Widney Family Papers mssHM 51131-51152

Gayle Richardson
The Huntington Library
January 2021
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

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-

Box 1, Folder 1-20

Widney family material 1856-1964

Scope and Contents

Box contains manuscripts, correspondence, legal documents, diaries, and a journal; locations include Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Ukiah (mssHM 51131-51149, 51152).
Box 2

Boyle Workman. The City that Grew 1935

Scope and Contents

A typescript copy of the book (mss51151).
Folder 1

Scrapbook 1935

Scope and Contents

A scrapbook of newspaper clippings related to the publication of "The City that Grew" (mss 51150).