Our Chapter of the California Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was first organized as the Alameda County Chapter. The organizational meeting was held at the Wild Duck Inn on Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, on 6 October 1925. The Wild Duck Inn was shortly thereafter torn down and replaced by the Bellevue Club. State President Rowley officially called the meeting to order and presented the Charter of the Alameda County Chapter bearing the names of the original eleven applicants: Dr. Edward M. Bixby, Walter W. Bradley, Rev. Frank S. Brush, Claud Gatch, Charles S. Greene, Charles E. Hale, Herbert M. Lee, Clement H. Miller, Walter C. Palmer, Frank H. Seely, and Elijah H. Steele.
The Charter was ratified and adopted by a unanimous vote of the applicants. After the original applicants signed the organizational roll, the roll was passed along and signed by the other members present: George R. Babcock, Col. George H. Canfield, John P. Clough, C.R. Corbusier, John A. Daniels, C.C. Everett, Charles N. Finch, Errol C. Gilkey, Dr. Arthur Hieronymous, Ely C. Hutchinson, Sheldon I. Kellogg, Jr., William Webb Kemp, Warren McCann, Harvey D. Miller, J. Roy Munsell, Charles Parker Poston, R.Lloyd Rowley, Willard P. Smith, E.T. Thurston, Morris F. Wales, Horace H. Watson and Charles Sommers Young. Compatriot Willard Smith moved that the California Society Board of Managers include all the members present as Charter Members, not just the original eleven applicants.
The final meeting of the Alameda County Chapter was held on 14 October 1954, at the home of Compatriot E. S. Clark. The next meeting was to be held on 4 November 1954, at the home of Compatriot Fairchild. The meeting was closed with the normal rituals at 9:30 PM. No further meetings of the Alameda County Chapter were held.
After a hiatus of three years, the Alameda County Chapter of the California Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was de-activated and re-organized as the Oakland Chapter. In December of 1957, eleven Compatriots signed an application for a the Charter. The Charter was signed by E.H. Steele (State President 1941 and 1942), Municipal Judge Homer W. Buckley, Rev. Max A.A. Clark, John W. Dinsmore, Calvin L. Farrar, Errol C. Gilkey, Richard H. Lee, Elmer Maryatt, George Mattis, E. Kenneth Rogers and Dr. Robert L. Thomas. Dr. Thomas said that the Chapter will design a program to promote "Americanism in action." It will also participate in national programs to investigate public school books, promote national holidays, and review immigration legislation.
The organizational meeting was held at the Athens Club, on 13 January 1958. The meeting was called to order by Organizing President Dr. Robert L. Thomas, with 17 Compatriots attending. A nominating committee, consisting of Calvin Farrar, Judge Homer Buckley, and Elmer F. Maryatt, read off the slate of officers to be nominated as follows:
President: Dr. Robert L. Thomas
Vice-President: Judge Homer Buckley
Secretary: Richard H. Lee
Treasurer: Don J. Allphin
Registrar: John Welby Dinsmore
Historian: William A. Cockrill
Chaplain: Rev. Max A. X. Clark
The nominated officers were elected unanimously. Charter President Thomas announced that the Charter would be presented by National President George E. Tarbox, Jr. at the Northern California Meeting of the State Society on 19 February 1958. Tribune publisher Joseph R. Knowland represented the Mayor of Oakland and the California Historical Society (of which he was president). Also in attendance were representatives of the Palo Alto, Salinas, San Francisco, San Francisco Peninsula and Marin County chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution.
The Northern California chapters of the California Society (San Francisco, Marin County, Palo Alto and Salinas) held a meeting on 19 February 1958, at the Piedmont Veterans Memorial Building, with State President Edward R. Polhemus presiding. This was the Charter Meeting for the Oakland Chapter. National President Tarbox presented the Charter to the Chapter officers. Afterwards, President Tarbox spoke on the importance of preserving the American way of life, preserving our republican form of government, preserving the old traditions of education and encouraging more respect for the American Flag. Mr. Joseph R. Knowland, the publisher of the Oakland Tribune, addressed the meeting as the representative of the Mayor of Oakland, and as the President of the California Historical Society. President Thomas announced that the first official act of the Chapter would be to attend the memorial service for President Washington's Birthday at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on 23 February 1958.
A board meeting was held on 1 September 1992, at the home of President Armour. The board decided to officially change the name of the Chapter to the Thomas Jefferson Chapter, since it was felt regional names did not reflect the changing demographics of the membership. As Dumas Malone wrote in his book Jefferson and His Time:
Thomas Jefferson appears to have been a dozen men rolled into one. Most of his mature life was devoted to public affairs, and he held public offices ranging from county magistrate in Virginia to President of the United States. But - besides being a legislator, a diplomat, an executive - he was a farmer, a scientist, an architect, an inventor, patron of education and the arts. He loved books and believed in people. Most of all he believed in freedom.
It was decided that Thomas Jefferson, the Renaissance Man, was a good selection as a namesake for our Chapter. The Constitution Week joint meeting with the DAR was held on 19 September 1992, at the Willow Park Restaurant in Castro Valley. The guest speaker was Ronald S. Beacher, Esq., who spoke on the "First Amendment - How Much Freedom?" President Thomas Armour announced the change of name from the Oakland Chapter to the Thomas Jefferson Chapter.