Overview of the Collection
Overview of the Collection
Title: Milo Hoadley Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1849-1886
Collection Number: mssHY 1-39
65 pieces in 1 box + 10 volumes
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Abstract: This collection consists of papers related to the life and business activities of San Francisco, California, civil engineer
and county surveyor Milo Hoadley (1809-1887). Includes field notebooks containing street grade measurements
and surveys (1850s-early 1860s), as well as material about the
fight to supply San Francisco with water in 1856 and the 1870s.
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responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining
necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
[Identification of item]. Milo Hoadley Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino,
Purchased from Edwin Grabhorn in January, 1945.
Milo Hoadley (1809-1887), civil engineer, was born in Connecticut on July 25, 1809. In 1849
he came to San Francisco, California, where he served first as assistant deputy county
surveyor, then as deputy, to County Surveyor William M. Eddy. After Eddy's election to the
State Surveyor General-ship in 1851, Hoadley turned his full attention to former part-time
activities--making private surveys and working on the 160 acre tract near Lone Mountain to
which he had squatter's rights. There, on the land later to be known officially as Hoadley's
Addition, he began cutting wood for sale. During 1852, he and a C. McCartney were partners in
a downtown wood yard.
This enterprise was short-lived, and the years 1853-1854 found Hoadley filling the post of
city engineer for establishing grades, with James H. Hoadley as his assistant. He next
allied himself with the Water Works Company of San Francisco, one of the many organizations
which, over the years, vied for the privilege of supplying San Francisco with water. This
particular company seems to have existed chiefly on paper, and its engineer soon directed
his energies elsewhere, officiating, in 1862-1863, as president of the City Board of Civil
In 1864, Milo, Silas, and James Hoadley formed Hoadley & Co., Dealers in Native Sonoma
Wines, a business of some four years' duration. Then, in 1867, Milo Hoadley, James T. Boyd
and John H. Turney organized the San Francisco Water Co., which, despite wordy battles in
the water conscious seventies, was never able to displace the monopolist Spring Valley
City directories list Hoadley as civil engineer until 1887. He died on May 19, 1887, and
was buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery, not far from the rancheria on which he had settled 37
years before. His wife Sarah, whom he had married in 1831, died in August 1890.
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of letters, manuscripts, and documents (including 7 fieldbooks, a
journal, an account book, and a notebook) related to the life and business activities of
Milo Hoadley. Subject matter includes life in and near San Francisco (1850-52), official and
private surveys made in San Francisco city and county (1849-62), and land titles in San
Francisco city and county. There is also information on the controversy in supplying water
to San Francisco (1852-72), in which Hoadley's San Francisco Water Co. unsuccessfully tried
to displace the Spring Valley Water Company.
Persons represented by more than two items: Augustus Truman Dowd (6 items); James H. Hoadley (8 items); and Milo Hoadley (14
Some notable items include:
- Hoadley, Milo. Journal, written in San Francisco, containing
entries about surveys, local politics, the wood business and Hoadley's Rancheria, the
weather, prices, services at Trinity Church, etc. 1850-1852 (HY 23)
- Hoadley, Milo. Drafts of letters later published in The Daily Evening Bulletin about the
building of a sea-wall for San Francisco, about corruption in the State Supreme Court,
particularly in regard to land titles, and about the Water Works Company of San Francisco.
1856 (In HY 23. Hoadley, Milo, and McCartney C. Account Book, 1852)
- Hoadley, Milo. A paper attacking the Spring Valley Water Co. and
giving its history. [after 1870, April] (HY 33)
- Hoadley, James H. Note book containing detailed plans and measurements of San Francisco streets. Approximately 1862 (HY 19)
- Koels, Alphons Edward. Letter about the disappearance of the sons
of Milo Hoadley and F.F. Low. 1871, July 12 (HY 36)
San Francisco Water Company.
Spring Valley Water Company.
Engineers -- California -- San Francisco -- Archives.
Land titles -- California -- San Francisco.
Surveyors -- California -- San Francisco -- Archives.
Water rights -- California -- San Francisco.
Water-supply -- California -- San Francisco.
San Francisco (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Surveys.
Field notes California San Francisco 19th century.
Letters (correspondence) California San Francisco 19th century.
Notebooks California San Francisco 19th century.