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Register of the Gibbons (Stuart) Collection, 1911-1976
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gibbons (Stuart) Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1911-1976
    Collection number: Mss225
    Creator: Sally Gibbons Wright
    Extent: 2 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Gibbons (Stuart) Collection, Mss225, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


    Stuart Gibbons was born at Sonora, California on April 19,1896. He was educated in the Sonora Public Schools, graduating from Tuolumne County Union High School (1915). After graduation, Gibbons worked at various commercial jobs before enlisting in the Navy (1917). Following his discharge (1919), Gibbons returned to work at a Sonora bank, later becoming a life insurance salesman (1921). The following year, he married Frances Bromley and went into partnership with a navy friend at a small Lake Tahoe resort. In 1922, Gibbons moved to Stockton where he became manager of the California-Western State Life Insurance Co. By 1929, he was president of the Stockton Underwriters Association. Gibbons continued to work for California-Western State Life until 1943. In that year, he became a private insurance carrier and operated his own business until 1951, when he joined the firm of Frank Williams and Company as a real estate and insurance salesman. Gibbons was for many years an active member of the Stockton Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of their "Welcoming Squad," and, in 1976, the Chamber dubbed him "Mr. Stockton" for this and other community activities.
    During the 1950s, Stuart Gibbons gained a reputation as a conservationist for his successful efforts to arrange the purchase--by the State of California--of the South Grove at Calaveras Big Trees. In 1952, Gibbons spearheaded another successful drive to have Caswell Grove, an oak forest on the Stanislaus River in southern San Joaquin County, also declared a state park. Stuart Gibbons was active in a variety of ways in Stockton and San Joaquin County public affairs. In 1948, he helped to form the Stockton Recreation Commission. This agency oversaw the development of many park sites throughout the greater Stockton area. From 1958 through 1960, Gibbons was a member of the Stockton City Council. He later served on many civic improvement committees, including the Sperry Building Restoration Committee (1968) and the Cultural Heritage Board (1969-85). In 1976, he was instrumental in saving the El Dorado School from demolition. Gibbons was also active in local history organizations. The most notable of these were: the Pacific Center for Western Studies, the Jed Smith Society, and the San Joaquin Pioneer and Historical Society. Gibbons influenced the state legislature to create the "Mr. California" award to honor excellence in local history scholarship. His friends, Rockwell D. Hunt and R. Coke Wood, were the first recipients of the award.

    Scope and Content

    The Stuart Gibbons Collection consists of Gibbons' Sonora (Calif.) childhood papers and photographs , as well as later papers delineating Gibbons' involvement with business, politics and historic preservation in Stockton (Calif.).