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Finding Aid to the Willis Polk Scrapbooks, 1908-1924 MS Vault 89
MS Vault 89  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Five volumes of scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings documenting the reconstruction of San Francisco, California after the 1906 earthquake and fire, and subsequent city and architectural development. Commercial and public buildings represented include: the Civic Center, the Hobart Building, the Hallidie Building, and others. Includes two folders of miscellaneous clippings and photocopies of articles.
Background
Variously labelled brilliant, temperamental, flamboyant and eccentric, Willis Jefferson Polk was born in 1867 in Jacksonville, Illinois. Receiving no formal education, Polk grew up learning the building trades from his father Willis Webb Polk (1833-1906) an itinerant carpenter. In a 1921 interview for The Chronicle, Polk recalled having worked as a hat boy, a water boy for a St. Louis contractor; a lemonade stand seller; a handy boy, sticker and bench boy at a planing mill; and as an office boy for St. Louis architect J.B. Legg by the age of thirteen. Proudly he related the story of how, at the age of fifteen, he had shocked the town of Hope, Arkansas by having his drawings for the design of their new schoolhouse accepted as the winning entry out of a field of practicing professionals.
Extent
5 volumes (3.5 Linear feet)
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the California Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Historical Society 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 reader.
Availability
Fragile originals; use microfilm only.