Skip to main content

SCU Digital Collections

About this collection

The Reid Family
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. For complete information on the collection, visit our finding aid at the Online Archive of California.


Collection Description
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.


We have digitized an extensive selection of items for this online collection; the links within the collection descriptions lead to the digitized items in that series.


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


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 and his experiences during the Civil War.


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); 


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.


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);


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.


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).


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.


Box 23: Reid Family Photographs, 1849-1902

Select the collections to add or remove from your search