Grand Army of the Republic Montana Department records, 1881-1941

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Grand Army of the Republic. Department of Montana
Title
Grand Army of the Republic Montana Department records
Dates
1881-1941 (inclusive)
Quantity
5 linear feet of shelf space
Collection Number
MC 205
Summary
This collection consists of records of the Montana Department of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and of the Woman's Relief Corps. Records include correspondence, financial records, organizational materials, rosters, minutes, and miscellany for locals in Anaconda, Butte, Boulder Valley, Columbia Falls, Deer Lodge, Fort Custer, Great Falls, Hamilton, Helena, and Missoula.
Repository
Montana Historical Society, Research Center Archives
Montana Historical Society Research Center Archives
225 North Roberts
PO Box 201201
Helena MT
59620-1201
Telephone: 4064442681
Fax: 4064445297
mhslibrary@mt.gov
Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was the national organization of Union Army veterans of the Civil War. The first G.A.R. post in Montana was the John Buford Post, No. 15, Department of the Mountains, established at Fort Custer on August 20, 1881. In October 1883 the Department of Utah was organized, and Montana became part of this new department. On March 10, 1885, the Department of Montana was formed. Posts from the Department of the Mountains and the Department of Utah were re-numbered as posts within the Department of Montana. Montana eventually had 26 posts, although not all were active at the same time. The National Woman's Relief Corps, auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, was organized in Denver, Colorado, on July 25, 1883. The Montana division, added on May 3, 1888, originally was under the jurisdiction of the Department of North Dakota, but after six corps were formed in Montana, making the state eligible for a department of its own, the Department of Montana was created on April 15, 1893. Starting with a membership of 215 in 1893, the Woman's Relief Corps Department of Montana, grew to 850 members in 1922. The organization's primary duty was to care for veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in Montana it was partially responsible for the passage, in 1895, of a bill to establish and maintain a solders' home at Columbia Falls. The Corps was also involved in relief work and fundraising of a general nature, raising money for famine and flood victims throughout the world.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection is arranged in four subgroups. The first subgroup contains Department of Montana records of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Woman's Relief Corps, and the Ladies of the G.A.R., including general correspondence (1893-1934, undated); outgoing correspondence (1885-1936), including general and special orders, and circulars; financial records (1887-1918); organizational materials (1903, 1933, undated); miscellany, including encampment programs and minutes, index to records of local posts, histories, membership information, and roster books, etc.; a scrapbook (1939-1965); and clippings (1920-1921, undated). A second subgroup contains the records of Local Posts, including John Buford Post #1, Fort Custer; Lincoln Post #2, Butte; Wadsworth Post #3, Helena; George H. Thomas Post #4, Deer Lodge; Custer Post #5, Soldiers' Home, Columbia Falls; William English Post #10, Bozeman; Frederick Winthrop Post #11, Missoula; James B. McPherson Post #13, Boulder Valley; George G. Meade Post #16, Anaconda; Sheridan Post #18, Great Falls; John C. Fremont Post #21, Hamilton; and George B. McClelland Post #24, Columbia Falls. Records included are correspondence, minutes, descriptive books of members, rosters, and ledgers. Not all posts include all these records. The third subgroup in the collection contains records of Woman's Relief Corps local posts including Wadsworth Post #1, Helena and Lincoln Post #6, Butte. Records include ledger books for Helena, and correspondence, minutes, and reports for Butte. The fourth subgroup consists of records of the Ladies of the G.A.R. local post at Butte, entitled the John F. Reynolds Circle #14. Records include correspondence, financial records, minutes, and reports.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Arrangement

Arranged by series and subgroup. Some material housed in Archives Map Case and Manuscript Volumes, see inventory below for more information.

Location of Collection

12:3-7

Location of Collection

146:1-2 (volumes 1-3)

Preservation Note

Fragile material copied on MF 429. See inventory below for specific items.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition Information available upon request

Separated Materials

Artifacts separated to Museum. See inventory below for more information.

Related Materials

See MF 429 for microfilmed copies of fragile material.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection

Department Of Montana Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
1 / 1
Chronological (correspondents include Knights of Labor, Anaconda; U.S. Bureau of Pensions; Woman's Relief Corps, Bozeman, Helena; George H. Taylor; C.P.H. Bielenberg; Effie MacRae; Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic; U.S. General Land Office; Roy C. Minard; Samuel V. Stewart; Benton Halstead)
1893-1934, undated
Outgoing Correspondence
Box/Folder
1 / 2
Letterpress book (includes general orders, special orders)
1885-1889, 1896
1 / 3
General orders, special orders, circulars
1886-1923, 1936
1 / 4
General orders, special orders, circulars: Woman's Relief Corps and Ladies of the G.A.R.
1896-1935
Financial Records
Box/Folder
1 / 5
Cash book kept by Assistant Quartermaster General
1887-1918
Organizational Records
Box/Folder
1 / 6
Ladies of the G.A.R. bylaws; report from annual convention of Woman's Relief Corps; minutes of meeting; history of Woman's Relief Corps
1903, 1933, undated
Miscellany
Box/Folder
1 / 7
Encampment programs and minutes
1886-1947
1 / 8
Index to records of posts
undated
1 / 9
List of artifacts transferred to Museum
1 / 10
List of pensioners; membership reports; list of department commanders
1885-1936
1 / 11
Memorial Day programs, salutes to the flag, pension requirements, forms, etc.
1886-1895, 1926, undated
1 / 12
Notes on and history of Dept. of Montana and local posts
undated
1 / 13
Pension authorizations, certificates of honorable discharge, certificates of service, etc.
1889-1905
2 / 1
Register of delegates to encampments
1894-1908
Volume
Vol. 1
Register of delegates to encampments
1917-1923
Box/Folder
2 / 2-3
Roster books (include rosters of officers of Dept. of Montana, local posts, past commanders, etc.)
1887-1907
2 / 4
Rosters of Dept. of Montana and Woman's Relief Corps [scattered dates]
1887-1921
2 / 5
Transfers in from other states
1887-1925
2 / 6
United Veterans Council bylaws and constitution
1933
Clippings
Box/Folder
2 / 7
Miscellaneous (includes minutes of meetings, obituaries, political commentary)
1895-1930, undated
Volume
Vol. 2
Scrapbook (compiled by Mrs. O.E. Selzer and Myra Korlsund: includes news, obituaries, and mementos)
1939-1965

Local Posts Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subject Files
Box/Folder
2 / 8
John Buford Post #1, Fort Custer: account ledger
1885-1896, undated
2 / 9
John Buford Post #1, Fort Custer: minute book [includes John Buford Post #15, Fort Custer, Dept. of the Mountains]
1881-1892
2 / 10
John Buford Post #1, Fort Custer: regulations, bylaws, and rosters [includes John Buford Post #15, Fort Custer, Dept. of the Mountains]
1881-1892
2 / 11
John Buford Post #1, Fort Custer: descriptive book of members [includes John Buford Post #15, Fort Custer, Dept. of the Mountains] [FRAGILE: Use MF 429]
1881-1892
3 / 1
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: correspondence
1887-1929, undated
3 / 2
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: bills, statements etc.
1886-1927
3 / 3
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: cash book
1908-1920
3 / 4-6
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: ledgers
1884-1935
3 / 7
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: minute book [includes Lincoln Post #1, Butte, Dept. of Utah]
1883-1894
4 / 1-5
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: minute books
1895-1924
5 / 1
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: minute book
1924-1936
5 / 2
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: items removed from minute books
1899-1931
5 / 3
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: minutes of meetings with other patriotic organizations to found camp of Sons of Veterans
1917
5 / 4
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: quarterly reports, committee reports, etc.
1894-1934
5 / 5
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: applications, memorials, resolutions, registrations for headstones, admission requirements
1888-1924
5 / 6-8
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: descriptive books of members [FRAGILE: Use MF 429]
1883-1914
5 / 9
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: programs, etc.
1908-1933
5 / 10
Lincoln Post #2, Butte: rosters [includes Lincoln Woman's Relief Corps #6; Sons of Veterans Camp #5; John F. Reynolds Circle #14, Ladies of the G.A.R.; Wilbur F. Sanders Circle #17, Ladie of the G.A.R.]
1902-1932
5 / 11
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: correspondence
1902, undated
5 / 12
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: rules and regulations and roster [includes Wadsworth Post #8, Helena, Dept. of Utah]
1883-1896
5 / 13
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: roster
1895
Volume
Vol. 3
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: minutes
1888-1892
Box/Folder
5 / 14
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: minutes
1892-1897
6 / 1
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: minutes
1903-1915
6 / 2-3
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: descriptive books of members [includes Wadsworth Post #8, Helena, Dept. of Utah] [FRAGILE: Use MF 429]
1883-1904
6 / 4
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: inventory
undated
6 / 5
Wadsworth Post #3, Helena: rituals
1921
6 / 6
George H. Thomas Post #4, Deer Lodge: minute book [includes George H. Thomas Post #9, Deer Lodge, Dept. of Utah]
1884-1941
7 / 1
George H. Thomas Post #4, Deer Lodge: descriptive book of members [includes George H. Thomas Post #9, Deer Lodge, Dept. of Utah] [FRAGILE: Use MF 429]
1884-1991
7 / 2
Custer Post #5, Columbia Falls: minute book
1911-1930
7 / 3
Custer Post #5, Columbia Falls: descriptive book of members [includes Soldier's Home and George B. McClelland Post #24, Columbia Falls] [FRAGILE: Use MF 429]
1886-1924
7 / 4
William English Post #10, Bozeman: program
1886
7 / 5-7
Frederick Winthrop Post #11, Missoula: minutes [includes Robert C. Winthrop Post #11, Missoula]
1884-1891, 1904-1934
7 / 8
James B. McPherson Post #13, Boulder Valley: ledger book
1885-1892
7 / 9
James B. McPherson Post #13, Boulder Valley: descriptive book of members [FRAGILE: Use MF 429]
1885-1895
8 / 1
George G. Meade Post #16, Anaconda: ledger book
1897-1920
8 / 2-3
George G. Meade Post #16, Anaconda: minute books
1899-1916
8 / 4
George G. Meade Post #16, Anaconda: bylaws and resolutions
undated
8 / 5
George G. Meade Post #16, Anaconda: descriptive books of members [FRAGILE: Use MF 429]
1887-1907
8 / 6
George G. Meade Post #16, Anaconda: post register
1893-1915
Oversize Folder
MC 199-215
George G. Meade Post #16, Anaconda: membership lists [OVERSIZE: See Archives Map Case folder MC 199-215]
1893-1915
Box/Folder
8 / 7
Sheridan Post #18, Great Falls: membership applications
undated
8 / 8
John C. Fremont Post #21, Hamilton: descriptive book of members [FRAGILE: Use MF 429]
1890-1898

Woman's Relief Corps Local Posts Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subject Files
Box/Folder
9 / 1-2
Wadsworth Post #1, Helena: ledger books
1888-1913
9 / 3
Lincoln Post #6, Butte: correspondence
1898-1923, undated
9 / 4
Lincoln Post #6, Butte: minutes
1899-1902, undated
9 / 5
Lincoln Post #6, Butte: quarterly reports, treasurers' reports, election reports, etc.
1900-1921

Ladies Of The G.A.R. Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Membership Records
Box/Folder
9 / 6
Phil Sheridan Circle # 4: History
1953
Subject Files
Box/Folder
9 / 7
John F. Reynolds Circle # 14, Butte: correspondence
1916-1933
9 / 8
John F. Reynolds Circle # 14, Butte: account books
1931-1935
9 / 9
John F. Reynolds Circle # 14, Butte: bills, bank books, receipts, etc.
1901-1933
9 / 10
John F. Reynolds Circle # 14, Butte: minutes
1916-1935, undated
9 / 11
John F. Reynolds Circle # 14, Butte: convention reports, quarterly reports, committee reports
1920-1939
Miscellany
Box/Folder
9 / 12
Phil Sheridan Circle # 4: Encampment brochure, Certificate of Participation for Arline Childs, Star Spangled Banner lyrics
1949, 1975
Clippings
Box/Folder
9 / 13
Phil Sheridan Circle # 4
1932-1962

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Veterans--societies, etc.--Montana
  • Women--societies and clubs--Montana

Corporate Names

  • Grand Army of the Republic. Department of Montana (creator)

Geographical Names

  • Boulder (Mont.)--social life and customs
  • United States--history--civil war, 1861-1865