actual needs of its
prospective applicants. Therefore it had to fix definite limitations
for grants[97] to those who first applied so that later applicants, with
needs equally great, might not suffer injustice.

  [97] A classification of grants was in use which had been adopted by
  the Red Cross Special Bureau. The headings of this classification were
  “Tools,” “Household Re-establishment,” “Business Enterprise,” “Special
  Relief,” “Transportation.” Special Relief was used to describe a
  miscellaneous group of grants, and to prevent its being confused with
  the later Bureau of Special Relief (see Part II, p. 145), it will
  hereafter in this study be designated “General Relief.”

With these considerations in mind the Committee at its first meeting
moved to limit the vast bulk of grants to sums of $500 or less. The
decision was that a grant that did not exceed $200 could be approved by
one member of the Committee, that grants of from $200 to $500 should
require the signatures of two members, and that grants of more than $500
should require the action of the entire Committee. During the first few
months the number of separate grants of $500 or over, exclusive of
housing grants, was but 121, the general assumption in the Committee
room and among the rehabilitation workers being that the number of
families to receive over $500 should be small.

Eventually, of the 20,241 families assisted by the Committee, 647
families received as much as $500 each.[98] It was not realized at the
beginning that in a great number of instances there would be re-openings
and new applications leading to the granting of new forms of
rehabilitation; that, for example, a family would be helped first to
re-establish itself in business and later to build a house.
Supplementary grants that increased the total allowance to a family to
more than $500 were not passed upon by the Committee as a whole, though
at several meetings the question of requiring the Committee to act as a
whole on the issuance of a series of grants in excess of $500 to an
applicant was informally discussed. No official action, however,
followed the discussions. Before the middle of July the Committee sent
to the newspapers and to others interested, a circular in which was
outlined its general purpose. In this its aim was shown to be not to
determine the size of grants by the extent of losses, but to help those
to re-establish themselves who were unable, even upon a contracted
basis, to do so without assistance.

  [98] The difference between these figures and the figures given in
  Table 45 on page 165 is due to the fact that successive grants of the
  same nature to a single applicant were, in making some compilations,
  treated as a single grant, and in making others, as successive grants.

The wisdom of limiting the size of grants may be questioned by some, but
there is no doubt of its paramount importance in giving a rough basis
for work at a time when it was impossible to estimate the number of
families that would require assistance. It is hard to conceive of the
setting of any other standard than this. Without it the possibilities
for confusion and injustice were unusually large. The decision was
reached not only from motives of prudence but also from the Committee’s
sense of responsibility in dealing with such large amounts of money as
would undoubtedly be placed in its hands. That the feeling of personal
responsibility was large was made evident by other actions of the

  [99] Under somewhat similar circumstances the Chicago Fire Commission
  practically limited special relief expenditures to $200 per grant. See
  Report of the Chicago Relief and Aid Society of Disbursements of
  Contributions for the Sufferers by the Chicago Fire (1874), p. 199.

After the Department of Camps and Warehouses was created on August 1,
1906, the Rehabilitation Committee[100] finally adopted its own policy
with reference to families living in the camps, a policy which as has
been seen[101] had been gradually taking shape during July. The whole
question of the rehabilitation of camp families had been considered at a
lunch given before his departure east by Dr. Devine to the members of
the Committee and the staff. The conclusions of this informal conference
did not take official form, but they may be accepted as marking the
first step in the formulation of the policy. They were: That the camps
should provide for the immediate needs of their inmates; that no stated
sum could be set aside for the ultimate use of those who were expected
to become permanent charges; and that no family living in a camp should
be given rehabilitation aid until it had presented a definite plan for
rehabilitation. It was felt that the effect upon applicants would be
great if once they understood that it was useless for them to come to
the Committee without definite and concrete plans. The subject of
setting aside a sum for the use of the residue came up again in the
latter part of August when Mr. Dohrmann, in making his estimates of the
future disposition of funds, again and again called attention to the
need of reserving large sums to re-establish camp families.

  [100] Now a part of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation, which
  included also the Bureau of Special Relief, Bureau of Hospitals, etc.

  [101] See Part I, p. 19 ff.

By August 1 the issuing of rations had been discontinued. The Department
of Camps and Warehouses had taken over the bulk of the work of the
short-lived Executive Commission, and the Rehabilitation Committee had
been made responsible, under the gradual centralization of all relief,
for the granting of all aid other than shelter and the relief-giving
incidental to camp life. The Rehabilitation Committee was, however, in
accordance with the policy it had adopted, steadying the number of
applications made to it by camp families, by requiring an applicant to
give proof that he had an assured dwelling before his request for
household aid was considered. The immediate necessity was to define the
relations between the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation and the
Department of Camps and Warehouses. On August 6, 1906, the chairman of
the latter department, Rudolph Spreckels, met with the Rehabilitation
Committee, and after prolonged consideration the following definite
agreement was reached:

The Department of Camps and Warehouses agreed:

  1. To provide necessary food, clothing, and tent equipment to
  residents of camps.

  2. To refer to the Rehabilitation Committee only such applicants as
  were believed to be prepared to leave the tents and to become
  undoubtedly self-supporting.

  3. To make within the limits of the camp all investigations necessary
  to determine the current needs of the refugees.

  4. To inform the Rehabilitation Committee of any applicant who had
  shown a readiness to leave the camp and to be rehabilitated.

The Rehabilitation Committee on its part agreed:

  1. To follow the notification of an applicant’s readiness to leave a
  camp by an investigation of its own and to take such action as the
  inquiry would warrant.

  2. To assume responsibility for supplying all relief outside of the
  camps, this full responsibility to be assumed not later than the end
  of August.

[Illustration: Camp No. 25, Richmond District, opened November 20, 1906

Camp No. 29, Mission Park, opened November 19, 1906


The responsibility of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation for
relief outside the camps remained absolute, with the exception of the
housing aid given by the Department of Lands and Buildings. Mr. Bicknell
was appointed to carry out the plan so far as it related to the
Rehabilitation Committee, to which he later presented his plan for the
establishment of a Bureau of Special Relief under the Department of
Relief and Rehabilitation. This new bureau, which is described
elsewhere,[102] gave aid in kind; the Rehabilitation Committee gave
emergency aid in cash.

  [102] See Part II, p. 145 ff.


By way of introduction to the following chapter, a summary may well be
made of the periods of time into which the rehabilitation work naturally

May 5 marked the beginning of the rehabilitation work under the
direction of the Red Cross, a period when a force of workers, trained
and untrained, got steadily to work, and when policies began to be
shaped. It may be called the formative period.

July 7 began the second period. It was the time when the Rehabilitation
Committee of the Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds got
into the saddle, carrying with it the staff and adopting the policies of
the formative period. It was marked by the rapid development of district
organizations; by the rapid increase in the number of applications for
relief. It may be called the period of accelerated applications.

August 20 opened the third period, when a decline in the number of
applications was brought about by new restrictions upon the character of
cases eligible for consideration; the time when the advisability of the
district plan of organization was brought in question. Furthermore, it
was the time when grants were sharply limited by the withholding of the
eastern funds.[103] This may be called the period of arrested progress.

  [103] See Part I, p. 99 ff.

November 4 began the fourth period, when the centralized plan was in
force and when a persistent effort was made gradually to decrease the
responsibilities carried by the Rehabilitation Committee. It was the
period of centralized effort.

April 9, 1907, marked the beginning of the fifth and last period, which
closed June 30, 1907, with the taking over of the rehabilitation work by
the Associated Charities. It was a time of rapid discharge of committees
and of readjustments,--the period of withdrawal.




Before the formation of the Rehabilitation Committee the Associated
Charities[105] had assumed responsibility, under the Red Cross, for the
investigation of applicants for rehabilitation. During July the
Associated Charities under the direction of the Rehabilitation Committee
organized in each of the seven civil sections of the city a committee of
persons who were related more or less to the previous charity work of
the locality. Each section or district office was supervised by a
chairman[106] under whom was an agent with a corps of visitors and
clerks. By securing in addition to the local charity workers the
services of several experienced workers from states east of the Sierras,
it was possible, as has been already stated, to have an experienced
agent in each district. Four sections were in charge of agents drawn
from the outside; three of agents with experience in the San Francisco
Associated Charities.

  [104] The section on methods in Appendix I, p. 406 ff., supplements
  this chapter. It is more detailed than is this portion, and is
  important to those who are responsible for organizing a relief force.

  [105] See Part I, p. 14.

  [106] These chairmen were the same men who had been serving since May
  as the civilian chairmen in their several sections.

The month of July was one that called for the exercise of discretion and
tact, as it was a time when a large untried force had to be organized to
visit families. A general superintendent of district work was appointed
to bring about unity of ideals and standards in the sections and to
cultivate a sympathetic understanding of the system on the part of all
concerned in it. The position was held during July by one of the eastern
workers and after August 1 by the general secretary of the Associated
Charities. The section committees, mentioned above, made a strong and
interested group of volunteers.

In one of the sections was to be found a group of workers who knew their
neighborhood thoroughly,--a physician who had done active work among the
poorer people previous to April 18, the president of a settlement, and
the priest. These met together each day with others to go over the case
work of the investigators who were studying the individual needs of
refugees. Nowhere else could one get such an impression of the
cosmopolitan character of San Francisco. The names of the investigators
showed their origin,--Italian, Spanish, English, Scotch. These could
speak to the refugees in their own tongues. One of the investigators was
a trained nurse who had been at work in the neighborhood; another, an
artist who had been the year before as far away from the Pacific Coast
as the Albert Nyanza; the third, a student of economics. In still
another section were to be found as investigators a force of college
students. Seven of them were from Stanford University. They gave devoted
service from April until the university opened in the autumn. They
camped in the outer office and would work from early in the morning
until late in the evening. They were often visiting at six in the
morning and were to be found in the office writing reports at ten in the
evening. Several teachers, a physician, and a trained nurse made up the
rest of the group, which was guided at first by one of the most active
and devoted local workers, a probation officer of the juvenile court.

In another section one felt the distinctive mark to be catholicity. The
chairman of this committee was a Presbyterian minister and the assistant
to the agent was a Unitarian minister who had given up his charge to
devote himself for a year to the charitable work of the city. A Hebrew
whose strong personal influence counted for much in dealing with the
refugees of his faith; another Hebrew, a woman, who as a volunteer had
done most important service in securing work for the refugees; an active
worker in women’s clubs; and other men and women who had had experience
as teachers and in business, completed this section committee.

In so large a group of investigators, brought into service at a time of
high pressure, there were necessarily to be found many attitudes of mind
toward the work and varying degrees of readiness to be instructed. What
surprised those who had the task of fitting the visitors to their work
was their adaptability. The committees met at short intervals to review,
one by one, the stories and recommendations of the investigators, and to
make their own decisions to be submitted for final action to the
Rehabilitation Committee at headquarters.

The investigating force of the Rehabilitation Committee reached its
highest number in August, 1906, when it numbered 96 persons on full and
nine on half time. Sixty-five other persons were also employed,
principally as clerks and messengers. The Committee from the start took
the sensible ground that as far as possible there should be
investigation of each applicant. The record card used in the sections
was the second registration card, which as the reader knows, superseded
the one adopted in the initial relief period.[107]

  [107] See Part I, p. 49. See cards in Appendix II, pp. 428 and 429.

The second registration was undertaken by the staff of workers gathered
together by the American National Red Cross, who worked from the seven
civil sections and recorded their investigations on the improved cards
described below. These cards, which were kept on file at headquarters,
were, from the time of the second registration to the end of the
rehabilitation work, used by the various committees. They held the facts
as to an individual’s own expectation of providing shelter for himself
and family. Later these cards served to measure the degree of success
each applicant had made in carrying out his own plan.

The second registration, though not to the same degree as the first,
failed in completeness, so that many persons who applied later, not only
to the Rehabilitation Committee but to the many other committees and
departments, were given relief by those who were in ignorance of what
help had already been extended. If registration had been accurate and
complete from the beginning much saving of money and time would have
been effected, and, of immeasurably greater importance, much better
rehabilitation work could have been done. A thorough system of
registration would have been opposed by many of the relief workers, as
well as by the refugees, but the importance of securing, in beginning
such a work, an accurate registration of names and references and of
entering on the dated cards the facts of aid requested and given,
cannot be over-estimated. The outstanding need of the later
rehabilitation work was for a registration so inclusive that it might
serve as a general confidential exchange of information[108] of the sums
of relief given and the efforts made to rehabilitate individuals or
families. One of those who had partial supervision of enumeration for
the first registration has said that a more carefully prepared card and
a rigid supervision of investigators could have secured the desired
results even if the investigators were untrained. The lack of a well
ordered bureau for confidential exchange of information led to serious
duplication of inquiry and of grants.

  [108] Registration as a means of holding and securing information was
  in use by various committees other than the Rehabilitation Committee.

But to return to a consideration of the record card. It provided for a
graphic presentation of the salient economic features of each family.
When rightly filled in it showed the total present income of the family,
its physical condition and the previous occupation of the breadwinner,
the sum of its losses and its present resources. It gave a picture of
the family’s former or present relations to its church, its lodge, its
employers, its plan for rehabilitation, and the investigator’s estimate
of this plan or the investigator’s alternative plan. Each visitor who
had not had previous training as an investigator was given careful
direction as to how an investigation should be made. Each was instructed
to explain to the families that what was being aimed at was to find a
way out which would be a real way out. Relief that had been already
given was emergent, temporary. But now the Committee was anxious to
learn of those who with a fair grant would be able to re-establish

In compiling the statistical abstract of applications for Chapter IV of
this part of the Relief Survey no attempt was made to ascertain what
references were seen or corresponded with, except for the business
application cases. These were controlled by much stricter regulations
than were the other applications. It is impossible, therefore, to state
accurately the number of applications that were superficially
investigated by visits to the applicants only. It is probably true that
a study of the applications for household rehabilitation would show that
comparatively superficial investigations had been made although there
had usually been some attempt to corroborate the applicants’ stories by
calling for a general letter of recommendation or one written directly
to the Committee. Letters from ministers bulked large in this
correspondence. The experience of the Rehabilitation Committee, it can
be most positively stated, confirmed that of the special relief
committee of the Chicago fire that such recommendations are valueless in
the vast majority of cases. It is sufficient to state here, as this
question will be brought up later in the discussion of the Committee’s
relation to the auxiliary societies,[109] that the Committee learned
quite early in its career that some of the clergy of the city had had
manifolded a stereotyped form of recommendation to give to any one who
might apply.

  [109] See Part II, p. 137 ff.

The method of investigation in force would have been insufficient if it
had been thought necessary to inquire closely into the moral character
of the applicants. What the family had to say about its previous income;
what its present income was; what its plans were and how it hoped with
the aid of a grant to carry out these plans,--these with the visitor’s
observations gave a sort of rough-and-ready gauge. There was, of course,
a certain amount of deception, but the field investigations made later
by the Relief Survey showed that the percentage of grants made upon
actually fraudulent representations was comparatively small. Plans for
rehabilitation that were inherently weak or confused or unwise had to be
guarded against. The grant desideratum was practical definiteness.
Illustrations of what were considered to be definite, what indefinite
plans, are incidentally presented under the chapters dealing with
particular forms of rehabilitation. It is well at this point to state
that after October 12, 1906, before a grant for rehabilitation or aid
for furniture could be obtained, an application had to be made to the
Rehabilitation Committee on a printed form.[110]

  [110] For reproduction of form see Appendix II, p. 435.

The applications for tools were made the subject of a comparatively
superficial investigation. Transportation cases were subjected to a
gradual rise in the standard of inquiry. In the case of “general
relief,” which included the permanent care of aged or invalid persons
and of unsupported children, medical co-operation was generally called
for. Applications for emergent relief led to no extended investigation.
The housing applications, as will appear,[111] were subjected to special
forms of inquiry.

  [111] See Part I, pp. 22-23 and 69 ff.; Part IV, Housing
  Rehabilitation, p. 211 ff.; and Appendix I, p. 417.

Applications were received at the seven section offices at any hour of
the day, as well as at the central office of the Associated Charities.
The rule was, theoretically, to receive no applications at the office of
the Rehabilitation Committee; but so many applications, some of which
called for immediate investigation and action, were referred directly to
the Committee, that from one to four interviewers had to be held at the
central office to attend to them. It would have been ill-advised during
July and August to limit either the hours or places at which
applications could be made. Any limitation might in some instances have
caused actual distress. The magnitude of the task did not in itself,
save in exceptional circumstances, delay the giving of emergent relief,
as special arrangements were made for expediting emergency cases.

Before recommendations were brought to the members of the Rehabilitation
Committee for decision they were read by trusted employes of the
Committee in order that apparent injustices resulting from the varying
standards of the different section committees might be done away with.
The Committee itself established rough standards to govern its
decisions. For household rehabilitation, for instance, its standard
adopted after a careful employe had visited several furniture companies
to learn the range of prices, was based upon a rate of $50 a room for
each of the minimum number of rooms which would be required for an
individual family. Certain fixed rules were also adopted with reference
to business rehabilitation.[112] There was no little criticism of an
intermediate step having to be taken between the passage of records from
section committees to the Rehabilitation Committee. During the latter
part of the second period, which ended in August, 1906, some members of
the Rehabilitation Committee itself were inclined to doubt the wisdom of
the plan. Nevertheless, the opinion of the majority of the Committee was
that its rough standardizing was a great time saver. The reviewers
exercised no discretionary authority. They were indeed willing to
present any case, in any form, to the Committee if a section committee
insisted upon it. A justification of the plan lies in the fact that when
a case went directly to the Committee from a section, almost without
exception it was sent back. The reviewers served simply as advisers to
the section committees. They had in mind the broad lines of policy that
had been marked out by the Rehabilitation Committee and were in many
instances able to save from one to two days in the reaching of a final
decision as to a grant. An explanation made by the trained reviewer to a
district messenger, an agent, or Committee member, was oftentimes much
more acceptable than would have been Committee action which reversed a
section decision.

  [112] For full discussion see Part III, Business Rehabilitation, p.
  171 ff.


Another subject that called for anxious debate was as to the degree of
power that should be given by the Rehabilitation Committee to the
section committees to make grants of money for emergency need. On July
12, the Committee resolved that in an emergency case a requisition might
be made on the treasurer for a sum not to exceed $50, provided the
request were signed by two members of the section committee. The
Committee reserved the right to review such grants and at any time to
withdraw the privilege from the sections. At a meeting held a day or so
afterward this matter was reconsidered and laid over because several
members of the Committee expressed themselves forcibly as opposed to any
division of responsibility. At a joint meeting of the Rehabilitation
Committee with the members of the section committees, held on July 19,
1906, the question of placing small funds in the hands of the section
committees was again informally considered. Some of the section members
strongly urged this plan and cited illustrations of necessary delays
incident upon the ordinary procedure,--illustrations which proved that
the delay was a source of embarrassment. As a member of the Committee
recently said, a great amount of unpleasantness was caused by complaints
of delay in comparatively small matters. Objections still being made by
some members, the Committee asked the Associated Charities to present a
plan, but though such a plan was drawn up it was never presented for
action to the Committee because of the objections that were raised
against it.

This source of friction was removed in the course of events. When the
Bureau of Special Relief[113] was established on August 15, 1906,
applications for emergency relief in kind were referred to it. On the
closing of the section headquarters, Committee I of the centralized
system[114] was prepared to give small money grants on short notice. The
Associated Charities, from almost the beginning of the rehabilitation
work, also stood ready to make small gifts of money to persons in need,
or to make immediate purchase of necessities. It was from time to time
reimbursed for these expenditures, though no formal arrangement was made
by which it could draw on any regular fund for petty cash expenditures.

  [113] See Part II, p. 145 ff.

  [114] See Part II, p. 125.

Anyone who has had experience in a charity organization society which
has district offices knows that the common rule is to empower a district
superintendent or committee to make emergency expenditures of
comparatively limited amounts and to draw for reimbursement on the
society’s general relief fund. Such special expenditures are subject to
audit. The principle underlying them is at stated periods to have their
issuance made the subject of a careful review by the general secretary,
the district supervisor or some other central office official. In case
of continuous indiscreet expenditures the question raised is not whether
the power shall be withdrawn but whether there shall be some change in
the district force or some calling of volunteers to account. In other
words, the principle has been recognized that though there can be no
division of final responsibility as to expenditures, as a matter of
practical efficiency, districts must be given a certain amount of
discretion in the making of small emergency grants.

The extent of the task of investigating and reviewing cases can be
measured by the following showing. When the Rehabilitation Committee
settled to its task on July 7, 1906, the formative period of
rehabilitation work closed. The second period was inaugurated by public
announcement of the Rehabilitation Committee’s plans. During July, 1906,
the work increased by leaps and bounds. Though the Committee might wish
to feel its way there was no time for deliberate action as the members
had simply to speed up in order to keep ahead of the applications
awaiting action. By August 1 the Committee had passed upon 3,000
applications. On that same date there were about 9,000 applications in
the sections which either were awaiting investigation or had been
partially or fully investigated, but awaited action by the section
committees. The original estimate of families that would need
rehabilitation was 15,000. To pass on one-fifth of the whole may be
considered to be fairly good progress for the first three weeks of a
committee’s real work. During the next twelve days, as the news of the
grants began to circulate widely, came the high-water mark of
applications. On August 13, at the request of the chairman of the
Committee, a complete return was made which showed that there were then
8,916 applications pending, and that the average rate of applications
was somewhat over 200 a day. The danger of swamping the work was

At the time when the number of applications for rehabilitation was
heaviest came the uncertainty as to whether funds would be available.
The chairman of the Rehabilitation Committee, therefore, at an important
meeting held on August 12, requested members to present a definite plan
as to the amount of money that they would request the Executive
Committee to set aside for rehabilitation. Accordingly, on August 16,
the following estimate was presented as the minimum amount that would be
required for carrying on the work of the Department:

PRESENTED AUGUST 16, 1906[115]

          Branch of work         |Amount required
  Rehabilitation                 |   $1,250,000
  Hospitals                      |      100,000
  Industrial Centers             |       15,000
  Special Relief (General Relief)|      250,000
  Transportation                 |       10,000
  Administration                 |      100,000
      Total                      |   $1,725,000

  [115] On August 11, 1906, the balance sheet of the San Francisco
  Relief and Red Cross Funds showed that a total of $5,599,466.02 had
  been received by that body; that deducting expenditures and immediate
  liabilities there was an actual cash balance of $2,105,309.74. This
  total was not all available for the uses of the Rehabilitation
  Committee but was the only source of support for the Department of
  Camps and Warehouses, the Department of Lands and Buildings, both of
  which required large sums, and all other activities of the Relief

What the estimate for rehabilitation was based upon it is difficult to
say, though the original estimate of $1,500,000 may have again been in
mind. By August 16, applications to the number of 4,635 had been passed
upon by the Committee, involving a total disbursement of a little over
$300,000 and an average grant of about $80 a case. About 10,000
applications were pending and there were still three or four thousand
families in the camps who would eventually have to be assisted by the
Committee. Upon this basis a total of $1,120,000 would be required, and
this may have been the basis for the estimate. Prospective applications
from persons living outside the camps were not taken into account.

No action was taken when the estimate was presented, but at the meeting
of the Committee on August 20 the chairman again presented a detailed
report regarding funds available for the Corporation. After a very
extended discussion it was agreed that it would not be safe for the
Rehabilitation Committee to take further action until it knew something
more definite regarding the amount of money it would receive and the
amount that would be called for by the applications on file. The
Committee decided therefore to notify the sections, the societies that
were authorized to investigate applications for relief, and the press,
that after August 20 no more applications for rehabilitation and relief
would be received until all the cases pending had been investigated and
disposed of. After this date no official notice was ever given of the
readiness of the Committee to again receive applications.

Applications for medical aid, and in special instances for food, were to
be received, however, as before, at the section stations. This action,
which was momentous, inaugurated the third period of work,[116] which
extended from August 20 to November 4, 1906. A large number of
applications was received later and all the applications on file were in
the course of time duly considered and made whenever necessary the
subject of grants, the amount of money used for rehabilitation being in
the end considerably larger than was estimated. August 20 is the
sinister date which appears and reappears in the later chapters, when
the subject of delay in the rehabilitation work is discussed.

  [116] See Part II, p. 111.

The superintendent of the Rehabilitation Committee at that time prepared
detailed instructions for the force at the main and at the section
offices. These instructions were adopted later by the sub-committees of
the centralized system. The instructions provided that future
applications and those pending but not yet investigated, for medicine,
medical aid, special diet, food, tools, and sewing machines, be referred
to the Bureau of Special Relief, and that they be considered with
reference to the relative disability of the applicants, in the following

  1. Aged and infirm.

  2. Sick and temporarily disabled.

  3. Unsupported women and children (families without male breadwinners
  and with the burden of support resting heavily on the women or

  4. Families insufficiently supported (breadwinners unable to earn
  enough to provide a surplus for rehabilitation or enough even to pay
  running expenses).

After the four classes of cases had been investigated and reported to
the Rehabilitation Committee for final action, the sections were to
investigate the remaining applications. This latter group of
applications[117] was to be divided into three classes:

  1. Household rehabilitation.

  2. Special building propositions not covered by the Department of
  Lands and Buildings.

  3. Miscellaneous cases.

  [117] All applications made by refugees living outside of San
  Francisco were considered by the whole committee.

The immediate attention of the Rehabilitation Committee, now that the
general drawing of checks was suspended, was confined to those
applications already on file in which emergent action was absolutely
necessary or in which grants had been promised provided certain
conditions were complied with by the applicants. All applications for
business rehabilitation were to be laid aside for a time with the
understanding that if the Committee later secured sufficient means they
should be investigated and reported on. The Committee indicated that
unless disablement or sickness were involved it would be most reluctant
to consider any family to be in urgent need if in it there were a male
breadwinner earning reasonable wages.

The plan of the Rehabilitation Committee was to go over the whole mass
of applications and then draw checks in favor of the first four classes.
This marked a distinct limitation upon its work. By vote of the
Committee on August 30, 1906, it was decided to settle at once all
unpaid grants that had been approved on August 20. By September 20
accumulated applications had been investigated and the Committee was
ready to pass upon them. It is not clear from the records just when the
bars were lifted and when checks were issued as heretofore upon all
classes of cases approved by the Committee. There appears to have been
no formal action in this matter. It is interesting to note that on
August 18 the total disbursements recorded were $356,773.75 and the
total applications acted upon 5,241. By September 20, 1906, the total
disbursements amounted to $573,337.91 and the total cases acted upon
were 10,374.


In October, 1906, there was a radical change of method. On September 27,
the Rehabilitation Committee was notified by the Corporation that all
the sections except Section II would close by the end of September. As
the section offices closed, members of the paid and voluntary staffs
were drawn into the work of the central office, the paid workers to
continue as investigators or clerks, the members of the district
committees to serve as an auxiliary committee to the Rehabilitation
Committee for the review of cases. These were steps preliminary to a
centralizing of the work. On October 11, when the chairman presented his
plan for a division of the Rehabilitation Committee into sub-committees,
18,196 applications altogether had been passed upon. At close of
business, October 11, 1906, the bookkeeper of the Committee had handled
these 18,196 cases and had paid out on them $842,076.21.

The plan for the centralized system was presented by a sub-committee
consisting of the chairman and the superintendent, who was the secretary
of the Associated Charities and responsible for the issuing of
instructions to the district workers. It was to create six
sub-committees. The Rehabilitation Committee was to be drawn on to
provide a chairman for each and the former section committees to provide
the membership. The numbers of the sub-committees and their respective
fields of work were as follows:


  I.             Temporary Aid and Transportation.
  II.            Relief of Aged and Infirm, Unsupported Children, and
                 Friendless Girls.
  III.           Relief of Unsupported or Partially Supported Families.
  IV.            Occupations for Women and Confidential Cases.
  V.             Housing and Shelter.
  VI.            Business Rehabilitation.
  VII.           Furniture Grants to heads of families employed but
                 unable to furnish their homes.
  VIII.          Relief in Deferred and Neglected Cases.

Committee VII was formed on January 16, 1907; Committee VIII on November
17, 1906. Each was considered as a sub-committee of the older
sub-committees. Two of the six secretaries already appointed served the
new committees. It may be noted here that five of these six secretaries
had had previous experience in charity organization work.

The following members[118] of the Rehabilitation Committee were
appointed chairmen of the respective sub-committees:


  I.             O. K. Cushing
  II.            Dr. John Gallwey
  III.           Archdeacon J. A. Emery[119]
  IV.            Archdeacon J. A. Emery
  V.             Rev. D. O. Crowley
  VI.            C. F. Leege

  [118] Two of these served as chairmen of Committees VII and VIII.

  [119] Succeeded by A. Haas.

The methods of investigation under the new system were the same as under
the old, but the change involved radical differences in treatment. It is
generally acknowledged that the district system was the only one
practicable in the early days, when transportation facilities were so
limited. The physical difficulties that would have been involved in
attempting to make an investigation from one center was not the only, if
indeed the most important factor that led social leaders to determine
upon the district plan. The primary reason was that the seven civil
sections were known to the people when they wished to follow their early
applications for clothing and other emergent needs by applications for
rehabilitation. The social investigation was made to fit the civil
section plan, which was based upon the theory that by working from
district centers it was possible to gain more accurate knowledge of the
actual needs of families and to have such brought more quickly to the
attention of the workers and be followed more surely by helpful
recommendations than would be the case if need were relieved and
recommendations made by one or several central committees. In short, it
was believed that the district plan of the larger charity organization
societies could be well adapted to the rehabilitation work and would
give it greater firmness, accuracy, and swiftness of action. As it
turned out, however, under the district plan the hoped-for swiftness of
action was not achieved, which was one of the reasons for the change to
the centralized system. After the change the average period of time
lapsing between application and grant was considerably reduced; however,
this is partly to be accounted for by the fact that after October, 1906,
the Rehabilitation Committee acted more rigorously on the policy adopted
August 20 to limit the number of applications received.

During the first five months of the great relief work the most destitute
had made application. This fact, and the further fact that prompt action
was made possible through the creation of the Bureau of Special Relief,
justified in a measure the change to the centralized system. The
advantages of the centralized system as developed in San Francisco may
be said to be that under it the attention of a group of workers was
confined to the consideration of a specific class of grants. Such
limitations brought expertness and a surer standardizing of the grants
within a class. The disadvantage is that with the gain in expertness
came a loss in general appreciation of the need of the individual case.
The individual members of the Rehabilitation Committee worked separately
as chairmen of the sub-committees. They were brought much less to
consider in common the reason for approving or refusing to approve the
grants called for by the several section committees. In the earlier
period some of the members in daily conference performed this important
duty. Members of the Committee themselves believed that they lost
something of the broad view of the situation and the correlation between
grants when each came to have his own particular field of activity.
Although they developed as specialists, they were bound by no strong
unifying force.

Some of the members, and other persons experienced in the work, consider
the division of cases to have been a weakness that should be reckoned
with by those who may deal with similar problems in the future.
Important questions of policy were of course discussed at meetings of
the Rehabilitation Committee, which in the busy season were called twice
a week; but after all, it was general questions of policy, not
individual cases, which were then considered. The important thing was
for the Committee to have on any given day a knowledge of just how the
grants in each department ran; to learn by a comparative survey whether,
in view of the total sum of money which the Committee expected to
handle, the amounts being granted by the different departments, case by
case, ordinary case after ordinary case, were too small or too large.

Another weakness of the centralized system, and a serious one, was that
it necessitated the crossing of each other’s paths by the various
sub-committees. It was to be expected that by no imaginable
classification of applications short of an arbitrary division along
geographical lines, could confusion be avoided. As all charity
organization workers know, an application for a specific form of aid may
upon investigation indicate that a totally different form of relief is
required. In the first two months, under the centralized system, there
was much referring of applications from committee to committee, as new
or changed needs were revealed; but in December, to prevent delays, it
was decided that the committee to whom an application was first
assigned should see it through to the end, no matter what form of
rehabilitation was found to be required.

Considering the blurring of hard and fast lines that this decision
entailed, together with the crossing of paths incident to the division
of work, it is not surprising that the development of group specialists
was by no means as complete as was anticipated. The sub-committees found
it impossible to keep to the spheres of work outlined. There was,
however, considerable variation in treatment by the different
sub-committees. In the nature of the case, the first four committees had
largely to do with applications for “general relief” and hence of
necessity crossed paths more than the remaining committees. Among the
different fields of activity, housing stands distinctive as being the
most highly specialized. On the other hand, business rehabilitation and
general relief were so generally cared for by the first four committees
that all of them might well claim joint tenancy of these fields.

During October the policy had been adopted of making no further grants
to able-bodied single people,[120] to heads of families capable of
supporting those dependent on them, or to applicants to start in a
business that called for a special license or that had to be put under
special police supervision. This last exception was made to prohibit
grants for saloons. On October 12, the Rehabilitation Committee learned
officially that business rehabilitation might be resumed, as the New
York Chamber of Commerce on October 2 had resolved to transfer $500,000
to the Corporation, with the proviso that the money be used for “the
rehabilitation of those sufferers who by reason of the disaster have
been deprived of the use of stocks or goods, utensils, tools, implements
of labor, etc., and thus to help them to establish themselves in their
professions or trades.”

  [120] A reiteration of former policy.

[Illustration: Barber shop and shack constructed of boxes

A drinking place


The question of who should be responsible for making final decisions as
to grants was reopened in the beginning of the period of centralization,
and on November 1 it was finally determined that emergency cases that
involved an expenditure of less than $50 might be approved by the
chairman, or in his absence, by the vice-chairman of a sub-committee,
provided the action were reported by the vice-chairman to the
chairman if the former had acted in the absence of his superior; that
grants for amounts under $500 might be approved by the chairman of a
sub-committee; and that grants for amounts of $500 or more must be
approved by at least two members of the Rehabilitation Committee or by
the chairman and two members of a sub-committee, provided in the latter
case the action was reported to and entered on the minutes of the
meetings of the Rehabilitation Committee. The last restriction led to
frequent drawing of checks to the amount of $499. Later the Committee
made special provision for the granting of money for loans[121] so as
not to embarrass the work of its sub-committee on housing.

  [121] The sub-committees could at their discretion make loans instead
  of grants, where there was strong likelihood of repayment. Loans had
  been made since the beginning of the work, but for some time prior to
  November had been discouraged.

The fourth period of the rehabilitation work, November 4, 1906, to April
8, 1907,[122] was marked by fluctuation, the tide of applications
sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing. When the six
sub-committees were organized it was assumed that a normal family with
one or more able-bodied breadwinners should not then be in need of
assistance in furniture and other household goods. Labor of all kinds
was in great demand and there was no reason why families should not
themselves secure for cash or credit sufficient furniture to start
housekeeping. No provision[123] was made, therefore, for grants of
furniture or other household goods except as called for by the working
of Sub-committees I, II, and III. As soon, however, as the new
committees got under way, there was considerable discussion as to the
need of some committee to act on applications from heads of families for
furniture. It was decided, early in November, to receive applications
from heads of families who were steadily employed but who were not
earning enough to furnish their homes except by incurring a burdensome
debt. This action was rescinded later because there was no machinery
for receiving such applications and because there were other forms of
application that indicated a greater need. Not until January 16, 1907,
was provision made to receive applications for so-called “special
furniture grants,” which were passed on by the chairmen of two of the
original sub-committees. On January 17, notice that applications for aid
in refurnishing homes would be received was given in the San Francisco

  [122] See Part II, p. 111.

  [123] _Late Committee decisions.--December 5, 1906._ That in making
  applications to reopen a case, except on account of sickness, the
  applicant should be required to explain in writing the reason for his

  _January 24, 1907._ That grants as a rule should not be made for
  funeral expenses. When in exceptional instances such grants were made
  they should be limited as far as possible.



  Applications will be received from families who are self-supporting
  and who have suffered material loss from the disaster. The income and
  present resources must be insufficient to enable the family to get
  necessary household furniture within a reasonable time without
  incurring burdensome debt. No application under this head will be
  received from anyone to whom the committee has already made a grant.

  and Geary streets. Mark envelope “Furniture Application.” NO

During this fourth period it became apparent that future applicants must
be made to realize that what they were asking for was ordinary relief.
On February 13, 1907, therefore, the superintendent, who it must be
borne in mind was also secretary of the Associated Charities,[125] was
authorized to put the work in the application bureau on a relief basis.
A circular was issued which stated that no application would be received
except on a purely relief basis; that is, applications would be received
only from families placed unavoidably in a position where they could not
support themselves and whose need would be met in ordinary times through
one of the regular charitable organizations.

  [125] See Part II, p. 124.

As a further result of the mid-winter resolution the scope of the relief
work was narrowed still more definitely. Three reasons given for a
limitation of scope were:

1. That there was less than $2,000,000 in the funds, a large part of
which would be called for by the applications for housing and other
relief already under consideration.

2. That a considerable amount of money would have to be reserved to meet
the expenses incurred by the other departments and bureaus, which
included medicines for the use of the patients in the hospitals and in
homes for the aged.

3. That the then prosperous condition of San Francisco precluded any
legitimate need for further general relief distribution. The essential
points, to repeat in part what has already been written, in a notice
that was issued for the use of the sub-committees and employes, were:

  1. _Emergency cases._ New applications involving urgent need for
  relief in kind should be referred direct to the Bureau of Special
  Relief. Applications on file requiring an immediate money grant should
  be referred to a sub-committee consisting of the chairmen of
  Sub-committees I, IV, and VI. Applications for emergency checks should
  be made in writing by the chairman of the committee in which the
  application was filed.

  2. _Necessity for economy._ Close economy should be urged on the
  ground that there would be no money to expend in excess of the amounts
  actually required.

  3. _Standards for adjusting special furniture grants._ No grants
  should be made unless it were evident that it would be difficult for
  the family to secure furniture within a reasonable time without
  incurring heavy debt.

  4. _Standards for adjusting grants in Sub-committees I, II, and III._
  All applications should be considered on a strictly relief basis; no
  grant should be made unless it would enable a family to become

  5. _Payments in ordinary cases should be temporarily suspended._ No
  further checks should be issued except in emergency cases until all
  the sub-committees had passed on all the pending cases. Applications
  should be tabulated and final decision reached as to what action
  should be recommended.

The fact that the Rehabilitation Committee had entered upon the fifth
and last period of its work is sharply marked by the discharge on April
4, 1907, of all sub-committees, except Committee V, the important
housing committee. The fifth period is also marked by the fact that it
coincides with the ending of the first year after the disaster, and that
it properly inaugurates the definite establishment of the work on a
purely relief basis.[126]

  [126] See Part V, Relief Work of the Associated Charities, p. 279 ff.

From the beginning of April, 1907, to the end of July, action was taken
in a fairly large number of cases. The Rehabilitation Committee returned
to the practice in vogue before November, 1906, of considering such
current applications as did not naturally go to either the housing or
the confidential committee. By May, 1907, the number of cases to be
daily disposed of had fallen from 200 to 25, and the average number of
daily applications had decreased to a marked extent. The steady drop in
the number of applications meant to the Committee that its work had
reached the stage when it could be undertaken wholly by the Associated

The Associated Charities, as well as other San Francisco charitable
agencies, was financially crippled because the fire had affected more
seriously the class that ordinarily contributes to charitable societies
than any other class in the community. The general subject of grants to
institutions or societies not dealing with families in their homes is
considered in a separate section, but the subject of grants to the
Associated Charities fitly belongs in this chapter because to it fell
the work that so far had been done directly by the Rehabilitation
Committee with the steady co-operation of the Associated Charities’
force of paid and volunteer workers. The mass of the population was on a
fairly satisfactory economic basis, but it was wellknown that for some
time to come the charity work of the city would be very heavy.

On May 18, 1907, a decision was reached by the Rehabilitation Committee
which was the fruition of much anxious discussion. Its conclusions were
that as $186,850 remained of the sum of $500,000 which as originally
planned was to be used to re-establish the charitable organizations in
the city, $145,000 of this amount, in accordance with the recommendation
made by the charity advisory committee, should be entrusted to the
Rehabilitation Committee to be allotted by it to certain of the
charitable and benevolent organizations.[127] The Associated Charities
was asked to invite a conference of representatives of the St. Vincent
de Paul Society, the German Benevolent Society, and the Hebrew Board of
Relief, formally to present to the Rehabilitation Committee a practical
plan for the administration of the general relief work of the city. On
May 30, 1907, the Rehabilitation Committee was notified by the president
of the Associated Charities that the office staff of the society was to
be withdrawn from the service of the Rehabilitation Committee. The
proposal to withdraw was approved but the society was asked to leave
the date of withdrawal open until definite plans for future relief work
could be perfected.

  [127] See The Rehabilitation of Institutions, Part II, p. 141 ff.


June 30, 1907, marks the close of the fifth period, when the withdrawal
actually took effect. On July 18, 1907, the Corporation made an
appropriation of $5,000 to the Associated Charities for the month of
July, 1907, to be expended under the direction of the Rehabilitation
Committee, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The cost of administration should not exceed $1,000 a month.

  2. The following classes of persons should be assisted to remove their
  cottages from the camps:

  (a) Women who were supporting families.

  (b) Families in which there had been severe illness or in which the
  breadwinner on account of some infirmity was unable to provide a home
  but was able to maintain one.

  3. The grant to an individual case should not exceed $150 and
  ordinarily should not be more than $100.

  4. The Rehabilitation Committee should refer all new applications to
  the Associated Charities; the Associated Charities at its discretion
  should refer back to the Committee for action such cases as were not
  included in the above classification.

  5. The Associated Charities should nominate a committee representative
  of the principal charitable organizations of the city to pass upon
  applications for assistance in housing rehabilitation.

  6. Monthly statements should be made of the assistance granted.

As the Bureau of Special Relief had closed its work June 15, 1907, the
Associated Charities assumed entire control of the relief work.

Before the end of July the Associated Charities had organized a
committee, called for by section 5 of the above requirements, on which
were representatives from its own society, the St. Vincent de Paul
Society, the German General Benevolent Society, the Hebrew Board of
Relief, and the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Association. At the same
time a form letter was issued by the Rehabilitation Committee which
notified applicants that they must apply directly to the Associated

The appropriations varied from month to month, but the plan as a whole
remained for one year practically unchanged. There was, however, one
concession: the Associated Charities was permitted in a limited number
of cases to draw on the appropriation for aid to families that had not
been burned out, but in which there was severe illness or an
incapacitated breadwinner.

When on July 1, 1908, the Bureau of Hospitals closed its work, the work
of the Associated Charities was further enlarged by the carrying into
effect of the following suggestions by Miss Felton, the general
secretary of the Associated Charities:

  “In regard to the care of the sick, I respectfully suggest the
  following plan:

  “That for the month of July no appropriation for the hospital work be
  made in advance, but that the bills presented at the end of the month,
  after being approved, be paid from the Relief Funds. By the first of
  August the number of patients in the hospitals will be very materially
  reduced, and I think that a grant of $1,500 per month will carry the
  hospital work. This would allow us 30 patients at an average cost of
  $50. By placing all our children in the Children’s Hospital at the
  rate of $25 per month and many of our maternity cases in the Lying-in
  Hospital at the rate of $7.00 per week, and by taking advantage of the
  sanitariums for some of our cases in a more or less convalescent
  state, we can easily bring the cost down to $50 per patient. I think
  it would be advisable not to restrict the grant to the care of
  patients in the hospitals, but to make it for the care of the sick
  outside of their homes. This would enable us to economize in many
  cases by boarding out, in private families, convalescents who might
  thus be cared for at a lower rate than in the hospitals. This applies
  especially to babies and little children. We can also make use of Miss
  de Turbeville’s and Miss Ashe’s Home in appropriate cases, I think, at
  a rate of $15 per month.

  “I figure that a grant of $4,500 per month will carry the hospital
  work, relief in the form of groceries and medicines, the special money
  grants under $50, and the administration expenses of our offices. Mr.
  Bogart and I have gone over the expenses very carefully and have
  materially reduced them wherever we thought it was possible. We think
  this is the lowest estimate on which we can carry the work on anything
  like an adequate basis.

  “Our administration expenses should not be considered as simply the
  expenses of distributing a certain relief fund, because now that we
  are working under Associated Charities methods, we are expending a
  great deal of time in actual service for the poor, in trying to secure
  employment and planning to make them self-supporting, thus reducing
  the necessity for relief. Work of this sort, of course, requires a
  great deal more time on the individual case than where the question to
  be considered is simply the granting or withholding of a sum of money.

  “To administer the hospital work in the most economical manner
  involves a considerable amount of work to the office force, as it
  means planning for patients who are ready to leave the hospital and
  who often have no place to go or no proper accommodations. We have
  reduced the force since the cutting down of the housing work, and I
  think that everyone here is working to the utmost limit.

  “I respectfully suggest that a monthly appropriation of $4,500 be made
  to the Associated Charities for its work, to be expended as follows:

  Hospital work           $1,500
  Unemployed                 200
  Material relief          1,500
  Administration expenses  1,300”


Whether the weaknesses of the centralized system as revealed by the San
Francisco Relief Survey are inherent can be determined only by future
experiment, for there is no way of measuring the relative value of the
two systems described in this chapter.

It should be borne in mind, however, that under the district system
there was severe criticism of the delay in making grants. The suggestion
is offered that whenever a centralized system is desirable, a practical
scheme of administration is to organize sub-committees by geographical
sections while general control is retained by the central office.

By way of summary, it may be said that the district system was a natural
development. It took shape when the army was in control and knew that
only by the division of the city into sections could the vast problem be
managed. When the social worker took hold the district system was ready
to hand and was availed of to bring into working relation a quickly
collected force of trained and untried investigators and advisers. When
the relief work came more definitely under the control of the business
man, who chafed under criticism, there was a sharp reversal of method. A
trade experience that had proved the value of departmental division led
naturally to a recasting of the relief work on a departmental basis.




Upon one vital question of policy the experience of the San Francisco
Rehabilitation Committee repeated the experience of the special relief
committee of the Chicago fire. Upon no other point is the evidence of
the relief work, following each of the fires, as clear as it is on the
question here considered of the establishment of the right relation with
local charitable agencies.

In the report of the special relief committee of the Chicago fire[128]
the following paragraph occurs:

  “In the earlier portion of its work the Committee relied entirely upon
  the certificates of the pastors of churches and authorized officers of
  organized benevolent associations, for the evidence that the
  applicant’s condition and needs had been duly investigated, and for a
  correct statement of the kind and amount of relief required. To
  facilitate such investigations, suitable blanks were prepared,
  containing appropriate inquiries regarding the applicant’s property,
  circumstances, losses, and present condition. Experience soon
  demonstrated that we could not rely with sufficient confidence upon
  this method of investigation as affording reliable evidence of the
  nature and amount of the applicant’s needs; and, subsequently, the
  course was adopted of sending all applications which were suitably
  recommended to the district in which the applicant resided, for the
  case to be personally investigated and reported upon in writing by one
  of the official visitors in the employ of the Society.”

  [128] See Report of the Chicago Relief and Aid Society of
  Disbursements to Contributors, p. 197.

It appears from the review of the original plans of the Rehabilitation
Committee, that the error made by the Chicago Committee of accepting
recommendations in place of making investigations was avoided. The
Rehabilitation Committee, as the reader knows,[129] had from the
beginning its own staff of paid workers, whose reports and work it could
control. But early in July, 1906, considerable pressure was brought upon
the Committee to change its methods so that the regular relief societies
of the city might upon presenting their cases, with recommendations,
have these considered by the Rehabilitation Committee without their
having to be subject to investigation by the section forces. Members of
the Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds urged concessions,
and concessions were finally made. On July 12, 1906, the United Irish
Societies objected to the treatment that the Rehabilitation Committee
had advised for some of the families recommended by them. Their
representatives were present at a meeting of the Rehabilitation
Committee and urged that they be granted the privilege of having their
recommendations considered as though they came from the section
committees. At that time the Rehabilitation Committee told the
representatives that as a trustee of the funds its duty was to gain
information about cases through the special channels of information it
had provided, and that all reputable organizations would be notified to
refer cases to it with recommendations; that it would follow these
recommendations or not as it saw fit. The Rehabilitation Committee found
that it could hold this position for but a few weeks, because of the
influence brought to bear not directly but through members of the
Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds. On July 28, 1906,
therefore, a resolution was passed that any charitable organization
approved by the Finance Committee might present directly to the
Rehabilitation Committee the results of its investigations, with
recommendations, and that these would be passed on directly without
further investigation.

  [129] See Part I, p. 14.

The United Irish Societies was given this privilege, on probation, for a
period of two weeks from July 28, 1906. On July 31, 1906, the privilege
was extended to the German General Benevolent Society, and on August 6,
1906, to the Conference of St. Vincent de Paul and the Italian Relief

To say that the results were unsatisfactory is but to voice the
unanimous sentiment of the then created Corporation and of the
responsible workers in the Rehabilitation Committee office. The paid and
voluntary workers of the Associated Charities had, under the
instructions given them by the section agents and the Rehabilitation
Committee, developed certain standards of investigation. Weak as these
standards may have been in certain particulars, still they were
standards. The visitors were getting, at the least, a coherent account
of the condition of each family and were securing, in the main, such
data as enabled the Committee to act intelligently. It is true that in a
great many cases there was no time to corroborate the statements of
applicants, but some picture of the family was presented and some plan
that bore on its face a promise of success. The records that came from
the so-called auxiliary societies were generally bare and fragmentary.
The cards were not filled out and in some cases almost the only thing
that the Committee got was the simple recommendation,--so much money for
this purpose or for that. Paucity of facts particularly marked the
recommendations of the United Irish Societies. A further characteristic
was, that because of a lack of understanding of the rough-and-ready
standards that had been set, the recommendations called for a higher
scale of expenditure than the Committee could possibly approach. For
instance, their recommendations for furniture rehabilitation ran from
$300 to $500, while the cases presented by the sections ran from $100 to
$300. A great many cards had to be returned to the auxiliary societies
for reconsideration and additional information.

The claim had been that to receive recommendations directly from these
relief societies would be to facilitate the work of the Rehabilitation
Committee; instead, the work was hindered. Many applications had to be
twice considered, and many were duplications. Some families were in the
habit of applying at every place that would receive applications, a
difficulty that developed through application by the same persons at the
central office and at one or more section offices. Duplications
increased when applications were received at the relief societies’

As soon as the first returns showed that the records were
unsatisfactory, the Rehabilitation Committee had the superintendent
prepare a circular entitled “Requirements for Satisfactory
Investigations for the Rehabilitation Committee.” The representatives
of the different societies were then called together informally to
discuss the circular. Extracts from it are:

  “Present and past earnings of breadwinners in the family are also
  necessary to judge fairly as to present conditions. The same may be
  said regarding occupation and physical condition.”

  “The same detailed statement is required under the head of Resources.
  It often happens that without any deception an applicant does not
  think of some resource which is available.”

  “A request upon the card for information as to what the breadwinners
  are now doing, in addition to the request upon the card for present
  earnings, is for the purpose of ascertaining whether the breadwinners
  are back in their original occupations or are doing the best they can
  in any occupations in which they could fit.”

But the time was fast approaching when the Rehabilitation Committee
should be held in the dark as to the extent of its resources. With the
general suspension of applications on August 20, 1906, came an end to
the very unsatisfactory arrangement with the auxiliary societies. After
that time applications were received from auxiliary societies, but they
were treated the same as were applications from any other source.

It is well to examine a little the records of the work of the auxiliary
societies. Taking the one that worked the longest, the United Irish
Societies, we find 1,046 applications received directly from it. Of this
number 582 were duplications of applications already received through
the regular channels. The net result for the 582 was probably delay
rather than speed. Grants to the number of 858 were made for a sum of
$121,742.91, an average grant in round numbers of $142 to a person. The
average Rehabilitation Committee grant to May 27, 1907, had been $109.44
to a person. To make a more illuminating comparison: Most of the United
Irish Societies’ applications were for household rehabilitation. The
average grant of the Rehabilitation Committee for such purposes to May
30, 1907, had been $105.77. An interpretation put on the discrepancy in
the amount of grants is, that as the recommendations from the societies
were so disproportionately large they could not be brought, even after
scaling down, to the common standard set by the rehabilitation workers.
Certain personal elements also tended to create friction; but there is
no reason to go into this aspect of the matter simply because the
definitive stand taken by the Committee was, that as the responsible
distributors of the funds they and their agents alone should make
investigations. This important work could not be delegated and the fact
was finally accepted that the work of investigation, to be well done,
must be done by a salaried force. This point is one, as was said before,
on which there was emphatic agreement on the part of all the members of
the Committee.

An instance should be noted of work done satisfactorily with a relief
society. Immediately after the calamity the possibility arose that the
associations of Jewish Charities in the large cities of the country
would send their contributions to San Francisco for the Jewish committee
to use as a separate relief fund. Instead, however, of attempting to
organize a special relief fund, the Jewish committee, upon earnest
request, agreed to do its work through the Rehabilitation Committee. The
Jewish committee later was merged into the Hebrew Board of Relief, whose
work was most efficiently done. This Board was never officially called
an auxiliary society, but from the start it made recommendations
directly to the Rehabilitation Committee. Its reports were based upon a
real knowledge of families, and in a large majority of cases these
recommendations were acted upon directly without a supplementary

In times of emergency it will doubtless often be expedient to make a
similar arrangement. Such separation or division of work is very
different from leaving to a group of auxiliary societies the
responsibility of making investigations and determining treatment. So
far as the San Francisco experience is concerned such delegation may be
set down as a failure.


The question of the rehabilitation of institutions was considered at one
time and another by the Rehabilitation Committee by request of Mr.
Dohrmann, chairman of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation. Not
until December, 1906, however, were any definite steps taken in this
field. The responsibility for making grants rested logically upon the
chairman of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation. Early in
September Mr. Dohrmann, after consultation with various persons,
appointed an advisory committee on charitable institutions which was to
make recommendations to him which he in turn would submit for final
approval to the Executive Committee of the Corporation. Thirteen persons
were chosen to form the committee, with the end in view of giving due
representation to every phase of the philanthropic life of the
community. In meeting with the new committee Mr. Dohrmann presented a
letter of explanation, the salient points of which were:

  1. That he as chairman of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation
  had power solely to make to the Executive Committee of the Corporation
  recommendations of grants to institutions.

  2. That he wished the advisory committee on charitable institutions to
  take into account the losses, the wants, and the incomes of the
  individual societies or institutions and to lay down principles of
  action before recommending any grants.

  3. That he particularly commended to their attention, however, the
  societies that would be obliged to take up the work of relief when the
  Corporation itself suspended such work.

  4. That the advisory committee should act on the assumption that only
  $250,000 would be available for its work; though a larger amount might
  be set aside for rehabilitating institutions when the Corporation
  received further funds from the Eastern committees.

  5. That before the incorporation, grants had been made to a few
  institutions by direct action of the Finance Committee of Relief and
  Red Cross Funds.

  6. That he would turn over to the advisory committee the information
  he had received regarding such institutions.

The grants mentioned under (5) had been made “under pressure of unusual
circumstances and without that calm and careful consideration which in
my opinion should precede such action.” He urged that these grants be
taken into account before recommendations for an additional
appropriation to a society were made.

The suggestion was made that personal visits to the institutions
applying would be advisable. The committee was asked to visit at its
own discretion. At the subsequent meeting, held September 14, the
following resolutions were adopted:

  1. That aid be given, in preference, to the institutions that were
  most directly assisting the work of the Corporation; namely, such as
  were caring for the sick, the aged, and helpless children, and were
  helping individuals and families to become self-supporting.

  2. That institutions that had been destroyed by the disaster should
  not be re-established if in the judgment of the advisory committee
  other institutions of like character existed to do the work.

  3. That no institution receiving state aid should be recommended.

The committee also informally agreed with Mr. Dohrmann’s suggestion that
in recommending an institution for a grant, consideration should be
given to the amount that it had already received from any special or
general relief fund. At this September meeting a number of
sub-committees were appointed to make investigations of the institutions
applying for grants. A number of applications, as has already been
noted, were on file. After careful consideration and consultation with
Mr. Dohrmann the committee abandoned the plan of publishing in the
newspapers a notice describing its work.

In visiting institutions the committee presented the following letter:

  “The bearer is a member of a committee investigating the condition of
  the charitable and benevolent institutions of our city with a view to
  ascertaining the losses occasioned by the earthquake and fire and the
  present pressing needs. It is hoped that out of the general relief
  fund something may be done toward helping the most needy institutions
  to carry on their work. Will you kindly give the bearer permission to
  investigate your institution and give any needed information? It is
  understood that this committee is merely advisory and is trying to
  ascertain the immediate needs so that if funds become available the
  most needy institutions will be assisted.”

Without following the members of the advisory committee on their round
of visits, we shall give the gist of their report to Mr. Dohrmann, which
is largely a reflection of the recommendations in his September letter.
In this report, dated November 7, 1906, the committee stated that in
recommending the allotment of the whole sum of $250,000 to the
institutions whose needs and present importance were most apparent, it
had agreed on certain principles, the most important of which were:

  1. To base an allotment on the apparent impairment of income for the
  calendar year 1907, and on the loss by fire or earthquake of necessary
  equipment; and further, to make the sum such as would cover the needs
  of the institutions for one year only.

  2. To make agreement with each institution that any money not used for
  forwarding its work be returned to the Rehabilitation Committee.

  3. To prefer the institutions that were most directly assisting in the
  work of the Rehabilitation Committee.

  4. To favor those institutions which kept satisfactory accounts and
  kept them in such shape that they might be produced on demand.

The committee selected one year as the basis of time to be covered by
grants, but stated as its opinion that most of the institutions would
need assistance for a longer period of time. It expressed the hope that
a further sum of money would later be set aside to be divided among them
in the proportion of the first allotment. The recommendation was that
payment be made immediately, except to the institutions that had
received grants from the Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross
Funds, this latter class to be aided as soon as feasible.

The institutions aided, all of which had made application before October
10, are only a portion of those that in the judgment of the advisory
committee needed assistance. The others, it was hoped, might later be
given aid.

The cautious chairman of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation,
after getting advice from the outside, tested the recommendations by the
following questions:

  1. Does the list include all classes of charities that should be

  2. Does the list include all institutions and societies of each class
  that should be included?

  3. Are the grants in proportion to the amount and value of the work

  4. Are there institutions that should be omitted from this list

  (a) because they have been subjected to severe criticism that has
  never been fully met;

  (b) because they are not charities but run in the interest of

  (c) because at this time they are of doubtful value?

  5. Should some of the institutions included in this list be given
  grants only under certain conditions, to be expended under

The usefulness of this report of the advisory committee in relation to
other public calamities would not be increased by a reviewing of its
points and suggested issues, nor could the facts which led to the
refusals be given in detail, as much of the information obtained was of
a confidential character. It is well to indicate the reasons that in
some cases led to refusals, without mentioning the particular societies.
Up to May 11, 1907, 16 institutions had been refused aid on the grounds
shown in Table 30.[130]

  [130] For list of societies aided and classified recapitulation of
  grants, see Appendix I, p. 405.

MAY 11, 1907

  Reasons for refusal                                 |Societies refused
  Not a charitable organization                       |        7
  Religious organization solely                       |        4
  Not a local organization                            |        2
  Not approved by Charities Endorsement Committee[131]|        2
  Grant already received                              |        1
      Total                                           |       16

  [131] A local committee created before April, 1906. See Part V,
  p. 283.


One of the plain lessons of the San Francisco experience is that any
rehabilitation work should have as an adjunct a bureau to which may be
referred cases requiring immediate relief in kind.

If such a bureau had been organized on July 1, it might have made use of
the district force, the investigators sending recommendations directly
from the district offices to the bureau for immediate action. True, the
district offices did have small emergency funds placed in their hands by
the Associated Charities, which in turn was reimbursed by the
Rehabilitation Committee; but the expenditures from these funds were
necessarily very small and could not secure, for instance, the purchase
of sewing machines. A great deal of friction also would have been
avoided. The number of complaints would have been much smaller and there
would have been no interruption in the efficient progress of the
rehabilitation work itself.

When the Rehabilitation Committee early in July was in shape to enter on
the active second period of the rehabilitation work, there remained
certain shreds of the old emergency tasks. In Chapter I of this
part[132] an account is given of the effort made to adjust the work of
the camps and the sections after the withdrawal of food issues, when
there was felt to be a gap in organization.

  [132] See Part II, p. 111.

In order partially to meet this situation the Bureau of Special Relief
was organized on August 15 following the plan made by Mr. Bicknell, of
the Rehabilitation Committee, to handle applications for relief in kind,
in order that these need not be delayed and that the Committee might be
left free to deal with the larger problem of rehabilitation.

The Bureau, when it began its work on August 15, was prepared to give
prompt medical assistance, nursing, and aid in kind to applicants
throughout the city. Later in the month the Bureau was authorized to
issue orders in small lots for sewing machines, tools, and furniture.
The Bureau had no authority to make cash grants.

The central office was established on Gough and Geary Streets, in rooms
easily accessible on the ground floor, and here were quartered the
superintendent, his secretary, bookkeeper, stenographer, messengers, one
or two drivers, and two or three clerks, the number varying with the
volume of the work. During the greater part of the Bureau’s ten months
of service, two physicians,[133] two nurses, as well as from three to
seven investigators were visiting constantly for it. The original plan
was to have an investigator at each of the section offices, with one or
two in addition at the central office, to make visits at large.
Applications were sometimes received at the central office in person,
but the greater number came by mail or telephone direct from applicants
or from those who reported instances of need. The applications were
telephoned to the Bureau agent in whose district the case was located.
Within a few hours the family was visited and a report was telephoned to
the office. A Bureau clerk had meanwhile received a report from the
Rehabilitation Committee files as to whether any action had already been
taken on the case.

  [133] The two physicians who visited for the Bureau also served as
  agents for the Bureau of Hospitals to determine the eligibility of
  applicants for admission to the accredited hospitals. This
  co-operation made a separate medical staff unnecessary. An arrangement
  was made with two existing societies to care for maternity cases in
  their own homes. This service was given with no charge upon the relief
  fund except for certain medical supplies.

Many cases were reported by members of the section committees with the
idea that the Bureau would in the interim give care, the Rehabilitation
Committee, which of necessity worked more slowly, not being able quickly
to make disposition of a case. In this way the work of the Bureau
supplemented that of the Rehabilitation Committee and minimized the
danger of families suffering from unavoidable delays in the forming and
carrying out of a rehabilitation plan. The superintendent, with the
information before him, decided whether to give or withhold aid. If aid
were to be granted, definite orders for relief were immediately
telephoned to merchants with whom arrangements had been previously made.
The orders were later confirmed by letter. The aid given by the Bureau
of Special Relief finally covered shelter, food (rations or restaurant
meals), clothing, furniture, tools, sewing machines, and medical aid of
all sorts including special appliances, dentistry in emergency need,
and, upon a physician’s prescription, special diet.

A visitor called on each family in her charge at least once a week. On a
stated day each week she sent in a report which covered all families
under her care, and which stated whether the help given in groceries,
meat, or milk, should be continued one week longer, with an estimate of
how long in each case relief would be necessary. When a family seemed
likely to require rations indefinitely, it was until October transferred
to Camp 6 and after that date to Ingleside camp, as the Bureau did not
provide assistance indefinitely. After the middle of January, 1907, all
orders were issued for two weeks so as to lessen the required visits to
each family to one in two weeks. Orders for food and merchandise were
placed with merchants located as closely as possible to the residences
of applicants, and grocers were held to a high standard of service, both
as to quality and quantity of goods and as to promptness of delivery.
Special tests were set from time to time to see that the order system
worked as planned. In the case of clothing orders the Bureau agent
usually went with the applicant to help make selection of clothing.


              Period          |  Amount
  1906  August 15 to August 31| $1,294.10
        September             |  3,860.45
        October               |  4,632.00
        November              |  6,160.32
        December              |  9,210.66
  1907  January               | 11,284.13
        February              |  8,940.47
        March                 |  4,320.72
        April                 |  2,936.06
        May                   |  2,668.34
        June                  |  1,249.88
      Total                   |$56,557.13


         Purpose of expenditure        |    EXPENDITURE
                                       |  Amount  |Per cent
  Administration (including salaries of|          |
  physicians and nurses)               |$15,720.70|  27.8
  Supplies                             | 40,836.43|  72.2
      Total                            |$56,557.13| 100.0

Certain items subsequently charged to the Bureau bring the total to

  [134] $58,421.35 is the total expenditure of the Bureau of Special
  Relief, given in the Sixth Annual Report of the American National Red
  Cross, pages 87 and 88. The cost of sewing machines granted by the
  Bureau is not included in these figures. All such machines were paid
  for by the Rehabilitation Committee out of its own funds.

As seen in Table 31 A the volume of work increased gradually from
August, 1906, to January, 1907, and then fell off steadily to June 15.

The Bureau of Special Relief was originally organized to deal only with
families living outside the permanent camps, but by degrees it became
necessary for it to render to residents of the camps such services as
the camp commanders and their staffs were unable to give. Upon direct
request from a camp commander, for instance, the Bureau would send
regular supplies to applicants who were unable to eat at the camp
kitchens, or would, when the camp supply was exhausted, or unsuitable,
supply clothes and such emergency household needs as stoves and
blankets. The camp department was able through its surgeon to give
certain kinds of medical aid. The specific responsibility of the camps
was to administer them so as to give suitable housing and discipline to
their complex population. It was well that the Department of Camps was
able to call on such an organization as the Bureau to supply the
miscellaneous needs which lay outside the routine provision of camp

As was said above, the Rehabilitation agents sometimes called on the
Bureau to give aid while cases were pending in their department. Soon
after its organization the Bureau took charge of requests for tools and
other articles, the Rehabilitation agents being instructed to refer
directly to it without investigation all such applications. When it was
soon found, however, that most of these uninvestigated cases were in
fact applications for rehabilitation, the order was reversed, so that a
later request received by the Department for aid in kind should be first
investigated by its agent and then referred to the Bureau through the
secretary of Sub-committee I.[135] In referring the case, a memorandum
was added, to state that it had been investigated and to specify the
amount and kind of aid to be given. After February 1, 1907, the Bureau
ceased to give tools and sewing machines except on the order of the
Rehabilitation Committee; if applications for these articles were made
by a camp resident, the approval of the camp commander had to be
obtained before the application could be forwarded to the Bureau. The
Bureau of Special Relief practically closed on June 15, 1907. A small
force was at work until June 21, 1907, when all outstanding appeals were

  [135] The centralized system, not the district system, being then in




The survey of the rehabilitation work of the San Francisco Relief and
Red Cross Funds had not gone far before the need of a tabulation of all
the case records became apparent. Many questions of policy and
administration were involved in accurately learning what the records
indicated. Of course, in many matters of detail the records could not
possibly give evidence necessary to reach absolute certainty. There
would necessarily be many questions whose answers must be got from those
who had had most experience in the work because they, the men, could
offer stronger evidence than could any record. To other questions,
however, it is plain, tabulation must give the final and convincing
answer. For instance, in connection with the periods of time elapsing
between application for and receipt of grants, the convincing evidence
is the dates on the records.

The light that they throw upon such a point is only a small part of what
the case records have to offer. Such data as the average size of the
grants, and not only the average size of all grants but of grants for
particular purposes,--these the enumeration furnishes. Then there are
the questions involved in reopening cases and in making second grants.
In short, it is believed that the returns obtained from the analysis of
every rehabilitation case record will serve not only as a register of
the rehabilitation work after the San Francisco fire, but as a post with
many signs for those who may be called upon to do a similar work in the
future,--not necessarily as the result of a catastrophe having like
magnitude but of one by which the destruction of a large portion of a
city, its residential and its business sections, is effected. Wherever a
public calamity brings such blight the lessons and returns of the San
Francisco rehabilitation work will be of value.

In making the study upon which the following tables are based, an
arbitrary but essentially true classification of grants is made. In each
record the grant involving the largest amount of money is considered the
principal grant; another grant, smaller in amount and given for a
different purpose, is called subsidiary. Thus, for instance, a family
receives $300 to put up a house and $100 for furniture or household
rehabilitation. The housing grant is principal, the household,
subsidiary. Analysis of principal and subsidiary grants has been made in
order to learn how often one form of rehabilitation was insufficient to
accomplish the desired end. The terms “principal” and “subsidiary,” it
will be noted, have no reference to priority of grants but simply to
amounts involved.


The table first presented shows the final disposition of all the
applications recorded.


     Disposal made of application    |Applications
                                     |disposed of
                                     |as specified
  Cases in which aid was allowed     |   20,241
  Cases in which aid was refused     |    2,909
  Cases closed without action        |    2,447
  Applications referred elsewhere    |      485
  Applications withdrawn by applicant|      439
  Applications cancelled             |      207
  Requisitions issued                |      199
  Relief given, but not in money     |      172
  Applications otherwise disposed of |
  without the granting of relief     |      236
      Total                          |   27,335

The cases “closed without action,” about 9 per cent of the whole,
include applications from other members of families assisted, from
persons later cared for in Ingleside Camp,[136] and from persons living
in camp with no definite plans, who later were granted cottages by the
Department of Camps and Warehouses and made no further application for

  [136] See Part VI, page 319 ff., for description of the work done at


       Nature of     | Cases in  |  Cases in |Cancela-|Requisi-| Total
      application    | which aid | which aid | tions  | tions  |
                     |was allowed|was refused|        |        |
  Household furniture|   9,064   |   1,274   |   43   |    2   |10,383
  Business           |           |           |        |        |
  rehabilitation     |   4,740   |     547   |   13   |   12   | 5,312
  General relief     |   3,635   |     581   |   68   |   12   | 4,296
  Housing            |   1,709   |     337   |   25   |  ...   | 2,071
  Transportation     |     809   |     ...   |   39   |  173   | 1,021
  Tools for mechanics|           |           |        |        |
  and artisans       |     284   |     170   |   19   |  ...   |   473
      Total          |  20,241   |   2,909   |  207   |  199   |23,556
      Per cent       |    86.0   |    12.3   |   .9   |   .8   | 100.0

  [137] The data relative to the nature of the applications are
  available only for grants, refusals, cancelations, and requisitions.


  Nature and disposal of  |    APPLICANTS WHOSE AGES WERE    |  Total
      application         |            AS SPECIFIED          |
                          |  Under |25 years |50 years| Not  |
                          |25 years|and under|and over|stated|
                          |        |50 years |        |      |
  Household furniture     |        |         |        |      |
    Grants                |   320  |   5,496 |  2,923 |  325 |  9,064
    Refusals              |    66  |     821 |    354 |   33 |  1,274
  Business rehabilitation |        |         |        |      |
    Grants                |   104  |   2,532 |  1,726 |  378 |  4,740
    Refusals              |    28  |     323 |    161 |   35 |    547
  General relief          |        |         |        |      |
    Grants                |   197  |   1,470 |  1,431 |  537 |  3,635
    Refusals              |    32  |     284 |    190 |   75 |    581
  Housing                 |        |         |        |      |
    Grants                |    47  |   1,027 |    426 |  209 |  1,709
    Refusals              |    10  |     181 |     97 |   49 |    337
  Transportation          |        |         |        |      |
    Grants                |    73  |     403 |    229 |  104 |    809
  Tools                   |        |         |        |      |
    Grants                |    33  |     137 |     92 |   22 |    284
    Refusals              |    20  |     102 |     28 |   20 |    170
      Total grants        |   774  |  11,065 |  6,827 | 1,575| 20,241
      Total refusals      |   156  |   1,711 |    830 |   212|  2,909
      Grand total         |   930  |  12,776 |  7,657 | 1,787| 23,150
      Per cent of refusals|  16.8  |    13.4 |   10.8 |  11.9|   12.6

  [138] The figures of this table relate only to applicants for money

The “applications referred elsewhere” include those referred to other
agencies, such as the Physicians’ Fund.[139] The fact that only between
1 and 2 per cent of the total applications were so referred shows that
the ordinary relief work of the city had to be carried by the

  [139] For mention of separate funds not administered by the
  Rehabilitation Committee, see Appendix I, p. 415.

The 1,709 housing grants referred to in Table 33 do not include the
grants of camp cottages, nor the $500 bonus grants.[140]

  [140] For full discussion of these grants see Part IV, Chaps. II and
  III, p. 221 ff.

The number of grants and refusals of each kind of aid is shown in
connection with the ages of applicants in Table 34. Whenever a family
was normal and its income at the time of application was sufficient to
meet daily needs a grant naturally was refused. The greater number of
refusals were made to families having male breadwinners in the prime of


   Nature of application |Married|Men--single,|Women--single,| Total
                         |Couples|  widowed,  |   widowed,   |
                         |       |deserted, or| deserted, or |
                         |       |  divorced  |   divorced   |
  Household furniture    | 7,072 |   259      |    3,007     |10,338
  Business rehabilitation| 1,863 |   571      |    2,853     | 5,287
  General relief         | 1,450 |   566      |    2,200     | 4,216
  Housing                | 1,555 |   116      |      375     | 2,046
  Transportation         |   385 |   233      |      364     |   982
  Tools                  |   212 |   239      |        3     |   454
      Total              |12,537 | 1,984      |    8,802     |23,323
      Per cent           |  53.8 |   8.5      |     37.7     | 100.0

  [141] In this table are included applicants who received money grants,
  applicants who were refused money grants, and 173 applicants who
  received orders for transportation.

Table 35 shows the domestic status of the applicants for the different
kinds of rehabilitation. Note the number of single or widowed women who
applied for business rehabilitation. Note, also, that though the
applications by married couples were but 53.8 per cent of the whole,
they made up three-fourths of the applications for housing.


  Condition                 |Applicants affected
  Applicants handicapped    |      10,157
  Applicants not handicapped|      12,993
      Total                 |      23,150
      Per cent handicapped  |        43.9


                     |    SPECIFIED HANDICAP
                     |    Number   |   Per cent
  Ill health         |     8,231   |     81.0
  Numerous dependents|       832   |      8.2
  Injury             |       582   |      5.7
  Death in family    |       432   |      4.3
  Intemperance       |        80   |      0.8
      Total          |    10,157   |    100.0

The caution must be given that the percentage of 81.0 of ill health is a
mere approximation. The return is unsatisfactory, because the records in
regard to this entry were particularly vague. Too much weight should not
be given to the mere handful of 80 cases in which intemperance was
recorded. Only the most flagrant cases which called for medical or
disciplinary treatment were so entered.

Consideration is given in Table 38 to the size of the families applying
and in Table 39 to the number of families that had children under


  Number of persons in family|FAMILIES OF EACH SPECIFIED
                             |     NUMBER OF PERSONS
                             |   Number   |   Per cent
  1                          |    4,768   |     20.9
  2                          |    5,759   |     25.2
  3                          |    4,368   |     19.1
  4                          |    3,262   |     14.3
  5                          |    2,105   |      9.2
  6                          |    1,223   |      5.3
  7                          |      658   |      2.9
  8                          |      381   |      1.7
  9                          |      194   |      0.8
  10 or over                 |      145   |      0.6
      Total                  |   22,863   |    100.0

  [142] The difference between the total of this table and the totals of
  preceding tables is due to a variation in the number of cases for
  which data are available.

The interesting fact brought out in Table 38 is that 79.5 per cent had
four or less in the family, and that 65.2 per cent had three or less.
The table includes the families not only of married and widowed persons
with minor children, but families in which there were adult children,
aged parents, and other relatives. It is given in order to show the
relative size of the family groups reached by rehabilitation.


  under fourteen in family|             OF CHILDREN
                          |      Number      |     Per cent
  1                       |      4,041       |       42.0
  2                       |      2,692       |       28.0
  3                       |      1,526       |       15.9
  4                       |        787       |        8.2
  5                       |        386       |        4.0
  6                       |        139       |        1.4
  7                       |         42       |        0.4
  8 or over               |         12       |        0.1
      Total               |      9,625       |      100.0

We find in Table 39 that 85.9 per cent had three or less children under
fourteen and 70 per cent had two or less. No particular significance
should be attached to the fact that 42 per cent had only one child under
the age specified, for the reason that the ages of the parents are not
given. The table shows that the families with which the Rehabilitation
Committee had to deal did not have a “quiverful” of children.


The grants made for purposes of rehabilitation have been classified as
principal and subsidiary. As was stated on page 152, the term
“principal” has been used to describe the largest grant made to an
applicant, “subsidiary” to describe a grant smaller in amount given to
the same applicant for a different purpose. It is evident from this
definition that the number of principal grants made equalled the total
number of applicants who received grants. Subsidiary grants were much
fewer in number than principal grants. Principal grants did not
necessarily come first in point of time. Indeed, three times out of four
they came last, because they followed the satisfying of a lesser
emergent need by their greater rehabilitating force. In compiling Tables
40, 41, and 42, successive grants of the same nature have been
considered as constituting one grant.

In Table 40 principal and subsidiary grants are classified according to
the nature of the rehabilitation given.


                         |Number |Per cent|Number | Per cent
  Household furniture    | 9,064 |   44.8 |   918 |   46.8
  Business rehabilitation| 4,740 |   23.4 |   176 |    9.0
  General relief         | 3,635 |   18.0 |   709 |   36.1
  Housing                | 1,709 |    8.4 |    25 |    1.3
  Transportation         |   809 |    4.0 |    42 |    2.1
  Tools                  |   284 |    1.4 |    92 |    4.7
      Total              |20,241 |  100.0 | 1,962 |  100.0

The next table shows the amounts disbursed in principal and in
subsidiary grants, according to the nature of the rehabilitation given.


     grant   +-------------+-----+-----------+-----+-------------+-----
             |    Amount   | Per |  Amount   | Per |   Amount    | Per
             |             |cent |           |cent |             |cent
  Household  |             |     |           |     |             |
  furniture  |$  937,641.99| 32.8|$ 80,347.98| 52.9|$1,017,989.97| 33.9
  Business   |             |     |           |     |             |
  rehabilita-|             |     |           |     |             |
  tion       |   860,934.80| 30.2|  11,502.40|  7.6|   872,437.20| 29.0
  General re-|             |     |           |     |             |
  lief       |   433,342.70| 15.2|  53,166.15| 35.0|   486,508.85| 16.2
  Housing    |   564,986.15| 19.8|   2,314.70|  1.5|   567,300.85| 18.9
  Transporta-|             |     |           |     |             |
  tion       |    47,181.07|  1.7|   1,735.70|  1.1|    48,916.77|  1.6
  Tools      |     9,792.35|   .3|   2,945.85|  1.9|    12,738.20|   .4
      Total  |$2,853,879.06|100.0|$152,012.78|100.0|$3,005,891.84|100.0

It should be mentioned in connection with these percentages, that kits
of tools for mechanics and artisans were distributed by the Los Angeles
Tool Fund in addition to the 376 cash grants for tools noted above; also
that the amount given for housing as stated in the table does not
include the camp cottages[143] given to camp families.

  [143] See Part I, p. 85 ff. and Part IV, p. 221 ff.

These two facts explain the comparatively low percentages for these two
forms of rehabilitation. The 15.2 per cent of principal grants given for
general relief indicates roughly the amount of relief work that had to
be done by the Rehabilitation Committee in connection with

Table 42 shows that under the title “Housing,” relief in sums of $500 or
more was granted to a larger number of persons than under any other
classification. The 450 families reached by these larger grants are 26
per cent of those aided to rebuild. With but 31 exceptions they received
no aid other than housing. Business rehabilitation stands next, but the
families reached under the second classification are scarcely more than
3 per cent of the number in the business group. Twenty-two of the large
grants for general relief were made by Sub-committee IV.[144]

  [144] See p. 125. Sub-Committee IV, Occupations for Women and
  Confidential Cases, was a special committee created to pass upon a few
  special cases which it was thought ought to be kept entirely secret,
  even to members of the committee. There is a great difference of
  opinion as to whether such a committee was at all necessary and
  whether its formation was not undemocratic and unjust.


  Nature of principal grant|Number of|  Amount   | Average
                           |  cases  |  granted  |amount per
                           |         |           |applicant
  Housing                  |   450   |$289,989.90|  $644.42
  Business rehabilitation  |   162   |  86,250.34|   532.41
  General relief           |    35   |  19,579.90|   559.42
      Total                |   647   |$395,820.14|  $611.78

  [145] In determining the amount received by each applicant, both
  principal and subsidiary grants have been considered.

In 576 instances the sum given was for a single purpose; in the business
group, in 71 instances for two or more purposes. For example, in 28
instances the money was for business only; in 40 for business and for
household furniture, for the expenses of an illness, or for some other
subsidiary purpose. In the housing group, in 131, the money was for
building only; in but 31 instances was it for household aid or general

The highest grant for housing was $1,230.40, the highest for business,
$1,100, but the latter included a tuition fee for a member of the
family. The largest grant for general relief was $1,045, which included
the expenses of a long illness.

In addition to the cases presented in the table there were two for
household aid which came to $500 and $600 respectively as a result of
duplication, in the one case through the United Irish Societies, and in
the other, through the confidential committee.

To complete the picture, we present the grants and refusals passed on by
sub-committees and by the Rehabilitation Committee during the fourth
rehabilitation period from November 4, 1906, to April 9, 1907. The
object of this presentation is to show the proportion of applications
passed on without the intervention of a sub-committee.


  Nature of applications |Applications|Applications|APPLICATIONS PASSED
        for relief       |   passed   |  passed    |    UPON BY THE
                         |    upon    |  upon by   |  REHABILITATION
                         |            |    sub-    |     COMMITTEE
                         |            | committees |WITHOUT ACTION BY A
                         |            |            |   SUB-COMMITTEE
                         |            |            +--------+----------
                         |            |            | Number | Per cent
                         |            |            |        |  of all
                         |            |            |        | applica-
                         |            |            |        |  tions
  Household furniture    |    5,647   |    5,099   |   548  |     9.7
  Business rehabilitation|    3,414   |    3,095   |   319  |     9.3
  General relief         |    2,873   |    2,504   |   369  |    12.8
  Housing                |    1,788   |    1,690   |    98  |     5.5
  Transportation         |      144   |       93   |    51  |    35.4
  Tools for mechanics    |            |            |        |
    and artisans         |       48   |       31   |    17  |    35.4
      Total              |   13,914   |   12,512   | 1,402  |    10.1

  [146] Of the 13,970 cases passed upon in the period to which this
  table relates, 56 could not be classified according to the plan


It was the aim of the Rehabilitation Committee to make final disposition
of each application for a specific object by means of a single grant.
This it succeeded in doing in the cases of 17,560 (86.8 per cent) of all
applicants aided. Before the other 2,681 applications were finally
disposed of, 5,777 grants had been made, usually at the rate of two
grants to a case. Three grants were rarely made, although there were
exceptional cases of applicants who received three or four different
kinds of aid in five or six separate grants.

Table 44 shows the extent to which re-opening occurred.[147]

  [147] In addition to cases analyzed above and in the table, 904 cases
  which were at first refused were afterwards re-opened to receive a


       Nature of first grant      |Total number| RE-OPENED CASES
                                  |  of cases  +------+-----------
                                  |            |Number|Per cent of
                                  |            |      | all cases
  Household furniture             |    9,552   | 1,299|   13.6
  Business rehabilitation         |    4,524   |   540|   11.9
  General relief                  |    3,787   |   657|   17.3
  Housing                         |    1,212   |    62|    5.1
  Transportation                  |      799   |    37|    4.6
  Tools for mechanics and artisans|      367   |    86|   23.4
      Total                       |   20,241   | 2,681|   13.2

The form of aid through which the greatest proportion of cases was
disposed of by a single grant was transportation. Of these but 4.6 per
cent were ever re-opened.

A single grant for transportation was effective in so high a proportion
of cases because the applicant as a rule was being sent where work
awaited him or to relatives pledged to furnish him a home.[148] The
re-opened transportation cases are mainly those of persons who could not
adapt themselves to life in other communities, and who returned to San
Francisco and were given household furniture or business rehabilitation.
Housing was a form of aid offered principally to self-supporting
families; hence those whose first grant was for housing were usually
wage-earners whose income sufficed not only to furnish the house, but to
pay part of the expenses of building it. Business cases were usually
re-opened, not for aid for other purposes, but for additional aid for
business,--a legitimate demand where circumstances showed that an
applicant was threatened with failure for lack of a small amount of
additional capital.

  [148] See Part I, p. 58 ff.

There seems to be no reason in the nature of things why a first grant of
aid for household furniture should not have been conclusive in a greater
number of instances. Families were required to present fairly definite
plans before being given aid to re-establish their homes. If they could
have been dealt with more liberally in the beginning, there would have
been less re-opening. Most of these first grants for furniture, however,
were given between August 20 and November 1, and were inadequate.
Although at the time they were treated as final, later on, especially
during January and February, families who made request were given an
additional grant for furniture.

General relief is in its very nature indeterminate. It is not
surprising, therefore, to see that one case in six returned for
additional assistance. Some of the families were given intermittent care
until June, 1907, and then became charges of the Associated Charities
and the other regular relief agencies.

Grants for tools were nearly all given very early in point of time, and
were for small amounts. They averaged but $34.71. Such of these
applicants as later applied again were considered eligible to receive
grants for household furniture, or were assisted to build homes, on the
same basis as though they had not previously received aid. The same is
true of many families who early received small amounts of general
relief. When they succeeded later in forming definite plans they were
given grants for household furniture, for housing, or for business.

It is evident that in any disaster so great that months are devoted to
the work of reconstruction, a number of families must be dealt with at
least twice and some must be carried through the entire period that the
wonted relief work of the community is superseded by the unwonted. Even
though action taken on an individual application be regarded as final,
there will be many re-applications, some because there is the craving
for another slice, some because there is a planning to make good use of
aid that is being offered in new forms, and others because there is the
facing of a new family crisis. In each instance, as a rule, there must
be a re-investigation, which means that the time of investigators and of
committeemen is drawn in part from the consideration of current cases.
All cases suffer corresponding delay. As was to be expected, the greater
number of re-openings were in the first three periods of the
rehabilitation work. Of 912 household grants made before the end of
October, 1906, only 175 were filed away to remain “closed.”

How could the re-opening of cases have been in part obviated?

First, by avoiding the mistake of filing a case as “closed” when it was

Second, by supervising the expenditure of money given for a definite
purpose to persons of weak wills or poor judgment, and by making the
grant, if the state of the funds permitted, sufficient adequately to
meet the purpose. To illustrate: 371 families received grants for
furniture, and 461 for business rehabilitation, each in two allotments.
In some of these cases, because of the withholding of the funds, the
first grant was inadequate. In others, the money was spent to poor
advantage or for purposes other than the original intention. The
Rehabilitation Committee in making business grants hesitated to hand an
applicant more than the average business grant of $250. If provision
from the start could have been made to have business grants expended
under the supervision of trained workers, larger sums could have been
safely placed to the credit of the applicants, many business failures
would have been averted, and the call for second grants avoided.

Third, by opening earlier the Bureau of Special Relief. If the Bureau
had been started in May instead of in August to give emergency aid in
money as well as in kind, it would have released the Rehabilitation
Committee from the need of considering the granting of petty amounts,
and would have left it free to concentrate effort in its own field. To
illustrate: The Rehabilitation Committee before the middle of August
made 480 small cash grants for general relief, and 373 for tools. The
Bureau could have handled these quickly and effectively by giving help
in kind or in cash to an amount of $50 or less. Later, when plans for
permanent rehabilitation had been made on the one hand by the
Rehabilitation Committee, on the other by the families themselves, the
way would have been clear for the more weighty decisions. The quick
exchange of records would have meant that the facts held by the Bureau
were available as the basis for further investigation.

The length of time elapsing between application and grant was seriously
studied by the reviewers. The results need not be given in detail. It
should be noted that delays in a time of emergency must not be judged by
the standards applied to the normal work of a relief society. The time
elapsing between applications and grants varied materially with the
period of the relief work. In the first period, extending from May 5 to
July 7, 1906, the proportion of grants made within three weeks of the
date of application was larger than in the second, the period of
accelerated applications, extending from July 7 to August 20, 1906.
During the third, the period beginning August 20 and ending November 4,
1906, the proportion of grants made within three weeks of the date of
application was smaller than during any other period of the relief work.
The proportion of grants made six weeks or more after the date of
application was at the same time much larger in this period than in the
earlier periods. In the fourth period of the work, extending from
November 4, 1906, to April 4, 1907, the proportion of grants made within
three weeks of the date of application was smaller than in the first
period, but much larger than in the second and third periods.

During the first period of rehabilitation work, the burden of care fell
on the army as well as on the Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross
Funds. It was the time when the people were not ready in large numbers
to make application for rehabilitation. Only 1,843 applied during the
nine weeks. During the second period of six weeks, 6,479 applied to the
central and to the seven section offices in which were working the newly
organized force of investigators. If any standard were to be upheld,
deliberation, which meant delay in dispatch of cases, had to be in
order. When in the third period of ten weeks the number of applicants
was but 2,872 and the force of investigators, case reviewers, and
committeemen had had time to get on a sound working basis, the episode
of the withholding of the eastern funds caused a partial paralysis of
decision. In this period the long delay in making grants is a reflex. In
the fourth period of twenty-two weeks, during which the number of
applications was 10,994, when retrenchment was not the key-word, the
sharp reversal of policy makes any testing of relative speed
impracticable. The cumulative effect of working conscientiously together
brings the power to dispatch cases. Whether the relative dispatch would
have been greater or less in the fourth period if the district plan had
been adhered to can be answered either way merely by a conjecture. Two
facts must be borne in mind: First, no physical suffering resulted from
delay. The emergency cases were always handled with rapidity, first
through the camp commanders and the staff at headquarters, later through
the Bureau of Special Relief. Second, mental suffering did result from
delay, but to be thorough, rehabilitation work must be carried out with


There is first presented a table classifying the grants for different
purposes according to amount of grant.


       Nature of Grant     |              GRANTS OF            | Total
                           | Less| $100| $200| $300| $400| $500|
                           | than|  and|  and|  and|  and| and |
                           | $100| less| less| less| less| over|
                           |     | than| than| than| than|     |
                           |     | $200| $300| $400| $500|     |
  Household furniture      |4,708|4,460|  721|  63 |   4 |   2 | 9,958
  Business rehabilitation  |1,018|1,730|1,402| 420 | 156 | 162 | 4,888
  General relief           |2,307|1,420|  619| 114 |  37 |  35 | 4,532
  Housing                  |   92|  333|  743| 102 |  67 | 450 | 1,787
  Transportation           |  729|  106|   22|   5 |   2 |   2 |   866
  Tools                    |  358|   21|   --|  -- |  -- |  -- |   379
      Total                |9,212|8,070|3,507| 704 | 266 | 651 |22,410
      Per cent             | 41.1| 36.0| 15.7| 3.1 | 1.2 | 2.9 | 100.0

  [149] Because of variations in the practice of treating successive
  grants of the same nature to a single applicant as a single grant or
  as different grants, the figures in the “total” column of this table
  differ from the corresponding figures presented in other tables and in
  the text.

The table indicates the amounts allotted to individuals for the various
forms of rehabilitation, and brings out striking differences in the sums
required for different purposes. Of the 9,958 homes furnished, 9,168
(92.1 per cent) were refurnished at less than $200 each, and 4,708 of
these (47.3 per cent of the total) at less than $100. The larger sums,
$200 and more, usually mean that a family having spent its first
furniture grant for some other justifiable purpose was later given a
second furniture grant, or that the so-called furniture grant included
$50 to $100 given for clothing and incidentals. Single sums given for a
double purpose have been classified under the predominant purpose. Thus
the numerous grants reading “Household Furniture and General Relief”
have been classed as household grants; $300 or over was involved in less
than 1 per cent of the grants so classified.

Grants for business were much larger than those for the household. More
than one-half (56.2 per cent), to be sure, were for less than $200, but
15 per cent were for $300 or more, and of these, 3 per cent received
$500. Seldom was the grant more than $500.

Grants for general relief in 82.2 per cent of all cases were for less
than $200; in 50.9 per cent for less than $100.

Housing[150] is the form of aid that called for the largest individual
grants. About one-fourth, 23.7 per cent, were under $200; 41.6 per cent
were between $200 and $300; and one-fourth were $500 or over. The sums
granted for transportation and for tools, on the other hand, were very
small, 84.2 per cent of the former and 94.5 per cent of the latter being
for amounts under $100.

  [150] Bear in mind that the bonus grants are not included (see Part
  IV, p. 239 ff.), nor the camp cottage expenditures (see Part IV, p.
  221 ff.).


     Amount of resources   |  Total   |Applicants|  APPLICANTS TO
                           |number of | to whom  | WHOM RELIEF WAS
                           |applicants|relief was|     GRANTED
                           |          | refused  +------+----------
                           |          |          |Number| Per cent
                           |          |          |      |  of all
                           |          |          |      |applicants
  Less than $100           |    785   |     73   |   712|   90.7
  $100 and less than $200  |    673   |     71   |   602|   89.5
  $200 and less than $400  |  1,235   |    162   | 1,073|   86.9
  $400 and less than $600  |    770   |    144   |   626|   81.3
  $600 and less than $1,000|    576   |    143   |   433|   75.2
  $1,000 and over          |  1,271   |    480   |   791|   62.2
  Not stated               |    922   |    201   |   721|   78.2
      Total                |  6,232   |  1,274   | 4,958|   79.6

To summarize, 77.1 per cent of all grants were for less than $200, and
of these more than half, or 41.1 per cent of the entire number, were
under $100. The grants of $200 to $299, constituting 15.7 per cent, are
made up principally of sums for housing and business. Grants of $300 and
over constitute the remaining 7.2 per cent, and most of these were for
business rehabilitation or housing. In the study of business
rehabilitation that follows in Part III, it will become evident that the
number of comparatively small business grants included some failures.

A glance at Table 46 shows that to possess resources other than income
did not in itself render applicants ineligible for relief. Of the 6,232
property owners that applied, 4,958, or 79.6 per cent, received aid.
Though the percentage of refusals was higher among those with the
greater amount of resources, 791 persons, 62.2 per cent of those with
$1,000 and over, received aid. Under the grant and loan plan[151] aid to
build was conditional on ownership of a lot, and the success of a
business plan was usually felt to depend on the applicants’ having
something to supplement the grant asked for. Small property owners with
small incomes who did not intend to rebuild, needed household or other
aid, and there were some property owners who could not, if they would,
have their holdings converted into cash. In fact, the persons aided who
had resources were, in general, those whose resources could not or
should not have been used for refurnishing or for current expenses;
those refused were the few who had available cash savings or who had
been so fortunate as to receive their insurance money early enough to
make an independent start. A thousand and one special considerations and
facts entered to make a classification of this group of cases a call for
a digest of each case. Such a digest is not practicable in this limited
Relief Survey. If made, it would be an index of the individualizing work
done by the Rehabilitation Committee. It may be safely said that the
Committee rarely erred on the side of generosity. The immediate lesson
to be learned is that the presence or absence of resources is only a
factor in rehabilitation. No generalizing policy of grants and refusals
can be built upon it.

  [151] See Part IV, p. 253 ff.

In Table 47, 5,284 refusals of aid are classified by the reasons for
refusal and the nature of the applications.


                     |                 REFUSED                    |
                     | hold |   re-  | relief|       |porta-|     |
                     |furni-| habili-|       |       | tion |     |
                     | ture | tation |       |       |      |     |
  Not burned out     |   13 |    12  |   71  |   56  |   6  |  11 |  169
  Not in need        |  180 |    87  |  165  |   42  |   6  |  20 |  500
  Has collectable    |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  insurance          |  115 |    53  |   34  |    5  |   3  |   1 |  211
  Is earning wages   |  837 |   113  |  183  |   74  |  21  | 122 |1,350
  Can work           |  150 |    82  |  102  |   13  |  45  |  38 |  430
  Relatives can aid  |   35 |    15  |   45  |    4  |   9  |   5 |  113
  Other members of   |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  family already     |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  aided              |   13 |    20  |    2  |    7  |   1  |  .. |   43
  Already aided      |  187 |   136  |   95  |   96  |   4  |   6 |  524
  Has savings        |  442 |   191  |  107  |  169  |   7  |  22 |  938
  No plan            |   22 |     5  |   15  |    2  |   3  |   1 |   48
  Plan not approved  |    9 |   131  |   23  |   66  |  40  |  .. |  269
  Plan not definite  |    9 |    32  |    7  |   10  |  10  |   1 |   69
  Applicant for      |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  transportation can |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  well work here     |   .. |    ..  |   ..  |   ..  |  31  |  .. |   31
  Advices from       |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  applicants’ pro-   |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  posed destination  |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  unfavorable        |   .. |    ..  |   ..  |   ..  |  10  |  .. |   10
  Not in business    |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  before fire        |   .. |    94  |   ..  |   ..  |  ..  |  .. |   94
  Not successful in  |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  business           |   .. |     3  |   ..  |   ..  |  ..  |  .. |    3
  Character defective|  100 |    75  |   58  |   13  |  12  |   6 |  264
  Has not complied   |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  with committee’s   |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  requirements       |   47 |    43  |   28  |   52  |  24  |   2 |  196
  Committee has no   |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  funds (August to   |      |        |       |       |      |     |
  November, 1906)    |   .. |    22  |   ..  |   ..  |  ..  |  .. |   22
      Total          |2,159 | 1,114  |  935  |  609  | 232  | 235 |5,284

  [152] It will be noted that the totals of this table are considerably
  larger than the corresponding totals of Tables 33 and 34. The
  difference seems to be due to the fact that in preparing Table 47 two
  or more refusals of aid on a single application were treated as
  separate refusals.






  1. The Plan Itself                                           171
  2. The Study of Results                                      173
  3. The Families and Individuals Aided                        174
  4. Changes in Family and Business Life                       176
  5. Occupations                                               183
  6. Homogeneity of Grantees                                   185
  7. Results of Business Rehabilitation                        186
  8. Reasons for Success and Failure                           187


  1. Success or Failure in Relation to Occupations             196
  2. Study of Refusals                                         208
  3. Summary of the Results of Business Rehabilitation         210




Business rehabilitation grants were made from the beginning of the
relief work in cases where assistance in another form would have been
less effective. Thus, on May 16 and 18, within a month after the
disaster, the Rehabilitation Bureau made a grant of $75 for a shoe
repairing shop, and another of $100 for a restaurant, and on May 30 and
June 29, 1906, grants of from $250 to $500 each for a restaurant, a
rooming house, a book store, and a grocery. It is interesting to note
that to no one of these first six business cases was it found necessary
to give additional aid. The Rehabilitation Committee soon after its
organization, July 2, 1906, roughly formulated its business
rehabilitation policy, which is embodied in the following notes from the
minutes of July 19:

  1. The Committee is not disposed to set people up in business in which
  they have not previously been engaged, although it is possible some
  exceptions will have to be made.

  2. Estimates of amount necessary to start a business must be cut to
  the lowest practical figure.

  3. References and other evidence should be required that applicant is
  capable and that request is reasonable.

The theory of rehabilitation in business, craft, or calling remained
practically the same from May, 1906, to the close of the work in 1908.
Nevertheless, there were differences from time to time in the handling
of applications, due to the factors which have been shown in the
preceding part[153] to have influenced the rehabilitation work in
general. In the first period the applications for business
rehabilitation were comparatively few and the grants small. In the
second, the Rehabilitation Committee was getting fully prepared to carry
its work. In the third, no new applications for business were received
and action on those pending was deferred, except in the cases of
unsupported women and aged people. These were given business
rehabilitation during the period of arrested progress only when the need
was very urgent and other means failed. In the beginning of the fourth
period a sub-committee of the Rehabilitation Committee, known as
Committee VI, was appointed[154] to consider business rehabilitation
cases. The work of Committee VI and the fourth period are practically
synchronous, because after the beginning of the fifth period, in April,
1907, the few business rehabilitation cases considered were acted upon
by the Rehabilitation Committee itself without the intervention of its

  [153] See Part II, p. 113 ff.

  [154] See Part II, p. 125.

Committee VI was fortunate in having for its chairman Charles F. Leege,
a merchant and banker of wide acquaintance and of extended experience,
and four members, three of whom had had abundant commercial training. It
had a staff consisting of a secretary, six to eight visitors, and three

This committee took up its work with enthusiasm, for its members
believed that in no way could money be spent to greater advantage than
in the manner proposed. While the business applications which had been
accumulating since August were being disposed of, in November, 1906,
printed forms[155] were prepared for future applications, and the public
was notified of the conditions under which business aid might be
obtained by means of the following announcement, displayed for some days
in the newspapers:



  Rehabilitation Department

  For business rehabilitation, applications will be received from those
  who have been successful in trade, business, or profession, and who
  have been so crippled by the fire that they cannot now provide
  themselves with the necessary equipment or stocks in trade, and who
  have no other way of supporting themselves or their families.

  Assistance can be given in a limited way only, and for the same line
  of business, and the committee reserves the right to deny any

  Applicants can address a letter or postal card to Business Committee,
  Gough and Geary, San Francisco, giving name and address. Blanks will
  be sent immediately, which must be filled and returned by mail. No
  applications will be received after November 30, 1906.

  Personal calls and applications cannot be received.

  [155] See Appendix II, p. 443.

The blanks sent to applicants were framed so as to help the applicant to
explain clearly on what scale he had been doing business up to the time
of the disaster, what was the present relation of his assets to his
liabilities, and on what scale he proposed to re-establish. He was
directed to present letters from wholesalers or others with whom he had
had business relations. As a part of the subsequent investigation, it
was often possible for the committee’s visitors to secure written
statements from creditors or from wholesalers, stating definitely what
terms they were willing to make for the payment of old debts or for the
establishment of new credits.

An applicant’s plan for re-establishment was not considered complete
until it included a proposed definite location. Before making a grant
for a lodging house or shop, the location for either of which is
important, the committee usually required the applicant to secure a
definite option on a reasonably good location. One of the most important
functions of the visitors on the staff was to visit and to determine the
merits of these proposed locations. Every effort was made to prevent an
applicant from starting business in a poor but costly location merely as
an excuse for securing an allowance from the relief funds.

The general aim of Committee VI was to supply the right sort of man with
money enough to pay one month’s rent, to buy the necessary fixtures, and
to cover a deposit on stock or on machinery or instruments. The
applicant went into debt for the rest of his equipment, with the idea of
discharging the debt little by little from the profits of the business.


Between October, 1906, and April, 1907, Committee VI considered 2,032
applications. Applicants to the number of 464 were refused aid of any
nature; 111 applicants were given aid, but for purposes other than
business; and 1,226 were given business aid in amounts ranging from $50
to $500.[156] The remaining 231 cases were withdrawn or taken over by
other committees. Most of the applicants, many of whom collected little
or no insurance upon property destroyed by the fire, represent the class
that prefer a very modest living in an enterprise of their own to better
wages working for others. There were those, too, who by reason of age or
other infirmity had small prospect of holding their own as wage-earners,
and can hardly be said to have had the choice between the two ways of
making a living.

  [156] Committee VI made about one-fourth of all the business grants
  that were made. The total number of cases in which grants were made
  was 4,916, and the total sum granted was $872,437.20. See Tables 40
  and 41, pp. 157 and 158.

A re-visit, for the Relief Survey, to persons who had applied for aid
for business purposes, was begun in July, 1908, and completed in
November, 1908. This re-visit covered 1,000 cases, in 894 of which aid
had been given, and in 106 refused. Cases from all periods of the
rehabilitation work were selected at random, and should therefore be
representative. Of the 894 grants, 196 were made before October 27,
1906, by individual committeemen representing the Rehabilitation
Committee. The remaining 698 grants to these cases were the work of the
special sub-committee known as Committee VI. The average grant for
business received by the 894 applicants to whom grants were made was

It is not to be understood, from the statement that 1,000 persons were
re-visited, that all were found and personally interviewed. A number of
the families had disappeared and could not be found. In cases of this
sort an effort was made to secure as much information as possible from
outside sources; and naturally the information supplied was more
complete on some phases of family or business life than on others.

The word “family” in the sections which follow is used as meaning any
applicant for aid and the persons with whom he lived. As will be shown
below, a number of the families aided consisted of but one person.


Data as to nativity were obtained for 750 of the 894 revisited families
which received aid. These are shown in Table 48.


  Country of birth|Heads of families of
                  |    each specified
                  |       nativity
  America         |         377
  Germany         |          96
  Ireland         |          93
  Italy           |          29
  England         |          26
  France          |          24
  Russia          |          22
  Mexico          |          12
  Canada          |          12
  Austria         |           8
  Roumania        |           7
  Denmark         |           7
  Others          |          37
      Total       |         750

From this statement of the nativity of heads of families, it appears
that the American born constituted almost exactly half (50.3 per cent)
of the entire number. There were, among the heads of the families aided,
122 Hebrews, of whom 22 were born in Russia, seven in Roumania, five in
Austria, four each in Germany and in America, and one each in Poland,
Hungary, Turkey and England; 76 Hebrews did not give their nativity.
Together, the Hebrew families constituted over 16 per cent of all the
families revisited for which information as to nativity was secured.
Table 49 shows the conjugal condition of the families aided.


            Conjugal condition          |Families of each specified
                                        |   conjugal condition
  Married couples                       |           394
  Women, widowed, divorced, or separated|           286
  Single women                          |            93
  Men, widowed, divorced or separated   |            55
  Single men                            |            61
      Total                             |           889

  [157] Of the 894 family groups investigated, five consisted of men who
  failed to supply information relative to conjugal condition.

The table shows that there were 394 married couples among these families
that had received aid. Man and wife were of the same nativity in 360
cases, and of differing nativities in 34 cases.

The average size of the family groups aided with business grants was
relatively small, being but 2.8 persons per family. The average number
of children per family was low, partly because of the large number of
single persons aided; but the average number per marriage was low, too,
being 1.37. Of the 394 married couples, 124 had no children at all, or
none living at home; of the 286 widowed, divorced, or separated women,
128 had no children at home; of the 55 widowed, divorced, or separated
men, 33 had no children with them.

The ages of all but 19 of the applicants who received aid are known. Of
the 875 concerning whom information is available, only 3 per cent were
over seventy; 45 per cent not more than forty; 60 per cent not more than
fifty; and 77 per cent, over three-fourths, not more than sixty. More
than one-half were between thirty-five and fifty-five years of age.

The 894 family groups aided included, at the time of the re-visit, 2,270
individuals. Of these, 1,138, or 50.1 per cent, were fully
self-supporting; 113, or 5 per cent, were partially self-supporting; and
1,019, or 44.9 per cent, were dependent. The burden on the breadwinners
is thus seen to have been relatively light. However, the income from
most of their businesses was very small. It was less than the wages
earned in the organized trades and fluctuated so that it was found
impossible to reduce net receipts to dollars and cents.

In many cases when grants were given to persons who had no young
children, they were given in consideration of the fact that there were
others, often aged parents, depending upon them. This is true of
one-third of the single women and about two-fifths of the single men.


Partly as a result of the fire, and partly, no doubt, from other causes,
the situation of the families aided with respect to membership, manner
of living, and business arrangements, was somewhat different at the time
of the re-visit from what it had been before the fire. The families
aided had been composed, previous to the fire, of exactly 2,500
individuals. When the re-visit was made, 29 of these individuals had
died and 201 had disappeared, leaving 2,270 individuals in the families

Of the 894 families, 691, or 77 per cent, were found not to have changed
in membership. For 83 families no data on this subject could be secured.
Changes of membership in the remaining 120 families are shown in Table


                Nature of change              | Changes of each
                                              | specified nature
  Women married since fire                    |        21
  Men married since fire                      |         5
  Separated couples reunited                  |         2
  Couples divorced or separated               |         6
  Wives deserted by husbands                  |         3
  Women widowed                               |        23
  Men widowed                                 |         5
  Families in which other deaths have occurred|        21
  Children married since fire                 |        22
  Unmarried children away                     |        12
      Total                                   |       120

A further classification of the 120 families shows that in 16 families,
consolidation, instead of separation, had taken place. Any tendency of
families to stay together or of related families to consolidate, was
fostered by the policy of the Rehabilitation Committee, which was to
treat the family group, if possible, as a unit, and to give but one
grant and that to one member on behalf of the whole family.


Of the families aided, some had living quarters connected with their
places of business, while others lived away from their offices or
stores. Some families owned the premises which they occupied, but the
great majority paid rent for business accommodations, for residences, or
for both. For 197 of the 894, data could not be secured upon this
subject. The situation of the remaining 697 families with respect to
the payment of rentals, both before the fire and at the time of the
re-visit, is shown by Table 51.


               Premises and rentals             |CASES IN WHICH PREMISES
                                                |  AND RENTALS WERE AS
                                                |       SPECIFIED
                                                |Before fire|After fire
  One rental for business and residence combined|    481    |   353
  Two rentals                                   |    161    |    98
  One business rental (residence owned)         |     16    |    13
  No rental (combined premises owned)           |      6    |    34
  One residence rental                          |     33    |   152
  Not in business and not paying rent           |     ..    |    47
      Total                                     |    697    |   697

The table shows that there were many changes in the rental situation of
the families. Before the fire, 658 families paid a business rent; that
is, hired either a separate place of business or quarters in which
business and residence could be combined. The latter plan was followed
by 481 families, the separate rental plan by 161. The remaining 16 paid
a business rent only, as they owned the house they lived in. After the
fire, only 464 of the families were paying a business rent. The
falling-off is most marked in the group of persons following the more
ambitious plan of renting a place of business separate from the
residence. Note the six families that before the fire owned premises for
business and residence combined. This number was raised through the
disaster to 34, most of whom were found, however, to be carrying on some
small enterprise in a cottage taken from a camp to a cheap suburban lot.
The 33 that paid only residence rent before the fire are among the
families that were given money for business though not in business
before the fire. The 152 families that, since the fire, had been paying
residence rent only, and the 47 that were paying no rent, were the
families that had utterly failed to recover their ground. Some were
working for wages; the rest were dependent on relatives or the public.

[Illustration: A plumber’s new start

Laundry and residence


RESIDENCE RENTALS AND SIZE OF RESIDENCES. Of the 894 families there were
125 that are known to have paid rental for separate residence quarters,
both before and after the fire. The rents paid and the number of rooms
occupied at both periods by 94 of these are known, so that the housing
conditions of these families may be discussed apart from their business


     Monthly rentals   |FAMILIES PAYING RENTALS
                       |       SPECIFIED
                       |Before fire|After fire
  Less than $10        |    13     |    14
  $10 and less than $20|    38     |    30
  $20 and less than $30|    26     |    23
  $30 and less than $40|    13     |    12
  $40 and over         |     4     |    15
      Total            |    94     |    94

The highest rent paid before the fire was $45; after the fire, $65. It
will be noted that both before and after the fire, these families were
able to pay rents that would seem to have assured fairly comfortable
housing accommodations. Before the fire 45.7 per cent of the families
paid a rental of $20 a month or more; after, 53.2 per cent were paying
$20 or more.

It was found impracticable to establish the relation between rent paid
and income received, for the reason that scarcely a person interviewed
was able, however willing he might be, to say what his income for a year
past had been. Income in most instances had been exceedingly irregular,
and ordinarily the most that a man could say to the visitor was that his
business had or had not met its running expenses; had or had not, in
addition, furnished some sort of a living for the family; was or was not
paying instalments on the principal of any debt incurred in starting.
Therefore, the standard of life represented by the families in this
study can be shown only by indirect means.

One of the best of the indirect indications of standards of living
consists in the number of rooms occupied for residential purposes. The
situation in this respect, before and after the fire, of the 94 families
for which information was secured, is shown by Table 53.


    Number of rooms |     FAMILIES OCCUPYING
                    |      NUMBER OF ROOMS
                    | Before fire | After fire
  1                 |      19     |      20
  2                 |       3     |       5
  3                 |      28     |      33
  4 and less than 8 |      39     |      32
  8 and less than 15|       5     |       4
      Total         |      94     |      94

The table shows that no striking change took place in the number of
rooms used for residence by these families. Individual families had
their ups and downs, however. Whereas 39 families occupied the same
number of rooms after the fire as before, 31 occupied fewer than before,
and only 24 occupied more than before. As for outlay for rent for living
quarters, 13 of these 94 families paid the same rent before and after;
27 paid less after the fire, and 54 paid more after the fire.

In some instances the disparity in the amount paid in the two epochs by
the individual family is very great. Some families were found to be
paying twice and some even three times as much rent as before the fire,
in spite of the strong effort that people naturally made to secure
quarters corresponding in size and price with those previously occupied.
On the other hand, some of the childless couples did not try at once to
resume housekeeping, but boarded, so that their rent dropped from the
price of a flat to that of a single room. When families undertook to
re-establish themselves in 1906-1907, the city was not sufficiently
rebuilt to afford every family just what it required in the way of
quarters at a reasonable price; but the families showed themselves
highly adaptable by taking what they could get, and making the best of

BUSINESS RENTALS. The list of 894 cases affords 76 instances of families
who, both before and after the fire, maintained places of business
separate from their residences, and the amount of rent paid by 74 of
these families for business quarters is known. The residence rents of 56
of them have been discussed in the preceding paragraphs. The data
relative to business rents are presented in Table 54.


      Monthly rentals    |   FAMILIES PAYING
                         |  RENTALS SPECIFIED
                         |Before fire|After fire
  Less than $20          |    23     |    19
  $20 and less than $40  |    25     |    22
  $40 and less than $60  |    11     |    12
  $60 and less than $80  |     9     |    10
  $80 and less than $100 |     0     |     5
  $100 and less than $300|     6     |     6
      Total              |    74     |    74

Of the 74 families, 10 were paying the same rent as before the fire, 21
less rent, and 43 more rent. The premises rented were as follows: 30
shops, 23 stores, 12 offices, 3 stands, 2 restaurants, a studio, a
stable, a coal yard, and a junk yard. Eight enterprising persons who
took advantage of unsettled conditions to secure better quarters at a
much higher rental in better locations than before the fire were doing

There are no such striking cases of retrenchment in business rent as
appeared when families gave up housekeeping and went to board. Unless a
man could resume business on a scale corresponding in some degree with
the scale on which he had done business before the fire, he often
became a wage-earner. Where he did drop from a relatively high to a
relatively low rent, his business usually suffered a corresponding
decline. Many people evidently failed to secure advantageous locations,
and though their actual rent was less than it had been, it was harder to

arrangement for a family engaged in business is to live in the house in
which the business is carried on. Except in the case of lodging houses,
this presupposes smaller rental and in most instances, smaller income,
because places of business with living quarters attached are usually
remote from the business centers of the town, and attract therefore a
smaller volume of trade. The list of combined quarters is a long one. Of
the families re-visited, 302 are known to have lived in combined
quarters both before and after the fire. Data are complete for 285 of
the 302 cases, and the amounts paid are given in Table 55.


       Monthly rentals   |FAMILIES PAYING RENTALS
                         |       SPECIFIED
                         |Before fire|After fire
  Less than $10          |      13   |     33
  $10 and less than $20  |      61   |     27
  $20 and less than $30  |      75   |     53
  $30 and less than $40  |      34   |     58
  $40 and less than $50  |      32   |     44
  $50 and less than $60  |      26   |     25
  $60 and less than $80  |      25   |     24
  $80 and less than $100 |       7   |      6
  $100 and less than $200|       8   |     10
  $200 and less than $400|       4   |      5
      Total              |     285   |    285

The quarters secured by the payment of the above rentals include 200
premises with from 1 to 120 rooms; 37 stores with from 1 to 8 rooms
attached; 25 shops with from 1 to 7 rooms; 12 offices with from 1 to 9
rooms; 3 studios with from 1 to 3 rooms; 2 saloons with rooms; 2 stables
with rooms; and a factory, a restaurant, a stand, and a theater, each
with a room or rooms attached.

To secure these quarters, 34 families were paying the same rent as
before the fire, 110 were paying less, and 141, or 49.5 per cent, were
paying more than before. Of the 33 families who paid less than $10 a
month after the fire, 15 had before paid higher rents. Subsequent to the
disaster each of these families rented ground in an out of the way
place, and had put up a shack for a factory or utilized a refugee
cottage for shop and residence.

Rents have been gone into in detail because, more than any other item,
they show the far-reaching family changes brought about by the disaster.
Astonishing, indeed, is the adaptability of families whose quarters,
from being one room, became seven; or from being eight, became one;
whose rent jumped from $20 for a restaurant and two rooms before the
fire, to $175 for a restaurant and one room afterwards; or who, having
lived for years in a twelve-room house for $35, dropped after the fire,
to a $7.50 ground rent for space for a three-room shack.

As conditions in San Francisco approach more and more nearly what they
were before the fire,[158] it is to be hoped that the families can
better see how to adjust their efforts so that business will yield at
least a fair living. The details of many of these long-continued
struggles of adjustment are striking, not to say dramatic, and it is to
be regretted that the following pages must deal rather with the general
features of the contest and, for sake of compactness, omit much that
would serve to clothe the dry bones of statistics with living flesh.

  [158] It may be that the steady growth which San Francisco is destined
  to make will prevent the rent of business premises ever falling to
  before-fire levels.


The Rehabilitation Committee made 4,736 grants to as many families to
enable them to resume business of 219 different kinds. The 894 families
re-visited are a little less than 20 per cent of the whole number. In
the grants made to these, 126 occupations are represented.

Grants were confined almost entirely to re-establishing families in a
line of business in which they had been engaged as proprietors. A
departure from this rule was for good cause, such as the death or injury
of the former head of the business, or a change in trade conditions. The
number of exceptions is 75, or 8.4 per cent of the whole number of
re-visited families receiving grants. They are: 28 wage-earners and six
housewives given grants to enter business; and 41 former proprietors
aided to re-engage in business in an entirely different line.

In 79 cases it was recognized at the time the grants were made that it
would be impracticable to reinstate the applicant on the before-fire
scale. In such cases it was hoped that business would be successful
enough on a small scale to admit of gradual expansion. Table 56 shows
the occupations for which grants were most frequently given.


            Proposed occupation          |Applicants who proposed
                                         |    to follow each
                                         |  specified occupation
  Boarding and rooming house             |          256
  Tailor shop                            |           46
  Dressmaking shop                       |           45
  Notions or branch bakery               |           33
  Barber shop                            |           30
  Restaurant                             |           30
  Grocery store                          |           24
  Huckster or peddler                    |           23
  Millinery shop                         |           21
  Seamstress                             |           20
  Cigar stand                            |           19
  Boot and shoe making and repairing shop|           18
  Physician’s equipment                  |           18
  Printing shop                          |           16
  Drayman                                |           14
  Painting contractor’s shop             |           14
  Other occupations                      |          267
      Total                              |          894

Among the 267 cases entered in the table opposite “other occupations,”
there were 61 occupations with only one representative each, and 49
with from two to thirteen representatives each.


Of the 2,032 applicants for business rehabilitation considered by the
business committee, 464, or about 23 per cent, were refused business
aid, though many who were judged not to be suitable candidates for
business rehabilitation were given aid for other purposes. This severe
weeding out of candidates for one definite, specialized form of aid had
this result, that those aided were a group homogeneous to a high degree.
This fact was voiced often by the investigators during the progress of
the work and by the staff that did the re-visiting in 1908, and was
mirrored in the uniform reports filed by all these visitors. The
uniformity shown in the records was not due to superficial inquiries,
for data were unusually full and often included side-lights on the
situation thrown by old friends, former business associates, former
landlords, and other references. A further indication that the business
group was looked on as being practically homogeneous is the fact that
there were so many unconditional grants of $250. The phenomenon of so
many of the grants being for exactly $250 may have been due in part to
the effort to make the average grant not more than one-half[159] of what
was the established $500 maximum grant, or may have been a reflection of
the committee’s impression that there was little to distinguish many of
the applicants, one from another, either as to plight or as to
recuperative power.

  [159] See Part II, p. 129, for the result of limiting a committee’s
  power to make grants larger in amount than $500.

The applicants that received aid were almost uniformly persons who had
had successful business experience. Most had founded their own
enterprises; none, as far as the records show, had come into his holding
by inheritance, as might have been the case in an older city; and few by
purchase of an established business. There were but few of the
applicants who had occupied for any great length of time the place
burned out. A shifting population and the resultant changes in minor
business centers had been the instruments by which the less fit had been
to a great extent eliminated in the years preceding the disaster.


The nature of the occupations which the 894 re-visited families that
were given aid proposed, with the assistance of the committee, to
re-enter, or, in a few cases, to enter for the first time, has already
been shown. How many of these families, at the time of the re-visit in
1908, nearly two years later, had succeeded in getting into and
continuing in business? The answer to this question will go far toward
showing the success or failure of the work of business rehabilitation.

Data showing the status of the grantees in 1908 are presented in Table
57 and the chart which follows.


   Status of applicants who received aid  |CASES IN WHICH APPLICANT’S
                                          |  STATUS WAS AS SPECIFIED
                                          |     Number    | Per cent
  In business as planned                  |      507      |   56.7
  In other business                       |       36      |    4.0
  Employed in line same as former business|       66      |    7.4
  Employed in line different from former  |               |
  business                                |       29      |    3.2
  Neither in business nor employed        |      256[160] |   28.7
      Total                               |      894      |  100.0

  [160] This group includes 29 applicants who were known to have died
  before the time of the re-visit.

The table and chart show what the Relief Survey visitors found in 1908.
They found 543, or 60.7 per cent, of the families in business; 507 in
exactly the kind of business contemplated by the grant, and 36 in
business of another sort. A much smaller group, 95, or 10.6 per cent of
the total, were engaged in gainful occupations, but not as proprietors.
Of these 95, 66 were employed in the same business, and 29 in a
different line of business than before the fire. There remain 256, or
28.7 per cent of the total number, who were not in business or employed.
The visitors found that of this last group 36 were housewives; eight
were unsettled, their affairs being in a transition state; 33 were
dependent; 31 were known to have left San Francisco; 29 were known to
have died; and 119 were not to be found for a personal interview by the
visitors. Of this latter number, 75 had dropped completely out of sight.

[Illustration: Neither in business nor employed, 256 or 28.7%

Employed in line different from former business, 29 or 3.2%

Employed in line same as former business, 66, or 7.4%

In other business, 36, or 4%

In business as planned, 507, or 56.7%


Of the 351 found not to be in business at the time of the revisit, 140
are known to have started in business and then dropped out. The
remaining 211, as far as the records show,--some no doubt for the best,
and others for the flimsiest of reasons,--failed even to get into


As has been shown in the preceding section, some of the families aided
were as a result of rehabilitation successfully established in business,
while others either did not embark at all in business ventures or began
business only to discontinue. It is important to determine as far as
possible the causes that resulted in success in some cases and in
failure in others. Among the questions which, in the judgment of the
writer, should be considered in this connection, are the following:

1. Was the grant made in a manner suited to the need of the case?

2. Was the grant timely?

3. Was the grant adequate?

4. Was the location chosen for business a good one?

5. Was the applicant handicapped by ill health of himself or family?

6. Did the applicant begin business with sufficient capital?

It will be noted that the first three questions relate to the deliberate
action of the Committee, and involve a judging of its work by the
reviewer. Question 4 relates to the applicant’s ability to secure or his
own good fortune in securing proper quarters, and also involves a
judgment by the reviewer. Questions 5 and 6 relate to the circumstances
of the applicant.

MANNER IN WHICH GRANT WAS MADE. The reviewer for the Relief Survey in
1908 found in 21 case records strong internal evidence to the effect
that the grant had not been made in the proper manner. Appropriate
safeguards had not been provided to assure the carrying out of the plan.
Of the 21 families, 12 failed to start in business, one started and gave
up, and only eight were in business in 1908.

Ignoring those who managed to make a start, let us briefly consider the
12 who failed to do so. A woman who planned to separate from her husband
was granted money to establish a rooming house to support herself and
baby. By mistake the money was handed to the husband, who kept it and
turned her and the child out of the house. She then obtained a divorce
but she never recovered the money. A tailor, sixty-one, who claimed he
was “afraid of the high rents,” spent his grant for living expenses. The
visitor could see no reason why he should not have made a start. In the
other 10 cases there was serious illness or disability in the families,
so the grants were spent to meet doctors’, hospital, or undertakers’
bills. In each instance the expenditure was an error of judgment on the
part of the beneficiary, as he might have made a second claim on the
relief fund for medical aid until his business should be on a paying
basis. It showed a hesitancy in applying for relief to be expected on
the part of those whose lifelong habit was to be entirely independent.
The 12 families could have been started in business if the expenditure
of the grants had been supervised by a third person acting as agent of
the committee.

[Illustration: Cigar store of an Italian cripple

Store owned by a German-Swiss couple


The policy of supervision should not have been extended to all business
cases, for the applicants were of all the classes seeking aid the ones
best fitted to put money to good use. But supervision might well have
been extended to all the families which carried obvious burdens of
illness or such handicaps as advancing years, a visionary outlook, or a
lack of initiative. The advantages to be derived from adequate
supervision are shown by the experience of 35 cases re-visited other
than the 21 mentioned above. In all of these 35 cases the results were
mutually satisfactory. In some cases the supervision was found to have
gone no further than the committee’s seeing that a plan was perfected
and a location secured; in others to the extent that an applicant was
not allowed to handle the grant money, it being expended on his behalf
by one of the committee’s visitors, by some other organization, or by a
personal friend acting as trustee. Consequently, the 35 started
business, and of the 33 found by the Relief Survey visitors, 23 were
still in business.

Guidance in expenditure would undoubtedly have secured the permanent
re-establishment of many a family that through no fault of its own had
dropped hopelessly behind in the race. A supervised payment by
instalments, payments subsequent to a first instalment being conditional
on a square business start having been made, provided that the first
instalment had been adequate for a start, would have resulted in the
canceling of second instalments on grants made to persons with no
original intention of re-entering business or with changed plans.

TIMELINESS OF GRANT. The second question, “Was the grant timely?” cannot
be answered by a positive “yes” or “no,” as the elusive personal
equation makes assertions fallible. In some cases the beneficiary could
with reason claim that earlier aid would have been more effective.

There were a number of cases in which it seems obvious that the grants
were unnecessarily and unduly delayed. Twenty-two of these families,
notwithstanding the obstacle, were in business; the only comment to be
made is that some enterprising and refined families were left to endure
the hardships of camp life months after they might have been engaged in
independent business, had the machinery and the funds been available.

Among applicants who started in business and later dropped out there was
one man so old that results would probably have been the same if there
had been no delay. In three other instances the grants were, in the
opinion of the reviewer, inadequate as well as delayed, a combination
well calculated to bring about failure.

Among the families whose grants were delayed and who did not even start
in business there was one man whose grant was delayed for six months,
because the check was accidentally delivered to another person of the
same name. This man claimed to have lost good opportunities for
starting. Another grant was delayed forty days, not an unusual length of
time, but in the interval the subjects, a refined American woman and her
elderly husband, had suffered irreparably. The wife had injured herself
doing unsuitable work and had died, leaving the man powerless to open
the rooming house they had planned together. Another applicant, one of
the many whose cases were shelved from three to four months during the
dispiriting period of arrested progress, had a friend who was ready at
the time of the application to loan money to add to the relief grant for
starting a notion store. Three months later the friend’s circumstances
had changed, and with the relief money alone the applicant dared not
make the venture. The predicament of three other applicants was much the
same. By the time they received their business grants, late in the
winter of 1906, every cent of their insurance money had been used for
living expenses. Another illustrative story is that of a German cobbler
with a frail wife and two young children, who after the disaster had
$100 in savings. He bought tools, but as he could not support his family
by cobbling alone and his savings were gone, he asked for a business
grant. When he was finally given $200 to stock a small shop with shoes
to sell, he and his family had been sleeping on the floor for six

ADEQUACY OF GRANT. Inadequate aid, in the estimation of many of the
applicants, was the one stumbling block in the path to satisfactory
re-establishment. This question, like the two which have preceded it,
must be recognized as having an illusory quality. In the opinion of the
reviewer the complaint of inadequacy was justified in slightly over 100
cases, in about three-fourths of which the grants were lower than the
average grant of $247.

Of the 894 grants under consideration, only 52 were for $500[161] or
over, and 162 grants, or nearly one-fifth of the total, were for
exactly $250, from which it appears that the latter figure was firmly
lodged in the minds of the disbursers of the fund. But one in nine of
the re-visited applicants who received business rehabilitation, received
grants for other purposes. The average amount given to those who did
receive such subsidiary aid was $83.75.

  [161] See Part II, pp. 128-129, for explanation of limitation of
  grants to less than $500.

The ultra-cautious policy of the initial rehabilitation work was early
changed. Between June 1 and July 7, 1906, 21 checks for more than $100
each had been drawn for business rehabilitation, the two highest being
each for $400. By the middle of July, four checks for $500 had been
drawn for business cases. Before the end of July, a $900 business loan
was made. A scanning of the early case records shows that the
committeemen were careful to give the exact amount needed.

During the third rehabilitation period the size of the business grants
was much smaller than in the preceding period, two-fifths of the grants
being under $100 each and four-fifths less than $200. The average grant
for the 123 re-visited cases which had been passed during the second
period was $305.77; for the 73 passed during the third period, $191.16;
for the 698 passed during the fourth period, $242.26. Of applicants who
received aid in the third period, the period of arrested progress, when
the grants were small, a materially smaller proportion were in business
at the time of the review, than of those who received grants in the
second and fourth periods.

A few examples show the fate of some applicants who were given prompt,
but apparently inadequate aid.

       *       *       *       *       *

An elderly woman who applied for $250 for a rooming house was given
$100. She is doing well, but had to incur a heavy debt which by close
management, hard work, and with great mental anxiety she has been able
to pay off.

       *       *       *       *       *

A family of five, the father sixty-three, the mother fifty-seven, and
their children, were given $150 for a rooming house. They took a
six-room flat and by subletting two rooms met their rent. But their plan
was to take a larger house which would bring in enough to provide more
than the equivalent of rent and which with the supplementary small
wages of a son and daughter in their teens, would have made a fair

       *       *       *       *       *

A tailor was given $125 to add to his own limited resources in order to
open a shop, but as he couldn’t make good he sold his shop and is now a

       *       *       *       *       *

FAVORABLE LOCATION. After the fire there was naturally for a time a
scarcity of desirable locations for business. With ready money in hand,
those applicants who were keen to judge and prompt to act secured the
best places, while many were left to take locations with which they were
not satisfied and which proved to be unprofitable.

In some instances locations good at first became undesirable through the
shifting of the population; certain business centers proved to be but
temporary and had to be abandoned like a sinking ship by all who had
begun business there. The man who did not have money to move when his
first location proved unfit, had to fail or discontinue.

The proportion of re-visited applicants who, having been assisted to
engage in business, were still in business, was materially larger among
those applicants who, in the judgment of the reviewer, secured
satisfactory locations than among those whose locations seemed less
favorable. As is suggested in the preceding sentence, the quality of a
business location is largely a matter of opinion. If a business succeeds
it is easy to conclude that its location is good; if it fails a poor
location is a ready excuse. Here, again, a definite estimate is made
nugatory by the intrusion of underlying queries relative to the
applicants. How adaptable were they? How far sighted? How much
initiative had they? To such as were lacking in any of these qualities a
favorable location did not always mean success.

HEALTH OF APPLICANTS AND FAMILIES. Serious illness in the family tended,
of course, to interfere with the carrying out of a business plan. The
outcome of business rehabilitation in cases where there was no serious
handicap of this nature, and in those where such a handicap existed, is
shown by Table 58.


                Health of family             |   APPLICANT     | Total
                                             |   In   | Not in |
  Family all well or without serious handicap|  448   |   249  | 697
  Family seriously handicapped by ill health |   95   |    73  | 168
      Total                                  |  543   |   322  | 865

  [162] Of the 894 families investigated, 29 lost the applicant by death
  before the time of the re-visit.

Since the business grant was given in behalf of the family as a whole,
the health of the whole family including that of the head has been
considered. Of the 697 families without serious handicap, 448, or 64 per
cent, were in business at the time of the re-visit, while 95 of the 168
families handicapped by ill health, or 57 per cent, were in business.
This latter proportion seems relatively high. Many a man or woman in
frail health can see that his hope for security lies in maintaining a
small business against all odds. The man with more capital and better
health has a chance to make a better income, but he who is without the
alternative of employment for wages cannot permit himself to be
deterred. A further study of the records seems to indicate that, among
the applicants still in business, the proportion who were doing poorly
is decidedly smaller in the case of those not handicapped by ill health
than in the case of those burdened by a handicap of this nature, whether
slight or serious.

CAPITAL AVAILABLE. The part played by the amount of capital available
for starting afresh in business was an important one. The term capital
as here used includes the grant, and other resources, if any, such as
equipment or stock saved from the fire, insurance, savings, gifts,
loans, and credit. Table 59 shows the numbers starting business with
given amounts of capital, and shows what part the grant played therein.


  Amount of grant or of grant|Cases in which|  Cases in which
          and capital        | grant was as | capital available
                             |  specified   |   for business,
                             |              |inclusive of grant,
                             |              | was as specified
  Less than $300             |     476      |        231
  $300 and less than $500    |     159      |        121
  $500 and less than $700    |      58      |        145
  $700 and less than $1,000  |       1      |         89
  $1,000 to $5,000           |      ..      |        108
      Total                  |     694      |        694

  [163] Of the 894 families investigated, 200 failed to supply
  information relative to capital available.

It has already been seen that grants ranged in amount from less than
$100 to $900. The amount of capital available for starting business
varied from less than $300 to as high as $5,000. More than two-thirds of
all persons in this group received less than $300 cash from the
committee. By virtue of other resources which some of the group had on
hand or managed to secure, 463, or almost exactly two-thirds of the
entire number, had $300 or more available for starting business.

In general, the rehabilitation committee adhered to its announced policy
of helping only those that were accustomed to doing business on a small
scale. Even among these, however, there were degrees. For clarity, as
the division seems a convenient one, the discussion that follows will
recognize two groups: one of 497 persons whose available capital
including grants was less than $700, and one of 197 persons who had $700
or more available for the start. These will be spoken of as the low
capital and the high capital groups respectively. In a similar way,
grants for business rehabilitation consisting of less than $300 will be
referred to as small grants, and grants of from $300 to $1,000 as large

Of the 497 members of the low capital group, 380 received small grants
and 117 large grants; while of the 197 members of the high capital
group, 96 received small grants and the remaining 101 large grants. Thus
the proportion of applicants who received large grants was much larger
in the case of the high capital group than in the case of the low
capital group--an application, doubtless justifiable, of the scriptural
principle, “unto him that hath shall be given.”

The members of the high capital group who received small grants were
possessed of other resources so considerable that the grant was, in many
instances, but a small fraction of the capital available for business.
In such cases, the grant derived its importance and its justification
from the fact that it was in the form of cash. The possession of a
certain amount of ready money was always necessary to secure a site, and
was often a necessary condition of obtaining credit.

Whether or not a given capital is sufficient for a business venture will
depend largely on the nature of the business entered; and, as has
elsewhere been noted, the successful applicants for relief engaged in
many different and highly diversified undertakings. The discussion of
the adequacy of capital and of the relation of capital to grants will
therefore be deferred to the following chapter, in which the recipients
of business relief will be considered in occupational groups.

SUMMARY. Outward circumstances have much to do with the success of a
business enterprise: the time, the place, and the money form a strong
combination, and with health thrown in for good measure the combination
is almost proof against disaster provided the right man make use of the
combination. A committee disbursing business aid which patiently
eliminated those doomed to fail, could get practically all of its
beneficiaries started if it were left free-handed throughout the whole
period of relief distribution to make well-timed and adequate grants,
and if it spent enough on administration to allow for the supervising of
grants whenever character and circumstances indicated the advisability
of doing so. It may be noted that the 45 persons who in the judgment of
the reviewer received timely aid, properly given, to the extent of $250
or as much more as was needed; persons who had resources to equal or
exceed the grant, who were in good health, and who secured what seem to
have been good locations, had started in business. Only three of the 45
had discontinued business, and of these, one had only temporarily



The proportion of applicants aided who succeeded in establishing
themselves in business varied to a certain extent with the occupation
entered. Sufficient data relative to the occupations and success in
business could be secured for only 702 of the 894 applicants visited in
1908. The table next presented shows for the different occupational
groups the number of cases in which grants of each specified nature were
made and the proportion of these cases that were still in business at
the time of the re-visit.


        Nature of occupation      | Applicants |   APPLICANTS IN
                                  |   whose    |  BUSINESS IN 1908
                                  |occupations +------+-----------
                                  |    were    |Number| Per cent
                                  |as specified|      |  of all
                                  |            |      |applicants
                                  |            |      | receiving
                                  |            |      |  grants
  Professional                    |     79     |   68 |   86.1
  Manufacturing and mechanical    |            |      |
  industries                      |    183     |  146 |   80.0
  Trade                           |    175     |  124 |   70.9
  Personal and domestic service   |    249     |  168 |   67.5
  Transportation and miscellaneous|            |      |
  pursuits                        |     16     |    7 |   43.8
      Total                       |    702     |  513 |   73.1

  [164] In this table data are presented for only the 702 applicants of
  the 894 investigated for whom complete information relative to
  occupation and business success or failure was secured.

The occupations shown in the table are not necessarily those for which
the grants were given, but the occupations in which applicants were
found engaged in 1908.

If one thing stands out more clearly than another it is, that following
a disaster, persons who seek to re-establish themselves in professional
or manufacturing pursuits have a much higher expectation of success than
those that seek to re-establish themselves in trade or as proprietors in
some branch of personal and domestic service, such as a restaurant or a
rooming house.

On an earlier page it has been noted that some applicants were unable to
make a start because of lack of capital. Lack of capital was less
seriously felt by those having mechanical or professional skill, to whom
the amount of capital held appeared to be of slight moment, than by
those in the two remaining groups. The relation of capital to success in
the trade and in the personal service groups is treated, therefore, at
some length in connection with the detailed discussion of these groups.


Of the 88 members of the professional group re-visited, 79 whose cases
furnished data complete on the points to be considered are here studied.
As for the grants made, none exceeded $500 and 50 were for $250 or less.
Those whose offices, studios, and in many cases, homes also, had been
burned, had little left in the way of material possessions. Twenty
persons are noted on the visitors’ schedules as having had no resources
other than their grants. The amounts with which the members of this
group essayed to re-establish themselves were as follows: 34, less than
$500; 24, $500 and less than $700; and only 21, $700 or more. The
outcome by 1908 was: of the first group 29 were still in business; of
the second, 20; and of the third, 19. There were eight who had not
started, and three who had started and discontinued.

In the cases of those that did start, the grant was as a rule applied as
a cash payment toward equipment. The difference between the amount of
capital and the amount of the grant, in general, measures the amount of
credit allowed by wholesalers in the purchase of instruments and
equipment. The proportion of success is high even among those with least
capital at their disposal, and no direct relation is to be discovered
between amount of capital and success except in the cases of a dentist
and a photographer who were found to be working for wages and to be
adding savings to their grants so as to start later with better
equipment. Six others, as stated above, also failed to start. A woman
pianist married and gave up her profession. A woman physician accepted a
position in her alma mater as an instructor. A stenographer took a
position on salary instead of opening her own office. An elderly music
teacher became a chronic invalid and was admitted to the Relief Home. A
man who had wanted to resume his work of giving electric treatments took
instead a position with the city board of health and the visitor who saw
him thinks he did not intend to resume his old line. Supervision of his
grant of $250 would have tested his good faith. Another case which
should have been supervised was that of an elderly showman who was given
$450 to replace the tent used to house the wax figures of his quaint
historical show. He spent most of the business grant for an operation to
restore the failing sight of his elderly wife. A supervisor could have
arranged for surgical care without interfering with rehabilitation.

Three cases, as noted, started but to discontinue. A physician who had
received $450 from the Rehabilitation Committee and $100 from the
Physicians’ Fund, opened an office; then, having closed it “on account
of dull times,” left the city. A gymnasium director set up his
equipment, but found his location a poor one; therefore he stored his
apparatus and closed his place until he should find a better. A public
stenographer had typist’s cramp from overwork. When able to resume work,
he took a salaried position. More careful investigation and supervision
of the eleven unsuccessful cases would probably have resulted in
withholding the grant from one man, and getting one other into business.
But as a group the applicants accomplished all that was possible under
the circumstances, and that without the use of large sums of money.


An almost equally high degree of success attended the efforts of 183
persons engaged in manufacturing and mechanical industries.

[Illustration: Owner aided by Rehabilitation Grant and money privately

Hat maker aided by a Rehabilitation Grant


These were largely tailors, dressmakers, shoemakers, painters, and metal
workers. In the group of 79 in which capital was under $300, the
attempts at rehabilitation of 50, or less than two-thirds, were
successful. In the group of 104 with more capital, the showing was
higher. The 26 who had $1,000 or more were without exception successful.

There were 23 who started business and discontinued, and 14 who did not
start. Among these 37 cases, 10 failures appear to be due principally to
lack of capital, but the 27 remaining failures are to be attributed
largely to other causes, among which unfortunate choice of location and
ill health complicated with old age are uppermost. Two examples must

A shoemaker, aged sixty-six, presented a plan to Committee VI which
definitely called for $400 to buy a half interest in a given shop. He
was granted $250, but as he could make no satisfactory arrangements with
his proposed partner he began working at wages. A younger man with that
amount of cash might have started a shop of his own, but this was too
much to expect of one of his age. Another, a much younger man, failed to
make a success of his bakeshop. He leased a lot on which to build his
shop and invested in equipment his capital of $500. When competition
sprang up around him, he could neither afford to move nor to remodel his
shop in order to rent it to some one else for another purpose.

Perhaps one-half of the foregoing 37 failures could have been averted or
mitigated by intelligent oversight. As a rule, however, it is safe to
assume that persons with the skill to do mechanical work require less
supervision than do those of the groups we are to discuss in the
following sections.


Of the 16 members of this group, seven were established in business at
the time of the re-visit. Grants were given to 12 men to start as
teamsters or draymen. Ten of the 12 men bought teams, but only four were
still in business in 1908. The price of hay was high, and work at wages
easy to obtain; the two men who made no start became wage-earners. One
man who was given money to acquire a messenger service, had been
successful. Of the three remaining grantees of this group, one started a
chicken farm which was running with fair success; another, a cleaning
and dyeing establishment which was successful; and the third, a venture
of the last named kind which had failed in the first month. This last
proprietor after his failure had left the city.

In considering the relatively small number of successes among the
members of this group, it must be remembered that the number of cases is
too small for the data to be truly representative.


Just as a small manufacturing enterprise is the avenue through which
skilled artisans seek by becoming small proprietors to reach
independence, so rooming and boarding houses, barber shops, restaurants,
laundries, and the like are the roads along which individuals of a less
skilled class travel to reach the same end. The cheap rooming houses of
today are often run by the charwomen of yesterday; the better grade
houses, by widowed housewives of somewhat higher station; the barber
shops, by erstwhile barber’s helpers; and the small restaurants and
lunch counters, by one-time cooks. Competition is extreme because
persons accustomed to small earnings are constantly entering these
fields with their little hoard of savings, ready to be satisfied with
very moderate returns. In the long run, business ability tells in this
as in all other lines of enterprise, but to this class adequacy of
equipment and suitable location are of relatively more importance than
in other forms of enterprise previously discussed.

In a city changing as rapidly as San Francisco changed for the first
three years after the fire, the wisest could not tell with certainty how
long a certain locality would remain desirable for his purposes. Some
persons, in order to avoid prohibitive rents, signed leases for one or
two years, which held them in poor locations after their better judgment
told them they should move to keep near their shifting patrons. Under
such circumstances two or three hundred dollars in the bank, or even
less, might mean the difference between success and failure.

Where competition is close it makes a very great difference whether the
equipment is owned outright or whether considerable monthly cash
instalments must be paid. It is true that in ordinary times clever
persons can fit up rooming houses and rent all the rooms at a fair
profit. But ordinarily the small house at best offers a woman nothing
more than an opportunity to be her own employer at very moderate wages;
her fate depending, at each recurring crisis, on a cash reserve
sufficient to carry her over a dull period, or to enable her to win in
an endurance test with a nearby competitor. Rooming houses are spoken of
specifically because more than three-fourths of the grants for personal
service enterprises were given for this purpose.

As has been shown by Table 60, of 249 applicants visited in 1908 who had
been given aid for personal and domestic service and for whom data have
been tabulated, 168, or almost 68 per cent, were still in business at
the time of the re-visit.

In this group the tendency of committeemen, already commented on, to
make grants about uniform in amount is clearly seen. In fact, 105, or
more than two-fifths of the 249 cases discussed in this section,
received grants that were $200, and less than $300. It was understood
that many of the enterprises required a considerably larger capital, but
the business committee had the theory that given a sum of $200 or $250
any normally enterprising person could “raise” the rest. Many applicants
did so, but not all. By sub-dividing the 245 cases in which the amount
of capital is known into three groups we are able to see the respective
parts played by the relief grant and the applicants’ other resources.
The figures are given in Table 61.


          Business status       |CASES IN WHICH |Cases in | Total
                                |CAPITAL WAS LOW|  which  |
                                +-------+-------+ capital |
                                | Grant | Grant |was high |
                                | small | large |         |
  In business at time of revisit|   66  |   41  |   57    |  164
  Started and discontinued      |   29  |    7  |    9    |   45
  Did not start                 |   27  |    5  |    4    |   36
      Total                     |  122  |   53  |   70    |  245

  [165] Information relative to the amount of capital was secured for
  only 245 of the 249 applicants receiving business rehabilitation for
  personal and domestic service concerning whom data are presented in
  Table 60.

The classification of capital as high and low, and of grants as large
and small, has been discussed in the preceding chapter. The first group
dealt with in the table, which will be called for convenience the
small-grant low-capital group, consists of persons whose grant was less
than $300 and whose capital available for business, including grant, was
less than $700. Their enterprises in general were those of side streets
and out-of-the-way locations.

The second group, known as the large-grant low-capital group, is made up
of persons whose grant was $300 or more, but whose entire capital was no
more than $700. They were largely persons whose previous enterprises had
been capitalized at over $700 and to whom the Rehabilitation Committee
gave liberal grants with the idea that the applicant would go into debt
for the balance needed.

There remains a third group of the high-capital group which was
previously capitalized at from $700 up and which expected to go into
business in fairly prominent locations, on something like the old scale.
As its members had considerable resources, the grant, while it played an
important part in the applicant’s rehabilitation, was not the sole
factor determining a start. Such was frequently the case in the two
low-capital groups. The distinction between large grants and small
grants, as it is of much less importance to the members of this group
than to the members of the two low-capital groups, has not been
indicated in the table.

It will be noted from the table that the proportion of applicants aided
who were in business at the time of the re-visit was largest for the
high-capital group, and much larger for the large-grant low-capital
group than for the small-grant low-capital group. Brief consideration
will now be given to each of the three groups.

The small-grant low-capital group has 122 members. Of its members 93
were given aid to open boarding and rooming houses, 15 to open barber or
hairdressing establishments, eight to start restaurants, three to start
laundries, and three to set up boot-blacking stands. Nearly two-thirds
of the group were widows, and 57 were persons or couples living alone.

At the time the grants were made, 93, or more than three-fourths of this
group, had no other resources; 27 had savings, collectible insurance, or
real estate available for business. Data are lacking as to the resources
of the two remaining individuals.

It was the hope of the Rehabilitation Committee that the large
proportion of persons who came empty-handed, would, on receipt of a lump
sum in itself insufficient to establish a business, develop latent
resources. Such was often the result. Of the 93 cases mentioned above as
having no before-fire resources, 46 received cash gifts other than the
relief grant, negotiated friendly loans, or were allowed credit with
former dealers. The manifestly right function of a relief grant of money
for business is distribution such as will not supplant aid from other
sources. But what of the small grants given to persons who could by
neither hook nor crook obtain a supplemental sum? Forty-six of the 93
did succeed in getting help from other sources, and with three
exceptions, made a start. Forty-seven did not succeed in getting help
from other sources, 19 of whom failed to start. Of this 47, more than
one-third were past the age of fifty. It is precisely in the cases of
these individuals who have no other resources that supervising visitors
would prove useful in devising ways and means to get a venture launched,
arranging if necessary for a further committee grant.

An inspection of the case records seems to show that the members of the
small-grant low-capital group who increased their resources by borrowing
were, on the whole, more successful than those who did not borrow. Of
the 50 applicants who went into debt, 34, about two-thirds, were found
in business in 1908, while of the 70 who incurred no debt, only 30,
considerably less than one-half, were in business. In the two remaining
cases of the 122, the data were incomplete. The plan of the
Rehabilitation Committee then, which was to have applicants use their
grants as the means of a start on a credit basis, seems justified as
applied to those individuals who have the courage to assume necessary

The applicants who did not go into debt seem to have been
ultra-conservative persons for whom the rehabilitation program was too
strenuous. Doubtless for the most part they did well not to go into
debt. Most probably these were frugal souls who had never incurred risks
but had saved their wages and not made their original start until they
could equip a business for cash. Afterwards they had doubtless
continued, as they started, paying cash as they went along. It is not to
be expected of those who have done business on a cash basis all their
lives, that, when the passing years have done their work of lessening
initiative, they should cheerfully and confidently assume a burden of
debt. It would seem to be the duty of a relief committee to recognize
the handicap on those trying to earn their living through business who
never possessed the initiative of the typical business man, have been
robbed of it by age or ill health, or have been made conservative by
domestic responsibilities.

The 122 cases of the small-grant low-capital group comprise one-half of
the re-visited persons to whom aid had been given for enterprises in
personal or domestic service. In view of the fact that but 66 of the
122, slightly over one-half, were in business in 1908, it seems evident
that a considerable number of these families (1) should not have been
given money except for household rehabilitation, (2) should have been
given sums materially larger in amount, or (3) should have been given
the advantage of expert supervision.

Before leaving the subject of rehabilitation in personal service, it
will be well to note briefly the remaining 123 cases, which number
divide themselves into a large-grant low-capital group of 53 cases and a
high-capital group of 70 cases.

The occupations of the members of the large-grant low-capital group were
much the same as the foregoing; of the 53 in this group, 40 secured
grants for boarding and rooming houses, seven for barber shops, and six
for restaurants. As in the case of the preceding group, a number of the
applicants went into debt in order to increase their capital available
for business; and again the Relief Survey records show that those who
incurred debt were, in general, more successful than those who did not.
Extreme care must, however, be exercised in formulating conclusions
because of the small number of cases involved.

The 70 persons in the high-capital group represent higher standards and
more ambitious plans than the members of the preceding groups. The
grants were often small in amount because the applicant’s resources were
known to be substantial. Capital ranged in this group from $700 to
nearly $3,000. Again, rooming houses are in the ascendancy. There were
56 grants for this purpose, seven for restaurants, three for barber
shops, two for laundries, one for a towel supply concern, and one for a
window-cleaning enterprise. The families were constituted much as in
the small-grant low-capital group, over two-fifths being individuals or
couples living alone. Among the 175 cases of the two low-capital groups,
in which capital was under $700, only one-fifth of the number had
savings, insurance, or real estate available for business. In this
high-capital group 36, or more than half of the cases, had resources.

Twenty-five out of the 36 who had resources, and every one of the 34 who
were without resources, went into debt, and all but four of the 70
started business. In the low-capital groups those who stayed out of debt
exceeded those who incurred it. In this group, the great majority had
gone into debt, even including the greater number of those who had
insurance or savings in addition to their grant.

Of 11 applicants who avoided debt, three did not start in business, but
eight who did so remained in business; while of the remaining 59, who
borrowed, all but one started, and 49 remained in business. Because of
the small number of cases, and particularly of cases in which no debt
was assumed, these figures must not be construed as establishing a
relationship between success and borrowing or failing to borrow.

Some comparisons between these three groups are suggestive. It seems
that the families in the small-grant low-capital group must have needed
much more money than they had, or so many would not have failed to get
into business as planned. The small grants they received were not enough
to encourage them to incur a moderate debt and go ahead. Consequently,
only slightly over one-half succeeded in establishing themselves in

Persons in the large-grant low-capital group appear not to have needed
much additional assistance, for while considerably over half of them got
along without incurring debt, over three-fourths were established in

Those in the high-capital group needed sums of $700 or more to resume
business on anything like the old scale. The grants they received were
in many cases actually, and in most cases relatively, small. Even though
many had substantial resources, yet nearly all went into debt. That the
capital with which members of this group entered business was, in
general, sufficient, seems to be indicated by the fact that 57 of the
70 were in business at the time of the re-visit.


The success of small trade enterprises is affected in the confusion of
post-disaster conditions and, in the absence of expert supervision,
almost as much by the amount of capital available as is personal and
domestic service. Like the keeping of rooming houses and other branches
of personal service, trade is looked upon by the unskilled as an easy
means of earning a livelihood. But the prizes in trade are, as a matter
of fact, reserved for those rare few who have the special sense for
perceiving the “elusive value that hovers now here and now there.” The
average citizen, if he is to make even a modest living by trade, needs
certain material advantages to compensate him for the lack of that keen
economic sense possessed by the shining few who started with the
traditional pack and are now numbered among our merchant princes. When
the everyday citizen sets out to peddle, he must have a horse, a place
to keep him, hay to feed him while he lives, and money enough to make a
payment down on another if he dies. If the business is to be in a shop,
it must be fairly well located, and decently equipped with fixtures and
stock. He can go into debt for fixtures, but as a rule he can get little
credit for stock, especially if it is a mixed stock, like that of a
notion store, or perishable stock, such as food stuff. In fact, the only
shop keeper sure of holding his own in the face of universal competition
is the one who can pay a fair amount of rent from the start, can buy
attractive fixtures for cash, pay cash for all goods,--thus avoiding
interest charges on deferred payments,--and have enough margin left to
extend credit, when necessary, to customers and to carry stock over a
dull season. Such business does not from the start necessarily include
shelter for the family as is the case with a rooming house. It is often
many months before the net income is sufficient adequately to support
more than one person.

So much for the average citizen, starting business on his own capital,
or given a lump sum by a relief committee and left, without supervision,
to run the risk of making costly if not irretrievable mistakes.

BUILDING, one year after the fire, April 18, 1907]

It has already been seen that, of the 175 applicants given assistance
for trade, 124, or about 71 per cent, were in business at the time of
the visit in 1908. In three cases satisfactory data relative to capital
could not be secured. The 172 remaining cases have been classified, like
the persons aided in personal and domestic service, on the basis of
capital and grants. Table 62 shows for the small-grant low-capital
group, for the large-grant low-capital group, and for the high-capital
group the number of applicants in business at the time of the Relief
Survey, those who started but discontinued, and the number who did not


          Business status       |CASES IN WHICH |CASES IN|Total
                                |CAPITAL WAS LOW| WHICH  |
                                +-------+-------+CAPITAL |
                                |Grant  | Grant |WAS HIGH|
                                |small  | large |        |
  In business at time of revisit|  54   |   20  |    50  | 124
  Started and discontinued      |  14   |    7  |     4  |  25
  Did not start                 |  19   |    4  |     .. |  23
      Total                     |  87   |   31  |    54  | 172

  [166] Information relative to amount of capital was secured for only
  172 of the 175 applicants receiving business rehabilitation for trade
  concerning whom data are presented in Table 60.

It will be seen that the proportion of applicants remaining in business
was very high for members of the high-capital group, and only very
slightly higher for the members of the large-grant low-capital group
than for the members of the small-grant low-capital group.

Of the re-visited applicants who were given rehabilitation for trade,
87, or about one-half, fall within the small-grant low-capital group.
Some of the 87 proposed to become peddlers, canvassers, or agents, but
the majority planned to be merchants or dealers. Notion stores, branch
bakeries, cigar stands, grocery stores, millinery stores, tea and coffee
routes, and stationery stores were among the enterprises contemplated.
Two-thirds of the families either had no dependents or had wage-earners
to supplement the income from the business. The proportion entirely
without resources is high, being 62 out of 87. Twenty-six incurred
indebtedness in order to engage in business; and of these, 23 were in
business in 1908. Of the 61 who did not borrow, only 31 remained in

It seems that to start a small enterprise, grants of under $300 to
persons who could not bring their capital to a point between $500 and
$700 without assuming an unwieldy debt, were too small, in the absence
of close supervision, to assure their restoration within a reasonable
length of time to a normal standard of living.

The large-grant low-capital trade group had but 31 members. Nearly half
of the number were families with dependents and without wage-earners.
Their enterprises were of the same character as were those of the
small-grant group. Only eight of the 31 went into debt, and the amounts
they obtained were in no case as much as the grant. Six of the eight
remained in business. Of the 23 that did not borrow, 14 remained in
business. Because of the small number of cases involved, no conclusions
should be drawn as to the relation between success and borrowing.

There remain of the trade enterprises a high-capital group of 54 persons
in half as many different lines of buying and selling. Over half of
these families had dependents, most of the families having dependents
being couples with from one to five young children. Four-fifths of all
the families had before-fire resources. The persons who contracted
indebtedness numbered 42, and of these, 39 were in business at the time
of the re-visit. Eleven of the 12 families who did not borrow were in
business. Because of the similarity of the proportion of successes among
those who incurred indebtedness and among those who did not, and because
of the small numbers involved, conclusions would be worse than


One hundred and six persons who had applied for aid for business and had
been refused were visited in 1908, and most of them were located and
personally interviewed. The visitors had dreaded to meet these
disappointed applicants face to face, and were agreeably surprised to
find that most of them were quite willing to be interviewed and for the
most part bore the Rehabilitation Committee no ill-will. The many who
were doing well were proud to have achieved success without aid; and
those who had failed to get into business and were doing poorly, were
pleased to have some one on whom to lay the blame. Only one man refused
point blank to give an interview.

Except for showing a preponderance of married couples, the families to
whom aid was refused were constituted about as were those families to
whom aid was given. They had in general much more extensive resources
than the grantees, though 13 had no resources whatever and 22 others had
less than $500.

The reasons for which aid was refused were in general more technical
than those for which assistance of a less specialized nature was denied.
Six were refused, in fact, because their character and habits were
thought to be such as would militate against success; two were remitted
to the care of near relatives; and two were found to have rehabilitated
themselves unaided. Ten only were refused because they had not been in
business before the fire; and 20 because they presented no feasible plan
or because they wanted to start saloons, which latter proposal,
naturally, the Committee could not approve. Five were refused because
they wanted to be re-established on a large scale. The largest grant the
Committee could have given them would have been too small for their
needs. The remaining 61 were refused because they were judged able to
rehabilitate themselves, if not in business, then through wage-earning.

Of the 106 refused grants by the Committee, 42 did not start business,
but 62 started without the aid applied for. Two of those refused had
died. Of the 62 who entered business, eight failed and the remaining 54
were still in business in 1908. Failure to start was much more general
among the candidates for rehabilitation in personal service than among
those who sought aid for manufacturing or mechanical enterprises, which
serves to emphasize what has been said as to the greater expectation of
success in the lines involving mechanical skill.

As was to be expected from the fact that exhaustive investigation was
not attempted by the Rehabilitation Committee in 1906, a certain number
of the refusals appeared, in the judgment of the reviewer, to have been
unjustified. There were 23 such instances. In 12 of them conditions were
not without remedy. Reports on seven of the cases were submitted to the
Rehabilitation Committee, and grants of from $250 to $350 each were
promptly made. Five other families were found in which circumstances had
changed so as to make aid advisable. To the 12 families, the sum of
$3,090 altogether was distributed in 1908.


Business rehabilitation was successful, then, to the extent that of the
894 applicants aided who were visited, 683 started in business and 543
were still in business in 1908.[167] Of the 211 applicants who received
grants, but did not enter business, 10 are known to have died; 63
abandoned altogether their plans for entering business; 21 modified
their plans as stated to the Committee, or substituted other plans; 10
spent their grants for housing, furniture, or living expenses; and one
invested the grant in his son’s business. Data as to the 106 remaining
cases are lacking.

  [167] See Table 57, p. 186.

It seemed to the reviewer unlikely that any of the 63 applicants who had
abandoned the idea of going into business at the time of the grant would
ever enter business again. Thirty-nine were working for wages, nine were
housewives, and nine were dependent. Data concerning six are incomplete.

As to the causes of the breaking down of the plans for rehabilitation
presented to the Committee, the amount of capital available appears to
have played its part. While for nine of the 63 cases in which the plan
broke down utterly, the amount of capital was not known, in only nine of
the remaining 54 cases, or about 17 per cent, was the capital as large
as $500. Of those, on the other hand, who merely modified their plans,
or who substituted others, over half had $500 or more working capital.
In 57 cases it is known how the grant was spent: in 20 instances it went
for general living expenses; in 11 instances for illness and in six
others for funeral expenses; in 11 for household furniture; in three for
housing; in two for clothing; in two for old debts; in one for a
typewriter; and in one for transportation.

In 42 of the 63 cases of breakdown of the plan, there is strong
internal evidence that the grant was either inadequate (23 cases), given
too late (eight cases); or given without supervision, of which there was
an obvious need (11 cases). In six cases the applicant appears to have
been deficient in enterprise, and in 11 cases the applicant’s
circumstances changed after receiving the grant. Of the four remaining
cases little is known.

Sickness and death and household and personal needs consumed more than
three-fifths of the diverted grants. In the summer and fall of 1906 the
members of the Rehabilitation Committee often shaved down grants because
of a perfectly natural fear of a future shortage of funds. A mental
habit of caution was being formed during these months of uncertainty
which without doubt affected Committee VI in its later handling of some
1,690 cases. Some of these applications were very properly refused. The
894 re-visited applicants who were aided were given grants averaging
$247. With the half million dollars that Committee VI had on hand, the
grants could have been made to average $400 for the 1,226 grantees aided
by this committee. Doubtless grants of such an amount, augmented when
necessary to provide money for furniture and clothing, coupled with more
frequent supervision, would have reduced materially the number that
failed to re-establish. Failures would then have been largely confined
to those few persons who showed themselves deficient in enterprise, or
whose circumstances changed so completely after receipt of the grant as
to make re-establishment impossible.





  I. GENERAL PLAN OF HOUSING WORK                                  215

  1. Introductory                                                  215
  2. Retrospective                                                 216
  3. The General Plan                                              218

  II. THE CAMP COTTAGES                                            221

  1. General Cost                                                  221
  2. Families Occupying the Cottages                               223
  3. Wages and Occupations                                         226
  4. Housing Before and After the Fire                             229
  5. Two Cottage Settlements                                       234
  6. Brief Comments                                                237

  III. THE BONUS PLAN                                              239

  1. The Plan Itself                                               239
  2. Bonus Recipients                                              240
  3. Occupations and Resources                                     244
  4. The Houses--Character and Cost                                248
  5. Brief Comments                                                251

  IV. THE GRANT AND LOAN PLAN                                      253

  1. The Plan Itself                                               253
  2. Relation Between the Department of Lands and Buildings and
     the Housing Committee                                         256
  3. The Number Aided and the Cost                                 257
  4. Families Making Use of the Grants and Loans                   259
  5. Occupations and Resources                                     262
  6. Housing Before and After the Fire                             266
  7. Status of Loans in 1909 and 1911 and Additional Aid           271
  8. Cases of Expensive Building                                   273
  9. Brief Comments                                                276

  GENERAL CONCLUSIONS ON HOUSING PLANS                             277

[Illustration: In the land of flowers

A simple but cozy home





A specific housing study was undertaken as one feature of this Relief
Survey in order to ascertain the extent and character of the destruction
of homes, to review the efforts made to furnish temporary shelter, and
the policy and methods followed in the administration of the relief fund
for building purposes. Some effects of the disaster upon the applicants
were studied and the results recorded.

An attempt was also made to combine with the more specific study a
consideration of the social status of each family, the occupation and
earnings of the breadwinner and of other members, and certain facts
relating to race characteristics and to rent expenditures. The
investigation was begun in August, 1908, by a force of field workers who
during the following three months made visits to the families and from
personal interviews and corroborating inquiry obtained all or part of
the information desired. The time intervening between the fire and the
close of the study was therefore about two and one-half years. Though
the city was by no means entirely rebuilt at the time of the study there
was a demand for and a supply of labor which was in a large measure
normal. Those who had received aid from the relief funds to rebuild had
had time to consider what their permanent housing policy should be and,
in the majority of cases, had made determinate plans.

The general plan of the study was to secure information for three
specific periods: for the time immediately preceding the earthquake,
when it was assumed that conditions were normal; for the interval
between the disaster and the time the applicants built and occupied
their new homes, when conditions were abnormal; and finally, for the
period covered by the investigation, when most of the applicants had
been living for some time in their new homes, and when conditions were
again relatively normal.

Easy access was had to the fairly complete minutes of the various
committee meetings, and to the numerous and well-arranged letters of
instruction written by those who had charge of the housing work. Records
had been kept of every case aided, showing the nature, extent, purpose
of the grants, and the date at which the relief was given. This
material, together with reports of the auditor of the Corporation and
extensive files of newspaper clippings, was available for this study.


There was delay in carrying out any comprehensive plans for housing
because, as has been told,[168] emergency needs had first to be met, and
because when the complex relief organization had taken shape,
rehabilitation was halted by the action of some of the eastern donors to
the funds. Another delaying element was the expectation that the
national government might be persuaded to place large deposits with
local banking houses, which might become available, on easy terms, for
building purposes.[169] To this end a delegation of San Francisco
citizens visited Congress to discuss the plan with the members. After
careful consideration by financiers and those socially interested, the
plan was decided to be impracticable.

  [168] See Part I, pp. 22 ff., 69 ff., and 99. In page 69 ff., just
  noted, have been incorporated some of the facts gathered for this
  distinctive study. See also Original Housing Plan, Appendix I, p. 394.

  [169] For account of the proposed $10,000,000 building fund, see
  _Charities and the Commons_, June 16, 1906.

When the Department of Lands and Buildings began to work it needed large
quantities of lumber, but private interests had quickly purchased, at
the excessive prices asked, the large supply which had been brought to
the city. The Department was obliged at the beginning to secure from
outside firms an option on 3,000,000 feet of lumber and a proportionate
number of shingles. The option was secured at reasonable terms and the
lumber was speeded to the city by steamers; but so great was the demand
for teamsters that men had finally to be brought from nearby cities and
towns to transport it to the building sites. Many planing mills had
been destroyed, and those running were so crowded with private orders
that the Department to avoid great delay had to erect two planing mills.
These mills caused a saving not only in time but in expense.

The difficulty of securing reliable contractors was increased by the
number of private orders received by the local firms, so that additional
contractors had to be secured from adjacent cities. The expense of
construction was increased still further by the abnormal prices asked
for labor. The destruction of deeds and other evidences of title; the
difficulty and expense of re-surveys; the perplexity in trying to locate
building sites because of the uncertainty as to whether certain parts of
the city would in the future be used as business or residence sections;
the tardiness of insurance adjustments and the repudiating of liability
by not a few companies,--these factors combined to retard the work and
increase the cost of building.

In Part I[170] a brief account is given of the first efforts made by the
Department of Lands and Buildings to provide permanent cottages for some
of the refugees. As soon as it became known that building was to be
begun on a large scale, various real estate firms with vacant lot
holdings came forward with proposals to sell, lease, or rent to those in
charge of the relief fund. A typical proposition by a large real estate
company provided for the erection of 3,000 or more houses, to be well
equipped with sanitary plumbing, to be placed on graded grounds, and to
be supplied with an adequate water system. The price of each house,
complete, was to be $1,506. An objection raised against this and similar
schemes for re-housing was that large tracts of unimproved land were as
a rule situated in outlying and inaccessible districts. Practically all
of those who were seeking shelter had formerly lived near the business
center of the city, many at least within walking distance of their
places of employment. They naturally had no desire to take up permanent
residence in an outlying district where excessive expenses would have to
be incurred. All plans, whether submitted in good faith or not, that
seemed to be based primarily on a desire for personal profit were wisely
rejected by the Department.

  [170] See Part I, p. 82 ff.

The proposition was not only seriously considered of aiding on a large
scale the applicants to build, but steps were taken towards the
purchasing, leasing, and renting of lots. Inspectors located all
available vacant lots and tracts of land within the city, and experts
determined their value. But as all such property was shown to be too
unsatisfactorily situated to justify a large expenditure, it was decided
after further discussion not to purchase, lease, or rent any lots, but
to confine activities either to erecting houses or to aiding those
needing help to construct their own. A further reason that led the
Corporation to withdraw the plan was that to carry it into effect would
require the Corporation to exist for five years at least, and probably

The Department considered the possibility of purchasing ready-built
houses, for example in Michigan, to be shipped to the city in sections.
A few such houses, as an experiment, were bought and set up on vacant
lots. Objections to the purchase of such houses were that the workmen of
the city, whose number was increased by the influx of outside workers,
needed to be employed as builders, and that large supplies of lumber
were soon to be available. The plan was quickly abandoned.

Though the general theory that people should be aided only to regain
their former standard of living was one that played an important part in
determining the question of shelter for the individual family, the
desirability of not restoring former bad housing conditions necessarily
meant that in many cases a family could be encouraged, by promise of
aid, to build and maintain a home of its own which would be much
superior to the quarters formerly occupied. The opportunity which the
city had to prevent the return of its people to undesirable homes was to
be determined, as far as the applicants for shelter were concerned, by
the work of the Department coupled with the applicant’s readiness to
make beneficial use of better conditions of environment.

[Illustration: Substantial and weatherproof

Commodious and attractive



Any adequate plan for housing had to make provision for four classes of
people. First, the property owners, who had in the past acquired some
property within the burned district, should be helped to their feet
again. The carrying out of the bonus plan, intended to meet the needs of
this class, is fully described in Chapter III.[171] Second, the
chronic dependents should be accepted by the city as permanent charges.
The execution of the plan made for caring for this class is the subject
of Part VI.[172] Third, the non-property owners who were resourceful,
should be stimulated, by means of grants or loans, to acquire their own
homes either through the purchase of lots or through leasing the same at
a nominal sum for a period of years. The plan is dealt with in Chapter
IV.[173] Fourth, the non-property owners who had never lived in other
than rented quarters and who were not likely to make wise use of a grant
for the erection of a permanent home, should be sheltered until cheap
cottages could be erected for their temporary use. This last plan[174]
is fully described in Chapter II of this Part.

  [171] See Part IV, p. 239 ff.

  [172] See also Part I, pp. 23 and 87-88, and Part V, p. 305 ff.

  [173] See Part IV, p. 253 ff.

  [174] See Part IV, p. 221 ff. For beginning of the work of supplying
  camp cottages, see Part I, p. 22 ff.

The work of the Department of Lands and Buildings divides itself into
three parts: first, the erection of camp cottages; second, the payment
of bonuses to property owners wishing to re-build; third, a sharing for
a time with the housing committee of the Department of Relief and
Rehabilitation of the work entailed in making grants and loans to
non-property owners for building purposes.

The number of houses erected directly by the Corporation or in part from
aid given by it according to the three plans which are fully described
in the following chapters, is shown in the following table:


  Style of houses or plan of relief|Houses erected
  Camp cottages                    |    5,610
  Grant and loan buildings         |    1,572
  Bonus houses                     |      885
  Two-story tenement houses        |       19
      Total                        |    8,086

The camp cottages and the tenement houses were entirely constructed by
the Department of Lands and Buildings through its own contractors, and
were assigned for occupancy by the camp commanders. The capacity of
these camp cottages, allowing one person to the room, was 15,288
persons, and the greatest population at any one time was 16,448. The
tenement houses accommodated about 650 people. The grant and loan
buildings were erected partly by contractors of the housing
committee[175] of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation, and
partly by the people themselves. Those applicants whose houses were
built by the housing committee made part payments to the amount of
$57,073.16 in cash. Each owner of a so-called bonus house received from
the Department of Lands and Buildings the promised bonus upon the
completion of his building, in the erection of which the Department had
no part.

  [175] See Part IV, p. 253 ff.

The amount expended for shelter in the camps has been given in Part
I,[176] and expenditures for the aged and infirm will be considered in
detail in Part VI; but to gather the total expenditures from the relief
funds into one enumeration, the following inclusive table is given:

  [176] See Part I, p. 86, and Table 26, p. 87.


  Housing the homeless (emergency shelter)              $187,056.56[177]
  Assistance in construction of permanent homes:
    Through Lands and Buildings Dept.,
    as bonuses                              $423,288.17
    Through Department of Relief and
    Rehabilitation, all grants of
    Rehabilitation Committee, of Committee
    V, or of other sub-committee, and all
    loans whether repaid or not              567,300.85
                                            ----------- -----------
  Construction of camp cottages and tenements            884,558.81[177]
  Construction of Ingleside Model Camp for aged and
  infirm                                                  36,230.59[177]
  Construction and equipment of permanent home for
  aged and infirm                                        374.722.22[177]
      Total expenditures                              $2,473,157.20

  [177] Sixth Annual Report, American National Red Cross, pp. 73, 90,
  96, 98.

[Illustration: A tent camp was opened here May 19, 1906





The pressure to provide permanent shelter is shown to have been keenly
realized by the Corporation from the beginning of its work, and, before
the Corporation was called into existence, by the army officials, the
Finance Committee, and the American National Red Cross. On September 10,
1906, therefore, the Department of Lands and Buildings had ground broken
for the building of cottages in the official camps.[178] From that date
until March 19, 1907, the work was steadily continued, the contractor
being spurred by the offer of a bonus if certain houses were completed
within ninety days, and the threat of a forfeiture if a longer time were
taken. When the task was done 5,610 cottages had been erected; 4,068 of
three rooms and 1,542 of two rooms each. There had also been built 19
two-story tenement houses which sheltered about 650 persons. The total
cost of the cottages and tenement houses including painting, plumbing,
sewering, flush toilets, hoppers, water and gas connections, the moving
of tanks from the principal parks, the laying of sidewalks, and a
proportion of office expenses, was, as is shown in Table 64,

  [178] See Part I, p. 82.

The total cost of the 19 tenement houses, including painting, sewering,
patent flush toilets, water, gas in each room and in halls, sinks in
kitchen, baths and public laundries, was $41,678.95, an average of about
$2,200 per tenement. The 15,288 rooms in the two- and three-room
cottages cost, on the average, about $55 per room.

The erection of these cottages was essentially if not entirely a
business proposition. Little machinery was demanded. A superintendent of
building construction, aided by a small clerical force, constituted the
actual working body. After purchasing the lumber in large quantities,
the Department contracted with five large constructing companies to
erect the cottages in camps situated in different parts of the city.

The contractors assumed the responsibility of supplying labor and other
service; the Department, that of inspecting the completed work. It was
planned to charge a monthly rental of $4.00 for the two-room and $6.00
for the three-room cottages, but the plan of collecting rent from the
cottages located on city property was vigorously opposed by the mayor
and made illegal by a special ordinance. However, the technicality was
avoided and the law satisfied by substituting, for the form of lease, a
contract of purchase and sale, whereby the occupant agreed to buy
outright the house occupied by him and to pay for it in monthly
instalments which equaled in amount the rent formerly agreed upon. The
amounts advanced on the cottages by the occupants were later refunded to
those who purchased lots on which to place their cottages. The total
amount collected was $117,521.50 of which $109,373 was refunded. The
amount of $8,148.50 was unclaimed at the date of the investigation.
About 5,343 of these houses were, upon the breaking up of the camps,
moved either by individuals or the Associated Charities to purchased or
rented lots and became the permanent homes of the owners. Thus ground
rent, hitherto practically unknown in the city, is now paid by many of
the camp refugees.

The cottages were moved to all sections of the city, even to surrounding
towns and counties, and in not a few cases ownership was exchanged many
times. Visits were made to addresses given for 1,137 of these removed
cottages, as a result of which a total of 680 fairly complete records
was secured and the findings tabulated. The investigators tried to get
the present location of the remaining 457 cottages from cottagers whose
addresses at the date of removal from camp were similar to those of
unidentified recipients, but the clue was useless, as the cottages
either had not been moved to the addresses given, or had later been
moved again by the owners. Eighty-seven cottages are known to have been
sold to others and their original owners to have effectually disappeared
from the community; 23 cottagers are known to have refused to pay, or
been unable to pay, ground rent, the lot owners in consequence having
seized their cottages; and nine cottages were rented and the owners
could not be found. The 680 families found and interviewed had, with few
exceptions, owned and occupied the same cottages in the camps. The
exceptions were the occupants of the houses moved by the Associated
Charities and the few who had not made their home in the official camps
but were given cottages.


The important questions to be considered in this review of the housing
situation are, who were the people who used these cottages, and what
difference did the effort of the relief authorities really make to them?

The proportion of foreign born persons among the occupants of the camp
cottages was very large, though not quite so large, as will be seen, as
was the proportion of the foreign born among the recipients of

  [179] See Table 74, p. 241.


                     |  Native born   | Foreign born
                     |applicants whose|applicants of
      Nationality    |parents were of |each specified
                     | each specified | nationality
                     |  nationality   |
  American           |      193       |      ..
  Irish              |       16       |     127
  Italian            |        6       |      73
  German             |        4       |      55
  Mexican            |        1       |      52
  English            |        2       |      34
  Porto Rican        |        0       |      27
  French             |        1       |      15
  Other nationalities|        8       |      66
      Total          |      231       |     449

The three nationalities which will be found in greatest numbers among
the recipients of the bonus likewise appeared most frequently among
those who received camp cottages, though the order is different. The
Americans among the cottagers outnumbered the Irish, and the Italians
were in the third place.

The status of these families with regard to marriage, death, divorce,
and desertion was obtained in every case.


    Conjugal condition |      Families of each
                       |specified conjugal condition
  Married couples      |            402
  Widows               |            188
  Single men or women  |             44
  Deserted wives       |             25
  Widowers             |             18
  Divorced men or women|              3
      Total            |            680

Though the number of families given as intact is 402, in 73 instances
either the husband or the wife had, at the time of the investigation,
gone from home in search of work, health, or for other reasons. The
large excess of women who had lost their husbands, over the number of
men who had lost their wives, is striking, and is certainly out of all
proportion to the number of widows in the city. No explanation is
offered other than to suggest the greater financial necessity of widows,
especially of those with children. It is known that some of those
included among the 44 single persons were members of a larger family,
and possibly in a few instances they supported an aged parent or others.
Six of the desertions occurred between April 18, 1906, and the time of
the investigation, and four persons were during that time removed from
family life to be imprisoned.

There were 1,312 children enumerated as members of these complete or
broken families, many of them born to young married people who had but
recently come to the city. More children[180] were found in the Italian
than in the American or Irish families, the proportion being 3.1
children to an Italian family, 2.1 to an Irish family, 1.8 to an
American family. Ages were recorded of the persons making application
for cottages.

  [180] See Tables 38 and 39, p. 156.


             Age period          | Applicants in each
                                 |specified age period
  Less than 30 years             |         81
  30 years and less than 40 years|        191
  40 years and less than 50 years|        173
  50 years and less than 60 years|        132
  60 years and less than 70 years|         71
  70 years and over              |         24
      Total                      |        672

  [181] Of the 680 families investigated, eight failed to supply
  information relative to age of applicant.

Sixty-six per cent of the 680 applicants were women. It is interesting
to compare this number with the 41 per cent of women among the
recipients of bonuses[182] and the 18 per cent among the families
receiving grants and loans.[183] The burden of making application fell
more and more on the women as the family moved down in the social and
economic scale. From April 18, 1906, to the date of the investigation,
138 persons in the group suffered the handicap of illness, 55 were
invalided, 28 met with accidents, and 89 were removed by death. These
data represent the carrying of unduly heavy burdens.

  [182] See Part IV, p. 242. The fact that so many women had lodging
  houses in the burned district before the disaster accounts partly for
  the large proportion of women applicants for bonuses.

  [183] See Part IV, p. 261.

The number of families in the group that supported other than their own
children, aged parents, or other relatives, was only 68, or 10 per cent
of the total. The size of the households was, however, further increased
by the presence of some persons who were self-supporting or who
contributed to the common income. The comparatively small number of
dependents both before and after the fire may have been due to poverty,
to lack of room, or to the fact that many were comparatively recent
arrivals and had no dependents in America.


The work and wages of this group of families before and after the
disaster were carefully studied.


          Occupational group          |  MEN IN EACH SPECIFIED
                                      |   OCCUPATIONAL GROUP
  Personal and domestic service       |    10     |   185  | 195
  Manufactures and mechanical pursuits|     9     |    88  |  97
  Trade                               |    15     |   105  | 120
  Professional                        |     1     |     2  |   3
      Total                           |    35     |   380  | 415

The incomes of the 35 men who conducted a business before the fire, as
estimated by them, ranged from $20 to $200 a month in 24 instances.
Eleven men gave no figures, but said they had gotten a living out of
their business. Certainly the living was precarious for the group as a
whole, for they had little if any savings. At the time of the
investigation, the number owning their own business was less than half
what it had been in April, 1906. The nature of employment suffered sharp
changes. The record is not complete, but for the 341 men whose
post-disaster occupation record as employes was obtained, 174 may be
classed under personal and domestic occupations, 92 under manufactures
and mechanical pursuits, 59 under trades and transportation, and two
under professional. Fourteen were classed as miscellaneous. It would
appear that the number employed at work demanding chiefly physical
strength, is somewhat increased; the number engaged at work requiring
skilled labor, slightly reduced.

[Illustration: A janitor’s comfortable home

Improved at small expense


The following table gives the wages received by the 380 male employes
before the disaster:


       Monthly wages     |Employes receiving
                         | wages specified
  Less than $20          |         6
  $20 and less than $30  |        21
  $30 and less than $40  |        43
  $40 and less than $50  |        49
  $50 and less than $75  |       170
  $75 and less than $100 |        60
  $100 and less than $150|        21
  $150 and less than $200|         3
  “Made a living”        |         7
      Total              |       380

Some few are shown to have made very good incomes, but it is not known
why they had been unable to acquire property before the fire. The actual
wages were in most cases, because of irregularity of employment,
considerably less than the amounts given above, which represent what
would be the wages for regular employment. It was impossible to
ascertain how irregular any given employment was. In comparing the wages
received after the disaster, practically no change is found. Previous to
April 18, 1906, 76 per cent of these men received less than $75 per
month, while at the time of the investigation 75 per cent of them were
receiving less than that amount. From the standpoint of income received
by the chief breadwinner alone, many families were practically on the
same financial basis as at the time of the disaster.

Of the 265 women who before the fire were either the entire support of
the family or were supplementing the earnings of their husbands, 162 had
been engaged in personal and domestic service, 88 in manufactures, 12 in
the trades, and three in the professions. Of these women, 213 were
widows. After the disaster the number of women employed was reduced to
258. Their wages before the disaster varied from less than $20 a month,
received by 71 women, to “$50 to $75” received by 11, and “above $75”
received by one. One woman claimed to have earned more than $75. A large
proportion, 49, gave their wages as “living expenses.” After the
disaster the number getting less than $20 a month was increased to 94;
but on the other hand, 14 were receiving from $50 to $75. As in the case
of the men, irregularity of employment meant that the actual incomes of
the women were less than their own estimates. Previous to the fire, in
216 different families, or 32 per cent of the total 680, children or
adults other than the principal breadwinner were contributing to the
home by their outside earnings; afterwards this number increased to 271,
or 40 per cent.

Sub-letting of rooms was a source of income to 113, or 17 per cent, of
the families before the disaster; afterwards the number was reduced to
46, or 7 per cent. The two- and three-room cottages were hardly large
enough for their own members.


   Estimated yearly income |    FAMILIES HAVING
                           |     YEARLY INCOME
                           |       SPECIFIED
                           |Before fire|After fire
  Less than $300           |     43    |   102
  $300 and less than $600  |    168    |   179
  $600 and less than $800  |    211    |   176
  $800 and less than $1,200|    119    |   100
  $1200 and over           |     94    |    84
      Total                |    635    |   641

  [184] Of the 680 families investigated, 45 failed to supply
  information relative to income before the fire and 39 relative to
  income after the fire.

Table 70 shows that after the fire the proportion of families in the
lower income groups was somewhat larger, and the proportion in the
higher income groups somewhat smaller than before the fire. It appears
from a further study of the data that 329 families had greater incomes
before the fire than after, while 215 had greater incomes after the
fire, and 92 substantially the same income at both periods. Families to
the number of 44 failed to report on this point.

The standard of living of the families of four to five members with a
smaller yearly income was extremely low. Some were aided by relatives
and others were assisted from time to time by philanthropic societies.
Those who had received regularly as much as $600 a year were probably
self-supporting but had put aside no savings. Only 6 per cent of this
group of families had savings at the time of the fire, and only 7 per
cent were to receive insurance for losses. They carried however only a
small burden of debt. Afterwards, 131 were reported to be in debt, in
the main for improvements made on their property or for the purchase of
a lot. They had, therefore, comparatively little insurance and savings
on which to draw, and received little aid from gifts and loans with
which to rebuild. In fact, only 10 of the entire number stated that they
had received gifts from relatives or from any other source, and an equal
number, that they had obtained loans. The gifts from relatives ranged
from $10 to $750, and the loans obtained, from $25 to $250. Two cases
are noted of large amounts received, one of $3,300, the other of $5,000,
for property sold or inherited after the fire.

In addition to the privilege of removing the cottages from the camps
without charge,[185] 415, or 61 per cent, of the applicants received
money grants from the Rehabilitation Committee. These amounts were given
for various purposes, but in the main for furniture, clothing, sewing
machines, and other general household rehabilitation. A certain number
were granted small amounts for housing purposes in order that they might
make improvements on their cottages or, in a few cases, to aid in the
construction of new homes.

  [185] See Part I, p. 85, and Part IV, p. 232.


Only 15 of these families had owned the houses in which they were living
at the date of the fire, though seven others possessed real estate for
which they received rent. One family claimed to have owned property
valued at $5,000. As the majority of the group had lived in rented
houses no attempt was made to learn the value of the rented property. At
the time of removal from the camps all but four owned the cottages in
which they were living. Table 71 shows the character of their previous


      Style of house      |Families living in
                          |  houses of each
                          |  specified style
  A flat or flats         |        466
  Small houses or cottages|        109
  Furnished rooms         |         67
  Apartments              |         15
  Basements               |          4
      Total               |        661

  [186] Of the 680 families visited, 19 lived in other cities before the

It must be borne in mind that the homes which they had occupied were the
least desirable in the city. The houses had been used almost exclusively
as dwellings; only 24 of the families had had a shop or store connected
with their homes. After the disaster but seven had a shop and dwelling
combined. The number of rooms occupied before the fire by those who
during camp life and afterwards lived in two- and three-room cottages,


  Number of rooms occupied|Families occupying
                          |  each specified
                          |  number of rooms
  1                       |         50
  2                       |        111
  3                       |        204
  4 and less than 7       |        284
  7 and less than 10      |         12
      Total               |        661

  [187] Of the 680 families investigated, 19 failed to supply
  information relative to the number of rooms occupied before the fire.

The congestion during camp life was probably more undesirable though not
so extensive, crowding being excessive in comparatively few instances.

[Illustration: Where the trade winds blow

In full view of the Pacific


In 379 of the 680 families who lived in camp cottages there had been not
more than one person to a room; in 260, not more than two to a room.
The large number of cottages erected made it necessary to place them
close together. In the parks regular streets were laid out on which the
cottages fronted with very little space intervening between the
buildings. The compact housing of people meant that in some cases
respectable people were compelled to associate to a certain extent with
the less desirable. On the whole, however, the general moral conditions
were not bad, the statements of some that the camp environment was bad
for young people being offset by those of others that they had been able
to maintain their accustomed moral standards. Naturally, the families
whose living conditions had been most favorable before the disaster were
the ones most tried by the abnormal camp life.

The housing condition before the fire was, in some instances, not only
inadequate but unhealthful. It is certain that only 197, or 29 per cent,
of the families had the use of a bath. When the cottages were moved from
the camps, in 425 cases they were occupied as permanent homes with few
if any important additions. However, 245 of the families had made
improvements, 60 by adding rooms, 160 by adding front or back porches,
others by adding windows or doors or making other minor improvements.
The houses as a rule were placed on wooden foundations. A few were
shingled, but in most instances cracks were sealed with strips, or
covered with building paper inside. With their original coat of green
paint they appeared much the same as when erected in the camps. Some
persons who were fortunate enough to secure two or more cottages joined
them to make one good sized house.

The re-visit in 1908 disclosed the fact that only 16 bath tubs had been
put into the removed cottages, and that only 40 per cent of the cottages
had been connected with the water mains. The occupants of the remaining
60 per cent, perhaps because they were financially unable to connect
their houses with the regular water supply, had to draw their water from
hydrants in adjoining lots. The location of some of these cottages upon
the high hills characteristic of the city made them difficult of access,
and in some instances the daily supply of water had to be carried 50 to
100 feet up steep hills.

The toilet provision in the removed camp cottage homes was even less
satisfactory. In only 101 instances, or 15 per cent, were toilets
installed within the house. In the remaining 85 per cent the privies
were outside the house. When a number of cottages were grouped together
on the same tract of land, as frequently occurred, the occupants--in a
few cases as many as 10 families--invariably shared the common privy.

When the cottages were removed from the official camps most of those
occupying them were given them free of charge.[188] The only cost to be
met was for the moving and subsequent improvements or repairs. The
expense of moving varied according to the distance and accessibility of
the location chosen. The usual price charged by moving companies ranged
from $12.50 to $25; $15 for one and $25 for two cottages being the
common charge. The applicants paid the cost or were aided to do so by
their relatives, friends, or in some cases by their landlord. The
landlord would advance the necessary amount in order to have the
building placed on his own lot, for which he was to receive a monthly
ground rent. The Associated Charities[189] met the expense of moving 175
of the 680 cottages; the social settlements moved a few others. The
total cost of the houses to these applicants, including moving expenses
and all other improvements, is given in Table 73.

  [188] See Part I, p. 85.

  [189] For cost of removal borne by Associated Charities, see Part I,
  p. 86, footnote.


       Cost incurred     | Cottages costing
                         |   as specified
  Less than $50          |       365
  $50 and less than $100 |       130
  $100 and less than $200|       120
  $200 and over          |        52
    Total                |       667

  [190] Of the 680 families investigated, 13 failed to supply
  information relative to costs incurred.

The expenditure of the larger sums meant that substantial additions had
been made, and that by the increase of housing space the building had
been made far more desirable as a permanent home.

At the time of the investigation the cottagers had lived in their new
locations for from ten to eighteen months. Although 558, or 82 per cent,
of those who had occupied rented rooms before the fire preferred their
old to their present quarters, a majority were satisfied with their new
neighborhood, and 315, or 46 per cent, claimed that the new environment
was as desirable as the old, or in some cases more desirable. Upon
removal from the camps many of the cottages had been taken to vacant
lots to be grouped so closely together that there was comparatively
little privacy for each family. The objection of some to their present
surroundings was due partly to this fact, partly to the loss of familiar
friends that had made the old neighborhood congenial. The Corporation
had been anxious that the cottages should not be removed to different
parts of the city to be grouped under conditions practically identical
with those in the camps. However, though the sale of cottages to vacant
lot owners had been steadily refused, the liberal policy of giving
cottages to those occupying them in the official camps or to others in
need of shelter resulted in a number being located close together on the
same leased tract. The lots varied greatly in size. In some instances
four or five cottages were erected on an ordinary city lot, of 80 to 100
feet depth and 20 feet width. In others, 60 or more cottages were
crowded onto a tract as large as a city block. About 70 per cent of the
families occupied lots with at least one other cottage.

The lots were purchased by the cottagers, leased for a term of years, or
rented by the month. Of the 680 families only 70 had purchased lots. The
prices paid ranged from $250 to $3,000, but in more than half of the
cases were under $1,000. At the time of the investigation these lots
were being paid for by monthly instalments of from $8.00 to $25, and but
seven of the 70 families had canceled their indebtedness. Half the
number had not paid more than a quarter of the price of the lot, and
some were barely meeting the interest on the debt and were making no
headway toward acquiring the property.

Those leasing lots had signed contracts which would be in force from two
to five years,--a few even longer. What will happen when the agreements
expire, especially to those who have made no improvements on their
cottages, it is difficult to predict. It is known that many who removed
their cottages from the camps disposed of them shortly afterward so as
to get housing accommodations similar to those they had had before the
disaster. Some of the cottages which were made into convenient and
tasteful homes will doubtless be occupied by their owners for a long
time, for the owners will make an effort to complete the purchase of
their lots, or to renew the leases when they expire.

The rentals paid by those who were leasing lots varied from $6.00 to $15
per month, though a great majority paid from $6.00 to $8.50. Those
renting from month to month perhaps occupied slightly less desirable
lots; the rentals paid varied for the most part from $3.00 to $8.00 per


Mention has been made of the unsatisfactory cottage settlements that
took the place of the camp life.[191] Two such settlements were visited
and the housing and other living conditions investigated.

  [191] See Part I, p. 85.

The first tract is a sand lot belonging to an old estate, which was
leased by a real estate agent for a period of five years at a rate of
$280 per month. The Corporation refused to sanction his plan, but by
some means he secured an official permit in October, 1907.

After he had spent over a month in grading his tract and in placing most
of the 1,200 feet of sewer pipes, he was notified by the city board of
health that he might not be allowed to open his settlement as his
locality was threatened by the bubonic plague. In March of the following
year when he could make it clear that his sewerage and sanitation system
complied with the public health ordinances, he was granted a health
permit. On May 1, 1908, his block was opened to occupants. Two men, one
of whom was a Porto Rican boss who had come to San Francisco after the
disaster by way of Hawaii, were his assistants in securing people to
move into the block. Many came to this settlement from Lobos Square,
when that camp was broken up on June 30, 1908. For each cottage
moved, the two assistants received $1.00 commission, the boss receiving
in addition from the house-movers a commission of from $1.00 to $2.00.

[Illustration: First cottages in Villa Maria

The proprietor and his family


This block is 412 feet long and 272 feet wide, and the whole is
sub-divided into lots, each 20 x 37¹⁄₂ feet. A two-plank sidewalk 3,016
feet in length was laid and 18 inches of gravel placed on the two
interior streets by the residents, who received as payment a remittance
of part of their ground rent. Each lot was leased for a term of three
years, with the privilege of a two-year renewal to the satisfactory
lessees, at a monthly rate of $6.00 for the lots on the inner streets,
$7.00 and $8.00 for those facing the city streets. There were several
exceptions to these rentals, however, one being the case of a
hardworking, but very poor old woman whose monthly rate was lowered
$1.00; another case was that of a woman who for a time was paying a $10
monthly instalment in order to buy her house; a third, that of a family
which, after the cottage granted had been burned, was transferred to a
higher priced cottage at the same rent of $6.00. At the time of the
investigation only 12 of the 121 cottages were vacant. All had been
moved from Lobos Square by their original occupants or owners, except
about 20 which were moved by the agent in order to fill the block.

According to the agent, a number of families were at the time of the
investigation in arrears for their monthly ground rent and 12 had not
paid since they moved their cottages onto the block. On the average the
arrearage was equivalent to the entire number being one month behind.
Though several families vacated their cottages mainly because of their
inability to pay the rent, none had been evicted on that account.
Several purchasers of the vacated cottages had had to pay the arrears to
the agent as well as the purchase price to the owners of the cottages.

The sanitary conditions, according to the visitors’ report, met the
requirements of the board of health but did not conform to the normal
sanitary standard. One toilet and an adjoining hydrant were provided for
four cottages. Inspections usually were made twice a week by the janitor
whose duty it was to enforce cleanliness. The members of each group did
the cleaning in common and reported any breakage or defect in the
plumbing to one of the camp residents, a plumber. The janitor and
plumber received pay for their services in free rent.

Near each toilet and hydrant stood a large covered garbage can which was
emptied three times a week or oftener. The agent paid for these
services, which amounted to $25 a month for the block, and also the
water bill, which amounted to about $92 a month. He provided a supply of
ordinary garden hose, kept at two of the centrally located cottages,
with which to fight fire. About one-quarter of the cottagers had made
small additions to their cottages, such as porches, and about one-third
had bettered them slightly by paint, screen doors, and similar
improvements. A few of the most energetic had small, pretty gardens. The
housing conditions of a majority of these people seemed, on the whole,
to be better than before the fire. They at least paid less rent, and in
most cases, enjoyed cleaner quarters and better sanitation.

There was little sickness, though dissipation and moral degeneracy were
conspicuous among the majority of these people, who before the fire had
lived, many of them, in very undesirable localities. They suffered keen
poverty, due in part to scarcity of work, but perhaps largely to
intemperance and shiftlessness. Any day a group of men might be found
idle, while their women and children provided meager support.

The second tract was, previous to April 18, 1906, a vacant lot 192 x 137
feet. It was leased by a woman, a Mexican, for a period of three years,
with the privilege of a one-year renewal. No money was spent in grading,
in filling for sidewalks, or for other improvements; practically the
only item of expense was for sewerage. One hopper, one faucet, and a
toilet for each four families were installed to conform to the
requirements of the board of health. The landlady paid $100 for this
sanitary work, which had caused great dissatisfaction on account of its
poor quality. The individual families had had an increase in water rent
from 50 cents the first month to $1.15 the fourth, on account of leakage
in the pipes. The ground rent of $6.00 a month for lots 25 feet square
facing the city streets and of $5.00 for inner lots of the same size was
a little cheaper than that asked in other similar settlements; but added
charges for garbage and water made a total cost that was on the
average about what was met by those who occupied cottages elsewhere,
under better conditions. There were 55 children in all on the lot.


The 27 families occupying this lot came from the Lobos Square camp. The
landlady, as an inducement, had offered free ground rent for the month
of June, 1908. Three-quarters of the cottages were moved and repaired by
the Associated Charities at an average cost of $28.50 a cottage.[192]
The Associated Charities had recently shingled and put in sinks for the
six most nearly dependent households. It is not known how much the
landlady paid for her lease nor what profits she reaped. She regretted
the undertaking, however,--a result that might have been foreseen when
such a helpless class of tenants was accepted.

  [192] For work of Associated Charities in relation to housing
  families, see Part I, pp. 85-86.


The erection of a large number of two- and three-room cottages was
necessary if shelter were to be given to the poorest class of the
homeless refugees. With individual exceptions, the people had been
accustomed to comparatively low standards of living. They consumed each
day the daily wage, so were helpless when overtaken by the disaster.

The investigation revealed that those responsible had acted wisely in
providing the shelter without consulting the wishes of those for whom it
was intended. Opportunity to secure shelter was given through the
“bonus” and the “grant and loan” schemes for those who had some means
and initiative; but those without resources of their own were not in a
position wisely to suggest the manner of their housing. The Department
outlined the work on a large scale and executed it in a straightforward,
businesslike manner. The happy result was abundant shelter for all the
poorest families with the oncoming of the winter rains.

Some critics have claimed that a more equitable distribution of the
funds would have been to give to the poorest class as much as to the
more fortunate refugees, but a careful examination of the facts shows
that the policy adopted was more feasible as well as more expedient.
Those who possessed vacant lots, or other property, or who could
command means with which to build, gave tangible proof that the
foundation of previous thrift and enterprise would serve as a guarantee
of wise use of aid from the relief funds. The applicants who had owned
no property, possessed no savings, and whose standard of living was low,
could offer little, if any, guarantee of a wise use of funds. Had a body
of expert social workers been engaged to study each family individually
and to plan its future home, superintending the purchase of a lot and
the construction of a house,--in fact, teaching each to be a good
householder,--a more liberal housing allowance could have been safely
granted. Such a constructive plan would have called for far more
elaborate and efficient machinery than was at hand, and would have
required a much longer time. However, it is realized that a situation
which concerned practically the future home life of every camp refugee
presented a wonderful and probably unparalleled opportunity for wise
constructive philanthropy.

It will be important, in the event of future disasters, to see if the
least efficient can be re-housed so as to be, through careful
supervision of individuals, brought to a higher standard of living.




The first definite housing resolution agreed upon by the Executive
Committee of the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds was an effort
to advance through its Department of Lands and Buildings 33¹⁄₃ per cent
of the cost of a home to be built on the ground owned by any resident of
the city whose house had been destroyed, with the provision that in no
instance should the amount granted to any one person exceed $500. This
was the most generous housing offer made and was limited to those who
were to rebuild within the burned territory. It was known as the “bonus
plan.” The offer was announced to the public through the newspapers in
August, 1906, by the Department of Lands and Buildings, and remained
open until October 1, 1906, being reopened in February, 1907, for two
weeks. Originally, $400,000 was set aside for the bonuses. In February,
1907, an additional $100,000 was appropriated.

The bonus, or gift, offered to anyone who desired to rebuild on property
owned by him in the burned district was granted to 885 persons. The
total amount granted was $423,288.17.[193] In slightly over 10 per cent
of the cases the amount actually given as a bonus to the applicant was
less than $500, due to the fact that he had received aid from other
departments, or because the cost of the house was less than $1,500. In
one instance the amount of the bonus was as low as $83.

  [193] This total included an expense item of $761.17, incurred for
  investigating titles, etc.

The general procedure was for an applicant to submit his plans to the
Department of Lands and Buildings for approval, and when approval was
obtained to begin to build his house. Little machinery was required, for
no attempt was made to investigate the actual needs of the applicants.
The Department satisfied itself that the person was eligible under the
terms offered, and before making payment received assurance from its
inspector that the building was located at the place designated by the
applicant and represented a certain value. The length of time between
the granting of an application and the completing of the house varied
from one to 14 months. When the second appropriation of $100,000 was
made, consideration was given to the question of fixing a maximum limit
upon the cost of the houses to be built by the receivers of bonuses, but
no definite action followed.

During the early stages of the relief work the great question was, how
soon will the burned district be rebuilt. Houses must be rebuilt if
residents temporarily living in the nearby cities were not to be
permanently lost. Stores and warehouses must be rebuilt if the small
tradesmen and lodging-house keepers were to return, to attract, in their
turn, other industries. Labor leaders asserted that a large number of
those who were living in outlying districts or outside the city were
workingmen who were handicapped both by loss of time and by increase in
expenditure in having to go to and from their accustomed places of
labor. Four or five thousand workingmen were said to be anxiously
waiting to make use of a liberal offer to re-establish their homes on
their own lots in the burned area. The number was over-estimated, for
only 885 bonuses were granted, many to persons who owned their own
business and were not workingmen on a daily wage. If such a large number
ever made application for the bonus, they either did not possess
sufficient savings or enjoy an income large enough to avail themselves
of the Corporation’s offer. Capitalists were also anxious for rebuilding
to begin as rapidly as possible; so the plan, when announced, was gladly
received by all classes. It is possible that the expenditure of the
first $400,000 appropriated for bonuses at the moment when many were
debating the wisdom of rebuilding, turned the tide of decision in favor
of immediate action. As early as March, 1907, 470 bonus homes had been
built at an expenditure of $200,147.17.

[Illustration: Home built by a letter carrier

Home of an elderly U. S. Government employe. Bonus, $250



The field investigation of the bonus cases made by this Survey included
visits to 572 persons, or 65 per cent of the entire number. These were
selected at random and scattered over the entire burned district. In
26 instances the investigator was refused information, 44 of the houses
were rented out and the addresses of owners could not be obtained, and
12 of the houses had been sold or were vacant and the whereabouts of the
owners were unknown. The remaining 490 cases, 55 per cent of the total
number receiving bonuses, yielded practically complete schedules. All
except one of the bonus recipients studied--Notre Dame College, an
institution accommodating about 75 students--represented families, or
were persons who wished to establish homes. It is believed that the
cases selected are in every way typical and that the results obtained
would be substantially the same if the entire number had been visited.
The characteristics of these 489 persons who received bonuses, and their
relative condition before and after the disaster, are briefly given in
the following pages.


      Nationality    |     Native born     |    Foreign born
                     |  applicants whose   | applicants of each
                     |parents were of each |specified nationality
                     |specified nationality|
  Irish              |         19          |         185
  Italian            |          1          |          93
  American           |         81          |          ..
  German             |          2          |          41
  English            |          3          |          10
  French             |          2          |          11
  Other nationalities|          3          |          38
      Total          |        111          |         378

  [194] For comparative figures as to nationality found by the first
  registration, see Part I, p. 74.

That a large proportion of those who received bonuses were foreign born
was to be expected, as the regions burned were inhabited largely by the
Italians north of Market Street and by the Irish, south.

The conjugal condition of the bonus recipients is shown in Table 75.


   Conjugal condition|Families of each specified
                     |    conjugal condition
  Married couples    |            321
  Widows             |            126
  Widowers           |             23
  Orphaned children  |              8
  Single men         |              6
  Single women       |              5
      Total          |            489

In November, 1908, when the schedules were completed, 390 of the 489
families, or 80 per cent, had the same status as before the fire; 99, or
20 per cent, had suffered changes of various kinds. These changes, in
the main, resulted from deaths and the natural separation of maturing
children from the home. From the date of the disaster to the time of the
investigation, 53, or 11 per cent, of the families suffered loss by
death of one or more of their members, the total deaths being 57. One of
this number had been killed by the earthquake, and many,--the exact
number could not be ascertained,--died from such indirect effects of the
disaster as nervous prostration, or typhoid fever contracted in camp.
The deaths for the period considered, though slightly above the normal,
were not excessive.

In 41 per cent of the bonus cases the application was filed by the wife
or some other woman member of the family, and the grant was made in her
name. The large number of women applicants may be explained in part by
the fact that the blank application for a bonus had to be signed by the
owner of the lot, whether man or woman,[195] and it is a common practice
in San Francisco, as elsewhere, for a husband to put his property in his
wife’s name. Furthermore, Table 75 shows a large proportion of widows
among the applicants and a small proportion of widowers.

  [195] See form in Appendix II, p. 447.

The size of the family was, as a rule, not large, and the burden of
dependence carried not heavy. In only 28 cases were there persons other
than children who were wholly dependent. In 43 cases relatives or
friends lived with the family, but were either self-supporting or made
contribution to the family income. There were 1,333 children of these
families, or 2.7 to a family, not all of whom were living at home; many,
married or single, were living and working away from their parents.


             Age period          | Applicants in
                                 |each age period
  Less than 30 years             |        6
  30 years and less than 40 years|       80
  40 years and less than 50 years|      144
  50 years and less than 60 years|      116
  60 years and less than 70 years|      108
  70 years and less than 80 years|       33
  80 years and over              |        2
      Total                      |      489

  [196] Note the difference in ages between those receiving the bonus
  and the camp cottage occupants. See Part IV, p. 225.

It will be seen from Table 76 that 47 per cent of the applicants were
under fifty years of age and that 29 per cent were over sixty years of
age. The few that had reached an advanced age were given a bonus not on
account of their need, but as a stimulus to build on their property in
the burned district.

The health of the family was more fully recorded than in the case of the
camp cottagers. No note was made of such minor ailments, or accidents,
as would bring no handicap, but 181, or 37 per cent, of the families
suffered from sickness and accident to such an extent that there was a
distinct handicap, either through burdensome doctors’ bills, or by
having the source of income temporarily reduced or cut off. Including
the 53 families who had sustained deaths, 48 per cent of the whole
number were shown to have suffered from the effects of illness or
accident. This total burden should not, however, be reckoned as an
aftermath of the disaster.[197]

  [197] For general health conditions during period immediately
  following the disaster, see Part I, p. 89 ff.


The means by which the men in the families earned a livelihood before
April, 1906, are given in Table 77.


           Occupational group         | MEN IN EACH SPECIFIED
                                      |   OCCUPATIONAL GROUP
  Personal and domestic service       |   112    |   80   | 192
  Manufactures and mechanical pursuits|    22    |   61   |  83
  Trade                               |    38    |   62   | 100
  Professional service                |    ..    |    2   |   2
  Retired                             |    46    |   ..   |  46
  Invalid                             |    10    |   ..   |  10
      Total                           |   228    |  205   | 433

The number of those who had owned and operated an individual business is
shown to exceed slightly the number that were employed at a definite
rate of wages. Thirty different industries and 66 different kinds of
employment are included in the four categories. The number of women who
earned support for themselves outside of their own homes, and in whole
or in part, for their families, was 31; of these, 17 were in personal
and domestic service, 11 in manufactures, two in trade, and one in
professional service. The heads of the remaining 25 families were either
aged men or women who were supported by their own children, or persons
otherwise cared for.

The status with reference to ownership of business remained almost
unchanged; only 12 persons who had owned and managed a business before
the fire were forced later to seek permanent employment as wage-earners.
Almost exactly the same number of persons, 11, who were wage-earners
before the disaster, conducted a business of their own at the time of
the investigation. These slight variations show that the bonus
recipients, possessing more than ordinary ability, were able to
re-establish themselves.

[Illustration: Built by Italians

Bonuses $500 each

Home of two Italian families

A widow’s venture

Bonus $500


Perhaps a better estimate of the earning capacity of the bonus
applicants is obtained by comparing the number whose incomes were
permanently increased or diminished or remained practically the same
during the stress of abnormal conditions. A study of the data shows that
201 applicants enjoyed larger incomes before the fire than after; that
237 applicants had smaller incomes before the fire than after, and that
in 47 cases the income was about the same at both periods. Of the 490
applicants, including Notre Dame College, for which information was
secured, five failed to supply information as to relative income.

The large number of those who enjoyed increased incomes at the time of
the investigation may be accounted for in part by the fact that members
of the same families before April 18, 1906, were not contributing to
their limit. In not a few cases, however, an increase in wages of those
who had previously worked full time, accounts for the difference.
Perhaps the chief significance of the figures lies in the fact that in
the majority of cases there was no serious decrease in income.[198] The
number of women who added to the family income, or managed their own
property, before and after April, 1908, did not materially change. In
the earlier period, 109 of the women[199] were conducting a business or
earning wages; in the later period, 94 were doing so.

  [198] See Part IV, p. 250-251, for sub-letting as a factor.

  [199] The figure given for women’s occupations is larger than on page
  244, as the latter figure includes only women who were counted to be
  the main support of themselves or of their families.

The number of contributors to the family income in both periods was
obtained in each instance. In 41 families the number of contributors was
larger before the fire than after; in 76 families the number was smaller
before than after. Three hundred and sixty-nine families had the same
number of contributors to the family income at both periods, and three
families failed to supply information on this point. The additional
number of contributors may in several instances be accounted for by the
greater age of the children, an increase which is to some extent
counterbalanced by the withdrawal on account of marriage or advancing
age of some contributors to the common purse.

It was not possible to estimate the exact value of the lots owned by the
applicants before the fire; their exact value could have been learned
only by sale. What is, however, believed to be a fairly accurate
estimate is given in Table 78.


  Value of lots owned before |Applicants owning lots
         the fire            |of each specified value
  Less than $1,000           |           53
  $1,000 and less than $2,000|          274
  $2,000 and less than $3,000|          131
  $3,000 and over            |           27
      Total                  |          485

  [200] Of the 490 applicants, including Notre Dame College, for which
  information was secured, five did not own lots before the fire.

The above valuations are supposed to be those extant before the
disaster. Although in some districts the value of lots may have
increased after the fire, and in others may have decreased, no effort
was made, because of the inherent difficulties, to ascertain the amount
of the later valuation. It is not known why the bonus was granted to the
five persons who did not own lots before the disaster.

In addition to the lots on which these dwellings had stood, 51 families
had owned both before and after the fire other realties, such as houses,
lots, or ranches. The value of the additional real property in 40 cases
was found to have averaged $7,558. Similar data with reference to 35
families showed the average value of their additional property after the
fire to be $4,052; 17 other families possessed additional property
before, but not after; while 16 families reported acquiring additional
property after the disaster. In practically every instance the owners
drew from their properties a substantial addition to their incomes.

In order to rebuild their homes, 352, or 72 per cent, of the applicants
negotiated loans with banks or with relatives or friends. The interest
was from 6¹⁄₂ to 8 per cent. Previous to April 18, 1906, 61 of those who
later received the bonus had rented their houses and occupied living
quarters elsewhere,--in four instances, in cottages on lots on which the
houses stood; in others, with relatives, in rented rooms in more
desirable residence sections, or in houses owned in other parts of the
city. After the fire the number who rented their homes to others
increased to 74; 22 of this number, in place of four, lived on their
own lots in small cottages or shacks built in the rear of each lot.

Four hundred and fifty, or 92 per cent, of those who received the $500
bonus had carried, and received after the fire, insurance in amounts
ranging from less than $500 to $20,000. Of 204 families from whom
reliable data were secured, 25 were found to have received full payment;
78 to have received more than 75 per cent, but less than 100 per cent of
their loss; 82, more than 50 per cent but less than 75 per cent; and 12,
more than 25 per cent but less than 50 per cent. One received less than
25 per cent and six received nothing.

The field workers found it peculiarly difficult to learn what had been
the amount of bank savings of the different families. Many refused to
answer the question; others denied that they had had savings; 167, or 34
per cent, of those tabulated admitted having put aside amounts varying
from less than $500 to more than $4,000; and 38 that they had savings,
the amounts of which they would not give.

Though all aided under the bonus plan were property owners,[201] a
number were in debt both before and after the fire. Table 79 indicates
the number in debt and the amount of this indebtedness.

  [201] The five who did not own lots on which they wished to build had
  presumably other property.


    Amount of indebtedness   |FAMILIES WHOSE INDEBTEDNESS
                             |     WAS AS SPECIFIED
                             | Before fire|  After fire
  Less than $500             |     21     |      38
  $500 and less than $1,000  |     49     |      66
  $1,000 and less than $2,000|     61     |      83
  $2,000 and less than $3,000|     32     |      65
  $3,000 and over            |     13     |      72
      Total                  |    176     |     324

  [202] Of the families investigated, three that carried indebtedness
  before the fire and four that carried indebtedness after the fire
  refused to state the amount of the indebtedness.

From the table it will be noted that before the fire 179, or 37 per
cent, of those aided, had carried a burden of debt, while afterwards the
number was increased to 328, or 67 per cent. Loans to the amount of the
indebtedness noted could have been obtained upon the property owned.

Additional aid was granted by the Rehabilitation Committee to 116, or 24
per cent, of the bonus grantees, in amounts varying from $5.00 to $500.
These grants were in the main for clothing, sewing machines, medicine,
or other general household relief. The aid included 59 furniture grants.
In 10 of the 116 cases the full bonus was not given, so that the sum of
grants amounted to not more than $500. Sixty-five of the applicants were
not eligible for the full bonus, as the buildings they erected were
worth less than $1,500 each. The department, it may be remembered, had
agreed to pay not more than one-third of the value of the house which
should be erected.[203]

  [203] See Part IV, p. 239.


As far as this group of families is concerned the burned area was built
up substantially as before the earthquake. As wood was the material
available, without exception the 490 bonus houses were frame. The
general appearance of the houses was good. Most were painted and had
adequate foundations, and a majority had basements. The basements in
many cases were sublet, or were used for business purposes. The number
of stories to a house varied from one to four; only three of the houses,
however, had four stories. The greater number were of two stories. All
the houses were connected with the city water supply and the sewerage
system. Three hundred and eighty-one, or 78 per cent, of the new houses
contained bath rooms, and all but three had installed one or more patent
flush closets.

A fair gauge of the character of the houses rebuilt is the cost, if the
high price of building materials be borne in mind.


        Cost of houses        |Houses costing
                              | as specified
  Less than $1,500            |      65
  $1,500 and less than $3,000 |     210
  $3,000 and less than $5,000 |     118
  $5,000 and less than $10,000|      92
  $10,000 and over            |       5
      Total                   |     490[204]

  [204] Includes Notre Dame College.

One house cost $39,000, another $78,000, and three from $10,000 to
$20,000. It must be remembered that one of these was Notre Dame College.
Only 16 per cent of the houses were built by the applicants themselves.
The original plan was to aid those that had suffered the loss of their
homes. Fifty-five of the houses destroyed were, however, used for both
dwelling and business purposes; 69 of those rebuilt were similarly used.
Each business was on a small scale,--a grocery or fruit store, a saloon,
or a barber shop. The number of rooms in the houses formerly occupied
and those in the houses lived in after the fire is given in the
following table:


    Number of rooms  |  HOUSES HAVING EACH
                     |  SPECIFIED NUMBER OF
                     |        ROOMS
                     |Before fire|After fire
  1                  |     ..    |    ..
  2                  |     ..    |     1
  3                  |      1    |     6
  4                  |     14    |    51
  5 and less than  9 |    150    |   184
  9 and less than 13 |    171    |   138
  13 and less than 16|     83    |    58
  17 and less than 21|     42    |    23
  21 and over        |     28    |    28
      Total          |    489    |   489
  Average number of rooms before fire   12.2
  Average number of rooms after fire    10.6

As in not a few cases two houses instead of one were built on a lot, the
combined number of rooms is given in the preceding table. A further
examination of the data shows that in 168 of the bonus cases the houses
were rebuilt to contain a greater number of rooms, in 259 to have less,
in 62 to have the same. No attempt has been made to compare size and
desirability of the rooms, but it seems probable that there was no great
difference in the character of the houses rebuilt as far as rooming
space is concerned.

In 453, or 93 per cent, of the bonus cases tabulated, the exact number
of rooms occupied by the family and its dependents in its own or in a
rented house was ascertained.


  Number of rooms occupied|  FAMILIES OCCUPYING
                          | EACH SPECIFIED NUMBER
                          |       OF ROOMS
                          |Before fire|After fire
  1                       |      8    |     11
  2                       |     13    |     37
  3                       |     65    |     72
  4 and less than 7       |    302    |    303
  7 and less than 10      |     55    |     27
  10 and over             |     10    |      3
      Total               |    453    |    453

  [205] Of the 489 families investigated, 36 failed to supply
  information relative to the number of rooms occupied both before and
  after the fire.

The proportion of families occupying less than four rooms was smaller
before the fire than after the fire, while the reverse is true of
families occupying seven or more rooms. It would appear from this that
after the fire the crowding was slightly increased. By actual count, 218
families were found to have occupied more rooms before the fire than
after, 152 families occupied the same number, while 83 enjoyed a larger
number after the fire.

[Illustration: Two ambitious dwellings built with aid of bonuses

Built with bonus of $500 and money privately loaned


The number of families who let rooms before and after the fire was
extraordinarily large. Before the fire 375, or 76 per cent, and
afterwards 378, or 77 per cent, let either furnished rooms or
unfurnished suites. In a majority of cases the family itself occupied
one flat and let the others. It is evident that the average small
property owner rebuilt his house with the expectation of drawing an
income from it.


If the Corporation had refused to grant a bonus to anyone who was to
build a house to cost above $2,500, more than 50 per cent of the grants
would have been denied. When the second appropriation of $100,000 was
set aside for the bonus grants in 1907, one intimately connected with
the work wrote: “In connection with the proposed expenditure of $100,000
to be used for assisting those intending to rebuild in the burned
district, I will state that, as there will be numerous applicants for
such assistance, it might be wise to place some restrictions upon the
bonus other than those now in force. For instance, I recommend that a
person desiring to build a house valued at $3,000 should not be granted
said bonus, as evidently he is not in need, and in my opinion, does not
require our help. Furthermore, I believe it would be well to investigate
each application to determine whether the applicant has received
assistance from the Committee previous to placing the application with
the Department.”

The man who had to pass on the bonus applications said: “Henceforth the
bonus should be granted only in cases which have been proven
conclusively to be in need of it, for my impression after a careful
examination of these applications, is that they are not in particular
need of the bonus but could get along perfectly well without it, though
possibly not so easily.”

Another letter, dated March 11, 1907, to the staff in charge of the
grants said, “In making the allotments under the new appropriation I
would advise that you question each grantee carefully and refuse to
issue the amount where the house is already completed or nearly built.
This, of course, can only be determined from personal examination of the
applicant, for many whose houses are already practically completed,
frame their applications as if they were just about to begin.”

The feeling that, regardless of loss, there was the right to share in
the relief funds, pushed many who had already begun to build into the
ranks of applicants for the liberal gift of $500. A possible evil effect
of this liberal offer was that some persons, in order to take advantage
of it, incurred heavy indebtedness, which they would be forced for a
long time to carry. The extra cost for building during the fall of 1906
and the winter of 1907 offset in a measure the financial gain from the

After a great disaster the efficient distribution of a large sum of
money to aid in rebuilding calls for the exercise of two distinct
functions, business management and supervision of rehabilitation work.
It is not probable that the same person can with equal success perform
the two functions. A neglect of either means a grave miscarrying of the
plan itself.




The Department of Lands and Buildings at first gave its entire attention
to the camp cottages and bonuses. However, a large number of
applications for small grants or loans to build had been early filed
away to bide their time. The insistence of applicants and the
recognition of their need to be heard led to the transfer of these
applications to another department of the Corporation. November 1, 1906,
the Rehabilitation Committee[206] referred to its new housing committee
of five members, Committee V, the 800 applications that had accumulated.

  [206] The Rehabilitation Committee, it must be recalled, was a
  committee of the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation.

Committee V organized at once and formulated plans for making grants and
loans and for building houses. It assumed the work of housing to be
general rehabilitation, and therefore perfected a system whereby all
those asking for assistance could be investigated and helped according
to their needs.

There were, speaking in general, two classes of applicants to whom the
committee extended aid:

  1. Some applicants planned and built their own houses, but received
  aid from the relief funds. A maximum cost of each house to be erected
  was fixed by the committee, and the applicant was supposed to pay the
  greater part. The amounts distributed under this plan were considered
  grants and not loans.

  2. Other applicants desired to purchase houses which were planned and
  constructed under the direction of the committee. In some cases of
  this class the grant covered the entire cost of the house, while in
  others the grant was supplemented in one or both of the two following

  a. A part of the cost of the house was treated as a loan to be repaid
  by the applicant.

  b. The applicant made a cash payment covering a part of the cost.

The Committee, in order to make good its second offer, engaged
contractors to build houses which, including plumbing, should cost not
more than $500.[207] Under both offers, the applicant was required to
show that he had suffered material loss and that he was the head of a
household and was able to support his family; that he was unable to
secure a suitable house at a reasonable rent, and that he had secured a
lot in the city and county of San Francisco on which to build. The plan
of the building submitted had to comply with the provisions of the city
building code. The carrying out of the plans,[208] with any modification
of policy, the Rehabilitation Committee left to its sub-committee, to
which the grant and loan plan had been referred.

  [207] As a matter of fact, the average cost including plumbing was

  [208] See Appendix I, p. 417.

The housing committee, assuming that theirs was in the highest sense
rehabilitation work, perfected a thorough system of investigation of all
applications. It defined its purpose to be: “To assist families in need
of proper shelter to obtain a home suitable to their wants and in
proportion to their earnings.”

In placing the grants and loans, its theory was to give aid so as to
stimulate the recipient to use it for the distinct benefit of his
family. In a case where a family had heavy burdens and a limited income,
money was granted outright. When there was reason to believe that a
recipient could repay a part of the large amount needed, a grant was
frequently supplemented by a loan. As general rules should be few in
number, the committee exercised its own judgment in each individual
instance. The plans therefore worked differently in different cases. In
some cases the applicant deposited part of the cost of the house to be
built which was supplemented by a grant or loan. In other cases, the
applicant being unable to make a deposit, the committee bore the entire
first cost of the house.

Many were aided who had no real estate before April, 1906, but purchased
or leased a lot in order to build. Even the maximum limit set for the
cost of the house was not adhered to in every instance. The loans ranged
from $37 to $595,[209] as the committee found it wise to readjust its
own plan so that the amounts given or loaned should be such as would
meet the actual needs revealed by a careful investigation. A reliable
bank was enlisted to see that the loans were properly executed,
mortgages recorded, and monthly instalments collected. This bank became
the financial agent of the Corporation, and those who received loans
felt their obligation to be to it rather than to the Corporation. In
case a house were built on a lot temporarily leased, the bank secured
from the applicant and the owner of the property an agreement to the
effect that the house should not be moved without the consent of the
committee. In case an applicant failed to meet his financial obligation
the house reverted to the Corporation, not to the lot owner.

  [209] For range of grants, as distinguished from loans, see Part IV,
  p. 258.

The committee, it may be seen, had two clearly defined functions: (a) to
administer a business which called for the employment of contractors,
the outlining of plans and specifications for buildings, the appointing
of inspectors to locate lots and to examine the buildings erected, and
(b) to conduct a bureau of rehabilitation through which might be learned
the present and past conditions and the future prospects of the
individual applicants. The oversight given by the two groups, business
men and social workers, meant a decrease in the number of failures to
re-establish homes.

The work of Committee V, which began November 1, 1906, ended the latter
part of July, 1907. The committee as a whole was in continuous session
during the first weeks. Thereafter two of its members gave to it
practically all their business hours. After July, 1907, however, minor
details connected with final acceptances and instalments of additional
plumbing and other tasks incidental to the closing of the work, were
under the direction of one member.

In many instances the delays were long between the asking for and the
receiving of a grant or loan, in part because the grant and loan plan
was the last housing plan to be put into effect. Some families were
purposely not given assistance until the house was completed, which
accounted for the delay of some months between the approval of an
application and the payment of the grant. Other families were themselves
the cause of long delays, because of their inability quickly to build.
The actual delays ranged from less than one month in 62 instances to
twelve months in one instance. Fifty per cent of the 896 applicants for
whom detailed information was secured had to wait two months or less.


As the Department of Lands and Buildings and the housing committee were
both engaged in building houses, it was found to be important in order
to avoid delays in the work, to plan some division of duties.
Accordingly, on March 29, 1907, following much discussion, a plan of
co-operation was agreed upon. The housing committee was to consider all
applications first and to determine in each case the amount of aid to be
granted; the terms, whether on a cash or instalment basis; and the
general design and specifications for the house. The Department of Lands
and Buildings was to have full charge of construction and cost and of
the inspection of completed cottages.

This agreement, which called for a division of work, gave recognition to
the dual need, of rehabilitation of applicants and of sound business
management. The housing committee turned over to the Department the
designs, blue prints, and specifications for the four styles of cottages
that were being erected, together with outstanding contracts. The
following regulations to govern the two bodies were determined upon:

  1. The housing committee should send to the Department of Lands and
  Buildings, in each case, a description of the lot upon which the
  building was to be erected, together with the name and address of the
  applicant, and should designate the style of cottage to be

  2. When the housing committee received from the Department of Lands
  and Buildings the total cost of the house and the name of the
  contractor, the amount necessary to pay for the house should be
  deposited to the housing committee’s account and held there until
  ordered paid to the contractor.

  3. When the house had been completed and accepted by the Department of
  Lands and Buildings the contractor should be given an order on the
  cashier for the amount due. The cashier should draw the necessary
  check, signed by a representative of the housing committee.

  4. The Department should send notice to the housing committee when a
  house had been completed and accepted.

On March 11, 1907, the manager of the Department of Lands and Buildings
had at the request of the Executive Committee of the Corporation been
made superintendent of construction of the housing committee.


Despite the detailed regulations there were dissatisfaction and
friction; so on April 26, 1907, the housing committee passed a
resolution to the effect that inasmuch as the housing committee bore the
full responsibility of the manner in which the relief work relating to
the building of houses was conducted, and, since the members of the
housing committee were dissatisfied with the manner in which the
superintendent of construction was performing his duties, the housing
committee made a most urgent request to the Executive Committee that the
superintendent withdraw from all work in which the housing committee was

The specific charges were (a) that poor contractors were employed, (b)
that desirable contractors who were difficult to obtain at that time
complained of the superintendent’s treatment, (c) that the
superintendent who had done efficient service in erecting the camp
cottages, was entirely unfit for his new position because of his
unfriendly and unsympathetic attitude toward the applicants, (d) that,
finally, the building of the much-needed new houses was unnecessarily

The relation which unfortunately existed between these two, the
Department and the committee, is mentioned at this stage, in order to
explain in a measure the long delay and hold-up of orders by the
committee. It accounts for much of the dissatisfaction that existed
among the people and for some hardships endured by not a few applicants.
The delays due to friction made it necessary for the housing committee
to continue its work after the bonus plan was discontinued.


A complete statement of the work done shows that there were 2,098
applications for relief under the grant and loan plan acted upon
subsequent to November 1, 1906. Assistance was given in 1,572[210]
cases, the total expenditure being $519,723.17. Previous to November 1,
1906, the Rehabilitation Committee, as part of its regular work and
without special machinery, had made grants in 163 cases. The amounts
granted in these 163 cases bring the total expenditure for relief in
grant and loan cases up to $567,300.85. The 1,572 cases in which aid was
given subsequent to November 1, 1906, are dealt with in this chapter.
Families to the number of 543 had homes planned and built for them by
the committee, while 1,029 families were given aid to build according to
their own plans. The 543 families for whom houses were constructed by
the committee received 543 grants, amounting to $197,942.86, or an
average of $364.54 per grant, and 384 loans amounting to $115,558.33, an
average of $300.93 per loan. It will be noted that loans were made only
to applicants who also received grants. The assistance given to the
members of this group amounted in all, therefore, to $313,501.19. In
addition, the applicants whose houses were constructed by the committee,
themselves deposited amounts aggregating $57,073.16 towards the erection
of their homes; but this sum is, of course, distinct from the relief
given and is not included in the above total.

  [210] This number includes not only the cases in which grants were
  given by the sub-committee on housing (Committee V) but all cases in
  which grants for housing were given by any of the sub-committees of
  the Rehabilitation Committee subsequent to November 1, 1906. Both
  principal and subsidiary grants are included. See Tables 40 and 41,
  pp. 157 and 158.

The houses were classified, according to the manner in which they were
planned and built, as Styles I-VI.


        Style        |Houses of each
                     |specified style
  I   1, 2 or 3 rooms|      78
  II  3 rooms        |       9
  III 4 rooms        |     348
  IV  5 rooms        |      94
  V   4 rooms        |      13
  VI  5 rooms        |       1
      Total          |     543

The 1,029 applicants who built according to their own plans, received
altogether $206,221.98 in grants, an average of $200.41 per grant. The
amounts granted to individuals ranged from $55 to $570.[211]

  [211] The apparent discrepancy between this figure and the maximum of
  $595 given on page 254 is accounted for by the fact that grants are
  discussed above, loans previously.

In its work of construction the committee employed 20 building
contractors[212] and one plumbing contractor. The average cost of the
543 dwellings erected was $544.92 for the construction work alone. Five
hundred and eleven of these houses were equipped with plumbing at an
additional cost averaging $146.15 per house.

  [212] The contractors engaged were those accustomed to handle a small
  amount of building, the larger and more responsible contractors being
  unwilling to undertake to handle such small lots of building.

To obtain the material presented in this study, visits were made to
1,157 of the families who had received grants or grants and loans from
the housing committee. From 896, or 77 per cent of the families visited,
schedules were obtained for tabulation. No trace of 172 of the remaining
261 could be found. They had received aid to build their own houses, and
had undoubtedly done so in most cases. As they had come as strangers
into their various new neighborhoods, only to move shortly, the people
in the immediate vicinity knew nothing of them. Of the remaining 89
families, 33 had rented and 35 had sold their houses, and had
disappeared. Only eight persons were found who had received aid but had
not built; 13 who had built refused to give any information.


Data with regard to who and what the 896 families visited were, are
given in the following pages. The 28 different nationalities represented
is a greater number than for those who received the bonus, a smaller
number than for the camp cottagers.


  Nationality        |Native born applicants| Foreign born
                     |whose parents were of |applicants of
                     |    each specified    |each specified
                     |     nationality      | nationality
  American           |          397         |       ..
  Irish              |           19         |      115
  German             |           12         |      108
  English            |            3         |       43
  Italian            |            3         |       33
  Swedish            |           ..         |       24
  Scotch             |            3         |       18
  French             |            1         |       18
  Austrian           |           ..         |       12
  Danish             |           ..         |       12
  Other nationalities|            7         |       68
      Total          |          445         |      451

The Americans and Irish head the list, as in the camp cottage group. The
large number of Americans and the small number of Italians as compared
with the bonus group may be explained in part by the fact that these
applicants were not compelled to build in the burned section, which, it
may be recalled, included the portions of the city that had been most
thickly settled by the Irish and Italians.

The status of the families that had received the grant and loan was more
normal than that of either of the other groups. This is shown by the
figures given in Table 85.


  Conjugal condition      |Families of each specified
                          |    conjugal condition
  Married couples         |           729
  Widows or deserted wives|           127
  Widowers                |            18
  Single men              |            11
  Single women            |            11
      Total               |           896

The above 14 per cent of widows and deserted wives should be compared
with the 31 per cent for the camp cottage group, and the 26 per cent of
widows for the bonus group. A family to avail itself of this aid had to
have resources of its own. The widows and deserted wives with children
had with these 127 exceptions to be helped in other ways. In 143
instances, or 16 per cent of the total, the families had others living
with them. There were 2,069 children in all the families, or 2.3 to each
family. The number of children to an Italian family was 2.5; to an Irish
family, 3.0; and to an American family, 1.9. In 689, or 77 per cent of
the families, the domestic status, when visited, was the same as before
the fire. The remaining 207 families, or 23 per cent, had been unable to
maintain the same family relations. The separation or scattering of
their members was attributed to the following causes:

In 82 families a death or deaths had occurred. The children from 40
families had left home to work or to attend school, adult members of 37
families went away to work or for other purposes, and children from 37
families married and left home. There were eight cases of divorce or
desertion, and three cases in which the nature of the family’s change of
status could not be determined.

It is not known to what extent the deaths in 82 families were caused
indirectly by the disaster. There was but slight variation in the number
of dependents carried before and after the fire. Some changes were due
to loss of members of the family by death or marriage and the loss of
earning power due to old age. The actual number of families in which
there were no dependents had decreased in the fall of 1908 from 91 to

Of the 896 applications, 161, or 18 per cent, were filed by the wife or
some other woman member of the family. As in the other groups, the age
of each applicant, but not of the members of his or her family, was


           Age period            |Applicants in each
                                 |    age period
  Less than 30 years             |         76
  30 years and less than 40 years|        279
  40 years and less than 50 years|        290
  50 years and less than 60 years|        147
  60 years and less than 70 years|         74
  70 years and less than 80 years|         27
  80 years and over              |          3
      Total                      |        896

The majority of the applicants were in the prime of life, with small
families whom they supported by their daily wages. Some of the
comparatively small number--251 applicants--above fifty years of age
were not able to work on full time.

Upon the question of the health of the families before the fire, during
the period of camp life, and after moving into the new home, information
was secured for 882 cases. Only 53 families reported a handicap due to
ill health for the period before the fire, as compared with 356 who
report ill health during the period of camp life, and 294 who report ill
health after moving into the new home. It is probable that the estimate
of 53 families handicapped by illness before the fire is too low.

It would appear from the above that an unduly large proportion suffered
from illness during the two and one-half years following the disaster.
The schedules state in many cases that sickness was due directly to the
earthquake, the fire, and subsequent abnormal living conditions. It is
impossible to state the number so handicapped as distinct from those
whose illness had no connection with the catastrophe.


Only 66 of the men in the grant and loan group were proprietors in
business before the disaster; the remainder being skilled and unskilled
wage-earners. Though only 66 of these men could claim business ownership
before the fire, they had been engaged in 31 different industries or
professions. Their distribution by groups of occupations was as follows:
professional, three; personal and domestic, 10; manufactures, 21;
trades, 30. The past occupations of one who was retired and of one who
would not give the information are not material. Of the 66, only 46 were
in business for themselves after the fire. The rather meager incomes
drawn by these applicants from their business or profession before and
since the disaster are given below:


       Monthly income    |  MEN HAVING MONTHLY
                         | INCOMES AS SPECIFIED
                         |Before fire|After fire
  $25 and less than $100 |     35    |    22
  $100 and less than $200|     17    |     9
  $200 and less than $300|      6    |    ..
  “A living”             |      8    |    14
      Total              |     66    |    45

  [213] Of the 46 men who were in business after the fire, one refused
  to supply information relative to business income.

[Illustration: Built by the owner with insurance money and a grant of

Built by a teamster with a grant of $250 and money privately loaned


The incomes received after the disaster did not differ widely from those
received before, though a larger number, it is seen, reported having
merely a scant living.

Seventy-five per cent of the men in the grant and loan group worked for
wages or on a monthly salary before the fire. They include artisans, men
of ordinary skill, and laborers, engaged in 87 different industries. Of
the 670 wage-earning or salaried men for whom data were tabulated 16
were employed in professional service, 230 in personal and domestic
service, 254 in manufacturing or mechanical pursuits, and 170 in trade,
transportation, or miscellaneous occupations. The wages received ranged
from $25 to $200 per month. Two hundred and eighteen men received larger
wages before the fire than after, but the reverse was true in 285 cases.
The indication is that the abnormal conditions had made no great change
in the earnings for the two and a half years after the fire.

As in the other groups, the incomes here considered are based upon the
nominal wage, for no estimate of the irregularity in the employment,
either before or after the disaster, could be obtained. During the
period immediately following the earthquake, many men of this group
could not secure steady employment. The family incomes, therefore, were
for a time very meager.

Before the fire seven of the women were occupied in professional work,
137 in personal and domestic service, 15 in trades, and 51 in
manufactures,--a total of 210 women[214] who received incomes with which
to support themselves wholly or in part. About half worked outside their
own homes, and about half, working within or without, had a business or
a profession of their own. The largest single occupation was that of
letting rooms.

  [214] See Table 88, p. 264.

While the number of women that contributed to the family income
decreased after the fire, from 210 to 133, the amount of income remained
practically the same, and the nature of their employment did not vary to
any great extent. The fact that fewer families had housing space for
lodgers probably accounts for the decrease in the number of women
contributors after the disaster.

With reference to the family income as a whole, a comparison of incomes
of the 896 families before and after the disaster shows that 252
families had a greater income before, 347 a greater income afterwards;
129 families could show no change in income. Of the remainder, 66 did
not know whether there was variation, and two refused to give the
information. On the whole, the Relief Survey showed that a large
majority of these applicants had, at the time of the investigation,
adjusted themselves to conditions so that they were on a normal basis
and were earning practically the same amounts as before the disaster.


     Monthly income    | WOMEN HAVING MONTHLY
                       | INCOMES AS SPECIFIED
                       |Before fire|After fire
  Less than $20        |     45    |    30
  $20 and less than $30|     46    |    28
  $30 and less than $40|     47    |    26
  $40 and less than $50|     22    |    14
  $50 and less than $60|     15    |    11
  $60 and over         |     28    |    11
  “Made a living”      |      2    |     9
  “Aided husband”      |      3    |     3
      Total            |    208    |   132

  [215] Of the 210 women who had incomes before the fire two refused to
  supply information relative to income. Only 133 of the 210 women had
  incomes after the fire, and of these one refused to supply information
  relative to income.

The number of contributors to the family income was not seriously
altered by the abnormal conditions. Six hundred and seven, or 68 per
cent, of the families had the same number contributing to the income
afterwards as before, and in practically every instance the contributors
were identical. In the many families with but one breadwinner there was
no change. The 157 instances in which the number of contributors was
greater before the fire, and the 121 instances in which the number was
greater afterwards, might be accounted for by normal changes in family
life. Eleven of the families supplied no information on this subject. In
a certain number of families, children having reached their majority
during the interval from April, 1906, to September, 1908, had left home
to seek employment elsewhere. Changes due to death, to sickness, to
marriage, and old age have been already commented upon. With this group
of families, as with the bonus families, there were some members apart
from young children who were non-contributors to the common income.

Three hundred and twenty-eight of these applicants, or 37 per cent, are
known to have received insurance varying in amounts from less than $250
to $5,000; 234 of the number received less than $500. As the payments
were greatly delayed in some instances the insured were hindered in the
completing of their building plans. The grants were often received from
the housing committee before the insurance was finally adjusted.

As far as could be learned, only 162, or 18 per cent, had savings in
amounts sufficient to aid them to rebuild. The people either had
received income not more than enough to meet current expenses or had
managed unwisely. The savings varied from less than $50 by each of 12
applicants to between $2,000 and $3,000 deposited by one. One hundred
and twenty-four had less than $500.

When visited, only 53 of the applicants, or 6 per cent, were found to
possess property in addition to the house in which they lived, while
before the fire, 128, or 14 per cent, had owned either a small lot or a
house and lot which had been rented to others. The greater number of
these properties were small, ranging in value from $500 to $1,500.

In addition to the grants and loans made by the housing committee, 233
applicants had negotiated private loans secured by a mortgage on the lot
and on the house to be erected, in amounts ranging from less than $100
to over $5,000. A few large amounts were obtained after the housing
committee loan was made, and were used to erect a larger house or to
replace a temporary one. At the time of the investigation 66 families
had paid their debts in full, and 74 had reduced them by as much as
one-fourth. Sixty-two families had received additional money in gifts
from relatives and friends, from trade unions, fraternal lodges,
consuls, and from special funds, the amounts ranging from less than $100
to $1,500.

Only 93 of the applicants, or about 10 per cent, owned the property on
which they lived at the time of the earthquake, but in order to take
advantage of the grant and loan offer 670, or 75 per cent, purchased
lots afterwards. As is seen in Table 89, these lots varied greatly in
value. The average frontage was about 25 feet.


       Value of lot          |   Applicants owning
                             |lots of each specified
                             |         value
  Less than $500             |          227
  $500 and less than $1,000  |          274
  $1,000 and less than $2,000|           92
  $2,000 and over            |           77
      Total                  |          670

For the most part these lots were on tracts outside the burned district.
Instead of returning to rented quarters in former congested centers,
many built their own homes in the more thinly settled parts of the city
where lots could be purchased at a low rate. A few were unfortunate in
the choice of location, as the effort to get to and from the daily work
was too great. A small number, therefore, gave up their lots and rented
quarters closer to their employment. The street-car strike of 1907 was
the cause of some removals. Fifty-nine families leased lots for a
definite period of from two to ten years, at a rate of from $1.00 to $25
a month. The greater number paid a ground rent of from $5.00 to $10. A
few others were given free use of lots by relatives or intimate friends.


Very little is known about the rented dwellings in which most of the
families had lived, though a few are known to have occupied both upper
and lower stories. After the fire only 41 rented their homes and lived
elsewhere. They were not housed in as large buildings as before the
fire, but at the time of the investigation were settled fairly
comfortably in their own homes.

The number of rooms occupied by the families before and after the
disaster varied but slightly.


                              | FAMILIES OCCUPYING EACH
                              |SPECIFIED NUMBER OF ROOMS
    Number of rooms occupied  +-------------+-----------
                              | Before fire | After fire
  1                           |     25      |     10
  2                           |     59      |     52
  3                           |    181      |    203
  4 and less than 7           |    590      |    613
  7 and less than 10          |     35      |     14
  10 and less than 13         |      1      |      1
      Total                   |    891      |    893

  [216] Of the 896 families investigated, five failed to supply
  information relative to the number of rooms occupied before the fire,
  and three, relative to the number of rooms occupied after the fire.

The number of families that sublet rooms to others or kept roomers both
before and after the fire was small in comparison with the number of
bonus applicants who rented rooms.[217] Before the disaster 179
families, or 20 per cent, added to their income by subletting; at the
time of the investigation only 74, or a little more than 8 per cent, did
so. The reason is that the grant and loan applicants were themselves to
a large extent living in rented rooms before the fire, and afterwards in
houses that contained no more rooms than were called for by the family

  [217] See Part IV, pp. 250-251.

Before the fire 382 families, or 43 per cent, did not have a bath in the
house. In the new homes built with the aid of a grant or loan 355, or 40
per cent, were without this convenience. There is no question but that
it would have been a great gain to families if, through the instigation
of the housing committee, all could have been brought to install baths
in their new houses. Practically all the houses were connected with the
city water supply. Toilets were installed, but a few were on the
outside, not within the houses. Most of them were connected with the
regular sewerage system and but a very few houses had cesspools
attached. The plumbing, though simple and cheap in quality, was found to
be in fairly good condition and to have served its purpose

The houses were either painted or, as in the greater number of
instances, shingled on the exterior. They presented a neat appearance.
At the date of the investigation, most of the houses, having been
erected but a very short time, were in good repair and afforded ample
shelter to the families occupying them. For the most part they were
one-story buildings. A few, however, were one and one-half and two
stories. All were built of wood, and a majority stood on wooden
foundations. Some few stood on either a new or an old concrete or brick
foundation. Some had basements which were sublet as living quarters or
were used for storage purposes. It is difficult to determine whether the
housing committee should have prevented the building and use of
basements as dwellings. Some were unfit for habitation, but not
infrequently, as the houses were built on the side of a steep hill, the
basements were well-lighted and drained. A few of the families used
their houses for the joint purpose of residence and business, but not so
large a number as before the disaster. Individual thrift and enterprise
were shown by many of the applicants, who for not more than $700 had
been able to build and furnish their houses within and without in an
artistic and attractive way. The woodwork in some cases was
well-finished and had been painted by a member of the household. The
houses so improved had an attractive, homelike appearance.

Much disappointment was felt by some applicants who had had houses built
for them by the committee’s contractors, when they compared their houses
with those built at no greater expense by applicants who had used their
own plans. As a rule, most of the latter houses were well built. They
were more solid, warmer, and more satisfactory as far as cost and
specifications were concerned. However, some of the houses that were
built for the applicants by contractors were almost as unsatisfactory as
those built by the committee’s contractors. The contract houses for the
most part showed poor workmanship, with inferior lumber and finish. Most
were considered “finished” when they, mere shells, had but few doors and
windows, no shelves, no steps, no ceilings, and no adequate foundations.
A few did not have building paper placed on the sides of the house
between the rough boards and the shingles or other outer finish to keep
out the rain and the wind. To remedy these defects and to make many
needed improvements, such as plastering, painting, the building of
porches, and other additions necessary to render each house a habitable
home, the owner had to make a heavy outlay. A few of these “beginnings”
which served as homes, cost without plumbing about $200 to $300.

[Illustration: Built by the Housing Committee

Built by the owner, who had some resources


Frequently arrangements were made between the owner and the contractor
whereby certain alterations were made on payment of $50 to $70 in
addition to the contract price. Steps cost $10 more; a better
foundation, often necessary because of a deep slope, $10 to $20
additional; larger windows $20 to $40 extra; a dormer roof instead of a
gable, $40 more. All departures from the original contract were supposed
to have the approval of the committee, but its consent was not always

In cases where the owner lived nearby, or on part of the same lot, and
could maintain a general supervision, or as in a few instances, where
the lot owner and contractor were old friends, the houses erected by the
committee’s contractors were substantially constructed.

As already stated, only 93 of these applicants, or about 10 per cent,
owned the houses in which they were living at the time of the disaster.
The value of the residences owned before the disaster and after are
given in Table 91.


                             |APPLICANTS OWNING HOUSES
                             |OF EACH SPECIFIED VALUE
       Value of houses       +-----------+------------
                             |Before fire| After fire
  Less than $500             |     1     |    174
  $500 and less than $1,000  |     4     |    533
  $1,000 and less than $1,500|    12     |    104
  $1,500 and less than $2,000|    14     |     28
  $2,000 and less than $3,000|    24     |     14
  $3,000 and less than $4,000|    16     |      3
  $4,000 and less than $5,000|     9     |     ..
  $5,000 and less than $6,000|     3     |      1
  $6,000 and over            |     5     |      2
      Total                  |    88     |    859

  [218] Of the 896 applicants investigated 37 failed to supply
  information relative to houses owned after the fire. Of the 93
  applicants who owned houses before the fire, five failed to supply
  information relative to the value of the houses.

After the fire, nearly 75 per cent of the houses ranged in value from
$500 to $2,000. Some who built houses worth less than $500 did so in
order to have a temporary cottage while waiting to put up a permanent
home on the same lot.

The cost of the houses erected by the housing committee through their
own contractors was from a minimum of $333 to a maximum of $875. It will
be recalled that the published notice of the housing committee was to
the effect that its aid to applicants who built for themselves would be
confined to those building houses worth not more than $750. As the
committee found a large number needing aid, who were anxious to build
houses of greater value, it doubtless acted wisely in extending its
limit. Four hundred and thirty-seven of the applicants, or over one-half
of those the value of whose houses was known, built at a cost greater
than $750.[219]

  [219] Compare with p. 253. It will be noted that the regulation fixing
  the maximum value of the houses to be constructed at $750, applied
  only in cases where applicants made their own contracts. Of the 437
  houses exceeding $750 in value, a large number were doubtless built
  under different arrangements so that the $750 limit did not apply. See
  cases of expensive building, Part IV, p. 273 ff.


     Monthly rental    |Families paying each
                       | specified monthly
                       |       rental
  Less than $10        |        98
  $10 and less than $20|       402
  $20 and less than $30|        83
  $30 and less than $40|        21
  $40 and less than $50|         5
  $50 and less than $60|         6
  $60 and less than $70|        ..
  $70 and less than $80|         1
  $80 and over         |         1
      Total            |        617

  [220] Of the 896 applicants investigated, 93 owned houses before the
  fire and therefore paid no rent, and 186 failed to supply information
  relative to rent paid.

If those who paid less than $10 a month rent were families and not
single persons, the quarters, it is safe to say, were inadequate. Those
who paid the larger rents specified did so in order to sublet. During
the period intervening between the destruction of their homes and the
building of other houses by the aid of grants and loans, shelter had
been sought in various places and under many different conditions.
Ninety-six families had been living in one of the official camps. Three
hundred and six occupied their houses before the grant was received,
moving into unfinished houses in order to avoid payment of rent or to
get away from an undesirable environment. Many of the families living in
unfinished houses were given a grant to complete plumbing or some other
needed improvement.


As has already been seen 384 loans were made to persons for whom houses
were constructed by the housing committee.[221] The amount of these
loans was $115,558.33. These figures are based on a final statement of
loans, made by the auditor of the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross
Funds on April 29, 1911, when all the accounts had been closed.[222]

  [221] See Part IV, p. 258.

  [222] One grant of $100 which was subsequently refunded, and which was
  entered on certain statements as a loan, is not included in the
  figures given in this section.

The loans ranged from a minimum of $37 to a maximum of $595. They were
payable in monthly instalments of $10 or more with interest at 6 per

On January 20, 1909, a short time after this investigation was
completed, a report issued by the special collector of loan instalments
indicated the status with reference to payment of these obligations.
There were at that time 97 recipients of loans, 25 per cent of the total
number, who had ceased making payments or had never made any, and were
therefore to be considered delinquent. Between 200 and 300 were paying
from time to time but had not settled their accounts in full. The total
amount that had been collected was $54,310.60, and the balance unpaid,
exclusive of interest, was $61,247.73. In a report to the auditor it was
stated that “some of the grantees have been very prompt in meeting their
obligations but a large number have not seen fit to meet their monthly
installments.” As a matter of fact some of the loans were, for various
reasons, converted into grants and the account of the applicant closed.

Between January, 1909 and January 1, 1911, a considerable sum was
collected. The situation on the latter date, as reported by the auditor,
is shown by the following statement:


  Total amount of housing loans            $115,558.33
  Collections on housing loans
     Principal                  $82,200.30
     Interest                     8,011.25
  Balance of principal unpaid               $33,358.03

The statement shows that $82,200.30, 71.1 per cent of the principal
loaned, had been collected, in addition to $8,011.25 interest. More than
half of the principal repaid represents the repayment in full of 188 or
49.0 per cent of the loans. The remaining loans were canceled or changed
to grants, 22 wholly, 174 in part,--some for the reason that the
circumstances of applicants had changed, and they were unable to pay as
agreed, and some because collecting was likely to entail undue expense.
As it was, the expense of collecting the money recovered came to

The Rehabilitation Committee gave the following additional aid to 356 of
the 896 grant and loan cases studied.


     Nature of additional aid     |Families received additional aid
                                  |    of each specified nature
  Household                       |              279
  General relief                  |               44
  Tools for mechanics and artisans|               11
  Transportation                  |                3
     Total                        |              337

  [223] Of the 896 families investigated only 356 received additional
  aid, and 19 of the 356 failed to supply information as to the nature
  of the aid received.

Forty per cent of the entire number received additional aid in
comparison with 24 per cent of the bonus cases. In most instances no
earnings or savings were available for the purchase of a lot and for
initial building expenses. The household grants were therefore needed
especially by those who had lived in the burned district.


                          |Families receiving
  Amount of additional aid|additional aid as
                          |    specified
  Less than $50           |        89
  $50 and less than $100  |       148
  $100 and less than $150 |        75
  $150 and less than $200 |        25
  $200 and less than $250 |        10
  $250 and less than $300 |         6
  $300 and less than $350 |         2
  $350 and over           |         1
      Total               |       356


Six cases of families that built homes worth more than $2,000 each will
give some idea, though inadequate, of the circumstances surrounding some
of the more fortunate of this group of 896 applicants.

The first is a German family of three members, the man a waiter, aged
forty-four, who earned $50 a month before the fire, his wife, and one
dependent child. He was one of the 93 applicants who had owned the home
in which he lived. His house and lot were valued at $6,000, and by
sub-letting a part of the house he added $20 a month to his income. The
insurance carried was $3,500, of which $2,800 was paid. He built a
temporary shack to house his family, at a cost of $300, towards the
payment of which he was granted $150. He now has an eighteen-room house
worth $8,700. The business loan of $6,200 negotiated by him was reduced
by $200 at the time of the investigation, and he was sub-letting rooms,
somewhat irregularly, at $145 a month. His wages as waiter had increased
$5.00 a month. The child’s constant sickness had been a handicap. The
grant was for the temporary shack erected probably before the insurance
was received or any definite plan made for permanent rebuilding.

The second family, Danish, had also three members, the man a carpenter,
aged forty-seven, his wife, and a child. Before and after the disaster
the man made $80 at his trade and he later became a teamster at the same
wage. The family belongs to the group that paid rent, which was reduced
by sub-letting. Their rental had been $18 a month for a second-story
flat of five rooms, three of which had been sub-let for $15 a month. The
insurance carried on his household goods was $200, of which he collected
$70. The seven-room house built after the fire cost the Dane $3,800, the
lot $850, to pay for which a private loan of $3,300 was negotiated, and
a grant of $200 obtained from the housing committee. The debt at the
time of the investigation had been reduced to $2,320. The man, being a
carpenter, had done most of the inside work on his house. The family was
occupying three rooms and sub-letting four at a monthly rental of
$18.75. There had been no sickness in the family. The grant was small in
comparison with the cost of the house and lot, but it may have been the
fillip needed to bring the man to the point of purchase. The rate at
which the debt was being canceled seems to justify the big venture. If
the family escape the handicaps of sickness and accident during the next
few years, the result will indicate that the housing committee was
warranted in extending aid.

[Illustration: 1 2 3 4


Nos. 1 and 3 represent the $500 bonus; No 2 is a grant and loan cottage
built by a committee contractor and is being paid for in instalments;
No. 4 represents a beginning with the aid of a small bonus of $100 from
the committee. Four cottages in the background received early housing

The third, another German family, likewise is a family of three, but in
this instance an old couple, the man seventy-seven, and a grown son, an
electrician who had earned $140 a month. The house which they had owned
before the fire, valued with the “lot” at $10,000, had 19 rooms, 13 of
which were let for $82.50 a month. An insurance of $6,000 was carried,
on which $4,500 was collected, which happened to be the exact amount of
the mortgage on the property. This family also, soon after the fire,
built a cheap cottage, price $500, towards payment for which the housing
committee granted $305. The electrician and a married son, the one
other child, who lived away from home, later built a $6,000 two-story
twenty-room apartment house, from which is drawn $110 a month in rents.
There is no record of the source from which the $6,000 was drawn. This
group had carried no burden of sickness.

The fourth is a large Irish family, a man of forty-four, his wife, and
eight children. As agent for a railroad company he had earned $80 a
month before the fire, and was afterwards advanced to $100. They had
rented for $30 a month a house of 11 rooms, four of which they had
sub-let for $20. They had no insurance, but had savings to the amount of
$500. The house of eight rooms which they built after the fire on a
$1,500 lot, cost $5,000, towards payment for which the housing committee
granted $250. The Rehabilitation Committee gave $100 for furniture. At
the time of the investigation the mortgage on the property amounted to
$2,300, and two of the children were earning $89 a month. This family is
financially better off than in 1906. While in camp they had suffered to
some extent from sickness.

The fifth is another Irish family, that of a laborer of thirty-seven,
his wife, and two young children. Before the fire he had earned $65 a
month, after the fire $85, but at the time of the investigation he was
earning but $60 irregularly. The family had formerly rented a four-room
flat for $13 a month, and though no insurance was carried, had savings
amounting to $1,600. Of this sum $650 was used in purchasing a lot on
which a $3,000 house was built. The house was not yet entirely furnished
at the time of the investigation. The committee grant was $250. The debt
carried exactly equaled the amount of savings before the fire. The
family had had sickness, which had meant a heavy outlay for medical

The sixth and last is an American family of two maiden sisters, aged
about fifty-five. As dressmakers they had earned $60 a month and had
lived in their own house of 17 rooms, valued with the lot at $6,000, on
which was a $2,800 mortgage. They sub-let six rooms for $45 a month. The
insurance collected was but $300, and after the fire they were able to
earn but $55 a month. The sixteen-room house they built cost $7,000, on
which they had a debt of $4,800. Their housing grant was $200, and they
had received an additional rehabilitation grant of $200 for furniture
and a sewing machine. At the time of the investigation they were earning
$70 at their trade and were collecting $20 a month for rent. They too
had been handicapped by sickness, and had had difficulties with their


Perhaps no more important rehabilitation work was done than that by the
housing committee. Partly through its stimulating efforts, by means of
the grant and loan plan, many persons, the majority of whom were
wage-earners who had carried but little insurance, accumulated small
savings, and had but few friends and relatives to extend help, were
brought to own their homes.

The chief difficulty that the committee had to contend with was the
securing of competent and reliable contractors and plumbers. From time
to time they had to make changes which increased their own work of
supervision and worked hardship to the applicants. By giving a few
orders at a time to a contractor, with the promise of further orders if
the work were satisfactory,[224] the effort was made to stimulate sound
work. The best results were secured, as has been shown, by the
encouragement to men to themselves build or to superintend their own
building. Those who had initiative or the resource of friends in the
building trade were able to get what they wanted; those who lacked
business push trusted to contractors. The lesson is plainly writ,
however, that where feasible, the encouraging of men, in an emergency,
to assume responsibility for providing their own homes, promises better
results than to offer, under abnormal conditions, to build houses in
quantity for sale. The personal equation in this matter, as in every
other, precludes the drawing of any sweeping conclusion. The plan of the
housing committee to study each applicant, and then make the plan as
closely fit his case as the prevailing conditions will allow, is a safe

  [224] The result was a rushing of work for the sake of prospective


A very large proportion of the workingmen and small tradesmen in San
Francisco own their own houses and lots. The land values in certain
sections had not been excessive, so that many wage-earners were able to
invest savings in small lots on which to establish permanent homes. What
part the Corporation took in adding to the number of those who own their
own homes has been shown in this study.

It has been pointed out that the bonus group received the most bountiful
housing aid, that the grant and loan group came second in the securing
of liberal assistance, and that the camp cottage people were given the

The re-visit, to recapitulate, showed that a majority of the persons who
received the bonus, which it must be borne in mind cannot be called a
relief measure, possessed not a little property, were fairly well
established in business or at profitable employment, and were entirely
able to re-establish their homes when the unsettled conditions had
passed. At the date of the re-visit this group of people were housed in
their own homes, which compared favorably in almost every way with those
occupied when the earthquake came.

The erection of cottages within the camps to serve as temporary shelter
for approximately 18,000 people, was well planned and efficiently
executed. As has been shown, a number of the cottages came later into
the possession of speculators or were soon taken over by landlords in
satisfaction of unpaid ground rent. On the other hand, many were owned
by persons who were able to purchase small lots, and who in the fall of
1908 bid fair to retain their attractive and comfortable little homes.
Without the gift of the cottages this would not have been possible to
them. It would seem on the whole that these applicants were better
housed at the date of the investigation than at the time of the fire
which, probably, more than any other single fact, indicates the
soundness of the housing plans.

The standards of many of the families who received camp cottages were so
low that an extensive scheme of constructive philanthropy by which an
effort might have been made slowly to raise their standards of living
would have been of great value. This would have been a stupendous task.
But should the expenditure of another great rehabilitation fund be
called for, ought not such an attempt to be kept in mind?

The plan to aid applicants with small grants and loans was undoubtedly
well conceived and effectively worked out. The machinery installed by
the housing committee enabled it to reach the class of people whom it
was most anxious to help, also to weed out a large number that it was
thought unwise to aid. The great merit of the grant and loan policy was
that it stimulated a large number to purchase lots and erect homes of
their own who otherwise would probably never have seriously considered
the possibility.


  TO JUNE, 1909



  I. THE NATURE OF THE CASES                    281

  1. Introductory                               281
  2. Nature of the Dependency                   282
  3. Social Character of the Cases              286
  4. Occupations of Applicants                  294


  1. Reapplications                             298
  2. Emergent Relief                            299
  3. Permanent Relief                           305
  4. Relief Refused                             310
  5. Conclusions                                314
  6. The Associated Charities Since the Fire    317




In Parts I and II frequent mention has been made of the important
rehabilitation rôle played by the Associated Charities. In this fifth
part of the Relief Survey, measure is taken of the burden carried by the
Associated Charities for the two years after it resigned as an
investigating agent of the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds and
took up, with the financial aid of the funds, its independent work of
caring for the remnant. The remnant was composed of the people who had
suffered from the earthquake and fire but had asked for no help until
more than a year had elapsed; of those who continued to need aid because
of the extraordinary vicissitudes of their life; of others who had
formed the habit of turning to a relief agency for assistance; and of
those who required further succor because that given by the Corporation
had been inadequate.

The Associated Charities was selected for special study, not only
because it had been continuously the agent of the Corporation, but
because its work promised to give the fullest answer to the question: To
what extent has the San Francisco problem of dependency deepened? This
study is, then, in a sense, an exhibition of the aftermath of the great

The range of the inquiry involved the asking of three questions: First,
what was the character of the rehabilitation? Second, how was it done?
Third,--a quadruple question,--how much was induced by the disaster
itself, how much by the fact of the existence of relief measures the
year after the disaster, how much by the administration of these
measures, and how much by conditions that tend at all times to produce

The field of investigation plainly defines itself as: first, to know the
number and character of the persons that remained dependent after the
fifteen months of conscientious rehabilitation work, and to compare them
in regard to number and character with the lesser number of persons that
for two years before the disaster were under the care of the Associated
Charities; second, to learn what methods of relief were used to render
these persons once more effective members of the community; and third,
to measure in some degree the efficiency of these methods.

The primary purpose of this study was to learn as far as possible the
psychological effects of the disaster by studying a group of refugees
who continued to draw on the relief funds after the general public had
fallen out of the bread line. It has been impossible, however, to hold
strictly to the purpose, because the Associated Charities,[225] in
resuming its normal place in the community, aimed rightly to administer
to the needs of the city’s poor whether or not the individual applicant
could show a relation between his necessity and the disaster. From the
point of view of the Associated Charities, all persons applying for aid
from June, 1907, to June, 1909, had an equal claim on its funds. Its
power of realizing this aim of impartially meeting the needs of the
applicants has been limited by the fact that as a society it was known
by the public at large, as well as by the direct and indirect sufferers
from the disaster, by their relatives, and by their friends, to be
acting as the financial agent of a corporation that continued to have
large sums of money to disburse.

  [225] Before and since the disaster the Associated Charities has been,
  except for the work done by the Hebrew Board of Relief, the accepted
  general relief society. It has had, throughout, the active
  co-operation of the Catholics.


The interest in the relief administration centers in the desire to know
to what extent it altered the poverty situation of the city. The
presumption is, of course, that the work of the Associated Charities and
kindred agencies was greatly increased by the disaster, but it is
important to get a specific idea of the increase for the two selected
years, and to determine what proportion is a distinct result of the
social upheaval brought by the earthquake and fire of 1906.

To answer this question required a knowledge of the work of the
Associated Charities for the two years before the fire as exact as for
the two years under consideration.[226] By one of the most notable
incidents of the great fire, the building containing the records of the
Associated Charities escaped the flames. These records, no previous
study of whose facts had been made, were therefore available. The
stories of the applicants to the Associated Charities for the two years
preceding April 18, 1906, have been analyzed, and in order that
comparison might be possible, a similar study of records has been made
of the post-disaster cases.

  [226] At the time of the fire the Associated Charities had been in
  existence for over seventeen years. Its original aim had been to
  confine its work to organizing charity; but as there was no general
  relief society in existence it was called on more and more to do
  relief work. By 1905 the society had a list of 900 subscribers; an
  annual income of not more than $5,000; a staff consisting of a general
  secretary, two or three paid investigators, and a stenographer on part
  time. In addition to these, the office had the exclusive use of two
  district nurses supported by special funds. With a staff and an income
  so limited it was possible to give little beyond emergency aid to
  needy families in their homes. The problem of homeless men was not
  touched. The initial steps had been taken looking to co-operation with
  other philanthropic agencies along several lines. In conjunction with
  the Merchants’ Association, a charities endorsement committee had been
  formed; a children’s agency had been established, and a department of
  legislation and law organized to originate needed social legislation
  and to give free legal aid to applicants. For a résumé of the
  development of the work of the society after the disaster, see Part V,
  pp. 317-318.

As the means to aid during the two years from June, 1907, to June, 1909,
were drawn almost exclusively from the Corporation and the Board of
Trustees of Relief and Red Cross Funds, a statement of the work of the
Associated Charities is practically a survey of the further use made of
the disaster relief funds.

The Associated Charities, as an independent agent, reopened its doors to
applicants on June 17, 1907; but since it had assumed the responsibility
before the complete transfer of duties was effected, data are here given
for the period beginning June 1. From June 1, 1907, until June 1, 1909,
6,766 applications were made to it in the following order:

  June 1, 1907, to December 31, 1907         2,547
  January 1, 1908, to December 31, 1908      3,154
  January 1, 1909, to June 1, 1909           1,065
  Total                                      6,766

From April 18, 1904, to April 18, 1906, 1840 cases had applied for aid
at the office. There was therefore a nearly fourfold increase in
applications during the two post-disaster years under comparison. There
are no data to show the sequence of increase or decrease of cases for
the earlier period. The number of monthly applications during 1908 and
1909 was as follows:


    Month  | 1908| 1909
  January  |  474|  229
  February |  815|  237
  March    |  417|  219
  April    |  219|  145
  May      |  172|  135
  June     |  195|  274
  July     |  146|  113
  August   |  152|   97
  September|  115|   84
  October  |  173|   42
  November |  126|  161
  December |  150|  183

  [227] As the figures in this table are for the calendar years 1908 and
  1909, the totals do not correspond with the figures for the period
  from June 1, 1907, to June 1, 1909, presented in other tables in this
  Part. While there were some inconsistencies between various records
  consulted, as to the number of applications per month, it is believed
  that the figures presented are approximately correct.

Although for three of the months of 1909, June, November, and December,
there was an increase of applications over the corresponding months of
the previous year,--an increase of 41, 28, and 22 per cent
respectively,--the work for 1909 as a whole, compared with 1908,
decreased 39 per cent.

In relating the facts found in the case records of applicants from June
1, 1907, to June 1, 1909, 815, or 12 per cent, of the 6766 records are
omitted,--107 because they were found to be the records of cases
belonging not to the Associated Charities but to other relief societies;
606 because they were not relief society records, but were those of
cases cared for in the City and County Hospital which for reasons of
office organization were, during a number of months of the year 1907,
filed with the Associated Charities’ records; 102 because they were too
incomplete to give the required data. The facts drawn from the remaining
5951 cases are compared with 1550 cases of the earlier pre-disaster
period. Two hundred and ninety cases, or 15.8 per cent, of the 1840
cases of that period (April 18, 1904, to April 18, 1906), had to be
omitted, some because they were records of cases handled by other relief
societies, and a larger number because the statement cards lacked
sufficient data to permit tabulation. The large number of cases marked
“Unknown” throughout this study makes it incontestably plain that the
records are lacking in many details. Though admirably complete as
compared with those before the fire, and much more so during the years
1908 and 1909 than during 1907, yet data have failed with regrettable

AID. JUNE 1, 1907, TO JUNE 1, 1909[228]

          Classes of applicants         |Applicants|Applicants | Total
                                        |  aided   |refused aid|
  Applicants who had lived in burned    |          |           |
  area:                                 |          |           |
      With rehabilitation record        |   1,309  |     571   | 1,880
      Without rehabilitation record     |   1,512  |     604   | 2,116
        Total                           |  =2,821= |  =1,175=  |=3,996=
                                        |          |           |
  Applicants who had not lived in burned|          |           |
  area                                  |  =1,303= |    =439=  |=1,742=
        Grand total                     |  =4,124= |  =1,614=  |=5,738=

  [228] Data are not available as to the former place of residence of
  123 of the 4,247 applicants aided, and of 90 of the 1,704 applicants
  who were refused aid.

One point on which the records in many cases fail to supply information
is as to whether or not the applicant had been burned out. In the
previous studies of this Survey no division has been made of the
refugees into the two classes of those who lived within or without the
burned area, because dependency as a result of the disaster was known to
be due not alone to having been in the first named class. Since one of
the vital points of this study, however, is to determine how much of the
relief work of the Associated Charities during the second of the
two-year periods was due, directly or indirectly, to the earthquake and
fire, an effort has been made to reach the point by dividing the 5,738
applicants about whom the fact was known into two groups: 3,996, or 69.6
per cent, of whom had lived within the burned area; 1,742, or 30.4 per
cent, of whom had lived without. The further classification given in
Table 97 reveals the interesting fact that a large number of persons who
had lived in the burned area made no recorded application for
rehabilitation until after June, 1907.

Fifty-three per cent of those burned out, who by June, 1909, had come to
the Associated Charities for assistance, first made application for
relief needed as a result of the disaster, after the rehabilitation work
was done. Many of them had undoubtedly received their share of clothes,
had stood in the bread line, and had lived in the camps, but as their
names are not on the records of the Rehabilitation Committee they had
had, up to the time that they applied to the Associated Charities, no
rehabilitation in the accepted sense of the term.


The social characteristics of these cases are second in importance only
to the question of their relation to the disaster.

What do the records show with regard to their nationality, their family
relations, their ages, the size of their families, their occupations,
and their characteristics in general? What were the disabilities that
drove them to ask for help? What proportion of the disabilities from
which they suffered can be marked against the rehabilitation methods?

Forty-one different countries, as shown by Table 98, are represented by
the persons who made application in each of the two-year periods, and of
whom the place of birth was learned.

[Illustration: Completely devastated. First tents in Washington Square

Partly Rebuilt. Cottages in Washington Square


The situation as far as nationality governed application shows but
slight variation between the two periods of time. There are, however, a
few interesting variations; as, for instance, the falling off in the
second period in the number of applicants born in the British Empire, in
the Scandinavian countries, and in the United States. Only the Irish and
Italians have materially increased their proportionate numbers. Did the
relief funds cause this increase, or did the catastrophe bear most
heavily on these nationalities? When it is recalled[229] that the Latin
Quarter was wiped out and that “South-of-Market,” largely the
residential quarter of the poor Irish, was entirely burned, the fire
seems undoubtedly to be responsible.

  [229] Part I, p. 4.


              Nativity               |   APPLICANTS OF EACH
                                     |   SPECIFIED NATIVITY
                                     |   Number    |  Per cent
                                     |Before| After|Before|After
                                     | fire | fire | fire | fire
  United States                      |   532| 1,933|  42.7| 37.0
  Ireland                            |   135|   734|  10.9| 14.0
  Italy                              |    65|   541|   5.2| 10.4
  Spain, Mexico and Porto Rico       |   113|   500|   9.1|  9.6
  Germany                            |   118|   475|   9.5|  9.1
  Great Britain, Canada and          |      |      |      |
  Australasia                        |   113|   373|   9.1|  7.1
  Norway, Sweden and Denmark         |    38|   138|   3.1|  2.6
  Finland, Russia, Poland and Armenia|    32|   150|   2.6|  2.9
  Other countries (24)               |    97|   381|   7.8|  7.3
      Total                          | 1,243| 5,225| 100.0|100.0

  [230] Data are not available as to the nationality of 307 of the 1,550
  persons applying for relief before the fire, and of 726 of the 5,951
  persons applying for relief after the fire.

No question is of greater importance than that involved in the relation
between relief and the family. In Parts I and II the effort of the
Rehabilitation Committee has been shown to have been to limit closely
the amount of aid given to single, able-bodied persons and to
able-bodied men.[231] This policy is shown in the following table to
have influenced the work of the Associated Charities also, so that the
widow and the handicapped family received primary consideration in the
extended rehabilitation work.

  [231] See Part I, p. 47, and Part II, p. 123. This policy was, of
  course, being carried out in spirit when breadwinners were helped not
  with continued general relief, but with means to re-establish a home
  through a housing or business grant.


                                        | CASES OF EACH SPECIFIED TYPE
             Family type                |     Number    |    Per cent
                                        | Before| After | Before| After
                                        |  fire | fire  |  fire | fire
  Families                              |       |       |       |
    (1) Married couples with children   |   500 | 2,012 |  34.2 |  33.9
    (2) Married couples without children|   109 |   522 |   7.5 |   8.8
    (3) Widows with children            |   167 | 1,044 |  11.4 |  17.5
    (4) Deserted wives with children    |    53 |   258 |   3.6 |   4.3
    (5) Widowers with children          |    41 |   144 |   2.8 |   2.4
    (6) Deserted husbands with children |     8 |    20 |   0.6 |   0.3
    (7) Divorced men or women with      |       |       |       |
        children                        |    26 |   109 |   1.8 |   1.8
    (8) Orphan families                 |    10 |    30 |   0.7 |   0.5
    (9) Illegitimate families           |     6 |    65 |   0.4 |   1.1
      Total families                    |  =920=|=4,204=| =63.0=| =70.6=
                                        |       |       |       |
  Detached persons                      |       |       |       |
    Men                                 |   362 |   916 |  24.8 |  15.4
    Women                               |   163 |   798 |  11.1 |  13.4
      Total detached persons            |  =525=|=1,714=| =35.9=| =28.8=
                                        |       |       |       |
  Dependent minors                      |   =16=|   =33=|  =1.1=|  =0.6=
      Grand Total                       |=1,461=|=5,951=|=100.0=|=100.0=

  [232] Data are not available as to the family type of 89 of the 1,550
  persons applying for relief before the fire.

Since the term “families” covers the widest range of variations in
social status, it has seemed wise to make the nine family
classifications given in the above table. It is plain that the seventh
group lacks in value as compared with the classifying of each group
separately according to sex. The incompleteness of the records made a
separation by sex impossible. The most notable difference in the numbers
applying for relief before and after the fire occurs in the case of
widows with children. If to the 1,044 widows with children--taking the
figures of the second period--be added the 258 deserted women and the 30
orphaned families, all supported by women, 1,332, or 22.3 per cent of
all the cases, are shown to be families dependent upon women as
breadwinners. If the 798 childless, detached women be added to the
1,332, we have 2,130 women dependents, or 35.7 per cent of those that
applied,[233] which must be compared with 26.8 per cent for the period
before the fire. The 164 widowers and deserted husbands with children,
2.7 per cent of all the cases of the later period, is a relatively
larger number of such cases than is usually found in charity records.
The proportion of the group called “illegitimate families” rests upon
facts open to challenge as to exactness or completeness. Though the
presumption is that the number is too small, 65 such cases for the
second period are all that can be proven by the records. The fact that
the percentage of applications from single men was less after than
before the fire shows that the policy to limit relief given to this
class had a deterrent effect. The 49 dependent minors applying to the
Associated Charities in the two periods for various reasons were not
referred for care to the city’s child-caring agencies.

  [233] See Devine, Edward T.: Misery and Its Causes, New York,
  Macmillan, 1909. The percentage of women breadwinners in the 500
  cases, New York Charity Organization Society in the year 1908 is given
  as 40.8 per cent.

Of 1,375 married couples who had lived in the burned area 647, or nearly
47 per cent, had a rehabilitation record, while the majority of all the
men applying were without such records. By actual count over 80 per cent
of the single men who made the first application after June, 1907, had
come to San Francisco within the year after the disaster, lured
presumably by the expectation of work.

The age of the person entered on the statement card as the main source
of support for the family group, has been chosen as the age basis for
Table 100.

In the second period of time 55.6 per cent of all the cases in which the
age was ascertained were over forty years of age. This proportion falls
to 54 per cent when the family cases alone are considered.

From the records for the first period, it was possible to tabulate data
relative to the age of the breadwinner for only 661 family groups. In
only 175 of these 661 groups, or 26.5 per cent, was the breadwinner
known to be over forty years of age.


       Age of breadwinner    |    FAMILIES WITH
                             | BREADWINNER OF EACH
                             |    SPECIFIED AGE
                             |  Number  |  Per cent
  Under 30 years             |    682   |    16.2
  30 years and under 35 years|    597   |    14.2
  35 years and under 40 years|    647   |    15.4
  40 years and under 60 years|  1,632   |    38.8
  60 years or over           |    646   |    15.4
      Total                  |  4,204   |   100.0

  [234] Data are not available as to the age of the principal
  breadwinner in 1,747 of the 5,951 families applying for relief after
  the fire.


                 Family type             |  Families  | FAMILIES WITH
                                         | for which  | BREADWINNER 40
                                         |information |  YEARS OF AGE
                                         |as to age of|    OR OVER
                                         |breadwinner +------+--------
                                         |is available|Number|Per cent
                                         |            |      | of all
                                         |            |      |families
  Married couples with children          |            |      |
    Before fire                          |      372   |   83 |  22.3
    After fire                           |    2,012   |  946 |  47.0
  Married couples without children       |            |      |
    Before fire                          |       84   |   26 |  31.0
    After fire                           |      522   |  293 |  56.1
  Widows and deserted women with children|            |      |
    Before fire                          |      135   |   44 |  32.6
    After fire                           |    1,302   |  864 |  66.4
  Widowers and deserted men with children|            |      |
    Before fire                          |       34   |   17 |  50.0
    After fire                           |      164   |  110 |  67.1
  Other family types                     |            |      |
    Before fire                          |       36   |    5 |  13.9
    After fire                           |      204   |   65 |  31.9
  Total    Before fire                   |      661   |  175 |  26.5
           After fire                    |    4,204   |2,278 |  54.2

  [235] Data are not available as to age of the principal breadwinner
  and family type for 889 of the 1,550 families of persons applying for
  relief before the fire, and for 1,747 of the 5,951 families applying
  for relief after the fire.

[Illustration: Largely rebuilt. Washington Square restored to park uses


The preponderance of applicants past forty in the second period is not
surprising. Given a prosperous community and care in dispensing aid in
time of disaster it was to be expected that those approaching middle age
would be the ones to apply for and to receive aid.

It is interesting to note whether the strain due to the conditions
following the disaster was felt more by the native or by the foreign
born married groups.


                                         |  Families  |FAMILIES BURNED
                                         | burned out |   OUT WITH
                                         | for which  |  BREADWINNER
  Nativity and rehabilitation record     |information |   40 YEARS
                                         |as to age of| OF AGE OR OVER
                                         |breadwinner +-------+--------
                                         |is available| Number|Per cent
  Native born                            |            |       |
    With rehabilitation record           |      558   |   322 |  57.7
    Without rehabilitation record        |      473   |   226 |  47.8
      Total                              |   =1,031=  |  =548=| =53.2=
                                         |            |       |
  Foreign born                           |            |       |
    With rehabilitation record           |      966   |   666 |  68.9
    Without rehabilitation record        |    1,032   |   583 |  56.5
      Total                              |   =1,998=  |=1,249=| =62.5=
                                         |            |       |
  All cases with rehabilitation record   |   =1,524=  |  =988=| =64.8=
  All cases without rehabilitation record|   =1,505=  |  =809=| =53.8=
      Grand total                        |   =3,029=  |=1,797=| =59.3=

  [236] Data are not available as to age of the principal breadwinner,
  nativity, and rehabilitation record for 967 of the 3,996 burned out
  families applying for relief after the fire.

The answer given by the table is that the foreign born family was older
than the native born, whether it had had rehabilitation aid before
applying to the Associated Charities or not. The facts indicate that the
courage and resourcefulness of comparative youth whether of the foreign
or of the native born, tended to make men under forty wait until all
other resources had failed before appealing for aid.

The number of children shown in Table 103 gives but the approximate
number of living children of the different families. Though data were
fairly complete for children, minor and adult, living at home, there
were probably many instances in which children who were married or no
longer members of the household, were not named on the statement card.
The count, however, tells facts sufficiently interesting to a student of
dependency to warrant its inclusion.


  Number of children|  FAMILIES HAVING EACH
                    |   SPECIFIED NUMBER OF
                    |        CHILDREN
                    |   Number   |  Per cent
                    | fire | fire| fire | fire
  One               |  263 |1,204|  32.4| 32.7
  Two               |  205 |  989|  25.3| 26.9
  Three             |  150 |  608|  18.5| 16.5
  Four              |   85 |  370|  10.5| 10.0
  Five              |   58 |  255|   7.2|  6.9
  Six               |   26 |  130|   3.2|  3.5
  Seven             |    9 |   69|   1.1|  1.9
  Eight             |    9 |   36|   1.1|  1.0
  Nine or over      |    6 |   21|    .7|   .6
      Total         |  811 |3,682| 100.0|100.0

In the first period only 6 per cent of these families applying had more
than five children; in the second only 7 per cent. Seventy-six per cent
of the families in each period had three or a smaller number of
children. Large families evidently played a small part in the dependency
situation. It is true that the cases which presented serious problems of
treatment were often those with a large number of children, but the
actual number of such cases was small. The high average age of the
applicant and the likelihood, therefore, of his having unrecorded
children living away from home must, it is reiterated, be borne in mind.

The applicants in 75 per cent of the cases of the second period,
mentioned in Table 104, were found to be suffering from two or more
disabilities. The classifications were taken from the case records.


      Disability      | CASES IN WHICH THE CHIEF
                      |DISABILITY WAS AS SPECIFIED
                      |   Number   |   Per cent
                      |Before|After|Before| After
                      | fire | fire| fire |  fire
  Death               |   31 |  111|   2.0|   1.9
  Illness             |  493 |1,366|  31.8|  23.0
  Old age             |   56 |  344|   3.6|   5.8
  Accident            |   94 |  264|   6.1|   4.4
  Unemployment        |  302 |1,532|  19.5|  25.7
  Laziness            |   26 |  184|   1.7|   3.1
  Desertion or divorce|   90 |  151|   5.8|   2.5
  Vicious habits      |  143 |  295|   9.2|   5.0
  Other disabilities  |  315 |1,704|  20.3|  28.6
      Total           |1,550 |5,951| 100.0| 100.0

The largest single disability for the second period was unemployment. Of
those who applied to the office between June, 1907, and June, 1909,
1532, or 25.7 per cent, came for the alleged reason that they were out
of work. The greater percentage of illness before than after the
disaster is also noteworthy. Included in the other disabilities or
handicaps that led to application for relief should be mentioned
unsanitary surroundings and overstrain, the latter a term used to
describe a general break-down of nerve due to the conditions following
the disaster. Under the caption “vicious habits” are included all cases
in which drunkenness, the drug habit, brutality, licentiousness, or
professional mendicancy had played their part in bringing persons to be
a charge upon a charity office. Add to those classed as having vicious
habits those who were recorded as being lazy, as having deserted or
divorced a partner, and 49 of those reported under “other disabilities”
who had been neglectful or had served a penal term, and we have a total
of 679 persons of the second period who may be said to have come to make
application, or caused others to apply, by reason of the effects of
wrong living. As this count does not include those whose illnesses
resulted from evil practices or those whose unemployment resulted from
disabling vice, it is not complete. It indicates, however, that
dependency after the fire did not come in an exceptionally large number
of cases as a result of evil living. Before the fire vicious habits were
reported as responsible for 9.2 per cent of all the cases of distress.


In the table that follows all applicants for relief for the second
period are classified by general occupation.


      Occupation       | APPLICANTS WHO HAD LIVED|Appli-| Appli- |Total
                       |      IN BURNED AREA     | cants| cants  |  of
                       +---------+---------+-----+  who | whose  | all
                       |  With   | Without |Total|  had | former |clas-
                       |rehabili-|rehabili-|     |  not |place of| ses
                       | tation  | tation  |     | lived| resi-  |
                       | record  | record  |     |  in  | dence  |
                       |         |         |     |burned|  is    |
                       |         |         |     | area |doubtful|
  Professional service |     44  |     38  |   82|    45|     6  |  133
  Public service       |     11  |      7  |   18|    10|    ..  |   28
  Personal and domestic|         |         |     |      |        |
  service              |    574  |    366  |  940|   252|    13  |1,205
  Unskilled labor      |    255  |    372  |  627|   288|    20  |  935
  Transportation       |     94  |    110  |  204|    83|    10  |  297
  Trade                |    172  |    114  |  286|   109|    15  |  410
  Manufacturing and    |         |         |     |      |        |
  mechanical industries|    579  |    460  |1,039|   371|    30  |1,440
  Miscellaneous        |         |         |     |      |        |
  occupations          |     24  |     32  |   56|    30|     3  |   89
  Unknown              |    127  |    617  |  744|   554|   116  |1,414
      Total            |  1,880  |  2,116  |3,996| 1,742|   213  |5,951

[Illustration: A street, showing close quarters in camp


In between 23 and 24 per cent of the cases, the facts of occupation were
not stated in the records. A study of the cases remaining proves how
widely need distributed itself through all economic classes in the
community. The persons enumerated were engaged in about 200 different

Of the 4,537 persons for whom data concerning occupation were secured,
32 per cent were employed in the manufacturing and mechanical
industries, 27 per cent were in personal and domestic service, and 21
per cent were in unskilled labor. The proportion of applicants in trade
was 9 per cent and in transportation between 6 and 7 per cent. Less than
3 per cent of the applicants were in professional service or in
miscellaneous occupations and less than 1 per cent in public service.
Whether considered as having lived within or without the burned area, no
striking difference appears in the proportion in each group of

The facts concerning the occupations of the needy show that the mass of
poverty in San Francisco centered, as might be expected, in the same
occupations before the fire as afterwards. The data for both periods are
presented in Table 106.


         Occupational group              |APPLICANTS IN EACH SPECI-
                                         | FIED OCCUPATIONAL GROUP
                                         |   Number   |  Per cent
                                         | fire |fire | fire |fire
  Professional service                   |    67|  133|   6.1|  2.9
  Public service                         |    13|   28|   1.2|   .6
  Personal and domestic service          |   259|1,205|  23.4| 26.6
  Unskilled labor                        |   243|  935|  22.0| 20.6
  Transportation                         |    85|  297|   7.7|  6.5
  Trade                                  |   107|  410|   9.6|  9.0
  Manufacturing and mechanical industries|   297|1,440|  26.8| 31.8
  Miscellaneous occupations              |    36|   89|   3.2|  2.0
      Total                              | 1,107|4,537| 100.0|100.0

  [237] Data are not available as to the occupations of 443 of the 1,550
  persons applying for relief before the fire, and of 1,414 of the 5,951
  persons applying for relief after the fire.

In the two years before April 18, 1906, as in the two years following
June 1, 1907, the largest percentage of persons was engaged in those
vocations which are grouped as mechanical and manufacturing trades, as
unskilled labor, and as personal and domestic service. The proportion of
applicants in these three groups combined was, however, smaller before
the fire, totaling 72.2 per cent before the fire as compared with 79 per
cent in the later period. This is possibly due, in part, to the fact
that the proportion of persons whose occupation was unknown was larger
before the fire than after. The proportion of demand for help from
persons in professional and public service was larger before the fire
than after, for applicants in these occupations constituted 7.3 per cent
of the cases in the period from April, 1904, to April, 1906, and only
3.5 per cent of the later cases. The disaster only slightly affected the
proportion of persons in need who were in transportation employment or
in trade. Before the fire 7.7 per cent of all applicants were in
transportation employment and 9.6 per cent in trade, and after the fire
6.5 per cent were in transportation employment and 9 per cent in trade.

No specific data as to income are offered, because after some brief
experimentation a study of income seemed futile. A person applying for
aid may understate his income because he is humanly open to the
temptation of trying to make as good a case for himself as possible, or
may overstate it because he does not take into account the amount of
irregularity to which he as a weekly or daily wage-earner is subject. In
about 3000 of the cases in which income data were available for study,
the potential earning power could have been in every case safely
estimated by the occupations. The income for the average breadwinners,
most of them semi-skilled, may be said to have approached during the
periods stated the sum of $15 to $20 per week, an amount that represents
something near the minimum earning power of the wage workers in San
Francisco, a class of persons paid more highly than in any other part of
the United States. For instance, among the American families burned out
who were given aid, 32 gave their earning power at $10 to $15 per week,
27 at $15 to $20, and 21 at $20 or over.

It is of course of fundamental importance that the relief agent should
know the total income of the families or individuals applying for aid.
Only by learning what the income actually or approximately is can
treatment be made to fit actual need. The record hurriedly written under
pressure of work may fail to reveal the facts used by the investigator
in determining treatment. The record may not, therefore, show the actual
sum of knowledge held and used as the basis for treatment. The record,
on the other hand, may be no more meager than was the investigation that
it records. In the latter case, investigation, as well as treatment, has
been in the hands of an agent who has lacked either time or training, or
both, to do work such as is called for by the present standards of
adequate case work.[238]

  [238] See Part III, p. 173, for method of determining income of
  persons owning their own business.

Summarizing the facts concerning the character of the cases and the
situation that forced these individuals to seek aid, it would appear
that the cases group themselves into three leading types.

1. Dependency because of abnormal conditions.

2. Dependency because disaster had converted semi-dependency into
complete dependency.

3. Dependency because character and circumstance, irrespective of
abnormal conditions, induced dependency.

It is plain that each group requires a separate treatment and that in
estimating the character and utility of the relief measures applied,
each class will have to be kept in mind. A conscientious effort was made
to find how many of the applicants belonged to both periods of
treatment, but the results of the efforts were so inconclusive that they
cannot be given.




The preceding chapter makes plain that from June, 1907, to June, 1909,
there was made on charity the largest demand in the history of San
Francisco, and it seems safe to assert that the majority of those who
asked aid would never have done so had they not been suddenly overtaken
by the material losses and physical strain of a great disaster.

This chapter deals with the policies and costs of relief and the reasons
discernible for refusing aid to applicants.

Any account of relief work, to be satisfactory, must include such a
statement of the effect of the relief upon those to whom it was given as
will enable the reader to decide how far it was appropriate and
sufficient for the need it aimed to supply, how far it was given only to
those who could or would benefit by its use, and how far, when refused,
it was justifiably withheld. An attempt was made to note the instances
in which the work of the Associated Charities could be said to have
restored a family to efficiency. Only a case by case re-visit, by Relief
Survey investigators, which for the reasons given later it was thought
best not to make, would have determined the point for any great number
of cases.

Table 107 shows the size of the grants and the number of persons that
applied to the Associated Charities after having been under the care of
the Rehabilitation Committee before June, 1907.

The largest proportion of the earlier grants was for furniture, which
were given, in sums of from $75 to $150, to 905 applicants. The next
largest was for general relief, by which 388 applicants were aided, in
the greatest number of instances because of sickness.


                     | OF EACH SPECIFIED AMOUNT
                     |    Number   |  Per cent
  Under $50          |     82      |    4.4
  $50 and under $100 |    420      |   22.3
  $100 and under $150|    437      |   23.2
  $150 and under $200|    293      |   15.6
  $200 and over      |    517      |   27.5
  None               |    131[239] |    7.0
      Total          |  1,880      |  100.0

  [239] Of the 131 applicants who received no money grant from the
  Rehabilitation Committee, 19 received relief other than money.

There is evidence that 1768[240] persons aided by one group of
rehabilitation workers reapplied later to another group.[241] The
question that arises is, Why?[242] In reading the records of cases,
reapplication cannot be attributed to any one cause. For example, a
group of about 60 lodging-house keepers, the majority of whom had been
given over $200 with which to establish rooming houses, had to apply to
the Associated Charities for aid in untangling their subsequent business
difficulties. In a few instances the first grant served as a spur to ask
for more; in other instances the amount given was insufficient to
accomplish what was intended; in still other instances, failure of
health, inability to secure lodgers, rise of rentals, the bank flurry,
the unemployment crises, each played a part in inducing a miscarriage in
the plan.

  [240] From the 1,880 noted in the table have been deducted the 112
  applicants to whom the aid given was neither in money nor in kind.

  [241] It should be borne in mind that persons who reapplied were in
  many cases making their reapplication to the same individuals who had
  extended treatment in the first instance.

  [242] Part II, p. 127 ff., should be read in connection with this


The relief given by the Associated Charities from June, 1907, to June,
1909, can be divided from the point of view of material service rendered
into three principal types of aid:

1. Moving camp cottages to permanent locations.

2. Giving aid.

  (a) In sums less than $50, or in kind. (Emergency and temporary

  (b) In the form of care for the destitute sick.

  (c) By finding work for the unemployed.

3. Administering pensions and grants.

  (a) Grants made by the Rehabilitation Committee previous to the
  assumption of work by the Associated Charities.

  (b) Grants or pensions made by the Associated Charities from money
  donated by the Corporation on advice of the Rehabilitation Committee.

The first type of aid has been already considered. The aid given in
money, other than large grants and pensions, and in kind (2, a), is
noted in Table 108.


       Nature of aid     |Number of| Amount of
                         |grants or|  grants
                         | orders  | or orders
  Food                   |         |
    Groceries            |    3,526| $10,158.44
    Meat                 |    3,519|   5,301.90
    Milk                 |    2,435|   2,877.25
    Vegetables           |       23|      32.65
    Emergency and food   |      592|   2,094.20
        Total            | =10,095=| =20,464.44=
                         |         |
  Household              |         |
    Rent and furniture   |      499|   6,466.88
    Sewing machines      |       52|   1,355.00
    Fuel                 |      163|     212.35
        Total            |    =714=|  =8,034.23=
                         |         |
  Clothing               |    =212=|  =1,583.37=
  Lodging                |    =447=|    =639.80=
  Transportation         |     =27=|     =76.85=
  Merchandise            |    =718=|    =718.00=
  Carfare and incidentals|  =1,042=|  =2,438.57=
        Grand total      | =13,255=|=$33,955.26=

  [243] Because of the fact that many persons received a number of
  grants, the total number of grants as shown in this table necessarily
  exceeds the number of persons receiving relief, as given in other
  tables in this Part.

[Illustration: 1. The start

2. Well under way

3. Joining two cottages

4. The completed dwelling


Most of this relief went to persons who would be dependent on aid in
normal times and to the unemployed. The relief for the hungry was given
for the most part in the form of orders, which varied in amounts from 10
cents to $10.44. The two items “emergency and food” are classed together
under “food,” because they represent temporary aid given to persons
whose special emergent need was food, but who had to have coupled with
it other necessities. The rent and furniture grants varied in amounts
from $1.00 to $75. A small supply of half worn clothing was kept on hand
for distribution. This supply was drawn on in some instances; in others,
money or an order was given for the purchase of new clothing. Materials
for clothing, “merchandise,” were given in the form of $1.00 orders.

The following table shows actual expenditures for medical relief made by
the Associated Charities in the course of its case work.


           Nature of aid          |Number of|Amount of
                                  |  grants |  grants
                                  |         |
  Glasses                         |     79  |  $229.73
  Ambulance                       |      6  |    21.00
  Hospital                        |      9  |   118.14
  Surgical                        |     23  |   230.22
  Prescriptions at $.25           |    847  |   211.75
  Prescriptions for larger amounts|  1,351  | 1,181.38
      Total                       |  2,315  |$1,992.22

In Parts I and II accounts have been given of how the Department of
Relief and Rehabilitation aided the hospitals in their care of the sick.
To the Associated Charities, however, fell the task of caring for the
sick poor in their homes, a task made doubly heavy because of the
scattering of the applicants throughout the city. In the table of
disabilities, in Chapter I,[244] it has been shown that although the
percentage of sickness among applicants was less in the second period
than in the first, the number of sick persons to be cared for was much
greater. As the expense of caring for the sick in their homes was not
made solely chargeable upon the Relief and Red Cross Funds, physicians
and nurses having given their services freely, specific enumeration of
services rendered to the sick does not belong to this particular study.

  [244] See Table 104, p. 293.

The Society’s employment bureau was during the two-year period after the
fire in charge of a paid agent, who replaced the volunteers that had
been able before the disaster to give but irregular service. As has been
shown in the preceding chapter, the community was called on to care for
an unusually large number of middle-aged women, widows with children,
and aged men. The employment agent had therefore to deal with the
problem of the more or less untrained, incapable worker, with whom a
regular agency could not or would not grapple.

In looking through the records, applicants were found to have been of
all ages, but except during the unemployment crises of February and
October, 1908, they were predominantly feminine. In regard to capacity
the majority were low-skilled. Among these were the usual types of
persons: the willing and able to work, pathetically few in number; the
willing but inefficient because too delicate, too refined, or too
specialized as to training; and the willing, the eager for employment,
who ought to be protected from work. In the last class were not only the
obviously incapacitated, but the children under suitable working age and
the widowed mothers.

The good social service work done by the employment agent in showing
women in what way they could best serve the real welfare of their
children and in bringing them in touch with the public and private
sources of relief is an interesting and suggestive story, but it is not
one that belongs to this Relief Survey, except in so far as it shows
that the Associated Charities itself was enabled to do better work for
its people after having passed through the ordeal of the rehabilitation
work than before the disaster. The fine spirit of independence that
drove some to persist in seeking work is illustrated by the following

An Irish widow who had been burned out and who was suffering from
incipient tuberculosis applied for work. She consented after much
persuasion to go to a home farm near San José, where for the sake of her
self-respect she was to do some housework. After a week or more a letter
arrived from the perplexed head of the house saying that the Irish woman
had suddenly and summarily left with the announcement that she’d “rather
die than be so lazy.” She had left to hire out as a cook in a family
which was quite unaware of her being tubercular.

Another woman accepted aid to carry out an employment plan which was
somewhat opposed to her own. She dropped from sight, apparently having
acquiesced in the office scheme. A year later she was found at a
different address placidly pursuing, with fair success, the vocation she
had been warned not to undertake on account of probable failure through
ill health.

A widow in wretched general health who was burned out, had received
before June, 1907, in addition to the aid of the camp and bread line,
$1.00 for expressage. She came to ask the Associated Charities in the
late spring of 1908, for money to go into business. Even the staff,
whose policy was to make the largest possible concession to plans made
by the applicant, hesitated and proposed that she do something involving
less personal responsibility. She refused, so some generous-hearted
members of the Rehabilitation Committee interceded for her. Two grants
were made therefore, contrary to the judgment of the society’s staff, of
$150 and $200 respectively, to be used under Associated Charities
supervision for business purposes. In June, 1909, the woman was reported
to be dying in a hospital; the business enterprise had failed.

In finding work for applicants a standard rate of wages for standard
work was insisted upon. For all work the quality of which was below par
by reason of the delicate health, relative inefficiency, or character
defect of the applicant, the employer was left to settle terms with the
employe. The greater number of women were given the only employment of
which the average untrained middle-aged woman is capable; domestic work,
“day’s work,” and house cleaning were paid for at prices ranging from
$1.50 per day to $2.00 per day, plain sewing at $1.60 per day, care of
the sick at $10 per week.

The two periods of unemployment which came in February and October,
1908, and which came as an indirect result of the disaster, brought
heavy problems.

On February 5, 1908, arrangement was made to give work to unemployed
men. It was decided that work orders should be granted to those
applying, preference being given to men with families. From February 5
to March 26, 1781 work orders of three days each were given, a total of
5343 days’ work. As there were a number of repetitions, 1781 work orders
represented about 920 men at work during the--approximately--six weeks.
The majority of the men were untrained. One hundred and ninety-eight who
had training were classified as follows: Bricklayers and stone masons,
7; electricians, plumbers, machinists, and engineers, 44; upholsterers,
2; watchmakers, 3; painters, 11; butchers, 5; cooks and bakers, 13;
carpenters, 74; teamsters, 22; clerks and bookkeepers, 17. About 15 per
cent of the 198 were members of unions. Most of the applicants had large
families dependent upon them. As they were chiefly men newly arrived in
San Francisco who expected to profit by the demand for labor created by
the rebuilding, they were in reality not a fair charge on the relief
funds. Their only relation to the earthquake and fire was the fact of
their having been attracted to the city after April, 1906, by what
proved to be in their case a Will-o’-the-wisp. The Porto Ricans and the
Russians lead in the number of those who had come to San Francisco after
the fire, and these are followed in point of numbers by the Mexicans and
the Spanish.

As to the kind of work provided, four plumbers, six carpenters (all
union men), and some of the laborers were set to work on the camp
cottages. Seventeen of the carpenters were given work on the new
Associated Charities building then in process of construction. Other
groups were given work by the Corporation in repairing the almshouse
road, in taking apart buildings at Stanley Place, South Park, and Lobos
Square, and in loading wagons with warehouse supplies to be taken to the
Relief Home. At this time and in the similar crisis in October,
preference was given to family men. The payment was made either in
money, or in kind; sometimes in both. Ninety-seven per cent of the men
were paid at the following rate for three days’ work: Meat order,
$1.00; grocery order from the store room of the Associated Charities,
$3.00; and cash $.50. In some few cases, to those who were sent to work
on the almshouse road, carfare also was given. As the Associated
Charities purchased all groceries at wholesale, it was able to give four
dollars’ worth of groceries for the three-dollar order. Men with large
families, if they had no other employment were allowed five days’ work
each week instead of three.

In October, 1908, about one-third of the men given employment were put
to work upon a temporary tuberculosis hospital which was being built at
the Ingleside Track. Four hundred and forty-two dollars in labor was
paid for building four large wards, a diet kitchen, medicine closets in
each one of the wards, and the bath and toilet rooms. Two-thirds of the
men worked either at the almshouse or at the quarry which was started
and run for several weeks by the Associated Charities. Many of the men,
however, resented being put at quarry work which they considered
belonged to convicts. Their dissatisfaction, the physical inability of a
large number of them to do such heavy labor, and the inclemency of the
weather, which caused the work to be intermittent, made the experiment
one that can not be classed as a notable success.

To carry on this work for the unemployed the San Francisco Relief and
Red Cross Funds made during February, March, and October, 1908, three
appropriations of $5,000 each. Of this amount, $14,105.26 was expended
in wages or equivalent aid to unemployed men and their families.


The work of relief was carried on with most care in the case of those
applicants to whom money had been given in sums of over $50, in some
instances in one grant, in others, in the form of pensions. Though
numerically of relatively slight importance, these cases occupied so
much of the attention of the force that they may justly be taken as most
representative of policies and accomplishments. The amounts of the gifts
are shown in Table 110. The grant was made most often to the family
whose dependence was a result of the abnormal times.


   Amount of grant   |Grants or pensions of
      or pension     |each specified amount
  $50 and under $100 |           28
  $100 and under $150|           55
  $150 and under $200|           47
  $200 and under $250|           48
  $250 and under $300|            8
  $300 and under $350|           11
  $350 and under $400|            4
  $400 and over      |            4
     Total           |          205

  [245] Some grants of over $50 have been grouped with the emergency
  relief cases.

The disaster case has many variations, but the common mark is that the
applicant is thrifty, in fairly good health, and capable of
self-support. Adventitious circumstances brought a reduction or a loss
of income. With rare exceptions, when the grant was sufficient the
family became entirely self-supporting. The policy of the office was to
find what had been the former standard of living, and to aid so that not
only would the same standard be maintained but a higher one if possible
attained. The two cases that follow illustrate how in 18 or more cases a
grant of from $75 to $500 gave the aid needed to make a fresh and
successful start.

A peddler of imported linen goods, in poor health, with a wife also in
poor health, and four children under fourteen years of age, who had been
burned out, asked for no aid until 1908. He believed he could do without
help, but when the wife became very ill the man knew that he must appeal
for relief. He was granted at once $250 to purchase a stock of goods,
though his plan for resuming his old business was vague. For about three
months, as the family seemed able to care for itself, the case was not
held under treatment. Then the wife died, leaving the man as sole
caretaker of four ill children. The children, three suffering with
typhoid fever and one with tuberculosis of the hip, were sent to a
sanatorium and a grant of $150 was secured, which was supplemented
later by a grant of $300. A large part of these two sums was spent for
hospital treatment, but the remainder was invested in getting the man to
make a fresh start at his old business of selling imported linens. When
the family was revisited in June, 1909, the man’s sister-in-law reported
him as making a good living. Having employed a housekeeper, he was able
to keep his children properly and to give them a suitable education.
This expenditure of $700 lightened burdens brought alone by disaster and

[Illustration: HOME FOR THE AGED AND INFIRM (the “Relief Home”)]

An American widow fifty-nine years of age, with a daughter of forty
stone deaf and in ill health, and the daughter’s three children under
thirteen, had kept a boarding house before the fire in fairly
comfortable quarters in one of the busier districts of San Francisco.
The daughter, separated from her husband, an inebriate and a gambler,
was entirely dependent on her mother. With high courage the fine woman
planned to rent and furnish a hotel in one of the smaller watering
places of the state. The Rehabilitation Committee gave her $400 for the
purpose. The venture failed, so two years later she applied to the
Associated Charities for rehabilitation. She was given $200 with which
to move the furnishings saved from the first venture to a suburban town,
where she now has a successful rooming and boarding house. She is
valiantly carrying her own burdens.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are some 20 or more cases whose success is dubious, because the
money was used for purposes for which it was not intended; because the
plan to keep a domestic group intact through the expenditure of a large
grant was frustrated; or because defective character balked the
rehabilitation plans. In most of these cases the investigation failed to
unearth characteristics or resources which, if discovered, would have
made a flat grant unnecessary or undesirable.

Pensions were granted of course for several different ends. In a good
many instances they were given primarily to tide a family over the
period during which one of the younger members was being given a good
business training so as to be prepared to undertake the chief support of
the group. These so-called “scholarship” grants had definite and
satisfying results. A typical case will illustrate the method.

A Mexican seamstress of thirty-five and her three orphan sisters were
living together at the time of the disaster. One of the sisters, aged
thirty-three, had to be sent afterwards to a hospital for the insane. A
married sister, aged thirty-four, with a child of three years, was
deserted by her husband the day of the earthquake, and had to place the
child in the Orphans’ Home. The deserted wife assumed charge of the
household, and the two young sisters of fifteen and thirteen who were
markedly intelligent were kept at school. The seamstress was very proud
of her young sisters, so she borrowed $20 from a woman who worked in the
same factory with her in order that she might send the elder to a
business college. Later when taken ill she found herself in debt and
unable to carry out her plan. She then applied to the Associated
Charities and was given two grants of $75, one for general relief, the
other to keep the girl in the business college. The girl graduated and
her knowledge of Spanish and English then enabled her to get a specially
advantageous position. All the sisters are the better for the grant
which raised their social status.

The pension was given most often to persons who, because of the
catastrophe, fell into dependency from which, unaided, it was impossible
for them to extricate themselves. The unanswered question in connection
with these pension cases was: What sum of money, in San Francisco,
constituted an adequate monthly sum for the support of a needy family?
If a semi-dependent, how much should have been spent before it could be
proven whether the power of self-support was latent or was lacking? No
one knew, as the community’s best practice furnished no guide. The
Rehabilitation Committee and the Associated Charities acted on the
general principle of granting such pensions as they felt they could
afford. The Associated Charities hoped, moreover, that if the sum of $15
to $25 given as a pension were not sufficient, the usual neighborhood
help would gradually develop so as to eke out the amount given. The
pensions were most often given in the form of money, but in some cases
in weekly food orders. The following pension case is illustrative:

       *       *       *       *       *

A Greek aged thirty-five deserted his wife and five children under
thirteen years of age at the time of the fire. Before the disaster the
family was known to the Associated Charities as one in which the man was
not meeting his responsibilities. The oldest child, a boy, was a decent,
serious little chap; the second, also a boy, was so wild that he had
later to be sent to a reformatory; and the three youngest were sickly,
weak-eyed little creatures. When the woman made application immediately
after the disaster she was given $75 for clothing. She was lost in the
big body of refugees, but when found again in the fall of 1908, though
pitifully destitute, was making a brave effort to support her children.
The eldest boy was given a position as office boy at the Associated
Charities at $4.00 a month, a baby from the children’s agency was put to
board in the home at the rate of $11 a month, and $150 was appropriated,
to be given in monthly sums of $20. With this monthly income of $35, $10
of which went for rent, she was enabled, having judgment in expenditure,
to get along.

As is brought out in Part VI, an unusual number of old people had been
thrown on the community for care. To some of these, who were invalids,
pensions were given so that they need not go to the Relief Home.

In the two-year period covered by this study, from June 1, 1907, to June
1, 1909, the total receipts of the San Francisco Associated Charities
amounted to $252,046.75.[246] As has been stated above,[247] this money
was contributed almost exclusively by the Corporation and the Board of
Trustees of Relief and Red Cross Funds. The Associated Charities
disbursed, in the period dealt with, $236,303.72,[248] of which sum
$180,577.78, or 76.4 per cent, was expended directly on relief work, and
$55,725.94 was expended on salaries and other administrative
expenses.[249] The expenditure for salaries amounted to $41,560.21 for
the period,--a monthly average of $1,351.80 for the last seven months of
1907, of $2,023.19 for the year 1908, and of $1,563.86 for the first
five months of 1909.

  [246] A statement of the receipts of the Associated Charities from
  June, 1907, to September, 1912, inclusive, is given in Appendix I, p.

  [247] See Part V, p. 283.

  [248] The sum of $31,224.11 expended through the Associated Charities
  for the payment of what were known as the “Red Cross Pensions” is not
  included in this total.

  [249] A statement of the disbursements of the Associated Charities
  from June, 1907, to September, 1912, inclusive, is given in Appendix
  I, pp. 419-421.

Data are not available for a complete classification of disbursements
according to the nature of the relief afforded. It is impossible to
state separately the expenditure for the purposes termed in this Part
“emergency and temporary relief” and “aid given the unemployed.”

It appears from data available that there was a total expenditure by the
Associated Charities for housing, from June 1, 1907, to June 1, 1909, of

  [250] Compare with figures presented in Part I, p. 86. While the
  amount given above covers all housing relief granted by the Associated
  Charities for the period from June 1, 1907, to June 1, 1909, the
  $55,963.50 mentioned in Part I relates to expenditures for moving or
  repairing cottages during the entire period of the relief work.


The policy behind a refusal to aid measures the quality of relief as
well as the policy which shapes giving. The cases to which material aid
was refused have therefore been segregated and an attempt is here made
to state what the records show concerning the basis and utility of such
refusal. It will be remembered that 5951 cases applied for relief and
that 1704 of these were refused aid. The following table gives the
number refused who had or who had not lived in the burned area and the
number who had not made application for rehabilitation aid before June,

BURNED AREA. JUNE 1, 1907, TO JUNE 1, 1909[251]

          Classes of applicants              |APPLICANTS REFUSED AID
                                             |  Number |  Per cent
  Applicants who had lived in burned area    |         |
    With rehabilitation record               |    571  |    35.4
    Without rehabilitation record            |    604  |    37.4
      Total                                  | =1,175= |   =72.8=
                                             |         |
  Applicants who had not lived in burned area|   =439= |   =27.2=
      Grand Total                            | =1,614= |  =100.0=

  [251] Data are not available as to the former place of residence of 90
  of the 1,704 refused aid.

It must be borne in mind that the total number of applications made to
the Associated Charities on the part of applicants who had been burned
out was, 1,880 by those who had had a rehabilitation record before June,
1907, and 2,116 by those who had had no such record. The percentage of
refusals is seen to be, therefore, very nearly the same,--about 30 per
cent of refusals for the first class, 29 per cent for the second.

Although many of these applicants had rations until, and shelter perhaps
for months after they had secured work, to refuse further aid to 1,175
applicants burned out, or 29 per cent of those who made application from
June, 1907, to June, 1909, called for an exercise of courage and a
holding firm to the well-defined principles of the relief

The following criticisms are typical of those that had to be answered:

A woman prominent in labor circles, speaking of a rejected case, said to
one of the managers of the Associated Charities and voiced a rather
widespread sentiment: “I can’t see the justice of this picking and
choosing. My friend was burned out and was just as good as some of those
who received help--and there was plenty of money! Who was it for, if not
for the refugees?” Another in writing to the office said: “Mrs. X---- is
old and ought not to have to work any more. Surely some of that relief
money can be found for her.” The bitterness of the refugees themselves
made, however, the loudest plaint in the chorus of discontent.

Two classes then, in one or other of which many San Franciscans are
today, quarreled with this policy of investigating the claims of the
refugees; on the one hand, those who held theoretically that all who had
felt the blow should, if they asked, receive help; on the other, those
who held concretely that they themselves, having been losers, had a
“right” to a portion of the relief fund.

The natural desire to give generously to the limits of one’s capacity,
especially to those whom disaster has robbed of competence, is what
constructive charity work always has to face from those who “cease not
to give without any regard.” As years make it possible to view without
prejudice the aim and result of the more cautious, less emotional policy
pursued, it seems demonstrable that time will vindicate the much
criticized deliberation of the Rehabilitation Committee and the
Associated Charities. As has been considered in Part I, the extent of
need and of the sum to meet it were both unknown, and what was foreseen
happened,--that a portion of the fund was needed to be held in reserve
for those who at first courageously refrained from asking help, but who
as the strain proved too great necessarily appealed. The dual risk of
giving to the sham refugee and of carrying the man who could help
himself and who was inclined to lean on relief could only be avoided by
careful investigation and treatment, even though both raged at the
refusals of an “unjust” committee. The final argument is that no relief
should be so generous as to dry up the normal sources of aid in a
community. That aid is wisest which rouses all the neighborhood and
civic sources of help into effective action.

It is undeniable that the records show a certain number of persons to
have been refused aid who seemed as entitled to help as some who by
influence or persistence got at least a minimum. “Influence” is used
with no invidious intention. In San Francisco as in every other
community a certain number of wholly disinterested persons bear an
enormous share of the burden of the charity work. When these asked aid
for a case and gave their word that it was deserved, it was difficult,
often impossible, to deny the aid. The Associated Charities did give
help in a good many instances where in its own judgment aid could have
been refused and the cases left for reconstruction to neighborship and
individual capacities. Table 112 shows the causes for refusal to aid.

The first three reasons for refusal and the ninth and tenth could be
brought under the heading “thirst for relief money,” and make the total
for the type, 516, or 30.3 per cent of the refusals. The attitude of
mind was expressed collectively by the naïve Italian woman who said
frankly that she “thought they could get something nice,” and by the
Irish woman who said with equal naïveté “they could get something for
the asking.” The 77 applicants who asked for money for purposes of
relief no longer being granted, asked aid too late for the building of a
cottage or for the moving of a house or for furniture. Twenty-seven of
these had not been burned out, and about two-fifths of the remaining 50
had had rehabilitation before June, 1907.


  Reason for not giving aid |  APPLICANTS WHO   | Appli-|  Appli- |Total
                            |   HAD LIVED IN    | cants |  cants  |
                            |    BURNED AREA    |who had|  whose  |
                            +---------+---------+  not  | former  |
                            |  With   | Without | lived |  place  |
                            |rehabili-|rehabili-|   in  | of resi-|
                            | tation  | tation  |burned |dence  is|
                            | record  | record  | area  | doubtful|
  Applicant merely seeking  |         |         |       |         |
  more relief money         |    54   |    36   |   21  |     3   |  114
  Applicant has already had |         |         |       |         |
  as much money as is       |         |         |       |         |
  justified                 |    29   |     4   |    1  |    ..   |   34
  Applicant able to get     |         |         |       |         |
  along without help        |   143   |   149   |   61  |    15   |  368
  Applicant has relatives   |         |         |       |         |
  who can help or have      |         |         |       |         |
  helped                    |    27   |    54   |   30  |     2   |  113
  Money no longer given for |         |         |       |         |
  use desired               |    19   |    31   |   25  |     2   |   77
  Applicant would not accept|         |         |       |         |
  aid offered               |    24   |    27   |   11  |     3   |   65
  Applicant’s plan          |         |         |       |         |
  unpracticable             |    19   |    14   |   26  |     1   |   60
  Applicant withdrew        |         |         |       |         |
  application               |    25   |    30   |   43  |     5   |  103
  Case reported without     |         |         |       |         |
  knowledge of applicant    |    10   |     3   |   13  |     8   |   34
  Pauperization feared      |     7   |     3   |    3  |    ..   |   13
  Applicant a professional  |         |         |       |         |
  beggar                    |    31   |    14   |   11  |     2   |   58
  Applicant lazy            |     4   |    12   |    4  |    ..   |   20
  Applicant vicious         |     5   |    11   |    8  |     1   |   25
  Applicant a drunkard      |    34   |    17   |    4  |     3   |   58
  Applicant unthrifty       |     3   |    11   |    4  |    ..   |   18
  Applicant could not be    |         |         |       |         |
  found                     |    13   |    40   |   36  |    14   |  103
  Aid  received  from  other|         |         |       |         |
  sources or case referred  |         |         |       |         |
  to other societies        |    53   |    68   |   73  |    19   |  213
  Disposal of application   |         |         |       |         |
  not known                 |    71   |    80   |   65  |    12   |  228
      Total                 |   571   |   604   |  439  |    90   |1,704

In reading some of the cases of families burned out who had no
rehabilitation record in the group of 368 “able to get along without
aid,” the question often mooted was, “If these were not given, why were
others?” This may be a feeling, not a judgment. It is probable that the
records, though relatively complete, do not tell enough to permit a fair
judgment, but it is one of the regrets of the analyst of these cases
that in justice to the difficulties of the current work they could not
be re-visited. The protest of the office was that re-visits would stir a
whole neighborhood to descend upon it again in hope that there was a
little more money to be distributed,--a protest voiced concretely by one
visitor, who said, “We can scarcely be seen to pass along the street in
a given neighborhood without receiving calls a few days later from
people eager to know if there is any more relief money to give away.”
The objection, based as it was on a recognition of human frailty, had to
be respected. Other objections given to a re-visit were that some
persons would be found to be so disgruntled that a fair statement could
not be got from them; that others were too stupid to understand the
questions or too indifferent to care to answer them. An attempt to
re-investigate any of these groups would fairly seem to have been a
waste of effort and money.

The small number, 13, refused on the ground of fear of pauperization may
raise a smile, but the heading is a reflex of the dread in the minds of
some of the visitors. “This is a very decent family who have never had
aid,” writes one of the visitors, “and I do not think it well to begin
for fear of pauperizing them.” It is noteworthy that of the 58 refused
as “professional beggars,” 45 had lived in the burned area and of these
31 had rehabilitation records; that of the 58 refused on account of
alcoholic habits, 51 had lived in the burned area, 34 of whom had a
rehabilitation record. Whether these refugees had acquired the habits of
begging and of drinking after the earthquake experience is not shown by
the records. The individuals in these last two groups, many of whom were
members of families, needed much more than they asked for, but the
thorough investigation and constructive treatment they should have
received could not be meted out to them at a time when material
assistance was the overwhelming issue.


Positive questions have been asked; they have received but few definite
answers. It is easy to question, but hard to answer positively, when
past efforts are but meagerly recorded, and present efforts are too
fresh for an accurate measure to be taken of their results. It is a
simple task theoretically to define a line of inquiry; it is a complex
one to separate human beings into classes and to determine just what
circumstances of character and condition forced each into his
appropriate place.

The notable facts for the inquirer as to the effect of the disaster upon
the dependency situation are these: There were a little over three and
one-half times as many applicants for aid at the Associated Charities
during the two years from June, 1907, to June, 1909, as in those from
April 18, 1904, to April 18, 1906.

It is not as plain as could be wished how many of the 3996 applicants to
the Associated Charities who had lived in the burned area were charges
on public or private charity before the fire, or would have become so in
any case. The point seems hardly demonstrable.

What is plain beyond question is that the disaster brought for the two
years a burden of dependency of over three times the ante-disaster
proportions. What is not so plain is how far the relief funds swelled
these proportions.

As to results, the records prove some definitely successful instances of
aid given. Health restored; financial independence regained by the
capable, temporarily dependent; and relatives or friends found to
support dependent adults and minors, are achievements cheeringly
demonstrable in 25 per cent of the cases.

A relief fund whose amount was fairly adequate to meet the need has had
one patent result. A number of persons tottering toward dependency by
reason of the failing health of a breadwinner, of a wife, or of
children, who in ordinary times would not have been helped in San
Francisco, at the right moment received the inspiration of friendly
visitors and the instruction of trained nurses. The intellectual and
physical care added to the material combined to stay deterioration, and
in some instances to raise standards.

The more insistent call of the children for protection because of the
demoralizing effects of the camp life brought response from the
Associated Charities, which through its children’s agency found for each
defenseless child a protecting friend, a foster home, or when nothing
else was available or suitable, an appropriate institution.

For the remainder of the cases, results lie less within the range of
demonstration. This much is certain; there was neither impulsive nor
indiscriminate giving. Though the amount that was spent, inclusive of
administration expenses, totals for the period from June 1, 1907, to
June 1, 1909, a sum of $236,303.72, yet the first feeling on reading the
history of the treatment of the average case was rebellion that in so
many instances such niggardly doles had been given. When, as was of
course true of adult dependence, the aim was restoration of financial
independence, the means granted often seemed insufficient to warrant any
hope of success. After this feeling has been for six months tried in the
crucible of a careful investigation of the facts of cost of living[252]
and habits of spending among persons of low income, it still seems not
without foundation.

  [252] A study made of the family budgets of 49 cases under care of the
  Associated Charities from June, 1907, to June, 1909, could not, owing
  to lack of space, be included in this Relief Survey.

One result of the disaster and of the use of the relief funds is the
notably increased efficiency in relief work in San Francisco. Out of the
widespread experience born of and bred by facing a large and varied
round of relief problems, comes the first gain. While it is incorrect to
say that San Francisco had no poverty in the days before the fire, it is
true that the mass of those seeking aid were dependents because of
unemployment and ill health, both due in many cases to ignorance or to
vicious practices. The problem of destitution involved in the care of
this type of cases does not stimulate a worker to any such broad and
aggressive social policies as those which he must meet when handling the
cases of capable and nearly self-directing people whom circumstances
alone, loss of occupation, insanitary conditions, new situations, force
to seek aid and guidance. Add to this fact of greater experience, that
the relief funds enabled the work to be carried by a staff of visitors
more nearly adequate than before the fire to meet the demand for
investigation and treatment. Add the further fact that there had been
enough not only to pay for relatively efficient office service but to
give aid of a kind approximately sufficient. In a summary of these three
gains will be found in part the value to the Associated Charities of San
Francisco and to the people it serves of having been selected as the
final agent of the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds will in part
be clear.


When the Associated Charities set up its own office in June, 1907, the
allowance of money made to it from the relief fund enabled the society
to form a staff of from 12 to 15 experienced workers; to institute a
division of labor among the office force which had never before been
possible; to announce the formation of a new department, namely, a civic
relief bureau; and to undertake to deal in a thorough-going way with all
cases handled by this bureau, obtaining employment for applicants when
necessary, and giving whatever relief might be called for by the
exigencies of the case.

The co-operation of the Associated Charities with all the other
philanthropic agencies of the city has been made much closer by the
fire. In working together shoulder to shoulder under the Relief
Corporation, the philanthropic agencies of the city became well
acquainted with one another and the way was paved for important working

One such working arrangement is that by which various children’s
institutions make use of the placing-out department of its children’s
agency. During the years 1907-1909, 212 children were taken from
orphanages and placed in family homes. Curiously enough, only four of
these were children of refugees. The work of the placing-out department
in 1909 was double what it had been before the fire.

The children’s agency has another department which demands mention here,
because as a result of the disaster its work has also been doubled. This
is the boarding-out department. Its expansion is due to two causes. On
the one hand, children’s institutions could accept fewer children,
having been cut down in capacity by their material losses; and on the
other, there had been an actual increase in the number of foundlings,
illegitimate infants, and children requiring protection. The records of
the juvenile court for 1907-1909 show that 29 per cent of dependency
cases came from residents of public camps. The boarding-out department
of the Associated Charities had some of these to provide for. Among the
candidates for public care were the children of ten insane mothers and
the infants of ten unmarried mothers whose plight was thought to be
directly traceable to the situation after the fire.







  I. INGLESIDE MODEL CAMP                                         321

  1. History of Its Establishment                                 321
  2. Administration                                               324
  3. General Statistics                                           327

  II. RELIEF AND NON-RELIEF CASES                                 335

  1. General Analysis                                             335
  2. Applicants and Non-applicants for Relief and Rehabilitation  336

  III. RESULTS                                                    356




Owing to the general confusion in the city, the emergency character of
the relief, and the constant shifting and changing of the homeless
population immediately after the earthquake and fire, the first grouping
of the refugee camps was entirely accidental. No classification by age,
condition, or special need was possible. But among the first naturally
to be differentiated were the aged and the infirm, who must be cared for
until friends or relatives could assume their support. If they proved
ultimately to be friendless as well as homeless and incapable of
self-support, provision would have to be made for permanent care. As
early as June these classes were sent to Camp 6,[253] the Speedway, and
plans for sheltering those who would require public relief during the
ensuing winter were discussed. By the end of July their housing became a
pressing problem.

  [253] For description of the official camps, see Part I, p. 78 ff.

In 1906 the city and county of San Francisco had an almshouse
accommodating about 900 persons, situated on a fine tract of land about
one mile southeast of Golden Gate Park. Some of its buildings were very
old and insanitary, the standard of care was low, and it was full to
overflowing. After mature consideration the Corporation finally
determined to build a Relief Home on this tract and to present it to the
city as a permanent provision for aged dependents; but since it seemed
probable that the new building could not be finished before the summer
of 1907[254] it became necessary to provide at once temporary barracks
for the shelter of the aged and infirm.

  [254] The building of the Relief Home was authorized September 18,
  1906, but on account of shortage of lumber and delay due to abnormal
  labor conditions it was not ready for occupancy until January, 1908.

At that time the cost of lumber, transportation, and labor was
excessive, and there was the added difficulty of quickly finding a
suitable location. The generous offer of Thomas H. Williams, president
of the California Jockey Club, to give free use of the race track
buildings, relieved the pressure on the Corporation to make provision
for the winter. At Ingleside race track there were 26 stables, each 40 x
160 to 220 feet, containing from 20 to 40 box stalls apiece. The
buildings were already piped for water, partially sewered, easily
accessible by street car, and in such condition that they could be made
ready for occupancy in a short time and at a relatively small cost.

The offer was at once accepted, and the Department of Lands and
Buildings was authorized to make the necessary alterations. The stalls
were thoroughly renovated to serve as single rooms for inmates. They
were cleaned and disinfected, windows were put in, the floors were
covered with canvas and the walls with building paper. The hay lofts
were converted into dormitories. The buildings were connected with the
main sewer to the ocean and each was equipped with toilets, baths, hot
and cold water, and a large heating stove. The section to be used as a
kitchen was furnished with four large army ranges, and the dining room
with a number of long tables and benches, and with enamelware dishes.
Simple furniture for each room and for the dormitories, a butcher shop,
and storage warehouse, completed the preparations for those who were
fairly able-bodied. For the sick a hospital section with a separate
kitchen was established, to be used in addition to the annex of St.
Luke’s Hospital already on the grounds. Finally, one section was set
aside as a social and reading room, and another for religious services.

While these preparations were under way, a great diversity of opinion
existed as to how many aged and infirm and handicapped refugees would
finally remain to be cared for at Ingleside. The population of Camp 6,
where the decrepit and semi-able-bodied refugees were concentrated, had
been at the beginning of July 756 persons, and was over 800 when
Ingleside Camp was ready early in October. It was expected to have added
to this latter number a few persons from each of the other camps as
these were abandoned, and to subtract a few who did not belong in the
special classes for which Ingleside was intended. September 5, Rudolph
Spreckels, chairman of the Department of Camps and Warehouses, estimated
the final number at 500, because whenever the food kitchens had been
closed only a few persons had applied to be admitted to Camp 6.[255]
Seats for about 700 were provided in the dining room at Ingleside.

  [255] San Francisco _Chronicle_, Sept. 6, 1906.


In the autumn, as fast as the cottages[256] were completed, the tents
were abandoned and the families removed to the cottages. Those not
capable of self-support or who had no relatives to care for them were
assigned to Camp 6, to be sent to Ingleside when it should be ready.
Some of this residue refused to go to Camp 6, and managed to find
friends or work at the last moment,[257] so that when the inmates of
Camp 6 were finally removed to Ingleside between October 8 and October
29, there remained to enter only 400 from Camp 6, and 84 from all the
other camps,--a total of less than 500. The subsequent condemnation of
the old City and County Hospital followed by the accidental burning of
one of the almshouse buildings in the spring of 1908 made it necessary
to send some inmates of both these institutions in March, 1908, to
Ingleside Camp, which had been closed following the transfer of the aged
and infirm in January to the Relief Home. One hundred and thirty-one
almshouse inmates were about to be moved to Ingleside in the latter part
of October, 1907, when the politicians discovered that this would
deprive the almshouse men of their residence and invalidate their vote
in the impending election. Some of the newspapers spoke of it as “a
political job to deprive registered voters of the suffrage which had
been enjoyed for years” and the transfer was finally postponed till
after election. These 131 almshouse inmates are not included in the
detailed statistics which follow.

  [256] See Part I, pp. 82 and 85 ff.

  [257] See preceding reference, also, for part taken by Associated
  Charities in reducing number of the residue chargeable on the new

At no time was the number of inmates higher than 809. Altogether 1,287
names were registered on the index book during the fifteen months of its
existence. This discrepancy of approximately 500 between the highest
number and the total population of Ingleside represents the movement of
the more able-bodied and least permanent residents of the camp. In the
detailed study of cases it will appear that a certain number of adults
were sent to Ingleside who did not properly belong there or whose
rehabilitation had been postponed by the withholding of the relief
funds. Besides these, a few refugees waiting to hear from friends were
admitted for a short period; and a few transient men and women stayed
for less than a month, leaving in many cases no record except a name. In
short, out of the total of 1,287 persons at Ingleside during 1906 and
1907, not more than half belonged to the aged, infirm, and handicapped
classes for which permanent provision would have to be made.


Ingleside Model Camp was organized October 8, 1906, by Captain Julius N.
Kilian,[258] of the United States Army. On January 1, 1907, the command
was transferred to C. M. Wollenberg[259] who had been up to that time
chief clerk in the Department of Camps and Warehouses.

  [258] Captain Kilian had been in charge of the Moulder School
  Warehouse. See Part I, p. 37.

  [259] Mr. Wollenberg continued in charge during the consolidation of
  Ingleside with the almshouse and, having qualified under the civil
  service law in July, 1908, became the permanent superintendent of the
  Relief Home.

Besides being old, infirm, or incapacitated to some degree, the classes
assembled at Ingleside were inevitably the most discontented of all the
refugees. During the months of Captain Kilian’s administration certain
conditions prevailed that made his task exceptionally difficult. All the
inmates had been torn from their habitual grooves of life and had
suffered shock and considerable hardship; many had feebly but vainly
tried to get back into old niches and could not adapt themselves to new
ones. Some had applied for rehabilitation only to be gently told that
they were too old to begin again or that their plans were impracticable;
others had found their friends and relatives to be neglectful; still
others, the last precipitate of the social confusion, were a
semi-vicious, irresponsible, and idle lot who were at Ingleside only
because they could not find food and shelter in their old disreputable
haunts. All, regardless of capacity or need, were convinced that they
were being deprived of their “just and equal share” of the millions
contributed by a philanthropic public.

Among this heterogeneous company, many of whom had fallen into vulgar
and disorderly, if not vicious, habits during six months of
irresponsible camp life, it was Captain Kilian’s task to establish good
feeling, health, and discipline. The restoration of order began with the
enforcement of cleanliness and decency. When the inmates grabbed their
food from the dishes on the table they were summarily relegated to what
became known as the “hog table”; when they fought among themselves, or
railed at the employes, or returned drunk from a visit to friends
outside, they were warned; if the offense was repeated, they were
ejected from camp. During the first three months 30 were ejected, and in
the following year from five to 10 persons a month were sent away. Of
the total of 70 persons sent away from the camp the majority (30 men and
10 women) were ejected for drunkenness; the remainder for stealing,
vulgar conduct, and insubordination. It was found necessary to
discipline and finally to discharge for intoxication a considerable
number of employes as well as refugees. The strict insistence upon
sobriety meant a better grade of helpers for the camp.

The restlessness of the inmates and the accessibility of Ingleside to
five saloons at the gate and to the street cars made a rather strict
regulation of admission and discharge necessary. When inmates overstayed
their passes they were required to show cause on their return, and were
sometimes refused re-admission. As a consequence, some ran away and
others who went out on passes never returned. A curious result of the
confusion after the fire is revealed by the easy movement of persons
from the old almshouse to Ingleside. It appears that 59 of the 1,287
inmates of Ingleside had been in the almshouse at some time before the
fire; and that 114 inmates ran away from the almshouse or were
discharged at their own request between April, 1906, and January, 1907.
Those familiar with the conditions of both institutions believe that
between 100 and 200 persons left the almshouse and went to refugee camps
to pose as earthquake sufferers, to return ultimately to the almshouse
either directly or through Ingleside.[260]

  [260] The almshouse records of this period do not show accurately the
  movement of the inmates. It is probable that a much larger number left
  than they indicate.

When Captain Kilian was recalled to regular military duty in January,
1907, he left a camp of about 660 refugees comfortably housed, well fed,
and under excellent discipline. He had not, however, undertaken to solve
one of the most important problems, the employment of inmates within the
camp. During the military period, paid employes performed the greater
part of the labor necessary to the maintenance of the camp. Mr.
Wollenberg on taking charge required, as he had a smaller staff of
employes, a definite amount of labor, varying according to the physical
condition of each inmate. This policy served both as a disciplinary
measure and as a means of natural selection. The comparatively
ablebodied were ejected from camp if they refused to work, so that the
population gradually sifted down to the aged, the infirm, and the
incapacitated who had no relatives to care for them. Besides the routine
duties necessary to keep the camp in sanitary condition, other work was
provided. Twelve acres of ground were planted in potatoes, cabbages, and
turnips at a cost of about $100. The yield was over $600 worth of
vegetables. A dairy was established to provide the camp with milk;
furniture was made by the men for the new Relief Home, to be opened in
January, 1908. Tailoring and carpentry shops and a shoe repairing shop
afforded work at a fair wage. A sewing department was organized by
Lucile Eaves,[261] with an equipment of 20 sewing machines and materials
in bulk from the relief supplies. Every woman who could sew was expected
to be in the sewing room twice a week, and during fifteen months over
6,000 garments and 754 curtains for the Home were made and distributed.
The Woman’s Alliance provided social recreation at least once a week, as
well as books and magazines.

  [261] See Part I, p. 88.

In spite of the shock of fire and earthquake, and in spite of the
discomforts of camp life in the preceding summer, the health of the
inmates of Ingleside Model Camp was exceptionally good. This was no
doubt due to the regularity of life, the good food, the strict
enforcement of sanitary regulations, and the prompt medical attention.
The camp hospital, which contained an average of 30 patients during the
first few months, was enlarged in July, 1907, to make room for its
quota, 35, of the City and County Hospital patients, and thereafter
averaged 77 patients. During thirteen months only 49 deaths occurred at
Ingleside, and most of these were due to old age. There were, however,
24 deaths in hospitals to which patients were sent from Ingleside. This
rather small number does not fully represent the proportion of deaths to
the number of inmates, as the personnel of the camp was constantly
changing. Of the 1,287 inmates of Ingleside 164 were known to be dead
three years after the fire.

For the accommodation of its almshouse charges at Ingleside the city
agreed to pay 30 cents a day per inmate, at the time that it was costing
38.6 cents a day to maintain an inmate in the almshouse. The average
cost a day per inmate at Ingleside during 1907 was 50 cents. The total
cost of Ingleside Model Camp for approximately fifteen months was:

  Construction                   $36,230.59
  Operation and maintenance     $173,573.19
  Care of almshouse inmates      $21,447.04


The Ingleside records which constitute the basis of the tables that
follow were merely admission cards made out by the commanders of camps.
They give information with regard to sex, age, marital condition,
nativity, occupation, address on April 17, 1906, and the name and
address of a relative or friend who should be notified in case of death.
The cards were obviously not intended for sociological purposes. They
often do not give some of these simple facts, and are not uniform in
statement; but they have been supplemented by information taken from the
records of an investigator at Camp 6, and from the cases on file in the
Associated Charities and the Rehabilitation Committee offices. The
records have been further amplified through interviews with a number of
employes who were for a long time at Ingleside, and are most of them now
employed at the Relief Home. The greatest care has been taken not to
draw unwarrantable conclusions from incomplete and uncertain data.

Aside from placing on record a brief history of Ingleside Model Camp,
the main purpose of this study has been: first, to find what proportion
of the inmates of Ingleside had been self-supporting before the fire of
1906 and what proportion were at that time potential almshouse inmates;
second, to examine critically the treatment of those aged and infirm
persons who awaited at Ingleside the outcome of their applications for
rehabilitation; and third, to determine whether any number of those now
dependent upon public relief could have been saved from that fate.

Tables 113 and 114 show concisely the conjugal condition of the
Ingleside population and the extent to which the inmates differed in
this respect from the aged, infirm, and incapacitated population in the
San Francisco almshouse during the thirty-five years preceding 1906, and
from the general population of California.


       Conjugal condition        | PERSONS WHOSE CONJUGAL CONDITION WAS
                                 |              AS SPECIFIED
                                 |   Males    |  Females   |    Total
                                 |Number| Per |Number| Per |Number| Per
                                 |      | cent|      | cent|      |cent
  Single                         |  385 | 53.3|   90 | 20.7|  475 | 41.1
  Married                        |   77 | 10.7|   67 | 15.4|  144 | 12.5
  Widowed                        |  166 | 23.0|  218 | 50.3|  384 | 33.2
  Divorced, separated or deserted|   13 |  1.8|   15 |  3.5|   28 |  2.4
  Unknown                        |   81 | 11.2|   44 | 10.1|  125 | 10.8
      Total                      |  722 |100.0|  434 |100.0|1,156 |100.0
                                 |      |     |      |     | [263]|

  [262] These figures relating to conjugal condition were taken from the
  rough admission statements of persons admitted to Ingleside and do not
  exactly correspond with the figures presented in Tables 119 and 120,
  which were take from the files of the Relief Committee and the
  Associated Charities. The latter probably correspond more nearly to
  the facts.

  [263] The 131 inmates who were transferred to Ingleside from the
  almshouse, as has been stated, are not included in this study.

The preponderance of men is characteristic of all refuges for the aged
and infirm, partly because old women can earn a bare living by petty
domestic services long after the age at which old men can maintain
themselves at hard labor; partly because relatives, however poor, are
more loath to allow an aged woman than an aged man to become dependent
on public charity. As regards family ties, the table shows further the
isolated condition of this group. Two-fifths of them may be assumed to
have had no living children; the remainder had had six months to rejoin
their children but had failed to do so.

The conjugal condition of the Ingleside population is compared in the
following table with that of the inmates of the almshouses of the United
States in 1903-04, as well as with the general population of the state
in 1900.


                                   |Inmates of|Inmates of |General popu-
                                   |Ingleside | all alms- | lation of
                                   |Model Camp| houses of |California,
                                   |          |the United | 15 years
                                   |          |  States   |of age and
                                   |          |1903-4[264]|over, 1900
  Number considered                |  _1,156_ | _163,176_ | _1,095,222_
  Per cent:                        |          |           |
    Single                         |    41.1  |    52.1   |    41.2
    Married                        |    12.5  |    16.0   |    49.3
    Widowed                        |    33.2  |    27.8   |     8.1
    Divorced, separated or deserted|     2.4  |     1.3   |      .8
    Unknown                        |    10.8  |     2.8   |      .6
      Total                        |   100.0  |   100.0   |   100.0

  [264] The figures given relate to paupers in almshouses December 31,
  1903, and to paupers admitted during the year 1904.

The percentage of single persons at Ingleside was about one-fifth less
than in the almshouses of the country at large. This difference is due
probably to the fact that the Ingleside Camp did not admit
children.[265] Under no one of the three classifications was the number
of single persons shown to be less than 41 per cent. The percentage of
widowed persons at Ingleside was about one-fifth more than in the
almshouses at large, and four times as great as in the general
population of the state. The discrepancy between the number of widowed
and married persons at Ingleside in comparison with the almshouses of
the United States may be accounted for by the fact that a number of
so-called “widowed” persons reported at Ingleside were separated or
deserting partners.

  [265] A few children were at Ingleside with their mothers for a short
  period while awaiting the completing of plans, but they are not
  included in the 1,156 cases upon which this table is based.

Table 115 shows the ages of the inmates as compared with those of
inmates of the San Francisco almshouse and of all almshouses during the
periods specified.

STATES, IN 1903-1904

             Age period    | INMATES OF | INMATES OF |INMATES OF ALL
                           | INGLESIDE  | SAN FRAN-  |ALMSHOUSES OF
                           | MODEL CAMP | CISCO ALMS-|UNITED STATES
                           |            | HOUSE 1894-|  1903-1904
                           |            |  1906[266] |     [267]
                           |Number|  Per|Number|  Per| Number|  Per
                           |      | cent|      | cent|       | cent
  Less than 10 years       |   .. | ..  |    ..|   ..|  7,151|   4.4
  10 years and less than 20|      |     |      |     |       |
  years                    |    2 |   .2|    17|   .2|  5,706|   3.5
  20 years and less than 30|      |     |      |     |       |
  years                    |   22 |  1.9|   159|  2.1| 13,835|   8.5
  30 years and less than 40|      |     |      |     |       |
  years                    |   67 |  5.8|   386|  5.1| 16,402|  10.1
  40 years and less than 50|      |     |      |     |       |
  years                    |  114 |  9.9|   775| 10.3| 21,358|  13.1
  50 years and less than 60|      |     |      |     |       |
  years                    |  226 | 19.6| 1,457| 19.4| 26,448|  16.2
  60 years and less than 70|      |     |      |     |       |
  years                    |  412 | 35.6| 3,008| 40.1| 31,810|  19.5
  70 years and less than 80|      |     |      |     |       |
  years                    |  235 | 20.3| 1,446| 19.3| 26,237|  16.0
  80 years and less than 90|      |     |      |     |       |
  years                    |   49 |  4.2|   231|  3.1|  9,715|   6.0
  90 years and over        |    5 |   .4|    20|   .3|  1,344|    .8
  Age unknown              |   24 |  2.1|     9|   .1|  3,170|   1.9
      Total                |1,156 |100.0| 7,508|100.0|163,176| 100.0

  [266] Figures for ten years. No report was published for the year

  [267] The figures given relate to paupers in almshouses, December 31,
  1903, and to paupers admitted during the year 1904.

As Ingleside Model Camp was established to house the aged, the infirm,
the handicapped, and the convalescent, it was to be expected that as
many as 92 per cent of the inmates should be over forty years of age, 82
per cent over fifty, and 62 per cent over sixty years of age.

[Illustration: The Reading Room

The Sewing Room


Table 116 shows that for many years the foreign born have been more than
twice as numerous in the almshouses as in the general population of
the city and county of San Francisco. The proportion of foreign born
found in the Ingleside figures would undoubtedly have been materially
larger than the 53.8 per cent reported if it had been possible to
distribute Ingleside’s 29.1 per cent “unknown” between native and
foreign born. This result corresponds to the figures for the whole
country in which the foreign born whites have a much larger
representation in the dependent than in the general population. It must
not be overlooked, however, that dependence may be due quite as much to
the fact of belonging to the unskilled wage-earning class as to being a


        Country of birth      |Inmates| Inmates |  General
                              |  of   |  of San |population
                              |Ingle- |Francisco|  of city
                              | side  |almshouse|   and
                              | Model |during 10|  county
                              | Camp  |  years, |  of San
                              |       |1894-1906|Francisco,
                              |       |  [268]  |   1900
  Number considered           |_1,156_| _7,433_ | _342,782_
  Per cent born as specified--|       |         |
    United States             | =17.1=|  =27.1= |  =65.9=
    Foreign countries         |       |         |
    Canada                    |    .9 |    1.6  |    1.5
    China                     |    .2 |     .3  |    3.1
    England                   |   4.2 |    5.1  |    2.6
    France                    |   1.6 |    3.0  |    1.4
    Germany                   |   9.9 |    9.8  |   10.3
    Ireland                   |  24.0 |   37.2  |    4.7
    Italy                     |   1.1 |    1.3  |    2.2
    Mexico                    |    .9 |     ..  |     .4
    Norway                    |    .6 |     .7  |     .6
    Scotland                  |   2.0 |    1.3  |     .9
    Sweden                    |   1.4 |    2.0  |    1.5
    Switzerland               |    .9 |    1.3  |     .6
    Other foreign countries   |   6.1 |    9.2  |    4.3
      Total                   | =53.8=|  =72.8= |  =34.1=
    Unknown                   | =29.1=|    =.1= |    =..=
      Grand total             |=100.0=| =100.0= | =100.0=

  [268] No report was published for the year 1900-1901.

The proportion of Irish in the Ingleside camp was about five times as
great as in the general population of San Francisco, but only about
two-thirds as great as in the San Francisco almshouse. The Germans, on
the other hand, constitute a slightly larger proportion of the general
population than of either the Ingleside inmates or inmates of the San
Francisco almshouse. The English have contributed considerably more than
their proportionate quota to Ingleside and to the almshouse.

Occupation is quite as important as nationality, age, or infirmity, in
determining what individuals in a given locality are likely to become
dependent. The table presented below shows the facts on this point:


                 Occupation               |PERSONS OF EACH
                                          |   SPECIFIED
                                          |  OCCUPATION
                                          |Number|Per cent
  Laborers                                |   139|  13.2
  Domestics                               |    85|   8.1
  Cooks and cooks’ helpers                |    67|   6.4
  Housekeepers                            |    63|   6.0
  Dressmakers and seamstresses            |    44|   4.2
  Lodging-house and boarding-house keepers|    30|   2.8
  Nurses                                  |    25|   2.4
  Carpenters and carpenters’ helpers      |    24|   2.3
  Peddlers                                |    23|   2.2
  Clerks                                  |    18|   1.7
  Bakers                                  |    15|   1.4
  Agents and canvassers                   |    14|   1.3
  Teamsters                               |    14|   1.3
  Waiters                                 |    14|   1.3
  Painters and painters’ helpers          |    13|   1.2
  Tailors and tailoresses                 |    13|   1.2
  Miners                                  |    12|   1.1
  Cannery workers                         |    12|   1.1
  Laundry workers                         |    12|   1.1
  Sailors                                 |    10|    .9
  Machinists                              |    10|    .9
  Shoemakers and cobblers                 |     9|    .9
  Storekeepers                            |     9|    .9
  Teachers                                |     9|    .9
  Blacksmiths                             |     9|    .9
  Other occupations                       |   362|  34.3
      Total                               | 1,055| 100.0

  [269] Information relative to occupation was not secured for 101 of
  the 1,156 inmates.

The table reveals an occupational distribution of Ingleside inmates
materially different from that found in the typical almshouse. At
Ingleside, as in most permanent institutions for adult dependents, the
laboring and domestic classes constituted the chief element, but the
proportion of persons in these classes seems to have been smaller than
is generally the case. Of the 123,647 inmates of almshouses in the
United States in 1904 who were classified according to occupation by the
census office, 59,119, or 47.8 per cent, were reported as
non-agricultural laborers or as servants. The persons classified as
cooks, laborers, and servants admitted to the San Francisco almshouse
from 1869 to 1894 numbered 5,330, or 41.4 per cent of the 12,879 persons
admitted who were nineteen years of age or over and had had occupations.
It appears from Table 117 that 354, or 33.7 per cent, of the 1,055
Ingleside inmates classified according to occupations were laborers,
domestics, cooks and cooks’ helpers, or housekeepers. In other words,
the proportion of persons occupied as laborers or in domestic
occupations seems to have been about one-third at Ingleside, as compared
with slightly over four-tenths in the San Francisco almshouse and
slightly less than one-half in the almshouses of the United States.

These comparisons must be accepted with some caution because of
differences in the classifications of occupations applied to the three
sets of data. A reasonable allowance for this factor does not, however,
alter the distributions in such a degree as to invalidate the results
obtained. The figures cited may be accepted as indicating with
substantial accuracy differences in the general proportions of laborers
and domestic workers.

For the purpose of this study the chief interest of the table of
occupations lies in a few groups which are represented not at all or by
only a few individuals in the permanent institutions for dependents, but
which at Ingleside comprised about 13 per cent of the population. In
these groups were dressmakers, seamstresses, lodging-house and
boarding-house keepers, nurses, storekeepers, agents and canvassers, and
teachers. These, plus an indefinite number that might be added from the
other miscellaneous occupations, were undoubtedly for the most part
accidental dependents. They, it might also be assumed, would be likely
to regain self-support if given assistance by the Rehabilitation

But the inference from the general information given in the foregoing
tables is that, apart from this comparatively small proportion, in
respect to age distribution, proportion of the sexes, social status, and
nativity, the inmates of Ingleside Model Camp did not differ essentially
from the inmates of the San Francisco almshouse. It would have been
interesting to know how long these persons had lived in California, but
unfortunately this information is given in only about one-third of the
cases. Ninety per cent of this third are recorded as having been more
than ten years in the state. Since applicants might assume, however,
that relief would be given more readily to old residents than to
transients, it is probable that a number of the unknown were recent
arrivals who were careful not to admit the fact.

In the detailed study of individuals which follows, the cases are
classified with respect to dependence or independence before the
disaster and with respect to relief afterward. It will serve to show to
what extent conclusions have been justified.




In analyzing the material relating to the 1,156 persons known to have
been in Ingleside Model Camp at some time, and included in this study,
it must be remembered that practically all had already received relief
in the shape of food, clothing, and shelter at other camps or in
hospitals during the six months succeeding the fire. The word “relief”
will be used hereafter to refer to specific aid refused or given outside
of Ingleside.

After the primal necessities, food, clothing, and shelter have been
provided, the factor of highest importance in determining what further
relief shall be given is the family relation. With respect to family
relationship, the inmates of Ingleside have been classified in the
following table:


                 Family relation                      |  PERSONS IN
                                                      |   EACH CLASS
                                                      |Number|Per cent
  Single and widowed men and women.                   |   868|  75.1
  Aged married couples, or aged mothers, each with an |      |
  adult son or daughter                               |    93|   8.0
  Mothers with young children                         |    28|   2.4
  Transients, for whom only slight data, or no data at|      |
  all, are available                                  |   167|  14.5
      Total                                           | 1,156| 100.0

In this table the divorced, deserted, and separated persons are included
among the single and widowed because they required the same treatment.


The transients at Ingleside who were single men and women merely waiting
to hear from friends or of possible jobs, and a few families temporarily
stranded, are for lack of full information omitted from the discussion
that follows. The 28 mothers with young children, most of whom were at
the camp a short time, have also been omitted because they were not
representative of the classes for which Ingleside was maintained, and
furthermore because the Associated Charities assumed responsibility for
their treatment.

The 961 persons remaining fall into two general classes: families of
aged adults, and detached people of both sexes. Since the problem of an
old mother with an adult son or daughter is almost identical with that
of an old married couple, they are studied together. These two general
classes have been rearranged in the following table according as they
applied or did not apply for relief to the Corporation before April 1,
1907, or to the Associated Charities[270] through which agency
applications for relief on the part of Ingleside inmates were made after
that date.

  [270] See Part V, p. 298 ff.


    Applicants and non-applicants  |     FAMILY CASES   |Single |  All
                                   |                    |  and  |persons
                                   |Number of|  Number  |men and|
                                   | families|of persons| women |
  (1) Applicants to S. F. R. and R.|         |          |       |
      C. F. to March 31, 1907      |   26    |    53    |  215  |   268
  (2) Applicants to Associated     |         |          |       |
      Charities from April 1, 1907 |    7    |    14    |   68  |    82
  (3) Non-applicants               |   13    |    26    |  585  |   611
      Total                        |   46    |    93    |  868  |   961

Of the 585 single and widowed non-applicants, 425 were men and 160
women. The 93 persons included under family cases are identical with the
93 mentioned in Table 118 as aged couples or aged mothers each with an
adult son or daughter.


The group of 46 families of 93 persons, 12 of whom only were under fifty
years of age, will first be studied.

The treatment of aged couples, whether a husband and wife or an old
mother with an elderly son or daughter, should differ from that of
infirm single men and women because there are bonds of relationship to
be conserved. So long as either partner shows any capacity for
self-support it is a practical as well as a humane thing to try the
experiment of re-establishing him or her. If in some or even in a
majority of cases the experiment prove a failure, the risk is
nevertheless one to be taken. The experiments in behalf of this group of
46 families had often to be made with very scant information as to the
capacity of the applicants. In judging the results it must not be
forgotten that all the institutions for the aged and infirm were full in
the winter of 1906-07, and that a thorough investigation such as is
usually made by a charity organization society before giving aid was
then quite impossible.

       *       *       *       *       *

1. Twenty-six of the families, comprising 53 adults, as shown by Table
119, applied to the Corporation for relief before April 1, 1907, and 20
of these received relief in addition to their home at Ingleside. Of the
adults in these families, two-thirds were women of an average age of
fifty-seven years, the other third, men of an average age of sixty-three
years. More than half were permanently incapacitated by senility or by
paralysis, lead-poisoning, blindness, deafness, severe hernia, the loss
of a leg or an arm, or mental defect.

Of seven of the couples that received grants, the wife or husband died
within a year after the fire, before the struggle to maintain themselves
had more than begun. The following notes relate to six of the seven. A
grant of $250 and a sewing machine was made to a paralyzed engineer and
his wife. The wife had supported herself and her husband for several
years by a little store which she re-established. After the husband died
she continued to do well until she fell and broke her thigh. She was
then sent to a hospital and from there to the Relief Home. A peddler of
seventy-four who seemed to have had some savings received $150 to buy a
stock of optical goods. The wife, who kept a rooming house at first
successfully but after his death less so, applied to the Associated
Charities in 1908 for more aid. The visitor, who refused assistance
because the woman still had money from the husband’s life insurance,
made the note: “The woman is a fraud and a fortune teller, but ill and
pathetic.” Two families of this group, although chronic charity cases
before the disaster, were helped to buy small amounts of clothing and
furniture and in one case a seventy-five dollar wooden leg. The
surviving partners, as might be expected, are now in the Relief Home.
Two able-bodied wives, when deprived of their husbands by death, became
self-supporting. One was a nurse, the other a washer-woman about fifty
years of age. One received $22 to furnish a room, and the other was
given clothing. The following notes tell briefly the story of one more
of the 26 families. Three women of three different generations proved
too heavily handicapped with sickness. The mother, who died of shock
soon after the earthquake, has not been considered as among those
applying for relief. The daughter had become poisoned while working in a
lithographic shop and later developed tuberculosis. She and the
grandmother, a seamstress, still able-bodied, were moved to a locality
where the older woman could presumably get work, and were given a stove
and a little money for comforts. But when the young girl also died, the
old woman gave up the struggle and went to the Relief Home. Thus, of
these 14 persons specifically mentioned, seven died within a year after
the fire, four went to the Relief Home, while one became partially and
two entirely self-supporting.

Besides the two families already described who received charitable aid
before the fire, there were two other such among these applicants. One,
an old mother and son, had lost furniture and personal effects estimated
as worth $400. They applied for rehabilitation and a sewing machine in
August, 1906. As the son was unmarried, able-bodied, and under forty
years of age, the grant was refused on the ground that he should support
his mother. Some months later, from the officers at Ingleside, it was
learned that the man was industrious and had good habits, but was unable
to keep regular work on account of being feeble-minded. A grant of $75
and a sewing machine was therefore made. A year later the Associated
Charities found the man out of work and the mother feeble, and decided
that the Relief Home was the place for her. It seemed inevitable that
the son should arrive there when his only asset, muscular strength,
should be used up.

The second family had been in receipt of aid from several charities
before the fire. It consisted of a deaf, partly paralyzed, and
hard-drinking old carpenter and his ailing wife, both past sixty years
of age. They claimed to have lost a thousand dollars’ worth of furniture
and personal property but applied while at Ingleside for the small sum
of $40 for special relief. Ten dollars was given. Six months afterward
they applied to the Associated Charities. The man, who meanwhile had
been earning $3.00 per day, had broken two ribs. The Associated
Charities, therefore, paid their rent ($12) and in March, 1909, they
were temporarily self-supporting. They were, however, the inevitably
dependent family that if life were prolonged would find its way to the
Relief Home.[271]

  [271] Six months after the date when this was written they were in the
  Relief Home.

The effect on family life of the presence of drunken husbands is a
monotonous tale, but it is cheering now and then to hear of a decent
wife rescued from her fate. A drunken old peddler and his old wife
recovering from illness were granted $100 for furniture and clothing.
Before they left Ingleside the camp commander urged that the woman be
sent to her relatives in Pennsylvania “to escape the brutality of her
husband.” Upon the relatives agreeing to care for her, transportation
and $50 were given to carry her to them. The peddler drifted to the
Relief Home.

Of quite another sort were the remaining nine of the 20 families that
received relief. Although some of their members arrived at the Relief
Home they came by another road, along which they struggled so
courageously as to win the respect of all who knew them. In this better
class are an aged German sign painter and his still more aged and very
feeble wife. Before the fire he had been able to earn $20 a week, and
although his eyesight was already failing, he asked the Corporation for
tools, supplies, and a little rent. The visitor reported that there were
three grown children,--a feeble-minded son, a crippled daughter who
earned a bare living as a waitress, and a married son too poor to care
for his parents. The feeble old mother was transferred to the Relief
Home and $90 altogether was given the old man with which to re-establish
himself. After a year, he too, overcome by his failing sight, submitted
to be sent to stay with his wife in the Relief Home. When at the last
moment he wept because he could not pay the rent in arrears, a
benevolent society paid it in order that he might go conscience free.

Other families with an average advantage in age of at least ten years
maintained themselves in spite of serious handicaps. A man who had many
years before lost both legs, had prior to 1906 earned $45 per month as
an elevator man. He asked for furniture and clothing. Although the wife
was strong neither physically nor mentally, $150 was granted in care of
the Associated Charities. Two and a half years later the wife was at
work, the husband had just secured a permanent position as elevator man,
and a little of the grant was left for emergencies. Another elderly
couple, consisting of a blind husband and an able-bodied wife, who had
earned together about $30 a month before the fire, received $150 for
household relief and a news-stand. They went into business in a suburb
and became self-supporting.

That kindly and influential friends are quite as useful as money to
those in straits, is illustrated by the case of an old master mariner,
disabled for many years, who was supported by his competent wife. Before
the fire she kept a small notion store and was caretaker for a
settlement club. On the recommendation of the settlement workers who
knew her worth she received a grant of $115 and a refugee cottage which
was erected on the grounds of a society for which she acted as
janitress. She and her husband were then able to live comfortably in
their cottage on her earnings of $25 per month.

[Illustration: The Kitchen

The Dining Room


A similar case is that of the family in which the Hebrew husband,
although seventy-eight years old, had been able before the fire to earn
a living for himself and his wife with a little cigar store. They
were known as honest, industrious people to a society that recommended
them for a grant of $150. Later, $77.50 worth of plumbing and repairs
were added to their cottage. They promised to be self-supporting for
some time. In case of need the Hebrew Board of Relief stood ready to
make a monthly allowance so that they might never go to the Relief Home.

Other cases of which less is known were encouraging. A painter, his
wife, and his wife’s sister, who received $50 for furniture, had not
again applied for help. An old hunchback and his wife who received $80
for furniture and clothing, were given the use of land on the edge of
the city by some friends, and for a while at least were made
self-supporting by the proceeds of their chickens and their garden.
Another family, exceptional in that both partners were under fifty years
of age, received a grant of $250. The husband, a longshoreman, had had
both arms broken, but two years after the fire the couple were again
self-supporting. As they are exceptional also in having several young
male relatives in the city, they are not likely to become dependent.

Another history is differentiated from the varied but generally pitiful
struggles of old persons by its ending touched with romance. An old
mother with a daughter nearing middle age lost furniture, clothing,
piano, and paintings worth $1,000. They had earned a modest living, the
mother by taking roomers, the daughter by teaching music. They were
given a sewing machine and $300 with which to establish a rooming house.
Within a year and a half the mother became so seriously demented as to
prevent their keeping lodgers. They fell behind in the rent, the
Associated Charities supplied food and after a severe struggle on the
daughter’s part to keep her mother out of the insane asylum, the old
woman was finally committed in the summer of 1908. Meanwhile a kindly
lodger became interested in the younger woman, and after his references
had been approved by the Associated Charities, the daughter married him.

A brief review of the circumstances and habits of five of the six
families who applied for relief and were refused fully justifies the
decision of the Rehabilitation Committee. The first was a woman of fifty
whose husband, a man over eighty, had died at Ingleside in the autumn of
1906. She not only was fairly strong but had grown children quite able
to give her a home. The second was an old couple by no means
incapacitated who had kept a store and been pretty well-to-do before the
fire. They were given a cottage and $50 for furniture before coming to
Ingleside, but were refused business rehabilitation on the ground that
the $500 insurance they had received was sufficient to re-establish
them. In 1908 the Associated Charities gave them a stove and had some
plumbing done in their cottage, but they were found to be grasping and
untrustworthy. Two other couples were of the hard-drinking,
intermittently-working, often-sick type, to whom rehabilitation can
never be given with any prospect of success. Of these, a comparatively
young couple were given $50 for furniture and clothing and were provided
with employment. In the following two years husband and wife had been
twice to the Associated Charities for help, and had been in and out of
the county hospital. When last seen they were “living with friends.” The
other couple, the man a drunkard and the woman a fakir, had a charity
record, reaching back to 1896, in which they were described as being too
incompetent to support themselves. They were forcibly removed from a
wretched shack to Ingleside in the winter of 1907 and are now in the
Relief Home.

The last of this group was an old mother with an epileptic son of fifty,
by occupation a cooper. They had lived on the verge of distress before
the fire, and although the son afterward earned good wages for awhile
cleaning bricks, it was not believed that he could long support his
mother and himself. In the winter of 1907 both were obliged to go to the
Relief Home.

       *       *       *       *       *

2. The seven families at Ingleside who applied first to the Associated
Charities for rehabilitation do not differ as a group in any way from
the earlier applicants. Two are cases of old people neglected by their
grown up children; two, of the chronically unfortunate and inevitably
dependent class; and two couples, younger than those we have been
considering, were forced to apply for help because the man in each
family developed tuberculosis. One case only, foreigners of good birth
and education, differs in the details of the struggle and in its
solution. Both husband and wife were teachers who had scarcely made a
living before the fire and who, being over sixty years of age, could
not regain their clientele nor find new work. The Rehabilitation
Committee through the Associated Charities sent them back to their
native country where they will have a home with relatives.

If we turn from the picturesque, human aspect of the families who
applied for rehabilitation or relief, to the financial, the brief
summary is: (1) Twenty families of 41 persons, whose estimated total
losses amounted to $10,000, asked for relief to the amount of $3,000 and
were granted relief to the money value of $2,500. In addition they
received shelter and food at Ingleside at a cost of $2,200. (2) After
three years seven of the 41 individuals were dead, 10 were in charitable
institutions, one was in an insane asylum, one was married, three were
with relatives, and 19 were self-supporting.[272] Aside from the comfort
afforded to each by the grants received, it may be said to have cost
$132 apiece to make the 19 persons self-supporting. It must not be
forgotten that while the effort was being made to gain self-support
outside of the institution, the institution was spared the cost of
maintaining each at a rate of not less than 50 cents a day.

  [272] The data for all of the 20 families are not given in the
  preceding pages. The 19 persons listed as self-supporting, it should
  be borne in mind, were in several cases believed to be only
  temporarily independent of charitable aid.

       *       *       *       *       *

3. The last group of the families of adults to be considered is the 13
families containing 26 persons that did not apply for specific relief
other than institutional care. They differ from those that did apply
chiefly in being a little more infirm and incompetent and in having no
children or relatives, apparently, to fall back upon. It is probable
that some of them did not apply for rehabilitation because Ingleside
Camp and the Relief Home seemed to be the only natural or desirable
relief. Information is available as to the subsequent fate of only 19 of
the 26 persons. Of these, four were known to be dead three years after
the disaster, eight were in the Relief Home, one was in another home,
four were self-supporting, and two had moved to the country.


1. The 215 single and widowed men and women at Ingleside who asked for
aid from the Rehabilitation Committee before April, 1907,[273] are
roughly classified in Table 120.

  [273] See Table 119, p. 336.


                              | Applicants for
  Nature of relief applied for| relief of each
                              |specified nature
  Business rehabilitation     |       46
  Household rehabilitation    |       43
  Transportation              |       27
  Special relief              |       38
  Hospital care               |       11
  General relief              |       50
      Total                   |      215

BUSINESS REHABILITATION. Of the 46 persons in this group who applied for
business rehabilitation, 29 were men and 17 were women. Eighteen of the
29 men received aid to the amount of $1,389, the largest individual
grant being $200 to an attorney, aged thirty-one, who asked only for law
books. This man is one of the small group who, three years after the
grant was made, were known to be self-supporting.

No action was taken by the Committee in six cases, either because the
applicants could not be found at the addresses given, because they
refused the aid offered, or because the applications were received too

Grants were refused in five cases. In this group is a so-called
attorney, a man who had fraudulently lived by his wits for years.
Immediately after the fire this plausible old fakir was cared for by a
religious society which asked for special clothing for him because he
was “an odd size.” He applied to the Rehabilitation Committee for $1,500
to rebuild a lodging house he claimed to have owned. The visitor found
that he had not owned a house and lot before the fire, that the old
woman relative whom he professed to have supported was another fraud,
and that his only real claim on charity was that he was too fat to wear
ready made clothes. In the summer of 1909 he was again heard of at a
summer resort earning his living by assisting an evangelist in religious

Three years after the grants were made the condition of the 18 men who
were aided was ascertained to be as follows: three were found to be
self-supporting; for four no definite information was obtained but they
were believed to be independent; eight were dependent, and three had
died. The eight dependent cases, all elderly men, were with one
exception being cared for at the Relief Home; one was in an insane

A young seaman who is recorded as having died after being aided,
committed suicide. He had had a leg amputated, had been in the hospital
for sometime after the fire, and then had gone to Ingleside to
convalesce. The Relief Committee gave him an artificial leg, and he was
in and out of the Relief Home several times trying unsuccessfully to
find work. On his return from one of the attempts he killed himself. The
other two who died were elderly men.

To put the case from the financial point of view, $1,389 was given to 18
men; $620 has made seven of them possibly self-supporting, and $769 was
expended upon 11 who failed. Those who were not found at the address
given may be self-supporting as they have not drifted back to the
Rehabilitation Committee. A single fact is sufficient to explain the
success of one group and the failure of the other. The seven successful
ones averaged fifty years of age, while omitting the exceptional case of
the young seaman 10 of the 11 averaged sixty-seven years. Again, the
occupations of the unsuccessful are seen to be unskilled and common
labor. Incompetence, physical or mental, added to age in most instances,
brought these men to Ingleside.

Twelve of the 17 women who applied for business rehabilitation were
given aid. One of these, a lodging-house keeper who expected to receive
$2,500 in insurance, was granted only $75. When the insurance was
received it amounted to but $700, and as she invested in a large rooming
house, heavy debts were incurred. Though she was running behind she may
not have failed. She blamed the Rehabilitation Committee for not having
given aid sufficient to insure success. Two milliners, each about forty
years of age, together received $699 and had not re-established
themselves. One, however, had had typhoid fever after the fire, and
never fully recovered. Both were doing a little casual work. Five
others who were given grants amounting to $560 were dependent. None of
these had given much promise of self-support but were given the full
benefit of the doubt. One of them, later in the Relief Home, lost $100
in the fire, which she had painfully saved for proper burial. The
Rehabilitation Committee replaced this money for funeral expenses.

One of the five women who were denied business rehabilitation was
refused because she owned real estate which when sold would provide
sufficient capital.

HOUSEHOLD REHABILITATION. The records of application for household
relief by single or widowed inmates present quite another aspect of the
relief situation than that exhibited by the data regarding business
rehabilitation. The 43 people in this group[274] asked for very little
more than the two essentials--furniture and clothing. Clothing had been
given in quantities immediately after the fire, and these applicants,
aged and infirm people, re-applied months later when winter was coming
on. The heavier part of their demand was, however, for furniture to
start bachelor housekeeping. Before the fire San Francisco abounded in
furnished lodgings at all prices; but afterward there were almost none
to be had at prices within the means of those whose age and incapacity
prevented them from earning more than minimum wages. Furniture for the
shacks, cottages, and tenements was necessary, but because of the dearth
of second-hand stuff, the prices of new pieces, even of the meanest
sort, were very high. The average grant of $59 per person, therefore,
was not too much with which to buy a bed and bedding, a table, chairs,
and cooking utensils, and, in some cases, to pay the first month’s rent.
A visitor of much experience, in commenting on such cases, said, “It is
appalling to think that mere beds and tables may make the difference
between pauperism and independence.” Grants were refused to three
applicants; two of them drank to excess, and the third was in need of
permanent care.

  [274] See Table 120, p. 344.

When one considers that these applicants above sixty years of age were
sewing women, charwomen and cleaners, cannery workers, peddlers, and
laborers who must regain their patrons or find new work, the results are
very encouraging. One-third only were in 1909 found to be dependent on
charity; another third were living with relatives or had died or been
lost to view; while the last third were presumably self-supporting.

TRANSPORTATION. The 27 persons who applied for transportation were
rather more homogeneous than those of any other group. In 15 cases
transportation was granted. These 15 individuals were maintained for
months at Ingleside until assurance was obtained that they would have
proper care if transported; and yet, the experiment was not always
successful. For instance, an old nurse was sent to Chicago where her
nephews and nieces, although poor, had offered her a home which was
visited and approved by the Chicago Bureau of Charities. After some
months in Chicago the exacting old woman became so burdensome that the
relatives could not care for her. With the advice of the Bureau of
Charities she was sent back to San Francisco and placed in the home for
the aged. In a few cases careful plans came to nothing, because erratic
old people would not consent to be transported.

The case of an old woman of 97 is very pathetic. She had formerly lived
in San Francisco and had stored her furniture when she went away. She
happened to be visiting in the city on April 18, 1906, in the district
burned. The step-daughter to whom she went first abused her and then
sent her to Ingleside. The poor old woman while waiting to be given
transportation to join her husband in Utah fell ill and just after the
coveted transportation was given “died of disappointment.” No judgment
can be formed as to whether there was unnecessary delay on the part of
the visitor of the Rehabilitation Committee but after the shock of the
earthquake, “disappointment” can scarcely be regarded as the chief cause
of death.

The war veterans, four of whom were transportation cases and not less
than a dozen of whom were at Ingleside, gave trouble quite
disproportionate to the hoped-for results. They were traveling paupers
each of whom had either been discharged for bad conduct from some
soldiers’ home or more probably had left because of restless and vicious
habits. Two were given transportation to Washington, District of
Columbia, where they belonged, but neither ever arrived. Two others were
refused transportation because they belonged in a veterans’ home in

To summarize the 15 cases to whom about $1,000 was given in
transportation and money, four in 1909 were still, in spite of what
seems to have been reasonable precaution, dependent on the charity of
San Francisco and one on the charity of Philadelphia. The burden of the
other 10 was transferred to relatives or to communities to whom it
rightly belonged and San Francisco was relieved from a possible future
obligation greater than that represented by the $1,000 expended.

Transportation was not given in 12 cases. The principal reason for the
refusal of transportation was the lack of assurance that the persons
applying would not become charges on the communities to which they
wished to go. Six are now in homes for the aged, one died shortly after
applying, two may have returned to the soldiers’ homes where they
belonged, and three are possibly self-supporting. Their circumstances
and condition are shown by the following transcript from the records.


  Night clerk; age 61. Applied for transportation to San Diego.
  Recommendations not sufficient. Got job as watchman. In Relief Home.

  Watchman; age 43. Applied for transportation to Los Angeles.
  Physically incapacitated. In Relief Home.

  Hotel runner; age 47. Asked for transportation to family in Spokane.
  Able to work.

  Peddler and war veteran; age 80. Applied for transportation to
  brothers in New York with whom he had quarreled long ago. Had left
  Veterans’ Home in 1904. Got work.

  Ship joiner; age 75. New York relatives refused to receive him because
  of his vicious habits, but would pay for him in Relief Home, where he

  Chiropodist and war veteran; age 83. Son in New York surprised that he
  had left Soldiers’ Home. Would receive him if fare was paid.

  French cook; age 68. Asked for transportation to brother in France,
  but brother did not reply to letters. Went to work.

  Longshoreman; age 57. Wished to go to Los Angeles. Had been in
  hospital for weeks, unable to care for himself. Died shortly afterward
  in camp.

  Teamster (Negro); age 65. Applied for transportation to wife in
  Washington, D. C. No reply from wife. In Relief Home for third time.

  Carpenter; age 57. Wished to go to Seattle to collect debt of $50. Was
  advised to write. In Relief Home.


  Car builder; age 69. Granted $100 and transportation to sister in
  Northern California. Went to Iowa instead. Check for $100 cancelled.


  Cigar clerk; age 69. Applied for transportation to sister in Kansas.
  Could not be found by visitor. Later, in Relief Home.

SPECIAL RELIEF. The 38 single or widowed inmates whose applications fall
under the head of “Special Relief” were nearly all in need of special
medical or surgical attention, or of convalescent care.

From the standpoint of restoration to self-support this group, as shown
by the abstract given below, is discouraging, but it is doubtful if the
Rehabilitation Committee in granting the special relief, expected the
recipients to regain economic independence. Owing to the crowded
condition of the hospitals in 1906 and 1907 it was necessary to avoid
sending to them persons who could be provided for otherwise. The yet
greater overcrowding in the institutions for the aged and infirm made it
compulsory, until the Relief Home was completed, to give some outdoor
relief to those who did not imperatively require institutional care.

Those still independent three years after the grant was made averaged
twelve years younger than those then receiving relief. The financial
showing is not so discouraging as the social. The 29 persons received
grants amounting to $2,955, an average of $102 each. This sum would have
paid for keep in an institution, if there had been room, for not more
than seven months. The average time that elapsed before each became
dependent is, in the known cases, considerably more than seven months.
The money therefore was not wasted. Moreover, those objecting, as most
of them did, to going to an institution, had the comfort of attempting

  GRANT MADE:[275]

  (a) Not Dependent (probably):

  Domestic servant; age 68. Granted $150. No information could be
  obtained in 1909.

  Domestic servant; age 35. Granted $75 for an operation.

  Cook; age 66. Granted $50. No information could be obtained in 1909.

  Housewife; age 50. Granted $75 for washing machine. Ejected from
  Ingleside. Small amount for current expenses.

  Cannery clerk; age 61. Granted $20, and later $75, to go to hospital
  and then to the country. Now with friends.

  Plasterer; age 56. Granted $50. Later arrested and in jail three

  Peddler; age 54. Granted $60 and a free license. No information
  obtained in 1909.

  Carpenter; age 32. Tuberculous. Granted $300 to go a warmer climate.
  Now recovering.

  (b) Dependent:

  Cook; age 61. Living on savings before fire. Granted $100. Later
  assisted by A. C. In Relief Home.

  Seamstress; age 59. Granted $100. Assisted by private charity.

  Bookkeeper; age 65. Granted $100. In Home for the Aged.

  Janitress; age 50. Granted $50. Sent to hospital.

  Domestic servant; age 38. Granted $75. Partially self-supporting; in
  and out of Relief Home.

  Nurse; age 78. Granted $200. Went to niece. Assisted by several

  Housewife; age 95. Granted $25 and later $125. In Home for the Aged.

  Rooming-house keeper; age 72. Granted $75. Went to hospital. Assisted
  by private charity.

  Nurse; age 65. Granted $100. In Relief Home.

  Cloak maker; age 65. Granted $100. Assisted by charity. In Relief

  Housewife; age 81. Granted $140 in instalments. In Relief Home.

  Dressmaker; age 57. Granted $100 and sewing machines. In Relief Home.

  House worker; age 60. Granted $100 and truss. In Relief Home.

  Seamstress; age 65. Granted $125 and sewing machine. In Relief Home.

  Peddler; age 60. Granted $20. In Relief Home.

  (c) Dead:

  Seamstress; age 75. Granted $150 in instalments. Died September, 1907.

  Nurse; age 79. Granted $100 “till well enough to work.” Died April,

  Janitor; age 58. Granted $50 for stove and bedding. Died February,

  Lecturer on psychology; age 70. Granted $75 and transportation to San
  Diego. In Relief Home. Died 1908.

  Housewife; age 67. Granted $150. Went to relatives. Died 1907.


  Seamstress; age 36. Because earning $12 per week.

  Nurse; age 64. In need of permanent care. Died in Relief Home June,

  Chambermaid; age 70. In need of permanent care.

  Children’s nurse; age 73. In need of permanent care. In Relief Home.

  Domestic servant; age 70. Asked for money to pursue invalid claim to


  Housewife; age 55. Could not be found by visitor.

  Dressmaker; age 73. Granted $100 and sewing machine. Could not be

  Cannery worker; age 40. Granted $75. Could not be found by visitor.
  Assisted later by Associated Charities to go to the country.

  Maker of knitted articles; age 68. Granted $100 and sewing machine.
  Drank to excess. In Relief Home.

  [275] No information is available as to occupation, age, or present
  status of one of the 29 persons to whom grants were made.

HOSPITAL CARE. The small group of 11 persons who applied for hospital
care, were of the same general character. Illnesses of a serious nature
required special treatment either at Ingleside or other institution. Two
of the 11 were sent to an insane asylum, two died at Ingleside, and
five were in homes for the infirm. Two became self-supporting.

GENERAL RELIEF. There remains a heterogeneous group of applicants for
general relief, most of whom asked for money for living expenses, or for
such inexpensive things as false teeth, trusses, and spectacles. Of the
50 persons who applied for general relief, 20 were refused. The total
amount paid out in grants to the remaining 30 was $1,735.70.

Three years after the grants were made 10 of these persons, five of whom
received less than $25 each, were believed to be independent, 15 were in
the Relief Home, one was dependent on other charity, and four were dead.

       *       *       *       *       *

2. Between April, 1907, and April, 1909, 68 persons who had been at
Ingleside Model Camp at some time, in addition to the 14 persons in the
seven families already considered in Table 119 and on page 342, applied
to the Associated Charities.[276] Since these 68 persons did not apply
to the Corporation during the first year after the fire they must either
have gone from Ingleside to friends or must have expected to be
self-supporting. More than half of them were over fifty years of age and
nearly all were more or less incapacitated; in short, they do not seem
to have differed from those who before the fire found their way to the
almshouse. On April 18, 1909, 39 of these were in the Relief Home, four
were in asylums or hospitals, four had left the city, and three were
self-supporting. With regard to 18 persons of this group no information
could be obtained.

  [276] See Table 119, p. 336.

       *       *       *       *       *

3. The most conspicuous thing about those who did not apply for
rehabilitation, both men and women, is their high proportion of
disabilities, a proportion even higher than that of the applicants. Of
the 585 non-applicants among the single or widowed men and women,[277]
no less than 330, 56 per cent, were infirm or crippled, or needed
special care for some reason. Table 121 shows the nature of their

  [277] See Table 119, p. 336.


                               |NON-APPLICANTS WITH EACH
                               |  SPECIFIED DISABILITY
       Nature of disability    +-------+--------+-------
                               |  Men  | Women  | Total
  Infirm or crippled persons:  |       |        |
    Too infirm to work         |   33  |   ..   |   33
    Lame or crippled           |   19  |   11   |   30
    Feeble                     |   ..  |   21   |   21
    Without one leg or one arm |   19  |   ..   |   19
    Blind or very deaf         |    9  |    6   |   15
    Paralyzed                  |   11  |    1   |   12
    Bed-ridden                 |   ..  |    3   |    3
      Total                    |  =91= |  =42=  | =133=
  Persons needing special care:|       |        |
    Sick                       |   44  |   23   |   67
    Normally convalescent      |   31  |   17   |   48
    Injured in accidents       |   33  |    2   |   35
    Senile or demented         |   16  |   ..   |   16
    Severely rheumatic         |   15  |    4   |   19
    Tubercular                 |    4  |    8   |   12
      Total                    | =143= |  =54=  |  =197=
      Grand total              | =234= |  =96=  |  =330=

Four-fifths of the 585 non-applicants were over fifty years of age.
Nevertheless, they applied for no relief other than shelter for a longer
or shorter time at Ingleside. Their neglect to make application for
rehabilitation may be set down in a great measure to the want of
initiative due to infirmity (more than one-seventh of the number have
since died), and to the apathy that comes to the inevitable institution
inmate. In 1909 one-third of this group were in the Relief Home or in
some other charitable refuge. But the margin of over one-third of the
remainder whose condition was known, who went to work or to friends and
were not as yet dependent on charity, is surprisingly large.

Table 122 shows what became of the non-applicants as far as the facts
are known.


                  Subsequent history               |  INMATES WHOSE
                                                   | HISTORY WAS AS
                                                   |    SPECIFIED
                                                   | Men |Women|Total
  Died within one year of admission to Ingleside   |  31 |  16 |  47
  Died within three years of admission to Ingleside|  33 |  11 |  44
  Went to work or to friends or relatives          |  83 |  25 | 108
  Now in charitable institutions                   | 124 |  70 | 194
  No information available                         | 154 |  38 | 192
      Total                                        | 425 | 160 | 585

It is highly suggestive that a very large proportion of those who went
to work or to friends or relatives left in January, 1908, when Ingleside
was about to be closed and all the inmates removed to the Relief Home.
When the final alternative was presented to go permanently to an
institution or to find some other home, they were able to make the
latter choice. Most of them belonged to the wandering labor classes
which find no hardship so great as the monotonous, comfortable life of
an orderly institution where thorough discipline is maintained. The
Relief Home was, fortunately, located beyond the city a mile from any
car line. It was far removed from the bustle and the sensational
diversions which were so pleasantly accessible to the lazy and the
semi-vicious at Ingleside. The mere limitation of the right to go in and
out freely was so irksome that many chose to take their chance in the
world again rather than go where they must ask for a pass.


Mention has already been made, page 325, of the fact that between 100
and 200 persons left the almshouse shortly after the fire, most of them
presumably going to the camps and posing as refugees. Besides these
there were 27 applicants for relief who, although not in the almshouse
at the time of the fire, had been there one or more times, one of them
16 times, in the eight years previous. In most instances the
Rehabilitation Committee had no means of knowing that these people were
former almshouse inmates, and the grants were made merely on the ground
of old age. The more important details concerning this group of 27, none
of whom were at Ingleside, are as follows:

To 13 persons relief was granted in sums ranging from $15 to $125, and
six of these were believed to be non-dependent in 1909, while seven were
in the Relief Home. Grants were refused to nine applicants; eight of
these required such care and supervision as that provided in the Relief
Home, and the ninth, who was an opium taker, was aided by a sister.
Checks were canceled in three cases: one, because other relief was
given; another, because the applicant was found to be a drunkard; and
the third, because the money had been paid to the wrong person. In the
two remaining cases of the 27 no action was taken.

It is surprising to find that the 13 cases in which relief was granted
average ten years younger than the Ingleside cases. They were either
persons who had gone in former years to the almshouse to convalesce
after illness, as was customary with those discharged from the City and
County hospital, or persons who had some physical or mental disability
that made it difficult to keep employment. Most of the others who were
not in the Relief Home in April, 1909, if they live will probably come
back there. Of the 14 applicants who did not receive aid, nine were in
the Relief Home three years after the disaster or had died there.

One last group of the aged and handicapped remains to be mentioned,--35
applicants who had been neither in the almshouse nor at Ingleside, but
who arrived at the Relief Home between April, 1908, and April, 1909.
These had been able to hold out until then against the ravages of age,
disease, incapacity, and misfortune. A few, a very few, were again
independent of relief three years after the grant was made, but of the
remainder, 21 were still in the Relief Home or other charitable
institutions, and nine had either left the city or had died.



The final important question to be considered in this study of relief of
the aged and infirm is: What proportion of the aged and infirm persons
in the Relief Home in April, 1909, were there solely because of the
earthquake and fire of April 18, 1906? To answer this question one must
know the proportion between the total population of San Francisco and
the aged and infirm in the almshouse for some time previous to 1906.


  Year| Population  | Average | Almshouse | Admission  | Admissions
      | of city and |number of|inmates per|to almshouse|to almshouse
      |county of San|almshouse| 1,000 of  |   during   |per 1,000 of
      |  Francisco  | inmates |population |    year    | population
  1890| 298,997     |   736   |    2.5    |     560    |     1.9
  1900| 342,782     |   947   |    2.8    |     670    |     2.0
  1905| 379,847[278]|   890   |    2.3    |     773    |     2.0
  1909| 409,499[278]| 1,295   |    3.2    |     816    |     2.0

  [278] Estimated.

It seems fair to assume that the disaster was responsible, at least in
part, for the increase of the proportion of almshouse inmates in the
population from 2.3 per 1,000 in 1905 to 3.2 per 1,000 in 1909. The fact
that in 1909 the number of admissions was not higher indicates that
already as regards this class the abnormal conditions resulting from the
fire were passing away. The high death rate would shortly reduce the
Relief Home population almost to its normal proportion.[279]

  [279] Between 1900 and 1905 the inmates of the almshouse went in and
  out much more freely than they do now at the Relief Home, but the
  effect on the average number present is impossible to calculate.

The increase, from 1904-05 to 1909, in the relative number of almshouse
inmates in the population must not be attributed wholly to the disaster.
The condemnation of the unsanitary City and County Hospital threw a part
of the burden of its chronic cases on the Relief Home. The shock of the
disaster to highly nervous and ill-balanced persons doubtless produced
insanity in a number of cases. As the state insane hospitals were
already overcrowded, the least troublesome found refuge in the Relief
Home. But perhaps the most important factor in producing this charitable
burden was the general disorganization of industry in the years 1907-08,
due to a street-car strike in San Francisco and to the financial panic.
The slow recovery of certain industries caused by the exorbitant cost of
building was perceptibly checked. The result was that only young and
able-bodied men could get work. Old and semi-able men who would in
normal times have continued for several years to make a bare living,
could find no work after the brick cleaning was done. This economic
stagnation accounts for the failure of some who were given tools, or
small grants to set up little shops or buy stock to peddle. The buying
capacity of the laboring class, their prospective patrons, was greatly

Finally, the number of the aged and the infirm in the Relief Home was
increased by those sent from a number of the private charities whose
buildings were burned or whose funds were lessened. The private
charitable agencies were the more inclined to disburden themselves as
the new institution was so attractive. As one of the employes put it:
“If the city furnishes clean steam-heated rooms, three hot meals a day,
electric lights, and every convenience, the place will always be full.
Lots of people in the Relief Home never had so much before.” The new
institution at its dedication was advertised to set a high standard of
care. The maintenance of this standard by the superintendent drew to it,
undoubtedly, some who formerly would not have applied for admission.

Since the variations in the numbers of the old almshouse inmates
registered the increase due to the industrial stagnation following the
labor agitation and the panic of 1893, it is reasonable to conclude that
the several circumstances described above had increased the number of
the inmates in the Relief Home as much as had the disaster of April 18,

An interesting question, growing out of the coalescence in the Relief
Home of the Ingleside refugee group with the old almshouse population,
is the comparative social standing of the two groups. Were the Ingleside
inmates potential almshouse inmates or were they such as would not have
arrived there but for a great and wholly impersonal misfortune? The
“refugees” maintained in the Relief Home a class identity and were
particular to insist that they were not like “the old almshouse people.”
It has been pointed out[280] that there was a group at Ingleside whose
occupations and general history marked them as belonging to a somewhat
more skilful and resourceful class than the rest. Such of these as went
to the Relief Home continued to be superior and exceptional, but far the
larger number were precisely of the same human stuff as the interminable
procession that had for forty years been entering the almshouse. On this
point the testimony of employes who were in charge at Ingleside and
later at the Relief Home was nearly unanimous and quite conclusive. They
agreed that three-fourths of these refugees were “almshouse types” and
would have reached an almshouse in a few years; and that some of the
others, of rather better education and character, would have been cared
for in private charitable institutions, or by children and relatives who
because of the fire were too poor to take them. It is pointed out that
these last if they shared the poverty of their kindred would have been
far less comfortable than in the Home.

  [280] See Part VI, p. 333.

One clear distinction between the almshouse people and the refugees is a
difference of temper. During the relief period the refugees got the idea
that there were “millions for relief,” in which they had a “just and
equal share,” and that as the Relief Home was built for them they had
exceptional rights in it as victims of misfortune. They were,
therefore,--the women especially,--more exacting, lazy, and termagant
than the old-time inmates. Ingleside has been described as “one long
vacation picnic” where they had varied and abundant food, very little
work and, to satisfy their gregarious instincts, continuous gossip.
Those who had become accustomed to the freedom of the camps were
consequently more incorrigible as well as more able-bodied than the
almshouse inmates, and were never bound by such necessary rules of labor
and discipline as existed there.

It has already been demonstrated[281] that so far as age, proportion of
the sexes, marital condition, and nativity are concerned, at least
four-fifths of the refugees at Ingleside did not differ essentially from
the inmates of the San Francisco almshouse. Collateral information
corroborates this conclusion. The rents they had paid and the wages they
had received before the fire were rarely above those common to the
unskilled laboring classes, while the streets they had lived in were in
the districts familiar to charity visitor and settlement worker. It may
be concluded upon these facts that not more than one-sixth of the
Ingleside refugees, at most 200 persons, were of the more fortunate and
resourceful sort who but for some extraordinary disaster would never
have become dependent.

  [281] See Tables 114-116, pp. 329-331.

Before undertaking to estimate the work of the Rehabilitation Committee
in relation to the aged and infirm it is imperative to make clear the
characteristics of the different classes with which they had to deal.
The problems of the helpless, the very old, and the very young, stand
apart. But the destiny of old people cannot, like that of children, be
determined solely by the will of others, for self-will increases rather
than diminishes with the approach of senility. So long as the old are on
their feet in the world, whatever plans are made, whatever relief is
proposed, may be set at naught. They cannot be imprisoned unless
positively vicious, nor be refused relief, because the humane standard
requires that age, however unlovely, shall be kindly treated.

There were at Ingleside 70[282] unruly, immoral, drunken people, who had
to be ejected but who returned again and again by way of the jail and
the hospital to ask assistance. To such as these only food and shelter
could safely be given. In the Relief Home they were relegated to “The
Last Chance,” the name given by the residents to the building for senile
incorrigibles. Some were in their second infancy and behaved like filthy
animals, others had senile dementia and “imagined violence like
children,” accusing the nurses of stealing from them and of starving
them, yet it would have been impossible to get them committed for
insanity. Still others who came and went from Ingleside and who went in
and out of the Relief Home as often as permitted, became insane with
rage whenever they were crossed. Angry at some trifle, they would rave
by the hour; but if locked up or deprived of some privilege they would
gradually recover self-control and be quiet for weeks until crossed
again. It would have been impossible for them to live in a family even
of their own relatives. It was all but impossible to care for them in
the institution until their vigor was depleted enough to make them

  [282] See Part VI, p. 325.

Another class is the wanderers, in all stages of senile dementia. Some
were intelligent enough to apply for relief but wandered from Ingleside,
could not be found by the visitors, and turned up later in the Relief
Home. A few were promised grants but never claimed the checks. Those in
the Relief Home got lost, could not remember where their rooms were, or
now and then climbed the barbed-wire fence and ran away. Although for
their proper care the same precautions were needed as at a prison,
neither Ingleside Model Camp nor the Relief Home could be so organized.
Every person had the legal right to come and go from the Relief Home at
will. Some of the relatively able-bodied would go out to visit
acquaintances or relatives, to beg a little, to work a little, or even
to pawn their clothes, and after drinking up the money obtained, return
exhausted or filthy to recuperate in the Home. The same may be said of
the one-third of the inmates who were entered in the records as drinking
or drunkards. Many of them combined with intemperance some other
infirmity. For our purpose, however, it is immaterial whether they began
to drink as a result of physical debility or whether they were sick
because of drunkenness. In either case, it was very nearly hopeless to
give them money for rehabilitation. A number are known to have wasted
their grants in drink.

[Illustration: _See Frontispiece_


This beautiful arch was found practically uninjured in the midst of the
ruins at the summit of Nob Hill. Mr. James D. Phelan had it removed to
the banks of a little lake in Golden Gate Park, where it stands as a
memorial to the devastated city.]

The Ingleside population affords a painful study in isolation. Among a
thousand refugees over fifty years of age, a majority would be expected
to have children or relatives and the hasty inference would be that
family care should be given to a number that were in the Relief Home.
Filial obligation is, indeed, too little emphasized; but frequent
migration weakens the family tie. An examination of these cases does not
show many in which the refugees were dependent because of wilful neglect
by relatives. The superintendent of the Relief Home in the year 1909
carefully investigated all cases about which there was rumor of property
concealed or relatives able to give support. The result was that only a
very few of either were discovered. In the case of those who had hidden
savings, or an inheritance, the city compelled the payment of $15 a
month for board and lodging or the leaving of the institution. In the
case of most children who had been well-to-do, a payment was agreed on
rather than the return to relatives.

A cursory glance at the Ingleside records would give the impression that
all the mutilated, semi-blind, deaf, rheumatic, and disabled old people
in the countryside; the one-legged and one-armed men and the men with no
legs at all; the partly paralyzed and otherwise crippled, had been
gathered there,--a forlorn company more than half of whom added to other
defects the slowness of old age. The problem was not merely the relief
of the aged, but the relief of the handicapped. The crippled had been
for the most part self-supporting before the fire; some were elevator
men, some were watchmen, many had sold notions or papers on the streets
or peddled goods in the country roundabout. The peddlers on the whole
did very well with their grants, perhaps because a physical mutilation
is an asset to a peddler, or because no definite patronage had to be
regained. A person with a physical defect but accustomed to unusual or
skilled occupation, as for instance, the printing and distributing of
bill-heads or the repairing of musical instruments, is not debarred from
self-support as is the man who belongs in the ranks of common labor.

The restoration to self-support of even the able-bodied elderly women
was quite as difficult as the rehabilitation of the handicapped. There
was after the fire, as always, a considerable demand for cheap general
houseworkers. To the casual observer, these sturdy old women at
Ingleside ought to have been able at least to earn their lodging and
food. But if the observer had attempted to employ one in her own
household she would have found it all but impossible to endure her
personal peculiarities. More than half were born and had lived in
foreign countries, and although to a degree Americanized, were relapsing
into the peasant habits of childhood. In cleanliness and decorum a
rising standard had left them far behind. To uncleanly and vulgar habits
and lack of skill were added a tendency to misrepresent, even when
truth-telling would be advantageous, and to be voluble on the subject of
chronic grievances or ailments. Women of another type who were both
cleanly and competent could not keep in work because they lacked
initiative. Someone had to do their thinking for them. In the Relief
Home where they had kindly supervision they became excellent helpers
capable of earning small wages.

The chief elements in the failure of these old people, men and women, to
recover their independence, were lack of adaptability, lack of speed,
and poor judgment in business matters. Those who had maintained
themselves for years, could not get back into their narrow familiar
groove nor find another into which to fit themselves. An old man who was
probably as good a cabinet maker as any other in the city, could do
barely half the work in a day expected by employers, because of
over-conscientiousness and slowness. In a thousand ways the inefficiency
due to ignorance, lack of skill, and poor judgment, predestined the
refugees of Ingleside to failure, whether they received grants or not,
and whether the aid given was great or small.

In some cases the grants seem pitifully inadequate and it may be
questioned whether the individuals had a fair chance to re-establish
themselves. Remembering the high rents, the cost of materials, the cost
of transportation, the dearth of employment, and the lessened
consumption, larger sums than those given would seem to have been
necessary to afford a prospect of permanent rehabilitation. But the
Corporation could not anticipate panic nor exceptional lack of
employment. A large proportion of these cases, moreover, had to be
decided in August, 1906,[283] when the grants were discontinued or made
in small amounts. In the cases of those who received $150 or more, there
was no higher proportion of success than where smaller amounts were
given. It is impossible to determine from the information we have
whether the later dependence of one-third to one-half of the Ingleside
refugees was due to the industrial situation or to the deficiencies of
the individuals themselves or to inadequate relief. One conclusion we
may safely set down: no case of failure was due to any one of these
causes alone.

  [283] See Part I, p. 99 ff.

Turning from the discussion of these qualifying circumstances to
estimate the results of the relief of the aged, the infirm, and the
handicapped at Ingleside and in the Relief Home, certain things emerge
very definitely. For convenience and clearness they may be set down

1. _The speculative character_ of relief after disaster, especially in
the case of persons over fifty years of age, should be recognized and
too much must not be expected from the issue. The recuperative power of
aged persons is relatively small under ordinary conditions of life, but
when they are thrown out of the groove of years, subjected to shock and
hardship, and made to begin over again, it is infinitely smaller. For
this reason the element of uncertainty should be reduced to a minimum by
the use of records, by the employment of trained investigators, and by
the consultation with camp commanders or others who have observed the
applicants for some time. During the earlier part of the relief work in
San Francisco grants were made after investigation, in lump sums which
in a considerable number of cases were squandered or used unwisely.
After the Model Camp at Ingleside had been in operation for some months
and the camp commander had had time to observe the inmates, the
recommendations of visitors were often modified at his suggestion; in
some cases the money was placed in the hands of a visitor to be expended
for the applicant, and in many others it was given in care of the
Associated Charities. These later grants lasted longer and were of more
avail in relieving the recipient than those made on less information and
with fewer precautions.

2. _The value of charity records_ as a basis for determining the kind
and amount of relief that should be given in an emergency cannot be
over-emphasized. The case records of the Associated Charities, of the
several benevolent societies of the different nationalities, and of the
Catholics and the Hebrews, and the records of the almshouse, all should
have afforded a quick means of learning the former dependent or
independent position of many applicants. Unfortunately in San Francisco,
before the fire, most of these agencies did not sufficiently understand
the value of permanent detailed records. The result was that a number of
people who previously had been more or less dependent were assisted on
the assumption that they were as likely to become self-supporting as
those who had never applied for aid. Elderly indigents rarely resort to
an alias and they might have been easily identified if the records had
been reasonably complete and had been available in one central bureau.
Since the disaster, the exchange of case information among the principal
charitable agencies is proving invaluable in preventing duplication of
relief and in developing unity of plans for constructive charity.

3. _The value of trained investigators_ is distinctly apparent in a
comparison of their recommendations with those of amateurs in the
Ingleside cases. The inexperienced visitor, “taken in” by some plausible
old person, would recommend a grant of several hundred dollars; the
committee, mindful of many applicants yet to come and suspicious of the
excessive enthusiasm of the visitor, would give half as much carefully
guarded. The trained visitor, on the other hand, seized upon the hopeful
points as well as the limitations of capacity and formed a balanced
judgment which the committee usually accepted in substance and which was
generally justified by the subsequent history of the applicant. The
business of an investigator is not to harden his sympathies and expose
imposture, but to become a trained and sympathetic expert in human
nature. Especially in emergency relief, therefore, his judgment should
be of the highest value.

4. _The pension and the direct grant_ were both used in providing for
two quite different classes of the aged and infirm. A number of feeble
persons who had been decent and hardworking before the fire but who,
very evidently, could never again be self-supporting, were given grants
outright “till they should be able to work again”--as the committee
kindly phrased it--or because they were “too nice to go to the
almshouse.” A larger number of cases, where it was impossible to
determine whether the applicants were still capable of self-support or
in need of institutional care, were given the benefit of the doubt. This
was, indeed, almost compulsory because institutional facilities were so
meager. The intention of these grants must be wholly commended, but the
history of the cases treated by the two methods indicates clearly that
the money given in instalments in care of a visitor or of the Associated
Charities had been much more effectively spent than that given to the
applicant in a lump sum. If it be assumed--as it should be--that no
decent person of this borderland class should be prematurely relegated
to an institution, the results in San Francisco prove that a limited
pension in the care of a friendly visitor is both wise and humane. It
is, moreover, economical.

5. _The age of possible rehabilitation_ is approximately defined by the
results of these cases. The natural period of self-support is between
sixteen and sixty; but the capacity of the unskilled laboring classes to
keep the pace of modern industry often begins to decline at middle age.
As regards health and ability to be self-supporting the decade between
fifty and sixty is critical; and the number of those between sixty and
seventy who, after such a disruption of their lives as that produced by
the earthquake and fire, are able to re-establish themselves even with
assistance, will be very small. To conserve the common self-respect and
society’s humane instincts, as many as possible should be encouraged to

6. _The lack of provision for certain classes_ in San Francisco was well
known to charity workers before the fire, but it became a far more
serious matter owing to the sudden increase and shifting of these
classes of dependents. There were many people set down as
“convalescents” at Ingleside who remained permanently in need of
institutional care. The hospitals continued to discharge, at the
earliest possible moment because of overcrowding, numbers of half-well
people who had no homes and little or no resources. Even those who went
back to poor homes frequently did not recover fully for want of proper
care during the convalescent period. Those without homes must go to the
Relief Home, and the increase of this class of inmates became a serious
tax on the institution. The medical attention that must be given to the
inmates of the Relief Home is greater than had to be given in the old
almshouse. The increase in the number of the incurables, due in some
measure to the shock and hardships of 1906, makes great demands upon
the nursing staff. Although the number of admissions per thousand of the
population is now no greater than before the disaster, the permanent
burden of refugees will remain proportionately great for some years to
come. Certain special classes--the convalescent, the incurable, the
advanced tubercular, the chronic alcoholic, have never been adequately
provided for in San Francisco. The transition from emergency to
permanent provision affords the opportunity for developing the best
methods and differentiating the kinds of charitable care.



  PART  II. REHABILITATION                          370
  PART  IV. HOUSING REHABILITATION                  371
  PART   V. AFTER-CARE                              372
  PART  VI. THE AGED AND INFIRM                     372


What then are some of the lessons to be learned from this review of the
San Francisco relief work that may be applied in other great disasters?


We see among other things:

1. The importance of postponing the appointment of sub-committees until
a strong central committee has been able to determine general policies
and methods of procedure.

2. The wisdom of reducing the bread line and the camp population as
quickly as possible after the disaster so that the relief resources may
be conserved to meet the primary need of rehabilitation.

3. The value of utilizing for emergency administration a body so highly
organized and so efficient as the United States Army, to take charge of
camps, and to bring to points of distribution the supplies required for
those in need of food and clothing.

4. The necessity of utilizing the centers of emergency distribution for
the later rehabilitation work of district committees and corps of

5. The need of establishing a central bureau of information to serve
from the beginning of the relief work as a clearing house, to prevent
confusion and waste through duplication of effort.

6. The importance of legal incorporation for any relief organization
that has to deal with so large a disaster.

7. The importance of a strict audit of all relief in cash sent to a
relief organization. The impossibility of an equally strict accounting
for relief in kind, because of the many leaks and the difficulties
attendant upon hurried distribution.

8. The desirability that contributions, especially those in kind, shall
be sent without restrictions, as only the local organization is able to
measure relative needs at different periods of the work.

9. The recognition of the American National Red Cross, with its
permanent organization, its governmental status, and its direct
accountability to Congress for all expenditures, as the proper national
agency through which relief funds for great disasters should be
collected and administered; thus securing unity of effort, certainty of
policy, and a center about which all local relief agencies may rally.


We have to recognize:

1. The need, in at least the early stages of rehabilitation, of the
district system, in order to facilitate application and investigation
and to insure prompt committee action upon calls for assistance.

2. The need of a bureau of special relief from beginning to end of the
rehabilitation work in order to meet the emergent and minor requirements
of families and individuals without having to use the necessarily
complicated slow-moving machinery of the rehabilitation organization

3. The fact that even in a community where the residences of over half
of the population have changed and the business section has been
completely destroyed, it is possible to make individual investigations
of family wants such as will generally mean the adding of the judgment
of one outsider at least to that of the family.

We have to recognize further:

4. That the period of time elapsing between applications and grants will
not be greatly altered if, after the early stages of rehabilitation, a
centralized system is substituted for a district system.

5. That a flexible scheme of rehabilitation is furthered when no rigid
limit is fixed for an individual grant and deliberation is required in
each case where a grant of large amount is made.

6. That though rehabilitation may proceed generally along the line of
fortifying each family in one particular direction, as for instance, in
its business relations or housing accommodations, it will always be
necessary to provide a considerable proportion of the families with
subsidiary grants for other purposes.

7. That any centralized system which attempts to fix arbitrarily the
different types of cases with which different committees shall deal will
create a certain amount of confusion. If a centralized system seem
desirable, the question is whether the committees in the central office
should not have authority to consider cases according to geographical
divisions rather than according to typical classes of applicants.


We learn, and the fact deserves to stand apart:

That when grants are made for the re-establishment in business of
persons of little ability or experience, close supervision of plans and
expenditures by agents of the relief committee is necessary to secure
the best results.


We have to recognize:

1. That to provide but one form of housing rehabilitation is far from

2. That in a general way the three forms provided in San Francisco met
the needs of the three general classes to be reached.

(a) With reference to the camp cottages it is too soon to say how
successful the experiment will ultimately be of giving cottages for
removal to other sites to those who may be classed as comparatively weak
in resourcefulness and character. It is certain, however, that the
permanent close grouping of the cottages in great numbers on open lots
is a danger to be guarded against.

(b) With reference to the grant and loan houses, though it seems that in
general the houses built by applicants were better than those built by
the housing committee for the applicants, it by no means follows that
direct grants of money if commonly adopted would always bring good
results. Individual capabilities must be one determining factor. As to
grants and loans, it may be said that a double standard is not
practicable. A grant on one house and a loan on its neighbor lead to
dissatisfaction and often failure on the part of the borrower to meet
his debt.

3. That because of the highly specialized business ability required, a
separate department of the relief organization should have charge of all
building and details of building.

4. That decisions upon housing applications and dealings with housing
applicants should be centered in a rehabilitation department.


We are brought to see that:

1. The applications made to an emergency relief organization will not
include all who, as a result of the disaster, will eventually be obliged
to seek succor. It is demonstrated that some permanent agency must be
prepared to help those who, fighting heroically to the very end of their
resources, give up after the temporary relief organization has
discontinued active work.

2. The number of sufferers who need after-care may be increased by
families who have been attracted to the city by illusive expectations of

3. The problems of family relief after a great disaster are essentially
those requiring the personal care and attention which are characteristic
of the work of an associated charities under normal conditions. The
number of families that have come to the San Francisco Associated
Charities in the years since the Corporation turned over the relief work
to it, has been far larger than before the fire. It follows that for
some years after so tremendous a disaster there should be an increase in
the force of trained workers proportionate to the increase in the
applications for rehabilitation. The community must be prepared to pay
the additional cost.

4. Grants of relief, when they must be given regularly and for a
considerable period (in the form that is often described as pensions),
should be sufficiently large to assure reasonable standards of living.


We see finally that:

1. A great disaster increases especially the number of the aged and
infirm who become public charges.

2. One of the tasks of delicate readjustment is to remove from the
almshouse the aged men and women who, merely through the rough chance
of a great catastrophe, are thrown with those whose lifelong habits and
disabilities lead to the almshouse.

3. A critical test of the quality of a community is how far the
responsibility for the aged, infirm, and handicapped who, save for the
disaster, would never have become dependent upon public relief, is
resumed by relatives, friends, or others who in the ordinary course of
events would have cared for them; how completely the standard of private
and family care for them shall be as though the disaster had never





   1. List of Members Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross
      Funds and Its Permanent Committees                             377
   2. General Orders No. 18                                          379
   3. Extracts from The Army in the San Francisco Disaster. By
      Brigadier General C. A. Devol                                  383
   4. Letter from General Greely to James D. Phelan                  387
   5. Plan of the Executive Commission                               391
   6. Original Housing Plan                                          394
   7. The Incorporation of the Funds                                 398
   8. Appointment of Board of Trustees Relief and Red Cross Funds,
      February, 1909                                                 401
   9. List of Official Camps                                         404
  10. Grants to Charitable Organizations                             405
      A. By Denominations and Nature of Work                         405
      B. By Denominations                                            405
  11. Rehabilitation Committee: Details of Administration            406
            I. Directions given by the Associated Charities          406
           II. Monthly budgets                                       408
          III. Method of work beginning July 7, 1906, in connection
               with the district [section] organization              408
           IV. The centralized system                                412
            V. Consideration of cases out of turn                    412
           VI. A lesson learned regarding records                    413
          VII. Loose ends                                            415
         VIII. Bookkeeping and registration notes                    415
  12. General Plan of Housing Committee                              417
  13. Statistics from Associated Charities                           419
      A. Receipts of San Francisco Associated Charities from all
         sources, by months, from June, 1907, to September, 1912,
         inclusive                                                   419
      B. Disbursements of San Francisco Associated Charities for
         relief and for administration, by months, from June, 1907,
         to September, 1912, inclusive                               419





  James D. Phelan, Chairman
  J. Downey Harvey, Secretary
  Rufus P. Jennings (elected Secretary in the beginning but resigned)
  James L. Flood (resigned July 16)
  Thomas Magee
  M. H. de Young
  W. F. Herrin
  Herbert E. Law
  William Babcock (resigned June 29)
  I. W. Hellman, Jr. (appointed in place of I. W. Hellman)
  Rudolph Spreckels (appointed in place of Claus Spreckels)
  Charles Sutro, Jr.
  Allan Pollok (appointed April 21)
  Garret W. McEnerney, elected to membership April 24th
  Frank G. Drum, elected to membership April 24th
  Joseph S. Tobin, elected to membership April 24th in place of
  R. J. Tobin

Elected April 24 to represent the California Branch of the Red Cross:

  W. W. Morrow
  John F. Merrill
  Horace Davis

Appointed later:

  F. S. Stratton, appointed April 30
  F. W. Dohrmann, appointed June 29 on nomination of California Red
  Cross to succeed John F. Merrill, resigned.
  Charles S. Wheeler, appointed July 13 to succeed William Babcock,

NOTE: At the meeting of April 30 Dr. E. E. Baker of Oakland was
appointed to Finance Committee to represent Governor Pardee, at the
latter’s request. Later in the same meeting it was arranged that, since
Dr. Baker’s duties prevented him from attending meetings, he should be
represented on the Finance Committee by F. S. Stratton. Mr. Stratton was
from that date on a member of the Finance Committee, representing both
the Governor and the Oakland Relief Committee.


_Committee of Supervision_ (appointed April 22)

  Allan Pollok, Chairman
  F. W. Van Sicklen
  A. Haas
  Wm. Cluff
  J. Solomon
  Nathan Bibo
  R. B. Hale
  L. P. Lowe
  W. L. Harvey
  D. Samuels
  R. D. McElroy
  Edward Heller
  W. F. Williamson

_Purchasing Committee_ (also called Purchasing Agents, appointed April

  Allan Pollok
  Edward T. Devine

_Auditing Committee_ (appointed May 7)

  M. H. de Young, Chairman
  Joseph S. Tobin
  Frank G. Drum

_Committee on Hospitals_ (appointed May 9)

  Edward T. Devine, Chairman
  J. Downey Harvey
  Allan Pollok

_Rehabilitation Committee_ (authorized May 5, appointed June 29)

  Edward T. Devine, Chairman (succeeded Aug. 6 by Mr. Dohrmann).
  Rev. D. O. Crowley, representing Archbishop Riordan
  Rev. J. A. Emery, representing Bishop Nichols
  Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger
  O. K. Cushing (Treasurer)
  F. W. Dohrmann (Chairman from Aug. 6 on)
  Dr. John Gallwey

Later appointments made by the Executive Committee were

  Ernest P. Bicknell, appointed July 31 to succeed Dr. Devine
  C. F. Leege, appointed July 31 alternate for Mr. Dohrmann and on Nov.
    2, member, to succeed Mr. Bicknell
  Abraham Haas, appointed Nov. 2 to succeed Rabbi Voorsanger
  Frank Miller, appointed Nov. 9 to serve during Mr. Dohrmann’s absence.
    On Nov. 2 Mr. Dohrmann was granted leave of absence for 90 days and
    Mr. Cushing was appointed Acting Chairman in his place


  Edward T. Devine, Chairman (appointed by the American National Red
  Edward F. Moran (appointed by the mayor)
  George H. Pippy (appointed by the Finance Committee)



  SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., _April 29, 1906_.

I. In order to economically and efficiently perform the non-military
duties of distributing relief supplies, the City of San Francisco is
hereby divided into seven civil sections, as described in Paragraph XIV.

II. The following named officers are charged, generally, with
administrative duties, as follows:

1. Major Lea Febiger, Inspector General; in general charge of the
organization of relief stations, of their personnel, methods of
administration and requisitions. Headquarters: Hamilton School Building,
on Geary Street near Scott Street.

2. Major C. A. Devol, Depot Quartermaster; with all questions of
transportation, storage, and allied duties. Headquarters: Presidio

3. Major C. R. Krauthoff, Depot Commissary, with the commissary duties
in connection with providing food supplies and the filling of
requisitions approved by Major Febiger, Dr. Edward T. Devine, Special
Representative of the National Red Cross, or other duly authorized
agents or officials. Headquarters: Folsom Street Wharf.

4. An officer of the Army, not yet selected; with supplies other than
food, and the filling of requisitions for such supplies after approval
by Major Febiger, Dr. Devine, or other duly authorized official. Pending
his selection these duties will be performed by Major Devol.
Headquarters: Presidio Wharf.

5. Lieutenant Colonel G. H. Torney, M. D., U. S. A., has been placed in
charge of all sanitary work. He is charged with the proper organization
of sanitation, the formulation of regulations to carry out the proper
measures of safety against any danger from unsanitary conditions,
co-operating with the Health Commission of San Francisco.

6. Colonel W. H. Heuer, Corps of Engineers, is charged with all duties
relating to engineering problems connected with the work in hand and in
this connection will consult freely with the civil authorities in regard
to the water supply, sanitation and all other matters in which
engineering skill is required.

III. As far as practicable, all applications for relief, (whether for
food, clothing, tentage or bedding) will be made direct to, and the
administrative business connected therewith transacted directly with,
the officers above named. This will facilitate relief and centralize
data and action relative thereto. The officers named will, as far as
possible, transact their business with each other and with outside
applicants direct, that is, without reference to Division Headquarters,
the object being to insure an economical, efficient and prompt service
for the distressed and destitute.

IV. 1. As soon as practicable an officer of the Army, with assistants,
will be assigned to each of the seven sections enumerated, with the
view of co-ordinating the work, and introducing at the earliest moment
such methods as will prevent dishonesty or wastage, eliminate the
unworthy and impostors, and insure economical administration.

2. Wherever an officer of the Army is not available a responsible
civilian of the locality, designated by Dr. Devine, will be placed in
immediate charge of each relief station, and assisted in organizing a
proper personnel to carry on the work.

3. As soon as possible, rigid daily inspections will be made of every
relief station, and local regulations introduced with the view of
correcting abuses, neglects or mistakes. Relief stations will be reduced
in number and personnel limited to the smallest possible number
consistent with pressing demands.

4. The officer or person placed in immediate charge of each relief
station will be carefully instructed by the officer in charge of the
civil section to make his requests in duplicate, and those for food
supplies must be separate and distinct from those for clothing, bedding,
tentage, etc., because they must be filled from different supply
departments. All requests must be in duplicate, and submitted through
the officer in charge of the civil section to Major Febiger, at the
Hamilton School Building, on Geary Street near Scott. In case of
immediate need the requisition may be taken direct to Major Febiger.

V. It is expected and desired that commanders of military districts in
San Francisco, charged with guarding of public buildings and other
military duties, shall extend advice and, as far as practicable, needful
assistance in the interests of the non-military duties of relief.

VI. Charges of wastage, deception, theft and improper appropriation of
relief supplies have been freely made, and it is claimed that the food
supply in some cases is too lavish in quantity, and is being issued
without suitable discrimination. The period of extreme distress for food
has passed, and at the earliest possible moment the issue of rations
must be confined to helpless women and children, and refused to adult
males, unless they are sick or in feeble condition.

VII. For the information of Division Headquarters, a system of
inspection will be established through the Inspector General’s
Department, in order that the inspectors may be facilitated as much as
possible in gaining information giving a clear idea as to how the work
is going on. All officers connected with the distribution of supplies
will keep such memorandum records, aside from their regular records, as
will enable them to give to the inspectors a summary of the work being
done, the method pursued, and in general such information and
recommendation as they may have for improvements and economy.

VIII. The following permanent relief ration is fixed, the amount being
stated in allowance per ration or per 100 rations:


  10 oz. canned meat or salt meat or canned fish, or

  14 oz. fresh meat to the ration.


  14 oz. fresh bread or 10 oz. hard bread, or crackers or

  12 oz. flour to the ration.


  1 lb. coffee to 15 rations or

  1¹⁄₂ lbs. tea to 100 rations.


  1¹⁄₂ oz. beans, peas, rice or hominy, to the ration.

  ³⁄₄ lb. fresh vegetables (80 per cent. potatoes, 20 per cent. onions)
  to the ration.


  1 oz. dried fruit to the ration.


  15 lbs. sugar to 100 rations.

  3 quarts vinegar (or pickles) to 100 rations.

  2 lbs. salt to 100 rations.

  4 oz. pepper to 100 rations.

  4 lbs. soap to 100 rations.

  1¹⁄₂ lbs. candles to 100 rations.

It is recognized that exact conformity to articles herein mentioned is
at present impracticable. However, the ration, commencing at noon,
Tuesday, May 1, 1906, will be confined to the articles herein named, or
proper substitutes equivalent thereto.

IX. After May 1, 1906, no rations beyond the articles above named, or
their substitutes, will be issued from any relief station or district
under military control, except on the prescription or order of a
reputable physician or other competent authority. Issues of luxuries, or
articles of special diet must be confined to infants or invalids. Any
other course will speedily exhaust the very limited means of subsistence
now at the disposal of the Army and of the Finance Committee of Relief
and Red Cross Funds.

X. At the earliest practicable moment, each of the four officers charged
with the supervision of the work of distribution of supplies will report
approximate data from which the Division Commander can determine.

  A. The amount of United States supplies actually received to date by
  the Army and the amount in transit.

  B. The total amount of all kinds of supplies (army relief and other
  relief) actually received to date by the Army.

  C. The total amounts issued daily to stations distributing food,
  clothing, tentage, etc., under Army control.

  D. Same for those not under army control in San Francisco.

  E. Amounts issued to towns outside of San Francisco.

While present reports through lack of sufficient force and supervision,
cannot be exact, it is expected that they will as soon as possible be
reduced to the methods generally in vogue in the Army.

XI. Officers in charge of departments will submit a report as soon as
conditions permit, of the disbursements made, or indebtedness contracted
in carrying out the relief work by the Army. They will immediately
submit requisitions for necessary funds, giving the period which they
are expected to cover, such requisitions to be accompanied by notes
explaining the reason and necessity for such funds.

XII. Officers charged with these duties will be expected to make such
daily record as to enable them to make weekly, or when otherwise called
upon, a brief report of the work done, and when the civil authorities
resume the work to present a complete report covering their entire

XIII. Rigid economy is enjoined on every officer of the army engaged in
relief work. No indebtedness will be contracted without the authority of
one of the officers named in this order or the department or division
commanders. It is desired and directed that any unusual and abnormal
expense be reported verbally or in writing to the Division Commander so
that authority covering expenditures, apart from the necessary ones of
the employees, material and ordinary routine, may be specifically


  [284] In General Circular, No. 1, May 1, 1906, Section 1 is defined as
  the section in which relief stations are numbered between 1 and 100;
  Section 2, between 200 and 300, and so on. This numbering was used
  instead of that of General Orders No. 18.

1st Section wherein all official relief stations are numbered between 1
and 100, is bounded as follows: On the south by Fulton street, on the
east by Devisadero street, on the north and west by San Francisco Bay,
and Pacific Ocean, including Presidio Reservation, but not including
Fort Miley reservation.

2nd Section wherein all official relief stations are numbered between
101 and 200 is bounded as follows: On the north by Fulton street, on the
east by Devisadero street and Castro street, on the south by 18th and L
streets, on the west by the Pacific Ocean.

3rd Section wherein all official relief stations are numbered between
201 and 300, is bounded as follows: On the north and east by San
Francisco Bay, on the south by Union street, on the west by Devisadero

4th Section wherein all official relief stations are numbered between
301 and 400, is bounded as follows: On the north by Union street on the
east by the Bay, on the south by Market street, on the west by
Devisadero and Castro streets.

5th Section wherein all official relief stations are numbered between
401 and 500, is bounded as follows: On the north by Market street, on
the east by the Bay, on the south by 18th street, on the west by Castro

6th Section wherein all official relief stations are numbered between
501 and 600, is bounded as follows: On the north by 18th street, on the
east by the Bay, on the south by the County Line, on the west by the
Southern Pacific Railroad.

7th Section wherein all official relief stations are numbered between
601 and 700, is bounded as follows: On the north by L and 18th street,
on the east by the Southern Pacific Railroad, on the south by the County
Line, on the west by the ocean.

  _Colonel, General Staff, Chief of Staff_.

  W. G. HAAN,
  _Captain, General Staff, Military Secretary_.




  [285] Extracts from article printed in the Journal of the United
  States Infantry Association, Vol. IV, No. 1, pp. 59-87.

At 7:45 on the morning of the disaster Companies C and D, Engineer
Corps, arrived from Fort Mason and were reported to the Mayor and Chief
of Police. They were directed by the former to guard the banking
district and send patrols along Market Street to prevent looting. At
8:00 a.m., the Presidio garrison, consisting of the 10th, 29th, 38th,
66th, 67th, 70th, and 105th Companies of Coast Artillery; Troops I and
K, 14th Cavalry; and the 1st, 9th and 24th Batteries of Field Artillery,
began to arrive.

The Headquarters and 1st Battalion 22d Infantry, were brought from Fort
McDowell by boat, arriving at 10:00 a.m., and were held for a time in
reserve at O’Farrell Street. They were later utilized as patrols and as
an assistance to the fire department. The Fort Miley troops, the 25th
and 64th Companies Coast Artillery, had a longer march and did not
arrive until 11:30 a.m.

Troops subsequently arrived in the city as follows:

April 19. Companies E and G, 22d Infantry, from Alcatraz Island;
Companies K and M, 22d Infantry, from the depot of recruits and casuals,
and the 32d, 61st and 68th Companies Coast Artillery, from Fort Baker;

April 21. Headquarters and two battalions 20th Infantry, from Presidio
of Monterey;

April 22. Headquarters and ten companies 14th Infantry, from Vancouver

April 23. The 17th and 18th Batteries Field Artillery from Vancouver

These troops were all stationed in the Pacific Division and were ordered
to San Francisco by the Division Commander. Troops arriving later by
orders from the War Department will be enumerated later. It is believed
the prompt appearance of the United States troops on the streets of the
city was an object lesson to the minds of the evil-disposed, reminding
them that the law of the land still existed with ready and powerful
means at hand to enforce it, and was of incalculable moral and material
benefit to the city.

General Funston moved into the Commanding General’s quarters at Fort
Mason, establishing both Division and Department Headquarters at that
point, and the Signal Corps immediately began to stretch wires for
telegraph communication to various points of importance in the city.

The entire force in the city finally consisted of 1 Major-General, 1
Brigadier-General, the 1st and 14th Regiments of Cavalry, the 10th,
25th, 27th, 29th, 32d, 38th, 60th, 61st, 64th, 65th, 66th, 67th, 68th,
70th, and 105th Companies Coast Artillery; the 1st, 9th and 24th
Batteries Field Artillery; the 11th Battalion Field Artillery,
consisting of the 17th and 18th Mountain Batteries; the 10th, 11th,
14th, 20th and 22d Regiments of Infantry; Companies C and D, Corps of
Engineers; Companies A and B, Hospital Corps; Companies A, E and H,
Signal Corps, and 168 staff, detailed and retired officers, a grand
total of 6000 men and officers. To these men were added during the
earlier days a large force of the navy, a battalion of marines, and a
force of naval apprentices, also the force of the National Guard, State
of California.

Officers of the Quartermaster’s Department were stationed at Oakland
Pier, Point Richmond, the Santa Fe freight yard, Entries Nos. 1, 2, 3,
and 4, Quartermaster Depots Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. Officers of the
Subsistence Department were stationed at the Food Depots, Nos. 1, 2, and
3. The various Quartermaster and Commissary Depots were connected by
wire with the office of the Depot Quartermaster, which had been
established in the Quartermaster Warehouse at the Presidio, and the
Commissary Depots connected with the office of the Depot Commissary,
which was established at Folsom street dock. Every arriving car was
checked up across the bay, either at Oakland Pier or Point Richmond.
Every lighter leaving for any of the entries was reported by wire to the
Depot Quartermaster with the car numbers and what entry consigned to.
The Depot Quartermaster could thus control the supply and balance the
arrivals at the different entries, wiring orders to deliver more or less
at the different points as occasion demanded. A dispatch boat was put in
service, making two trips daily to Oakland Pier. At each trip, yard car
slips giving complete list of cars with numbers and contents were
forwarded to the main office. These were abstracted as fast as they came
in and from this abstract acknowledgment of arrival was made to all
donating parties in the different parts of the country. This branch of
the work was most important, as Relief Committees in the various cities
and towns were always desirous of obtaining information which would
enable them to inform the people of their community that the stores had
arrived in San Francisco and had reached the suffering people. The
record also enabled satisfactory answers to be given to the hundreds of
inquiries by wire and mail from all over the country on this subject.
Every car load was finally accounted for and inquiries answered locating
stores, except in some cases of individual packages.

The Quartermaster-General had been asked by wire to have the number of
every car of military supplies reported to San Francisco by wire as soon
as it was dispatched. These instructions were promptly given, and this
advance information aided very greatly in preventing confusion.

The stores for the Presidio were delivered by river steamers acting as
lighters from cars at Oakland Pier. At Entry No. 2, or the three docks
above described, deliveries were from river steamers acting as lighters
and also from cars delivered alongside of the docks by floats. Entry No.
3 was by cars sent across the bay on floats and delivered at the 3d and
Townsend Railroad yard, which fortunately was not destroyed by fire. The
small amount of freight that arrived from the south also came into this
depot. Entry No. 4 was from the Santa Fe Railroad by float to the Spear
and Harrison freight depot. The steamships delivered at the three docks,
8, 10, and 12. It will thus be seen that there were four avenues through
which supplies could reach the city simultaneously, and by night as well
as by day.

Forty-five officers were detailed on arrival to take charge of various
stations throughout the city. Fifteen were ultimately detailed as
assistants to the Depot Quartermaster, and placed in charge of the
various entries and depots, as above stated. As the various stations
were established in all administrative departments, the Signal Corps
connected up the stations by wire with the main offices and Department
Headquarters. Operators were placed at all instruments and
communications by day and night established. During the first three days
issues were made from the quarter-master supplies in store at the four
depot warehouses at the Presidio, which amounted to 3,000 tents, 13,000
ponchos, 58,000 shoes, 24,000 shirts and other articles necessary to
relieve immediate suffering. This issue was made in the face of
necessity without any authority, but when reported was promptly approved
by the Secretary of War.

The Finance Committee asked that the army take over all transportation
in the city for all purposes for betterment of management in
systematizing under one head. The Division Commander directed the Depot
Quartermaster to take it over, and Captain Peter Murray, Quartermaster,
8th Infantry, was directed to report to him for that purpose. An office
for this part of the transportation was established at Hamilton School,
and in two days the number of hired teams for this part of the work was
cut down from 557 to 109.

The population of San Francisco had spread over the surrounding country,
refugees in large numbers going to San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda
and Sausalito, and naturally the people in these outlying towns demanded
their proportionate share of relief. Officers were sent to the various
interested sections and remained in charge, the system being similar to
San Francisco. The distribution, however, of supplies over this enlarged
territory added considerably to the burden which relief workers were
already carrying.

The gradual evolution of a completed camp system had kept pace from day
to day with the growth of other relief work. As before stated, there
were on hand at the Depot Quartermaster’s storehouse for immediate issue
some 3,000 tents (common), and 12,000 shelter tents. This canvas placed
indiscriminately wherever ground was available initiated what grew into
a very complete system of camps. By the prompt action of the War
Department, tentage had been shipped by express from different depots in
the United States and soon became available, there being finally issued
some 25,000 tents, many of which were conical, and wall tents of large

As fast as camps were established the outlying and scattered tents in
that vicinity were called in and placed systematically as a part of the
camp. Each camp was known by number and each tent was known by number.

On May 29, General Orders were issued, defining the camps, the total at
that time being twenty-one, eighteen of which were in San Francisco and
the other three in outlying cities. The sanitary arrangements varied in
regard to the different conditions. Eighteen camps were variously
scattered through Golden Gate Park, the Presidio Military Reservation,
what is known as Harbor View Flat, Fort Mason Military Reservation, and
the various other parts of the city. No restrictions were placed on the
inmates of these camps save those required by decency, order, and
cleanliness. If the occupants persistently refused to obey the rules to
meet the above requirements they were obliged to forego the benefits of
government canvas and relief stores.




  June 15, 1906.

  Mr. James D. Phelan, Chairman,
  Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross Funds,
  Hamilton School, City.


  1. I understand from the morning papers that a telegram signed by you
  and Mayor Schmitz, has asked the retention of the Army on duty in San
  Francisco for ninety days from July 1st.

  2. I have seen Mayor Schmitz this morning and he concurs with me in
  the belief that the relief of the Army on July 1st is in the public
  interests, and after consideration of the opinions expressed by me in
  this letter, I trust that the Finance Committee will agree in the
  wisdom of withdrawing their request.

  3. The spirit of American institutions is obviously adverse to the
  quartering of troops in times of peace in large cities, which is in
  this case supplemented by reasons of a practical and economic
  character. From all sources, there is a consensus of opinion that the
  service of the Army for relief purposes in San Francisco was of great
  benefit to the city of San Francisco and the State of California. That
  July 1st marks the date on which federal troops should cease to guard
  stores, control camps, administer order and provide sanitation for
  civilians quartered on city grounds or private property, is my

  4. Your attention is called to the fact that there are classes of
  worthy citizens who in considerable numbers are now deprived of their
  ordinary means of gaining a livelihood, either by lack of public funds
  or from destruction of private business. Among these may be mentioned
  firemen, policemen, school teachers and physicians.

  5. Your attention is particularly called to the fact that a certain
  number of such persons could be given temporary employment by the Red
  Cross organization if the present guards and camp administrations of
  the Army were withdrawn. In short, the officers and men of the Army
  are now performing duties and rendering services which should be
  performed and rendered by the destitute men in San Francisco. I submit
  to your Committee whether it is advisable to favor a policy which thus
  discriminates against civilian labor because the work of the Army is
  done without expense to the Red Cross Funds.

  6. If the Red Cross was not amply supplied with funds, there might
  exist a necessity for free army labor but such is not the case. The
  morning paper reports that Mr. Bartnett is favoring the immediate
  distribution of the greater part of six million dollars now in the
  possession of the Committee.

  7. Of all the methods of relief that which most commends itself to me
  from a careful consideration of this question, is that advanced by
  Dr. E. T. Devine, and known under the general term of rehabilitation.
  There is no better way of rehabilitating a man than by allowing him to
  earn a living salary. In this case it can be conjoined with the care
  and relief of the destitutes who are rapidly being reduced in number.

  8. It has been unofficially advanced that the withdrawal of the Army
  would involve conditions of disorder and that sanitary conditions
  would not be as carefully observed as under strict military methods.
  It is believed that the rigidly enforced methods of the Army cannot be
  equalled by ordinary civilian control and it is also acknowledged that
  the suggestion of a soldier with a gun is more potent in enforcing
  order that the directions of a policeman with a club.

  9. On the question of order and sanitation, experience has shown that
  the people of San Francisco are self-respecting and desirous of
  conforming to proper methods of life as regards the three important
  points of order, decency and cleanliness. That this is a fact and not
  an opinion, is shown by the conditions attending the 43,000 people now
  under canvas in the City of San Francisco. Of this number 18,000 are
  under military supervision, while 25,000 are scattered elsewhere
  throughout the city. About 10,000 of these people have been
  continually under military supervision and 8,000 more have lately been
  taken in charge. It might be thought the 25,000 other people
  supplemented by the 8,000 lately transferred, would in the past two
  months have become centers of infectious diseases or the centers of
  disorder and violence, which has not been the case as infectious
  diseases have been sporadic and the conditions of order have been such
  that as far as I know no murder has been committed and only one or two
  assaults have been made.

  10. It appears to me that the time has arrived when some definite plan
  of organization should be formulated. At present no one connected with
  the Red Cross has any power to act, not even Dr. Devine, save as to
  certain expenditures for rehabilitation which in limited amounts have
  been appropriated.

  11. To illustrate a practical method of handling this question, a
  definite line of organization is herewith suggested. It is worse than
  useless to expect that the interests of the tens of thousands of
  people and sums of money running into the millions can be economically
  and efficiently administered by men giving such part of their time as
  remains after transacting their own business, to the questions of
  relief. There must be not only a paid personnel but to obtain men of
  character, efficiency and skill, they must be well compensated.

  12. The Finance Committee should allow no money to be spent except on
  estimates which should be submitted monthly in advance so that they
  may be properly discussed by the Finance Committee before paying the
  money. Emergencies can be met by allowing a small sum for each
  particular department for contingent expenses. It is believed that the
  duties of the Finance Committee should be confined to questions of
  policy and considering of estimates and authorizing them formally.

  13. The executive work should be done by three men who should receive
  a salary of not less than $5,000 per year. One member should be a
  special representative of the Red Cross and as Dr. Devine would
  probably not remain many months and his services are needed as an
  advisory to the Finance Committee, it is suggested that some one be
  named by Dr. Devine if he will not serve himself. The second member
  should be named by the Mayor of San Francisco and the third should be
  selected by the Finance Committee from individuals familiar with the
  industrial, commercial and business interests of San Francisco. This
  committee should divide the duties between themselves.

  14. Supplies should be centralized and should be in charge of a
  carefully selected man to receive $10.00 per day, with an assistant
  who should receive $5.00 per day. This official should under no
  circumstances have anything to do with the purchase of supplies but
  only be responsible for their receipt, care, and issue.

  15. Each camp should be placed under a very carefully selected officer
  of the Fire or Police Department who is on furlough; preferably to be
  Captains and Lieutenants of the Fire Department and Captains,
  Lieutenants and Sergeants of the Police Department, and should be paid
  according to the size and importance of the camp. The familiarity of
  these men with the people of San Francisco and their habits of
  authority should enable them to properly supervise these camps, which
  naturally would be under the general direction of one of the three
  executive members of the committee. The present surgeons should be
  replaced by doctors of executive ability and standing of which it is
  understood that there are many without practice. There should be about
  one doctor to each seven hundred persons and their pay should be from
  $3.50 to $5.00 per day.

  16. At places where guards are necessary, civilian watchmen, drawn
  largely from furloughed policemen and firemen and male school
  teachers, should be placed in charge. It might be added that wherever
  opportunity for women’s work offers, it should be given to school
  teachers of standing now on furlough.

  17. All expenses of sanitation and policing of these camps should be
  at the expense of the Red Cross. While they would be naturally
  subjected to inspection from time to time by the sanitary officers of
  the city yet such officers would, it is believed, not interfere unduly
  with the arrangements in these camps. There should be special police
  officers on duty at night at the larger camps, these also to be paid

  18. In short, an organized, well selected and properly paid personnel
  is indispensable to the successful handling of the relief work.

  19. Supplementary to the executive committee, there should be an agent
  charged with the rehabilitation work, acting under the special
  direction of Dr. Devine or his successor. The policy regarding
  rehabilitation should be liberal and a very considerable sum should be
  set aside therefor subject to distribution as Dr. Devine or his
  successor might direct.

  20. Briefly this letter looks to action and organization, which cannot
  progress satisfactorily while the Army is conducting independently a
  part of this work. There are large sums of money on hand and the
  public naturally has a right to demand results.

  21. Valuable time is being lost as regards questions of shelter and
  rehabilitation through lack of suitable organization.

  22. The Committee will think perhaps that I have expressed myself
  very forcibly in this matter, but my great interest in the adoption of
  the best and speediest means of restoring normal conditions in San
  Francisco and in the relief of its destitute, will, I hope, be viewed
  as excuses for my speaking freely and fully, and offering definite
  advice relative to the work in hand.

  23. In view of the great importance of the interest the municipality
  has in this work, I have furnished a copy of this letter to his Honor,
  Mayor E. E. Schmitz.

  24. May I then express the hope that the Finance Committee will agree
  with me that the Army will be withdrawn on July 1st.

  25. I may add that should the services of say half a dozen officers be
  needed in the way of advice and aid during July, I should be glad to
  take steps looking to their detail provided the Secretary of War
  approves which I believe he will.

  Very respectfully,
  A. W. Greely,
  Major General, Commanding



Submitted to the Finance Committee, Relief and Red Cross Funds, June 26,

  [286] See Part I, p. 20.

The work to be undertaken will naturally fall into eight main

I. MANAGEMENT AND SANITATION OF CAMPS. The camps are of four classes:

1. Military Camps on military reservations. These will continue under
the supervision of the military authorities and our only relation to
them will be to furnish any necessary food, clothing or other relief,
and to arrange for the eventual removal of any who are not able to make
their own arrangements.

2. Military camps in public parks and squares. The problem in these
camps is to provide superintendence, sanitation, policing and labor,
which are now supplied by the Army. The present organization should be
continued, the pay-roll being transferred but the personnel so far as
possible being retained from the commanding officer of camps down.
Estimates for the expense of conducting these camps for the month of
July have been supplied to the Finance Committee by General Greely and
appropriations in accordance therewith are recommended.

3. Camps in public squares or on other city property not under military
control. These camps should be immediately incorporated into the system
which now prevails in the military camps. The co-operation of the Park
Department, the Health Department, and the Police Department will be
essential, but we are informed by the Mayor that the expense of
sanitation and policing which has heretofore been borne by the Army will
have to be met from the Relief Fund and probably the same is true of the
non-military camps which will become a part of the same system.

4. Camps and straggling shacks and tents on private property. The
Commission will have no authority to interfere with persons living
either in tents or in temporary dwellings on private ground, but the
giving of any relief to such persons may be made subject to any
conditions which are considered necessary, and the intervention of the
Health Board may be asked whenever there are insanitary conditions.

II. WAREHOUSES. After July 1st, there will be only two warehouses, one
in the Moulder School, for provisions and the other, now in the Crocker
School, and about to be removed to the new warehouse, Geary and Gough
Sts., construction of which has been authorized by the Finance
Committee, for clothing and other relief supplies. It is expected that
the present management of these two warehouses can be continued, the
military officers now in charge being given leave for this purpose and
engaged by the Commission. In this event the officers, as
superintendents of the warehouses, will probably be made purchasing
agents of the Commission for the kind of goods of which they
respectively have charge.

III. HOT MEAL RESTAURANTS. There are now some 27 hot meal restaurants,
on which 10 cent and 15 cent tickets are issued by the Red Cross in the
several sections, to be redeemed by the Finance Committee. As these
restaurants are located in camps any necessary supervision of their
management and sanitation so long as they are continued may safely be
entrusted to the superintendent of camps and to those who are in charge
of the several camps under his direction. The Commission should assume
responsibility for the issuing of tickets and certifying the bills of
the contractors to the Finance Committee.

IV. SECTION ORGANIZATION. The civilian chairmen of the seven sections,
in addition to their duties in the distribution of food and clothing in
the relief stations have succeeded to the duties of the military chiefs
of sections, and they should be responsible to the Commission until
relieved, which cannot probably be earlier than the end of July. These
chairmen have given their entire time to this work since May 1st and
they should be paid for their services. They should be held responsible
in the immediate future for the distribution of clothing, meal tickets
and other relief and for the second registration which is now in
progress and which will bring to the Commission a large number of cases
in which gifts of money or its equivalent are required.

V. HOSPITALS. The care of the indigent sick has thus far been in part in
emergency hospitals maintained as a part of the camp system, and in part
in private hospitals on a per capita basis--payment being made to the
hospitals for each patient who is accepted as a proper charge on the
relief fund. It is desirable that the present plan be continued, under
the supervision of the Commission, the medical executor who has been
engaged by the Hospital Committee remaining in charge and supervising
the emergency hospitals in camps as well as the care in private
hospitals, of which the expense is met from the Relief Fund.

VI. SPECIAL RELIEF. This is now one of the most important parts of the
work to be done by the Commission. It includes all aid given to
individuals or families other than food or ordinary clothing. Its
key-note is rehabilitation. Its object is to enable those who are now
dependent on the relief stations, or whose means of livelihood have been
destroyed, to become self-supporting. The means employed are the
furnishing of tools, furniture, sewing machines or other things,
transportation to other places, or loan, as may be indicated by the
investigation in each instance. The Finance Committee has thus far
advanced $15,000.00 for experimental work in this direction. About 500
applications have been passed upon, and checks have already been drawn
and await signature, for over $3,000.00 in excess of the amount
appropriated. It is recommended that an additional appropriation for
this purpose be made at once. An advisory committee of 5 or 7 members
will be appointed in connection with this work.

VII. LOANS. The Commission has under consideration the advisability of
opening a department of loans on

  1. Pledges, such as are ordinarily deposited in pawn-shops.
  2. Real estate mortgage for the erection of homes.
  3. Chattel mortgage on furniture, etc., and
  4. Personal endorsement.

Such a department or departments would be of great service to persons
who do not wish to accept charity and who are still not in position
unaided to build, furnish their homes or get started in business.
Especially is this true on account of the delay and uncertainty in the
payment of insurance claims. The Commission is not yet prepared to make
a definite recommendation on this subject, and it is named only as one
of the departments of work which it may be desirable to undertake in the
near future.

VIII. HOUSING. The question of shelter appears to the Commission to be
the one of paramount importance--so important indeed as to require not
only further consideration by the Commission itself and by the Finance
Committee, but also the co-operation of a strong board of consulting
architects and builders who would doubtless be willing to assist the
Commission in this capacity without compensation. Estimates are before
the Commission for the construction of temporary dwellings of from
$200.00 to $400.00 each. His Honor, Mayor Schmitz, has expressed the
opinion to the Commission that instead of constructing such temporary
buildings efforts should be made to provide before the winter season a
sufficient number of permanent homes of an attractive character for all
who need to be housed. The Commission is inclined to accept this view
although it is admitted that some additional temporary barracks may be
found necessary if by September 1st, it appears that there will be a
shortage of permanent housing accommodations.

If the Finance Committee decides that it will be advisable that
$1,000,000.00 or some such amount be invested in acquiring land and
erecting homes to be rented and sold on reasonable terms of monthly
payment, it is probable that this sum can be greatly augmented by
investment from private parties, if for any reason the Government
deposits are not found to be available for this purpose. The business
can be so conducted as to pay a reasonable return on such investment and
still make the dwellings of moderate cost to the renter and purchaser.

FINANCES. It is understood by the Commission that complete financial
control remains with the Finance Committee as was suggested by General
Greely in his letter of June 15 to the Finance Committee. All work
undertaken by the Commission will be on estimates and plans submitted in
advance to the Finance Committee. All bills will be audited and paid by
the Finance Committee. The Commission will make only such purchases and
contracts and engage such employees as have been authorized by the
Finance Committee, and the certificate of the duly authorized officers
and agents of the Commission would become a warrant for payment when
found to be in accordance with the action of the Finance Committee.
Certified copies of resolutions authorizing given lines of work should
be supplied by the Finance Committee to the Commission. On the other
hand, to fix responsibility and prevent confusion, all executive work,
both for relief and for rehabilitation, should devolve upon the
Commission, which should be held responsible for initiating relief
measures, presenting them to the Finance Committee and subsequently
carrying them into effect.



Recommendations Submitted to Finance Committee, July, 1906

  San Francisco, Cal., July 10, 1906.

  James D. Phelan, Esq.,
  Chairman Finance Committee.


The Finance Committee at its last meeting referred to the Rehabilitation
Committee for consideration and report a proposition made in the Finance
Committee by Mr. M. H. de Young that a donation be made to any
workingman owning a lot in the burnt district of one-third of the value
of the dwelling to be erected on it, this donation however, not to
exceed in any case the sum of five hundred dollars, and to be paid, not
to the lot owner, but to the contractor who builds the house when it is
completed and clear of liens.

The Executive Commission has had under consideration various plans for
acquiring tracts of land and building homes for sale or rental, one such
plan having been referred to the Commission by the Finance Committee at
its last meeting. The Executive Commission has also appointed, with the
knowledge and approval of the Finance Committee, a consulting board of
architects and builders who have placed their services at our disposal
without compensation, both for expert counsel on general plans and for
the making of suitable designs for dwellings which might be built by the
Commission, or by individual lot owners.

Under these circumstances, both the Executive Commission and the
Rehabilitation Committee have given careful consideration to this
subject, and have held informal joint sessions in order that any
recommendations made by this Committee might have the endorsement of
both bodies, and might, if possible, be such as to secure the immediate
favorable consideration of the Finance Committee. It is agreed on all
sides that no time is to be lost if houses are to be made available
before the winter season, and before the tents which are now in use are
so dilapidated as to be uninhabitable.

The Rehabilitation Committee recommends the acceptance of the principle
that workingmen and others of moderate means whose homes were destroyed
by fire, who own lots in the burnt district, and who cannot obtain from
banks, building and loan associations or other societies enough to
rebuild without assistance, should be aided in rebuilding by a donation
or loan from the relief fund. This policy involves no new action by the
Finance Committee except the appropriation from time to time of such
sums as may be required by the Rehabilitation Committee to carry it into
effect. It is exactly in line with the work which that Committee was
created to undertake. This Committee is therefore already endeavoring to
ascertain how many applications are likely to be made for such donations
or loans, and devising such safeguards as will protect the operation of
the plan from the obvious abuses to which it might be subjected. If
there are any conditions of such grants which the Finance Committee, or
its members, would consider it desirable to call to our attention, it is
suggested that this be done at the earliest possible moment; and if the
Finance Committee disapproves the plan, that of course, should be
indicated before any further steps are taken. As soon as the information
is available, an estimate will be presented to the Finance Committee as
to the amount of money which is required to carry this policy into
effect. We consider it doubtful whether this plan, of itself, will go
very far towards providing shelter for the families now in tents, but
the time which has elapsed since the plan was proposed has not been
sufficient to enable us to secure accurate information on this subject.

The Executive Commission on July 9th held a conference with the
consulting Board of Architects and Builders, at which the Chairman of
the Finance Committee, the Mayor, and some of the members of the
Rehabilitation Committee were present, and the whole subject was
exhaustively considered. The conclusion reached was that no one plan had
been suggested which would completely solve the problem of housing the
homeless families, but that immediate action is desirable in the
following directions:

I. The first necessity is the shelter of those who are entirely
dependent. We recommend for this purpose the erection on city property
of an attractive permanent building or buildings on the cottage pavilion
plan for the care of aged and infirm persons, chronic invalids and other
adult dependent persons for whom it is not so much a question of
rehabilitation as of permanent maintenance. We recommend that such
building or buildings to be erected from the relief fund be large enough
to accommodate one thousand men and women, and that the maintenance of
the institution after it is erected be left to the municipality.
Alternative plans would be to care for these aged and infirm persons in
existing private institutions, on a per capita weekly basis similar to
that on which patients are now cared for in private hospitals, or to
make an allowance in the nature of a pension for their care, in private
families. We believe that the erection of a special pavilion would be
more economical and that it has the indirect advantage of enabling the
city to secure an attractive modern public home for aged and infirm
persons. The plan suggested, supplemented by the policy now in force of
caring for the indigent sick in hospitals and the ordinary operation of
the established charitable agencies of the city, will, it is believed,
adequately and humanely shelter those who are actually destitute, and
who, from lack of any earning capacity, must remain entirely dependent
upon public relief.

II. The next and more serious problem is the supply of dwellings for
families who ordinarily pay a moderate rental, who do not own land and
have no considerable savings, but who are in receipt of ordinary wages.
There are probably five thousand families now in tents or other
temporary shelter who are in this position. Possibly, if those who are
temporarily out of the city and who desire to return are included, this
number may be ten thousand. No accurate estimate is possible for the
reason that there is no information available as to what number have
already permanently removed to suburban towns, what number has been
absorbed in existing homes by the doubling up process, and what number
will build for themselves. What is certain, however, is that no real
beginning has yet been made by private enterprise or otherwise in the
erection of dwellings for the five thousand families of which we do have
knowledge, although nearly half of the long summer season, which,
fortunately, lay between the disaster of April and the winter season,
has already elapsed. It was, therefore, the unanimous conclusion of the
conference, and it is the official recommendation of the Relief
Commission that in addition to all that is done for individuals through
the Rehabilitation Committee some considerable contribution to the
supply of homes should be made directly from the Relief and Red Cross
Funds, either by financial assistance to private individuals or
corporations in building on a large scale, suitable dwellings, on
satisfactory terms; or by the creation for this particular purpose of an
incorporated body, which can make contracts and enforce legal
obligations. It is, therefore, recommended: that unless the alternative
suggested can be made immediately effective, eleven or more persons,
including the Mayor, the Chairman of the Finance Committee and suitable
representation of the National Red Cross, the Executive Commission and
the Rehabilitation Committee, be designated by the Finance Committee to
form a corporation under the laws of this State relating to corporations
not for profit, that not less than one million dollars be subscribed by
the Finance Committee as capital or as a permanent loan to this
corporation; that the homes thus provided be sold on a monthly
installment plan to families who were living in San Francisco on April
17th, and rented to those who are unable to purchase; that all income
from rentals and sales after meeting necessary expenses be invested in
the building of other houses, or for such other public philanthropic
objects as may be decided upon by the corporation with the consent of
the Finance Committee. After one year it might be found practicable and
desirable for the corporation thus formed to sell its remaining property
and interests to Savings Banks or otherwise, and to dispose of the
entire sum thus obtained for the relief of those who were still at that
time in any way in distress through the disaster, or if there were no
such distress, then for some public purpose which might be decided upon.

The essential thing at this time is that, at the earliest possible
moment some of the funds which are now lying idle in the treasury of the
Finance Committee, shall be put at work providing homes for the working
people of the community. The plan which we have recommended is proposed,
first, as a relief measure because the tents will not provide proper
shelter after October; second, as a measure of public policy, because,
in the interests of the community it is not desirable that San Francisco
shall lose her present population of working people merely because there
are not dwellings to be rented or bought; third, also as a measure of
public policy, because it is desirable that workingmen shall have the
opportunity to own their homes, and this opportunity is now afforded,
not on a charitable, but on a reasonable and just business basis; and,
finally, because the intelligent and efficient carrying out of the plan
proposed will enable the community to set a standard of attractive,
sanitary, safe, and yet comparatively inexpensive dwellings which will
have a beneficial effect not only in the immediate future, but for the
coming generation. The co-operation of the municipal administration in
enforcing suitable conditions as to sanitation, light, ventilation, fire
protection, etc., of the architects in making plans for convenient and
attractive homes at moderate cost, of the building trades in getting
these homes built, and of the Finance Committee in advancing capital and
creating a corporation which will ensure the purchasers against fraud or
injustice, will solve the housing problem and nothing less than this
co-operation will solve it.

In closing this report, however, the Rehabilitation Committee and the
Relief Commission alike wish to emphasize the fact that there is no
intention that the relief fund shall become a providence of the
refugees, solving all their difficulties and relieving them of all
individual responsibility. On the contrary, it is confidently expected
that each family will to the greatest possible extent solve its own
problems, find its own capital, decide on the plans for its own home,
discharge its obligations for any money advanced as soon as practicable,
and that if these recommendations are adopted the entire business will
be so conducted by the Rehabilitation Committee, the Executive
Commission and the corporation formed for the purpose of acquiring land
and building homes, as to preserve in full integrity the fundamental
traits of American character, individual initiative and personal

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Executive Commission and the
Rehabilitation Committee.

  Edward T. Devine,




(Incorporated July 20, 1906)


  James D. Phelan, President
  F. W. Dohrmann, First Vice President
  W. F. Herrin, Second Vice President
  J. Downey Harvey, Secretary
  Horace Davis
  Frank G. Drum (resigned Aug. 21, 1906, resignation accepted Feb. 26,
  I. W. Hellman, Jr.
  W. F. Herrin
  Rufus P. Jennings
  Herbert E. Law
  Thomas Magee
  Garret W. McEnerney
  Judge W. W. Morrow
  Allan Pollok
  Rudolph Spreckels
  F. S. Stratton
  Charles Sutro, Jr.
  Joseph S. Tobin
  Charles S. Wheeler
  Ex Officio, the Governor of California
  Ex Officio, the Mayor of San Francisco

Changes made later:

  O. K. Cushing, elected member and director April 16, 1907, to succeed
    Mr. Drum.
  Edward T. Devine, elected member July 27, 1906.

The plan of organization adopted by the Executive Committee of the
Corporation for conducting the five departments into which it divided
its work was as follows:


This department shall be in charge of the President or Acting President
of the Corporation. It shall comprise all matters pertaining to

Finances of the Corporation.

The donations made or promised to the Corporation.

The custody of funds on hand.

The General Office.

The Bureau of History.

All publications issued or made by this Corporation.

All Information to be given to the Press shall emanate from this
Department or shall be submitted for approval to this Department before
being printed except that each Chairman of the Department may transmit
information concerning the work contemplated or done in his Department
to the Press.

All automobiles except when assigned to their Departments, shall be in
the custody and under the direction of this Department.

The Staff of this Department shall consist of the Secretaries and
stenographers at large.

Accountants and Employees of the General Office.

The Janitors, door-keepers and messengers of the Office Building.

The Chauffeurs of the automobiles not assigned to other Departments.

The Committee and employees connected with the History Committee.

Any other employees for general work except those of the other


This Department shall be in charge of Chairman, M. H. de Young. It shall
comprise all matters pertaining to bills and demands against this

Staff of this Department shall be the employees required for the
examination of all bills and demands to be passed upon by this


This department shall be in charge of Chairman Rudolph Spreckels. It
shall comprise all matters pertaining to:

Camp and camp supplies.

Sanitary matters connected with camps.

Outside warehouses and contents of same.

The staff of this department shall be employees of the office of this
department, the Superintendent, officers and assistants and employees in
charge of or connected with camps; Officers and employees in charge of
or connected with Warehouses.


This Department shall be in charge of Chairman F. W. Dohrmann. It shall
comprise all matters pertaining to the business of the Special
Rehabilitation Committee appointed by this Corporation.

Of all applications for donations, relief and assistance not regularly
referred to the Special Rehabilitation Committee.

Of all matters connected with patients placed in hospitals on account of
this Corporation.

The Staff of this Department shall be:

The office employees required in addition to the staff of the Special
Rehabilitation Committee.


This Department shall be in charge of Chairman Thomas Magee. It shall
comprise all matters pertaining to the erecting of a municipal home for
the indigent and aged.

The erecting of temporary buildings for housing the refugees.

The granting of bonus for the building of individual homes.

The buying of land and erecting buildings on same to be rented or sold
on installments.

The collection of rent or payments for buildings rented or sold.

Any other provisions or plans for acquiring land, erection of buildings
and the providing of homes for families.

The Staff of this Department shall be:

Employees of the Office of this Department.

General Business Manager and Assistants.

Architects, Draftsmen and Builders required.

Legal advisers necessary for the transaction of the business of this



  Results of Conference between Chairman Executive Committee of San
  Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds and Representative
  American National Red Cross,
  January, 1909

All active relief work to cease at once. A reserve fund of $100,000 to
be set aside for the payment of all judgments or other legal claims, for
all refunds due camp tenants, and for meeting the current expense of the
corporation. All other reserve funds to be cancelled and the amounts
reserved transferred to a General Relief Fund. All receipts and any
balance left of the $100,000 reserve mentioned above to be paid into
this general fund.

Specific appropriations were made out of the new General Relief Fund for
certain philanthropic organizations to the amount of $150,000. The rest
of this fund was to be used as follows:

  The balance of the General Relief Fund, consisting of all the money in
  the hands of the San Francisco Relief and Red Cross Funds, a
  Corporation, not specifically reserved or appropriated as hereinbefore
  described, and all money hereafter received from cancelled reserves
  and appropriations and from collections, unexpended balances and
  receipts from whatever source as above provided, is hereby
  appropriated for the purpose of general relief. It is intended that
  this relief shall be of a character that will most speedily and
  effectually remove the needs and distress still existing or which may
  develop prior to April 18, 1911, as a direct or indirect consequence
  of the fire.


  To the end that the purposes of the Executive Committee, as above
  described, may be carefully and thoroughly executed, there is hereby
  created a Board of Trustees of Relief and Red Cross Funds. This Board
  shall consist of five members as follows: F. W. Dohrmann, Oscar K.
  Cushing, D. O. Crowley, John A. Emery, A. Haas.

  The existence of the Board shall terminate when its duties are
  completed, but in any event not later than April 18, 1911. The Board
  shall have power to fill vacancies in its membership, subject to the
  approval of the Executive Committee and of the National Director of
  the American National Red Cross. The officers shall consist of a
  Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer, to be selected by the Board,
  and the Board may partition its work into such departments or
  subdivisions as will expedite the discharge of its duties and increase
  its efficiency. Authority is hereby given the Board to defray from
  the fund in its hands, all the expenses necessary to the proper
  discharge of its trusts.


  The entire General Relief Fund remaining after the deduction of the
  amounts specifically appropriated as above described, shall be paid to
  the Board of Trustees by them to be expended at their discretion in
  such a manner and under such conditions as will strengthen the
  regular, organized, charitable and philanthropic agencies of the City
  of San Francisco.

  In making grants to charitable organizations, the Board of Trustees
  may prescribe conditions which will safeguard the fund and assure its
  careful and proper expenditure. Every organization to which a grant is
  made, shall be required to submit vouchers to the Board of Trustees
  for all money expended.

  The Board of Trustees shall fix the conditions under which specific
  grants shall be made, as above provided, to St. Luke’s Hospital, The
  Children’s Hospital, Roman Catholic Organizations, Jewish
  Organizations, German Organizations, such hospitals and kindred
  institutions as the Board itself is empowered to select.

  It is expressly provided, however, that all grants to hospitals or
  kindred institutions are to be conditioned upon a return, by the
  institutions, of free service to the poor, of value equivalent to the
  amounts of the grants. Within this requirement, the Board is to have
  full discretion.

  All current appropriations for individuals made in trust to the
  Associated Charities are hereby made subject to the Board of Trustees
  precisely as they were subject to the Rehabilitation Committee prior
  to February 1, 1909.

  If the trust herein created is not terminated prior to April 1, 1911
  the Board of Trustees, between April 1 and April 18, 1911, shall
  select organizations eligible under the terms of this trust, and allot
  to them in such sums and upon such conditions as it may determine, the
  entire amount of money remaining unappropriated in its hands.
  Provided, that any grant to a hospital or kindred institution shall be
  conditioned upon a return by the institution of free service to the
  poor of value equivalent to the amount of the grant.

  Upon the termination of the trust, the Board shall make a full report
  of its operations and disbursements to the Executive Committee, and to
  the American National Red Cross, and the records and papers of the
  Board shall be turned over to the American National Red Cross for
  preservation in its archives.

Both executive committees adopted along with this plan the following

  The American National Red Cross hereby agrees to forward to the Board
  of Trustees of Relief and Red Cross Funds the sum of $100,000 on or
  before March 1, 1909. This agreement is supplementary to the
  resolution of the Executive Committee of San Francisco Relief and Red
  Cross Funds, a Corporation, adopted February 4th, 1909, and will be
  without effect if said resolutions are rescinded or modified.

  It is understood that the balance of the unreserved principal of the
  Relief Fund, remaining in the hands of the American National Red
  Cross, after the payment of the amounts herein specified, shall be
  held subject to such final disposition as the circumstances warrant.

  This agreement before becoming effective shall be confirmed by the
  Central Committee of the American National Red Cross.

On February 4, 1909, the Rehabilitation Committee, at that time
consisting of the men who had just been designated members of the Board
of Trustees, met for the last time and listened to the resolution of the
Executive Committee quoted above. After directing the Treasurer to
return to the general funds all unexpended balances then in its hands,
the committee adjourned _sine die_. On the same day they met as the
Board of Trustees of Relief and Red Cross Funds and organized by the
election of

  Chairman,      F. W. Dohrmann
  Vice Chairman, Oscar K. Cushing
  Treasurer,     A. Haas

At the second meeting, February 12, the following committees were

  Committee   I Care of the Sick,       F. W. Dohrmann, Chairman
                                        Rev. D. O. Crowley
  Committee  II General Relief,         Oscar K. Cushing, Chairman
                                        Rev. J. A. Emery
  Committee III Housing and Sanitation, Rev. D. O. Crowley
  Committee  IV Accounts,               A. Haas



  Num-|      Location       | Opened or |     Maximum     |  Date of
   ber|                     |   became  |    population   |  closing
      |                     |  official |                 |
    1 |Presidio, nr. Gen.   |May 9, ’06 |2053--May 9, ’06 |June 12, ’06
      |Hosp.                |           |                 |
    2 |Presidio, Tennessee  |May 9, ’06 | 910--May 9, ’06 |June 12, ’06
      |Hollow               |           |                 |
    3 |Presidio, Ft.        |May 9, ’06 | 186--May 9, ’06 |June 12, ’06
      |Winfield Scott (For  |           |                 |
      |Chinese)             |           |                 |
    4 |Presidio, Golf Links |May 9, ’06 | 329--May 9, ’06 |May 20, ’06
    5 |Golden Gate Park,    |May 19, ’06|3000--June 30 and|Nov. 19, ’06
      |Children’s Playground|           |      Aug. 25,   |
      |                     |           |      ’06        |
    6 |G. G. Park, Speedway |June 1, ’06| 835--July 14,   |Aug. 23, ’07
      |(For Aged and Infirm)|           |      Sept. 26,  |
      |                     |           |      ’06        |
    7 |G. G. Park, Lodge    |May 19, ’06|1606--May 30, ’06|Dec. 17, ’06
    8 |Harbor View          |May 9, ’06 |2840--Aug. 25,   |Jan. 11, ’07
      |                     |           |      ’06        |
    9 |Lobos Square         |May 9, ’06 |4933--June 18 to |June 30, ’08
      |                     |           |      22, ’07    |
   10 |Union Iron Works     |May 9, ’06 |2240--Aug. 28 to |Dec. 1, ’07
      |                     |           |      31 & Sept. |
      |                     |           |      1 to 8, ’06|
   13 |Franklin Square      |May 19, ’06|1116--Nov. 23 to |Nov. 6, ’07
      |                     |           |      Dec. 1, ’06|
   15 |Fort Mason           |May 19, ’06| 850--May 19, ’06|June 12, ’06
   16 |Jefferson Square     |June 2, ’06|2000--June 2 to  |Aug. 23, ’07
      |                     |           |      21, ’06    |
   17 |Lafayette Square     |June 2, ’06| 622--June 29 to |Feb. 2, ’07
      |                     |           |      July 1, ’06|
   18 |Mission Park (before |June 5, ’06| 295--June 5-6,  |June 6, ’06
      |cottages were built) |           |      ’06        |
   19 |Duboce Park          |June 8, ’06| 650--Sept. 1-15,|Feb. 2, ’07
      |                     |           |       ’06       |
   20 |Hamilton Square      |June 5, ’06| 702--Dec. 3-8,  |Aug. 31, ’07
      |                     |           |      ’06        |
   21 |Washington Square    |June 6, ’06| 593--Feb. 7-July|Sept. 17, ’07
      |                     |           |      12, ’07    |
   22 |Alamo Square         |July 9, ’06| 857--Oct. 1, ’06|Mar. 13, ’07
   23 |Precita Park (Bernal)|July 6, ’06| 520--Feb. 25-May|Oct. 11, ’07
      |                     |           |      8, ’07     |
   24 |Columbia Square      |July 11,   |1500--Mar. 22 to |Nov. 26, ’07
      |                     |’06        |      July 12,   |
      |                     |           |      ’07        |
   25 |Richmond (Irregular  |Nov. 20,   |4130--May 20, ’07|Jan. 1, ’08
      |boundary bet. 13th   |’06        |                 |
      |and 15th, Lake, and A|           |                 |
      |Sts.)                |           |                 |
   26 |Ingleside (Ingleside |Oct. 9, ’06| 809--Nov. 22,   |Jan. 22, ’08
      |Race Track)          |           |      ’06        |
   28 |South Park           |Dec. 3, ’06| 648--Feb. 15 to |Jan. 7, ’08
      |                     |           |      May 15, ’07|
   29 |Mission Park (after  |Nov. 19,   |1600--April 16,  |Oct. 22, ’07
      |cottages were built) |’06        |      ’07        |
   30 |Portsmouth Square    |Dec. 18,   | 388--May 27-28, |Oct. 11, ’07
      |                     |’06        |      ’07        |

11 A small unofficial camp at Bothin, Marin County.

12, 14 No camps were given these numbers.

27 Land at 18th and 20th and Potrero Ave., selected as a camp site but
not used.

31 Garfield Park, selected as a possible site, but not used as an
official camp.




   Auspices under  |     GRANTS USED IN     |All grants
    which grants   +-------------+----------+
  were administered|Non-sectarian| Sectarian|
                   |     work    |   work   |
  Catholic         |    $93,720  |  $49,000 | $142,720
  Protestant       |     88,598  |   20,500 |  109,098
  Jewish           |      5,000  |   34,000 |   39,000
  Non-sectarian    |    285,600  |     ..   |  285,600
      Total        |   $472,918  | $103,500 | $576,418


    Organizations  |      GRANTS ADMINISTERED UNDER       |
        aided      +--------+----------+--------+---------+----------
                   | Roman  |Protestant| Jewish |  Non-   |All grants
                   |Catholic| auspices |auspices|sectarian|
                   |auspices|          |        |auspices |
  Benevolent       |        |          |        |         |
    organizations  | $38,000|  $12,600 | $20,000|  $66,000| $136,600
  Homes            |  28,000|    4,200 |   3,000|   43,500|   78,700
  Orphanages       |  22,000|   20,693 |    ..  |   13,500|   56,193
  Organizations for|        |          |        |         |
    aiding children|  27,500|   17,700 |    ..  |   26,550|   71,750
  Kindergartens    |     220|     ..   |   1,000|   10,150|   11,370
  Schools          |   7,500|     ..   |    ..  |     ..  |    7,500
  Hospitals        |  10,000|   22,905 |  10,000|   70,500|  113,405
  Clinics          |    ..  |     ..   |    ..  |   12,800|   12,800
  Settlements      |   3,000|    9,000 |   5,000|   29,500|   46,500
  Missions         |    ..  |    1,000 |    ..  |     ..  |    1,000
  Miscellaneous    |   6,500|   21,000 |    ..  |   13,100|   40,600
      Total        |$142,720| $109,098 | $39,000| $285,600| $576,418

In addition to the grants mentioned in the table there was paid from the
New York Chamber of Commerce Fund, to St. Luke’s Hospital $25,000, and
to the Children’s Hospital $25,000. The Massachusetts Association for
the Relief of California sent to the University of California Hospital



in the seven civil sections.

  1. A Section Agent will be appointed at the headquarters of each of
  the civil sections, to represent the Associated Charities, and to whom
  all the visitors shall report. The Section Agent shall have charge of
  the records, and it shall be her duty to see that the work hereinafter
  outlined is properly carried out.

  2. Each application card, as it is brought in by the visitor, must be
  catalogued by name in a card index. After being approved by the
  Section Agent as to the completeness of the investigation, it should
  be passed on by the Section Committee, and should then be sent to the
  Rehabilitation Committee.

  3. The recommendation of the Section Committee should be endorsed on
  the back of the card under the heading, “Investigator’s suggestions as
  to what should be done.”

  4. All letters or other papers relating to the case should be fastened
  to the card by a wire clip, and should be sent with it wherever it

  5. When the card is sent to the Rehabilitation Committee, the index
  card prepared by the Section Agent should be sent with it and the
  Rehabilitation Committee will place on the index card the number given
  by it to the application card on its records. This number will serve
  as the receipt of the Rehabilitation Committee, and will also give the
  Section Agent a ready reference to the records of the Rehabilitation
  Committee. The index card must be returned to the Section Agent by the
  messenger who brings it to the Rehabilitation Committee, and the
  Section Agent must keep a proper record of the index cards sent in, so
  that she will be sure to get them back.

  6. The Rehabilitation Committee will in due time report through the
  same messenger, to the Section Agent, the result of its action in each
  case. The receipt of the Section Agent will be taken in each instance.
  The character of its action will of course be based upon the merits of
  each case. In one instance, a request for transportation may be
  granted; in another, a check for a loan or grant of money may be
  furnished; in another, a requisition for certain supplies may be
  given; and occasionally, an application may be refused.

  7. When the report of the Rehabilitation Committee is received by the
  Section Agent, a brief note thereof must be made on the index card,
  and a notice should be sent to the applicant, requesting him to call
  at the Section Office. A printed form will be provided for this
  notice. Except in cases of refusals, the receipt of the applicant
  should be taken on the index card for whatever is given to him.

  8. In case a check is given by way of loan, it will be accompanied by
  a promissory note, which must be signed by the applicant when the
  check is given to him, and the Section Agent should sign the
  promissory note as a witness. This promissory note should then be
  returned to the Rehabilitation Committee by the messenger already
  referred to.

  9. The Rehabilitation Committee, in reporting its actions in each
  case, will attach a slip, giving directions to the Section agent as to
  what is to be done. (For instance, stating if a promissory note is to
  be taken, or giving other directions of a like character.)

  10. The visitor should notify the applicant in each case that he will
  receive a notice from the Section Agent as soon as his application has
  been acted upon by the Committee.

  11. The Section Agent must keep the Chairman of the section advised as
  to the result of each application, so that the Chairman may know what
  provision has been made for the applicant, and whether or not the
  applicant should move from the camp, or be denied further food
  supplies or other assistance.

  12. Visitors should indicate on the upper margin of the card,[287]
  just left of the words “National Red Cross,” the Section from which
  the card comes. Space should be left in the upper left-hand corner of
  the card for the number to be placed thereon by the Rehabilitation

  [287] Appendix II, p. 428.

  13. The name of the visitor and the date of the application should be
  written on the upper right hand corner of the card.

  14. In cases where applicants require Housing and nothing else, the
  registration cards should be held at the Section Headquarters, and a
  duplicate separate index should be kept on such cards, catalogued by
  name. It may be necessary to hold other cards, and these should be
  filed and indexed in the same way.

  15. One visitor in each section will be designated to act as a
  messenger between the Section headquarters and the office of the
  Rehabilitation Committee, so that she may keep in touch with the work
  of the Committee, and so that inquiries by applicants and such other
  questions as will naturally arise may be referred to her, to be taken
  up with the Committee when she calls. She will also bring back to the
  Section headquarters the result of the action of the Rehabilitation
  Committee, and should make at least one call a day on the Committee.

  16. A general agent of the Associated Charities will have supervision
  over the work of all the sections. It shall be his duty to see that
  the records are properly kept and that the work is correctly and
  rapidly performed. All Section Agents and Visitors shall be under his
  direction. He shall report to the General Secretary.

  17. A weekly report must be sent to the Rehabilitation Committee
  through the general agent, every Monday, showing for each section

  1. The total number of cases investigated.

  2. The number of cases investigated during the preceding week.

  3. The number of applications sent to the Rehabilitation Committee.

  4. The number of applications for Housing, etc., held at the section.

The plan outlined above was carried out until the closing of the section

II. MONTHLY BUDGETS. The monthly budgets of the Rehabilitation
Committee, including those of the Associated Charities, from July, 1906,
to June, 1907,[288] were as follows:

    Month  |Number of|  Total  | Expense |   Expense
           | employes| expense |   for   |for supplies,
           |         |         | salaries|    etc.
     1906  |         |         |         |
  July     |    134  |$8,600.00|$7,800.00|   $800.00
  August   |    170  |11,500.00| 9,573.50|  1,926.50
  September|    132  |10,000.00| 8,000.00|  2,000.00
  October  |     63  | 5,300.00| 4,130.00|  1,170.00
  November |     80  | 6,300.00| 5,300.00|  1,000.00
  December |    110  | 8,235.00| 6,735.00|  1,500.00
     1907  |         |         |         |
  January  |    114  | 8,594.00| 7,094.00|  1,500.00
  February |    110  | 8,000.00| 6,572.00|  1,428.00
  March    |     ?   | 6,000.00|    ?    |     ?
  April    |     31  | 2,500.00| 2,172.60|    327.40
  May      |     22  | 2,000.00| 1,744.40|    255.60
  June     |     20  | 1,750.40| 1,615.40|    135.00

  [288] This does not include budgets of other bureaus of the Department
  of Relief and Rehabilitation. Some of the figures are only
  approximately correct. They include employes: both the Associated
  Charities staff and the employes of the Committee. They do not include
  volunteers. The question marks indicate that data are not available.

DISTRICT [SECTION] ORGANIZATION. The system of entering applications and
filing records was carefully worked out.

  The applications recorded on the National Red Cross cards were taken
  to the Rehabilitation Office and put at once on the registrar’s desk.
  Each face card was clasped together with its continuation cards with
  an ordinary paper clip. The registrar and most of her assistants were
  young women who had had experience in indexing in the public and other
  libraries of the city. Duplicate index cards were each marked with the
  number of the case, which number was then entered on the National Red
  Cross card. The numbers were assigned consecutively. The cases were
  then placed in manila folders similar to those used in the index files
  of business houses, and were at once placed in boxes on the desks of
  the reviewers. At the same time the index card was placed in an
  alphabetical file with the number of the case. The surnames and
  Christian names of the applicants were entered in a book in
  consecutive order as the numbers were assigned.

  Each case was read by a reviewer who made underneath the
  recommendation of the section committee his own recommendation, which
  might or might not be identical in terms. A paster[289] was used on
  which to enter the recommendation made by the section committee or by
  the reviewer. After October 1, 1906, the recommendation was entered on
  the paster by the sub-committee of the Rehabilitation Committee, and,
  when a grant was made, the number of the check drawn was also entered
  on the paster. If more than one application were made, or more than
  one action taken by the committee, a separate paster was used for each
  application and for each decision.

  [289] See paster. Appendix II, p. 433.

  During the periods of district organization, as soon as reviewers had
  made their recommendations the cases were put in consecutive order in
  large boxes, to be acted on by the members of the Rehabilitation
  Committee. After a boxful had been approved or disapproved, they were
  taken to the bookkeeper’s department. Expert bookkeepers were found to
  be essential. The bookkeeper made entry of grant or refusal of grant,
  of cases referred or not found, in consecutive order in a cash
  journal. Each grant was recorded in the appropriate column, as,
  “Business,” “Household,” etc. On the cash journal page a running
  account was kept with the bank in which the funds were deposited. In
  the debit column were entered the appropriations as they were
  deposited, as well as returns upon loans and canceled checks. In the
  credit column was kept the amount of checks issued. Upon each check
  was entered the corresponding case number, so that there might be a
  double checking. The checks were then attached to the front of the
  record cards, and were presented to the treasurer for signing. The
  treasurer corrected any mistakes in drawing checks, and observed
  whether the rules of the committee had been followed, and if the
  approvals were in regular form.

  The signed checks were given to a responsible official, who
  reclassified the cases by sections. He then made a double memorandum
  receipt, and turned over the checks to the section messengers. The
  records were not returned to the sections with the checks. If a case
  had been refused, referred, or action taken other than making a grant,
  the record itself was sometimes referred back to the section. When the
  checks were received at the section office, notice was sent to those
  for whom they had been drawn. The banks upon which the drafts were
  made accepted the signatures of one or more salaried workers in each

  The records were of necessity handled by a great many people other
  than those responsible for the financial management. It was,
  therefore, very early deemed advisable not to file receipts of the
  applicants with the case records themselves. These receipts were kept
  in a separate place, being filed according to case number and being
  readily accessible for reference purposes. In not over 10 out of a
  total of 27,570 checks, were the checks given to the wrong person. In
  all except one of these 10 cases, the person receiving them had the
  same name as the endorsee. The instructions were very strict in order
  to make identification sure.

  As much exasperation and delay was at first caused by difficulty in
  finding case records when needed, a tracing system was introduced.
  Whenever a case was transferred from one person to another, or from
  one desk to another, a slip was made out, giving the number of the
  case and indicating from whom it was going and to whom. The tracing
  clerks had charge books with the case numbers in consecutive order.
  When each slip was received, the clerk entered against the case number
  the last charge, by initials or abbreviation, so that at any moment it
  would be possible to find who at that time had the case in charge. The
  rigid rule of the office was to note transfers immediately, and though
  there were violations of this rule, its importance was so deeply
  impressed upon the staff that the number of mistakes was comparatively
  small. Two thousand transfers were entered on one day, October 1,
  1906. When a case was ready for filing, the fact was recorded in the
  charge or tracing book. Each person was required to keep the cases
  with which he was dealing, at all times in consecutive order. Four
  hundred cases might be awaiting the review of the committee; another
  400 might be in the hands of the reviewers; and still another 400 in
  the hands of the filing clerks. The ability rapidly to find cases was
  materially increased by this simple arrangement.

  A special clerk received the case records from the auxiliary
  societies. He kept a book in which to enter the name of each case, of
  the society which referred it, and the grant asked for. This clerk
  took the cases himself to the registrar, kept a list of them, and saw
  that they were transferred from the registrar to the table of the
  committee, and from the committee’s table to the bookkeeping
  department. After the checks were drawn, he made sure that the records
  and the checks were taken to the treasurer. After the checks were
  signed, it was his duty to see that they were placed in the hands of
  officials of the proper societies. If other action were taken, he was
  responsible for seeing that a memorandum was given to the proper

  The special duty of another clerk was to wait upon the sub-committees
  while they were passing upon cases. This clerk arranged the cases in
  consecutive order, saw that the committee did not omit any, looked up
  cases considered out of their turn, made memoranda of cases returned
  for further investigation, etc.

  No applications theoretically were received at the Rehabilitation
  Office during the time of district or section organization. As a
  matter of fact, it was necessary to have at the central office from
  one to four reception agents. As far as possible the applicants who
  came to the Rehabilitation Office were referred to the Associated
  Charities office, but oftentimes it became necessary to treat a case
  as emergent. In addition to the interviewers, therefore, there were
  from one to four investigators at work from the center.

  Many of the transportation cases, after being registered, were
  referred directly to the secretary of the superintendent, who was
  practically the corresponding secretary for the office. It was
  necessary closely to watch these cases, to follow up a first inquiry
  with a second letter and sometimes with a telegram, and even in some
  cases with a third communication. Where these brought no replies, it
  was necessary to reconsider the case to see if the transportation
  should be ordered, with the insufficient information on file, or
  whether some other action should be taken. With the transportation
  cases awaiting answers were filed cases which awaited answers from
  business references. It was found necessary to check this file
  regularly at least twice a week.

  Upon the approval of recommendation for transportation, the cases were
  as in other instances sent to the bookkeeper. One of the bookkeepers
  entered in the Transportation Book the number of the card, the number
  of the order upon the railroad, the name of the applicant, the
  destination, the number of individuals, the number of tickets
  required, applicant’s contribution, railroad contribution, and
  committee’s contribution.

  _Letter of Information No. 2._

  Regarding transportation. Sent to the Sections July, 1906.

  With regard to applications for transportation it may be well to
  instruct you more fully as to what the railroads are doing for us and
  what we can be expected to do for applicants favorably recommended. As
  you know, the Rehabilitation Committee is receiving no free
  transportation from any of the railroads. The Southern Pacific is now
  quoting us two rates, the lower one to be used when the transportation
  expense is to be charged to this Committee, and the higher in cases
  only where the applicant himself is to pay. The best rate we can get
  for eastward bound refugees, when the whole expense is to be borne by
  this Committee, is that of one cent a mile as far as Chicago, St.
  Louis or New Orleans; half fare beyond in the Central Passenger
  Association, or Southern Passenger Association, territory to Buffalo,
  Pittsburg, and Atlanta, and full fare beyond any of these points to
  the seaboard. Where the applicant is himself to pay, he is charged at
  the rate of half fare as far as Chicago, which is equal to half fare
  as far as Buffalo or Pittsburg, and full fare beyond.

  The California and Northwestern Railway Co., will transport refugees
  free for us whenever it is a case of this Committee recommending that
  they pay nothing.

  In the matter of steamship transportation, the rates we are getting
  are not so favorable; the best seems to be a quotation of second cabin
  passage rates for first cabin accommodations, and perhaps a low
  steerage figure. We usually give the approved applicant a special
  letter to the Gen. Manager or Passenger Agent of the steamship company
  authorizing the company to charge us with the amount of fare and to
  make it as low as possible for this Committee. Of course, we demand
  nothing and only ask and recommend in each specific case.

  With this information you may be better prepared to advise applicants
  who are seeking transportation out of the city.

IV. THE CENTRALIZED SYSTEM. The centralized system caused but little
change to be made in the system of the Rehabilitation Office itself.
With the organization of the sub-committees, a requisition blank was
introduced. Whenever a committee desired a particular case, it was asked
to fill out one of these blanks, and send it to the registration office.
Secretaries of the committees had supervision of the clerical work done
in connection with each of their departments. The bookkeeping and
tracing systems remained practically the same.

V. CONSIDERATION OF CASES OUT OF TURN. The following letter was issued
by the superintendent in July, 1906.

  _Letter of Information No. 5_

  Regarding Emergency Cases

  “To all Sections:--

  “A number of cases have been forwarded with emergency cards, which
  should not have had them. The Committee assumes that few emergencies
  can possibly arise after a lapse of 3 months, which require immediate

  “An excellent illustration of a ‘mistaken’ emergency:--A carpenter,
  idle since the fire discovered eight days ago that he must have tools
  to go to a job the following date.

  “The emergency card was taken off by direction of the Superintendent
  because the natural query arose why had he not been working long
  before at something. As he had not, he could very well wait until his
  case was reached in regular order. Carpenters are at a premium.

  “Emergency cases delay appreciably the progress of other cases and
  should be reduced in number.”

  The letter notes an important point; namely, the delays and
  inconveniences that are caused by cases having to be considered out of

  On July 23, 1906, the Rehabilitation Committee voted that ordinarily
  no cases should be considered emergent unless sickness or death were
  involved. It goes without question, however, that such a rule could
  not be strictly lived up to. Unusual situations arose which had to be
  attended to. From time to time cases were sent back when the Committee
  refused to handle them as emergent. It is probably true that this
  particular question cannot be adequately dealt with by rules. The
  necessity is for responsible committees to maintain the closest sort
  of supervision and to refuse to consider out of turn cases which
  obviously do not demand immediate attention.

  With the establishment of Sub-committee No. 1, which had a revolving
  fund, the work was placed on a much better basis. With any letting
  down of the bars, the number of requests brought up, not only by paid
  workers, but by committee members, constantly increases. In the early
  days, the Rehabilitation Office was overrun at times by persons who
  were asking for special attention for families they knew. The need of
  taking up some cases out of turn is granted; the emphasis should be
  laid upon its regulation. It should be borne in mind that there is a
  high principle involved; that is, the rendering of strict justice to
  those families which have no friends at court, and which have not
  pressed their own claims.

rehabilitation work, it is quite apparent that the theory that a case
can be dealt with completely at one time is impractical. No set of rules
could or should effect the result of a family’s being considered once
only and then as a case be marked “finally closed.” A rehabilitation
committee should recognize that a large number of cases may be
re-opened, and plan its record system so that there will be no confusion
in interpreting the re-openings.

The second Red Cross card[290] and supplementary blank cards for
extended investigations, were the only general record cards in use. To
the Red Cross card a “paster”[291] was attached by its gummed end, each
time that a case was re-opened. The number of pasters on some record
cards was from five to 10. The charity organization experience is that
nothing can take the place of the chronological record. Owing to the
use of the pasters without the carrying on of the chronological record
the system failed.

  [290] Appendix II, p. 428.

  [291] Appendix II, p. 433.

Though the supplementary cards used in connection with the Red Cross
cards made a chronological record of the facts possible, there was no
uniformity in the keeping of the records. In connection with records of
rehabilitation work, the important points are to learn the exact date of
each application, the date upon which it was passed or refused by the
committee, and the size of the grant, if any. These important points
should be grouped somewhere for quick reference. In addition, a summary
should state the kind of rehabilitation asked for in each application.
The suggested form of summary to be filled in at the time that each
application is passed upon would be as follows:

  Date of application
  Application for
  Date of action
  Amount of grant
  Date of payment

The sub-committees under the centralized system failed to maintain a
uniform standard. The most orderly records were those of Committee VI,
the business committee, and Committee I, the emergency committee. The
housing committee used numerous blanks, but in order to trace a housing
case it is necessary to wade through the entire correspondence, because
the applications were frequently filed within the correspondence. In the
examination of cases from the other committees for this Relief Survey,
it was wellnigh impossible for the tabulators to learn in what manner,
and at what time, and for what reason, the re-openings occurred. The
only fact that was evident was that there had been reopenings, because
there were successive pasters indicating refusals or grants. In some
instances the reason for re-opening, instead of being placed in its
proper order upon the chronological sheets was written on top of the
paster itself in the space allowed for “Recommendation.” Sometimes by an
exhaustive study of all the documents on file, it was possible to guess
approximately the date of re-opening and why there was a re-application.
If the various chairmen of sub-committees had been working in daily
contact, as they were in the second and third periods, a better standard
would have been maintained.

Two things have been absolutely demonstrated; first, that the records
should approximate in form those used by charity organization societies.
First, dates should be given for everything said or done, these dates
should be arranged chronologically on sheets or cards in sequence, and
the fact of the receipt of letters or documents, or of the sending of
letters or documents, should be entered in their proper chronological
order. Second, there should be a place upon the face of the card or
immediately attached to it for the summary of applications and

VII. LOOSE ENDS. The Rehabilitation Committee made endeavors to gather
together the loose ends that resulted from the fact that small relief
funds were distributed of which no record was given to the
Rehabilitation Committee. Among such funds may be mentioned those in the
hands of the Town and Country Club; the Doctors Daughters’, the
Physicians’, as well as the Portland (Oregon) fund and the various
church funds. In spite of there being special funds, for instance for
relief of doctors, the committee was constantly receiving applications
from physicians. It is hoped that the givers of similar funds in the
future may be gradually educated to the point of insisting upon system
and concentration of authority in their distribution; otherwise there is
bound to be waste.

that the most effective workers should be at the places of greatest
congestion. When a large relief problem is to be met these will usually
be the bookkeeping and registration departments. It should be
re-emphasized that in these two departments the very best help should be
searched for. In the registration work the Rehabilitation Committee was
fortunate in securing a number of library clerks for indexing. The
system of filing correspondence was not uniform. Some of the
secretaries, however, as the case records were in folders consecutively
numbered, adopted the satisfactory plan of keeping an index of the
persons written to, together with the number of the cases written about.
In order to make possible a rapid separation of replies to letters there
should be a centralization of correspondence. Under the section system
this was not necessary, owing to the fact that letters were sent out
with the addresses of the section offices, to which replies naturally
went. Possibly the only centralization necessary would have been to keep
a complete index of the names of persons written to, which would have
required the various secretaries to send to some one person a duplicate
card, giving the name of the correspondent and the case number.

The Rehabilitation Committee’s experience proves that the authority to
give the numbers for the case records should be in one place, so that
confusion through the duplicating of numbers may be avoided. The rigid
standards of the best charity organization societies are none too rigid,
when one realizes that while such a society may deal within a year with
from 2000 to 6000 families, a committee such as the Rehabilitation
Committee might have to deal with over 25,000. Another most important
consideration is the need of impressing workers with an appreciation of
the value of records and of the call for absolute accuracy. It should be
realized that care with records does not mean red tape or loss of time,
but added efficiency. It means not only less worry for the workers
themselves, but quicker meeting of the needs of individual families.
Every minute spent in hunting for a lost record or endeavoring to supply
an omitted entry, means a minute more of delay to a number of other
families. These minutes grow astonishingly large in number, so that by
and by they may be computed in days. Not only were there such delays at
times, but it became occasionally necessary to reprove workers who had
on their own responsibility made changes in the records. In some cases,
for instance, the names of members of particular families were changed,
without the knowledge of anyone except the worker involved. As a worker
close to the Relief Survey has well said, “There is constant need of
impressing the sacredness of a record upon those who use it.”



The following plan for handling applications for cottages to be built by
contractors was followed in the main by Committee V:

1. Original requests were to be received by mail only and references
were to be consulted by mail; but in reality many persons came to the
office to file their applications.

2. When this work was finished and the case indexed the application was
placed before the Housing Committee for:

  a. Such further investigation as it deemed necessary.

  b. Action by Committee.

3. When the Committee decided to make a grant, directions showing the
kind of house to be built, the amount to be paid to the contractor, and
the amount of the instalments to be paid by the applicant, were written
on a slip and attached to the application.

4. The applicant was then notified of the action of the Committee and
was told that he must execute the proper contracts with the bank
selected by the Committee, as follows:

  a. If the applicant were the owner of the land, a note and mortgage
  binding him to repay the agreed instalments were drawn up and
  deposited with the bank, or

  b. If the applicant were a lessee or had a contract to purchase the
  land, a conditional contract of purchase providing that the title to
  the cottage was to remain with the bank till paid for, together with a
  consent and waiver from the owner of the land, so that the owner of
  the land would not get a title to the house until all of the payments
  were completed.

  c. The applicant was required to produce a receipt showing that he had
  paid to the Board of Public Works the necessary deposit for opening
  the street and making proper sewer connections.

5. When the above papers had been executed and presented to the bank the
Committee was notified at once.

6. Orders were then given to the contractor to proceed with the building
of the house.

7. Arrangements were made with the auditing department for drawing and
forwarding the checks to be paid when so ordered and signed by a
representative of the Committee.

8. The contractor was required to send notice by mail to the Housing
Committee when each building was completed.

9. Thereupon an inspector was sent to examine the house and report back
to the Committee in writing within 24 hours.

10. When a satisfactory report was received from the Committee’s
inspector the contractor was paid and the house turned over to the

The above outline of the method of procedure followed by the Committee,
while perhaps not adhered to strictly in every case, was, in general,
the usual plan adopted and served to expedite matters to a considerable

In order to clarify the matter of the kind of houses the Committee would
erect, they provided drawings for four or five different styles of
buildings. These plans, with the price of each attached, were displayed
by the Committee to all applicants, who selected the one desired in
accordance with the price they were able to pay. However, the buildings
actually erected were changed in minor features by the applicant or
contractor with the consent of the Committee. The Committee engaged
various contractors in no way connected with those retained by the Land
and Building Department for the erection of camp cottages.



  [292] Compiled from a statement supplied by the Associated Charities,
  December 31, 1912.


    Month  |   1907   |    1908   |    1909   |
           |          |           |           |
  January  |      ..  | $13,696.38|  $8,373.16|
  February |      ..  |   8,971.17|   5,481.74|
  March    |      ..  |  10,007.52|  35,261.67|
  April    |      ..  |  17,455.98|  10,934.18|
  May      |      ..  |  14,073.68|   6,947.41|
  June     |   $318.31|  18,318.59|  10,732.56|
  July     |  1,240.76|  10,303.64|   7,655.22|
  August   |  5,577.91|   6,704.84|  10,513.91|
  September|    511.69|   9,745.11|   6,621.73|
  October  | 26,054.15|   8,370.00|   8,518.84|
  November |  8,733.61|   4,794.58|  10,916.96|
  December | 13,027.63|   7,143.04|   9,637.70|
    Total  |$55,464.06|$129,584.53|$131,595.08|
  Monthly  |          |           |           |
    average| $7,923.44| $10,798.71| $10,966.26|
           |   [293]  |           |           |

    Month  |    1910   |    1911   |   1912
           |           |           |
  January  | $33,330.79|  $1,345.48| $7,411.68
  February |   8,941.58|   7,395.55|  8,773.40
  March    |  11,250.79|   5,773.97|  5,217.50
  April    |  11,381.90|   5,851.66| 14,972.31
  May      |   8,005.59|  10,145.33|  9,876.84
  June     |  11,743.57|  14,083.40| 16,221.65
  July     |   7,066.97|   1,426.34| 10,536.56
  August   |   5,370.14|  16,576.94|  2,057.50
  September|   6,989.75|   4,881.17|  8,056.67
  October  |  11,364.10|  11,354.83|      ..
  November |   6,607.95|  14,252.44|      ..
  December |  10,294.14|  17,850.90|      ..
    Total  |$132,347.27|$110,938.01|$83,124.11
  Monthly  |           |           |
    average| $11,028.94|  $9,244.90| $9,236.01
           |           |           |   [294]

  [293] For seven months only.

  [294] For nine months only.


     Year and month   |   Direct   |  Salaries  |   Total
                      |expenditures| and other  |expenditures
                      | for relief |expenditures|
                      |            |    for     |
                      |            | administra-|
                      |            |  tion[296] |
  1907 June           |   $4,239.74|   $1,916.60|   $6,156.34
       July           |    3,619.35|    2,333.34|    5,952.69
       August         |    3,204.02|    1,932.65|    5,136.67
       September      |    4,306.32|    2,031.74|    6,338.06
       October        |   12,829.13|    1,588.15|   14,417.28
       November       |    7,009.65|      699.73|    7,709.38
       December       |    5,911.58|    1,815.48|    7,727.06
       Total          |  $41,119.79|  $12,317.69|  $53,437.48
       Monthly average|   $5,874.26|   $1,759.67|   $7,633.93
                      |     [297]  |     [297]  |     [297]
  1908 January        |   $6,622.00|   $2,253.80|   $8,875.80
       February       |   13,714.34|    2,463.79|   16,178.13
       March          |   11,011.52|    2,738.34|   13,749.86
       April          |    9,611.49|    3,423.24|   13,034.73
       May            |   13,846.07|    2,407.35|   16,253.42
       June           |    9,322.52|    4,560.45|   13,822.97
       July           |   10,852.82|    3,099.19|   13,952.01
       August         |    6,314.71|      828.04|    7,142.75
       September      |    7,716.84|    3,795.43|   11,512.27
       October        |    7,115.43|    2,429.44|    9,544.87
       November       |    4,852.45|    1,932.49|    6,784.94
       December       |    4,376.88|    2,036.40|    6,413.28
       Total          | $105,357.07|  $31,967.96| $137,325.03
       Monthly average|   $8,779.76|   $2,664.00|  $11,443.75
  1909 January        |   $4,921.96|   $2,129.55|   $7,051.51
       February       |    8,245.75|    2,150.02|   10,395.77
       March          |    7,394.84|    3,004.12|   10,398.96
       April          |    7,417.48|    2,074.63|    9,492.11
       May            |    6,120.89|    2,081.97|    8,202.86
       June           |    6,872.41|    1,878.56|    8,750.97
       July           |    6,210.19|    2,156.40|    8,366.59
       August         |    6,816.13|    2,447.93|    9,264.06
       September      |    6,332.06|    2,066.15|    8,398.21
       October        |    4,931.47|    2,027.76|    6,959.23
       November       |    6,291.56|    1,968.69|    8,260.25
       December       |    7,919.00|    2,473.45|   10,392.45
       Total          |  $79,473.74|  $26,459.23| $105,932.97
       Monthly average|  $6,622.81 |   $2,204.94|   $8,827.75
  1910 January        |   $6,672.87|   $2,596.15|   $9,269.02
       February       |    8,910.76|    2,102.22|   11,012.98
       March          |   12,762.54|    2,156.48|   14,919.02
       April          |    7,603.22|    2,375.26|    9,978.48
       May            |    7,696.27|    2,317.41|   10,013.68
       June           |    8,118.11|    2,691.02|   10,809.13
       July           |    6,465.31|    2,565.34|    9,030.65
       August         |    7,019.96|    2,295.84|    9,315.80
       September      |    6,349.54|    2,119.41|    8,468.95
       October        |    6,801.31|    1,729.99|    8,531.30
       November       |    6,479.83|    2,091.95|    8,571.78
       December       |    6,648.04|    2,001.97|    8,650.01
       Total          |  $91,527.76|  $27,043.04| $118,570.80
       Monthly average|   $7,627.31|   $2,253.59|   $9,880.90
  1911 January        |   $6,232.45|   $2,415.48|   $8,647.93
       February       |    6,557.76|    1,845.99|    8,403.75
       March          |    6,694.31|    1,997.20|    8,691.51
       April          |    7,440.59|    2,253.58|    9,694.17
       May            |    6,963.05|    3,030.28|    9,993.33
       June           |    7,104.07|    2,152.68|    9,256.75
       July           |    6,061.51|    2,088.62|    8,150.53
       August         |    8,378.50|    2,138.88|   10,517.38
       September      |    5,295.61|    2,285.35|    7,580.96
       October        |    5,352.32|    2,456.61|    7,808.93
       November       |    7,004.82|    2,632.77|    9,637.59
       December       |    7,072.07|    2,213.52|    9,285.59
       Total          |  $80,157.06|  $27,510.96| $107,668.02
       Monthly average|   $6,679.76|   $2,292.58|   $8,972.33
  1912 January        |   $8,057.74|   $2,732.89|  $10,790.63
       February       |    9,869.41|    2,383.10|   12,252.51
       March          |    9,162.64|    2,545.83|   11,708.47
       April          |    7,209.24|    2,356.18|    9,565.42
       May            |    7,746.63|    3,402.04|   11,148.67
       June           |   13,484.32|    2,815.99|   16,300.31
       July           |    9,824.77|    2,587.55|   12,412.32
       August         |    9,824.77|    2,587.55|   12,412.32
       September      |    7,465.69|    2,741.52|   10,207.21
       Total          |  $82,645.21|  $24,152.65| $106,797.86
       Monthly average|   $9,182.80|   $2,683.63|  $11,866.43
                      |     [298]  |     [298]  |     [298]

  [295] Compiled from a statement supplied by the Associated Charities,
  December 31, 1912.

  [296] Includes nursing service and child care.

  [297] For seven months only.

  [298] For nine months only.

1907 TO 1912[299]

              Year               |            | Salaries   |   Total
                                 |   Direct   | and other  |expenditures
                                 | for relief |    for     |
                                 |            | administra-|
                                 |            |    tion    |
  Total yearly expenditures in   |            |            |
    1907[300]                    | $41,119.79 | $12,317.69 | $53,437.48
    1908                         | 105,357.07 |  31,967.96 | 137,325.03
    1909                         |  79,473.74 |  26,459.23 | 105,932.97
    1910                         |  91,527.76 |  27,043.04 | 118,570.80
    1911                         |  80,157.06 |  27,510.96 | 107,668.02
    1912[301]                    |  82,645.21 |  24,152.65 | 106,797.86
  Average monthly expenditures in|            |            |
    1907[300]                    |   5,874.26 |   1,759.67 |   7,633.93
    1908                         |   8,779.76 |   2,664.00 |  11,443.75
    1909                         |   6,622.81 |   2,204.94 |   8,827.75
    1910                         |   7,627.31 |   2,253.59 |   9,880.90
    1911                         |   6,679.76 |   2,292.58 |   8,972.33
    1912[301]                    |   9,182.80 |   2,683.63 |  11,866.43

  [299] Compiled from a statement supplied by the Associated Charities,
  December 31, 1912.

  [300] For seven months only.

  [301] For five months only.





  First registration card (Face)                  425
  First registration card (Reverse)               426
  Food card (Face and Reverse)                    427
  Second registration card (Face)                 428
  Second registration card (Reverse)              429
  Tent record sheet                               430
  Camp commander’s report sheet                   431
  Rehabilitation Committee
    Report form                                   432
    Paster                                        433
    Circular                                      434
    Application Blank                             435
    Circular letter of inquiry                    436
  Bureau of Special Relief
    Recommendation form                           437
    Report form                                   438
    Medical service form                          439
    Order form A                                  440
    Order form B                                  441
  Bureau of Hospitals
    Hospital report sheet                         442
  Application forms for business rehabilitation   443
  Application for bonus                           447
  Land and Building Department. Notice            448
  Application for housing grant                   449


  |                        NATIONAL RED CROSS                          |
  |   General Register of Applicants for Relief, San Francisco, 1906.  |
  |                                             Food Station No....... |
  |Surname and given names|Total number of   |Food|Date of this        |
  |of head of family.     |persons for whom  |Card|registration.       |
  |                       |rations are asked:|No. |                    |
  |                       |..................|    |                    |
  |                       |Men..........     |    |                    |
  |                       |Children.....     |    |                    |
                          |Women........     |    |                    |
  |                       |Aged, etc....     |    |                    |
  |Present location.                  |Former home or address on       |
  |                                   |April 17th.                     |
  |Trade or occupation of|Age.|Nationality.| Union.      |Former       |
  |head of family.       |    |            |             |employer.    |
  |                      |    |            |             |             |
  |References, or other memoranda relating to employment:              |
  |                                                                    |
  |Membership in: (1) fraternal orders; (2) churches; (3) clubs:       |
  |                                                                    |
  |Address of friends to be communicated with:                         |
  |                                                                    |
  |Present employment:        |Is it steady?|Is applicant owner of real|
  |                           |             |estate? If so, where?     |
  |                           |             |                          |
  |Plans for future:                                                   |
  |                                                                    |
  |Relief supplied (other than rations, including transportation):     |
  |                                                                    |
  |Remarks:                                                            |
  |                                                                    |


  |F| |                                                                |
  |o| |                                                                |
  |o| |                                                                |
  |d|D|                                                                |
  | |a|                                                                |
  |C|t|                                                                |
  |a|e|                                                                |
  |r|.|                                                                |
  |d| |                                                                |
  | | |                                                                |
  |I| |                                                                |
  |s| |                                                                |
  |u|N|                                                                |
  |e|o|                                                                |
  |d|.|                                                                |
  |.| |                                                                |
  |Data as to adult bread winners in family or party (not the applicant|
  |                        named on face of card).                     |
  |                    |     _m.f._|     _m.f._|     _m.f._|     _m.f._|
  | Name and sex       |...........|...........|...........|...........|
  | Age and nationality|...........|...........|...........|...........|
  | Trade or occupation|...........|...........|...........|...........|
  | Union              |...........|...........|...........|...........|
  | Former employer    |...........|...........|...........|...........|
  | References         |...........|...........|...........|...........|
  | Present employment |...........|...........|...........|...........|
  | Future plans       |...........|...........|...........|...........|
  | Remarks:--                                                         |
  |                                                                    |


  |  1|                   NATIONAL RED CROSS.                     | S |
  +---+                        FOOD CARD.                         | e |
  |  2|                                                           | e |
  +---+                   +-----------------+                     |   |
  |  3|                   |                 |                     | o |
  +---+                   |                 |                     | t |
  |  4|  C. No........... |                 | R. S. No........... | h |
  +---+                   |                 |                     | e |
  |  5|                   |                 |                     | r |
  +---+                   +-----------------+                     |   |
  |  6|                                                           | s |
  +---+ This card is issued on .................................. | i |
  |  7|                                              (date)       | d |
  +---+                                                           | e |
  |  8|                                                           | . |
  +---+ It will be good for 10 days ending ...................... +---+
  |  9|                                              (date)       | 31|
  +---+                                                           +---+
  | 10|                                                           | 30|
  +--+                      ..................................... +---+
  | 11|                     (Signature of Issuing Officer.)       | 29|
  | 12| 13| 14| 15| 16| 17| 18| 19| 20| 21| 22| 23| 24| 25| 26| 27| 28|

  |                           TAKE NOTICE.                             |
  |                                                                    |
  | This card must be presented whenever rations are drawn. When       |
  | drawing rations keep it always in plain sight.                     |
  |                                                                    |
  | This card is =not transferable=, and will be honored only when     |
  | presented by the person to whom it is issued, or by some member of |
  | his family or party.                                               |
  |                                                                    |
  | Good only for 10 days.                                             |
  |                                                                    |
  | Renewable after 10 days at the discretion of the registration      |
  | officer.                                                           |
  |                                                                    |
  | Good only at the Relief Station of issue.                          |
  |                                                                    |
  | If any fraudulent use of this card is attempted it will be taken up|
  | and no rations will be issued to the offenders.                    |


  |                        NATIONAL RED CROSS            SAN FRANCISCO |
  |NO.                     SECOND REGISTRATION        (DATE)      1906 |
  |SURNAME|.....................ADDRESS....................|No. of|Rent|
  |       |At present. (Give exactly)......................|Rooms |....|
  |       |April 17...............How long at this address?|......|....|
  |         First  Age  Trade or   Earnings per Physical   Birth  Years|
  |         name          usual     wk. ordi-   condi-    place    in  |
  |                    occupation    narily      tion    and race S. F.|
  |Man    ........ ... ........... ............ ........ ........ .....|
  |Woman  ........ ... ........... ............ ........ ........ .....|
  |Children       LOSSES                  Description   Estimated value|
  |...............House (owned)........................................|
  |...............Business: plant?........position?....................|
  |...............Furniture and clothing...............................|
  |...............Injury to health.....................................|
  |Others in household                                   RESOURCES     |
  |..............................Insurance: amount?....................|
  |..............................  In what companies?..................|
  |..............................Savings: amount?........Which bank?...|
  |..............................Real estate: value?..................