Guide to the Wells Drury Papers, 1871-1932

Processed by Karen Gracy; completed by Elizabeth Stephens
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 1996
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Arts and Humanities --Literature --American Literature Arts and Humanities --Journalism

Guide to the Wells Drury Papers, 1871-1932

Collection number: BANC MSS 86/36 c

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
Karen Gracy
Completed by:
Elizabeth Stephens
Date Completed:
February 1992
Encoded by:
Campbell J. Crabtree
© 1996 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Wells Drury Papers,
Date: 1871-1932
Collection Number: BANC MSS 86/36 c
Collector: Drury, Wells, 1851-1932
Extent: Number of containers: 1 carton Linear feet: 1.25
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Correspondence, articles and stories by Drury, and newspaper clippings including obituaries.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Manuscripts Division. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Wells Drury Papers, BANC MSS 86/36 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Wells Drury papers were given to The Bancroft Library in September 1976 by Newton B. Drury.

Scope and Content

Wells Drury, pioneer newspaperman and member of the Nevada House of Representatives, was born September 16, 1851 in New Boston, Illinois. Orphaned while crossing the Oregon Trail in 1852, he was adopted and brought up in Oregon on a Indian reservation on Puget Sound. Drury arrived in San Francisco in 1873. Successful investments in mining concerns in the Comstock in Nevada convinced him to move to Virginia City, where he became one of the editors of the Virginia City Chronicle, the Territorial Enterprise, the Gold Hill News, and the Bodie Daily Miner. As a reporter in the Comstock, Drury knew Mark Twain and Bret Harteand later, in San Francisco, met Robert Louis Stevenson. In 1882 Drury became deputy secretary of the state of Nevada and in 1887 became a member and speaker pro tem of the Nevada House of Representatives.
Drury returned to California in 1888. He was at different times managing editor of the San Francisco Call, city editor of the San Francisco Examiner, a news editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, news editor of the Sacramento Union, managing editor of the Los Angeles Record, and on the staff of the Oakland Tribune. In addition, Drury was one of the first presidents of the San Francisco Press Club. Beginning in 1908, he was for fifteen years managing director, and later president, of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. When Drury died in 1931, he was known as a politician, newspaperman, and publicist.
While the collection covers all aspects of his life, the material primarily concerns his activities as a newspaperman in the Comstock, including articles and stories written during that time or about his experiences there. The collection includes correspondence with Dan de Quille as well as typed copies of articles by de Quille; photostats and clippings of articles by Bret Harte; and tear sheets, notes and clippings by and about Mark Twain. A small group of correspondence, including some with family members, is found at the beginning of the carton and concerns primarily newspaper business.

Container Listing

Carton 1, folders 1-5


Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by name of recipient, with miscellany preceding folders of correspondents receiving more than two letters.
Ctn. 1, folder 1

Miscellany, A-Z 1923-1931, n.d.


Brisbane, Arthur Apr. 4, n.y.


The Bulletin, Editor Nov. 17, 1925


California Historical Society n.d.


California State Library, Historical Section July 2, 1923


California State Library, State Librarian July 5, 1923


The Daily Telegram Feb. 5, 1924


E. F. Houghton & Co., President Aug. 5, 1924


Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, Curator of Collection n.d.


The Independence, Editor n.d.


Louideck, Edward L. Jan 25, 1927


Mackay, Clarence H. Jan. 18, 1925


Markham, Edwin Feb. 15, 1923


Merrill, Clarence S. July 18, 1925


Miller, Joaquin and Juanita Jan. 24, 1924


Mills, Charles B. July 20, 1925


Naylor, F. Linden July 16, 1924


Nevada State Historical Society July 3, 1923


New York Evening Post, Editor of the Literary Review Mar. 17, 1923


Oregon Historical Society Jan. 31,1924; July 26, 1925


The Press Club of San Francisco Dec. 19, 1925


Reade, Frank R. Jan 21, 1924


Reardon-Lavery, Anita Dec. 19,1924


Ruxton, Robert June 13, 1925


The Sacramento Union, City Editor July 2, 1923


San Francisco Examiner, Editorial Rooms Jan 17, 1924


Schneider, George L. July 14, 1927


Smith, Grant H. Dec. 13, 1923


The Star Press, Manager Jan. 28, 1920


Thurston County Pioneer and Historical Society Mar. 17, 1923


Todd, Frank Morton June 20, 1923


The University of Washington, Librarian June 18, 1925


The Virginia Chronicle July 31, 1924


Wells, Gabriel Aug. 1, 1923



folder 2

Drury, Marion 1871-1872, n.d.

folder 3

Drury, Newton Bishop and Aubrey 1918-1921

folder 4

[Sisters]: Melissa and Celinda 1923-1924

folder 5

Unidentified family correspondence

Carton 1, folders 6-11


Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by name of writer with miscellany preceding folders of correspondents writing more than two letters. A final folder holds letters neither to nor from Wells Drury.
Ctn. 1, folder 6

Miscellany, A-Z 1915-1937, n.d.


Alameda County Development Commission Apr. 9, 1926


Ancient Order of Sciots, Berkeley Pyramid No. 30 Feb. 14, 1930


Bekeart, Phillip Baldwin Jan.19, 1931


Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Dec. 16, 1915


Berkeley Country Club Sept. 12, 1923


Borst, Virgil Dec. 17, 1927; Dec. 18, 1929


California Historical Society May 12, 1923; June 29, 1923


City of Sacramento, City Librarian July 3, 1923


Cleaver, Lon Aug. 7, 1937


Contra Costa County. Office of County Recorder Nov. 26. 1924


Driver, M.B. Aug. 14, 1930


Dunlap, Boutwell Feb. 7, 1924; Mar. 8, 1928


E. F. Houghton & Co. Aug. 12, 1924


Elder, Alfred D. July 21, 1924


Emslie & Lorenz Mar. 3, 1932


Hutchinson, T.O. May 11, 1928


Irvine, Leigh H.(Leigh Hadley) Aug. 19, 1928


McWilliams, Carey July 19, 1928


Maxwell Park Company Sept. 30, 1925


Merrill, C.S. July 18, 1925


Minnesota Historical Society Dec. 30, 1932


Mt. Tacoma Club Nov. 26, 1924


Nevada Historical Society July 9, 1923


Nevada Reunion Committee Aug. 9, 1927; Aug. 11, 1928


Nevada State Library July 7, 1923


Oregon Historical Society Aug. 1, 1925


Oregon Pioneer Association Dec. 12, 1925


The Press Club of San Francisco Dec. 15, 1925


Reade, Frank R. July 11, 1923


Rearden-Lavery, Anita n.d.


Richardson, F.W. Dec. 14, 1915


Ross, G.M. Nov. 4, 1925; Oct. 28, 1928


Schneider, George L. June 30, 1927


Seibold, Louis May 13, 1923; Jan.11, 1931


Smith, Grant H. Dec. 6, 1923


Staats, Redmond C. Sept. 12, 1928


The University of California. The Bancroft Library July 18, 1923


The University Press June 19, 1925


United States Senate. Committee on Immigration Apr. 25, 1928


Watt, Rolla Vernon Nov. 25, 1924


Wells, Gabriel Aug. 6, 1923


Woolery, Ruby F. June 2, 1926


Young, John July, 1931



folder 7

Bagley, Clarence B. 1923-1930

folder 8

Barry, James H. 1927

folder 9

California State Library, State Librarian 1923-1931

folder 10

Mortimer, W.J. 1926-1932

folder 11

Letters neither to nor from Wells Drury

Carton 1, folders 12-23


Scope and Content Note

Articles and stories, arranged alphabetically by title. Also includes notes, fragments and miscellaneous drafts.
Ctn. 1, folder 12

A-F, Miscellaneous


Abe Curry's Oddities


Aunty's Big Pension


Baldy Green


Baldy Green's Song


The Banshee


Berkeley's Prominence Due to Many Natural Advantages


A Blast Against Ambrose Bierce


Book Reviews


A Bucket of Dollars


Captain Jack - The Poet Scout


Colonel Brown of Virginia City Discourse on the Etiquette of the Free-Lunch Counter


Columbus Mining District


Comstock Days - and Nights


Decadence of Politeness in Drinking Customs


The Eureka Stage Robber


Extracts from newspapers, Virginia City, Nevada


Fair and Modjeska


The Famous Highwayman


First Birth in Reno


From a Comstock Editor's Scrapbook

folder 13

G-N Miscellaneous


The Game Cook is a Genuine Gentleman


Geological Reminiscences


George H. Lowe - An Appreciation


Handling Wild Horses


How Senatorial Fights Are Fought in Sagey Nevada


John Mackay's Last Poker Hand


Judging the Hand of a Check Thief


Manager Pat Holland


Memorandum on the Files of the Virginia City "Territorial Enterprise," 1886-1972


Men Who Held Down Claims


Misplaced Titles




Nevada Stage Robbers


A Nevada Town With a Past


Nickanora Was a King

folder 14

O-R Miscellaneous


Old Gillis' Pet Pig


The Passing of a Pioneer


Pilgrim Hazlitt and Others


The Prima Donna's Bow to the Comstock Boys


The Problem John Mackay Solved


Rich, Yet Poor


Robbed Again

folder 15

S-W Miscellaneous


Sam Davis Fighter


Sam Wagner's Notice to the Public and His Fiends


A Second Robbery


Shelton's Blue Mare


Shacking Afray


The Stage Robber Captured


The Story of Sandy Bowers


The Stranger's Story


They Played It Wrong


Thin Racers Matched


Victory for Grubbs, Alias Dubbs


What Nevada Did for the Union


When I Struck the Comstock

folder 16

Journalism in Nevada

folder 17

Markham, Edwin—article by Wells Drury

folder 18

Point Lobos and its Grove of Monterey Cypress

folder 19

Advertising copy

folder 20

Miscellaneous writings

folder 21

Comstock Days and Nights—Notes and fragments

folder 22

Miscellaneous story fragments

folder 23

Photostats of Wells Drury stories

Carton 1, folders 24-43

SERIES 4: SUBJECT FILES, ca. 1871-1931.

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by subject. Includes clippings, miscellaneous notes, and articles on a variety of topics of interest to Drury.
Ctn. 1, folder 24-25

The Comstock Lode—clippings and tear sheets

folder 26

What was happening on the Comstock 45 years ago today—clippings of series

folder 27

de Quille, Dan—typed copies of correspondence to Dan de Quille

folder 28

de Quille, Dan—typed copies of articles

folder 29

Harte, Bret—photostats and clippings

folder 30

Joy, Oliver—annotated transcripts of his diary (2 copies)

folder 31

Nevada—miscellaneous clippings

folder 32

Oregon—miscellaneous clippings and ephemera

folder 33

Oregon Trail

folder 34

Piper's Opera House—notes and miscellany

folder 35

Politics and Politicians—notes and fragments

folder 36

Sharp, Milton—notes, fragments, and clippings on Sharp

folder 37

Twain, Mark—tear-sheets and notes

folder 38

Twain, Mark—clippings

folder 39

Virginia City—articles

folder 40

Washington—clippings and miscellany

folder 41


folder 42-43

Miscellaneous notes

Carton 1, folders 44-51


Scope and Content Note

Includes articles, biographical notes, diaries for 1922-1924, miscellaneous personalia, reviews, and clippings by or about Drury.
Ctn. 1, folder 44

Article and programs re speaking engagements of Wells Drury

folder 45

Biographical notes on Wells Drury

folder 46

Diaries of Wells Drury— 1922 and 1924

folder 47

Material re Drury's membership in the Elks Club

folder 48

Miscellaneous personalia of Wells Drury

folder 49

Clippings on or by Wells Drury

folder 50

Reviews and articles re Drury's An Editor on the Comstock Lode

folder 51

Clippings of obituaries of Wells Drury