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Frances Nacke Noel/Job Harriman Papers: Finding Aid
mssNoel Harriman papers  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection is made up of material gathered by Southern California historian Knox Mellon (born 1925) for his dissertation about socialist Job Harriman (1861-1925), founder of the Llano del Rio Colony. The papers chiefly deal with Harriman; labor activist and socialist Frances Nacke Noel (1873-1963); socialism; the Llano del Rio Colony; labor and union issues; and suffrage and women's rights.
Background
Frances Nacke Noel (1873-1963), labor activist, feminist, and socialist, was born in Saxony, Germany, January 5, 1873. In her teens she studied to be a kindergarten teacher and in 1893 she left Germany and came to the United States. Her first stop was in New York City, but she eventually ended up in Chicago, where she first became interested in politics, labor, and socialism. In 1896, while living in Denver, she joined the Socialist Labor Party and ran unsuccessfully for a local office on the socialist ticket. In 1899 Frances made her way out to Los Angeles where she stayed with Job Harriman, a lawyer and leading socialist who later ran for mayor of Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, she became even more involved with the socialist, suffrage and labor movements. After a trip to Germany in 1902, Frances married fellow socialist P. D. Noel; the couple had one son, Francis Noel. Frances held several odd jobs throughout her life while continually working for the labor, socialist and women’s movements. She founded and organized the Wage Earners Suffrage League, the Conference of Union Women of Southern California, and a Women’s Committee within the Los Angeles Labor Council; she was also a member of the Friday Morning Club and the Woman’s City Club. Frances became one of the leading working class suffragists in Los Angeles. Her goal was to bring all women together, regardless of class, to fight for suffrage and women’s rights. She died in Los Angeles, April 24, 1963. Job Harriman (1861-1925), socialist and founder of the Llano del Rio Colony, was born in Indiana in January 1861. He gained admittance to the Indiana bar in 1885, but because of his ill health moved to San Francisco, California in 1886. In the 1890s he became actively involved with the Socialist Labor Party and was their nominee for several local government positions. He married Theodosia Gray in 1894; they had one son, Gray Chenowith Harriman. The Harrimans eventually moved to Los Angeles where he continued to practice law. In 1911 he ran unsuccessfully as the Socialist and labor candidate for mayor of Los Angeles; in that same year, he assisted Clarence Darrow with the defense of the McNamara brothers who were being tried for the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building. In 1914 he founded the Llano del Rio Colony in the Antelope Valley in California. This utopian community flourished until 1918 when internal disputes and lack of water forced the colony to move to Louisiana. In 1920 Harriman left the community and moved back to Los Angeles. He had been suffering from tuberculosis for several years and died in Sierra Madre, California, in 1925. Knox Mellon (born 1925) received his Ph.D. in History from Claremont Graduate School in 1973 with his thesis, "Job Harriman: the Early and Middle Years, 1861-1912." After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Mellon became Professor of History at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. He served as the California State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) from 1977 to 1984. After his term of SHPO, he moved to Riverside, California and organized Knox Mellon and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in historic preservation, oral history, and historic research. Mellon again became the California SHPO in December 2000. He was also an Adjunct Professor of History at University of California, Riverside.
Extent
1,452 items in 13 boxes
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.