AKA: San Diego Union, Office Building #1, Old Town, San Diego, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1868

Old Town, San Diego, CA

Building History

According to entrepreneur and historian Willam Ellsworth Smythe (1861-1922), the first office of the San Diego Union newspaper was in a building belonging to José A. Altamirano in the Old Town neighborhood of San Diego. The original publishers, lawyer Colonel William Jefferson Gatewood (1830-1888) and later police chief Edward W. Bushyhead (1832-1907), had previously operated a newspaper in Calaveras County, called the San Andreas Register that they relocated to the more promising seaport town of San Diego in 09/1868. As Smythe described it, the first office of the San Diego Union was minimal: "The outfit arrived about the 19th day of September and quarters were found in a frame building belonging to José A. Altamirano, next door to the parsonage, at Old Town." (See William Ellsworth Smythe, History of San Diego, 1542-1907, An Account of the Rise and Progress of the Pioneer Settlement on the Pacific Coast of the United States, [San Diego: History Company, 1907], p. 479.) Gatewood sold his interest in the paper in 1869, and by 1870, the newspaper relocated from its first home in Old Town to Horton's Addition, now Downtown San Diego.

Bushyhead, who was 1/2 Cherokee by birth, would sell his interest in the Union in 1872, leave San Diego to travel (and get married) in the East, and return to the city by 1877. He became a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff and, by 1882, Sheriff. He served as San Diego's Chief of Police from 1899 until 1903.

PCAD id: 22357