MS 274 Traver Family Papers

Summary Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection
Traver family
Traver Family Papers
MS 274
Date [inclusive]
0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
The collection contains papers relating to the Traver family, their businesses, properties and investments, as well as Walter Traver’s service in the U.S. Army, and his resulting disability.

Preferred Citation

Traver Family Papers, MS 274, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

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Biographical / Historical Notes

The Traver family is originally from Illinois but Robert A. Traver (known as R.A. Traver) and his family moved to San Diego in the late 1880s. R.A. Traver was born on August 19, 1837 in Schenectady, NY. In 1987, he opened Traver and Nixon, a broom manufacturing company with his business partner M.C. Nixon in Charleston, Illinois. He had two children with his first wife Nancy, Ida and Norman. R.A. married his second wife Margaret Clark in 1873 in Charleston, Illinois. His wife and children resided in San Diego beginning in the late 1880s while Traver travelled for work. His two sons, Walter A. Traver and Robert E. Traver, grew up in San Diego. Walter A. Traver married Letitia Jane Reynolds in 1899, following his discharge from the army. The couple had two children, Leslie V. Traver and Ethel A. Traver. Walter served as a Private in Company B of the 7th Division of the California Infantry in the Spanish-American War in 1898. He fell ill while on active duty and his illness rendered him permanently disabled, thus earning him a discharge from the army and a disabled veterans pension. Following his discharge from the army, Walter worked as a men’s and women’s clothing tailor briefly in Coquille, Oregon from 1909 to 1910, and later in downtown San Diego. Walter died on July 19, 1942 and was buried in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. After his death, his wife Letty was left to deal with the remaining property and getting together the documentation necessary to obtain widow’s benefits from the army. Their son Leslie married twice and had twin boys, Norman L. Traver and Andrew W. Traver. Ethel (Walter and Letty’s daughter) married Francis Packard Campdora in 1923. Letty Traver died in 1950, eight years after her husband’s death.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains the genealogical papers and family documents of the Traver family, as well as their business papers, and documents relating to their properties and investments. The majority of the documents pertain to Walter and Letty Traver and their children. The collection includes paperwork relating to Walter’s army service as well as his disability pension. In addition, there are documents regarding Walter’s death and ensuing burial fees, as well as the widow’s pension his wife received. Of particular interest is personal correspondence between R.A. Traver and his son Walter, and later correspondence between Walter and his son Leslie. Another pertinent item is William Traver’s travel log that documents his personal travels across the country between 1938 and 1939.

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Collection is arranged by subject.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection May 15, 2012

1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Katrina White on May 15, 2012.

Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Golden Gate International Exposition (1939-1940 : San Francisco, Calif.).
  • Mercy Hospital and Medical Center (San Diego, Calif.).
  • United Spanish War Veterans.
  • United States. Veterans Administration.

Family Name(s)

  • Traver family


  • Correspondence

Geographic Name(s)

  • Berkeley (Calif.)
  • Boulder Dam (Ariz. and Nev.)
  • Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
  • Chicago (Ill.)
  • Coquille (Or.)
  • El Paso (Tex.)
  • Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
  • La Mesa (Calif.)
  • Olympia (Wash.)
  • Pismo Beach (Calif.)
  • Portland (Or.)
  • Salt Lake City (Utah)
  • San Diego (Calif.)
  • San Francisco (Calif.)
  • San Jose (Calif.)
  • Tilamook (Or.)
  • Ventura (Calif.)
  • Wisconsin
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Zion National Park (Utah)

Personal Name(s)

  • Campdoras, Arlene
  • Morrison, Hattie
  • Traver, Leslie
  • Traver, Letitia Jane
  • Traver, Maggie
  • Traver, Maria
  • Traver, Robert A.
  • Traver, Walter Augustus


  • Autopsy
  • Birth certificates
  • Burial
  • Escrows
  • Genealogy
  • Stock certificates
  • Travel writing

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Collection Inventory

Family papers, 1873 April 23-1949 March 29 and undated


Marriage certificate for R.A. Traver and Maggie Clark, April 23, 1873

Marriage certificate for Walter Traver and Letitia Reynolds, February 19, 1899

Autopsy report for Walter A. Traver, July 20, 1942

Personal correspondence, 1887 March 7–1972 May 17 and undated 1:2
Walter Traver’s army service, 1898 May 5–1942 August 12 and undated


Walter Traver’s discharge papers, May 5, 1898

Affidavits from military personnel confirming Walter Traver’s illness while on active duty, May 9, 1933

Walter Traver’s written testimony regarding his illness and resulting disability, undated

Walter Traver’s burial and his widow’s pension papers, 1942 July 22–September 11 and undated 1:4
Walter Traver’s Tour Log, 1938 May 25–1939 June 30

Scope and Content:

Documents two personal trips taken by Walter Traver. Both trip logs primarily record the dates and cities travelled through, and describes landscapes and nature.

First trip (May 25-December 31, 1938) records personal travels from San Diego, California throughout the southwest including Los Vegas, NV, through the Midwest, including Zion National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Chicago, Illinois, through New Orleans, and back to California through Texas.

Second trip (May 20-June 30, 1939) records personal travels of Walter and Letty through Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. They visited friends and family along the way, and returned to their old hometown of Coquille, Oregon to see old acquaintances.

Property documents, 1908 May 4–1947 May 20 1:6
Stock certificates, 1921 October 12–1924 December 10 1:7
Business papers, 1892 August 15–1924 March 25 and undated


Postal card from R.A. Traver of Broom Corn Co.

Business card for W.A. Traver from Coquille, Oregon

Miscellanea, 1958 January 1–1965 January 21 and undated


Partially completed job application to The Texas Company

Peninsula News article on Leslie Traver’s interest in car racing

Burnell Photo Shop film developing sleeve with W.A. Traver’s handwritten information

Leslie Traver’s War Ration Book

Letter about and photograph of Traver coat-of-arms

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