Mary Jane Sanderson-Grases (October 1851 – September 14, 1933) was the first Black school teacher in what is now Oakland, and the daughter of Rev. J. B. Sanderson.
Sanderson was born in Wareham, Massachusetts, to Jeremiah Burke ("J.B.") Sanderson and Catherine Molyneaux (Sanderson), in October, 1851. She was the second oldest of 8 children, and came to California with her mother and siblings about 1861 to join J.B., who was teaching in San Francisco.
In 1870 or 1871, she married James E. Grases (c.1849 – June 30, 1918), who would later be a deputy county assessor. They had a daughter, Katherine "Kate" Jefferson Grases (September 25, 1871 – December 13, 1965). The family lived at 580 - 32nd Street (the address was where I-980 is now.)
The 1910 census says James' father was born in Ecuador. Mary's father, J.B., was born in Massachusetts to parents of mixed race. That census lists Mary, James, and Kate as white. After James' death, the 1920 census lists Mary and Kate as white; the 1930 census lists Mary and Kate as black.
James died suddenly in 1918. Mary died September 14, 1933. The funeral was held at First African Methodist Episcopal Church (then known as Fifteenth Street Church).
In 1940, Kate was still living at 580 - 32nd Street, but now with her cousins, William Peyton Sanderson, and William's daughter, Vivian Sanderson (O'Reilly) and her family.