Montana State University in Bozeman Montana State University - Home Montana State University Library - Home

Collection 781 - Alexander Leggat Collection, 1864-1964

Creator: Leggat, Alexander, 1876-1961

Provenance Note: Personal papers, collected manuscripts, and photographs were purchased from Mrs. Alexander Leggat, Butte, Montana, in 1966 following a lengthy fund raising effort on the part of Montana State University. Materials in these papers were previously accessioned under separate numbers of 413 and 752. Brochures, pamphlets, broadsides, and other printed materials have been separated from these manuscripts and incorporated into Collection 2369.

Historical Note: Alexander Leggat was a Butte, Montana mining engineer, hotel owner, and collector of western Americana. He was born in Owasso, Michigan, on December 22, 1876, to John A. Leggat and his wife, Claribel Ament Leggat. He came to Butte, Montana with his mother in 1880 and attended public schools in Butte, graduating from the Butte High School in 1894. He next attended the college of Montana at Deer Lodge, and also the Michigan School of Mines in Houghton. He worked as a mining engineer in Montana and served in many Butte civic organizations. Leggat purchased a hotel in Butte in the early twentieth century and became active in the Montana Hotel Association in 1923. He began collecting books and manuscripts pertaining to Montana and the West in the 1920s and eventually compiled an impressive private library. Following his death in 1961, his widow began negotiations with Montana State College for the sale of the collection.

Content Description Note: The Leggat collection has been divided into to large groups, Family Papers and Collection Papers. The Family Papers consist of correspondence, diaries, legal papers, and scrapbook memorabilia all pertaining to Alexander Leggat and his extended family. The family correspondence includes letters from: Alexander Leggat: his parents, John A. Leggat and Claribel A. Leggat; his sister, Claribel A. Leggat: and other relatives in Michigan, Montana, and Missouri. The letters include descriptions of Mrs. Claribel A. Leggat's 1880 journey from [Grand Haven], Michigan to Leggat's Mill on the Big Hole River, Montana; details of life in 1880 Butte, Montana; the death of Mrs. Claribel A. Leggat after birth of daughter in 1881; Alexander's childhood in Montana and Michigan; Alexander's relationship with his grandmother; school life at College of Deer Lodge; the 1889 fire in the Anaconda and St. Lawrence mines which resulted in several deaths; operations on Alexander's nose in New York; Alexander and school friends boating in northern Michigan; Alexander's job at a mine in Calumet, Michigan.

The Collection papers consist of: collecting correspondence created or collected Alexander Leggat while purchasing books and manuscripts on Western Americana; inventories and lists of books collected; historic Montana legal documents collected for their historical or display value; historic Montana manuscript files of documents collected for their historical or display value; and photographs. Subjects or creators of manuscripts include: Charles Bechner, Charles A. Broadwater, William H. Clagett, James M. Cavanaugh, J. E. Clayton, Sidney Edgerton, W.R.M. Edwards, Kate Hammond Fogarty, James A. Garfield, Randall Henry Hewitt, Oliver O. Howard, Thomas Francis Meagher, George Miles, Henry Plumer, J. E. Richard, John S. Rockfellow, D. W. Tilton. The manuscripts also pertain to the following subjects: Bozeman, Butte, Virginia City, Madison County, Silver Bow County, Beaverhead County, mining, Montana political campaigns, Herschell Mining Company, Montana Indian Treaties for Blackfeet, Blood, Assiniboine, Gros Ventre, and Piegan tribes. The papers of Randall Henry Hewitt include a substantial portion of his original manuscript for Across the Plains and Over the Divide, published by the Broadway Publishing Company in 1906. Photographs include copy prints and original images of Butte, Virginia City, Missoula, and Pioneer City, Montana; photographs of original paintings and drawings by Frederick Remington and Charles Russell; lithograph illustrations of Montana scenes taken from an unidentified publication.

RESTRICTIONS: Some original manuscript materials in group two are fragile and have been photocopied. Permission to access the original documents must be obtained from the Special Collections staff.

Contents

Group 1 - Family Papers, 1869-1961

Series 1 Correspondence, 1876-1961
Series 2 Legal Documents, 1872-1890
Series 3 Diaries, 1895-1897
Series 4 Scrapbooks and Scrapbook Materials, 1869-1961

Group 2 - Collection Papers, 1864-1964

Series 1 Collecting Correspondence, 1927-1964
Series 2 Legal/Financial Documents, 1864-1885
Series 3 Subject Manuscript Files, 1871-1950
Series 4 Collection Inventories, ca. 1950s
Series 5 Photographs, 1870-1950

Group 1   Series 1: Correspondence, 1876-1961

Correspondence contains letters written or received by Alexander Leggat, John A. Leggat, Claribel A. Leggat (Alexander's mother), Claribel A. Leggat (Alexander's sister), Eliza Leggat, E. H. Ament, William Ament, and LaRiene Leggat. Some folders with Alexander Leggat letters also include John A. Leggat's letters as addenda and include John Leggat's name on the folders. Letters are arranged alphabetically and chronologically by folders, and chronologically within folders. Letters include descriptions of Mrs. Claribel A. Leggat's 1880 journey from [Grand Haven], Michigan to Leggat's Mill on the Big Hole River, Montana; details of life in 1880 Butte, Montana; the death of Mrs. Claribel A. Leggat after birth of her daughter in 1881; Alexander's childhood in Montana and Michigan; Alexander's relationship with his grandmother; school life at College of Deer Lodge; the 1889 fire in the Anaconda and St. Lawrence mines which resulted in several deaths; operations on Alexander's nose in New York; Alexander and school friends boating in northern Michigan; Alexander's job at a mine in Calumet, Michigan.

Box 1
1. Ament, William--Correspondence, 1890-91
2. Leggat, Alexander; Leggat, John A.--Correspondence, 1887-88
3. Leggat, Alexander; Leggat, John A.--Correspondence, 1889
4. Leggat, Alexander, Leggat, John--Correspondence, 1890-92
5. Leggat, Alexander--Correspondence, 1895, 1897
6. Leggat, Alexander--Correspondence, 1898-99
7. Leggat, Alexander--Correspondence, 1900
8. Leggat, Alexander--Correspondence, 1904-05, 1908, 1925, 1927, 1952-51, 1954
9. Leggat, Claribel A. (Alexander's Mother)--Correspondence, 1876, 1880-81
10. Leggat, Claribel A. (Alexander's Sister)--Correspondence, 1900, n.d.
11. Leggat, John A.--Correspondence, 1876-77, 1879, 1881-82
12. Leggat, John A.--Correspondence, 1883-85
13. Leggat, John A.--Correspondence, 1888-89, 1892, 1895
14. Leggat, LaRiene--Correspondence, 1958, 1961

Contents | Special Collections

Group 1   Series 2: Legal Documents, 1872-1890

General legal documents pertaining to specifically to the Leggat family. Legal documents that were collected by Alexander Leggat for their historical or display value can be found in Group 2.

Box 1 (cont.)
15. Leggat Family Miscellaneous Legal Papers
16. Leggat, John A. and Leggat, Alexander J.--Register of Birth
17. Leggat, William--Citizenship

Contents | Special Collections

Group 1   Series 3: Diaries, 1895-1897

Diaries kept by Alexander Leggat recording his activities while traveling to and attending college in Houghton, Michigan. Entries deal with travel, schoolwork and social activities.

Box 1 (cont.)
18. Leggat, Alexander 10 August to 8 November 1895
19. Leggat, Alexander 1897

Contents | Special Collections

Group 1   Series 4: Scrapbooks and Scrapbook Material, 1869-1961

Original manuscript poetry and essays created by Claribel Ament Leggat or others; school memorabilia pertaining to Alexander Leggat; funeral, birth, and wedding announcements; original and photocopied newspaper clippings collected by or pertaining to all generations of the Leggat family.

Box 2
1. Sentimental verse and essays, 1869, n.d.
2. Alexander Leggat school papers, 1897-1901
3. School papers, 1870-1895
4. Membership cards and memorabilia
5. Birth and death announcements
6. Invitations and calling cards
7. Lists, bible verses
8. Newspaper clippings
9. Photocopied scrapbook

Contents | Special Collections

Group 2   Series 1: Collecting correspondence, 1927-1964

Legal and financial documents pertaining to a wide variety of early Montana and western personalities, collected primarily for their historical and display value. Materials include original manuscript treaties with Montana Indian tribes, mining claims and leases, bills of sale, and court documents. More substantial collections of manuscripts created or pertaining to specific subjects or persons can be found in series 2.

Box 3
1. Collecting Correspondence, 1927-29
2. Collecting Correspondence, 1930, 1933-36
3. Collecting Correspondence, 1937-39
4. Collecting Correspondence, 1940
5. Collecting Correspondence, 1941
6. Collecting Correspondence, 1942-44
7. Collecting Correspondence, 1948-49, 1951, 1953-54, 1957-59
8. Collecting Correspondence, 1960-64

Contents | Special Collections

Group 2   Series 2: Legal/financial documents collection, 1864-1885

Legal and financial documents pertaining to a wide variety of early Montana and western personalities, collected primarily for their historical and display value. Materials include original manuscript treaties with Montana Indian tribes, mining claims and leases, bills of sale, and court documents. More substantial collections of manuscripts created or pertaining to specific subjects or persons can be found in series 2. Fragile materials which have been photocopied are restricted and have been marked with the symbol (R). The files have been alphabetically arranged.

Box 4
1. Bechner, Charles--Bill of Sale, 1865
2. Carico, John--Summons for probate court, 1867
3. Daniels, James B.--Pardon from Governor Thomas Francis Meagher, 1866 (Copy)
4. Daniels, James B.--Pardon from Governor Thomas Francis Meagher, 1866 (R)
5. Edgerton, Sidney--Mining claims, 1864
6. Herschel Mining Company--Deeds, 1865
7. Indian Treaties--Blackfeet, Blood, and Piegan, 1875 (copy)
8. Indian Treaties--Blackfeet, Blood, and Piegan, 1875 (R)
9. Indian Treaties--Piegan and Assiniboine, 1874 (copy)
10. Indian Treaties--Piegan and Assiniboine, 1874 (R)
11. Indian Treaties--Piegan and Gros Ventre, 1874 (R)
12. Indian Treaties--Piegan and Gros Ventre, 1874 (copy)
13. Irvine, Caleb E.--Appointment as probate judge, 1865
14. Irvine, Caleb E.--Certificate of election as probate judge, 1884
15. Johnson, S. C.--Mining discovery claims in Madison County, 1865
16. Madison County Mining Claims--Sheriff sales, 1867
17. Maltby, T. D.--Quit claim deed, 1865
18. Montana Mineral Land and Mining Co.--Summons regarding estate of George Carhartt, 1868
19. Montana Mining Law--Laws of Summit Valley District, Deer Lodge Co., 1880
20. Montana Territory Appointment Form, [blank]
21. Murphy, John G. and Baldwin, Edward Jr.--Copartnership arrangement, 1866
22. Oregon Short Line Railroad--Right of way and stations, 1882
23. Orem, Con and Marly, Patsy--Articles of agreement, 1865
24. Plumer, Henry--Deed to Sidney Edgerton, 1863 (R)
25. Plumer, Henry--Deed to Sidney Edgerton, 1863 (Copy)
26. Pollinger, E. M., Wells Fargo & Co.--Agreement for stage station, 1867
27. Rockfellow, John S.--Bills, Bill of sale, shipments, promissory note, check, payments 1865-68
28. Sanders, W. F.--Check, 1877
29. Sims, H. D.--Receipt, 1885
30. Tilton, D. W.--Agreement, bill, balance sheet, receipts, letters, 1865-68
31. Tuthill, Robert--Summons for Beaverhead County probate court, 1867
32. Utah Northern of Montana--Articles of incorporation, 1881
33. Vipond, John and Brother--Warrant, 1865

Contents | Special Collections

Group 2   Series 3: Manuscript Subject Files, 1871-1950

Topical files of manuscript materials created by a wide variety of Montana persons and collected by Alexander Leggat. Authors include: Charles A. Broadwater, J.E. Clayton, James A. Garfield, Randall Henry Hewitt, and Oliver O. Howard. Subjects include Montana history, Butte history, the Montana State Legislature, and drafts of Across the Plains and Over the Divide (New York, 1906).

Box 4 (cont.)
34. Braley, Berton--Poem "Butte" printed on copper (R)
35. Braley, Berton--Poem "Butte" photocopy
36. Broadwater, Col. Chas. A.--Invitation to funeral, 1882
37. Cavanaugh, James M.--Note regarding "Daily Globe"
38. Clagett, Wm. M.--Biographical information, 1872
39. Clayton, J. E., letters, 1883
40. Clayton, J. E.--Letterbook, 1881-1882, 1887
41. Clayton, J. E.,--Working notebook, 1888-89
42. Courtenay, William--Letter regarding livestock to S. B. Hawks, 1892
43. Daniels, James B.--News clippings regarding pardon and aftermath

Box 5
1. Edwards, W. R. M.--"Pioneer Days in German Gulch"
2. Fogarty, Kate Hammond--"A History of Butte, Montana"
3. Fort Laramie Treaty, newspaper articles copied from the St. Louis Republican
4. Garfield, J. A.--Letter to W. H. Claggett regarding associate judgeship, 1871
5. Hartwick, Tolley--Henry J. Zorn Miller execution
6. Haynes, Isabel, Jack, and Lida, greeting cards 1934-1952
7. Helena, MT--Hangman's Tree
8. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Correspondence, 1899, 1902, 1906, 1913
9. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Manuscript "Across the Plains and Over the Divide," Introduction and Chapter 1
10. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Manuscript "Across the Plains and Over the Divide," Chapters 2, 3, 4
11. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Manuscript "Across the Plains and Over the Divide," Chapters 5, 6, 7
12. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Manuscript "Across the Plains and Over the Divide," Chapters 8, 9, 10
13. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Manuscript "Across the Plains and Over the Divide," Chapters 11, 12, 13
14. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Manuscript "Across the Plains and Over the Divide," Chapters 14, 15, 16
15. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Manuscript "Across the Plains and Over the Divide," Chapters 17, 18, 19, 20
16. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Scrapbook
17. Hewitt, Randall Henry--Small manuscripts, 1905, 1907, 1913
18. Howard, O. O.--Letter to W. H. Prescott, M.D., 1896
19. Lincoln, Abraham--Contribution list for inaugural celebration, Virginia City, 1865
20. Miles, George--Interview for "History of Miles City"
21. Miller, C. E. & Family--Card with verse "Big Hole Skies" by Mary Narby
22. Newcomen Society of England--1950 Montana Dinner
23. Newspaper clippings, various topics

Box 6
1. Rickards, J. E.--Montana Legislature Clipping Book, 1889-1890
2. Rickards, J. E.--Montana Legislature Clipping Book, 1890-1891
3. Russell, C. M., letter to Alexander Leggat, 19 January 1918 (Facsimile)
4. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology--letter 1891
5. U.S. 20th Infantry; Ft. Assiniboine, MT, 1883, March 1886
6. Weaver, David B., letter to C. N. Kessler; "Montana Pioneer Prospectors." 1918
7. Weston, D. H., letter from Manning, Harding & Martin 1886
8. Wilcox, W. J. News items on Butte, Montana,1864-1868. Typescript.

Contents | Special Collections

Group 2   Series 4: Collection inventories, ca. 1950s

Inventories and lists of manuscript and printed materials collected by Alexander Leggat.

Box 6 (cont.)
9. Inventory lists
10. Library catalogs (2 volumes)

Contents | Special Collections

Group 2   Series 5: Photographs, 1870-1950

Photographs collected by Alexander Leggat pertaining to Montana history, the Leggat family, or western art. Photographs 1-29 are primarily of Montana communities and activities, including Butte, Missoula, Virginia City, and Walkerville. Images 30-35 are of original Indian treaties found in Series 1 and images created by Charles M. Russell and Frederick Remington. Images 36-48 are either lithographs of Montana scenes taken from an unidentified publication or original caricature drawings. Photographs 59-67 pertain directly to the Leggat family. Negatives have been placed in folder 8. An asterisk (*) indicates an oversize photograph which has been removed to separate storage.
Box 7
Folder 1. Photographs 1-10
            1. Dredge on Alder Creek, 1898
            2. Dredge at Ruby, Montana, 1910
            3. Frozen Dredge, 1910
            4. Old Steam Dredge, 1910
            5. Historic Chimney Rock on the Oregon Trail
            6. Eureka Baseball Team, 1906
            7. D. J. Hennessy & Co.
            8. Theodore Roosevelt in Downtown Butte, 1903
            9. North Side of Butte City, 1890s
            10. Butte from the Roof of the Leggat Hotel, 1953

Folder 2. Photographs 11-20
            11. World War I Welcome Home Arch [Meaderville Gate?], 1918
            12. Main Street from Quartz, Butte, 1877
            13. Butte, Montana, ca. 1905
            14. American Bison in Butte
            15. The Big Explosion
            16. Butte Shriners' Parade, ca. 1900
            17. 4 Jack's Mess Club (*)
            18. Columbia Gardens Newswriters' Convention, 1901
            19. Columbia Gardens, 1905
            20. Columbia Gardens, 1905

Folder 3. Photographs 21-30
            21. Cutting Wood after March Snow
            22. Virginia City, Montana
            23. Virginia City, Montana
            24. Virginia City, Montana
            25. Missoula, Montana
            26. Mount Jumbo, Missoula
            27. East Front Street, Missoula
            28. Walkerville, Montana
            29. Three Crossings Stage Station
            30. Indian Treaties (from box 4, folders 7-12)

Folder 4. Photographs 31-40
            31. Frederick Remington painting, Cowboys Fighting over a Stolen Herd
            32. Charles M. Russell painting, Cowboy on Horseback, (on nailkeg top) (*)
            33. Charles M. Russell Drawing, Cowboy in Stampede
            34. Charles M. Russell drawing, Cowboy at dance
            35. Charles M. Russell Drawing, Cowboy knife fight
            36. Herds of Bisons and Elks
            37. Hot Springs on Gardiners River
            38. Big Blackfoot Valley
            39. Clark's Fork and the Mission Mountains
            40. Entrance to the Bitter Root Mountains

Folder 5. Photographs 41-50
            41. Great Falls of the Missouri
            42. Hot Spring Mound
            43. Main Chain of the Rocky Mountains
            44. Blackfeet Indians Hunting Bison from Horseback
            45. Coeur D'Alene Mission, St. Ignatius River
            46. Nez Perce Indians
             47. Animal Caricature, 1903
            48. Dunce cap caricature, 1904
            49. Van Zorn Miller, prison photograph (from box 5, folder 5)
            50. Unidentified Indian woman

Folder 6. Photographs 51-60
            51. Pioneer City, Montana, (Haynes Stereograph)
            52. Montana Press Association, Yellowstone National Park, 1886
            53. Photograph of letter to Richard Potts
            54. Photograph of Daniels pardon (from box 4, folder 4)
            55. Photograph of unidentified mountains
            56. Unidentified man sitting on rock
            57. Hanging at Helena (Box 5, folder 7)
            58. Composite photograph, Montana pioneers (*)
             59. Miles J. Cavanaugh family, ca. 1889
             60. Alexander Leggat in field, 1903

Folder 7. Photographs 61-67
            61. Alexander Leggat at Patterson Creek, Idaho, 1911
            62. Alexander Leggat in field at Butte, 1922
            63. Alexander Leggat, portrait, ca. 1930s
            64. Alexander Leggat, portrait, ca. 1940s
            65. Alexander Leggat, portrait, ca. 1950s
            66. Leggat Hotel, Butte, 1920
            67. Photograph of steamship ledger page

Folder 8. Negatives: 6, 7, 10, 54, 55, 56, 65

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 2/10/09