Guardians of The City SFFD Home Page - San Francisco Fire Department Museum

Great Fires: 1906 Great Earthquake & Fire

― 239 ―

Appendix A.
Earthquake in California, April 18, 1906
Special Report of Maj. Gen. Adolphus W. Greely, U. S. A., Commanding the Pacific Division

one well-founded complaint regarding insufficiency or failure of food supply. The magnitude of the work and the results accomplished by this bureau speak for themselves without further elaboration, and I shall always feel that I have been peculiarly fortunate in having the opportunity of demonstrating in a particular way the usefulness of trained and disciplined officials, as officers of the Army are, not only in time of war, but in emergencies in times of peace in this country.

I am, sir, very respectfully,
Lieutenant-Colonel of 3d Infantry, late Chief of Bureau.
Pacific Division, Presidio of San Francisco, Cal.




San Francisco, Cal., May 1, 1906.

1. The above office has been established and will be ready for business commencing at noon to-morrow, Wednesday, May 2, 1906. The following-named regular army officers have been detailed by the division commander for duty in this bureau: Captain Madden, Infantry, U. S. A.; Capt. W. W. Harts, Corps of Engineers; Capt. L. S. Sorley, 14th Infantry; Capt. R. E. Longan, 11th Infantry; Capt. William Mitchell, Signal Corps; Capt. L. W. Oliver, 12th Cavalry; Lieut. James R. Pourie, Artillery Corps; Lieut. E. S. Adams, 14th Infantry; Lieut. Frank B. Kobes, 14th Infantry; Lieut. Russell V. Venable, 22d Infantry, and Lieut. J. L. Benedict, 14th Infantry.

2. All sufferers from the recent calamity who are dependent for subsistence and the necessary comforts of life upon the relief funds and articles purchased therewith and subscribed from various parts of the country will be issued the ration (amount of food and properties thereof) described in General Orders from headquarters Pacific Division of even date. Luxuries will be issued unstintedly to all hospitals, and to relief stations doing hospital work, who are properly accredited and who are expected by this office to look after the sick and ailing in their vicinity, as no luxuries whatever, such as butter, eggs, fruit, canned vegetables, will be issued to the population at large.

3. It is most earnestly requested and urged that all self-respecting persons with money on hand to purchase the necessary supplies for their own support and that of their families will at once cease applying for relief from the stores and supplies furnished for those only

― 240 ―

who are in extreme straits. This request is made not only on account of the heavy drain which is taking place upon the relief stores, but to encourage small traders to reopen their shops and stores, as without patronage they have no incentive for so doing, and thus rebuilding the business of the city of San Francisco.

Large quantities of relief stores have been sent to this city for the past ten days for distribution. These supplies have been extravagantly expended. This was unavoidable under the circumstances, but the confusion and pressure have now ceased, and all should strive for the resumption of normal conditions to be restored as soon as possible. It is really much more important that small dealers, as well as great, should be encouraged to resume their business at the earliest possible date than that the relief stores should be conserved; and it is hoped that everyone, both high and low, will appreciate this and by resuming work, which is now being freely offered, procure for themselves wages with which to secure the necessaries of life to tide them over until the city has resumed its former state of prosperity.

Major, Inspector-General, U. S. A., Chief of Bureau.


San Francisco, Cal., May 6, 1906.

1. Assignments of officers to duty in this bureau that are in conflict with the following are revoked:
2. The following assignment of officers is announced to take effect this date:
First relief section.—Capt. Wm. Mitchell, Signal Corps; First Lieut. A. Miller, 6th Cavalry; First Lieut. E. W. Robinson, 28th Infantry, and First Lieut. F. T. McNarney, 6th Cavalry.
Second relief section.—Capt. G. W. Martin, 18th Infantry; Capt. W. C. Rogers, 27th Infantry; First Lieut. W. L. Lowe, 13th Cavalry, and First Lieutenant Pourie, Artillery Corps.
Third relief section.—Capt. R. O. Van Horn, 17th Infantry, and Second Lieut. J. L. Benedict, 14th Infantry.
Fourth relief section.—Capt. W. W. Harts, Corps of Engineers; First Lieut. A. T. Easton, 29th Infantry; First Lieut. W. A. Cornell, 10th Cavalry; First Lieut. O. C. Troxel, 10th Cavalry, and First Lieut. Lewis Foerster, 5th Cavalry.
Fifth relief section.—Capt. L. W. Oliver, 12th Cavalry; First Lieut. E. A. Sturges, 5th Cavalry; First Lieut. F. L. Davidson, 7th Infantry; First Lieut. A. M. Hall, 28th Infantry, and First Lieut. H. H. Scott, Artillery Corps.
Sixth relief section.—Capt. C. G. French, 7th Infantry; Capt. A. J. Macnab, 27th Infantry; Capt. E. L. Phillips, 13th Cavalry, and First Lieut. E. N. Coffey, 2d Cavalry.
Seventh relief section.—Capt. E. P. Orton, 2d Cavalry; Capt. D. F. Keller, 27th Infantry; Capt. Frank Halstead, 23d Infantry, and Second Lieut. E. S. Adams, 14th Infantry.

― 241 ―

In each relief section the senior officer will be responsible for the proper conduct of the relief work of the section.
By direction of Major Febiger:

Captain, 29th Infantry, Chief Secretary.


San Francisco, Cal., May 9, 1906.

Attention is called to paragraph 9, General Orders, No. 23, Pacific Division, 1906, which reads as follows:
Commissary supplies for those hospitals officially designated by the health commission, as indicated in paragraph 8, will be obtained as follows: Official in charge of hospital will make requisition direct upon the officer in charge of the special diet depot at Moulder School building, corner Page and Gough streets. After the requisition is acted upon there by the official especially designated for that purpose, the supplies will be issued from that depot.

NOTE.—It is to be understood that these supplies are to be used solely for destitute free patients.
The division commander orders that no institutions of any kind be supplied from any of the relief stations. Requisitions for relief stations will not include, therefore, supplies for any but individuals and families. Commissary supplies other than those indicated in paragraph 9, above quoted, must be obtained by institutions authorized by Doctor Devine through requisitions, by the proper official of the institution, upon the Moulder School depot. All requisitions must be approved by an authorized agent designated by Doctor Devine. These requisitions, when practicable, will be for a period of five days, stating the number of individuals to be subsisted and for whom special diet is not obtained under paragraph 9, above quoted.

It is clearly understood that these supplies are not to be issued to paid employees or any inmate who can afford, either by credit or otherwise, to procure their own subsistence.

By command of Major-General Greely:
Captain, General Staff, Acting Chief of Staff.
Military Secretary.



This agreement, made and entered into this — day — of —, 1906, by and between Lieut. Col. Lea Febiger, U. S. Army, Chief of Bureau of Consolidated Relief Stations, party of the first part, and

― 242 ―

— —, of —, party of the second part, for Hot Meal Camps, to supply the needy and indigent, as well as those in circumstances, throughout the city of San Francisco during the present emergency.

The party of the second part agrees to furnish a proper meal, good, wholesome, well cooked, and seasoned, to all persons tendering the sum of 10 cents, or a meal ticket issued by the Finance Committee of Relief and Red Cross funds, or its properly accredited representative. The meal ticket to be redeemed by said committee, or representative, in money, at the agreed redemption, viz, 10 cents, or in kind from the relief stores now on hand or hereafter to be received, and properly valued by a board of officials appointed equally from the military and civil branches of the Red Cross.

The party of the second part is authorized to secure, on requisitions properly approved by the party of the first part, or his representatives, such reasonable amount of surplus food supplies as may be on hand in storehouses of the latter; such food supplies to be delivered at the kitchens or storehouses of the party of the second part, at no expense to him, and such supplies shall be properly and efficiently guarded while in transit from the depot to the kitchens or storehouses of the party of the second part.

Unless the party of the second part can furnish proper guarantee of his financial obligations, or can furnish proper bond in amount of the value of the food, supplies issued to him on requisitions will only be so furnished for cash on delivery. With those properly guaranteed an open account will be established.

The term "proper meal" is left to the discretion of the party of the first part, who will call for a bill of fare a day or two in advance, for his revision and approval, and which will consist as follows, or proper equivalents, approved by the party of the first part:

Breakfast.—Hot hash or hot mush and milk, bread or hot biscuit, coffee and sugar.
Dinner.—Hot soup or roast beef or hash, one vegetable, bread, coffee and sugar.
Supper.—Soup, or Irish stew, bread or hot biscuits, tea and sugar.

The proprietor of such food camps shall erect proper buildings or tents, and proper tables and service for the conduct of the same, not to exceed a maximum capacity of 9,000 meals per day, subject to the approval of the party of the first part, or his representatives, and such camps shall be erected in such places and localities as may be designated by the party of the first part.

Water and fuel must be arranged for and provided by the party of the second part, and it is understood that, except in extraordinary cases, the location of camps shall be rent free to the party of the second part. Where rent is required terms will be discussed, and if not agreed to the camp will be abandoned.

The party of the first part will supply a proper guard to the camp and will assist the proprietor in preventing objectionable or nonpaying persons from entering the camp, which guard shall also have general supervision of the running of the camp, the proper supply of food, the number of meals, their kind and quality; and a certain member of the guard, to be designated by the party of the first part, shall be authorized to keep count with the gate keeper, and an

― 243 ―

employee of the Red Cross, of all free tickets presented to the party of the second part.

All requisitions for supplies desired by the party of the second part must be submitted to the party of the first part for approval not later than 11 a. m. on the day preceding the date of delivery.

All supplies for these camps will be issued from the Moulder School, Page and Gough streets, in the charge of a commissary officer of the Army. All requisitions will be signed by the contractor only, and countersigned by the Chief of Bureau of Consolidated Relief Stations.

A complete account of each day's issues, with the prices, will be submitted, one copy to the contractor, and one to Auditor Herrick, of the Finance Committee.

All tickets must be deposited by the contractor with Auditor Herrick by noon of the day following their receipt. Accounts with the contractor will be settled daily, deducting from the amount of the tickets at 10 cents each the amount of supplies issued to him, and paying him cash for the balance.

In the case of indigent persons who require extra nourishment, which ordinary 10-cent meals can not give, an extra 5-cent ticket will be given, by and at the discretion of the member representing the Red Cross, so as to entitle them to a 15-cent meal at the same camp.

All indigent persons thus presenting meal tickets shall be seated and fed at separate tables from those paying cash for their meals.

If so desired by the party of the second part, he may furnish a variety of different priced meals, varying from 15, 20, to 25 cents each and upward. The same conditions regarding supervision of these more elaborate meals by the party of the first part applying to those as to the others.

The Cossack post furnished to each of these camps by the commanding officer of the military district in which they are are assigned to help the permanent guard, as far as practicable, and they will be subsisted, housed, and cared for by the party of the second part the same as his own employees.

— —.

— —.


[A map of the city and county of San Francisco, Cal., showing the boundaries of sections and locations of hot food kitchens, is here omitted, the locations of the kitchens, as far as practicable, being approximately indicated by the design [symbol] on the map accompanying the report of Major-General Greely, for which map see end of volume. The territory embraced in Lieutenant-Colonel Febiger's map and not covered by General Greely's map shows four kitchens located in the sixth relief section as follows: At San Jose avenue and Army street; in the block bounded by Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Railroad avenues and M street, south; in the vicinity of Anderson street and Cortland avenue and of Mission road and Russia avenue.]

Back to the Top   Last Page of Report

SFFD Home Page Guardians of The City Home Page