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Shorb (James De Barth) Papers Addenda
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Collection Overview
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This collection consists of personal and business papers primarily related to the family of Southern California land developer James De Barth Shorb (1842-1896) and their business ventures and estate settlements. There is also a substantial amount of material about Benjamin Davis Wilson (1811-1878) and his business dealings in California. Topics covered in the collection include agriculture, land development in southern California, the history of the San Marino area, mining operations, water rights and irrigation, politics, society stories, and wills, court documents, and settlement papers related to the Shorb estate.
James De Barth Shorb (1842-1896) was born in Frederick County, Maryland, a son of Dr. James Aloysius Shorb (1798-1867) and Margaret McMeal Shorb. He came to California in 1863 looking for oil in Ventura County, and married Maria de Jesus "Sue" Wilson (1844-1917), the daughter of Benjamin Davis Wilson (1811-1878) and his first wife Ramona Yorba, in 1867. Shorb partnered with Wilson in developing their extensive land holdings in what is now San Marino and Pasadena. Together Shorb and Wilson founded the San Gabriel Wine Company, and Shorb was also president of the San Gabriel Valley and Alhambra Railroads and founded the Lake Vineyard Land and Water Company in 1871. In 1874, Shorb, through the Lake Vineyard Land and Water Company, acquired large tracts of land in San Marino, Pasadena, and Alhambra. By the late 1870s, many of Shorb's business enterprises has begun to lose profits, and when Shorb died in 1896 he left his wife Maria and their children heavily in debt. The Shorbs had nine children who survived to adulthood: Maria Ynez Shorb White Buck (1868-1933), James De Barth "Barty" Shorb Jr. (1870-1907), Edith Octavia Shorb Steele (1872-1954), Ramona Yorba Shorb Murtaugh (1874-1921), Joseph Campbell Shorb (1878-1919), Ethel Rebecca Shorb (1880-1959), Donald McMeal Shorb (1883-1933), Norbert Newlands Shorb (1887-1951), and Bernardo Yorba Shorb (1888-1928).
15.2 Linear Feet (24 boxes, 4 oversize folders, 1 rolled map)
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