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J. Paul Getty family collected papers, 1880s-1989, undated (bulk 1911-1977)

To access physical materials at the Getty, go to the library catalog record for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for general library access policy. See the Administrative Information section of this finding aid for access restrictions specific to the records described below. Please note, some of the records may be stored off site; advanced notice is required for access to these materials.
Getty (J. Paul) family collected papers, circa 1880s-1989, undated
Series II. George F. Getty I and Sarah C. Getty papers, 1890, 1904-1921, 1928, 1931-1934, 1939, undated (bulk 1911-1912) 0.7 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Material comprises personal and professional papers of George Franklin Getty I and Sarah C. Getty, parents of billionaire Jean Paul Getty ("Paul"). Material dates from 1890 to 1939 and includes letters, telegrams, hand-drawn maps, cancelled stock certificates, contracts, promissory notes, travel documents, receipts, and various forms of ephemera. The family correspondence includes letters written by J. Paul Getty to his parents that provide insight into the personal and early business relationships between George, Paul, and Sarah. While the family correspondence hints at the atmosphere of the Getty household, George's papers shed light on his early oil operations, including scouting potential drilling sites, day-to-day management of drilling activities, and his political efforts to protect his interests/land in the Osage Nation (part of the territory that became the State of Oklahoma in 1907). Sarah's mostly peripheral involvement in the family business is evinced by her correspondence with George and several notarized documents. Please note that although Sarah signed personal correspondence "Sara," most of the notarized documents and J. Paul Getty's autobiography spell her first name "Sarah," by which she is more commonly known.
Arrangement
Material is arranged into two series:

Series II.A. George F. Getty I papers, 1890, 1904-1921, 1928, undated (bulk 1911-1912);

Series II.B Sarah C. Getty papers, 1908, 1909, 1919, 1921, 1931-1934, 1939, undated.
Series II.A. George F. Getty I papers, 1890, 1904-1921, 1928, undated (bulk 1911-1912) 0.6 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Material comprises some personal and professional papers of George Franklin Getty I, father of billionaire Jean Paul Getty ("Paul"), dating 1890-1928 and undated. The family correspondence comprises letters received by George F. Getty I from various family members. The letters from his son, J. Paul Getty ("Paul"), primarily concern Paul's residence and travel abroad and usually include Paul's requests for funds. Letters from his wife, Sarah, address a blend of parenting, domestic, and business concerns. Because George employed his family in his business, letters from his siblings and other relatives contain news regarding family, real estate transactions, property management, and oil operations. The family history is an account of George Getty's ancestry as told by George's uncle, Joseph Getty.
The business and personal papers provide a glimpse of George's early oil operations, including scouting potential drilling sites, day-to-day management of drilling activities, and political efforts to protect his interests/land in the Osage Nation, part of the territory that became Oklahoma in 1907. Material includes letters, telegrams, hand-drawn maps, cancelled stock certificates, contracts, promissory notes, and other documents. Most of the letters are outgoing correspondence written by George F. Getty I. As was customary at the time, a reply to a letter is sometimes written directly on top of the original letter, thus a single sheet may contain an outgoing letter and its incoming response. The general incoming and outgoing correspondence are primarily related to property management, banking, and general business activities. Material also includes some papers that belonged to George's secretary, Mable McCreery.
Material also includes dissociated ephemera collected by or related to George F. Getty I, including a paper-cut portrait of Mr. Getty and one loose-leaf, handmade scrapbook containing pressed fauna and flora, accompanied by short hand-written descriptions, which was likely sent to him by one of his relatives in Washington state.
Arrangement
Material is arranged by subject, beginning with family history and correspondence; followed by business and personal papers; concluding with ephemera and publications.
Family history and correspondence, 1890, 1910-1915, 1920, undated (bulk 1911-1912)
Arrangement
Letters are arranged by correspondent in order of importance, beginning with George's son, J. Paul Getty. Each correspondent's letters are arranged chronologically. The letters are followed by a family history written by George's uncle, Joseph.
box
2010.IA.17-02 Letters from son, Paul, 1910-1915, 1920
2010.IA.17-02 Letters from wife, Sarah, 1911-1912, undated
2010.IA.17-02 Letters from sister, Belle, 1911-1913, undated
2010.IA.17-02 Letters from brother, D. L. Getty, 1911-1912, undated
2010.IA.17-02 Letters from sister, Jennie V. Getty, 1913
2010.IA.17-02 Letters from sister, Laura and her husband, H. L. Allen, 1911, 1912, undated
Includes one carbon copy of a letter written by George F. Getty to Laura.
2010.IA.17-02 Letters from other relatives, including correspondence written between relatives that is not addressed to George F. Getty, 1911 and undated
2010.IA.17-02 Getty family history by Joseph Getty, handwritten original and transcription, April 16, 1890
Business and personal papers, 1904-1921, 1928, undated (bulk 1911-1916)
Arrangement
Material is arranged by subject, beginning with correspondence, followed by oil business papers and other personal papers.
Correspondence:
box
2010.IA.17-03 General incoming, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1914-1916, 1920, undated
2010.IA.17-03 General outgoing, 1911, 1914, undated
2010.IA.17-03 With H. S. Lehr of Ohio State University regarding donations, 1911, 1912, 1914
Oil business papers:
box
2010.IA.17-03 Correspondence with scout, Ola J. Rogers, regarding oil field development, 1913-1914
Comprises letters, telegrams, and hand-drawn maps.
2010.IA.17-03 Correspondence regarding operations, 1911,1912, 1914, 1919, undated
Material contains incoming letters and carbon copies of outgoing letters, including correspondence addressed to the United States government regarding George's holdings in Oklahoma and the fairness of certain taxes paid by oil producers.
2010.IA.17-03 Stock certificate, contract, promissory note, and other notes, 1906, 1921, 1928, undated
2010.IA.17-03 Telegram/telegraph messages, primarily regarding oil business, 1911-1914, undated
Other personal papers:
box
2010.IA.17-03 Automobile purchases, maintenance, and related documents, 1911, 1912, 1920, undated
box
2010.IA.17-04 Document appointing George F. Getty District Deputy Grand Master for the Masonic Grand Lodge of St. Paul, Minnesota, February 5, 1904
box
2010.IA.17-03 Real estate transactions, 1911, 1912, undated
box
2010.IA.17-04 Travel document for George F. Getty, accompanied by his wife and minor son, issued by the United States of America Department of State, May 25, 1909
box
2010.IA.17-02 Secretary Mabel McCreery Notary Public certificate and other McCreery documents, 1915-1917
Ephemera and publications, 1911-1912, undated
Arrangement
Material is arranged alphabetically by subject.
box
2010.IA.17-03 Business card, calling cards, and other identification cards, undated
2010.IA.17-03 Paper-cut silhouette (profile portrait) of George F. Getty, undated
2010.IA.17-03 Receipts (various), primarily from Brentwood Country Club, 1911-1912
2010.IA.17-03 "Wildflowers of Washington" scrapbook, undated
box
2012.IA.37-01 Northern. Yearbook of Ohio Northern University, 1914
2012.IA.37-01 Northern. Yearbook of Ohio Northern University, volume dedicated to George F. Getty. 1917
Series II.B. Sarah C. Getty papers, 1908, 1909, 1919, 1921, 1931-1934, 1939, undated 0.1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Material comprises papers, with dates scattered between 1908 and 1939, once belonging to Sarah Catherine McPherson Risher Getty (1852-1941), including four letters, one postcard, and a souvenir booklet from her son, J. Paul Getty. Also included are two postcards from other relatives, a promissory note, and a few documents related to real estate development and water association stocks. Some documents are signed by both Sarah and her husband, George. Please note that although Sarah signed personal correspondence "Sara," most of the notarized documents and J. Paul Getty's autobiography spell her first name "Sarah," by which she is more commonly known.
Arrangement
Material is arranged in rough chronological order.
box
2010.IA.17-03 Promissory note and other signed documents related to real estate development and water association stock, 1908, 1909, 1919, 1921
2010.IA.17-03 Souvenir booklet "Views of Athens," signed "To Mother from Paul," Christmas 1913 (17 colored prints of landmarks in and around Athens, Greece, mounted on green pages, and bound with a ribbon.)
2010.IA.17-03 Correspondence from son, Paul, 1931, 1934
box folder
1986.IA.22-01 25 Postcard to Mrs. George F. Getty from her grandson, George F. Getty II and his mother, Jeannette, 1932
box
2010.IA.17-03 Postcard of the Panama Canal from her grandson, George F. Getty II, 1939


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