Eleanor McCoy Collection

TITLE: Eleanor McCoy Collection

DATE RANGE:   1880s-1950s


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:  .5 linear feet (1 box)

PROVENANCE:  The estate of Eleanor McCoy, 1965 

COPYRIGHT:   Yuma County Library District owns the copyright

RESTRICTIONS: This collection is unrestricted.   

CREDIT LINE: Eleanor McCoy Collection Y-PC 7, Yuma County Library District

PROCESSED BY: Linda Whitaker, February 2016

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:   Eleanor McCoy - bank teller, reporter/photographer, Deputy Clerk of Superior Court, newspaper owner and publisher, and Yuma Postmaster – was also athletic, adventurous, and fun as her photographs testify.  She swam, fished, hunted, and drove a car long before many women of her time.

As Yuma was approaching its 100th birthday in 1954, Eleanor Dunne McCoy was asked to serve on the Centennial Commission. She was profiled in the Yuma Sun as a true Arizona native whose earliest days were spent at the Fortuna Mine until it closed and the family moved to Yuma. They lived near the river bank on Jones Street with many of the old Yuma families such as the DeCorses, Willwebers, Ames, Greens, Fredleys and Morettis.  Her first teacher was the feisty Miss Mary Elizabeth Post.  One of her long time childhood friends was Eirene Blaisdell. She travelled Arizona with the fearless and famous Nellie Bush and wrote a news article about Charles Lindbergh’s flight over Yuma. 

Her father, a tavern owner died while Eleanor was in high school. She interrupted her education to work, then went to business school in Los Angles and returned to take a job at the Yuma Bank.  She served twelve years as deputy clerk, issuing marriage licenses during the heyday of wedding chapels that rivaled the wedding industry in Nevada. 

She married Edwin T. “Mac” McCoy in 1922. They bought an interest in the Arizona Sentinel newspaper, sold it, moved to Roseville, California and ran another newspaper until the Great Depression.  They moved back to Yuma, Mac became a builder and general contractor. Eleanor worked in the law offices of R.N. Campbell and became Yuma Postmaster in 1944. Mac McCoy died in 1947. Eleanor held the postmaster position until her death in in 1963.   She was a charter member of Zonta International, the

American Legion Auxiliary, and the first President of the Yuma Professional Women’s Club.  At the time of her death, she was survived by her sister-in-law Violet Dunne, her daughter Patricia, and two grandchildren Teressa and Frank Swartz Jr.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE: These photographs provide insights into Eleanor McCoy’s early life and those of her family and friends from the 1900s through the 1930s.  Highlights include her vacations as a young girl to Venice Beach and later to Catalina Island; road trips in her husband’s Overland; time spent with girlhood friends moving from bib overalls and boots to dainty, stylish dresses and back again; and her warm, close relationship to her brother Bill Dunne, sister Pat Dunne Murphey, and cousin Dorothy Dunne Williamson.    

 No series. Organized by family names, travel, and “unidentified.”  Condition and quality of images range from fragile/poor to excellent.   


Box Folder Title Dates
1 1 Dunne Family 1900s-1930s
  2 Legeay Family 1920s-1940s
  3 McCoy Family  1 of 2 1880s-1920s
  4 McCoy Family  2 of 2 1920s-1940s, n.d.
  5 Friends 1900-1950s
  6 Travel, Arizona 1960s
  7 Travel, California (various) 1922-1940s, n.d.
  8 Travel:  Catalina Island, Venice Beach California 1920s-1930s
  9 Unidentified Children      1890s-1930s
  10 Unidentified  Groups 1900s-1920s
  11 Unidentified  Men 1920s
  12 Unidentified Women     n.d.


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