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Arthur M. Dole Papers

Identifier: H-Mss-0268

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection contains the personal, business, and family papers of Arthur Macdonald Dole. It includes correspondence, photographs, artwork, business documents, newspapers, and scrapbooks. Some of the papers involve both the personal and business history of the family. There are genealogy records that go back generations, as well as personal diaries and estate records. There are also documents pertaining to the Dole Orange Groves, Powell Publishing Company, and the Dole Brothers' furniture business. This collection contains documentaion of the operation and activities of Pomona College, as well as pamphlets on the city of Pomona, other local cities, and California. There are newspapers and clippings, theater memorabilia, a collection of artwork created by Fanny Dole, and more than 200 photographs and negatives from 1887-1958.


  • Creation: 1815-1958



This collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

Biography/Administrative History

In the Spring of 1887, John H. Dole of Bangor, Maine arrived in Pomona, California. His brother William B. Dole and his family also moved to Pomona the following fall. They became stockholders in the People's Bank, which was organized in 1887, and John Dole served as one of its cashiers. A third brother, Albert, joined them later. The Dole brothers were active in the Congregational Church of Pomona, as well as several Masonic organizations.

With assistance from congregational churches in Los Angeles County, land was obtained five miles north of the community of Pomona, California for the purpose of constructing an institute of higher education. The plan consisted of a college preparatory academy, to be followed by a “New England style college” modeled after Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. The schools were meant to emphasize Christian values throughout an excellent education. The Dole brothers were among numerous church members who contributed to the initial funding of the two institutions, supervised by an educational committee appointed by the General Association of the Congregational Churches of Southern California. The academy opened with seventeen students in September, 1888, and in 1890, the first of the preparatory students joined the school. The first Pomona College graduating class was in 1894, consisting of eleven students.

Arthur Macdonald Dole, William B. Dole’s son, chose Pomona College for his education. He entered the college in 1892 and graduated in 1896. While attending the college, he was active in many student organizations including the initial years of the Men’s Glee club, and Student Life, a monthly publication which documented student activities. In his last two years as an undergraduate, Arthur served as the manager of the Glee Club, and as the editor of Student Life.

In the years after his graduation, Dole continued to be involved in activities which supported the college, including serving as the president of the Alumni Association, and sequentially serving as the secretary, treasurer, and president of the Board of Trustees. In addition he also secured funding from Andrew Carnegie for the creation of the Pomona Public Library, served on the Board of Education, and participated in many fraternal organizations. Items of special interest in the Arthur M. Dole papers include a Civil War era diary from Arthur’s father, an original letter from Andrew Carnegie, and numbers of local photographs.

Source: Brackett, F.P. History of Pomona Valley, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the valley who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present. Los Angeles, Cal., Historic Record Company, 1920.


6.4 Linear Feet (14 boxes)


Arthur Macdonald Dole graduated from Pomona College in 1896. Throughout his life he was invested in the college as well as numerous other community organizations. This collection includes his family, civic, and business papers. There is correspondence relating to the history of Pomona College, a Civil War era diary by William B. Dole, and artwork by Arthur's wife, Fanny. There are also records and correspondence relating to the financial interests of the Dole family, including a furniture store, orange groves, land holdings, and the Powell Publishing Company.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged according to the following series:

Series 1: Dole family papers, 1815-1946 and undated

Series 2: Business records, 1840-1950 and undated

Series 3: Fanny (Mitchell) Dole artwork, 1900-1901 and undated

Series 4: Newspapers and clippings, 1894-1960 and undated

Series 5: Performing arts, 1894-1917 and undated

Series 6: Personal manuscripts, undated

Series 7: Photographs, 1887-1958 and undated

Series 8: Pomona college, 1891-1954 and undated

Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1888-1934 and undated

Series 10: Topical, 1886-1954 and undated

Physical location

Please consult repository.


No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Items Removed from the Collection

The following publications have been catalogued individually and are now part of Special Collections' monograph collection. Please search for the "Arthur M. Dole Papers" in the library catalog or search using title and/or author as shown below.

Bangs, John Kendrick. Coffee and Repartee. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1893.

Bourke, E.M. A little History of New Zealand: Progressive from Discovery to 1880, for Children. Aukland: Upton and Company, 1881.

Burkart, Lillian. Lillian Burkhart. New York: R.H. Russell, 1900.

Hawaii Promotion Committee. Hawaii - A Primer. Honolulu, T.H.: The Committee, 1905.

Marcus Ward and Company. Christmas with Punch and Judy. London: Marcus Ward and Company, [between 1873 and 1885].

Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Commandery of the State of Maine. In commemoration of the One Hundereth Anniversary of the Birth of Hannibal Hamlin, Paris, Maine, August 27, 1909.

Redpath, Lionel V. Petroleum in California: A Concise and Reliable History of the Oil Industry of the State. Los Angeles: L.V. Redpath, 1900.

Processing Information

Arranged and processed by the students of the Fall 2013 Claremont Graduate University ARCH 310 course.


Guide to the Arthur M. Dole Papers, 1815-1958
Katie McKay
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library Repository

800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States