Daniel Slinkey

The Slinkey Family Main Page

Born: August 1841 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Died: August 16, 1900 in Sausalito, Marin County, California, USA.

Possibly a portrait of Daniel Slinkey, taken in Columbia, California, likely 1870s. - 2013-01-27

Daniel Slinkey, brother of John E. Slinkey, appeared in the Sausalito News fairly frequently as a comic character. Sadly, his life had enough tragedy to get in the papers as well. In the Great Register of Marin County in 1894, Daniel Slinkey's eye color is described as "one black and one blue," and his hair auburn.

April 1880: Listed in Langley's San Francisco directory as "Slinkey, Daniel, bartender, Overland House." His brother John was the proprietor.

June 2, 1880: Listed in the U.S. Federal Census in Martinez, Contra Costa county, California, living with his brother's family at the picnic grounds they ran: "Slinkey, Daniel, White, Male, 35 years old, Single, Brother to head of household, Occupation: Saloon Keeper, Born in South Australia, Both parents born in Germany."

August 29, 1885: J.E., Christina, Dan, and Lillie Slinkey host a "Domino Party" (masked ball) at the El Monte Hotel: "The initial domino party of Sausalito was held at the 'El Monte' Saturday evening. The dining room was cleared for the dance hall by a committee of arrangements, and the guests were given full possession of it and the parlor for their ball room, and by 9 o'clock the merry dance commenced. A large number of maskers participated and as many more were present as spectators and all equally enjoyed the evening's merriment. A splendid supper was served by Col. Slinkey at 11 o'clock at which time the masks had been removed, and after the pleasures of the festal board on with the dance again." (Sausalito News, September 6, 1885, page 3, column 2.)

August 3, 1887: Dan apparently is tricked to holding a baby on a San Francisco horse car and is then abandoned with it. He brings it to the El Monte Hotel to care for while the police search for the woman! (Daily Alta California, August 4, 1887, page 1, column 4.)

July 31, 1888: Installed to the office of "Inside Guardian" of the "United Order of Honor," Sausalito Lodge No. 191. His brother-in-law serves as president, his sister-in-law as vice-president, his niece as recording secretary and his brother as treasurer. This organization is formed for "charitable and benevolent purposes." (Sausalito News, July 13, 1888.)

October 11, 1889: The Sausalito News humorously reports Dan's proposals to build a causeway to Angel Island and a toll road to Alcatraz. (Both islands in the San Francisco Bay some distance from Sausalito.)

September 25, 1891: A gentleman named Mike Webber is reported to have been hired to dig a well on the Haffner property, with Dan Slinkey acting as foreman for the job. (Sausalito News, September 25, 1891, page 3, column 1.)

October 30, 1891: "Mike Webber and Dan Slinkey have mad [sic?] arrangements to go into the business of supplying Christmas trees and garlands for the coming holidays with Headquarters in San Francisco." (Sausalito News, October 30, 1891, page 3, column 1)

"Dan Slinkey was at Larkspur this week and took the contract for digging a well on Mr. Visaria's property." (Sausalito News, page 3, column 1.)

July 29, 1892: Dan Slinkey is reported as a candidate for Constable, subject to nomination by the Democratic County Convention. (Sausalito News, July 29, 1892, page 3, column 2.)

December 24, 1892: Constable candidate Dan Slinkey is in trouble with the law: “Marin County. Daniel Slinkey, a brother of J.E. Slinkey, proprietor of El Monte hotel at Sausalito, and J.D. Regfus, a butcher, were arrested on a charge of larceny upon a warrant sworn to by Constable C. Reed while taking lumber from the property of the Sausalito Land and Ferry Company and disposing of the same for firewood.” (Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California), December 24, 1892, col. 2.)

March 23, 1894: "Dan Slinkey has resigned in favor of J.D. Cramer the boss of the Democratic party in Sausalito, for the position of town marshal."(Sausalito News, March 23, 1894, page 3, column 2, but on page 2, column 5, Dan is still listed as a candidate.)

March 30, 1894: Dan Slinkey still listed as one of several candidates for Town Marshall. (Sausalito News, March 30, 1894, page 3, column 1.)

May 4, 1894: Apparently Dan loses the election for marshall, but is appointed "Deputy Marshall and Poundkeeper." (Sausalito News, May 4, 1894, page 3, column 2.)

September 28, 1895: "The opening of the Sausalito Pastime Club, Dan Slinkey, President, will be held tonight at the Sausalito Hotel." (Sausalito News, September 28, 1895, page 3, column 1.) A club by the same name was reported giving "monthly socials" by the Sausalito News in 1894.

December 5, 1896: "Dan Slinkey reports that the El Monte clothes-line was robbed Thursday night. Loss about $20." (Sausalito News, December 5, 1896, page 3, column 3.)

February 27, 1897: Dan Slinkey accuses a former El Monte Hotel resident and officer of the Society of Old Friends, Charles Burrey, of stealing two pictures from the wall of the hotel. A reporter writes a bombastic, and perhaps tongue-in-cheek, article on the affair. The pictures, the theft of which Burrey is found blameless by a court the next day, are described as "not original but, together with the frames, they would probably bring about $1.75 at a forced sale. One represents Columbus at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella and the other is a chromo in colors of a Roman chariot race." (San Francisco Call, 27 February 1897, page 9, column 1.)

May 15, 1897: "Dan Slinkey and John Mulaney, as house-movers, are a success." (Sausalito News, May 15, 1897, page 3, column 3.)

August 14, 1897: Sausalito News reports (page 3, column 1) that "Dan Slinkey starts for the Klondike mines next week." He apparently came back quickly, or never made it, for Dan was in town in December.

November 20, 1897: Sausalito News reports (page 3, column 1 in the "Brevities" column) that "Dan Slinkey, the Deputy Poundmaster, has been doing a land office business this week impounding stock and destroying dogs. Dan takes some desperate chances, and if he continues his aggressive campaign without being shot he will be in luck." On the same page is an example of Dan's chances: "RECORDER'S COURT/Trials of the Deputy Pound Master," detailing the impounding by Dan Slinkey of the tagless dog of a man who was out walking it—Slinkey seems to have stretched his authority here, as the resolving article in the Sausalito News, on December 4, 1897 shows.

December 4, 1897: Sausalito News article (page 3, column 6) "THE DOG ORDINANCE" explains the case Dan Slinkey recently lost, how he unjustly impounded the dog of a local man who had left the dog in the care of his nephew outside of a store for a few moments. Slinkey noticed the dog had no tag, took it away, and cited the owner for obstructing an officer in carrying out his duty when the man objected to the dog's impoundment. The court, however, found that the dog ordinance only authorized impounding dogs "running at large" and that this was not the case. Slinkey strongly rebuffed for overstepping his bounds.

December 20, 1897: San Francisco Call reports on Dan's collision with a locomotive the night before (page 4, column 3): "Run Down by a Train. SAUSALITO, Dec. 19. - Daniel Slinkey, well known in Sausalito, was the victim of a probably fatal railway accident here this evening. He slipped and fell on Water street in front of an incoming train. The locomotive struck his head and right arm, cutting the latter off near the elbow. The arm was amputated by surgeon and Slinkey's recovery is doubtful."

December 25, 1897: The Sausalito News catches up on the story with banner headlines (page 3, column 3): "FEARFUL ACCIDENT/Dan Slinkey Collides With/a Locomotive./And Narrowly Escapes With/His Life."

January 29, 1898: Sausalito News reports on Dan's progress (page 3, column 1): "Dan Slinkey paid the NEWS office a visit this week. Dan has about recovered from his injuries, and is back again, getting his friends as of old. Satisfactory arrangements with the railroad company have been made, and no suits will be filed."

February 12, 1898: The News is hopeful for Dan, hinting that his accident with the train had alcohol involved (page 3, column 2): "Dan Slinkey comes back to Sausalito a new man, and no longer has the flowing bowl temptations that cannot be resisted."

October 6, 1899: The San Francisco Call perhaps falls for Dan Slinkey's way of embellishing a tale, and what could be better than a poundmaster saved by a dog? Here's the whole story:

San Francisco Call, October 7, 1899, page 3:



SAUSALITO, Oct. 6. - Dan Slinkey, the local poundmaster, who has the record of killing more dogs than any other man in California, came within a hair's breadth of losing his life in the waters of the bay last night, and the fact that he is still in the land of the living is due to a dog-a poor, miserable little cur that Slinkey should have killed weeks ago if he had followed strictly the rules laid down by the ordinance. But for some reason--Slinkey now inclines to the opinion that it was fate--he spared the dog simply because it looked so lonely and miserable that he had not the heart to put an end to the creature's life. The poundmaster now thanks his lucky star he didn't, for if he had a watery grave would have been his portion.

Last night Slinkey came over on the late boat from San Francisco, closely followed by the yellow dog, which has never forsaken him since he spared its life and gave it a good meal. As the boat docked Dan got headed in the wrong direction, and instead of walking off the boat upon the slip ambled off the other end into the bay. As soon as he hit the water the dog heard the splash and ran to the edge of the boat. Seeing its friend struggling in the water the dog uttered a howl and darted back to the restaurant of the boat, where a number of deckhands were congregated. By howling and whining and running a short distance away, only to return and make more signs of distress when it perceived that it was not followed, the faithful brute managed to notify the deckhands that something was wrong. They followed it to the end of the boat and saw Slinkey floundering in the water. It was the work of a few moments to procure a rope and drag the unfortunate poundmaster out of his predicament. He was so weak when he reached the deck of the boat that he sank down exhausted. Dan now freely admits that he owes his life to the dog as well as the dog its existence to him, and hereafter will see that it never lacks protection if he has to pay its license out of his own pocket.

Two years ago Slinkey was found lying close to the railroad track with his arm crushed. He had evidently been struck by a train and hurled to one side of the track instead of being thrown under the wheels of the engine. He has also had a number of other narrow escapes from a violent death.

"In order to delay arrival of the ferry from San Francisco on election day, Dan Slinkey was paid $50 and a flask of whiskey to jump off the ferry into the Bay in an attempt to delay the arrival of voters until after the [Mill Valley] polls closed." (According to the Mill Valley Historical Society in The Mill Valley Historical Review in Spring 2000 issue.)

August 18, 1900: Dan Slinkey's end, as reported by the Marin County Tocsin:

Dan Slinkey, the eccentric poundkeeper of Sausalito, after 3 determined attempts at suicide, finally succeeded in taking his life last Thursday evening. He had been arrested for disturbing the peace and sentenced to a short term in the county jail. Being intoxicated at the time, he asked Constable Garrity to permit him to rest for a couple of hours before going to San Rafael. This was granted and he went to a room in the Ryan House. Here he must have taken immediately a heavy dose of morphine, for when discovered he was in his last gasp.

Images of Daniel Slinkey:

Made 22 August 2006 by me. Updated 28 November 2013.