Clyde H. Porter and Mae Reed Porter Papers mssPortercm

Gayle Richardson
The Huntington Library
July 2020
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Clyde H. Porter and Mae Reed Porter papers
Creator: Porter, Clyde, 1889-1958
Identifier/Call Number: mssPortercm
Physical Description: 15.8 Linear Feet (19 boxes, 1 notebook)
Date (inclusive): 1928-1956
Abstract: A collection of research and secondary material about the fur trade in the Rocky Mountains compiled by Clyde H. Porter and Mae Reed Porter.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Clyde H. Porter and Mae Reed Porter papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mae Reed Porter, March 1959.

Biographical / Historical

Clyde H. Porter (1889-1958) and his wife Mae Reed Porter (1889-1969) studied and wrote about the early exploration, development, and fur trade of the Far West, particularly the Rocky Mountain area. Clyde H. Porter, the son of Joseph and Jennie Henderson Porter, was born in St. Louis, Missouri; he attended Iowa State College where he met Mae Reed, whom he married in 1910. After Clyde's service in the U.S. Army during World War I, the Porters moved to Kansas City where Clyde gradually rose through the ranks to become an executive for the Kansas City Power and Light Company. Both Clyde and Mae Porter were passionate about the history of the American West. Mae Porter was an historian and art collector in her own right who collaborated with Bernard DeVoto on his book Across the Wide Missouri. This work won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1948. After thirty-five years of service at the Kansas City Power and Light Company, Clyde retired and began assisting Mae with her historical research. Cooperatively, the Porters contributed to at least two books entitled Ruxton of the Rockies (1950) and Matt Field on the Santa Fe Trail (1960).

Scope and Contents

A collection of approximately 4000 items from 1928 to 1956, it consists of the research files of Clyde H. Porter and Mae Reed Porter; the collection also contains biographical material, business papers, correspondence, manuscripts, two tins of microfilm, three rolls of duplicates, and ephemera. There are research notes for the book, Ruxton of the Rockies (1950) and other books concerning the Rocky Mountain region. There is also secondary source material pertaining to German immigration to Texas and to various fur traders and adventurers, including Toussaint Charbonneau, August Chouteau, and George Ruxton.

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library Staff, circa 1965. In 2020, Gayle Richardson created the finding aid derived from a legacy summary report.


Organized in the following series: 1. Biographical data; 2. Business papers; 3. General correspondence; 4. Manuscripts; 5. Records; 6. Miscellaneous notes, photographs, and newspaper clippings; 7. Duplicates.


Former call number: mssPorter papers.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Fur trade -- Rocky Mountains
Fur trade -- West (U.S.)
Fur traders -- West (U.S.)
Germans -- Texas
Indians of North America -- West (U.S.)
Rocky Mountains -- Description and travel
Texas -- Emigration and immigration
West (U.S.) -- Description and travel
Business papers -- West (U.S.) -- 20th century
Ephemera -- West (U.S.) -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- West (U.S.) -- 20th century
Manuscripts -- West (U.S.) -- 20th century
Research (document genres) -- West (U.S.) -- 20th century
Charbonneau, Toussaint, approximately 1758-approximately 1839
Chouteau, Auguste, 1750-1829
Porter, Mae Reed, 1889-1969
Ruxton, George Frederick, 1820-1848

Box 1, Folder 1-6

Biographical data: Ottomar von Behr - Toussaint Charbonneau

Box 2

Charbonneau continued (two folders)

Box 3, Folder 7-8

August Chouteau - Antoine Clement

Box 4, Folder 9-11

Eduard Degener - Major Andrew Drips

Box 5, Folder 12-18

Matthew C. Field - Dr. Ferdinand Herff

Box 6, Folder 19

Captain James Kipp

Box 7, Folder 20-22

William (Laidlow) Laidlaw - Pierre La Liberte

Box 8, Folder 23-27

Zenas Leonard - Dr. Ferdinand von Roemer

Box 9-10, Folder 28

George Augustus Frederick Ruxton

Box 11, Folder 29-32

Samuel Seymour - Herman Spiess

Box 12, Folder 33-35

Friedrich Armand Strubberg - Captain Friedrich W. Von Wrede

Box 13

Business papers; General correspondence 1928-1957

Box 14, Folder 1-8

Manuscripts: Cox - Vaughan

Box 15, Folder 1-16


Box 16

Miscellaneous notes, photographs, newspaper clippings, ephemera

Box 17

Duplicates: Toussaint Charbonneau and relatives

Box 18

Chouteau and related families (Menard, etc.) - Dresel

Box 19

Drips and related families (Barnes, Mulkey, etc.) - Spiess

Volume 1

Mae Reed Porter. Notebook on the Heermann family