Harbach and the Housebook
Part IV of a Series: To learn more about the Lummis Housebook Digitization Project, read the introductory post So Lummis Pretty Much Knew Everybody, Didn’t He? For the other posts in the series, click here.
Beginning in the 1970s, a series of books titled The Book of Lists were published. Each book contained hundreds of lists, with explanations, on unusual or special topics. I was reminded of these books while working on the Lummis housebook project because one of the lists I remember involved asking prominent people which historical figures they would invite to dinner if language was not a barrier. Another list involved asking people about events in history at which they would like to have been present. While these lists just reflected peoples’ wishes, Charles Lummis was actually able to do this at his home. Here again are more of his historically significant (and interesting) visitors:
- Solomon Bibo—Prussian-born Jewish trader in the Southwest who became governor (tribal chief) of Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. He is the only non-Indian ever to serve as the chief of an Indian pueblo.
- Douglas Fairbanks—actor, director, and producer who is best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films such as The Mark of Zorro, The Thief of Bagdad, and Robin Hood. He also hosted the first Oscars ceremony in 1929.
- Ferde Grofé—one of America’s leading composers, probably best known for his Grand Canyon Suite.
- Jared S. Torrance—founded the city of Torrance, California. He provided the funds to build Torrance Tower at the Southwest Museum.
- Edward Wadsworth Jones—founded and was first president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. He also fought in the Civil War.
- Frederick W. Putnam—naturalist and anthropologist who was the curator of the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at Harvard University for thirty-five years. He directed archeological digs in more than thirty states and in other countries, and is widely known as the “Father of American Archeology.”
- Albert E. Winship—pioneering American educator and education journalist. He was the editor of the Journal of Education in Boston, which was one of the most influential educational magazines in the United States.
- William Buehler—superintendent of Petrified Forest National Monument in Arizona.
- Opie Read—American journalist and humorist who, at various times, served as the editor of five different newspapers in the southern United States. Read is credited with first putting into print the phrase “There’s a sucker born every minute,” even though that phrase is more commonly associated with P. T. Barnum.
- William Allen White—renowned editor of the Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas, politician, author, and a leader of the Progressive Movement (reform movement that came about as a result of the vast changes brought by modernization, such as the growth of large corporations and railroads, and fears of corruption in American politics). From 1896 to his death in 1944, White was the iconic spokesman for Middle America. He was also a founding editor of the Book-of-the-Month Club.
- Katherine Philips Edson—social worker and feminist who was responsible for the minimum wage bill which the California Legislature passed in 1913. She was also a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1920.
- John P. Harrington—linguist and ethnologist who specialized in the Native peoples of California.
It certainly would have been enjoyable, as well as enlightening, to chat with these and other persons whose names have already appeared in this blog. The time would really go by fast.
Our next list will be no less interesting. It will include a Jesuit priest who led at least thirty expeditions into Alaska and the Arctic and became known as “The Glacier Priest.” It will also include the daughter of one of the best-known persons in Western history who turned the first spade of earth for the building of the Southwest Museum. See you next week.