Sugg and McDonald family papers
Scope and Contents
- circa 1850-1973
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
50.1 Linear Feet (56 boxes)
Language of Materials
A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog
Sugg Family and McDonald Family
In 1855, Sugg married Mary Elizabeth Snelling (1839-1915). She was born in Johnson City, Missouri, the daughter of Julia Snelling (born circa 1800), an enslaved woman formerly held by the William Snelling family, the founders of Snelling, California. In 1851, Mary and her mother relocated to California with the Snelling family.
In 1857, William Sugg built a three-room brick-faced adobe house at 37 Theall Street in Sonora; in 1885, a multi-storied and wood framed addition added seven bedrooms to the residence. Around the turn of the twentieth century, the Sugg home provided rooms to overflow guests from local hotels.
William and Mary Sugg had eleven children: Julia "Fannie" Sugg (born circa 1856), Sarah Ann Sugg (circa 1857-1914), Elizabeth Francis Sugg (born circa 1858), Mary Anita Sugg (circa 1859-1917); William Sugg (1862-1908), Rosa Adele Sugg (1865-1941), Napoleon "Poli" Bonaparte Sugg (1867-1944), Alonzo Sugg (circa 1869-1923), Nellie Sugg (1871-1959), Melpomene "Babe" Sugg (1874-1950) and Ernest Alaric Sugg (1876-1952). In 1877, the elder William Sugg relocated to Merced, where he operated a harness business until his death.
Only two of the children in the Sugg family married. In 1897, the younger William Sugg married Alice Elebeck (born 1869); they divorced two years later. In 1906, Rosa married Daniel William McDonald (1866-1952), and they had two sons, Earl Sugg McDonald (born 1903) and Vernon "Scoop" Sugg McDonald (1906-1982).
In 1912, Rosa, Earl, and Vernon McDonald relocated to Sonora and lived in the Sugg House. Earl reportedly moved to Sacramento, while Vernon remained in Sonora and became a correspondent with the Modesto Herald and Associated Press. Vernon also served as a sergeant in the United States Army during World War II.
In 1979, Robert Brennan purchased the Sugg family home, while Vernon McDonald continued to live there until his death in May 1982. In 1984, the Sugg House became a listed property on the National Register of Historic Places.
Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.
- African Americans -- California -- Sonora
- Historic sites -- California -- Sonora
- McDonald (Family)
- McDonald family
- McDonald, Earl Sugg, 1903-
- McDonald, Vernon Sugg, 1906-1982
- Modesto Herald
- Negatives (photographic)
- Nicol, George W., -1922
- Photographic prints
- Postage stamps
- Sonora (Calif.)
- Sonora (Calif.) -- Social life and customs
- Sugg, Alonzo, approximately 1869-1923
- Sugg, Elizabeth Francis, approximately 1858-
- Sugg, Ernest Alaric, 1876-1952
- Sugg, Julia, approximately 1856-
- Sugg, Mary Anita, approximately 1859-1917
- Sugg, Mary Elizabeth Snelling, 1839-1915
- Sugg, Melpomene, 1874-1950
- Sugg, Napoleon Bonaparte, 1867-1944
- Sugg, Nellie, 1871-1959
- Sugg, Rosa Adele, 1865-1941
- Sugg, Sarah Ann, approximately 1857-1914
- Sugg, William, 1828-1889
- Sugg, William, 1862-1908
- Suggs family
- Urban African Americans -- California -- Sonora
- Guide to the Sugg Family and McDonald Family Papers
- by Beinecke Staff
- 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
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