14 January 2007

Phoebe Apperson Hearst lived here

The Hearst house in the Reed-Grigsby years. Louise Reed is seen on the terrace. (photo courtesy of Rita Frances Strom)

When Benjamin Ide Wheeler was president of the University of California, his most constant fundraising partner was the indomitable U.C. regent and benefactress Phoebe Apperson Hearst. During their 20-year joint reign, from 1899 until 1919, Wheeler and Hearst were an unbeatable team. For half a dozen years, they owned adjoining houses on what has come to be known as Holy Hill.

Following the Hearst residence, the house was home to the editor of a mining journal, then to a coffee planter and his second wife, formerly an actress. After the planter was murdered on his Guatemalan plantation, his widow married his friend, a Berkeley realtor with a green thumb who created a showplace garden next to the house.

Since the late 1940s, the house has belonged to the Mormon Berkeley Institute of Religion. Read the full story.


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