Collection 2004 - George R. Safley Papers, 1895-1915
Creator: Safley, George R.
Provenance Note: Business papers created or collected by George R. Safley were donated to Special Collections by Joe L. Griffen in October 1973.
Historical Note: George R. Safley (1855-circa 1923) was born in Iowa to a native Scottish father. Safley journeyed to Montana in 1890 on his honeymoon and liked it so much he decided to stay. A man of great ambition, Safley often ran several businesses at one time. His longest running career was that of undertaker and licensed embalmer which also included custom picture framing. In addition to his undertaking business, Safley ran a furniture store, which he operated until 1907. He was also interested in farming and ranching, owning 660 acres in Gallatin Country which he devoted to growing grain. Safley also help establish and was vice-president and later president of the Manhattan Home State Bank. One of his shorter lived business ventures was the Globe Theatre, which was located in the same building as his undertaking business. Safley was also an organizer of the Gallatin Valley Electric Railroad and was a member of several Bozeman organizations. As a staunch Republican, he was elected to the eleventh state legislature that is noted for contributing to the creation of Glacier National Park. Safley sold his undertaking business in 1915, but continued on as president of the Home State Bank. His date of death is unknown.
Content Description Note: The Safley papers consist mainly of canceled checks and check registers from his numerous business endeavors, but the bulk deals with his undertaking business. One unique item included in his undertaking papers is his cause of death book from 1904-1906. In it, he lists not only the cause of death, but also the age, gender, occupation, and place of birth of the deceased. Other papers include his ledger from the furniture store and undertaking business, his farm lease and corresponding papers, a fire insurance policy for the Globe Theatre, a letter from his brother-in-law, Charles T. Shearer, regarding the farm land, and a letter from King Motor Car Company. The collection has been arranged in topically labeled folders.
- Box 1
- 1. Business correspondence, 1913-1915
- 2. Embalming business papers and cause of death book, 1904-1915
- 3. Miscellaneous Bozeman business receipts
- 4. Commercial Bank statements, 1905-1914
- 5. Home State Bank statements, 1912-1913
- 6. Deeds and insurance contracts
- 7. Blank business forms
- Box 2
- Check book stubs from Home State and Commercial Bank accts, 1895-1915
- Ledger, 1910-1915
- Volume 1. Daily cash journal, March 1, 1906-March 31, 1915