De Shields Family Papers

DeShields Family Papers MS 20
Portrait of Anna M. De Shields, circa 1860s, De Shields Family papers, MS 20, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library.

The De Shield Family Papers document three generations. The bulk of the collection concerns the life and businesses of Ivan De Shields. His personal papers consist primarily of documents, such as a voter registration card, a poll tax receipt, and his death certificate. There are two postcards reminding him of Masonic Lodge meetings, and a deposit book for the Knights of Pythias, of which he was a member of the sick committee. Most of his materials, however, relate to his businesses, such as promotional materials for the Eucalyptus oils he produced in his distillery. There is also a business letter and some inventory slips for two laundry companies. Some files record Ivan's financial affairs, such as receipts for state and county taxes between 1904-1927, as well as a letter and receiver's certificate concerning debt refinancing of the California Safe and Deposit and Trust Company. A letter from Los Angeles, addressed "Dear Cousin," solicits his investment in a business venture.

The papers of his father, Benjamin De Shields, give only a brief glimpse into his personal life, such as a marriage certificate and a letter from a friend describing San Francisco in 1886. The bulk of his papers are legal documents regarding land titles, satisfaction of mortgage, and two surveys of land owned by him in 1872 and 1875.

Albert De Shields represents the third generation and his papers consist of his diploma from McClymonds High School, Oakland, California in 1930, as well as the school yearbook, in which he appears on page 19. The materials concerning Horatio L. Scott are miscellaneous items relating to his travels away from Oakland which are described in two biographical newspaper clippings enclosed. Among these items are a gun permit from South Africa, 3 letters, and a club sponsorship based on his service with the British infantry during the Boer War.

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Dates: 1862-1945
Collection number: MS 20
Creator: De Shields, Albert
Collection Size: .25 linear feet (1 box)

Guide to the De Shields Family Papers

Available at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

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