Collection Scope and Contents
Title: William L. Paul papers
Date (inclusive): 1912-1961, undated
Date (bulk): 1913-1936
Collection Number: MS 065
Paul, William L.
1.42 Linear Feet
Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Abstract: The William L. Paul papers contain
correspondence, photographs, clippings, and other material regarding William L. Paul, a
pioneer date grower in Coachella Valley, California from 1909-1935. Topics include the
Coachella Valley Date Growers Association, Paul's personal date business, and the exhibition
and promotion of Coachella Valley, California dates. Records document the administration and
industry activities of the Coachella Valley Date Growers Association, Paul's professional
work and involvement with the Southern California date growing community, and aspects of the
commercial date industry in the United States, primarily Southern California.
Languages: The collection is in English.
This collection is open for research.
Copyright Unknown: Some materials in these collections may be
protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction,
and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements,
donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark
rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed
by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other
restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights
holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests
exclusively with the user.
[identification of item], [date if possible]. William L. Paul papers (MS 065). Special
Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.
Gift of Nina Shumway, 1981.
Processed by Hollie Johnson, 2011.
Processing of the William L. Paul papers was generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation, and administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The
University of California, Riverside was awarded a Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and
Archives grant from 2010-2012, "Uncovering California's Environmental Collections," in
collaboration with eight additional special collections and archival repositories throughout
the state and the California Digital Library (CDL). Grant objectives included processing of
over 33 hidden collections related to the state's environment and environmental history. The
collections document an array of important sub-topics such as irrigation, mining, forestry,
agriculture, industry, land use, activism, and research. Together they form a multifaceted
picture of the natural world and the way it was probed, altered, exploited and protected in
California over the twentieth century. Finding aids are made available through the Online
Archive of California (OAC).
William L. Paul was born in Andover, Massachusetts in 1866. He purchased 160 acres of land
in Coachella Valley, California in 1902 and moved his family there in 1909. Paul built a
ranch on his land with the goal of starting a business growing date palm trees and
harvesting the dates as a commercial crop. The first date trees in the Coachella Valley were
planted in the late 1890s, but did not thrive. In 1904, the United States Department of
Agriculture set up a date experiment station in Mecca, California to study dates as a
commercial crop, invigorating the date growing industry.
In 1913, Paul was instrumental in organizing local date growers into a professional
association called the Coachella Valley Date Growers Association, serving as the
organization's first president. One of the primary functions of the Coachella Valley Date
Growers Association was to procure new date off shoots from North Africa for association
members, and Paul worked tirelessly at this task. He was responsible for coordinating
efforts to import more than 14,000 off shoots to the Coachella Valley between 1913 and 1915.
In 1915, Paul represented the County of Riverside and the California date industry at the
World's Fair in San Francisco, where he exhibited California dates and date products. In
addition to promoting the date industry at exhibitions, Paul went on a six-month publicity
tour in 1916, delivering lectures across the eastern United States about the nutritional
value of dates and the Coachella Valley date industry. In 1933, he again represented
Coachella Valley, exhibiting dates and date products at the Chicago World's Fair. Paul spent
the remainder of his life working at his date ranch and growing his business. His daughter,
Nina Paul Shumway, continued to operate the date farm after William L. Paul died in Indio,
California in April 1935.
||William L. Paul was born in Andover, Massachusetts.
||Paul purchased 160 acres of land in Coachella Valley, California.
||Paul and his family moved to the Coachella Valley and built a ranch on the land
he purchased in 1902.
||Paul organized local date growers into a professional organization called the
Coachella Valley Date Growers Association.
||Paul served as the Coachella Valley Date Growers Association's first president.
||Paul led efforts to procure more than 14,000 date tree off shoots from North
Africa and import them to the Coachella Valley.
||Paul managed the Riverside County date exhibits.
||Paul spent six months traveling on the east coast of the United States lecturing
about the nutritional value of dates and promoting the Coachella Valley Date industry.
||Paul exhibited Coachella Valley dates and date products at the Chicago World's
||Paul died in Indio, California in April 1935.
Collection Scope and Contents
The William L. Paul papers contain correspondence, photographs, clippings, and other
material regarding William L. Paul, a pioneer date grower in Coachella Valley, California
from 1909-1935. Topics include the Coachella Valley Date Growers Association, Paul's
personal date business, and the exhibition and promotion of Coachella Valley, California
dates. Records document the administration and industry activities of the Coachella Valley
Date Growers Association, Paul's professional work and involvement with the Southern
California date growing community, and aspects of the commercial date industry in the United
States, primarily Southern California.
This collection is arranged into the following three series:
- Series 1. Coachella Valley Date Growers Association, 1913-1961, undated.
- Series 2. Professional papers, 1912-1938, undated.
- Series 3. Date industry, 1913-1951, undated.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Coachella Valley (Calif.).
Coachella Valley Date Growers Association
Paul, William L.
Riverside County (Calif.).
Uncovering California's Environmental Collections Project
Genres and Forms of Materials
Clippings (information artifacts).