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Collection 736 - Florence Isabel Penwell Papers, 1882-1901

Creator: Penwell, Florence Isabel, 1867-1947

Provenance Note: A collection of original documents and printed material recovered from the Merritt William Penwell family home was donated to Montana State University by Alvin Thompson, Bozeman, Motnana, in the summer of 1969. All printed material was subsequently removed from the accession and added to either the circulating collection of the University Library or retained in Special Collections.

Historical Note: Florence Isabel Penwell was born in 1867 , the eldest of eight children born to Merritt William Penwell (1840 - 1926) and Mary Ann Biggs Penwell. Merritt had first come to Montana Territory during the 1863 gold rush, and after a brief residence in Bannack moved on with his brothers Oscar and John to establish a farm in Gallatin County about five miles north of present day Belgrade. Florence grew up on the family farm and remained there for the rest of her life, becoming an active member of the local Methodist church. She never married and passed away in 1947.

Content Description Note: The Florence Penwell papers consist of a sample of wallpaper from the Penwell home in Gallatin County and a handwritten schedule listing only dates and months for the "Fourth Quarterly Meetings" of the "North Montana Mission," likely for the Methodist Church, ca. 1880s. The collection also includes the following four handwritten letters sent to Florence Penwell: from Methodist minister William Wesley Van Orsdel in Havre, Montana, October 18, [1882], describing his travels for church work; from "Addie" in Bozeman, Montana, June 21, 1891, arranging a Fourth of July visit to the Penwell farm; C. W. Hill of White Sulphur Springs, Montana, August 10, 1897, making arrangements for a visit to the Penwell home; from Esther [Penwell?] of Illinois, March 25, 1901, giving some family news and genealogy information.

Updated: 10/22/12