Frank Bidwell Durkee was an attorney and director of Public Works for the State of California. The collection includes correspondence,
photographs, maps, and scrapbooks.
Frank Bidwell Durkee was born December 3, 1892 in Chitwood, Oregon to Edward Warren Durkee and Anna Elisabeth Monk. He graduated
from Chico High in 1913. He married Wanda Edger, they had two children. He studied law at USC from 1913 to 1914. He served
in the National Guard of California from 1915 to 1916. He became a member of the State Bar of California in 1926. During
his career he was Assistant Trust Officer at Capital Nation Bank, member of the editorial staff at the Sacramento Bee, Secretary
of Chamber of Commerce and County Food Administrator in Butte County, an attorney for the California Department for Public
Works from 1931 to 1949 deputy director in 1948 the director from 1951 until his retirement in 1958. During that time of
public works included highways, freeways, buildings, and San Francisco Bay toll crossings. During World War II he tried to
apply for military and merchant marine service. He was a member of Governor’s Council and many state boards and commissions
to include: California Highway Commission, California Toll Bridge Authority, Water Project Authority, Public Works Board,
and State Allocation Board. After his retirement he became a member of Sacramento Redevelopment Agency and played a key role
in the development of Old Sacramento. Durkee was active in historical organizations in the state, the Bidwell Mansion Restoration
Association, and the Sacramento Book Collector’s Club. He died in Sacramento May 8, 1983 at the age of ninety.