Ed and Ruby Levin Papers

Finding aid created by History San Jose Research Library staff using RecordEXPRESS
History San Jose Research Library
1661 Senter Road
San Jose, California 95112
(408) 287-2290

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ed and Ruby Levin Papers
Dates: 1936-1979
Collection Number: 1995-109
Creator/Collector: Levin, Edgar Ross (1908-1965) Levin, Ruby
Extent: 8.5 linear feet
Online items available
Repository: History San Jose Research Library
San Jose, California 95112
Abstract: Personal papers of Santa Clara County Supervisor Edgar R. Levin and wife Ruby, primarily comprising material related to Levin's terms as Santa Clara County Supervisor, Third District, but also including personal material from his travels and expeditions in Alaska, family mementos, and Ruby Levin's teaching career.
Language of Material: English


The papers are available to the public for research by appointment with the Research Library & Archives.

Publication Rights

Please consult with the Research Library & Archives Curator for information on publication and reproduction.

Preferred Citation

Ed and Ruby Levin Papers. History San Jose Research Library

Acquisition Information

Donated to History San Jose in 1995.

Biography/Administrative History

Edgar Ross Levin was born in Leadville, Colorado, on July 17, 1908 to Edward James and Margaret Ross Levin. He attended St. Joseph’s High School in San Jose, followed by a BA from San Jose State College, where he was a member of the football and boxing teams, and Master’s and PhD studies at Stanford University. He also conducted graduate work in anthropology through the University of Alaska. Alaska remained an important part of Levin’s life. He made over 30 trips to Alaska with Father Bernard Hubbard, working as his field manager of expeditions, photographer and geologist, and lecturing on the expeditions back in Santa Clara County. In June 1945, Levin married Ruby Carmen McNeill, who worked as a teacher and educational consultant. They were both active in the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Catholic church. Levin worked as a Southern Pacific yardmaster in San Jose, but is better known for his work as Santa Clara County 3rd District Supervisor from the early 1950s until his death in 1965. Levin was instrumental in groundwork for the South Bay Aqueduct, and fought for preservation of open space, education, a strong library system, and better jails and jail conditions. Levin was president of the County Supervisors Association from 1963-64, and a former president of the Central Coast County Supervisors Association and the Feather River Association. Governor Edmund G. Brown named Levin to a new Urban Policy Committee just weeks before his death. Levin died of heart attack on March 12, 1965 while inspecting a future park site near Stevens Creek Dam. In late November 1965, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors named the 558-acre Airpoint parksite east of Milpitas after Levin -- a strong advocate of the proposed park -- and authorized $105,000 for planning and engineering to get the park ready for public use.

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers primarily document Levin’s political life, including his campaign materials, his work on the Feather River Project and his projects as County Supervisor. A small amount of material reflects his work with Father Bernard Hubbard in Alaska, including a transcript of an expedition journal. Motion pictures, and photographic negatives, also appear to document Levin’s trips to Alaska. Ruby Levin’s papers include personal correspondence with friends and family, as well as her work on the dedication of Ed Levin Park and its expansion after her husband’s death in 1965. See attached inventory for further details.

Indexing Terms

County government
Political campaigns
Hubbard, Bernard R. (Bernard Rosecrans), 1888-1962
Santa Clara County (Calif.). Board of Supervisors
Feather River Project (Calif.)
Santa Clara County Flood Control and Water District
Santa Clara County (Calif.)

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