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James De Barth Shorb Papers: Finding Aid
mssShorb papers  
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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. Subject include: the Shorb, Wilson, and Patton families, David Jacks, Mariano Vallejo, Santa Catalina Island, the Mount Wilson Observatory, California government and politics, African Americans and the Chinese in California, agriculture, the citrus fruit industry, Indians of California, irrigation, lend tenure, mining, railroads, ranching, water rights, and the wine industry. The collection also documents the history and development of the following California cities: Alhambra, Elsinore, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Ramona, San Gabriel, San Marino, and Wilmington.
James De Barth Shorb (1842-1896), an attorney and civil engineer from Maryland, came to California in 1864. After his marriage to Maria de Jesus Wilson in 1867, Shorb joined his father-in-law, Benjamin Davis Wilson, in the development of their extensive land holdings in San Marino and Pasadena, and in the founding of the San Gabriel Winery. Shorb constructed and was president of the San Gabriel Valley Railroad and the Alhambra Railroad. In 1871, Shorb created the Lake Vineyard Land and Water Company, and in 1874, Shorb acquired a large tract of land consisting of the modern day San Marino and Pasadena city borders and part of present-day Alhambra. He was active in many business ventures and served as Los Angeles County treasurer in 1892. James and Maria had 11 children: Maria Inez Shorb Buck (1868-1933), James De Barth Shorb, Jr. (1870-1907), Margaret Nina Shorb (1871-1875), Edith Shorb Steele (1872-1954), Ramona Maria Shorb Murtaugh (1874-1921), “Benito” Shorb (1876-1877), Joseph Campbell Shorb (1876-1877), Ethel Rebecca Shorb (1880-1959), Donald McMeal Shorb (1883-1933), Norbert Newlands Shorb (1887-1951), and Bernardo Yorba Shorb (1888-1928). Their daughter Ethel Rebecca Shorb, who is a chief figure in parts of the collection, lived in San Francisco and was the Society Editor for The Argonaut Magazine.
10,844 items in 149 boxes
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