Charles Odell Brown Papers, 1891-1915

Overview of the Collection

Charles Odell Brown
Charles Odell Brown Papers
1891-1915 (inclusive)
1.2 linear feet
Collection Number
MG088 (collection)
Diaries, checks, correspondence, photographs and other papers.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Charles Odell Brown worked as a timber cruiser, scaler, and buyer and seller of timberlands. He was born in Sherman, Maine, on April 20, 1841. In 1861 he entered the Union Army as a 2nd lieutenant and in 1862 was promoted to lst lieutenant. On February 6, 1868, he married Clara Edwina Scribner; they had three children, Mary, Nathaniel, and Della.

In 1887 the family moved to Kitchi, Michigan, where they lived until 1895. Brown began his diary in 1891. In June 1893, following a visit to the Chicago World's Fair, C.O. Brown made his first visit to Idaho, remaining until mid-August. Then on June 18, 1894, he returned with his son, arriving in Boise on June 23. They looked over the timber areas in north Idaho for several months, leaving Moscow for Michigan on October 10. On April 20, 1895, the entire family, including Mary's husband Theodore Fohl, left Kitchi, "without any regrets," and arrived in Moscow three days later. In August 1900 Brown acted as timber agent for Frederick Weyerhaeuser, exploring the upper Clearwater Valley white pine areas. This survey laid the foundation for the Potlatch Forests, Inc. timberlands in North Idaho.

C.O. Brown died August 2, 1902, just two weeks after his last diary entry. He is buried in the Moscow cemetery. The Latah County Historical Society, Moscow, has a small collection of C.O. Brown's letters.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

The papers of C.O. Brown were donated to the University of Idaho Library by his grandson, C.O. Brown, of Friday Harbor, Washington, in 1974.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1 Checks
527 items
(Includes checks of C.O. and Clara E. Brown, and Mary Fohl)
2 Bills and Receipts
37 items
3 Correspondence
17 items
(Includes letters between E.N. Brown and J.A. Humbird)
4 Land and Timber
12 items
(Newspaper clippings, township book, legal documents, homestead and timber claims book, loans of Potlatch Timber Co.)
5 Photographs
19 items
(Most are unidentified and undated)
6 Other Papers
14 items
(Calling cards, notebooks, jury summons, train ticket)
7-15 Diaries
9 items
16(os) Plat Book; Latah, Shoshone, Clearwater Counties
1 item
17(os) Timber Estimates Book; Latah, Shoshone Counties
1 item
18-19 Transcripts of diaries
1 item

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Forests and forestry -- Idaho -- Mensuration -- History -- Sources
  • Forests and forestry -- Valuation -- Idaho -- History -- Sources


  • Timber cruiser for the Weyerhaeuser interests in the white pine forests of Northern Idaho in 1900.

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Brown, Charles Odell, 1841-1902--Archives.