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Milo Hoadley Papers: Finding Aid
mssHY 1-39  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Milo Hoadley Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1849-1886
    Collection Number: mssHY 1-39
    Creator: Hoadley, Milo
    Extent: 65 pieces in 1 box + 10 volumes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    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.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Milo Hoadley Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Purchased from Edwin Grabhorn in January, 1945.

    Biographical Note

    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 Engineers.
    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 Company.
    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 items).
    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)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Hoadley, Milo.
    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.