Finding Aid to the James Rolph, Jr. Papers

Finding aid prepared by Laurie Skophammer
California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
© 2008

Finding Aid to the James Rolph, Jr. Papers, 1904-1934, bulk 1911-1930

Collection number: MS 1818

California Historical Society

North Baker Research Library

San Francisco, California
Processed by:
Laurie Skophammer
Encoded by:
Maureen Carey, UCSC OAC Unit
© 2008 California Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: James Rolph, Jr. papers
Dates: 1904-1934,
Date (bulk): bulk 1911-1930
Collection Number: MS 1818
Creator: Rolph, James, 1869-1934
Repository: California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
Physical Description:
Extent: 97 boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 34 volumes
(circa 69.0 linear feet)
Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
Abstract: The papers of James Rolph, Jr. include material from his five consecutive terms as San Francisco mayor from 1912-1931. Issues and events affecting the city that are reflected in the papers include: the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE); World War I; the 1918 influenza epidemic; and business and labor relations. Also well represented are the citywide efforts, headed by Rolph, to rebuild the city's infrastructure following the 1906 earthquake and fire, including the establishment of municipal railway and water systems; construction projects including City Hall and the Civic Center; and regional transportation, including streets, highways, transbay crossings and the airport. The bulk of the collection consists of routine mayoral correspondence, including requests for letters of reference, permits, licenses, appointments, and employment as well as correspondence with city departments, state and federal agencies. Included are eight mayoral appointment books, a record book of election workers, and scrapbooks of clippings. Also contains campaign material from his mayoral elections and scrapbooks from Rolph's term as governor; minutes and financial records (1914-1927) from his companies, James Rolph and Company and Rolph Navigation and Coal Company; and family correspondence.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James Rolph, Jr. Papers, MS 1818, California Historical Society.

Alternative Forms of Material Available

There are no alternate forms of this collection.

Additional Notes on Collection

Some materials may be moldy. Researchers should use caution when handling these materials.

Related Material

James Rolph, Jr. Papers, MS 1380

Separated Materials

Photograph album containing photographs of San Francisco City Hall and Civic Center, circa 1913-1916, has been transferred to the Photography Collection, shelved as PC-PA 036.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Rolph, James, 1869-1934--Archives
San Francisco (Calif.). Mayor (1912-1931 : Rolph)
Water-supply--California--San Francisco
Water-supply--California--Hetch Hetchy Valley
Public works--California--San Francisco
Street-railroads--California--San Francisco
World War, 1914-1918--California--San Francisco
Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919--California--San Francisco
Labor disputes--California--San Francisco
Hetch Hetchy Reservoir (Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)--History--Sources
American Red Cross. San Francisco Chapter
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.)

Administrative Information

Custodial History

There is no verifiable custodial history for the papers of James Rolph. They are believed to have been recovered from a bin outside City Hall circa 1950 and transferred to the California Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Fourteen scrapbooks were given to the CHS by the Bancroft Library in 1973.
Six gubernatorial scrapbooks and one unprocessed carton, donated to the Bancroft Library on November 29, 1966 by Rolph's son, James, were added to the collection in 1989.


No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Laurie Skophammer in 2008.

Biographical Information

James Rolph, Jr., known as "Sunny Jim", served as mayor of San Francisco from 1912 to 1931, resigning only to become governor of California for one term before his death in 1934. Born on August 23, 1869, in a home on Minna Street "South of the Slot," Rolph was the oldest of seven children. His father was from London and his mother from Edinburgh; they met on board ship coming to America and married when they reached San Francisco. Rolph attended public primary schools in San Francisco and graduated from Trinity School in 1888. The family lived near the intersection of 21st and Guerrero Streets in the Mission district during this time; an older neighbor, Matt I. Sullivan, befriended the young man and became his life-long advisor. Rolph started working while a still a student, selling newspapers and performing various odd jobs. After graduation he was employed by De Witt, Kittle & Co. for 12 years, where he learned the shipping business. Rolph's mother died when he was 20, and he helped raise his brothers and sisters (William, George, Ronald, Mildred, Elizabeth Jane, and Thomas) prior to marrying Miss Annie Marshall Reid, the daughter of a Mission district businessman, on June 26, 1900. Daughter Annette was born in 1901, followed by a son, James, in 1904, and daughter Georgina in 1905. Their home at 25th and San Jose served as the family headquarters until Rolph's death, although he also famously spent many nights in his office at City Hall.
In 1900, Rolph formed a shipping company, Hind & Rolph, with a former classmate from Trinity, George Hind, also a life-long friend, and in 1903 helped found the Mission Bank. His other, subsequent companies included Rolph Shipbuilding Company and Rolph Navigation and Coal. He served as president of the Shipowners Association of the Pacific Coast for three terms, president of the Merchant's Exchange for three years, and a trustee of the Chamber of Commerce. Following the 1906 earthquake and fire, Rolph was instrumental in establishing the Mission Relief Agency of the Red Cross. His barn at 25th and Guerrero Streets became the headquarters for distributing food and supplies unloaded at the Southern Pacific station on nearby Valencia Street. He used his personal funds to feed thousands of displaced citizens there for a number of months.
Rolph was first urged to run for mayor in 1909 but declined. In 1911, he was persuaded to enter the race by Matt I. Sullivan and Gavin McNab, head of the Democratic Party in San Francisco. An advocate of the union shop, which he employed in his own businesses, Rolph drew a great deal of support away from incumbent P.H. McCarthy, the Union Labor party candidate. In the September 26 primary Rolph received 47,417 votes to McCarthy's 27,048. Campaigning on a platform of clean government in the aftermath of the graft trials in San Francisco, his personal and professional reputation already well established throughout the community, Rolph promised not only an honest administration but to be "mayor of all the people." He took office at the age of 42 on January 8, 1912, for the first of his five terms.
Rolph's initial years as mayor were a whirlwind of activity, culminating in the astonishing Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. The fair brought world-wide attention to the rebirth of the city, which had been virtually destroyed less than 10 years earlier. Rolph's first re-election campaign occurred during the midst of the fair, and there was never any doubt that he would prevail over his major opponent, former mayor Eugene Schmitz. Although his second term was equally eventful, Rolph was also diligently pursuing his private interests. With the impending involvement of the U.S. in World War I, Rolph focused on shipbuilding. Already a millionaire prior to becoming mayor, his wealth significantly increased as he provided ships and tugs for ocean towing. These were built both in San Francisco and in Oakland at the Moore & Scott yards owned by Rolph's sister Mildred's husband, Joseph P. Moore. He formed the Rolph Shipbuilding Company, and in 1917 bought the Bendixsen shipyards in Humboldt, California.
In February 1918 he went to Washington, D.C. to meet with the US Shipping Board for the necessary approval to build wooden ships for the French government. That year Rolph also announced his candidacy for governor of California, seeking the nomination of both the Republican and Democratic parties, which was permitted at that time. Rolph won the Democratic nomination but not the Republican, and ultimately his candidacy was challenged since by law he could not be the candidate of another party unless he had also won the nomination of his own. At the same time, the U.S. Shipping Board retracted their authorization to build ships for the French government and would not permit him to sell the ships to any other countries, for diplomatic reasons. Rolph returned to Washington to protest this decision, which he viewed as politically motivated, but his appeal was unsuccessful. When World War I ended in November 1918, Rolph was left with no opportunity to recoup the significant investments he had made in this venture, and he was faced with growing debt. Despite his personal difficulties, Rolph went to New York to welcome the troops home, followed by a big parade in San Francisco in the spring of 1919, and was quite involved with efforts to find employment and housing for the returning San Franciscans. In the fall of that year, Rolph again faced Eugene Schmitz in his re-election and won.
During the 1920s, Rolph became less involved in city affairs, and focused on his ceremonial role. With his charisma and dapper appearance, including a boutonniere and his handmade boots, as well as his exceptional memory and genuine affection for people, Rolph was the consummate host throughout his years in office. Requiring little sleep, he maintained a punishing schedule of public appearancescutting ribbons, laying cornerstones, and inaugurating streetcar lines, often garbed in the appropriate costumes. He belonged to a multitude of organizations, among them the Masons, Elks, Odd Fellows, and Improved Order of Redmen. He was a member of the exclusive Pacific Union and Bohemian Clubs, as well as the Olympic, Commonwealth and Press Clubs. He also joined the NAACP in the 1920s and was an honorary member of several labor unions, and was a lifelong Republican.
Rolph was known for his personal generosity, approachability and friendliness, offering rides to people on his way to City Hall and sharing lunch with the workers on the docks. He attended the Church of St. John the Evangelist at 15th Street and Julian, although he also supported many other religious groups as well. For relaxation, he spent vacations and any free time at his ranch off Skyline Boulevard down the peninsula, where he enjoyed swimming, riding horses and hunting deer, as well as entertaining. During the 1920s, his health began to suffer from the effects of his rich diet and perpetual activity, although the full effects were not apparent until he became governor following a campaign where he visited all of the 58 counties in California personally.
Rolph's success as mayor of San Francisco did not carry over when he moved to the Capitol and was confronted with the enormous challenges that accompanied the Depression years. His personal popularity suffered when he refused to pardon Tom Mooney in 1931, and the final blow was his infamous approval of the 1933 mob lynching of the two men held responsible for the kidnap and murder of the son of a well-known San Jose businessman. At the beginning of 1934 Rolph suffered a stroke as he began his campaign for the next term; he was kept at Saint Francis Hospital in San Francisco for a month, but did not recover and soon afterward announced that he would not continue his campaign. He went to recuperate at the Riverside Ranch in Santa Clara, owned by his friend, Walter Linforth, and died there on June 2, 1934. The people of San Francisco turned out in the rain by the thousands to pay tribute to Mayor Rolph in City Hall for the last time. He is buried at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Colma.


Flamm, Jerry. Hometown San Francisco: Sunny Jim, Phat Willie, and Dave.
Issel, William and Cherny, Robert. San Francisco 1865-1932: Politics, Power and Urban Development.
Worthen, James. Governor James Rolph and the Great Depression in California.

Biography/Organization History

Chronology of Significant San Francisco Events Represented in the Collection

1911 October 14 City hosts President Taft for Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) ground-breaking.
1911 September 26 Rolph elected Mayor of San Francisco.
1912 March 28 Bond issue ($800,000) approved to acquire land for Civic Center.
1912 December 10 Special election held for 32 proposed charter amendments.
1912 December 28 First day of service for first municipally-owned transportation agency.
1913 April 22 Lower Market Street Agreement adopted, outside tracks for Muni, inside tracks for United Railroad.
1913 June 3 Last horse car of Municipal Railway, driven by Mayor Rolph.
1913 June 25 Geary Street line to the beach begins service.
1913 August 26 Bond issue approved for Muni expansion, mostly for Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE).
1913 October 25 City Hall cornerstone placed.
1914 August 15 Van Ness Avenue line begins service.
1914 September 7 Potrero Avenue line begins service.
1914 November 3 Removal of cemeteries ordinance rejected by voters.
1914 December 11 Stockton Street Tunnel completed - first tunnel for automobiles.
1915 January 9 Exposition Hall dedicated.
1915 Febuary 20 Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) opens.
1915 March 16 Special election held for 36 proposed charter amendments.
1915 April 20 Special election held for Spring Valley bond measure.
1915 September Rolph elected for second term as Mayor.
1915 December 29 City Hall dedicated - architect's competition won by Bakewell and Brown.
1916 January Rolph suffers appendicitis and "breakdown."
1916 July 22 Rolph leads Preparedness Day parade, bomb explodes at 2:06 p.m.
1916 November 7 Special election held for 33 proposed charter amendments, including two-platoon system for Fire Department.
1917 February 15 Public Library dedicated.
1917 February 24 City hosts funeral of General Funston.
1917 April Rolph Shipbuilding Company purchases Bendixsen in Humboldt.
1917 July 14 Twin Peaks Tunnel dedicated.
1917 October 30 Special election held for school bonds.
1918 February 4 First Muni car travels through Twin Peaks Tunnel with Rolph at the controls.
1918 November 5 General election and vote on proposed charter amendments.
1919 April 22 Rolph organizes parade in San Francisco to welcome return of 363rd Infantry and 347th Field Artillery.
1919 July 31 Rolph awarded Cross of the Knight of the Legion of Honor by France.
1919 September 8 Rolph receives Cross of the Commander of the Royal Order of George the First from Greece.
1919 October 14 City hosts King Albert and Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, Herbert Hoover.
1919 November Rolph elected for third term as mayor.
1919 November 17 City hosts reception for President Eamon de Valera, Republic of Ireland.
1920 June 8-12 Rolph attends Republican Convention in Chicago.
1920 June 28-July 6 City hosts Democratic Convention at Exposition Hall.
1923 August 2 Death of President Harding at Palace Hotel.
1923 November Rolph elected for fourth term as mayor.
1924 October 7 Special election held for Hetch Hetchy bond measure.
1924 November 11 Palace of the Legion of Honor opens to the public.
1925 July Rolph travels to Washington D.C. to gain support for Hetch Hetchy funding
1927 June 14 Special election held for five propositions: Bernal Cut, War Memorial Halls, Municipal Railway Extensions, Spring Valley Water Company Purchase, and refuse management.
1927 November Rolph re-elected for fifth term as Mayor.
1928 May 1 Special election held for bond measures for Hetch Hetchy completion and Spring Valley purchase.
1928 August 28 Special election held for charter amendment creating Utility Commission.
1928 October 21 Sunset Tunnel opens.
1928 November 6 General election with charter amendments and bond measures for airport, aquatic park, McLaren Park.
1929 June 9 Celebration of completion of Great Highway and Ocean Beach Esplanade.
1929 November 5 General municipal election with propositions to acquire China Beach and extend Marina Park; garbage management, including municipal collection and incineration.
1931 January 7 Rolph resigns as Mayor of San Francisco to become Governor of California.
1934 Spring Rolph suffers stroke and is unable to continue as Governor.
1934 June 2 Rolph dies in Santa Clara County.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The papers of James Rolph, Jr. include material from his five consecutive terms as San Francisco mayor from 1912-1931. Issues and events affecting the city that are reflected in the papers include: the Panama Pacific International Exposition(PPIE); World War I; the 1918 influenza epidemic; and business and labor relations. Also well represented are the citywide efforts, headed by Rolph, to rebuild the city's infrastructure following the 1906 earthquake and fire, including the establishment of municipal railway and water systems; construction projects including City Hall and the Civic Center; and regional transportation, including streets, highways, transbay crossings and the airport. The bulk of the collection consists of routine mayoral correspondence, including requests for letters of reference, permits, licenses, appointments, and employment as well as correspondence with city departments, state and federal agencies. Included are eight mayoral appointment books, a record book of election workers, and scrapbooks of clippings. Also contains campaign material from his mayoral elections and scrapbooks from Rolph's term as governor; minutes and financial records (1914-1927) from his companies, James Rolph and Company and Rolph Navigation and Coal Company; and family correspondence.
Mayor Rolph's papers, the product of his unprecedented 22 years in office, encompass the enormous changes in the city of San Francisco during two extremely eventful decades. The collection documents the many tangible accomplishments of his administration, and reflects the processes through which they were achieved, including committee work to promote bond measures and contributions of the business community and labor organizations. His papers not only illuminate the alliances between elected and/or appointed officials and the many active civic and business organizations in San Francisco, they also provide a window into the everyday lives of city residents along with the public service of its more prominent citizens.
The Mayor's Office files (Series 1) contain incoming and outgoing correspondence handled by the Mayor's Office secretarial staff, including his long-time secretary and assistant, Edward Rainey. Correspondents include: individuals, writing on a wide variety of topics, often requesting help with jobs, introductions, and all manner of personal problems; civic and neighborhood improvement groups communicating their opinions and platforms; mayors of other cities as well as representatives of state and national organizations on a range of issues; and leaders of nations around the world, largely the result of the PPIE. Also included in Series 1 are Rolph's numerous proclamations and statements for the press; scrapbooks documenting his years in office; invitations; appointment books; notes and organizational material on events the city hosted in honor of various holidays or visiting dignitaries; requests for permits for a wide range of activities; general materials related to running the mayor's office; and miscellaneous file material, record books and correspondence inherited from Rolph's predecessor, P. H. McCarthy.
The City Agency Files (Series 2) consist of correspondence, reports, memos and other documents generated in the course of the Mayor's interaction with the various city departments. Correspondence from city residents or local organizations regarding specific topics, complaints, and concerns were forwarded to the appropriate agency, and can be found here. In general, these files contain information about personnel and agency management, including departmental reports, staffing issues and vacancies, and the implementation of civil service guidelines, which became more uniform during Rolph's administration.
Civic Projects and Issues (Series 3) contains material related to projects and recurring issues that were not the exclusive domain of any particular city agency. These include the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), the city's water supply, including the Hetch Hetchy project and the Spring Valley Water Company purchase, labor strikes and efforts to solve the problem of unemployment, city-wide relief efforts in response to disasters in other parts of the country and the world, as well as the work of local agencies concerned with the welfare of city residents. Records relating to the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), for which Rolph served on the Board of Directors, include correspondence throughout the planning stages, as well as general requests for information about the fair and its events, and material related to its closure and the disposition of pavilions.
Political Papers (Series 4) contains material related to state, local and national politics as well as Rolph's own re-election campaigns. It also includes correspondence regarding the Democratic convention held in San Francisco in 1920, and a portfolio containing ephemera from Rolph's term as governor.
Business and Personal Papers (Series 5) contains correspondence regarding Rolph's various business enterprises, documenting his mounting financial difficulties following World War I. His personal papers include correspondence from family and friends as well as material related to interests such as dog breeding and management of his ranch in San Mateo County.


These materials, lacking original order, were reordered chronologically sometime in the 1970s. A subsequent attempt to arrange the files was begun in the 1980s but abandoned. The material has now been organized using the file code designations of Rolph's office staff, the key to which was supplied by the available correspondence logs, and arranged on the same principles.
The papers of James Rolph, Jr. are organized into five series: Series 1: Mayor's Office; Series 2: City Agency Files; Series 3: Civic Projects and Issues; Series 4: Political Papers; Series 5: Business and Personal Papers.
Series 1, Mayor's Office, is divided into four subseries: Correspondence; Speeches and Publicity; Financial; and Office Files. Correspondence is further divided into nine sub-subseries: General Correspondence; Correspondence with Civic Organizations; Ceremonial Correspondence; Correspondence Regarding Permits; "Bug File"; State of California Correspondence; National and Federal Correspondence; Correspondence with International Consuls; and Correspondence of P.H. McCarthy. Speeches and Publicity is further divided four sub-subseries: Speeches, Proclamations, and Statements for Press; Correspondence with Press; Clippings; and Scrapbooks. Office Files are further divided into four sub-subseries: Administrative Records and Correspondence; Appointment Books; Invitations; and Public Events.
Series 2, City Agency Files, is divided into 20 subseries, based on the governmental structure of the City and County of San Francisco throughout Rolph's terms in office. These are: Board of Censorship; Board of Education; Board of Fire Commissioners; Board of Police Commissioners; Board of Supervisors; Bureau of Efficiency; Bureau of Public Works; City and County Offices; City Planning Commission; Civil Service Commission; Department of Elections/Registrar; Department of Electricity; Department of Public Health; Judicial; Park Commissioners; Playground Commission; Public Library Trustees; Public Pound/SPCA; Sealer of Weights and Measures; and Miscellaneous Agencies. Bureau of Public Works is further divided into three sub-subseries: General Files; Bureau of Architecture; Municipal Railway.
Series 3, Civic Projects and Issues, is divided into seven subseries: Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE); City Services; Transportation and Communication; Charter Amendments and Consolidation; Relief Efforts; Water; Labor and Unemployment. Relief Efforts is further divided into two sub-subseries: Relief Committees, Including Red Cross and Associated Charities.
Series 4, Political Papers, is divided into three subseries: Mayoral Campaign Materials; Gubernatorial Papers and Scrapbooks; Miscellaneous Political Papers.
Series 5, Business and Personal Papers, is divided into two subseries: Business Papers and Personal Papers.


Series 1:  Mayor's Office, 1904-1934

Physical Description: Boxes 1-49; Volumes 1-25; Oversize Box 1, folders 1-5


Arranged hierarchically. Divided into four subseries: 1.1: Correspondence; 1.2: Speeches and Publicity; 1.3: Financial; and 1.4: Office Files.

Scope and Content Note

Consists of material related to the responsibilities handled by the mayor's office, including incoming and outgoing correspondence, speeches and communication with the press, planning for public events, mayor's schedule, and office administration.

Subseries 1.1:  Correspondence, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 1-35; Oversize box 1, folders 1-3


Arranged hierarchically. Further divided into nine sub-subseries: 1.1.1: General Correspondence; 1.1.2: Correspondence with Civic Organizations; 1.1.3: Ceremonial Correspondence; 1.1.4: Correspondence Regarding Permits, 1907-1928; 1.1.5: "Bug File"; 1.1.6: State of California Correspondence; 1.1.7: National and Federal Correspondence; 1.1.8: Correspondence with International Consuls; and 1.1.9: Correspondence of P.H. McCarthy.

Scope and Content Note

Contains all routine correspondence answered by the mayor or one of his secretaries that was not designated for a specific city department or project. Also includes correspondence with mayors of other cities, state and federal agencies and representatives of international governments.

1.1.1:  General Correspondence, 1911-1928

Physical Description: Boxes 1-11


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains incoming and outgoing correspondence, including thank you notes, letters of condolence, requests for help from the mayor or personal interviews, comments and questions, and advertisements for services. Also includes calling cards and notes about visitors to the mayor's office.
Box 1, Folder 1-13

1911 April-1912 October

Box 2, Folder 1-17

1912 November-1914 May

Box 3, Folder 1-12

1914 June-1916 April

Box 4, Folder 1-12

1916 May-1918 September

Box 5, Folder 1-11

1918 October-1919 August

Box 6, Folder 1-11

1919 September-1920 September

Box 7, Folder 1-12

1920 October-1924 June

Box 8, Folder 1-11

1924 July-1925 March 17

Box 9, Folder 1-19

1925 March 18-July 10

Box 10, Folder 1-10

1925 July 11-October 22

Box 11, Folder 1-11

1925 October 23-1928 April


1.1.2:  Correspondence with Civic Organizations, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 12-14; Oversize box 1, folder 1


Arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence of a general nature with large, established civic groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and Commonwealth Club, as well as other local organizations, including neighborhood improvement groups, churches, temples and benevolent societies, labor unions, fraternal and political organizations.
Box 12, Folder 1

American Association for Labor Legislation 1912-1914

Box 12, Folder 2

American Federation of Musicians 1920-1925

Box 12, Folder 3

Asphalt Workers Local No. 84 1920

Box 12, Folder 4

California Development Association 1924-1925

Box 12, Folder 5

California Federation of Women's Clubs 1919-1924

Box 12, Folder 6

Californians Inc. 1924

Box 12, Folder 7

California Metal Trades Association 1912-1920

Box 12, Folder 8

California Oriental Exclusion League 1919-1920

Box 12, Folder 9

The Citizens' Alliance of San Francisco 1911-1913

Box 12, Folder 10

City and County Federation of Women's Clubs 1924-1925

Box 12, Folder 11

Civic League of Improvement Clubs and Associations 1916-1924

Box 12, Folder 12

Civil Service per diem Men's Association of SF 1920-1925

Box 12, Folder 13

Colored Men Non-Partisan League 1911-1913

Box 12, Folder 14

Colored Young Men and Women's Industrial Christian Association, Inc. 1919

Box 12, Folder 15

Commonwealth Club 1911-1926

Box 12, Folder 16

Divisadero Street Improvement Association 1912-1915

Box 12, Folder 17

Down Town Association 1913-1924

box OV Box 1, Folder 1

Petition from Downtown Merchants 1914 January 6

Box 12, Folder 18

The Eugenic-Ethic Association 1912

Box 12, Folder 19

The Eureka Valley Improvement Association 1911-1925

Box 12, Folder 20

Excelsior Homestead Progressive Association/Central Council Greater Excelsior District 1912-1924

Box 12, Folder 21

Famous Players-Lasky Corporation 1924

Box 12, Folder 22

Fillmore Street Improvement Association 1911-1924

Box 12, Folder 23

Golden Gate Valley Improvement Association 1913-1916

Box 12, Folder 24

Good Government League 1911-1915

Box 12, Folder 25

Haight and Ashbury District Improvement Association 1912-1920

Box 12, Folder 26

Home Industry League of California 1911-1916

Box 12, Folder 27

Improved Order of Red Men 1913-1926

Box 12, Folder 28

Knights of Columbus 1921

Box 12, Folder 29

Knights of the Royal Arch 1911-1915

Box 12, Folder 30

The Lion's Club 1920

Box 12, Folder 31

Loyal Order of Moose of the World 1918-1924

Box 12, Folder 32

Municipal Civil Service Employees' Association 1913-1914

Box 12, Folder 33

The Municipal Ownership Association 1911-1912

Box 12, Folder 34

Native Daughters/Sons of the Golden West 1912-1924

Box 12, Folder 35

North Beach Promotion Association 1919-1924

Box 12, Folder 36

North Central Improvement Association 1912-1923

Box 12, Folder 37

Oceanside Community Council 1920-1925

Box 12, Folder 38

Ocean View Improvement Club 1911-1921

Box 12, Folder 39

Pacific Better Homes Bureau 1924

Box 12, Folder 40

Public Spirit Club of San Francisco 1922-1924

Box 12, Folder 41

San Francisco Advertising Club 1918-1924

Box 13, Folder 1-6

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 1912-1925

Box 13, Folder 7-9

San Francisco Convention League 1911-1927

Box 13, Folder 10

San Francisco Labor Council 1912-1930

Box 13, Folder 11

San Francisco Secretaries' Club 1923-1924

Box 13, Folder 12

Socialist Party 1912-1913

Box 13, Folder 13

"Shriner's" /Islam Temple 1921-1925

Box 13, Folder 14

Southern Promotion Association 1921-1926

Box 13, Folder 15

Sutro Heights Improvement Association 1923

Box 13, Folder 16

Travelers' Aid Society 1914-1917

Box 13, Folder 17

Twin Peaks Improvement Club 1911-1921

Box 13, Folder 18

The Union League Club 1911-1912

Box 13, Folder 19

Westwood Park Association 1921

Box 13, Folder 20

Women's Overseas Service League 1923-1924

Box 14, Folder 1-3

Religious Organizations 1911-1925

Box 14, Folder 4-7

Miscellaneous Organizations 1911-1930


1.1.3:  Ceremonial Correspondence, 1911-1926

Physical Description: Boxes 15-21


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains routine letters of introduction for visitors to San Francisco; requests for letters of reference from the mayor for traveling San Franciscans and job seekers; correspondence regarding favors of various kinds, including help with employment matters; and ceremonial acknowledgements.
Box 15, Folder 1-9

1911 September-1912 June

Box 16, Folder 1-9

1912 July-1914 September

Box 17, Folder 1-11

1914 October-1916 December

Box 18, Folder 1-10

1917 January-1918 December

Box 19, Folder 1-12

1919 January-1920 October

Box 20, Folder 1-11

1920 November-1924 December

Box 21, Folder 1-11

1925 January-1926 December


1.1.4:  Correspondence Regarding Permits 1907-1928

Physical Description: Boxes 22-26; Volume 19; Oversize box 1, folder 2


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Permits were required for activities affecting public space, such as blasting and burning connected with construction and maintenance, street vending, taxi standing, and automobile parking. Contains correspondence and letters of reference for permit applicants as well as complaints about permit holders and requests for revocation. Permits were most frequently requested to sell flowers, fruit, birds, seasonal decorations, pencils, toys, and newspapers. Includes an April 1915 permit granted to the Keystone Comedy Company "to use any part of the City for the taking of Motion Pictures" as well as permission for the use of firecrackers to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Box 22, Folder 1-11

1911 August-1914 March

Box OV Box 1, Folder 2

Diagram of Flower Beds, Kearny and Geary 1912 July

Box 23, Folder 1-10

1914 April-1914 December

Box 24, Folder 1-14

1915 January-November

Box 25, Folder 1-14

1915 December-1920 September

Box 26, Folder 1-14

1920 October-1928 April

Volume 19

Record of Automobile and Hack Permits 1907-1923


1.1.5:  "Bug File," 1915-1930

Physical Description: Box 27, folders 1-10


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Named by Rolph's staff, the "Bug File" contains outrageous, sometimes deranged, rambling and frequently illegible letters, postcards, and pamphlets the mayor received. Correspondence with a return address was usually responded to in routine fashion with the statement that the contents had been noted. Correspondence in other languages was referred to local consulates for translation; threatening letters were referred to the Police Department.
Box 27, Folder 1-10



1.1.6:  State of California, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Box 28; Oversize box 1, folder 3


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence from various state agencies and officials on a variety of topics, including plans for addressing unemployment, building highways and bridges, and developing the port and harbor, an aquatic park and airport.
Box 28, Folder 1-5


Box 28, Folder 6-7

Board of State Harbor Commissioners 1912-1918, 1923

Box 28, Folder 8

Free Port 1919-1920

Box 28, Folder 9

Water and Power Act 1922

Box 28, Folder 10

Mission Rock 1929-1930

Box 28, Folder 11

Bay Crossing 1915-1923

Box 28, Folder 12

Social Insurance Commission 1918

Box 28, Folder 13

California State Conference Social Agencies Bulletin 1918

Box 28, Folder 14

State of California Printed Material 1920, undated

Box OV Box 1, Folder 3

State Seal 1914 October 7

Box 28, Folder 15

Mayors of Other Cities and Towns 1912-1926


1.1.7: National and Federal Correspondence, 1912-1926, 1930

Physical Description: Boxes 29-31


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence with the White House, Congress, Department of Justice and other federal agencies, such as Department of Labor and mayors of other US cities. World War I material includes correspondence with the War Department regarding mobilization plans, the draft, training camps, protection and recreation for soldiers stationed in San Francisco, prevention of venereal disease, and planning for employment and housing assistance after the war. Includes material related to the U.S. Shipping Board and tracking of American residents of foreign birth (Americanization).
Box 29, Folder 1-5

General Correspondence 1912-1930

Box 29, Folder 6

United States - President 1912, 1918-1925

Box 29, Folder 7

United States - Congress 1912-1914, 1920-1926

Box 29, Folder 8

United States - Department of Justice 1918-1921

Box 29, Folder 9

United States - Government Agencies and Departments (various) 1912-1914, 1918-1926

Box 29, Folder 10

Immigration 1916-1927, 1930


World War I

Box 30, Folder 9-11

Recommendations for Commissions 1916-1919

Box 30, Folder 12-13

Navy 1912-1925

Box 31, Folder 1

American Legion and Other Veteran's Organizations 1926-1927

Box 31, Folder 2

Draft Registration 1917-1919

Box 31, Folder 3

Presidio of San Francisco 1912-1915, 1920

Box 31, Folder 4

Camp Fremont 1918-1919

Box 31, Folder 5

War Service - Recreation and Health 1917-1925

Box 31, Folder 6

San Francisco Charter Amendment for Relief of Soldiers 1918-1924

Box 31, Folder 7-8

Employment for Returning Soldiers and Sailors 1918-1922

Box 31, Folder 9

Medals and Honors 1918, 1921-1924

Box 31, Folder 10

Memorials for Deceased Soldiers and Sailors 1921-1924

Box 31, Folder 11

Shipping 1918-1925

Box 31, Folder 12

Americanization Work 1918-1925

Box 31, Folder 13

Miscellaneous military 1916-1920, 1923

Box 30, Folder 1-2

Mayors of Cities and Towns Outside California 1912-1925

Box 30, Folder 3

National Conferences 1923-1926

Box 30, Folder 4

Honorary Memberships and Committee Appointments 1918-1920

Box 30, Folder 5

General Funston - Death and Pension 1916-1918

Box 30, Folder 6

Harding Memorial 1924

Box 30, Folder 7

Wilson Memorial 1924-1925

Box 30, Folder 8

Miscellaneous 1918-1919, 1923


1.1.8:  Correspondence with International Consuls, 1911-1925

Physical Description: Boxes 32-33


Arranged by region, then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence with representatives of international governments and prominent visitors along with material related to planning receptions and special events.
Box 32, Folder 1

Mexico and Canada 1912-1925

Box 32, Folder 2

Central America, including: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama 1913-1925

Box 32, Folder 3

South America, including: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela 1912-1925

Box 32, Folder 4

Great Britain 1911-1925

Box 32, Folder 5-6

Belgium 1912, 1914, 1918-1925

Box 32, Folder 7

Denmark 1912-1925

Box 32, Folder 8-9

France 1912-1918, 1919-1925

Box 33, Folder 1

Germany, including: The American Committee for Relief Of German Children 1912-1913, 1924

Box 33, Folder 2

Italy 1918-1925

Box 33, Folder 3

Spain and Portugal 1912-1922

Box 33, Folder 4

Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland 1912-1922

Box 33, Folder 5

China and Russia 1913-1926, 1913-1919

Box 33, Folder 6-9

Japan 1912-1925

Box 33, Folder 10

Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Tahiti, Philippines, Indochina 1913-1925

Box 33, Folder 11

Other Countries, including: Afghanistan, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Palestine, Persia, Serbia, Siam, and Turkey 1913-1922

Box 33, Folder 12

International travel 1912-1919

Box 33, Folder 13

List of Consuls in San Francisco circa 1925


1.1.9:  Correspondence of P.H. McCarthy, 1910-1911

Physical Description: Boxes 34-35


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains routine correspondence from Rolph's predecessor's final months in office, as well as City Attorney opinions and correspondence.
Box 34, Folder 1-7

1911 January-May

Box 35, Folder 1-6

1911 June

Box 35, Folder 7

City Attorney Opinions and Correspondence 1910 December-1911 August

Box 35, Folder 8

Miscellaneous circa 1911


Subseries 1.2:  Speeches and Publicity, 1907-1934

Physical Description: Boxes 36-38; Volumes 1-18; Oversize box 1, folder 4


Arranged hierarchically. Further divided into four sub-subseries: 1.2.1: Speeches, Proclamations, and Statements for Press; 1.2.2: Correspondence with Press; 1.2.3: Clippings; and 1.2.4: Scrapbooks.

Scope and Content Note

Contains Rolph's speeches and remarks for various occasions, as well as statements released from the Mayor's office and proclamations, with related correspondence, honoring people, events, products, and endeavors. Includes correspondence with members of the press, loose clippings and scrapbooks.

1.2.1:  Speeches, Proclamations and Statements for Press, 1912-1926, 1930

Physical Description: Boxes 36-37; Oversize box 1, folder 4


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Includes notes, drafts and final transcripts of speeches at public events, addresses to the Board of Supervisors, and remarks on various occasions, such as laying cornerstones and fraternal banquets. Mayor Rolph was noted for his ability to speak extemporaneously, but complete transcripts appear more frequently in his second two terms as requests for quotations for publication increased. Proclamations were often a call to community action and include correspondence requesting proclamations and designations for special weeks and days. His statements released to the press cover a vast array of subjects.
Box 36, Folder 1-10


Box 37, Folder 1-7


box OV Box 1, Folder 4

Poster: Lecture for Benefit of Youths' Directory Subject My Trip Thro' Ireland and Scotland 1915 November 2


1.2.2:  Correspondence with Press, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Box 38, folders 1-5


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence with writers and editors of local newspapers, such as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Examiner, and Bulletin, Los Angeles papers, weekly bulletins such as The Monitor, published by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and journals such as The Wasp. A frequent correspondent was Henry Hammond of the Byron Times in Contra Costa County.
Box 38, Folder 1-5



1.2.3:  Clippings, 1907, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Box 38, folders 6-16


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains loose clippings, many likely separated from the correspondence it originally accompanied.
Box 38, Folder 6-16

1907, 1911-1930


1.2.4:  Scrapbooks, 1907-1927

Physical Description: Volumes 1-18

Scope and Content Note

Mayor Rolph employed several clipping services and kept scrapbooks documenting his initial campaign in 1911 and subsequent terms in office, and his campaign and term as governor. Contents include newspaper articles from around the state as well as local papers. There is one scrapbook devoted to Islais Creek and one to the Preparedness Day Bombing.


Arranged chronologically.
Volume 1

California Clippings 1907 September-October

Volume 2

Mayoral Race 1911 August

Volume 3

India Basin and Islais Creek 1907-1911 March


Political Notes

Volume 4

1911 March-August 12

Volume 5

Includes Municipal Achievement Edition of Organized Labor, September 2, 1911 1911 August 5-September 14

Volume 6

1911 September 15-November 10

Volume 7

1911 October-1912 January 30

Volume 8

1914 October-1915 April

Volume 9

1916 May-December

Volume 10

Preparedness Day Bombing 1916 May-September


Political Notes

Volume 11

1916 December-1917 March

Volume 12

1917 March-August

Volume 13

1918 July-August

Volume 14

1918 November-1919 August

Volume 15

1919 August-1920 June

Volume 16

1920 June-1921 September

Volume 17

1923 June-November

Volume 18

1926 May-1927 July


Subseries 1.3:  Financial, 1908-1930

Physical Description: Box 39; Oversize box 1, folder 5


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains draft budgets, an incomplete series of printed budget material for the City and County, correspondence regarding the budget, and material about bond issues and holdings. There are significant gaps throughout this series.
Box 39, Folder 1-3

Budget files 1916-1920, 1922-1925

box OV Box 1, Folder 5

1913 Budget and Tax Rate Analysis 1914

Box 39, Folder 4-5

Correspondence Regarding Budget 1912-1920, 1923

Box 39, Folder 6

Budget Printed Material 1917-1920

Box 39, Folder 7-11

Bonds 1908, 1912-1930


Subseries 1.4:  Office Files, 1907-1928

Physical Description: Boxes 40-49; Volumes 20-25


Arranged hierarchically. Further divided into four sub-subseries: 1.4.1: Administrative Records and Correspondence; 1.4.2: Appointment Books; 1.4.3: Invitations; and 1.4.4: Public Events.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence related to the mayor's schedule, invitations, and planning for public events and receptions. Includes material concerning office management, personnel and equipment, administrative records and miscellaneous material, as well as drafts of correspondence, notes and calling cards. Also includes personal correspondence of Ed Rainey, the mayor's executive secretary, and assistant secretaries Eugene Shelby, Sylvester F. McAtee, and Edward F. Benedict, "Benny."

1.4.1:  Administrative Records and Correspondence, 1907-1928

Physical Description: Boxes 40-42; Volumes 20-25


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence regarding office personnel, furnishings, remodeling plans, and the mayor's automobile and traffic accidents.
Volume 20

Record of Resolutions and Ordinances Received at Mayor's Office 1907-1909

Volume 21

Record of Demands Received at Mayor's Office 1909-1911

Volume 22

Record of Resolutions and Ordinances Received at Mayor's Office 1909-1912

Volume 23

Record of Demands Received at Mayor's Office 1911-1913

Volume 24

Record of Resolutions and Ordinances Received at Mayor's Office 1912-1917

Volume 25

City Account Book 1906-1907

Box 40, Folder 1-5

Correspondence Logs 1917-1920, 1922-1928

Box 40, Folder 6-7

Administrative Correspondence 1911-1916, 1918-1923

Box 40, Folder 8

Administrative Correspondence and Notes 1924-1927, 1930

Box 40, Folder 9-11

Bonding for City Employees 1912-1920, 1923-1925



Box 40, Folder 12-13


Box 41, Folder 1-2


Box 41, Folder 3

Notes, Cards, and Envelopes 1914-1928, undated

Box 41, Folder 4

Lists and Petitions undated

Box 41, Folder 5

Printed Materials 1913-1928, undated



Box 41, Folder 6-8

Edward Rainey 1912-1926

Box 41, Folder 9

Eugene Shelby 1915-1918

Box 41, Folder 10

Sylvester J. McAtee 1913-1917

Box 41, Folder 11

Edward F. Benedict 1917-1926

Box 41, Folder 12

San Francisco Business 1921 February-March

Box 41, Folder 13

San Francisco Observer, Antioch Notes 1916, 1926

Box 41, Folder 14

Calling cards 1912-1916

Box 42, Folder 1-12

Receipts and Canceled Checks 1912 March-1925, undated


1.4.2:  Appointment Books, 1918-1919, 1924-1928

Physical Description: Boxes 43-45

Arrangement note

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contain entries made by Rolph and his secretaries regarding appointments, birthdays and anniversaries, and meetings and conferences in the Mayor's office. Includes some calling cards, notes and an undated book with names of unions and workers.
Box 43, Folder 1-3

1918-1919, 1924

Box 44, Folder 1-3


Box 45, Folder 1-2


Box 45, Folder 3

Unions and Workers' Names undated


1.4.3:  Invitations, 1911-1925

Physical Description: Boxes 46-47


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Includes invitations to social and fund-raising events of various clubs, civic groups, churches, and fraternal organizations, with a large volume of invitations in 1915 relating to PPIE. Contains correspondence regarding speaking engagements and requests for the mayor's presence at meetings. Of note are a hand-painted invitation (May 20, 1912) to a banquet for Commissioner of Cuba and an exchange of telegrams between Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Edison regarding a visit to Luther Burbank in Santa Rosa. Also includes some souvenir programs and menus.
Box 46, Folder 1-9

1911 October-1915 October

Box 47, Folder 1-14

1915 November-1925 December


1.4.4:  Public Events, 1912-1925

Physical Description: Boxes 48-49


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

The mayor's office was responsible for organizing public celebrations of holidays and special events. Contains lists of committee members appointed by Rolph to organize these occasions and correspondence regarding planning and logistics. Includes 1912-1913 correspondence regarding nomination of a committee of residents to work for civic improvement. Patriotic and religious holidays were marked by public gatherings, as well as other events such as the Path of Gold Festival of Illumination in 1916, California's Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1925 and the Portola Festival of 1913.
Box 48, Folder 1-4

Portola Festival 1913

Box 48, Folder 5-12


Box 49, Folder 1-8



Series 2:  City Agency Files, 1910-1934

Physical Description: Boxes 50-77; Oversize box 1, folders 6-12


Arranged alphabetically by agency into twenty subseries: 2.1: Board of Censorship; 2.2: Board of Education; 2.3: Board of Fire Commissioners; 2.4: Board of Police Commissioners; 2.5: Board of Supervisors; 2.6: Bureau of Efficiency; 2.7: Bureau of Public Works; 2.8: City and County Offices; 2.9: City Planning Commission; 2.10: Civil Service Commission; 2.11: Department of Elections/Registrar; 2.12: Department of Electricity; 2.13: Department of Public Health; 2.14: Judicial; 2.15: Park Commissioners; 2.16: Playground Commission; 2.17: Public Library Trustees; 2.18: Public Pound/SPCA; 2.19: Sealer of Weights and Measures; and 2.20: Miscellaneous Agencies.

Scope and Content Note

Contains routine correspondence received by the mayor and designated for specific city agency files. Also includes some intradepartmental communications as well as correspondence between city agencies. In general, includes material related to administration of the agency, such as personnel matters, including filling vacancies, and requests for leave of absence, and material related to the department's areas of responsibility, such as departmental reports and meeting minutes.

Subseries 2.1:  Board of Censorship, 1911-1916

Physical Description: Box 50, folder 1


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains petitions (1915-1916) protesting the showing of Birth of a Nation, including objections to the film filed by the Board of Censorship at Rolph's request, and a copy of an Ordinance Regulating Motion Picture Exhibitions and Entertainments.
Box 50, Folder 1



Subseries 2.2:  Board of Education 1910-1934

Physical Description: Box 50, folders 2-13; Boxes 51-52; Oversize box 1, folder 6


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material related to operating and expanding the San Francisco school system, including criteria for teachers, compensation, curriculum and student health. Includes some budget and financial information as well as letters from the City Attorney regarding property purchases for new schools, fire insurance policies, and material related to bond issues for school construction and maintenance. Also includes correspondence with teachers, support for school principals and other personnel, and some letters from students. Contains petitions on a variety of issues, such as establishing kindergartens, as well as personnel matters, correspondence from groups concerned with the school system, such as Public School Defence (sic) League and the Teachers' Association.
Box 50, Folder 2

Rules and Regulations 1910

Box 50, Folder 3

Directory of the Public Schools 1912-1913

Box 50, Folder 4

Letter from Poly High Students 1915 May 7

Box 50, Folder 5-13

1911-1918 July

Box 51, Folder 1-7

1918 August-1919 December

Box 51, Folder 8

Petitions 1919 December-1924 December

Box 51, Folder 9-13


Box 52, Folder 1-12

1921 March-1930

Box 52, Folder 13


Box OV Box 1, Folder 6

Resolution Honoring Rolph 1934 June 6


Subseries 2.3:  Board of Fire Commissioners, 1912 January-1930 December

Physical Description: Box 53, folders 1-16


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material concerning fire protection, including the introduction of new equipment, procedures and building materials. Controversial events include the suspension of John Donohoe from the Board and Lt. Frank Smith from the Department, charges against Commissioner William Hassima, and the resignation of Henry Brandenstein, President of the Board of Fire Commissioners from 1912-1914. Contains correspondence regarding medals of honor, funerals for firemen and arrangements for surviving family members, as well material regarding the Mary Scanlon resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors in 1919. Includes correspondence with the War Department regarding fire protection at Fort Miley, letters from neighborhood groups regarding local fire stations, and other groups concerning pensions and relief assistance for firemen.
Box 53, Folder 1-16

1912 January-1930 December


Subseries 2.4:  Board of Police Commissioners, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 54-56


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence regarding routine police matters such as permits, including complaints about permits for liquor sales and saloons; detective reports and witness statements; complaints about littering and police use of excessive force; letters about missing persons, labor strife and large crowd gatherings; and material about protecting servicemen in the city during World War I. Much correspondence concerns demands for a Barbary Coast Clean-up and objections to the moral conditions in San Francisco prior to the PPIE, with an organized write-in campaign from churches across the country calling for a boycott of the fair. Also includes discussion of the controversial City Clinic along with correspondence of J.C. Westenberg, organizer of the group San Francisco and Purity Before 1915 and superintendent of the Whosoever-Will Rescue Mission.
Box 54, Folder 1-3


Box 54, Folder 4

Permit of Marcus de Bow 1913-1914

Box 54, Folder 5-6


Box 54, Folder 7

I. Magnin Night Watchman Reports 1914

Box 54, Folder 8-12


Box 55, Folder 1-2


Box 55, Folder 3

Witness Transcript 1919

Box 55, Folder 4-9


Box 56, Folder 1-3


Box 56, Folder 4-8

Barbary Coast Clean-up 1911-1915

Box 56, Folder 9

Traffic Survey 1924-1926


Subseries 2.5:  Board of Supervisors, 1912-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 57-58; Box 59, folders 1-13


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

As the legislative branch of city government, the Board of Supervisors was responsible for city policy and adopting ordinances and resolutions, and was comprised of many standing committees. Contains correspondence on a wide variety of topics and Rolph's addresses to the Board of Supervisors summarizing his accomplishments and goals. Also includes correspondence of various interim mayors during Rolph's absences, including Thomas Jennings and Ralph McLeran.
Box 57, Folder 1-10


Box 58, Folder 1-9

1920-1925 July

Box 59, Folder 1

1925 August-October

Box 59, Folder 2-4

Vacancy 1925 November-December

Box 59, Folder 5


Box 59, Folder 6-7

Industrial and Commercial Development Committee/Airport Committee 1916-1925

Box 59, Folder 8

Finance Committee 1912-1921

Box 59, Folder 9

Finance Committee Budgets 1912-1916, 1923

Box 59, Folder 10

Miscellaneous Resolutions 1913-1924

Box 59, Folder 11-12

Journal of Proceedings (incomplete) 1914-1917, 1922-1923

Box 59, Folder 13

Printed Materials 1913-1915


Subseries 2.6:  Bureau of Efficiency, 1912-1913

Physical Description: Box 59, folder 14


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

The Bureau of Efficiency was a short-lived agency whose responsibilities were likely assumed by the Purchaser of Supplies. Contains correspondence regarding ordering equipment and streamlining payroll procedures as well as a discussion of how to locate owners of vacant lots in the city.
Box 59, Folder 14



Subseries 2.7:  Bureau of Public Works, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 60-69; Oversize box 1, folders 7-10


Arranged hierarchically. Further divided into three sub-subseries: 2.7.1: General Files; 2.7.2: Bureau of Architecture; and 2.7.3: Municipal Railway.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material reflecting the major areas of responsibility of this agency, including building projects such as City Hall and Civic Center, street construction and maintenance, municipal railway lines and tunnels, garbage disposal and water supply, including sewers, wells and reservoirs.

2.7.1:  General Files, 1912-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 60-63


Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence and reports by City Engineer M.M. O'Shaughnessy and correspondence from residents regarding condition of city streets, inadequacy of public transportation, and problems with uncollected garbage. Contains correspondence and memos regarding work teams, job responsibilities, working conditions and hours. Includes some accompanying photographs, blueprints and drawings.

City Engineer Correspondence

Box 60, Folder 1

Manson, Marsdon 1912

Box 60, Folder 2-6

O'Shaughnessy, Michael M. 1912-1919, 1921-1926

Box 60, Folder 7-8


Box 60, Folder 8-13

Investigation of Michael Casey; Correspondence Regarding Twin Peaks Reservoir 1912

Box 61, Folder 1-3


Box 61, Folder 4

Arnold, Bion J., Consultant 1912-1914

Box 61, Folder 5-8


Box 62, Folder 1-9


Box 63, Folder 1-9

1920-1930, undated


Subseries 2.7.2:  Bureau of Architecture, 1912-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 64-65; Oversize box 1, folders 7-9


Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material regarding the design competition for the City Hall project, Bureau of Architecture personnel and San Francisco Hospital construction. Contains correspondence regarding Civic Center development, including plans for a State office building and Opera House and management of Exposition Hall following PPIE. Includes correspondence from architects Willis Polk, John Galen Howard, and John Reid, Jr., as well as copies of architectural drawings by Willis Polk for the proposed Opera House in Civic Center.
Box 64, Folder 1-2


Box 64, Folder 3

Investigation of Work at City and County Hospital 1913

Box 64, Folder 4

1915-1918, 1925-1930


Civic Center

Box 64, Folder 5-9


Box OV Box 1, Folder 7

Suggestion for Extension of Pan-Handle to Civic Center, C.T. Ryland, Architect 1911 December 30

Box 64, Folder 10

"Contents of Copper Box Which is 12 Inches High by 12 Inches wide by 21 Inches Long" [Contents of cornerstone box of City Hall] October 1913

Box 65, Folder 1-12


Box 65, Folder 13

Willis Polk Correspondence Regarding State Building 1912-1919

Box OV Box 1, Folder 8

Architectural Drawings, Opera House 1913 April 24

Box OV Box 1, Folder 9

Drawing of Old Building on New City Hall Site 1913 July 17


2.7.3:  Municipal Railway, 1911-1927, 1930

Physical Description: Boxes 66-69; Oversize box 1, folder 10


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material related to the operations and expansion of city-owned transportation, including negotiations with United Railway, the Geary Street Railroad, strikes and employment matters, and budget material. Includes letters of complaint and suggestions for improving service and route changes from local neighborhood groups as well as concerns regarding property assessments and damages from construction projects. Contains plans for a Fillmore Street tunnel to serve the PPIE that was never constructed and correspondence regarding transit lines crossing Golden Gate Park. Also includes material regarding bond measures to finance expansion of municipal ownership.
Box 66, Folder 1-5


Box OV Box 1, Folder 10

Plan for Tunnel and Appurtenances Under Twin Peaks; Plan of Proposed Rapid Tunnel Through Twin Peaks 1912 February, undated

Box 66, Folder 6-7

Fillmore Street Tunnel 1912-1913

Box 67, Folder 1-3

Extension Bond 1913 April-September

Box 67, Folder 4


Box 67, Folder 5

Park Crossing 1915-1916

Box 67, Folder 6-7


Box 68, Folder 1

Board of Supervisors Meeting 1917 April 7

Box 68, Folder 2

Public Utilities Committee Proceedings 1917 July 25

Box 68, Folder 3-5

Board of Supervisors Meetings 1917 August 1-13

Box 68, Folder 6-8


Box 69, Folder 1-7

1921-1927, 1930


Subseries 2.8:  City and County Offices, 1912-1930

Physical Description: Box 70


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains files for the Auditor, Assessor, Tax Collector, Coroner, Recorder and Treasurer. Includes material regarding all aspects of city finances, including rent payments and bond investments, correspondence from auditor Thomas Boyle and Assessor John Ginty, and budget estimates and various printed reports. Tax Collector file includes a 1913 petition to investigate J.O. Low for failing to collect license fees, and an audit of the office under Edward F. Bryant, who replaced him. Scant material for the Coroner's office includes jury verdict reports, such as the tong war-related shooting death of Lee Sing. Recorder's file contains the annual report from 1919, listing the number and type of documents filed. Treasurer's files include budget material and several monthly cash reports, correspondence of Treasurer John E. McDougald, including his June 21, 1916 letter on the occasion of moving into the new City Hall, and material from Samuel Buckbee of Buckbee, Thorne & Co., who acted on behalf of the city in real estate matters.
Box 70, Folder 1-4

Auditor 1912-1925

Box 70, Folder 5-6

Assessor 1912-1920, 1924-1925

Box 70, Folder 7

Tax Collector 1912-1925

Box 70, Folder 8

Coroner 1912-1919, 1925

Box 70, Folder 9

Recorder 1912-1920, 1924-1925

Box 70, Folder 10-14

Treasurer 1912-1930

Box 70, Folder 15-16

Treasury Inventory 1912


Subseries 2.9:  City Planning Commission, 1912-1926

Physical Description: Box 71, folders 1-4


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

The City Planning Commission was established in 1912 as an outgrowth of the City Beautiful campaign and Rolph's Committee of 50, whose focus was preparing the city for the 1915 Exposition. Responsibilities of the Commission include zoning laws and use of public space. Includes the 1920 Proposed Zone Plan for San Francisco as well as correspondence from city residents regarding zoning issues.
Box 71, Folder 1-4



Subseries 2.10:  Civil Service Commission, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Box 71, folders 5-10


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Consists of correspondence regarding all aspects of civil service, including adding new positions, charter amendments, questions about eligibility and examinations; alleged violations of civil service rules and support for and objections to employee dismissals; and letters and petitions regarding new appointments and resignations of commission members.
Box 71, Folder 5-10



Subseries 2.11:  Department of Elections/Registrar, 1911-1925

Physical Description: Box 72, folders 1-2; Oversize box 1, folder 11


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Department responsible for organizing and overseeing elections, including preparing ballots and tallying returns, and managing draft registration during World War I. Contains correspondence regarding protocol for submitting ballot items, tally sheet for the November 11, 1913 General Municipal Election results, and the 1914 Declaration of Policy regarding cemetery removal. Correspondents include Thomas V. Cator and J.H. Zemansky, Registrar.
Box 72, Folder 1-2


Box OV Box 1, Folder 11

Election Workers by Assembly District 1913 August 26


Subseries 2.12:  Department of Electricity, 1912-1919, 1921-1925

Physical Description: Box 72, folders 3-4


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Agency responsible for electrical inspection of old and new buildings, operation of city fire alarms and police signals. Contains correspondence regarding personnel shortage and relations with the union as well as requests for salary increases. Includes 1922 publication, Electrical Ordinances and Local Rules of the Department of Electricity regarding installation of wiring.
Box 72, Folder 3-4

1912-1919, 1921-1925


Subseries 2.13:  Department of Public Health, 1912-1930

Physical Description: Box 72, folders 5-11; Box 73; Oversize box 1, folder 12


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material regarding various public health issues including rabies, the influenza epidemic of 1918, and tuberculosis, including plans for a sanitarium. Includes correspondence regarding city physicians and surgeons as well as specific cases and city liability. Includes referrals for charity care from the Inspector of Indigents, material regarding San Francisco hospitals and attempts to initiate preventative care for children in conjunction with public schools, as well as vital statistics reports.
Box 72, Folder 5-11

1912-1918 September

Box 73, Folder 1-12

1918 October-1930

Box OV Box 1, Folder 12

Poster: To Avoid Influenza, Wear a Mask 1918 October


Subseries 2.14:  Judicial, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 74-75


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material for the City Attorney, District Attorney, Public Administrator, County Clerk, Sheriff and Public Defender. Includes correspondence of City Attorneys Percy V. Long and George Lull as well as their formal Opinions on a wide range of issues, including legislation proposed by the Board of Supervisors, interpretation and application of City Charter rules, and purchasing city property. City Attorney opinions were also requested for legal matters between the city of San Francisco and individuals regarding employment issues, property disputes and liability, contracts and franchise activities. Topics of significance include the 1912 Grand Jury report on San Francisco city government and establishment of a public utilities commission. Contains 1916-1917 City Attorney's Report by George Lull, letters of support for possible candidates to replace Percy Long following his resignation, correspondence regarding the Charter Revision meetings held in the City Attorney's office, and a 1925 campaign statement by George Lull summarizing his accomplishments after eight years in office.
Box 74, Folder 1-9

City Attorney Opinions 1911-1922, 1925


City Attorney Correspondence

Box 74, Folder 10-14


Box 75, Folder 1-2

1918-1922, 1924-1930

Box 75, Folder 3-6

Police Court 1913, 1919-1921, 1926

Box 75, Folder 7

Sheriff 1911-1920, 1925

Box 75, Folder 8

District Attorney 1912-1925

Box 75, Folder 9

Public Defender 1921-1924

Box 75, Folder 10

Grand Jury 1912-1925, 1930

Box 75, Folder 11

Superior Court/Juvenile Court 1913-1925


Subseries 2.15:  Park Commissioners, 1911-1927

Physical Description: Box 76, folders 1-11


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains routine correspondence regarding job placement and various projects, including thinning the buffalo herd in Golden Gate Park and a new museum building. Contains correspondence with the Spreckels family and other material related to the Palace of the Legion of Honor.
Box 76, Folder 1-11



Subseries 2.16:  Playground Commission, 1912-1927

Physical Description: Box 76, folder 12


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence from David Wooster Taylor and Angelo Rossi. There were only two public playgrounds when Rolph took office; this number increased to nine through the efforts of this commission. Includes correspondence regarding establishing a playground in Chinatown.
Box 76, Folder 12



Subseries 2.17:  Public Library Trustees, 1913-1926

Physical Description: Box 77, folders 1-4


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence regarding the library and its management, including the need for new branches, departmental reports, circulation statistics, inventory, and a poem by Library Director, Edward Robeson Taylor.
Box 77, Folder 1-4



Subseries 2.18:  Public Pound/Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), 1912-1926

Physical Description: Box 77, folders 5-9


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) served as the animal control agency for San Francisco. Includes correspondence, chiefly with Matthew McCurrie, Secretary, about problems with free-ranging goats, horses, and cows, as well as rabid dogs and the controversy over muzzle laws and licenses. Contains anti-vivisection printed material.
Box 77, Folder 5-9



Subseries 2.19:  Sealer of Weights and Measures, 1911-1926

Physical Description: Box 77, folder 10


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains the ordinance creating a Bureau of Weights and Measures under the Police Department. Includes correspondence about the position and the benefits from having such standards and inspections.
Box 77, Folder 10



Subseries 2.20:  Miscellaneous Agencies, 1914-1930

Physical Description: Box 77, folders 11-20


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains materials from various agencies, including the agency responsible for management of Exposition Hall, which includes correspondence regarding hiring a manager and scheduling events and the 1920s controversy concerning holding boxing matches in this venue. Includes material about the position of City Organist, information about public concerts, the City Orchestra and San Francisco Municipal Band. Also includes a small amount of material for various city offices such as County Clerk, Public Administrator, Purchaser of Supplies, City Employees' Retirement System, Widows' Pension Bureau and the Water Department.
Box 77, Folder 11

County Clerk 1919-1920, 1924-1925

Box 77, Folder 12

Public Administrator 1924-1925

Box 77, Folder 13

Purchaser of Supplies 1925-1926

Box 77, Folder 14

San Francisco City Employees' Retirement System 1925

Box 77, Folder 15

Widows' Pension Bureau 1914-1925

Box 77, Folder 16

Water Department 1930

Box 77, Folder 17

Exposition Hall/Civic Auditorium 1915-1925, undated

Box 77, Folder 18-20

City Organist and Orchestra 1915-1925, undated


Series 3:  Civic Projects and Issues, 1911-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 78-90; Volume 26; Oversize box 1, folders 13-16


Arranged hierarchically. Divided into seven subseries: 3.1: Panama Pacific International Exposition; 3.2: City Services; 3.3: Transportation and Communication; 3.4: Charter Amendments and Consolidation; 3.5: Relief Efforts; 3.6: Water; and 3.7: Labor and Unemployment.

Scope and Content Note

Includes files on large municipal projects in San Francisco during Rolph's administration, often combining the efforts of business and cultural organizations in conjunction with city departments and other agencies. Projects include the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE); creation of municipal power and transportation systems, including Hetch Hetchy and the Spring Valley Water Company purchase; and other franchises, such as United Railway and the telephone system. Includes correspondence regarding relief efforts, often organized by the Red Cross, in response to disasters in other parts of the country and around the world, as well as ongoing and short-term assistance to San Franciscans from Associated Charities, and later the Community Chest and other private agencies. Also contains materials about the removal of cemeteries, bond measures and labor issues, including strikes.

Subseries 3.1:  Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), 1911-1920, 1923

Physical Description: Boxes 78-80; Volume 26; Oversize box 1, folders 13-16


Arranged hierarchically and chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

PPIE files cover planning for the fair through its closure and disposition of remaining pavilions and sculptures. Includes material related to the Exposition Company, including a lawsuit against the State of California, and plans of the Exposition Preservation Committee.
Mayor Rolph was Vice Chairman of the Exposition Company Board of Directors. Files include President Charles C. Moore's Weekly Letters and Notices to Directors from Rudolph J. Taussig, PPIE Secretary. Contains information regarding daily operations, dedication schedules, loan of the Liberty Bell, and finances. General correspondence from around the country concerns questions about the PPIE, opportunities for employment and the moral environment of San Francisco. Includes correspondence and material relating to the San Francisco Art Association maintaining the Palace of Fine Arts following the Exposition and correspondence regarding establishment of an additional art museum in the city.
Box 78, Folder 1-9

General Correspondence 1912-1915

Box OV Box 1, Folder 13

Petition Regarding Fairmount Park Beautification 1912 December

Box OV Box 1, Folder 14

San Francisco Invites the World, song score 1913 June 3

Box OV Box 1, Folder 15

Portland Rose Festival Proclamation 1914 June

Box 78, Folder 10

Commission Extraordinary to Europe 1912


President's Weekly Letter to Directors

Box 78, Folder 11


Box 79, Folder 1


Box 79, Folder 2-5

Notice to Directors 1911-1915

Box 79, Folder 6-12

Planning 1912-1914

Box 80, Folder 1

Planning and Operations 1915

Box OV Box 1, Folder 16

Sketches of San Francisco Building 1914 March 24

Volume 26

La Filitrice, musical score 1913

Box 80, Folder 2

Liberty Bell 1912-1916

Box 80, Folder 3

Opening Day Logistics 1915

Box 80, Folder 4

Addresses of State and Foreign Commissioners 1915

Box 80, Folder 5

Dedication Schedules 1915

Box 80, Folder 6

Financial 1911-1915

Box 80, Folder 7

PPIE San Diego 1914-1917

Box 80, Folder 8

Exposition Commission and Exposition Preservation League 1912-1914

Box 80, Folder 9

San Francisco Art Association 1916-1920, 1923

Box 80, Folder 10-12

Closure 1915-1917, 1920


Subseries 3.2:  City Services, 1912-1925

Physical Description: Box 81


Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material related to the management of ongoing issues arising from the growth and development of the city, including fire protection, garbage management, street lighting, and residential housing construction, particularly in connection with moving the cemeteries. Includes reports of studies of these areas undertaken by the San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research and material regarding the removal of cemeteries.
Box 81, Folder 1-5

Fire Protection and Insurance 1912-1917, 1920

Box 81, Folder 6-8

Garbage 1912-1916, 1918-1920

Box 81, Folder 9

Street Lighting 1919

Box 81, Folder 10-12

Efficiency in Government 1917-1925

Box 81, Folder 13-17

Removal of Cemeteries 1912-1915, 1924


Subseries 3.3:  Transportation and Communication, 1912-1930

Physical Description: Box 82, folders 1-7


Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material regarding United Railroads and the process of transferring to city-owned transportation. Includes suggestions for transbay crossings, including the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge.
Box 82, Folder 1-3

United Railroads 1912-1926

Box 82, Folder 4

Trackless Trolley Service Proposal 1915

Box 82, Folder 5

Bridges 1922-1930

Box 82, Folder 6

Senate Joint Resolution on Golden Gate Bridge 1925

Box 82, Folder 7

Telephone Franchise 1912-1916, 1925


Subseries 3.4:  Charter Amendments and Consolidation, 1912-1920

Physical Description: Box 82, folders 8-10


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material related to charter amendments proposed by the Board of Supervisors, including incorporating part of San Mateo County with San Francisco.
Box 82, Folder 8-9

Charter Amendments 1912

Box 82, Folder 10

Consolidation 1912-1930


Subseries 3.5:  Relief Efforts, 1912-1925

Physical Description: Boxes 83-86


Arranged hierarchically. Further divided into two sub-subseries: 3.5.1: Relief Committees, Including Red Cross and 3.5.2: Associated Charities

Scope and Content Note

Contains material related to organized responses to natural disasters and war in other parts of the country and the world, often led by the Red Cross, as well as the efforts of local agencies to help city residents in need.

Subseries 3.5.1:  Relief Committees, Including Red Cross, 1912-1922, 1924-1925

Physical Description: Box 83, folders 1-6


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material regarding membership and operations of the Red Cross, as well as communications specific to relief efforts in response to various events, such as the 1913 floods in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky; aid to the Belgians, Serbians, and French in 1914; the 1917 Halifax explosion; and earthquakes in Mexico and Santa Barbara.
Box 83, Folder 1-6

1912-1922, 1924-1925


Subseries 3.5.2:  Associated Charities, 1912-1925

Physical Description: Boxes 84-86


Arranged hierarchically and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence requesting assistance as well as follow-up on specific cases and investigation of claims. Both the Finance and Public Welfare Committees of the Board of Supervisors worked with the Health Department and Associated Charities to address the needs of the chronically ill and heads of households unable to work for reasons of health or care taking obligations and the long-term unemployed. Includes correspondence regarding coordination of these efforts and long-range planning.
Box 84, Folder 1-7

1912-1920, 1923-1925


Robinson-Windel Bequest Fund Receipts

Box 85, Folder 1-5

1912-1913 September

Box 86, Folder 1-3

1913 October-1914 April


Subseries 3.6:  Water, 1912-1930

Physical Description: Boxes 87-88


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Although the Hetch Hetchy project was begun prior to Rolph's election, he was a strong supporter throughout his years in office and was actively involved in promoting all components of the project. Rolph's trips to Washington D.C. are documented through a series of telegrams, and he campaigned for local bond measures to ensure funding.
Box 87, Folder 1-6

Spring Valley Purchase 1915, 1917-1918

Box 87, Folder 7-8

Citizens' Committee Materials 1915 April

Box 87, Folder 9-11

Spring Valley Purchase 1917-1921

Box 87, Folder 12

Executive Committee Materials 1921

Box 88, Folder 1-3

Executive Committee Materials 1921

Box 88, Folder 4-13

Hetch Hetchy 1912-1930


Subseries 3.7:  Labor and Unemployment, 1912-1925

Physical Description: Boxes 89-90

Scope and Content Note

San Francisco experienced labor tensions and periodic financial depressions with a corresponding rise in unemployment, and attempts to respond to these challenges were made at different times through the coordinated efforts of various agencies. Includes material regarding labor strikes involving printers and other industries, correspondence regarding local efforts to provide returning servicemen with job placement and housing assistance, and Rolph's correspondence with Andrew Furuseth regarding the Seaman's Bill.


Arranged chronologically.
Box 89, Folder 1-9

Strikes 1912-1914, 1916-1925

Box 90, Folder 1-3

Unemployment 1912-1916

Box 90, Folder 4

Army and Navy Placement Committee 1919

Box 90, Folder 5-8

Unemployment 1920-1924

Box 90, Folder 9

Seaman's Bill 1912-1915


Series 4:  Political Papers, 1911-1934

Physical Description: Boxes 91-92; Volumes 27-33; Oversize boxes 2-4


Divided into three subseries: 4.1: Mayoral Campaign Materials; 4.2: Gubernatorial Papers and Scrapbooks; and 4.3: Miscellaneous Political Materials.
Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material related to Rolph's political career and campaign planning, including ephemera such as posters and ballot cards, correspondence from Rolph booster clubs, requests for campaign appearances and offers from volunteers. Includes material regarding national conventions of both the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as election races in other locales for a variety of offices.

Subseries 4.1:  Mayoral Campaign Materials, 1911-1927

Physical Description: Box 91; Box 92, folders 1-3; Volume 27


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Material regarding Rolph election clubs, speaking engagements and campaign appearances, including letters of congratulations and copies of thank you notes.
Box 91, Folder 1

Printed Ephemera 1911-1913, undated

Box 91, Folder 2

Correspondence and Statements 1915 January-September

Box 91, Folder 3

Congratulations and Thank-you Notes 1915 September-December

Box 91, Folder 4

Correspondence and Clippings 1923

Box 91, Folder 5

Rolph for Mayor Clubs 1923

Box 91, Folder 6

Correspondence 1924-1926

Box 91, Folder 7-9

Correspondence and Campaign Material 1927

Volume 27

Election Workers 1927

Box 92, Folder 1-3

Other California Elections 1919-1926


Subseries 4.2:  Gubernatorial Papers and Scrapbooks, 1930-1934

Physical Description: Box 92, folders 4-7; Volumes 28-33; Oversize boxes 2-4


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Primarily consists of letters earmarked for speech ideas, including a "List of Gubernatorial Files and Subjects" along with some general correspondence. Includes summary documents on campaign issues and topics such as water and Prohibition along with some vertical file material. Also includes transcripts of radio interviews and other gubernatorial campaign material as well as Rolph's 1934 announcement that he would not seek re-election. Scrapbooks document Rolph's years as governor, including leading the delegation to the Republican convention in Chicago, Roosevelt's election, the economic problems in California during the Depression, and the move for Rolph's recall. Information about Rolph's illness, death and memorial service at San Francisco City Hall concludes with biographical articles and tributes. A portfolio with a "Sunny Jim" campaign pin includes prints of autographed photos, editorial cartoons and drawings honoring Rolph's election.
Box 92, Folder 4-5

Correspondence and Speech Topics 1930, 1934



Volume 28

1930 December-1931 June

Volume 29

1931 January-August

Volume 30

1931 August-1931 June

Volume 31

1932 June-1933 May

Volume 32

1933 June-August

Volume 33

1933 May-1934 May

Box OV Box 2

Portfolio of ephemera celebrating Rolph's election 1931


Loose Scrapbook Pages

Box OV Box 3

1929-1930, 1933 May

Box OV Box 4

1934 June

Box 92, Folder 6

Loose Items from Scrapbooks 1933

Box 92, Folder 7

Parole Date Advance 1934


Subseries 4.3:  Miscellaneous Political Materials, 1911-1929

Physical Description: Box 92, folders 8-11


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains materials for the re-election of Governor Hiram Johnson and John M. Eshleman in 1914, including correspondence and planning material concerning the 1920 Democratic National Convention held in San Francisco and the Republican National Convention in Chicago, which Rolph attended.
Box 92, Folder 8

Johnson-Eshleman Non-Partisan Club 1914

Box 92, Folder 9

Party Conventions 1920

Box 92, Folder 10

General Elections 1921

Box 92, Folder 11

Miscellaneous 1911-1929


Series 5:  Business and Personal Papers, 1904-1934

Physical Description: Boxes 93-97


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence related to Rolph's business endeavors as well as personal and family correspondence he received at the office.

Subseries 5.1:  Business Papers, 1913-1927

Physical Description: Boxes 93-95

Scope and Content Note

Contains material related to Rolph's purchase of Bendixsen Shipping Company in Humboldt County, a gala celebration in February 1918, ship launching on July 4, 1918, and subsequent financial difficulties. Includes financial statements, the Rolph Navigation and Coal Co. by-laws and minutes, as well as stock books from James Rolph & Co.


Arranged chronologically.
Box 93, Folder 1-9

Business Correspondence 1913-1926

Box 94, Folder 1

James Rolph & Co. Stockbook 1921


Rolph Navigation and Coal Co.

Box 94, Folder 2-4

By-Laws and Minutes, volumes 1-3 1914-1927

Box 95, Folder 1-2

Stockbook 1914-1921


Subseries 5.2:  Personal Papers, 1904-1934

Physical Description: Boxes 96-97


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains personal correspondence and greeting cards as well as material related to his ranch, land purchases, dogs and horticulture, and various memberships and charity appeals. Includes inquiries about his son's health following his car accident while a student at the University of California, Berkeley and later episode of typhoid. Also contains some biographical material, a 1920 synopsis of James Rolph Jr. Films, and condolences regarding Luther Burbank and Rudolph Valentino (1926). Includes the program from Rolph's memorial service and personal diary of his last year.
Box 96, Folder 2

Charity Appeals 1916-1917



Box 96, Folder 1

1904-1913, 1917-1922

Box 96, Folder 3-7


Box 97, Folder 1-2


Box 97, Folder 3

Birthday Greetings 1926 August

Box 97, Folder 4

1928-1929, 1934

Box 97, Folder 5

Family Correspondence 1914-1926

Box 97, Folder 6

Memberships 1912-1930

Box 97, Folder 7

Receipts and Cancelled Checks 1911, 1918-1930

Box 97, Folder 8

Check Books 1914, 1923-1924

Box 97, Folder 9

Memorial Service Program 1934

Box 97, Folder 10

Personal Diary 1934