Guide to the Reid Family Papers

Santa Clara University Library Archives & Special Collections
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500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara 95053-0500
Email: specialcollections@scu.edu


Contributing Institution: Santa Clara University Library Archives & Special Collections
Title: Reid Family Papers
Creator: Reid, Bernard J. (Bernard Joseph), 1823-1904
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.1986.9.11
Physical Description: 9.17 linear feet, 23 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1827-1961 (bulk 1846-1916)
Abstract: The Reid Family Papers,1827-1961 (bulk 1846-1916), document the personal and professional lives of several members of the Reid family. This collection includes material related to Bernard J. Reid’s 1849 overland journey to California from Missouri, including his personal diary from the trip. The records consist of correspondence, business documents, poetry, journals, annotated books, photographs, newspaper clippings, and maps. This collection is arranged into four series: Series I. Bernard J. Reid Papers, 1840-1961 (bulk 1840-1904); Series II. Ambrose Reid Papers, 1871-1935 (bulk 1871-1916); Series III. Reid Family Diaries, Books and Miscellanea, 1843-1940 (bulk 1861-1918); and Series IV. Reid Family Photographs,1849-1902 (bulk 1860-1880).
Physical Location: This collection is located in Santa Clara University Library's Archives & Special Collections.
Language of Material: English

Access

The collection is open for research. There are no restrictions.

Publication Rights

Materials in Archives & Special Collections may be subject to copyright. All requests for permission to publish from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Archives & Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials.

Preferred Citation

Reid Family Papers, MSS.1986.9.11, Santa Clara University Library, Archives & Special Collections.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michelle Runyon. Finding aid EAD encoded by Shannon Hartman. Reviewed by Erin Louthen.

Biographical History

Bernard J. Reid was born April 24, 1823 in Youngstown, Pennsylvania, the son of Irish immigrants. At the age of seventeen, B.J. Reid became the teacher of the district school at Pleasant Unity, Pennsylvania. When he was nineteen, he moved to Clarion, Pennsylvania where he taught school and did land surveying. The following year, he and his brother John C. Reid founded and published The Iron County Democrat, which later became The Clarion Democrat.
In 1849, Reid participated in the great migration to Gold Rush California. Upon his arrival in California, after a difficult overland journey with the Pioneer Line, Reid worked as a miner near Weber's Creek. In 1851, Reid arrived at the newly established Santa Clara College where he became one of the school's first lay professors. He worked closely with Fr. Nobili, the founder of Santa Clara College, and other faculty to assist with the school's establishment. He taught English and mathematics there until 1852.
In 1852, Reid returned to Clarion, Pennsylvania by way of the Isthmus of Panama. In Clarion, he completed his legal studies and was admitted to the bar on December 3, 1853. Reid married Letitia Farran in 1854, daughter of John and Letitia Farran. Together, they had nine children, including Ambrose, whose papers are also included in this collection. During the Civil War, Reid served as Captain of Company F, 63rd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Following the war, he resumed an active legal practice in Clarion.
Bernard J. Reid died on November 15, 1904 in Pittsburgh as a result of an attack of pneumonia.
Ambrose Reid was born on February 3, 1857 in Clarion, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and then began to study law under his father in 1875. In 1878, Ambrose was admitted to the bar and became a member of his father's firm. In 1911, he ran for and won the office of judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. He served in this office for the remainder of his life. In December 1933, Ambrose was bestowed the honor of becoming the fifth president judge of Allegheny County. Like his father, Ambrose took an active interest in the community and was a member of several religious and civic groups.
Ambrose Reid died in 1941 as a result of a long term illness.
Note: Most of the biographical information contained here comes from a legacy finding aid, which we believe drew much of its information from the collection itself.

Organizational History

Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as Santa Clara College and is California’s oldest operating institution of higher learning. It was established on the grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asìs, the eighth of the original 21 California missions. The college originally operated as a preparatory school and did not offer courses of collegiate rank until 1853. The institution became known as the University of Santa Clara in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law were added. For 110 years, Santa Clara University was an all-male school. In 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates and Santa Clara University became the first coeducational Catholic university in California. The number of students and faculty tripled over the next decade and the university began the largest building program in school history with eight residence halls, a student union, and an athletic stadium. In the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the size of the undergraduate population, an action that was intended to preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for generations to come. In 1985, the university adopted Santa Clara University as its official name.
Bibliography:
Santa Clara University. “About SCU – History.” www.scu.edu/about/history.cfm (Accessed Nov. 23, 2010)
McKevitt, Gerald, S.J. The University of Santa Clara: A History, 1851-1977. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1979.

This collection is arranged into four series: Series I. Bernard J. Reid Papers, 1840-1961 (bulk 1840-1904); Series II. Ambrose Reid Papers, 1871-1935 (bulk 1871-1916); Series III. Reid Family Diaries, Books and Miscellanea, 1843-1940 (bulk 1861-1918); and Series IV. Reid Family Photographs,1849-1902 (bulk 1860-1880).

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Reid Family Papers, 1827-1961 (bulk 1846-1916), document the personal and professional lives of several members of the Reid family. This collection includes material related to Bernard J. Reid’s 1849 overland journey to California from Missouri, including his personal diary from the trip. The records predominantly consist of the personal papers of Bernard J. Reid and his son Ambrose Reid. Bernard J. Reid was the first lay faculty member at Santa Clara College, now called Santa Clara University, and a successful lawyer in Clarion, Pennsylvania. Ambrose Reid was also a successful lawyer and judge of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Related Material

Overland to California with the Pioneer Line: The Gold Rush Diary of Bernard J. Reid. Link to the bibliographic record: https://sculib.scu.edu/record=b1149469 

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Santa Clara University -- History
Education, Higher -- California -- San Jose
Pioneers -- California -- Biography
Reid, Bernard J. (Bernard Joseph), 1823-1904
Santa Clara College (Calif.)
University of Santa Clara (Calif.)
Santa Clara University (Calif.)

 

Series I. Bernard J. Reid Papers, 1840-1961 (bulk 1840-1904)

Scope and Content

This series documents the personal and professional life of Bernard J. Reid. The series consists primarily of correspondence, newspaper clippings, genealogical material, legal paperwork, financial paperwork, and miscellaneous notes. Bernard Reid kept newspaper clippings related to the treatment of Catholics in the United States, which is included here. Also included is correspondence written over a range of years, from Reid's time spent in California in a variety of occupations to his return to Clarion, Pennsylvania, as well as his career as a lawyer.

This series is arranged by subject.
 

Box 1: Correspondence, Wills, Obituaries, and Genealogical Documents, 1840-1961

 

Box 2: Correspondence, 1863-1904

 

Box 3: Speeches, Correspondence, Poetry, and Miscellaneous Notes, 1840-1904

 

Box 4: Miscellaneous Writings and Ephemera, 1847-1902

 

Box 5: Legal/Financial Papers and Newspaper Clippings, 1840-1900

 

Item 1: Map of Route from Mouth of the Kansas River to San Francisco, California, undated

 

Series II. Ambrose Reid Papers, 1871-1935 (bulk 1871-1916)

Scope and Content

This series documents the personal and professional life of Ambrose Reid. The series consists primarily of correspondence, poetry, campaign materials, newspaper clippings, business records and notes written by Ambrose Reid. Materials related to Ambrose Reid’s campaign for county judge in 1911 are included, as well as material related to his law career. There are also poems and drawings created by Reid; some of the poetry was published in local periodicals.

This series is arranged by subject.
 

Box 6: Correspondence, 1871-1911

 

Box 7: Correspondence and Poetry, 1910-1911

 

Box 8: Poems, Manuscripts, and Ephemera, 1884-1934

 

Box 9: Speeches, Campaign Materials, and Ephemera, 1891-1935

 

Box 10: Magazine Clippings, Newspaper Clippings, Legal Papers, and Business Records, 1874-1916

 

Series III. Reid Family Diaries, Books, and Miscellanea, 1843-1940 (bulk 1861-1918)

Scope and Content

This series documents the personal and professional lives of various members of the Reid family. The series consists primarily of diaries, annotated books, letters, newspaper clippings, legal documents and ephemera. The biographical material found in the diaries of Bernard J. Reid is particularly useful for understanding life in early California. Also included are photocopies of letters that Bernard Reid wrote during his service in the Civil War to his family and friends.

This series is arranged by subject.
 

Box 11: Diaries of Ambrose and Kate Reid, 1874-1916

 

Box 12: Newspaper Clippings and Autograph Book, 1880-1915

 

Box 13: Diaries, Address Books, and Calling Cards, 1893-1928

 

Box 14: Diaries, Notebooks, and Scrapbooks, 1843-1894

 

Box 15: Annotated Books, 1845-1899

 

Box 16: Annotated Books, 1917-1918

 

Box 17: Diaries and Annotated Books, 1836-1935

 

Box 18: Notebooks and Annotated Books, 1855-1884

 

Box 19: Address Books, Notebooks and Annotated Books, 1859-1930

 

Box 20: Photocopies of Army Letters from B. Reid during the Civil War, 1861-1884

 

Box 21: Newspaper Clippings and Legal Documents, 1862-1940

 

Box 22: Diary of Bernard J. Reid, 1849

 

Series IV. Reid Family Photographs, 1849-1902 (bulk 1860-1880)

Scope and Content

This series documents the photographic history of the Reid family during the last half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. Included are several photographs of Bernard Reid in his Civil War uniform.

This series is arranged by subject.
 

Box 23: Reid Family Photographs, 1849-1902