Publication 216, The First 100 Years


First District

James L. King


James Lucius King, a native of New York, established himself as a prominent businessman in San Francisco. He served one term as a Member of the State Board of Equalization, then served in San Francisco for many years as a notary public. His last voting registration in that city (1904) lists his age as 76.

Charles Gildea


A native of Ireland, Charles Gildea moved from Missouri to California in 1857. A plasterer by profession, he had a great interest in politics. Gildea was twice elected Assemblyman for EI Dorado County (1867 and 1869). He later served one term as Assemblyman for San Francisco County in 1878, and one term as a member of the Board of Equalization. In 1906 he was elected a member of the Election Board of San Francisco. He died March 27, 1918 at age 80.

Gordon E. Sloss


Gordon Sloss came to Pennsylvania from his native Ireland when he was a child. He came to California as a young man and settled in Calaveras County, where, he served for a number of years as Deputy Sheriff. He later moved to San Francisco where he was in the dray business. There he entered politics and in 1873 was elected a Fire Commissioner, a position he held for 12 years.

Sloss served one term on the Board of Equalization but failed to win re-election. He died April 14, 1892 shortly before his 68th birthday.

J. S. Swan


Jabez S. Swan, a native of Stonington, Connecticut, came to California as a young man. An early settler in San Francisco and one of that city's first painters, he was well-known in the area. Swan served one term on the Board of Equalization from 1891 to 1894 He died at the Alameda Sanitarium January 26, 1914 at age 74.

A. Chesebrough


Andronicus Chesebrough was born in Maryland around 1838. He came to California in the 1860s and became involved in the shipping trade with Williams, Dimond, and Co. of San Francisco. Chesebrough, who is reputed to have been a gourmet and connoisseur of wines, served slightly more than one term on the Board of Equalization from 1895 until May, 1899 when he resigned. He died September 6, 1914 at age 76.

L. H. Brown


Lewis Henry Brown was born in Hayward, California, March 24, 1857. He was appointed Treasurer of the City of Alameda. He was elected a San Francisco District Assemblyman (1883-85), then Clerk of California’s Supreme Court (1890-95) and California's Secretary of State (1895-99). Brown was then appointed to one term as a member of the Board of Equalization. He died in San Francisco March 16, 1948 at age 90.

William H. Alford


William Hays Alford was born in Bowie County, Texas, September 14, 1866. He came to California in 1868 where he was educated and later admitted to practice law. He served as a Member of the Assembly from Tulare County in 1893, Chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee from 1896 to 1898, and Assistant District Attorney of San Francisco from 1900 to 1903. He was elected to the Board of Equalization in November, 1902, served one term, and retired from public life. He died April 4, 1907.

Joseph H. Scott


Joseph H. Scott was born in San Francisco March 16, 1862, and educated in that city’s public schools. In 1900 he was elected Tax Collector of San Francisco, and served for two years. On May 7, 1905 he was appointed to that position again by San Francisco’s Mayor to fill an unexpired term ending January 1906. Scott was elected to the Board of Equalization November 6, 1906.

Edward M. Rolkin


Edward Maximilian Rolkin was born in Russia October 12, 1850 and was educated in private schools. He came to the United States in 1868 and engaged in mining in Utah, Montana, Nevada, and California. He settled in San Francisco in 1884 and became involved in the hotel business. On November 8, 1910 Mr. Rolkin was elected to the Board of Equalization. He died in San Francisco February 24, 1941 at age 90.

John C. Corbett


John Corbett was born in Vallejo, California August 1, 1870. In 1890 he became an employee of the San Francisco Assessor’s Office and specialized in tax matters.

He served as Deputy Assessor of the City and County of San Francisco for 20 years. In 1915 he became a Member of the Board of Equalization, and served for six consecutive terms. He died in office on September 11, 1938.

Andrew J. Gallagher


Andrew J. Gallagher, born in San Francisco October 27, 1878, began his career as a photo engraver and was associated with the leading San Francisco newspapers. He was active with the San Francisco Labor Council from 1902 to 1910 serving once as its secretary and twice as its president. In 1908 he was appointed Supervisor of San Francisco County, and served for 18 years. On October 5, 1938 he was appointed to the Board of Equalization, but served only a few months. Afterward he worked with the United States Mediation and Conciliation Service for 15 years. He died January 1, 1966, at age 88.

George R. Reilly


George R. Reilly, California’s senior elected official, was born in the Mission District of San Francisco March 21, 1903. He was graduated from the San Francisco schools and attended Sacred Heart College. A licensed California real estate broker, he was in the real estate and property appraisal business for many years. Mr. Reilly began his career of public service as a member of the San Francisco Election Commission. From that office he was named to the Board of Permit Appeals and subsequently became a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was elected to the Board of Equalization in 1938, and has been reelected regularly ever since, serving longer than any Member in the history of the Board, and longer than any elected state official in the history of California. He has officiated as Board Chairman for ten one-year terms. Mr. Reilly is one of the founders of the Irish-Israeli-Italian Society and has served as one of its three co-presidents since its inception in March 1965.