Overview of the Collection
Scope and Content
Overview of the Collection
Title: Margaret Collier Graham Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1821-1934
Bulk dates: 1876-1896
Collection Number: mssGraham papers
Graham, Margaret Collier,
5,360 pieces (plus approximately 1,000 pieces in addenda) in 42 boxes and 3 oversize
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Abstract: This collection consists of the personal papers and correspondence of California writer Margaret Collier Graham (1850-1910),
as well as materials related to her husband, Donald McIntyre Graham, and other related family papers. Much of the subject
matter in the collection focuses on life in California (chiefly in early Pasadena and Anaheim) and California real estate
including the establishment of Elsinore and Wildomar.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department.
For more information, contact Reader Services.
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from
or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The
responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining
necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
[Identification of item]. Margaret Collier Graham Papers, The Huntington Library, San
Acquired from Mrs. Robert Wayne in June 1980 and February 1981.
Margaret (Collier) Graham (1850-1910) was a California writer and Pasadena area pioneer.
She grew up in Iowa, attended Monmouth College in Illinois, became a teacher, then in 1873
married the young lawyer, Donald McIntyre Graham. When Don fell ill with
tuberculosis in 1876, the two came to California accompanied by Margaret's sister Jane Collier.
After living a few months near Anaheim, they moved to Pasadena. Don obtained the contract to
bring the mail from Los Angeles to Pasadena, becoming Pasadena's first official mail carrier
(and providing him life in the open air to help arrest his tuberculosis). In 1877 he opened
a real estate office in Los Angeles. Margaret accepted a teaching job and wrote stories,
many of which were published in the
Argonaut and the
Californian. As the real estate "boom" began in the 1880s, she
and her husband, along with her brother William C. Collier and Franklin H. Heald, developed
the town of Elsinore from the old California land grant of Rancho la Laguna. Then, without
Franklin Heald, the Grahams and William Collier subdivided the neighboring town of Wildomar
from part of the Laguna Rancho and part of the Santa Rosa Rancho. In 1887 the Grahams began
building the home of their dreams in South Pasadena, which they called by the Welsh name
"Wynyate". It soon became a center of culture in the area. In 1888 Don was elected first
mayor of the new city of South Pasadena. After many years of struggle with illness, Don
passed away in 1890. Margaret helped administer the real estate affairs and seriously began
writing once more. Her stories appeared in the
Century Magazine, and other periodicals as well
as in her books,
Stories of the Foot-Hills and
The Wizard's Daughter And Other Stories published by Houghton,
Mifflin Co. Margaret (Collier) Graham was active in the woman suffrage movement, Los Angeles
Woman's Club, Friday Morning Club, and the Landmarks Club. She wrote a literary column in
the Los Angeles
Evening Express and a monthly feature in
Land of Sunshine. After an extended illness
Margaret (Collier) Graham passed away on January 17, 1910.
Apostol, Jane. "Margaret Collier Graham: First Lady of the Foothills."
Southern California Quarterly, LXIII (Winter,
Raitt, Helen Hill and Wayne, Mary Collier.
We Three Came West: A True Chronicle San Diego: Tofua Press, 1974
Walker, Franklin Dickerson.
A Literary History of Southern California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950.
There is additional material re Margaret Collier Graham at U.C.L.A. Special Collections
Scope and Content
The collection contains the papers of Margaret (Collier) Graham from the earliest piece
written in 1821 by a great-uncle while seeking land to settle in western New York State, a
few Civil War soldiers' letters, her own correspondence and that of her husband, some
business papers and correspondence with publishers, and finally estate settlements dating to
1934. There is also addenda containing the manuscript and drafts of the book
We Three Came West, written by Mary Hill Raitt and Mary Helen
(Collier) Wayne, great-nieces of Margaret (Collier) Graham, from selections made from this
collection. This addenda section also contains the authors' research notes on Elsinore and
topics related to Margaret (Collier) Graham.
Subject matter includes life in California, chiefly early Pasadena and Anaheim; the establishment of Elsinore and
neighboring Wildomar; and correspondence with literary figures and publishers.
Literary and journalistic persons represented in the collection consist of:
Addie Lucia Ballou (1 piece); Ina Donna Coolbrith (8 pieces); Mary (Hallock) Foote (7 pieces); Beatrice Harraden (3 pieces);
Katharine (Putnam) Hooker (2 pieces); Charles Fletcher Lummis (9 pieces); Susan Harry (Clagett) Pettengill (3 pieces); Gertrude
Smith (7 pieces);
William Andrew Spalding (5 pieces); Annie Eliot Trumbull (1 piece); and Charles Dwight Willard (3 pieces).
Publishers and editors represented in the collection consist of:
Richard Watson Gilder (1 piece);
Houghton, Mifflin Co. (11 pieces plus royalty agreements pieces);
Samuel Sidney McClure (1 piece);
Bliss Perry (4 pieces);
Morgan Shepard (10 pieces plus royalty agreement pieces); and
Frederick Maxwell Somers (8 pieces).
Family and friends represented by 35 pieces or more consist of:
David Collier (Margaret's father) (68 pieces);
Ella J. (Doolittle) Collier (sister-in-law) (57 pieces);
Jane E. Collier (sister) (110 pieces);
Lydia Ann (Lindsay) Collier (mother) (150 pieces);
William C. Collier (brother) (135 pieces);
Donald McIntyre Graham (husband) (112 pieces);
Margaret (Collier) Graham (217 pieces);
Franklin H. Heald (business associate) (52 pieces);
Martha (Collier) Mohr (sister) (68 pieces);
Edna (Snell) Poulson (friend) (36 pieces); and
Ella Lee (Hall) Enderlein Shepherd (friend) (49 pieces).
Some notable items include:
- Collier, Jane E. To David Collier & Lydia Ann (Lindsay) Collier. 1876, July 23. Box 7 (4). Letter describing
arrival in Los Angeles.
- Collier, Jane E. To David Collier & Lydia Ann (Lindsay) Collier. 1876, Nov. 9 and 1877, Feb. 24. Box 7 (7 &
9). Letters describing early Pasadena.
- Foote, Mary (Hallock). To Margaret (Collier) Graham. 7 letters, 1902-1907. Box 12 (72-78). Personal,
informative letters of this literary figure.
- Graham, Margaret (Collier). To David Collier and Lydia Ann (Lindsay) Collier. 1876, July 23 and 27. Box 15 (5-6).
Letters describing arrival in Los Angeles.
- Graham, Margaret (Collier). To David Collier and Lydia Ann (Lindsay) Collier.
1876, July 27. Box 15 (6). Letter
describing early Pasadena.
- Graham, Margaret (Collier). To Jane E. Collier. 1894. Box 15 (41-42). Letters describing settlement work in New
- Hooker, Katharine (Putnam). To Margaret (Collier) Graham. 1896, Jan. 16 and 1903, July 15. Box 17
(78-79). Letters from Italy by this travel writer, the wife of John D. Hooker, donor of
the telescope on Mt. Wilson.
- Lummis, Charles Fletcher, To Margaret (Collier) Graham. 1896, July 24. Box 20 (32). Letter written from Mexico City
describing life there.
- Shepherd, William Edgar. To Donald McIntyre Graham. 1877, Mar. 12. Box 25 (73). Letter giving advice on investing in the
petroleum discoveries near Ventura.
The items have been arranged in the
- Literary manuscripts
- Correspondence (in alphabetical order by author)
- Business and personal papers
- Printed material; clippings
- Oversize maps
- Addenda of research material for
We Three Came West
Graham, Donald McIntyre.
Graham, Margaret Collier, 1850-1910.
Authors, American -- 19th century -- Correspondence.
Publishers and publishing -- United States -- Correspondence.
Real estate development -- California, Southern.
Real property -- California -- Elsinore.
Real property -- California -- Wildomar.
Women authors, American -- 19th century -- Correspondence.
Women authors, American -- California -- Correspondence.
Anaheim (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Anaheim (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
California, Southern -- Description and travel.
California, Southern -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
Elsinore (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Pasadena (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Pasadena (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.
Wildomar (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Letters (correspondence) -- California.
Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
Manuscripts -- California.
Manuscripts -- United States.
Manuscripts for publication -- California.
Manuscripts for publication -- United States.
Collier, Lydia Ann.
Collier, Jane E.
Collier, William, 1845-1928.
Coolbrith, Ina D. (Ina Donna), 1841-1928.
Foote, Mary Hallock, 1847-1938.
Gilder, Richard Watson, 1844-1909.
Graham, Donald McIntyre.
Harraden, Beatrice, 1864-1936.
Heald, Franklin H.
Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928.
McClure, S. S. (Samuel Sidney), 1857-1949.
Martin, John, 1865-1947.
Perry, Bliss, 1860-1954.
Raitt, Helen. We three came west.
Smith, Gertrude, 1860-1917.
Trumbull, Annie Eliot, 1857-1949.
Wayne, Mary Collier. We three came west.
Willard, Charles Dwight, 1866-1914.