Collection 776 - Brassey family papers, 1877-1929

Creator: Brassey family

Provenance Note: Original letters, photographs, and a scrapbook created or received by the Edward Brassey family were loaned to Montana State University for copying by Robert D. Brassey, Lewistown, Montana, on October 17, 1967. On the same date Brassey also donated the original office files of William Edward Brassey, consisting of records pertaining to the American Loan and Investment Company of Lewistown. The letters and photographs were returned to Robert D. Brassey and their present location is unknown. These materials were originally assigned accession numbers 563, 1400, and 2113. They were included in the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections in 1979 as control number MS 79-634.

Historical Note: Edward Brassey (1844-1926) was born in England and raised in Liverpool. He came to Helena, Montana in 1867 and worked as a miner and secretary for a local company putting up buildings on the Eldorado Bar. He also taught school at Cave Gulch and worked as a miner in Diamond City. Brassey served as a county official for Meagher County for several terms during the 1880s and moved to Lewistown in 1890 where he worked as a register for the United States Land Office and as a justice of the peace. In 1876 he married Recina Smith (1860-1918) and the couple had two children: William Edward Brassey (1879-?) and Lillian Elizabeth Brassey (1877-1933). William Edward became a real estate dealer and banker in Lewistown and, from about 1915 to 1918, in Roy, Montana. In 1895 Lillian Elizabeth married James H. Charters, a rancher and Montana state legislator, and the couple lived in Ubet and Grass Range, Montana before moving back to Lewistown around 1924.

As a banker and real estate dealer, William Edward Brassey became involved with a number of farm mortgage companies, including the American Loan and Investment Company (ALIC) of Lewistown, Montana, and in his office files were many documents from that company. The ALIC was established in Lewistown in 1911. It stopped making loans in 1922, but kept an office there until 1929. After that date it became the Tolen Land Company of Lewistown. During the years of its operation, the ALIC had two subsidiary corporations, the American Land Company and the First State Bank of Kolin. All of these operations specialized in loans to area farmers and ranchers, and the sale of the resulting mortgages to investors. Brassey had possession of the files at the end of his life and they were subsequently inherited by his son, Robert D. Brassey.

Content Description Note: The letters in series one are photocopies and almost entirely addressed to Mrs. Racina Smith Brassey from friends and relatives in Virginia and Colorado and date from 1877 to 1915. Included in these letters are several to Racina from her sister, "Arvie," who wrote to her from Diamond City, Canyon Ferry, and Fort Logan, Montana from 1882 through 1888. All the transcriptions that were created from these copied letters have been placed in a separate folder, along with the corresponding photocopy. Copied photographs of the William Edward Brassey family, the James H. Charters family, and their homes in Lewistown and Grass Range, respectively. The photocopy of the scrapbook in folder 4 represents pages from an original kept by Lillian E. Brassey Charters and contains genealogical information about both the Brassey and Charters families. Series two contains real estate business records. The files from the American Loan and Investment Company are primarily individual case files of mortgage applicants filed alphabetically by name, along with some central office files from the business. The mortgage applications occasionally contain original land grand documents from homestead claims, color coded maps of individual farms showing land use, and inventories of farm buildings, equipment, and other data.


Series 1 Brassey family materials, 1877-1915
Series 2 Real estate business records, 1910-1929

Series 1: Brassey family materials, 1877-1915

The photocopied letters almost entirely addressed to Mrs. Racina Smith Brassey. Four letters appear to be from friends in Virginia or Colorado, 1877-1888. Nine letters, written from 1884 to 1887, are from Smith's sister, Arvie, and were written from Canyon Ferry, Montana. Seven additional letters, written from 1882-1884 are from Arvie at Fort Logan, Montana. The latest letter, dated 1915, is from Forrest Charters to his father, James, written from the Los Angeles Military Academy. Some of the letters copied so poorly that library personnel prepared typed transcripts, and these have been placed in a separate folder. The copy photographs are of members of the Brassey and Charters families, and their homes. The photocopied scrapbook in folder four contains obituary clippings for Edward Brassey, other Racina Smith Brassey, and members of the Charters family, along with information on the towns of Grass Range and Lewistown. An original stock certificate for the Magpie Mining Company is included.

Box 1
1. Photocopied letters, 1887-1915
2. Transcribed letters, 1887-1915
3. Photographs #1-12
    #1. Edward Brassey, ca. 1890
    #2. Edward Brassey, ca. 1910
    #3. Racina Smith Brassey, ca. 1900
    #4. Edward, Racina, William Edward, and Lillian Elizabeth Brassey, ca. 1890s
    #5. William Edward Brassey and Rolla Marie Brassey, 1915
    #6. William Edward Brassey and son
    #7. Lillian E. Brassey Charters and James H. Charters
    #8. James H. Charters, ca. 1920
    #9. Forrest Charters (James H. and Lillian's son)
    #10. Edward Brassey home, Lewistown
    #11. James H. Charters home, Grass Range
    #12. McDonald ox freighting outfit, Lewistown, 1911
4. Lillian E. Brassey Charters scrapbook

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: Real estate business records, 1910-1929

Office files from the American Loan and Investment Company (ALIC), the American Land Company, the Toland Land Company, and the Banker's Reserve Deposit Company provide annual statements of profit and loss, along with some legal claim case files. One folder of printed material contains brochures and pamphlets issued by the Northern Pacific Railway Company and other real estate dealers for farmland throughout northern and central Montana. The bulk of the files in this series are from the ALIC and are alphabetically arranged mortgage applications, farm leases, and contracts covering a wide variety of customers primarily in the Fergus County, Montana area. Some mortgage applications give considerable detail on the types of structures and movable property on the farms, along with hand drawn sketches of the land showing cultivated acreage, pasturage, watercourses, and farm buildings. Some files contain original homestead certificates issued by the General Land Office after the owners completed their claim requirements.

Box 2 (cont.)
5. Printed material, brochures, etc.
6. American Land Company, Affiliated corporations questionnaire, 1920
7. American Land Company, Classification of lands
8. American Land Company, Annual reports, 1918-1928
9. American Loan and Investment Company, Annual reports, 1915-1928
10. American Loan and Investment Company, Assignment of mortgages
11. American Loan and Investment Company, Claims against, 1918
12. American Loan and Investment Company, Office leases and insurance, 1923-1926
13. American Loan and Investment Company, Unidentifed expense ledger
14. American Loan and Investment Company, Claim against Milwaukee Road, 1918
15. Toland Land Company, Annual report, 1929
16. Bankers Reserve Deposit Company of Denver, John F. Day loan, 1923
17. Allen, Conrad
18. Ames, Alfred B.
19. Ames, Claude B.
20. Anderson, Rodney J.
21. Anthony,Charles B.
22. Ayers Ranch Company
23. Ayers Ranch Company
24. Ayers Ranch Company
25. Ayers Ranch Company
26. Ayers Ranch Company
27. Ayers, George W. and Mary E.
28. Ayers, Roy E. and Ellen
29. Barta, Frank and Josephine
30. Barta, Joseph B. and Helen
31. Barta, Joseph B. and Helen
32. Barta, Joseph B. and Helen
33. Bastian, Alfred C. and Alvina
34. Beattie, Elizabeth and Robert
35. Beattie, George and Jane
36. Beattie, Robert and Elizabeth
37. Bertrand, Emanuel
38. Blackburn, Wm. note to Arthur Longford.
39. Boiler, Edwin S.
40. Brenning, Joseph C.
41. Brimble, Albert E. and Mary
42. Bronson, James D.
43. Brown, Ray L.
44. Buck, Alphonso E.
45. Buehler, Elmer A.
46. Butcher, John H.
47. Butler, John W.
48. Callewaert, John Edward
49. Cannon, George W. (Kingsburg)
50. Carlberg, Albert B.
51. Carmichael, E. W. (McFarland, Minette)
52. Charters, James H.
53. Chrisman, Paul and Belle K.
54. Cole, Snowden F.
54a. Combs, J. F.
55. Coslet, Charles B. and Stella B. Loans n. 419, 429
56. Crow, Edward F.
57. Daniels, John.
58. Dankflesen, Christ. Leases 1918 and 1919.
59. Davis, R. S. Assignment of mortgages, 1914-19.
60. Deethardt, George and Louisa K.
61. DeVivier, Benoni
62. Dougherty, George W.
63. Downes, Ernest
64. Downing, Walter 0. and Antonette R.
65. Dusek, Vaclav. F.
66. Dyrenforth, Emily
67. Echten, J. J.
68. Eckert, Valentine
69. Erasmus, Louis for American Loan and Investment Co.
70. Ferrell, N. E.
71. Finkbeiner, Franklin C. and Marie A.
72. Finkbeiner, Lena M.
73. Finkbeiner, Walter E. Loan n. 385, 455
74. Finkbeiner, Winfield W.
75. Fisher, Andrew E. and Emma
76. Fisher, Sjoerd and Elina Teyong
77. Fitzgergald, Henry F. Administrator for John C. Fitzgerald.
78. Fleischmann, Daniel J.
79. Flippin, George and Hilda. Lease, 1918, 1919
80. Foreman, Clarence F. and Marquetta
81. Foreman, David and Mary E.
82. Fowler, Charles H.
83. Frye, Romeo C.
84. Fulbright, William F.
85. Fuson, Arthur N. and Mary P. and Brown, Arron and Helen
86. Giroux, Theodore. Personal injury claims, 1917
87. Green, Anna E.
88. Greenfield Land (Roy E.). Rental.
89. Haker, Edward E. and Minnie
90. Hamilton, George R. and Lucy.
91. Harmon, Jacob L. and Belle
92. Hedge, Ira B. and Lizzie
93. Helleland, Abraham
94. Henry, Christena Ellis
95. Hilger, David and Christena F.
96. Hines, Michael
97. Hobson, S. S.
98. Hodik, Charles and Annie
99. Holstlow, C. W.
100. Holt, Amos H.
101. Hood, Jonathan W.
102. Hoover, Claude
103. Hunger, Rena B. and F. D.
104. Jackson, Thomas and Hattie
105. Jenni, John S. and Albertina
106. Jenni, John S. and Albertina
107. Jenni, John S. and Albertina
108. Jennings, Joel and Cora
109. Johansson, Gottfrid and Anna,
110. Johnson, Nels B. and Tressa May
111. Johnson, Peter A.
112. Jones, James H.
Box 2
1. Kaull, Edgar J. and Ella J.
2. Kaull, Edgar J. and Simon Brown.
3. Kaull, Edgar J.
4. Kelleher, James.
5. Kelleher, James, Leon (son) and Marie E.
6. Kelleher Estate
7. Key, Killis and Christena
8. Kinzel, Lillian
9. Kirkland, Ira Bird and Kathryn A.
10. Knox, Roy. Seeding grain, 1917.
11. Kraftenberg, Albert Leonard
12. Krwanck, John. Buy Rumley tractor and Avery Separator, 1918.
13. Langford, Arthur
14. Lansing, Elmer E. and Emily
15. Larson, Peter N. Loans n. 142, 464
16. Leap, Eugene C. and Mary
17. Leeper, Katie Kelleher and A. L. Leeper
18. Lehmicke, A. J.
19. Lindstrand, Emil D. and Anna Lorene
20. McChesney, Lewis H.
21. McDonald, Charles N. and Ellen and Roy L. and Margareta
22. McEwen, Wright A. and Eva M.
23. Mclntosh, John J. and Nellie and William
24. McKenzie, Harry. Lease of land, 1917-1919.
25. MacKenzie, Harry J.
26. McMaster, Carrie and Lloyd D.
27. McRae, E. F. (Guardian Edith J. McRae)
28. McVay, Frederick A. and Mary L.
29. Malcolm, John N.
30. Marshall, Chas. J. Attorney's fees for services to the company.
31. Martin, Carrie
32. Martin, Wm. H. and Mary U.
33. Matejcek and Trubac
34. Maurer, Louis
35. Maurer, Louis and Jewel
36. Mauzey, Earl F.
37. May, Philip
38. Meadors, William
39. Meisser, J. M. Plow land, 1917.
40. Melot, Guy W.
41. Miller, Carl W. and Lottie E.
42. Milne, John F.
43. Moore Farm (Land from Wm. R. and Minnie Heller and Frank J. Robinson)
44. Moseley, James E.
45. Mungall, Robert Jr.
46. Nicholson, Thomas and H. T. Goodall
47. Nihill, Patrick and Annie North
48. North Moccasin Live Stock Co.
49. Olson, Amelia. Farm Lease, 1917.
50. Olson, E. T. Farm Lease, 1920.
51. Olson, Lewis C., Christian G. Olson and Belle.
52. Osborne, J. N.
53. Parrott, John H. (land from F. V and Mildred H. Huffine, George A. Stewart, and Bertha Smith)
54. Paul, Wm.
55. Pierce, Frank M. Lease of land, 1917.
56. Pierce, Philip L.
57. Pierre, Charles E. and Arthur B. Maxwell
58. Piper, Harley and Nettie
59. Polson, Peter and Louise
60. Pound, Dora M. and Augustin Y.
61. Prince, W. L. Sale of mortgages
62. Rankin, William K. and Ethel R.
63. Redman, Franklin P.
64. Reed, Buell
65. Reed, Richard H. (Executor estate of Arthur B.Wilson)
66. Reed, Spencer C.
67. Reusch, Louis W.
68. Ricks, Florence C. (administratrix to Fred B. Ricks)
69. Roberts, Byron and Catherine M.
70. Robinson, Chas. L. and Mertie
71. Rosen, John H.
72. Schaefer, John R.
73. Schaefer, Otto
74. Schlotman, Fred R.
75. Schmeck, Frank R.
76. School Lands
77. Scott, Louis H. and Tacy. Loans n. 280, 514, 515
78. Seaver, Stanley J.
79. Sennett, James P.
80. Shafer, Otto
81. Shanard, T. J. and Clara and E. M. Wipfand and Maria
82. Shaw, Veda and James W.
83. Shepherdson, William K. and Alpha
84. Simacek, Vaclav
85. Smith, Bertha and George R.
86. Smith, George M.
87. Smith, Thomas E. and Lillian G.
88. Sodergren, H. Martin and Ethel R.
89. Steward, Oscar S. and Christina
90. Stewart, Peter and Anna M.
91. Stoutenburg, Albert C. and Mary A.
92. Swager Bros. Summer fallow, 1916.
93. Tadewald, Charles W.
94. Thompson, Harry C. and Elva M. (Clark and Ridenaur land),
95. Thornton, Beryl
96. Thurston, Floyd and Mabel
97. Turnbull, Robert F.
98. Ullery, Oliver. Break Sod, 1915; Lease Land, 1918.
99. Ulrich, Wm. 0.
100. Upton, Chester W.
101. Valentine, Richard E. and Agnes
102. Van Cleave, George
103. Wadsworth, Benjamin F. and Laura
104. Ward, Isom
105. Wegner, John G. and Claudia 0.
106. Wheaton, Willard W. and Thel I.
107. Willcox, Harry V.
108. Wilson, Dick Y.
109. Wilson, Guy (sale)
110. Withers, James A. and Virginia A.
111. Woodman, Irene. Will.
112. Woten, Walter R. and Anna
113. Wright, Elsie A. and Homer
114. Wright and Weed (Lizzie and Edmund Wright and Howard T. and Elizabeth Weed).
115. Wrobetz, Charles J.
115. Zastrow, August. Lease land, 1918-1919.

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 12/3/12