NAME, Years Elected to City Council

Benjamin H Pendleton (1862-?) served 4 terms on City Council: 1903 1905 1907 1909. He was President of Council in 1909 and 1910.





Benjamin H Pendleton was born in China but spent most of his early life in the United States. He graduated from Yale in 1884.  He owned the wholesale cigar company Horn & Company in San Francisco. After moving to Oakland he became very involved in public affairs.3

Pendleton lived at 1308 Webster.

Like basically everyone in early city government, Pendleton had something to say about the water supply for Oakland. Pendleton visited Boston in 1909 and returned suggesting that Bay Area cities joined together and created a union to use Hetch Hetchy, Tuolumne and Calaveras outside of corporate control. He proposed that each municipality have its own reservoirs to distribute the supplies.1 This sounds remarkably like what ended up occurring with EBMUD.

Contemporary accounts also credit him with settling a number of issues: Southern Pacific's of the 7th street station: they had to pay a yearly rental fee. He was instrumental in lowering the water rates, another ongoing water issue for Oakland. He also was involved in an agreement between the Western Pacific Railway Company: like SP, they began paying rent for use of the wharf. With the rewriting of the City Charter, a commission form of government was established. Pendleton became the "civil service commissioner" as well as the chairman of the municipal water commission which put him in position to acquire the water company's plant (see above).4

Pendleton knew a lot about the shady dealings of FM Smith and FC Havens especially as it had to do with the sale of the water company. He testified at the State Railroad Commission about it in 1911. See this article: immense profit.pdf.

Pendleton was a member of the Nile Club.

There was an BH Pendleton on the Port Commission in the 1930s, but I can't tell if it was the same one. I can't really find anything on this guy, including an obit after 1917...

There was also a BF Pendleton on City Council in the 1860s, but I also can't find info on any possible relationship between the two. It seems likely except that this Pendleton was born in 1862 and lived on the East Coast...


  • Civil Service Commission, Oakland 1911-1915
  • President of Associated Charities of Oakland (affiliated with the City)
  • President of the Oakland Free Library 1898-1902


  1. "WANTS CITY UNION FOR WATER SUPPLY." San Francisco Call: Oct 14, 1909.
  2. "BENJAMIN H. PENDLETON." Alameda County Biographies. Past & Present of Alameda County, California Vol II, S. J. Clarke Publ. Co., 1914.

  3. "Benjamin H Pendleton."
  4. "Benjamin H Pendleton."