By Bill Deverell
The field of western American history lost a true talent and a wonderful human being with the recent death of Louise Pubols. Trained as an historian at the University of Wisconsin, Louise had been the historian at the Autry National Center’s Museum of the American West and, following that, was Chief Curator of the History Department of the Oakland Museum of California. Funny, smart, kind, unflappable, and ever so curious about the history of early California, Louise was a shining member of our community of scholars, as clever as she was kind. ICW was privileged to publish her superb, award-winning book – The Father of All: The de la Guerra Family, Power, and Patriarchy in Mexican California – as the inaugural contribution to our Western Histories Series. We recently had Louise join us to talk about new research, tracing the mysterious arc of a mysterious woman in early 19th century California, and we will cherish the experience of being with her as she expressed her fascination with the elusive seductions of history. So many people in the academy and aligned worlds of archives and museums have been touched by Louise, her warmth and her scholarship, and she will be missed terribly.