Washington Jacob Oglesby (1859 – July 6, 1902) was the first African American to run for office in Oakland and probably Alameda County 1. In 1894 he ran for justice of the peace (judge) 4 and lost. In 1896, he was the first African American to be admitted to the California Bar Association.
Oglesby was born and raised in Virginia (or maybe Kentucky), worked as a schoolteacher in Arkansas, then came to California about 1890. In Oakland he began by selling real estate.
"After passing the California Bar, one of Oglesby’s first divorce cases he handled was for a white woman named Elise Burkart. Her husband in the East had abandoned the woman and her two children. Oglesby not only won the case but also won Burkert as his bride and raised the children as his own." 1
Oglesby lived several places in Oakland: 779 - 7th Street (1894–1895), 832 Linden Street, 1165 - 7th Street (1902). His office while he was an attorney was at 861 Broadway. He was a Mason with Acacia Lodge #22, F&AM.
Elise (or Elisa or Eliza) (Burkart) Oglesby was listed as a dressmaker in the 1903 and 1904 directories, living at 832 Linden street.
Death and Burial
Links and References
- Washington Jacob Oglesby on Lives of the Dead
- Deaths of the Day Los Angeles Herald July 7, 1902
- Births - Marriages - Deaths San Francisco Call July 8, 1902
- Malinda Proves Her Innocence To Jury San Francisco Call December 5, 1900 (warning: includes offensive cartoon drawing)
- A Hot Time in Justice Court Oakland Tribune March 10, 1902