Beryl Stith Papers, 1883-1963  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Stith, B. (Beryl)
Title
Beryl Stith Papers
Dates
1883-1963
Quantity
2.2 linear feet
Collection Number
Collection 2107, MtBC, us (collection)
Summary
The Beryl Stith papers consists of research and paste-up masters for her book Terry Does Exist and her family's personal and business papers. Included are: fragments of original correspondence from John W. Stith and his wife Cornelia; business communications pertaining to Stith's real estate, insurance, and hardware operations; Terry school board transactions, Justice of the Peace case documents; Custer County Commissioner correspondence; miscellaneous invoices, receipts, and business letters. Fifty original photographs of Stith family members, friends, and Terry, Montana are also included.
Repository
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
59717-3320
Telephone: 406-994-4242
Fax: 406-994-2851
spcoll@www.lib.montana.edu
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

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


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John Wesley Stith was born in Kentucky in December, 1853. He moved with his family to Illinois and Wisconsin while growing up, but did not receive an extensive education. Stith moved to Terry, Montana in the early 1880s before the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway, and became a general merchant and contractor. He eventually became involved in almost every commercial and political aspect of the town, serving as a Justice of the Peace, clerk for the local school board, and a Custer County commissioner. His business interests included real estate, insurance sales, wool buying, construction, and operating a hardware store. Stith and Cornelia Hamilton were married in September, 1888 after a four and one half year engagement. Four children were born into the family; Beryl, Hamilton, Roy and Kenneth. In 1905, Mr. Stith developed ulcers that would eventually end his life on December 27, 1909 in Terry.

Beryl Stith was born in Terry, Montana on February 24, 1893. She was the first graduate of Terry High School and received degrees from the University of Chicago. Beryl returned to Terry where she became a teacher and active in organizations and community projects. In 1963, she researched and wrote a short history of Terry called Terry Does Exist. She used papers and records that she had inherited from her father, and the booklet was reprinted in 1983 during the Terry centennial observance. Stith eventually retired in Bozeman and lived in the Hillcrest retirement home where she published another pamphlet, Childhood Memories of Hillcrest Residents in 1967. Beryl Stith died on March 5, 1976.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Beryl Stith papers consists of research and paste-up masters for her book Terry Does Exist and her family's personal and business papers. Included are: fragments of original correspondence from John W. Stith and his wife Cornelia which were mutilated by Beryl Stith when preparing the paste-up for her book; business communications pertaining to Stith's real estate, insurance, and hardware operations; Terry school board transactions, Justice of the Peace case documents; Custer County Commissioner correspondence; miscellaneous invoices, receipts, and business letters. Fifty original photographs of Stith family members, friends, and Terry, Montana, some of which were used in Stith's book, are also included.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  Book Research and galleys, 1884-1963Return to Top

Copy pasteup, research papers, and mutilated original documents used by Stith for the publication of Terry Does Exist. The book is divided into three sections; the establishment of the town of Terry and two sections dealing with the Stith family and their place in Terry's history. When assembling her book, Stith took original letters exchanged by her parents and cut them into pieces to use as facsimile illustrations for printing plates. The letters fragments in folder 6 were the result of this practice and are impossible to collate into proper order.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
"Terry Does Exist" booklet
1/2
Hamilton C. Stith stories, mimeograph
1/3-4
Pasteup for "Terry Does Exist"
1/5
Book Research
1/6
Letter Fragments, J.W. Stith to wife Cornelia

Series 2:  Stith family papers, 1883-1907Return to Top

The Stith family papers consist of collected business files of John W. and Cornelia Stith's professional careers. Cornelia Stith was Postmistress and Sunday School Teacher in Terry for many years and collected listings of Sunday School books and documents dealing with the delivery of mail. John Stith was a respected business man and public servant during his time in Terry. His school clerk records consist of teacher and maintenance contracts, apportionments, and correspondence from 1883 to 1907. John's time as a Custer County commissioner are represented by constituent correspondence, petitions for road and bridge construction and improvements, commissioner journals, and contracts. Stith's Justice of the Peace (JP) files contain case files for minor civil actions brought before the Terry, Montana court regarding cost recovery suits, witness statements and judgments. One folder of JP papers includes bounty warrants for the killing of coyotes, bobcats, and wolves. Stith's business interests in Terry are represented by the balance of the files in this series. They include: real estate transaction papers; insurance sales and correspondence; shipping bills and invoices for wool buying operations; customer and client correspondence; merchandise orders for Stith's hardware store; bank statements and a selection of cancelled checks.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/7
Cornelia Stith
1/8
J.W. Stith-miscellaneous public service
1/9
Terry School Clerk-correspondence
1/10
Terry School Clerk-teacher contracts
1/11
Terry School Clerk-reports
1/12
Terry School Clerk-bond elections and schoolhouse construction
1/13
Terry School Clerk-insurance contracts
1/14
Terry School Clerk-miscellaneous receipts
1/15
Terry library records
2/1
County Commissioner papers
1900
2/2
County Commissioner papers
1901
2/3
County Commissioner papers
1902
2/4
County Commissioner papers
1903
2/5
County Commissioner papers
1904-1905
2/6
Custer County Affidavit of Foreign Electors
1892-1894
2/7
J.W. Stith Day Book
1883-1892
2/8
Insurance Agent correspondence
1896-1899
2/9
Insurance Agent correspondence
1900-1906
2/10
J.W. Stith-business licenses
1900-1907
2/11
J.W. Stith-insurance policies
1892-1900
2/12
Justice of the Peace cases
1889
2/13
Justice of the Peace cases
1890
2/14
Justice of the Peace cases
1891-1892
2/15
Justice of the Peace cases
1894-1895
2/16
Justice of the Peace cases
1896
2/17
Justice of the Peace cases
1897-1899
2/18
Justice of the Peace miscellaneous
1890-1903
2/19
Justice of the Peace Bounty Affidavits
1891-1892
3/1
J.W. Stith-Land Ownership
3/2
Terry State Bank
1907
3/3
Memo Books
3/4
Custer County Elections
1896-1902
3/5
Groceries
1896-1906
3/6
Wool
1896-1900
3/7
Wool
1901
3/8
Wool
1902
3/9
Wool
1903-1907
3/10
Hardware business papers
1888-1894
3/11
Hardware business papers
1895
3/12-13
Hardware business papers
1896
3/14-17
Hardware business papers
1897
4/1-2
Hardware business papers
1898
4/3
Hardware business papers
1899
4/4-5
Hardware business papers
1900
4/6-7
Hardware business papers
1901
4/8-10
Hardware business papers
1902
5/1-4
Hardware business papers
1903
5/5-8
Hardware business papers
1904
5/9-11
Hardware business papers
1905
5/12
Hardware business papers
1906
5/13
Personal Checks

Series 3:  PhotographsReturn to Top

Photographs of the Stith family and friends, Terry residents, and Terry, Montana. Some of these photographs were used by Beryl Stith in Terry Does Exist. In those cases, the page number in parentheses following the photograph title indicates the location of the image in the book.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6/1
Photographs #1-10
#1. J.W. Stith
(pg 6)
1907
#2. Cornelia Hamilton Stith
#3. Frank and John Stith
#4. Jack Stith beside grandfather's fountain
(pg 11)
1939
#5. "Dream Home"
(pg 8)
1905
#6. House
1946
#7. Desk
1946
#8. Stith home and store
#9. Stith Hardware
#10. Stith Hardware
1898
6/2
Photographs #11-20
#11. Rancher's Supply Company
1908
#12. Tool House
(pg 9)
#13. Burt Engine and demonstrators
#14. Terry Section House
1947
#15. Terry buildings and train
#16. Terry in the snow
1908
#17. Terry, winter
1907
#18. Terry Northern Pacific Section House
1918
#19. Northern Pacific crew baking bread
#20. Terry Northern Pacific Section House
1958
6/3
Photographs #21-28
#21. Jordan Hotel with guests
(pg 8)
#22. Scott Hotel with guests
(pg 8)
#23. Grass Widow's House
#24. Terry Main Street
(pg 10)
#25. Terry Main Street
(pg 9)
1908
#26. Fallon School built by J.W. Stith
#27. Terry's second school with students
#28. Terry Depot
Lillian Holker, Tom Holker, Mabel Joubert, Lillian Miller, Maude Miller, Pauline Joubert, Oliver Ddrilling, Charles Hanson, George (Red) McDonald
about 1890
6/4
Photographs #29-37
#29. Cora Conray Bourdette
(info on back)
#30. Mrs. Cartwright and boys on a horse
(pg 7)
#31. Mr. George Landre
#32. Mrs. George Landre
#33. Mr. And Mrs. Frank Zahl
#34. Mr. And Mrs. C.E. Joubert
#35. Mrs. W.F. Jordan and Irene
(pg 7)
#36. Terry Social Club program
#37. Mae Logan
1898
6/5
Photographs #38-45
#38. Dance Program
1892
#39. Mr. And Mrs. Doc Zahl
#40. Billy Whipple-Terry and Fallon
#41. Mrs. A. Wright
#42. Mr. A. Wright
#43. Lord Cameron ranch looking west
#44. "Scraping an acquaintance In the Northwest" postcard to Cornelia Stith
#45. Terry's 4th of July picnic Kempton Lane Grove
1897
6/6
Photographs #46-49
#46. Wool in sacks on wagon train McLean wool
(pg 9)
#47. Terry shearing pens
(pg 9)
#48. Kenneth McLean ranch on O'Fallon Creek
#49. A Montana sheep camp wagon, Nels and Sam Undem
6/7
Photograph #50
#50. County Commissioners
1907

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Businessmen-Montana-Terry
  • Hardware stores-Montana-Terry
  • Insurance agents-Montana-Terry
  • Insurance-Montana-Terry
  • Justices of the peace-Montana-Custer County
  • Real estate business-Montana-Terry
  • School boards-Montana-Terry
  • Women historians-Montana-Terry
  • Personal Names :
  • Stith, B. (Beryl)-Terry does exist
  • Family Names :
  • Stith family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Custer County (Mont.)-Officials and employees
  • Custer County (Mont.)-Politics and government
  • Terry (Mont.)-Politics and government
  • Terry (Mont.)-History
  • Terry (Mont.)-Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Business records-Montana-Terry
  • Family papers-Montana-Terry
  • Photographs-Montana-Terry
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Stith, Cornelia, 1859-1932 (creator)
    • Stith, John W. (John Wesley), 1853-1909 (creator)
    • Family Names :
    • Stith family (creator)