This collection contains the papers of American businessman Gurdon Wallace Wattles (1855-1932) of Omaha, Nebraska, and Hollywood,
The papers chiefly dating from 1918-1950 consist of correspondence, as well as some manuscripts of Wattles and Ephemera.
The correspondence primarily deals with business matters in both Nebraska and California,
family news and business, and there are many which describe the Wattles House and
Gardens in Hollywood, especially the decorating of the Italian garden.
Gurdon Wallace Wattles (1855-1932) was born in 1855 in Tioga County, New York. His family moved
to Iowa in 1868. He taught school and graduated from Iowa State University in 1876.
He married Abigail Jane “Jennie” Leete in 1882 and started his banking career.
Wattles moved to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1892, where he became a leading businessman. His
career expanded with his success as the chairman of the Trans-Mississippi and
International Exposition in 1897. He organized the event which brought 2.6 million
people to the state and elevated his presence in the Midwest. Gurdon Wallace Wattles, Jr. (1920-1995), son of Gurdon Wallace Wattles (1855-1932) and Julia Vance Wattles, grew up
in Hollywood, California, attended John Burroughs Junior
High School, and graduated from Hollywood High School in 1938. He matriculated to
Harvard in 1939 and graduated in 1942. He was an officer for Navy Intelligence
during World War II and was stationed in the South Pacific. After the war, Gurdon
returned to Harvard for his law degree, graduating in 1949. He joined the staff of
the United Nations Secretariat, Legal Counsel in 1950 and served there for 26 years.
He married twice and had two sons, two daughters, a step-son and 6 grandchildren at
the time of his death.
1,650 items in 9 boxes
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