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Collection 246 - Joseph T. Brown Papers, 1887-1917

Creator: Brown, Joseph T. (Joseph Taliaferro), 1849-1908

Provenance Note: An original financial record book kept by Joseph T. Brown was loaned to Montana State University for copying by Joseph T. Brown II of Birney, Montana on November 18, 1964. The book was returned to Brown after copying, although a few original cattle sale receipts were given by the donor to supplement the record book. These materials were subsequently reported to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections in 1979 and assigned control number 79-636. The present location of the original record book is unknown.

Historical Note: Joseph Taliaferro Brown was born in Mississippi on January 26, 1849. After briefly serving in the Confederate Army near the end of the Civil War, he moved to Texas where he worked for the railroads. In 1886 Brown formed a partnership with an Oklahoma rancher, John Wyeth, and drove a herd of cattle to Birney (Rosebud County) Montana where he established a cattle ranch along the Tongue River. Eventually his two sons, Albert Gallatin Brown (1885-1949) and Joseph Taliaferro Brown II (1888-1971), joined him in operating the ranch. Over the years the Brown operation partnered with several other Montana cattle producers including George W. Brewster. Joseph Taliaferro Brown died on October 26, 1908.

Content Description Note: The Joseph T. Brown papers consist of a photocopied financial account record book which lists expenses both chronologically and by account name, 1887-1894. Included are notations about goods purchased, payroll expenses for hired hands, and cattle sales. The record book is supplemented with a few original cattle sale receipts, and a photocopied lease agreement for grazing rights on the Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation in southeast Montana.

Updated: 4/15/10