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Finding Aid to the Keith-McHenry-Pond Family Papers, 1841-1961, 1841-1961
BANC MSS C-B 595  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Keith-McHenry-Pond family papers
    Date (inclusive): 1841-1961
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 595
    Creator: Keith-McHenry-Pond family
    Extent: Number of containers: 23 boxes, 15 cartons, 2 oversize folders 44 digital objects (46 images)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Include papers of William Keith relating to his career as an artist; papers of his wife, Mary McHenry Keith, reflecting her participation in the woman suffrage movement and humanitarian activities; papers of her parents, Ellen and John McHenry; papers of her sister, Emma Pond, and her brother-in-law, Charles Fremont Pond, relating to his naval career, 1876-1918; papers of the Ponds' daughter, Elizabeth Keith Pond, relating primarily to her interest in William Keith and to her travels and her camping trips in the High Sierra.

    Included also are miscellaneous papers of other members of the family and correspondence of Brother Fidelis Cornelius relating to his biography, Keith, Old Master of California.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Keith-McHenry-Pond Family papers, BANC MSS C-B 595, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley


    William Keith was born in Scotland in 1838. He emigrated with his parents to the United States where he became an apprentice to an engraver. In 1859 he came to California, became fascinated with its landscape and began to sketch and paint what he saw. His work proved to be popular and his reputation was soon established. The resulting financial success allowed him to study abroad several times. He produced hundreds of landscapes and portraits during his career, and his home in Berkeley became a meeting place for university professors, writers and artists. When his San Francisco studio was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire, Keith began at once to replace the almost 2000 paintings which had been lost. He continued to work until a few months before his death which occurred on April 13, 1911.
    Keith's second wife was Mary McHenry, daughter of John McHenry, a prominent San Francisco judge. Born in 1855, she graduated from San Francisco Girls' High School in 1875 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1879 from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1882 she received a Bachelor of Law degree from Hastings College of Law, becoming the first woman graduate of that institution. She practiced law only briefly before marrying William Keith in 1883. Mrs. Keith was an early advocate of woman suffrage. She was an active member of many suffrage groups, including the National Equal Suffrage Association, National Woman's Party, Club Women's Franchise League of California and the College Equal Suffrage League, and was president of the California Equal Suffrage Association. In addition, she was an officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and a trustee of the Latham Foundation for the Promotion of Humane Education. The years from her husband's death in 1911 to her own in 1947 were also spent preserving and exhibiting her sizable collection of Keith paintings.
    Charles Fremont Pond was born in Connecticut in 1856. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1876. In 1880 he married Emma McHenry, sister of Mary (McHenry) Keith. His naval career spanning over forty years, he became a rear admiral in 1912 and retired in 1918. He died in Berkeley in 1929.
    Elizabeth Keith Pond, daughter of Charles Fremont Pond, was born in 1886. She studied art under Keith and began to collect material about him which she later used to compile a William Keith Miscellanea. She was a lifelong camper, skier, and hiker. After her father's retirement, they took long hikes throughout the high Sierra and other places in northern California. In 1945 she founded the Keith Art Association which was dedicated to promoting the appreciation, conservation and exhibition of Keith's paintings. She died in 1955 in her Berkeley home.

    Scope and Content

    The Keith-McHenry-Pond Collection consists of the correspondence and papers of William Keith, his wife, Mary (McHenry) Keith, her father, John McHenry, her mother, Ellen Josephine (Metcalfe) McHenry, her sister, Emma (McHenry) Pond, her brother-in-law, Charles Fremont Pond, her niece Elizabeth Keith Pond and other family members.
    These Keith family papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Mary McHenry Keith with numerous additions by Elizabeth Keith Pond and her estate from 1950 to 1956. Papers of Inez (Henderson) Pond, Charles F. Pond's daughter-in-law, were added by her daughter Mary Virginia (Pond) Culbertson in 1961. The collection relates to the careers and other activities and interests of various members of the Keith, McHenry, Pond and related families.
    The key to arrangement which follows describes the collection in greater detail.