William Chapman Ralston

William Chapman Ralston

Birth
Plymouth, Richland County, Ohio, USA
Death 27 Aug 1875 (aged 49)
North Beach, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA
Memorial ID 26231568 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Banker, Businessman. A native of Ohio, Ralston moved to Panama after the discovery of gold in California and joined a banking and shipping firm that carried miners to San Francisco. In 1854, he settled in San Francisco himself and spent the next ten years with various banking firms. In 1864, he co-founded the Bank of California with Darius O. Mills and was named the bank's cashier. Taking advantage of the events of the time, he invested much of the young bank's money into the silver mines of Nevada's Comstock Lode and as a result, both Ralston and his bank profited greatly. Establishing himself as one of San Francisco's leading bankers, he began using his money to benefit the city of San Francisco by coming up with and/or financing numerous ventures and projects including the California Theater, New Montgomery Street, the University of California Berkeley, and Ralston Hall. His most famous project however would be the Palace Hotel which after it's completion in 1875, would become San Francisco's defining landmark and be the place many famous personalities would stay when visiting the city. On August 26, 1875, crippled by Ralston's overspending and failed ventures, the Bank of California collapsed and Ralston was asked to resign the next morning. Later the same day of his resignation, he accidentally drowned during his regular swim in the San Francisco Bay. For all of his contributions to the city, he is often considered today as the man who built San Francisco.

Bio by: G.Photographer


Family Members

Parents
Spouse

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was William Chapman Ralston?

Current rating:

23 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: G.Photographer
  • Added: 23 Apr 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 26231568
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Chapman Ralston (12 Jan 1826–27 Aug 1875), Find A Grave Memorial no. 26231568, citing Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .