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Guide to the John E. Jardine Papers, 1893-1941
MS 3586  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Added Entries
  • Related Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John E. Jardine Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1893-1941
    Collection number: MS 3586
    Creator: Jardine, John E. (John Earle), 1871-1956
    Extent: 2 1/2 linear feet
    Repository: California Historical Society, North Baker Library
    San Francisco, California 94105-4014
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The North Baker Research Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The North Baker Research 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], John E. Jardine Papers. MS 3586, California Historical Society, North Baker Research Library.


    The Jardine family can be traced to mid-seventeenth century England. Certain documented letters indicate that John Jardine I's ancestors, by 1900, had dispersed to four continents in at least one hundred different cities.
    John Jardine I, a notable New York architect, was born in Scotland. Jardine I designed at least a hundred buildings including four Carnegie libraries located in Easton, Pennsylvania, East Orange, New Jersey, Tacoma, Washington and Mankah, Minnesota. Jardine's architectural partners were David Jardine (1830-1892) from 1865 to 1893, and between 1893 and 1911, he was in partnership with his brother George E. Jardine (-1903) and William W. Kent (1860?-1955). In a letter to his son in 1903, Jardine I mentioned that Kent was a "talented" architect and that their ten year partnership had been "pleasant." Jardine I entered into his third partnership in 1912 with Hill and Murdock. Their office was located in New York, 3 West 29th Street.
    Jardine I owned farmland in Florida on which citrus fruits were grown and lemons were sold for $1.00 a box in 1903. Even though Jardine I hired farm laborers to harvest the fruit, he took an active role in selling his goods, including travelling to Cuba in 1906 to open an American market. Jardine I was also elected honorary first Vice President of the U.S. Savings Bank in New York in 1901.
    John E. Jardine II was born in New York in 1869. Jardine II was a contented father of four children and an accomplished businessman. He was a leader in the development of Pasadena's business ventures. Jardine II was President of the William Staats Real Estate and Brokerage Company. He also served on the Pasadena Orange Growers Association, the Euclid Water Company, the Sierra Madre-La Manda Association and the Peninsula Farm Company. Jardine II served as Vice President of the Peninsula Lemon Growers Association and was a member of the Pasadena Board of Trade in 1907.
    Jardine II invested in citrus farmland in California. It appears that Jardine II, in conjunction with his father, controlled a substantial part of the Southern California citrus market. Throughout their letters, Jardine II and his father discussed the effects of foul weather on their harvest and the price differentials between the east and west coasts.
    Jardine II settled in California and married Mary G. Peck in 1895. Her father, George Peck, was President of the Bank of San Pedro and was a large real estate holder. Mary Peck Jardine was a socialite who corresponded regularly with numerous acquaintances. Her letters reveal that she was a polite and reliable friend.
    Jardine II and Mary had four children: three sons, John E. III (1899-), Vincent and Douglas and one daughter, Catherine.
    Catherine was born in July, 1901, and married Andrew Post of Connecticut. Catherine settled in Connecticut where she kept in close contact with her grandfather in New York and with her father in California. Catherine, in her letters, always referred to herself as "your little daughter."
    Vincent, a broker for the William Staats Company, married Margaret S. in 1947.
    Douglas married Saphonia in 1939. He became Vice President of the California Consumers Corporation in 1955.
    John E. Jardine III (called Earle) was born in Pasadena on July 31, 1899. Jardine III entered Army Company K and was stationed at Fort Monroe, Virginia from 1918 to 1919. Upon returning from the army, Jardine III attended college at U.C. Berkeley. After completing his education, Jardine III married Laura and had a son, John IV, in 1950.
    Like his father, Jardine III began his career as a salesman for the William Staats Brokerage Company in 1925. In 1931, Jardine III became Department Manager and then Vice President of William Staats Brokerage Company in 1941. Eventually, Jardine III went on to become Chairman of the William Staats Company in 1949.
    Jardine III's interests also led him to become President of the Shoreline Real Estate Company in 1947 (See MS 1122.) As one of the chief sellers of real estate in San Mateo County in the 1940's, Shoreline sold land which was used for California's Ocean Shore Highway #1, between San Francisco and Carmel. By 1950, Jardine III had become a private broker.

    Scope and Contents

    The Jardine family collection consists primarily of personal and business correspondence between 1893 and 1941. The majority of the folders contain family letters, correspondence with friends, photographs, postcards, wedding invitations and poems. Also included are financial reports and statements from the various business associations in which the Jardine family took an interest.
    John Jardine II's correspondence with his family and friends are arranged by name and chronologically in boxes 1-3. Folder 1 contains correspondence from Jardine I which discusses family relations and business transactions. On December 7, 1903, Jardine I mentioned that "business is fairly good considering that most architects are almost idle because of strikes and high prices."
    Folder 4 contains Mary's correspondence from relatives and friends. Her letters reveal that she was socially active and corresponded often with several of her friends.
    Folders 5-12 contain correspondences of Jardine II's sons, John III, Douglas, Vincent, daughter Catherine and daughter-in-law Laura. These letters reveal the closeness of their family. Jardine III's letters follow him through college and his year in the Army. Catherine's letters are newsy and describe her life in Connecticut.
    Of particular interest in folder 17 are letters from friends and relatives in Italy. Some of these letters reveal the fright and disapproval of the Kaiser's rise in Germany. In one letter dated February 12, 1933, Margaret Lester wrote, "Poor young people of the world, they will never see prosperity -nor be able to live full lives...millions who fell in war."
    Photographs of the Jardine family have been transferred to the CHS photograph section. Included among the photograph file are snapshots and portraits of the Jardine family, friends and various scenic shots. One particularly interesting photograph features the building of Jardine I's architectural office in New York. Other photographs show the Jardine's residence in Pasadena throughout the seasons. However, a majority of the individuals in the photographs are unidentifiable.
    Boxes 4 and 5 contain Jardine II's business correspondence filed alphabetically. This correspondence contains information about the several companies in which Jardine II was involved. These companies include the Southern Edison Electric Company, the Fullerton Oil Company, Union Oil and the Occidental Life Insurance Company. Jardine II held several positions on different Boards of Directors. Filed in separate folders are materials relating to the Pasadena Orange Growers Association, the Sierra Madre-La Manda Citrus Association and the Pasadena Lemon Growers. Of particular interest are the stockholders statements that reveal the economic positions of the companies during the early 1900's. The blue sheets scattered throughout folder 22 are copies of Jardine II's mailed correspondence to businesses. A letter from Edgar Camp in folder 22 seeks Jardine II's political support for his running for the Legislative Assembly from the 69th District.

    Added Entries

    • Agriculture--Grape fruit
    • Agriculture--Lemons
    • Agriculture--Oranges
    • Architects
    • Architecture--Libraries
    • Architecture--New York
    • Bank of San Pedro
    • Chater, Colonel Vernon
    • Cuba--U. S. relations
    • Euclid Water Company
    • Farmers and Merchants National Bank
    • Genealogy
    • Gibb, Kate
    • Hahn, Senator B. W.
    • Italy--Social Life and Customs
    • Jardine, George E.
    • Jardine, Hill and Murdock
    • Jardine, John E. I
    • Jardine, John E. III
    • Jardine, Margaret
    • Jardine, Mary
    • Kent, William
    • Pasadena--Business
    • Pasadena Lemon Growers Association
    • Pasadena Orange Growers Association
    • Peck, George
    • Peninsula Farms
    • Postcards
    • Real Property
    • Shoreline Properties, Inc.
    • Sierra Madre-La Manda Company
    • Staats, William Brokerage Company
    • Stocks
    • Citrus Fruit Industry--California
    • Pasadena-Social Life and Customs

    Related Collection

    Shoreline Real Estate Company in 1947.
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 1122.