William R. Allen papers, 1870-1953  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Allen, William R., 1871-1953
Title
William R. Allen papers
Dates
1870-1953 (inclusive)
Quantity
4 linear feet of shelf space
Collection Number
MC 105 (collection)
Summary
William Allen was a Wise River and Anaconda, Montana, mine owner, railroad builder and lieutenant governor. This collection (1903-1953) consist of general correspondence, legal documents, organization papers, and financial records of several of William R. Allen's companies. There are subgroups for 16 companies, including the Boston and Montana Development Company, the Boston-Montana Corporation, the French Gulch Mining Company, and the Montana Southern Railway Company. There is also a small amount of political material. See user restriction note for restiction information on material use.
Repository
Montana Historical Society, Research Center Archives
Montana Historical Society Research Center Archives
225 North Roberts
PO Box 201201
Helena MT
59620-1201
Telephone: 406-444-2681
Fax: 406-444-5297
mhslibrary@mt.gov
Access Restrictions

Collection open for research.

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


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

William R. Allen was born July 25, 1871, in French Gulch, southwest of Anaconda, Montana. His father, William N. Allen, travelled to Alder Gulch from Missouri as a pioneer in January 1864. In 1865, he moved to the French Gulch placer mining district. Allen's mother, Cordelia Waddell Allen, died when William was a small boy. Since winters in French Gulch were especially severe, the family acquired a ranch at Mill Creek near what later became Anaconda. They spent the winters there cattle ranching and the summers at French Gulch mining. Young William attended Deer Lodge County schools. Initially he had intended to go East for college but decided instead to go to Helena Business College, from which he graduated with honors in 1891. After graduation, Allen returned to French Gulch to mine with his father. He also became associated with Marcus Daly in his Electric Light, Street Railway, and Water Works department. After his father's death in 1898, Allen began to develop his Elkhorn Mine at Brundy (later renamed Coolidge for the President). The Elkhorn Mine became a major producer with a large processing mill. For eight years, starting in 1903, Allen also was a timber developer. He then began branching out into other enterprises, becoming involved in real estate, fire insurance, banking, and railroads. During most of the nineteen-teens, Allen lived in Boston, Massachusetts, where he established important business connections, which he used to finance his Montana enterprises. In 1913 he established the Boston and Montana Development Company. A subsidiary, the Butte, Wisdom, and Pacific Railway Company, was incorporated to build a rail line into the Big Hole Valley from the Oregon Short Line at Divide. Nothing came of this project, however, until after World War I, when the Montana Southern Railway Company--a reorganization of the Butte, Wisdom, and Pacific--started construction of a narrow gauge line. This was completed to Allen, Montana (later renamed Wise River) and then turned up the Wise River to the Elkhorn mines at Brundy. Since the railroad was totally dependent on the prosperity of the mines, when they declined in the 1920s, the railroad also declined. After several reorganizations of the railroad and its parent company, both fell victim to the Depression and to the decline of mining in the 1930s. William R. Allen was a Republican. He was elected to the Eighth Legislative Assembly, 1903, and the Ninth Legislative Assembly, 1905, and then served as Lieutenant Governor, 1909-1911, under Governor Edwin L. Norris. In 1920, and again in 1924, Allen was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. He came out of political retirement in 1940 to run for Congress, but was defeated by Jeannette Rankin in the Republican primary. Allen married Elizabeth Berkin of a pioneer Boulder family. Their first child, a son named Leslie, died in early childhood in 1893. The Allens had three other children: Mildred, Esther, and Ruth. After Elizabeth's death in 1917, Allen remarried, to Ethel Louis deMar, in Boston. They had two daughters and one son. William R. Allen died at the age of 82 on October 31, 1953.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Papers. 1870-1953. 4 linear feet. The collection consists of general correspondence, financial records, legal documents, and organizational records of William R. Allen and of several of his companies. Allen's personal papers consist of minor correspondence and financial records; papers of two lawsuits to which Allen was a party; legal documents (1900-1941) including mining deeds, agreements, annual representations of quartz lodes, a Mexican land deal, and other papers; a subject file (1904-1917) on the Minerals Separation North American Corporation; and miscellany, including material on his campaigns for governor and congressman, a Montana Senate memorial on Allen's death, and other items. There is a small subgroup (1870-1900) for Allen's father William N. Allen. There are subgroups for sixteen companies: Allen and Foley, Allen Company; Allen Gold Mining Company; Allentown Town Site Company; Boston and Montana Development Company; Boston and Montana Milling Company; Boston and Montana Milling and Power Company; Boston-Montana Corporation; Boston-Montana Mines Company; Boston-Montana Mining Company; Butte, Wisdom and Pacific Railway Company; French Gulch Mining Company; Montana Southern Railway Company; Montana Southwestern Railway Company; National Boston Montana Mines Corporation; and Southern Montana Railway Company. These subgroups deal with Allen's mining developments in the French Gulch area south of Anaconda and his mining and railroad developments in the Wise River area south of Dewey, including the Elkhorn Mine. RESTRICTION: May be used only for scholarly research; use of the materials for the commercial exploitation of mineral lands formerly developed by W.R. Allen and companies with which he was associated is prohibited.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

RESTRICTION: May be used only for scholarly research; use of the materials for the commercial exploitation of mineral lands formerly developed by W.R. Allen and companies with which he was associated is prohibited. 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

William R. Allen Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Biographical Materials
Box/Folder
1 / 1
Obituaries; biographical articles
1914-1963
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
1 / 2
Letters from W.R. Allen to Montana delegates to Republican National Convention
1936 May
1 / 3
Miscellaneous (includes Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers; Board of Railroad and Public Service Commissioners; family)
1940-1953
1 / 4
Letters of recommendation for William R. Allen
1903, 1910
Court Papers
Box/Folder
1 / 5
Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway Company vs. Robert Morrell et al. (including Allen) summons including long list of property involved; Peter Jessen vs. William Norton et al. (including Allen) complaint
1900-1901
Financial Records
Box/Folder
1 / 6
Account book
1937-1941
1 / 7
Checkstubs
1929-1932
1 / 8
General ledger
1925-1939
1 / 9
Receipts
1918, 1937
1 / 10
Tax assessment lists: Beaverhead County
1919-1924
1 / 11
Tax assessment lists: Deer Lodge County
1901, 1911
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
1 / 12
Agreements with J.M. Kirkpatrick and Elizabeth J. Kirkpatrick (re mining claims)
1902-1904
1 / 13
Agreements (includes T.J. Ward, J.L. Jenkins, Margaret Northey)
1900-1907
1 / 14
Annual representations on quartz lodes
1903-1904
1 / 15
Bonds
1900-1903
1 / 16
Leases (includes Gin En Gaw and Tuey Hop, Joe Lee and Company, James B. Ford, W.J. Alexander; and office lease)
1887-1915
1 / 17
Mexican land deal
1913
1 / 18
Mining deeds
1896-1920
1 / 19
Real estate deeds
1896-1918
1 / 20
Miscellaneous (includes mortgages, transportation of equipment, bills of sale, etc.)
1898-1941
Speeches and Writings
Box/Folder
1 / 21
Miscellaneous (includes address to National Silver Conference, "Christmas Changes", "Your Dollars Where Are They?", "French Gulch Placers")
1935-1940
Subject Files
Box/Folder
2 / 1-2
Minerals Separation North American Corporation (includes licenses, royalty rates, and patents)
1904-1917, undated
Miscellany
Box/Folder
2 / 3
Campaign for Governor and Congressman (includes nomination petition, flyer, correspondence)
1916, 1940
2 / 4
Funeral memory book
Nov.3, 1953
2 / 5
Masons 50-year certificate
1951
2 / 6
Montana Senate memorial on death of William R. Allen
1955
2 / 7
Promotional material for The Chequemegon (Allen's autobiography)
1949
Clippings
Box/Folder
2 / 8
William Berkin and John Berkin (Allen's in-laws)
1927, 1936
2 / 9
Death of President Warren G. Harding
1923
2 / 10
Miscellaneous (includes death of Leslie W. Allen; Montana politics; Theodore Roosevelt; Butte, Wisdom and Pacific Railroad; Boston and Montana Development Company; American Mining Congress)
1893-1941

William N. Allen Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Court Papers
Box/Folder
3 / 1
William N. Allen Estate papers
1899-1900
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
3 / 2
Miscellaneous (includes mining deeds, water rights, homestead claim, placer locations)
1870-1897

Allen And Foley [Partnership] Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
3 / 3
Miscellaneous (includes mining deeds, insurance agreement, contract for oil land in New Mexico)
1898-1903

Allen Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
3 / 4
Miscellaneous (correspondents include John D. Ryan, Henry M. Stevenson, Anaconda Copper Mining Company, Postmaster General)
1911-1912
Court Papers
Box/Folder
3 / 5
U.S. General Land Office challenge to mineral claim
1910
Financial Records
Box/Folder
3 / 6
Livestock inventory
1908
3 / 7
Tax returns: U.S.
1914-1922
3 / 8
Miscellaneous (includes comparative statement of timber shipments, cash receipts and disbursements, bills payable)
1910
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
3 / 9
Bills of sale
1907-1908
3 / 10
Mining deeds
1907
3 / 11
Miscellaneous (includes agreements to ship timbers, bond)
1907-1909
Organization
Box/Folder
3 / 12
Annual reports of corporation
1912-1925
3 / 13
Proxies
1909-1914
3 / 14
Miscellaneous (includes stockholder pledge of stock to secure debt, minutes of special meetings)
1909-1919
Reports
Box/Folder
3 / 15
Report on condition of company
1908
Subject Files
Box/Folder
3 / 16
U.S. Forest Service timber sale
1906-1910

Allen Gold Mining Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Financial Records
Box/Folder
3 / 17
Miscellaneous (includes receipts, account with W.R. Allen)
1905, 1910
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
3 / 18
Bills of sale
1904-1906, undated
3 / 19
Mining deeds
1905-1906
3 / 20
Placer claims acquired by company
1892-1906
3 / 21-22
Quartz claims acquired by company
1901-1906
3 / 23
Miscellaneous (includes agreement with Northwest Coal Company, settlement agreement re U.S. Forest Service timber trespass case)
1906
Organization
Box/Folder
3 / 24
Articles of incorporation; change of name to Allen Company
1903, 1907
3 / 25
Prospectus
1903
Reports
Box/Folder
3 / 26
Miscellaneous (includes "Report on French Gulch Quartz Mines" by W.R. Allen; untitled report by Arthur V. Corry; "Statement of the Allen Gold Mining Company")
1902-1904

Allentown Town Site Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Miscellany
Oversize Folder
MC 95-112
Blueprints (includes general store and public hall; hotel and bank; stable and garage; theatre and office building) [Map Case-See MC 95-112 folder]
1920

Boston And Montana Development Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Interoffice Correspondence
Box/Folder
4 / 1
Freeman Davison; Davison Company, Bankers
1913
4 / 2-3
Letters to W.R. Allen in Boston from O.L. Heater in Butte reporting on company operations in Montana
1917-1922
Financial Records
Box/Folder
4 / 4
Freight bills
1916
4 / 5
List of men reported as earning $800 or more in 1917
1917
4 / 6
Reports to Moody's and Poor's rating services
1914-1915
4 / 7
Tax assessment lists (Beaverhead and Deer Lodge Counties)
1913-1922
4 / 8
Tax returns (Montana)
1916-1920
4 / 9-10
Trial balances; general ledger; petty ledger [loose sheets]
1919-1928
4 / 11
Wage and stock payments to miners at Elkhorn Mine
1915
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
4 / 12-13
Agreements (includes Freeman I. Davison; Allen Company; French Gulch Mining Company; Butte, Wisdom and Pacific Railway Company; Davison Company; MacArthur, Perks and Company; and many individuals)
1913-1921
4 / 14
Donation land contracts
1913-1914
4 / 15
Transfer of mining claims to Company
1912-1913
Organization
Box/Folder
4 / 16
Annual reports of corporation
1913-1923
4 / 17
Articles of incorporation; bylaws; increase of capital stock
1913-1918
4 / 18
Authorization of transfer agent
1913-1917
4 / 19
Extracts from minutes
1913-1918
4 / 20
Report to stockholders
1917
4 / 21
Resignations
1913-1917
4 / 22
Stock certificates
1913, 1918
4 / 23
Stock certificates (correspondence re lost certificates)
1917-1919
4 / 24
Stockholders lists
1914, 1918
4 / 25
Voting trust agreement
1913-1914
4 / 26
Miscellaneous (includes notices to stockholders, meeting notices, proxies, etc.)
1913-1920

Boston And Montana Milling Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Organization
Box/Folder
5 / 1
Miscellaneous (includes articles of incorporation, resignations, notices of meetings)
1916-1919

Boston And Montana Milling And Power Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
5 / 2
U.S. Federal Power Commission
1925
Financial Records
Box/Folder
5 / 3
Insurance
1921-1922
5 / 4
Tax returns (Montana)
1919-1920
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
5 / 5
Agreement with Minerals Separation North American Corporation
undated
Organization
Box/Folder
5 / 6
Annual reports of corporation
1919-1923
5 / 7
Resolutions
1920

Boston-Montana Corporation Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
5 / 8
Miscellaneous (correspondents include C.W. Robison, P.F. Goodwin, John G. Brown)
1922
Financial Records
Box/Folder
5 / 9
Tax assessment lists (Beaverhead County)
1924
5 / 10
Tax returns (Montana)
1922
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
5 / 11
Agreements (includes Hardinge Company; Minerals Separation North American Corporation; Thomas J. Boynton; Ladenburg, Thalmann and Company; W.E. Ripley)
1920-1925
5 / 12
Deeds
1922
Organization
Box/Folder
5 / 13
Articles of incorporation; change in par value of stock
1920-1922
5 / 14
Reorganization agreement
1924
5 / 15
Miscellaneous (includes letters to stockholders, resolutions, etc.)
1920
Miscellany
Box/Folder
5 / 16
Employee cards
1935

Boston-Montana Mines Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
5 / 17
Miscellaneous (correspondents include Milton S. Gunn, Union Bank and Trust Company, Walter C. Wrye, Ed Marchesseau)
1928-1930
Financial Records
Box/Folder
5 / 18
Vouchers
1928-1931
Organization
Box/Folder
5 / 19
Prospectus
1931

Boston-Montana Mining Corporation Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
5 / 20
W.I. Wright
1925
Financial Records
Box/Folder
5 / 21
Vouchers
1925-1928
Organization
Box/Folder
5 / 22
Articles of incorporation
1925-1928

Butte, Wisdom And Pacific Railway Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Organization
Box/Folder
5 / 23
Annual report of corporation
1913
5 / 24
Articles of incorporation, minutes, resignations
1913-1914

French Gulch Mining Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Financial Records
Box/Folder
5 / 25
Promissory notes
1912
5 / 26
Tax assessments (Deer Lodge County)
1913
5 / 27
Tax returns (United States)
1914-1922
Organization
Box/Folder
5 / 28
Annual reports of corporation
1913-1925
5 / 29
Miscellaneous (includes notices of meetings, proxies, list of stock certificates)
1911-1919

Montana Southern Railway Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
6 / 1
U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission
1919
Court Papers
Box/Folder
6 / 2
Affidavit of A.H. McCertney attesting to construction of railroad
1931
6 / 3
Right-of-way proceedings
1918
6 / 4
Water right decree (Wise River)
1922
Financial Records
Box/Folder
6 / 5
Inventory
1934
6 / 6
Tax notices (Beaverhead County)
1929
6 / 7
Tax returns (Montana)
1919-1921
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
6 / 8
Agreement with Oregon Short Line Railroad Company
1919
6 / 9-10
Right of way deeds
1917-1922
Oversize Folder
MC 95-112
Right of way deeds [Map Case-See MC 95-112 folder]
1917-1922
Box/Folder
6 / 11
Special use permit (from Forest Service for building narrow gauge railroad and telegraph and telephone line from Wise River to Elkhorn Mine)
1917-1922
Organization
Box/Folder
6 / 12
Annual reports of corporation
1919-1923
6 / 13
Articles of incorporation; excerpts from minutes
1917-1924
Printed Materials
Box/Folder
6 / 14
U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission railroad classification books
1914-1920
Miscellany
Box/Folder
6 / 15
Passenger and freight tariffs and tables of distances
1922

Montana Southwestern Railway Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
6 / 16
Miscellaneous (correspondents include Milton S. Gunn, R.M. Currier)
1929-1930
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
6 / 17
Agreement with Claude Mitchell (includes specifications and estimates for rebuilding bridge over Wise River and track)
1929
6 / 18
Right of way agreements
1929

National Boston Montana Mines Corporation Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Organization
Box/Folder
6 / 19
Stock certificates [blank]
circa 1933
cardbox
1
Stockholder file [file cards]
1933-1936

Southern Montana Railway Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Financial Records
Box/Folder
6 / 20
Financial information provided to Poor's Manual and the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission
1914-1916
Organization
Box/Folder
6 / 21
Miscellaneous (includes notice of change of name from Butte, Wisdom and Pacific Railway Company; notice of change of location of main office; notices of meetings; resignation)
1914-1917

Transfers To Other Programs Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Transfers
Box/Folder
6 / 22
List of printed materials, maps, photographs, and artifacts transferred to the Library, Photo Archives, and Museums respectively

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mines and mineral resources--Montana--Beaverhead County
  • Mines and mineral resources--Montana--Deer Lodge County
  • Political parties
  • Railroads--Design and construction
  • Personal Names :
  • Allen, William R., 1871-1953 (creator)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Anaconda (Mont.)--Industries
  • Butte (Mont.)--Industries--Mines and mining
  • Coolidge (Mont.)
  • Elkhorn Mine (Mont.)
  • French Gulch (Mont.)
  • Wisdom (Mont.)
  • Wise River (Mont.)