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Register of the Smith Collection of Pacific Coast Newspaper Transcripts, 1856-1890
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Collection Overview
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The Smith Collection of newspaper transcripts focusses on the decade of the 1860s and is centered around those California counties which figured in the copper boomlet of that era: Calaveras, Humboldt, and Modoc. However, the material that the Smiths transcribed gives a reasonably broad social picture of those regions and is not confined to the "nuts and bolts" of copper mining alone. They have provided considerable tangential material on the transportation networks, politics, religion, and social life of the greater copper regions (notably that extending from Stockton and San Joaquin County into Calaveras County). Holt-Atherton has created a subject index to the newspaper transcripts which is available to the researcher on-site.
Reatha Parsell Smith (1903-1976), daughter of a Carnation Milk field manager in Forest Grove, Oregon, graduated from Pacific University in that city (c1924) and taught school at nearby Wilhelmina High School. Her husband, Leroy D. Smith (1907-after 1978), son of a Berkeley (Calif.) attorney and cattle rancher, graduated from Pacific University (1928) and later taught high school in Forest Grove, Oregon (c1930-43), where he eventually rose to the rank of Vice Principal. After 1943, the Smiths lived in Berkeley, California. Mr. Smith was a counselor at Alameda High School until his retirement (c1972). In his spare time, Mr. Smith made bows and arrows, taught archery, and worked with the Boy Scouts. The Smiths were also active members of the Berkeley First Congregational Church. Retha and Leroy Smith had two sons. The eldest, Roger, became a Congregationalist minister in northern California. Myron, the Smith's second son, taught high school chemistry in Washington state. During their California years, Mr. and Mrs. Smith spent many hours typing the contents of 19th c. California, Oregon and Nevada newspapers onto cards with the intention of publishing a book based upon their research on the history of the copper industry in California. They also volunteered their services as researchers to the historical societies of several northern California counties and spent time searching and copying documents and newspapers in the Calaveras County Recorder's Office, the California State Library, the Bancroft Library and the Stockton Public Library in the course of this work.
Collection is open for research.