Biography of Charles H. Hale
Alameda County, CA Biographies





CHARLES H. HALE
No citizen of San Leandro possesses the unqualified confidence of the people to a greater degree than does Charles H. Hale, whose record here as a banker, covering a period of thirty-five years, has stamped him as a man of stanch integrity and as an able and successful business man, while his efforts and influence have also been directed to the development and progress of his community. He served for thirty-one years as cashier of the Bank of San Leandro and was for the past four years manager of its successor, the San Leandro Branch of the American Trust Company of California.

The Bank of San Leandro was established in 1893, starting with a capital of twenty five thousand dollars, and opened its doors for business May 15, 1893, in the old frame building that stood on the present site of the splendid bank building which is now occupied by the institution, on the northeast corner of East Fourteenth street and Estudillo avenue. Its first officers were S. Huff, president; R. S. Farrelly, vice president; and Charles H. Hale, cashier; and its directors were S. Huff, R. S. Farrelly, T. P. Cary, Joseph Herrscher, Dr. G. Vivian, J. B. Mendonca and L. C. Moorehouse. This bank was very successful, and out of its profits there was organized, in 1910, the First National Bank of San Leandro, the two institutions being operated by the same officers. Mr. Huff was succeeded in the presidency by L. C. Moorehouse, after whom came Amzi B. Cary, who filled that position from 1915 to 1924. The present banking house was erected in 1914 by the two banks, both occupying the ground floor. In 1924 the Bank of San Leandro and the First National Bank were taken over by the American Trust Company of California, which is the outcome of the merger of two great San Francisco banks, the Mercantile Trust Company, founded in 1854, and The American Bank, founded in 1871, and which is one of the largest and strongest financial institutions on the Pacific coast, having total resources of nearly three hundred million dollars.

Charles H. Hale, who is of the illustrious Hale family of the east, was born at Pacheco, Contra Costa county, California, on the 11th of July, 1867, and is the second in order of birth of the three children of H. M. and Frances Elizabeth (Lyon) Hale. The father was born in Ohio and the mother in Illinois, from which state she was brought across the plains in a covered wagon by her parents. She became one of the early school teachers of Contra Costa county. H. M. Hale came to the coast by way of the isthmus route and he and his brother, William M. Hale, established a general mercantile business at Pacheco, which was a thriving town in early days. In 1872, at Martinez, they opened the first bank in Contra Costa county, and it is still in existence, W. A. Hale, a cousin of Charles H. Hale, being its president. H. M. Hale was identified with the banking business there to the time of his death, which occurred in 1899. He is survived by his widow, who still lives at Martinez, being ninety years old in May, 1928.

Charles H. Hale attended the public and private schools in Contra Costa county, after which he took a course at Hopkins Academy, in Oakland. It was then that he first met Amzi B. Cary, a fellow student, an incident that led to a warm and lasting friendship. Mr. Hale entered his father's bank at Martinez, where he remained until 1882, and then became an employe of Yates & Company, dealers in paints and oils in San Francisco. With that firm he remained until 1892, and two years later came to San Leandro and became cashier of the Bank of San Leandro, which had just been organized. People generally were not accustomed to the use of banking privileges at that time and the process of building up a business of that kind was at first slow, but gradually business men realized the advantages of banking methods and the Bank of San Leandro enjoyed a very successful career, becoming one of the important factors in the commercial prosperity of this community.

In 1898, in San Leandro, Mr. Hale was united in marriage to Miss Marina Cummins, who was born near Lodi, California, and who attended the Oakland high school. Her family name is of Scotch origin, and it was at one time spelled Cumin, also sometimes Cummin. In the United States this has been further changed to Cummins and Cummings. The late Senator Cummins of Iowa was of this lineage, as is Congressman Cummins of New York state. There is also a branch of the family in Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Hale are the parents of one child, Henry M., who is now assistant sales manager for the Caterpillar Tractor Company, at Peoria, Illinois. Charles H. Hale is a republican in his political affiliation and is a member of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce. He is a man of clear vision and keen discrimination in business matters, possesses executive ability of a high order, and his achievements have given him a place among the leading bankers of Alameda county. Absolutely dependable in every relation of life and a man of splendid personality, he has long been regarded as one of the most useful and reliable citizens of San Leandro and commands the confidence of all who come in contact with him.

From:
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928


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