Finding Aid for the Charles Bennett Ledgerwood,






Origination/Creator:    Ledgerwood, Charles Bennett, b. 1906, January 3

Title of Collection:        Charles Bennett Ledgerwood Papers

Date of Collection:        1916-1999

Physical Description:  1.0 linear foot

Identification:   MS-004

Repository:                 Carlsbad History Room Special Collection 

                                      Georgina Cole Library, Carlsbad, Ca


Abstract:                       The Charles Bennett Ledgerwood Papers, 1916-1999, consists primarily of paperwork relating to his professional accomplishments in Carlsbad California, documenting his work as a renowned ‘seed man”, horticulturalist, elected official to the Carlsbad Sanitary District and as Carlsbad Mayor and City Council Member.



Access Restrictions:   Collection is open for research.

Copyright:                  The copyright interests in this collection remain with the

             creator. For more information, contact the Carlsbad History Room

             Georgina Cole Library.


Acquisition Method:  donated by Eldean Bratton



Born January 3, 1906 in to Nathaniel and Effie A Bennett Ledgerwood, Charles Ledgerwood grew up in Alhambra, California. Charles had 3 siblings, Helen, Evelyn and Kenneth. He graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1924.  He attended UCLA in 1925, UC Davis in 1926 and 27 where he majored in agriculture and worked as a laboratory assistant for onion and tomato experiments. He was a fraternity manager for Beta Phi in 1926. In 1927 he started working with the California Packing Corporation in Idaho Falls, Idaho. While living in Idaho he met his future wife Violet Swanson.  She moved with her mother and sisters to Oregon in 1927and in 1929 to Monrovia California. Ledgerwood worked in Utah in 1928. He then took a job with Aggler Musser Seed Company in California and purchased a lot on Redwood Street in Carlsbad California in 1928. Violet and Charles were married June 12, 1929 at the South Pasadena Methodist Church and honeymooned in Oceanside California. For the next few years Charles and Violet lived in Los Angels, Santa Maria, Watsonville and Salinas. They moved to Carlsbad in October of 1933, and opened their seed and farm business on Redwood and Highway 101. They had two daughters Eldean born in 1937 and Claire born in1942.


In 1935 Charles was elected as Secretary of the Carlsbad Sanitary District, later served as Director. He served the District for 14 years. In 1956 he was elected to the Carlsbad City Council and served as mayor of Carlsbad for two years 1958 and 59. Charles was a member of the Union Church Cabinet for 26 years.

In 1955, he enrolled in photography classes and made a variety of films which won San Diego County Competitions. Those titles include; Climb the Highest Mountain, Serene Sequoia, Signs of the Times, The Tuolumne, Endless Road and Waltz of the Flowers.  He also devoted many hours to filming the football games for five local high schools and two community colleges.



            The Charles Ledgerwood Papers, 1916-1999, consists primarily of autobiographical recollections, Carlsbad Sanitary District forms, Duplicates of California State Tax forms1938-40, magazine and newspaper articles about the Seed Business, personal editorial writings, seed store memorabilia, self published seed catalogues and a film copy of Waltz of the Flowers.

            The collection consists of three series: Personal Recollections (Series I), Personal Accomplishments (Series II) and Publicity (Series III). Personal Recollections is further divided into two subseries: Biographical (Subseries A) and Writings (Subseries B). Personal Accomplishments is divided into five subseries: Seed and Farm Store memorabilia (subseries A), Seed and Farm business California Tax forms (subseries B), Seed Catalogues (subseries C), Carlsbad Sanitary District Election forms (subseries D) and Waltz of the Flowers film (subseries E). Publicity is subdivided into four subseries: magazine articles (subseries A) and Newspaper articles (subseries B), Political Newspapers (subseries C) and Letter to City (subseries D).  Within subseries, items are arranged chronologically.



Series I: Personal Recollections 1916-1999

            Subseries A: Biographical, 1916-1999

Folder 1: six items; resume, interview, recollections from mother Effie, funeral card, bio of grandfather, personal memories- multiple copies of all

Subseries B: Writings, 1977

Folder 2: two items; Letters to the Editor of the Carlsbad Journal, June 17, 1977 and July 4, 1977

Series II: Personal Accomplishments, 1938-1998

            Subseries A: Seed and Farm Store Memorabilia, N.D.-1999

Folder 3:  5 items; cloth seed bags, business license, business envelope, bag of Zinnia- Dahlia seeds

Subseries B: Seed and Farm Store California Tax Returns, 1938-1940

Folder 4: 3 items

            Subseries C: Seed Catalogues, 1978- 1992

Folder 5: 9 items Reliable Seeds, 1978, 1982, 1983 (2)1985, 1987,1988,1990,1992

            Subseries D: Carlsbad Sanitary District Election Forms, 1940

Folder 6: 4 items, State of California Certificate of Election and Oath, 3 nominating petitions

            Subseries E: Waltz of the Flowers Film

Folder 7: 1 item ¼ inch film circa 1973, , use of time lapsed photography

            Subseries F: Incoming professional correspondence, 1959-1982

Folder 8: 6 items, letters thank of inviting Ledgerwood for presentations

Series III: Publicity, N.D.-1999

           Subseries A: magazine articles

Folder 9: 7 items; N.D., 1981 (2), 1982, 1986, 1992, 1999

           Subseries B: Newspaper Articles

Folder 10: 121 items; 1958-2002

            Subseries C: Political Newspapers

Folder 11: 3 items 1958-1960

            Subseries D: Letter to City

Folder 12: 1 item; letter from Shelly Grossman to City Manager, 2000