Guide to the Simon Julius Lubin Papers, 1912-1936

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Social Sciences --Political Science --General History --World War I History --History, California --General

Guide to the Simon Julius Lubin Papers, 1912-1936

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 1059

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Date Completed:
ca. 1965
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1996 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Simon Julius Lubin Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1912-1936
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 1059
Creator: Lubin, Simon Julius, 1876-1936
Extent: Number of containers: 5 boxes, 2 cartons
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Correspondence, biographical sketches, articles and addresses, reports, clippings, etc., relating primarily to his service with the State Commission of Immigration and Housing and its investigation of IWW sabotage activities during World War I, agricultural labor camps, and the 1913 Wheatland hopfield riot. Some later material relates to the Pan American Reciprocal Trade Conference.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Simon Julius Lubin Papers, BANC MSS C-B 1059, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Related Collection

  • Title: Simon Lubin Society Papers,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-B 409.

Biographical Sketch

Simon Julius Lubin was born in Sacramento on November 27, 1876. He began his long career of social and civic service, after graduation from Harvard University in 1903, as a settlement worker in Boston's South End House. In 1904 he lived in the lower east side of New York City, studying social problems. Returning to California in 1906, he took over the management of the store his father, David Lubin, founded with Harris Weinstock in Sacramento.
He achieved state-wide recognition in 1912 when he was appointed by Governor Hiram W. Johnson a member of the State Immigration Commission which was to investigate the immigration problems anticipated with the opening of the Panama Canal. He drafted a bill to create a permanent Commission of Immigration and Housing, which was approved by the Legislature in 1913. The Governor appointed him president of the new Commission which included also, as members, Mrs. Mary Gibson, the Reverend Father Edward J. Hanna, Paul Scharrenberg and Arthur B. Fleming. The Commission was entrusted with two major problems, the welfare of the immigrant and the related problem of his housing, and also handled special assignments such as investigations of the 1913 Wheatland hop field riot; the IWW activities during World War I and the vice conditions in Sacramento in 1918; the improvement of agricultural labor camps; and the development of housing legislation. In 1923 Lubin resigned from the Commission, at the request of Governor Friend W. Richardson, after a disagreement over the Governor's dismissal of Commission member Paul Scharrenberg.
Lubin continued his career as civic leader, organizing the Sacramento Region Citizens Council in 1926 and the Pan American Reciprocal Trade Conference in 1930, and serving as director of the Department of Commerce of California, 1932-1934, and special commissioner of the National Labor Board in 1932.
He died on April 15, 1936.

Scope and Content

These papers were given to the Bancroft Library by his family, some ca. 1947, with additions in 1953. Covering the period 1912-1936, they relate primarily to his service with the Commission of Immigration and Housing, and consist of correspondence, clippings, reports, biographical sketches, and articles and addresses. There is very little material after 1923, and this is concerned primarily with the Pan American Reciprocal Trade Conference.
A Key to Arrangement and list of the more important correspondents in the collection follow.

Key to Arrangement

Boxes 1-3

Letters addressed to Lubin

Scope and Content Note

Include letters from various individuals, organizations, and governmental bodies concerned with immigrants and their problems; letters relating to legislation affecting immigration; letters from other members of the Commission; requests for Lubin to address clubs and other organizations, etc. Arranged alphabetically by name of person or organization, with a miscellany of single letters at the beginning of the file. A list of the more important people represented follows the Key.
A group of miscellaneous letters from individuals requesting employment with the Commission, and letters from unidentified correspondents are at the end of the file.
Boxes 4-5

Letters written by Lubin, 1912-1923; Apr.-May 1932

Scope and Content Note

Carbon copies of his outgoing letters, relating primarily to the progress of Legislation creating the permanent Commission; the organization and staffing of the Commission and special investigations undertaken by it; legislation sponsored by it, etc. Also included are copies of outgoing letters written by Commission secretary, Robert Newton Lynch, on behalf of the Commission. Letters written April-May 1932 are the originals of those Lubin wrote to his family while he was in Mexico to promote the formation of a Mexican Division of the Pan American Institute of Reciprocal Trade. Arranged chronologically.
Ctn. 1

Biographical sketches, obituaries, memorial tributes, etc.


Articles and addresses by Lubin (printed and manuscript)


Clippings re Lubin


Clippings re Lubin and the Sacramento Board of Education


Clippings re members of the Lubin family


Material relating to charges of un-Americanism brought against Lubin by the Sacramento Chief of Police Ira Conran in 1918


Commission of Immigration and Housing - drafts of act creating the Commission; proposed programs, reports, minutes, circulars, etc.

Physical Description: (3 folders)

Commission of Immigration and Housing - Wheatland riot investigation


Commission of Immigration and Housing - IWW investigation

Physical Description: (4 folders)

Reports from investigators, circulars, notes, expense accounts for investigators


Commission's report, clippings, etc.


Clippings re IWW and terrorism, 1915-1917

Physical Description: (2 folders)

Clippings re incendiary fires and fires of unknown or suspicious origin. June 19-30, 1917, in California and parts of Oregon

Physical Description: (2 folders)

Commission of Immigration and Housing - Sacramento vice investigation Speeches; chronology of recall campaign against G. C. Simmons, commissioner of Sacramento; investigators' reports, etc.


Clippings re Sacramento vice investigation

Physical Description: (2 folders)

Commission of Immigration and Housing - dismissal of Paul Scharrenberg


Clippings re California state budget cut, 1923, and Governor's proposed abolition of the Commission


Immigration and settlement of immigrants - material gathered by Commission member Dana W. Bartlett


Better America Federation Pamphlets and newsletters, clippings, copies of letters, etc.

Ctn. 2

Pan American Institute of Reciprocal Trade

Scope and Content Note

Releases, reports, clippings, memoranda, copies of portions of Lubin's diary, April 11-20, 1932, covering his efforts to promote formation of Mexican Division of the Institute

Simon J. Lubin Society

Scope and Content Note

Statement of purposes, copy of bulletin no. 1 containing constitution

Printed items

Additional Note

Reports on housing and housing reform prepared by various organizations, miscellaneous reports of the Commission, etc. Several printed items have been removed for separate cataloging. Cards for these have been prepared for the Manuscripts Division shelf list.


Partial List of Correspondents


Miscellany (single letters)


Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939


Letter, Jan. 22, 1913.


American Institute of Architects. San Francisco


Letter, June 10, 1919, from Sylvain Schnaittacher, president, concerning proposed changes in Tenement House Law.


Bankhead, John Hollis, 1842-1920


Letter, Feb. 10, 1915.


Bradford, Hugh B.


Letter, Mar. 13, 1913. Concerning the immigrant Legislation bill.


Brandeis, Louis Dembitz, 1856-1941


Letter, Feb. 10, 1915.


Brissenden, Paul F. [Special investigator for the Commission]


Letter, June 16, 1914. Enclosure: copy of plan of work for the Commission on unemployment investigation.


Browne, Maurice B.


Letter, Mar. 27, 1915.


Caminetti, Anthony, 1854-1923


Letter, Mar. 10, 1914.


Coffee, Rudolph Isaac, 1878-


Letter, Oct. 16, 1923.


Cole, Samuel Valentine, 1851-1925


Letter, Jan. 7, 1915.


Cunningham, F. J. [Commission investigator]


Letter, n.d.


DeHaas, Jacob Anton, 1883-


Letter, Mar. 21, 1915.


Elkus, Albert Israel, 1884-1962


Letter, [Oct. 1923].


Eshleman, John Morton, 1876-1916


Letter, Jan. 29, 1916.


Gerberding, Elizabeth (Sears), 1857-


Letter, Oct. 27, 1913.


Gompers, Samuel, 1850-1924


Telegram, Jan. 15, 1915.


Howerth, Ira Woods, 1860-1938


Letter, May 26, 1915. Concerning opportunities for cooperation between the University of California Extension Division and the Commission.


Hughes, Dudley Mays, 1848-1927


Letter, Feb. 10, 1915.


Hunt, George Wylie Paul, 1859-1934


Letter, Jan. 16, 1915. Writing as governor of Arizona.


International Labor Office


Letter, Feb. 17, 1919.


Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932


Letter, Feb. 4, 1913.


Levy, Joseph Leonard, 1865-1917


Letter, Apr. 24, 1914.


Lubin, David, 1849-1919


Letter, Dec. 17, 1913.


National Conference of Immigration, Land and Labor Officials


Letter, Oct. 3, 1912.


Nolen, John, 1869-1937


Letter, Apr. 3, 1915.


Parker, Cornelia (Stratton), 1885-


Letter, Oct. 10, 1914. Concerning her husband, Carleton H. Parker.


Polsley, Harry


Letter, Apr. 12, 1913.


Porter, Robert C.


Letter, May 16, 1919. Concerning housing bills before the California Legislature. Enclosure: copy of his letter, May 16, 1919, written as director of San Francisco Housing Association, to Governor W. D. Stephens.


Richardson, Ethel


Telegram, July 31, 1917. Concerning importation of Mexican laborers by Almitos Sugar Company.


Richardson, Friend William, 1865-1943


Letter, July 2, 1923. Form letter concerning economy budget.


Ryan, John Augustine, 1869-


Letter, Apr. 4, 1932.


Sabine, Wallace Clement, 1868-1919


Letter, Jan. 21, 1915.


Sacramento Bee


Letter, July 11, 1914, from J. E. Langdon, news editor.


Sacramento Star


Letter, Sept. 16, 1920, from T. E. Frayne, editor.


Sacramento Union


Letter, July 10, 1914, from Lynn C. Simpson, managing editor.


San Francisco. Dept. of Public Health


Letter, Oct. 10, 1912. Concerning prevalence of diseases traced to immigrants.


Shartel, A. F.


Letter, Mar. 24, 1913.


Shenton, Herbert Newhard, 1884-1931


Letter, Feb. 17, 1915.


State Law Enforcement and Protective League


Letter, June 24, 1918.


Straus, Nathan, 1848-1931


Letter, Apr. 17, 1914.


Straus, Oscar Solomon, 1850-1926


Letter, Feb. 18, 1914.


U. S. Bureau of Education


Letter, June 3, 1915. Concerning immigrant education.


Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940


Letter, Jan. 30, 1914.


Wallace, Albert Joseph, 1853-


Letter, Mar. 31, 1913.


Wyllie, G. W.


Letter, Feb. 24, 1913, with note from David Lubin on p. 2.


American Colonization League


5 letters, 1913, from Max Binheim, secretary.


American Jewish Committee, New York


3 letters, 1912-1913.


Antin, Mary, 1881-


3 letters, 1915.


Arizona, Governor

See Western governors correspondence re IWW investigation.


Associated Charities of San Francisco

See Felton, Katharine C.


Association Internationale pour la Lutte Contre le Chomage


2 letters, 1913. In French, with translations.


Backus, John James, 1863-


3 letters, 1915-1919. Concerning housing legislation. Enclosure to letter, Apr. 6, 1915: copy of letter, Apr. 2, 1915, from Governor Hiram W. Johnson. Enclosure to letter, May 17, 1919: copy of his letter to Governor Stephens, and copies of telegrams to the Governor from the Southern California Chapter, American Institute of Architects and the Merchants Plumbers Association, May 16, 1919.


Barrows, David Prescott, 1873-1954


6 letters, 1913-1919. Written while President, University of California.


Bartlett, Dana Webster, 1860- [member of the Commission]


51 letters, 1912-1913.


Bell, George Lewis, 1888-1958 [attorney and executive officer for the Commission]


120 letters, 1914-1923. Letters and telegrams, 1917, relate to the IWW investigation.


Better America Federation of California


6 letters, 1920-1921, from H. M. Haldeman, president, and Woodworth Clum, managing director.


Birdsall, E. S.


4 letters, 1912-1913.


Blanpied, C. W.


32 letters, 1912-1914. Written while immigration secretary, Young Men's Christian Association, and secretary, Pacific Coast Immigration Congress.


Bruce, Roscoe Conkling


3 letters, 1914-1915.


California. Bureau of Labor Statistics


2 letters, 1912-1915, from John P. McLaughlin, commissioner. Concerning employment of immigrants and establishment of state employment bureaus.


California. [County clerks]


7 letters, 1912. Letters from various county clerks relative to expenditures made to encourage immigration.


California. State Board of Control


3 letters, 1912-1919.

See also Neylan, John F.


California. State Board of Health


2 letters, 1912.


California Civic League


2 letters, 1913-1915.


California Conference on City Planning


3 letters, 1915, from Percy V. Long, President.


California Congress of Mothers


2 letters, 1913-1915.


California Development Board


3 letters, 1912-1913.


Carr, John Foster, 1869-1939


5 letters, 1913-1914. Written on behalf of the Immigrant Education Society.


Chambers, John Sheerer, 1867-1923


2 letters, 1919.


Cheney, Charles Henry, 1884-1943


11 letters, 1914-1915. Concerning housing plans.


Cheney, May L.


2 letters, 1913.


Civic Club of San Francisco


2 letters, 1915.


Cole, William Isaac, 1859-1935


2 letters, 1913-1914.


Committee for Immigrants in America


5 letters, 1915.

See also Kellor, Frances Alice.


Commonwealth Club of California


4 letters, 1913, from Beverly L. Hodghead, president, and Carl E. Grunsky, Secretary.


Clum, Woodworth

See Better America Federation of California


Daughters of the American Revolution. California


4 letters, 1912-1915.


Davis, Philip, 1878-


9 letters, 1913-1915.


Durst, R. H.


3 letters, 1914. Concerning the Commission's investigation report on the Wheatland hop growers.


Fels, Joseph, 1854-1914


4 letters, 1912-1914.


Felton, Katharine C.


12 letters, 1912-1913. Written while secretary of Associated Charities of San Francisco and as member of the temporary Commission.


Fleming, Arthur Henry, 1856-1940


2 letters, 1914.


Gibson, Mary Simons [member of the Commission]


98 letters, 1913-1920.


Grunsky, Carl Ewald, 1855-1934

See Commonwealth Club of California.


Haldeman, Harry Marston, 1871-1930

See Better America Federation of California.


Hamilton, W. W. [investigator for the Commission]


3 letters, 1913-1914.


Hanna, Edward Joseph [member of the Commission]


15 letters, 1913-1923 & n.d.


Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society


2 letters, 1912.


Hodghead, Beverly L.

See Commonwealth Club of California


Horst, Emil Clemens, 1867-1940


2 letters, 1914. Concerning proposed inspection of agricultural labor camps.


Howe, Frederick Clemson, 1867-1940

See U. S. Immigration Service


International Immigration Congress


4 letters, 1915.


Italy. Ministero Degli Affari Esteri


6 letters, 1913-1915.


Italy. Consulate, San Francisco


4 letters, 1912-1914. One is a copy of a letter addressed to the president of Patronato Emigranti, expressing views on Italian emigration.


Johnson, Hiram Warren, 1866-1945


27 letters, 1912-1919. Some written for him by his secretaries.


Kahn, Julius


3 letters, 1912-1919.


Kellor, Frances Alice, 1873-


17 letters, 1912-1915. Some written for the North American Civic League for Immigrants; for Committee for Immigrants in America; and for New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration.


Lissner, Meyer


3 letters, 1914-1915.


Long, Percy V.

See California Conference on City Planning.


Lynch, Robert Newton


39 letters, 1912-1914. Many of them written while serving as secretary of the temporary Commission.


McArthur, Walter


2 letters, 1913.


McBride, James Harvey, 1849- [member of the Commission]


16 letters, 1915-1919.


McClatchy, Charles Kenny, 1858-1936


7 letters, 1913-1918.


Melton, George L. [Commission employee]


4 letters, 1915. Concerning the Commission's program for the unemployed.


Mills, Frederick Cecil, 1892- [Commission investigator]


3 letters, 1914.


National Conference of Charities and Correction


2 letters, 1913, from Graham Taylor, chairman of the Committee on Distribution and Assimilation of Immigrants.


Nevada. Governor

See Western Governors' ...


Neylan, John Francis


3 letters, 1913-1923. Two written as chairman, State Board of Control.


North American Civic League for Immigrants


4 letters, 1912-1913.

See also Kellor, Frances A.


Norton, Henry K. [executive officer of the Commission]


3 letters, 1919.


Oregon. Governor

See Western Governors' ...


Pacific Coast Immigration Congress

See Blanpied, C. W.


Parker, Carleton Hubbell, 1879-1918 [executive secretary for the Commission]


46 letters, 1913-1914.


Patronato Emigranti


3 letters, 1912-1913.


Peixotto, Jessica Blanche, 1864-1941


2 letters, 1913-1914.


Rosenthal, J. J. [Commission investigator]


8 letters, 1914. Concerning investigation of conditions on hop ranches.


Rothwell, Bernard Joseph, 1859-1948


3 letters, 1914.


Sacramento, Calif. City Commission


3 letters, 1913-1914.


Sacramento, Calif. Commissioner of Public Health and Safety


11 letters, 1918-1919. Many refer to the 1918 Sacramento vice investigation.


Sapiro, Aaron L.


4 letters, 1913. Some written on behalf of the Western Assembly of the Jewish Chautauqua.


Scharrenberg, Paul [Commission member]


32 letters, 1912-1923.


Simmons, S. E.


3 letters, 1918-1919. Concerning Sacramento vice investigation.


Simpson, John Lowrey, 1891- [Commission investigator]


2 letters, 1914-1915.


Solomons, Lucius L., 1863-


2 letters, 1914.


Stephens, William Dennison, 1859-1944


7 letters, 1917-1920. Some written by his executive secretary.


Sulzberger, Cyrus L., 1858-1932


2 letters, 1912. One written for him by Leo Sulzberger.


Taylor, Graham, 1851-1938

See National Conference ...


Travelers Aid Society


3 letters, 1913-1914, from Orin C. Baker, general secretary.


U. S. Commission on Industrial Relations

See Weinstock, Harris


U. S. Dept. of Agriculture


3 letters, 1912-1915. Undated letter, from director of Rural Organization Service, presents views on immigration restriction.


U. S. Dept. of Labor


3 letters, 1915-1918, from William B. Wilson.


U. S. Immigration Service


6 letters, 1913-1915. Include letters from Frederic C. Howe.


U. S. War Dept.


22 letters, 1918. Primarily from the Commission on Training Camp Activities, Law Enforcement Division, concerning vice conditions in Sacramento.


Utah. Governor

See Western Governors'...


Veiller, Lawrence


6 letters, 1913-1915. Written while secretary and director of the National Housing Association.


Washington. Governor

See Western Governors ...


Watchorn, Robert [secretary of the temporary Commission]


28 letters, 1912-1913. Many written by his secretary.


Weinstock, Harris


7 letters, 1913-1915. Some written as member of the U. S. Commission on Industrial Relations. Included also are copies of two letters- Weinstock to F. R. Welsh, Sept. 10, 1920, and Welsh to Weinstock, Oct. 21, 1920- referred by Weinstock to Lubin for his information.


[Western governors correspondence re IWW investigation]


36 letters, July-Aug., 1917. Include letters and telegrams from the governors of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Montana.


Whitton, Frederick


5 letters, 1912-1914.


Williams, Edgar


8 letters, 1913-1914.


Wilson, William Bauchop, 1862-1934

See U. S. Dept. of Labor


Wilson, Woodrow


2 letters, 1918. Typed copies. One is a copy of a letter written by his secretary, J. P. Tumulty.


Wood, Will C.


2 letters, 1919.


Wright, Leroy A.


3 letters, 1913.


Young Men's Christian Association, San Francisco


5 letters, 1913-1914. Primarily from the Immigration Department.