Stratton, Frederick Smith, 1859-1915.

Hide Profile

A native of Oakland, California, Frederick Smith Stratton was a prominent California attorney, businessman, and politician. He was elected to the State Senate in 1896 and served as Collector of the Port of San Francisco from 1900 to 1913.

From the description of Frederick Smith Stratton papers, circa 1886-1917. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 26754733


Frederick Smith Stratton was born in Oakland in January 22, 1859, the son of James T. and Cornelia Smith Stratton. After attending Swett Grammar School and Oakland High School, he graduated from the University of California in 1881 and entered Hastings College of Law. Stratton entered into practice of law in the office of William W. Morrow, later Judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He established his own law firm with W. W. Kaufman as partner, and later they were joined by Henry A. van C. Torchiana.

In 1896, Stratton was elected to the State Senate from Alameda County, and during his term of office he sponsored the legislation which established the primary election system in California. He also supported bills which raised the State University tax from one to two cents, and which exempted Stanford University from state taxation.

President McKinley appointed Stratton as Collector of the Port of San Francisco in 1900, and he served in this post under Presidents Roosevelt and Taft. He was twice offered, but declined, the position of Under Secretary of the Treasury in the cabinet of Theodore Roosevelt. During this period he was also appointed special attorney for the United States in the Alabama Claims Commission case.

Stratton's business interests included a directorship of the Owl Drug Company of San Francisco, as well as land holdings in Contra Costa County, California and Klamath County, Oregon. In 1909, he was appointed Receiver of the Ocean Shore Railway of San Francisco. His club memberships included the Bohemian and Union in San Francisco, and the Claremont Country and Athenian in Oakland. His home was at 1377 Harrison Street, Oakland.

Retiring in 1913 with the advent of the Wilson administration in Washington, Stratton announced his candidacy for Mayor of Oakland in 1915. A nervous breakdown in April of that year, however, forced him to withdraw from the race, and on November 30, 1915 he committed suicide at Pleasanton.

Stratton's first wife, Alice Lee of Oakland, died in 1896, leaving a daughter, Cornelia, who later became Mrs. Carleton H. Parker. In 1898, Stratton married Grace Gregory and they had two children, Ann and Frederick Jr.; the second Mrs. Stratton died in 1913.

From the guide to the Frederick Smith Stratton Papers, 1900-1917, (The Bancroft Library.)

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bard, Thomas Robert, 1841-1915, person
associatedWith California. Legislature. Senate. corporateBody
associatedWith Crocker, William H., person
associatedWith Flint, Frank P. (Frank Putnam), 1862-1929, person
associatedWith Gayley, Charles Mills, 1858-1932, person
associatedWith Gillette, James, person
associatedWith Hammond, John Hays, 1855-1936, person
associatedWith Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931, person
associatedWith Kahn, Julius, 1861-1924, person
associatedWith Knowland, Joseph R. (Joseph Russell), 1873-1966, person
associatedWith McEnerney, Garret W., person
associatedWith McKinley, William, 1843-1901, person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Pardee, George C. (George Cooper), 1857-1941, person
associatedWith Parker, Cornelia Stratton, b. 1885. person
associatedWith Perkins, George C. (George Clement), 1839-1923, person
associatedWith Republican Party (Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith San Francisco Port Authority. corporateBody
associatedWith Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930, person
associatedWith Wheeler, Benjamin Ide, 1854-1927, person
associatedWith Works, John D. (John Downey), 1847-1928, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
San Francisco (Calif.)


Birth 1859

Death 1915

Related Descriptions


Ark ID: w6pk1mq4

SNAC ID: 72079899