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Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana (Volume 4) online

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Montana Historical Societj

225 N. Roberts Street

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Vol. IV.

"Let laurels, drench'd in pure Pernassian dews,
Reward his mem'ry, dear to ev'ry muse,
Who, with a courage of unshaken root,
In honour's field advancing his firm foot,
Plants it upon the line that justice draws,
And will prevail or perish in her cause."

— Cowper.






I. Preface

II.. Officers of the Society 8 9

III. Transactions, 1900-1902 10

IV. In Memoriam, Henry S. Wheeler. Hon. Cornelius Hedges 21


V. Address by the Hon. J. K. Toole 23

VI. Special Communication of the Grand Lodge A. F. and A. M. of

Montana 33

VII. Address of Past Grand Master Wilbur F. Sanders 38


VIII. Montana's Capitol, E. B. Kennedy, Sec. of Commission 50

IV. The Work of the Capitol Commission. Hon. A. D. Peck 66

X. Response and Acceptance, Hon. Geo. M. Hays. Sec. of State .. 75
XI. Montana. Her Past, Present and Future. Hon. W. A. Clark, U.

S. Senator 77

XII. Legislative Department, Hon. Paris Gibson. U. S. Senator S9

XIII. Executive Department. Ex-Governor Robt. B. Smith 98

XIV. Judicial Department. Hon. Theo. Brantly. Chief Justice 109

XV. Pioneers of Montana, Hon. W. F. Sanders 122

XVI. Final Report of the Capitol Commission 149


XVII. Reminiscences of Pioneer Life, Mrs. Geo. F. Cowan 156

XVIII. Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Jas. Fergus. Mrs. S. C. Gilpatrick. 188

XIX. Pioneer Women of Gallatin County, Mrs. Martha Skidmore ... 192

XXI. Biographical History of W. H. Parkison 229

XXII. Sketch of Life of Armistead H.Mitchell. M. D.. Capt. Jas Mills.. 243

XXIII. Life and Character of Wm. H. Clagett. W. W. Dixon 249


XXIV. Custer's Last Battle. Wm. S. Brackett . . .' 259

XXV. The Messenger's Story, Sergeant Daniel A. Kanipe 277

XXVI. Members and Officers of the Legislative Assemblies of Mon-
tana, continued from Vol. 2. page 365. Compiled by James

U. Sanders 289



1. State Capitol Building Frontispiece

2. Henry Sibley Wheeler 21

3. The State Flower of Montana 22

4. Laying Corner Stone of the State Capitol 23

5. Laying Corner Stone of the State Capitol 27

6. Laying Corner Stone of the State Capitol 29

7. Group of Officers of Masonic Lodge 32

8. First Meeting Montana Pioneers. Old Court House 38

9. Emigrants, Painting in Capitol Building 41

10. Early Day Freight and Express , 44

11. First Bank Building Erected in Montana 46

12. Governor's Private Office .j 50

13. Three Interior Views of Capitol 53

14. The Grand Stairway '. 55

15. Bronze Electrolier 56

16. Three Paintings in the Senate Chamber 58

17. Second View of Grand Stairway 60

IS. The Governor's Reception Room 62

19. The Senate Chamber Capitol Building 64

20. The House — Capitol Building 65

21. Grand Stairway and Rotunda 65

22. Governor R. B. Smith and His Capitol Commission 68

23. The Men Who Built Montana's Capitol 70

24. The State Officers July 4th, 1899 72

25. Hon. W. A. Clark, United States Senator 77

26. Views of Diamond City — Confederate Gulch 80

27. James Fergus and Major E. G. Brooke 83

28. Hope Mill, 1867, Philipsburg 85

29. Hon. Paris Gibson, United States Senator •. 89

30. Original Sketch of Proposed Seal For the Territory of Montana

1864 90

31. Francis M. Thompson. Member First Territorial Assembly 91

32. Bannack In The 60's 92

33. 11th Session House of Representatives Montana Territory, 1879 ... 94

34. Governor Preston H. Leslie 98

35. Gov. Green Clay Smith and Staff 100

36. Acting Governor James Tufts and Staff 102

37. Building Occupied By Territorial Officers, Virginia City 104

38. Group of Territorial Governors 106

39. Hon. Theodore Brantly, Chief Justice 109


40. Group of Territorial Judges of Supreme Court 110

41. Hon. Wm. T. Pigott, Associate Justice 112

42. Hon. Geo. R. Milburn. Associate Justice 114

43. Hon. "Wm. H. Hunt 115

44. Hon. Lee Word 119

45. Mining in Early 60s 127

46. Alder Gulch in' '65 130

47. Old Store In Virginia Where Vigilantes Hanged Five Men 133

48. Receipt for Making Plummer's Coffin 134

49. Street Scene In Fort Benton 136

50. Montana City In Early Days : 139

51. Promisory Notes of George Ives -. 140

52. Gov. Toole and State Officers ! 148

53. Chief Joseph and The Cowan Party 156

54. Cowan Views 170

55. Independent Extra 182

56. Mr. and Mrs. James Fergus 188

57. Mrs. Li. B. Lyman 192

58. Louis R. Maillet 197

59. Ten Doy 208

60. Johnny Grant's Place, 1862 225

61. W. H. Parkison 229

62. Dr. Armistead Hughes Mitchell 242

63. Custer Monument 259

64. Three Chiefs Who Fought Against Custer 261

65. Indian Travois 264

67. Reno Heights 267

68. Curly, Only Survivor of Custer Massacre 268

69. Custer Cemetery, Graves of Capt. Keogh and 38 Men 273

70. Custer Battle Field 274

71. 7th Cavalry — Manuscript 276

72. Daniel A. Kanipe 277


/ -


The Historical Society of Montana has passed the thirty-
eighth milestone of its existence. It has endeavored to per-
form its mission and fulfill the trust assumed, as set forth in
the act of incorporation, which says its object shall be to
"collect and arrange facts in regard to the early history of
the Territory of Montana, the discovery of its mines, inci-
dents of the fur trade, etc."

It has endeavored to chronicle passing events with impar-
tial pen, knowing neither political party nor church creed,
having no enemies to fear or punish, and no friends to favor,
according the humblest citizen an equal place with the most

Organized as it was, in the first capital "of the state, incor-
porated by the first legislature, dwelling for a time in the
second capital city during the bustle and excitement of Vir-
ginia City's best days, taking note of persons and events in
the perilous days of the road agents, coming at last to dwell
in the permanent capital, and becoming in the course of
events a part of the library of the new state, it is eminently
fitting that this Society should prepare a memorial volume
of the crowning event of the past thirty-eight years.

It is very proper that the historical department should
issue a volume relating the entire history of the beautiful
edifice erected to be the abiding place of the state officials,
reciting all from corner-stone to dome, including the dedica-
tion exercises. It would seem a remarkable co-incidence
that the state institution especially designed to preserve the
history of the new building and its occupants should be the
first to hold a meeting in it, but such was the case. This
meeting is spoken of in one of the local papers as follows:

"When the Montana historian comes to write the history
of the capitol that is now nearing completion, he will write
that the first meeting of a state board to be held in the hand-
some building was that of the board of trustees of the his-
torical and miscellaneous department of the Montana State

HISTi >lili 'A I. Si m'IKTY <>F M< l.NTANA

Library, and that the meeting was held Saturday, April 19,

"That it came to pass just this way was due not to any
design on the part of the trustees, but to a circumstance over
which they had no control. In short, it was because of the
failure of a carriage to arrive at the time it was expected."

The following is a list of the incorporators of the Society,
among whom only three are now living :

H. L. Hosmer, C. P. Higgins, John Owen, James Stuart,
W. F. Sanders, Malcolm Clark, F. M. Thompson, William
Graham, Granville Stuart, W. W. DeLacy, C. E. Irvine and
Charles S. Bagg. The three living are W. F. Sanders, Gran-
ville Stuart and F. M. Thompson.

In the list of active members, including the incorporators,
are many who have been honored by both commonwealth and
government, as Chief Justice Hosmer, U. S. Senator Sanders,
Hon. Granville Stuart, Minister to Paraguay, W. W. DeLacy
and others.

Among the things that have militated against the progress
of the Society are tha frequent removals of its collection, two
disastrous fires and lack of funds. The Society has suffered,
too, from the opposition or indifference of some who call its
work a mere sentiment. Is it not a sentiment of the highest
type to preserve the acts and words of the brave and high-
minded, the noble, the self-sacrificing men and women who
laid the foundation of our great commonwealth? Although
it has not accomplished all its friends and members desire,
it may yet do great things for the state. Its work seems to
be growing in favor and its aims better understood.

Now that we are in a permanent home of our own, it would
seem the proper time had come to reorganize the Historical
Society's membership list, to establish a plan for active mem-
bers. While the law provides that five trustees shall have
the management of the historical department, yet a great
duty by that law devolves upon the librarian that could be so
much more successfully prosecuted by a body of literary men
and women selected from the scholars and bright minds of


the state. Members of the Historical Society, formed now,
would be free from the financial worries and cares which so
embarrassed the Society in territorial days, as the state pro-
vides entirely for its support. The members would be free
to devote their time and thought to the gathering- and formu-
lating of historic data regarding the various avenues of the
state's interests. The Society could be conducted upon a
similar plan to that of the American Historical Society.

The act of incorporation of the American Historical Soci-
ety refers to itself as "a body corporate and politic, by the
name of the American Historical Association, for the promo-
tion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of
historical manuscripts, and for kindred purposes in the inter-
est of American history and of history in America."

The librarian could act as secretary, and the meetings be
held in the historical library rooms, where all papers and
archives should be preserved. A membership of one hundred
literarv men and women would soon be able to collect a
splendid mass of historic matter for future volumes. Not
only could the pioneer history of the state be gathered to
special advantage, but research along special lines could be
most ably conducted. If the history of our frontier life, the
development of mines and mining, irrigation, manufacture,
agriculture, stock raising, the state's botany, were each
written or collected by the member best informed on that
particular subject, the Society would have at no distant date
a collection of valuable material for a comprehensive history
of Montana, a work sadly needed.

We are indebted to the following well known photographers
who contributed to the illustrations in this volume : Messrs.
William Taylor, Swaim, Ridgely, Mattison and Mrs. Maud
Davis Baker. Senator James N. Kelly furnished a number
of photographs to illustrate the Custer manuscript. We
have been verv fortunate in securing the assistance of Miss
Mary A. Stokes in the preparation of the manuscript and as
proof reader. LAURA E. HOWEY,

Secretarv and Librarian.







Helena, Montana.

Librarian and Secretary,


Helena, Montana.

Board of Trustees,







1901 - 1902.

Helena, Montana.

Librarian and Secretary,
Helena, Montana.

Board of Trustees.



10 1 1 1ST' • KM 'A I, SOCIIOTY <>K .MONTANA


Minutes of meeting of Trustees of Historical Library of
Montana, held in rooms of County Commissioners, Wednes-
day, Dec. 7th, 1898.

Meeting called to order by the President at 8 p. m. Pres-
ent: Win. B. Hundley, A. J. Craven, C. O. Reed.

Meeting was called for the purpose of hearing the biennial
report of the library prepared by the librarian, Mrs. Howey.
It was read and considered, but no action taken. Adjourn-
ed to meet Saturday at 11 a. m. in the library.

Wm. B. HUNDLEY, President.
A. J. CRAVEN, Sec. Pro Tern.

Saturday, Dec. 10th, 1898.

Meeting called to order 11 a. m. Present : Colonel Hundley,
T. C. Bach, A. J. Craven and C. O. Reed.

The consideration of the biennial report was the special
business. As it had been read on Wednesday evening, Dec.
7, to three members of the Board, and carefully considered
by them, Mr. Bach moved the report of the Librarian for
1897-8 be accepted. Mr. C. O. Reed was appointed a com-
mittee to see to the publishing of it.

Adjourned to meet at call of the President.

Wm. B. HUNDLEY, President.
T. C. BACH, Secretary.

Minutes of a meeting of the Trustees of the Historical De-
partment of the State Library, Dec. 15th, 1898.

Thursday, Dec. 15th, 1898.

A called meeting of the Trustees met at the library prompt-
ly at 10 a. m. Present : Wm. B. Hundley, C. O. Reed, A. J.


The chairman called the meeting- to order. Mr. Craven
suggested the Librarian act as temporary Secretary in the
absence of Mr. Bach. A committee consisting of Mr. Reed
and the Librarian was appointed to see to the printing of
500 copies of the biennial report, urging the necessity of
having it completed by Jan. 1st. The binding of the State
newspapers was deferred.

Mr. Craven reported that he had seen the architect of the
Capitol building, who said he would visit the present quarters
and see what was needed in the way of wall space. Mr.
Craven said he would report further progress at next meet-

The proposition to accept the custody of Mr. Muth's min-
eral collection (with the privilege of buying) was next con-
sidered and decided favorably. Mr. Muth's offer to go into
the field to secure material for the library, asking no com-
pensation, simply expenses, was looked upon with favor, but
no action taken. Left for future consideration.

Mr. Craven suggested that the Librarian formulate a let-
ter to be sent to the school districts in the State, setting
forth the merits of Vol. II., Contributions to the Historical
Society, price, etc., urging them for the good of the children
of the State to purchase it.

Mr. Carseley's plan to sell two historic paintings was pre-
sented, but no action taken. Meeting adjourned to meet at
the call of the President.

Wm. B. HUNDLEY, President.
LAURA E. HOWEY, Secretary Pro Tern.

Thursday, March 2, 1899.

Meeting called to order at 11 a. m. Present: Wm. B. Hund-
ley, C. O. Reed, A, J, Craven.

Minutes of previous meeting read and approved. The
Governor having reappointed the members of the Board,
Feb. 14th, on motion of A. J. Craven, seconded by Mr. Reed,
the following officers were chosen : Col. Wm. B. Hundlev,


President; T. C. Bach, Secretary. The election of librarian
was next taken up. An application from the present librar-
ian was received. On motion of Mr. Reed, seconded by Mr.
( Jraven, Mrs. Laura E. Howey was elected to serve for a term
of two years beginning March 1st, 189 >, for which honor she
briefly thanked the Board.

Owing to a. pressing business engagement of Mr. Craven's,
the Board adjourned to meet at the call of the President,

Wm. B. HUNDLEY, President.
LAURA E. TTOWEY, Sec. Pro Tern.

March 13th, 1899.

Meeting called to order at 10:30 a. m. All members pres-
ent except James Forbis, of Bntte.

Minutes of Oct. 27th and March 2d read and approved.
Report for the quarter ending March 1st presented by the
Librarian, showing the state of the library to date, read and
ordered tiled. The following standing committees were ap-
pointed to serve with the Librarian: Mr. C. O. Reed on
binding books, papers, pamphlets, etc. ; Mr. A. J. Craven on
editing and publishing Vol. III., Contributions to the His-
torical Society of Montana ; Mr. T. C. Bach on the purchase
of new books, curios, relics, etc.

A general discussion then ensued on the topics pertaining
to the good of the library, particularly the necessity of
economy in binding papers, as the whole appropriation was
rot sufficient to cover needed expenditures. Letters were
read from Superintendent of Public Documents, relative to
exchange of duplicates; also from Mrs. Ronan and Major
Allen, stating they would hold Indian curios until an effort
could be made to raise the money by private subscription for
the purchase of them.


Cases.— Ten new book cases added, 1 gun rack, 2 cases re-
paired and lined for Major Allen's Indian relics, 1 case of


minerals ( Win. Math's), 1 case of shells (Mrs. Math's),

oases for newspapers moved and doors taken off.

Xew Furniture. — Granville Stuart collection removed to
front rooms; 1 willow sofa. 3 willow chairs. 3 tables. 2 car-
pets, returned from the Omaha fair, given by Governor Smith
to the Library ; 2 chairs from secretary's garret.

Letters for Manuscript, Journals, Etc. — 1200 letters writ-
ten, 700 to trustees of schools for sale of Vol. II, 24 pictures,
maps and diplomas framed, 300 new books added : 70 vol-
umes of Vol. II. disposed of by sale, exchange and donation ;
$60 collected.

One hundred and fifty-four specimens from Smithsonian
received and installed.

We are under obligations to Mr. Starz for bottles for

Meeting adjourned subject to call of the President.

WM. B. HUXDLEY, President.
LAURA E. HOWEY, Secretary.

Meeting called June 1st. Xo quorum. Present : Colonel
Hundley and Mr. Craven. Adjourned to meet June 20th,

Tuesday, June 20th. 1S99.

The meeting of the trustees of the Historical Society of
the State of Montana was called to order at 10:30 a. m. in
the rooms of the society. Present: Colonel Hundley, A. J.
Craven and Major Maginnis, the new member appointed by
the Governor to the place of Mr. Thos. Bach, resigned.

After the minutes of March 15th were read and approved,
the President proceeded to appoint Major Maginnis to fill
the place in committee work held by Mr. Bach, namely the
purchase of books, curios, relics, etc. The election of a sec-
retary of the Board in place of Mr. Bach, resigned. was the
next order of business. Mr. Craven nominated the Librarian.
which was concurred in bv the other members of the Board.

The report of the Librarian for the quarter ending June


1st was read, showing a steady growth in the books received,
increased interest muni Tested bv the great number of visitors
reported, and the many valuable contributions to the mu-
seum, as well as the larger demand for information from the
material on the shelves. Almost 700 visitors have registered
in the past six months, 783 books received by exchange, pur-
chase and donation, 450 volumes of duplicates sent to State
colleges. The manuscripts received from several sources, —
namely, biographical sketches of Colonel Wheeler, Mr. Hick-
man and Mrs. Fergus. Two more new book cases added,
and one table. Nineteen pieces framed and 3 old newspapers

The committee was instructed to proceed as rapidly as
possible with Volume III. The Librarian requested to close
contract for the binding of newspapers at $1.25 per volume,
tc have them bound in a hundred volumes if possible. She
was authorized also to pay for the "Northwest" $4.00.
Major Maginnis requested the librarian to write to Wash*
ington for messages and papers of the Presidents from 1789
to 1897, and to secure if possible all magazines with articles
bearing on Montana. Major Maginnis was requested to see
Matt Carroll and James Gourley in regard to manuscripts
bearing on early days. Adjourned.

WM. B. HUNDLEY, President.
LAURA E. HOWEY, Secretary.

Meeting called Sept. 15th, 1899. No quorum. Colonel
Hundley and Mr. Craven present. Report of the Librarian
on Pioneer meeting laid over, also bill of stenographer for
proceedings of Pioneer meeting, and reports and bills of
newspapers bound, pamphlets, etc.

Meeting called Dec. 20, 1899. No one present but Colonel
Hundley. Major Maginnis east, C. O. Reed in Bozeman on
State business, Mr. A. J. Craven in court room on legal bus-


Jan. 3d, 1000.

Meeting of Trustees of the Montana Historical Library
held in their rooms Jan. 3d, 1900, 10 a. m. Present : Colonel
FTundley, A. J. Craven, C. O. Reed.

The minutes of the June meeting read and approved. As
there had been no meeting held in September nor December,
the report of the Librarian on the state of the library and of
the visit to the meeting of the Pioneers, Aug. 29th, was order-
ed placed on file.

Mr. McHaffie, of the State Publishing Company, was pres-
ent to give figures on the cost of Vol. III.

A resolution was presented by Mr. Craven and seconded
by Mr. Reed that the manuscript of Win. Hamilton of Colum-
bus, Mont., a pioneer of 1858, be purchased and that $100 be
appropriated for that purpose. The Secretary was instruct-
ed to take the necessary steps for the payment of it. The
manuscript, after careful reading by each member was pro-
nounced a very valuable addition to the archives of the so-
ciety, being an account of a trip from Walla Walla to what
is now Montana in 1858, sent by Colonel Wright as Indian
scout and trader.

The committee on Vol. III. reported progress and asked
further time. Many suitable pictures with which to illus-
trate the book had been received after considerable corres-
pondence with different citizens of Montana and other States.
Among these are pictures of Major Culbertson, C. P. Chou-
teau, F. M. Thompson, who was the originator of our State
seal, and a member of the first legislature of the Territory
of Montana, a picture of old Fort Benton, photographs of
Colonel Wheeler and Chas. Ruinley, former librarians. It
was a matter of deep regret to the Board that material on the
pioneer women and pioneer school teachers had proved so
difficult to gather. It was deemed best to defer these chap-
ters to Vol. IV.

No further business being before the Board it adjourned to
meet at the call of the President.

WM. B. HUNDLEY, President,

LAURA E. HOWEY, Secretary.


Helena, Mont, March 17th, 1900.

The Board of Trustee of the Historical Library met in the
library at 10 a. m. Present: Col. Wm. B. Hundley, Presi-
dent; A. J. Craven, and Granville Stuart.

The minutes of Jan. 3d read and approved. The report
of Sept. 189 ) of the Librarian ordered filed.

The Board welcomed the member recently appointed in
place of Mr. Forbis, resigned. Expressions of approval were
heard from each member for the Governor's wise selection
of Hon. Granville Stuart, a man who had so long been an
officer and a valued member of the Historical Society, and
who had rendered such great assistance in the publication
of Vols. I and II., returned to the Board just in time to do
valiant service for the cause.

The first order of business was the reading of the report
of the committee upon the material chosen for Vol. III. The
report was read by Mr. Craven. After its adoption some dis-
cussion took place about a second edition of Vol. I. The
Librarian reported many calls for it, particularly from east-
ern societies and individuals. It was the sentiment of the
Board, although not expressed in resolution, that the legis-
lature should be asked for an appropriation to publish five
hundred copies of it.

The Board decided upon 750 copies of Vol. Ill, type
and paper like Vol. I. The committee was instructed to
push the work as rapidly as possible. A bill for typewriting
old manuscript and Hamilton manuscript for Vol. Ill was
allowed of $140.

The figures submitted for publication of Vol. Ill were as
follows: 400 page book, $539.40; 16 cuts, $45.00. These

Online LibraryHistorical Society of MontanaContributions to the Historical Society of Montana (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 25)