Oakland’s First African American Cab Driver

Phillip Richard Springer (1874-1952) was the first black man in Oakland to own a taxicab. He was born in Barbados, in the British West Indies and left home at age 16. At first he operated under a jitney permit in Oakland, but he later had the license changed to a taxicab permit. By 1915, Springer’s Cab Company was well established.

The Pullman Porters and West Oakland

The 1916 Directory listed Springer at 1926 Chestnut Street with chauffeur as his occupation

1916

1926 Chestnut – Google Maps

In the 1917 directory, he is listed at 835 Union Street with chauffeur as his occupation.

1917

In the 1925 directory, he is listed along with his wife Edna at 879 Campbell Street with taxi cab driver as his occupation.

1925

From 1927 until his death in 1952, he lived at 957-35th Street with his family. The 1930 census reports that he owns his home, and he was a taxi cab driver at his own stand.

1935

The Springer Home from 1927-at least 1952
957- 35th Street – Google Maps

Exhibit at the African American History Library Oakland

Oakland Tribune Nov 1952

Taxicab Driver Robbed

Oakland Tribune 1942

SF Examiner Jan 1947

Accident

The End

3 thoughts on “Oakland’s First African American Cab Driver

Add yours

  1. Hi Jake

    This is a local blog I follow. She writes in the first person and shares down to earth stories. Here’s how she started. https://abitofhistory.website/2017/09/16/first-blog-post/?wref=tp

    Peace & Resistance

    Mark Corbett Wilson

    “In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.” ~ Eric Hoffer

    On Sun, Feb 23, 2020 at 4:19 AM A Bit of History wrote:

    > oaklanddots posted: “Phil R Springer The Pullman Porters and West Oakland > Phillip Richard Springer (1874-1952) was the first black man in Oakland to > own a taxicab. He was born in Barbados, in the British West Indies and left > home at age 16. At first he operated under a jitney” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love all the Oakland history. I was born in Oakland attended Crocker Highlands, McChesney Junior high (now Edna Brewer) and Oakland High School. My mother was born in Oakland 1922 and graduated from Oakland High and Stanford University. She could tell us lots of history of Oakland. Still living in Bay Area.

    Liked by 1 person

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