Joseph Burwell McChesney

Founder and First Principal of OHS

© Published on February 26, 1912


Joseph B. McChesney Passes Away at His Home in San Francisco.

Flags are at half-mast on the city hall and at Telegraph and Broadway this morning, by order of the city council, in respect to the memory of Professor Joseph Burwell McChesney, for more than 25 years principal of the Oakland High School, who died at his home in San Francisco last night, aged 79 years. Although Professor McChesney had been a resident of Mill Valley and San Francisco for the past ten years, he was a resident of Oakland for thirty years or more, having been the organizer of the Oakland High School. The funeral will be private and held in San Francisco.

The dead man was a native of New York, coming to California in the early days, teaching school in Grass Valley before arrival to this city. In the sixties he became a teacher in Oakland, principal of the Lafayette grammar school. From his classes there he formed the first high school class, which grew into a separate department and eventually into the high school. He held the position of principal there until about ten years ago when he was succeeded by Dr. J. H. Pond.

Speaking of his death Dr. Pond said today:

"Professor McChesney's work as an educator was of the finest. In his day as a teacher he was considered one of the ablest educators in the state, known far and wide for his ability."

During his years of residence here he was prominent as secretary of the Berkeley society, keeping his membership in that organization until his removal to Mill Valley. Of late years he has been connected with the customs department in San Francisco.

He is survived by a widow, Mrs. Sarah Jewett McChesney, a brother, Albert McChesney, of Syracuse, N.Y., and George Jewett McChesney, Clara T. McChesney and Alice McChesney, children.