HON. FRANK J. MOFFITT
Hon. Frank J. Moffitt.—As a rule, when meeting one who has made a name for himself in either political or commercial life, we expect to find a man who has felt the weight of years, and gathers the successes of his position from the hard experiences of the past. This is, however, not always the case; and especially here in California are met admirable instances of the welding together of the ardor and enterprise of youth with the wisdom and ability so often relegated to age. A better example of this fact can hardly be found than is presented in the case of Hon. Frank J. Moffitt, the editor and one of the proprietors of the Oakland Daily Times, whose life counted by events and successes would seem to require twice the number of years it has contained.
Mr. Moffitt is a native of Oakland, born October 16, 1859, and is the typical and representative native son of the Golden State. In 1879, when less than twenty years of age, he began his newspaper experience, establishing in that year the East Oakland News. In a short time he sold out, and going down to Newark began the Newark Enterprise, conducting it with success for some time. Later he took a position on the reportorial staff of the San Francisco Examiner, doing effective work for that paper. In 1884, Mr. Moffitt established the Oakland Enquirer, carrying it on until he sold out to F. A. Leach and resumed work upon the Examiner. Finally, 1889, he purchased the Oakland Daily Times, the only morning paper in the city. When he took in hand three reporters only were employed upon it, and its edition was run of a single cylinder Cottrell press. To-day ten reporters are kept busily employed and a double-cylinder Hoe press and patent folding outfit does not meet the requirement of the popular paper, and a perfecting press will soon supplant it. The circulation has been more than quadrupled, and the paper is regarded with pride by the better and business element of the city for its bold and fearless stand in regard to moral matters and against monopoly and jobbery. The Times is rightly considered one of the brightest and breeziest journals on the coast, clean and pure, yet witty and readable; severe when occasion warrants, yet never malicious. A very attractive feature is the suburban work, covering as it does news from the dozen or so small hamlets tributary to Oakland. But, notwithstanding the press of his editorial and other duties, Mr. Moffitt has found time always to take an active interest in local and general politics. He is a Democrat of pronounced views, but liberal in carrying them out, being always ready to help the best cause. It was mainly through his instrumentality that the new city charter was successfully carried in 1889 through the Legislature, a matter of general congratulation, although Mr. Moffitt was not congratulated for this piece of work by the workers of his party. When president of the Oakland Board of Trade, he took the lead in diffusing information in regard to the unequaled attractions of the city, and in forwarding many public works of a beneficial nature. Mr. Moffitt has served his county also in more than one public capacity. He was deputy Sheriff of Alameda county during the shrievalty of Mr. McCleverty, and has twice been returned to Sacramento, first in 1885 as a member of the Assembly, and secondly in 1887 to the State Senate, being the youngest member of this house at the time, and one of the youngest ever in attendance. During these years he proved his fitness for legislative work, promoting actively many good measures and watching well the interests of his constituents. As a speaker he is very effective, and is a power in the conventions, all of which he attends, and is now on all the central committees of his party in the State, city and county. It is the general feeling that other and more honorable, if not more responsible, offices than those he has so far held lies before him in the future should he care to aspire, but as it is he is regarded as a coming man in his party.
He is a member of Oakland Parlor, No. 50, N. S. G. W., and many other organizations.
Mr. Moffitt is married and has a son.
Transcribed by Donna L. Becker
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 2, pages 86-87, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.
© 2005 Donna L. Becker.