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Finding Aid for the Midnight Mission and Tom and Mary Liddecoat papers

Finding aid prepared by John Howard Fowler, ©2003

Summary Information

Repository
USC Libraries Special Collections
Creator
Liddecoat, Mary
Title
Midnight Mission and Tom and Mary Liddecoat papers
Collection no.
0413
Date [inclusive]
1899-2005
Extent
5.0 boxes, 8 linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
The papers of the Midnight Mission and of Tom and Mary Liddecoat consist of material that documents the personal and business history of the Liddecoat family, the Midnight Mission, and various other charities and individuals associated with the Liddecoat family; specifically, the collection documents two generations of the Liddecoat family and their involvement in charitable organizations such as the Midnight Mission, the Gospel Foundation of America, and charitable organizations on the family's ranch in Walnut Creek, California.

Preferred Citation

Midnight Mission and of Tom and Mary Liddecoat papers, Collection no. 0413, California Social Welfare Archives, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Historical Note

Tom "Brother Tom" Liddecoat (1874-1942) owned a lucrative packing firm in turn of the century Los Angeles. In 1914, he turned away from this business and began a mission to help the poor and the homeless on LA's streets. This became the Midnight Mission. Liddicoat and his daughter Mary ran the Mission until shortly before his death.

The Mission was initially funded by $100,000 of Liddecoat's own money. Soon, other donations came in. From 1924 on, Liddecoat returned to the packing business in order to help fund the Mission. Aided by anonymous benefactors like Walter Webb, Liddecoat was ultimately to receive donations from several wealthy men.

Among the Mission's strongest supporters were Albert M. Johnson and Harry Chandler. Johnson owned a home in Chicago, 1620 acres of land in Death Valley including a "castle" he had built there, that was widely held to be the property of Johnson's friend, "Death Valley Scotty," and a 326 acre ranch in Ygnacio Valley, called Shadelands Ranch.

After Johnson's death, all this property was willed to the Gospel Foundation of California, a non-profit Christian charity established by Johnson in the mid-1940's. Mary Liddecoat became the president of the Foundation. Following her understanding of Johnson's intent, Miss Liddecoat systematically sold off the Gospel Foundation properties to support a wide variety of Christian charitable institutions over the years. The records indicate a special attention to children's charities, children's camps, and a school created on Shadelands property for children with cerebral palsy.

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Scope and Content

The papers of the Midnight Mission and of Tom and Mary Liddecoat consist of correspondence, clippings, ephemera, photographs, and legal and financial documents that document the personal and business history of the Liddecoat family, the Midnight Mission, and various other charities and individuals associated with the Liddecoat family; specifically, the collection documents two generations of the Liddecoat family and their involvement in charitable organizations. Included are biographical and genealogical materials; papers relating to the founding and maintenance of the Midnight Mission by Tom Liddecoat; papers relating to the Gospel Foundation of America, founded by Albert Johson and managed by Mary Liddecoat; and materials relating to the development of Walnut Creek from properties managed by Miss Liddecoat. The material is sometimes sketchy, and the collection is haphazard, but there are remarkable holographic memoirs included as sketches found penciled into otherwise unrelated documents.

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Organization

This collection is organized into the following series:

1. Liddecoate Family 2. Midnight Mission 3. Gospel Foundation of America

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
©2003
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189
213-740-5900
specol@usc.edu

Revision Description

 Finding aid edited and updated by Sue Luftschein, 2010 December

Conditions Governing Access

None.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the California Social Welfare Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the appropriate agency or person.

Acquisition Information

The material was acquired by friends and associates of Miss Mary Liddecoat.

Processing Note

The papers of the Midnight Mission and of Tom and Mary Liddecoat were in less than perfect order and poorly preserved when they arrived at the CSWA archives. Much of the original collection consisted of unattributed photographs and highly deteriorated newspaper clippings collections. Samples of the photographs were given special attention for preservation. Newspapers were photocopied. The collection also contains a great deal of extraneous material, in particular that dealing with Death Valley. Given the intinsic interest of some of this material, it has been retained, but the researcher should note that some of this material is more germaine to California regional historical research than Social Welfare research.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Gospel Foundation of California. -- Archives
  • Liddecoat Packing Co.. -- Archives
  • Midnight Mission. -- Archives
  • Scotty's Castle (Calif.). -- Archives
  • Walnut Creek Historical Society. -- Archives

Family Name(s)

  • Liddecoat family -- Archives

Genre(s)

  • Certificates
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Ephemera
  • Financial records
  • Legal instruments
  • Newsletters
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Printed ephemera

Geographic Name(s)

  • Death Valley National Park (Calif. and Nev.)--Archival resources
  • Los Angeles (Calif.)--Genealogy
  • Los Angeles (Calif.)--Social conditions--Archival resources
  • Shadelands Ranch (Walnut Creek, Calif.)--Archival resources

Personal Name(s)

  • Johnson, Albert M., 1872-1948 -- Archives
  • Liddecoat, Mary -- Archives
  • Liddecoat, Tom, 1864-1942 -- Archives
  • Scott, Walter E., 1872-1954 -- Archives
  • Stocker, Clara Baldwin, 1847-1929 -- Archives

Subject(s)

  • Charities--California--Archival resources
  • Missions--California--Archival resources
  • Social service--California--Archival resources
  • Social service--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
  • Youth--Services for--California--Archival resources
  • Youth--Societies and clubs--Archival resources

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Liddecoat Family History 

Scope and content

Includes genealogical material, correspondence, and memorabilia

Box Folder

 Ancestral Homes undated   0.1 linear ft.

Scope and content

Photographs

1 26

 Bicycle Racers undated   0.1 linear ft.

Scope and content

Photograph, possibly including a young Tom Liddecoat.

1 53

 Biography of Tom Liddecoat undated 

Scope and content

Written in Mary Liddecoat's hand. Only fragments.

1 63

 Correspondence undated 

Scope and content

Christmas postcard from Florence Albright. Handpainted. Personal note on back "To Mary (Liddecoat)."

1 9

 Family Photographs undated 


    Box Folder
Folder:   1 68
    Box Folder
Textual materials   5 33

Box Folder

 Family Trees circa 1935 

Scope and content

Liddecoat and Imhoff families

1 16

 Friends and Family undated 

Scope and content

Photographs

1 29

 Geneaological research, Imhoff family 1932-1987 

5 29

 Hymn book, inscribed "Thomas Liddecoat, Central City, Colorado" 1899 

4 34

 Inheritance Tax Affadavit 1942 

Scope and content

Inheritance from Thomas H. W. Liddecoat

2 3

 Liddecoat's medical condition 1924 

5 23

 Notepad undated 

4 3

 Obituaries 1943 

5 39

 Photographs of houses (Bay Area?) undated 

4 35

 Photographs undated 

5 52

 Pillow slip with photographs of Mary's mother and San Francisco circa 1899 

5 34
Box Object

 Tom Liddecoat and Mary Imhoff marriage certificate 1899 

3 6
Box Folder

 Tom's devotional, "Daily Eight" 1923 

5 18

 Liddecoat Packing 

Box Folder

 Company label undated 

2 9

 Correspondence 1910-1911 

1 58

 Correspondence 1924 

1 59

 Photographs undated 


    Box Object
Photographs   3 5
    Box Folder
Folder:   1 46
    Box Folder
Textual materials   4 9

 Mary Liddecoat 

Box Folder

 Alberta and Lorene Davis undated 

5 40

 Autobiography [photocopy of manuscript] undated 

4 44

 Baby Book 1907 January 

1 12

 Certificate of Registration as Registered Social Worker 1946 February 25 

1 14
Box Object

 Certificate of membership, Betsy Ross Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association 1918 

3 2
Box Folder

 Childhood hymn book 1914 

5 17

 Correspondence 1938-2002 

5 15

 Franklin High School benefit performance playbill circa 1926 

5 45

 Franklin High School, Los Angeles, yearbooks 1925-1926 

4 48

 High school diploma 1926 

4 49

 Hollington K. Tong speeches, clipping, letter 1930-1957 

4 19

 Last will and testament 1943 December 7 

5 51
Box Object

 Los Angeles Examinder Certificate of Merit 1920 

3 3
Box Folder

 Notebook undated 

4 1

 Photographs 

Box Folder

 Photographs 1904-1953 

1 17

 Breakfast in Hollywood undated 

1 11

 Grandparents undated 

1 27

 Trip to Holy Land 1930 

2 1
Box Folder

 Red Cross Service Award 1946 January  

1 15

 Safe deposit receipt 1931, 1973 

5 41

 Short Story circa 1927 

1 25

 Unidentified photographs undated 

5 38

 USC diploma 1931 

4 50

 USC graduation announcement 1931 

5 20

 USC graduation program 1931 June 6 

1 13

 USC school paper on Lloyd George circa 1931 

5 19

 USC social work certificate 1931 

4 51
Box Object

 World Opportunities Inc. Certificate of Appreciation circa 1960s 

3 4

 Masons 

Box Folder

 Bethany Girls 1922 April 27  

Scope and content

Mary Liddecoat's Enrollment Card

1 65

 Masonic Bulletins 1922, 1942 

Scope and content

Containing Mention of Liddecoat's Mission

1 49

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Series 2:  Midnight Mission 

Scope and content

Covers the period of the founding of the Midnight Mission and the ministry of Tom Liddecoat.

Box Folder

 Advertisements for speeches 1922-1927 

5 36

 Agreement with Los Angeles Police 1925 February 27 

Scope and content

Loan of jail cots to Mission

2 11

 Alexander Hardie, "The Atonement" 1931 

4 30

 Articles of Incorporation 1922 May 12 

4 15

 Bible inscribed to Brother Tom 1922 

4 2

 Billy Sunday undated 

Scope and content

Postcard

1 64

 "Brother Tom and his Midnight Mission" pamphlet 1928 

4 14

 Brother Tom radio address, KJH 1931 June 9 

4 11

 Brother Tom radio address, KJH 1931 June 30 

5 10

 Cancelled check 1909 

5 42

 Clara Baldwin Stocker Estate 1931 May 8 

1 56

 Correspondence 1909-1942 


    Box Folder
Folder:   1 61
    Box Folder
Textual materials   5 16

Box Folder

 Devotional Materials 1930 

Scope and content

Poems, photos of the Holy Land, pamphlets.

1 10

 Evangelistic party photograph 1923 

4 5

 Friends and Associates undated 

Scope and content

Photographs

1 67

 Fundraising Letters 1987 

1 62

 Harry Chandler's Speech 1933 June 8 

1 71

 Leaflet undated 

5 27

 Liddecoat Photographs 

Box Folder

 Casual undated 

1 51

 Studio Portraits undated 

2 8

 Funeral 1942 

1 44
Box Folder

 Liddecoat letters to Mary 1941 

Scope and content

Including claim by Tom Liddecoat that Mission had been stolen from him by embezzlers.

1 54

 Liddecoat Condolence letters 1943 

1 57

 "Mealtime" [photograph] undated 

5 37

 Midnight Mission News 

Box Folder

 Vol. I, no. 4 1925 May  

2 10

 Vol. I, no. 29 1927 June  

2 14
Box Frame

 Midnight Mission News 1925-1927 

5 8
Box Folder

 Midnight Mission News 1929 

5 9
Box Folder

 Mission Pamphlet 1931 

2 16

 Mission Pamphlet 1932 

1 60

 Mission Christmas Pamphlet 1987-1990 

1 50

 Mission Printing Press undated 

Scope and content

Photographs

1 52

 Mission Views undated 

Scope and content

Glass Photographic Plates

1 70

 Mortgage Extension 1920 December 2  

2 13

 Newsclippings 1923-1962 


    Box Folder
Textual materials   4 7-8, 10, 13
    Box Folder
Textual materials   5 35
    Box Folder
Folder:   1 1

Scope and content

Xeroxes of highly deteriorated clippings files. Most are from the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Herald Express.

Box Folder

 Night In Night Court 1929 April 17 

Scope and content

Newsclipping. Original. Xerox in "clippings" folder.

1 45

 Note pad circa 1941 

Scope and content

Penciled notes, possibly in Mary Liddecoat's hand.

1 48

 Pamphley for Kingsway Social Club undated 

1 47

 Photographs of Brother Tom 1915-1935 

5 32

 Proposed appraisal plan, Midnight Mission 1929 

4 4

 Purpose of Mission undated 

Scope and content

Fragment in Tom Liddecoat's hand.

1 66

 Resolution on passing of Brother Tom 1942 

5 47

 Signatures undated 

Scope and content

Several pages of signatures, bound as if part of a legal petition.

2 12

 Statement by Tom Liddecoat circa 1938 

5 11

 Testimonial and letter from Harry Chandler 1942-1943 

4 6

 Testimonials and letters of introduction for Brother Tom 1926-1943 

5 14

 "Tom Preaches/Tom Speaks" audio cd 2005 

4 12

 "Tom Preaching" vinyl recording undated 

4 16

 USO Correspondence 1942 

1 55

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Series 3:  Gospel Foundation of California 

Scope and content

Mostly funded by a bequest from Albert Johnson

Box Folder

 Aimee Semple McPherson 1929-1932 

4 24

 Albert Johnson Estate 

Box Folder

 Articles of Incorporation 1948 

2 6

 Biography [by Mary?] undated 

4 45

 Chicago Property 1948 

1 21

 Inventory 1948 January 7 

2 5

 Johnson's intent [fragment] undated 

5 7

 Obituary 1948 

5 28

 Outstanding Assets 1949 

Scope and content

Suit in Federal Court, with copies of materials presented.

1 35

 Photographs 1937, undated 

5 22

 Tax Exempt Status 1948-1954 

2 7

 Tax Refunds 1944-1954 

1 36
Box Folder

 Annual Meeting 1948 

1 23

 Annual meeting minutes 1963-1970 

5 50

 Articles of incorporation 1946 

4 39

 Camps and Children's Charities 

Box Folder

 Hume Lake Wagon Train 1964-1966 

Scope and content

Large Photographs

2 18

 Snapshots undated 

1 69
Box Folder

 Charles J. Froehler 1995 

4 29

 Cordie May Ditto memorial 1959 

4 17

 Correspondence 1943-1996 

1 18

 Donations 1971-1976 

1 31

 Dove of Hope mission 1950 

4 26

 Eulogy and Account Book circa 1952 

Scope and content

Spiral notebook with signed eulogy of "Brother Tom," accounts (1948-1951), and statement about purpose of Johnson in funding the Foundation, written in Mary Liddecoat's hand.

1 19

 Financial notes 1948-1949 

5 46

 Financial notes 1982-1983 

5 12

 Financial statement 1948 

5 4

 Financial statement 1989 

5 3

 "God's Hand over Hume", inscribed to Mary undated 

5 49

 Gospel Foundation history undated 

5 48

 Hollywood House 

Box Folder

 Appraisal undated 

2 15

 Deed Transfer undated 

2 2
Box Folder

 Letters from Harold S. Pandy to "Dave" 1940-1941 

5 44

 Little Country Church of Hollywood 1983 

4 23

 National Park Service oral history with Mary Liddecoat 1983 March 17 

5 13

 Pisgah 

Box Folder

 Finis E. Yoakum 1930 

4 22

 Pisgah home songs undated 

4 36

 Pisgaph newsletters 1909-1922 

4 20

 Pisgah notes undated 

5 31

 Pisgah pamphlet undated 

4 21

 Sister Alice M. Kidd, "Ten Years in Pisgah" circa 1920 

4 28
Box Folder

 Plaque to Mary Liddecoat from Christian Jail Workers, Inc. 1985 February 1 

4 18

 Plaque to Mary Liddecoat from Hospital Chaplains Ministry of America undated 

4 33

 "Rebuilding Palestine According to Prophecy" 1935 

4 32

 Request for exemption 1951 March 13 

Scope and content

Petition to Internal Revenue Service.

1 24

 Roy B. McKeown 1974 

4 27

 Scotty's Castle and Death Valley 

Scope and content

Covers history of the Castle and Liddecoat involvement in the estate. Mostly clippings and memorabilia.

Box Folder

 Correspondence 1951-1971 

1 22

 Castle Chronicle Quarterly 1939 April-June 

4 47

 Death Valley 1975-2002 

5 30

 Death Valley Anniversary booklets 1983-1993 

1 4

 Horace M. Albright 1959-1991 

5 21

 Letter from Scotty to Albert Johnson 1932 February 8 

4 42

 Newsclippings 1940-1982 


    Box Folder
Folder:   1 3
    Box Folder
Textual materials   4 40
    Box Folder
Textual materials   5 1

Scope and content

Xeroxes of highly deteriorated clippings files. Most are from Los Angeles or San Diego.

 Photographs undated 


    Box Folder
Folder:   1 28
    Box Folder
Photographs   4 41

Box Folder

 Postcards circa 1947 

1 7

 Religious Services 1949-1994 

1 8

 Recollection of Scotty [by Mary?] undated 

4 43

 Tour Guides 1943-1985 


    Box Folder
Folder:   1 6
    Box Folder
Textual materials   4 46

Box Folder

 Where are You 1954 

Scope and content

Sheet Music Dedicated to Death Valley Scotty

1 5

 Shadelands 

Scope and content

Covers properties held in Walnut Creek area, in particular those that were originally part of the Shadelands Ranch.

Box Folder

 Board report draft undated 

5 6

 Children's camps circa 1970s 

5 2

 Children's retreat 1984 

4 38

 Nutshell News 1967 

2 4

 Ranch expenses undated 

1 30

 Sales of Real Property 1955-1980 

1 33

 School for Cerebral Palsied Children undated 

1 43

 Shadelands Development undated 

2 17

 Shadelands financial report 1980 

5 5
Box Object

 Shadelands Park aerial photo and engineering map 1978 June  

3 1

 Shadelands Museum 

Box Folder

 Photographs undated 

1 37

 Brochures undated 

1 38

 Foundation Donations 1974-1983 

1 40

 Shadelands real estate development undated 

5 25

 Walnut Creek Historical Society meeting 1971 February 8 

1 39

 Walnut Creek Historical Society 1971-2000 

5 24
Box Folder

 Shadelands News 1979 January 30 

1 34

 Shadelands plantings 1928 

5 44

 Sign design 1979 

1 32

 Thank you note and photographs of children sent to Mary undated 

4 37

 Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church 1985 

5 26
Box Folder

 "Spare Moments" By Mrs. Julia Goodman undated 

4 32

 Various Charities undated 

1 42

 Walnut Creek and Shadelands 1952-1985 

Scope and content

Newsclippings. Xeroxes of highly deteriorated clippings files. Most are from local news sources.

1 2

 Walter Webb 1966-1977 

Scope and content

Photographs

1 20

 William Cameron Townsend 1995 

4 25

 Youth Camps undated 

Scope and content

Mostly "Thank You" notes

1 41

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