Guide to the Lilborne Alsip Winchell Collection, 1881-1931

Processed by Jeanette Jurkovich; machine-readable finding aid created by James Lake
Fresno City & County Historical Society Archives
7160 West Kearney Boulevard
Fresno, California 93706
Phone: (559) 441-0862
Fax: (559) 441-1372
Email: Fhsarchiv@aol.com
URL: http://www.valleyhistory.org
© 1999
Fresno City and County Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Lilborne Alsip Winchell Collection, 1881-1931

Collection number: MSS #003



Fresno City & County Historical Society

Archives

Fresno, California

Contact Information:

  • Fresno City & County Historical Society Archives
  • 7160 West Kearney Boulevard
  • Fresno, California 93706
  • Phone: (559) 441-0862
  • Fax: (559) 441-1372
  • Email: Fhsarchiv@aol.com
  • URL: http://www.valleyhistory.org
Processed by:
Jeanette Jurkovich
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 1999 Fresno City and County Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Lilborne Alsip Winchell Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1881-1931
Collection number: MSS #003
Origination: Winchell, L. A. (Lilborne Alsip), 1855-1939
Extent: 1 linear foot
Repository: Fresno City and County Historical Society
Fresno, California
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Acquisition

Papers of L. A. Winchell, donated by the Estate of L. A. Winchell.

Access

Collection is open for research by appointment only.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Fresno City and County Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Society archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Fresno City and County Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lilborne Alsip Winchell Collection, MSS #003, Fresno City and County Historical Society.

Biography

L. A. Winchell was born in Sacramento in 1855 and moved to Millerton with his family in May 1859. In 1874, the family moved to Fresno after it was named the new county seat. Winchell was the son of Elisha Cotton Winchell, an early superior court judge and first Co. Superintendent of Schools.
L. A. Winchell was engaged in various businesses and occupations. He served as a clerk in his father's law office, the County Recorder's office, the Tax Collector's office and the Sheriff's offices. Additionally, he was chief deputy in the Assessor's office, and Ranger-at-Large with the Forestry Service. He bought and sold land, invested in a sawmill and timber enterprise, farmed, raised stock, and experimented in hybridizing and plant breeding. He experimented with the cultivation of apple trees, and received a patent on a fruit-drying tray in 1908. He was a member of the California Peach Growers, Inc. and the California Associated Raisin Company. Winchell served as secretary of the temperance group known as the White Ribbon Reform club.
On September 7, 1883, he married Ernestine Miller, a local historian. L. A. and Ernestine were two of the original founders of the Fresno County Historical Society, with Ernestine serving as curator of the Society from 1926-1941.
L. A. Winchell's experiences as an early settler in Fresno County provided him with a wealth of exposure to the County's early settlers and developments. His manuscript, History of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley was published in 1933.

Scope and Content

The L. A. Winchell Papers span 1881-1931 and contain correspondence, printed material, research notes, notebooks, photographs primarily of the Millerton area, postcards, a roster of early settlers in Fresno County, diaries of Jedediah S. Smith and Harrison G. Rodgers annotated by Winchell. Also included is 46-chapter typewritten manuscript of the History of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley. Most of the information concerns the areas of Fresno County and the Sierra Nevada, however some notes on other counties are included. Of special interest are notes on local Indians, robberies, and "Fresno's firsts," such as the first post office and fire department.
One photo of Winchell has been separated into the Historical Society Manuscript Photograph collection. That photo shows where Tiburcio Vasquez and his gang waited for sundown before robbing Jones' store in 1873.

Published Sources

Winchell, L. A. History of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley, A. H. Cawston, Fresno. 1933.

Series Description

 

Correspondence

 

Incoming

Additional Note

Arranged alphabetically by sender and relates to Winchell's historical research of Fresno County pioneers and his experimental farming, mostly of varieties of apples. The earliest correspondence (1888) is from his father, E. C. Winchell, mentioning his construction project in downtown Fresno (refer to Vandor, History of Fresno County and Biographical Sketches, 1919. Vol. 1, pg. 638.) A letter from M. Mitchell of Ducor, California (1915) states, "...Harry James is a nephew of D. B. James...I knew D. B. James from my early boyhood he was a remarkable character a very bright man...no doubt his nephew will be able to help you a great deal." Two letters from C. S. Newhall of the General Lands Office, Department of the Interior (1903) describe L A. Winchell's duties as Ranger-at-Large of the Forest Service. A ten-page letter from George J. Crammer (1921) gives an account of "Indian Excitement" in the foothills. Correspondence from the War Department states that Fort Miller was commissioned on May 26, 1851, and abandoned on October 1, 1864. The letter states that while there is no official record of who Fort Miller was named after, rumor had suggested that it may have been named after the poet Joaquin Miller. A separate service record on Major Albert S. Miller is contained within the correspondence that shows he was involved in an expedition to the Sierras and Benecia from 1850-1852. A letter from George W. Stewart (1921) recalls a steamboat on Tulare Lake presumably owned by Isaac Goldstein, a merchant, and A. J. Atwell, an attorney. It also mentions his acquaintance with D. B. James.
 

Outgoing

Scope and Content Note

Contains only two letters. In one, Winchell writes to the War Department (1920) asking about General Miller and inquiring about whether Fort Miller might have been named after Gen. Miller. A letter to Professor Gustav Eisen (ca. 1930) in New York asks for a letter explaining Eisen's exploration of the Sierras, his experiences with Eisen Vineyard, and his explorations with Frank Dusy.
 

Printed Material and Documents

Scope and Content Note

The printed material includes L. A. Winchell's time sheet for May 1885 as Deputy Assessor for Fresno County; a Pacific Rural Press clipping (1887) regarding western seedling fruits; an 1891 invitation to the opening of the San Joaquin Valley Railroad (which ran from Fresno to Pollasky); a reception program from the One Hundred Thousand Club (1896); a Patent for invention of a tray issued to L. A. Winchell (1908) "for the use in drying fruit and the like..." a copy of the House of Representatives bill "authorizing any tribe or band of Indians of California to submit claims to the Court of Claims" (1926); and a certificate proclaiming Winchell an honorary member of the Romantic '49er's from the Standard Oil Company of California (1930).
 

Literary Productions

 

"Sierra Nevada - Sequoia National Park Early Explorations by G. A. Eisen"

Scope and Content Note

Folder 2a contains a 13 page typewritten essay by G. A. Eisen explaining some of his early experiences in the area mountains.
 

Smith and Rodger's Diaries

Scope and Content Note

Contains 60 pages of handwritten notes and quotes for a book entitled Smith and Rodgers' Diaries and Further Adventures of Jedediah S. Smith (ca. 1916). Jedediah Smith was one of the first white men to explore the Central San Joaquin Valley and to cross the Sierra Nevada (ca. 1826). Rodgers was a member of Smith's first exploration party. The notes contain diary entries and letters from their explorations throughout California, annotated by Winchell who compared their accounts with other primary and secondary research sources, particularly H. C. Dale's 1916 article published in the Oregon Historical Society Quarterly. The last 1 1/2 pages contain Winchell's bibliography for the manuscript.
 

Research notes (ca. 1877-1939).

Scope and Content Note

Includes quotes from articles in the Fresno Expositor, interviews with Fresno pioneers, names and dates of settlement, histories on apple varieties, and first drafts of chapters for Winchell's book on the history of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley. There is also a rough sketch of 'Casa Blanca," a two story wood-frame ranch house in Old Fresno City. A possible early membership list of the Fresno County Historical Society (written in pencil on Frank Short Memorial Home letterhead), and a note from L. A. Winchell to BRW (Ben R. Walker) donating "this material" to him.
 

D. B. James' "Reminiscences of Early Days in Southern Mines".

Scope and Content Note

This manuscript was written in 1903 and annotated by L. A. Winchell in 1920. Winchell's annotations verify, or give background information on historical aspects in James' first hand accounts of gold mining on the San Joaquin River, including related adventures and events from 1851-1865. James had been a member of Colonel George W. Barbour's Indian Commission of the United States officers and troops (including General John C. Fremont and Major James Savage). James joined the party in Los Angeles and remained behind when they reached the San Joaquin River. The party continued on to Benecia and then disbanded.
The special emphasis of James' stories refer to gold mining techniques, murders which took place in the area's settlements, and the Indians that lived in the foothills of the Sierras. How Mr. Winchell came by D. B. James' accounts has not been ascertained.
 

L. A. Winchell's manuscript, Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley.

Scope and Content Note

The 46 chapters of Winchell's book typed on legal-sized paper, double spaced, which covers early Spanish explorations through 1929, including Millerton and the Sierra Nevada, Indian revolts, banditos, and the development of the city of Fresno. Ben R. Walker wrote that it took Winchell a number of years to complete the manuscript. This manuscript was later published in abbreviated form by A. H. Cawston in 1933 (Fresno County Blue Book 1941:211)
 

Photographs

Scope and Content Note

Images of early Millerton and Fort Miller, ca. 1920-1936.
 

Minutes, Proceedings, and Literary Productions

 

Roll Book of the White Ribbon Reform Club of Fresno, Ca (1881)

Scope and Content Note

List of Members. L. A. Winchell was secretary of this temperance organization.
 

Preamble and Articles Governing the White Ribbon Reform Club

Scope and Content Note

The White Ribbon Reform Club book contains notes, plans and newspaper clippings in the back relating to Winchell's horticultural interests.
 

Roster of Pioneers and Old Settlers in Fresno County (1892) ca 1920-1930.

Scope and Content Note

List was collected from various gatherings.
 

Postcard folder of San Francisco (1909).

Scope and Content Note

From E. C. Winchell, L. A. Winchell's father.
 

Manuscript Notes-History and Expositor Notes (1913)

Container List

 

Correspondence

Box 1, file 1

Letters Received 1888-1931

 

Printed Material

Box 1, file 2

Miscellaneous 1885-1930

 

Literary Productions

Box 1, file 3

Diaries, Smith and Rodgers nd.

file 4

Research Notes [1877-1939]

file 5

Research Notes [1877-1939]

file 6

Reminiscences of Early Days in the Southern Mines 1851-1865, 1903

file 7

C. 1 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 8

C. 2,3 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 9

C. 4 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 10

C. 5 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 11

C. 6 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 12

C. 7 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 13

C. 8 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 14

C. 9 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 15

C. 10 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 16

C. 11 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 17

C. 12 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 18

C. 13 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 19

C. 14 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 20

C. 15 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 21

C. 16 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 22

C. 17 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 23

C. 18 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 24

C. 19 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 25

C. 20 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 26

C. 21 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 27

C. 22 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 28

C. 23 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 29

C. 24 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 30

C. 25 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 31

C. 26 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 32

C. 27 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 33

C. 28 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 34

C. 29 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 35

C. 30 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 36

C. 31 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 37

C. 32 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 38

C. 33 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 39

C. 34 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 40

C. 35 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 41

C. 36 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 42

C. 37 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 43

C. 38 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 44

C. 39 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 45

C. 40 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 46

C. 41 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 47

C. 42 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 48

C. 43 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 49

C. 44 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 50

C. 45 History of San Joaquin Valley

file 51

C. 46 History of San Joaquin Valley

Box 2, file 1

Roll Book, White Ribbon Reform Club 1881

file 2

Charter, White Ribbon Reform Club 1881

file 3

Roster of pioneers in Fresno County 1892 [1920-1930]

file 4

Postcard folder of San Francisco 1909

file 5

Research notes 1913

file 6

Separation Sheets