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Reid Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.1986.9.11

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.

Dates

  • 1827-1961 (bulk 1846-1916)

Language of Materials

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.

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 becameThe 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.

Extent

9.17 linear feet (23 boxes)

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).

Arrangement

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.

Related Material

Overland to California with the Pioneer Line: The Gold Rush Diary of Bernard J. Reid https://sculib.scu.edu/record=b1094580

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michelle Runyon. Finding aid EAD encoded by Shannon Hartman. Reviewed by Erin Louthen. Folder-level descriptive information added by Daniela Baez and Mia Hope in 2018.

Title
Guide to the Reid Family Papers
Date
© 2016 Santa Clara University. All rights reserved.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections, Santa Clara University Library Repository

Contact:
Santa Clara University Library
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara California 95053-0500 USA US
408-554-5530