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Tooby and Prior Photo Album - Finding Aid

Biographical Information
Scope and Content of the Collection

Collection Number


Contact Information

The Library, Special Collections
Cal Poly Humboldt
One Harpst Street
Arcata, California 95521

Processed By

Kathryn LaSala and Edith Butler, MA, CA

Date Collection Processed




Collection Creator

Tooby Family or Prior Family

Dates Covered by Collection

ca 1903 - 1915

Size of Collection

.5 cubic foot; 1 photo album (29.8 cm x 20.9 cm)


The album consists of 129 photographs pertaining to the Tooby and Prior families who ran a cattle company in Blocksburg, Humboldt County, California, during the early 20th century. Most images include Tooby or Prior family members, social gatherings, ranching activities, landscapes, and the Blockburg area.


The collection is open for research.


Copyright has not been assigned to Cal Poly Humboldt Library. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce in any format, please contact the Special Collections Librarian.

Acquisition Information

The album was in the possession of the Cal Poly Humboldt Library Special Collections prior to 1997.

Biographical Information

The Tooby family's association with the Prior family began in 1902. In 1903 the Tooby brothers, Frank, Ernest (E. N.), and Ira purchased the Western Livestock Company's ranch land in Blocksburg and started a cattle company with the Prior family. The cattle company's holdings were known as Tooby and Prior, Inc.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The photographs in the album document the everyday lives of two families in the ranching business around 1903 in Blocksburg. The majority of the images contain a member of the Tooby or Prior families as well as friends and other local residents. Most photographs are either of social gatherings or ranching activities.

The album is in fair condition with one loose image, one partial image, and five spaces that probably once had images. The majority of the images are black and white. The images do not appear to be arranged in chronological order and only a small portion of the photographs have been labeled. In order to preserve the context in which the photographs were created and arranged, the album was left intact.

Subjects taken from captions include:
Blox Church [Blocksburg]
Blox Hotel [Blocksburg]
Dry Lake, Blox [Blocksburg]
Helmke Home, Blox [Blocksburg]
Hotel Bridgeville
Lassek Peak, Blox [Lassic Peak, Blocksburg]
Prior Home, Blox [Blocksburg]

Names of individuals identified:
L. Glenn
D. Glenn
Ed. Godfrey
G. Helmke
R. Hope
D. Prior
N. Prior
Grandma Schroder
E. N. Tooby
Stella Tooby

Container List

Box 1

  1. One photo album (29.8 cm x 20.9 cm) with 25 pages and 129 photographs.

Subject Headings

Blocksburg (Calif.)
Ranch life - California - Humboldt County