The collection focuses on correspondence, school records, and ephemera related
to Ralph Arnold’s daughter, Winninette Arnold Noyes.
Ralph Arnold was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, on April 14, 1875. His father, Delos
Arnold, was a lawyer and Iowa state senator who became interested in the study of
fossils after the discovery of crinoids fossils in LeGrand, Iowa. The Arnolds moved
to Pasadena, California, in 1886, and Ralph attended both Pasadena High School and
Throop Polytechnic School (now Cal Tech) before receiving his B.A. in geology and
mining from Stanford in 1899. He continued at Stanford to complete his M.A.(1900)
and Ph.D. (1902) in geology and paleontology. In 1899 Arnold married Frankie
Winninette Stokes. The couple had two daughters, Winninette, who married chemist
Richard M. Noyes, and Elizabeth (McKee). Arnold worked for the U.S. Geological
Survey from 1900 to 1909, and from 1903-1909 published a variety of paleontological
articles. He was active in petroleum surveys throughout the United States, and
organized the Petroleum Branch of the U.S. Bureau of Mines. In 1910 he left the USGS
and spent 1911-1916 surveying petroleum resources in Trinidad and Venezuela, about
which experiences he later published a book, The First Big Oil Hunt: Venezuela,
1911-1916. In the 1920s Arnold’s interests turned to politics, and he was actively
involved in the Herbert Hoover presidential campaign. He remained committed to the
California Academy of Sciences, the Cooper Ornithological Society, and the Sierra
Club, among other organizations. Arnold died in Santa Barbara in 1961.
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.