Francis R. Breen Papers

Identifier: NC1374

Scope and Contents

This collection contains papers from Francis R. Breen, a Nevada attorney. The collection includes materials from Breen’s work with the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation and the Wild Horse Organized Assistance (WHOA). Materials include legal documents, newspaper clippings, and correspondence from Breen and these two organizations.


  • 1945-2000


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Biographical / Historical

Francis Richmond Breen was born on December 16, 1915, in a house on Winter Street in Reno, Nevada. His parents and grandparents were a pioneer family who settled in Dayton, Nevada, in the 1860s. Breen attended schools in Reno and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada. He was the first to be awarded the Fleischmann scholarship offered by the University. After graduating, Breen continued his education at Stanford University where he received a degree in Law.

Before beginning his career, Breen served as a Navy Lieutenant in World War II. Upon his return, he settled in Reno and began his long career in law. Over the years, he specialized in estates, trusts, and environmental law. In 1960, he was appointed Trustee for the Fleischmann Foundation, serving in that capacity until the foundation was closed in 1980.

Breen was an outdoorsman and avid fisherman, hunter, skier, and backcountry horseman. He spent many years working with the conservation group Ducks Unlimited, serving as a national and international trustee. He also worked closely with Velma Johnston (aka Wild Horse Annie) to establish Wild Horse Organized Assistance (WHOA). This group was founded in 1971 as a non-profit organization that worked to protect wild horses of the Amerian West.

Breen passed away on June 17, 2002, and is buried in Dayton, Nevada.


3.25 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



Francis Richmond Breen (1915-2002) was a lawyer based in Reno, Nevada. He was a trustee for the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation from 1960-1980 and assisted Velma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie) in establishing the Wild Horse Organized Assistance (WHOA) foundation in 1971. The collection contains Breen's files on the termination of the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation in 1980 as well as his files on the founding of WHOA.


Arranged in the following series: 1) Max C. Fleischmann Foundation; 2) Wild Horse Organized Assistance

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Richmond Breen in March 2019.

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by the University of Nevada, Reno Special Collections Department:

Wild Horse and Burro Collection (NC1383); Western Shoshone Defense Project Records (2013-10); Dawn Y. Lappin Papers (NC1385); Les Sweeney Papers (NC1406).



Guide to the Francis R. Breen Papers
Jessica Maddox and Theresa Nielson
May 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)