MS 276 Santiago “Jim” Meza / Campo Indian Reservation Papers

Summary Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection
Meza, Santiago
Santiago “Jim” Meza / Campo Indian Reservation Papers
MS 276
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
Collection materials are in English and Spanish.
This collection contains papers of Santiago “Jim” Meza and the Campo Indian Reservation, including tribal administration and welfare, Meza’s homestead land disputes, and personal papers of Meza and family.

Preferred Citation

Santiago “Jim” Meza / Campo Indian Reservation Papers, MS 276, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

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Biographical / Historical Notes

The Campo Indian Reservation is located on 15,000 acres in southeastern San Diego County. In 1893, the first portion of the Campo Indian Reservation’s territory was patented. The Campo Constitution was passed by the tribal community on July 13, 1975. In 1974, there were 40 people recorded living in Campo Indian Reservation.

Santiago “Jim” Meza was a Spokesman for the Campo Indian Reservation. He communicated with the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Field Service of the Mission Indian Agency regarding land conflicts and inheritance, and the request for the election of Spokesmen and Committee Members to represent Campo. Meza also requested welfare assistance for food, clothing, and financial assistance from the Mission Indian Agency, as well as structure repairs and installation of a well to provide a closer source for drinking water.

Francisco “Frank” Cuero, son of a Campo Indian Reservation Chief and brother of Santiago “Jim” Meza, owned a homestead of 160 acres. Upon Cuero’s death, conflicts arose over the land and its inheritance. Meza eventually inheritated the land.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains papers of Santiago “Jim” Meza and the Campo Indian Reservation. Tribal papers include correspondence with federal and local Indian agencies regarding welfare assistance and the election of spokemen and committee members. Documentation is included of Meza’s homestead land dispute and inheritance. Personal papers of Meza include medical welfare assistance correspondence and bills, finances, personal correspondence, and photographs, as well as some involving his brother, Francisco “Frank” Cuero.

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Items in collection are arranged by subject.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection January 3, 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 850612A.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Aimee Santos on January 3, 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)

  • California. Dept. of Social Welfare.
  • Mission Indian Federation.
  • San Diego County (Calif.). Dept. of Public Welfare.
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • United States. Dept. of the Interior.
  • United States. Mission Indian Commission.
  • United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Field Service.
  • United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Mission Agency.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Campo (Calif.)
  • Campo Indian Reservation (Calif.)
  • San Diego (Calif.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Cuero, Francisco
  • Meza, Marquita
  • Meza, Santiago
  • Williams, John, Mrs.
  • Williams, John


  • Campo Indians
  • Indian reservations
  • Kamia Indians

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Collection Inventory

Tribal administration, 1936 November 20-1959 August 17


Communications with Mission Indian Agency

Electing Spokesmen and Committee Members

Campo Indian Reservation Voters

Newsletter from Field Representative

Santiago Meza land disputes and inheritance documents, 1915 July 10-1935 October 7 1:2
Santiago Meza land disputes and inheritance documents, 1935 October 14-1961 July 12 1:3
Miscellaneous land documents, undated


Jim Meza notes on land division

California Laws of Descent and Distribution

Welfare assistance, 1931 September 8-1964 April 24


Requests and responses to requests for clothing, house repairs, and financial assistance, including those for Jim Meza and family.

Medical welfare assistance (Meza), 1952 December 1-1968 October 1 and undated


Correspondence with San Diego County Department of Public Welfare, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, State Department of Social Welfare, and Department of the Interior.

Medical bills (Meza), 1958 September 2-1967 July 26 1:7
Financial documents (Cuero and Meza), 1922 July 15-1969 November 14 and undated


Correspondence and receipts regarding payments.

Letter from Montgomery Ward & Co. to Jim Meza in response to his request for value of a coyote skin, November 21, 1929.

Personal correspondence (Meza), 1963 December 14-1968 April 14 1:9
Francisco Cuero Mexican Military discharge letter (in Spanish), 1901 February 13 1:10
Photographs, 1918 September 18-1944 June 10


John Williams, Bonita, Calif., September 18, 1918

Mr. and Mrs. Williams and Jim Meza, June 10, 1944

Correspondence: miscellaneous, 1932 May 5-1947 April 2 and undated


Letter from C.L. Ellis, Superintendent of the Mission Indian Agency, to H.H. Scott, Chief of Police, regarding Jim Meza’s nephew, Manuel Perez, May 5, 1932.

Letter and advertisement from Viscose Company to Jim Meza, May 22, 1936.

Letter from unknown author to Department of Public Health regarding application for delayed birth certicate, April 2, 1947.

Easter and Christmas greeting cards.

Empty envelopes, 1905 July 1-1938 May 9 and undated 1:13
Miscellanea, 1919-1984 April 28 and undated


Joe Williams’ application for National Service Life Insurance, January 30, 1945

Names and addresses, December 31, 1948 and undated

“Pharyngitis routine” by Bruce A. Sanderson, M.D.

Word lists, including note on Social Service office

Assessment List, County of San Diego, 1919 (blank forms)


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