Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Edna W. Phelps Collection
MS-R043  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (103.08 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Separation Note
  • Related Collections
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Edna W. Phelps collection,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1810-1981 (bulk ca. 1880-ca. 1910)
    Collection number: MS-R043
    Collector: Phelps, Edna W., 1905-
    Extent: 2.1 linear feet (5 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
    Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
    Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Abstract: The Edna W. Phelps Collection contains photographs, correspondence, diaries, and family documents representing the history of at least four generations of the Phelps, Gulick, Davidson, Humiston, Gooch, Huntley, Schultz, Willson, and Turner families from 1847-1978. The bulk of the collection documents the Gulick family from ca. 1880-ca. 1920. Also included are topical files and biographical/subject research files on other various families and locations in Tustin and the vicinity from ca. 1810-1981.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Edna W. Phelps Collection. MS-R43. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Edna W. Phelps in 1971, 1981, and 1984.

    Processing History

    Preliminary arrangement by Laura Clark Brown in 1997 included preservation photocopying and discarding of original documents (photocopies and newspaper clippings). Processed by Lynette J. Stoudt, February 1999.

    Biography

    Edna W. Phelps collected family photographs, correspondence, diaries, and family documents dating back four generations to her ancestors in Plainview, Illinois. She also collected materials relating to the history of Tustin and the surrounding vicinity from ca. 1810-1981.
    In addition to these collecting activities, Edna Phelps edited family diaries and writings and wrote a short document, which is included in this collection, entitled, "One by One the Gulicks Came West." Edna also conducted interviews on early Southern California history with William Huntley (her distant cousin) and George Bartley, whose family settled in El Modena, California in 1882. In 1968-1969 she edited an unpublished work by Helen Gulick Huntley and William M. Huntley (distant cousins of hers) entitled "Tustin Scrapbook," which is located at the California State Library.
    Aside from her fascination with family and Orange County history, little else is known about Edna Phelps. She is the great granddaughter of Martin Nickolas Gulick, who is the earliest member of her family represented in this collection.
    Martin Nickolas Gulick (1815-1900) was married three times. His first marriage was in 1841 to Eleanor Welch (Edna Phelps' great grandmother) and resulted in three children: Mary Jane (Edna Phelps' grandmother), James Harvey and Eleanor Matilda. This brief marriage ended in 1848 with the death of Eleanor Welch Gulick. Family names of Edna Phelps' aunts, uncles and cousins by this marriage include: Barrett, Crouch, Davidson, Hewitt, Huntley, Munger, Page, Palmer, Reid, Ruggles, Schultz, Scovil, Thompson, Wichersham and Willson.
    Martin N. Gulick's second marriage took place in 1850 to Jane Vanarsdall. They had no children, and she died in 1857.
    His third marriage to Annis C. Phelps occurred in 1860 and resulted in the birth of five daughters: Sadie, Alice, Olive, Hattie and another who died in early childhood. Only two of their daughters married, and as far as the information in this collection recounts, no grandchildren survived early childhood. Annis and her daughters, who corresponded through much of the latter part of the 19th century, generated much of the Gulick correspondence in this collection, with topics ranging from descriptions of dress patterns to discussions of living conditions.
    The marriage of Martin and Annis Gulick resulted in the meeting and courtship of Mary Jane Gulick (Edna Phelps' grandmother) and Louis Ransom Phelps (half-brother of Annis C. Phelps). Ultimately Mary and Louis were married, at which time Mary was disowned by her father for unknown reasons. The banished couple lived in Jerseyville, Illinois for many years with very few ties to the Gulick family. Their first born (of twelve children) was Ernest Phelps, Edna Phelps' father. Edna may have spent a portion of her childhood in Southern California, as documents in this collection indicate that her grandparents followed her parents there in 1904, settling in Pasadena. Many photographs of the Phelps family are included in this collection.
    Most of the Gulick family began moving West during the railroad rate wars that prompted a boom in ca. 1880, sending many Midwesterners to California. Work opportunities and a reduced cost of living were just two of the attractions that appealed to the Gulicks. However, the most attractive aspect of the West seems to have been the weather. As Eleanor Davidson (Edna Phelps' aunt) said in early 1888 as she arrived in San Bernardino, California, by train from Illinois, "I could hardly believe we were in the land of summer till the girls went out and seen flowers and oranges in abundance and it was so warm."
    Many of the Gulicks settled in Orange County and the surrounding vicinity. Their occupations included orchard fumigation, walnut production, and preaching. One cousin was known as the jack-of-all-trades, moving his family around as work became available in various cities.
    By the 1920s, the point at which the bulk of the material in this collection ends, a network of Edna Phelps' relatives, all descendents of the Gulicks, were well established in many areas of Southern California.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The Edna W. Phelps Collection contains photographs, correspondence, diaries, and family documents representing the history of at least four generations of the Phelps, Gulick, Davidson, Humiston, Gooch, Huntley, Schultz, Willson, and Turner families from 1847-1978. The bulk of the collection documents the Gulick family from ca. 1880-ca. 1920. Also included are topical files and biographical/subject research files on other various families and locations in Tustin and the vicinity from ca. 1810-1981.
    Because the originals of these materials reside at other institutions (e.g., Bowers Museum, Tustin Area Museum, Western Association for the Advancement of Local History) or were obtained from outside research sources, many documents are photocopies of originals. The locations of originals are noted on the photocopies, when known.
    The research files in Series 4 were created by Helen Gulick Huntley. They are made up of both handwritten and typed notes, many of which were generated in ca. 1960. Also included in Series 3 is a typescript biography on Columbus Tustin by Helen Gulick Huntley.
    The collection is organized in four series:
    • Series 1. Photographs, 1855-1967. 0.6 linear ft.
    • Series 2. Correspondence, 1852-1978. 0.7 linear ft.
    • Series 3. Topical materials, 1847-1972. 0.5 linear ft.
    • Series 4. Research files, ca. 1810-1981. 0.3 linear ft.

    Separation Note

    Two items were removed from this collection and cataloged individually:
    • Orange County Masonic Bulletin, Dedication Edition, October 1931
    • Orange County Masonic Bulletin, August 1932

    Related Collections

    The following collections in Special Collections at the UCI Libraries contain related materials:
    • MS-R24. Alice Gulick Gooch Photographs (Step-great aunt of Edna Phelps by Martin N. Gulick's third marriage)
    • MS-R26. Quinn and Jesse Gulick Photographs (Second cousins of Edna Phelps by Martin N. Gulick's first marriage)
    • MS-R28. Huntley Collection

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Gulick family--Archives.
    Orange County (Calif.)--Archival resources.
    Phelps, Edna W., 1905- --Archives.
    Phelps family--Archives.

    Genres and Forms of Materials

    Diaries.
    Maps--California--Orange County.
    Photographic prints--California.
    Photographic prints--California--Orange County.
    Tintypes.