Guide to the Sarah Locke Family Papers MSS.2008.06.01

Finding aid funded by the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
SJSU Special Collections & Archives
© 2010
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Title: Sarah Locke Family Papers
source: Ettington, Michael Locke
source: Smith, Mildred
creator: Smith, Sarah Locke, 1860-1939
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2008.06.01
Physical Description: 4 boxes (6.17 linear feet)
Date (inclusive): 1865-2004 (bulk 1879-1948)
Abstract: This collection is comprised of a few personal items belonging to Sarah Locke and various members of her family. The materials document Locke's time at California State Normal School and include items such as books, journals and a diary. Also included in the collection are materials related to Locke's granddaughter, Shirley, who was a graduate of San Jose State College in 1948.


The collection is open for research. Photographs from this collection are available on the SJSU Special Collections website:

Publication Rights

Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives 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. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

Sarah Locke Family Papers, MSS-2008-06-01, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Project Information

This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San Jose State University Library grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008.The Project Director is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Danelle Moon and Silke Higgins. Finding aid EAD encoded by Silke Higgins and Rosalinda Gonzales. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen.

Biographical History

Sarah Locke Smith was born Sarah Anne Jane Locke on August 5th, 1860, in Lockeford, California (San Joaquin County). Her parents were George Shepley Locke and Susan Lucretia Hammond. Sarah attended the California State Normal School in San Jose, where she received an elementary education degree in 1879, and May of 1880 she received a secondary education degree, graduating in twenty-first class. During her time at the Normal School, Sarah's interests included botany and poetry. Between the years 1880-1882, Sarah taught in Humboldt County. On December 25, 1882, she married William Thomas Smith, and later the couple moved to Ferndale, California. They had six children, three boys and three girls: Elmer William Smith, 1883; Harry James Smith, 1885; Warren Locke Smith, 1886; Ethel Smith, 1888; Mildred Smith 1891; and Gertrude Smith, 1898. Sarah Locke died on June 19th, 1939 in Ferndale, California.
Shirley Orpha Smith, daughter of Warren Locke Smith, was born December 31, 1924. She completed her B.A. in 1947 and received her Occupational Therapy Certificate from San Jose State College in 1948.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Sarah Locke Family Papers is a small collection documenting the life of California State Normal School, San Jose, graduate Sarah Locke (1879, 1880). The bulk of this collection was donated to San Jose State University Special Collections & Archives by the great grandson of Sarah Locke Smith, Michael Locke Ettington. The collection primarily documents Sarah Locke's experiences while attending California State Normal School, San Jose, and includes a few books, journals and notes (1876, 1879), a transcription of her diary recording a trip to Yosemite in June of 1879. In addition, there are a few original photographs and a collection of digital images that depict Sarah Locke's ancestors and descendents, and a family genealogy report (2004) that includes the pedigree chart for Sarah Locke and a list of her descendants.
In addition, the collection includes a few personal items collected by Shirley Orpha Smith, granddaughter of Sarah Locke Smith. Shirley Orpha Smith completed her B.A. in 1947 and in 1948 she received an Occupational Therapy Certificate from San Jose State College.
In addition to the donation by Michael Locke Ettington, the collection also includes a black silk dress that belonged to Sarah Locke and small a box of memorabilia. Midlred Smith, Sarah Locke's daughter donated these materials to the San Jose State University Library in the 1969.


This collection is arranged into three series: Series I: Family Papers and Photographs, 1845-2006; Series II: Sarah Locke Memorabilia, 1880-1969; Series III: Silk Dress, circa 1880.

Related Material

San Jose State Normal School Principals and Early Presidents Records, MSS-2009-02-01, San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

California State Normal School -- San Jose -- Students
San Jose State College -- Students
Locke, Sarah -- Clothing and dress
Locke, Sarah -- Souvenirs (Keepsakes)
Ettington, Michael Locke
Smith, Mildred
Smith, Sarah Locke, 1860-1939


Family Papers and Photographs Series I: 1865-2004

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series documents the history of San Jose State Normal School graduate Sarah Locke Smith (1879, 1880) and San Jose State College (SJSC) graduate, Shirley Orpha Smith (1947). It also includes photographs of Sarah and her husband William, as well as their ancestors and descendents from the 1860s to 1948, and a family genealogy report from 2004. The collection of family photographs documents Sarah Locke Smith and William T. Smith and their immediate family. In addition, there are two small photographic books, and a class photograph of Shirley Orpha Smith's 1947 graduation from San Jose State College, as well as a few SJSC occupational therapy student patches and a hat.
Note that Michael Locke Ettington allowed the department to digitize a small family photo album, but he has retained the original artifact. The digital images are represented in the King Library Special Collections Digital Library at


This series is arranged in two sub-series: Sarah Locke Papers and Shirley Orpha Smith. The materials related to Sarah Locke Smith are located in folders 1-7, and the materials documenting Shirley Orpha Smith are contained in folders 8-10.

Sarah Locke Papers 1865-1936

Box 1, Folder 1

"A Popular California Flora" (Book) 1880

Box 1, Folder 2

Historical Sketch of the State Normal School at San Jose, California" (Book) 1889

Box 1, Folder 3

Journals and Notes 1876, 1879

Box 1, Folder 4

Photographs on CDR 1865-1936

Box 1, Folder 5

Sarah Locke-Smith and Family Photographs circa 1865-1930

Box 1, Folder 6

Sarah Locke-Smith Photographs 1879-1936

Box 1, Folder 7

Postcard of Tower Hall 1936


Shirley Orpha Smith Papers 1947-2004

Box 1, Folder 8

Copy Diploma 1947-1948

Box 1, Folder 9

Graduation and Miscellaneous Photographs of Shirley Smith 1947-1948

Box 1, Folder 10

Occupational Therapy School Patches and Cap 1947-1948

Box 1, Folder 11

Locke Family Genealogy 2004


Memorabilia Series II: 1880-1969

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains a framed photograph of Sarah Locke that depicts her wearing the black silk dress contained in Series III. In addition, this series includes a companion autograph book signed by Sarah Locke's class mates, several copies of the 1880 California State Normal School Commencement Program listing Sarah Locke as a graduate, and an essay written by Sarah Locke titled "Is it Worthwhile," discussing the merits of Normal School education. Of special note is a 1969 letter from Mildred Smith, daughter of Sarah Locke, which details aspects of Sarah Locke's personal and professional life as a teacher.
Box 2

Framed Photograph of Sarah Locke circa 1880

Box 2

Autograph Book circa 1880

Box 2

California State Normal School Commencement Program 1880

Box 2

"Is it Worthwhile" Essay 1880

Box 2

Letter from Mildred Smith 1969

Box 2

San Jose Normal School Index Record Card 1880-1906


Silk Dress Series III: circa 1880

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains the black silk dress that Sarah Locke wore during her 1880 commencement ceremony. The dress was donated to San Jose State Normal School by her daughter Mildred Smith.
Box 3-4

Sarah Locke's Black Silk Dress circa 1880