Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Keith-McHenry-Pond Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1841-1961
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 595
Creator: Keith-McHenry-Pond family
Number of containers: 23 boxes, 15 cartons, 2 oversize folders
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Include papers of William Keith relating to his career as an artist; papers of his wife, Mary McHenry Keith, reflecting her
participation in the woman suffrage movement and humanitarian activities; papers of her parents, Ellen and John McHenry; papers
of her sister, Emma Pond, and her brother-in-law, Charles Fremont Pond, relating to his naval career, 1876-1918; papers of
the Ponds' daughter, Elizabeth Keith Pond, relating primarily to her interest in William Keith and to her travels and her
camping trips in the High Sierra.
Included also are miscellaneous papers of other members of the family and correspondence of Brother Fidelis Cornelius relating
to his biography, Keith, Old Master of California.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library 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.
[Identification of item], Keith-McHenry-Pond Family Papers, BANC MSS C-B 595, The Bancroft Library, University of California,
Scope and Content
The Keith-McHenry-Pond Collection consists of the correspondence and papers of William Keith, his wife, Mary (McHenry) Keith,
her father, John McHenry, her mother, Ellen Josephine (Metcalfe) McHenry, her sister, Emma (McHenry) Pond, her brother-in-law,
Charles Fremont Pond, her niece Elizabeth Keith Pond and other family members.
These Keith family papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Mary McHenry Keith with numerous additions by Elizabeth Keith
Pond and her estate from 1950 to 1956. Papers of Inez (Henderson) Pond, Charles F. Pond's daughter-in-law, were added by her
daughter Mary Virginia (Pond) Culbertson in 1961. The collection relates to the careers and other activities and interests
of various members of the Keith, McHenry, Pond and related families.
The key to arrangement which follows describes the collection in greater detail.
William Keith was born in Scotland in 1838. He emigrated with his parents to the United States where he became an apprentice
to an engraver. In 1859 he came to California, became fascinated with its landscape and began to sketch and paint what he
saw. His work proved to be popular and his reputation was soon established. The resulting financial success allowed him to
study abroad several times. He produced hundreds of landscapes and portraits during his career, and his home in Berkeley became
a meeting place for university professors, writers and artists. When his San Francisco studio was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake
and fire, Keith began at once to replace the almost 2000 paintings which had been lost. He continued to work until a few months
before his death which occurred on April 13, 1911.
Keith's second wife was Mary McHenry, daughter of John McHenry, a prominent San Francisco judge. Born in 1855, she graduated
from San Francisco Girls' High School in 1875 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1879 from the University of California
at Berkeley. In 1882 she received a Bachelor of Law degree from Hastings College of Law, becoming the first woman graduate
of that institution. She practiced law only briefly before marrying William Keith in 1883. Mrs. Keith was an early advocate
of woman suffrage. She was an active member of many suffrage groups, including the National Equal Suffrage Association, National
Woman's Party, Club Women's Franchise League of California and the College Equal Suffrage League, and was president of the
California Equal Suffrage Association. In addition, she was an officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
and a trustee of the Latham Foundation for the Promotion of Humane Education. The years from her husband's death in 1911 to
her own in 1947 were also spent preserving and exhibiting her sizable collection of Keith paintings.
Charles Fremont Pond was born in Connecticut in 1856. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1876. In 1880
he married Emma McHenry, sister of Mary (McHenry) Keith. His naval career spanning over forty years, he became a rear admiral
in 1912 and retired in 1918. He died in Berkeley in 1929.
Elizabeth Keith Pond, daughter of Charles Fremont Pond, was born in 1886. She studied art under Keith and began to collect
material about him which she later used to compile a William Keith Miscellanea. She was a lifelong camper, skier, and hiker.
After her father's retirement, they took long hikes throughout the high Sierra and other places in northern California. In
1945 she founded the Keith Art Association which was dedicated to promoting the appreciation, conservation and exhibition
of Keith's paintings. She died in 1955 in her Berkeley home.