Skip to main content My Account Off-Campus Access Give 24/7 Chat Meet with a Librarian Directory Library Services Technical Support Submit a Digital Sign Give Newsletters Social Media


Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Biographical Timeline

DateMichael HarrisonMargaret Elizabeth Baker Harrison
1897Born in Paterson, New Jersey, December 13. Brothers: Joseph J. (1894-1967) Samuel H. (1907-1966) Fred (1911- ) Sisters: Rae (1891-) Dorothy (n.d.) 
1911 Born in Evanston, Illinois, June 27. Daughter of Dr. Charles R. and Frances Macklin Baker. [Brother, Frank, 1909-]
1916Graduated from Paterson High School. Went to work for the Erie Railroad in the Demurrage Department in NYC. 
1917Went to work for Public Service Corporation of New Jersey in Hackensack. 
1918Enlisted in the Army 
1922Left the Army in July. Took the examination for the Park Service and passed. Took position of assistant to the Superintendent at Grand Canyon National Park. 
1925Married Elizabeth Compton, September. [From Cincinnati, Ohio.] 
1928Divorced Elizabeth Compton. 
1931Left the Park Service in May to manage the Big Bear Lake Lodge in the San Bernardino Mountains. 
1932Became the ramrod at the Smoke Tree Ranch near Palm Springs. Married Margaret Elizabeth Baker, March 26, in Yuma Arizona. Moved to Santa Fe to work for the Indian Service, assistant to the Superintendent of the Northern Pueblos Agency, Chester E. Farris. Donated a 162 basket collection to Laboratory of Anthropology.Moved to Palm Springs, Araby Tract with her mother, Frances Barron. Married Mike Harrison. Devised the “Harrison Peculiar System” to index Mike’s library.
1933Sent to Fort Wingate Indian School as assistant to the temporary superintendent. 
1934Transferred to San Francisco, California as assistant to the regional coordinator, Roy Nash. 
1935Sent to Ukiah, California, as agent in charge of Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties. Collett investigation begins.Began an apprenticeship in hand bookbinding with Hazel Dreis in March in San Luis Obispo County. Helped bind the remaining copies of Taos Pueblo by Mary Austin with photographs by Ansel Adams.
1936 Completed apprenticeship in August. Won one first place, one second place and two third place ribbons for bookbinding at the LA County Fair.
1939Sent to Sacramento, California. Rented a house at 3183 Carly Way.Set up hand book bindery in the basement.
1942 Major in Women’s Ambulance and Transport Corps
1947Left the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Went to Bureau of Reclamation as a right-of-way agent for the Central Valley Canal. 
1952Purchased their first home at 4216 T Street in Sacramento. 
1959Purchased land in Fair Oaks, California for a new house.Wrote the specifications, drew the plans, designed the bookcases and cabinets, and supervised the construction of “a library with living quarters.”
1960Retired in May. Moved into new home, 7440 Alexander Court on July 6. 
1962 Gave Michael The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis.
1966 Planned and supervised the construction of an expansion room to the library.
1967Helped establish Little Big Horn Associates. 
1969Began meeting with UC Davis representatives, including Chancellor James Meyer, regarding the bequest of the library on August 4. How to build a poor man’s library published by the Book Club of California.Gave a presentation to the Sacramento Book Collectors Club, “Life with a bibliomaniac.”
1980 Died in Fair Oaks, California, June 25. Bequeathed binding equipment and her half of the Center to the University of California, Davis.
1995Appointed Honorary President of Western History Association. 
1997Received Hubert Howe Bancroft Award for a lifetime of finding and protecting irreplaceable treasures of the western U.S. 
2005Died in Fair Oaks, California, April 5.