Collection Scope and Contents
Title: Esther H. Klotz papers
Date (inclusive): 1834-1991, undated
Collection Number: MS 255
7.04 linear feet
Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Abstract: Esther H. Klotz was a lifelong Riverside County resident, who was very involved in local historical preservation efforts and
in researching and writing about Riverside and the surrounding area. The Esther H. Klotz papers contain research notes, correspondence,
publications, and other material pertaining to the city and county of Riverside as well as to the local history and development
of various other cities in Southern California. This notably includes research related to her co-authored book with Joan H.
Adobes, Bungalows and Mansions of Riverside, California, which has been published in multiple editions. Also included in the collection are personal correspondence, notebooks and
other records related to Klotz and her husband, Leo J. Klotz.
Languages: The collection is in English.
This collection is open for research.
Copyright for a portion of materials in the collection has been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries,
Special Collections & University Archives. Additional materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright
Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Please contact Special Collections & University Archives for more information.
[Identification of item], [date if possible]. Esther H. Klotz papers (MS 255). Special Collections & University Archives,
University of California, Riverside.
Gift of the estate of Esther Klotz, 2001.
Initial processing was done by Joanne Pease-Simpson and Rhonda L. Neugebauer, Library Staff, from 2010-2011. The finding aid
was edited and updated by Eric Milenkiewicz, Archives Assistant, in 2012, and the collection was reprocessed by Celeste Navas,
Student Processing Assistant, in 2017.
Esther Hamilton was born in Hemet, California on Christmas Day, 1910, and graduated in 1928 from Hemet High School. She attended
Riverside City College, and then the University of California, Berkeley. Her grandparents had moved to Southern California
in the boom of 1887; her grandfather, Isaac Martin, was an early citrus grower in the small town of Highgrove, California.
Her father, Charles Hamilton, was the first city clerk of the newly-formed City of Hemet, as well as an important grower of
citrus in its early days in the area. In later years he was a fruit buyer.
At the age of 19, she married Leo J. Klotz, Ph.D., a researcher at the California Citrus Experiment Station and later a professor
of plant pathology at the University of California, Riverside. Esther became interested in local history and beacme an avid
and meticulous researcher and writer in her own right. She collected data on both Riverside City and County, as well as other
Southern California cities, eventually resulting in several books. In 1972, she wrote
Riverside and the Day the Bank Broke: A History of the City, 1890-1907, which chronicled the scandal leading to the downfall of the Orange Growers Bank. Her love of art, history, and the Mission
Inn led her to publish
The Mission Inn: Its History and Artifacts in 1981. In 1985, she collaborated with Joan H. Hall on a book documenting historic homes in Riverside,California,
Adobes, Bungalows and Mansions of Riverside, California, which quickly sold out. A revised edition was later published by Hall. Klotz, Hall, and historian/author Harry Lawton also
collaborated on a pamphlet in 1989, called "History of Citrus in the Riverside Area."
Passionate about the preservation of the area's historic buildings and resources, she served on many boards. During the 1960s
and 1970s she served as a founding member and chair of the Friends of the Mission Inn; as a member of the Riverside Pioneer
Historical Society of Southern California (later renamed the Riverside Historical Society); the Riverside County Historical
Commission; the Mission Inn Artifacts Committee; and the Friends of the Library of the University of California, Riverside.
She also served as an advisor to the Jensen-Alvarado Ranch Associates and was a founding member in 1963 of the Riverside Museum
Associates, serving as co-editor of its newsletter: the
Report of the Riverside Museum Associates. After helping persuade the City of Riverside to form a special civic board devoted to the preservation of historic resources,
she was appointed by the city council to act as the first chair of the resulting Cultural Heritage Board. She was an active
member of several other local historical societies, most notably, The Old Riverside Foundation. She was named Riverside County
Historian of the Year in 1983.
Esther H. Klotz died on August 2, 2000 at 89 years of age and is interred at Riverside's historic Evergreen Mausoleum. She
was survived by a son, Jerome; a daughter, Eunice Riemer; and several grandchildren.
Collection Scope and Contents
The Esther H. Klotz papers consists primarily of research materials documenting the founding and development of the city and
county of Riverside, California. The collection focuses on local history, as well as historic buildings and landscapes created
in the city of Riverside and surrounding areas in the early days of development. These include residential homes, military
bases, the citrus industry, housing developments, universities, and museums. Research material regarding the book she co-authored
with Joan H. Hall,
Adobes, Bungalows and Mansions of Riverside, California (1985) is also included.
The collection also contains some personal papers regarding members of the Klotz and Hamilton families, including notebooks,
correspondence, vital records, and photographs belong to Klotz and her husband Leo.
The collection is arranged into three series as follows:
- Series 1. Research and publications, 1834-1989
- Series 2. Personal papers, 1910-1991
- Series 3. Oversize materials, 1890-1989, undated
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Klotz, Leo Joseph, 1895-1984
Riverside County (Calif.)
Genres and Forms of Materials