RANCH: Lincoln Steffens visits Adobe Santa Anita canyon June 20, 1901

Hollenbeck Hotel
Los Angeles California,
June 20, 1901

Dear Father
Three nights and two days on the Santa Anita Ranch, a day at Santa Barbara with Harry Hollister, a night here to think it over, and I leave this evening on the Limited with this conclusion: that you have no happier child than Dot [Lottie Steffens Hollister]–unless it is Jimmy Hollister?

They are the prize impression of my trip, the best think I have seen. Her you know. He is one of the finest young men I have ever met, simple, reserved, solid and with Dot he is beautiful. There is love there, but love may be passionate, violent, selfish. Jimmy is gentle, kind and easily affectionate. As I told Dot, too, he is able. What he does, he does without a strain, and I noted in him that calm sense of reserve power which I have found in the big men of Wall Street. He has repose, because he has strength, maybe even power, and if a crisis ever comes in their lives she will find James Hollister a big, brave man.      Dot is all right.

They all like her. Will and Harry and the Mexican “Jo.” They have accepted “Jimmy’s young wife” as they call her with a touch of humor that is a touch of human affection.

She is nervous just now. Her condition makes her so, but it is purely the excitement of extraordinary happiness, and there isn’t an element in their situation that is not just as it should be. Write to her as often as you all can till she is through her time, but rely on her tall, handsome young husband to see her out.
I am delighted.
I’m almost as happy over them as they are over themselves, and I’m inclined to forget everything else in the thought of the little old home of adobe on the Santa Anita Ranch.

I’m glad that I got away with disturbing it, but I wouldn’t take that chance again.

I wouldn’t go near them again fora a long while lest I should make some slip.


You and Mamma are sound and clear for whatever may come. Lulu [Steffens]  is changed remarkably, and Laura [Steffens] has her problem to solve; Laura is the youngest of us, and there is time for her. I’d like to write a long letter to her, only she seems so self reliant, that it would be a little like interference. But I believe in her also. I like everybody, in fact. and I like you just as you are.
Love to all and goodbye.
Lincoln Steffens

V 1, p 149,

Collected Letters

Ed Tallant letter to William Wallace Hollister November 13, 1909

November 13, 1909

My dear Will,

Your two letters were duly received and I note what you may about the trustees having the income from your $30,000 legacy on your indebtedess. I have delayed answering your letters until I could get a chance to talk with Mr Richards about this. He tells me it will be necessary for you to get written authorization to apply this money and has drawn up a paper in blank for you to fill in and sign which will give us the local right to so apply this income. As we didn ot know what accounts you desired us to pay off he has left a blank space in which  you want the money applied.

The only ones I know of that you owe are the Anna Tufts note for $3,000 and the judgement in favor of Pedro Baron. I don’t know anything about the Cordero note that you refer to in your letter. Your mother paid off the  $1800 due Clifford Mare about two years ago and she also paid off a judgment in favor of Hermogenes Ortega a long time ago. Old Mr Vail paid Mrs Tufts the $5.000 that was due her before he died, so you really owe that the Vail boys this money instead of Mrs Tufts.

I find a paper in the safe which is an agreement between you, Harry and your brother in regard to the cattle you turned over on the Santa Anita: in it she agrees to take over the cattle and apply the proceed on a certain list of your notes. This arrangement was made between you all before I came into the Office, but I know that all the notes and a large amount of interest in them were all paid by your mother .

So I think this cattle  account must here cost more than was ever realized from the cattle. The cattle, I believe,  all went into that “infernal market” that you refer to feelingly. I can make your sentiments about it as I spent many a sleepless hour worrying about it before I finally disposed of it.   Your mother lost an awful lot of money in it.

The $11,000 that you mentioned in your letter I don’t know anything about; it must have  been price to the time I took over the estate matters. I presume some of the old back accounts should  show its payment to you. I understood the sum of $41,000, 00 that you stand charged with on the Estate books was made  up of sums of money you had drawn from the Estate on your account, these would be chargeable against your interest n the Estate and accordingly to my way of figuring the value of the Estate in far more than either Harry, Jim or Stanley will ever realize from the Estate in the final distribution. After the payment of the special legacies to your Mother, Jeanie and Jim, together with the accumulated interest, as the Will provides, there will be very little left as the reisduary estate to be divided among the heirs. I don’t believe there will be over $20 000 coming to any of the heirs.

Harry and Jim both had to hurry of back to Mexico, as they have a big deal on hand down there; the hope to affect a sale of the property they and Mead are interested in down there and the prospective purchasers are now down there looking over the ranch. I hope they can make the sale go, as it will give Harry and Mead a chance to get out whole on their investment. They have not made a cent on it since they went into it. They have been handicapped for insufficient funds to improve the property.

I am sorry to hear of your bad health and hope this will find you feeling better. I will be glad to answer any letters you write me and will always like to hear from you. Both the boys sent their regards to you and said they would write you as soon as they could get the time to do so.6642

By the way, several years ago you wrote your mother that you would like to have a little piece of land that you could settle on and raise alfalfa and chickens on. Soon after she received that letter she… in the San Joaquin valley in [Kitgo] county which she has been paying for in monthly installments with the intention of deeding it to you for that purpose. The payments are nearly completed now and if you would like to try it down there I can arrange to complete the payments  on it and have the title made out to you. The land is […] under irrigation or soon will be; the Company agrees to have it under irrigation by the time the property is paid up. The Company is farming it for the purchasers now one quarter crop rent and after the payments are complete they offer to farm it for a one-half crop rent. I shall continue to make the monthly payments until you decide what you would like to do with it.

Yours very truly, EC TALLANT.

Box 2 of Bancroft Catalogue, Letter Number 59  Ed Tallant letter  to William Wallace Hollister

Wedding: John James Hollister and Lottie Steffens Marry December 11, 1900

Jim’s sweetheart, Lottie Steffens got her Ph.D. From the University of Gottingen in German—her docteral dissertation was couched in erudite German—and returned to California. Jim hired himself to Sacramento he hired out as Assistant County Surveyor.

Wedding plans were cooking throughout the year of „oughty-ought“, the last of the old century, and Jim and Lottie tied the knot on december 11, 1900, in the Steffens residence in Sacramento which is now famous as the governor’s residence.

Jim knew the chief engineer of the Southern Pacific, Marsh, well enought to ask him if he could provide the newly weds with transportation on the new coast line, then a building in the Pt. Conception area, the siding nearest to the Santa Anita,  as far as Drake, the siding nearest to the Santa Anita.

–W.A.Tompkins (WAT) ; JJsr Manuscript p118–