©2012 SCVTV (May 4, 2012)
Henry Newhall came West from Massachusetts during the gold rush and found his
fortune in the auction business. When he bought out his partners in 1852 he changed
the name of the firm from Hall, Martin & Co. to H.M. Newhall & Co., handling all
manner of mercantile goods that were shipped into San Francisco from the Orient.
Henry used some of his wealth to purchase the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad, which he sold to the nascent Southern Pacific in the 1870s.
He used the profits to purchase five former Mexican land grants including the Rancho San Francisco — not to be confused with his home city of San Francisco.
The 46,460-acre rancho comprised the western Santa Clarita Valley.
Upon Henry's 1882 death, his San Francisco businesses were split up.
Sons Edwin and Walter established Newhall's Sons & Co. Auctioneers and Commission
Merchants to carry on what had become a family trade. Their business survived just two
years, until 1884 or 1885.
The sons' business, and most likely
H.M. Newhall & Co. and Hall, Martin & Co. before it, was located in a "fire-proof
store" at 309, 311 and 313 Sansome St., at the southwest corner of Halleck, just north of California Street.
Back in the 1860s, the Newhalls had sold the southern end of the property to the Bank of California while maintaining the Newhall building at the Halleck corner.
Construction on the bank building started in 1865; it had opened for business July 5, 1864, in temporary quarters at the southwest
corner of Washington and Battery streets. The new location at Sansome and California was occupied June 27, 1867.
By 1906, the bank had outgrown the new building. After the death of Henry Newhall's widow, Margaret Jane, in 1900 (see below),
Henry's sons sold their remaining Sansome property to the Bank of California, which planned a new building spanning the entire block from California Street
to Halleck. Construction was just about to begin
when the earth opened up and the city burned to the ground.
The Bank of California would not be deterred. Construction was delayed, but the (present) block-long building was erected and occupied Sept. 8, 1908.
Click to enlarge.
Margaret J. Newhall's Estate.
San Francisco Call | Vol. XXXIX No. 63 | February 1, 1901.
The inventory and appraisement of the estate of the late Margaret J. Newhall
was filed yesterday. Frank D. Macbeth, W.I. Day and N.A. Harris, appraisers
of the estate, find the same to be worth $364,654. The largest items are: Cash,
$59,780; 2704 shares in the Newhall Land and Farming Company, $16,224; lot on
the southwest corner of Sansome and Halleck streets, valued at $67,000; lot on
Post street, near Van Ness avenue, valued at $12,000 and a block of land bounded by
Fourth, Fifth, Channel and Berry streets, valued at $200,000.