Creator: Blakeley, Charles P., 1834-1912

Provenance Note: The Charles P. Blakeley Papers were purchased from Morris P. Blakeley, Billings, Montana on August 15, 2002.

Historical Note: Charles P. Blakeley was born in Missouri on June 6, 1834. He married Elizabeth Downing in 1856 in Kansas. When the Civil War broke out, Blakeley enlisted in the Missouri State Guard and served under General Sterling Price in the first six months of the conflict. Blakeley attempted to quit the war and return home, but was arrested by the Union Army as a former Confederate soldier. He escaped confinement in St. Joseph, Missouri and with his family moved west, arriving in Denver in 1863. They proceeded to Virginia City, Montana, arriving on May 16, 1964. In October, they moved to the Gallatin Valley where Blakeley purchased farmland he called Farmington Ranch near Old Central City on the West Gallatin River. From 1866-67, he served in the Montana Territorial Legislature. After mining in Deer Lodge County, Montana in 1870, he returned to the Gallatin Valley and became an under sheriff for John C. Guy, 1871-72. After running for sheriff unsuccessfully, he returned to his ranch between 1874-1878. In 1878 he moved to Bozeman, where he was under sheriff for William S. McKinzie and the deputy assessor for four years. In 1882 he was elected Sheriff of Gallatin County. Charles P. Blakeley served as a legislator and the Speaker of the 1st State Legislature in 1888. He was appointed as the Register of the US Land Office in Bozeman, 1894-1898. In 1908 he was elected Sergeant at Arms of the Montana Legislature. Charles P. Blakeley died February 24, 1912 at the age of 77.

Content Description Note: The Blakeley papers consist of legal and financial documents which include: receipts for taxes and other personal business from Kansas Territory and Gallatin County; an Attorney's License from the Supreme Court of Montana Territory; a certificate of election as sheriff of Gallatin County; appointment as the Register of the Land Office in Bozeman, Montana; certificates from the Knights of Honor and the Society of Montana Pioneers; lists recording settlers of Old Central Park and Confederate Veterans of Sterling Price Camp No. 1378; letters and a telegram (from W.A. Clark); newspaper clippings; manuscripts of memorable events of his life plus a book length autobiography titled "A Sketch of the Life of Charles Presston Blakeley as Told be Himself" and assorted memorabilia and ephemera. All items have been calendared in the following inventory. Unless otherwise indicated, all manuscripts are handwritten, or printed forms filled out in handwriting.

New addition: In the summer of 2002, retired Montana State University faculty member A. Hayden Furgeson typed a transcription of the original manuscripts from folders 14 through 20. The transcription was not checked against the originals and remains unedited. It was added to the collection on December 3, 2010 to assist researchers.



Box 1

1. Legal papers, 1872-1894:

Deed from John C. Guy to Charles P. Blakeley - Aug. 17, 1872

Attorney's License from Supreme Court, Montana Territory - Jan. 15, 1875

Knights of Honor benefit certificate - Dec. 11, 1879

Certification of election as Gallatin County Sheriff - Nov. 21, 1882

Society of Montana Pioneers certificate - Sept. 28, 1886


2. Financial papers, 1858 - 1878:

Tax receipt signed J. V. Jameson, Doniphan County, Kansas Territory - July 10, 1858

Tax receipt signed A. M. Pitts, Doniphan County, Kansas Territory - Mar. 10, 1860

Promissory note to bank, Iowa Point, Kansas Territory - Oct. 23, 1860

Receipt for horses, Theodore Dickinson, Denver, Colorado - June 23, 1863

Receipt for yoke of cattle, Denver, Colorado - July 8, 1863

Receipt for taxes, Gallatin County, Montana - Apr. 1, 1866

Receipt for payment as administrator of Robinson estate - Aug. 13, 1866

Receipt for payment as administrator of Robinson estate - Aug. 20, 1866

Receipt for payment as administrator of Robinson estate - Apr. 6, 1867

Receipt for taxes, Gallatin County, Montana signed by T. B. Gray - Nov. 7, 1867

Receipt for poor tax, Gallatin County, Montana signed by T. B. Gray - Oct. 22, 1868

Receipt for taxes, Gallatin County, Montana signed by Territorial Auditor - Oct. 22, 1868

Homestead receipt from Daniel McCreery (Application # 630) - Oct. 25, 1871

Receipt for taxes, Gallatin County, Montana - June 1, 1872

Receipt from Davis and Sperling, Dry Goods - July 1, 1872

Receipt for poor tax signed B. M. Dawes, Gallatin County, Montana - July 18, 1872

Newspaper subscription receipt, Weekly Independent, Helena, Montana - Aug. 1, 1872

Receipt for taxes from W. H. Bailey, Gallatin County, Montana - Nov. 29, 1872

A. Lamme & Co. Ledger account page - Aug. 27, 1873

Post office box receipt for Oct. 15, 1877 - Jan. 1, 1878

Receipt for registered letter - Aug. 5, 1878

Receipt for advertising and printing tickets, Avant Courier, Bozeman, Oct. 31, 1878

Receipt from Dr. George W. Monroe - June 10, 1879


3. Lists of Gallatin County residents for:

Those who settled near Old Central Park in 1864

A roster of Sterling Price Camp No. 1378 - Bozeman, Montana (not dated)


4. Letters and telegram:

Letter to C.P.Blakeley from Samuel Wood concerning Attorney License, Virginia City,

Montana - Jan. 27, 1875

Congratulatory telegram from W.A. Clark, Montana Senator - Jan. 4, 1908

Envelope (only) postmarked Miles City, Montana sent to John E. Shaw, Colstrip, Montana -

date unknown


5. Newspaper clippings:

Notice of NPRR celebration, Grand Marshall C.P. Blakeley, March 21, 1883

Captain James Blakeley, Oregon pioneer celebrates 95th birthday (not dated)

November 7, 1909 article written by C. P. Blakeley for Miner (Butte) about his career

St. Joseph (Missouri) Gazette, Nov. 28, 1909 - "How Blakeley Got out of Jail"

Obituary of Mrs. Chas. P. Blakely (sic) - not dated


6. Memorabilia and ephemera

YMCA invitation to Halloween Carnival, Oct. 31, 1878

Pencil tablet cover with a few scanty notes present (date unknown)

Remembrance card commemorating Charles P. Blakeley at time of his death, Feb. 24, 1912


7. Biographical notes about his ancestors and his childhood

8. Biographical notes about his career in politics

9. Typed story "Jennie" - about his imprisonment and escape during the Civil War and his

woman helper - handwritten editing.

10. The story "The Killing of Col. Kimble and Capt. Smith by the Sioux in 1865"

11. The story "My First Visit to Bozeman," Christmas 1865

12. Typed story "Indian Raid and Its Results, 1869" with handwritten addendum naming

Andrew H. Murray as source

13. The story "In this My Last" about mining for gold in Deer Lodge County at Gold Creek

14. Autobiography "A Sketch of the Life of Charles Preston Blakeley as Told by Himself," pp


15. "Life Sketch" (cont) - pp 62-151

16. "Life Sketch" (cont) - pp 152-179

17. "Life Sketch" (cont) - pp 180-209

18. "Life Sketch" (cont) - pp 210-351

19. "Life Sketch" (cont) - pp 352-376

20. "Life Sketch" (cont) - pp 377 to -

21. "Life Sketch" fragments plus summary list of career and typed song lyric

22. Photograph, on verso: Charles P. Blakeley before 1889 by J. Towner, Broadway Gallery,

Helena, Montana

23. "A Sketch of the Life of Charles Preston Blakeley as Told by Himself," unedited transcript

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 12/3/10