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Widney Family Papers
mssHM 51131-51152  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Widney family papers
    Creator: Widney (Family)
    Identifier/Call Number: mssHM 51131-51152
    Physical Description: 2.4 Linear Feet (2 boxes and 1 folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1856-1964
    Date (bulk): 1868-1935
    Abstract: A collection of 19th and 20th century diaries and legal documents related to the Widney family of Los Angeles, California.
    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]. Widney family papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from Mrs. Frances Widney Workman, 1958-1969.

    Biographical / Historical

    The Widney family, through their business affairs and their civic involvement, played a significant part in the development of Los Angeles beginning in the 1860s through the early part of the 20th century.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection of 45 items consists primarily of diaries, reminiscences and legal documents that relate to Widney family history and the history of Los Angeles and its environs during the last quarter of the 19th century. Subjects include: Widney-Workman family history, the Mormons in Illinois, an overland journey to California in 1856 (recorded in a journal kept by Sarah Johnston Barnes), the anti-Chinese riot of November 1871 in Los Angeles, and education and religion in late 19th century Los Angeles. There is also a typescript copy of Boyle Workman's book, The City that Grew, which traces the history of Los Angeles from the time of the Workman-Rowland party to 1935; additionally, there is a scrapbook of newspaper clippings related to the book. Persons represented in the collection include Sarah Johnston Barnes, Robert Maclay Widney, Mary Barnes Widney, Martha Frances Widney Workman, and Boyle Workman.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Peter Blodgett, August 1985. In 2021, Gayle Richardson created the finding aid derived from a legacy in-house finding aid.


    Arranged chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chinese -- California -- Los Angeles
    Mormons -- Illinois -- History -- 19th century
    Overland journeys to the Pacific
    Real property -- California -- Los Angeles
    Riots -- California -- Los Angeles
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
    Diaries -- California -- Los Angeles
    Family papers -- California -- Los Angeles
    Reminiscences -- California -- Los Angeles
    Barnes, Sarah Johnston
    Widney, Mary Barnes, 1844-1924
    Widney, R. M. (Robert Maclay), 1838-1929
    Workman, Boyle, 1861-1942
    Workman, Martha Frances Widney, 1874-