Creator: Montana State College. Office of the President.

Provenance Note: Correspondence, reports, financial statements and other records created or maintained by the office of the Montana State College president's office were gathered from different campus locations. Several open cartons found on the fourth floor of Roberts Hall sometime prior to 1966 were combined with three units of small drawer cabinets from the Registrar's office in Montana Hall. The cabinets had been apparently been forgotten when President James M. Hamilton's office was enlarged earlier in the twentieth century and contained Hamilton's personal papers along with some of the records he created while serving as the Dean of Men after his presidency. During the summer of 1966 the contents of the cartons were removed and flattened before their placement in manila envelopes, but aside from separating printed materials there was no further attempt to logically sort the material. Additional files found in the old telephone office of Montana Hall in 1958 were also added to the mix in the 1960s. The combined papers were recorded as a separate accession in 1974 with a rough arrangement identifying files pertaining to the administration of James Reid, president from 1894-1904 as "PR-2" and the files pertaining to Hamilton's tenure from 1904-1919 as "PR 3."

Historical Note: Montana State University (MSU) was founded in 1893 as the state's land-grant college, and named the Agricultural College of the State of Montana. Later renamed the Montana College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, by the 1920s it was commonly referred to as Montana State College (MSC). The college was initially overseen by a local executive board which hired the president and faculty, but as time passed the board became much more peripheral in the operations of the school. The first president hired was Augustus M. Ryon, who led the college from its inception to 1894 when the executive board replaced him with James Reid. In 1904, James M. Hamilton, a former superintendent of public schools in Missoula, was chosen as president, and he remained in the office until 1919. In 1913, the Montana state legislature passed a bill that consolidated the all of the state's colleges into one system under the administration of a chancellor. Hamilton resigned the presidency, but was not allowed to actually vacate the office until 1919. Alfred Atkinson was MSC's next president, and Hamilton was appointed Dean of Men and resumed teaching in the newly-formed department of economics.

Content Description Note: The Montana State College president's office records consist of correspondence, reports, budgets, and other papers dealing with the operation of the institution. Matters documented in the files range from the routine hiring of employees such as custodians, to student instruction, state and federal agency regulations, and college departmental reports. The records say much about the wide ranging duties of the early presidents of the institution and the slow relinquishment of some activities as the faculty and administrative infrastructure grew. These records have been arranged into four series. The first encompasses the administrations of Augustus M. Ryon and James Reid, 1894-1904. At one time when library personnel attempted to order the files these records were labeled as "PR-2," and it is assumed that "PR-1" had been intended to encompass any of Ryon's papers created during his brief tenure as president from April 1893 to the appointment of Reid in 1894. Ryon's records apparently were never discovered. The second series is the largest, consisting of files identified as "PR-3" and pertains to the administration of James M. Hamilton who served as president from 1904 to 1919. A relatively small group of additional papers retained in this accession have been designated as series three and four. Series three contains a few files kept by Hamilton as he served as Dean of Men and a professor of economics after he resigned from the presidency. Series four is entirely composed of Hamilton's personal papers and memorabilia which encompass his early teaching career, family letters, speeches and manuscripts. Overall the records of this accession have been arranged in topically labeled folders, and little attempt has been made to rearrange the several different sorting operations conducted by a succession of university library employees assigned to the task from 1966 to 1974. The result of the sorting operations has obscured whatever original order had been present among the records.

RESTRICTIONS: Folders containing the academic ranking, grades, and discipline of individual identified students are restricted from research until 2020. These folders have been marked with (R) in this inventory.


Series 1 Augustus M. Ryon and James Reid Administrations, 1894-1904
Series 2 James M. Hamilton Administration, 1904-1919
Series 3 James M. Hamilton, Dean of Men and Professor of Economics Files, 1919-1939
Series 4 James M. Hamilton Personal Papers, 1881-1927



Series 1: Augustus M. Ryon and James Reid Administrations, 1894-1904

These reports and letters are the earliest records of Montana State University and encompass the presidency of Augustus M. Ryon and James Reid, from 1894 to 1904. The files contain reports created or received by the president's office and general correspondence. Not all years are represented in each named file, but wherever possible all reports known to exist have been included. The reports and correspondence of this series deal with both the instructional activities of the college and the operation of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station. Some of the early faculty were involved with both activities as well. Reports and other documents are interfiled with correspondence pertaining to the folder subject title. The earliest records of the college created or maintained by Ryon are for the most part absent from this series, although from the preliminary arrangement strategy it is obvious they were intended to be part of this grouping.

Box 1
1. Departments-Agriculture
2. Departments-Agriculture and irrigation engineering
3. Departments-Art
4. Departments-Biology
5. Departments-Botany and bacteriology
6. Departments-Business
7. Departments-Chemistry
8. Departments-Domestic Science
9. Departments-Electrical engineering
10. Departments-Engineering (historical summary to 1911
11. Departments-English, Latin, History
12. Departments-Horticulture
13. Departments-Library
14. Departments-Mathematics
15. Departments-Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics
16. Departments-Modern Language
17. Departments-Music
18. Departments-Physics
19. Departments-Prep School
20. Departments-Veterinary Science and Zoology
21. Executive Board, November 28, 1894
22. Executive Board, May 21, 1895
23. Executive Board, May 27-December 4, 1896
24. Executive Board, May 20-December 24, 1897
25. Executive Board, May 21, 1900
26. Executive Board, May 31, 1902
27. Executive Board, May 29, 1903
28. Experiment Station
29. Treasurer's Report
30. Treasurer's Report
31. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1893-1895
32. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1896-1898
33. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1899-1901
34. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1902-1904

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: James M. Hamilton Administration, 1904-1919

Topically labeled folders of correspondence and reports, alphabetically arranged. Most of these files pertain to the routine operation of the college, interactions with federal and state officials, and especially the office of the Chancellor of the Montana University System. Again, the activities of the Montana Agriculture Experiment station are especially prominent, but the reports of the president to the local executive board change over time to ones submitted to the state Board of Education. For the most part correspondence pertaining to the folder's topical label has been retained with the related reports, but a stalled attempt by library personnel was made in the late 1960s to separate the president's correspondence by alphabetical and/or chronological order regardless of the topic. These folders, numbered 4-31 in box 5, have not been disrupted and retain their preliminary sorting order. Folders containing student academic or disciplinary information are restricted and marked with (R).

Box 2
1. American Council on Education
2. Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations
3. Budget, 1904-1905
4. Budget, 1909
5. Budget 1914-1915
6. Budget, 1916-1919
7. Budget, 1917-1919
8. Budget,1917-1918
9. Budget, 1918-1919
10. Budget, 1919-1920
11. Buildings-Barracks
12. Buildings-Chemistry II
13. Buildings-Engineering (Roberts Hall)
14. Buildings-Engineering, temporary
15. Buildings-Hamilton Hall
16. Business Office-Miscellaneous letters
17. Claims
18. Committees-Buildings and Grounds
19. Committees-General
20. Consolidation of the University System
21. Consolidation of the University System-clippings
22. Departments-Agricultural Engineering
23. Departments-Agronomy
24. Departments-Animal Husbandry
25. Departments-Applied Art
26. Departments-Art
27. Departments-Athletics
28. Departments-Biology
29. Departments-Botany and Bacteriology
30. Departments-Business
31. Departments-Chemical Engineering
32. Departments-Chemistry
33. Departments-Dairying
34. Departments-Engineering, Civil
35. Departments-Engineering, Electrical
36. Departments-Engineering, Mechanical
37. Departments-English and Latin
38. Departments-Entomology
39. Departments-History and Latin
40. Departments-Home Economics
41. Departments-Horticulture
42. Departments-Library
43. Departments-Mathematics
44. Departments-Military
45. Departments-Modern Language
46. Departments-Music
47. Departments-Pharmacy
48. Departments-Physical Education
49. Departments-Physics
50. Departments-Poultry
51. Departments-Preparatory School
52. Departments-Zoology
53. Divisions-Agriculture
54. Divisions-Applied Science
55. Division-Engineering
56. Division-Engineering
Box 3
1. Emergency Food Production
2. Executive Board reports
3. Experiment Station reports, 1904
4. Experiment Station reports, 1906
5. Experiment Station reports, 1907
6. Experiment Station reports, 1909
7. Experiment Station reports, 1910
8. Experiment Station reports, 1911
9. Experiment Station reports, 1912
10. Experiment Station reports, 1913
11. Experiment Station reports, 1914
12. Experiment Station reports, 1915
13. Experiment Station reports, 1916
14. Experiment Station reports, 1917
15. Experiment Station reports, 1918
16. Experiment Station reports, 1919
17. Experiment Station reports, no date
18. Extension service
19. Faculty-Abbey, M. J.
20. Faculty-Absences
21. Faculty-Herrick, Una
22. Faculty-Holst, J. H.
23. Faculty-Letters of appointment
24. Faculty-Lists, 1893-1917
25. Faculty-Problems
26. Faculty-Salaries
27. Faculty-Suggestions and regulations
28. Farmer's Institutes, March 22, 1909
29. Farmer's Institutes, 1908-1910
30. Farmer's Institutes, February 28, 1911
31. Farmer's Institutes, February 29, 1912 and October 1, 1912
32. Farmer's Institutes, February 28, 1913
33. Farmer's Institutes, February 28, 1914
34. Farmer's Institutes, March 1914
35. Farmer's Institutes, September 1, 1914
36. Farmer's Institutes, February 28, 1915
37. Farmer's Institutes, February 29, 1916
38. Farmer's Institutes, February 28, 1918
39. Farmer's Institutes, November 27, 1918
40. Farmer's Institutes, June 15, 1919
41. Farmer's National Defense
42. Financial estimate, 1911-1916
43. Financial statement, 1905
44. Fort Ellis cannon
45. Health Services
46. High school course of study
47. Insurance
48. Inventories of departments
49. Montana. Attorney General
50. Montana. Board of Education
51. Montana. Board of Examiners
52. Montana. Department of Public Instruction
53. Montana. Governor
54. Montana. Legislature
55. Montana. State Normal College
56. Montana. Treasurer
57. National Education Association
58. Payroll
59. President's report to Governor, 1912
60. President's report to Executive Board, 1905
61. President's report to Executive Board, 1906
62. President's report to Executive Board, 1907
63. President's report to Executive Board, 1908
64. President's report to State Board of Education, 1909
65. President's report to State Board of Education, 1910
66. President's report to State Board of Education, 1911
67. President's report to State Board of Education, 1912
68. President's report to State Board of Education, 1913
69. President's report to State Board of Education, 1914
Box 4
1. Registrar-summaries
2. Registrar-summaries
3. Registrar-grade reports, 1914 (R)
4. Registrar-grade reports, 1915 (R)
5. Registrar-grade reports, 1916 (R)
6. Registrar-grade reports, 1917 (R)
7. Reorganization of Montana State College, 1915-1916
8. Students-activity fees
9. Students-discipline (R)
10. Students-petitions
11. Students-regulations
12. Students-statistics
13. Students-World War I questions
14. Summer sessions
15. Textbooks
16. Trial balances, 1909-1915
17. Treasurer's reports
18. United States. Bureau of Education
19. United States. Department of Agriculture
20. United States. Department of the Interior, 1904-1907
21. United States. Department of the Interior, 1908-1910
22. United States. Department of the Interior, 1911-1913
23. United States. Department of the Interior, 1914-1916
24. United States. Department of the Interior, 1917-1919
25. United States. Forest Service
26. United States. War Department
27. United States. War Department
28. United States. War Department
29. United States. War Department
30. United States. War Department
31. United States. University Code
32. United States. University Code
33. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-administrative memos
34. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-athletics
35. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-buildings
36. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-calendar
37. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-financial statements
38. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-legislative memorandum
39. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-MSC correspondence
40. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-MSC property
41. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-president's conference
42. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-students
43. University of Montana. Chancellor's Office-war correspondence
44. University of Montana. President's Office
Box 5
1. Vocational education
2. Vocational education
3. Vocational education
4. President's correspondence, general, 1904
5. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "B"
6. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "C"
7. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "D"
8. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "E"
9. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "F-H"
10. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "I-L"
11. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "M-R"
12. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "S-U"
13. President's correspondence, general, 1907-08, "W-Z, fragments"
14. President's correspondence, general, 1909
15. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "A"
16. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "B"
17. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "C"
18. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "D"
19. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "E-F"
20. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "G"
21. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "H-J"
22. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "K-L"
23. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "M"
24. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "N"
25. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "O-P"
26. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "Q-R"
27. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "S"
28. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "T"
29. President's correspondence, general, 1910-11, "W"
30. President's correspondence, general, 1914-1916
31. President's correspondence, general, 1917-1919

Contents | Special Collections

Series 4: James M. Hamilton, Dean of Men and Professor of Economics Files, 1919-1927

Reports, papers, correspondence and other records collected or created by Hamilton in the years following his tenure as president of Montana State University. These files may have been part of a larger record group pertaining to the Dean of Men's office but were placed in this collection by the time it was formally accessioned in 1974. As the Dean of Men, Hamilton had much to do with the administration of student affairs, including the registration and regulation of campus organizations and activities. At the same time, Hamilton also functioned as a professor of economics, taking an active role in the planning and establishment of the academic department starting in 1919. The records of both offices have been interfiled in this series and alphabetically arranged.

Box 5 (cont.)
32. Budget, 1921-1930
33. Budget, 1930-1939
34. Committee reports
35. Correspondence, general
36. Correspondence, President Atkinson's office
37. Dean of Men, annual reports, 1927-1929
38. Department of Economics, annual reports, outline
39. Department of Economics, annual reports
40. Department of Economics, annual reports
41. Department of Economics, annual reports
42. Department of Economics, annual reports
43. Department of Economics, annual reports
44. Department of Economics, annual reports
45. Department of Economics, annual reports
46. Department of Economics, annual reports
47. Department of Economics, annual reports
48. Department of Economics, annual reports
49. Department of Economics, annual reports
50. Department of Economics, annual reports
51. Department of Economics, annual reports
52. Department of Economics, planning, course syllabi, 1919-1920
53. Faculty union
54. Purchases
55. Purnell Act research, 1915
56. "Social Study of Ravalli County," MSC Bulletin 160
57. Students-chaperon policy for women
58. Students-fraternities
59. Students-fraternities
60. Students-fraternities
61. Students-fraternities
62. Students-independents
63. Students-loans
64. Students-marriages
65. Students-organizations
66. Students-organizations
67. Students-senior class memorial committee
68. Students-strike, November 17, 1930
69. Students-study habits, scholarship

Contents | Special Collections

Series 4: James M. Hamilton Personal Papers, 1881-1927

Personal letters, programs, memorabilia and other items marginally related to Hamilton's professional career. The material in this series may have been discovered as a run of separate folders or, more likely, sorted into their present arrangement by library personnel in the 1960s. Included are materials pertaining to Hamilton's early education in Illinois, his student years at the Union Christian College at Merom, Indiana, and his stint as a teacher and school superintendent in Illinois and Missoula, Montana. The files have been arranged in three broad groupings; folders 1-8 are biographical material such as programs, certificates, clippings, and other memorabilia. Folders 9-26 consist of correspondence. Most of these letters are personal in nature, although a few are congratulatory notes sent to Hamilton by friends and colleagues for his various career appointments, especially the presidency of Montana State College in 1904. The final group of folders, numbers 27-34, are manuscript speeches and essays on educational and historical topics of interest to Hamilton.

Box 6
1. Biographical-biographical sketches
2. Biographical-certificates, tickets, other ephemera
3. Biographical-clippings
4. Biographical-Missoula Public Schools
5. Biographical-photographs
6. Biographical-sketch book created by Hamilton when he was a boy
7. Biographical-Sumner, Illinois Public Schools
8. Biographical-Union Christian College
9. Correspondence-1891-1894
10. Correspondence-1895
11. Correspondence-1896-1898
12. Correspondence-1901
13. Correspondence-1902
14. Correspondence-1904
15. Correspondence-1907
16. Correspondence-1908
17. Correspondence-1909
18. Correspondence-1910
19. Correspondence-1911
20. Correspondence-1912
21. Correspondence-1913
22. Correspondence-1914
23. Correspondence-1915
24. Correspondence-1916
25. Correspondence-1917-1919
26. Correspondence-to Emma S. Hamilton
27. Speeches and essays-"Blind Alleys in Education"
28. Speeches and essays-"Education and Democracy"
29. Speeches and essays-"Every community must possess the resources..."
30. Speeches and essays-"David Demuth"
31. Speeches and essays-[Missoula school regulations]
32. Speeches and essays-" Agricultural Science Work"
33. Speeches and essays-"State System of Free Public Schools"
34. Speeches and essays-"Some Evidences of Education"
35. Speeches and essays-"Stevens Expedition"
36. Speeches and essays-"Vocational Guidance"
37. Speeches and essays-"What Next?"

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: May 16, 2013