Creator: Alderson Family

Provenance Note: Several accessions pertaining to Alderson family members were merged to form this collection: numbers 14, 21, 106, 550, 562, 1062, 1065, 1074, 1223, and 1338. Most of these accessions were donated to Special Collections by Myrtle Alderson Griswold (Mrs. J. H. Griswold) in 1970 and 1976. Merrill G. Burlingame deposited some materials in the 1960s (accessions 106 and 550). Margaret Gee donated accessions 562 to Special Collections in the spring of 1968. Wilbur Betts of Bozeman, Montana donated accession 1223 in June, 1978. Miscellaneous additional material was donated by Willis D. Griswold of Belgrade, Montana, on June 14, 1990.

Historical Note: The William W. Alderson family was one of the first families to settle in the Gallatin Valley before the city of Bozeman was established. William White Alderson (1831-1906) was born in England and came to America at the age of 17. In 1864, he left his wife, Frances (1834-1910) and four children in Wisconsin and with his brother, John, headed for the gold mines of Montana. On the way the Aldersons decided to settle in the Gallatin Valley and take up farming. One of the first settlers of Bozeman, William W. Alderson, serving as the secretary of the Gallatin Claim Association, was the person who suggested "Bozeman" as the name of the town after John Bozeman. Later in 1866 Alderson's family joined him in the new town and in 1873 he was named as the government agent for the Milk River Indian Reservation. On his return to Bozeman in 1877 he became the editor of the Avant Courier newspaper, a position he held for most of his remaining life. William and Frances had nine children in all, among whom were Matthew (1855-1916), and E. Lina, who married Shaff Houston. Matthew became a newspaperman himself, first working as the business manager for the Avant Courier and later editing papers in Helena and Butte. After the death of his first wife he married Mary Long of Massachusetts. While Matthew pursued his interests in journalism and mining, Mary engaged in her own career as a suffragette and temperance crusader. Matthew toured South America shortly before his death to investigate mining claims and that same year Mary was elected president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WTCU). Matthew and Mary had at least one daughter, Myrtle, who married Belgrade resident J. H. Griswold, a veteran of the first World War.

Content Description Note: The Alderson Family Collection contains diaries, letters, literary productions, scrapbooks, printed materials and photographs created by or pertaining to: William W. Alderson, E. Lina Alderson Houston, Matthew W. Alderson, Mary Long Alderson, and Myrtle Alderson Griswold. Subjects include: Montana journalism; mining in Montana and South America; the temperance movement; women's suffrage; the history of Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. Organizations mentioned are the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Montana Press Association, and the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Correspondents include William W. Alderson, Mary Long Alderson, and Susan B. Anthony. The collection has been arranged in eight series based on document type.


Series 1 Biographical Materials, ca.1890-1973
Series 2 Correspondence, 1869-1921
Series 3 Diaries, 1877-1916
Series 4 Literary productions, ca. 1890-1939
Series 5 Legal and financial documents, 1865-1872
Series 6 Printed materials, 1883-1930
Series 7 Scrapbooks and scrapbook materials, 1886-1939
Series 8 Photographs, ca. 1880s-1916

Series 1: Biographical Materials, ca.1890-1973

Biography of Mary Long Alderson (1860 - 1940), written by her daughter Myrtle Alderson Griswold and a related oral history tape prepared by Griswold in 1973; Matthew W. Alderson's personal handwritten reminiscences; Mary Long Alderson's reminiscences of her meetings with Louisa May Alcott and a temperance convention. Mary Long Alderson's writings are typed transcriptions prepared either by her daughter, Myrtle or Merrill G. Burlingame from originals whose location is unknown. The cassette tape in folder 1 has been removed for separate storage.

Box 1
1. Biography of Mary Long Alderson and the Alderson Family, 1973
2. Personal Recollections of Early Days by Matt Alderson, ca. 1890
3. Mary Long Alderson's convention and Louisa May Alcott meetings

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: Correspondence, 1869-1921

Correspondence of Mary Long Alderson with individuals and organizations concerned with the major social issues of the period, 1900-1921, including the cigarette law (of Montana), the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.); also the Montana Women's Christian Temperance Union. Included are two letters from Susan B. Anthony to Mary Alderson and a partial copy of an original manuscript by Mary describing the history of woman suffrage in Montana written for inclusion in The History of Woman Suffrage. Also contained in this series is a letter from William W. Alderson to his brother Jonathan in which William describes his plans for working with editor Horatio N. Maguire of the Pick and Plow, Bozeman's first newspaper, and to become an Indian agent to the Flathead nation.

Box 1 (cont.)
4. Letter from William W. Alderson to Jonathan Alderson, December 9, 1869
5. Letters concerning the National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1900-1903
6. Letter to Mary S. Alderson from Asburn K. Barbour, State Librarian (of Montana), 1909
7. Correspondence between Mary Long Alderson and the National Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), and the Montana Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1913-1921

Contents | Special Collections

Series 3: Diaries, 1877-1916

Matthew Alderson's Milk River Agency journals, 1877 - 1880 (typed transcript likely prepared by Merrill G. Burlingame from originals whose location is unknown); Matthew Alderson's diary of his gardens, 1911 - 1912; diary of Matthew Alderson's trip to South America, including a diary, expense account, Western Union Traveler's Cable Code and Foreign Money Tables, a flyer from a Columbian Hotel, and a map of the Caribbean Sea.

Box 1 (cont.)
8. Milk River Agency journals, Matthew Alderson, 1877 - 1880
9. Garden diary, Matthew Alderson, 1911- 1912
10. Diary of a trip to South America, Matthew Alderson, 1916

Contents | Special Collections

Series 4: Literary productions, ca. 1890-1939

Manuscript essays and poetry on various topics written by Matthew Alderson, Mary Long Alderson, and Myrtle Alderson Griswold. The first folders are writings by Matthew pertaining to early Montana journalists; mining in Montana; the Helena, Montana "Hangman's tree," and poetry. Mary Long Alderson's work, "A Half Century of Progress for Montana Women, 1934" is actually a typed transcript likely prepared by Merrill G. Burlingame from an unknown original. The biography of Mrs. William J. (Rosa Parker) Beall of Bozeman by Mary Long Alderson is a photocopy of a poor original at the Montana Historical Society. Myrtle Alderson's physics lecture notes from her days at Helena High School, 1907 are included, along with biographies of James Henry Gallop (1834 - 1914); James' wife, Rachel C. Chidester Hutchinson Gallop (1841 - 1922); Rachel's son from her first marriage, Frank Hutchinson (1866 - 1901); and Frank's wife, Catherine L. (Kate) Reichman Hutchinson (1873 - 1938). The author of these last four biographies is unknown and could either be Griswold or Merrill G. Burlingame.

Box 1 (cont.)
11. Mining in Montana, by Matthew Alderson
12. Early Newspaper Men of Montana; Members of the Montana Press Assn.
13. Hangman's Tree and its Fruit
14. Sandra
15. Handwritten poetry
16. Typewritten poetry
17. A Half Century of Progress for Montana Women, 1934, Mary Long Alderson
18. Mrs. William J. Beall, by Mary Long Alderson
19. Physics lecture notes, Myrtle Alderson
20. Biography of James Henry Gallop
21. Biography of Rachel C. Chidester Hutchinson Gallop
22. Biography of Frank Hutchinson
23. Biography of Catherine L. (Kate) Reichman Hutchinson

Contents | Special Collections

Series 5: Legal and financial documents, 1865-1872

Although the legal and financial documents kept by the Aldersons are not extensive, they give a general overview of the cost of equipment, goods, hardware, food and other materials necessary for life in Bozeman, Montana during that time. Items listed include: grass seed, matches, tobacco, a purse, hat, boots, scythe stones (for sharpening blades), and a Spencer carbine. Food items are also listed and include: raisins, salt, tea, eggs, fish, sugar, apples, and pepper.

Box 1 (cont.)
Folder 24.
   1. Bill of Lading, Morrison, Ruland & Co., c/o King & Gillette, Virginia City, MT, 1865
   2. 1 ledger sheet itemizing food, clothing, hardware, etc., 1867
   3. 1 ledger sheet of account with Lehman & Bro., for goods, 1868
   4. 3 ledger sheets of account with Willson & Rich, for hardware, food, etc., 1869-1870
   5. Receipt for payment of 1 cheese vat & contents to: Creighton & Munro, 1869
   6. Promissory note to repay loan by W. W. Alderson to George W. Fox, First National Bank of Bozeman, /s/ Wm. W. Alderson, 1872

Contents | Special Collections

Series 6: Printed materials, 1883-1930

Books, pamphlets and brochures written or collected by Matt Alderson, Mary Long Alderson, or Myrtle Alderson Griswold. Topics include journalism, general literature, science, and temperance. Books are either inscribed or contain presentation cards.

Box 2
1. Lady of the Lake/by Sir Walter Scott (Boston: James R. Osgood Co., 1883
2. The Microcosm, (Methuen, Mass.: 1886)
3. If he would only tell me so/by Matt W. Alderson (Butte: Butte Miner, 1887)
4. Louisa May Alcott: a souvenir/by Miss Lurabel Harlow (Boston: Samuel L. Cassino, 1888)
5. Among Green Trees/by Julia Ellen Rogers (Chicago: A.W. Mumford, 1902)
6. Accept the Universe/ by Mary Long Alderson, 1903
7. Laboratory Work in Physics/by George M. Turner (Marblehead, Mass.: N.A. Lidsey, 1905)
8. The Final Prayer/by Matt Alderson, 1906
9. The Crisis, 1908 [Newspaper]
10. Report of Convention, Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), 1909
11. Montana Laws Relating to Temperance & Public Morals/by Mrs. Matt W. Alderson, 1915
12. The First West Gallatin Conference on Christian Life and Service (program) 1917
13. Montana Press Association Convention program, 1928
14. Thirty Four Years in the Montana Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1896-1930 /by Mary Long Alderson (Bozeman: 1930)
15. Montana State Floral Emblem campaign of 1894/by Mrs. Matt Alderson (1930)
16. Constitution and By-laws of the Montana State Housekeepers Association, no date
17. Undated temperance leaflets written by Matt Alderson

Contents | Special Collections

Series 7: Scrapbooks and scrapbook materials, 1886-1939

Scrapbooks kept by Matthew and Mary Alderson and E. Lina Alderson Houston consisting of newspaper clippings from the Avant Courier and other Montana newspapers. Many of the articles appearing in the Avant Courier were written by Matt W. Alderson and Mary Long Alderson. Several postcards, valentines, legislative visitor passes, and ribbons are some of the other scrapbook materials included in this series.

Box 2 (cont.)
18. Pioneers' Society and Press Association ribbons, 1904 and 1891
19. Picture postcards of Hangman's Tree, Helena and Nelson Gulch Nugget, ca. 1909
20. Passes to Senate & House of Representatives, Washington, D. C., 1892; letterhead stationary, Colored illustration of the Montana State Flower, "Lewisia redivia"
21. Valentines from Matt Alderson to Mary Alderson, ca. 1890s
22. Poetry clippings, mostly by Matt Alderson
23. Clippings on Bozeman Society for the Promotion of Physical Culture and Correct Dress, 1893-1894
Box 3
Scrapbook: Mary Long Alderson, Press Clippings, 1891-1926
Scrapbook: Mrs. E. Lina Alderson Houston, Press Clippings, Photographs, Documents, circa 1862-1926
Scrapbook: Mrs. E. Lina Alderson Houston, Press Clippings, circa 1926
Box 4
Scrapbook: Mrs. E. Lina Alderson Houston, Press Clippings, circa 1926

Contents | Special Collections

Series 8: Photographs, ca. 1880s-1916

Photographs, includes a number of individual photos of mines and photographs of various Alderson family members; included is a     #album with numerous images of Hyalite Canyon, outside Bozeman, MT (formerly called Middle Creek Canyon), in addition to photos of mining sites in the Madison County area, ca. 1897. Montana places photographed include: Brother Jonathan Mine, Goldsmith Mine, Grubstake Mine, Hot Spring Canyon, Iron Rod Mill, Maiden Rock, Moffet, Mohegan Mill, Monitor Mine, Richmond Flat, Parrot, Penobscott Mill, Revenue Mine, Schmidt and John's Mill, Silver Star, Sterling, and Southern Cross. Photographs 71-149 are of locations in South America, especially La Viborita Mine, Amalfi, Columbia, 1916. The last three pictures in this series are images of J. H. Griswold's World War I army unit.

Box 5
Folder 1.
    #1. WCTU State Officers: Mary Long Alderson, President; WCTU President, Mrs. Gordon, on her tour of state chapter unions
Folder 2.
    #2. E.C. Alderson and Al Harwood
Folder 3. Photos #3-9
    #3. Matthew Alderson in South America (four copies)
    #7. William. W. Alderson and Father Thomas Davies
    #8. Matthew Alderson addressing a farmers at a picnic
    #9. View from Wolf Point
Folder 4. Photos #10 - 15:
    #10. Penobscott Mill, 1912
    #11. Grubstake Mill, 1897
    #12. Goldsmith Mine, Butte, MT
    #13. Grubstake Mill, 1897
    #14. Mohegan (?), Near Red Bluff, 1898
    #15. Sterling Mill, 1898
Folder 5. Photos #16 - 70, Alderson Family Album:
    #16. Maiden's Cabin, Middle Creek Canyon, 1896
    #17. Snowshoe trip, 1896
    #18. Twin Falls, Middle Creek Canyon, 1896
    #19. Hell Gate, Middle Creek Canyon, 1896
    #20. Hell Gate, Middle Creek Canyon, 1896
    #21. Palisade Fall, Middle Creek Canyon, 1896
    #22. Grotto Falls, Middle Creek Canyon, 1896
    #23. Grotto Falls, Middle Creek Canyon, 1894
    #24. Grotto Falls, Middle Creek Canyon, 1896
    #25. P.C. Waite, Matt W. Alderson "snowbaling," Middle Creek Canyon, 1896
    #26. Pillar near mouth of Bridger Canyon
    #27. Iron Rod Mill, Looking up the Jefferson River
    #28. Iron Rod Mill, Looking up towards Silver Star
    #29. Mohegan Mill, Red Bluff, MT, 1897
    #30. Decanting at Mohegan Mill
    #31. C. Almer Shay decanting at Mohegan Mill
    #32. Joseph Weiss, John M. Henton and unknown person sitting on porch of bunk house at Southern Cross
    #33. Cyanide Mill at Southern Cross, looking west
    #34. Cyanide Mill at Southern Cross, looking east
    #35. Sander's Residence at Southern Cross
    #36. Fuller's tent at the Sterling Mill
    #37. Tent and dump at the Tacoma Mine, Sterling
    #38. Tacoman Mine at Sterling
    #39. Galena Mine at Sterling
    #40. Mine at Sterling
    #41. Mr. Miles Place, Sterling
    #42. Residence at Sterling
    #43. Monitor Mine, Richmond Flat
    #44. Revenue Mine, Richmond Flat
    #45. Revenue Mill
    #46. Near Sterling
    #47. On Road Between Sterling and Richmond Flat
    #48. Tower Rock, Hot Spring Canyon
    #49. In Hot Spring Canyon
    #50. Between Sterling and Richmond Flat
    #51. In Hot Spring Canyon
    #52. In Hot Spring Canyon
    #53. View from Sterling
    #54. Railroad Bridge across Jefferson at Parrot
    #55. Jefferson Valley at Parrot
    #56. S & J Mill Silver Star
    #57. S & J Mill Silver Star
    #58. S & J Mill Silver Star
    #59. Ore Bin at Brother Johnathan Mine, Moffett
    #60. Group of miners at Brother Johnathan Mine, Moffett
    #61. Moffett cyanide mill
    #62. Brother Johnathan Mine blacksmith shop
    #63. Moffett, Madison County, Mont.
    #64. Moffett, Madison County, Mont.
    #65. Gulch and mountains above Moffett
    #66. Moffett Mill
    #67. Alderson about to enter Moffett Mill
    #68. Making cleanup at Moffett Mill
    #69. Excavation to woodpile, March 13, 1900
    #70. Mrs. Alderson taking a walk on road from Moffett to Lake Shore, April 1, 1900
Folder 6.
    #71-89. South America-street scenes, 1916
Folder 7.
    #90-122. South America-people at work, 1916
Folder 8.
    #123-146. South America-Scenic views, 1916
Oversize folder
    #146. Camp Dodge, Iowa, 1918
    #147. Troop formation, 1918
    #148. Camp Johnson, Florida, 1918

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 2/24/09