California Governor. George Pardee grew up in Oakland. He followed his father into the medical and political fields, attending the University of California at Berkeley, Cooper Medical College in San Francisco., and the University of Leipzig in Germany, ultimately becoming an eye and ear specialist. A Republican, Pardee was a member of the Oakland Board of Health and the Oakland City Council. He served as Mayor of Oakland from 1893 to 1895 and as California Governor from 1903 to 1907. He was the first California Governor to live in the Governor's mansion in Sacramento. His governorship was hallmarked by the eradication of an outbreak of bubonic plague in the City of San Francisco. He also championed expanded agriculture and safe drinking water by promoting irrigation and water projects in the Central Valley. President Theodore Roosevelt asked Pardee to be his running mate in the 1904 Presidential election based on their common interest in conservation and their mutual distrust of corporate monopolies; however, Pardee declined, preferring to continue his political activities in California. In 1905, he signed into law the University Farm Bill, which established an agricultural school. That school ultimately became the University of California at Davis in 1959. Pardee was instrumental in creating the Board of Forestry (later the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), whose duties were to oversee California's forests with respect to logging, land usage, and forest fires. This helped persuade President Roosevelt to turn over management of federal forests to the Department of Agriculture and later the National Forest Service. Pardee played an important role in managing California's response to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. He dispatched the California Army National Guard to patrol the city and personally coordinated relief efforts and communications. As an enemy of corporate monopolies, he had a long-standing dispute with Southern Pacific Railroad. Southern Pacific sympathizers managed to gain control of the 1906 Republican Convention and nominated a pro-railroad candidate for the Governorship, thus ending Pardee's political career as an elected official. In his late years, he served as Commodore of the Oakland Yacht Club and convinced the Legislature to create a separate water district for the East Bay. He administered that water district, known as the East Bay Municipal Utility District or EBMUD, from 1924 to 1941. The family home at 672 Eleventh Street in Oakland is now a public museum. Pardee Dam and Pardee Reservoir, located on the Mokelumne River, and Pardee Drive in Oakland are all named in his honor.
Bio by: countedx58
Helen Newhall Penniman Pardee