Scope and Content
Title: Stockton (Calif.) Furniture Factory Records & "Fica" Dorrance Scrapbook,
Date (inclusive): 1879-1882; 1897
Collection number: Mss12
Frances C. Dorrance
Extent: 0.5 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Stockton (Calif.) Furniture Factory Records & "Fica" Dorrance
Scrapbook, Mss12, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the
The rather obscure manufacturing firm first named in the title of this collection seems
to have existed in Stockton as early as 1879 and late as 1888. The earlier date is
clearly established by notations in the two account books which make up this collection.
The later date is inferred from a reference to the factory in the Stockton City and San
Joaquin Directory, 1887-88, which, although it contains no entry for the "Stockton
Furniture Factory," notes in passing that one Martin Schneider is a cabinet maker there.
The factory was apparently owned from 1879 until about 1883 by James V. Logan and his
sister, Mary Elizabeth Logan Doan. Sometime around the latter date, the factory was taken
over by Mrs. Doan's sons, Charles E. and Lattimer E. Doan. Lattimer was an oil man of San
Francisco, while Charles E. Doan, whose biography appears in Tinkham's History of San
Joaquin County (1923), was Superior Court Reporter in Stockton. Mrs. Mary E.L. Doan died
in Stockton in 1919.
Nowhere on the account books themselves is there any mention of the company, although
many pages preface month and year with the word "Stockton." The clients named form a
broad cross-section of Stockton citizenry, from A.N. Baker, saloon keeper, through John
Wallace, civil engineer. Apparently the factory made furniture to order. The range of
work noted in the second volume--a day book, or log book of items manufactured for
individuals--extends from beds, bureaus and chairs to wardrobes. The largest single order
seems to have been for eighteen office chairs.
Stockton Furniture was probably out of business by 1897, since the two account books
which contain the records of the firm were used by one "Fica" Dorrance, from February 17,
1897, as a scrapbook. "Fica" Dorrance was probably Frances C. Bird Dorrance, the second
wife of harness and saddle manufacturer and co-owner of the Stockton Daily Independent,
H.T. Dorrance, who had been in business in Stockton since 1850. One consequence of the
second use of these account books is that many pages of the Stockton Furniture
Manufacturing Company's records are obscured by newspaper clippings. In the volume where
the clippings are most in evidence one also finds a sequence of handwritten essays on
diverse topics, possibly by Mrs. Dorrance.
Scope and Content
The clippings Mrs. Dorrance has pasted over the index pages and most of the first 120
pages of the Stockton Furniture Factory's account books refer to society women,
causation, divination, electrical therapy, woman suffrage, phrenology, performing
artists, California tourist attractions and countless other delights. The anonymous
essays and addresses contained in the same volume range from descriptions of California
to a disquisition on food.