Scope and Content
Title: McLane/Harris Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1865-1963
Extent: 4.25 linear feet
Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).
Sanoian Special Collections Library.
The papers were donated by Barbara Brock, Charles McLane's granddaughter, in 1988.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright has been transferred to California State University, Fresno.
[Identification of item], McLane/Harris Family Papers, Sanoian Special Collections Library, California
State University, Fresno.
Charles Lourie McLane was born on April 4, 1862 in Scotland County, Missouri. In 1885, he graduated from Northern Indiana
Normal school. Two years later, he received his B.S. from Valparaiso College. He married his first wife, Frances Diademma
(Demma) Best, in December 1891. They had a daughter, Frances Marguerite, born February 2, 1893. His first wife died in 1931
and in 1939 McLane married Elizabeth Price. His career as an educator in Fresno started in 1891 and by 1896, he was principal
of Fresno High School. He also served as Superintendent of Fresno City Schools from 1899 to 1913. McLane later went on to
serve as the first president of Fresno State Normal School from 1911 to 1927, which eventually became California State University,
Fresno. McLane was also the president of the California State Board of Education from 1926 through 1932. He died on August
F. Marguerite McLane married Ronald Biddle Harris, son of Morris B. Harris, a prominent Fresno resident. Morris B. Harris
was born in Illinois in 1866. He attended the University of Indiana at Bloomington until transferring to another university
in Springfield, Ohio, where he met and later married Jessie Boggs in 1889. In the same year, they moved to Fresno where he
began teaching. He also studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1895. In 1918 he ran unopposed for a seat as state senator.
Harris was also on the Fresno County Board of Education and the California Railroad Commission as well as the California Highway
Commission for some time.
Scope and Content
The McLane/Harris Family papers measure 4 linear feet and date from 1865 to 1963. The papers are arranged in five series:
Artifacts, Harris Family, Charles McLane, Related families and Photographs.
Artifacts consist of Ronald Harris's World War I medals and pins as well as Charles McLane's pocket watch.
Harris Family series (1898-1959) contains the journals of Jessie Harris. The daily entries reflect back on more than four decades. For Morris
B. Harris, there are newspaper clippings, an essay about his life that he wrote. There is also an extensive family tree that
spans back to the seventeenth century as well as a scrapbook and the travel diaries from Morris and Jessie Harris's adventures
in the Far East and the Pacific Islands.
Charles McLane series (1891-1963) consists of Fresno State College programs, newspaper articles and letters. Also included are a McLane High
School dedication program and a guide to McLane High School, a diary and his marriage license and certificate. The letter
is during World War I from Donald Best to his Aunt Demma and the obituary is for F. Marguerite McLane Harris.
Related families series (1865-1890, 1944) contains documents of families related to the Harris or McLane families by marriage. One family,
the Nobles, were friends of the McLanes. The Best family materials contain a marriage license, army papers from the Civil
War and the high school diploma of Frances Diademma Best. The "History of the Boggs Family" was written by Nancy Dixon.
Photographs series (1898-1949 and undated) contains more than two hundred photographs. These photographs show mostly family members and
friends at parties and other social gatherings, as well as on vacations. Also included are some daguerreotypes and negatives.