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Guide to the Lilborne Alsip Winchell Collection, 1881-1931
MSS #003  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Published Sources

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lilborne Alsip Winchell Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1881-1931
    Collection number: MSS #003
    Origination: Winchell, L. A. (Lilborne Alsip), 1855-1939
    Extent: 1 linear foot
    Repository: Fresno City and County Historical Society
    Fresno, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Papers of L. A. Winchell, donated by the Estate of L. A. Winchell.


    Collection is open for research by appointment only.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Fresno City and County Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Society archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Fresno City and County Historical Society 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], Lilborne Alsip Winchell Collection, MSS #003, Fresno City and County Historical Society.


    L. A. Winchell was born in Sacramento in 1855 and moved to Millerton with his family in May 1859. In 1874, the family moved to Fresno after it was named the new county seat. Winchell was the son of Elisha Cotton Winchell, an early superior court judge and first Co. Superintendent of Schools.
    L. A. Winchell was engaged in various businesses and occupations. He served as a clerk in his father's law office, the County Recorder's office, the Tax Collector's office and the Sheriff's offices. Additionally, he was chief deputy in the Assessor's office, and Ranger-at-Large with the Forestry Service. He bought and sold land, invested in a sawmill and timber enterprise, farmed, raised stock, and experimented in hybridizing and plant breeding. He experimented with the cultivation of apple trees, and received a patent on a fruit-drying tray in 1908. He was a member of the California Peach Growers, Inc. and the California Associated Raisin Company. Winchell served as secretary of the temperance group known as the White Ribbon Reform club.
    On September 7, 1883, he married Ernestine Miller, a local historian. L. A. and Ernestine were two of the original founders of the Fresno County Historical Society, with Ernestine serving as curator of the Society from 1926-1941.
    L. A. Winchell's experiences as an early settler in Fresno County provided him with a wealth of exposure to the County's early settlers and developments. His manuscript, History of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley was published in 1933.

    Scope and Content

    The L. A. Winchell Papers span 1881-1931 and contain correspondence, printed material, research notes, notebooks, photographs primarily of the Millerton area, postcards, a roster of early settlers in Fresno County, diaries of Jedediah S. Smith and Harrison G. Rodgers annotated by Winchell. Also included is 46-chapter typewritten manuscript of the History of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley. Most of the information concerns the areas of Fresno County and the Sierra Nevada, however some notes on other counties are included. Of special interest are notes on local Indians, robberies, and "Fresno's firsts," such as the first post office and fire department.
    One photo of Winchell has been separated into the Historical Society Manuscript Photograph collection. That photo shows where Tiburcio Vasquez and his gang waited for sundown before robbing Jones' store in 1873.

    Published Sources

    Winchell, L. A. History of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley, A. H. Cawston, Fresno. 1933.