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H. D. Bacon Papers: Finding Aid
mssBC 1-2561  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Bibliography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: H. D. Bacon Papers
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1766-1906
    Bulk dates: 1850-1900
    Collection Number: mssBC 1-2561
    Creator: Bacon, Henry Douglas, 1817-1893.
    Extent: Approximately 4,000 items in 42 boxes and 11 volumes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
    The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2203
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains letters, documents, and a few account books related to the business activities of American financier H.D. Bacon (1817-1893). Items chiefly date between 1850 and 1900 and subject matter includes banking methods in the 1850s; the failure of Page & Bacon and Page, Bacon & Co.; the financing of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad; land transactions in Missouri and Illinois; mines and mining properties in the western United States; the wine and citrus industries in Southern California; the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad; the purchase, boundaries, and subdivision of the Marengo Ranch (now the city of South Pasadena, California); and the construction of the Raymond Hotel in Pasadena.
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. H. D. Bacon Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Most of the papers were purchased in January, 1945 from Edwin Grabhorn. The Marengo material was bought from Charles Yale's Bookshop, Pasadena, in March, 1944.

    Biographical Note

    California financier Henry Douglas Bacon (1817-1893), the son of Joseph and Abigail Cleveland Bacon, was born in East Granville, Massachusetts, in 1817. In 1835, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he engaged first in the dry goods, then in the iron, trade. He was married in 1844 to Julia Ann Page, daughter of Daniel Dearborn Page, miller, merchant, and owner of considerable property in and around St. Louis.
    Four years later, Bacon and his wealthy father-in-law formed the banking firm of Page & Bacon, Bacon being the active member. The success of this enterprise led to the opening, in 1849, of Page, Bacon & Co.'s express office in San Francisco. The partners were Page, his son Francis W. Page, Bacon, Henry Haight, and David Chambers. Page, Bacon & Co. soon became primarily a banking concern, with branches in Sacramento, Sonora, and Honolulu. Business flourished until January, 1855. Then various factors, among them falseness on the part of Page & Bacon's New York correspondents, and involvement in the financing of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, compelled the St. Louis house to close its doors. When the news reached San Francisco, a run on Page, Bacon & Co. also resulted in suspension. Both firms resumed, but by May both were forced into liquidation. The failure of Page, Bacon & Co. served as a prelude to the San Francisco crash of 1855.
    Bacon devoted the next few years to settlements with creditors and to attempts to make the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad a paying proposition. In the eighteen sixties, he turned his attention to mining. He invested in mines throughout the western United States and Mexico. After about 1870, however, his primary interest lay in properties in California and Arizona.
    Paralleling Bacon's mining ventures were numerous other business activities and investments. The chief of these was his purchase, in 1871 and 1873, of the Marengo Ranch, 1036 acres of what is now South Pasadena. At first his son, Frank Page Bacon, managed the raising of stock and the growing of citrus fruits, grapes and walnuts on the ranch. Then this task was taken over by Langston C. Winston. In 1883, some of the land was bought by Walter Raymond for his hotel, later the entire ranch was subdivided and sold.
    Bacon himself is not identified with Southern California. In 1866 he moved to the bay area, setting up an office in San Francisco and making his home in Oakland. He is remembered for generous gifts to the University of California at Berkeley, notably the Bacon Art and Library Building. At his death early in 1893, he was survived by his widow, his son, and two daughters, Carrie J. Bacon and Ella Etta Bacon Soulé.

    Bibliography

    Cross, Ira B. Financing an Empire. Banking in California. vol. 1. p. 67, 71, 181ff., 188-190
    Ferrier, William Warren. Origin and Development of the University of California. p. 427-430
    Jones, William Carey. Illustrated History of the University of California. p. 207, portrait of Henry Douglas Bacon on p. 210
    Stevens, Walter B. History of St. Louis, the Fourth City. 1764-1909. vol. 1. p. 305-306, portrait of Henry Douglas Bacon on p. 321

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains letters, documents, and a few account books related to the business activities of California financier Henry Douglas Bacon.
    Subject matter includes banking methods in the 1850s; the failure of Page & Bacon and Page, Bacon & Co.; the financing of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad; land transactions in Missouri and Illinois; mines and mining properties in the western United States; the wine and citrus industries in Southern California; the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad; the purchase, boundaries, and subdivision of the Marengo Ranch (now the city of South Pasadena, California); and the construction of the Raymond Hotel in Pasadena, California.
    Significant persons represented in the collection include Frank Page Bacon (19 items), Henry Douglas Bacon (164 items), Julia Ann (Page) Bacon (54 items), Samuel Latham Mitchill Barlow (57 items), James Buckland (31 items), William Tell Coleman (31 items), R. A. Fisher (18 items), Samuel Gaty (273 items), Walton G. Hughes (117 items), William Birdie Hyde (19 items), J. G. Mahany (19 items), Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel (76 items), Daniel Dearborn Page (33 items), Francis W. Page( 33 items), Henry Starr (21 items), John D. Weems (15 items), Langston C. Winston(27 items), and Thomas M. Yerkes(100 items).
    Some notable items include:
    • Bacon, Henry Douglas. Letters to Daniel D. Page and Francis W. Page concerning the failure of Page & Bacon and Page, Bacon & Co., and efforts to recoup. 1855, Jan. - May
    • Barlow, Samuel L. M. Letter to Henry D. Bacon concerning attempts to avert southern secession. 1860, Nov. 30
    • Shaffner, Taliaferro Preston. Letter to Henry D. Bacon explaining his use of military mines during the Schleswig-Holstein War. 1864, Sep. 15
    • Letters to Bacon from mining agents in Mexico, describing the political unrest and resultant obstacles to business. 1865-1866
    • Gaty, Samuel. Letters to Henry D. Bacon concerning attempts to get a land bill through the Illinois legislature by means of lobbying and bribery. 1866, Nov.-1867, June
    • Carr, Jeanne C. and Winston, Elizabeth M. Letters to Henry D. Bacon concerning the Pasadena Library Society. 1883, Jan. - Feb.
    • Hyde, William Birdie. Letters to Henry Douglas Bacon about Leland Stanford and the Southern Pacific. 1873, Aug. 14 - 22
    • Cambell, James and others. Letter to Henry D. Bacon differentiating between the Pasadena and San Pasqual school districts. 1879, Dec. 26
    • Bacon, Henry Douglas. Incomplete manuscript of his dedicatory speech for the Bacon Art and Library Building. 1881, Aug.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    • Loose volumes
    • Correspondence (Boxes 1-21)
    • Page & Bacon and Page, Bacon & Co. accounts (Boxes 22-23)
    • Land papers (Boxes 24-25)
    • Mining papers (Boxes 26-37)
    • Marengo Ranch (Boxes 38-41)
    • Misc. business papers and receipts (Box 42)
    • 7. Ephemera

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Bacon, Henry Douglas, 1817-1893.
    Bacon, Julia Ann Page.
    Barlow, Samuel L. M. (Samuel Latham Mitchill), 1826-1889.
    Coleman, William Tell, 1824-1893.
    Gaty, Samuel.
    Page, Daniel D.
    Page, Francis W.
    Starr, Henry, 1819-
    Yerkes, Thomas M.
    Los Angeles & San Gabriel Valley Railroad Co.
    Marengo Ranch (Calif.)
    Ohio & Mississippi Railroad Co.
    Raymond Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)
    Banks and banking -- California.
    Citrus fruit industry -- California, Southern.
    Land use -- California, Southern.
    Land use -- Missouri -- Saint Louis.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Mexico.
    Mines and mineral resources -- West (U.S.)
    Railroads -- California, Southern.
    Wine industry -- California, Southern.
    California, Southern -- History -- Sources.
    South Pasadena (Calif.) -- History -- Sources.

    Forms/Genres

    Account books United States.
    Letters (correspondence) United States.
    Professional papers United States.

    Added Entries

    Bacon, Julia Ann Page.
    Barlow, Samuel L. M. (Samuel Latham Mitchill), 1826-1889.
    Coleman, William Tell, 1824-1893.
    Gaty, Samuel.
    Page, Daniel D.
    Page, Francis W.
    Starr, Henry, 1819-
    Yerkes, Thomas M.