James Brisbin, a Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, native, served as an Army officer in the Civil War and the Indian Wars, 1868-1891. He was stationed at Fort Ellis, Fort Assiniboine, Fort Custer, Montana Territory, and many other western forts. Brisbin was also a writer and publicist. The collection contains a small amount of correspondence (1860-1890), and writings (1850-1891) concerning the Army, the Indian Wars, the West, and Montana Territory.
The papers of Walter Cooper, a prominant Bozeman pioneer, consist of correspondence (1901, 1913, 1924) including letters by Nancy Russell discussing illustrations for A Most Desperate Situation; a typscript of a diary (1881) kept by Cooper during the West Gallatin Pacific Exploring Expedition; financial records (1904-1911) regarding lead ore shipping; a speech (1907) given by Cooper to the Gallatin County Pioneer regarding W.W. Alderson); writings (1910) including handwritten and typescript versions of Most Desperate Situation; ephemera (1883-1906) from Montana Consitutional Conventions, the Northern Pacific Railway; and the World's Columbian Exposition; and clippings (1902-1924) regarding the Montana Pioneer's Reunions.