|Mary S Taylor
Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Location: Fresno, CA
|Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:41 pm Post subject: Platt, Julia c1858-1935
|Pacific Grove Tribune, CA May 31, 1935
Julia Platt Dies of Heart Attack; Will Instructs that Body be Buried in Dramatic Sea Fashion
Death erased the most dominant and picturesque figure from the civic canvas of Pacific Grove in the passing Tuesday night of Miss Julia Platt. As mayor of Pacific Grove from 1931 to 1933, as the instigator and motive force in the securing of the city’s charter in 1927 and for a long period of years as a conscientious and alert spectator of council meetings, and dynamic worker for civic improvement, Julia Platt was a faithful servant to the city of her adoption. Came Here in Nineties. Her first visit to Pacific Grove was in the nineties when she came to continue her studies in biology at Hopkins Marine Station. A few years later she decided to make this her permanent home and retired from a brilliant career as a scientist to live in quiet retirement at her home in Ocean View avenue. Her entrance into the political drama of Pacific Grove was made with a shotgun. A few years after her arrival here she became annoyed by the persistent depredations of her neighbors chickens in her garden. Failing to stop their forays on her vegetables and flowers she took a shotgun and killed some of the more villainous fowls. Knew Legal Rights. The matter became public when their owner appealed to the police officials for redress and Miss Platt shortly revealed her comprehension of legal rights and civic authority by succeeding in having an ordinance passed prohibiting the raising of chickens and other domestic animals within certain limits of the city. Henceforth her interest in the business of the city council never flagged and she became a permanent sidelight of every meeting of the council, rarely missing a session. As a charter member of the Women’s Civic Club and of the Neighbors Club her intelligent perception of existing evils and forceful, courageous activity resulted in many of the civic improvements such as parks, which have embellished the city. Wrote Charter. In 1927 she was instrumental in circulating the petition for the charter providing a city manager form of government for Pacific Grove and the major portion of the original draft of the charter is written in her hand. After a whirlwind campaign she became the city’s first woman mayor in 1931. She attracted wide attention by her summary disregard for the effort to close the McDougall beach property to public entrance. She filed off two padlocks put on the gates and finally wielding an axe against the gates which had been erected to prevent right of way she picturesquely informed the world that the city’s original deed guaranteed public right of way to the beach. Born in San Francisco. Born in San Francisco September 14, 1857, Miss Platt spent her early life in Vermont receiving the degree of Ph.B. at University of Vermont in 1881; and her Ph.D. at Freiburg University in 1897. She was a member of the distinguished scientific honor society of Germany, Anatomische Gesellshaft. She also studied at the Universities of Wurtzburg, Berlin and Munich, at Bryn Mawr, University of Chicago and Woods Hole Marine Station. She was for a time director of Naples Zoological Station, outstanding in the world. Her findings in the field of embryology were so revolutionary when first promulgated that they were ridiculed or ignored by most fellow scientists. On coming to Pacific Grove she told Dr. Harold Heath, “I hope that science will go over my findings. I know that I am right.” It required almost 30 years to win the verification that she sought, but she was right. Her discoveries regarding the vertebrate head were the first scientific proof of a theory that the poet Goethe had first advanced from the philosophical standpoint. Ill Health. Ill health forced her to cease her scholarly research when she came here to live. In attacking civic problems she used the approach of the scientist, challenging each question and investigating it honestly and thoroughly. Having satisfied herself of the right side of an issue, she was fearless and militant in her support of it. According to the terms of Miss Platt’s will, which was found in the safety deposit box at the Monterey branch of the Bank of America, her estate is left in the form of a trust fund to her adopted son, Harold, her only near relative. Small bequests of furniture and other articles were made to friends. The request for a sea burial was found attached to her will.
Burial to be Dramatic Request Sea Funeral
Dramatic as many of the episodes of her life will be the burial of Miss Julia Platt, tomorrow afternoon, if her wish is carried out. She wished to be buried sailor fashion in the waters of Monterey Bay which she looked on and loved for more than 35 years. Exact details of how the body will be lowered into the sea have not yet been completed. Funeral services will be conducted at Paul’s Mortuary chapel shortly after noon Saturday and the public has been invited to attend. Following this the unusual burial will take place. Harold Platt, her adopted son, who arrived in Pacific Grove from his ranch in Laytonville, Cal., Wednesday night said that every effort would be made to comply with her written request and with the wish he had often heard her express. It is possible that the body may be dropped from a seaplane into the waters of the bay. According to government regulations such a burial must take place at least three miles from shore, and beyond the 12-mile limit the rule of the high seas is in effect. Miss Platt succumbed to a heart attack in the Community Hospital about 10:10p.m. Tuesday night. She had been taken there Sunday by her friend, Mrs. Charles Anderson and was feeling very much better Tuesday morning when the Anderson’s called on her.
Pacific Grove Tribune, CA June 7, 1935
Julia B. Platt Memorialized in Park Site
City Council Names Plot at Lover’s Point in Honor of Ex-Mayor
Platt, Julia B., age 77, died in Monterey County on May 28, 1935