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Collection 90 - William L. Perkins Ledger, 1870-1882

Creator: Perkins, William L. (1832-1892)

Provenance Note: Ledger kept by William L. Perkins was donated to Special Collections by his granddaughter, Vivian Baker, of Bozeman, Montana, in 1967.

Historical Note: William L. Perkins was born on October 17, 1832 in Ohio. In 1856 he moved to Omaha, Nebraska and the following year formed a partnership with David L. Shafer to supply beef to the Omaha Indians. In 1858 Perkins moved on to Denver, Colorado, where he engaged in mining until 1862 when the gold rush to Montana Territory began. Perkins and Shafer lived in the Virginia City area until after the Civil War when they both established ranches in Gallatin County. Perkins married Mary Elizabeth Stone on March 15, 1866 and in 1868 the couple moved to Bozeman where Perkins got a contract to supply beef to the Fort Ellis garrison. He also founded a lumber business, continued to dabble in mining, and also worked as a real estate agent. Elected to the territorial legislature in 1878, Perkins also served as a police magistrate in Bozeman and was commonly refered to as "Judge Perkins." He died on September 5, 1892.

Content Description Note: The William L. Perkins ledger contains entries for both his meat and lumber businesses from 1870 to 1882. Most of the early notations concern meat sales, while the later ones record lumber sales. The notations usually indicate the amount of goods purchased, the date, the customers name, and the price. Among the listed customers are many early Bozeman residents, including Lester S. Willson, White Calfee, Samuel W. Lewis, and William H. Tracy.

Updated: 7/21/09