Creator: Hamilton, James McClellan

Provenance Note: Photographs and papers collected or created by James M. Hamilton were accessioned by the Special Collections in 1971.

Historical Note: James McClellan Hamilton was born 1 Oct. 1861 in Crawford County, Ill., and came to Montana in 1889. In 1893, when the University System was created and the State Board of Education was established, he was named a member. In 1901 he became professor of history and economics, then vice-president of Montana State University shortly thereafter. Three years later he was made president of the Agricultural College (Montana State College). Hamilton resigned from the presidency in 1919 to become professor of economics and to also become the first dean of men, serving in those roles until his death. In 1918 Hamilton married Florence Ballinger, a member of the home economics staff. He completed a manuscript history of Yellowstone Park, which was posthumously published in 1947. He planned on completing a second volume on the history of Montana but in the spring of 1940 Hamilton suffered a slight stroke and failed in health rapidly until his death on 23 Sept. 1940. Some fifteen years after Hamilton's death Merrill G. Burlingame, then a history professor at Montana State College, edited the manuscript at the request of Hamilton's widow. It was published in 1957 and in 1970 a new edition was issued with some revisions and a chapter written by Burlingame at the publisher's request.

Content Description Note: The James M. Hamilton photographs were likely gathered by him for potential use in his history of Montana. The photographs consist of several views of Flathead Indians, panorama views of Bozeman ca. 1898, images of an unnoted petroglyph site, and several letters, including one form J.E. Haynes explaining the history of the Haynes Guide to Yellowstone.


Picture No.
#1 A Flathead Indian woman, 2 girls, and a baby up against a log house
#2 A Flathead Indian on a horse, and an Indian standing both on a boat dock
#3 A Flathead Indian woman sitting, a boy standing, both in front of a tipi
#4 A Flathead Indian woman standing, a boy sitting, both in front of a tipi (same people as in #3)
#5 A Flathead Indian family standing outside a house (2 copies)
#6 A Flathead Indian woman in front of a tipi
#7 A Flathead Indian and a boy on a horse with another man on horseback in background (4 copies)
#8 Duncan McDonald, Indian wife and friend
#9 2 Flathead Indian boys
#10 2 Flathead Indians with 3 tipis in background
#11 2 Flathead Indians in front of tipi
#12 A Flathead Indian in front of a tipi
#13 Buffalo on the Flathead (2 copies)
#14 Early Montana Home
#15 Homestead?
#16 Fort Benton Ruins
#17-26 Indian Pictographs
#27 Grotto Geyser, Yellowstone Park
#28 Postcard of Grotto Geyser, Yellowstone Park
#29 Castle Geyser, Yellowstone Park
#30 Giant Geyser, Yellowstone Park
#31 Riverside Geyser, Yellowstone Park
#32 Oblong Geyser, Yellowstone Park
#33 Old Faithful, Yellowstone Park
#34 A Geyser?, Yellowstone Park
#35 J.P. Martin's House (2 copies)
#36 Taken in 1898 or earlier (2 copies)
#37 Bozeman
#38 Middle Creek Falls, close view
#39 Middle Creek Falls, distant view
#40 Between Bozeman and Livingston
#41 Bridger Canyon, a bridge with lots of vegetation
#42 Bridger Canyon, a bridge with no vegetation (same bridge as in #41)
#43 In Bridger Canyon
#44 Natural Bridge on Boulder River *

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 2/25/09