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Finding Aid to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 180 (Vallejo, Calif.) Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Collections
  • Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • History
  • Scope and Contents

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 180 (Vallejo, Calif.) records
    Date (inclusive): 1900-1981
    Collection number: larc.ms.0105
    Accession number: 1997/076
    Creator: United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 180 (Vallejo, Calif.).
    Extent: 1.25 cubic feet (5 boxes)
    Repository: Labor Archives and Research Center
    J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
    San Francisco State University
    1630 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
    (415) 405-5571
    Abstract: Includes minutes of the executive board for the years 1900-1916 and 1942-1981; applications for membership, 1908-1912; jurisdictional disputes file, 1953-1957; history file, 1902-1957; a 1955 civil suit, and the financial secretary’s record book, 1940-1941.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives & Research Center 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], United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 180 (Vallejo, Calif.), larc.ms.0105, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University.

    Related Collections

    For further information on the Carpenter's Union refer to the following sources in the LARC collection:
    Vallejo Labor Journal: November 1920-July 1922, 1925, 1930-1931, July 1955-December 1970. The Labor Archives has a run of this periodical for the time periods listed.
    Building California: The Story of the Carpenter's Union by Paul Bullock. Center for Labor Research and Education, Institute for Industrial Relations: UCLA, 1982. Location: Labor Archives Book Collection.


    The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 180 donated these records in June 1997.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Kim Klausner in 1997.


    In 1881, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners formed as a national trade union; San Francisco's Local 22 organized the following year. In May 1899, 52 carpenters in Vallejo applied for a local charter and the next month held their first meeting as Local 180 of the carpenters union. M.B. Grace was acting chairman of the organizing group and J.A. Andrews presided at its first meeting. Later that year, Local 180 joined with the Shipwrights, Joiners & Boatbuilders Union to form the Trades and Labor Council of Vallejo, a group now known as the Solano County Central Labor Council.
    In its early years (1899) Local 180 was successful in obtaining the eight-hour day and soon expanded its role to offer a health and welfare plan (1900), one of the first of its kind in the country. Later it represented carpenters at Mare Island's military installation and others working in the fast-growing Solano County.
    Business agents (now titled Senior Field Representative) have been William Leshe, 1949 to 1973; Joseph McGrogan (1973-1989), Gary Ross (1989-1994), and Curtis Kelly (1994-present). Percy Lunn preceded Leshe as business agent.

    Scope and Contents

    An incomplete set of Local 180's executive board meeting minutes comprise the bulk of the collection. The minutes start in 1900, a year after the Local began, and continue through 1981, with gaps from 1902 to 1904 and 1917 through 1941. Until 1967 handwritten minutes were kept in bound volumes; after that date they were typed. A few financial statements are included with the minutes and there is a letter from William Leshe, the Local's business agent, with the 1973 minutes.
    Other items include membership applications from 1908 through 1912; a letter from a dentist detailing treatment of a union member is included with the applications; and a small file about jurisdictional disputes with other building trades unions that includes badly deteriorated xerographic copies of job site photographs that have been copied onto acid-free paper. Lastly, there is a file that had been marked "history" that contains a news clipping from about April 1957 of the union's history; a handwritten chronology; an ACLU leaflet decrying vigilantism in Santa Rosa, probably from the 1930s; two 1902 pamphlets advertising the American Federationist and other AFL materials; and a 1923 "Injunction Decree" enjoining implementation of the American Plan, a business strategy ultimately harmful to the union.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Carpenters--Labor unions--California.