Creator: Reichman Family

Provenance Note: The Reichman Family Papers, consisting of family diaries, photographs, and miscellaneous, items were donated to Montana State University-Bozeman by Merrill G. Burlingame, Bozeman, Montana, in 1970. Burlingame was a long time professor in the Department of History at MSU-Bozeman and received this collection as a donation from Louis Reichman in 1954.

Historical Note: The Reichman family came into Gallatin valley in 1874 buying railroad land at the entrance to the Flathead Pass. The family ranched there until 1884, when they moved to Sedan. Two of the Reichman sons, Lester and Ray, farmed and ranched at the Sedan ranch until 1911, when they sold it. Lester Reichman continued to farm and ranch four miles west of Belgrade on the former Cland Robinson ranch, an early settler of the area. Louis Reichman, Lester's son, took over that ranch and held it until 1954, when he went into the teaching profession. The matriarch of the family is Sara Jane Johnston Reichman. Her husband's name, of whom she came to the valley with in 1874, is unknown. They had five children: Lester, Ray, Laurence, Daisy, and Inez.

Content Description Note: The Reichman diaries focus on ranch life and every day activities of the family. Sara J. J. Reichman composed diaries from 28 June 1906 to 31 December 1926, six diaries in all. She gives daily accounts of the weather, visitors, chores, letters wrote, and family travels. Her diaries appear to have more than one author at times. For example, in Folder One, 28 February to 10 March, 1907 appears to have been written by different handwriting. It should be noted that in Folder Three, in July of 1910, Sara writes about travelling to Yellowstone National Park. Her account mentions specific camp sites, soldiers, earthquake tremors, geysers, and other sights visited. Lester Reichman composed five diaries from 1 January 1927 to 11 January 1944. Lester gives detailed daily accounts of the weather, including temperatures and periodic barometric pressure readings. Lester's diaries focus on his daily activities as a farmer and rancher. For example, in Folder Eight, Lester kept records of harvested and sold tomatoes and other goods. Also in Folder Eight, Lester kept daily lambing records, including how many were born and died. In a letter from Louis Reichman, Lester's son, to Merrill Burlingame, (which can be found in Folder Fourteen), Louis mentions his father's death in 1942. There are periodical entries after 1942 in his last diary, Folder Eleven: Lester Reichman's diary contains entries from other members of the family. Inez Reichman, the third and last author, wrote the earliest diaries from 23 August 1902 to 9 June 1903, totaling two diaries. Inez's concerns and handwriting reflect her age at the time of composition. She writes about selling eggs, milk, and cream to friends and neighbors, visitors coming for dinner, letters she had written and received, books she had been reading, and attending church and Sunday school. There is actually only one diary, Folder Twelve, the other is a reprint of the same diary by her mother, Sara Reichman. Daisy Reichman, Inez's sister, also makes an entry in the reprinted version (Folder Thirteen). The most notable entry in Inez's diary is on 24 and 25 April 1903, when President Theodore Roosevelt visited Gardner, Montana. Also, entries regarding small pox, soldiers camp sites, and a peculiar entry on a "Cuca and his band" are found. In the reprinted version by Sara Reichman, it is spelled "Susa." It cannot be distinguished whether or not this Cuca or Susa is John Phillip Sousa.

This collection contains the dairies of Sara, Lester, and Inez Reichman, as well as pictures, and miscellaneous receipts, newspaper clippings, and an advertisement. Some of these diaries are bound, bound with no cover (enclosed in folders), and loose leaf. The diaries have been arranged by person, beginning with Sara, then Lester, and lastly Inez. See finding aid on the succeeding page.


Box 1
Folder 1. Diary of Sara Jane Johnston Reichman, June 28, 1906 to January 24, 1908
Folder 2. Diary of Sara J. J. Reichman, January 25, 1908 to December 10, 1909
Folder 3. Diary of Sara J. J. Reichman, December 11, 1909 to December 31, 1911
Folder 4. Diary of Sara J. J. Reichman, January 1, 1912 to December 31, 1916
Folder 5. Diary of Sara J. J. Reichman, January 1, 1917 to December 31, 1921
Folder 6. Diary of Sara J. J. Reichman, January 1, 1922 to December 31, 1926
*Folder 7. Diary of Lester Reichman, January 1, 1927 to July 16, 1934
*Folder 8. Diary of Lester Reichman, July 17, 1927 to December 31, 1934
*Folder 9. Diary of Lester Reichman, January 1, 1935 to May 10, 1939
*Folder 10. Diary of Lester Reichman, June 2, 1935 to December 31, 1938
Folder 11. Diary of Lester Reichman, January 1, 1940 to January 11, 1944
Folder 12. Diary of Inez Reichman, August 23, 1902 to June 1, 1906
*Folder 13. Diary of Inez Reichman, August 23, 1902 to April 15, 1903
Folder 14. Reichman Family Papers and miscellaneous items. Three photos, four receipts of account, one letter, one advertisement, two newspaper clippings, one County Court receipt, one handbill, one report of investigation by Montana Livestock Sanitation Board, one cashed check.
* Folders 7 and 8 are one diary split into two halves of the year.
* Folders 9 and 10 are one diary split into two folders due to its physical condition.
* Folder 13 is the reprinted version by Sara J. J. Reichman of Folder 12.

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 2/25/09