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Collection 932 - Strode Family Papers, 1896-1969

Creator: Strode family

Provenance Note: Family papers, manuscripts, Stirrup Ranch records, and legal documents collected or created by Eva I. Melvin were deposited in Special Collections by Eva I. Melvin, of Great Falls, Montana in 1971--1972.

Historical Note: Eva I. Strode Melvin, born in Havre, Montana on September 20, 1896 to Thomas P. and Edla Julia Johnson Strode. She was raised on the Stirrup Ranch near Whitlash, Montana. She married Fred O. Melvin, and resided in Great Falls, Montana raising one child, George. Eva's father, Thomas P. Strode (1862--1943) was born in Louisburg, Mason County, Kentucky. He headed west after the age of 15, did various jobs until he settled in the Upper Sun Valley to raising horses. In late 1887, he moved his livestock to the Sweet Grass Hills region. Strode settled on Sage Creek and later on Bear Gulch, establishing the Stirrup Ranch.

Content Description Note: The collection is organized into four series: Literary Productions, Maps and Charts, Legal Documents, and Financial Documents. The contents of these materials pertain to Thomas P. Strode, Eva I. Melvin, the Stirrup Ranch, Whitlash, Montana, homesteading, and ranch and country living in Montana after the turn to the 20th century.

Contents

Series 1 Literary Productions
Series 2 Maps and Charts
Series 3 Legal Documents
Series 4 Financial Documents

Series 1: Literary Productions

Manuscripts and essays pertaining to life in the Sweet Grass Hills and the north central region of Montana. All items are written by Eva Strode Melvin, expect letters in Box 1, Folder 27. Topics covered by the essays include family members' histories, nursing, automobiles, ranch life, and murder and death on the prairie. Box 1, Folder 26 includes photocopies of clippings from the Shelby Promoter. These newspaper articles cover a wide range of topics such as but not limited to: homesteading, crime, George Jackson, Harrison C. Moore, and Long George Francis.

Box 1
1. Thomas P. Strode biography and family history
2. Strode genealogy
3. Edla Julia Johnson Strode biography and family history
4. Eva I. Strode Melvin's autobiography and opinions of the 1920s
5. Eva I. Strode Melvin's autobiography and opinions of the 1930s
6. Nursing and medical ethics 1918-1921
7. Murder of Mrs. Annie (Mary) Armstrong and Joe Morgan
8. Life around Hill, Montana
9. Automobiles and Montana living
10. Christmas celebrations
11. One day in Eva's life, April 16, 1904
12. Ranch chores
13. Dances and romances
14. Tail flies: truisms of modern thinking
15. The West
16. Politics of the 1970s
17. Family and homes
18. The First Commandments
19. The wise learn young, fools too late
20. Thanksgiving and dark fruit cake
21. Old crimes and hanky-panky
22. Inauguration Day, 1969
23. Church-State relations
24. Forgotten man
25. Harrison C. Moore
26. Shelby Promotor newspaper articles, 1969
27. Correspondence between various members of the Strode family and associates

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: Maps and Charts

Maps of the property owned by the Strode family members and Harrison C. Moore. Oversize materials are in Box 5, Folder 1. Folders from which oversize materials have been removed are marked with an asterisk (*).

Box 2
1. Stirrup Ranch map by township and range, and Harrison C. Moore's ranch map*

Contents | Special Collections

Series 3: Legal Documents

Deeds, wills, and other legal documents related to Thomas P. Strode, other Strode family members, and Strode's friends and associates. Also contained here are various legal documents related to the operation of the Stirrup Ranch, including water rights and grazing leases. Oversize materials are in Box 5, Folder 2. Folders from which oversize materials have been removed are marked with an asterisk (*).

Box 2 (cont.)
2. Thomas P. Strode's will and court petitions related to the estate
3. Whitlash, Montana incorporation and related papers
4. Various legal documents of Strode family members and friends
5. Land deeds and desert claims transferred to or from T.P. Strode and/or his wife 1904-1915 inc.*
6. Land deeds and desert claims transferred to or from T.P. Strode and/or his wife 1916-1919 inc.
7. Land deeds and desert claims transferred to or from T.P. Strode and/or his wife 1920-1938 inc.
8. Land deeds and desert claims transferred to or from T.P. Strode and/or his wife 1939-1941 inc.
9. Oil and gas leases for property owned by T.P. Strode and correspondence related to the leases 1917-1926 inc.
10. Oil and gas leases for property owned by T.P. Strode and correspondence related to the leases 1927-1932 inc.
11. Deeds for railroad land purchased by T.P. Strode
12. Water rights' documents 1899-1906 inc.
13. Grazing leases and fees paid

Contents | Special Collections

Series 4: Financial Documents

Ledgers, bank statements, loans, bills, receipts, and correspondence related to Thomas P. Strode, his estate, and the Stirrup Ranch. The ranch financial documents include offical breed pedigrees, bills of sale, and registered brands. There is a tally book used for a shopping list in Box 3, Folder 1; a ledger for the Stirrup Ranch covering 1899-1939 in Box 3, Folder 2; and cattle bills of sale from 1906-1943 in Box 3, Folders 5-8. Oversize materials are in Box 5, Folder 3. Folders from which oversize materials have been removed are marked with an asterisk (*).

Box 2 (cont.)
14. T.P. Strode Estate financial materials 1943
15. T.P. Strode Estate financial materials 1944
16. T.P. Strode Estate financial materials 1945
17. T.P. Strode Estate financial materials 1946-1947
18. Federal tax returns and related correspondence 1926-1943 inc.
19. Montana tax returns and related correspondence
20. Property tax bill, Liberty County, Montana 1935, 1936, 1939
21. Property tax bill, Liberty County, Montana 1940, 1941

Box 3
1. Miscellaneous financial papers of T.P. Strode 1913-1943 inc.
2. Ledger 1899-1939
3. Brand and mark registrations 1904-1943 inc.
4. Horse bills of sale, livestock pedigrees, and feeding livestock correspondence*
5. Cattle bills of sale, receipts, and related correspondence 1906, 1909
6. Cattle bills of sale, receipts, and related correspondence 1915-1926 inc.
7. Cattle bills of sale, receipts, and related correspondence 1931-1939 inc.
8. Cattle bills of sale, receipts, and related correspondence 1940-1943 inc.
9. Mortgages, loans, notes, and payments 1901-1929 inc.*
10. Mortgages, loans, notes, and payments 1930-1942 inc.
11. Windmills
12. Rangeland improvements

Box 4
1. Bank statements 1923-1927 inc.
2. Bank statements 1928-1929
3. Bank statements 1930-1931 inc.
4. Bank statements 1932-1934 inc.
5. Bank statements 1935-1937 inc.
6. Bank statements 1938-1940
7. Bank statements 1941-1942 and check register 1943
8. Canceled checks 1896-1942 inc.

Box 5 Oversize
1. Maps
2. Land deeds
3. Mortgage deed and livestock pedigrees

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 5/5/09