Pardee, George C. Dr.
The following data is extracted from California/'s First Native Governor.
Dr. George C. Pardee, the newly inaugurated governor of California, was born in San Francisco in 1857, and is the first native of the Golden State to be elected its chief executive. He is of French Huguenot ancestry, the first of the family name in America being George Pardee, who came from England in 1715 and settled in Connecticut. Twenty-nine of his descendants fought in the cause of the young republic during the Revolutionary War.
The father of the governor, Dr. E. H. Pardee, was one of the best known public men of California in the early days; he was one of the organizers of the republican party, and served in both branches of the legislature, also as mayor of Oakland, his home city. The son followed with success and distinction in the footsteps of his father. After graduating from the University of California and taking a course in Cooper Medical College, San Francisco, he went to Europe and graduated from Leipsic. In Berlin the young student struck up a friendship with the great Virchow and enjoyed the benefits of his lectures. During this time the young American acted as correspondent for a San Francisco newspaper, and wrote many letters which showed powers of close observation and forcible expression.
Returning to California in 1885, Dr. Pardee began practice as a specialist, devoting himself to the eye and ear, and soon attained a leading rank in his profession. He was married in Oakland in 1886 to Miss Helen Penniman, herself of old Massachusetts Revolutionary stock and a lady possessing the pleasing graces which adorn domestic life. Four bright young daughters, Florence, Madeline, Carol and Helen, bless their home, and, with their mother, enter heartily and intelligently into all their father's plans and works, and he is seen at his best when in his cosy home study with his family about him.
As a member of the board of health, the city council, and as mayor of Oakland, Dr. Pardee achieved such signal success in delivering his home city from the clutches of rapacious corporations, after many a hard-fought battle both in and out of the courts, that he soon became a notable figure in Pacific coast politics; and the republican state convention at Sacramento last August, after a few ballots, which showed a hopeless antagonism between old factions, nominated Dr. Pardee for governor with overwhelming enthusiasm. In accepting the nomination, the only pledge he would make was brief and quite characteristic of the man:
"This nomination came to me absolutely without a pledge on my part as to my future conduct, except the pledge to give the state, if I am elected, a righteous administration." And when he presently started out upon his campaign, he again upset all the traditions of the politicians, for there were no special trains nor special escorts. Accompanied only by his devoted wife, he quietly journeyed from place to place, meeting and mingling with the people, asking their opinions and advice, and addressing them clearly and comprehensively upon the needs and concerns of the various sections of the commonwealth. Mrs. Pardee was always among the most interested of his audiences, whether in the elegant auditoriums of the cities or the remote mining and logging camps of the far Sierras. California is a land of magnificent distances, and together they journeyed many thousands of miles by rail and stage and various other means, in order to visit every part of the state. Sometimes the state central committee at San Francisco found its plans overruled by Mrs. Pardee, when she deemed it more important for her husband to catch much-needed sleep than an early train.
The four handsome young daughters of the Pardee family became a factor in the campaign in a somewhat singular way. The democratic nominee, in his earlier speeches on the stump, laid much stress upon the statement that the people ought to vote for him because his little son longed to be able to say that his father was governor of California. The republican orators were quick to improve upon this style of argument by insisting that if this contention were true, then there were four-fold reasons for voting for their nominee. This idea pleased the people immensely, and the "Pardee girls" became one of the pleasing watchwords among the campaign amenities.
Source: California/'s First Native Governor