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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Jack Family Papers (circa 1860-1969 with bulk dates of 1860-1915)
    Dates: circa 1860-1969 (bulk 1860-1915)
    Collection Number: MS0014
    Creator/Collector: Robert Edgar Jack Howard V. Jack Nellie Hollister Jack
    Extent: 44 document boxes, 1 Paige box, monographs cataloged separately.
    Online items available
    Repository: California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. Special Collections and Archives
    San Luis Obispo, California 93407
    Abstract: Correspondence, business records, and photographs relating to the Jack Family and San Luis Obispo, California.
    Language of Material: English


    Collection is open to researchers by appointment. For more information on visiting, access policies, and reproduction requests, please visit our Reference Services page online at http://lib.calpoly.edu/search-and-find/collections-and-archives/reference-services/.

    Publication Rights

    Digital copies are provided to researchers for the purpose of study, research, and personal use only, unless otherwise specified in writing. Materials that are the property of Cal Poly Special Collections and Archives require written permission prior to publication. No complete collection may be reproduced. For print and online publication, please visit our Reproduction Services page online at http://lib.calpoly.edu/support/sca-policies/reproduction/. Special Collections and Archives reserves the right to review all reproduction requests and to withhold permission if scanning would endanger the material, would violate copyright law, or would violate institutional restrictions.

    Preferred Citation

    Jack Family Papers (circa 1860-1969 with bulk dates of 1860-1915). California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. Special Collections and Archives

    Acquisition Information


    Biography/Administrative History

    Jack Family History The pioneering that established San Luis Obispo County’s extensive ranching industry is exemplified in the chronicle of the Robert Edgar Jack family. Upholding the family ranching tradition are the two daughters and son of Robert Edgar Jack, and seven grandchildren. These family members are Gertrude M. wife of Charles K. Kaetzel, and their three daughters and son; Miss Ethel E., Howard V., and the son and two daughters of R. E. Jack, Jr., deceased. Howard V. Jack operates the family Cholame Ranch of 56,000 acres. Robert Edgar Jack, pioneer rancher who established the Jack family in San Luis Obispo County, was born near the Kennebec River, Maine, in September, 1841, member of a seafaring family for generations back. A graduate of Wesleyan Seminary, Kent’s Hill, Kennebec County, Maine, he became accountant for William J. Dewey and Company, New York City, a shipping and commission house, at the age of 21. A member of the New York militia, he joined the 56th New York Infantry during the Civil War and saw service in quelling the negro riots in New York City and in the Battle of Gettysburg. While with the commission house, however, Robert Edgar Jack had received a letter that shaped his career. Addressed to the business house, it stated that the writer, Colonel W. W. Hollister, of the San Justo Ranch, near the present location of the city of Hollister, California, had need for an accountant and secretary. At the close of the Civil War Robert Edgar Jack accepted Colonel Hollister’s offer and headed west. In 1858 Colonel Hollister and his brother, Joseph Hubbard Hollister, had left their Ohio home, collected a band of 12,000 sheep in Missouri and had driven their flocks across the Plains to California, stopping for a short time in New Mexico. From the time of their arrival the name of Hollister has been written large in California history. Robert Edgar Jack was associated with Colonel Hollister in operating the San Justo Ranch until subdivision of this property was begun. Together they then purchased the Cholame Ranch, mostly in northern San Luis Obispo county, with a portion in Monterey county. In 1870 Robert Edgar Jack married Nellie Hollister, daughter of Joseph Hubbard Hollister. A visitor after they had become established was Captain Robert Jack, of Kennebec, Maine, father of Robert Edgar Jack, who sailed his ship around the Horn to San Francisco to be with them and at the conclusion of his stay sailed back around the Horn, homeward bound. Following the death of Colonel Hollister, Robert Edgar Jack purchased the Hollister interest in the Cholame Ranch, which since this time has been more familiarly known as the “Jack Ranch,” and soon became known as the “largest” wool grower in Central California. As the county developed and commerce grew, Robert Edgar Jack, with William D. Beebee and others, organized the County Bank of San Luis Obispo and for some years was interested in banking in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Santa Maria and Lompoc. Active in politics he served as councilman in San Luis Obispo and in 1892, was delegate to the National Republican Convention in Minneapolis which nominated Benjamin Harrison for President. An old Spanish grant, the Cholame Ranch included 27,000 acres in use principally as stock range lands when it was taken over by Robert Edgar Jack and Colonel Hollister. During their operations it was increased to more than twice this acreage. With operations changing through the years, cattle have replaced sheep and sections of the extensive acreage cultivated and planted to wheat and diversified crops. -- Source: History of San Luis Obispo County by Senator Chris N. Jespersen, Editor 1939

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Jack Family Papers contain correspondence, business records, and photographs relating to the Jack Family of San Luis Obispo, California. The collection is unarranged. The collection was reordered chronologically prior to coming to Special collections. The collection was moved to Special Collections in 1982 as a long-term loan by the City of San Luis Obispo. In 2011, the City of San Luis Obispo deeded the papers to Special Collections permanently.

    Indexing Terms

    Robert Edgar Jack
    Howard V. Jack
    Nellie Hollister Jack
    San Luis Obispo, California
    Business records