On March 18, 1919, Mrs.George D. Greenwood was killed instantly when a bomb exploded in the family home garden overlooking Lake Merritt. Her husband was the Vice-President of the Savings Union Bank of San Francisco.
It is believed that Mrs. Greenwood found the bomb and picked it up, causing it to explode.
Mrs. Greenwood’s body was torn apart and hurled ten-feet across the garden by the force of the explosion. Her clothing was stripped from her body and hung from the trees or was scattered on the lawn.
All windows on two sides of the Greenwood home were shattered.
Threats Sent to Other Families
The Greenwood family wasn’t the only Eastbay family to have received letters threatening death unless specific amounts of money were handed over.
Other families included:
- Kenneth E. Lowden – 274 19th Street
- Mrs. E.A. Julian – Piedmont
According to the police, a letter demanding $5,000 and threatening to destroy his home with dynamite was sent to Greenwood in January of 1918. The “C.C. of C” signed the letter, which stands for the Cat’s Claw of California.
The Greenwood explosion was the third in a series attributed to a gang supposed to have dynamited Governor William D. Stephens home and one other.
An unexploded bomb was found in the yard of N. Campagna of Berkeley the week before.
Mrs. George D. Greenwood was considered “society royal” in Oakland and San Francisco, where her parents and husbands were pioneers.
The daughters were Mrs. Greenwood, formerly Miss May Tubbs, Mrs. William G. Henshaw, Mrs. Grace Tubbs Henshaw, and Mrs. Edward M. Hall.
Police investigations, which continued for more than a year after the tragedy, resulted in the clearing of the mystery surrounding the bomb.
The police arrested many suspects, none were charged.
Mr. Greenwood married Gertrude Vincent in late 1922.
The Greenwood home was located at the corner of 19th Street and Jackson at 1399 Jackson Street (later changed to 1899 Jackson). The Greenwoods lived there from about 1896 to 1920.
In 1936 the house was remodeled and became the new home of the Oakland University Club.
- Oakland Woman Slain By Bomb Explosion – Modesto Herald March 19, 1919, and page 2
- Many Threatened By Bomb Terrorists – Oakland Tribune March 19, 1919
- Mrs. Greenwood Set Off Bomb Opening Gate – Oakland Tribune March 19, 1919
- Panic Ensues When Houses Hit By Blast – Oakland Tribune March 19, 1919
- Federal Dragnet Put Out for I.W.W. Men – Oakland Tribune March 20, 1919
- U.S. Officials Say Bomb Plot Work of I.W.W. Gangsters – Oakland Tribune March 20, 1919
- Women Torn to Pieces – Sacramento Star March 19, 1919
- Postoffice Sleuth Takes Trail of Bomb Murderer – S.F. Examiner March 20, 1919
- Blast was a Part of Blackmail Threat – S.F. Examiner March 20, 1919
- Four Held in Bomb Case – Oakland Tribune March 23, 1919
- Four Held in Bomb Case Pt 2 – Oakland Tribune March 23, 1919
- Mellincoff is Taken to Angel Island – Oakland Tribune April 01, 1919
- Greenwood Bomb Tragedy – Mendocino Coast Beacon – April 05, 1919
- Dynamiter Lays Crime to Red Group – S.F. Examiner September 23, 1919. and page 2