William Benitz Page last modified:
Missing brick pile

William Benitz
ca.1868
(Source: John C. Benitz)

William Benitz
Alameda County
Real Estate
(1865-1874)

In the table below we list William’s real estate transactions on file at the Alameda County Recorder’s Office (Oakland, California).  His real estate transactions in Sonoma and Shasta counties (i.e. Fort Ross, Hermann, and New Breisgau) are found on the Sonoma Real Estate page (see above menu).

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We must be careful when speculating about William's net worth.  We do not know how he managed his investments nor their full extent.  Based upon the public records of his Oakland real estate transactions, he appears to have been an astute “capitalist”, almost doubling his net worth during the seven years he and Josephine lived in Oakland.  He sold Fort Ross in 1867 for $64,000 (over 1 million USD-2000).  It is probably safe to assume that the capital he invested in Oakland real estate came solely from the sale of Fort Ross for by the end of 1869 he had invested only $52,000.  The remaining $12,000 was likely spent on moving expenses (Fort Ross to Oakland), living expenses, construction of the Benitz Building, and other investments unknown to us.  In 1874 he sold all his Oakland properties for $105,300 (over 2 million USD-2000), most of it to Miller & Heaton, miners from Salt Lake — the final sale was large enough to cause comment in the local press.

Missing brick pile

Family Home
320 Webster Street, Oakland
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Family Home in Oakland:

William purchased the lot and house at 320 Webster Street in 1865, and the rest of the block by the end of 1867 (block Nº 86, between Webster & Harrison streets, and 8th & 9th streets).  He still owned the entire block when he sold it in 1874.

The house was torn down in 1901, and today the block is part of Oakland’s China Town.

Benitz Building:

William bought the lots at the north-east corner of Broadway and 10th streets in 1867 and 1869 for $12,000 (block Nº 143, lots: 1-4, 27 & 28).  Per the year on the building’s façade on Broadway, its construction was presumably completed in 1871.  We have yet to determine how much it cost to build, but in 1873 the property was valued at $40,000.

Today (2010), a large modern seven story office and retail building occupies the block’s entire frontage on Broadway, across from the Oakland Convention Centre.

During 1998, Robin Benitz and Frank Watt visited the historical section of the Oakland, California, main library.  They were able to glean a fair amount of information about William.  Robin summarized what they discovered about the Benitz Building:

“Wm. Benitz’s building is a massive two-storey fireproof building on S/E corner (Broadway between 10th and 11th St.) having frontage of 100 ft. on Broadway and worth $40,000 (1873 History of City of Oakland).  The building was torn down and today is replaced by a new large seven story building (offices, with ground floor retail) that occupies the whole frontage of the block.  A block of similar type buildings to the Benitz block have been retained on 9th Street between Broadway and Washington Streets.  It shows the Italianate, highly ornate features which would have been prominent on the Wm. Benitz building.  It is assumed W.B. had the building built for him.  As can be seen from the building’s façade the ground floor was occupied by a Bank and Real Estate offices.  ...  The 10th Street side had a wool and coal merchant.”

Missing brick pile

Benitz Building, ca.1871
On Broadway at 10th Street
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Missing brick pile

Benitz Building, ca.1880
On Broadway at 10th Street
(Renamed: Miller-Heaton Bldg.)
(Source: Oakland Library?)

Missing brick pile

Broadway, 1875
East side

(11th to 10th Streets)
(Source: Oakland Library)

Missing brick pile

Broadway, 2003
East side

(At 10th Street)
Benitz Bldg. would be
behind the lamp-post
(Source: P. Benitz)

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Missing map

1878
(200k file)

Missing map

1878
(1 mb file)

Oakland Real Estate:

Missing map

2005

Maps of Oakland:  The maps show the locations of the real estate William bought and sold in Oakland.  The maps will open in a separate window so you can have them available while viewing the table.  We have identified the Benitz office building, the family home, Lincoln Grammar School, and the Presbyterian Church we believe they attended (see Alfred’s biography, Chapters III and IV).

Date Block Lots Out-$ In+$ Net=$ From/To Other Party
Oakland 44 Tract 406, Oakland Point
27-Oct-68 44 (1-4) 2,100     Seller:: J.E. Freeman
30-Jun-74 44 (1-4)   0   Buyer: Miller & Heaton (final sale below)
    Totals: 2,100 0 -2,100    
Oakland 48  
20-Jan-68 48 10, 300     Seller: Edward Minturn
08-Jan-68 48 11, 400     Seller: Otto Paschwitz
09-Mar-70 48 (10-11)   2,400   Buyer: WB Clement
    Totals: 700 2,400 1,700    
Oakland 53 on the San Pablo Road - “Tuttle Homestead Tract”
11-Jul-68 53 Lot 415     Mortgage from: Ernst Mullër
  53     600   Buyer: ** Unknown **
    Totals: 415 600 185    
Oakland 86 Dwelling
31-Jul-67 86 (5-8) 1,200     Seller: Warren Buck
    (9-11) 1,000     Seller: ** Unknown **
08-Aug-67 86 (12-25) east 1/2 2,400     Seller: Mysron J. Dusinbury
01-Sep-65 86 (1-4), (26-28) Dwelling 675     Deed of Trust Warren Buck
25-Aug-66 86 (1-4), (26-28) 2,500     Deed of Trust James de Fr…. et al
19-Apr-67 86 (1-4), (26-28) 4,000     Mortgage: Warren Buck?
12-Sep-67 86 (1-4), (26-28) 1,250     Seller: Warren Buck
14-Apr-74 86 (9-11)   3,500   Buyer: Adam Menges
22-Jun-74 86 (12-13)   1,800   Buyer: Adam Menges
30-Jun-74 86 (1-8), (14-28)   0   Buyer: Miller & Heaton (final sale below)
    Totals: 13,025 5,300 -7,725    
Oakland 87  
01-Aug-68 87 (1-4) 2,800     Seller:: Cornelius & Desire Koopmanschap
04-Apr-72 87 (1-2)   2,500   Buyer: F.W. Sohst
07-Apr-73 87 (3-4)   2,000   Buyer: Edward Hackett
    Totals: 2,800 4,500 1,700    
Oakland 89  
26-May-69 89 (3-4) 3,000     Seller: Order of Odd Fellows (trustees)
30-Jun-74 89 (3-4)   0   Buyer: Miller & Heaton (final sale below)
    Totals: 3,000 0 -3,000    
Oakland 120  
11-Jan-68 120 (19-20) 900     Seller: Henry Jahn
  120 19,   800   Buyer: ** Unknown **
29-Jul-68 120 20,   800   Buyer: C.M. Bennett
27-Mar-68 120 (5-10) 4,500     Seller: Antoine Borel
02-Nov-72 120 (5-10)   6,000   Buyer: George H. Barrett
    Totals: 5,400 7,600 2,200    
Oakland 143  
01-Apr-68 143 (19-22) 4,500     Seller: Sarah Reynolds
28-Sep-71 143 (19-22) 1     Quit claim from: Pointry, J.W. Martin, A.C. Henry
28-Sep-72 143 (19-22)   0   Mortgage to: Note on Union Savings Bank (2%/month)
07-Nov-73 143 (19-22)   6,600   Buyer: Andrew J. Snyder
    Totals: 4,501 6,600 2,099    
Oakland 143 Office Building
04-Nov-67 143 (1-2),(27-28) 5,000     Seller: Louis G. Braguire
05-Feb-69 143 (3-4) 7,000     Seller: John C. Hays
30-Jun-74 143 (1-4), (27-28), 5 edge   0   Buyer: Miller & Heaton (final sale below)
1871 ? 143 Construction 0     Contractor: ** Unknown **
    Totals: 12,000 0 -12,000    
Oakland 159  
10-Feb-68 159 21, 22, 23 part 2,000     Seller: B.A. Caryl
14-May-68 159 23 part 750     Seller: P.D. Wilcox & B.A. Caryl
26-May-69 159 21, 22, 23 part   3,300   Buyer: Order of Odd Fellows (trustees)
29-Jul-69 159 23 part   1,000   Buyer: Order of Odd Fellows (trustees)
03-Dec-69 159 (21-23)   1   Quick claim to: Order of Odd Fellows (trustees)
    Totals: 2,750 4,301 1,551    
Oakland 160  
27-Mar-68 160 (1-3), 28 3,000     Seller: Frederick C. Weber
03-Nov-71 160 1, 2 S-part, 28 S-part   3,000   Buyer: William Streit
18-Sep-73 160 3, 2 N-part, 28 C-part   3,200   Buyer: Myron M. Tinkham
    Totals: 3,000 6,200 3,200    
01-Jan-68 160 (4-9), 28 N-part 9,000     Seller: Gustavus & Hermine Schulte
30-Jun-74 160 (4-9), 28 N-part   0   Buyer: Miller & Heaton (final sale below)
    Totals: 9,000 0 -9,000    
Oakland 3 & 4 Mountain View Cemetery
11-Jan-69 3 Plot 11 & 12 60     Seller: Mountain View Cemetery
01-Dec-71 3 Plot 11 & 12   60   Buyer: Mountain View Cemetery
21-Dec-71 4 Plot 260 & 261 73     Seller: Mountain View Cemetery
  4 Plot 260 & 261   73   Buyer: ** Unknown **
    Totals: 133 133 0    
Oakland   Final Sale to Miller & Heaton
30-Jun-74 44 (1-4) 2,100     Buyer: Miller & Heaton
30-Jun-74 86 (1-8), (14-28) 12,525     Buyer: Miller & Heaton
30-Jun-74 89 (3-4) 3,000     Buyer: Miller & Heaton
30-Jun-74 143 (1-4), 28, 5 edge 12,000     Buyer: Miller & Heaton
30-Jun-74 160 (4-9), 1/4 of 28 9,000     Buyer: Miller & Heaton
30-Jun-74   Lump Sum:   100,000   Buyer: Miller & Heaton
Totals: 38,625 100,000 61,375   Miller & Heaton
               
Grand Totals Out-$ In+$ Net=$  
All years: 57,824 136,161 78,337  
Activity 1866: 3,175 0    
Activity 1867: 13,850 0    
Activity 1868: 30,665 800    
Activity 1869: 10,060 4,301   Net invested: $52,649
Activity 1870: 0 2,400    
Activity 1871: 74 3,060    
Activity 1872: 0 8,500    
Activity 1873: 0 11,800    
Activity 1874: 0 105,300    
Missing: 1,000 1,473   (estimated)
Office Building: ??      


© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)