Robert Huston Milroy Papers, 1773-1893  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Milroy, Robert Huston, 1816-1890
Title
Robert Huston Milroy Papers
Dates
1773-1893 (inclusive)
Quantity
0.6 cubic foot (1 archive box and 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
Mss 2520
Summary
This collection consists of personal papers of Robert Huston Milroy, family correspondence, and U. S. Indian Agency correspondence and reports, primarily from Milroy's years in Washington Territory, 1872-1890.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Robert Huston Milroy was born 11 June 1816 near Salem, Indiana. His father, General Samuel Milroy, moved the family to Carroll County, Indiana, in 1826. In 1843, the younger Milroy graduated from Norwich University, a Vermont military institution, with Masters Degrees in Arts, Civil Engineering, and Military Science. He traveled throughout New England, teaching fencing and boxing, for several months. Upon his return to Indiana, he commenced legal studies, but interrupted them twice for military pursuits, first in Texas and then in the Mexican War, serving as Captain in the First Indiana Infantry. He graduated from the Indiana School of Law at Bloomington and was admitted to the bar in 1850. The governor of Indiana appointed Milroy President Judge of the Eighth Judicial District in 1852. Two years later, he moved to Rensselaer, Indiana, where he established a practice of law lasting until the outbreak of the Civil War. Milroy served with distinction and some controversy in the Civil War, rising in the ranks to Major General by 1862, but was also tried and acquitted of cowardice.

Following the war, Robert Milroy resigned his commission and partnered with Judge Gould to form a law firm in Delphi, Indiana. He declined an appointment as U. S. Marshall of Wyoming Territory in 1871, but in 1872, moved to Olympia, Washington, to serve as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Washington Territory. When that position was abolished, Milroy became U. S. Prosecuting Attorney, then in 1875, U. S. Indian Agent for Puyallup, Nisqually, and other tribes in southwest Washington. Finally, Milroy became an agent for the Yakima (Yakama) Indians in eastern Washington from 1882-1885, replacing James Wilbur. He was removed in 1885 due to a change in political control of the Executive Branch.

In 1849, Robert Milroy married Mary J. Armitage, daughter of Valerius Armitage, a major contractor in the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal. They had seven children. Sons Bruce and Walter practiced together as attorneys in the North Yakima, Washington Territory, firm of Milroy, Irwin and Milroy.

A lifelong Presbyterian, Milroy served as an Elder in the church, and was a strong supporter of the temperance movement. Milroy was also a member of the Indiana Second Constitutional Convention of 1850. His involvement in transportation projects included his election by the General Assembly of Indiana as Trustee of the Wabash and Erie Canal in 1867, and the instigation of two railroads: from Indianapolis to Chicago, passing through Delphi, Indiana; and Olympia to Tenino, Washington. Milroy died in Olympia, Washington, in March 1890, and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection includes biographical information of Robert Huston Milroy and his family; deeds and receipts (1869-1889); personal correspondence, primarily among R. H. Milroy and his sons Robert Bruce and Walter J. regarding family matters, legal studies, land speculation, and Indian Agency business (1875-1893). It also includes certificates of appointment, correspondence, reports, and notes relating to Milroy's Indian Agency service in Washington Territory (1872-1889). Items of note include a letter from Puyallup Indian children placed in the Forest Grove Indian Training School, reports from the Yakama Indian Agency, and correspondence regarding Milroy's dismissal from his post as Indian Agent for the Yakama Reservation, and his efforts to gain compensation for related expenses.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Robert Huston Milroy Papers, MSS 2520, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series A:  Personal Papers, 1773-1890 and undatedReturn to Top

3 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Folder
1
Biographical information
1890 and undated
2
Deeds and receipts
1869-1889
3
Pennsylvania shilling
1773

Series B:  Family Correspondence, 1872-1893Return to Top

12 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Folder
4
1875-1877
5
1882
6
January-June 1883
7
July-December 1883
8
January-March 1884
9
April-December 1884
10
February-June 1885
11
July-December 1885
12
March-June 1886
13
1889
14
March-June 1890
15
Condolences upon the death of Robert Huston Milroy
1891 and 1893

Series C:  Indian Affairs, 1857-1889 and undatedReturn to Top

11 folders
Container(s) Description Dates
Sub-series 1: Certificates
1 folder
1872-1882
Folder
Oversize C-5
Mss 2520 Indian Affairs -- Certificates of appointment
1872-1882
Sub-series 2: Correspondence
6 folders
1872-1888
Folder
16
1872
17
1875; 1877
18
1881-1882
19
Letter from Puyallup children placed at Forest Grove Indian Training School
5 June 1881
20
1883-1885
21
1885-1888
Folder
22
Financial Miscellanea
1 folder
1881 and undated
Sub-series 4: Reports and Notes
3 folders
1857-1889
Folder
23
Notes on reports and policies
1857-1875
24
Reports, Yakama Agency
1883-1885
25
Notes on reports and policies
1885-1889

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Land -- Washington Territory
  • Off-reservation boarding schools - Forest Grove (Or.)
  • Puyallup Indians -- Children
  • Yakama Indians
  • Personal Names :
  • Grant, Ulysses S., 1852-1929
  • Milroy, Mary Armitage - Correspondence
  • Milroy, Robert Bruce (creator - Correspondence)
  • Milroy, Robert Huston, 1816-1890 (creator - Correspondence)
  • Milroy, Valerius A.
  • Milroy, Walter J. (creator - Correspondence)
  • Corporate Names :
  • United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Puyallup Agency
  • United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Yakama Agency
  • Geographical Names :
  • Fort Simcoe (Wash.)
  • North Yakima (Wash.)
  • Olympia (Wash.)
  • Washington Territory -- History (1872-1893)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Continental currency
  • Deeds
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Notes
  • Receipts
  • Reports
  • Occupations :
  • Indian agents -- Washington Territory