Dixon Family Papers, circa 1850s-1989 (bulk 1896-1946)  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Dixon Family
Title
Dixon Family Papers
Dates
circa 1850s-1989 (bulk 1896-1946) (inclusive)
Quantity
8.0 linear feet
Collection Number
Mss 684
Summary
The Dixon Family Papers include correspondence, diaries, photographs and other material documenting the lives and activities of U.S. Senator from Montana Joseph M. Dixon, his wife Caroline, and their six daughters. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1890s to the 1940s.
Repository
University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
59812-9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 406-243-2053
Fax: 406-243-4067
library.archives@umontana.edu
Access Restrictions

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana--Missoula.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Joseph Moore "Joe" Dixon was born in Snow Camp, North Carolina, in 1867 to Hugh Woody Dixon and Flora Adaline Murchison. He moved to Missoula, Montana, in 1891 and was admitted to the Montana bar in 1892. Joseph Dixon married Caroline Worden of Missoula in March of 1896. Dixon was elected to the Montana legislature as a Republican in 1900 and to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1902 and 1904. In 1906 he was elected to U.S. Senate. In 1912, he headed Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party and was defeated in his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate. In 1900, he acquired a controlling interest in the Missoulian, Missoula's Republican newspaper, which he owned until 1917. After 1917, Dixon retired from politics and business and spent most of his time on his farming interests (he owned a dairy near Polson, Montana, and a farm near Ronan, Montana). In 1919 he was elected governor of Montana and served one term. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Interior in 1929, and served in that position until 1933. Joseph Dixon died in May 1934.

Caroline Melissa "Carrie" Worden was born in 1867 in Missoula to Lucretia Miller and Francis "Frank" Lyman Worden, a co-founder of Missoula. She was the third of seven children. Caroline and Joseph had seven children: Mary Virginia, Florence, Dorothy, Mary Joe, Betty, Caroline, and Frank. Frank died shortly after birth. Caroline died in Missoula on April 6, 1946.

Mary Virginia "Dick" Dixon was born on 14 December 1896 in Missoula. She attended both the Potomac and Miss Madeira's Schools in Washington, D.C. before attending Vassar College from 1912 to 1916. She received an advanced degree in Economics from Columbia University in 1919 and worked as an economics instructor at Mt. Holyoke College from 1919-1920. She worked in New York City for some time afterwards. In 1924, Virginia and a cousin, Barbara Sterling, sailed to Manila to visit her sister, Florence. Virginia's 1924 travels also included other parts of the Far East, the Middle East and Europe. In 1929 she married Alexander Dean and they resided in New Haven, Connecticut where Mr. Dean was head of the Yale Drama School. Alexander died from hypertension in 1939. Virginia Dixon Dean remained active and close to her extended family until her death in January, 1974, in New Haven.

Florence Worden Dixon was born in Missoula 20 March 1899. Between 1903 and 1913 the Dixons lived in Washington, D.C., but travelled back to Missoula frequently. Florence graduated from Missoula County High School in 1916, and attended the University of Montana from 1916 to 1920. During her time at the university she was a member of the Beta Phi Chapter of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, served as president of the Women's Self Government Association, and was vice-president of the Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM). Following graduation, Florence studied bacteriology at Johns Hopkins. While at Hopkins, Florence met Charles Nelson Leach (1884-1971), a Vermont physician and World War I veteran who had been sent to Hopkins by his employer, the Rockefeller Foundation, to get a degree in Public Health. They were married in Hong Kong on September 22, 1922, and spent the next few years in Manila where Charles was engaged in public health work for the Foundation. Later assignments took them to Montgomery, Alabama, New York, Prague, Vienna, Peking, London, and Paris. Ultimately they retired to Newfane, Vermont. Charles and Florence Leach had three children: Carolyn, Nancy, and Charles. Charles Nelson Leach died in 1971. Florence Leach died in 1991.

Dorothy Veronica Dixon was born in Missoula on 26 July 1902. She married William Allen of Lolo, Montana in 1927. They had two daughters. Dorothy died on 28 November 1943 in Seattle, Washington.

Mary Joe Dixon was born 7 August 1906. She attended Helena High School and graduated from the University of Montana in 1927. She married Ralph Gorman Hills on 11 August 1928 and they lived in Baltimore, Maryland. Gorman was a graduate of Princeton and had won a bronze medal in the 1924 Olympics in shot put and javelin. He was a family doctor and on the clinical faculty at Hopkins. They had two sons: J. Dixon and Warren. Mary Joe was active in civic affairs and participated in local dramatics. She died on 19 March 1998.

Elizabeth "Betty" Dixon was born in about 1910. She was a Radcliffe graduate and was married to Marshall Stearns, an English professor and renowned jazz expert. Betty was a professional artist, working in oils and acrylic. They had one daughter, Elizabeth. She and Marshall were divorced and thereafter Betty spent some years in Florence, Italy. She suffered from bipolar disorder and was hospitalized several times. Her sisters, especially Virginia and Florence, looked out for her and assisted as best they could during her illness. Betty died around the year 2000.

Caroline "Peggy" Worden Dixon was born 28 December 1914 in Missoula. She attended Radcliffe College (her widowed mother took an apartment in Boston during this time.) She married John G. Dorsey, a Harvard Law graduate, in Seattle on 15 August 1940. They lived in New York, and in Washington during World War II, and then in Minneapolis where Dorsey became an attorney. John Dorsey committed suicide. After a few years Peggy married "Race" Crane and they lived in California. She was musical and an artist and served as an art docent. She suffered from dementia in her last few years and died in San Diego on 15 August 1996. She had no children.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Through correspondence, diaries, photograph albums and a college scrapbook, the Dixon Family Papers document the lives and activities of Joseph M. Dixon, a U.S. Senator and Governor of Montana, and his family. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1890s to the 1940s. The collection includes extensive correspondence between Caroline Worden Dixon, Joseph Dixon and their six daughters; correspondence between the daughters; and correspondence to Dixon family members from others. Many of the early letters are written from or to family living in Missoula, Montana. As Joseph Dixon represents Montana in Washington D.C and then later serves as Governor of Montana in Helena, and as the daughers grow up and have families of their own, correspondence documents life where they live. Several of the daughters travel or live abroad. The letters depict home and family life, the birth of children, illness and health, marriage, and death. Many letters also discuss school activities, social events, holidays, travel, politics and business. The photo albums include images of the Dixons in Missoula, people and activities on the University of Montana campus, activities in front of the White House, and numerous images of family members engaged in recreation such as swimming and playing.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Non-exclusive intellectual property rights to some portions of the collection are held by the University of Montana.

Preferred Citation

Dixon Family Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Correspondence, 1895-1989Return to Top

3.8 linear feet

The bulk of this series is correspondence between Dixon daughters and their parents, and especially between Virginia (Dick) and Florence and their parents. Occasionally letters to one individual will be included with letters to a different individual, as the family often forwarded and shared letters amongst themselves. Some letters and envelopes have annotations which were created by the donor (Charles Leach) as he identified authors, dates and subjects.

Folders are filed alphabetically by the first name of the author, when the author is known, and then chronologically. For the sake of simplicity, the Dixon daughers are listed in the finding aid using their common names and the Dixon surname even when they are married during the dates represented in the folder contents.
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Agnes Sterling to Caroline Worden
1896
1/2
Betty Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1932-1935
1/3
Betty Dixon to Florence Dixon
1958-1976
1/4
Betty Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1913 and undated
1/5
Betty Dixon to Virginia Dixon
1920
1/6
Caroline (Peggy) Dixon to Florence Dixon
1920-1989
1/7
Caroline (Peggy) Dixon to Horace Worden
1921
1/8
Caroline (Peggy) Dixon to Mary Joe Dixon
1935
1/9
Caroline W. Dixon to Betty Dixon
1925
1/10
Caroline W. Dixon to Charles Nelson Leach
1931-1936
1/11
Caroline W. Dixon to Dorothy Dixon
1921-1925
1/12
Caroline W. Dixon to Florence Dixon
1928-1932
1/13
Caroline W. Dixon to Florence Dixon
1933-1938
1/14
Caroline W. Dixon to Florence Dixon
1942-1945
1/15
Caroline Worden to Joseph M. Dixon
1895
1/16
Caroline W. Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
January, 1896
1/17
Caroline W. Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
February-December, 1896
1/18
Caroline W. Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1903-1909
2/1
Caroline W. Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1910-1912
2/2
Caroline W. Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1913 and undated
2/3
Caroline W. Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon (and Family)
1922-1928
2/4
Caroline W. Dixon to Mary Joe Dixon
1924-1946
2/5
Caroline W. Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1912-1919
2/6
Caroline W. Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1920
2/7
Caroline W. Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1921
2/8
Caroline W. Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1922
2/9
Caroline W. Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1923-1926
3/1
Caroline W. Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1927
3/2
Caroline W. Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1928-1945
3/3
Caroline W. Dixon to the Dixon children
circa 1911-1926
3/4
Caroline W. Dixon to Family from Peking, China
January-June, 1935
3/5
Caroline W. Dixon to Family from Peking, China
July 1935-March 1936 and undated
3/6
Correspondence from Caroline W. Dixon
undated
3/7
Correspondence to Caroline W. Dixon
1909-1928
3/8
Correspondence about Caroline W. Dixon's Death
1946
3/9
Charles Nelson Leach to Caroline W. Dixon
1922-1938
3/10
Charles Nelson Leach to Joseph M. Dixon
1922-1929
3/11
Dorothy Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1909-1913
3/12
Dorothy Dixon to Mary Joe Dixon
undated
3/13
Dorothy Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1919-1922
3/14
Dorothy Dixon to Family
1923-1942
3/15
Elinore to Caroline W. Dixon
1913
3/16
Elizabeth (Toni) Stearns to Florence Dixon
1960 and undated
3/17
Ettie Garner (Mrs. John Nance Garner) to Caroline W. Dixon
1912-1943
3/18
Florence Dixon to Betty Dixon
1921-1931
3/19
Florence Dixon to Caroline (Peggy) Dixon
1921-1934
4/1
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1914-1916
4/2
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1920
4/3
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1921
4/4
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
January-June, 1922
4/5
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
July-December, 1922
4/6
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1923
4/7
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1924
5/1
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
January-May, 1925
5/2
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
June-December, 1925
5/3
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1926
5/4
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1927
5/5
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1928
5/6
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1929
5/7
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1930
5/8
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1931-1932
6/1
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1933
6/2
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1934-1939
6/3
Florence Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1940-1945
6/4
Florence Dixon to Dorothy Dixon
1922-1938
6/5
Florence Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1909-1913
6/6
Florence Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1920-1925
6/7
Florence Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1926-1933
6/8
Florence Dixon to Mary Joe Dixon
1921-1944 and circa 1971
6/9
Florence Dixon to Virginia Dixon
1921-1942 and 1971
6/10
Correspondence to Florence Dixon
1911-1974
7/1
Grace Fales to Caroline W. Dixon
1895-1921
7/2
Henry O. Worden to Caroline Worden
1896
7/3
Horace B. Worden to Caroline w. Dixon
1909-1912
7/4
Joseph M. Dixon to Caroline Worden Dixon
1896
7/5
Joseph M. Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
Kentucky-North Carolina Trip
1899
7/6
Joseph M. Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1903-1914
7/7
Joseph M. Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1920-1928
7/8
Joseph M. Dixon to Charles Nelson Leach
1922
7/9
Joseph M. Dixon to Dorothy Dixon
1909-1912
7/10
Joseph M. Dixon to Florence Dixon
1909-1911
7/11
Joseph M. Dixon to Florence Dixon
1920-1932
7/12
Joseph M. Dixon to Mary Joe Dixon
1909-1928
7/13
Joseph M. Dixon to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1903-1920
7/14
Correspondence to Joseph M. Dixon
1905-1923
7/15
L.L. Mills to Caroline Worden
1896
7/16
Louise Worden Bradley to Caroline W. Dixon
1896
7/17
Louise Worden Bradley to Lucretia Worden
1896
7/18
Lucina Worden Sterling to Lucretia Worden
1896
7/19
Lucina Worden Sterling (Mrs. Frederick T. "Aunt Cina") to Caroline Worden
1896
7/20
Lucretia Worden to Caroline W. Dixon
1896
7/21
Lucretia Worden to Caroline W. Dixon
1900
8/1
Lucretia Worden to Caroline W. Dixon
1901
8/2
Lucretia Worden to Caroline W. Dixon
1902
8/3
Lucretia Worden to Joseph M. Dixon
1901
8/4
M.M. Sterling to Caroline Worden
1896
8/5
Marjorie and May Williamson to Caroline W. Dixon
1921
8/6
Mary Carter to Caroline Worden
1896
8/7
Mary G. Hills to Caroline W. Dixon and Florence Dixon
January, 1928
8/8
Mary Joe Dixon to Betty Dixon
1927-1959
8/9
Mary Joe Dixon to Caroline (Peggy) Dixon
1927-1928
8/10
Mary Joe Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1911-1925
8/11
Mary Joe Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1927
8/12
Mary Joe Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
January-June, 1928
8/13
Mary Joe Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
September-December, 1928
8/14
Mary Joe Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1929
9/1
Mary Joe Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1930
9/2
Mary Joe Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1931-1943
9/3
Mary Joe Dixon to Dorothy Dixon
1932
9/4
Mary Joe Dixon to Florence Dixon
1941-1989
9/5
Mary Joe Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1909-1913
9/6
Mary Joe Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1924-1928
9/7
Mary Joe Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1929-1932 and undated
9/8
Mary Joe Dixon to Joseph M. and Caroline W. Dixon
1927-1928
9/9
Mary Joe Dixon To Ralph G. Hills
1923
9/10
Correspondence to Mary Joe Dixon
1921
9/11
Correspondence from Mary Joe Dixon
undated
9/12
Rachel N. Allison to Caroline W. Dixon
1913
9/13
Ralph G. Hills to Joseph M. Dixon
1927-1928
9/14
Ralph G. Hills to Mary Joe Dixon
1945
9/15
Sinclair Lewis to Alexander Dean
Includes photo of Lewis, Alexander Dixon, Virginia Dixon Dean, Peggy Dixon, Joan Dorsey and Fay Wray
1938
9/16
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Alexander Dean
1935
9/17
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Betty Dixon
1919
9/18
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1918-1924
9/19
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Caroline W. Dixon
1934 and undated
9/20
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Dorothy Dixon
1907 and undated
10/1
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Florence Dixon
1918-1973
10/2
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1909
10/3
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1910-1911
10/4
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1912-1913
10/5
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Joseph M. Dixon
1919
10/6
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to Mary Joe Dixon
1921 and 1930
10/7
Virginia (Dick) Dixon to unknown
circa 1906
10/8
Correspondence to Virginia (Dick) Dixon
1909-1935
10/9
Virginia Douglas Haywood to Caroline W. Dixon
1896-1912

Series II:  Florence Dixon, circa 1907-1924Return to Top

2.4 linear feet

This series includes Florence's diaries, a scrapbook she created while a student at the University of Montana, and several folders of school-related work both from grade school and graduate school. One folder contains a copy of an article she co-authored with her husband.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
10/10
Diary
January - August, 1916
10/11
Diary
In "Student's Hand-Book State University of Montana" which includes information about UM organizations, events, etc.
September 1916 - May 1917
10/12
Diary
January - December, 1917
10/13
Diary
January - December, 1918
11/1
Diary
1919-1923
Box
OS 18
University of Montana Scrapbook
1916-1920
Box/Folder
11/2
Third Grade Composition Book
circa 1907
11/3
Book of Schoolwork
1908-1909
11/4
Book of Schoolwork
1910-1911
11/5
Notes on Bacteriology, Universite Libre, Brussels
1921-1922
11/6
Notes on Hygiene, Universite Libre, Brussels
1921-1922
12/1
Notes and Correspondence on Child Welfare, Universite Libre, Brussels
1921-1922
12/2
Dr. Charles N. Leach and Florence Leach's Papers on Artesian Wells, Manila, P.I.
1923-1924

Series III:  Virginia Dixon, 1924-1942Return to Top

0.4 linear feet

This series includes several diaries by Virginia and an undated, unpublished manuscript biography of William Andrews Clark.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
12/3
Diary
March - May, 1924
12/4
Diary
Travel diary
May - July, 1924
12/5
Alexander Dean Diary
Portions written by Virginia Dixon Dean
1937
12/6
Diary
1938-1942
12/7
"Clark of Montana, A Biography of William Andrews Clark," manuscript by Virginia Dean
undated
12/8
"Clark of Montana, A Biography of William Andrews Clark," manuscript by Virginia Dean
undated

Series IV:  Photographs,  circa 1850-1932Return to Top

1.2 linear feet

This series contains several photograph albums and four daguerreotypes. When the creator of an album was unknown the album is identified as a "Dixon Family Album." To aid identification, the donor (Charles Leach) made notes about images, people and items featured. These notes remain as placed in the books, but are clearly marked with Charles Leach's name and are distinguishable from original material.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
13/1
Henry Miller
Daguerreotype
circa 1850s
13/2
Frank L. Worden
Daguerreotype
1852
13/3
Unidentified woman (Possibly Caroline Bittner Miller)
Daguerreotype. Case broken.
circa 1850s
13/4
Unidentified woman (Possibly Caroline Bittner Miller)
Daguerreotype
circa 1850s
14/1
Dixon Family Photograph Album
Photographs of Frank Worden, Joseph Dixon, Dick Dixon, Florence Dixon, Caroline Worden Dixon, Dorothy Dixon, Dixon children as babies and toddlers. Dixon home in Missoula.
1897-circa 1905
14/2
Virginia Dixon Photograph Album
Includes: Dixon Family, White House lawn with children (during egg roll?), "Missoula Indian Encampment," "Horace's Cabin Flathead,"
circa 1910
15/1
Florence Dixon Photograph Album
Includes: University of Montana students and campus scenes, Dixon family members, Sophy and Tulloss (African-American woman and man) working at "camp" (probably Horace Worden's camp), Salmon Lake fishing and boating, Missoula area photos, Tubbs Donahue, Kappa Kappa Gamma house and pledges.
1915-1919
15/2
Dixon Family Photograph Album
Photographs of Virginia Dixon, Florence Dixon, Horace Worden and many unidentified individuals and places.
circa 1917
16/1
Leach Family Summer Vacation Photograph Album
circa 1932

Series V:  Ephemera and Miscellaneous, 1883-1921Return to Top

0.2 linear feet

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
17/1
Caroline Worden Autograph Book
1883-1887
17/2
Caroline W. Dixon Congressional Club Membership Card
1912-1913
17/3
Caroline Worden Dixon Will
July 3, 1902
17/4
Florence Dixon Clippings
1921-1922
17/5
Florence Dixon and Charles Nelson Leach Wedding Announcement
1922
17/6
Joseph M. Dixon Miscellaneous
undated
17/7
Invoices and Receipts to Joseph M. Dixon
1910-1912
17/8
Mary Joe Dixon High School Memorabilia and Miscellaneous
1923 and undated
17/9
Virginia (Dick) Dixon Miscellaneous
Includes an original poem by Dick and "Mrs. Magician's Mistake," a play published by Samuel French, Inc. in a volume "Seven to Seventeen" edited by Alexander Dean.
1931 and undated
17/10
Bill of Sale of Washington, D.C. House
1913
17/11
The Mother's Record
For Florence Dixon. Only first page has entries.
1899
17/12
Catholics Pocket Manual
Given to Joseph Dixon by Reverend John P. Carroll, bishop of Helena, Montana
1905

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Missoula (Mont.)--Social life and customs--20th century
  • Women college students--Montana--Missoula--Social life and customs
  • Personal Names :
  • Allen, Dorothy Veronica Dixon, 1902-1943--Correspondence
  • Dean, Mary Virginia Dixon, 1896-1974--Correspondence
  • Dixon Family--Correspondence
  • Dixon, Caroline Melissa Worden, 1871-1946--Correspondence
  • Dixon, Joseph M. Joseph Moore), 1867-1934--Archives
  • Dixon, Joseph M. Joseph Moore), 1867-1934--Correspondence
  • Dixon, Joseph M. Joseph Moore), 1867-1934--Family
  • Dorsey, Caroline Worden Dixon, 1914-1996--Correspondence
  • Hills, Mary Joe Dixon, 1906-1998--Correspondence
  • Leach, Florence Worden Dixon, 1899-1991--Correspondence
  • Stearns, Elizabeth Dixon, approximately 1910-approximately 2000--Correspondence
  • Corporate Names :
  • State University of Montana (Missoula, Mont.)--History
  • United States. Congress. Senate.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Diaries
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Occupations :
  • Governors--Montana
  • Senators, U.S. Congress--Montana
  • Women college students--Montana--Missoula