Finding Aid to the Jennie C. Davis Collection MS.680

Finding aid prepared by Holly Rose Larson
Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90065-5030
2012 November 7

Title: Jennie C. Davis Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS.680
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.1 linear feet (1 folder)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1893-1908
Date (inclusive): 1893-1987
Abstract: This collection includes copies of some of Jennie C. Davis' correspondence and poems, as well as copies of photographs and some biographical material. Correspondence is dated 1893-1908, and includes letters sent to Davis from Charles F. Lummis, Maynard Dixon, Jack London, and Charmian London (Mrs. Jack London).
creator: Davis, Jennie Cook, 1851-1946
creator: Dixon, Maynard, 1875-1946
creator: London, Charmian
creator: London, Jack, 1876-1916
creator: Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928.
creator: McDowell , Don

Related Archival Materials

Jennie Cook Davis Papers, Huntington Digital Library, San Marino, California.

Biographical note

Emma Jane Cook Davis (aka Jennie C. Davis, aka J.C. Davis, aka Mrs. Herbert Benton Davis) was born on October 17, 1851 in White Pigeon, Michigan. Davis lived in various locations growing up. At the age of four, her family moved to Iowa. When she was fourteen, they moved to Indiana. In 1873 she married a local friend, Herbert Benton Davis. The couple lived in Indiana from 1874 to 1877 where their first two daughters were born. Winifred Lawrence was born on October 30, 1875 and sometime in 1876 a second daughter was born, Jessie, but she died on August 1, 1877. The Davises moved to Michigan after Herbert Davis secured a job with the railroad as a relief agent. Jennie Davis earned extra money throughout the 1870s and 1880s as a newspaper reporter and sketch artist for various local newspapers. In 1879 their last child, Edith, was born. They lived in Chicago for about a year and then lived in Wisconsin from 1881 to 1887. The Davises moved to California permanently in 1894. Herbert Davis was able to find work with the Santa Fe railroad and Jennie Davis contributed to the income through her newspaper work. Between 1894 and 1908, Herbert Davis was employed at various train stations: Los Angeles; Inglewood; Highland; Burcham in 1898 where Jennie was the postmaster; Summit; and Elsinore. Their final station was at Devore, where Herbert was station agent and Jennie was the postmaster until his retirement in 1928. Jennie C. Davis contributed to various local newspapers and journals including The Los Angeles Times, The Land of Sunshine, San Bernardino Sun, and Santa Fe Magazine. Her work was praised by Jack London, Charles F. Lummis, Maynard Dixon, Harry Chandler, John Burroughs, Eugene Field, George Francis Train, and John Steven McGroarty. Source:

Historical note

Idah Meacham Strobridge established the Artemisia Bindery in Los Angeles circa 1901.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes copies of some of Jennie C. Davis' correspondence and poems. Correspondence is dated 1893-1908, and includes letters sent to Davis from Charles F. Lummis, Maynard Nixon, Jack London, and Charmian London (Mrs. Jack London). The collection also includes copies of several of Davis' poems and several copy prints of photographs, including one of Turbese and Amado Lummis (P.33489) and two copies each of two photographs of the den at Artemisia, located at 231 East Avenue 41. This collection also includes a letter from Davis' grandson Don McDowell to Librarian Daniela Moneta with historical information on Davis.

Preferred citation

Jennie C. Davis Collection, 1893-1987, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.680.

Processing history

Processed by Library staff after 1981. Finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Processing Archivist, 2012 November 7, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commissions (NHPRC).


Donated to the Library by Don McDowell, 1987 April 1.


Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.


Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit or contact library staff at

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Artemisia Bindery.
Poets -- California -- San Joaquin Valley
Poets -- United States