Cornelius B. Nolan Papers, 1887-1932  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Nolan, Cornelius B., 1855-1922
Cornelius B. Nolan Papers
1887-1932 (inclusive)
4.8 linear feet of shelf space
Collection Number
MC 82 (collection)
Cornelius Nolan (1855-1922) was a Helena, Montana, attorney in partnership with Thomas J. Walsh; Democratic Party leader; and mining investor. Papers include outgoing correspondence (1888-1896); general correspondence (1902-1932); court papers (1906-1920); financial records (1887-1923); legal documents (1891-1916), and clippings (1897-1922), covering the activities of the law firms of Nolan and Bean; and Walsh, Nolan and Scallon. There are subgroups for Cornelius' wife Harriet Shober Nolan (1894-1918); the Libby Placer Mining Company (1907-1918); Thomas J. Walsh (1907-1932); and Fletcher White (1898-1912).
Montana Historical Society, Research Center Archives
Montana Historical Society Research Center Archives
225 North Roberts
PO Box 201201
Helena MT
Telephone: 406-444-2681
Fax: 406-444-5297
Access Restrictions

Collection open for research. (Summary of access restrictions as appropriate).

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

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Cornelius B. Nolan was born December 24, 1855, in County Limerick, Ireland. He was educated in Dublin. In the fall of 1873, at seventeen, Nolan immigrated to the United States. Nolan settled in Oswego, New York, where he worked as a day laborer with a railroad section crew, while pursuing his studies at Oswego Academy. In 1877, Nolan moved to Port Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and worked in a tannery for two years. A year later, he went to St. Louis, Missouri, to visit his brother, Thomas. He remained there five years studying law in Roger Foster's law office and at the St. Louis Law School. In 1884, he was admitted to the practice of law in the Missouri courts. After a brief period working as a stenographer for an agricultural house in Chicago, Nolan moved to Montana to become private secretary to the general manager of the freight and passenger service of the Northern Pacific Railroad. However, not long after his arrival in Montana, he resigned his railroad position to become official court reporter for the First Judicial District of Montana, which included Lewis and Clark, Jefferson, and Beaverhead counties. Reporting for Judges N.W. McConnell and Henry L. Blake, Nolan received training which was of great value in his subsequent career. Nolan was elected County Attorney of Lewis and Clark County in 1889. Chosen on the Democratic ticket, he held the position by re-election for five years. In 1896, he was elected Attorney General of Montana. During this four-year term, Nolan took charge of a special grand jury investigation of the alleged bribery of legislators. In 1910, Nolan was elected to the Montana House of Representatives and served one term. While County Attorney, Nolan began to build a private law practice that would eventually become an extensive civil and criminal practice. Initially he worked with John Bean and then, between 1901 and 1904, he was a partner with attorney Albert I. Loeb. In 1906, he formed a partnership with Senator Thomas J. Walsh, which expanded to include William Scallon. In addition to his law work, Nolan invested in mining and real estate, acquiring ranch properties in Broadwater, Park, and Wheatland counties. He was also an active participant in many organizations. He served, with the rank of colonel, on General Toole's staff in the state militia. He also belonged to several fraternal organizations, serving as Masonic Grand Master in 1909. In 1894, Nolan married Harriet Shober. Harriet, niece of Helena attorney John H. Shober, Sr., was a native of Dodge County, Minnesota. During the 1870s and 1880s, she had taught in the public schools of Adair County, Iowa. In 1887, she moved to Helena, Montana, to live with her uncle. After her marriage to Cornelius Nolan, she became active in Helena community projects, Democratic Party politics, and the work of the American Red Cross. Cornelius Nolan died in Butte on June 24, 1922, and his wife Harriet died seven years later, August 23, 1929, at Lake McDonald.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Papers. 1887-1932. 4.7 linear feet. The majority of this collection concerns Cornelius B. Nolan's work in the law firm of Walsh, Nolan and Scallon. There is correspondence with his partner Senator Thomas J. Walsh, as well as with Senator Burton K. Wheeler, Henry L. Myers, Thomas Stout, and others. There are also financial records, documenting the law firm's day-to-day functioning. A subgroup for Harriet Shober Nolan consists primarily of correspondence and reports concerning her work for the American Red Cross during World War I. There are smaller subgroups for the Libby Placer Mining Company, Thomas J. Walsh, and Fletcher White.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of the Montana Historical Society. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collection. In some cases permission for use may require additional authorization from the copyright owners. For more information contact an archivist.

Preferred Citation

Item description and date. Collection Title. Collection Number. Box and Folder numbers. Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives, Helena, Montana.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection


Container(s) Description Dates
1 / 1
J.E. Walton
1 / 2-3
Letterpress books
2 / 1
A (correspondents include Adair County, Iowa; T.J. Akins; Algeria Temple; R.E. Allen; L.B. Alley; American Bar Association; C.B. Ames; Ancient Order of Hibernians; L.C. Anthony; Joseph L. Asbredge; Ashlar Lodge #29, A.F. & A.M.; Reese Augustus)
2 / 2
Ba-Bl (correspondents include Bancroft-Whitney Company, Bankers Life Company, Mrs. J.W. Barker, John T. Barry, K.F.W. Beeskove, F.C. Beller, W.G. Bennett, Frank Bevis, Walter M. Bickford, Biggs Investment Company)
2 / 3
Bo-By (correspondents include C.F. Booth, C.E. Boyden, T.J. Boyle, Watson Boyle, Mrs. Braden, Kate Brass, Bessie Brickley, P.J. Brophy, C.R. Brown, J.Z. Bruegger, James M. Bruison, Fred Bubser, Ed Burke, E.B. Burns, Butte city government, Butte and Corbin Consolidated Copper Mining Company, Owen Byrnes)
2 / 4
Ca-Cl (correspondents include B.E. Calkins; Lew L. Callaway; Albert A. Callow; William Campbell; M.L. Cavanaugh; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad; James Clancy; Clinton Clark; David B. Clarkson Company; Julia H. Clements; J.M. Clements)
2 / 5
Co-Cu (correspondents include W.M. Cockrill, P.A. Comer, Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, J.C. Conkey, Frank Conley, James Conlon, Continental Life Insurance and Investment Company, A.B. Cook, Thomas Cooney, Emma T. Copenhaver, Emma Withers Cornelius, H.L. Cornelius, George F. Cowan, Charles F. Crawford, Jack Crawford, W.E. Crowley, Dudley Crowther)
2 / 6
Democratic National Committee; Democratic State Central Committee
2 / 7
D (correspondents include John Daly, C.W. Dalton, J.L. DeHart, L.K. Devlin, Thomas Dignan, W.F. Doherty, Isabel Dolenty, N. Dougherty, D.W. Doyle, Sam Draffin, Frank J. and Martha M. Duffy, Martin Durkin, J.H. Dursden)
2 / 8
E (correspondents include East Pacific Mining Company, Elks Lodge, J.S. Emmett, Empire Trust Company, John E. Erickson, L.P. Evans, Excelsior Mining and Development Company)
2 / 9
F (correspondents include Fairbanks, Morse and Company; Jerry Farrell; H.J. Faust; Terence Flynn; Thomas Flynn; William P. Flynn; F. Frieman)
2 / 10
G (correspondents include J.W. Galvin, Roy Garner, J.E. Garver, P.E. Geagan, Henry Geduhn, A.J. Gillis, Fred L. Gibson, O.F. Goddard, E.H. Goodman, Henry Grammer, E.H. Griffith, E.M. Grover, Genevieve W. Gudger)
2 / 11
H (correspondents include D.M. Halford, Charles H. Hall, J.H. Hall, E.B. Hamilton, John J. Harrington, W.W. Harvey, H.H. Hedges, Helena city government, Helena Civic Club, Helena Commercial Club, Helena Motor Company, William E. Hills, Hollister Distilling Company, Imogene Howell, Eliza Hortop, John Hossfeldt, George Hough, J.M. Hughes, Hurd and Dignan)
2 / 12
I-J (correspondents include Independent Publishing Company, George W. Irvin, W.W. Jennings, Wilford J. Johnson, W.M. Johnston, Francis D. Jones)
3 / 1
K (correspondents include J.E. Kanouse, James S. Keerl, Cornelius Kelley, Kellogg Sanitarium, F.M. Kerr, John J. Kerr, H. Gysbert Klenze, F.W. Knight, John Koski, F.W. Kuphal)
3 / 2
L (correspondents include J.E. Lamb, Carl H. Lamback, John Langan, Jerry Lawlor, Moris Lawler, League to Enforce Peace, S.L. Lewis, Jesse Lifer, Thomas Lighe, Robert H. Lindsay Jr., George Lloyd, Albert I. Loeb, A.C. Logan, Frank Lokowich, R.B. Lowry, William Lyon, Mrs. A.E. Lyons)
3 / 3
Masonic Order: A-L (correspondents include A.G. Badger, W.A. Barto, W.L. Boyes, J.L. Carroll, H.B. Darnall, William A. DeBord, Cornelius Hedges Jr., James S. Innes, L.F. Jennison, Karl H. Kellogg, L.I. Knowlton, Frank B. Lewis)
3 / 4
Masonic Order: M (correspondents include D.N. McDonald, Charles N. Mikels, W.M. Montgomery, N.H. Morgan, H.L. Muldrow, Mrs. Claire Murphy)
3 / 5
Masonic Order: N-W (correspondents include C.B. Nolan enclosing lists of lodges and officers, George N. Osbourne, Henry B. Post, Will H. Smith, J.W. Speer, W.O. Straight, Trustees of Masonic Home of Montana, George T. Wade, O.F. Wasnamsdorff)
3 / 6
Ma-Mc (correspondents include A.D. Macdonald, Michael Manley, Marshall and Stiff, Charles H. Martien, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, John A. Matthews, Charles Mattison, Dan McCarthy, J.C. McCarthy, Tim McCarthy, George McCarn, J.E. McCormick, J.B. McDermott, G.B. McDonald, John J. McHatton, N.P. McInerney, Mary S. McKay, Alex McLoughey, P.N. McNamara)
3 / 7
Me-My (correspondents include A.H. Melin, Henry R. Melton, J.W. Miehle, Sidney Miller, M.E. Milner, Barry Mohun, Montana Bar Association, Montana Club, Montana Mining Association, Montana Secretary of State, Montana Wesleyan University, E.H. Moore, W.E. Moore, Homer G. Murphy, W.C. Murphy, H.L. Myers)
3 / 8
N (correspondents include National Surety Company, Thomas Nolan, Edwin Norris, Northern Pacific Railway Company, B.G. Norton)
3 / 9
O (correspondents include James F. O'Connor, Henry J. O'Hanlon, R.A. O'Hara, Con O'Leary, W.F. O'Leary, J.F. Olsen, L.J. Onstad, D.C. O'Rourke)
3 / 10
P-Q (correspondents include George W. Padbury, Eugene Patch, Grace Pate, Lewis Penwell, People's Power League of Montana, George Pfaff, J.B. Poindexter, Pollack Brothers, T.J. Porter, A.K. Prescott, J.J. Pressler, M. Pressler, W.C. Qualls)
3 / 11
R (correspondents include J.F. Rabdau, W.B. Raleigh, George L. Ramsay, F.M. Ramspeck, E.S. Reed, Charles Regan, G.I. Reiche, W.B. Rhoades, J.E. Riley, Richard P. Riley, Thomas J. Riley, Jesse B. Roote, Robert F. Rose, John Rudeck, H.M. Ryan)
4 / 1
William Scallon
4 / 2
Thomas Stout
4 / 3
Sa-Si (correspondents include James H. Sampson, J.M. Scanland, Edward Scharnikow, Fred Schmitz, Mary M. Schreiner, M.J. Sheehan, Mrs. W.F. Sheets, George F. Shelton, John H. Shober Jr., Hubert A. Simmons, James M. Simpson, Silver Bow County, Frank L. Sizer)
4 / 4
Sl-Sw (correspondents include John L. Slattery, C.E. Slavens, W.H. Smead Company, Ben S. Smith, Willis Smith, A.E. Spriggs, George H. Stanton, A.P. Stark, Samuel V. Stewart, W.R.C. Stewart, C.R. Stranahan, D.D. Sullivan, Jerry Sullivan, M.J. Sullivan, Sunburst Oil and Gas Company, T.M. Swindlehurst)
4 / 5
T-V (correspondents include John W. Tattan, John H. Tegen, Thomas Tighe, Peter Tobin, Joseph K. Toole, C.E. Tozer, S.F. Tuttle, Hiram Tyree, Union Bank and Trust Company, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. National Park Service, Frank N. Utter, Valley Stock and Ranch Protective Association of Montana, N. Van Dyke, A.G. Vansegle, Fred Vogle)
4 / 6-8
Thomas J. Walsh
4 / 9
Wa-We (correspondents include C.A. Walker, William Wallace Jr., N.P. Walters, Howard E. Washburn, J. Otis Watson, John V. Weber, Albert Wesley, B.H. West, Charles H. West, West Publishing Company)
4 / 10
Burton K. Wheeler
4 / 11
Wh-Wo (correspondents include William C. Whaley, O.B. Whipple, W.C. Whipps, White Sulphur Springs Mineral Water Company, A.N. Whitlock, F.D. Williams, Winslow Williams, C.C. Willis, J.R. Wine Jr., Lee Wilson, S.P. Wilson, Thomas Wilson, Elmer E. Woodman, R. Lee Word, Lincoln Working)
4 / 12
Y (correspondents include Harry Yaeger, Yellowstone County, Yellowstone Portland Cement Company, E.L. Young)
4 / 13
1907-1919, n.d.
4 / 14
Supreme Court briefs: Gassert vs. Strong et al. (re North Butte Mining Company); Gordon vs. Northern Pacific Railway Company; Watkins vs. Watkins
4 / 15
Supreme Court briefs: O'Hara vs. McDermott et al.; Lyon et al. vs. The Daily Copper Mining and Smelting Company; State of Montana ex rel. Fadness vs. Eie et al. (re Sheridan County)
4 / 16
Supreme Court briefs: State of Montana ex rel. Goodwin vs. Dishmon et al.; State of Montana ex rel. Green vs. Wright; Lindsay and Company vs. Montana Federation of Labor et al.
Vol. 1
Walsh and Nolan office docket book
August 1906- September 1908
5 / 1
Walsh and Nolan office docket book
July 1908- June 1911
5 / 2
Balance and expense accounts
1904-1904, 1913-1914
5 / 3-10
Bills and statements: A-Y
5 / 11
6 / 1-4
7 / 1
Ledger (includes some Boulder Chief Mining and Milling Company accounts, 1887-1889)
1887-1889, 1905-1906
7 / 2-4
Ledger: Walsh and Nolan law firm
8 / 1
Ledger: Walsh, Nolan and Scallon law firm
8 / 2-5
Tax statements and receipts
8 / 6
8 / 7
Agreements (includes Albert I. Loeb, Con O'Leary, George Nelson and James T. Meagher, W. Earl Greenough)
1905, 1914-1915
8 / 8
Deeds (includes Frank W. McConnell, Edward Tevlin, George O. Foss, Tom Stout, James S. Smith, Thomas Flynn)
8 / 9
List of photographs transferred to the Photo Archives; list of printed materials transferred to the Library
8 / 10
Reports to Masonic Grand Lodge
8 / 11
Helena City Council minutes, guest lists, miscellany
8 / 12
List of artifacts transferred to Museum
9 / 1
Scrapbook (re Irish question, Battle of the Little Big Horn, William Jennings Bryan, Butte, Anaconda, Montana politics, etc.)
9 / 2
Scrapbook (re Democratic Party, women's suffrage, abuse of foreigners, statewide politics, Elks Club, jokes and stories: includes index)
9 / 3
Frank Conley case (re Montana State Prison)
9 / 4
Miscellaneous (re Democratic Party, John D. Ryan, Cave Gulch murder; obituaries for Edwin W. Toole and Louis Rotwitt)


Container(s) Description Dates
10 / 1
C-J (correspondents include Julia H. Clements, Matie Cook, Charles Eliason, J.J. Fant, Dora George, Samuel W. George, Thomas Hartigan, Charley Jacobson, Dudley Jones)
10 / 2
Cornelius B. Nolan
10 / 3
R-W (correspondents include Mae Rasch, J.H. Shober, S.G. Shober, Lee Wilson, Roscoe Wilson, Sophronie Wilson)
10 / 4-5
American Red Cross (re war work)
10 / 6
A-C (primarily re American Red Cross war work: correspondents include Mrs. Arthur Bessette; Anna Boardman; Mrs. A.L. Bradley; Mrs. J.M. Brandt; Mrs. A. Buckingham; Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company; Mrs. H.S. Coalidge, Council of National Defense; Mrs. A. Craig; D.S. Crain)
10 / 7
D-F (primarily re American Red Cross war work: correspondents include Josephus Daniels, Marian Page Davis, Dayton Dry Goods Company, E.S. Donaldson and Company, Mrs. Matt Dorrity, Ruth Eder, Elsie Emmel, Mrs. George Fisher)
10 / 8
G-H (primarily re American Red Cross war work: correspondents include Mrs. E.A. Gilbert, Great Northern Railway Company, Guggenheim Yarn Company, Mabel Hall, Nan Hardenbrook, Hennessey and Company, Mrs. Leroy Hill, Mrs. W.B. Hundley, Mrs. Huntoon)
10 / 9
K-M (primarily re American Red Cross war work: correspondents include Mrs. C.A. Kenck, Linda Koeptke, Mrs. J.H. McCormick, Mannheimer Brothers, Minnie S. Maw, Nellie D. Moulton, Maud Muchmore, Mrs. A.C. Myles)
10 / 10
P-S (primarily re American Red Cross war work: correspondents include Mrs. J.H. Rodgers; John D. Ryan; Sears, Roebuck and Company; Mrs. H.H. Smithey; Mary Stow)
10 / 11
T-Y (primarily re American Red Cross war work: correspondents include Thomas and Company, Mrs. Frank Thompson, U.S. Navy Supply Office, Thomas J. Walsh, Edith Wilson, Emma Wood, Anna Yaeger, Harry Yaeger, Young Women's Christian Association)
10 / 12
William B. Shober to Ann P. Smith
10 / 13
Women's Park Improvement Club
10 / 14
Miscellaneous (includes supplies for dinners, furniture, estate costs of unidentified estate)
10 / 14
Agreements (include Hossfeld Agricultural and Stock Raising Company and Y-O Livestock Company; Hattie S. Nolan and A.E. Shaw; Hattie S. Nolan and Harold Manley)
10 / 15
American Red Cross, Lewis and Clark County Chapter supervisor's reports
10 / 17
Miscellaneous (re Mrs. T.J. Walsh; society page items; tuberculosis; Women's Park; obituaries for Samuel J. Beck and Josephine E. Loomis)


Container(s) Description Dates
10 / 18
P.J. Brophy
10 / 19
C-W (correspondents include Jeremiah Collins, H.M. Ryan, D.F. Smith, U.S. Land Office, Thomas J. Walsh)
10 / 20
Annual financial statements

THOMAS J. WALSH Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
10 / 21
A-W (correspondents include Amador Consolidated Mining and Development Company, O.F. Goddard, A.J. Hedrix, U.S. Treasury Dept. Liberty Loan Organization, O.S. Warden)
10 / 22
Liberty Loans and Young Men's Christian Association war fund drive
10 / 23
"Mark Antony Walsh's Oration before the Senate" [typescript copy]


Container(s) Description Dates
10 / 24
Certificates, clippings, and other materials of several Civil War veterans' organizations

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Elections
  • Freemasons. Grand Lodge of Montana
  • Friendly Societies
  • Frontier and pioneer life
  • Mines and mineral resources--Montana
  • Political parties
  • Ranches--Montana
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • World War, 1914-1918--War work
  • Personal Names :
  • Nolan, Cornelius B., 1855-1922 (creator)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Helena (Mont.)
  • Lewis and Clark County (Mont.)