Guide to the Annexation of Willow Glen Records,1927-1936

The machine readable finding aid for this collection was created by Diana Kohnke and reviewed by Stacy Mueller.
San José Public Library, California Room
San José Public Library
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
California Room
150 East San Fernando Street
San José, CA 95112
Phone: (408) 808-2167
© 2009
California Room, San José Public Library. All rights reserved.

Guide to the City of Willow Glen Records,1927-1936


California Room, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Contact Information
California Room

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

150 East San Fernando Street

San José, CA 95112

Phone: (408) 808-2167


Date Completed:
January 14, 2010
Processed and encoded by:
Diana Kohnke
© 2008 San José Public Library, California Room. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Title: City of Willow Glen Records
Date (inclusive): 1927-1936
Collection number: CR-2010-01-04
Creator: Willow Glen (San Jose, Calif.)
Collector: San Jose (Calif.)
Collection Size: 3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Repository: San José Public Library, California Room
San José, CA 95112
Abstract: This collection is comprised of correspondence, financials, reports, ordinances, resolutions, petitions, and other documents relating to the City of Willow Glen when it was an independently incorporated city in Santa Clara County. The records have been kept by the City of San José.
Physical location:

California Room's Vault 4

Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Although San José Public Library's California Room does physcially own all archival materials in its possession, it does not necessarily own the intellectual property rights (copyright) associated with all items (Title 17, Chapter 2, Section 202, "Ownership of copyright as distinct from ownership of material object). Publishing materials from our holdings requires written permission from the San José Public Library, along with proper credit given to our institution. For permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Lead Librarian of the California Room. Users may reproduce materials for teaching, research, and private study in accordance with fair use on the condition that they give proper credit to the California Room, San José Public Library.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item],City of Willow Glen Records, California Room, San José Public Library

Acquisition Information

This collection was transferred by the San José City Clerk's office to the California Room, San José Public Library in 2007.

Processing Information

Processing and guide prepared by Diana Kohnke. Guide encoded by Diana Kohnke, 2010.

Biographical History

The independent incorporated city of Willow Glen lasted for only nine years: from 1927 until 1936. Today it is part of San Jose, California and is considered to be one of its "heritage neighborhoods" as there are numerous significant and historical architectural examples still extant. For example, the Roberto-Suñol Adobe as well as an array of Victorian-era homes that dot the neighborhood.
Prior to its incorporation, Willow Glen was one of the best farming areas near the pueblo of San José, California. Wheat, barley, potatoes, onions, hops, beans, corn, strawberries, citrus, and tobacco were all cultivated in the area. Later it would provide food crops for the 49ners during the California Gold Rush. Due to its fertile farmland, Willow Glen attracted farmers from all over the world and by 1900 it had its own school district, a post office, stores, and other local businesses. The main crop by the mid-1880s was fruit production.
The impetus to incorporate Willow Glen stemmed from a proposal by the Southern Pacific Railroad to track through the middle of Willow Glen. Residents fought for incorporation in order to prevent the railroad from establishing a route through the community without first making a formal request to the town council. On September 8, 1927 Willow Glen was classified as "a sixth-class city under California statutues, the smallest classification allowed." The railroad fought back, taking it all the way to the United States Supreme Court, but they were unable to stop Willow Glen from incorporation.
The city of Willow Glen was short lived. Consolidation with the city of San José became a viable option due to Willow Glen's lack of an integrated sewer system. Most residential homes in Willow Glen had their own septic tanks. The Mattoon Act - a special surtax levied by the state legislature on each property owner with a septic system - coupled with stringent restrictions on dumping into local creeks made consolidation with San Jose appear to a majority of residents as the answer. To the residents of Willow Glen there appeared to be only two choices: build a sewage system in Willow Glen or become annexed to San José and connect with its sewer system. Two critical elections were held. The first was a vote to issue bonds to pay for a new sewer system which fell short of the two-thirds majority. Then in September of 1936 a second election was held and voters decided to annex to the city of San José.


Halberstadt, April Hope. The Willow Glen Neighborhood: Then and Now.San Jose, California: Renasci, 1997.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of materials relating to the functioning of the city of Willow Glen between 1927 through 1936. This collection consists of one series: Administrative Files, 1927-1936. It contains correspondence, financials, city council ordinances, city council resolutions, miscellaneous documents, petitions, and documents relting to improvement projects. This collection is incomplete and does not contain the full range of resolutions, ordinances, financials, correspondence, etc.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index similar items in the Library of Congress.


Annexation (Municipal government)--California--Santa Clara County.
City councils--California.
Ordinances, Municipal.
Resolutions, Legislative.
Willow Glen (San Jose, Calif.).

Collection Contents

Box 1

Series I. Administrative Files, 1927-1936

Physical Description:

40 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series is arranged alphabetically by format, and chronologically by date.
Box 1, Folder 1

Affidavits of Posting, 1930-1932

Box 1, Folder 2

Affidavits of Publication, 1931-1932

Box 1, Folder 3

Bonds and Proposals, 1928, 1931 1936

Box 1, Folder 4

Certificate of Consolidation of Willow Glen, 1936

Box 1, Folder 5

Construction Requirements and Blueprints for Willow Street West, circa 1933

Box 1, Folder 6

Correspondence, 1933-1936

Box 1, Folder 7

District II [subgrade, improvement, and Resolution], circa 1930

Box 1, Folder 8

Financials, 1931-1936

Box 1, Folder 9

Miscellaneous Documents, 1931-1936

Box 1, Folder 10

Nomination Papers for City Council, 1934

Box 1, Folder 11

Notices, 1931-1935

Box 1, Folder 12-22

Ordinances, 1927-1936

Box 1, Folder 12

Ordinances, 1927

Box 1, Folder 13

Ordinances, 1928

Box 1, Folder 14

Ordinances [no.20 through no. 32], 1929

Box 1, Folder 15

Ordinances [no.33 through no. 43], 1929

Box 1, Folder 16

Ordinances, 1930

Box 1, Folder 17

Ordinances[no. 50], 1931

Box 1, Folder 18

Ordinances [no. 51, no. 52], 1931

Box 1, Folder 19

Ordinances, 1932

Box 2, Folder 20

Ordinances, 1933

Box 2, Folder 21

Ordinances, 1935

Box 2, Folder 22

Ordinances, 1936

Box 2, Folders 23-25

Petitions, 1928-1936 undated

Box 2, Folder 23

Petitions, 1928-1931 undated

Box 2, Folder 24

Petitions, 1934-1935

Box 2, Folder 25

Petitions, 1936

Box 2, Folder 26

Reports, 1931 1934-1935

Box 2, Folder 27-39

Resolutions, 1928-1936

Box 2, Folder 27

Resolutions, 1928

Box 2, Folder 28

Resolutions, 1929

Box 2, Folder 29

Resolutions [no. 43 through no. 68], 1930

Box 3, Folder 30

Resolutions [no. 69 through no. 76 1/2, 1930

Box 3, Folder 31

Resolutions [ no. 77 through no. 92], 1931

Box 3, Folder 32

Resolutions [ no. 94 through no. 110, 1931

Box 3, Folder 33

Resolutions [ no. 111 through no. 122], 1931

Box 3, Folder 34

Resolutions [ no.123 through no.139 ], 1931

Box 3, Folder 35

Resolutions, 1932

Box 3, Folder 36

Resolutions, 1933

Box 3, Folder 37

Resolutions, 1934

Box 3, Folder 38

Resolutions, 1935

Box 3, Folder 39

Resolutions, 1936

Box 3, Folder 40

Sequoia Subdivision Documents, 1935