Henry Herbert KNIBBS, son of George KNIBBS and Sarah Augusta WOODRUFF , was born 24 October 1874 in Clifton, Ontario, Canada. He died 17 May 1945 in San Diego County, California, USA. Turbesé Dorothea LUMMIS was born 09 June 1892 in Isleta, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, USA. She died 10 May 1967 in San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA.

Marriage Notes for Henry Herbert KNIBBS\Turbesé Dorothea LUMMIS:

Despite appearing together with their own "Family Page", Henry and Turbesé didn't marry.

The story of Henry's life wouldn't be complete without significant reference to Turbesé who remained with Henry for the remainder of his life and was the executor of his estate.

Other Marriages/Unions for Henry Herbert KNIBBS:
See Henry Herbert KNIBBS & Ida Julia PFEIFFER

Other Marriages/Unions for Turbesé Dorothea LUMMIS:
See Frank FISKE & Turbesé Dorothea LUMMIS

Notes for Henry Herbert KNIBBS:

Also known as: Harry

A sample of Henry's signature taken from his military registration card, 1917.

Please visit my Notable KNIBBS Page for Henry


Henry Herbert Knibbs is a native of southern Canada. After finishing his studies at an English Church School in Canada he went to Buffalo, New York, where he became a stenographer, working for several years at secretarial work and salesmanship. During this time he wrote a volume of verse entitled First Poems, which was published over the pen name of Henry K. Herbert. Having decided to make writing his life work, he went to Harvard, where he specialised in English under Dean Griggs and Professor Bliss Perr
In Cambridge he and his wife lived on thirty dollars a month. During a whole year they never once used a street car, but walked round Boston and the suburbs. During the Harvard years he spent several seasons in the Maine woods. His wife always accompanied him, and they fished, hunted and canoed n the northern part of the State.
In 1911 they went to California, where they now live. Generally speaking they spend all their spare time in the woods and mountains. Once they took a seven months' trip through California, equipped with a camp wagon and two saddle ponies. Mr. Knibbs has never hired a guide, and has never suffered hardship through becoming lost for any length of time. He once refused a position on a New York newspaper, giving as his reason that he could not write editorials and could not accept two hundred dollars a month as the price of outdoor liberty. Owing to their experiences
in the wilderness, they are able to live for any number of months or years in the woods on fifty cents a day for each
of them.

There is much information available to indicate that Henry Herbert Knibbs was born in Clifton (now called Niagara Falls), Ontario, Canada to affluent American parents. His biography record at Los Angeles Library as well as at Stanford University, California, states that his ancestors were Cornish tin miners, seamen and Long Island farmers.

It was his father who encouraged him to read the works of Longfellow, Lord Byron, Whittier, Tennyson, Edgar Allen Poe. His introduction to horses and livestock on his grandparents' farm in Pennsylvania stayed with him throughout his life and had a major influence on his writing. He developed a love for the violin at a very young age, and it was that love to which he turned his attentions later in life after the sudden end to his writing career.

He attended Woodstock College at age 14, then Bishop Ridley College for three years and studied English at Harvard. He is listed as a former student of Harvard studying literature, and living at that time at 711 Cole Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA.

In 1899, Henry married Ida Pfeiffer.

In 1900, we see Henry living at Buffalo City, Eerie County, New York:
Harry Knibbs Head Mar 25 Canada Stenographer
Ida J Knibbs Wife Mar 27 New York

The census indicates that he immigrated into the United States in 1892.

He moved to California in 1901 where he wrote his first Novel, Lost Farm Camp. Most of Henry's novels are set in the West and in revolutionary Mexico.

Henry aged 34, taken in 1908 for the Boston Sunday Post newspaper. (click to enlarge)

From the Boston Sunday Post, December 6, 1908:
Harvard Student is Hailed as America's Future Poet Lauriate.
At 34, H. H. Knibbs, a Stenographer, Begins His Travel on the Road Towards Education -------His Genius Discovered by His Former Pastor.
Hailed as the future poet laureate of America by leading men of letters, H. H. Knibbs formerly a railroad stenographer, now a student at Harvard, at the age of 34 finally sees fame beckoning to him. His first collection of verses. a tiny volume, has just been issued, but already the prediction is made that his name will not only rank with those of Keats and Shelley, but men like Professor Bliss of Harvard, Professor Henry Van Dyke of Princeton and Professor William Lyons Phelps of Yale are unanimous in praise of his verse.
Gentle and serious minded, somewhat above the average height and well-knit. his face aglow with health. He little resembles the average conception of a poet. His eyes are kind, his features strong, his high forehead denotes Intellect and the lines about his mouth prove that he is not devoid of humor. "I have been trying to write poetry ever since I was a nine year old." he said, "and my first worthwhile poem was published when I was about I8. It was entitled The Wolf-Man' I received my Inspiration for this poem from seeing a print of an old painting of the wolf-man whose playing upon the pipes charmed the wolves to follow him and commlt any depredations he desired." It was not until a year ago that Knibbs decided to lake up literature seriously. At the instlgation of the Rev. Charles C. Albertson, of whose parish lhe was a member while living in Rochester, N. Y., he gave up his employment as stenog-rapher and devoted all of last winter to perfecting his verse, and this fall he entered Harvard University.
Many Years of Study
A marrled man, Knibbs Is confident that he will be able to surmount the difficulties he expects to meet on the long road towards hls goal. He will spend four years at Harvard, he will study at Oxford and In Italy, and only then will he return to Boston to devote his life to literary pursuit
"It is not too late," he maintains, "I have still many years before me in which to receive the needed education," and this tone of hopefulness and determination re-echoes through all his songs, published under the title "First Poems." While living In Rochester, N. Y., Knibbs desirous of polishing up his English. asked permission of Dr. Albertson to carry on a correspondence with the minister, who undertook to correct the mistakes the young poet made. The clergyman's attention was soon arrested by fugitive lines of verse which began to appear to the letters,
How He Was Discovered "There was a strong virile rhythm to the lines," said Dr. Albertson, "and so good were they that I piqued myself at not knowing whose the lines were. I was ashamed to ask Knibbs what they were, and the identity of the verse really got on my mind. First, I would pick out something as Keats, then again as Shelley's, but I could not find the lines in either of these poets. and finally it dawned on me that possibly the verses were written by Knibbs himself. So I inquired and found guess was correct . and I began to realize that I had run across n genius."
After that Dr. Albertson engaged Knibbs to act as his stenographer, and encouraged him to cultivate his poetic talent. "What little advance I have made, recently: I owe almost entirely to the untiring efforts of Dr. Atintrison and the sincere advice he has given me says Knibbs. Knibbs was born 34 years ago in Niagara Falls. Ontario, and Ilved therere until he was about I7. He attended the public schools and when 16 years old went toIWoodstock College at Woodstock, Canada, but was forced to give up his studies there after a fww menthe on account or illmess and return home. He had Archdeaxcon Houston of Christs Church as a tutor for a year and then entered Ridley Colege at Catherines, Ont. During the two years at Ridley Knibbs studied English literatire under Dr. J. 0. Miller and it was during this period that the ambition to write came upon him.
His Modesty Proverbial
The plaudits he has received since his book appeared have made no change in the young poet. delare his friends. His manner is unassuming and his modesty is rapidly becoming proverbial among his fellow students.
"The love of good literature seems to have been practically inbred in me." he tells, "for my mother began reading Shakspere to me when I was but eight years old. After that, until I left home for college, seven years later, my mother read to me every evening some passage from one of the great poet's plays, together with quotations from the 'Song of Songs.' by King Solomon, and King David's Psalms. These two latter have remained my favorite biblical books. "My favorite pastimes are hunting, fishing and canoeing, and on one of my recent canoe trips, I made over 1000 miles over the rivers of northern New York.
"I realise there is a great deal of work for me to do, and I am determined to do it."
Mr. Knibbs writes inder the nom de plume Henry K. Herbert.


In 1910, they was living at Cambridge Ward 5, Middlesex, Massachusetts in the household of a Wallace A King:
Wallace A King Head Mar 73 Vermont
Ada L King Wife Mar 67 Vermint
Aline M King Daughter UnM 34 Vermont
Harry H Knibbs Mar 35 United States
Ida J Knibbs Mar 37 New York
Carle Shulte UnM 30 Russia
Roy Ingersol
Richard Douglas

Henry can be seen at the 1920 census living at Antelope Township, Los Angeles, California:
Henry H KNIBBS Head 45 Canada Author - Fiction & Poetry
Ida J KNIBBS Wife 37 New York

In 1940, he was seen to be living at El Cajon Judicial Township, San Diego, California:
Turbese D Fisk Head Div 47 Author New Mexico
Henry H Knibbs Lodger 65 Mar Author Canada

He wrote six books of poems:
First Poems, 1908;
Songs of the Outlands, Ballads of the Hoboes and Other Verse, 1914;
Riders of the Stars: A Book of Western Verse, 1916;
Songs of the Trail, 1920;
Saddle Songs and Other Verse, 1922;
Songs of the Lost Frontier, 1930.

He also authored 13 western novels and a series of articles printed in the Saturday Evening Post, Red Cross Magazine, Current Opinion, West, Western Stories and Adventures.

Henry Herbert Knibbs was a scholar who aspired to be a Western writer and poet. There is no doubt that he put a great deal of research and thought into his writing. He was not born into ranch life, but became a Western writer through his great efforts. As a result, he left a legacy of profound cowboy poetry for our pleasure. He spent his last few years as owner of a violin shop in Banning, California. Dispite efforts made by Turbesé Lummis, his biography, 'A Boy I Knew' (alternately titled, 'Ticket Of Leave Man'), remains unpublished.

I am extremely pleased to have seen copies of several pages from a book called "Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible" published in 1877 which belongs to Ken Close who is descended from Henry's great-uncle Charles Knibbs. It was passed to Ken by his grandmother Hilda Gladys Knibbs, but Ken has no idea as to how it came into her possession. Inside the front cover is written "Henry Herbert Knibbs, 513 North Arden Boulevard, Los Angeles". So we presume from this that the book once belonged to Henry Herbert. The book contains many entries of births , marriages, and deaths of individuals within the family.
We suspect that the Bible originally belonged in the family of Lizzie Adkins, but probably not to Lizzie herself as her name Lizzie Reader is crossed out, and replaced with Lizzie Adkins, her maiden name - maybe it was her second husband George James Knibbs who was the original owner.

Follow this link to see full details of these recordings


Amongst Henry Herbert's papers currently contained in the archives at Stanford University, California, there are the following letters which help to establish the links within this part of the family:
** Knibbs, Clyde E., 1938 (his 2nd cousin from Verona, Grundy County, Illinois)
- Knibbs, Ida Julia (his wife)
- Knibbs, Olive (his sister)
- Knibbs, Sara (his mother)
- Most letters from 1945, and all from 1946 are to and from Turbesé Lummis Fiske, in her capacity as administratrix of Henry Knibbs' estate

** Note: The letter from Clyde E Knibbs to Henry Herbert was written in March 1938, and interestingly, to 513 Arden Boulevard, Los Angeles which is the address written in the front of the Bible mentioned above. Clyde told Henry that he was contemplating moving to California himself if he could get a job there to pay the bills. He also enquired as to the health of Henry's mother and sister, and reported to Henry that his own mother and sisters were well.

Our gratitude must go to the Stanford University for making the following image of Henry available from their archives:

There is also a Death Mask of Henry Herbert Knibbs in the University archives.


Henry's Militrary Registration document was completed on 12 September 1918, and shows that he was living at what looks like 711 Cole Ave., Los Angeles, California. He listed his wife Ida as his next of kin and gave her address as the same as his so she was clearluy still with him at that time. He gave his occupation as 'Author'. He was recorded as tall, medium height, grey eyes and brown hair.

See Henry's Military Registration Card from 1917


The University Missourian (Columbia, Mo.) wrote on 15th February, 1909:
Hailed as the future poet laureate of America by leading men of letters, H. H. Knibbs, formerly a railroad stenographer Now a student at Harvard at the age of 34, finally sees fame beckoning to him.
His first collection of verses, has just been issued, but already the predictions made that his name will not only rank with those of Keats and Shelley, but me like Prof. Bliss of Harvard, Prof. Henry Van Dyke of Princeton, and Prof. William Lyons Phelps of Yale are unanimous in praise of his verse.
Gentle and serious minded, somewhat above average height and well-knit, his face aglow with health. Mr. Knibbs little resembles the average conception of a poet. "I have been trying to write poetry ever since
I was nine years old," he said, "and my first worth while poem was published when I was about 18. It was entitled 'The Wolf Man.' I received the inspiration for this poem from seeing a print of an old painting of the wolf-man whose playing upon the pipes charmed the wolves to follow him and commit any depredations he desired."
It was not until a year ago that Knibbs decided to take up literature seriously. At the instigation of the Rev. Charles C. Albertson, of whose parish he was a member while living in Rochester, N.Y., he gave up his employment as stenographer and devoted all of last winter to perfecting his verse, and this fall he entered Harvard university.
A married man, Knibbs is confident that he will be able to surmount the difficulties he expects to meet on the long road towards his goal. He will spend four years at Harvard, he will study at Oxford and in Italy, and only then will he return to Boston to devote his life to literary


On obituary for Henry, believed to be from the L.A. Times, date unknown:
Henry Herbert Knibbs, California author and poet, died in 1945 but his memory is treasured in many western hearts and his books in many western homes. On May 19 a group of his friends will "go up the mountains to reminisce about him, to read some of his writing and to be part of the world he loved and knew so well." They will gather on the Chapman ranch, above Camp Baldy, north of Upland. All of those who loved Harry or who knew him only through his books will be welcome. Don McLain of Altadena has made most of the arrangements. I believe a plaque inscribed with a quotation from one of his books will be set in an upstanding boulder in Harry's memory and there is a movement to name a mountain for him.


Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Henry.

Sources for Henry Herbert KNIBBS:

  1. Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1907,
  2. Stanford University Archives, California http://www.oac.cdlib.org/,
  3. Californian Death Records http://vitals.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgi,
  4. Classic Rhymes by Henry Herbert Knibbs,
  5. 1900 US Federal Census,

Notes for Turbesé Dorothea LUMMIS:

Also known as: Dorothea Turbesé

I'm fairly sure that Turbesé's second Christian name was Dorothea. I also believe she attended the Throop Polytechnic Institute, Pasadena, California.

Listen to Turbesé as she "La Noche Esta
"; recorded by Charles Lummis in Los Angeles, 1914.

Turbesé Lummis Fiske (June 8, 1892-May 1967) was the daughter of Charles Fletcher Lummis, an anthropologist, writer, photographer, editor of the Los Angeles Times, "Land of Sunshine" and "Out West" magazines and the founder of the Southwest Museum. He walked from Ohio to Los Angeles in 1884 and wrote a book about it called "A Tramp Across the Continent".
He was an early advocate of Native American rights and a strong conservationist. He was a close friends with Teddy Roosevelt. His home El Alisal, is a museum now administered by the Historical Society of Southern California

Turbesé was an author in her own right, editing some of her father's texts and later acting as editor and collaborator with author Henry Herbert Knibbs. Her literary works were published in journals such as the L.A. Times and Ladies' Home Journal. Some of her plays were produced by local theater companies.

Turbesé's mother's name was Eva Frances Douglas.

Her father, Charles Fletcher Lummis was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on March 1, 1859, and died in Los Angeles, California on November 25, 1928. He was married and divorced from Dorothea Rhodes (1880-1891), Eva Frances Douglas (1891-1910), and Gertrude Redit (1915-192?). His children were Bertha Belle Page, b. 1879, Dorothea Turbesé, 1892-1968, Amado Bandelier, 1894-1900, Jordan (Quimu), b. 1900, and Keith, 1904-1991.

Turbesé was very influential in Henry Knibbs' later years. After Henry left his wife, he moved in with Turbesé, who for some unknown reason was no longer with her husband, Mr. Fiske. Turbesé and Henry conspired to write a novel together and she edited a lot of his work including his autobiography "A Boy I Knew", which she attempted several times and unsuccessfully to get published.

The book named 'Gentlemen Hush' published in 1933 was written by Henry and Turbesé.

With her brother Keith, Turbesé wrote a biography of her father entitled 'Charles F. Lummis: The Man and His West'. Charles was himself a distinguished editor and author of Western novels. A book review by The San Diego Historical Society states "Turbesé (named Rainbow of the Sun by Indians at Isleta Pueblo) had devoted nearly 40 years to her father's biography when she died in 1967 at the age of 74. Brother Keith prepared the book for the press".

In 1900, the family were seen to be living at ED 1 Precincts 1 and 2 Los Angeles city Ward 1, Los Angeles, California:
Chas F Lummis Head Mar 41 Writer Author Massachusetts
Eva Lummis Wife Mar 27 Connecticut
Turbesé Lummis Daur 7 New Mexico
Amado B Lummis Son 4 California
Jordan Lummis Son 4 months California
Marcelina Zuñi Servant 16 House Maid New Mexico
Faustin Lente Servant 16 Chore Boy New Mexico

The maiden name of Charles' first wife Eva was Eva F Douglas. She was born in about 1870-. They married on 27 Mar 1891 at San Bernardino, California.

In 1910, we see Turbese living with her parents and siblings at Los Angeles Assembly District 74, Los Angeles, California:
C F Lummis Head Mar 51 Massachusetts
Eva Lummis Wife Mar 40 Connecticut
Bertha Lummis Daughter UnM 29 Massachusetts
Turbisa Lummis Daughter UnM 18 New Mexico
Jordan Lummis Son 10 California
Keith Lummis Son 5 California
Gonda Brown 29 UnM South Carolina
Francisco Arnate Mar 52 Spain
Elona Arnate Mar 41 California

In 1920, they were at Precinct 718 Los Angeles Township Los Angeles City Precinct 718 Los Angeles Township Los Angeles City, Los Angeles:
Charles F Lummis Head Mar 60 Massachusetts
Gertrude Lummis Wife Mar 43 England
Quernu J Lummis Son 19 California
Elana C Amata ? 52 California
Panchita Amata ? 9 California

The maiden name of Charles' second wife Gertrude was Gertrude Redit, She was born in about q2/1875 in Downham, Norfolk, England. They were married on 9 May 1915 in Los Angeles, California.

In 1930, Turbese was divorced and living with her brother at Los Angeles (Districts 0751-0795), Los Angeles, California:
Jordon I Lummis Head Mar 30 Gas Station Attendant California
Beatrice A Lummis Wife Mar 30 Arizona
Betty J Lummis Daughter 2 California
Felicia A Lummis Daughter 1 California
Patrica F Lummis Daughter 5 California
Turbese L Fiske Sister Div 34 History Writer New Mexico
Keith L Dekalb Brother 26 California
Martha Oberlander Servant 12 California
Esther Bissig Roomer 78 Switzerland

On Nov 2 1955, we see Turbesé arriving in New York aboard the ship "Olympia". It had set sail from Naples, Italy on 23 October. She gave her home address as 829 N. Jyndale Ave., Jackson, AR, and her place of birth as Isleta, NM.

From the San Diego Union, May 14, 1967:
Mrs. Turbese Fiske Rites Set Tomorrow.
Services for Mrs. Turbese Fiske, 74, of 3619 Front St., daughter of the noted Southwest historian, Charles S. Lumis, will be at 2:30 tomorrow in Merkley mortuary.
Mrs. Fiske herself a writer, died Wednesday in a hospital. Born in an Indian village at Isleta, N.M., she had lived in the county 40 years, most of the time in Descanso.
Lummis, who died in 1928, was city editor of the Los Angeles Times in the late 1880s.
With the late Harry H. Knibbs of La Jolla, poet and Western novelist, Mrs. Fiske collaborated on such books as "Gentlemen, Hush!" and "The Tonto Kid." Her latest book was "General Cook and the Apache Wars." She recently completed a biography of her father.
Mrs. Fiske was a member of the Sierra Club and the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles. In addition to her mother, two brothers survive, Cremation is planned.


Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Turbesé.

Sources for Turbesé Dorothea LUMMIS:

  1. Californian Death Records http://vitals.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgi,
  2. 1940 US Federal Census,
  3. 1930 US Federal Census,