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Guide to the Beck Family Papers MS 204
MS 204  
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Series I: Beck Family

Box-folder 1:1

Family history correspondence, 1958– 1975 and undated

Includes:

Correspondence among family members regarding Home Folks books and family history.
Box-folder 1:2

Family correspondence, 1874 November 30-1979 February 15 and undated

Includes:

Correspondence among family members and friends of the Beck family.
Box-folder 1:3

Family documents, 1915 June 17-1968 January 12

Includes:

August Beck’s Last Will and Testament (copy)
Funeral arrangements from Greenwood Memorial Park, Inc. for Lester Johnson
Box-folder 1:4

“Home-Folks” Book 1, 1924 August 22-1933 June 17 and undated

Scope and Content

Book contains poems by Violet Beck to, and about, her friends and family. In the first entry on August 22, 1924 (page 13), Violet Beck explains that this home folks book is to be used by anyone wishing to record “memories, traditions, present situations, character sketches, descriptions, narrations, and conversations,” that relate directly or indirectly to family members and family friends.
Box-folder 1:5

"Home-Folks" Book 2, 1924 August 22-1944 April 7 and undated

Scope and Content

Violet is the primary writer in the book, detailing her daily life and family events. She writes substantially about her great-nephews, Charles and David Sutton, and their mother Lillian Sutton. Violet also records her thoughts on current events, politics, and World War II. Herman Jacob Lehrbach and Lester Johnson also contribute family histories. The book also includes information on tenants who rented rooms from Violet Beck and Eva Earl as well as Violet’s efforts petitioning the city council to ban smoking on street cars. A note in the first entry (August 22, 1924) explains the intentions of the book, similar to "Home-Folks" Book 1.

Entries of interest:

January 7, 1941: “... over the radio came a flash that a Japanese air-raid was in course over the Island of Oahu, - over Pearl Harbor and all naval and military establishments there.” (page 76)
February 27, [year?]: “Sundays I go to the Baptist Sunday School. Today, I had our class and two others sign petitions to the Council for no-smoking on buses and street cars. Eva wants a thousand signatures.” (page 346)
Box-folder 1:6

"Home-Folks" Book 2, loose item, undated

Includes:

Ribbon
Box-folder 1:7

Louise Edith Myers Beck diary, 1892 January 2-1933 June 25, 1960 May 21

Scope and Content

The diary contains Louise E. Myers Beck’s reflections on her marriage, her daughters, and daily home life from January 2, 1892 to June 25, 1933. The diary begins in 1892 while Louise is living in Chicago, in her ninth year of marriage to August Beck. Her eldest daughter, Evalinda Estella, is eight and Violet Miriam is five years old. Louise laments about her marriage and her husband August’s unpredictable temperament. Louise also discusses her relationship to her daughters as they grow older. The diary includes the family’s move, in the mid-1880s, from Chicago to California and, in the late 1880s, to San Diego. The diary also includes recipes at the end as well as poetry throughout. There is an entry added by Violet Beck dated May 21, 1960 reflecting on her mother’s diary (after her mother's death).
Box-folder 1:8

Louise Edith Myers Beck diary, loose items, 1893 September 20-1960 May 21 and undated

Includes:

Notes, poems, recipes, letters, cards, newspaper clippings, and photos
Box-folder 1:9

Evalinda Estella Earl diary, 1919 February 16-1922 December 15 and undated

Scope and Content

The diary contains daily activities regarding Eva’s home life, family and nursing between February 16, 1919 and December 15, 1922. Eva writes about her children, mother, sister, and other relatives. She describes the locations where she nurses, hospitals and homes, the patients she cares for, and her friends and colleagues. She also describes travelling around California to work and to visit family. The diary includes poetry, newspaper clippings, cards, and letters.
Box-folder 8:1

Lillian Earl Baby Book, scrapbook, 1909 May 20-1915 April 16 and undated

Includes:

Letters, photographs, cards, notes, fabric, poetry, and drawings related to Lillian Earl
Wedding invitation for Evalinda Estella to James C. Earl, May 20, 1909
Box-folder 8:2

Lillian Earl Baby Book, scrapbook, loose items, 1914 March 26-1929 February 11 and undated

Includes:

Letters, cards, poems, notes, photographs, newspaper clippings, and fabric
Commencement Exercises program for San Diego High School, January 25, 1929
Box-folder 9:1

Photograph album, undated

Includes:

Photographs of Beck family and friends.
Box-folder 9:2

Photograph album, loose items, undated

Box-folder 2:1

Photographs, 1940 March-1977 June and undated

Includes:

Photographs of Beck family and friends
 

Series II: Violet Miriam Beck

Box-folder 2:2

“Autobiography Volume II,” 1919-1944 and undated

Scope and Content

The volume contains entries by Violet while teaching in Ramona, CA and Cavelo, CA, and substitute teaching in San Diego. Violet describes her students and fellow teachers, as well as her church activities. Also included are poems, recipes, addresses, drawings, and lists for Christmas cards and presents.
Box-folder 2:3

“Autobiography Volume II,” loose items, undated

Includes:

Notes, lists, and poems
Box-folder 2:4

Diary 1, 1900 December 15-1906 October 20

Scope and Content

Diary covers Violet’s high school years in San Diego and Fowler, CA through the beginning of college at the University of California, Berkeley. She occasionally discusses current events including an entry (April 20-21, 1906, page 183) regarding the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco. The diary includes photos, poems, and newspaper clippings.
Box-folder 2:5

Diary 1, loose items, 1903-1909 and undated

Includes:

Loose page from Diary 1 (June 27, [year?], most likely pages 29-30), photograph, cards, poems, and fabric.
Box-folder 2:6

Diary 2, 1907 December 25-1910 February 16 and undated

Scope and Content

Diary covers Violet’s final years at the University of California, Berkeley. She discusses her religion and courses, professors and fellow students. The diary includes letters to family and friends. She also discusses her thesis and graduation.
Box-folder 2:7

Diary 3, 1913-1946

Scope and Content

The bulk was written from December 14, 1913 to November 25, 1918, with Christmas card lists through 1946. Violet discusses her family, including the death of her father, teaching, her pupils, and religion. She also includes her thoughts on World War I. The diary includes photos, cards, poetry, recipes, songs, and drawings.

Entries of interest:

November 21: Comments on World War I. “If there were no God, then those who have lost dear ones by death could have no hope of seeing them again. Then this war in Europe would be more dreadful still, if all the mothers and widows would have no hope of ever seeing the men who have died.” (page 98)
August 15: “Yesterday Uncle Phil and I went to the Exposition grounds, and saw the beautifully colored buildings.” (page 73)
March 19, 1915: “Today Mr. Quade took me to the Spreckles Theatre to see Helen Keller and her teacher Mrs. Macy. There were many people there; they were an intelligent and sympathetic audience.” (page 157)
Box-folder 2:8

Diary 3, loose items, undated

Includes:

Notes on diary entries and Jack Stafford’s address on scrap paper
Box-folder 2:9

Diary 4, 1976 March 26-1978 May 14

Scope and Content

The diary includes daily activities, visits with friends and family, and discussion of her tenants. Violet writes about her travels around California visiting family and friends, including attending a 50th wedding anniversary party and family reunion. Violet also discusses her activities related to preserving Golden Hill and restricting the building of high rise structures. Violet also reflects on her primary school education through her university years. Beginning on September 18, 1977, Violet explains that in an attempt to purchase a nearby property, she became the victim of an embezzlement scheme. Mark Lambrose, with the help of a few other men, took $10,000 from Violet Beck. Violet writes about her efforts to recover the money and her appearance in court at the sentencing for Mark Lambrose in which she gave a statement on his behalf.

Entries of interest:

July 4, 1976: Provides information regarding family involvement in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the War of 1812, World War I, the Spanish-American War, and World War II.
September 26, 1976: Violet writes about seeing presidential candidate Jimmy Carter and California Governor Jerry Brown at the Presbyterian Church at 3rd Street and Date Street.
Box-folder 2:10

Diary 4, loose item, 1976 August 7

Includes:

Newspaper article published in The San Diego Union, written by Violet Beck titled, “How Golden Hill Got its Name”
Box-folder 2:11

Diary 5, 1978 May 17-1981 April 5

Scope and Content

Violet discusses her daily activities including outings, visiting with family and friends, and attending church and funerals. She also discusses her ongoing activities fighting against the building of high-rise structures in Golden Hill. Violet describes rental home improvement projects. She also reflects on her illnesses and aging and the death of family and friends. The diary includes details of the Old Timers Picnic at Felicita Park on July 9, 1978. Violet writes extensively about her friendship to Mark Lambrose. In early 1980, Violet writes explains that Lambrose stole money and personal property from her after which Violet visited Lambrose in jail regularly and continued efforts to help him.
Box-folder 2:12

Diary 5, loose items, undated

Includes:

Schedule of Rates and notes regarding rental arrangements.
List of gifts given to Violet Beck for her birthday.
Box-folder 3:1

Personal writings, 1985 May 22–1987 March 20 and undated

Box-folder 3:2

Book: "Apple Blossoms and Other Poems" by Violet Beck, 1926

Box-folder 3:3

Poetry journal 1: “Verses,” 1910-1911

Scope and Content

Illustrations and poetry by Violet Beck, as well as photographs of Violet.
Box-folder 3:4

Poetry journal 2 (some in German), 1904-1951 and undated

Scope and Content

Newspaper clippings, illustrations and poetry by various identified and unidentified authors. It is possible that unidentified poetry was authored by Violet Beck. Identified authors of poetry include: Alice Archer Sewall, Avery Harris and Eva E. Earl, among others. Also includes German poetry by August Beck and German patriotic song.
Box-folder 3:5

Poetry journal 3, undated

Scope and Content

Poetry by various authors such as Grace Noll Crowell and Helen Welshimer. Author, “Vi” is likely a nickname for Violet.
Box-folder 7:1

Poetry journal 3, cover, undated

Box-folder 3:6

Poetry journal 4, undated

Scope and Content

Poetry by various authors, identified and unidentified.
Box-folder 3:7

Poetry journal 4, loose item, undated

Includes:

“Recompense,” poem by George Klingle
Box-folder 3:8

Poetry journal 5, “Poems: Grace Noll Crowell,” 1930-1955 and undated

Scope and Content

Notebook of poetry primarily by Grace Noll Crowell with some inclusions by other authors.
Box-folder 3:9

Poetry journal 6, 1898-1952 and undated

Scope and Content

Poetry by various identified and unidentified authors
Box-folder 3:10

Poetry journal 6, loose items, undated

Includes:

Two illustrations and newspaper clipping, “In Memoriam-Dr. Humphrey J. Stewart.”
Box-folder 3:11

Poetry by various authors, 1908 February-1965 January and undated

Box-folder 3:12

Poetry by unidentified authors, 1931 May 16–1956 December 13 and undated

Box-folder 4:1

Scrapbook, 1914-1915 and undated

Includes:

Postcards, photographs, correspondence, cards, notes, newspaper and magazine clippings and poetry
Newspaper articles written by Violet Beck regarding her experience at the 1915 San Diego Exposition
Ticket, brochures, photographs, and postcards related to the 1915 San Diego Exposition
Articles regarding Helen Keller’s visit to San Diego, March 18, 1915
Photographs of the San Diego area
Religious pamphlets, brochures, programs and hymns
Box-folder 4:2

Scrapbook, loose item, 1915 February 27

Includes:

Postcard to Violet Beck from her Aunt Flora
Box-folder 4:3

Articles by Violet Beck, 1964 April 15 and undated

Box-folder 4:4

Teaching certificates and dipolmas, 1914 August 31-1918 September 18 and undated

Box-folder 4:5

Esparto Union High School scrapbook, 1911 August 25-1912 June 7 and undated

Scope and Content

Violet writes diary-like entries of her experiences and thoughts about teaching and her pupils. It includes correspondence, notes, photographs, illustrations, business cards, newspaper and magazine clippings, and poetry. The scrapbook also includes an invitation to commencement exercises for the senior class of Esparto Union High School.
Box-folder 4:6

Esparto Union High School scrapbook, loose items, 1911-1915 and undated

Includes:

Photographs, postcards, correspondence, illustrations
Box-folder 4:7

Grossmont Union High School yearbook, 1921

Includes:

Autographs and notes from pupils and fellow teachers
Box-folder 4:8

Golden Hill activities, 1940 May 17-1978 February 22 and undated

Scope and Content

Letter to Honorable Board of Supervisors for San Diego from Sloan & Steiner, attorneys regarding property in Golden Hill belonging to the George J. Keating Medical Fund, May 17, 1940
Letter to the editor of the San Diego Union by Violet Beck regarding the building of high-rise structures in Golden Hill, November 1972
“Golden Hill Restricted Area” map, January 1945 (in Oversize Collections D4)
Box-folder 4:9

Finances, 1951 June 19-1973 August 21 and undated

Includes:

Telephone and telegraph company bills
Bank deposit slips
Letter from the San Diego Historical Society, Villa Montezuma thanking Violet Beck for her contribution to the purchase of the Jesse Shepard Papers
Box-folder 4:10

Miscellanea, 1944-1989 and undated

Scope and Content

Violet Beck’s obituary, San Diego Union, July 8, 1989.
Drawing by Violet Beck, undated (in Oversize Collections D4)
Notebook, “Date Book for 1931” with Christmas and valentine card lists and 1 diary-like entry, 1944-1949
Notebook with daily notes, addresses, phone numbers, and lists, 1949-1956
Address book with notes, lists, business cards
Envelopes, Christmas card lists, illustrations by Charles Sutton (Violet’s grand-nephew), and newspaper clippings
Box-folder 7:7

Miscellanea, undated

Includes:

Job’s Tears, picked by Violet in Honolulu
 

Series III: Rental Property

Box-folder 4:11

Finances, 1931-1948and undated

Includes:

Estimates and payment receipts
Rental receipt book, February 21, 1969-August 7, 1973
Box-folder 5:1

Financial ledger, 1968-1973 and undated

Scope and Content

The ledger contains financial information kept by Violet Beck from 1968-1973. The ledger focuses on financial activities regarding Violet’s real estate properties. The ledger also includes information on personal expenses.
Box-folder 5:2

Real estate correspondence, 1941 April 7-1973 June 28

Includes:

Correspondence regarding rental tenants
Letter to Violet Beck from Belmont Escrow Co., Inc. regarding 1809 Mission Avenue
Box-folder 5:3

Rental property notebooks (2), 1964 September 10-1972 November 26 and undated

Box-folder 5:4

Guestbook 1, 1936 July-1943 June

Scope and Content

Guestbook 1 contains entries from tenants of Violet Beck and Eva Earl from July 1936 to June 1943, although not recorded chronologically. The entries include the names of tenants and sometimes their home address and a note about their stay. The Guestbook also includes photographs of tenants.
Box-folder 5:5

Guestbook 1, loose item, 1945 January 27

Includes:

“USO Travelers Aid” referral for A.D. Morris to Mrs. Beck at 411 21st St., January 27, 1945
Box-folder 7:2

Guestbook 1, cover, undated

Box-folder 5:6

Guestbook 2, 1945-1950 and undated

Scope and Content

Guestbook 2 contains entries from tenants of Violet Beck and Eva Earl from April 9, 1945 to July 1950, although not recorded chronologically. The entries include the names of tenants and sometimes their home address and a note about their stay. The Guestbook also includes photographs of tenants and correspondence. At the end of the scrapbook is a Christmas card list.
Box-folder 5:7

Guestbook 2, loose items, 1928 January-1961 July and undated

Includes:

Photographs, negatives, and cards
Box-folder 5:8

Guestbook 3, 1951 November 14-1957 October 3 and undated

Scope and Content

Guestbook 3 contains entries from tenants of Violet Beck and Eva Earl from November 14, 1951 to October 3, 1957, although not recorded chronologically. The entries include the names of tenants and sometimes their home address and a note about their stay. The Guestbook also includes photographs of tenants.
Box-folder 5:9

Guestbook 3, loose items, 1952 March 14-1955 February 26

Includes:

Photographs
Box-folder 7:3

Guestbook 3, cover, undated

Box-folder 5:10

Guestbook 4, 1952 January 14-1968 October 11

Scope and Content

Guestbook 4 contains entries from tenants of Violet Beck and Eva Earl from January 14, 1952 to October 11, 1968, although not recorded chronologically. The entries include the names of tenants and sometimes their home address and a note about their stay. The Guestbook also includes photographs of tenants.
Box-folder 5:11

Guestbook 4, loose items, 1956 May-1964 February and undated

Includes:

Photographs
Box-folder 7:4

Guestbook 4, cover, undated

Box-folder 5:12

Guestbook 5, 1952 September 28-1954 November 26

Scope and Content

Guestbook 5 contains entries from tenants of Violet Beck and Eva Earl from September 28, 1952 to November 26, 1954, although not recorded chronologically. The entries include the names of tenants and sometimes their home address and a note about their stay. The Guestbook also includes photographs of tenants and correspondence. At the end of the scrapbook is a Christmas card list.
Box-folder 5:13

Guestbook 5, loose items, 1954 February 9-1955 December 12

Includes:

Two cards sent to Violet Beck and Eva Earl
Box-folder 7:5

Guestbook 5, cover, undated

Box-folder 6:1

Guestbook 6, 1955 April 6-1957 March 29 and undated

Scope and Content

Guestbook 6 contains entries from tenants of Violet Beck and Eva Earl from April 6, 1955 to March 29, 1957, although not recorded chronologically. The entries include the names of tenants and sometimes their home address and a note about their stay. The Guestbook also includes photographs of tenants.
Box-folder 6:2

Guestbook 6, loose items, undated

Includes:

Photographs and note
Box-folder 7:6

Guestbook 6, cover, undated

Box-folder 6:3

Miscellanea, undated

Includes:

Pamphlet for the “Waste King Kitchen Pulverator”
Business cards for a moving service and plumbing, heating and gas fitting
Union Title Insurance Co. and Title pamphlet
 

Series IV: Miscellanea

Box-folder 6:4

Notebooks, 1945-1995 and undated

Includes:

“Kitchen” notebook contains daily notes and phone numbers, approximately December 20, 1970-June 25, 1972
“Arthur” notebook contains daily notes and phone numbers in the early 1970s
“Daily Reminder 1947” notebook contains primarily religious poetry by various authors and passages from the bible during the late 1940s, with an entry on December 23, 1995
“Daily Reminder 1945” notebook contains a Christmas card list for 1945 and 3 poems
Box-folder 6:5

Articles and newspaper clippings, 1936 November 6-1949 September 8 and undated

Includes:

Newspaper clipping on “Parcel Post Rates”
Newspaper clippings on banning smoking on street cars and buses, February 24, 1944 and undated
Newspaper article, “The Pilgrim: Some Were Saints . . . Some Weren’t”
The Fresno Guide article, “Paula Mae Myers Claimed As Bride by James Albert Bedall,” September 8, 1949
Advertisements for Michael Todd’s “Around the World in 80 Days,” at Coronet Theatre, San Fancisco, CA
Page 4 from the San Diego High School Russ publication, November 6, 1936
Box-folder 6:6

Miscellanea (some in German), 1942–1973 and undated

Includes:

Blank postcards, envelopes, notes, business cards, portion of a hymnal booklet, cards, 1968 calendar
Train ticket from Fresno, CA to Bakersfield, CA, August 3, 1942
Sabbath School educational booklet in German for March 13-31, 1945
Box-folder 7:7

Miscellanea, 1935 and undated

Includes:

Hair of Matilda Troutman with obituary, January 17, 1935 Hair of horse Linus, "The Oregon Wonder"