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William Chapman Ralston
Birth: Jan. 12, 1826
Plymouth
Richland County
Ohio, USA
Death: Aug. 27, 1875
North Beach
San Francisco County
California, USA

Banker, Businessman. A native of Ohio, Ralston moved to Panama after the discovery of gold in California and joined a banking and shipping firm that carried miners to San Francisco. In 1854, he settled in San Francisco himself and spent the next ten years with various banking firms. In 1864, he co-founded the Bank of California with Darius O. Mills and was named the bank's cashier. Taking advantage of the events of the time, he invested much of the young bank's money into the silver mines of Nevada's Comstock Lode and as a result, both Ralston and his bank profited greatly. Establishing himself as one of San Francisco's leading bankers, he began using his money to benefit the city of San Francisco by coming up with and/or financing numerous ventures and projects including the California Theater, New Montgomery Street, the University of California Berkeley, and Ralston Hall. His most famous project however would be the Palace Hotel which after it's completion in 1875, would become San Francisco's defining landmark and be the place many famous personalities would stay when visiting the city. On August 26, 1875, crippled by Ralston's overspending and failed ventures, the Bank of California collapsed and Ralston was asked to resign the next morning. Later the same day of his resignation, he accidentally drowned during his regular swim in the San Francisco Bay. For all of his contributions to the city, he is often considered today as the man who built San Francisco. (bio by: G.Photographer) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Elizabeth Ralston (1837 - 1929)*
 
 Children:
  Samuel Fry Ralston (1859 - 1888)*
  Etna Louise Ralston (1860 - 1862)*
  William Chapman Ralston (1863 - 1924)*
  Emelita Thorn Ralston Page (1865 - 1964)*
  Bertha Ralston Bright (1872 - 1960)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park
Colma
San Mateo County
California, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: G.Photographer
Record added: Apr 23, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26231568
William Chapman Ralston
Added by: The Perplexed Historian
 
William Chapman Ralston
Added by: G.Photographer
 
William Chapman Ralston
Added by: G.Photographer
 
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- Tom Cummings
 Added: Jan. 12, 2011

- Jackie Howard
 Added: Jan. 12, 2010

- Ciara Dunaway
 Added: Jun. 22, 2009
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