Skip to main content

Anna K. Sherman Papers on Edith Warner

Identifier: MSS-359-SC

Scope and Content

This collection primarily contains correspondence about Edith Warner. Approximately half of the correspondence is letters written to Anna Sherman by Velma Ludlow (Edith's sister) and Juanita S. Roybal providing updates on Ediths health (1951). The other correspondence consists of Edith's annual Christmas letters, 1943-1950. Other materials in the collection include three typed pages from Edith Warner's diary, 1923; a news clipping about San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1949; and a copy of a speech given by Robert Oppenheimer, 1945.


  • 1923-1951
  • Majority of material found in 1943-1951


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Edith Warner spent the first 30 years of her life in Pennsylvania. She graduated from a normal school at age 18, and began to teach, first at a one room country school, then in a high school in Philadelphia. She taught for a few years, and then began working as an industrial secretary for the YWCA. In 1922, she suffered a breakdown. Her doctor prescribed a year of outdoor life without responsibilities. Edith Warner came to New Mexico to fill this prescription. She spent the year at a guest ranch in Frijoles Canyon, where she became enamored with the land and people. She spent a second year in New Mexico before returning back east, where her health deteriorated.

In 1928, Edith Warner returned to New Mexico. She was 35 years old, unmarried, and had no financial resources. When offered a job as watchwoman/storekeeper for mail and supplies at the Otowi railroad station, Edith accepted. At once, she began fixing up the house and having company for tea and chocolate cake. Atilano "Tilano" Montoya, governor of San Ildefonso Pueblo soon came to live with Edith. Tilano was approximately 25 years Ediths senior. Both were somewhat lost and lonely souls whose lives complemented and supported each other.

Edith lived in her "house at Otowi crossing" for more than 20 years. She was a neighbor and friend to the Indians at San Ildefonso Pueblo and to the Los Alamos scientists and their families. Robert Oppenheimer and Nils Bohr were among the scientists who frequented Ediths tea room, which provided a respite from the tensions of the war related activities at Los Alamos. Los Alamos was becoming a booming community. After the war, the railway was abandoned and supplies were brought in by truck. Plans to build a new bridge to accommodate the increased traffic forced Edith and Tilano to move. They found a site half mile up-canyon on pueblo land. A new house was built for them through the joint efforts of the San Ildefonso and Los Alamos communities.

In January, 1951, Edith Warner became very ill with cancer. She died on May 4, and was buried in San Ildefonso.


1 envelope

Related Archival Material

Peggy Pond Church Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico
Finding Aid of the Anna K. Sherman Papers on Edith Warner, 1923-1951 (bulk 1943-1951)
Processed by B. Silbergleit
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 359 SC::Anna K. Sherman Papers on Edith Warner)//EN" "nmu1mss359sc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131