George Hewston

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George Hewston
16th Mayor of San Francisco
In office
November 4, 1875 – December 5, 1875
Preceded byJames Otis
Succeeded byAndrew Jackson Bryant
Personal details
Born(1826-09-11)September 11, 1826
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedSeptember 4, 1891(1891-09-04) (aged 64)
San Francisco

George Hewston (September 11, 1826 – September 4, 1891) was appointed the 16th Mayor of San Francisco upon the death of James Otis. He was sworn in on November 4, 1875, and served until December 5, 1875.

Hewston was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He apprenticed himself to a physician and then took a medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania. He moved with his family to San Francisco to escape the Civil War.

Hewston established a new medical practice upon his arrival, supplementing his income by lecturing at the Toland College of Medicine (later UCSF). His skill at lecturing brought him to the attention of the People's Party, which nominated him for Supervisor. He was appointed mayor to finish Otis's unfinished term.

During his brief term, Hewston sat in on an investigation into charges against six policemen. He also refused to make inflated payments for unspecified repairs. He was known for making a speech condemning the Chinese for bringing opium into the city.

After his term, he served on the commission to plan California's celebration of America's centennial. His final political activity was as chair of the Anti-Monopoly Party, which sought to stop the transfer of federal lands for the railroads.

Hewston then returned to the lecture circuit and travelled along the East Coast, collecting many books along the way. He eventually amassed some 2000 volumes for his private library.

He died in San Francisco of Bright's disease.


  • Heintz, William F., San Francisco's Mayors: 1850–1880. From the Gold Rush to the Silver Bonanza. Woodside, CA: Gilbert Roberts Publications, 1975. (Library of Congress Card No. 75-17094)