Creator: Jeffers Family

Provenance Note: Collection 1137 is a consolidation of several accessions donated by Mrs. Fayette (Winifred Chowning) Jeffers between 1964 and 1985. These accession numbers were originally assigned as 68, 69, 74, 209, 210, 389, 580, 840, 874, 1137, and 1196. Additional donated items from Paul Jeffers in 1964 were assigned accession number 131. Mrs. Lawrence (Jo) Jeffers also in 1964 donated other Jeffers family documents which were assigned accession numbers 130 and 211. In 1979, Collection 389 was reported to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) and given entry number 79-669. That same year Collection 131 was reported to NUCMC and given entry number 79-642. Nearly all of these materials are either photocopies or transcriptions of original documents solicited by former Montana State University librarian Minnie Paugh to supplement information the history of agriculture in Montana counties. After reproduction the items were returned to the various donors. The present location of the originals is unknown.


Historical Note: Myron D. Jeffers was born in Hadley, New York in 1833. When he was 21 he headed west and after several endeavors in 1864 he began freighting merchandise from Corrine, Utah to Virginia City, MT. In 1869 he purchased cattle in Texas and drove the herd to Virginia City for sale. On a third trip in 1871, instead of selling the herd, he kept it and established a ranch near Ennis, MT. where the community of Jeffers was later established. In 1872 his younger brother Joshua Burton "Burt" Jeffers joined him and they formed a partnership which lasted until 1880. Later, they were major members of a cattle pool which grazed its herd near Park City, Montana on the Yellowstone River. The winter of 1886-1887 caused major loses and by 1893 the pool was dissolved and the herd was sold. Myron married Florence Switzer in 1878 and Burt married her sister Suzie Switzer in 1880. The girls had crossed from Iowa to the Madison Valley with their parents as children. Myron and Florence had 5 sons including Paul born in 1882 and Fayette "Fay" born in 1885. Burt and Suzie had a son Lawrence in 1889. "Fay" Jeffers and Winifred Chowning were married in 1918. Winifred was the daughter of Charles W. Chowning and Jennie Winifred Ennis Chowning of Ennis and the granddaughter of William Ennis the founder of Ennis, MT. William Ennis had a general store in Ennis until his death in 1898. With his death, C.W. Chowning and Jennie returned to Ennis to run the general store she inherited from her father. Paul Love was one of the clerks at the store and his memories of Ennis and musical events are in the collection. Mrs. Fay (Winifred Chowning) Jeffers was the principle collector of family and neighborhood history. Her mother Jennie and she were both Post Mistresses in Ennis and involved in the Trinity Church and its women's Guild, Madison Valley Woman's Club and the Fairweather Pioneer Society.


Content Description Note: This collection includes transcriptions or photocopies of diaries, ledgers, correspondence, interviews, historical essays and reminiscences related to the Jeffers, Ennis and Chowning families of Madison County, Montana. Of particular interest for livestock and grazing history are the nomination documents and associated materials for Myron Jeffers membership in the Cowboy Hall of Fame, including a transcript of his 1871 cattle drive diary. Also contributing to this area of interest are the record books of Charles W. Chowning of the Montana Cattle Company. The balance of the collection includes: a history of the Madison Valley Women's Club; papers of the Fairweather Pioneer Society of Madison County with minutes, financial records and membership rolls and several histories; some financial records and clippings about the Trinity Episcopal Church, Jeffers MT and Trinity Guild; and a ledger of the Ennis Storage & Freighting has been transcribed. A scrapbook of clippings of articles on Montana history and one typed article by Judge Lew L. Callaway written in 1923-1934 and a booklet of a news series in the Butte Miner by Frank D. (Sand Bar) Brown in 1927 collected by Winifred Jeffers are present. There are also five photographs and negatives of family members.



Box 1
1. Typescript of diary, Myron D. Jeffers' cattle drive, 1871
2. Typescripts of Myron D. Jeffers correspondence, 1871 - 1893
3. Photocopies of 2 letters to Myron D. Jeffers - 1871, 1883
4. Nomination of Myron D. Jeffers to Cowboy Hall of Fame and photocopy of certificate, 1961
5. Transcript of taped interview with Paul Jeffers about his father Myron D. Jeffers, 1964
6. Typescripts of reminiscences of Susie L. Switzer Jeffers and a hand drawn map, ca. 1935
7. Photocopied correspondence of Jeffers family members - 1871, 1879, 1897, 1900
8. Typed reminiscences of Katherine Ennis, 1930
9. Transcribed entries of ledger book of William Ennis Storage & Freighting, Ft. Benton, 1869-1877
10. Photocopied and original newspaper clippings about Ennis and Jeffers families, 1931-1971
11. Photocopies of four pocket record books of C.W. Chowning, manager for the Montana Cattle Co. - 1889, 1890 and 1892
12. Audio tape - interviews of Mrs. Fay (Winifred Chowning) Jeffers and Paul Love, 1975
13. Transcription: interviews of Mrs. Fay (Winifred Chowning) Jeffers and Paul Love, 1975
14. Jennie Chowning- family history and historical essays on Madison County and Montana, 1915-1951
15. Receipts and financial materials of Trinity Guild of the Trinity Church, Jeffers, MT 1915-27
16 Histories of Trinity Mission Church, Jeffers MT and Trinity Guild, 1879-1950
17. Newspaper clippings and newsletter articles about Trinity Guild and noted members 1941-1952
18. "History of the Madison Valley Woman's Club, 1920-1964" Pauline E.Clark and Jo Jeffers, 1964
19. Journal - Fairweather Pioneer Society of Madison County: constitution, bylaws, minutes 1940-51
20. Fairweather Pioneer Society membership cards, dues paid by members, correspondence 1940-51
21. Letters from Thomas H. Whitney, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, to Jennie and Winifred, 1941-1950)
22. Photographs: 1-2) Myron D. Jeffers; 3) Katherine Ennis; 4) Jennie Chowning and Susy Jeffers; 5) Trinity Guild members at 60th anniversary meeting and all negatives (1-5)
Box 2
1. Scrapbook - newspaper clippings of Judge Lew L. Callaway's Madison County articles 1923-34
2. Typescript of "3-7-77" by Lew L. Callaway, ca 1929
3. Butte Miner series "The Wolfers of the Yellowstone" by Frank D. (Sand Bar) Brown, 1927