NAME, Years Elected to City Council

Oliver Ellsworth (1867-1939) was elected to  City Council in 1907 and 1909. He was president of Council in 1908.


Republican3, endorsed by Citizens' Municipal League4


Note: this is not the famous Oliver Ellsworth of early America credited with naming the "United States." This entry is for his great-great-great grandson.

He was, however, credited as being one of the most brilliant lawyers around. He won a number of well-known cases including cases regarding mutual building and loan associations. 

Ellsworth was born at Mission San Jose (then part of Alameda County). He attended grammar and high school in Oakland.2 for He graduated from University of California in 1888 and then went to Hastings for law school. In addition to being a lawyer, he was a "shrewd businessman": he was president of oil companies in the Kern River field and director in two "large loan associations."He was the lawyer for the Stewart Fruit Company.5

While on Council, he worked with Benjamin H Pendleton to work on getting enough money from the railroads for their franchises and right-of-ways. He also was involved with prohibition: He worked on amendments to liquor laws that restricted the number of saloons and the way they were run: "He had a special detective go through the so-called "social clubs," and upon the evidence obtained the police closed up several of these places."6

At some point, Ellsworth ditched Oakland for the tonier lands of Piedmont. In 1914 he was chosen as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of that town, a position which was "virtually" that of Mayor.8 It's not clear exactly when he became the official Mayor, but by 1916 he was being referred to as the Mayor of Piedmont and he served in that position for 25 years.

Ellsworth married Lillian Mastick in 1897 and had one daughter.

He was a member of was a member of the Piedmont Lodge of Masons, Scottish Rite bodies, Shriners, Diablo Country Club, Commonwealth Club and Beta Theta Pi.7

Ellsworth is buried in Mountain View Cemetery.






  1. Bothin, Henry E. Men Who Made San FranciscoPress of Brown & Power Stationary Company: 1912.
  2. Blake, Evarts. Greater Oakland, 1911, a volume dealing with the big metropolis on the shores of San Francisco Bay. Pacific Publishing Co, 1911.
  3. Bothin.
  4. Blake.
  5. Blake.
  6. Blake.
  7. Oakland Tribune, Thursday, November 2, 1939.
  8. "Town of Piedmont Now Has New Mayor." San Francisco Chronicle: Apr 21, 1914.