1929 – Ed Doty

1117 Alice Street

Unlike my other example from this year, this stamp contains the day and month on a separate line.

One Response to “1929 – Ed Doty”

  1. Stacinator Says:

    Probably no personal name is more frequently seen on the streets of Oakland than that of Ed Doty, whose name is impressed on many miles of cement sidewalks which he has constructed here. He has also done an enormous amount of work in other lines of cement contracting, so that he is today one of the best known men in his line of work in the Bay district.

    Mr. Doty was born in London, Ontario, January 24, 1862, and in early childhood was taken by his parents to Detroit, Michigan, where he was reared and educated. He recalls that Detroit sent some of her fire apparatus to Chicago at the time of the great fire there in October, 1871, the smoke from which was blown across Lake Michigan and darkened the sky for days. He also tells of the millions of passenger pigeons that would fly mornings and evenings, the great flocks shutting out the sun but they were killed in such vast numbers that now none remain.

    From a small boy he had always been ambitious to go west and in 1881 an opportunity came to him to go to Montana to work for the Northern Pacific Railroad, which at that time had been built only as far west as Glendive, Dakota. The western plains were all a great buffalo country and the hides were stacked up along the track like cordwood, but the year in which he made his westward trip and the following year were the last of great buffalo hunting, as the animals by that time had been practically killed off.

    Mr. Doty followed the railroad as it was extended westward until he came to what is now Billings and as the town was then developing somewhat rapidly, he started in an independent business venture there, namely hauling water from the Yellowstone and selling it for fifty cents a barrel to the saloons and restaurants.

    The next year the railroad was completed to the vicinity of Livingston and he freighted into the Yellowstone Park, for it was in that year that this great national park was opened to the public, and all supplies were hauled there from the end of the track at Gardiner by mule and horse teams. The country was rough and unbroken and in those days any path that the wheel of a wagon would go over was called a road. This was before the days of graded roads but there were miles and miles of corduroy roads, built of logs about a foot in diameter laid side by side in the swampy places in order that the wagons might be taken from one rocky point of the valley to another valley.

    In common with most of the men who came west at that time, Mr. Doty did not consider the land worth anything. It was a common saying that “We had land in the bank and money in Michigan.” It was a common thing to drive for days at a stretch through level meadows of grass up to the wagon beds and it could be taken by anyone who wanted it. In a year or two, however, all of the land was homesteaded and Mr. Doty had to go back into the mountains and take up a ranch, every acre of which had to be reclaimed. He spent the following nine years in raising horses and cattle, but the widespread financial panic of the Cleveland administration caused him to lose everything.

    He then went south to the Crow Indian country and established a sawmill on the West Rosebud. After eight years his health failed because of the high altitude and rigorous climate and he then went to the Hawaiian islands, where he obtained a position as foreman over the bolt and pipe fitters in the Honolulu Iron Works, most of whom were half-breeds, a mixed strain of Kanakas, Portuguese, Chinese and Japs. The confinement of his work was not pleasing to a man who had always lived out of doors, so Mr. Doty left Honolulu and went to the island of Guam, where he met among other Americans the boatswain who was blown up on the Maine in Havana harbor. He had married a Spanish girl and had a family and appeared very happy.

    After a year of practical idleness Mr. Doty decided it was time to go back to the white man’s country. Proceeding to Honolulu, he soon took a ship bound for the western coast of America and obtained a job on a well rig at Point Richmond, drilling water wells for the Standard Oil Company. When that work was finished he went to San Francisco and joined the Cement Workers Union, being employed on most of the large buildings that were constructed in that city before the earthquake and fire of 1906, including the St. Francis, Flood, Grant, Monadnock and Fairmont Hotels, the American Theater, the Hale Brothers building and many others. There were only two firms that did that class of work in San Francisco at that time and Mr. Doty was in good standing with both, so that he always had employment.

    Just prior to the earthquake he was working for the Robeling Construction company on the new wing of the St. Francis Hotel and while lying flat on the floor trying to drive a spike in the concrete in an opening in the floor he slipped into the hole and fell twenty-two feet. He was taken to the Emergency Hospital where it was found that he had a broken arm, a fractured skull and internal injuries. The attending physician said that it was no use to try to do anything for him, for he would not live until morning, but in the morning with a little help he got dressed and proceeded to the office of Dr. Wilson, who was a real man and took him in charge, saying: “You have had a bad crack on the head and may drop dead at any moment, but I am going to take you home and you must be kept quiet.” Mr. Doty’s arm was swollen so badly that it could not be set but the Doctor bandaged it, made him as comfortable as possible and then left him to return to his office.

    Then occurred the great earthquake. Dr. Wilson visited Mr. Doty, saying: “Ed, don’t get burned up. Stay in bed as long as you can and I will come and see you when I can. I have got to look out for my family, as the fire is coming my way.” The family with whom Mr. Doty was staying went to the beach and wanted him to go also, but he said : “There is no hurry until the fire gets near.” He had them put the sanitary couch that had castors on it in the street and while lying on it he watched the sights. In the afternoon some of his friends who had been burned out came along and prevailed upon him to go to the Presidio. It was a blistering hot day but they dragged that couch with all of the things which they had saved from their burning homes on it out to the camp. During the night the fire was put under control, stopping about a block from where Mr. Doty lived. During all that time he was almost crazed with his broken arm, and the heat and excitement. Only those who were in San Francisco then know what the people had to endure. All of the cooking had to be done in the streets. They were congratulating themselves that the rains were over when occurred the worst rain that they had had all winter. It was three days before things were straightened out so that they could get regular food. The Doctor finally located Mr. Doty, got him back to bed, set and bandaged the arm, and in the course of time it was apparently as good as ever. The first work he did was on the “Little St. Francis” which was built in the park to house the guests while the main hotel was being rebuilt.

    About this time Mr. Doty became engaged to a Miss Watlington, who was living with her brother at No. 72 Madison street in Oakland. The brother, A. L. Watlington, was sent to the Philippines as postmaster and established the post office and mail routes there following the Spanish-American war. During the summer months, as reconstruction work was carried on in San Francisco, Mr. Doty had charge of the cement work for the John Ourish Company and erected a large number of brick buildings. On September of that year he wedded Miss Lizzie Watlington, who was the youngest of a family of four sons and two daughters, the family coming from Madison, Indiana. Since his marriage Mr. Doty has lived in Oakland.

    In April, 1919, he moved into the cottage which he had built at No. 2487 Twenty-sixth avenue and in which he still resides. Their first child, a daughter, died at birth. The second, Abraham Richard, was born June 11, 1908, completed the work of the Manzanita school and the Hamilton junior high school and was graduated from the Roosevelt high school. For a year he was associated with his father in the cement business and then took an engineering course in the University of California. He is now president of the Roosevelt High School Alumni Association of six hundred members and he is also a member of the DeMolays and the Native Sons of the Golden West. When twelve years of age he became a Boy Scout, won rank as an Eagle Scout and is still a junior scout master. The Eagle badge was conferred upon him by the Court of Honor, this being the highest class reached in that most wonderful organization — the Boy Scouts of America.

    Mr. Doty has been a member of the Oakland Builders Exchange for twelve years. He is up-to-date in his technical methods, permits nothing but the best of work to be done under his contracts, and has gained a well earned reputation for his honorable dealing and his sound business principles, for which reason he commands the respect of all who deal with him.

    – “History Of Alameda County, California, Volume II” by by Frank Clinton Merritt; The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1928


    California, Oakland, Mountain View Cemetery Records, 1857-1973
    Name: Edwin Doty
    Event Type: Burial
    Event Date: 10 Oct 1931
    Event Place: Oakland, Alameda, California, United States
    Age: 69
    Birth Date: 24 Jan 1862
    Death Date: 5 Oct 1931
    Record Number: 24

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