Creator: Thomas Brothers (Madison County, Mont.)

Provenance Note: The Thomas Brothers day book was first loaned to the Montana State University Library for photocopying in July 1969 by Mrs. Ruth B. Miller of Silver Star, Montana. The book itself was donated by Mrs. Miller's son, Dr. M. Mark Miller of Bozeman, Montana on April 17, 2006.

Historical Note: William, Evan, and Ellis Thomas were born in Wales and settled in the Ruby Valley area of Madison County, Montana sometime prior to 1880. Their ranching and farm operation was located near the town of Sheridan, Montana, and may have included a commercial sawmill. The brothers apparently operated the ranch together as a partnership, and there is no indication that any of them ever married.

Content Description Note: The Thomas brothers day book contains financial entries from August 21, 1881 to January 11, 1889. The transactions, listed chronologically, document purchases by the brothers from merchants in Sheridan, Virginia City, and Butte, Montana, and also show sales income from items the brothers sold to others, such as hay, produce, and lumber. Other information recorded in the day book are the names of employees retained by the brothers, stud service fees for livestock, and tax payments. The ethnicity and work habits of the Thomas brothers employees is sometimes recorded as well. Among the frequently posted names of Madison County, Montana, business firms are Fred Schultz (hotel owner), R. P. Bateman (general mercantile), Hall & Hardesty or Hall & Rossiter (general mercantile), Gilbert Freighters, and the Pomona Cooperative Exchange.

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Updated: 5/5/09