William Watts was known in Oakland for having a tract of land named for him.
The land was 158 acres running from Chestnut to the Bay, and from 28th to 38th Streets. Looks like it now considered Clawson.
William Watts was born in Chelsea, Mass, in 1808. In 1831 he married Maria Francis Rollins. They had a son William Augustus Watts born in 1833.
In 1850 Watts traveled to California, via the “Horn.” After mining in Tuolumne County, he returned to San Francisco.
On May 04, 1858, William Watts took the title of 158 acres from Francisco Sanjurjo, who had acquired the property from the daughter of Domingo Peralta. Mr. Watts paid $5000 for the land and built a large ranch home at what is now the corner of 34th and Chestnut Streets. He farmed the property until 1876.
William Watts passed away on January 16, 1878, and the ranch was passed on to his son William.
The family also owned a Tannery that was a close to their ranch.
In 1874, 60 acres were subdivided, and a map of the Watts Tract was drawn up.
Watts’ Tract Auction Sale
In December of 1876, an auction sale was held at the Watts’ station, on the Berkeley Branch Railroad. Two hundred twenty-eight lots were sold in two and one-half hours.
Streets Named For
Four streets in the “Watts Tract” are named for the daughters of George Washington Dam. A friend of the family.
- Eleanor Street
- Louise Street
- Hannah Street
- Ettie (Henrietta) Street
Some homes in the Watts Tract
- Watts’ Tract Auction Sale – Oakland Daily Evening December 18, 1876
- Market Boys – Oakland Tribune November 08, 1943
- The Old Watts Tract – Oakland Tribune March 13, 1949
- The Watts Tract – Oakland Tribune May 22, 1949
- A Yankee in the West – Oakland Tribune November 12, 1949
- Watt Tract Memories – Oakland Tribune July 22, 1951
- Watt Tract Memories – Oakland Tribune August 25, 1951
- Streets Named – Oakland Tribune July 03, 1960