Creator: Tracy, William H., 1838-1908

Provenance Note: Business papers and legal documents created or collected by William H. Tracy were donated to Special Collections by Edna Tracy White of Bozeman, Montana in 1981. Two additional land deeds were transferred from the Museum of the Rockies in March, 1985. This collection incorporates accession numbers 1336 and 1394.

Historical Note: William H. Tracy was born in Ithaca, New York in 1838. He left home at age 19 and lived in Denver, Colorado where he served briefly in the Home Guard regiment of the Colorado Volunteers during the Civil War. Tracy first came to the Gallatin Valley in 1863 and helped found the city of Bozeman in 1864. In April of 1869, Tracy married Sarah Jane Bessey in Pecatonica, Illinois, together returning to Montana in May of that year. The Tracy's settled on Main Street taking land claims throughout the area. Mr. Tracy employed himself as a farmer and real estate agent, as well as the proprietor of an early brick yard, freighting business, and feed and seed store, the latter enterprise named "W.H.Tracy & Company." The Tracy's had six children, four of whom survived to adulthood: Elmer, Albert, Frank S., and Edna B., the donor of this collection. Mr. Tracy died in an accident in 1908 and Mrs. Tracy died eight years later on 19 October 1916.

Content Description Note: The William H. Tracy papers consist of land transfer legal documents, Civil War pension applications, a business ledger and other miscellaneous papers. The papers document the real estate and mercantile operations of William H. Tracy throughout his life in Bozeman, Montana. Included is documentation of a patent for a new design of bobsled which Tracy had planned to market, diary entries within the W. H. Tracy & Company business ledger that records brief daily information on Tracy's activities from January 1907 to April 1908, and a business letter from T. B. Story written in 1909.


Box 1
1. Land deeds and titles, 1866-1868 (4 items)
2. Land deeds and titles, 1870-1879 (5 items; fragments)
3. Land deeds and titles, 1886-1889 (2 items)
4. Land deeds and titles, 1890-1899 (20 items; fragments)
5. Land deeds and titles, 1901-1907 (6 items)
6. Homestead certificates, 1873-1883 (2 items)
7. Real estate tax assessments, 1894-1908 (16 items)
8. Title abstracts, 1884-1890 (2 items)
9. Mortgage notes w/land titles (6 items)
10. Bob sled patent, 1892 (two items)
11. T.B. Story letter, 1909; horseshoeing bill, 1907
12. Civil War pension file, 1894-1907 (7 items)
13. W.H. Tracy & Co. business ledger, 1907-1909

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 4/6/09