Thomas Trounce Dargie (February, 1857 – February 11, 1907) was the postmaster of Oakland from 1902 until his death in 1907. He was the brother of Oakland Tribune owner William E. Dargie.
Family and Education
Thomas Dargie was born in San Francisco in 1857 to John Dargie (February 23, 1830 – November 15, 1884) and Eliza Guard Rowland (Dargie) (c.1836–April 23, 1907). Besides brother William, he had a sister Anne Rowland Dargie (June 1864 – August 10, 1908), who was a schoolteacher at Lincoln School.
He attended McClure's Military Academy.
Dargie married Bessie Sedgwick (Dargie) (September 19, 1859 – April 25, 1954) on August 7, 1890 in Oakland. Bessie was the daughter of one-time sheriff of Tuolumne County, John Sedgwick. Thomas and Bessie had two children: Bessie Dargie (McCarthy) (March 23, 1892–April 16, 1968) and Thomas Malvern Dargie (August 22, 1893–October 23, 1936). The Dargies lived at Sixth Avenue and East 16th Streets.
The Dargie's father John died in an unusual fashion. Police theorized that he missed his stop, then jumped or fell off the platform and drown in the mud near the 7th Street railroad bridge. 4, 5
Like his brother William, Dargie went to work for the San Francisco Bulletin, and learned both the printing and business sides of the newspaper business.
Later Dargie worked for his brother, serving as secretary of the Tribune Publishing corporation.
In 1902, Thomas was appointed postmaster by President Teddy Roosevelt 1 at the request of Dargie's friend, congressman Victor H. Metcalf, and succeeded W. H. Friend.
The letter carriers appreciated his work. In 1903 he had a special census taken, showing that Oakland had more than 75,000 residents. This put the city in the highest grade, which gave the carriers a $150 per year raise. 8 Dargie was respected for his job at the post office, especially after the 1906 earthquake made for a huge increase in mail volume in Oakland.
He was reappointed in 1906 2 but died before completing the term.
Death and Burial
Dargie was devoted to his job and worked extra hard following the 1906 earthquake, but his health began to decline. After battling illness for several months, he died at home 6. Rev. David McClure presided over the funeral service, held at St. John's Episcopal Church. Friend and former mayor Melvin C. Chapman spoke at the funeral. Eight letter carriers served as pallbearers, and the post office was closed for the afternoon. 3 Flags were flown at half-mast on public buildings in Oakland. Thomas is buried in the Dargie family plot in Mountain View Cemetery. 7
Links and References
Postmaster Friend's Successor is Named San Francisco Call May 29, 1902
Dargie's Work Brings Reward San Francisco Call May 16, 1906
Funeral of Dargie San Francisco Call February 21, 1907
Pitiful Death at Oakland Sacramento Daily Union November 17, 1884
Death of John Dargie Daily Alta California, November 16, 1884
Postmaster Thomas T. Dargie Dies at Home in Oakland San Francisco Call February 20, 1907
Post Office Employees Mourn Departed Chief San Francisco Call February 22, 1907
Carriers Appreciate Postmaster's Efforts San Francisco Call January 1, 1904