Notes for Charles Lewelyn Dingley: The following is a transcription of a copy or draft of an obituary provided by Warren Hopkins John E. Hopkins
Charles L. Dingley
Captain Charles L. Dingley, a prominent lumber manufacturer of California, arrived in San Francisco from his native State, Maine, in 1851, his only fortune being his two hands and his will to work. He shipped on a bay schooner, and within a year was the owner of a small schooner. Soon he was known to merchants as a skipper who kept his word, and would carry articles which others would refuse on account of difficulty of stowage. He took the first locomotive from San Francisco to Sacramento, and also carried the long and heavy timbers (some of them longer than his vessel) for the first bridge across the Sacramento River. In 1859, he purchased the bark Adelaide Cooper in New York, and brought her to San Francisco, with two boilers on deck each 15 fleet high, 12 feet long and weighing 74 tons. Ship masters generally, who saw the vessel and the proposed freight predicted that Captain Dingley would never reach the Golden Gate; but he explained to the underwriters his plan of stowage; they took the risk, and he delivered the boilers for the steamer Brother Jonathon. In such tasks he never failed; and when he accomplished enterprises which others would not undertake he obtained pay proportioned to the difficulty. After some years he was enabled to leave the sea and intrust his ships, for he purchased several, to others which were the Ericsson of 1656 tons, (this was built by the famous engineer of the same name to try the hot air engine as a motive power in ocean navigation), the Valley Forge of 1280 tons, the Columbia of 1000 tons, the Commodore and Gem of the Ocean.
In 1867 he entered the lumber business acting as agent for the Port Ludlow mill which he continued until 1879, when he became resident agent for the Port Discovery mill which agency he retained until 1882.
In 1882 he became a large stockholder in a Hardware Corporation, 1883 he entered the flouring mill business, at the same tine retaining his interests in lumber and shipping.
At the time of his death he was senior member of the firm of C. L. Dingley & Co., lumber and shipping merchants, which firm he established in 1866. it the time of his death he was President of the Central National Bank of Seattle; President of the Central Milling Co., Vice-President of the Gualala Mill Co., and Trustee of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and a Director of the Sun Insurance Co.
The cause of his death was cancer, he having been troubled for two years with it, first on the lip and later attacking his throat. After trying medical science on this coast he went to Cincinnati (in September accompanied by his wife and son Fred. for medical treatment), where he died on the 5th of November; aged 60 years.
His remains were brought to his late home in Oakland, his funeral taking place Thursday, Nov. 14th, at the Brooklyn Presbyterian Church, East Oakland. The services were performed by Rev. E. S. Chapman, D.D., assisted by Rev. J. B. Silcor. The church was decorated with flowers and evergreens. A large number of floral pieces were given by friends of the deceased, among them being a large anchor, cross and heart, made of beauthiful white flowers and smilax, from the mployees of Mr. Dingley's lumber yard. A large ship was given by the C.Y. T. Club upon the hull of which were the words "Last Voyage" worked in immortelles. A large anchor from Mrs L. M. Starr and a pillow of white, bearing the word, "Rest" were among the others. The Pall Bearers were: N.W. Spaulding, E. B. Mastick, J. G. Jackson, F. Heywood, S. H. Harmon, C. L. Taylor.
Captain Dingley left a wife and six children, one daughter and five sons, three of whom are now engaged carrying on the work founded by their father while the other three are attending school.