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Baldwin-Shaffner Family Collection
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  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Baldwin-Shaffner Family Collection
    Creator: Baldwin-Shaffner
    Identifier/Call Number: URB.BSF
    Physical Description: 80 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1847-2016
    Abstract: The Baldwin-Shaffner Family Collection consists of materials that document the personal lives and business activities of the Baldwin, Shaffner, Sackett, Bacon and Bishop families. It reflects the migration to California of the Shaffner family from Ohio, and the Sackett family from Colorado Territory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It contains personal correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, ephemera, clothing, artifacts, ledgers, diaries, periodicals, scrapbooks, and professional and legal papers documenting the purchase, selling, and management of property. It also contains the legal papers from Jennette L. Shaffner's estate including the establishment of her conservatorship and the execution of her trust.
    Language of Material: English.

    Biographical / Historical

    The Baldwin-Shaffner family are descendants of Amos Baldwin and Seth Sackett. Amos Baldwin's son Ozro married Phebe Westover in 1832, and they had three children named Rosalia, Edith, and Bruce. Their daughter Rosalia married a widower, Reverend Henry J. Shaffner, in 1874, in Denver, CO. Rosalia and Henry had two sons, Arthur and Earl. In 1881 the family moved to Los Angeles because of Henry's asthma. He passed away in Los Angeles in 1900.
    Ozro and Phebe's daughter Edith married Seth Sackett, an immigrant and pioneer who settled in Colorado before migrating to the Pacific coast in search of gold in the 1850s. Seth and Edith married in 1858, and returned to Colorado in 1860, where they adopted two children, Robert and Jennette. Seth passed away in Durango in 1900. In 1904 Edith sold the farm and moved to Los Angeles with Robert and Jennette. She purchased a house in a part of LA that was then rural, and ran a one-acre dairy farm on First Street.
    Seth and Edith's daughter Jennette married Earl Shaffner in 1909. Earl's brother Arthur had married Emelia Herman in 1900, and the two families ranched cattle together; raised oats, barley, and hogs; painted carriages; and kept bees, helping found the California State Bee Keepers Association in 1892.
    Earl and Jennette Shaffner lived in the First Street house in Los Angeles originally purchased by her mother Edith. Their children George, Rosalia, and Maybelle were born there. When Earl and Jennette moved back to the ranch they rented out the First Street home, and Jennette continued to manage the property along with the ranch after Earl's death in 1935, until the early 1970s. Jennette was the first librarian at the Saugus Branch of the LA County Library, and was the librarian at Saugus Elementary School. She was also in attendance at the dedication of the LA aqueduct as an historical landmark in 1971.
    Maybelle, Rosie, and George grew up in the house on First Street and attended San Fernando High School. Maybelle and Rosie worked for Pacific Telephone for many years, with Rosie meeting her husband James A. Bacon through work. Rosie eventually owned and managed many apartment buildings in Los Angeles and San Diego counties. She passed away in Escondido in 2008.
    Maybelle and Eugene Bishop married in 1945, and moved into the house on First Street, continuing to develop properties on the land during the post-World War II housing shortage. Maybelle worked for the phone company from the time she graduated high school, working her way up from switchboard operator to executive secretary until her daughter Jannette was born in 1960. Her son Donald was born in 1963. Maybelle volunteered with the kids' schools and committees at church, as well as with the Freedoms Foundation where she served as President in 1985. Eugene started as a bank teller at Bank of America and worked his way to loan officer. He took early retirement so that he and Maybelle could manage the multiple properties they had built together and act as executors to Jennette's estate, which entailed many properties and land development proposals to review. Maybelle died in 2021.

    Scope and Contents

    The Baldwin-Shaffner Family Collection reflects the lives of the Baldwin, Shaffner, Bishop and Bacon families from the middle of the 19th century until the beginning of the 21st century. It documents their lives and personal journeys west from Ohio and Colorado to California, and represents the development of Saugus and the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as the history of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Materials primarily consist of correspondence, ledgers, ephemera, and photographs, and include legal files governing Jennette L. Shaffner's estate and conservatorship.
    Series I, Baldwin-Shaffner Family Personal Materials documents the journeys of various family members to California from the mid-19th through the 21st centuries. It contains mostly paper materials, as well as family photographs from Colorado and California in the mid-1800s. Photographs include prints, glass prints, negatives, and bound photo albums. Personal papers from Jennette Shaffner and her daughter Maybelle Bishop represent most of the documents in this series and include correspondence, artwork, school work, scrapbooks, cookbooks, recipes, pamphlets of religious texts, high school choral and drama programs, ephemera from special events and anniversaries, periodicals and booklets about maternity and infant care, as well as early twentieth century lithographs, greeting cards, and paper dolls. It also includes Maybelle's nature notebooks with unique bindings, hand drawn illustrations, and dried flowers. Maybelle's involvement with the non-profit group Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge is also included in the series, as are pastel portraits based on photographs of some family members, nineteenth century toys and stereographs, as well as clothing for children, women, and men. Materials are organized alphabetically by title.
    Series II, Land Development and Legal Papers documents the development and management of the Shaffner ranch located in Saugus, California and tracks its roll in the general plan to establish the city of Santa Clarita. It consists of legal files for the Jennette L. Shaffner estate which detail the Shaffner, Bishop, Bacon Trust, and court documents for property management; including easements and other improvements, oil and mineral rights, and deeds of trust, as well as Jennette's conservatorship, and general execution of her will and trust. It also includes general land development documents relating to proposals and agreements, options to purchase, and maps with tract development proposals. Property management documents for the Gene and Maybelle Bishop Family Trust, and Jennette Shaffner's financial papers can also be found. Materials are organized alphabetically.


    Series I: Personal Materials, 1847-2016
    Series II: Land Development and Legal Papers, 1890-2009

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Preferred Citation

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Processing Information

    Claire V. Gordon, 2023

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Albums (Books)