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Collection 104 - Samuel I. Gaskill Wagon Train Log, 1878-1885

Creator: Gaskill, Samuel I.

Provenance Note: A positive photocopy of a typewritten transcript of an original diary owned by a sister of Mr. E.R. Heeb of Bozeman, Montana was donated to Montana State University on April 8, 1964. A carbon typescript, prepared by Merrill G. Burlingame from a copy in the possession of Virginia Thompson of Bozeman, Montana, was donated by Burlingame in 1964. A final version of the diary, photocopied from The Todds: A family history including all the descendants of Preston S. Todd and Elvira Epperson (Bozeman: D-Bar-S Promotion Agency, 1972) was donated by Francis Lay of Hereford, Texas on May 30, 1996 and supplemented with genealogical notes. On November 29, 2007, Cindy Foley of Kalispell, Montana donated the original log book which was subsequently added to this collection.

Historical Note: Samuel I. Gaskill was a New York native who immigrated to Montana from Missouri in 1878. He accompanied a wagon train led by Nathan Lay and James Lemons. Gaskill and his wife first settled in the Virginia City area, but by 1880 moved to Gallatin County in proximity to the other settlers who had comprised the membership of the 1878 wagon train.

Content Description Note: An original handwritten log book along with three transcribed versions of Gaskill's diary describing the route taken from Shibley's Point, Missouri, May 8, 1878 to Virginia City, Montana, July 31, 1878. Gaskill's name has been variously spelled "Goshill,", "Goskill," "Gosnill" and "Coskill" in the three different transcriptions, but appears as "Gaskill" in the 1880 Montana census. The log describes incidents of overland travel, including the organization and regulations of the train, a prairie storm, and the Bannock Indian war of 1878 as reported in Idaho, Utah, and Montana newspapers. The original document, consisting of a bound ledger book of 560 sequentially numbered pages, contains all the aforementioned information along with diary entries written from Granite Gulch, Virginia City, West Gallatin, and Salesville, Montana from the beginning date of 1878 through June 12, 1885. Most of the later entries are actually cash book type notations that detail Gaskill's purchases as well as his activities.

Contents

Box 1
Folder 1. Original log book, 1878-1885:  Pages 1-50,   51-100,  101-150,  151-200,   201-250,   251-300,   301-350,  351-400,  401-450,  451-500,  501-560 
Folder 2. Transcription by Merrill Burlingame from copy held by Virginia Thompson
Folder 3. Photocopy of transcription held by Virginia Thompson
Folder 4. Photocopy of pages from The Todds: A family history (Bozeman: D-Bar-S Promotion Agency, 1972)

Updated: 8/1/08