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James D. Phelan


Picture of James D. Phelan
Library of Congress
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-03-1914 Democratic Senate3 279896 Win
11-02-1920 Democratic Senate3 371580 Loss

Candidate Biography:

James Duval Phelan
Born: April 20, 1861 in San Francisco, CA
Died: August 7, 1930 at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, CA

1897-1902: Mayor, City of San Francisco
1898: President, League of California Cities
1906-1907: President & Custodian, Relief and Red Cross Funds (following the 1906 earthquake)

  • Phelan was the first popularly-elected Senator from California.
  • While serving as Mayor of San Francisco, Phelan provided the money that enabled the founding of a state "League of Municipalities" in 1898, which eventually became the League of California Cities.
  • PLACENAME: The town of Phelan (San Bernardino County) is named for Senator Phelan.
  • PLACENAME: James D. Phelan Elementary School (in San Jose), California, was named for him. The school was closed due to declining enrollment around 1997, but the facility now houses a preschool and Moreland Discovery Elementary School.
  • As noted by several resources, one of his 1920 campaign posters read "Keep California White" (this poster is displayed at Japanese American National Museum).

Source: California's Stately Hall of Fame by Rockwell D. Hunt (1950)
Source: "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present" (U.S. Library of Congress) []