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Latta (Frank F.) Collection: Skyfarming
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This collection contains the research materials of Frank F. Latta (1892-1983) from his five decades of researching the history and development of California's San Joaquin Valley and Miller & Lux, in particular dry farming known as skyfarming. Subjects include: agriculture and farming in the San Joaquin Valley, the development of agricultural machinery (combines, plows, reapers, scrapers, threshing machines, tractors and various types of harvesters), livestock, ranches, cattle, and crops, mostly wheat. The collection is made up of articles, Miller & Lux business records, catalogs, brochures, clippings, legal document, oral interviews, correspondence, manuscripts for publication, newspapers, notes, official reports, receipts, and research material in general. The collection also contains hundreds of photographs, both color and black and white, slides, panoramas, and glass plates.
Frank Forrest Latta (1892-1983), son of Presbyterian minister Eli C. Latta and teacher Harmonia Campbell, was born September 18, 1892, in Stanislaus County, California. As a young boy, Latta worked on several ranches in the San Joaquin Valley and became interested in the stories of the early pioneers, and in 1906 began interviewing people and gathering research regarding early life and early farming in California. Latta also spent much time researching the farming corporation Miller & Lux and its founders Henry Miller and Charles Lux. Latta married Jeanette "Jean" Allen in 1919; they had four children. When Latta was not traveling the San Joaquin Valley interviewing pioneers or writing at home, he taught drafting and carpentry at high schools in Gustine, Porterville, Shafter and Bakersfield, California. Latta helped found the Kern County Museum in Bakersfield in 1941 where he worked both as a curator and as its director. Latta, who was president of the League of Western Writers in 1938, is the author of several publications including Black gold in the Joaquin, California Indian folklore, Dalton Gang days, Handbook of Yokuts Indians, Joaquín Murrieta and his horse gangs. Latta died in Santa Cruz in May 1983.
59.62 Linear Feet (122 boxes)
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