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Finding Aid to the Woolsey Family Papers, 1875-1990 (bulk 1935-1959)
BANC MSS 99/132 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Woolsey Family Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1875-1990
    Date (bulk): 1935-1959
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 99/132 c
    Creator: Woolsey Family
    Extent: 4 cartons, 3 oversize folders 6.25 linear feet
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The collection represents the personal, familial, and business activities of three generations of the Woolsey family, a family influential from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries in Berkeley, California. The bulk of the correspondence in the Woolsey family papers is addressed to or from William Harold Woolsey and his wife, Mary Catherine Woolsey.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English

    Information for Researchers

    Access Information

    Collection is open for research.

    Conditions of Use

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .
    Any proposed reference in a publication by Karla Winkenhofer Knapp must have her explicit permission during her lifetime.
    Access to the collection is guaranteed to all members of the Woolsey family.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Woolsey Family Papers, BANC MSS 99/132 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternative Form of Materials Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Removed or Separated Material

    Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Hart, Nellie
    Robson, Francis Shattuck, 1885-1949
    Shattuck, Francis Kittridge
    Woolsey, Mary Catherine, b. 1897
    Woolsey, Rosa Morse, b. 1861
    Woolsey, William Edgar, 1854-1939
    Woolsey, William Harold, 1900-1956
    Woolsey, William Harold, 1931-
    Young, Sally Woolsey, 1929-
    Shattuck family
    Woolsey Family
    Woolsey family--Archives
    Land tenure--California--Alameda County
    Landowners--California--Alameda County
    Real property--California--Alameda County--Maps
    Berkeley (Calif.)--History
    Berkeley (Calif.)--Maps
    Shattuck Hotel (Berkeley, Calif.)
    Cadastral maps.
    Family papers

    Administrative Information

    The Woolsey Family Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Helene Woolsey on August 27, 1998.
    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Jae Mauthe in 2012.

    Biography/Organization History

    William Edgar Woolsey was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1854 to Ezra Woodhull and Martha Ann Woolsey. The E.W. Woolsey family moved to California in 1868, renting homes and land in Oakland and Berkeley until 1877 when they purchased 200 acres in Sonoma County, 9 miles from the city of Santa Rosa. W. E. Woolsey graduated from Oakland High School and attended the University of California, Berkeley (then the College of California) for three years. W. E. Woolsey married Rosa Livingstone (born 1861) the niece of Francis Kittredge and Rosa Morse Shattuck in 1884. The couple settled on the Woolsey family ranch in Sonoma County where W.E. Woolsey was instrumental in organizing the first Prune Growers Association in Sonoma County as well as the first fruit growers cooperative in the State - the California Cured Fruit Association.
    After the death of Francis K. Shattuck in 1906, W. E. and Rosa Woolsey sold the Sonoma ranch and moved to Berkeley to manage the Shattuck estate for Rosa M. Shattuck. The Woolseys inherited the Shattuck home at 2216 Shattuck Avenue after the death of Rosa M. Shattuck in 1908. The estate’s grounds were bounded by Shattuck Avenue, Allston Way, Milvia Street, and Kittredge Street. As president of the Shattuck Hotel Association, incorporated in 1907, W.E. Woolsey carried out Francis K. Shattuck’s plans to build a magnificent hotel in Berkeley, erecting the Shattuck Hotel at Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way. Construction on the hotel began in 1909 and was completed in 1913. In 1910, W.E. and Rosa Woolsey donated the land at Allston Way and Milvia Street for the construction of the YMCA building. In 1919, W.E. and Rosa Woolsey sold the Shattuck Hotel – and the block bounded by Shattuck Avenue, Allston Way, Harold Way, and Kittredge Street – to Wallace W. Whitecotton for one million dollars and purchased 2,000 acres of the Leland Stanford Ranch at Vina, in Tehama County, California.
    W.E. Woolsey was director of the First National Bank of Berkeley, first clerk and charter member of the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, and member of the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Association, the Elks Lodge, Durant Lodge of Mason No. 248, Berkeley Commmandery No.42 Knights of Templar, charter member of the Berkeley Country Club and the San Francisco Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. W.E. Woolsey died at his Berkeley home at 52 Oakvale Avenue in 1939.
    W.E. and Rosa Woolsey had three children: Mrs. Florence May Heidt (born 1893), Mrs. Frances Shattuck Robson (born 1885), and William Harold Woolsey (born 1900). In 1924, after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, William Harold Woolsey (a.k.a. “Hap” and “Hatch”) took charge of the family ranch in Vina, California. He also managed the Woolsey family land corporation, Woolsey, Robson, and Heidt. (Frederick T. Robson and Horace Heidt were W.H. Woolsey’s brothers-in-law).
    William Harold Woolsey married Mary Catherine Hart (born 1897) in 1928. They had two children: William Harold Woolsey Jr. (born 1931) and Mrs. Sally Young (born 1929). The Woolsey family papers were donated to the Bancroft Library by Helene S. Woolsey, the wife of William H. Woolsey Jr.

    Scope and Content Note

    The collection represents the personal, familial, and business activities of three generations of the Woolsey family, a family influential from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries in Berkeley, California. The bulk of the correspondence in the Woolsey family papers is addressed to or from William Harold Woolsey and his wife, Mary Catherine Woolsey. Materials also include the correspondence of their son William H. Woolsey, Jr. (often referred to as "Bill”) and their daughter Sally. Nellie G. Hart was the mother of Mary Catherine Woolsey and figures prominently in much of the personal correspondence. The collection provides detailed genealogical information for the Woolsey family as well as the Shattuck, Livingstone and Robson families.
    Business records, including those of the Shattuck Hotel Association and Berkeley Tract Maps as well as records from Stanford Vina Ranch in Tehama County, California, are included in the Family Business Papers Series. Records of the Woolsey family properties in Berkeley contain financial, legal and narrative reports, documenting their important influence on the city of Berkeley.