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Ruth Wilhelmina Kohlstedt Benson and Eloise Jeanette Benson Nicholl photographs and photograph albums of California life

 Collection
Call Number: WA Photos 1296

Scope and Contents

Photographs and photograph albums compiled by Ruth Wilhelmina Kohlstedt Benson and Eloise Jeanette Benson Nicholl documenting the Benson family in California, circa 1908-1947. Images are primarily formal and informal group and individual portraits of mostly identified men, women, and children chiefly in Big Bear City, La Crescenta, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California, but also in Indiana and other identified locations. Multiple photographs show the Benson family in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Photographs also document James Bernard Benson’s military service in Savenay, France, during World War I and William John Nicholl’s military service in the American South during World War II. Malcolm Daniel Benson and Phyllis Pearl Benson appear in the albums as well.

Also present are a scrapbook and papers relating to the Benson’s cottage at Big Bear Lake, 1929-2003.

Dates

  • circa 1908-2003
  • Majority of material found within circa 1914-1946

Creator

Language of Materials

Captions in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Ruth Wilhelmina Kohlstedt Benson and Eloise Jeanette Benson Nicholl Photographs and Photograph Albums of California Life is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Book Shop, LLC on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2017.

Extent

3 Linear Feet (11 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.bensonphotographs

Overview

Photographs and photograph albums compiled by Ruth Wilhelmina Kohlstedt Benson and Eloise Jeanette Benson Nicholl documenting the Benson family in California, circa 1908-1947. Images are primarily formal and informal group and individual portraits of mostly identified men, women, and children chiefly in Big Bear City, La Crescenta, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California, but also in Indiana and other identified locations. Multiple photographs show the Benson family in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Photographs also document James Bernard Benson’s military service in Savenay, France, during World War I and William John Nicholl’s military service in the American South during World War II. Malcolm Daniel Benson and Phyllis Pearl Benson appear in the albums as well.

Also present are a scrapbook and papers relating to the Benson’s cottage at Big Bear Lake, 1929-2003.

James Bernard Benson and Ruth Wilhelmina Kohlstedt Benson

James Bernard Benson (1891-1979) and Ruth Wilhelmina Kohlstedt Benson (1893-1944) met in 1911 at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. The couple married in California in 1917 and subsequently enrolled at the Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut to study for missionary service. During World War I, James Benson served with the United States Army in France; following the war, he returned to Los Angeles, California, soon finding work teaching in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 1927, the Bensons and their three children (Malcolm Daniel Benson, Eloise Benson, and Phyllis Pearl Benson) moved back to Los Angeles, where both James Benson and Ruth Benson were teachers. In 1930, the Benson family began construction on a cottage in Big Bear City, a development promoted by the Peter Pan Woodland Club.

Eloise Jeanette Benson Nicholl

Eloise Jeanette Benson Nicholl (1921-2016) married William John Nicholl (1914-2005) in 1942. William Nicholl worked in San Diego, California, as a sales representative for Breakfast Club Coffee following his service with the United States Army during World War II.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards. For more information, please refer to the Beinecke Manuscript Unit Processing Manual.
Title
Guide to the Ruth Wilhelmina Kohlstedt Benson and Eloise Jeanette Benson Nicholl Photographs and Photograph Albums of California Life
Status
Completed
Author
Sarah Lerner
Date
July 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.