Los Angeles Common Council

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The Los Angeles Common Council was the predecessor of the Los Angeles, California, City Council. It was formed in 1850 under state law, when the city had only 1,610 residents, and it existed until 1889, when the city had about 50,400 residents and a city charter was put into effect.

From 1850 through 1869, council members were elected at large under a first-past-the-post voting system, in which the top vote-getters were seated. From 1870 they were elected by electoral districts called wards.

The dates in the headers reflect the years of installation of the incoming councils.

Alphabetical[edit]

1850–59[edit]

City population in 1850: 1,610.

1850[edit]

Election: July 1, 1850. / Term: July 3, 1850 to May 7, 1851.

1851[edit]

Election: May 5, 1851. / Term: May 7, 1851, to May 4, 1852.

1852[edit]

Election: May 3, 1852. / Term: May 4, 1852, to May 3, 1853.

1853[edit]

Election: May 1, 1853. Term: May 3, 1853, to May 4, 1854.

1854[edit]

Election: May 1, 1854. / Term: May 4, 1854, to May 9, 1855.

"At Councilman Lewis Granger's proposal at the May 4 session, the minutes of the Common Council were for the first time written in both Spanish and English, on alternate pages."[2]

"At Councilman Sanford's proposal[,] an invitation was extended to the two printers [in the city] to send a reporter each to their council meetings for the purpose of bringing any matter of general interest to the public through their newspapers."[2][3]

1855[edit]

1856[edit]

Election: May 5, 1856. / Term: May 7, 1856, to May 6, 1857.

1857[edit]

Election: May 4, 1857. / Term: May 6, 1857, to May 10, 1858.

1858[edit]

Election: May 3, 1858. / Term: May 10, 1858, to May 9, 1859.

1859[edit]

Election: May 2, 1859. / Term: May 9, 1859, to May 9, 1860.

1860–69[edit]

City population in 1860: 4,385.

1860[edit]

Election (to come). / Term: May 9, 1860, to May 7, 1861.

1861[edit]

Election: May 6, 1861. / Term: May 7, 1861, to May 7, 1862.

1862[edit]

Election: May 5, 1862. / Term: May 7, 1862, to May 9, 1863.

1863[edit]

Election: May 4, 1863. / Term: May 9, 1863, to May 5, 1864.

1864[edit]

Election: May 2, 1864. / Term: May 5, 1864, to May 6, 1865.

1866[edit]

Election: May 7, 1866[4][5] / Term: May 10, 1866, to May 8, 1867.

1867[edit]

Election: May 7, 1866.[4][5] / First term: May 10, 1866, to May 8, 1867. / Reinstated: August 8, 1867.
Second term: August 8, 1867, to December 7, 1868.

1868[edit]

Election: December 7, 1868. / Term: December 9, 1868, to December 9, 1869. The ten councilmen elected this year drew lots for terms of one or two years. The president of the council was also selected by drawing lots.[6]

1869[edit]

Election: December 6, 1869. / Term: December 9, 1869, to December 9, 1870.

1870–79[edit]

City population in 1870: 5.730.

1870[edit]

Election: December 5, 1870. / Term: December 9, 1870, to December 11,1871.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

1871[edit]

Election: December 4, 1871. / Term: December 11, 1871, to December 5, 1872.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

1872[edit]

Election: December 2, 1872. / Term: December 5, 1872, to December 4, 1873.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

1873[edit]

Election: December 1, 1873. / Term: December 4, 1873, to December 18, 1874.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

1874[edit]

Election: December 7, 1874. / Term: December 18, 1874, to December 9, 1875.

"Beginning this year, the mayor also served as president of the City Council."[7]

1st Ward[edit]

  • Thornton P. Campbell (resigned 4/15/1875; resignation voided by ordinance 6/3/1875)
  • Ramon R. Sotelo
  • Joseph Mullaly
  • Joseph G. Carmona

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

1875[edit]

Election: December 6, 1875. / Term: December 9, 1875, to December 6, 1876.

1st Ward[edit]

  • Jacob F. Gherkins
  • Ramon R. Sotelo
  • Thornton P. Campbell
  • Joseph Mullaly

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

  • Thomas Leahy
  • D.V. Waldron
  • Louis Wolfskill
  • Charles E. Huber

1876[edit]

Election: December 4, 1876. / Term: December 8, 1876, to December 6, 1877.

1st Ward[edit]

  • F. Tamiet
  • B. Valle
  • Ramon R. Sotelo
  • Jacob F. Gherkins (resigned 12/18/1876 to become chief of police)

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

1877[edit]

Election: December 3, 1877. / Term: December 6, 1877, to December 6, 1878.

1st Ward[edit]

  • Joseph Mullaly
  • Cayetano Apalblassa (declared vacant 5/2/1878)[8]
  • F. Tamiet
  • B. Valle

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

1878[edit]

Election: December 2, 1878. / Term: December 5, 1878, to December 5, 1879.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

  • Richard Molony
  • Jesse Houston Butler (resigned 8/14/1879; resignation rescinded 8/18/1879; reconsidered and resigned definitely 8/18/1879)
  • John Bobenreith (resigned 8/7/1879)

3rd Ward[edit]

  • Charles Brode (resigned 3/13/1879)
  • Simon A. Francis
  • S.H. Buchanan

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

1879[edit]

Election: December 5, 1879. / Term: December 5, 1879, to December 11, 1880.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

  • Jacob Kuhrtz, president[9]
  • H. Schumacher
  • Richard Molony

3rd Ward[edit]

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

1880–88[edit]

City population in 1880: 11,200.

1880[edit]

Election: December 6, 1880. / Term: December 11, 1880, to December 10, 1881.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

1881[edit]

Election: December 5, 1881. / Term: December 10, 1881, to December 9, 1882.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

1882[edit]

Election: December 4, 1882. / Term: December 9, 1882, to December 8, 1883.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

4th Ward[edit]

  • Alfred Louis Bush (resigned 10/27/1883)
  • Joseph W. Wolfskill
  • George Kerckhoff

5th Ward[edit]

1883[edit]

Election: December 4, 1883. / Term: December 9, 1883, to December 8, 1884.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

  • Charles H. Johnson
  • Loring A. French
  • Charles Gassen

4th Ward[edit]

  • D.E. Miles[10]
  • Frank Sabichi
  • Joseph W. Wolfskill

5th Ward[edit]

1884[edit]

Election: December 1, 1884. / Term: December 9, 1884, to December 10, 1885.

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

  • Albert Brown
  • Loring A. French
  • Charles H. Johnson (resigned 6/2/1885)

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

1885[edit]

Election December 7, 1885 / Term December 10, 1885, to December 13, 1886

1st Ward[edit]

  • Thomas Goss
  • George L. Stearns
  • James Valsir

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

1886[edit]

Election December 6, 1886 / Term December 13, 1886, to December 12, 1887

1st Ward[edit]

  • William Thomas Lambie (resigned 3/21/1887
    • Edward A. Gibbs (appointed 4/18/1887
  • Thomas Goss
  • George L. Stearns

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

  • Horace Hiller
  • Jacob Frankenfeld
  • Cyrus Willard

1887[edit]

Election December 5, 1887 / Term December 12, 1887, to December 10, 1888

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

  • Thomas J. Cuddy (resigned 1/23/1888)
    • John Moriarty (2/20/1888)
  • Matthew Teed
  • Michael Thomas Collins

3rd Ward[edit]

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

1888[edit]

Election December 3, 1888 / Term December 10, 1888, to February 21, 1889

The new city charter having been compiled by a specially elected board of freeholders under the provisions of Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 16, and having been approved by the voters at a special election held October 20, 1888, by a vote of 2,642 to 1,890, caused Mayor John Bryson Sr.'s administration to be terminated on February 21, 1889, the day of the new elections. Mayor Henry T. Hazard was swept into office for a year and three quarters. Under the new charter all elected officers were elected for two years, the election month being December of every second year from 1889 on.[11]

1st Ward[edit]

2nd Ward[edit]

3rd Ward[edit]

4th Ward[edit]

5th Ward[edit]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

References[edit]

  • Except for the population figures (see below), all data is from Chronological Record of Los Angeles City Officials,1850-1938, compiled under direction of Municipal Reference Library, City Hall, Los Angeles (March 1938, reprinted 1966). "Prepared ... as a report on Project No. SA 3123-5703-6077-8121-9900 conducted under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration."

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "William T.B. Sanford came to an untimely death on the ill-fated Ada Hancock." 1854-1855 section, page 5
  2. ^ a b 1854-1855 section, page 6
  3. ^ The newspapers at that time were the Los Angeles Star and the Southern Californian. [1]
  4. ^ a b "August 8, 1867, the city officials elected May 6, were deposed and with few exceptions the officials elected the previous year (May 7, 1866) resumed office.
    "They officiated until April 6, 1866 when a new group of officials was elected, which although certified on April 9, never took office.
    "The 1866/67 administration, with a few changes continued to function from April 20th to the regular election changed, for the first time, to December 7, 1868.
    "In other words, with the exception of the time from May 6, to August 8, 1867, the governing body elected May 7, 1866, actually served until December 7, 1868." Chronological Record of Los Angeles City Officials,1850-1938, 1867-1868 section, page 1, first iteration
  5. ^ a b "According to the records of the City Council the election which occurred as usual in May [1867] proved invalid after the elected officials served for a period of three months only.
    "On August 8, 1867 this entire group of officials was replaced by the municipal officers elected the preceding year (May 7, 1866).
    "The first move of the reinstalled governing body was to legalize all the official acts of the deposed council[,] thus protecting the city corporation and the citizenry." Chronological Record of Los Angeles City Officials,1850-1938, 1867-1868 section, page 1, second iteration
  6. ^ Chronological Record of Los Angeles City Officials,1850-1938, 1868-1869 section, page 11
  7. ^ 1874-1875 section, page 1
  8. ^ Minutes of the Common Council printed in the Los Angeles Herald, however, showed that Apablasa (the correct spelling} was present at the meeting of May 2, 1878, and that he attended all meetings in 1878 through December 9.[2] Los Angeles Herald, December 10, 1878, image 3
  9. ^ "Pioneer of Gold Days Dies," Los Angeles Times, January 30, 1926, page A-1
  10. ^ a b The text of the source says, "B.E. Miles," an error. Times stories give the initials as D.E.
  11. ^ Chronological Record of Los Angeles City Officials,1850-1938, 1888-1889 section, page 1