Finding Aid to the Simmons Family Papers, [1845-1909]

Processed by The Bancroft Library staff
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 1997
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the Simmons Family Papers, [1845-1909]

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 754

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Simmons Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): [1845-1909]
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 754
Creator: Simmons family
Extent: Number of containers: 1 box and 1 oversize folder
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: Primarily papers of Orrin Simmons pertaining to his business affairs in Costa Rica and San Francisco and his land holdings in the Berkeley area, Alameda Co., Calif. Included are letters from Juan Rafael Mora, papers concerning the College of California and the University of California, maps and blueprint of a subdivision adjacent to the University in Berkeley.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English and Spanish

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], Simmons family papers, BANC MSS C-B 754, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Gift of William Simmons (September 23, 1958). Courtesy of Mrs. R. E. Prosise. Deposited in Bancroft Library, 1953, by James D. Hart.

Scope and Content

Chiefly papers of Orrin Simmons pertaining to his business affairs in Costa Rica and San Francisco and his land holdings in the Berkeley area, Alameda County, California. A few items relate to his sons, J. E. and W. H. Simmons.

Key to Arrangement


1845-1847 Accounts - receipts from Henry Savage and accounts - Tamala Estate.

Physical Description: (4 items)

1849-1850 Papers relating to shipments of lumber on brig, Lady Shaw Stewart, George Roper, master; bark, Ella Francis, Frederick Isley, master; bark, Secret, Robert Hilton, master.


Bills of lading and exchange, correspondence concerning insurance and agreements.

Physical Description: (14 items)

1849, July 12 Copy of a decree by the Costa Rica Congress granting a license to Juan R. Mora and O. Simmons to construct a canal.

Physical Description: (1 item)

1849, Oct. 3 Receipt for gold shipment on steamer, Crescent City.

Physical Description: (1 item)

ca. 1850 Unidentified list of supplies and fragment concerning a shipment of pearls.

Physical Description: (2 items)

1850, Apr. 19 Luis y Romagon (firm), Acajutla [El Salvador] Receipted bills for wines and liquors.

Physical Description: (1 item)

1850-1851 Papers relating to accounts of Simmons, Hutchinson & Company, San Francisco, concerning sales of lumber.

Physical Description: (3 items)

1850-1851 Hilton, Robert. (3 letters)


1851, May 30 Mora, Juan Rafael. (later President of Costa Rica) Letter and documents concerning settlement of mercantile venture with Simmons.

Physical Description: (6 items)

1852-1853 Partnership agreements between Rollin Wheeler, James M. Ryder and Orrin Simmons, and related papers pertaining to agricultural hardware business in San Francisco and Sacramento.

Physical Description: (5 items)

1853, Mar. 23 Blake, George M. Lease agreement with Wilder Story for cultivation of land in "Contra Costa Township".


1854, Jan. 23 Simmons' mortgage of San Francisco property to Joseph Gray and Gray's receipt for discharge, Jan. 11, 1856.

Physical Description: (2 items)

1854, Mar. 21 & 25 Kingsbury, Joseph (J. D. Hunt & Company) Agreements for sales of hardware business in San Francisco to Simmons.

Physical Description: (2 items)

1854, Sep. 30 Simmons and wife - Mortgage of San Francisco property to W. T. Sherman and Sherman's note of discharge, May 25, 1855, annexed.

Physical Description: (1 item)

1854-1855 Coburn, S. A. Deeds of sale for house and improvements (Berkeley) and for horse, buggy, etc.

Physical Description: (2 items)

1855, Apr. 11 Simmons. Bill of sale to A. S. Norton and N. A. Potter of San Francisco hardware business. (agreement and account) tied together.

Physical Description: (1 item)

1855-1857 Papers pertaining to agreement with Lewis Millington. Deeds and leases for property in Berkeley.

Physical Description: (5 items)

1856, Oct. 1 Simmons. Lease and contract with Jason B. Pierce and Samuel C. Wright for cultivation of lands. (Berkeley)


1857, Oct. 15 Austin, Peter E. and E. H. Austin. Agreement to cut wood on ranch leased from Thomas Rawlings to J. H. Armstrong and by Armstrong to Simmons.


1857-1858 Agreements with William Walter. Lease and deed of sale (land in Berkeley).

Physical Description: (2 items)

1860, Aug. 14 Simmons and wife. Conveyance of water rights in [Strawberry?] Creek to the College of California.


1860, Oct. 22 Waller & Moore (law firm). Letter to James Churchman introducing Simmons.


1860-1862 Papers concerning leasing of land and grazing of stock on property in Plot 80 (Berkeley). Leases and agreements with Wilson Joy & Company, John Short, E. F. Joy and William S. Kennedy.

Physical Description: (4 items)

1861, Sep. 28 Simmons, O. Letter to Henry Durant pertaining to property near Walker River.


1866, May 10 College of California. Deed of sale to William N. Slocum of property in Plot 80 (Berkeley). Signed by Joseph W. Stow and Samuel H. Willey.


1870, Sep. 27 Campbell, F. M. Letter to Henry Durant. A recommendation for E. J. Simmons to enter University of California.


1874-1875 Papers pertaining to promissory notes of Henry Durant to Simmons.

Physical Description: (7 items)

1878, June 3 University of California. Class of 1875. Reunion program.


1883-1884 University of California. College of Dentistry. Certificates in anatomy (dissection) to W. H. Simmons.


Maps: (property in Berkeley)


1878 Boardman Survey (copied 1881) (tracing)


1881 Auction ... Taggart and Dingee (printed)


1895 M. G. King Survey (tracing)


1907 Tibbets Survey (blue print)


1909 Blue print


1909 Warren Cheney sales sheet