:: James H. Roe Collection


The James H. Roe Manuscript collection consists of 3 bound, handwritten volumes, totaling over 300 pages and covers a time period from 1870 to 1900. Volume I is the History of Riverside, Volume II contains the History of the Water System, and Volume III has miscellaneous notes and is much smaller. A wide variety of topics are covered on each page and there is currently no index. Many vital statistics, names, dates, and places are contained within the manuscript. At times the entries are sporadic, at best, in the miscellaneous notes.

The manuscript is one linear foot and is contained in one box.

Biographical Notes

James H. Roe arrived in Riverside in December 1872. His careers included service in the Civil War, operating a drug store, teaching school (1873-1874), and later he served as the Public Administrator for the County of Riverside. Other accomplishments attributed to James H. Roe were the fight for settler's water rights, the founding of the Riverside Press, supporting Mexican-American endeavors, and serving library patrons between drug store customers, before a library was built.

In 1874, he began to purchase property in Riverside starting with 40 acres, "more or less"; other sources say that he purchased 20 acres at the corner of Riverside and Central Avenues. His love of music led him to belong to many groups that shared his passion. James H. Roe also served as a member of the School Board of Trustees during 1881 to 1883.

James H. Roe fathered two children, Mary Edna and Robert. Upon his death, 16 August 1900, he left his wife of 30 years, Lovina (Price) Roe, the collection of historical notes and handwritten manuscript.

Scope and Content

The James H. Roe History of Riverside is a handwritten manuscript with dates ranging from 1870 to 1900. It is approximately 318 pages, though it should be noted that a small percentage of the pages are blank. Each page has been encapsulated and each volume bound.

Corrections have been noted in the back of each volume.

Series Description

The James H. Roe manuscript covers the time period between 1870 and 1900. The three bound volumes are handwritten, most in pencil, and arranged by date. The principle subjects are varied, with many vital statistics buried within its pages. There is currently no index, though there are plans to create on in the future. The manuscript is contained in one series with three folders.

Special items of interest include the fight for water rights in Riverside, the coming of the railroad and mention of the Earp family.

Series I: Manuscript

Folder 1: History of Riverside

Folder 2: History of the Water System

Folder 3: Miscellaneous Notes

Related Collections

The Riverside Press

The Riverside Symphony Orchestra Scrapbook Collection

The Riverside Symphony Orchestra Program Collection

The Riverside Public School Records

The Loring Opera House and Theater Collection


History of Riverside County, California. Holmes, Elmer W. c. 1912

Profile of a Century: Riverside County, California, 1893 - 1993. Fitch, Robert J. c. 1993

Harvest of the Sun: An Illustrated History of Riverside County. Brown, James. c. 1985

Local History