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Pratt Family Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Access
  • Processing Information
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Creator: Pratt, Jean Noack
    Title: Pratt Family Papers
    Date: 1825-1950
    Extent: 3.2 linear feet; 66 Gelatin dry plates glass negatives, 6 Albumen prints, and 5 negatives
    Abstract: The Pratt Family Papers spans the years 1825-1950. It contains historical correspondence and diaries related to the early settlement of the San Joaquin Valley.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    Davis, California 95616-5292
    Collection number: D-369
    Language of Material: Collection materials inEnglish andGerman.


    Jean Noack Pratt (1916-2008), lived in Dixon, California. Her collection chronicles the lives of her ancestors, who were pioneers of California's San Joaquin Valley. Pratt wrote three genealogical books, Finally California, The Noack-Haussler Story and A Van Fossen Family Genealogy. Pratt's great-grandparents, Ernest Wagener (1811-1893) and Henrietta Eichoff (1824-1869) were emigrants from Germany. They were among the early settlers of San Joaquin Valley, ultimately settling on the Stanislaus River near Mariposa, California. The family ran the Zinc House stage coach stop which was located near Stockton on the French Camp Road. Their daughter, Louisa Christina Wagener (1853-1931), wrote a diary, which is the only known first-hand account of life at a stage coach stop in the San Joaquin Valley. Alfred Noack (1848-1922) married Louisa Christina Wagener. Noack worked in the threshing business. Walter Pratt (1880-1949) was the son of Alfred and Louisa. He was an inventor and machinist, working for many farm equipment companies such as Braden Manufacturing Company, the Sage-Noack Gas Traction Company, Best Tractor Company, and Caterpillar Tractor Company.

    Scope and Content

    The Pratt Family Papers spans the years 1811-1950. It contains historical correspondence and diaries related to the early settlement of the San Joaquin Valley. In addition, the collection includes Pratt's draft notes and tapes used in the development of her three books. There are many historical photographs of the family and of farm machinery. Also included in the collection are a wooden die cast mold of the word Caterpillar, and a forty-five-star flag said to have flown over the Zinc House stage coach stop.

    Arrangement of the Collection

    The collection is arranged in 5 series, Family diaries 1825-1886, Correspondence and business papers of Walter G. Noack, 1912-1939, Jean Noack Pratt's Genealogical materials 1872-1977, Images 1888-1950, and Realia

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Pratt family--Archives.
    Pratt, Jean Noack--Archives
    German Americans-California-San Joaquin Valley-Biography
    Tractor Industry-History
    Agricultural Machinery industry-History
    Immigrants-California-San Joaquin Valley-Biography
    San Joaquin Valley (Calif.)-Biography
    Tractor Motors Company
    Braden Manufacturing Co.


    Collection is open for research.

    Processing Information

    Patricia C. Inouye processed this collection and created and encoded this finding aid.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Jean Noack Pratt 2001, 2003

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Pratt Family papers, D-369, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.