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Mayor and U. R. R. President Take Part in Episode Historic in S.F.

Ancient Relics of Many Years' Service Go to the Barn at Last.

San Francisco is horsecarless.

The last of the ancient relics that have been doing service on lower Market street was given its final drive yesterday, and promptly at noon the Sutter street electric cars were started down Market street to the ferries.

Mayor James Rolph drives last horse car down Market Street.The event was made the motif of an impromptu celebration. Apparently everybody was happy. Mayor Rolph donned the driver's cap and drove the old horsecar from the ferries up Market street to Eighth. Then he gave way to Patrick Calhoun, president of the United Railroads, who was as ready to get rid of the antiquated type as the Mayor. Then Thornwell Mullally, assistant to Calhoun, took the reins.

After these officials had driven, a number of the Board of Supervisors helped make history for the city.

The car was filled with representatives of the municipal government and heads of the United Railroads Company, all equally elated, and the horses tugged and pulled at the unusual load.


The horses left the ferries with their usual stolid air. They seemed disappointed when Sutter street was reached, and the usual stop was not made. And when mile after mile was added to the tiresome journey they became somewhat depressed. Usually the cars are hitched onto the rear of an electric car when the day's work is done and the horses are spared the long trip out to the end of Valencia street, and are stabled at a nearby barn. Yesterday this was all changed. Their work was over. Their mode of life was to be changed, and thereafter their usefulness will be directed into other channels.

The last ride up Market street took on the aspect of a triumphal procession. Lieutenant Matheson of the traffic squad was on hand and had four mounted officers to precede the car with a couple more to ride by the side of it. Camera men took snapshots, while a moving- picture concern followed and caught all there was of the spectacle.

Early yesterday morning Mayor Rolph took the necessary steps to banish the horse cars from the streets, following the action of the Board of Supervisors on Monday. He got into communication with the United Railroads, and arrangements were made that the last car would be driven up Market street from the ferries, the start to be made at 12 o'clock.

At the same hour the agreement between the company and the city regarding transfers at Fillmore and Divisadero streets also went into effect. From now on the United Railroads will transfer passengers to the Geary-street line, and the Municipal line will transfer to the United Railroads at these two points, the transfers being good in either direction. Later on, when the Gear-street road is completed to the ferries, transfers between the two systems will be given at Polk and Kearny streets. The city has the privilege of discontinuing transferring at these last two mentioned points if it finds the arrangement is not to its advantage. The United Railroads, according to the agreement entered into, has no such option.


As soon as the arrangements were made for the last trip, notice was sent to the various Supervisors and others. Supervisor Alexander Vogelsang, chairman of the public utilities committee, was on hand, as were a number of other Supervisors. Mayor Rolph, with his father, accompanied by Edward Rainey, the Mayor's secretary, also appeared promptly. A delegation from the Downtown Association, headed by A.G. McCarthy and Otto F. Schiller, was also there. President Calhoun, Thornwell Mullally, his assistant, and a number of citizens crowded onto the car until it was filled.

When the start was made Mayor Rolph exchanged his hat with J.H. Lee, the driver, who for thirty-two years has piled the old type of cars up and down the street. The Mayor took the reins and with a "giddap" the last journey was begun.

Lee, the driver, with Fred Thorp, his conductor, and Drive George Burrows and Conductor Tim O'Mera, of the alternating car, will be given assignments on some of the electric cars of the company and will report for their new duties to-day.


As the old car proceeded up Market street driven by the Mayor, the crowds along the street caught the significance of the performance and cheered as it proceeded on its way. Few of the thousands who saw it were able to distinguish the Mayor or others who held the reins over the horses, but the sight of the horse car on upper Market street at the noon hour crowded with passengers, was sufficient to attract the crowds on the street and they knew what it meant.

When the horses got out to the end of the line they were completely fagged. The miles they had traveled did not affect them so much as the load they had been required to draw, and when the end of the journey was reached Mayor Rolph got a bucket and gave the animals a drink for their efforts.

The operation of the Sutter street cars down Market gave general satisfaction. The putting in of the new municipal crossing at that point had been finished and the cars took the trolley and swung down the street without trouble.


A meeting of the South Central Improvement Club will be held to-night at S. Joseph's Hall, 250 Tenth street, to discuss arrangements for a mass meeting to be held shortly to urge the adoption of the $3,500,000 bond issue for the extension of the municipal car lines. Delegates will be present from several south side clubs and a joint rally in favor of the bonds is planned.

The San Francisco Examiner
June 4, 1913

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