NAME(S): Fred W. Zeile
PHOTOGRAPHER: Bradley & Rulofso, San Francisco, California
CARD SIZE: 10.8 cm x 16.4 cm
WHERE PURCHASED: Albuquerque, New Mexico
WHEN OBTAINED: May 23, 2014

Provided information from William Zeile:

    The photo must have been taken about the time he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, in a class that numbered only 28 students!  He was a prominent businessman and civic leader in San Francisco in the 1890s and the first decade of the 20th century.

    Fred's death in 1910 was reported in the following article in the San Francisco Call, which at the time was one of San Francisco's major daily newspapers.

Business World Loses a Leader: Frederick W. Zeile Dies After an Illness of Several Years (Sunday, December 4, 1910)
     Frederick W. Zeile, for years a prominent figure in the business and social life of this city, died yesterday morning at the Lane hospital, following an operation performed last Friday, from which he was weak to rally.  He was attended at the last by his wife and his eldest daughter, Miss Marion Zeile, his younger daughter, Ruth, not arriving in time from New York.
      Zeile had been in comparatively poor health for the last two or three years, and the doctors from the first held out little hope of his recovery.
     Zeile was a member of the Pacific Union, Bohemian and San Francisco golf clubs.  He was a foremost worker in all municipal movements and was for some time president of the Outdoor Art league.  From the time of its organization until October, 1905, he was president of the Mercantile trust company of this city, and resigned his position because of ill health.  Subsequently, he traveled through Europe, seeking to regain his health, and had for the last year taken no active part in business affairs.  During Phelan’s administration as mayor, he served as a park commissioner and was interested in many local charities ever since his graduation from the University of California.
     Zeile left a wife, who was formerly Mrs. Ida May Humphrey, known for years in the local social department as Miss Ida Roberts.  His secret marriage to her in 1906 startled society at the time, but the marriage was a most happy one.  Miss Marion Zeile was a debutante of last year, and is one of the most popular of the girls in the younger social set in this city.  His younger daughter, Ruth, is still a schoolgirl.  Zeile’s mother and brother also survive him.

The Mercantile Trust Company was a bank established in 1899.  It later evolved into the American Trust Company, which later
merged with Wells Fargo Bank.

The Outdoor Art League appears to be a later name for the San Francisco Art Association, the parent organization of the California School of Design (an art academy whose faculty included the prominent San Francisco artist Arthur F. Mathews).  Fred served as president of the Art Association in 1891-1894.

In 1898, Fred Zeile was appointed by California Governor Budd to the San Francisco Park Commission, which was responsible for the development and management of Golden Gate Park and a number of other parks in the western area of San Francisco.  During his term, the Commission was transferred to city control under the administration of Mayor Phelan.


Identified: Frederick W. Zeile

Born: November 26, 1856, San Francisco, California
Died: December 3, 1910, San Francisco, California
Father: John Zeile
Mother: Henrietta
Married 1st: Sophie Smith
Married 2nd: Ida May Roberts
Children: Marion & Ruth


William Zeile