NAME, Years Elected to City Council
William Dow served two terms on City Council: 1893 and 1895.
William Dow graduated from Oakland High School in 1866. He lived at 1270 23rd Avenue. His father, James Gordon Dow, came to California in the 1850s and moved in with Dow in 1887.6
It appears that Dow was nominated for District Attorney in 1894 and City Attorney in 1897. In 1894 he wrote an odd piece to The Morning Call stating that maybe he would and maybe he wouldn't run.
He did, however, serve as City Attorney. While he was serving, he frequently butted heads with then-Mayor Snow. For example, he supported future Chief of Police Petersen, who was an appointee of Snow's. The Police Commissioner at the time was not keen on Petersen, so Dow played nice with Snow to keep Petersen in the game.5 The rows Dow fought were frequent and reminiscent of current City Council affairs: in an article regarding a dispute over an $80 contract, the San Francisco Chronicle says that "as usual" Dow found himself fighting the Mayor and City Engineer- this time Thomas and Clement respectively.9
While a Councilman, Dow proposed a $5 yearly fee on all telegraph and telephone poles as a source of revenue.7 He also proposed that the railroads remove gates from local trains, allowing free local travel: no fares were charged between stations. The railroad companies objected, of course. It appears the ordinance passed.8
Dow was one of the City Councilmen arrested in 1895.
OTHER POSITIONS IN CITY GOVERNMENT
- “End of the Oakland Municipal Campaign.” San Francisco Chronicle: Mar 8, 1897.
- Oakland High School "In Memoriam."
- "MEN FAVORED BY THE REPUBLICANS." San Francisco Chronicle: Jan 20, 1897.
- "Councilman Dow's Position." The Morning Call: Jun 3, 1894.
- "SNOW MASTER OF THE SITUATION: DOW AND CLEMENT MUST BOW TO HIS WISHES." San Francisco Chronicle: Jun 9, 1899.
- "JAMES GORDON DOW, A PIONEER, DEAD." San Francisco Chronicle: Dec 5, 1899.
- "OAKLAND NEWS: The Proposed Tax on Poles Discussed." San Francisco Chronicle: Nov 29, 1893.
"THE GATES MUST GO." San Francisco Chronicle: Dec 19, 1893.
"OFFICIALS ROW ON CITY WORK." San Francisco Chronicle: Sep 29, 1898.