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Collection 2545 - Rodney Wallace Page Family Papers, 1881-1927

Creator: Page, Rodney Wallace

Provenance Note: Letters and legal documents created or collected by the family of Rodney W. Page were donated to Montana State University by his descendants Orrie Page, of Lebanon, Oregon, Janice M. Hewitt and Laurence Page on August 4, 2011.

Historical Note: Rodney Wallace Page was born in 1838, one of five children born to Wallace and Nancy Bonnie Page. His siblings were Elvira Page (1833-1914), Robert Wallace Page (1834-1913), Elmina Page (1836-1910) and James Madison Page (1839-1924). Sometime prior to 1864, Rodney married Sarah Peters and the couple had seven children: Evelyn (1864-1946), Arthur (1865-1958), Elvira (1867-1937), Alta (1868-1924), Ida (1870-1914), Ernest (1873-1964) and Edward (1875-1945). As Rodney worked as a surveyor in Osceola County, Michigan, his siblings began a family migration to Madison County, Montana, the first arrival being James Madison Page in 1866, followed by Robert Wallace Page in 1879 and Elmina Page in 1880. Rodney's eldest son, Arthur, had also removed before his father embarked to Montana and worked for his uncle James on his homestead. In 1882 Rodney left Michigan to join his brother James on a surveying expedition to Yellowstone National Park. Rodney's wife Sarah, along with the rest of the children and Rodney's widowed sister Elvira, joined them all shortly thereafter. Rodney eventually established his own homestead in the Twin Bridges area and continued to work as a land surveyor. Rodney's second daughter, Elvira, eventually married Harry Redfield, an employee of her father. Their daughter was Mary Redfield, whose publications and manuscripts can be found in Collection 336, the Mary Redfield Lindsey Papers. Rodney Wallace Page died in Santa Clara, California in 1915, and his wife Sarah died there in 1916.

Content Description Note: The Rodney W. Page papers consist of letters and legal documents. Most of the letters were written in 1881-82 by Rodney and his wife, Sarah, from Osceola County, Michigan, to their son, Arthur, in Montana Territory. These letters describe family news, local weather conditions, religious admonishments, and questions regarding the state of affairs in Montana and the preparations for the family's move to the territory. Additional letters by Rodney's daughter, Elvira, to her daughter Mary, describe some farming and ranching activities in Madison County, Montana along with family news. Two legal documents complete the collection. These items concern the sale and management of cattle by Rodney in the early twentieth century. The documents in this collection have been individually calendared.

Contents

Folder 1

1. Ida Page, Hersey, Michigan, letter to Rodney Wallace Page, September 3, 1881
Family news; school studies; addendum to Arthur Page expressing her loneliness and asking him to write

2. Rodney Wallace Page and Sarah Peters Page, Hersey, Michigan, letter to Arthur Page, December 11, 1881
Family news; mentions smallpox in Osceola County; questions about Montana homestead site regarding river location and proximity of potential neighbors; religious admonishments

3. Sarah Peters Page, Hersey, Michigan, letter to Arthur Page, December 18, 1881
Family news; mentions hearing from James and his satisfaction with Arthur's work; religious admonishments; asks if Arthur would consider coming back to Michigan to live

4. Rodney Wallace Page, Hersey, Michigan, letter to Arthur Page, January 17, 1882
Mentions receiving a letter from Arthur and James; asks that logs be hauled to prepare a home site in Montana; religious admonishments

5. Sarah Peters Page, Hersey, Michigan, letter to Arthur Page, January 19, 1882
Mentions receiving two letters from Arthur; family news and farm matters in Michigan; asks about the Montana home site and any potential Indian problems

6. Sarah Peters Page, Hersey, Michigan, letter to Arthur Page, January 23, 1882
General admonishments of religion

7. Rodney Wallace Page and Sarah Peters Page, Hersey, Michigan, letter to Arthur Page, January 31, 1882
Family news and local travels in Michigan; notes anxiousness of sons to go to Montana; mentions recently published book on the life of President James A. Garfield

8. Rodney Wallace Page and Sarah Peters Page, Climax, Michigan, letter to Arthur Page, March 5, 1882
Visiting relatives in area; mentions being in a hurry to get to the Beaverhead Valley in Montana; asks how the ranch looks; religious admonishments

9. Rodney Wallace Page, Pageville, Montana, memorandum of agreement with E. B. Page, April 2, 1900
Agreement to share the offspring of cattle, with proper identification information for twelve head

10. Harry Redfield and Elvira Page Redfield, Pageville, Montana, letter to Ida Page, September 5, 1905
Mentions regret over Charlie's sickness; family news; housekeeping details; mentions accident suffered by Harry; regret over Charlie's failure to finish a contract due to illness

11. Rodney Wallace Page, bill of sale to Parson Brothers, Wibaux, Montana, October 14, 1914
Details sale of fifty head of cattle

12. Sarah Peters Page, Santa Clara, California, letter to Elvira Page Redfield, January 1916 [handwritten transcription]
Health matters; family news

13. Elvira Page Redfield, Twin Bridges, Montana, letter to Mary Redfield, June 4, 1925
Family news; local weather conditions; raising turkeys; making butter; managing sheep

14. Elvira Page Redfield, Whitehall, Montana, letter to Mary Redfield, April, 1926
Family news; illnesses; threshing; household chores; hunting

15. Elvira Page Redfield, Whitehall, Montana, letter to Mary Redfield, September 25, 1927
Family news; dental work; weather

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 8/11/11