Scope and Content
Title: Francis Valentine Keesling Papers,
Collection number: Special Collections M0100
Francis Valentine Keesling
33 linear ft.
Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.
Gift of Mr. Keesling, 1953 and 1957
[Identification of item] Francis Valentine Keesling Papers, M0100, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries,
|1877, Feb. 17
||born San Jose, Calif.; son of Francis Marion and Mary (Nunez) Keesling.
||A.B. Stanford. First president of class of '98, editor-in-chief '98 Quad, baseball manager for season of '98. Member of Philolexian
Literary Society, Sigma Nu fraternity, Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, and Skull and Snakes Honor Society.
||admitted to California Bar, practiced in San Francisco (retired 1953), July - entered law office of Crothers and Crothers
(George E. and Thomas G.) - survey legislative candidates for '98 for adoption of amendment to state constitution permitting
exemption of such foundation trusts as Stanford from taxation (passed 1901).
||member National Guard of California, retired as major. Special board which re-wrote Calif. Military law to conform to federal;
commanding artillery batallion San Francisco fire 1906.
|1903, Nov. 19
||married Haidee Grau - 4 children
||regent Sigma Nu fraternity
||attorney for General John A. Koster, auditor of San Francisco.
||Republican candidate for lieutenant-governor of California
||vice-president and general counsel West Coast Life Insurance Co.
||Republican candidate for governor of California
||chairman Republican State Central Committee of California
||chairman legal section, American Life Convention
|1916 & 1924
||delegate to Republican National Convention
||Mason 33 - Grand Master of California
||participated in every Liberty Loan Drive during World War I in executive capacity. On general executive committee and other
committees of Community Chest
|1919 & 1929-1930
||president Stanford Alumni Association
||chairman executive committee Association of Life Insurance Counsel
||governor Bar Association of San Francisco
||member committee of Bar examiners State Bar of California
||board of governors State Bar of California
||a director of Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District and chairman of building committee
||vice-president Association of Life Insurance Counsel
||member San Francisco Board of Freeholders and chairman of drafting committee which wrote the 1931 Charter of the city and
county, conducted campaign which resulted in its adoption.
||member executive committee American Life Convention
||president Association of Life Insurance Counsel
||president Bar Association of San Francisco
||president Stanford Law Society
||president American Life Convention
||president San Francisco Y.M.C.A.
||chairman California Statewide Committee on Reorganization of State Government (or on Taxation and Cost of Government) known
as the Interim Committee of 25
||member board of governors Stanford Associates
||president and director West Coast Life Insurance Co. and general counsel
||special assistant to Attorney General of the United States Hearing officer of Northern District of California on appeals of
||organized U.S.O. Council in San Francisco, first chairman
|1941 or -42 to 1947
||member council National Municipal League
||quarterly chairman Commonwealth Club (S.F.)
||board of directors San Francisco Y.M.C.A.
||chairman Civilian Council for Officer Procurement United States Navy
||president California Insurance Federation
||Grand Treasurer Masons Grand Lodge, California
||chairman of campaign committee - Roger Lapham for mayor of San Francisco
||member board of governors Commonwealth Club
||chairman San Francisco Charter Revision Committee
||director San Francisco Bay Area Council, chairman executive committee
||member executive committee San Francisco Bay Area Council
||member State (California) Committee on Intergovernmental
||executive committee Commonwealth Club
||chairman of the board West Coast Life Insurance Co.
||director Better Business Bureau of San Francisco
|1963, September 25
Scope and Content
The Keesling Papers consist of correspondence, diaries, notebooks, drafts of speeches and articles, reports, minutes of meetings,
newspaper and magazine clippings, maps and blueprints, circular and form letters, political flyers, etc., pamphlets, annotated
government documents, promotional brochures, miscellaneous printed material, and some financial and legal papers. They span
the years 1906-1957, though very little material is found after 1953. The scope of the subject matter is tremendous. The political
series contains a number of topics of particular interest. Most notable perhaps is that the material from 1910-1920 on local,
state (California), and national Republican political campaigns. Keesling was a "regular" Republican, one of the few whose
papers are extant, and greatly opposed to Hiram Johnson and the Progressives. The active part played by Keesling in California
politics at this time and the scarcity of the original material by those holding similar views make this collection quite
unique. The picture of this split in the California Republican party has been very one-sided in favor of the Progressives
simply because of the lack of material supporting the opposition. In addition to the Hughes campaign, the Coolidge, Hoover,
Willkie, Dewey, and Eisenhower Presidential campaigns are also covered. The many state and local campaigns, their candidates
and issues, are represented by even more material. Other papers refer to world affairs, foreign policy, war, Communism and
related movements, patriotic organizations, labor, legal matters, insurance business, government and governmental procedures,
economic affairs, education and social and charitable organizations. The second series relates to the San Francisco Charter
of 1931. This material is quite complete and includes Keesling's booklet on the subject and some later papers on amendments
and revision. The Interim Committee of Twenty five on State Reorganization, the third series, is also a rich research source.
The fourth series is on the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District and the construction of the bridge. This is quite a complete
account especially for the Building Committee from 1929 to 1937. Some, but not all, of this material was used as the basis
for a doctoral dissertation in 1958. The last two series are quite small. One recounts the San Francisco earthquake and fire
of 1906 through newspaper clippings and Keesling's orders and report as an officer of the National Guard and active participant
in rescue and patrol work. The other contains miscellaneous material on or related to Stanford University. This collection,
in addition to being of general historical interest, would seem to form a very solid base for a good biography of Keesling.
It covers almost all of his activities and interests within the time span of the papers. His very frank and uninhibited correspondence
reveals his personality and opinions very clearly. Of the correspondents in these papers, many number among the politically
and socially prominent on local, state and national levels. Others, not so well known, are important to this collection because
of the content and size of their correspondence.
Agnew, Frank J.
Ammann, Othmar Hermann, 1879-1965.
Arnold, Ralph, 1875-
Beek, Joseph A.
Booth, Willis H., 1874-
Boynton, Albert E.
Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-
Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947.
Carrere, John F.
Clark, Elmer Talmadge, 1886-
Coolidge, Dane, 1873-1940
Drury, Aubrey, 1891-1959.
Ferguson, Howard, 1908-
Flint, Motley H.
Griffenhagen, Edwin Oscar, 1886-
Halleck, Charles A., 1900-
Hanna, Byron C., 1887-
Hays, Will H., 1879-
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.
Hughes, Charles Evans, 1862-1948.
Johnson, Charles G., 1880-
Johnson, Hiram, 1866-1945.
Jordan, Frank C., 1860-
Kahn, Julius, 1861-1924.
Keesling, Francis V. (Francis Valentine), 1877-1963.
Kenny, Robert Walker, 1901-
Kirkwood, Marion Rice, 1887-
Knight, Goodwin J. (Goodwin Jess), 1896-1970.
Knowland, Joseph Russell, 1873-
Knowland, William F., 1908-
Koster, Frederick J., 1868-
Kuchel, Thomas H., 1910-
Leavey, H. Harold, 1906-
Marshall, George C. (George Catlett), 1880-1959.
Martin, Joseph W., 1884-
Merriam, Frank Finley, 1865-
Neylan, John Francis, 1885-1960.
Olson, Culbert Levy, 1876-
O'Toole, John J.
Page, Charles R.
Requa, Mark Lawrence, 1866-1937.
Riley, Ray L., 1874-
Robinson, Elmer E., 1894-1982.
Searls, Robert M.
Shelley, John F., 1905-
Short, Frank H. (Frank Hamilton), 1862-1920.
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968.
Smith, Paul Clifford.
Strauss, Joseph Baermann, 1870-1938.
Warren, Earl, 1891-1974.
Weinberger, Caspar W.
Welch, Richard Joseph, 1869-1949.
Wilbur, Ray Lyman, 1875-1949.
Willis, Bailey, 1857-1949.
Wilkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944.
Works, John Downey, 1847-1928.
American Life Convention.
Committee for Constitutional Government.
Griffenhagen and Associates.
Sigma Nu Fraternity.
State Bar of California.
Golden Gate Bridge (Calif.)
California--Politics and government--1850-1950.
San Francisco (Calif.)--Earthquake, 1906.