Ina Coolbrith

Ina Coolbrith (1842-1928) was the first white child to enter California, making the journey with noted scout Jim Beckwourth in 1851. Her uncle, Joseph Smith, was the founder of the Mormon Church. She settled in San Francisco in 1865, where she wrote poetry, worked as a teacher and librarian, and hosted a series of salons, befriending writers from Joaquin Miller to Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, George Sterling, and Gertrude Atherton. She published four collections of poetry, and became California’s first Poet Laureate in 1915. Ina Coolbrith Park is located on San Francisco’s Russian Hill.