Cornelius Hedges Family Papers, 1828-1945  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Hedges, Cornelius, 1831-1907
Title
Cornelius Hedges Family Papers
Dates
1828-1945 (inclusive)
Quantity
4.6 linear feet of shelf space
Collection Number
MC 33
Summary
Cornelius Hedges (1831-1907) was a pioneer Helena, Montana, miner and attorney. Collection consists primarily of diaries (1849-1857, 1863-1893, 1906-1907), covering his education at Yale College, his travel to Montana Territory, in 1864 via the Bridger Cutoff trail, and his participation in the Washburn-Doane Expedition of 1870 to what became Yellowstone Park. There is also incoming correspondence, financial records, legal documents, and materials for other family members.
Repository
Montana Historical Society, Research Center Archives
Montana Historical Society Research Center Archives
225 North Roberts
PO Box 201201
Helena MT
59620-1201
Telephone: 406-444-2681
Fax: 406-444-5297
mhslibrary@mt.gov
Access Restrictions

Collection open for research.

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


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Cornelius Hedges was born at Westfield, Massachusetts, October 28, 1831, the son of Dennis and Alvina Hedges. He attended Yale, receiving his A.B. in 1853 and his A.M. in 1855. He also attended Harvard Law School and was admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1856, soon after his marriage to Edna Layette Smith of Southington, Connecticut, he moved to Independence, Iowa, where he practiced law and published and edited the Independence Civilian. In April 1864, Hedges set out, on foot, for the gold mines of Montana. He arrived at Virginia City in the late summer and placer mined there and at Highland Gulch until January, 1865, when he moved to Helena and the newer diggings at Last Chance Gulch. Here he was employed with both mining and the law. Hedges returned to the "States" in the summer of 1866 to purchase a five-stamp mill for the operations of his partner George Wood and himself, and to bring his family back to Montana. He and his family resided in Helena thereafter, while he continued practicing law, speculating in mining claims, and working as a public servant. His public and political services were many and varied. He was U.S. District Attorney for Montana Territory in 1871; first Territorial Delegate to Congress in 1874; a member of the 1884 Constitutional Convention; State Senator, 1889-1893; Republican Caucus nominee for U.S. Senator, 1899; and Secretary of the State Board of Sheep Commissioners, 1897-1906. Hedges was also for many years an editorial writer for the Helena Herald, a charter member of the Montana Bar Association, and a member and president of both the Montana Historical Society and the Montana Society of Pioneers. He was a founder and lifelong supporter of the Helena Public Library. Cornelius Hedges had been a Mason since 1857 and was one of the founders of the first Masonic lodge in Montana. He was known, during his lifetime, as the "Father of Montana Masonry." As a Mason, Hedges held the office of grand secretary of the Montana Lodge from 1872 until just prior to his death. His broad interest also led him to join the Washburn Expedition of 1870, which explored and publicized the Yellowstone area. During the return from the Yellowstone, it was Hedges who suggested the preservation of the area as a national park. In the subsequent two years, he was active in the movement to create the park, which was achieved in 1372. In 1903, he was an honored guest at the cornerstone laying ceremony for the large arch at the park entrance. Hedges died in Helena, April 29, 1907.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The focus of the collection is the series of Cornelius Hedges diaries (1849-1857, 1863-1893, 1906-1907). The rest of the collection, particularly the incoming correspondence, the financial records, and the legal documents, is supplementary in nature. The collection also contains materials of other members of the Hedges family, including: Cornelius Hedges' parents, Dennis and Alvina Hedges; his sister, Frances Atwater; his brother-in-law, Asa B. Clarke; his wife, Edna Smith Hedges; and his sons, Wyllys, Henry, and Cornelius Jr., and his daughter, Edna Hedges Palmer. The outgoing correspondence of Cornelius Hedges to his parents gives an excellent view of the Montana mining frontier and conditions encountered in early settlements of the era. Correspondence from and to Asa and Margaret Clarke provides some information on the early history of several Iowa communities. Other subgroups in this collection include materials for the Bald Butte Mining Company (during its period of receivership) and the Masonic Order.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of the Montana Historical Society. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collection. In some cases permission for use may require additional authorization from the copyright owners. For more information contact an archivist.

Preferred Citation

Item description and date. Collection Title. Collection Number. Box and Folder numbers. Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives, Helena, Montana.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

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

Cornelius Hedges Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Biographical Material
Box/Folder
1 / 1
"He Went to Yale - 1849", by unidentified author
1943
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
1 / 2
Frances Hedges Atwater [sister]
1849-1862, undated
1 / 3
A-B (correspondents include Joshua Anderson; [C.R.?] Bliss; D.W. Brooks; William H. Burr)
1853-1896, undated
1 / 4
Asa B. Clarke and Margaret Hedges Clarke
1852-1862
1 / 5
C-D (correspondents include Charles Chessman; S.S. Clark; William McNeill Clough; Connecticut and Montana Mining Company; William Dryer)
1853-1897
1 / 6
James R. Dewey
1850-1854, undated
1 / 7
F-G (correspondents include James Fergus; R.E. Fisk; Edward B. Gillett
1856, 1901-1902
1 / 8
Alvina Hedges and Dennis Hedges [parents]
1850, undated
1 / 9-13
Edna Smith Hedges [fiancee and later wife]
1854-1856, 1858, 1866, undated
1 / 14
H-J (correspondents include N.O. Houghton; S. Stoddard Johnston)
1854, 1856
1 / 15
Nathaniel P. Langford
1894, 1905
1 / 16
L-M (correspondents include R. Lawrence; C.G. McCully; William Jobb)
1853-1896, undated
1 / 17
Masonic Order (includes lodges in New York; Livingston; Miles City; Mexico; Deer Lodge; and Olympia and Walla Walla, Washington)
1873, 1895-1903
1 / 18
P-S (correspondents include W.M. Pomeroy; Benjamin F. Potts; J.M. Simons)
1849, 1862, 1874
1 / 19
Wilbur Fisk Sanders (includes letters of introduction)
1881, 1902
1 / 20
Emma Smith [future sister-in-law]
1855
1 / 21
T-W (correspondents include George N. Watrous; A. [M.?] Wheeler; A.D. White; T. Wilcox)
1853-1867, 1903
1 / 22
Unidentified
1853, undated
Outgoing Correspondence
Box/Folder
1 / 23
Frances Atwater
1900
1 / 24
Cornelius Hedges, Jr.
1877
1 / 25-27
Alvina Hedges and Dennis Hedges [parents]
1852-1853, 1862-1871, undated
1 / 28
Edna Smith Hedges [wife]
1896
1 / 29
Wyllus A. Hedges
1874
1 / 30
Edna Hedges Palmer
1881
1 / 31
Unidentified
1869
Diaries
Box/Folder
1 / 32-33
Diaries [3]
January 1849- October 1851
2 / 1
Diary
October 1851- November 1855
2 / 2
Diaries [handwritten copies in 10 notebooks]
1949-1855
2 / 3
Diary [includes notes and accounts]
April 1853- May 1857
2 / 4-6
Diaries [6 books; includes typescript copies of portions]
February 1863- November 1866, Mar 1867- December 1868
3 / 1
Diaries [2 books; includes typescript copies of portions]
January 1869- October 1871
3 / 2-11
Diaries [20 books]
October 1871- December 1892
4 / 1
Diaries [2 books]
January-November 1893, August 1906- April 1907
Financial Records
Box/Folder
4 / 2
Account of college expenses
1849-1853
4 / 3
Checks on First National Bank, Helena
1869, 1873-1874
4 / 4
Cornelius Hedges Estate
1906-1911
4 / 5
Life insurance policy and receipts
1863-1872, 1893
4 / 6
Notes paid and payable
1857-1895
4 / 7
Receipts and receipted bills
1856-1895
4 / 8
Statements of accounts
1867-1869
4 / 9
Stock certificates
1889-1897
4 / 10
Tax receipts
RESTRICTED
1860-1890
4 / 11
Miscellaneous
1865-1883, undated
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
4 / 12
Abstracts of mining properties and claims
1865-1866, undated
4 / 13
Appointments: territorial commissioner; George Chapman Estate administrator
1869, 1882 undated
4 / 14
Certificate and licenses for practice of law
1855, 1865-1871
4 / 15
Certificate of mining claims filed
1864-1866
4 / 16
Contracts
1867-1868, 1895
4 / 17
Declarations of claims
1865
4 / 18
Deed and leases for Seven Mile Creek land
1890-1894
4 / 19
Deeds for city lots
1869-1877
4 / 20
Deeds for quartz lodes
1882, 1892
4 / 21
Homestead claim for city lots
1896
4 / 22
Power of attorney
1866
4 / 23
Quit-claim deeds for mining properties
1865-1866
4 / 24
Quit-claim deeds for miscellaneous properties
1866-1886
4 / 25
Sales agreements
1863-1868, 1893
4 / 26
Warranty deeds
1865, 1891
Photographs
Box/Folder
4 / 27
List of photographs transferred to the Photo Archives
Speeches and Writings
Box/Folder
4 / 28
"A Chronological Dictionary"
undated
4 / 29
Essays, debates, discussions, etc. (re history, morality, honesty, England, vigilantes, the veto, Christian virtue, etc.)
1851-1887, undated
4 / 30
Essays, debates, discussions, etc. (re land ownership, formation of character, Mohammed, railroads, slave law, liquor law, Jerusalem, etc.)
undated
4 / 31
Essays, debates, discussions, etc. (re Christian virtue, language, education, Constitution, third-party candidates, election of Senators, manifest destiny, canal railroads, statesmanship, Presidential power, progress in Montana, Lewis and Clark County, territorial school system, etc.)
undated
4 / 32
Eulogy for Henry D. Washburn
1871
4 / 33
Examination question with outlined answer on "Commerce with Japan"
undated
4 / 34
Lecture notes (re civilization, metaphysics, meteorology, philosophy, oratory, rhetoric, political economy, law, etc.)
1853, undated
4 / 35
Speech delivered to the Masonic Lodge, Southington, Connecticut
1861
4 / 36
Speeches (re education, Freemasonry, New England Association)
1874, undated
4 / 37
Translations of Classical works
undated
4 / 38
Writings: "Lost in the Wilderness" (re rescue of T.C. Everts during Washburn Expedition to Yellowstone); "Exclusion of Chinese"; "Memorial for Grant of Lands for University"; "Reminiscences of Early Days in Helena"; "The Great Geyser Basin of the World"
1871, undated
Miscellany
Box/Folder
5 / 1
Golden wedding anniversary invitations, etc.
1906
5 / 2
List of mining claims owned by Cornelius Hedges
1865
5 / 3
Masonic Order certificates, commissions, etc.
1867-1895
5 / 4
Masonic Order memorials, resolutions, etc.
1907
5 / 5
Plat of Hedges Addition, Helena
1867
5 / 6
Sally Pratt Estate
1838-1860
5 / 7
Resolution on location of state institutions
undated
5 / 8
C.S. Sabin-Hart and Jamison business transactions
1856-1857
5 / 9
Yale College (includes examinations, commencement rules, DeForest Prize)
1850-1853, undated
5 / 10
Miscellaneous (includes Harvard certificates, Montana Pioneers memorial for Cornelius Hedges, Montana Historical Society certificate, business cards, campaign leaflets, etc.)
1855-1907
Clippings
Box/Folder
5 / 11
Cornelius Hedges (re activities, honors, tributes, obituaries, etc.; includes small scrapbook)
1866-1907, undated
5 / 12
Family members (includes Wyllys Smith, Leonard Atwater, et al.)
undated
5 / 13
Literary reviews, etc. (primarily New York newspapers)
1842-1856, undated
5 / 14
Montana politics and legislative actions
1851, 1872, undated
5 / 15
Yellowstone National Park
1880, undated
5 / 16
Miscellaneous
1852-1899, undated

Frances Atwater Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
5 / 17
Margaret Clarke
1853, 1866, 1882

Asa B. Clarke Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
5 / 18
Nathaniel P. Langford
1869
Financial Records
Box/Folder
5 / 19
Receipt
1875

Cornelius Hedges, Jr. Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
5 / 20
B-G (correspondents include Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company re death of Cornelius Hedges; F.H. Gillett)
1907, 1920
5 / 21
Henry Hedges; Wyllys Hedges
1902, 1908
5 / 22
H-K (correspondents include Montana Soldiers' Home; R.H. Howey; Henry Knippenberg, re Constitutional Convention reunion; Jessie L. Nelson)
1899-1923
5 / 23
Masonic Order
1919-1920
5 / 24
N-W (correspondents include Northern Pacific Railway assistant land commissioner; John C. Smith; James A. Walsh, enclosing papers of Jerry Embrey)
1902-1903, 1920
Diaries
Box/Folder
5 / 25
Diary (includes some notes and accounts)
1893
Financial Records
Box/Folder
6 / 1
Bank book
1905-1920
6 / 2
Notes and receipts
1902-1919
6 / 3
Tax receipts: City of Helena
RESTRICTED
1912-1924
6 / 4
Tax receipts: Lewis and Clark County
RESTRICTED
1909-1920
6 / 5
Tax returns: income
RESTRICTED
1917-1924
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
6 / 6
Stockpooling agreement for Helena Ice Company
1910
6 / 7
Miscellaneous
1902-1914
Miscellany
Box/Folder
6 / 8
Constitution and bylaws of Helena High School Alumni Association
undated
6 / 9
Masonic Order memorial, etc.
1921-1925
6 / 10
Political ballots, tickets, etc.
1892-1924
6 / 11
Miscellaneous
1887-1925, undated
Clippings
Box/Folder
6 / 12
Cornelius Hedges, Jr. obituaries
1925
6 / 13
Scrapbook (includes Constitutional Convention; politics; etc.)
1889-1894
6 / 14
Scrapbook (politics; etc.)
1891-1892
6 / 15
Miscellaneous
1898-1925, undated

Alvina And Dennis Hedges Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
7 / 1
A-B (correspondents include D.H. Atwater; W.R. Bullard)
1869, undated
7 / 2
Asa B. Clarke
1865, 1867, 1874
7 / 3
Margaret Clarke
1854-1874, undated
7 / 4
C-G (correspondents include E.M.A. Chealey, grand-daughter; Mary C. Green)
1839, 1871-1875
7 / 5
Dennis Hedges
1869
7 / 6
Edna S. Hedges
1865-1866
7 / 7
Amelia Wilcox
undated
Court Papers
Box/Folder
7 / 8
Summons (re Massachusetts land dispute)
1828
Financial Records
Box/Folder
7 / 9
Receipts, etc.
1874-1879
Clippings
Box/Folder
7 / 10
Dennis Hedges obituary
undated

Edna Smith Hedges Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
7 / 11
Margaret Clarke
1862
7 / 12
C-M (correspondents include Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company re death of Cornelius Hedges; Mary [Green?]; Harold P. Moseley re Cornelius Hedges Estate)
1855, 1907, undated
7 / 13
Emily Barnes Smith
1876-1877, undated
Financial Records
Box/Folder
7 / 14
Edna Smith Hedges Estate
1912-1914
7 / 15
Receipts
1909-1910
7 / 16
Tax receipts: City of Helena
RESTRICTED
1909-1911
7 / 17
Tax receipts: Lewis and Clark County
RESTRICTED
1909-1911
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
7 / 18
Appointment as executrix of Cornelius Hedges Estate
1907
7 / 19
Edna Smith Hedges will
1910
7 / 20
Emily Smith will
1877
Miscellany
Box/Folder
7 / 21
Sally Lewis Academy, Southington, Connecticut
1857, 1922, undated
7 / 22
Emily Barnes Smith funeral transcript
1908

Henry H. Hedges Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
7 / 23
Alvina Hedges; Wyllys Hedges
1908, undated
Outgoing Correspondence
Box/Folder
7 / 24
P.G. Schroeder
1945
Financial Records
Box/Folder
7 / 25
Accounting of shares owned in H. Hedges Sheep Company (includes shares of Ida, W.A., and Edna L. Hedges)
1886-1888
Clippings
Box/Folder
7 / 26
Henry H. Hedges marriage to Dora C. Harris
undated

Wyllys A. Hedges Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Diaries
Box/Folder
7 / 27
Diary
1880
Financial Records
Box/Folder
7 / 28
Miscellaneous
1894-1908
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
7 / 29
Agreement; deeds; notice of publication for proving of will
1880-1884, 1929
Speeches and Writings
Box/Folder
7 / 30
Autobiographical sketch
undated
7 / 31
"Cornelius Hedges"
undated
7 / 32
"Sketch of an Indian Battle near Hedges, Montana, 1882"
undated
7 / 33
"Bears"; "A Ghost Village"; "Historical Sketch pertaining to Early Settlement of Great Falls" [photocopies]
undated
7 / 34
"Historical Sketch of Incident Occurring at Great Falls, 1880"; "Coyote" [photocopies]
undated
7 / 35
"An Indian Battle near Yale, Montana, 1882"; "Friendly Bears"; A Speedy Descent"; "Reminiscences" [photocopies]
undated
7 / 36
"A Montana Cloudburst"; "The Story of Montana"; "Mail Carrier Lost in Blizzard"; "Lost in Snow Storm" [photocopies]
1926, undated
7 / 37
"Trailing sheep from California to Montana, 1881" [includes photocopies]
undated
Miscellany
Box/Folder
7 / 38
Certificate of Montana Society of Pioneers; Montana Historical Society resolution
1903, 1929
Clippings
Box/Folder
7 / 39
Obituaries
1929

Edna Hedges Palmer Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
7 / 40
Anne McDonnell, Montana Historical Society librarian
1930
Diaries
Box/Folder
7 / 41
Diaries (includes trip to Europe, 1890) [2]
1878-1879, 1890
Financial Records
Box/Folder
7 / 42
European trip
1890
7 / 43
Tax receipt: City of Helena
RESTRICTED
1923
Miscellany
Box/Folder
7 / 44
"Historical Records indicate Jacobs and Bozeman Should Share Honors in Establishing Routes for Travellers", by John G. Brown
1923
Clippings
Box/Folder
7 / 45
Edna Hedges Palmer obituaries
1938
8 / 1
Scrapbook
undated
8 / 2
Montana history
1935, 1939

Bald Butte Mining Company Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
8 / 3
E.C. Olney
1909
Outgoing Correspondence
Box/Folder
8 / 4
Miscellaneous
1909
Court Papers
Box/Folder
8 / 5
Beattie vs. Bald Butte Mining Company
1909, 1911
8 / 6
Granting of petition to allow sale of receivers' certificates
1910
Financial Records
Box/Folder
8 / 7
Gold bullion deposits
1909
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
8 / 8
Lease of workings to Jerry Lawler
1908
Organization
Box/Folder
8 / 9
Reorganization materials
1909
8 / 10
Stock certificates; stock transactions
1891-1892, 1905, 1907

Masonic Order Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Outgoing Correspondence
Box/Folder
8 / 11
Miscellaneous
1919-1920
Financial Records
Box/Folder
8 / 12
Receipts
1925
Miscellany
Box/Folder
8 / 13
Notes on the history of Masonry in Montana
1920, undated
8 / 14
Membership lists, etc.
1892, undated
8 / 15
Memorial to Nathaniel P. Langford
1911
8 / 16
Miscellaneous
1887, undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Discoveries in geography
  • Freemasons. Grand Lodge Of Montana
  • Frontier and pioneer life--Montana
  • Gold mines and mining--Montana
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • School superintendents
  • Steamboat travel--Missouri River
  • Personal Names :
  • Hedges, Cornelius, 1831-1907 (creator)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Europe--Description and travel
  • Helena (Mont.)
  • Helena (Mont.)--Economic conditions
  • Helena (Mont.)--Education
  • Highland Mining District (Mont.)
  • Marysville (Mont.)
  • Missouri River--Description and travel
  • Virginia City (Mont.)
  • Yellowstone National Park