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Barrows and Weyse families papers
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Barrows and Weyse families papers
    Inclusive Dates: 1836-2008
    Bulk Dates: 1850-1949
    Collection Number: mssBarrowsWeyse
    Collector: Barrows and Weyse families
    Extent: 17 boxes and 1 oversize folder
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
    The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The Barrows and Weyse families papers include letters, diaries, photographs, and documents relating to early Los Angeles residents Henry Dwight Barrows and Julius Guenther Weyse and their families, including Weyse’s journey to California around Cape Horn and Barrows’ letterbook at the United States Marshals Service.
    Language of Material: The records are in English and German.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following web site .

    Publication Rights

    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

    Barrows and Weyse families papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased from Frank C. Strayer, Sr., May 2017.


    Henry Dwight Barrows (1825-1914) was an American teacher, businessman, farmer, goldminer, reporter, United States Marshal, Los Angeles County School Superintendent, manufacturer, writer, and a founder and president of the Historical Society of Southern California. Barrows was married three times. His first wife was Juanita Wolfskill, daughter of William Wolfskill and Magdalena (Lugo) Wolfskill. The couple had one daughter: Alice Wolfskill Barrows (1861-1903). After the death of Wolfskill, Barrows married Mary Alice Workman, daughter of John D. Woodworth and widow of Thomas H. Workman. Barrows and Workman had two daughters: Ada Frances Barrows (1865-1939) and Mary Washington Barrows (1868- ). Barrows and his third wife, Bessie A. Green, had one son: Henry (Harry) Prosper Barrows (1869- ).
    Julius Guenther Weyse was born in Schleiz, Reuss, Germany around 1803. After taking part in an unsuccessful political attempt to reform Germany, he fled to the United States in 1836. In 1850, he traveled from Liverpool to San Francisco via Cape Horn and spent time in the California gold mines. He relocated to Southern California in 1852 and married Caroline Lange some years later. The couple had three sons: Henry Guenther Weyse (1863-1941), Rudolph Guenther Weyse (1860-1933), and Otto Guenther Weyse (1858-1893).
    The Barrows and Weyse families were intermarried. Henry Guenther Weyse married Alice Wolfskill Barrows in 1868 and Rudolph Guenther Weyse married Ada Frances Barrows in 1890.

    Scope and Content

    The Barrows and Weyse families papers include diaries, personal and business correspondence, journals, legal documents, photographs, printed ephemera, and genealogical research material.
    There are 63 annual diaries covering Henry Dwight Barrows’ life in California from 1852 through 1914. The entries are brief and cover daily activities, agriculture, weather, health problems, along with local and national headlines. Some of the diaries have newspaper clippings, notes, and tabs laid in. These diaries were used for Michael Konig’s unpublished master’s thesis found in Box 13. Also part of this collection is Barrows’ United States Marshals Service letter book. This letter book was kept by Barrows and his predecessor James C. Pennie and covers 1857 through 1864. The subject matter in this letter book primarily concerns logistics and operations at the Marshals’ offices. There is also a scrapbook that contains clippings of articles that were written by Barrows or that discuss his career. Other material related to Barrows includes genealogical notes, printed ephemera, and photographs.
    The material related to Julius Guenther Weyse includes two journals describing his journey to California around Cape Horn in 1850. The contents of these journals include activities on the ship, fellow passengers, and features of sea travel. There is another journal about Weyse’s experience in the gold fields once he arrived in California. In this small journal, he describes the landscape, Native American settlements, European immigrants, mining process, and his earnings. There are also nine deeds related to parcels of land in Los Angeles, purchased or sold by Otto Guenther Weyse from 1887 through 1888 in Box 11. Other material related to the Barrows family includes genealogical notes, printed ephemera, and photographs.
    The correspondence was originally separated into two categories: Barrows Weyse and Weyse. However, it appears that there is some overlap because the families were intermarried. The Barrows Weyse correspondence spans from 1860 through 1942. These letters were primarily from friends and family addressed to Weyse, Barrows, or Cullens living in Los Angeles, California. Some of the letters are written in German. The Weyse correspondence covers 1836 through 1945. The majority of the letters are written to Rudolph Guenther Weyse, and some to his brothers, Henry or Otto Weyse. These letters are primarily in German, although, some are in English and relate to family and business matter. Due to the overlap, it is best to look at both the Barrows Weyse and Weyse correspondence for thoroughness.
    Box 15 includes material too large for the letter-size boxes. These items include certificates, clippings, Barrows’ United States Marshals Service letter book, a notebook, and photographs. Box 16 includes five daguerreotypes and/or ambrotypes and two unidentified loose portraits. The Barrows family photograph album is in Box 17 and includes approximately 94 photographs. Most of these images are identified. The oversize folder contains a genealogical work compiled by Archivant Dr. Schmidt entitled “Die Weyse” and a certificate for Rudolph Guenther Weyse from the American Turnerbund.


    Arranged by genre.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Barrows family
    Weyse family
    Barrows, Henry D.
    Weyse, Ada Frances Barrows
    Weyse, Alice Wolfskill Barrows
    Weyse, Henry Guenther
    Weyse, Julius Guenther
    Weyse, Otto Guenther
    Weyse, Rudolph Guenther


    Agriculture -- California
    Gold mines and mining -- California
    Pioneers -- California
    Voyages to the Pacific Coast

    Corporate Names

    United States. Marshals Service

    Geographic Areas

    Calaveras County (Calif.) -- Description and travel
    California -- Description and travel
    Horn, Cape (Chile) -- Description and travel
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century


    Journals (accounts)
    Legal documents
    Letter books
    Letters (correspondence)