Eldred Family Papers MS-0433
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA 92182-8050
Special Collections & University Archives
Title: Eldred Family Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MS-0433
0.21 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1908-1937
Date (bulk): 1913-1916
Language of Material:
Scope and Contents
This small collection consists mostly of correspondence from members of the Eldred family sent to Wilfred Eldred while at
school on the East Coast. There is also a diary kept by Wilfred while a student at Washington and Lee in 1908, and letters
from Wilfred to the family twenty years later. Winifred and Edith, Wilfred's sisters, and his father William Eldred wrote
long letters to Wilfred updating him on the family's activities and on life in San Diego. The family is active in the developing
city (especially in Point Loma) during important years in San Diego's history.
Correspondence is especially rich during the 1912-1916 run. Winifred's letters to her brother usually concern her teaching
responsibilities at Washington School in San Diego, questions surrounding her future education, and give vivid descriptions
of her experiences in the developing city, especially Point Loma. In 1915 she attends UC Berkeley while Wilfred is at Stanford,
and the siblings see each other frequently; she writes regarding finances and shared trips home.
William writes to Wilfred of troubles in the real estate business due to local wildfires in 1913, but details later expansion
as San Diego prepares for the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 (though the Exposition, "a sickening nuisance," is not
always smiled upon by the family).
Edith, a student at San Diego High School, is editor of the school yearbook The Russ and a champion debater on the school
team. Though Edith's letters deal with typical teenage concerns like clothes, theater performances, and friendships, she also
refers to mature topics like women's suffrage and immigration policy. Mother Eliza writes infrequently, but William's letters
mention her activities often, including her work as director of the Point Loma Club in 1913.
Later correspondence from Wilfred to his father during the late 1920s and early 1930s refer to national economic problems
during the Depression. A folder of incoming correspondence to William from 1908-1933 includes letters from authors and publishers
from his time as a book reviewer in Norfolk, Virginia.
Several notable personalities in San Diego history interacted with the family. Winifred was close friends with socialite Jessie
Ball and her sister Isabel; Jessie went on to marry into the famed DuPont family and the two remained close throughout their
lives. William was devoted to his cottage garden, and Edith notes in a 1913 letter that their father has brought home noted
botanist Kate Sessions for gardening advice. The "socialist singer" Miss O'Byrne, who apparently settled on a ranch near San
Ysidro after touring in Southern California, is also acquainted with the family.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with
the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections
is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be
submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission
is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission
of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available
for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including
but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Identification of item, folder title, box number, Eldred Family Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, San Diego
State University Library.
Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, William Eldred moved his family to San Diego in the first decade of the twentieth century.
Though he was a book reviewer in Norfolk for the Ledger-Dispatch, in San Diego he changed careers and worked for the San Diego
Securities Company (owned by city fathers A. P. Spalding and George Burnham) as a clerk.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
box 1, folder 1
Grades and School Materials, Wilfred Eldred Folder 1
box 1, folder 2
Diary, Wilfred Eldred Folder 2
box 1, folder 3
Correspondence Folder 3
box 1, folder 4
Correspondence Folder 4
box 1, folder 5
Correspondence Folder 5
box 1, folder 6
Correspondence, William Eldred Folder 6