The Elon and Blanche Willcox Collection consists of 19 photographic prints dating from when Captain Willcox was stationed
in Yosemite National Park in 1899 as well as a nativemade necklace. The photographs show various activities at the cavalry
encampment at Camp A. E. Wood as well as visits to Glacier Point and Yosemite Valley.
Born in Detroit, Elon Farnsworth Willcox was the son of General Orlando B.
Willcox, a career army officer who later received the Medal of Honor for his gallantry at the Battle of Bull Run during the
Civil War. Following in his father’s footsteps, Elon Willcox graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1878
and was initially assigned to his father’s regiment, the 12th Infantry, then stationed in Arizona. He transferred to the 6th
Cavalry in 1882 and was promoted to first lieutenant in 1886, serving four years as the regimental adjutant. Following the
death of his first wife, Willcox married Blanche C. Erdt in 1895. He was promoted to captain in 1897 and appointed as the
military advisor to the governor of Colorado to assist with the organization of the Colorado Volunteers for the Spanish American
War. In June 1899, Captain Willcox and his Troop F were transferred from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to the Presidio of San
Francisco, California, from where they were ordered to Yosemite National Park for three months. He and his troop returned
to Yosemite the following summer to continue patrolling the park. Between 1901 to 1906, he and Troop F served overseas in
the Philippines, China, and Japan. Elon Willcox retired in 1907 as a major in the 4th Cavalry, settling with his wife in
Los Angeles. After her husband’s death, Blanche Willcox remained in their home in Los Angeles.
Sources: Letter, Blanche V. Willcox to Don Hubbard, April 27, 1959, in Accession File 2138. Robert Garth Scott (ed.), The
Memoirs, Journals, and Civil War Letters of Orlando B. Willcox (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1999). Francis
B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903), 1038.
George W. Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, 3:306-307, 4:304, 5:281-282,
6:260. Los Angeles Herald, July 13, 1910 and Los Angeles Times, July 13, 1910.