William Hillegass (1827- 1876) served on the Oakland City Council in 1856, 1857.






Hillegass was an early resident of Oakland, and along with FK Shattuck owned a lot of real estate. It is almost impossible to separate the lives of Shattuck and Hillegass: their lives were intertwined politically and commercially. According to one source Hillegass and Shattuck were the "first American farmers" in the township of Oakland.4 Together they partnered in a livery business (Shattuck & Hillegass Livery) that was centered in what is now Jack London Square. Farming and transportation was very successful, and they invested in coal: The "Central Coal Mining Company" incorporated on January 22, 1863 and Hillegas was the secretary, Shattuck the president.6

Hilllegass married twice: first to Eugenie and remarried Maria, who was French.5

Hillegass sold a substantial portion of land to the College of California, which later became UC Berkeley, and eventually moved to Berkeley.1

Ad for Shattuck & Hillegass' Livery Stable, Directory of the Township and City of Oakland, 1869

Upon Hillegass' death of apoplexy7, the City Council passed the following resolution:

"Resolved, That we, in Council assembled, deeply deplore the sudden demise of our friend William Hillegass, whose death took place this Day, March 20, 1876, at his residence at Berkeley, and have always found in him one of the truest friends of our city, always ready to do his duty fearlessly, and for the past quarter of his century spent his life in doing all that could be done to promote the cause of justice and humanity; kind, affable, and generous to a fault, like the departed J. Ross Browne, takes his flight to the world of peace without one in all the many with whom he became acquainted to say other than: "We mourn our honest friend, most worthy citizen, and most exemplary man."1



  • Justice-of-the-Peace, Contra Costa County, 18523
  • Member, School Board, 1859-1860




1. Cohen, Alan. "History of Berkeley From the Ground Up."

2. Wood, MW. History of Alameda County, Vol 2. 1883.

3. Cohen, Alan.

4. "Francis Kittredge Shattuck." The Centennial Yearbook of Alameda County, California-Oakland. Alameda County Biographies, transcribed by Peggy Allen, April 20, 2006 as part of the California Geneology & History Archives.

5. "William Hillegass." Bedfordconnection.org

6. Parent, Traci and Karen Terhune. Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. Aracadia Publishing: 2009.

7. Belfort, A. "Death from Apoplexy." San Francisco Chronicle : March 21, 1876.