Total Legislator Count Drops by One

The total count for California state legislators has dropped by one (to 4,442 since 1849) through the correction of a 130-year-old error. It appears that when Winfield J. Davis compiled his list of California state legislators for the 1889 Government Roster of the State of California, he accidentally included Assemblyman R. H. Myers of the 1901 twice.

In the list of legislators, there is both a “R. H. Meyers” and an “R. H. Myers,” both listed as having represented Kings and Tulare counties in the 1901 session. The Assembly Journal for 1901 indicates that only one Assemblymember represented those counties in that session; R. H. Myers.

Not a Legislator

In his obituary, Harry A. Cobden was described as “a pioneer aviator, a rancher, a mountain climber, a rodeo cowboy, a Golden Gloves boxer, an engineer, a lawyer, a counter-espionage agent, a campaign manager in Upton Sinclair’s 1934 race for the governorship of California and, in the mid-1930s, a California state senator from Alameda County.”

Cobden was not, in fact, a state Senator, but was (in 1934), a candidate for Alameda Democratic Central Committee (from AD-19).

Untangling the Hoeys of San Francisco

There was a L. Hoey (Republican) who represented AD-28 in 1899. San Francisco. Went by L. Hoey in the 1899 Blue Book. The Assembly Journal describes (on page 778) the current Assemblyman as “Lawrence J. Hoey.”
There was a Lawrence Hoey (Democrat) who represented AD-46 in 1891. San Francisco. Went by Lawrence Hoey in the 1891 Blue Book. Listed as a different person from L. Hoey in the 1899 Blue Book.

Conclusion 1: The evidence indicates that there were indeed two people named Lawrence Hoey served in the State Assembly from San Francisco in the 1890s.

The 1900 Death
San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 172 (11 May 1900) reports Lawrence Hoey, a well-known politician, ex-Assemblyman and member of the Republican County Committee from the 32nd Assembly District died at his residence Wednesday last. He was a native of New York, 40 years of age. This Assemblyman is buried here.

The 1901 Death
San Francisco Call in Volume 90, Number 127 (5 October 1901) reports that Lawrence Hoey, a former Assemblyman from this city, died in the City and County Hospital Thursday night from pneumonia. He was an important factor in south of Market and was a ready and willing lieutenant of Martin Kelly. This Assemblyman is buried here.

In a follow-up article, the San Francisco Call, Volume 90, Number 128 (6 October 1901) includes a resolution by the San Francisco delegation of the 1899 Legislature honoring Lawrence J. Hoey as “A Fellow Member.” The next day, the San Francisco Call, Volume 90, Number 129 (7 October 1901) reported that Lawrence J. Hoey‘s funeral was attended by “nearly all the members of the Legislature of 1899”

San Francisco Call, Volume 85, Number 69 (7 February 1899) reported that Martin Kelly was championing the cause of Patrick J. Graham, who was contesting the election victory of Hoey (Republican).

Conclusion 2:
The 1900 death appears to have been Lawrence Hoey.
The 1901 death appears to have been Lawrence J. Hoey.

The 1899 Blue Book indicates that Lawrence Hoey (Republican) served in 1899. The San Francisco Call indicates that this Hoey was the one who was born in New York around 1859 and died in San Francisco in May 1900. This Assemblyman is buried here.

The 1899 Blue Book indicates that Lawrence J. Hoey (Republican) represented served in the Assembly in 1891, and while the San Francisco Call reports that Lawrence J. Hoey was a considered a “fellow member” by the 1899 legislature, apparently that doesn’t mean he was the one who served in 1899. Instead Lawrence J. Hoey died in San Francisco in October 1901.

Did I get that right?