McKinnon Ruble Family Papers:

Records of Physicians and Farmers, 1859-1989

Previously on exhibit in the Special Collections Reading Room
Now available as a Web Exhibit

The McKinnon family donated the McKinnon Ruble Family Papers (48.9 linear feet) to Special Collections, University Library, University of California, Davis, in 2004. Special Collections presents an exhibit of the McKinnon Ruble Family Papers. The exhibit provides an overview of the papers by describing the life of Aloysius John McKinnon, M.D. (1870-1933), a physician and rancher in the California Delta region during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Of special interest in the exhibit are Aloysius McKinnon's doctor's bag and medical equipment, photographs of historic Rio Vista, examples of family correspondence, and medical practice and ranch records. Accessible in Special Collections, the McKinnon Ruble Family Papers present researchers with significant information on subjects including life on the California Delta, early California medical history, and the history of agriculture, especially crop and orchard farming.

During the early 1890s, Aloysius McKinnon joined his family's San Francisco lumber and shipping business, but by 1899 he was studying medicine at the University of California, Medical Department. In 1900, he married Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" Ruble (1875-1916) of Rio Vista. He received his medical degree in 1903 and practiced medicine in Rio Vista for thirty years. In addition, he managed the Ruble-McKinnon Ranch. Lizzie's father, Lewis Cass Ruble (1848-1899) had settled in Rio Vista circa 1870. His landholdings became the basis for the Ruble-McKinnon Ranch, which was located on the eastern bank of the Sacramento River, on Brannan Island, across from the town of Rio Vista. The ranch produced alfalfa, asparagus, barley, and potatoes, but was especially known for its pears. When Aloysius McKinnon died in 1933, his son, Malcolm Bernard McKinnon (1910-1982), left medical school at Columbia University in New York to return to the family home in Rio Vista. Malcolm managed the Ruble-McKinnon Ranch until its sale in 1980, when the property passed from family hands after nearly one hundred years. Aloysius McKinnon kept detailed ranch accounts, and Malcolm continued the tradition of maintaining meticulous records.

The exhibit may be viewed during Special Collections hours, Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

For additional information, contact Daryl Morrison, Head of Special Collections, dmorrison@ucdavis.edu, (530) 752-1621.

McKinnon Ruble Family Papers