Biography / Administrative History
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Dr. Walter Lindley scrapbooks
Bulk Dates: bulk 1875-1921
Collection number: H1987.3
Lindley, Walter, b. 1852
Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.
Abstract: The Dr. Walter Lindley Scrapbooks document through clippings,
correspondence, and ephemeral materials Dr. Lindley’s most notable endeavors, including the
formation and management of the California Hospital and nursing program, his candidacy for mayor
of Los Angeles, the development of the Whittier State School, time served on the Los Angeles
Public Library board and the founding of a tuberculosis sanitarium in Idyllwild.
Physical location: Please consult repository.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English
Collection open for research.
All requests for permission to publish must be submitted in writing to Special
[Identification of item], Dr. Walter Lindley scrapbooks. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd
Library, Claremont University Consortium.
The Dr. Walter Lindley Scrapbooks were a gift to Honnold/Mudd Library in 1988 by F. Haynes
Lindley, Jr., and Walter Lindley, in memory of their father Francis Haynes Lindley.
Alternative Forms of Material Available
Digital collection available via The Claremont Colleges Digital Library: Dr. Walter Lindley Scrapbooks - http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/col/lsc/.
Biography / Administrative History
Dr. Walter Lindley (1852-1922) was born in Monrovia, Indiana, January 13, 1852. He was the son
of Milton Lindley, merchant, treasurer and commissioner of Los Angeles County and Mary E.
Lindley (born Mary E. Banta). During boyhood he attended school and worked on a farm. He
graduated from Keen's School of Anatomy in Philadelphia in 1872, followed by Long Island College
Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1875. During his final year of college he was appointed by the
Brooklyn Board of Health as ambulance surgeon and was also resident physician for the Eastern
District Hospital in Williamsburg.
In 1875 Dr. Lindley moved to Los Angeles and married Miss Lou C. Puett. They had two children,
Flora and Myra. In 1881 Mrs. Lindley died. From 1882 to 1893 he was married to Lilla Leighton,
but was widowed a second time when she died at the age of 34. In 1896 he married his third wife,
the widow of Mr. Robert Hardie, Mrs. Florence Hardie. Florence was the sister of two of Dr.
Lindley's colleagues, Dr. John R. Haynes and Dr. Francis L. Haynes. The couple had two children,
Dorothy and Francis Haynes.
After moving to Los Angeles, Dr. Lindley quickly became immersed in politics, philanthropic
activities, and medical practice. He helped organize the Young Men's Republican Club of Los
Angeles and became the group's first president. He established the Free Dispensary of the
Medical College on Requena Street, which treated the underprivileged at no charge. When he
became the County Health Officer in 1878, a position he held for one year, he helped develop a
free vaccination for children attending public schools and a system of registering births and
deaths. In 1879 he was appointed Health Officer of Los Angles, where he issued the first health
circular to the public warning of the outbreak of scarlet fever.
Dr. Lindley firmly believed that Los Angeles needed a medical school. In 1885 he helped found
the College of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Over the years he served as
dean and on the faculty of obstetrics and gynecology. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Lindley brought
another first to Los Angeles. In 1886, with colleagues J.P. Widney and J.B. Kurtz, Dr. Lindley
founded the first medical journal in Los Angeles, the Southern California Practitioner, which
was published for 36 years. Through most of the publication's existence, Dr. Lindley served as
editor, publisher, and frequent contributor.
In1886 Dr. Lindley opened a practice on 315 West Six Street, which became known as Dr.
Lindley's Private Hospital for over 20 years. His brother-in-laws, John R. Haynes and Francis
Haynes also worked at the hospital. In 1887 Dr. Lindley and Dr. Francis Haynes established "The
Pacific," the first private hospital in Southern California which gradually developed into the
California Hospital. For twenty years Dr. Lindley managed the California Hospital, which was
owned and operated entirely by physicians and became known as one of the best hospitals on the
west coast. In 1920 the hospital was sold to the Lutheran Hospital Society and is still in
operation today as the California Hospital Medical Center.
Dr. Lindley was a life long advocate for the proper care of orphan and delinquent children. In
1880 Dr. Lindley helped found the Los Angeles Orphan's Home, where he served as the first
president in 1882, and acting physician for eight years. During his travels to England and
France he visited orphan homes, where orphans were placed with families and learned a trade. Dr.
Lindley became a proponent of creating a family atmosphere for orphan children in place of the
institutional orphanages that existed in the United States. Dr. Lindley also believed that the
state of California needed a reform school for delinquent children, something that was already
common in many other states. His wish became true in 1890 when the Reform School opened, which
shortly thereafter was renamed the Whittier State School. Dr. Lindley was appointed
superintendent from 1890 to 1894 and his brother Hervey was appointed to the Board of Trustees.
After Dr. Lindley left his post as superintendent, he remained a member of the Board of Trustees
and served as president from1899 to 1905. The Whittier State School was later renamed the Fred
C. Nelles School for Boys, which is no longer in operation today.
In 1901 Dr. Lindley opened a tuberculosis sanitarium in Idyllwild, California with Dr. F.T.
Bicknell. While Dr. Lindley had many successes during his lifetime, this was not one of them. He
attributed the financial failure of the sanitarium to the poor roads that made it difficult to
travel to Idyllwild and that most individuals with mild cases of tuberculosis did not want to be
near others with the disease for fear of making it worse. After a few years the sanitarium was
turned into the Idyllwild Mountain Resort Company, which suffered from a devastating fire in
April of 1905.
In 1906 Dr. Lindley became a nominee for Los Angeles mayor on the Republican ticket. The Los
Angeles Times supported him and from all reports Dr. Lindley appeared to be the shoe-in
candidate. It was a stunning disappointment when he placed third, losing to Democrat E. W.
On January 20, 1922, Dr. Lindley died of a cerebral hemorrhage in his home. He was survived by
his wife and four children.
References for biography: Harnagel, Edward E. "The Life and Times of Walter Lindley, M.D.,
1852-1922, and the Founding of the California Hospital." Southern California Quarterly.
Burdette, Robert J., ed. Greater Los Angeles and Southern California, their portraits and
chronological record of their Careers. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906, p. 132
"Doctor Lindley Dies at Home," Los Angeles Times, January 25, 1922
"Dr. Lindley is Laid to Rest," Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1922.
"In Social Spheres," Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1894, p. 4.
National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, volume 13. New York, James T. White and Company,
Dr. Walter Lindley Scrapbooks, Francis Haynes Lindley Memorial Collection, Honnold/Mudd
Special Collections, Claremont University Consortium.
|1852 January 13
||Dr. Walter Lindley born in Monrovia, Indiana
||Graduated from Keen's School of Anatomy, Philadelphia
||Ambulance surgeon appointed by the Board of Health of the city of Brooklyn, N.Y. and
resident physician for Eastern District Hospital, Williamsburg.
||Graduated from the Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y.
||Arrival in Los Angeles and begins his medical practice
||Marries Miss Lou C. Puett, daughter of Reverend W. W. Puett. They had two children,
Flora, who later married Philip Kitchin, and Myra, who later married Samuel F. Bothwell. Mrs.
Lindley died on May 8, 1881
||Assisted in the organizing of and first president of the first Young Men's Republican
Club of Los Angeles
||Organized Free Dispensary on Requena Street, which developed into the Free Dispensary of
the Medical College, which treated the sick poor at no charge
||Secretary of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, serving three years
||County health officer, serving one year where he helped develop a free vaccination for
children attending public schools and a system of registering births and deaths
||Became the Southern California correspondent of the San Francisco Post
||Assisted in organizing and became one of the Directors of the Humane Society
||Appointed Health Officer of Los Angeles
|1879 May 19
||Issued the first health circular of information for the public in Los Angeles
||Elected member City Board of Education, Chairman of Committee on Building and Repairs,
and Chairman of Committee of Purchase of Books for School Library
||Los Angeles County physician
||One of the founders of the Los Angeles Orphan's Home, became its first president in
1882, and served eight years as its physician
||Member of the Board of Education of Los Angeles
||President of the Los Angeles County Medical Association
||Post-graduate coursework, N.Y. City
|1882 March 10
||Marries second wife Lilla Leighton, who died in 1893 at the age of 34
||Appointed Examining Surgeon for Pensions by President Harrison
||One of the founders of the College of Medicine of the University of Southern California,
where he chaired obstetrics and gynecology. Secretary of Faculty and Professor of Obstetrics,
1885-1890, Professor of Gynecology, 1894-1901, Dean, 1902-1905
||Appointed superintendent of the Los Angeles County Hospital
||With colleagues J.P. Widney and J.B. Kurtz, founded Los Angeles' first medical journal
the Southern California Practitioner, which was published for 36 years. Through most of the
publication's existence, Lindley served as editor, publisher, and frequent
||Started practice on 315 West Six Street, which became known as Dr. Lindley's Private
Hospital for over 20 years. Also working there were John R. Haynes and Francis Haynes.
||Medical Superintendent, Los Angeles County Hospital
||Co-authors with Dr. J. P. Widney California of the South: its physical geography,
climate, resources, routes of travel, and health-resorts, published by the Appleton Company,
two more editions were later published
||Post-graduate coursework, N.Y. City
||Appointed member of the Board of Free Holders for the purpose of preparing a new charter
for the city of Los Angeles
||Established "the Pacific," the first private hospital in Southern California with Dr.
Francis L. Haynes. This small hospital gradually developed into the California
||President of the California State Medical Society
||Helps establish the Whittier State School, a reform and trade school, where he worked
with his brother Hervey Lindley. Hervey was appointed to the Board of Trustees, while Dr.
Lindley was appointed superintendent (1890-1894). After leaving his post as superintendent, he
remained a member of the Board of Trustees and was president of the Board of Trustees from
1899-1905. The school was later renamed the Fred C. Nelles School for Boys.
||Vice-President National Conference of Charities
||Marries third wife, Mrs. Florence Hardie, widow of Robert Hardie, daughter of James S.
Haynes and sister of Dr. John R. Haynes and Dr. Francis L. Haynes. They had two children,
Dorothy and Francis Haynes.
||Appointed Trustee of the Throop Polytechnic Institute, Pasadena
||Appointed by President Cleveland the Pacific Coast delegate to International Prison
||Organized and was elected President of the Board of Directors of the College Training
School for Nurses, the first training school for nurses established in Southern
||President Los Angeles Humane Society
||Appointed Medical Examiner by the State Commission in Lunacy
||One of the founders of the California Hospital, owned and operated entirely by
physicians and managed by Dr. Lindley for twenty years. In 1920, the hospital was purchased by
Lutheran Hospital Society and became a nonprofit. The hospital is now named the California
Hospital Medical Center
||Director of Farmers and Merchants National Bank
||Opened a tuberculosis sanitarium in Idyllwild, California with Dr. F.T. Bicknell. The
sanitarium was a financial failure and ceased to exist after a few years, later becoming the
Idyllwild Mountain Resort Co. The sanitarium and resort were not a financial success in part
because of how difficult it was to travel to Idyllwild. The resort also suffered from a
devastating fire in April of 1905.
||Elected Director of the University Club
||Received degree of LL.D. from St. Vincent's College
||President University Club
||Candidate for mayor of Los Angeles on the Republican ticket. Lindley came in third place
in the balloting losing to Democrat, E. W. Harper.
||Dr. Lindley is appointed to the Board of Medical Examiners in the State of
|1922 January 20
||Dr. Lindley died of a cerebral hemorrhage in his home
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection consists of 32 scrapbooks that were assembled by Dr. Walter Lindley, covering
the spectrum of interests and activities that took place during his lifetime. The scrapbooks
document through clippings, correspondence, and ephemeral materials Dr. Lindley’s most notable
endeavors, including the formation and management of the California Hospital and nursing
program, his candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles, the development of the Whittier State School,
time served on the Los Angeles Public Library board and the founding of a tuberculosis
sanitarium in Idyllwild. Other scrapbooks are themed around personal topics and interests, such
as banquets, commencements and dinner parties where Dr. Lindley was often a speaker or guest of
honor, his travel abroad, correspondence with or in regard to family members, and a collection
of articles on Shakespeare.
The collection is arranged into nine series:
- Series 1: California Health Resort Company and Idyllwild Mountain Resort
- Series 2: California Hospital
- Series 3: Candidacy for Mayor of Los Angeles
- Series 4: Dinners and Commencements
- Series 5: General Topics
- Series 6: Los Angeles Public Library
- Series 7: Shakespeare
- Series 8: Travel
- Series 9: Whittier State School
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Hospitals -- California -- Los Angeles County
Orphanages -- California
Juvenile delinquency -- California -- Los Angeles County
Juvenile delinquents -- Rehabilitation -- California -- Los Angeles County
Tuberculosis -- Treatment
Elections -- California -- Los Angeles
Mayors -- California -- Los Angeles -- Election
Medicine Study and teaching
Nursing -- Study and teaching