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Inventory of the Henry W. Keller Papers, 1827-1966 (bulk 1910-1957)
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Significant persons represented by 10 letters or more
  • Important or interesting items
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Henry W. Keller Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1827-1966 (bulk 1910-1957)
    Creator: Keller, Henry W.
    Extent: 7985 pieces (many of the papers are bound together in files so that one item may contain up to 500 or more letters)
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Gift of Mrs. Ruth (Keller) FitzGerald via Ann FitzGerald, Conservator, Oct. 22, 1981


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Henry W. Keller Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    In order to maintain the integrity of the collection, the original groupings of material have been preserved. Many of these are bound together and contain letters and documents to, from, or about the folder title. If the material is bound together it is listed as one item, although it may contain hundreds of letters.


    Henry Workman Keller, Los Angeles financier, was born on April 15, 1869, the son of Matthew Keller (q.v.) and Eliza Agnes (Christie) Keller. His father had been born in Ireland, emigrated to the United States in 1832, then went to Mexico for about 12 years. He returned to the United States and in 1851 settled in Los Angeles, becoming one of its pioneer vintners and businessmen. When ten years old, Henry Keller was sent to school in France; two years later his father passed away. At the age of thirteen he became the ward to Isaias W. Hellman, long a friend of his father's and president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank. Henry inherited the Malibu Ranch and at the age of eighteen entered the cattle business. In 1891 he sold the Malibu Ranch to Frederick K. Rindge and retained only a small section in Solstice Canyon for himself. In 1894 he married Mary Adelaine Boehme, daughter of George Boehme of Santa Monica. They had eight children: Ruth FitzGerald, Donald Keller, Frederick Keller, Kenneth Andrew Keller, John Mathew Keller, Katherine O'Brien, Marian Francis, and Marjorie Cannell.
    For many years Henry W. Keller was associated with the Automobile Club of Southern California. He was president in 1937, vice-president in 1938, and, for 30 years, chairman of its most important committee, Roads and Highways. He was highly honored for his work with Mexican officials in planning Mexico's West Coast Highway, which is now the western link of the Pan American Highway from Arizona to Mexico City. Keller was a director of the Farmers & Merchants Bank from 1918 to 1940, a member of the California State Fish and Game Commission, involved in many varied financial enterprises--real estate, agriculture, and mining in both California and Mexico.

    Scope and Content

    Land in California and Mexico; California agriculture (especially prunes and rice); American interests in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution; mining in Mexico (mainly Sonora)

    Significant persons represented by 10 letters or more

    Chandler, Harry
    11 letters (1910-1938)
    Crutcher, John P.
    12 letters (1933-1943)
    Fletcher, Edward
    121 letters (1910-1935)
    Luce, Llewellyn A.
    25 letters (1943-1951)
    Mott, John G.
    13 letters (1912-1917)
    Randolph, Epes
    12 letters (1911, 1921)
    Sepulveda, Ygnacio
    10 letters (1910-1915)
    Timken, Henry H.
    18 letters (1911-1920)
    Valentine, William L.
    12 letters (1910-1939)

    Important or interesting items

    • American Mexican Claims and Settlements - letters to and from the U.S. Department of State, legal firms, and Mexican officials regarding the expropriation of the land of the San Isidro Ranch Company. Box 19 (6-9), Box 20 (1-5), and Box 33 (4)
    • Articles of Incorporation of the San Isidro Ranch Company. Box 21 (2)
    • Damsites - location of water supply sources for the city of San Diego from property across the border on the San Isidro Ranch Company property. Box 22 (8)
    • San Diego & Arizona Railway Company - water supply sources for the railroad from the property of the San Isidro Ranch Company. Box 30 (6)
    • Land papers for Rancho San Isidro Ajolojol, the earliest being 1827 while Upper and Lower California were one, with an original diseño map. Box 27 (28)

    Related Material

    Note: There are many papers of Henry W. Keller in the Matthew Keller Collection, as well as papers of Matthew in the Henry Keller Collection, so both sources should be consulted in studying either person.