Register of the Coats (James L.) Collection, 1852-1907

Processed by Don Walker; machine-readable finding aid created by Don Walker
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
University Library, University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA 95211
Phone: (209) 946-2404
Fax: (209) 946-2810
© 1998
University of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Register of the Coats (James L.) Collection, 1852-1907

Collection number: Mss253

Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections

University Library

University of the Pacific

Contact Information

  • Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
  • University Library, University of the Pacific
  • Stockton, CA 95211
  • Phone: (209) 946-2404
  • Fax: (209) 946-2810
  • URL:
Processed by:
Don Walker
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Don Walker
© 1998 University of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Coats (James L.) Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1852-1907
Collection number: Mss253
Extent: 2 linear ft.
Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Stockton, CA 95211
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Coats (James L.) Collection, Mss253, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


James L. Coats was the second son of Felix G. Coats, who, in 1853, settled in the Tassajara Valley of Contra Costa County. In 1860, Felix Coats married Levina Doggett. James Coats was raised on his father's Contra Costa farm. He attended the University of the Pacific in Santa Clara from 1883 through 1887, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in the latter year.
Following graduation from college, Coats farmed for awhile in Contra Costa County, where he was also active in Populist Party politics. Coats married Fanny Williams in 1895. Sometime after 1900, James L. Coats became a gauger of alchoholic beverages for the Internal Revenue Service. He was headquartered at a distillery in Agnews, Santa Clara County, and later in Stockton, where he acted as gauger for Calaveras, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties. Coats spent the last years of his working life in the employ of the California Wine Association. He died in 1934.

Scope and Content

The Coats Collection consists of correspondence and other business papers relating to the alcoholic beverages gauging business, politics and economics, as well as photographs, memorabilia, and California school texts (1852-1907).





1.1-James Longstreet Coats biographical & genealogical materials


1.2-Felix G. Coats. "On the Golden Trail," n.d. [California Trail narrative, 1849]


1.3-Contra Costa County Populist Party activities, 1894


1.4-E.R. Baker. The Money Monopoly, 1890


1.5-Edward R. Marden [National Cooperative Realty Co.] Real Estate sales course [incl. 29 lessons, tests, adv. material, recpts., etc.]


1.6-Miscellaneous corresp. school items::::::::::


-Columbian Corresp. College. Civil Service Exams, Bk. 1 Arithmetic, n.d.::::::::


-Harry W. Cross & Co. Real Estate Business Instruction, 1904::::::::::


-Harry W. Cross & Co. Real Estate: The Greatest Business in the World, n.d. [c1904]


1.7-IRS Alchohol Gauger's Reports, 1901-03


1.8-IRS. Regulations & Instructions Concerning the Tax on Distilled Spirits, 1901


1.9-George P. Pilling. Complete Guide to Caponizing, 1906


1.10-Portrait photo: James Longstreet Coats and wife, Fannie Williams Coats, 1896; snapshot: 3 WWI soldiers, possibly JL Coats on right




I. California State Series Elementary School Textbooks [textbooks of Vivian Coats Edmonston, dau. of JL Coats]


2.1-Speller, Bk. 1, 1907


2.2-English Lessons, Bk. 1, 1906


2.3-The Children's Second Reader, 1905


2.4-Fourth Reader, 1905


2.5-lst Book of Arithmetic, 1905


2.6-Introductory Geography, 1904


II. Other elementary texts used by various members of the Coats Family


2.7-G.J. Adler. Ollendorf's New Method of Learning to Read, Write, and Speak the German Language, 1862


2.8-Daniel W. Fish. Robinson's Progressive Practical Arithmetic, 1877


2.9-Wm. H. McGuffey. McGuffey's Eclectic 4th Reader, 1852


2.10-Alonzo Reed & Brainard Kellogg. A Work on English Grammar & Composition, 1880


2.11-Sheldon & Co. Modern School Fifth Reader, 1882




3.1-J. Dorman Steele. 14 Weeks in Physics, 1878


3.2-John Swett, Charles Allen and Josiah Royce. Bancroft's 5th Reader, 1883


3.3-S. Town. 4th Reader, n.d. [title pg. missing]


3.4-Edward G. Ward. The Rational Method of Reading, 1907


3.5-C.A. White. The Student's Mythology, 1870


3.6-Bible. American Bible Society, 1864


3.7-Stories of All Ages, 1894


3.8-Edward A. Pollard. The Second Year of the War, 1863




4.1-"Best six cord cotton for hand & machine - J & P Coats" [presumed to be relatives of JL Coats ?; pale yellow box, 6x2.5", signed "Fannie Williams"]


4.2-"Nicoleto" [wooden pen box; 2 wooden, 3 metal pens, 2 nibs]


4.3-Lap-top writing desk, inlaid wood [pens & nib, pencils]