Elwyn Wilfred Stebbins 15 Sep 1870 —20 May 1950.  Elwyn married [Emma] Marion Long who was born 31 Dec 1881


Elwyn Stebbins was a graduate of MIT 1893 with a degree in Mining Engineering. He continued in this field until he retired.

1901 San Francisco Call, Volume 91, Number 18, 18 December 1901 Reports Undergraduates as candidates for degrees for University of California. B.S. College of Mining: Elwyn Wilfred Stebbins

in 1902 …engaged in mining engineering in the Sierra Nevadas in the southeastern part of Butte county

Practicing Engineer, Geologist, Partner

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Technology Review, Volume V. January, 1903 reports: Elwyn W. Stebbins has become a mining engineer, and is located at Telluride, Col.   He writes as follows :

“After leaving the M. I. T., I obtained employment with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and worked in their engineering force in California, Arizona, and New Mexico for about five years, the latter part of the time as assistant to the resident engineer of the Western Division at Oakland. Typhoid fever, with a long and tedious convalescence, next intervened. Upon complete recovery, being desirous of entering the mining field, I took a year and a half at the University of California, and graduated from their mining college in 1901. Since then I have been employed by the Liberty Bell Gold Mining Company, and at present am surveyor and engineer at the Liberty Bell Mine.” –Elwyn Stebbins

1908 University of California Chronicle, Volume 10 (1908) mentions:  “Elwyn Stebbins has removed his offices of consulting engineer to 819 Mills Building San Francisco”

MINERAL RESOURCES OF TRINITY COUNTY reports in Vol. 37 January, 1941 : Lewiston Gold Dredging Company is a new company formed to take over the Gold Bar dredge at Lewiston. It should not be confused  with Lewiston Dredging Co., which formerly operated a dredge farther up the Trinity River at Minersville. The new company is a partnership of 13 persons, of whom three are general partners, Elwyn W. Stebbins, F. J. Estep, and C. H. Thurman, manager, 960 Russ Building, San Francisco. W. J. Harvey is superintendent at Lewiston. The location is Sec. 18, 19, T.  33 N., R. 8 W. The present operations started in June, 1937, and it was planned to work from Lewiston down the river for two miles. The work is on an upper terrace. A new revolving screen and other new parts were installed on the dredge, and the hull was extended by means of steel pontoons. The Gold Bar dredge was described in State Mineralogist’s Report XXIX. The original hull was 79 ft. by 44 ft. by 7 ft.

The dredge carried a chain of 45 buckets of 8 cu. ft. capacity each, which would reach a depth of 31 ft. below water line. It was held in position by headlines of  l-1/2 inch steel cable. No spuds were used. Electric motors were as follows : 150-hp. digging motor, 30-hp. on 8-inch pump, 50-hp. on 10-inch pressure pump and 40-hp. on seven-drum winch.

Author: Gold Dredging at Oroville. HOWARD D. SMITH and ELWYN W. STEBBINS. Engineering and Mining Journal – Dec. 8, 1904. Describes the character of the ground, which is peculiarly favourable to dredge operations, and the types of dredges and methods used. Also gives a summary of the operating expenses.

In the publication Gold Dredging in California. By Chas. G. Yale’ (September 15, 1904) a response from Elwyn Stebbins is quoted as follows:

The Editor:
Sir—In your issue of September 15 we note an editorial giving costs of gold dredging at Oroville. Having recently had occasion to investigate this matter, we take the liberty of questioning
the accuracy of the figures given. The cost per yard, 4.88c, is below the general experience of this district. Seven cents per yard would be much nearer the actual operating expense of the 5-ft. dredges now in use. The last company to invade this field, guided by the previous results obtained, has allowed 8c. per yard to cover operating expense and depreciation, the latter item being estimated at about lc. per yard. The statement of 23,995 kw. hours per month is less than half of any figures that have heretofore come to light. Labor at $496 per month is also much below the best results so far obtained.
There are several instances where dredges have been operated for a month or more at a cost of less than 4c. per yard, but estimates of costs, yardage, etc., from periods of one month are
entirely misleading. Repair expenses range from one-quarter to one-half the total cost of operations, and for many months they may be comparatively small. This, of course, will give a large yardage and low monthly expense. Consequently the cost per yard will be much below the normal. On the other hand, a month when much repairing and renewal of dredge parts took
place will give a low yardage and a high monthly operating expense, giving costs per yard much above the average. One dredge at Oroville ran continuously for eight months, making a splendid record, and then shut down 39 days for repairs. The fact, therefore, is obvious that costs per yard are reliable only when periods of a year or more are considered. The present tendency is to increase the size of the buckets and the strength of the wearing parts. This increases the yardage, with practically the same labor charge, and a less than proportional increase in the expense for power and repairs. It
is expected that the improved dredges capable of handling 80,000 cu. yd. and upward per month will reduce the costs to 5c, and lower, per yard, but this cannot be done with dredges having a capacity of only 46,000 yards per month.
Yours respectfully,
Stebbins & Smith.
San Francisco, September 22, 1904.

[This criticism is made fairly and with some reason. We can quote average costs and yield for a well-known dredging company at Oroville, which has been in operation for 5 years. The average cost for each year has ranged between 4.92c. and 7.47c, averaging 6c for the whole period; the yield has averaged 13c per yard. — Editor.]


A 1894 letter exchange between Alfred Stebbins and John Muir suggested the Elwyn Stebbins ventured into Yosemite just after his graduation “..in company with his sister & young ladies & Gentlemen of the University of California…”


One report of geologists suggests the Elwyn traveled to Oaxaca Mexico briefly, returning to San Francisco.

1902 Elwyn Engaged to Marian Long

San Francisco Chronicle  June 4, 1902 Page 7 mentions:

An engagement of unusual interest to college society is that of Mies Emma Marian Long of Sacramento – Elwyn Wilfred Stebbins of Woodside.  The two young people have been graduated within the last year from the University of California where they were both prominent in student affairs Miss Long besides making a brilliant record in the classroom as a student devoting herself especially to English and Greek has earned marked distinction in dramatic work. She has taken an interest in student histrionic efforts ever since her freshman year when she took a part in The Assignation presented by the college dramatic club, The Mask and Gown. In her Junior year Miss Long played a leading part in the theatricals given by her class on Junior day acting in the clever curtain raiser entitled A Triumph of Science.  Later she was given an important role in the charter day play Lord Ogleby which won for the student actors unusual praise from the critics. Besides her college dramatic work Miss Long has been seen in numerous private theatricals during her stay In Berkeley and Oakland. Miss Long has in addition to her histrionic ability musical talents which are being cultivated. Before her marriage she expects to devote at least a year to teaching.

Mr Stebbins is at present engaged in mining engineering in the Sierra Nevadas in the southeastern part of Butte county. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts School of Technology and has been a student in the mining department of the University of California for several years having completed his course here last December. He is a member of the Chi Phi fraternity having affiliated with that society when in the East.

About Emma ‘Marian’ Stebbins

Marion was a graduate of University of California Berkely with a M.A. [in drama and an M.A?] in English. She became chairman of the Drama Department [some say Speech and Dramatic Arts] at Mills College in Oakland where she remained until her retirement, although with some years out for study in New York, travel, acting assignments, and administrative positions at Mills College. A 1920 edition of, “The Argonaut” lists Mrs. Elwyn Stebbins of the English Department as the Director of two productions, “The Turtle Dove” and “Prunella”

Another publication, “The Collected Letters of Robinson Jeffers, with Selected Letters of Una Jeffers: Volume Two, 1931–1939” adds the following: Marian Long Stebbins (1881-1956), an actress and teacher, was the chair of the Department of Speech and Dramatic Arts at Mills College and was the dean of the college’s School of Fine Arts. When Aurelia Reinhardt was absent from campus, Stebbins served as acting president. Marian was married to Elwyn W. Stebbins (1870-1950), a mining engineer.

Either Margaret Stebbins (1905-1970) or Edith Stebbins (1908-1992). Margaret, a graduate of Stanford University, was a gardening expert, who co-owned the Page Mill Nursery near Palo Alto, California. Edith, a graduate of Mills College, was an actress and community theater director; in 1946 she married John Jennings, a dramatic arts professor and director at San Francisco Theater Association.

Emma is also listed as an officer of the The College Women’s Sufferage Club in the book, “Western Women, Volume 1? July 11, 1907.  It may be no coincidence since her sister-in-law Londa Stebbins was also [a director] campaigning at the same time in the same general region.

Emma ‘Marian’ Long Stebbins

Also, The Educational Theatre Journal V 9-10 in 1957 states (by Hubert Hefner) The death of Marian Long (Mrs. Elwyn) Stebbins on 29 September 1956 took from us yet another of the national leaders in academic theatre and in the American Educational Theater Association. Morn in Sacramento on 31..[continued in the next column possibly not attributed to Mrs. Stebbins] ….meticulous and exacting artist in her own work, endowed with remarkable energy and vitality, she could never countenance or condone laziness and low standards in others. Her contributions to the enrichment of the lives of many Mills College women will continue as a heritage…”

February 4 (Year?)  letter from Edith Stebbins Jennings Modesto California to Betty G Stebbins in Santa Cruz California  about her mother, Marion Long Stebbins

Dear Betty, I don’t know much about my mother’s [Marian Long’s] past in terms of documents and letters.

Her mother, Margaret Younger was born in Scotland and emigrated here with her parents–we don’t know when. Margaret Younger married Thomas Mitchell Long here they had five children.

I think Marion (named Emma), was the eldest, born in Missoula Montana. I don’t know just when they moved to Sacramento, but mother went to high school there.

Margaret Long was deserted by Thomas Mitchell Long and raised her five children pretty much alone, although he sent money now and then. He apparently was very able and erratic, and had a compulsion to tell employers how to run their business. (All this is hearsay). Margaret Long taught Elementary School. She had it pretty rough. Her father, according to Jess’s account, was a darling. Aunt Jess was Marian Long Stebbins sister. He (Marion’s Father) was also a very good candy-maker and supported his family here by that Talent. Mother [Marian]  learned from him and use to make wonderful candies. I remember some of the craft, but never did it on my own.

Nor do I know much about my grandmother, Edith Large Stebbins, except that she was well-educated, fairly well-off, that her mother was quite a woman and helped slaves escape through the underground. Edith was quite poor, after Alfred died, and babysat, whatever, but later became quite wealthy through some land purchases Alfred had made in [Spokane] Washington. So Alfred ‘s land speculation gave us all what extra monies have come to us.

I found my grandmother Edith [Large Stebbins] a wonderful person, gentle, courteous, humorous, loving, intelligent, intellectual, secure in herself, most tolerant. — Edith Stebbins Jennings

——————–end of letter———————-


Alfred, with Marian, had:

1904 Alfred ‘Keith’ Stebbins March 26, 1904 — died July 6 1974
1905 Margaret Stebbins (Peggy) October 26, 1905 — died July, 1970  Peggy was co-owner of a nursery on Page Mill Road near Palo Alto
1908 Edith Stebbins Jennings November 28, 1908  died in or near Modesto in 1992.

Of note: 1926 May 30, 1926 Oakland Tribune — …Miss Edith Stebbins, daughter of the Elwyn Stebbins of Berkeley, and Miss Mary Pond, daughter of Dr. Chancy Pond, and Miss Mary Catherine Hall, daughter of Mrs. James E. Hall,, will enter the University of California. Miss Horton’s school for girls,

Edith Stebbins, a graduate of Mills College was an actress and a community theater director. In 1946, she married John Jennings and had one daughter: Penelope Ann Jennings born September 4, 1952.

Property Owner:

Permit for Building Granted 1916 (212) S 20 LOT 3, and N 35 lot 20, Map Dell C. Woodward
subdivision, Pagoda Hill, Oakland. All work for one story and basement frame dwelling 
except heating, shades, electric  fixtures, heater. 

Owner Elwyn W. Stebbins. Oakland. 
Architect Albert Farr, 68 Post San Francisco. 
Contractor Joseph Coward, 6081 Claremont Ave., Oakland. 
Filed Feb. 8, '16. Dated Feb. 3, '16. 
Rafters in place $600 
Plastering completed 600 
Completed and accepted 787 
Usual 35 days 663 
TOTAL COST, $2650 
Bond, $1325. Sureties, Fidelity and Deposit Co. Forfeit, $5. Limit, 75 days. 
Plans & Specifications Filed.

Stern in Older Years

His grandchildren only have brief memories, but remember him as stern,  drank scotch and smoked fine cigars while playing bridge (one said often drunk), tolerated no interruptions.  One shared that Elwyn  had some operation related to the colon where he had to have a bag attached, and that his wife, who loved to entertain, had only minimal practical communication with him in later years. One mentioned he “…Ruined the Merced River, but this is what mining engineers were supposed to do in those days.”


Elwyn died May 20 1950 at 79 years