February 9, 1918 – Dr. William A. McCornack died in Oakland, following a heart attack. Born in Elgin, Illinois in 1849, Dr. McCornack came to the Mendocino Coast in 1873 and opened a medical office in Little River. Several months later, he moved to Mendocino where he practiced medicine for the next 23 years.
Dr. McCornack established the Mendocino Hospital Company, the first important medical facility in the community. From 1887 to 1895, the hospital operated from a rented house on the southeast corner of Ukiah and Howard Streets in Mendocino (today’s Blue Door Inn). According to Herman Fayal, “He used to charge a dollar a year – everybody – all the working people. […] If you got hurt or was sick or anything you went in there and it didn’t cost you nothing.”
In 1895, the hospital moved to a building on Main Street (demolished in 1941) across from the Ford House. Two years later, Dr. McCornack relocated the hospital and his medical practice to Fort Bragg. In 1906, he disposed of his medical practice, having “amassed a very comfortable fortune,” according to the Beacon, and retired to Oakland.
Look Tin Eli: The Mendocino Visionary Who Helped Shape the Chinese-American Experience by Robert S. Becker and Jane Tillis – The life of Mendocino-born visionary Look Tin Eli was one of national significance. As a teenager returning home from China in 1884, his illegal detention instigated a court battle, culminating in the state’s legal precedent granting full citizenship for all native-born Californians. After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, he was instrumental in establishing Chinatown as a business center and tourist destination. He founded the first Chinese-owned bank, the Canton Bank of San Francisco, and he started the China Mail steamship company. With almost fifty historic images, this first book-length profile of Look Tin Eli brings to life the cultural and commercial achievements of this remarkable trailblazer. $25.