1945: Charles F. Humphrey Passes


From the Half Moon Bay Review, 1945


1945 Well known Citizen of Coastside Passes


“Charles Franklin Humphrey, well known attorney of San Francisco, on Friday, the 17th of August 1945. With his death ends a vibrant and colorful personality of old San Francisco.


“Life began for him when his pioneer mother held him in her arms above a Kansas river while Indians marauded the neighboring villages. His father, James C. Humphrey, established the first newspapers in Republic and Decatur Counties, Kansas.


“As a boy he worked as a printer’s devil on the widely quoted “Belleville Telescope” one of the first nine newspapers established, owned and edited in the state of Kansas by his father. He worked his way through college as a reporter on the “Kansas City Star,” and then the “Topeka Capitol,” and was graduated by the University of Kansas with the degree of L.L.B.


“After leaving college he practiced law for about a year in Portland, Oregon, under the late W.W. Cotton, brother of Judge Aylet R. Cotton of San Mateo County.


“In 1895 Mr. Humphrey moved to San Francisco, where, with thirty-five cents in his pocket after furnishing his office, he began his long and able career in the law. Never acknowledging defeat, all his cases were interesting to him and all the clients “innocent victims” for which he was a fiery partisan.


“In 1899 he married Miss Elizabeth Warren, a native of England. They lived on Washington Street where their two sons, James W. Humphrey and Jack C. Humphrey were born.


“About the time of the San Francisco fire, his interests took him to Europe where he was instrumental in consolidating many of the California oil properties of the Shell Oil Company.


“In 1919 he became interested in agricultural possibilities of San Mateo County and purchased a  large ranch which was a part of the Old Spanish Grant Punta del Ano Nuevo, near Pescadero. Here he had a beautiful home and being hospitably inclined, and a jovial host, entertained a constant stream of friends.


“For over fifty years Mr. Humphrey was a member of the Bohemian Club. He was a Life Member of the B.P.O.E. (?) , also a member of the Commonwealth Club, the California State Chamber of Commerce and a director of the Associated Farm-California.


“He was a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of California, San Francisco State Bar Association, Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity, Trustee of the Kansas Pioneer Memorial Society, San Mateo County Historical Association and of E. Clampus Vitus.


“A 32 Mason, and a member of Knights Templar, Shrine and Past Patron of Golden Gate Chapter of Eastern Star, he was signally honored in 1944 when he was presented with the Masonic Gold Button by Excelsior Lodge No. 166, F & A M, and in the same year by Islam Temple, in recognition of his half century of membership in the Masonic Order, dating back to April 17, 1893, at Laurence Lodge F & AM No. 6….”


From John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])

Hi June,

  Mr. Humphrey bought the Cascade Ranch from Mr. Renssalear Steele after the Torquay fiasco. He’d mortgaged it for $60K to somebody and only sold a few lots before the 06 Quake  Mr. Humphrey  allowed him to live there until his death with a small annuity. He also bought the Green Oaks Ranch and let Renssalear’s widowed sister live there until she died in 1919. Let me reread Tess Black’s book and get this straight in my head. Enjoy. John

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