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Collection 2056 - Jesse G. Anderson Papers, 1914-1925

Creator: Anderson, Jesse G. (Jesse George), 1894-1975

Provenance Note: A travel diary and a scrapbook created by Jesse G. Anderson were donated to Montana State Unviersity by the Southern Oregon State College archives, Ashland, Oregon, in the fall of 1976.

Historical Note: Jesse G. Anderson was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1894, the son of Jennie M. Norton and Emmett H. Anderson. The Andersons had moved to Grand Forks from Minnesota sometime prior to 1880 and were married there in November, 1881. After Emmett's death in 1884, Jennie remained in Grand Forks to raise her son, but by 1910 she had remarried to William Kennedy and moved on to McKenzie County, North Dakota. Jesse attended college at Grand Forks in 1913, but it is unknown if he earned a degree. In the summer of 1914 he accompanied his parents on an overland trip to Saskatchewan where they planned to establish a homestead. They settled on a parcel near North Battleford where Jesse lived until sometime after early 1922 when he returned to Grand Forks and lived with his uncle, Watson Anderson at 321 Walnut Street and worked as a clerk in his uncle's confectionery shop. About this time he began a course in newspaper advertising from the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton, Pennsylvania and completed his work by 1925 when he took a job as a clerk at the Grand Forks Herald newspaper office. By 1930 he had moved to Oregon where he also worked in newspaper advertising and likely spent the rest of his life there. He died in Ashland, Oregon in March, 1975.

Content Description Note: The Jesse G. Anderson papers consist of a handwritten diary he kept from June 21, 1914 through May 16, 1915. It recounts his journey with his stepfather and mother as they journeyed from McKenzie County to Saskatchewan in search of a homestead site. The diary begins with Jesse returning to his mother's home by train from Medicine Lake Montana, and then their preparation of a two wagon outfit for their journey to Canada. Their route began near the town of Alexander and passed through Williston and Bone Trail heading northwest to Montana. Once across the state line, the Andersons followed a route along the Big Muddy river from Medicine Lake to Outlet and to the Canadian border. The Andersons continued north and eventually settled near North Battleford, and at this point the diary describes their daily life in building a home and developing the land until the spring of 1915. The diary is quite descriptive, giving a vivid portrait of the landscape, travel conditions, wildlife, and social life with people encountered. The second item in the Anderson papers is a carefully assembled scrapbook containing all of the course information, student submissions, and instructor feedback compiled by Jesse while taking the International Correspondence School course in newspaper advertising from 1922 through 1925.

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Updated: 5/25/12