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Guide to the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Collection
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Collection Contents


Series 1 Eyewitness Accounts

Box 1, Folder 24

Bertheau, Rudolf Jordan: reminiscences from his scrapbook [copy]

Box 1, Folder 1

Beymer, Jeannette Hayward: "When Our University Shook," reprinted from Stanford Review [typescript] 1931 Apr

Box 1, Folder 2

Bishop, Beryl Boewell: typescript (carbon), signed and annotated by author

Box 1, Folder 3

Burr, Myron


"Quake Notes: aftermath of the great shake up; Monrovians all safe." Monrovia Newspaper 1906 Apr 18


Telegram: Myron C. Burr to F. W. Burr [copy] 1906 Apr 20

Box 1, Folder 4

Clark, George A.


Letter to family 1906 Apr 27

Physical Description: 4 page(s)

Letter to classmates 1906 Jun 2

Box 1, Folder 4.1

Elwell, C. F. "I Was There; The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906," typescript of British Broadcasting Corporation talk. 1937 Feb 19

Box 1, Folder 5

Franklin, E. C. (professor): Letter to "Billy" [William C. Stevens] 1906 Apr 26

Box 1, Folder 6

James, Mrs. William: Letter to family, typescript [copy] 1906 Apr 18

Box 1, Folder 20

Jossel, Talbert: "Reminiscences," newsclipping, Monterey, CA 1956 Apr 16-18

Box 1, Folder 7

Klauber, Laurence M. ('08)


"Two Days in San Francisco: Year - 1906," privately printed 1958?


Reprinting of a letter to Alice Klauber with footnotes and supplement [2 copies]


"Two Days in San Francisco – 1906" with preface by Molly McClain, from Winter/Spring 2005 Journal of San Diego History [reprint]

Box 1, Folder 26

Lyman, Georgina (A.B. 1907): newspaper edition of her letters to family following earthquake plus one photograph

Box 1, Folder 8

Mosher, Clelia Duel: "What the earthquake did at Palo Alto: an illustrated letter," copy 1 (incomplete)

Box 1, Folder 9

Mosher, Clelia Duel: "What the earthquake did at Palo Alto, and afterward: an illustrated letter," copy ,2 bound, illustrated (photographs, cyanotypes, postcards, maps, ephemera) in three parts

Scope and Content Note

With "Notes and Comments" by Guy Miller, February 6, 1946.
Box 1, Folder 23

Pierce, Garetta Hatch: Letter to family [photocopy] [1906 Apr]

Box 1, Folder 19

Show, Arley B., letters to E.V. Henler 1907 Mar 15 and Apr 29

Box 1, Folder 10

Smith, Edgar C.: Excerpts from Genealogy and Personal Memoirs, "The Earthquake," [copy, newsclipping included] 1965 Apr 14

Box 1, Folder 11

Smith, Ernest Nathanial: Letter to "Aunt Jessie," copy 1906 May 10

Box 5

Smith, Willett: letters to family 1906 Apr 20-May 20

Scope and Content Note

Autograph postcard and 5 autograph letters, singed in pencil, to his mother and sisters in long Island, NY. 41 pages in all.
On the night before the quake, a young resident of Long Island, Everett Smith, arrived in the city with a friend and checked into a rooming house. At 5: 13 am the earthquake struck, and two days later, Smith manages to scribble the following note to his mother back home: "Got Out of the earth quake & fire all OK Am stopping in the sand hills on the beach. The town is completely gone. Good Bye. Willett"
In a series on six letters, Smith describes his experiences. On April 22, he writes: "I got here at six oclock with my friend and we went around town and took in the Sights and my friend and I looked for a rooming house for the night and we was going up to one of the big places but I dont know what told me it seems it was nature not to go and I didnt so I went down to the water front and got a room at a place I knew. We went to bed about 11 o'clock and must have been sleeping on the edge of the bed because I was thrown on the floor by the shock. I and my friend tried to get Out of the room and the door was jammed. We bursted it to splinters. The stairs and halls was full of flying transomes and plaster. We rushed downstairs and across to the docks and we was dodging live wires and bricks and everything. There we were in our underclothes. The house went in a heap. We got a pair a pants and a jumper out of a broken clothing store window ." "[W]hen we came to our senses from the fright the whole town was blazing in twenty different places." "The fire burned so fierce it drove us up town and we had to run. It seemed the fire just roared."
Smith writes vividly of the horrors he witnessed, describing conditions everywhere as such that "it can never be put in prim it was so terrible.' "Thousand of families have not got a blanket to put over them. The suffering is terrible with the women and children. I guess a thousand or more was killed by falling houses and pneumonia has set in and the dead wagons are overcrowded ... We was two days without a mouth full to eat ... i have stood it awful good but I don't know what I have been doing half of the time."
In a letter of April 24, self-addressed from "The Ruins of San Francisco", Smith writes: "The thieving and pillaging is something terrible & the troops have shot and killed lots of crooks ... the women are going plumb loco ... They won't go back in their houses and a good many have went out of their head ... the rich and poor are about alike here now ... I could not buy a loaf of bread if I had a million dollars. There isn't a baker shop in San Francisco that has an oven left. They have all got caved in by the quake ... "
" ... Surely, I never expected to be alive and writing to you today ... I have been out of doors ever since Wednesday morning 5 1/ 2 o'clock - We were all packed to leave, the hotel is burned down it rocked so we could not stand to get Our clothes on and got our trunks in the street - we paid $7.00 to get our two trunks to the park - There are thousands of people here, rich & poor - no one has anything, but a few bed clothes and clothes, the whole town is burned up, you can't tell the streets - We sat in the first park we got to until the fire reached us and sawall the main part of the town burn - such pitiful sights you never heard of - people men & women carrying their goods all day and night. I did not see any of the dead but there are hundreds dead and wounded - There was a baby born in the Park Wednesday night - we sleep under the trees - the Government is feeding us - they dole out rations you stand in a line guarded by the soldiers and are given whatever they have to give ... yesterday evening one line was 10 thousand people long - we build fires to cook by, but have to out them out at night ... the millionaires are sending food to us - and will send tents to us as soon as they can be gotten. I am so shakey I can't hardly hold the pencil- But I am so thankful I am alive and not hurt ... "
Box 1, Folder 12

Stansky, Leo: Letter to Ralph Hansen 1976 Jun 5

Box 1, Folder 12.1

Talbot, Earle


Letter [photocopy] 1906 Apr 25


Transcript of interview on the earthquake [photocopy] 1972

Box 6

Tiwena, Jennie 1906 Apr 20

Scope and Content Note

Golden Gate Park San Francisco April 20 1906
Dear Gussie,
We are alive and not hurt thank Almighty God for it. I don't know whether I can write an intelligent or legible letter but I thought you all would like to know how we fared.Truly I never expected to be alive and writing to you today.This is a book leaf-if I can get an envelope I will send this, there are no stamps to be had. I wrote to you all on Monday night before the earth quake. I have been out of doors since Wednesday morning 3 o'clock. We were all packed to leave.The hotel is burned down,it rocked so we could not stand to get our clothes on,it was only 8 stories but we were on the 2nd floor.We got our clothes on and got our trunks in the street.We paid 7$ to get our trunks to the park.There are thousands of people here rich & poor-no one has anything but a few bedclothes,the whole town is burned up,you can't tell the streets.We sat in the first park we got to until the fire reached us and saw all the main part of the town burn-such pitiful sights you never heard of-people,men and women carrying their goods all day and night. I did not see any of the dead but there are hundreds of dead and wounded.There was a baby born in the park Wednesday nite. We slept under the trees-the Government is feeding.^us-they ^out rations-you stand in a line guarded by soldiers and are given whatever they have to give-we have a place to eat and drink. Yesterday,one line was 10 thousand people long.We build fires to cook by but have to put them out at night.We will leave for Los Gatos as soon as possible.They will issue free tickets to all jggts of the U.S.The millionaires are sending food to us and will send tents as soon as they can be gotten.I am so shaky I can hardly hold the pencil.But I am so thankful I am alive and not hurt.O Lord,how thankful I am to be alive.We have not lost any thing yet out of here.One gentleman lent us a matress,two pillows, a blanket and a quilt.One night we had nothing but two pillows and a bench.I ache terribly but hate to'complain.I sent you a piece of cardboard yesterday but donlt know whether'you will get it. Do write to us when we get to Los Gatos-we have made some friends out here and are getting along very well if I can only keep well. We have nowhere so I guess we will survive,
Jennie Tiwena
Box 1, Folder 13

Treat, Payson


Letter to "Father" 1906 Apr 18


Letter to "Flora" 1906 Apr 23

Box 1, Folder 14

Evans-Wentz, Walter Y.: Letters relating to incident during 1906 earthquake


Wendell Ward, '07 1967 Oct 15


Sam Bryan, '10 1967 Oct 17


E. N. Squire, '42 1967 Nov 17


Samuel Bryan 1967 Nov 17


Barbara Baker, '51 1967 Dec 27


Philip S. Brooke, '16 1968 Jan 3


Wendall Ward, '07 1968 Jan


Ralph C. Pollock, '06 1968 Jan


Leo C. Stanley 1968 Jan 12


Mifflin War 1968 Jan 26


C. L. Severy, '08, 1968 Feb 8

Box 1, Folder 15

Otto Gerdes Fund: Letter, photograph, and notebook re. fund

Box 1, Folder 16

Official Statements of the University


David Starr Jordan (President of the University) 1906 Apr 19


S. F. Leib (President of the Board of Trustees) and David Starr Jordan 1906 Jul 12

Box 1, Folder 17

Brilstol's Recording Voltmeter: record of Earthquake, with accompanying note, C.F. Elwell 1906, 1950 Nov

Box 1, Folder 18

Correspondence and broadsides re: relief efforts


Harry C. Green to David Starr Jordan 1910 Feb 26


Notices to People of Palo Alto


Relief Pass Cards


Stanford Alumnus, "No Backward Step For University," by David Starr Jordan

Box 1, Folder 19

Letters to C. D. Marx re: Relief Work


Mansfield Merriman 1906 Apr 19


Ernest ? 1906 Apr 19


Charles E. Buell 1906 Apr 20


Dugald C. Jackson 1906 May 3

Box 1, Folder 21

Wing, Ah: eyewitness account

Box 1, Folder 22

Wing, Ah: eyewitness account [photocopies]

Box 1, Folder 25

Telegrams 1906


Series 2 Publications

Box 2, Folder 1

Sandstone and Tile, Vol. 3, No. 2, Winter 1979: "The Days That Followed the Quake." 1979

Box 2, Folder 2

Collier's, Vol. XXXVII, No. 6, "Memorial Arch, Before and After" 1906 May 5

Box 2, Folder 3

Engineering News, Journal of Civil, Mechanical, Mining, and Electrical Engineering, Vol. LV, No. 19 1906 May 10

Box 2, Folder 4

Mines and Industrie (Foreign Publication - in French), San Francisco, pp. 12. 1906 Apr

Box 2, Folder 5

Everybody's, "Our San Francisco," James Hopper (2 copies) 1906 Jun

Box 2, Folder 5

National Magazine, "The Ruins of Stanford," Myrtle Garrison 1906 Jun

Box 2, Folder 5

Overland, "In the Realm of Bookland," Eleanore F. Lewys 1906 Jun

Box 2, Folder 5

Pacific Monthly, "The Destruction of San Francisco," Marshall Douglas 1906 Jun

Box 2, Folder 5

Pacific Monthly, "The San Francisco Disaster, A Personal Narrative," F.O. Popenoe. 1906 Jun

Box 2, Folder 5

Century, "Studying Earthquakes," T.A Jagger, Jr. 1910 Aug

Box 2, Folder 6

The New San Francisco Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, Article by David Starr Jordan, San Francisco, California. 1906 May

Box 2, Folder 7

Santa Rosa Republican [photocopies] 1906 Apr 18

Box 2, Folder 8

Signs of the Times


Earthquake Special 1906 May 2

Box 2, Folder 8

Souvenir Edition 1906 Jun 27

Box 2, Folder 9

The Daily Palo Alto


Special Edition 1906 Apr 18


Second Special Edition [4 copies] 1906 Apr 18


Special Edition [4 copies] 1906 Apr 19


Second Special Edition [2 copies] 1906 Apr 19


Regular Edition [4 copies] 1906 Apr 20


Special Edition [3 copies] 1906 Apr 20


Regular Edition 1906 Apr 21

Box 2, Folder 10

Daily Palo Alto Times


1906 Apr 18


1906 Apr 19

Box 2, Folder 10

Palo Alto Tribune


Extra 1906 Apr 18


Second Extra [2 copies] 1906 Apr 18


1906 Apr 27

Box 2, Folder 11

Oakland Enquirer 1906 Apr 20

Box 2, Folder 12

San Francisco Examiner 1906 May 13

Box 2, Folder 13

Mercury-Herald, Extra: San Jose, Ca. 1906 Apr 18

Box 2, Folder 13

The Evening News, Extra: San Jose, Ca. 1906 Apr 18

Box 2, Folder 13

San Jose Mercury 1906 Apr 26

Box 2, Folder 13

San Jose Mercury and Herald (front page) 1906 Apr 29

Box 2, Folder 14

Clippings from newspapers across the country


The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon 1906 May 7


Vicksburg American, Vicksburg, Mississippi 1906 May 26


Unidentified Clippings: articles and pictures

Box 2, Folder 15

Los Angeles Times 1907 Apr 21

Box 2, Folder 16

Daily Palo Alto Times


1956 Apr 17


1956 Apr 18

Box 2, Folder 16

San Francisco Chronicle 1956 Apr 18

Box 2, Folder 17

San Francisco Chronicle, Earthquake Edition (2 copies) 1906-1956, Apr 19

Box 2, Folder 18

San Jose Mercury 1956 Apr 18

Box 2, Folder 19

The Stanford Daily


1946 Apr 18


1956 Apr 18


1957 Apr 1

Box 2, Folder 20

Miscellaneous newspaper clippings on earthquakes (President Branner, Professor Bailey Willis) 1913-1946

Box 3, Folder 1

American Society of Civil Engineers Transactions, Vol. LIX, "The Effects of the San Francisco Earthquake of April 18, 1906, on Engineering Construction." 1907

Box 3, Folder 2

Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vol. XLI, No. 4, "Cause of the Great Earthquake," Daivd Starr Jordan 1906 Aug

Box 3, Folder 3

"The Great Earthquake, April 18, 1906: views of its calamitous results in San Francisco and vicinity," Pacific Press Company 1906

Box 3, Folder 4

Palo Alto 1906, Linda Dick, California History Center, DeAnza College 1979

Box 3, Folder 5

San Francisco--the imperishable San Francisco. Passenger Department, Southern Pacific Co. Broadside, map, photos [1906]

Box 3, Folder 6

San Francisco: Official Memorial Souvenir, April 18, 1906 (Los Angeles, Radial Co.) 1906

Box 3, Folder 7

San Jose, Stanford University and vicinity, after the disaster, April 18, 1906. Los Angeles: Rieder-Cardinelli Co. 1906

Physical Description: 10 photographs
Box 3, Folder 8

Scenes of the San Francisco fire and Earthquake, April 18, 1906. Series No. 2 San Francisco: Phoenix Photo Co. 1906

Physical Description: 16 photographs
Box 3, Folder 9

Stanford Alumnus, Vol. 7, No. 8, "The Truth about Stanford and the Earthquake" 1906 May

Box 3, Folder 10

Sunset Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 1, "New San Francisco emergency edition" 1906 May

Box 3, Folder 11

Taber, Stephen: "Some Local Effects of the San Francisco Earthquake." Reprint from The Journal of Geology, Vol. XIV, No. 4 1906 May-Jun

Box 3, Folder 12

Earthquake Information Bulletin, "The 1906 Earthquake at Palo Alto, California: An Interview with Birge M. Clark," Henry Spall 1901 Mar-Apr

Box 3, Folder 13

Map of part of San Francisco, California, April 18, 1908 showing buildings constructed and buildings under construction during two years after fire of April 18, 1906. Surveyed and drawn by Punnett Brothers. 1908

Box 3, Folder 14

"Preliminary Report of the State Earthquake Investigation Commission" 1906 May 31

Box 4, Folder 1

Harper's Weekly. Cover features image of damage to interior of Memorial Church. 1906 May 19