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?

Fact-checking Andra Hoffman

Anyone who reads this website regularly knows that this website usually avoids criticizing current candidates or elected officials. However, while doing some preliminary biographical research this evening on the candidates in the AD-45 Special Election, I found an error on candidate Andra Hoffman‘s website that I felt was worth highlighting.

Photo from Andra Hoffman's assembly campaign website.

Photo from Andra Hoffman’s assembly campaign website.

Her campaign biography notes that she “has been teaching state and local government and politics at Glendale College since 2006.” The same page shows a photo of Hoffman happily teaching her students about state government. On the whiteboard above her head is writing that notes about Jerry Brown that “Fact – Youngest Gov. and Oldest Gov.

In fact, Brown was not California’s youngest Governor (that title belongs to J. Neely Johnson, who was 30 when first elected Governor) although he is the oldest. Not that she’s the only person to have made this mistake; this error was in several national outlets;

New York Times: “But as Mr. Brown — who in 1974 was elected as the state’s youngest governor and on Tuesday was elected as its oldest…”

NPR: “Back in the 1970s, Jerry Brown was the state’s youngest governor. Now, at 72, he’s about to become its oldest.”

Christian Science Monitor: “Once California’s youngest governor, Jerry Brown reprises his role as the state’s chief executive starting Monday, now as the oldest person elected to that office.”

This not something critical that I would expect every California voter to know, but when someone running for Assembly touts as one of their primary credentials that she is a California Government teacher… well, it makes me a little sad.

Addition: J. W. Van Benschoten to “Shortest Terms in Office”

Today, Assemblyman J. W. Van Benschoten was added to the list of Shortest Terms in Office page on JoinCalifornia.com

Assemblyman Van Benschoten served 66 days between December 15, 1849 and February 18, 1850. One source indicates that he was appointed Postmaster of the Graysonville Post Office (then in Tuolumne County, now in Stanislaus) on or around July 1, 1850.

A quick biographic point that I found amusing was the explanation that “John Wesley V.B. in his early years was a delicate boy, and his parents, to give him a more robust constitution, apprenticed him to a butcher.”

Van Benschoten, described as “one of the oldest residents of Stanislaus County”  by the Daily Alta Californian, died January 12, 1886 after falling into the San Joaquin River while transporting a passenger across the river on a ferry he operated.