The Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center Collection

Harrison Timeline

Date Michael Harrison Margaret Elizabeth Baker Harrison
1897
  • Born in Paterson, New Jersey, December 13.
  • Brothers:
    • Joseph J. (1894-1967)
    • Samuel H. (1907-1966)
    • Fred (1911- )
  • Sisters:
    • Rae (1891-)
    • Dorothy (n.d.)
1911
  • Born in Evanston, Illinois, June 27.
  • Parents:
    • Dr. Charles Reeder Baker (1880- )
    • Frances Macklin Baker (1890- )
  • Brother:
    • Frank Macklin (1909- )
1916
  • Graduated from Paterson High School.
  • Went to work for the Erie Railroad in the Demurrage Department in NYC.
1917
  • Went to work for Public Service Corporation of New Jersey in Hackensack.
1918
  • Enlisted in the Army
1922
  • Left the Army in July.
  • Took the examination for the Park Service and passed.
  • Took position of assistant to the Superintendent at Grand Canyon National Park.
  • Began collecting books and baskets.
1924
  • Did a speaking tour about Grand Canyon National Park for the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
1925
  • Married Elizabeth Compton, September. [From Cincinnati, Ohio.]
1928
  • Divorced Elizabeth Compton.
1931
  • Left the Park Service in May to manage the Big Bear Lake Lodge in the San Bernardino Mountains.
1932
  • Became the ramrod at the Smoke Tree Ranch near Palm Springs.
  • Married Margaret Elizabeth Baker, March 26, in Yuma, Arizona.
  • Moved to Santa Fe to work for the Indian Service, assistant to the Superintendent of the Northern Pueblos Agency, Chester E. Farris.
  • Donated a 162 basket collection to Laboratory of Anthropology.
  • Moved to Palm Springs, Araby Tract with her mother, Frances Barron.
  • Married Michael Harrison.
  • Devised the "Harrison Peculiar System" to index Michael's library.
1933
  • Sent to Fort Wingate Indian School as assistant to the temporary superintendent.
1934
  • Transferred to San Francisco, California as assistant to the regional coordinator, Roy Nash.
1935
  • Sent to Ukiah, California, as agent in charge of Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties.
  • Collett investigation begins.
  • Began an apprenticeship in hand bookbinding with Hazel Dreis in March in San Luis Obispo County.
  • Helped bind the remaining copies of Taos Pueblo by Mary Austin with photographs by Ansel Adams.
1936
  • Completed apprenticeship in August.
  • Won one first place, one second place and two third place ribbons for bookbinding at the LA County Fair.
1939
  • Sent to Sacramento, California.
  • Rented a house at 3183 Carly Way.
  • Set up hand book bindery in the basement.
1942
  • Major in Women's Ambulance and Transport Corps.
1947
  • Left the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Went to Bureau of Reclamation as a right-of-way agent for the Central Valley Canal.
1952
  • Purchased their first home at 4216 T Street in Sacramento.
1959
  • Purchased land in Fair Oaks, California for a new house.
  • Wrote the specifications, drew the plans, designed the bookcases and cabinets, and supervised the construction of "a library with living quarters."
1960
  • Retired in May.
  • Moved into new home, 7440 Alexander Court on July 6.
1962
  • Gave Michael The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis.
1966
  • Planned and supervised the construction of an expansion room to the library.
1967
  • Helped establish Little Big Horn Associates.
1969
  • Began meeting with UC Davis representatives, including Chancellor James Meyer, regarding the bequest of the library on August 4.
  • How to build a poor man's library published by the Book Club of California.
  • Gave a presentation to the Sacramento Book Collectors Club, "Life with a bibliomaniac."
1980
  • Died in Fair Oaks, California, June 25.
  • Bequeathed binding equipment and her half of the Center to the University of California, Davis.
1995
  • Appointed Honorary President of Western History Association.
1997
  • Received Hubert Howe Bancroft Award for a lifetime of finding and protecting irreplaceable treasures of the western U.S.
2005
  • Died in Fair Oaks, California, April 5.