Creator: Aiken, Alfred E. (Alfred Euclid), 1858-1943

Provenance Note: Original letters and envelopes created by Alfred E. Aiken were donated to Montana State University by his granddaughter, Evelyn J. Aiken Jones of Sun City, Arizona on July 19, 2013.

Historical Note: Alfred Euclid Aiken was born in Chautaqua County, New York on May 8, 1858. He came to Montana when he was twenty-six years old and first worked at a T.C. Powers company trading post at Poplar Creek and as a wood cutter along the Missouri River. Eventually he worked as a cowboy in Dawson County and was appointed sheriff by the county commissioners in 1898. He went on to become a prominent businessman in Glendive. Around 1900, Aiken married Cora Miskimen and the couple had three children: Lloyd, Ford, and Helen. Alfred Aiken died in Glendive on March 22, 1943.

Content Description Note: The Alfred E. Aiken papers consist of eight original letters he wrote from 1885 to 1890 to his sister, Sabra Jane "Jennie" Akin who was living in Frewsburg, New York. The letters were sent from Poplar Creek and Dawson County, Montana, and Fort Buford, North Dakota, and describe his impressions of the country, the military garrison at Poplar Creek, members of the tribes on the nearby reservation, incidents of ranch life, and family news. The letters are supplemented by a biographical essay, "A Cowpuncher's Prairie Romance," written by Aiken's granddaughter, Evelyn J. Aiken Jones, when she was a student at Montana State University.

Updated: 1/29/14