mobile-friendly page | skip navigation

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

Collection 2163 - Tomlinson family log books, 1852-1896

Creator: Tomlinson family

Provenance Note: Eight original log books kept primarily by John J. Tomlinson or his sons were originally photocopied, edited, and published by his descendent, Margaret Tomlinson Strickland of Walla Walla, Washington. These self published voumes of the books were first donated to Montana State University starting in 1978 and continuing until 1985 and they were added to the library's print collection under the title "Logs of John J. and Margaret Tomlinson Family." On February 2, 1986, Strickland donated eight of the original volumes to MSU, noting that one volume she had previously published was then missing from the collection.

Historical Note: John J. Tomlinson was born on March 1, 1812 in Fort Cumberland, Maryland. He was a miller who began migrating west in the 1830s, living at various times in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. On July 2, 1863 he married Margaret Elida House (1834-1917) and the couple moved to Emigrant Gulch in Montana Territory the following year. The Tomlinsons moved again in 1868 to a settlement in Gallatin County that would later become known first as Salesville and later as Gallatin Gateway. Tomlinson built a lath and shingle mill which he operated until July 1874 when he sold it to construct a flouring mill. He operated that business until 1879 when he sold out to Nelson Story. For the remainder of his life he farmed and participated in laying out the town plat for Salesville. The Tomlinsons had four children, Philo House (1865-1951), Harry Comly (1867-1942), John Jay (1869-?), and Amy Annie (1872-?). John J. Tomlinson died on March 26, 1888.

Content Description Note: The Tomlinson family log books are a combination of financial and personal records, with diary-like entries, ledger accounts, and even copies of personal and business correspondence occurring sometimes within the same volume. Some material has been laid in the individual numbered volumes, including pages that appear to have been taken from other unidentified volumes the inclusive dates of the eight individual volumes also vary widely and, in some cases, overlap. The information includes weather observations, labor performed by various members of the Tomlinson family and their employees, and money received or distributed by the family or its various business enterprises. Subjects include flour and lumber milling, sales of lumber and other goods, and daily labor tasks performed. The volumes have been identified with the same numbers assigned by Margaret Tomlinson Strickland when she produced her photocopied, edited versions of the Tomlinson family logs. As such, there is no original volume five since it was missing at the time of the donation.

Contents

Volume 1 Log book, 1852-1866
Primarily diary like entries, the bulk of which begin at the end of August, 1864 with the Tomlinson's arrival at Emigrant Gulch, Montana.

Volume 2 Log book, 1866-1879
Primarily diary like entries, entered in a column format that also records the simultaneous activities of John Tomlinson and several other men (either relatives or employees) in terse notations of performed labor tasks, along with a general description of the weather. Created when the family moved from Emigrant Gulch to Gallatin County, Montana.

Volume 3 Ledger book, 1867-1874
Ledger entries that record transactions such as finished lumber sales to various parties in Gallatin County and Bozeman. The information appears to be entirely concerned with the family's business with no personal financial notations.

Volume 4 Ledger book, 1867-1878
Ledger like entries that record transactions such as finished lumber, flour, and general mercantile sales to various parties in Gallatin County and Bozeman.

Volume 5 [missing]

Volume 6 Ledger book, 1869-1896
Ledger like entries that record transactions such as finished lumber, flour, general mercantile sales, and livestock sales to various parties in Gallatin County.

Volume 7 Log and ledger book, 1878-1888
Primarily diary like entries, entered in a column format that also records the simultaneous activities of John Tomlinson and his sons in terse notations of performed labor tasks, along with a general description of the weather. There are a few ledger entries for business accounts, and a transcription of a portions of a business contract, and a draft of a letter from Philo House Tomlinson proposing to build a school at Salesville written on September 23, 1886.

Volume 8 Log and ledger book 1878-1891
Primarily diary like entries, entered in a column format that also records the simultaneous activities of John Tomlinson, he sons, and several other men. Some financial account information is also recorded in this volume.

Volume 9 Log and ledger book, 1883-1885
Primarily diary like entries, entered in a column format that also records the simultaneous activities of John Tomlinson and his sons. There are a few ledger entries for business accounts.

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 1/25/12