San Diego County
CHAUNCEY R. HAMMOND
San Diego County is fortunate in having for its auditor Chauncey R. Hammond, whose training and experience have made him an expert in this line of public service. He was born in Greencastle, Indiana, October 20, 1857 a son of Thomas Carroll Hammond, a well known banker of that state, and Caroline (Silliman) Hammond. They were the parents of five children: Chauncey R.; W. T. S., who was engaged in the banking business in Los Angeles for many years but is now living retired because of failing health; Kate S., who taught music in the public schools of Santa Monica, California; Charles S. and Isaac J., who live in the east.
In his native city C. R. Hammond was reared and educated, completing a course in the high school at Greencastle, and in June, 1878 was graduated from De Pauw University, which conferred upon him the Bachelor of Arts degree, while three years later in June, 1881 he received from that institution the Master of Arts degree. He started in life as a farmer but abandoned that occupation at the end of two years to enter the world of commerce, becoming identified with the lumber industry, and was next connected with the Sunset Route of the Southern Pacific Railway Company at Louisville, Kentucky. Later he was with the Monon Road in Indiana and after entering the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad came to California, working in the transportation department of the company.
Mr. Hammond has lived in San Diego since 1894, or for a period of nearly forty years, watching with keen interest the city’s growth and progress. He has in his possession the first assessment roll (pasar) of the county in Spanish. Appointed deputy county auditor in 1902, he gave his undivided attention to that work until 1907, when was made manager of the savings department of the San Diego Bank of Commerce, and had charge of that branch of the business for three years. In 1910 he was elected county auditor and is still serving, an eloquent testimonial to the high quality of his work. Much is required of the executive head of this office. He must be a man of experience, a worker, who has watched and studied the ways of mankind; a man of sound judgment, familiar with the laws under which he must act, for he cannot take questions under advisement or go into the law library to look them up, as he must say yes or no. He must be a man of discretion and study the people with whom he comes in contact; he must be a man of even temperament and endeavor to do his full duty by all, regardless of their status in life. He must watch the actions of his fellow officials in order to give to the county which he represents the fullest protection, for he is the bookkeeper and controller of the county, possessing the power to sign, approve and finally issue all obligations against the county. In him is also vested the right to reject any and all claims not drawn in accordance with the laws of state and county. The name auditor is a misnomer, for his duties comprise the control of funds of the county and the proper disbursement of same after they have been deposited with the county treasurer. The county auditor’s power to enter into and investigate the affairs of officials who are his associates is limited, the board of supervisors having the supreme authority to dictate the policy of the county. Mr. Hammond has an enviable record of five years’ service as deputy county auditor and twenty-three years as head of the office. Associated with him during these years as assistants have been men of experience and mature judgment. During his long tenure of office many important changes have been made in relation to the government of both the state and the county. Due to his efforts and ability the office of the auditor of San Diego County has become known far and wide for courtesy, promptness and efficiency. The system which he has devised and perfected for expediting the work is unsurpassed and his year book or fiscal statement for the county is a model for any county or state office.
On the 20th of October, 1880, Mr. Hammond was married to Miss Anna Gertrude Hollingsworth, of Indiana, a daughter of John H. and Eliza Hollingsworth, and three children were born to them: Karoline, the wife of Royal R. Moss; Thomas Carroll, who married Miss Bernice Hazel Cloyer; and Chauncey Weir, who wedded Miss Irene Vivian Hartman. Mr. and Mrs. Hammond now have two granddaughters and one grandson, in whom they take justifiable pride. Mr. Hammond gives his political support to the Republican Party and fraternally he is an Elk identified with San Diego Lodge No. 168. He has wisely conserved his physical and mental endowments and at the age of seventy-five is alert and vigorous, able to accomplish a day’s work which would tax the power of many a younger man. Making the most of each hour and each moment, he has accomplished something worthwhile and his long life of uprightness, industry and service is of more than passing interest, for it contains much that is of inspirational value.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 271-273, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.