Register of the Gonzales (Nathan) Stockton Electric Railroad Collection, 1900-1997

Processed by Don Walker; machine-readable finding aid created by Don Walker
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
University Library, University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA 95211
Phone: (209) 946-2404
Fax: (209) 946-2810
© 1998
University of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Register of the Gonzales (Nathan) Stockton Electric Railroad Collection, 1900-1997

Collection number: Mss286

Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections

University Library

University of the Pacific

Contact Information

  • Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
  • University Library, University of the Pacific
  • Stockton, CA 95211
  • Phone: (209) 946-2404
  • Fax: (209) 946-2810
  • URL:
Processed by:
Don Walker
Date Completed:
July 1997
Encoded by:
Don Walker
© 1998 University of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Gonzales (Nathan) Stockton Electric Railroad Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1900-1997
Collection number: Mss286
Creator: Nathan Gonzales
Extent: 0.5 linear ft.
Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Stockton, CA 95211
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Gonzales (Nathan) Stockton Electric Railroad Collection, Mss286, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Access Points

personal name

Hogan, M.B.
Smith, James W.

corporate name

Southern Pacific Railroad
Central California Traction Company
Stockton Electric Railroad


Street-railroads -California -Stockton
Stockton (Calif.) -History -Sources


Horse-drawn streetcars first appeared on the streets of Stockton, Calif. in April, 1874. Routes connected Main Street with Central Pacific and Stockton & Copperopolis railroad depots and with the steamboat levee. The following year a northbound second line was begun connecting downtown with the Stockton Insane Asylum. This system operated until replaced by the Stockton Electric Railroad (July 1892). Company owners replaced the old narrow gauge rails, added and extended routes in 1905-06. The California Traction Company, an electric railway that operated trains between Stockton and Sacramento, also provided street rail service to some Stockton locations during this period. In 1912, Henry Huntington of the Southern Pacific Railroad bought a controlling interest in both companies and soon arranged for SER to lease the CCT's Stockton tracks (1915). In 1924, Stockton Electric laid its last new tracks to the recently established campus of the College of the Pacific. Stockton streetcars survived the Depression, although the Company abandoned certain lines. Southern Pacific sold out to Pacific Lines during the 1930s and this company operated the Stockton Electric Railroad until it finally gave way to buses in 1941.

Scope and Content

The Gonzales Stockton Electric Railroad Collection consists of photocopies of primary and secondary source materials relating to history of Stockton Electric Railroad (1904-1942) and a paper examining factors leading to demise of that Company by Nathan Gonzales(1997).






a-Ordinance #391--------Granting Stockton Electric Railroad Co. franchise (3-14- 05)


b-Ordinance #561--------Granting SER franchise to build on Center (11-25-12)


c-Ordinance #564--------Granting SER franchise to build line on Yosemite (12- 23-12)


d-Ordinance C-14-104---Requires SER to pay city 2% of rcpts (1914)




a-Ordinance #908--------Granting SER franchise to build on E. Main (11-3-24)


b-Ordinance #960--------Granting SER franchise to build on Kensington (6-1-25)


c-Statement of operating revenues, expenses & taxes...for yr ending 12-31-26


d-Application to State RR Commission to raise fares (3-4-27)


e-Valuation of physical property as of June 30, 1927


f-J. Leroy Johnson, Cty. Atty. to Stktn Cty Council (10-24-27) [re fare increase]


g-Calif. RR Comm. "Results of studies relating to various forms of fares on the Stockton Electric Railroad Company's system," (11-10-27)


h-Ordinance #1156-------Granting SER franchise to operate a bus line (8-12-29)




a-Calif. RR Comm. Decision #26781 authorizing SER to discontinue service on Center & Pilgrim Street lines (2-5-34)


b-Map showing lines to be abandoned (n.d.)


c-Ordinance C-35-7------Abandonment contract inventory (1935)


d-Agmt. betw. SER & City re track removal & street repaving (6-3-35)


e-Res. #11580a---Specification for improvement of Center Street (8-2-37)


f-Removal of street railroad facilities: Comparison of cost betw. method proposed by Pacific Lines Co. & that proposed by City Manager, W.B. Hogan (10-21-39)




a-Ordinance #1571--------Granting SER right to substitute buses for electric rr cars (9-3-40)


b-Ordinance #1581--------defining routes referred to in #1571


c-Agmt. betw. SER & City of Stockton re track removal & street repaving (n.d., 1941)


d-Tom B. Guinn, atty. to Stockton City Council (3-17-41) [re bus line application]


e-SER application to City of Stockton for bus line franchise (3-17-41)


f-M.B. Hogan, City Mgr. to Stockton City Council (3-22-41) [re bus line application]


g-Res. #12857---Bus line franchise granted SER (3-24-41)


h-Helen D. Ringer to Stockton City Council (5-12-41) [citizen reaction to bus line]


i-Byron A. Bearce, West American Finance Co. to Stktn Cty Council (5-23-41) [detailed recommendations re bus line franchise]


j-J.O. Stemmler, Pres. Stkn. Muni. Ownership League to Stkn. City Council (5- 29-41) [request for two wk. delay re bus line franchise]


k-Proposal submitted to City Council by Stkn. Muni. Ownership League (n.d.; c5- 29-41) [proposes that City of Stkn. take over municipal transit]


l-Res. #12991---Authorizes Mayor to execute agmt. w/ SER m (6-23-41)


m-Ordinance #1615----------Grants SER bus franchise (6-23-41)


n-Specifications for pvmt. of street car right of ways...(6-23-41)


o-State RR Comm. Decision #34573: Granting SER right to operate motor bus line (9-10-41)


p-Res. #13171---Permits SER to withdraw electric street car bonds & substitute bus bonds (11-24-41)


q-Res. #13535---Granting permission to re-route buses while streets are repaired (4-13-42)


1.5-CLIPPINGS & CLIPPINGS INDEX [Stkn Pub. Libr. Index to Stockton newspaper articles on street railroads, 1869-1942]


a-"James W. Smith expired today," Mail (11-26-04)


b-"To string the rails," Record (12-26-04)


c-"Central California Traction Company," Independent (11-22-31)


d-"From horse cars tomodern eqpt.," Independent (11-22-31)


e-"Two street cars robbed here," Record (11-8-37)


f-"Mayor demands street car company repair pavement," Record (11-30-37)


g-"Electric RR is mending street," Record (12-6-37)


h-"Busses for street cars?" Record (2-17-39)


i-"Bus service plan gains support," Record (2-17-39)


j-"Club votes favor of bus service," Record (2-18-39)


k-"Bus hearing is slated here," Record (2-20-39)


l-"Passenger bus service hearing put off...," Record (2-21-39)


m-"New street car company owners in meet here," Record (3-31-39)


n-"Six veteran street car men dismissed by Pacific Lines," Record (5-5-39)


o-"Retired street car men pensioned," Record (5-27-39)


p-"Traction Co. in move to take up rails," Record (7-15-39)


q-"WPA removal of rails hit," Record (12-12-39)


r-"Street car union has closed shop," Record (1-11-40)


s-"Pacific City Lines buys four systems," Record (6-6-40)


t-"Traction Co. to remove rails," Record (7-12-40)


u-"Traction Co. rails will come up," Record (11-8-40)


v-"Notice is hereby given of public hearing...," Record (4-4-41)


w-"Street cars near final runs as bus act goes to print," Record (6-24-41)


x-"Their days numbered," Record (6-25-41)


y-"Cars doomed as Council approves bus franchise," Record (7-1-41)


z-"Regular bus service for SE, SW parts of city," Record (8-28-41)


aa-"Electric car lines pass into oblivion Sunday," Record (9-25-41)


bb-"Notice to bus patrons, map showing bus routes...," Record (9-21-41)


cc-"Crew removes trolley wires in city," Record (10-15-41)


dd-"St. car rails being torn from base," Record (11-13-41)


ee-"City lines to pave over holes," Record (4-6-42)


ff-"Stockton's well wishes go with them," Record (7-1-45)


gg-"Bus line officials indicate desire to keep operating," Record (5-17-57)




a-pp. 148-149 from unident. source providing summary histories of SER & Calif. Tract. Co.


b-"Streetcar Barns historical site" [brief Recorder's Office descr. of location]


c-Index pages citing SER from County Clerk's Office [?]


d-WPA. "History of Stockton & San Joaquin County" (1938), pp. 226-227


e-John W. Dodge. "Electric Railroading in Central California," Pacific Railway Journal 1:12 (Dec 1956)


f-"Stockton Electric Railway," The Western Railroader 20:6 (Apr 1957), pp. 2- 13


g-Glenn Kennedy. "Street Cars" from "It Happened in Stockton, 1900-1925," Vol. 2 (1964), pp. 278-281


h-Roger Barnett. "Suburban Subdivision: The morphogenesis of housing in Stockton, 1850-1950" (1973), pp. 79-85


i-James Burks. Ch. 4 from "The history of the Stockton streetcar" (1975), pp. 4- 11


j-Bibliography [from James Burks. "The history of the Stockton streetcar" (1975) San Joaquin County Historical Society Bulletin], p. 32


k-Mark Stewart Foster. "Delivering the masses," Journal of Urban History 7:3 (May 1981), pp. 381-389


l-Michael F. Sheehan. "Land speculation in Southern California: The roles of railroads, trolley lines and autos," American Journal of Economics & Sociology 41:2 (Apr 1982), pp. 197-209


m-Do. Pt. 2, American Journal of Economics & Sociology 42:1 (Jan 1983), pp. 67-74




a-California State RR Museum Collection: #14082B---"Birney Safety Car No. 50" (n.d.)


b-California State RR Museum Collection: #14084B---"Birney Safety Car No. 54" (n.d.) [in front of Hotel Stockton]


c-California State RR Museum Collection: #20025-----"Birney Safety Car No. 44" (n.d.)


d-Holt Atherton Special Collections, UOP: #P77-2496---San Joaquin St. Car (n.d.)


e-Holt Atherton Special Collections, UOP: #P80-666----Car w/ unident. conductors (n.d.; ca. 1915)