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Shenk family papers, 1898-1940.
Collection Overview


Shenk family papers, 1898-1940


Shenk, J. W. (John Wesley), 1842-1922


Shenk, W. W. (William W.)


Fergusson, S. W. (Sam W.)


Holt, L. M. (Luther Myrick), b. 1840


Primarily business papers of J.W. (John Wesley) Shenk, including some letters on letterheads. Early correspondence ca. 1900-1903 with S.W. Fergusson and L.M. Holt relates to Shenk's move from Omaha to the Imperial Valley to participate in the Imperial Land Company development project there. Correspondence during 1910-1913 between John Shenk and his son, William, then resident in Seattle, discusses family business interests in California and Washington, including a mining venture near Columbia, California. A final group of letters from the elderly Shenk in 1921 and 1922 talks of his declining health.


1898 (issued)


451: Business papers. -- 452: Incoming correspondence, A-Ho. -- 453: Incoming correspondence, Hu-W. -- 454: Outgoing correspondence, 1901-1910. -- 455: Outgoing correspondence, 1912-1928.


Schenk family -- Correspondence
Shenk, J. W. (John Wesley) -- 1842-1922 -- Correspondence
Shenk, W. W. (William W.) -- Correspondence
Fergusson, S. W. (Sam W.) -- Correspondence
Holt, L. M. (Luther Myrick) -- b. 1840 -- Correspondence
Imperial Land Company -- History
Imperial County (Calif.) -- History
Real estate development -- California -- Imperial County
Mines and mining -- California -- Columbia
Businessmen -- California -- Correspondence
Methodists -- California -- Correspondence


Ca. 1900, John Wesley Shenk (1842-1922) was a Methodist minister in Omaha where he and his wife, Susanna, were raising their six children, William W., Edmund, John Wesley, Jr., Adolphus, Susan and Mary. Through the promotional efforts of S.W. Fergusson and L. M. Holt, Shenk heard about the opening of the Imperial Valley in California. He invested in the Imperial Land Company and moved there with the family in 1901 where he and two of his sons, John Wesley, Jr., and Adolphus became well established in Calexico.
By sometime after 1913, however, the Shenks had all relocated. William W. was like his father a Methodist minister, based in Seattle where he was also involved in various entrepreneurial businesses. John Wesley, Jr. was a practicing attorney in Los Angeles where he became City Attorney and was later appointed to the California Supreme Court. Adolphus was also resident in Los Angeles where he was a successful businessman. Edmund was resident in Nevada where he changed the spelling of his name to Shank. Mary and her husband Henry Wilson were farming near Turlock.
Shenk family papers
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.


Letterheads.$2 gmgpc

Physical Description:

5 ms. boxes : ill.







Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.