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Collection 357 - Ernest McCollum Diaries, 1908-1952

Creator: McCollum, Ernest

Provenance Note: Original diaries and related memorabilia were loaned by Bessie McCollum, Three Forks, Montana, to Montana State University for microfilming in July, 1965. After filming, the diaries were returned, and their present location is unknown.

Historical Note: Ernest McCollum was born in Lewistown, Montana in April 1886. He attended local schools and a business college in Illinois. In 1910, he filed on a homestead in Musselshell County and met Bessie L. McClain, his future wife, at a dance. McCollum helped Bessie file for her own homestead near Ingomar in Rosebud County in June, 1912. While working as a ranch hand for the 79 Ranch, McCollum built a home on Bessie's claim and in 1913 the couple married. They moved to the Rosebud County homestead permanently in March 1916 and rememained there until 1947. That year, the McCollums leased their ranch and moved to Three Forks, Montana where they operated a tourist camp. Ernest McCollum died on May 19, 1952.

Content Description Note: The Ernest McCollum diaries consist of volumes completed for each year from 1908 through 1952. The volumes for 1910 and 1925 are missing. The entries are quite brief, sometimes no more than a partial sentence, describing McCollum's experiences as a rancher and homesteader, first in Musselshell County, and later in Rosebud County. Weather conditions are noted in most entries, and the daily record is supplemented by cattle tallies and other financial notes. A picture album and some pen and ink sketches created by McCollum are included on the microfilm.

Updated: 6/1/10