Publication 216, The First 100 Years


Third District

Warren Dutton


Born in Whitehall, New York in 1823, Dutton arrived in San Francisco August 1, 1849. He engaged in mining and then settled in Tomales, Marin County. Largely through Dutton's efforts Tomales became a shipping center for much of the surrounding territory. Together with Milton S. Latham and others, he organized and built the North Pacific Coast Railroad. He also founded the Bank of Tomales in 1875 and served as its president throughout his life. Dutton was e lected to the Board of Equalization in 1879 and served one term. He organized the Dairymen’s Union of San Francisco. He died June 19, 1903 at Dutton’s Landing.

C. E. Wilcoxon


A native of Kentucky, Caleb E. Wilcoxon came to Sutter County by ox team from Missouri in 1853. Wilcoxon was very active in public affairs, serving as County Clerk for 14 years and also as School Superintendent, Undersheriff, and Treasurer. He was at one time a Member of the State Legislature and in 1882 was elected to the Board of Equalization. He served as the Board’s Chairman for four of his eight years in office. Wilcoxon died January 3, 1904 at age 80.

R. H. Beamer


Richard Henderson Beamer was born in Livingston County, Missouri July 29, 1849. He settled in Yolo County as a young man and engaged in ranching. From 1872 to 1874 Beamer served as Yolo County Auditor, and then for a four-year term as County Assessor. In 1855 he was chosen Sheriff and in 1891 he began the first of four terms as a Member of the Board of Equalization. He later served as Mayor of Woodland.

R. E. Collins


Richard E. Collins was born in Weaverville, Trinity County, in 1873. A miner in his youth, Collins was later elected Deputy Sheriff of Shasta County. He was elected Shasta County Assessor in 1902. In 1907, Collins was elected to the Board of Equalization and served consecutive terms for 40 years. Collins officiated as Chairman of the Board for almost 30 years except for a brief period in 1935. No other member has come close to matching that record. He died in Sacramento February 15, 1948 at age 75.

Jerrold C. Seawell


Born near Colusa in 1897, Jerrold Seawell attended school in Oakland. He went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad as a young man and became a locomotive engineer working out of Roseville. In 1928 he was elected to the Assembly and in 1932, to the State Senate. Seawell was elected to the Board of Equalization in 1946. During his second term of office, he resigned because of illness. He died in Hollywood October 20, 1952, less than 24 hours after his resignation.

Paul R. Leake


Born in Dixon, California in 1890, Paul Leake grew up in the newspaper business. His family has published the Woodland Daily Democrat for many years. Leake worked for that newspaper as advertising manager and business manager before he became its editor and publisher. He was a graduate of the University of Santa Clara. From 1939 to 1952 he was Collector of Customs for the Port of San Francisco. He resigned to accept appointment to the State Board of Equalization to succeed Jerrold Seawell. Leake died in San Francisco July 30, 1977.

William M. Bennett


William M. Bennett was born in San Francisco in 1918. In World War II he served as a captain in the Air Force, completing 50 missions with the 15th Air Force over Europe. A former professor of law, Bennett taught courses at Hastings College of Law, University of California, San Francisco. He began his government career as a Deputy Attorney General of California. In 1958, he was appointed Chief Counsel to the California Public Utilities Commission; in 1962, he was appointed a Member of that Commission and later served as its President. A member of the State Bar of California, Bennett has practiced law extensively before both state and federal agencies, including the United States Supreme Court.