- Stuart, Granville, 1834-1918; Stuart, James, 1832-1873
- Granville and James Stuart papers
- 1868-1887; 1890-1892 (inclusive)18681892
- 4 reels microfilm
- Collection Number
- Mss 313 (collection)
- This collection includes four reels of microfilm. These reels are of the Granville and James Stuart Papers and Granville Stuart's letters to Andrew Fergus. This collection is mostly made up of letterbooks, which are Granville Stuart's copies of his outgoing correspondence from 1868-1887 and 1890-1892. The first reel contains the only letters written by James, dating from Oct. 1868 to April 1870. Granville Stuart's ranch, the "D-S" ranch, was located on the Fort Maginnis Cattle range, and during the 1880s the "D-S" Company sold beef to the fort for the soldiers. This business is the major concern of Granville Stuart's letters to Andrew Fergus who was the cattle man representing the Fort. These letters to Mr. Fergus are the only correspondence in this collection from 1880-1887.
- 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
- 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.
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Granville Stuart was born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia) on August 27, 1834, and was the son of Robert and Nancy (Currence) Stuart. James was born in the same place on March 14, 1832. Granville and James also had two younger brothers Samuel and Thomas. The family, of Scottish origin, came to the United States in 1775 and is identified with the development of Virginia. In 1837 Robert Stuart moved the family to Illinois, and a year later, to Iowa. Granville Stuart grew up in Muscatine County, attending school and working on the family farm until 1852, when he went to California with his father and his brother James. They remained there prospecting for gold until 1857 when they came to western Montana, then part of the Washington Territory, and settled in Deer Lodge valley, about three miles north of the present town of Pioneer at the mouth of Gold Creek.
Granville and James prospected along Gold Creek from 1858 to 1862. Soon after, their operations caused a gold rush to the area. The Stuart brothers and their large prospecting party helped open up Western Montana to settlers. James Stuart remained in Deer Lodge until 1870, when he was appointed to the post of physician at the Fort Peck agency. He remained there until his death from cancer on Sept. 30, 1873.
In 1863 Granville Stuart moved to Alder Gulch just after its discovery, and entered the mercantile business. In 1865 he sold this business and entered into extensive trading in Deer Lodge. In 1873 Granville sold all of his merchant interests and went back into mining. In 1876 he moved to Helena and became a bookkeeper for the First National Bank. After three years he went onto the cattle business with S. T. Hauser of the First National Bank and A. J. Davis, a millionaire miner from Butte. From 1879-1894 Granville was the controller and manager of this extensive cattle business. The Hauser, Davis, Stuart Cattle Co. came to be known as the "D-S" ranch. In the 1880s Granville represented the "D-S" ranch at the Montana Stock Growers Assoc. meetings. In 1883 the "D-S" range held 12,000 cattle. In 1885 this Cattle co. was worth one million dollars. After 1887 Granville got out of the cattle business, but remained the president of board of stock commissioners in Montana until 1894. In 1891 Granville became a state land agent in charge of 600,000 acres given to Montana by the federal government for school purposes.
Granville married Isabel Allis Brown in 1891. In 1894 he was appointed envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the republics of Uruguay and Paraguay. He spent four years in South America, exploring the Amazon, and looking for mining prospects. In 1904 Granville was appointed librarian of the Butte Public Library and there he began preparing his journals for publication. In 1916 he was commissioned by the state to write a history of Montana, and he was at work on this when he died on Oct. 2, 1918.
Granville Stuart was involved in politics and served on the territorial council in 1872, 1875, 1879, and was elected president of the council in 1883. In 1865 Mr. Stuart published a book, Montana As It Is, on the geography and climate of Montana. This was the first guidebook ever printed about Montana. He had extensive dealings with the Native Americans of the area, and was concerned for their welfare. In the 1870s he composed a dictionary of the Snake River Indian language. He was concerned about the effects of whiskey trading among the Indians, and the resulting degeneration of their society. Late in his life he expressed concern about the future of the Native Americans on reservations and hoped they would learn farming as a means of self-support.
Mr. Stuart began condensing his journals into a biography later in his life. After his death editors who eventually published his book posthumously continued this work. The end result of this labor was the publication of Forty Years on the Frontier in 1925, in two volumes, edited by University of Montana professor Paul C. Phillips.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
This collection includes four reels of microfilm of the Granville and James Stuart Papers and Granville Stuart's letters to Andrew Fergus. This collection is mostly made up of letterbooks, which are Granville Stuart's copies of his outgoing correspondence from 1868-87 and 1890-1892. The first reel contains the only letters written by James, dating from Oct. 1868 to April 1870. Granville Stuart's ranch, the "D-S" ranch, was located on the Fort Maginnis Cattle range, and during the 1880s the "D-S" Co. sold beef to the fort for the soldiers. This business is the major concern of Granville Stuart's letters to Andrew Fergus who was the cattle man representing the Fort. These letters to Mr. Fergus are the only correspondence in this collection from 1880-1887.
Microfilm Reels 1-3 contain the Stuart Papers from 1868-80 and 1890-92. These letters are a mix of private correspondence with friends and business correspondence, mostly concerning the cattle business Granville managed. Reel one begins with a biography and genealogy of the Stuart family. This includes a history of the Royal Stuart line in Scotland, and then a brief family history of the Stuarts in America. The rest of the reel contains copies of Granville Stuart's outgoing correspondence from Oct. 1 1868 to March 17, 1879, and James' letters from Oct. 1868 to April 1870. The letters originate from Deer Lodge during 1868-1876, and from Helena during 1876-1879. The letterbooks include a list of Granville and James' associates, a map of Deer Lodge County, and several studies of the climate and geography of western Montana.
Reel two contains Granville Stuart's outgoing correspondence from March 18, 1879 to March 25, 1880, and from Jan. 10, 1890 to Sept. 4, 1890. Granville is writing from Helena during this period. Of note in this correspondence is a letter to President Rutherford B. Hayes. Granville thanked him for pardoning his friend, D. M. Burrett.
Reel three contains Mr. Stuart's outgoing correspondence from Sept. 4, 1890 to Dec. 3, 1892. These letters are often about accounts owed to the cattle ranch business that Granville managed at the time. There are also four misc. items on this reel.
Reel four is a partial microfilm reel containing Granville Stuart's letters to Andrew Fergus. These are copies of Granville Stuart's correspondence with Andrew Fergus from May 12, 1880 to April 3, 1887. Mr. Stuart was in Helena writing to Mr. Fergus at Fort Maginnis, Montana. Much of this correspondence concerns the buying and selling of cattle, from the "D-S" ranch to the Fort. Included are lists of cattle, their price and condition. In these letters they also discuss the weather and how the crops are doing. Included are a few miscellaneous items and many short articles on early Montana life and activities written by Granville. The materials on this reel were copied from the Granville Stuart Letter Press, which is part of the Western America Collection at Yale University Libraries.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to the University of Montana.
[Name of document], Granville and James Stuart Papers, Archives and Special Collections, The University of Montana--Missoula.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Originals held by the Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.
Granville and James Stuart Papers were loaned for microfilming by a Mr. Scheiffele in 1970. The papers were acquired from Bob Horne at an unknown date. The papers were then loaned indefinitely to the Montana Historical Society in 1971.
The Granville and James Stuart Papers were acquired from Bob Horne at an unknown date.
The actions of the original processors are unknown. In 2001, the collection was re-described. Steven Bingo updated the guide in 2011. This included the creation of a Custodial History note, an update to the related materials, and revisions to some of the encoding.
The bulk of materials in this collection are microfilm copies of the original Granville and James Stuart Papers on indefinite loan to the Montana Historical Society in Helena, Montana, where they are listed as part of the Granville Stuart Papers (MC 61).
Other relevant materials at the Montana Historical Society are the Montana Board of Land Commissioners Records (RS 29).
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut also holds a collection of Granville Stuart's papers (WA MSS S-1120).
The Colorado Historical Society in Denver, Colorado holds a Granville Stuart Collection.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
|1||Granville and James Stuart Papers, Biographical notes, Letterbook (copies of outgoing correspondence)||1868-10-01 - 1879-03-17|
|2||Letterbook||1879-03-18 - 1880-03-25 and 1890-01-10 - 1890-09-04|
|3||Letterbook, (includes four unrelated items)||1890-09-04 - 1892-12-03|
|4||Granville Stuart's letters to Andrew Fergus, Letterbook, (62 pgs.)||1880-1887|
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Cattle trade -- Montana.
- Frontier and pioneer life -- Montana.
- Ranchers -- Montana -- Correspondence.
- Ranches -- Montana.
- Burrett, D. M.
- Fergus, Andrew, 1850-1928 -- Correspondence.
- Hayes, Rutherford Birchard, 1822-1893 -- Correspondence.
- Stuart family.
- Deer Lodge (Mont.)
- Deer Lodge County (Mont.) -- Maps.
- DHS Ranch (Mont.)
- Fort Maginnis (Mont.)
- Montana -- Climate.
- Montana -- History.
- Businessmen -- Montana.
- Historians -- Montana.
- Ranchers -- Montana.
- Stuart, Granville, 1834-1918.
- Stuart, James, 1832-1873.