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Henry Edwards Huntington Papers: Finding Aid
mssHEH  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection consists of the personal and business papers of American railroad and land developer Henry Edwards Huntington (1850-1927). The papers deal chiefly with California railways and Southern California real estate and industry. There are also papers related to the founding and history of the Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.
Background
Henry Edwards Huntington (1850-1927), founder of the Huntington Library, was born in Oneonta, New York, son of Solon Huntington and Harriet (Saunders) Huntington. In 1870, Henry Huntington left Oneonta to learn the hardware business in New York City. There he worked first as a porter, then in 1871 he began to work for his uncle Collis Potter Huntington (1821-1900), managing the latter's sawmill in St. Albans, West Virginia. So successful was the young Huntington, that his uncle gave him increased responsibility and opportunity, which took him into Ohio and Kentucky, where he assisted his uncle in managing widespread railroad interests. In 1892 he went to San Francisco as Assistant to the President of the Southern Pacific Company, that is, to his uncle Collis P. Huntington. In San Francisco he was not only an able executive for the Southern Pacific Company, but also found time to organize the San Francisco railway system, and turn his attention to various other enterprises. It was in 1892 that he first visited the Los Angeles area, and saw the old Shorb Ranch which he was later to purchase and convert into the San Marino Ranch, later the Huntington Library, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens. After the death of Collis P. Huntington in 1900, Henry E. Huntington began to withdraw from those business interests with which he had been involved with his uncle. In 1902 he transferred his headquarters from San Francisco to Los Angeles, purchased the Shorb Ranch, organized the Pacific Electric Railway Company, the Huntington Land and Improvement Company, and a number of other enterprises relative to real estate, industrial development, hotel interests, etc. The ranch became a productive fruit ranch and botanical garden under the able direction of William Hertrich.
Extent
22,490 items in 200 boxes + uncataloged materials
Availability
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.