Creator: Madison County Commissioners Records (1863-1875)

Provenance Note: Microfilm aperture card copies of the Madison County Commissioners records, comprising the commissioner meeting record books and the mining claim registration books, were purchased by Special Collections from Frank E. Blair of Virginia City, Montana, on April 29, 1969.

Historical Note: Madison County, Montana Territory, was first created in the Territory of Idaho on January 16, 1864. Local government was organized on April 22, 1864 went the commissioners took the oath of office and began work. Montana Territory was admitted to the Union on May 26, 1864 and Madison County became officially recognized as part of the new jurisdiction on February 2, 1865. Although formal government operations came long after the discovery of gold in the Alder Gulch area first led to a massive influx of prospectors, the need to establish the legal rights of those who sought to stake claims was immediate. Claim books, administered by representatives of the first miners themselves, recorded the first holdings of prospectors and later became part of the county records.

Content Description Note: The Madison County Commissioner records consist of mining claim record books for the Fairweather, Summit, and Junction mining districts from 1863 through 1866. The information in these books includes the name of the petitioner, the legal description of the claim, and any other parties involved with the ownership or sale of the claim. Also included in the records are the Commissioners record books which contain the transactions of the group during their periodic meetings from 1864-1875. Information includes the establishment of roads and improvements, the appointment of county officers, the care of indigents in the community, and other governmental operations in Madison County. The aperture cards on which the books appear have been arranged within the two groups of mining claim books and commissioners record books.


Box 1
Mining claim books: 1863-1866
Fairweather District: 1863-1864
Book A, no pagination (23 cards)
Book B, pages index; 2-156; 296-320; 1-8 (101 cards)
Summit District: 1863-1866
Book 1, pages 15-20; 25-26; 29-160 (72 cards)
Book 2, pages index; 1-104; 128-165 (78 cards)
Book 3, pages 1-17 (10 cards)
Junction District: 1863-1866
Book 1, pages 3-310 (155 cards)
County Commissioners Records: 1864-1875
Book A. April 22, 1864-June 2, 1866, 129 pages (66 cards)
Book B. July 2, 1866-August 6, 1869, 269 pages (137 cards)
Book C. Oct. 4, 1869-June 6, 1872, 469 pages (231 cards)
Book D. June 6, 1872-April 7, 1873, 273 pages (137 cards)
Book E. June 2, 1873-December 3, 1873, 400 pages (201 cards)
Book F. December 3, 1873-September 4, 1874, 400 pages (199 cards)
Book G. September 9, 1874-April 9, 1875, 396 pages (201 cards)

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 4/29/99