Stone Family papers, 1849-1984

Overview of the Collection

Stone Family
Stone Family papers
1849-1984 (inclusive)
0.2 linear feet
Collection Number
0003, Collection 0003, MtBC, us (collection)
The Franklin Leonard Stone Family Collection includes original and typewritten transcripts of diaries, letters, reminiscences, and other documents written by Franklin L. Stone, Julia Stone, Emma Stone Moss, Isla Cain, and William Shunk. The materials in this collection provide insight into the family's journey to Montana and their early years. Also present are the observations and reflections on ranching, vigilante activity in Virginia City, gold field activities, Indian and settlements along the Columbia River, early Gallatin County school information, and other assorted topics.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
Telephone: 4069944242
Fax: 4069942851
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Franklin Leonard Stone (1816-1886) was born in Bridgeport, Vermont, the son of sailing merchant. In 1849 Franklin, with his younger brother Hiram, went to California where they participated in the gold rush. By 1850 Franklin had returned to the Chicago area where he and his wife Sarah lived for a time in Onarga, Illinois. The couple had five children there; Frank Jr., Julia, Leonard, Dwight, and Emma. In the early 1860s Franklin returned west, spending some time in Oregon during 1863, but in 1865 he returned to Illinois to bring his family to Montana Territory. The family traveled by steamboat up the Missouri River to Fort Benton, and then overland to their temporary home near Helena. Later they would live near Gallatin City. Franklin Stone lived out the remainder of his life as a cattleman and farmer, serving as superintendent of schools in Gallatin County from 1866 to 1874. Emma Stone married George Washington Moss, the freighting partner of her brother Leonard, in 1877. They settled along the Madison River and had six children. Dwight Stone also remained in Gallatin County and his son, Frank L. Stone, became a banker and cattleman, working as a supervisor for the Flying D ranch before his death in 1964.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Franklin Leonard Stone Family collection includes original and typewritten transcripts of diaries, letters, reminiscences, and other documents. Original diaries include: one from 1852 kept by Franklin L. Stone while reconnoitering potential timber claims in northern Michigan; one kept by Franklin L. Stone while working on his Montana ranch from 1882 through 1884. Typed transcripts of diaries include one of the 1882-1884 volume, and ones prepared by Harriet Cushman from originals whose location is unknown. One diary transcript Cushman deduced was written by twelve year old Julia Stone during the trip her family took up the Missouri river in 1865 on board the steamer "Twilight." This diary includes observations on Indians, fellow passengers, and the initial settlement of the Stone families in Montana. Another transcript prepared by Cushman is credited to Franklin Stone and kept by him while living alone near Gallatin City in 1864. This diary contains philosophical observations on the countryside and inhabitants, with comments on the vigilante activity in Virginia City. Only two original letters are in the collection, one from Franklin Stone dated Sacramento City, August 28, 1849 to his wife describing the gold field activities, and another dated Dalles, Oregon, February 22, 1863 from Franklin to his son describing Indians and settlements along the Columbia River. Transcriptions of missing letters date from 1864 to 1909 and were written by Franklin L. Stone or Emma Stone Moss. An original handwritten reminiscence by Emma Stone Moss dated 1934 recounts the family's trip west and first years in Montana. A 1968 biographical sketch of Emma written by Isla Cain supplements the reminiscence. Frank L. Stone, interviewed by Montana State College librarian Marguerita McDonald in 1949, relates in the oral history transcription his own experiences working as a rancher at the Flying D Ranch, and a transcription of an essay he wrote on the Flying D in 1965 is supplemented with comments added by his nephew, William Shunk, in 1985. Miscellaneous transcribed documents include information on early Gallatin County schools and essays on various topics credited to Franklin L. Stone.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Original diaries, letters, reminiscences and typed transcripts created by or pertaining to the Franklin Leonard Stone family of Gallatin County, Montana, were donated by a variety of individuals starting with Harriet Cushman of Bozeman, Montana, in 1964. Other donors include Frank L. Stone, 1965; Isla Cain, 1968; Merrill G. Burlingame 1965 and 1975; Louise Shunk, 1982 and 1984. This collection incorporates accessions 313, 585, 649, 1330.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2007 July 27

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Original diary, Franklin L. Stone 1852
1/2 Original diary, Franklin L. Stone 1882-1884
1/3 Original letter, Franklin L. Stone August 28, 1849
1/4 Original letter, Franklin L. Stone February 22, 1863
1/5 Original reminiscence of Emma Stone Moss 1934
1/6 Original school certificate undated
1/7 Transcript diary, Franklin L. Stone 1864
1/8 Transcript diary, Julia C. Stone 1865
1/9 Transcript diary, Franklin L. Stone
(as in folder 2)
1/10 Transcript letter, Franklin L. Stone
(as in folder 3)
August 28, 1849
1/11 Transcript letter, Franklin L. Stone
(as in folder 4)
February 22, 1863
1/12 Transcribed letters 1864-1909
1/13 Transcript reminiscence of Emma Stone Moss
(as in folder 5)
1/14 Frank L. Stone interview 1949
1/15 "The Flying D" by Frank L. Stone
"The Flying D", by Frank L. Stone, 1965; supplement by William Shunk, 1984
1/16 "Emma Stone Moss," by Isla Cain 1968
1/17 Transcripts of miscellaneous documents

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Frontier and pioneer life--Montana

Personal Names

  • Stone , Franklin L. (Franklin Leonard), 1816-1886

Family Names

  • Stone family

Geographical Names

  • Gallatin County (Mont.)-History