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Collection 2478 - Philip Thorpe Property Settlement Papers, 1875-1880

Creator: Thorpe, Philip, b. 1829

Provenance Note: The Philip Thorpe papers were purchased by the Montana State University Library Special Collections from Charles Apfelbaum of Watchung, New Jersey, on May 9, 2005.

Historical Note: Philip Thorpe was born in England on May 8, 1829 and came to America in 1849, visiting New York and Wisconsin before traveling to California during the gold rush. He came to Bannack, Montana Territory, in 1863 and in 1864 settled in the Gallatin Valley near the town of Hamilton, Gallatin County. There Thorpe ran a dairy and cattle operation until 1880 when he moved to Dillon in Beaverhead County. During the mid 1870s, Thorpe acted as an agent for John M. Sweeney and the T.C. Power and Company in connection with a lawsuit between Charles Spafford and Sweeney. The lawsuit culminated in early 1876 with a judgement in favor of Sweeney, and Thorpe was retained as an agent to deal with William Perks, a tenant on the land claimed by Sweeney.

Content Description Note: The documents in this collection consist mostly of letters sent by Sweeney to Thorpe with detailed instructions on handling livestock on the property and what improvements to pay for. Also included is a schoolgirl's letter, likely written by Aline ("Ellen") Anceney, regarding a school at Spring Hill, and a letter from Episcopal priest Frank B. Lewis inquiring about local interest in a church service to be held in Thorpe's area.

Contents

February 6, 1875
John M. Sweeney (Helena, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter referring to difficulties between Charles Spafford and Elijah M. Dumphey regarding livestock.
February 25, 1875
John M. Sweeney (Helena, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter directing Thorpe to make an agreement with William Perks for managment of the property. Mentions T.C. Power and his trip to Corinne, Utah Territory.
January 11, 1876
J. J. Davis (Bozeman, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter advising that Davis had ordered the Gallatin County Sheriff to proceed with the sale and settlement of the Sweeney vs. Spafford lawsuit.
January 23, 1876
Memoranda of agreement between Sweeney and Thorpe, with listing of duties for property assumed by William Perks. Likely was included with letter of February 27.
January 26, 1876
John M. Sweeney (Helena, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter responding to Thorpe's report of the sheriff's sale of the Spafford property and promise to follow up with instructions for an agreement with William Perks.
February 5, 1876
Statement of expenses in probate court case of John M. Sweeney vs. Charles Spafford, signed by Gallatin County Sheriff Silas Ralston.
February 27, 1876
John M. Sweeney (Helenta, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter forwarding a memoranda of agreement for the disposition of livestock and property currently occupied by William Perks. Particular detail on horse breeding.
March 12, 1876
John M. Sweeney (Helenta, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter instructing Thorpe on the details of an agreement with William Perks, a farm or ranch tenant, clarifying the disposition of cattle assigned to Perks.
March, 1876
Memoranda of agreement between Sweeney and Thorpe, with listing of duties for property assumed by William Perks and inventory of farm tools turned over to Perks.
September 19, 1877
Ellen [Aline?] Anceney (Spring Hill, [Montana Territory]) to "Dear Friend."
Girl's letter describing school, church, and a party held at Mr. Spaffords.
January 20, 1879
G. F. Cope (Meadow Creek, [Montana Territory]) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter with offer to sell shorthorn cattle for breeding; details on cattle pedigree linage.
January 22, 1879
W. O. P. Hays (Helena, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter mentioning upcoming legislation regarding the "punch law."
January 23, 1879
Davenport & Ray (Helena, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter advising that Mr. Gordon will not allow Thorpe to draw on the $100 he has on deposit with the firm.
August 31, 1879
T. C. Power & Co. (Helena, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter ordering Thorpe to contract with Davis for the purchase of beef, subject to approval by Mr. Power himself.
January 2, 1880
Joseph Thorpe (White's Gulch, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe
Family news and instructions on getting a note made for sale of horses to Alonzo Ostrander.
February 9, 1880
Rev. Frank B. Lewis (Bozeman, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe
Letter inquiring over interest in Lewis leading a church service at Hamilton.
Undated
John M. Sweeney (Helena, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Postscript to one of the earlier letters regarding agreement with William Perks.
Undated
John M. Sweeney (Helena, Montana Territory) to Philip Thorpe.
Letter regarding the Hay Ranch, and report on the Helena beef market.
Undated
List of farm and ranch supplies.
Undated
Fragment of revision to memoranda of agreement for William Perks.
Undated
Fragment of financial notations

Updated: 5/11/09