Knowland, Joseph R. (Joseph Russell), 1873-1966

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Owner of Oakland tribune.

From the description of Joseph Russell Knowland papers, 1889-1961. (California Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 122558878


Born in Alameda on 5 August 1873, Joseph Russell Knowland was one of the best known figures in the public life of California during the first half of the 20th century. His parents were among the first settlers to move west, and established a successful lumber business. After graduation from the College of the Pacific, Knowland joined his father in the family business. He became associated with the business community of Oakland, where he later served as the President of the Bank of Alameda.

At the age of twenty-five, Knowland was elected to the California State Assembly in 1899, and served for two terms. In 1902, he was elected to the California State Senate. Knowland went to Washington in 1904 as a United States representative to Congress, where he stayed until 1914. As a member of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, he was involved in the Panama Canal negotiations and was later instrumental in bringing the Panama Pacific International Exposition to San Francisco in 1915.

Following an unsuccessful bid for Senate in 1915, Knowland purchased the Oakland Tribune. As publisher, he took an active interest in the development of the City of Oakland. In 1923, he joined the Associated Press and went on to be its Director for twenty-nine years.

Deeply interested in California, Knowland dedicated much of his life to the preservation of California historic monuments. As a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, he chaired the Historic Lands Committee and presided over the California Landmark League. This experience resulted in the 1941 publication of California, a Landmark History.

Knowland served from 1933-1961 on the California State Park Commission. Created in 1927, the Commission played a crucial role in determining which of the California lands would be set aside for state park and recreation areas. Knowland also accepted the major responsibility for the planning and chairing of the California Centennial Celebration from 1948-1950, which was a state wide celebration involving tremendous work and dedication.

When California Historical Society was formed in 1922, Knowland was there. After many years of participation, he was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees until 1952, when he assumed the Presidency. He then was active as Chair until his death in February of 1966.

Knowland was married in 1894 to Ellie Fife and in 1909 to Emelyn West. One of his sons, William Knowland, was a United States Senator during the 1940's and 1950's.

From the guide to the Joseph Russell Knowland Papers, 1889-1961, (California Historical Society, North Baker Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Stevenot, Archie D., 1882-1968. Archie D. Stevenot papers, 1918-1966. University of the Pacific, William Knox Holt Memorial Library
creatorOf Stratton, Frederick Smith, 1859-1915. Frederick Smith Stratton papers, circa 1886-1917. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Alameda County (Calif.) Anti-Division League. Alameda County Anti-Division League records, 1921. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Dargie, Erminia Peralta. Erminia Peralta Dargie Collection, [ca. 1909-1928] California Digital Library
referencedIn Sadie (built 1890; schooner, 3m) photographs, 1890-1929 San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (Calif.).
referencedIn Records of the California State Parks Council Bancroft Library
referencedIn Keesling, Francis Valentine, b. 1877. Francis V. Keesling papers, 1906-1957. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Needham, James Carson, 1864-1942. James Carson Needham papers, 1893-1936. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Severance, Howard D. Papers relating to the acquisition of the Monterey Custom House by the state of California and to the waterfront development of Monterey, 1937-1957. California Digital Library
creatorOf Knowland, Joseph R. (Joseph Russell), 1873-1966. Joseph Russell Knowland papers, 1889-1961. California Historical Society
creatorOf Joseph Russell Knowland Papers, 1889-1961 California Historical Society, North Baker Library
creatorOf Knowland, Joseph R. (Joseph Russell), 1873-1966. Joseph R. Knowland papers, [ca. 1924-1942] UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Francis Valentine Keesling Papers, 1906-1957 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alameda County (Calif.) Anti-Division League. corporateBody
associatedWith California State Park Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith California State Parks Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Dargie, Erminia Peralta. person
associatedWith Francis Valentine Keesling person
associatedWith Keesling, Francis Valentine, b. 1877. person
associatedWith Needham, James Carson, 1864-1942. person
associatedWith New York Times Company corporateBody
associatedWith Oakland Tribune. corporateBody
associatedWith San Francisco Maritime Museum corporateBody
associatedWith Severance, Howard D. person
associatedWith Stevenot, Archie D., 1882-1968. person
associatedWith Stratton, Frederick Smith, 1859-1915. person
associatedWith Tribune Publishing Company (Oakland, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
California--Oakland (Calif.)
United States
Oakland (Calif.)
Oakland (Calif.)
City planning
American newspapers


Birth 1873-08-05

Death 1966-02-01



Ark ID: w6n59d9v

SNAC ID: 9703569